Rachael Finch - Senior Director of Preservation & Education, The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN
Rachael Harrell Finch is the Senior Director of Preservation & Education for the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, leading all preservation, education, and advocacy initiatives in the county. A native of New Orleans, she has nearly 20 years of experience in historic preservation, museum leadership, community engagement, nonprofit management, and public relations experience. Finch holds an MA in Public History with emphases in Historic Preservation, Cultural Resource Management and Administration of Historical Organizations from Middle Tennessee State University and a BA in History and Political Science from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado.
Previous to her tenure with the Heritage Foundation, Finch served as the Executive Director for the Historic Franklin Masonic Hall Foundation, the Research Historian for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, Civil War Projects, and Community Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Historic Preservation at MTSU. Finch, a recipient of the Scott Hartwig Fellowship at the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College, currently serves on the membership committee for the National Preservation Partner Networks, the Board of Directors for the Franklin Civil War Round Table and is the former Chair of the City of Franklin’s Civil War Historical Commission. Most recently, Finch was named to the Southeastern Museum Conference 2022 Leadership Institute. Finch appeared in several award-winning documentaries including The American South As We Know It, Desperate Days: The Last Hope for the Confederacy, Duality: A Collection of Afro Indigenous Perspectives.
Finch has published several articles on the Civil War in Tennessee, heritage tourism, history education, architecture, African American history, women’s suffrage, and best practices in preservation including ethics in public history. She has presented on architecture and the cultural landscape, American slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the ethics of public history and preservation, inclusivity in museum scholarship, and collaborative partnerships at conferences including the University of Virginia President’s Commission on Slavery, Clemson University, the College of William and Mary, the National Council for Public History, the Southeastern Museum Conference, the American Association of State and Local History, the Slave Dwelling Project, and the Southern Historical Association.