Linda Donavan Harper is the Executive Director of Cultural Tourism DC, a non-profit coalition of more than 230 cultural, heritage, and community-based organizations. Cultural Tourism DC and its members help residents and visitors experience DC’s authentic culture and heritage promoting both the District’s vibrant neighborhoods and the international community. Ms Harper brings to her position more than 20 years in community and economic development, as well as demonstrated performance in nonprofit management and fundraising. As principal at LHarper & Associates, she worked with more than 200 communities, state agencies, corporations, and nonprofits in 30 states and three countries, developing a national reputation as a visionary strategic planner, creative thinker, and meeting developer.
Between 2001 and 2007, Harper has also served as Chair of the Board to The Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery. With her broad, day-to-day duties, Harper worked as the de facto executive director of the organization. In this capacity, she was able to increase the organization’s budget from $60,000 in 2000 to $550,000 in 2007, recruit more than 500 volunteers, and develop a fundraising strategy that has generated $7 million between 2002 and 2006. Located in Capitol Hill, the Cemetery has been a member of Cultural Tourism DC since 2002.
In addition, Harper worked as director for the professional exchange and community sustainability program at The Countryside Institute in New York. At the National Trust for Historic Preservation, she was a member of the management committee at the National Main Street Center, a widely recognized program including neighborhoods in Washington, DC.
Harper holds a BS in Humanities from Missouri Valley College (Marshall, Missouri) and has pursued graduate level work in art history at the University of Kansas, Lawrence and the University of Missouri, Columbia.