Deborah Willis is a contemporary African-American artist, photographer, curator, photographic historian, and author. She is University Professor and Chair of Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. She was a 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and Fletcher Fellow, and a 2000 MacArthur Fellow, as well as the 1996 recipient of the Anonymous Was a Woman Foundation award. She received her PhD from George Mason University and her MFA from Pratt Institute.
Ben is a founding partner at the commercial real estate firm Great Island Development in Boston, Massachusetts and is a private equity investor at Devine Capital LLC. As a Portland, Maine native, he went on to receive his A.B. from Bowdoin College (1983); his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law (1987); and his MPA from the John F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University (2010). He currently serves on several boards throughout the state of Maine.
Diala Toure, former curator of collections at the James Lewis Museum of Art in Baltimore, has consulted with world-class institutions such as the National Museum of African and Oceanic Art in Paris, the Barnes Foundation, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. She has given lectures on African art and African American art at Georgetown University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, the Smithsonian, the Detroit Institute of Art, the American Society of Appraisers, and the American Association of Appraisers. She served as an international consultant to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Toure received her MA and PhD from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne.
Dorit Yaron is a curator, a museum professional, a grant writer and an art historian. Since 2004, she has served as the Deputy Director of the David C. Driskell Center for Study of African American Art at the University Maryland, College Park.
She received her MA in American Art, specializing in African American art, from the University of Maryland.
Paul McDonald is a Shareholder at Bernstein Shur in Portland, Maine. He is an accomplished litigation strategist and trial lawyer with a deep understanding of how the business world functions. He is a former member of the Muskie Access to Justice Award Dinner Committee and a board member of the Wayside Soup Kitchen and Easter Seals Maine.
Jonathan is the owner of a boutique wealth management firm located in Portland, Maine. Hailing from Adams, Massachusetts, Jonathan attended Bowdoin College where he received his A.B. in Government & Legal Studies with a minor in Sociology. In addition to his collegiate studies, he is a Certified Financial Planner™ obtaining his education requirement from NYU.
Sarah Harrison Smith is a writer and editor with a long career in media. Most recently, she worked as Editorial Director for Books and Kindle at Amazon. Before moving to Baltimore in 2014, she spent 12 years at the New York Times, where her roles included Managing Editor of The New York Times Magazine. She is the author of many articles and reviews, as well as ”The Fact Checker’s Bible,” a guide to magazine research, which reflects her early career at The New Yorker. She now teaches in the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University.
Ted Coons is Professor of Psychology, Cognition & Perception at the Center for Neural Science at New York University (NYU), arriving there in 1965. He is a pioneer in the field of neuroscience and a major contributor to early studies in neuroaesthetics. As an undergraduate, he studied music composition and theory at Colorado College (B.A., 1951) and then—after a stint in the Air Force—again at Yale University (toward an M.A.). There, however, he became interested in what impact the temporal form of a composition has on the feelings of an audience. He soon switched his career goals and ultimately received his Ph.D. in what is now known as systems neuroscience.