Mahsa Javid, Executive Director

Mahsa Javid is the Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation.  She is also the Assistant Director of Development at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum.She has been involved in development and special events for local arts organizations including Artisphere, and the City of Fairfax Band Association. 

Mahsa has an M.A. in arts management from George Mason University. She currently serves on the Global Friends Committee at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and is fluent in English, Farsi, French and Spanish.

Marisa Grant, Fellow 

Marisa Grant received her J.D. with honors from North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2013 and is licensed to practice law in North Carolina.  While in law school, Marisa was Editor-in-Chief of the North Carolina Central Law Review and received a Dean’s award for outstanding service, as well as an award for best citations.  She served as a research assistant and edited copy for a professor’s article that won the 2011 American Bankruptcy Law Journal’s Editors’ Prize.  During law school, Marisa interned for Legal Aid where she handled housing, unemployment, and estate cases.  She also interned at the N.C. Center for Nonprofits where she researched policy issues related to tax law. 

Marisa became interested in cultural heritage law after participating in the Tulane Law/University of Siena Institute for International Law, Cultural Heritage and the Arts.  She also took an Art Law course at Duke University School of Law.  
Marisa received her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She spent her junior year abroad in Florence, Italy, where she studied art history.  Marisa has been a long time volunteer at the North Carolina Museum of Art where she helps with special events and serves as a museum ambassador. 

Rachel Pietron, Fellow 

Rachel is a metro-Detroit native who credits her high school humanities teacher with sparking her passion for art and culture. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in English literature and environmental policy. During college she spent a semester studying art and literature in Florence, Italy. 

After college her passion for storytelling and environmental conservation translated into an advocacy role with the legislative team of the National Wildlife Federation in Washington, DC. A desire to fine-tune her advocacy skills propelled her to Santa Clara University Law School. Here she was exposed to cultural property law and co-founded the Association for the Protection of Cultural Property. After law school she moved to Los Angeles and currently resides with her fiancé in Santa Monica. She hopes to one day work for UNESCO and strengthen laws that conserve both tangible and intangible cultural property. 

Former Staff

Leila Amineddoleh, Executive Director (2013-2015)

Leila Amineddoleh was the Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation.  She is a partner at the law firm ofAmineddoleh & Associates LLC where she is an art, cultural heritage, and intellectual property litigator. She is involved in all aspects of due diligence and litigation, and has extensive experience in arts transactional work. She has represented major art collectors and dealers in disputes related to multi-million dollar contractual matters, art authentication disputes, international cultural heritage law violations, the recovery of stolen art, and complex fraud schemes. She also works with artists and entrepreneurs to protect their intellectual property and artistic rights. Leila also works in academia, teaching Art & Cultural Heritage Law at Fordham University School of Law and for the Rome Program at St. John’s University School of Law.  Leila's academic research focuses on art authenticity issues and cultural heritage preservation, and she has published extensively on topics relates to art and cultural heritage. 

Leila’s interest in the protection of art and cultural heritage stems from her upbringing as a classical musician.  Leila grew up in a home surrounded by art and antiquities, and has been playing classical piano since before she can remember.  Growing up in a suburb outside of New York City, she chose to attend New York University to remain in the center of the art world.  Leila’s love for the arts inspired her to attend Boston College Law School to pursue a legal career in order to protect artists and musicians.  However, once she began studying art law, Leila learned about the heartbreaking destruction of cultural heritage occurring around the world, and she decided to devote her career to the protection of these precious objects and places. 

In her spare time, she plays and performs classical piano.

Tess Davis, Executive Director (2010-2013)

In March 2010, Tess Davis became the first Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation, bringing with her eight years of relevant work experience and degrees in both archaeology and law. Hailing from Macon, Georgia, Davis grew up surrounded by a rich cultural heritage, including Native American burial mounds, Civil War battlefields, and more nationally registered historic districts than any other city in the state. This upbringing gave her a great appreciation for art and history, which in turn inspired her to pursue a career in a field that combined the two, archaeology.

She earned a scholarship to study archaeology at Boston University,  where she became interested in the trafficking of art and antiquities, particularly in Southeast Asia. After graduating magna cum laude --- and working three years for the Archaeological Institute of America --- she moved to Cambodia to study the illicit trade in the region's cultural property. There, she became the Project Coordinator of Heritage Watch, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving Cambodia's cultural resources through research, education, and advocacy. At Heritage Watch, she conceptualized and implemented a number of exciting projects, including a two-month exhibition at Angkor Wat about the threats facing the site, a “Heritage Hotline” for the public to report looting or archaeological discoveries, and a children’s book on preservation entitled "If the Stones Could Speak." She also conducted extensive field research on the looting of Cambodia’s ancient sites and the resulting trade in its antiquities.

In the course of this work, she realized that the illicit trade in cultural property would continue to thrive until proper legislation was achieved and enforced, prompting her to return home to attend the University of Georgia School of Law.  While undertaking a full academic course load, she demonstrated her commitment to cultural property protection by continuing to work in the field. After earning her Juris Doctor, as Assistant Director for Heritage Watch, she spearheaded the creation of a cultural property law database and international legal internship program in Cambodia. She has also worked in international development, monitoring the 2007 national elections in Papua New Guinea, developing the official database for that country’s case law, and interning for the Carter Center.

