Staff and Consultants:
Joy Ford Austin, Executive Director
Joy Ford Austin is a former President and Executive Director of the African American Museums Association. Joy Ford Austin has consulted with many institutions on cultural programs and policy including the Presidential Commission planning for the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Telesis Corporation, and the Chicago Housing Authority, the Center for Arts and Culture, and the Kellogg Foundation. She was the Principal of Austin Ford Associates, an education consulting firm. Since 2000, she has served as Executive Director of the Humanities Council of Washington, DC. She holds a Master of Science in Administration from Trinity College, Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
Michael L. Chambers, II, Programs and Marketing Manager
Michael Chambers received his B.A. in African American Studies from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and served as the programs coordinator at the Alabama Humanities Foundation. In that role, Michael spearheaded the development of the Foundation’s first-ever, statewide program targeting youth, SUPER Emerging Scholars (SES), a humanities based, pre-college program designed to improve and enhance critical thinking, research and writing skills. He also has experience facilitating youth programs at both the A.G. Gaston Boys & Girls club and the internationally renowned Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Jasper Collier, Curator of Digital Collections and Special Assistant to the Executive Director
Jasper Collier oversees the Humanities Council’s extensive collection of grant and program-produced artifacts and educational resources. Jasper has previously worked in curatorial and collections management departments at the Dittrick Medical History Center in Cleveland, OH and President Lincoln’s Cottage in Washington, DC. He has also held positions at the National Building Museum, and the Western Reserve Historical Society, and has worked as a consultant performing historical research. Jasper earned a B.A. in History from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and an M.A. in Public History from American University.
Rachel Dutcher, Director of Development
Ms. Dutcher is a passionate fundraiser, who has extensive experience with increasing contributed revenue for organizations that produce a lasting impact on American culture. Previously, Ms. Dutcher served as the Development Manager for the Annual Fund at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. In that capacity, she increased foundation support by 95% over two years, and she increased individual contributions by 41%. She also continuously broke direct mail income records for three consecutive years and garnered media attention through orchestrating Woolly Mammoth’s GivingTuesday campaign in 2012, which brought in over $10,000 in a single day. Additionally, Ms. Dutcher has served at the Mayor’s Office for Arts, Tourism, and Special Events in Boston. Working to fund arts and cultural activities throughout the city, Ms. Dutcher won several prestigious grant awards for the city, including a Save America’s Treasures grant to restore the paintings in Faneuil Hall – a National Historic Landmark and one of the most visited tourist sites in the nation. Ms. Dutcher is also active in her community, having volunteered for Boston’s Christmas in the City Adopt a Family program, the Freedom Trail Girl Scout Council’s Development Committee, and the Unitarian Universalists Young Adult Group.
Addis Gemeda, CPA, Fiscal Officer
Stephanie Scott, Executive Assistant
Stephanie Scott is the Deputy Director of the Humanities Council, as well as the administrative assistant to the executive director. She brings over 20 years of administrative experience to her work at the Humanities Council, as well as expertise in the fields of Marketing, Development and Construction. Stephanie served as the Executive Administrator for AVSmoot LLC, a DC based Historic Restoration and Painting company responsible for preserving such sites as the Tivoli Theatre and President Lincoln’s Cottage. Prior to that, Stephanie was a consultant for the Humanities council where she performed a host of administrative duties.
Mark Smith, Director of Grants and Special Projects
A native of Detroit, Michigan, Mark Smith studied Political Science at Howard University and graduated with a B.A. in 2002. Smith then moved back to Detroit where he served as principal for a real estate investment company that focused on redeveloping and renting affordable housing. He returned to the District in 2006 where he has served as Constituent Service Coordinator for DC Councilwoman, Muriel Bowser; a Realty Specialist for the Department of Real Estate; and, most recently, Liaison to Ward 7 for Outreach Relations and Services in the administration of former Mayor Adrian Fenty.