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Blumenthal & Murphy Introduce Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Nominee Sara Bronin Before Senate Confirmation Hearing

[WASHINGTON, DC] – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) introduced Sara Bronin, President Biden’s nominee to chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, before her nomination hearing in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Following today’s hearing, Bronin’s nomination is expected to receive a vote in the committee and if approved, will advance to the full Senate. If confirmed as chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Bronin will lead the agency in addressing policy issues, directing program initiatives, and making recommendations regarding historic preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources to the President, Congress, and heads of other federal agencies.  

“I couldn’t imagine someone better qualified to be the nominee to chair the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,” Blumenthal said in his introductory remarks. “She has an understanding of both the legal and the technical facets that are required for someone in this leadership position.” Citing her, “devotion to equity and inclusiveness as core interests and values in her work,” and her advocacy for, “the protection of many important community assets all over the state by leveraging funding, advocating and forming partnerships, and promoting stewardship,” Blumenthal urged his colleagues to advance Bronin’s nomination. 

“You really couldn't pick somebody better suited for this role. Sara Bronin is a nationally acknowledged expert on zoning and land use law. She's an architect, so she understands the practicality of buildings and building, but she also is somebody that has a history of being able to bring folks together around these ideas,” said Murphy. “In Hartford, the city that I live in, she was able to lead an effort to redesign the city plan and the city's zoning laws. It ended up being adopted in a unanimous vote, which is not easy in a place like Hartford that has lots of different ideas about historic preservation, development, and affordable housing. And so I think you'll find someone here who has the right background, the right expertise, but also the ability to take some of the politics and controversy out of these ideas and bring people together.”

Sara Bronin is a Mexican-American architect, attorney, professor, and policymaker whose interdisciplinary work focuses on how law and policy can foster more equitable, sustainable, well-designed, and connected places. She is a Professor of the Cornell College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, an Associated Faculty Member of the Cornell Law School, and a Faculty Fellow of the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. Bronin is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and leads the research team behind the groundbreaking Connecticut Zoning Atlas, the first interactive GIS map of all of the zoning regulations in a single state.

Bronin is a board member of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, an advisor for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Sustainable Development Code, and the founder of Desegregate Connecticut, a coalition that successfully advanced the first major statewide zoning reforms in several decades. Previously, she chaired Preservation Connecticut, served on the city of Hartford historic preservation commission, and led Hartford’s nationally-recognized efforts to adopt a climate action plan and city plan, and to overhaul the zoning code. Bronin holds a J.D. from Yale Law School (Harry S Truman Scholarship), M.Sc. from the University of Oxford (Rhodes Scholarship), and B.Architecture/B.A. from the University of Texas.  While in law school, she clerked for then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.