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Karalyn Monteil to rejoin UNESCO

Karalyn Monteil, who has led San Francisco Heritage as President & CEO since January 2022, will leave the organization in June 2023 to return to work at the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the San Francisco Heritage Board of Directors announced today.

Taking on the role of Head of Programs & Stakeholder Outreach in the UNESCO Culture Sector at the Organization’s headquarters in Paris, France, Karalyn will be responsible for international cooperation for the shaping of national culture policies and assistance programs including the International Fund for Cultural Diversity.

“During her tenure, Karalyn’s leadership elevated the profile of SF Heritage in the community and among our cross-sector stakeholders by taking our programs and partnerships to their next level of development,” said Paul Littler, SF Heritage Board Chair. “We appreciate the vision she brought to the organization in the development of our 3-year strategy and action plan, her dedication to putting our equity commitment into action, and her attention to honoring the native Ramaytush Ohlone lands on which San Francisco stands.”

Over the past year, Karalyn pushed SF Heritage to diversify our board, staff, volunteers, and interns, established closer collaborations with key city stakeholders, and broadened our outreach with legacy businesses, cultural districts, academic, and cultural institutions.  She led the organization to test new partnership and outreach models, including launching a Landmark Luncheon to recognize and honor San Francisco’s “Heritage Heroes” in preservation advocacy, and expanding the reach of our Artist-in-Residence program.

The board is committed to finding another enthusiastic leader to guide and advance SF Heritage’s mission to preserve and enhance the city’s unique architectural and cultural identity. A search committee will be established to identify a new President & CEO.

“I am inspired by the legacy and the mission of San Francisco Heritage to protect and promote the city’s diverse cultural and historical resources,” said Karalyn Monteil, President & CEO of SF Heritage. “It is a privilege to collaborate with the staff and board of directors. I have truly enjoyed getting to know SF Heritage members, stakeholders, and partners—especially our longtime ambassadors in the Lilienthal Society who are so devoted to keeping San Francisco special!

SF Heritage has a critical role to play in guiding the recovery and sustainable development of the city by advocating for the safeguarding of its historic urban landscape with its rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage. I look forward to staying connected with SF Heritage, and the people and places of San Francisco that have become so close to my heart.”

Karalyn will continue to work at San Francisco Heritage until June 2023 and can be reached in the interim at



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