Davis is a Researcher in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research at the University of Glasgow. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Heritage Watch and the Ocean Foundation and is Vice Chair of the American Society of International Law’s Cultural Heritage and the Arts Interest Group. She is admitted to the New York State Bar, Third Department, and a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Sarah Wilson, Fellow (2015)

Sarah Wilson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from Michigan State University and a Masters degree from Brooklyn College where she focused on the ancient art of Greece and Italy.  Ms. Wilson recently earned her law degree at DePaul University College of Law where she received a certificate in Art and Museum Law.  She served as president of the Art and Cultural Heritage Law Society, wrote for the school’s Journal of Art, Technology and Intellectual Property, and worked as a board member for the 2013 National Cultural Heritage Moot Court Competition. During law school, Ms. Wilson interned at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Chicago Park District.  She also participated in the Oxford International Intellectual Property Moot competition in the spring of 2014.   

Ms. Wilson decided to pursue a legal career out of concern for the mounting issues surrounding the preservation of cultural heritage and her desire to contribute to safeguarding the world’s past.

Lindsey Friedman, Fellow (2015)               

Lindsey Friedman received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in May 2014 and is pending admission to practice law in New York. While at Cardozo, Lindsey participated in the Holocaust Claims Restitution Practicum and was selected to intern at the Holocaust Claims Processing Office at the New York State Department of Financial Services.  There she conducted provenance research for a collection of Nazi-looted artwork.  Lindsey also participated in the Art Law Field Clinic during her studies at Cardozo.  She was selected to intern with the Art Law Group at Herrick, Feinstein LLP to engage with both transactional work and legal research for art restitution cases.  She served as a committee member for the UJA Federation of New York’s Law Student Committee. 

Prior to attending law school, Lindsey obtained her B.A.(Hons) in Art History from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and spent her summers studying art and architecture in Venice, Italy, and in East Sussex, U.K.  Lindsey then went on to complete her M.A. from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, England.  During her studies, Lindsey volunteered with the Commission for Looted Art in Europe in order to help locate and retrieve various looted artworks for Jewish families. 

Elizabeth Hale, Fellow (2014)

Elizabeth Hale is currently a CA licensed attorney and resides in the San Diego area. Elizabeth received her undergraduate degree from UCLA, where she graduated cum laude and with highest departmental honors in Art History.  She went on to study law at the University of Arkansas, School of Law, completing her JD in 2013.

Elizabeth developed an interest in the legal issues related to the theft and destruction of cultural property while acting as a research assistant to Professor Norvell.  In this position, she performed extensive research into the laws related to art stolen during World War II.  She expanded her research to include the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East while acting as a senior editor of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture. Elizabeth has, additionally, participated in several moot court competitions, including the 2013 National Cultural Heritage Law Moot Court Competition in Chicago. She was instrumental in bringing the first competition team from the University of Arkansas to the competition.  

In addition to working with the LCCHP, Ms. Elizabeth is pursuing an LL.M in Trial Advocacy. She is a firm believer in the importance of cultural history and the need to protect cultural property for the education and enjoyment of future generations. 

Salome Kiwara-Wilson, Fellow (2014)

Salome Kiwara-Wilson is a Chicago-based attorney who obtained her J.D. in 2013 from the DePaul University College of Law. While in law school, Salome interned at the Field Museum of Natural History where she worked on NAGPRA research, as well as intellectual property issues pertaining to objects in the museum's collection. She also interned at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation where she researched issues in non-profit law and intellectual property law as they affected the Foundation's grant making capabilities. Salome's senior thesis paper "Restituting Colonial Plunder: The Case for the Benin Bronzes and Ivories," was published in The DePaul Journal of Art, Technology & Intellectual Property Law, and was awarded first place in the 2012 LCCHP Student Writing Competition. 

Salome received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Art History and French from Berea College in 2009. As an undergraduate student, Salome spent a summer interning with the Art Loss Register in England, before spending a semester studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. After her graduation from Berea College, Salome served as Thomas J. Watson Fellow. As part of this fellowship, she traveled to Ethiopia, Egypt, South Africa, Togo, Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia and Thailand to research the correlation between community cultural identity and the illicit trade in cultural property. 

In addition to serving as a Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation fellow, Salome works as a researcher/writer for Research Write Legal, LLC.  

Lily McManus, Fellow (2013)

Lily McManus joined LCCHP as a William & Mary Post-Graduate Public Service Fellow. She obtained her J.D. from William & Mary Law School in May 2012 and is admitted to practice law in Virginia.

While in law school, Lily served as Editor-in-Chief of the William & Mary Journal of Women and the Law, and was awarded the Dean’s Certificate in recognition of her leadership. Her student note, “The Anatomy of a Helping Hand: Women-Owned Small Businesses and Federal Contract Procurement,” was chosen for publication in the eighteenth issue of the Journal of Women and the Law. She spent her two law school summers conducting research for, respectively, her contracts professor and the National Center for State Courts; during her first year, she also assisted in legal research pertaining to an ownership dispute over the Lorton Meteorite, which now resides at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Lily gained more than three years of paralegal experience before law school as Senior Legal Assistant to the International Trade Practice Group of the law firm Arnold & Porter LLP. She obtained her B.A. in Classical & Medieval Studies from Bates College in 2005, having spent her junior year abroad in Florence, Italy, studying Italian language, history, and art. Upon the completion of her fellowship, Lily joined Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC, a law and consulting firm serving clients in the art, cultural heritage, museum and historic preservation communities.

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