The Monuments Men Foundation is fortunate to have a dedicated board of trustees and advisory board who give generously of their time and resources. The Foundation benefits from their skilled leadership and experience.
Robert M. Edsel, Chairman of the Board
Robert M. Edsel is the author of the non-fiction books, Rescuing Da Vinci and TheMonuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, as well as the forthcoming book Saving Italy, to be published in Spring 2013. He is the co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa, and Founder and President of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art. In January 2012 George Clooney announced he would write, direct and star in the film version of Mr. Edsel’s book, The Monuments Men.
Mr. Edsel was formerly a nationally ranked tennis player. In 1981, he began his business career in oil and gas exploration. His company, Gemini Exploration pioneered the use of horizontal drilling technology throughout the early 1990s. Gemini Exploration grew from a company with eight employees to almost 100. By 1995, Gemini had become the second most active driller of horizontal wells in the United States. In 1995, Robert Edsel sold the company’s assets to Union Pacific Resources Company. The following year he moved to Europe with his family.
While in Florence, he developed a great passion for art and architecture and became curious as to how so many of the monuments and great works of art survived the thefts and devastation of World War II. What began as a question evolved into an impassioned journey to unravel the secrets and heroics of the Monuments Men, the unsung heroes who saved the world’s greatest art and cultural treasures for the benefit of civilization. By 2001, that journey had become a full-time job. Mr. Edsel has dedicated the last ten years of his life to painstaking and far-reaching research about the Monuments Men, which first culminated in the publishing of his book
Rescuing Da Vinci, a detailed historical account which includes 460 photographs. Mr. Edsel is also the co-producer of the documentary film, The Rape of Europa, based on the award winning book of the same name by scholar Lynn Nicholas. The documentary, narrated by Joan Allen,was filmed in seven countries and opened in theatres across the U.S. in September 2007 followed by a DVD release. In November 2008 the film was broadcast on PBS and subsequently received two Emmy nominations. In addition, Mr. Edsel has created The Greatest Theft in History educational program, which includes the two-hour documentary film and seven hours of additional clips, as well as a companion website featuring lesson plans, glossaries, timelines and other resources which allows teachers to easily utilize this material for classroom use.
In June 2009, Mr. Edsel published Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection by Nancy Yeide, an internationally recognized expert in World War II-era provenance research. The thoroughly documented catalogue is the first study devoted to Goering’s entire paintings collection.
In September 2009, Mr. Edsel’s second book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, a narrative telling of the story of the Monuments Men, was released by Center Street, a division of Hachette Book Group, and was chosen as the History Book Club’s main selection that month. Current plans include publication of The Monuments Men in seventeen languages. In January 2012 George Clooney announced he would write, direct and star in the film version of Mr. Edsel’s book, The Monuments Men.
In Spring 2013, WW Norton published Robert Edsel's third book, Saving Italy. It follows two Monuments Men as they struggle to protect and save some of the world’s greatest treasures located in Italy, including works by Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo.
Mr. Edsel is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board for the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, ( www.monumentsmenfoundation.org), a not-for-profit entity. The Foundation was one of ten recipients of the 2007 National Humanities Medal, an honor which was presented by President Bush during a ceremony held in the East Room of The White House on November 15, 2007. The National Humanities Medal is the highest honor given by the Unites States for excellence in the Humanities field, and honors individuals and groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities. The mission statement of the Foundation is as follows:
“To preserve the legacy of the unprecedented and heroic work of the men and women who served in the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (“MFAA”) section, known as “Monuments Men,” during World War II, by raising public awareness of the importance of not only protecting and safeguarding civilization’s most important artistic and cultural treasures from armed conflict, but incorporating these expressions of man’s greatest creative achievements into our daily lives.”
Robert Edsel frequently speaks about this project and his ongoing journey. He is a dynamic speaker and regularly invited to lecture at prominent institutions including appearances at the Eisenhower Institute, the National Archives, the National Gallery of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum, National World War II Museum, Yale University, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Eisenhower Presidential Library, among many others.
Mr. Edsel has a long history of philanthropic endeavors. He has been a supporter and presence within the Children’s Medical Center, the
Dallas Morning News Charities, and the United Way, amongst others. He dedicated nine years to service as a Trustee of St. Mark’s School of Texas, as Chairman of the Development Committee, a member of the Executive Committee and as President of the St. Mark’s Alumni Board (1987-1991). He has also served on the Board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (Dallas Chapter), the Advisory Board of St. Philip’s School and Community Center, and as a volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission. Edsel founded the Cochran Chapel Homeowners Association in Dallas in 1993, serving as its President for the first three years. Additionally, in 2003, Edsel served as Chairman of a committee working to develop a master plan for the Turtle Creek corridor in Dallas. In February 2004, the Committee gifted the master plan to the City of Dallas. It now serves as the City’s master plan for the Turtle Creek greenbelt. Edsel also served on the Advisory Board of the Meadows Museum of Art, Dallas. In 2004, Edsel became a Board Member of the American Friends of the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Robert Edsel served as a director of Polaris Minerals Corporation, a Vancouver-based company, from July 2002-October 2008. Polaris Minerals focuses on supplying construction aggregates to coastal urban markets on the western seaboard of North America. He was a member of the Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees.
