SAFE is a coalition of professionals in communications, media, and advertising working alongside experts in the academic, legal and law enforcement communities to make the public aware of the vulnerability of ancient sites, monuments and artifacts, and to take action to ensure the preservation of cultural heritage.

We do not represent or advocate for any particular profession, or academic discipline. We call for open discussions that examine practices and behavior that destroy cultural heritage. We have no “special interest” at stake except for the future of our past. Meet SAFE:









Board of Governors:

Cynthia Bates brings an unusual combination of perspectives to SAFE as both an advertising planning (consumer insight) director and a doctoral student in the archaeology of ancient Iraq. She was educated in Near Eastern languages, archaeology and anthropology at Harvard, Cambridge and the University of Chicago. She earned her MBA later at the Harvard Business School in 1988 and entered advertising. In New York, she worked in strategic planning agencies like FCB, JWT and Bates, establishing her reputation as an expert in consumer trends and behavior. She moved to Chicago in 1997 to become chief planner of the Sears account at Ogilvy, inspiring award-winning creative material. As director of planning at Publicis & Hal Riney in Chicago, she established an impressive new business record. She is currently Senior Director of Strategic Planning at Launch Creative Marketing in Chicago.

Cynthia reconnected with the University of Chicago in 2001 to resume her doctoral studies in anthropology. As a student at the Oriental Institute, she followed the dedicated efforts of its professors to brief the Pentagon on the need to safeguard Iraqi cultural heritage from looting, and became involved with SAFE in its very earliest days, as Cindy Ho reached out with her vision. Through SAFE, Cynthia hopes to create public awareness of the incalculable value of endangered cultural heritages–of ancient Mesopotamia and globally–and the need to protect them.

Senta German, whose fields of specialty are the Greek Bronze and Iron Ages, received her PhD from Columbia University. She has over 10 years of excavation experience in Greece, Israel, the American East Coast and Alaska and presently teaches Classical Archaeology and Ancient Art at Montclair State University. She recently authored Performance, Power and the Art of the Aegean Bronze Age which was published in 2005. In addition to her academic career, she consults extensively for the Department of Communications at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Paul Kunkel holds a Bachelors Degree from the University of New Mexico. A published author of six books and more than 60 magazine and newspaper articles (for The New York Times, Business Week, Wired, Architectural Digest, Connoisseur, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and other publications), Paul is principal author and developer of the web-based In-Theater Cultural Heritage Training Resource for Iraq and Afghanistan, funded by the Undersecretary of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program.

Founder Cindy Ho conceived the idea for SAFE in 2003 in response to the looting of the National Museum of Iraq. She is a graphic designer and advertising art director in New York City.
Before starting SAFE she initiated a project to bring awareness to the art and artifacts of the Naxi people in China through the Quentin Roosevelt collections, which she had uncovered and reconstructed. The project was completed in 2011 with the “Quentin Roosevelt’s China, Ancestral Realms of the Naxi” exhibition at New York’s Rubin Museum of Arts which she co-curated. She also co-edited the accompanying book and initiated the first-ever international conference that explores the impact of modernization and tourism on the future of Naxi cultural heritage and its ancient traditions.

As a Sponsored Artist of the New York Foundation of the Arts (NYFA) and with grants from the Asian Cultural Council, Puffin Foundation, and Fundaçao Oriente (Lisbon) she produced photodocumentary exhibitions and catalogs Trailing the Written Word: The Art of Writing Among China’s Ethnic Minorities, and West of the East—A Journey Through Macau, Asia’s First and Last Colony. Her photography work has been featured in publications including World Health Organization’s Tobacco & the Rights of the Child.

She considers devoting herself to SAFE a privilege.

“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?”

John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath