As Executive Director of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, Elizabeth Silkes guides the strategic growth and direction of a thriving coalition of over 300 museums, historic sites, and memory initiatives in 65 countries. Through regional and issue-based networks, the Coalition supports Sites of Conscience across the globe in developing innovative public engagement and human rights programs through exhibit design and methodological guidance, peer-learning exchanges, project grants, and joint advocacy initiatives. The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is the only worldwide network dedicated to transforming places that preserve the past into dynamic spaces that promote civic action on today’s most pressing human rights and social justice struggles.
Prior to joining the Coalition, Liz served as CEO of Cinereach, a foundation supporting film and media projects focused on social change and as Executive Director of FilmAid International, a humanitarian relief organization using film and video to address the needs of refugees and other displaced communities. Prior to joining FilmAid, she led the major gifts program at Amnesty International USA to record growth while advocating for human rights in the U.S. and abroad. Her extensive experience with community-based media projects gives her a unique perspective on the power of the personal story to engage broad audiences in moving from past to present and memory to action. As a featured speaker at conferences and workshops around the world, Liz has addressed issues ranging from psycho-social relief initiatives in displaced communities to the role of memory in building civic engagement in emerging democracies and post-conflict settings. She has served on the board of ICOM-US, the U.S. National Committee of the International Council of Museums; is a member of the Law Advisory Council for the Fetzer Institute; and serves as an International Advisor to the Accounts of the Conflict project at the University of Ulster INCORE and as an International Advisor to UNESCO and the World Heritage Programme.