While living in Italy, Robert Edsel was a founding Board Member of Friends of Florence. In addition to writing the group’s by-laws, he also served as Vice President for the first two years. Mr. Edsel is still involved with the group and serves on their Council of Honorary Advisors.
In April 2008, Mr. Edsel was a recipient of the President’s Call to Service Award. This award is presented to individuals by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, in recognition and appreciation of their commitment to strengthening the Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.
In November 2008, Mr. Edsel was presented with the “Hope for Humanity Award” from the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. One recipient is selected each year and honored for their dedication to promoting tolerance, education, and understanding, and to reducing prejudice. In 2009, Mr. Edsel became a member of the Advisory Board for the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance.
In January 2010, Robert Edsel was invited to become a trustee of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, LA, and serves on the Executive Committee, among others. The museum was founded by renowned historian, author and educator, Dr. Stephen Ambrose and opened on June 6, 2000, the 56th anniversary of D-Day.
In March 2011, Robert Edsel was presented with the Texas Medal of Arts Award by Governor Rick Perry. Other recipients included actor Bill Paxton, actress Marcia Gay Harden, journalist Bob Schieffer and musicians ZZ Top. The honor, inspired by the National Medal of Arts, is awarded to Texas leaders and luminaries in the arts and entertainment industry for creative excellence and exemplary talents.
In April 2011, Robert Edsel received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from St. Mark’s School of Texas. The Distinguished Alumnus Award recognizes achievement of exceptional nature in any field, vocational or voluntary, covering an entire career. Because the award is defined by its recipients, it has been given sparingly. Previous recipients include Tommy Lee Jones (class of 1965) and H. Ross Perot, Jr. (class of 1977).
For more information about Robert M. Edsel or the Monuments Men, please visit www.monumentsmen.com. For more information about the Monuments Men Foundation, please visit www.monumentsmenfoundation.org.
For additional information or interview requests, please contact:
Michele Brown; Telephone: 214-219-1222 x 105; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Allen Cullum, Trustee
Allen Cullum is President of Cullum Interests, Inc. Cullum Interests is a Texas corporation that was established in 1991 to invest in, develop, lease, and manage real estate in the United States and to provide real-estate development consulting services on hotel, office, industrial, and apartment developments and renovations throughout North America. Cullum Interests is the managing general partner of a number of partnerships that own commercial and industrial real estate in Texas and South Carolina.
From 1979 until 1990, Allen Cullum was President of Trammell Crow Design and Construction Company which designed, constructed, and furnished all of the hotel, mart, and specialty buildings in which Trammell Crow was involved. As President, Allen Cullum oversaw divisions of architectural design, interior design, construction management, purchasing, and installation.
After 1990, Allen began acquiring industrial real estate in Dallas, eventually owning, leasing, and managing over 600,000 square feet in multiple buildings, predominantly in the Brookhollow area. In addition to his on-going involvement in commercial and industrial real estate, Allen Cullum oversaw the renovation and conversion to Wyndham Garden Hotels of properties located in Monrovia, Culver City, and San Rafael, CA, and Newark, NJ between 1995 and 1997; oversaw the design and conversion of the Wyndham Hotel in Boston in 1998; managed the development of a 108,000 sf office building in Plano, TX in 1996-97; and oversaw the construction of a $20M airline terminal and garage in Dallas, TX in 1999-2000.
In 2001-02, Allen assisted the owners of American Airlines Center with the resolution of certain claims related to the development of that arena. More recently, Allen oversaw the development of the J. W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, AZ, on behalf of the Yale University Investment Office from 2003 through early 2005. He also managed the development of a 65,000 sf, high-tech, raised-floor, single-tenant office building for ExponentHR in Addison TX, from 2005-07.
On a volunteer basis, Allen oversaw the construction of 3 buildings at St. Mark’s School in Dallas in 1999-2000: Nearburg Hall, a new administration building; the Tom Hicks Athletic Center; and the Mullen Fitness Center. Over the summer of 2005, Allen supervised the development of new athletic fields at St. Mark’s, including the Norma & Lamar Hunt Family Stadium.
Allen Cullum holds the following advanced degrees:
- Stanford University, Bachelor of Arts, 1969.
