Mark Wallem has served as Executive Director since 2019. Prior to his time with ALBA, he worked in international development for 21 years, including posts in Nepal, Cambodia, the Philippines, Ukraine, and Thailand. His international projects include a groundbreaking Internet Freedom program, promoting and defending online freedom of expression in Southeast Asia. He has also directed programs for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and UN Women. Hailing from Minnesota, Wallem is a lawyer, with a history of political activism and rights advocacy in both the US and abroad.
Dennis Meaney is a writer and organizer from Long Island, New York. He has spent the last several years organizing in electoral politics and doing editorial work for international affairs publications. He recently earned his Master's Degree in International Relations and Economics from Seton Hall University. He has long had an interest in Antifascism, Left Politics, and European History.
Marina Mihajlova moved to NYC from Macedonia (Southeast Europe) in 2011, along with her family. She has been in the accounting and bookkeeping sector since she was young, and was brought up working with her family’s business in her home country. Coming to the US was a big challenge, and the accounting practices differ somewhat, but in the end, the numbers are still what matter. Like ALBA, she is dedicated to social activism and the defense of human rights. Marina is also a supporter of Greenpeace, environmental justice, and animal welfare.
Sebastiaan Faber was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he studied Spanish; his doctorate is from the University of California, Davis. He is Professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College, where he directs the Center of Languages and Cultures. Sebastiaan is the author of Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Exiles in Mexico (Vanderbilt, 2002) and Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War (Palgrave, 2008), as well as some sixty articles on Spanish and Latin American literature, history, and politics. You can find his faculty webpage here. In 2000 he won the George Watt Essay Prize in the graduate category and has been on the ALBA board since 2004. He is an editor of the online edition of The Volunteer.
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.
Gina Herrmann is Associate 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
Aaron Retish is Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University in Detroit where he helps coordinate Wayne State’s Abraham Lincoln Brigade Veterans Scholarship. He is the author of Russia’s Peasants in Revolution and Civil War: Citizenship, Identity, and the Creation of the Soviet State, 1914-1922 (Cambridge University Press, 2008) as well as articles on violence and peasant identity in the Revolutionary era. He is currently working on a book project that studies local courts and popular ideas of legality and justice in the early Soviet era.
Peter N. Carroll is the author and editor of 17 books, including The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War (Stanford, 1994), The Good Fight Continues: World War II Letters from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade(2006), and Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War (NYU, 2007). He is co-curator of two museum exhibitions: Shouts From the Wall: Posters of the Spanish Civil War (with Cary Nelson) and They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime From the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo (with Anthony L. Geist). He is an editor of The Volunteer and he serves as a trustee of the Puffin Nation Prize for creative citizenship. He teaches history at Stanford University. He is also the author of a poetry volume, Riverborne: A Mississippi Requiem (2008).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Prior to attending law school, Ellyn Polshek worked in publishing as Managing Editor at Grossman Publishers, a Division of the Viking Press, then as a Senior Editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston and later at William Morrow. She received her JD in 1985 at the Columbia Law School. Following graduation, she practiced law as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. She argued her cases before the Appellate Division in New York County and when necessary at the Court of Appeals in Albany.
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.
Angela Giral was born in Madrid less than a year before the Spanish Civil War started. The family escaped from their summer residence in San Rafael, walking all night through the Segovia Forest. In 1939, they moved to Mexico, where Angela attended the National University (UNAM). In 1956, she moved to Ann Arbor, where she obtained a Masters of Library Science. She has worked as a librarian at Princeton (Urban and Environmental Studies), Harvard (Graduate School of Design), and Columbia (Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library). She became an American citizen in 1970. From her early childhood, listening to the songs of the Spanish Civil War, she was in awe of the young people who gave their energy, youth, and, sometimes, their lives, to defend democracy and the republican ideals of her country when it was an early victim of fascism.
Chris Brooks is the driving force behind ALBA’s online biographical database of Lincoln Brigade veterans. His countless hours of research and correspondence have produced a comprehensive and accessible collection that has put a story and a face to thousands of veterans.
John M. Brickman, a lawyer, is a partner and head of litigation in the Long Island office of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP. He serves as a Commissioner of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission. From 2007 until 2011, he was a Commissioner of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity, which enforced lobbying and public employee ethics laws; he was a Director of the Nassau Health Care Corporation, which operates the Nassau University Medical Center; and he is a Director and former Chairman of the Correctional Association of New York, an organization founded in 1844 that visits prisons and does research and advocacy in criminal justice.
Robert S. Coale is Professeur des Universités (Professor) in Hispanic Studies at the Université de Rouen (Normandy, France). Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he holds a B.A. in history and Spanish from Washington College. One day some thirty years ago he went off to Madrid to improve his Spanish and never looked back, eventually earning a Doctorat from the Université de Paris IV-La Sorbonne. In 1996 he actively participated in the 60th anniversary Homage to the IB in Madrid and thus began his relationship with ALBA. He has been the moderator of the ALBA listserv since 1999. His area of specialization is 20th century Spanish history, especially the Spanish Civil War, the International Brigades and the exile of Spanish Loyalists in France. He occasionally returns to the US so as not to forget how to pronounce Bawlmer.
