Josephine Nelson-Yurek

Josephine Nelson Yurek is a founding member of the Bronx National Organization for Women and of the Cinnamon Tree Day Care Center. Member of the board of directors of Lehman College Performing Arts Center for ten years. Retired as a high school administrator from the New York City public school system. Daughter of a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Steve Nelson.

Nancy Wallach

Nancy Wallach is the daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brigade Veteran Hy Wallach, and active VALB board member who served in the capacities of Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and Executive Secretary at various times.  She is a retired NYC public school teacher with a background in art education and professional development and support.  She has been a recipient of the NYC Schools and Culture Award, the Lincoln Center Institute's Creative Teaching Award, NYCATA/UFT's Art Educator of the Year and received many other grants in the area of arts education.  She considers her participation in the 75th Anniversary Tribute to the Founding of the International Brigades in Spain to be a highlight of her activities on behalf of preserving the legacy of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

María Hernández-Ojeda, Vice-Chair

María Hernández-Ojeda is an Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College. Her research area includes the literary and historical relationship between the Canary Islands and Latin America, the cultural production of the Spanish Civil War, and anarchist and feminist women authors.  She is currently researching a book project entitled Antifascist Women Activists: Hunter College Students and the Spanish Civil War.

Aaron Retish, Chair

Aaron Retish is Professor of History at Wayne State University in Detroit where he chairs the Veterans of the Spanish Civil War Scholarship.  He is the author and editor of several books on the early Soviet  state, including Russia’s Peasants in War and Revolution and Social Control under Stalin and Khrushchev, and co-editor of the journal Revolutionary Russia.  Aaron has been an active member of the ALBA board for over a decade and chair of the Watt Essay Prize Committee since 2014. He regularly contributes the “Faces of ALBA” section to The Volunteer. 

Jo Labanyi, Secretary

Jo Labanyi is Professor Emerita in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. A founding editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, she has published widely on 19th-21st-century Spanish culture. Her books include the co-edited Companion to Spanish Cinema (Blackwell, 2013) and co-authored Cultural History of Modern Literatures in Spain (Polity, 2021). She has a particular interest in the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, and is currently completing a co-authored oral history of cinema-going in early Francoist Spain. Her next project is a cultural history of the Spanish Civil War for Reaktion Books.

Anthony L. Geist

Anthony Geist is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Geist's research concerns the art and literature of the Spanish Civil War. He published a photo-essay on Seattle-area Lincoln Brigade veterans, coauthored with the Spanish photojournalist José Moreno, entitled Passing the Torch: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and its Legacy of Hope / Otra cara de América: Los brigadistas y su legado de esperanza. He has also curated ALBA’s traveling exhibit, They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime from the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo. The accompanying book was published in 2002. In 2006 he co-produced and co-directed a documentary film on the American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War, Souls without Borders: The Untold Story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 1936-2006.

Gina Herrmann, Treasurer

Gina Herrmann is a Professor of Spanish Literature and Culture at the University of Oregon and is on the editorial board of The Volunteer. She is the author of articles on Spanish political culture, particularly communist literature and history, and is an oral historian. Her first book, Written in Red: The Communist Memoir in Spain, was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2009

Joan Levenson Cohen

Joan Levenson Cohen is a retired New York City teacher who specialized in early literacy, coinciding with an ongoing extracurricular life in union, peace and health care activism. She is the daughter of a vet, Leonard Levenson.

Daniel Czitrom, Chair Emeritus

Daniel Czitrom is Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, where he has taught since 1981 with a focus on recent American cultural and political history. He joined the ALBA Board in 1987 and served as its Chair from 1990-94. His latest book is Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn of the Century New York (with Bonnie Yochelson, 2007). Czitrom is also the author ofMedia and the American Mind: From Morse to McLuhan (1982), which received the First Books Award from the American Historical Association and has been translated into Spanish and Chinese. He is also co-author of Out of Many: A History of the American People(Pearson Prentice Hall, 6th ed., 2008), a best selling U.S. History college textbook. In 2003 Czitrom’s historical drama, Red Bessie, (co-written with playwright Jack Gilhooley), was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is based on the letters and experiences of two Lincoln Brigade vets, the brothers Joe and Leo Gordon

Kate Doyle

Kate Doyle is a senior analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America at the National Security Archive where she directs the Evidence Project, connecting the right to truth and access to information with human rights and justice struggles in Latin America. Since 1992, Doyle has worked with human rights organizations, truth commissions and prosecutors to obtain government records from secret archives that shed light on state violence. In 2012, Doyle was awarded the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, which she shared with Fredy Peccerelli of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala.