Board of Directors

HumanitiesDC is governed by a diverse Board of Directors, including four Mayoral appointees. They bring a wide array of talents to their role as stewards and guides of the organization including: humanities scholarship, communications and marketing, fundraising and development, advocacy and public programming. The Board of Directors also serve as Grant Reviewers.

Board: 

Linda Earley Chastang – Ward 4, Mayoral Appointee
As an independent consultant, Linda Chastang provides legal, fundraising, grant writing, public relations and government relations assistance to nonprofit and other organizations. Among her current clients is Hampton University, which she represents in Washington and consults on government relations and institutional development matters. Previously, Ms. Chastang served as Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman John Lewis and Special Advisor to the Chairman of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She was a member of the founding faculty of the School of Law at Georgia State University, where she taught Antitrust, Consumer Protection, Ethics, Administrative Law and Legal Writing. Ms. Chastang is a member of the Links, Incorporated, the Daughters of the American Revolution, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

Michele N-K Collison – Ward 5
Michele Collison is a freelance writer published in both the New York Times and The Washington Post. She’s the author of the bestselling book, “It’s all Good Hair,” published by Harper Collins Books. She is the former Assistant Editor for the Chronicle of Higher Education where she wrote news and feature stories for the nation’s popular national education newspaper. Ms. Collison’s work has been applauded by both national and international audience, having covered Nelson Mandela’s visit to Morehouse College, the late renowned scholar Manning Marable and the declining number of African-American young men attending college. She has traveled extensively throughout the country to attend academic conferences to cover tenure and faculty research issues.

Rafi Aliya Crockett – Ward 5
Rafi Aliya is a life-long student and patron of the humanities. Holding an advanced degree in anthropology with work in performance studies, Rafi embraces the arts and affirms that it is through the humanities that we create and sustain vibrant communities. Serving on the Board of Directors of the Museum of Contemporary African in Brooklyn, NY for four years, Rafi understands the need to engage the rich variety of cultures across our city. As a native Washingtonian and DC resident, Rafi seeks expand the ways in which local creatives, scholars and narratives are nurtured and shaped.

Eric T. Fingerhut – Ward 3
Eric Fingerhut leads his law firm’s trademark practice by day but when he is not billing hours he is painting, telling jokes or riding a bicycle. Mr. Fingerhut discovered painting four years ago on a bicycle trip to Lucca, Italy and it has become his passion. His paintings have been displayed at the “Hang the Lawyers” and “Frame the Lawyers” exhibits sponsored by the Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts and Washington Art Works. He has lived in the District for the past 26 years with his wife and their three children. A lover of arts, music and history, he is thrilled to be part of HumanitiesDC and looks forward to bringing his creativity, sense of humor and relationships to support HumanitiesDC and its mission.

Tania Jackson – Ward 1, Secretary
Tania Jackson serves as Chief of Staff for Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.  She is also the owner of Create Communitas Consulting and has worked with local government, community-development nonprofits and socially responsible for-profit entities. Ms. Jackson has years of real estate development experience in Washington DC, working as an Outreach and Compliance Officer for Capitol City Associates and the External Affairs Director of Jair Lynch Development Partners.

Brendan Kelly – Ward 6, Treasurer
As a proven leader and decorated strategist, Brendan Kelly best exhibits his expertise in marketing and business administration. Receiving a Masters in Business Administration and Business Leadership at Notre Dame after serving as a US naval officer for seven years, Mr. Kelly has thrived in project management, working with Andaman Capital Partners. He is currently a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte Consulting, LLC.

Lee Murphy – Ward 4, Chair
Lee Murphy has a passion for helping people achieve their dreams. Her mission to assist her clients to navigate their path to home ownership has driven her to become a premiere realtor in Washington, DC. As featured in the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Murphy has consistently been ranked in the Top 20 in Individual Sales Volume since 2014 for the Washington, DC area. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies and French from Austin College and the American University in Cairo.

Tyler Pietruszka – Board Fellow
Tyler Pietruszka, a Senior Consultant at Management Strategies, has supported clients and project teams through the successful delivery of program management, business process improvement, change management, communications, and business and financial analysis services. Mr. Pietruszka’ s previous clients include the U.S. Departments of Interior, Defense, and Veterans Affairs and he is currently engaged with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He has strong interpersonal skills and is a highly effective communicator, writer, and presenter with experience at all audience levels. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University.

Rosemary Reed – Ward 2
Rosemary Reed is the President/Owner of Double R Productions (Double R), a leading creative communications and video production firm in the District.  Ms. Reed also donates her time and talent by giving back to organizations such as HumanitiesDC, Veterans Moving Forward and Miriam’s Kitchen.  She served as the President of DC’s Women in Film & Video (WIFV) and is now on the WIFV Advisory Board as well as a corporate member of DC’s Television, Internet & Video Association.  Ms. Reed has a passion for encouraging young people through a successful internship program at Double R since 1989, empowering women in small business as a member of the National Small Business Association and she believes in giving back to the Washington, DC community, where she has lived since 1985.

Maceo Thomas – Ward 7
Maceo Thomas is an advocate in the local creative community with over 10 years of experience in programming and event planning. Receiving his Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Thomas has applied his instincts for public service to creating opportunities for artists in Washington, DC. Working with musicians and painters alike, Mr. Thomas has created various programs including a monthly art exhibit and music festival, garnering the recognition of The Community Foundation with the Linowes Award in 2011. He is is currently a real estate sales associate and independent property manager in the DC and Maryland area.

Christine M. Warnke, PhD – Ward 2, Mayoral Appointee
Dr. Christine Warnke has served as a Member of HumanitiesDC’ s Board by appointment of three Mayors. Dr. Warnke currently serves as Senior Vice President of Capitol Hill Consulting Group. She represents clients on legislative and regulatory matters before the United States Congress, the White House, and various departments and independent agencies of the executive branch. In addition to her experience with the U.S. government, she has worked in international public sectors for several decades. Dr. Warnke has spearheaded numerous domestic and international initiatives in the areas of economic/investment, finance, banking, defense/military, energy, medical research and device development.

Joyce Wellman – Ward 1, Vice Chair, Mayoral Appointee
Joyce Wellman began her artistic journey in the early seventies in various printmaking studios in New York City, relocating to Washington, DC in 1981. Throughout her career Ms. Wellman’s concern has been discovering a means by which to create an art vocabulary and grammar that includes vibrant colors, cryptic marks, shapes and symbols that reference mathematics, anthropomorphic forms, even text and personal experiences, referencing her experience growing up in a household where “the numbers” were played. During the mid-1980’s through the early 1990’s, she served as the artist in residence in public and non-profit organizations. Ms. Wellman developed, taught in and coordinated arts education programs, serving the DC public schools, youth at risk, and adult and senior citizen programs.

Donna L. Woolf – Ward 1
Donna Woolf is an International Communications Strategist with the U.S. Department of State. She has strong management skills and extensive media and public diplomacy experience in Europe and the Middle East. In addition, Ms. Woolf is a documentary producer/director with experience leading creative teams to produce over 15 award-winning audio and video programs for national and international audiences. She is fluent in French, Arabic and Spanish.

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