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Elizabeth (Betsy) Kirkland Cahill

Chairman of the Board

Ms. Cahill serves as Chairman of the Board of the Preservation Society of
Charleston, the oldest grass roots preservation organization in the country.
Soon to begin its 103rd year of work, the Society is a widely-acknowledged
advocacy leader for the preservation of Charleston’s distinct character,
quality of life, and diverse neighborhoods.
 
She began her career at the New York Shakespeare Festival, where she co-
authored Shakespeare Alive! (Bantam Books, 1988) with Joseph Papp and
served as an assistant director on Shakespeare productions. She
subsequently held executive positions at the New York Public Library,
including director of public affairs. She has been a regular writer for
religious journals, including Commonweal and America, and recently
contributed to a volume on the phenomenon of religious disaffiliation
(Empty Churches, Oxford University Press, 2021).

In 2010, Ms. Cahill earned a master’s degree in Religion (Hebrew Bible)
from the Yale Divinity School. She also holds degrees in Classics from
Harvard and in English Literature from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes
Scholar. She has been a Trustee of the Greenwich (CT) public library, the
Association of American Rhodes Scholars, St. Andrew’s School (DE), Ashley
Hall, and Porter-Gaud. After returning to Charleston in 2010, she joined
the board of the Preservation Society of Charleston in 2012 and has served
as chairman since 2015. In 2020 she was elected to the board of the
National Trust for Historic Preservation.