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Colleen Swain

Director of the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office

Colleen Swain has served as Director of the City of San Antonio World Heritage Office since April 2016. The office was established to promote the San Antonio Missions, the first and only World Heritage site in Texas, through the implementation of a work plan developed with community input.  The work plan was created to maximize the socio-economic benefits of the designation while balancing the needs of both the visitor and resident.

In 2017, Ms. Swain coordinated the City’s successful application to become a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of gastronomy. San Antonio is currently one of nine Creative Cities in the U.S. and one of two in the category of gastronomy. Ms. Swain serves as the Focal Point for San Antonio and Coordinator for all the UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy. In 2024, the City of San Antonio was also accepted into the prestigious Delice Network, joining two other U.S. Cities in linking food and gastronomy to city development, promotion, and over wellbeing of its citizens.

Additionally, the office manages the historic Mission Marquee Plaza, the former 1940’s Mission Drive-in Theatre, that today provides free cultural programming to the community, and Spanish Governor’s Palace, a National Historic Landmark constructed in the early 18th century and restored in the 1930s.

Ms. Swain is a member of U.S. ICOMOS and serves on the Bureau of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on Cultural Tourism (ICTC).  She is active in the Organization of World Heritage Cities, a Certified Professional Guide through the Professional Tour Guide Association of San Antonio, a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association of Interpretation, and a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier.