Board of Directors

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Chairperson, Wendy Raymont

Wendy Raymont is a trained lawyer, mediator, and researcher. Early editing experience includes researching and editing the law section of TIME Magazine and spending more than a decade as legal adviser to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, drafting, editing, and reviewing legislation and agency testimony. More recently, Ms. Raymont updated and edited the English translation of The Web of Corruption by Transparency International founder Peter Eigen. Currently, in addition to her COHA affiliation, she is editing a non-fiction book about a notorious early 20th century madame.

On the international and non-governmental organization front, from 2007 to 2009 Ms. Raymont practiced law at Coudert Fréres in Paris and served as Senior Advisor to the Chairman of Transparency International in Berlin on anti-corruption and governance issues in Latin America and later provided guidance to the Organization of American States on coalition-building among national and international NGOs, multilateral institutions, and the private sector.

Ms. Raymont has traveled extensively in the United States, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and has lived and worked abroad—in Mexico, Israel, Paris, and Berlin—for extended periods of time. Ms. Raymont is a graduate of Smith College and Harvard Law School.

Dr. Greg Grandin

COHA intern alum, Greg Grandin, is the author of a number of prize-winning books and in recent years has come to be regarded as one of the most esteemed Latin Americanists of his generation, with writings receiving worldwide recognition. Most recently his current best-seller, Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City (2009) has received wide notice. The book was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in History and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In the media, Fordlandia was recognized by the New York Times, New Yorker, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, and NPR for inclusion on their “best of” lists, and was named by Amazon.com as the best history book of 2009.

Grandin’s professional career began as an undergraduate student at Brooklyn College. During this period he served as a COHA intern before going on to obtain his Ph.D. at Yale University. He rapidly ascended to become an important national voice for the left on Latin America issues and a powerful critic of the Latin American right-wing establishment. Currently, he is the chief editor of the highly regarded bible of hemispheric issues, the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) and is a professor of Latin American and Caribbean History at NYU.

In addition to his professorship at NYU, Grandin serves as a consultant to the United Nations Truth Commission on Guatemala and has been the recipient of a number of highly regarded awards and fellowships. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a prolific author of articles and critiques on U.S. foreign policy as well as Latin American regional issues and human rights abuses. His articles have been published in Al Jazeera, The New York Times, Harper’s, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Boston Review, The Los Angeles Times, and The American Historical Review, amongst others. He has also been a frequent guest on Democracy Now! and has appeared on The Charlie Rose Show  and Chris Hayes Show. Grandin’s latest book, The Empire of Necessity, will be published in January 2014.

Dr. Nicholas Birns

Nicholas Birns is an Associate Professor of Literary Studies at Eugene Lang College, the New School, where he is affiliated with the Janey Program in Latin American Studies. His numerous publications on Latin American topics include Vargas Llosa and Latin American Politics (with co-editor Juan E. de Castro) and The Contemporary Spanish American Novel (with co-editors de Castro and Wilfredo Corral) and articles for The New York Times Book Review, Arizona Quarterly College Literature, and The Harvard International Review. His book, Theory After Theory: An Intellectual History of Literary Theory From 1950 to the Early 21st Century, includes an extensive discussion of Latin American and U.S.-Latino contributions to recent ideas in literary studies.

He served as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ) from 2007 to 2011, and has been the editor of Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature since 2000. He has recently contributed essays to two Cambridge Companions, on Anthony Trollope and on Mario Vargas Llosa.

Nicholas Birns has a B.A. from Columbia University, and Ph.D. from New York University.

Dr. Timothy Ashby

Timothy Ashby is an international lawyer, businessman, and writer. Dr. Ashby worked in Washington, D.C. as a counter-terrorism consultant to the U.S. State Department, and then as a senior official—the youngest political appointee of his rank—at the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean. He held two Top Secret security clearances and worked with a number of colorful characters, including members of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). He has lived in the Caribbean and Europe, as well as various places in the United States. An avid historian, he has published widely on military history, archaeology, business, and international relations. Dr. Ashby is the author of Time Fall, Devil’s Den, Missed Opportunities, and numerous articles. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California, a J.D. from Seattle University Law School, and an M.B.A. from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Professor Michael Studdert-Kennedy

Michael Studdert-Kennedy, born and educated in England, earned a B.A. in Classics from the University of Cambridge. In 1954, he immigrated to the United States, where he entered the graduate program in experimental psychology at Columbia University, concentrating on language. Initially committed to the principles of behaviorism, he changed course after reading Noam Chomsky’s devastating review (1959) of B.F. Skinner’s book, Verbal Behavior, and Chomsky’s early work, Syntactic Structures. Professor Studdert-Kennedy earned a Ph.D. with a thesis in auditory psychophysics on the human ear’s capacity for spectral analysis of very brief sounds, valuable preparation for his later work in the study of speech sounds.

