350th anniversary of Rhode Island's "lively experiment" in religious freedom
Sanderson holds M.A.in American Civilization from Brown University, and received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Salve Regina University. He is co-author of the book Providence, RI: A City-wide Survey of Historic Resources (1986) that chronicles 350 years of civic development from colonial village to urban city and notes the rise of ethnic neighborhoods. The book won national awards from the American Association for State and Local History and the Society of Architectural Historians.
Sanderson has approved over $2 billion in historic rehabilitation projects at 2,200 historic buildings throughout Rhode Island, including renovation for housing, reuse of textile mills, and restoration of nationally significant landmarks. In Providence, he participated in the design of Water Place river walks and the 70-acre Capital Center development. An advocate for architectural design, he was awarded Honorary Membership in the American Institute of Architects.
Sanderson is a member and Chairman of the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission, chairs the RI Transportation Enhancements Advisory Committee and RI Scenic Roadway Board. He was a founder of Grow Smart RI, and served on the RI Historical Society Board of Directors.
On the national level, he served as President of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, the professional association of America’s state historic preservation officers who are responsible for delivering preservation programs in each state. He was a member of the U. S. Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and was an expert panelist for the 2006 White House Preserve America Summit. He served on committees of the National Park System Advisory Board to develop policy for national heritage areas and to review the federal historic rehabilitation tax credit program. He has addressed national preservation audiences and has testified before Congressional committees on preservation issues.