Paco de Onís grew up in several Latin American countries during a time of dictatorships. He is the Executive Director and Executive Producer of Skylight, a human rights media organization dedicated to advancing social justice through storytelling. Paco's grandfather, Federico de Onís, founded the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Department at Columbia University after the first world war. He never returned to Spain after the end of the Spanish Civil War. Paco’s film producing credits include 500 YEARS, Granito: How to Nail a Dictator, Rebel Citizen, Disruption, State of Fear, and The Reckoning.
Peter Glazer is Associate Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. He is a professional director and playwright whose plays, adaptations, collaborations and directing projects include Woody Guthrie's American Song (Bay Area Drama Critics award winner at Berkeley Rep and San Jose Rep; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations Off-Broadway at Melting Pot Theater Co.; Joseph Jefferson Award winner at Northlight Theater in Chicago), O'Carolan's Farewell to Music (Delaware Theater Co.), Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate (Marin Theater Co., Victory Gardens Theater), Heart of Spain and Foe (Northwestern University), My Fair Lady (American Musical Theater of San Jose), Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love (Industrial Strength Co. at the Magic Theater).
PETER MILLER is an Emmy and Peabody-award winning filmmaker whose documentaries have screened in cinemas and on television throughout the world. His films include A.K.A. DOC POMUS, JEWS AND BASEBALL: AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY, SACCO AND VANZETTI, and A CLASS APART for PBS’s American Experience, now being adapted as a feature film executive produced by Eva Longoria. His short film THE INTERNATIONALE was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. Peter co-directed ROBERT SHAW: MAN OF MANY VOICES, winner of three Emmy Awards, for PBS American Masters, as well as the public television documentaries SOSÚA: MAKE A BETTER WORLD and REFUGEE KIDS: ONE SMALL SCHOOL TAKES ON THE WORLD. With his daughter Nora Claire Miller, he recently completed EGG CREAM, a short film about the beloved chocolate soda drink. Most recently, he co-wrote and produced BEDLAM, about the crisis in care for the severely mentally ill, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on PBS Independent Lens. Peter is currently working on DO NO HARM, a 3-part PBS series about Palliative Care, as well as MARCELLA, a biography of the legendary food writer Marcella Hazan. He has also been a producer on numerous documentaries by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, including the PBS series THE WAR and JAZZ, and FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT.
Julia Newman worked in advertising as a producer of television commercials for many years and as a journalist whose writings have appeared in the New York Daily News, Miami Herald, Travel and Leisure, and Metropolitan Home. Her award-winning documentary, Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War, was broadcast on Public Television and Spanish Television and is distributed in the U. S. by First Run Features. She was the Executive Director of ALBA for 5 1/2 years.
Jack Mayerhofer joined ALBA’s Board in 2020. He has strong family ties with Spain and a deep interest in the Civil War period and the efforts of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Jack serves as the Deputy Executive Director at the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG), an organization that provides training, education, and technical assistance, primarily to governments to improve their policies for the prevention of identity-based violence. At AIPG, Jack Mayerhofer leads the activities of the organization’s Executive Office in Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Southeast Asia. His research interests include the role that legislators can play in contributing to the prevention of mass atrocities. Both AIPG and ALBA work to ensure that memory and memorialization of the past are used to improve how we protect and promote human rights today. For the past and the present, it is essential that we remember that individuals from all around the world, with no support from their home governments, risked their lives to fight for democracy in a faraway place, not due to any threat to their personal livelihood, but simply because they understood the importance of fighting fascism.
Cynthia Young joined the ALBA board in 2020. Since 2000, she has worked at the International Center of Photography, specifically with the Robert Capa Archive. She has curated numerous exhibitions from the collection that have traveled throughout Spain and other countries in Europe and South America. Recent exhibitions include The Mexican Suitcase, the Rediscovered Negatives of the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and Chim; We Went Back: Photographs from Europe by Chim, 1933-1956 and Capa in Color. She recently edited the republication of Death in the Making, Capa’s 1938 photobook of images from Spain.
Shannon O'Neill is the Curator for the Tamiment-Wagner Collections at NYU Special Collections, a department within NYU Libraries, and the repository responsible for the ongoing care, preservation, and access to the Abraham Lincoln Archives Collection and collections of numerous Spanish Civil War veterans. She joined NYU in August of 2019. Prior to NYU, she worked at the Barnard College Archives and Special Collections as its Director, and the Los Angeles Public Library and Atlantic City Free Public Library. She is currently a graduate student in NYU’s Archives and Public History program, working towards a master’s in public history.
Larry Cox is a former executive director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA). A veteran human rights advocate, he also served 11 years as senior program officer for the Ford Foundation, Human Rights unit, where he focused on the promotion of international justice and the advancement of domestic human rights. In 1990, Cox became the executive director of the Rainforest Foundation, an international organization that works with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon to protect their rights. During his time at the Rainforest Foundation, Cox dedicated much of his time to the issue of demarcation of indigenous territories in Brazil. Cox holds a B.A. in history from Mount Union College and has completed graduate work at the University of Geneva. Since November 2013, he has served as Co-Director of Kairos: The Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary (New York City).