Soon after completing his degree, he taught psychology at Barnard College and became a part-time research associate at Haskins Laboratories, a world-renowned center for research in speech production and perception and in reading, affiliated with Yale University and the University of Connecticut. Over the next 30 years, Studdert-Kennedy combined teaching at Barnard, the City University of New York (CUNY), Yale, and the University of Connecticut with applied work on automatic reading machines for the blind and basic research in speech perception, brain specialization for speech, and early development of speech in children. He is well known in the field as the author of over one hundred journal articles and book chapters and as the editor or co-editor of six books. He served on the editorial boards of several professional journals: Brain and Language, Cognition, Phonetica, Applied Psycholinguistics and Ecological Psychology. He was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America (1980), and held sabbatical fellowships at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Bielefeld, Germany (1977-78), and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto (1985-86.)

In the last six years of his academic career (1986-1992) Studdert-Kennedy was President and Director of Research of Haskins Laboratories, with ex officio appointments as Professor of Psychology at the University of Connecticut and Adjunct Professor of Linguistics at Yale. He was Chairman of the Board of Haskins Laboratories from 1986 to 1996 and continued to serve on the Board until 2008. He is now Professor Emeritus of Communications at CUNY and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut. Since retiring, Studdert-Kennedy has published half a dozen papers and co-edited two books on the evolution of language.

Mac Prichard

Mac Prichard is a nationally recognized public relations professional who owns and operates Prichard Communications, a full-service public relations firm based in Portland, Oregon that serves foundations, non-profits, and public agencies across the United States. Prichard is frequently invited to speak on communications and community involvement to national organizations and groups, especially in the fields of juvenile justice and drug and alcohol treatment. Before founding Prichard Communications in 2007, he worked as Communications Director of Reclaiming Futures, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that improves drug and alcohol treatment for teens in juvenile court. Previously, Prichard served as a spokesman for state and local public agencies, elected officials, and non-profit organizations. In addition to his professional work, Prichard is a recognized community leader and has served as an officer and board member of numerous non-profits. Prichard has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Jeff Dorsey

Dr. Jeff Dorsey is an agricultural economist with over 25 years of experience designing and implementing strategies and programs for policy change and poverty alleviation in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Throughout his career, he has focused on developing programs for income- and employment-generating activities in developing countries via credit, small business creation and growth, and the opening up of new opportunities in agriculture, aquaculture, and fisheries and marketing their products. His work has consistently placed him in advisory and management roles linked with poverty alleviation, food security, and rural development. Over his career, he has forged excellent working and personal relationships with senior public policymakers and key actors in the private sector in more than 45 countries. Dr. Dorsey has applied his experience and knowledge to the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs and policies for governments around the world, often working with international agencies. Dr. Dorsey has a Ph.D.  from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. from Hamilton College. He has also been a collaborator and program officer with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.

Henry Raymont

Henry Raymont has worked for over half a century as a journalist in Latin America, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He was born in Koenigsberg, East Prussia, and grew up in Argentina having emigrated there with his parents in 1936. He joined United Press International in Buenos Aires and work for the UP as its Latin American Diplomatic Correspondent in Washington and New York, where he got his American citizenship, and later was appointed bureau chief in Cuba. In April, 1961, he was arrested after sending out the first bulletin on the Bay of Pigs invasion and was sentenced to be shot, touching off an ultimately successful hemisphere-wide campaign to save his life. After his release from prison, he spent a year studying at Harvard with a Nieman Fellowship, then joined The New York Times first as bureau chief in Buenos Aires and afterwards in New York.  After leaving the Times, Raymont was appointed director of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS), tasked with revitalizing and expanding the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Raymont has taught and lectured at various universities including the Communications Department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, American University in Washington D.C., and the Lateinamerika-Institut of the Freie Universitaet in Berlin. He is the author of Troubled Neighbors: The Story of U.S.-Latin American Relations from FDR to the Present, translated and published in Mexico as Vecinos en Conflicto. He writes regularly for newspapers in Latin America, including HOY (Ecuador), Panamá América (Panama) and Progreso (Mexico) and is working on a memoir.