- University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Architecture with Honors, 1971.
- University of Pennsylvania, Master of Architecture, 1974.
- University of Pennsylvania, Master of City Planning, 1974.
Allen and his wife, Sissy, live in the Uptown area of Dallas, Their older son, B. A., is married, is a graduate of Stanford, MIT, and Stanford GSB, and works in real estate finance with Club Corp in Dallas. B. A. and his wife, Victoria, have a son, Montgomery Cullum. Their daughter, Brannon, is also a graduate of Stanford, has a Master’s degree from Georgetown, and has her own business in Austin. She married Clinton Addison in October, 2013. And, their younger son, Charlie, has a B. A. from St. Edward’s University in Austin, and recently received his MBA from SMU.
Allen is a Past President of the Board of Trustees and a Life Trustee of St. Mark’s School of Texas in Dallas and remains active in development and admissions efforts on behalf of
St. Mark’s and Stanford University. He is also a Trustee of the Monuments Men Foundation, which honors World War II veterans who repatriated artwork stolen by the Nazis.
Susan Eisenhower, Advisor
Susan Eisenhower was the founding director and first president of the Eisenhower Institute where she became known for her work in the former Soviet Union and in the energy field. She is currently the Eisenhower Institute’s Chairman of Leadership and Public Policy Programs. Eisenhower also serves as President of the Eisenhower Group, Inc., which provides strategic counsel on political and business projects.
In 2010, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu appointed Eisenhower to serve on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, which was tasked with the development of a long-term solution for safely managing the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle. In 2011, Eisenhower was appointed to the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee.
Eisenhower has consulted for Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies and has served on many government task forces, including the NASA Advisory Council and the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on International Security and Arms Control, where she served for eight years. She has sat on two previous blue ribbon commissions for the Department of Energy, including the Baker-Cutler Commission on US funded nuclear nonproliferation programs in Russia.
After two terms on the NASA Advisory Council, she was appointed to the International Space Station
Management and Cost Evaluation Task Force. She has served as an Academic Fellow of the International
Peace and Security Program of Carnegie Corporation, as a director of the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, and as an advisor to the Johns Hopkins’ Nitze School of Advanced International Studies.
She has been a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics, a Distinguished Fellow at the Nixon Center, and was formerly on the board of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. She currently sits on the boards of the Energy Future Coalition and MIT’s Energy Initiative, and serves as an advisor to the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.
Eisenhower has authored three books, two of which, Breaking Free and Mrs. Ike, appeared on regional best seller lists. She has also edited four collected volumes on regional security issues, most recently Partners in Space: U.S.-Russian Cooperation after the Cold War. She has testified before the Senate Armed Services and Senate Budget Committees on policy toward the region of the former Soviet Union. She has written extensively on nuclear and space issues and, in 2000, a year before September 11, she co-edited a book, Islam and Central Asia, which carried the prescient subtitle, “An Enduring Legacy or an Evolving Threat?”
In addition, Eisenhower has spoken at many diverse types of gatherings: from the nation’s most distinguished institutions such as Harvard to countless World Affairs Councils and corporate gatherings. She has also spoken to many expert audiences. For instance, she gave the Commandant’s Lecture at the Army War College in Carlisle, the Harry S. Truman Distinguished Lecture at Sandia National Laboratory, and she delivered the 2008 Rose Lecture at MIT. She has also been invited to give full speeches at other prominent places, such as the National Press Club, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the Hollywood Bowl, The French National Assembly, the Rotunda of the Capitol, and the White House.
She has written chapters for a number of collected volumes and penned hundreds of op-eds and articles on foreign and domestic policy for publications such as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Naval Institute’s Proceedings, The London Spectator, and Gannett Newspapers, as well as the National Interest and Politique Americane. She has provided analysis for CNN International, MSNBC, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Fox News, the Newshour with Jim Lehrer, Hardball with Chris Mathews, One on One with John McLaughlin, the BBC, all three network morning programs, and many more. Over the years she has appeared on many other well-remembered programs such as Nightline, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, This Week with David Brinkley, and CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt. Eisenhower also regularly blogs on her website, www.SusanEisenhower.com
At Gettysburg College, Eisenhower offers her undergraduate program, Strategy & Leadership in Transformational Times, which highlights the vital intersection between strategy and leadership while emphasizing the transformational times we are living in today.
In the 1970s, Eisenhower attended the American University in Paris and has since received four honorary doctorates, most recently from the Monterey Institute, where she was cited for her work on nuclear nonproliferation. She received the Dolibois History Prize from Miami University in 2008, and in 2009 she received the Middelthon-Candler Peace Prize and the Distinguished Diplomat Award from the Virginia Military Institute.