Judge Baltasar Garzón has specialized in challenging government corruption, organized crime, terrorists, state antiterrorism units, and drug lords. In 1973, Augusto Pinochet led a bloody military coup against democratically elected socialist President Salvador Allende of Chile. Pinochet’s seventeen-year reign of terror was characterized by human rights violations on a truly massive scale, including widespread disappearances and extrajudicial killings. In October 1998, Garzón made history when he seized the opportunity to indict Pinochet in Europe, when Pinochet visited London. Garzón’s campaign for justice has set a precedent that heads of state may now be tried for crimes such as torture and genocide, that no person is above the law, and that sovereign immunity does not extend to crimes against humanity.
Judge Garzón has continued his work, despite being targeted for criminal prosecution himself, due to his work in investigating crimes related to the Franco regime. Garzón is the recipient of the first ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism.
Adam Hochschild is the author of ten books, including "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939," which appeared in 2016. "Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves" won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN USA Literary Award, the Gold Medal of the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
For over 40 years Joyce Horman has pressed the United States and Chilean governments, and legal authorities in both countries, to investigate and resolve the wrongful death of her husband Charles in the violent aftermath of Pinochet’s 1973 military coup. With the CCR she sued Kissinger for cover up and collusion in Charles' wrongful death. The movie Missing told of her husband's disappearance in the midst of Pinochet's dictatorship with the cooperation and possible direction of American military intelligence. Her Foundation produced the "Tribute to Justice" in 1973 honoring those who fought to bring Pinochet to justice for human rights crimes.
Robin D.G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His books include the prize-winning Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Free Press, 2009); Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard Press, 2012); Yo' Mama's DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press, 1997); Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (Free Press, 1994); and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press, 2002). He also edited (with Franklin Rosemont) Black, Brown, and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the African Diaspora (University of Texas Press, 2009), recipient of an American Book Award, and (with Stephen Tuck) The Other Special Relationship: Race, Rights and Riots in Britain and the United States (New York: Palgrave, 2015). Kelley's essays have appeared in several anthologies and publications, including The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), Counterpunch, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text, Boston Review, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, and Souls, to name a few.
Howard Lurie is the Associate Director for Educational Productions at WGBH Boston. For more than 20 years he has led professional development efforts for K-16 teachers featuring the use of digital media, technology and inquiry based learning. He holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Teachers College, Columbia University.
Antonio Muñoz Molina is a Spanish writer and, since 1995, a full member of the Royal Spanish Academy. He studied art history at the University of Granada and journalism in Madrid. He began writing in the 1980s and his first published book, El Robinsón urbano, a collection of his journalistic work, was published in 1984. His columns have regularly appeared in El País and Die Welt.
Vikas Saini, MD is president of the Lown Institute. He is a clinical cardiologist trained by Dr. Bernard Lown at Harvard, where he has taught and done research. Dr. Saini leads the Institute’s signature project, the Lown Institute Hospitals Index, the first ranking to measure hospital social responsibility.
In his role at the Lown Institute since 2012, Dr. Saini led the development of the Right Care series of papers published by The Lancet in 2017; convened six national conferences attracting more than 200 attendees annually and featuring world-renowned leaders in health care; and guided other Lown Institute projects such as the “Shkreli Awards.” He is also a founder and Co-Chair of the Right Care Alliance, a grassroots network of clinicians, patient activists, and community leaders organizing to put patients, not profits, at the heart of health care.
Dr. Saini is a board-certified doctor of Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, and Nuclear Cardiology, and has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.
John Sayles is the writer and director of acclaimed independent films including Return of the Secaucus 7, Matewan, Lianna, Baby It’s You, The Brother From Another Planet, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Men with Guns, Limbo, Sunshine State, Casa de los Babys, Silver City and Honeydripper. Sayles has also written novels and short stories. Among his awards: John D. MacArthur Award, Eugene V. Debs Award, John Steinbeck Award, John Cassavettes Award, Ian McLellan Hunter Award. He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
Jim Skillman is a social justice activist/organizer from Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as a coordinator with the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, the Atlanta Jobs with Justice Organizing Committee, and as a member of the Atlanta chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.
Mr. Stevenson has argued and won multiple cases at the United States Supreme Court, including a 2019 ruling protecting condemned prisoners who suffer from dementia and a landmark 2012 ruling that banned mandatory life-imprisonment-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger. Mr. Stevenson and his staff have won reversals, relief, or release from prison for over 135 wrongly condemned prisoners on death row and won relief for hundreds of others wrongly convicted or unfairly sentenced.
Mr. Stevenson is the author of the acclaimed best-seller, Just Mercy, on which the 2019 feature film of the same name is based. He is also a Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. In 2014, Mr Stevenson was the recipient of the ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism.