World Heritage Office



Colleen Swain was appointed Director of the World Heritage Office on April 1, 2016. As visitation increases as a result of the UNESCO World Heritage Designation to our five Spanish colonial Missions, Ms. Swain is responsible for the overall leadership of the World Heritage Office, as well as promoting the Missions through the implementation of the World Heritage Work Plan, a dynamic document that sets short- and long-term goals and is a direct result of community input.

The World Heritage Office also oversees Mission Marquee Plaza, The Spanish Governor's Palace and San Antonio's UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy designation.

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Swain served as Assistant Director of Center City Development & Operations Department (CCDO) until March 2016. In this role, she led the redevelopment and rebranding of Travis Park and developed OPEN, a successful downtown pop-up program. Both Travis Park and Open received Downtown Achievement Merit Awards in 2015 from the International Downtown Association and Centro San Antonio’s Downtown Best Award in 2015. Ms. Swain also spearheaded various projects for the City Manager’s Office geared toward revitalizing downtown San Antonio, including the Downtown Mobile Food Truck Pilot Program, the implementation of Better Block and the development of the Alamo Plaza Concept Plan, Travis Park Concept Plan and the Downtown Retail Study.

From 2006 to 2011, Ms. Swain served as Assistant Director of Downtown Operations, where she oversaw the maintenance of downtown, promotion of cultural facilities, preservation of the River Walk and downtown special events.

In addition to her 17 years of public service, Ms. Swain has nearly 10 years of nonprofit and private sector experience in marketing, public relations, special events and retail development.


  • Master of Public Administration, University of Texas at San Antonio 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Texas A&M University at College Station

Professional Membership Involvement

  • UTSA Masters of Public Administration Advisory Board 
  • Urban Management Assistants of South Texas 
  • National Honor Society for Public Administration


Ms. Swain was born and raised in San Antonio. She has one daughter.

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