Stephen A. Briganti was chosen by Founding Chairman Lee Iacocca in 1982 to launch and manage The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation. The organization’s original mission was to restore these two national monuments for their respective centennials, with Steve overseeing national fundraising and marketing initiatives, development of exhibitry, and all related construction projects.
Under Steve’s leadership, the Foundation has raised over $800 million – all from the private sector – making it one of the most successful public/private partnerships in U.S. history. Through its partnership with the National Park Service, the organization continues its mission to restore and preserve Lady Liberty and Ellis Island for future generations.
In addition to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island restoration projects, Steve led the development of the 220,000 square foot Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration; created the American Immigrant Wall of Honor program; established the American Family Immigration History Center; and spearheaded the Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island.
Throughout his career, Steve has received extensive recognition including ABC World News Tonight “Person of the Week”; the “Public Leadership in Preservation Award” from The New York Landmarks Conservancy; the “Leonardo da Vinci Award” from the Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York; and numerous acknowledgments from the Foundation’s partner, the Department of the Interior/National Park Service. Steve is on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Rome.
All four of Steve’s grandparents were Ellis Island immigrants, as was his mother, making Steve a first-generation American.