Board of Directors

bio-sky

Skyler J. Arndt‐Briggs
Chair
Board Member since 1994

Skyler J. Arndt‐Briggs graduated from Princeton University in 1977, with a major in French literature and concentrations in dance and women’s studies. After working in movement therapies, Sky undertook a graduate degree in cultural anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her dissertation on The Social Practice of Place in Weimar Republic Berlin (2000) was supported by a Fulbright‐Hayes Award and The Wenner‐Gren Foundation and was based on over 65 extensive life histories of Berlin residents that she gathered from 1988 to 1991.

Sky is the Executive Director of the DEFA Film Library and teaches in UMass’ German and Scandinavian Studies program. She writes on East German cinema, its international ties during the global Cold War, and its Anglo‐American reception since the fall of the Wall. She is is currently launching a new book series on Film and the Global Cold War with Berghahn Press. Her most recent publication is a co-edited volume entitled DEFA International: Grenzüberschreitende Filmbeziehungen vor und nach dem Mauerbau. The DEFA Film Library is a unique research center at UMass Amherst, which houses the only archive of films made in  former East Germany located outside of Germany. In addition to welcoming researchers and visiting filmmakers and organizing conference panels, publications and biennial research institutes, the Film Library subtitles and produces German films on DVD. Its film series have screened at prestigious international and national venues, including The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), and Toronto Film Festival.

Sky was very close to Lois Roth and has been actively involved in a wide range of Endowment activities since the mid-1990s. She is married to Gregory Briggs, who also holds a PhD in anthropology and specializes in vocational education. They have two daughters. Rosalie, who graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and teaches in inner‐city Denver, and Thea, who graduated from Barnard College, Lois’ alma mater, in 2013.

 

bio-barbaroAnne V. Barbaro
Secretary
Board Member since 2012

Anne V. Barbaro (nee Stenzel) graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Anthropology, with concentrations in American Government and African Pre‐history, respectively. After spending three years in Mexico as a photographer and English teacher, Anne joined the U.S. Information Agency in 1983, where Lois Roth and Dick Arndt were widely known and admired officers.

As a Foreign Service Officer, Anne served in Kuala Lumpur, Montevideo, Washington DC, Paris, Colombo, Madrid, Brussels, and again in Washington DC. In every post she had the pleasure of working on cultural diplomacy programs. In Montevideo, Anne was the Executive Director of the Alianza Cultural Uruguay‐Estados Unidos, a bi‐national center with 5,000 students of English, a United States Information Service library, two theaters, and an art gallery that thrive to this day. In Paris, Colombo, Madrid and Brussels she served on the Fulbright Commission boards, often as Treasurer, and always on the selection committees.

Anne retired from the State Department in 2007, from her position as Office Director for European Press and Public Diplomacy, with the rank of Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service. From 2010‐2012 Anne worked for XL Associates on a contract with the Bureau of International Information Programs, creating a new organizational structure for 800+ public engagement spaces (libraries, cultural centers, bi‐ national centers, American Corners) and securing an annual budget of $15 million to upgrade and expand this network. She currently resides in Reston, VA with her husband Anthony, a software engineer, and her two high‐school‐aged children. She is active as a volunteer at Reston Interfaith, Reston Association and Herndon High School’s library.

Read Anne’s article on joining the Roth Endowment Board!

 

bio-benderKimberly Bender
Board member since 2014

Kimberly received a B.A. in International Relations from Connecticut College, with an Honors Certificate from the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies in the Liberal Arts. She then earned a J.D. in Environmental Law from Tulane Law School.

Since 2012, Kimberly has served as the Executive Director of the Heurich House Museum, a Washington, DC institution that acts as the steward of Christian Heurich’s legacy and mansion, connecting the story of his family, property, and brewery to the community with authenticity and innovation. During her tenure, she has reinvented the museum’s mission, program, and public reach, and has significantly raised revenue and the number of visitors to the Museum. She formerly practiced law as a land use attorney, and currently operates a small non-profit law practice that often provides pro bono legal services.

Kimberly is the creator of a blog and monthly Public Radio segment called The Location, which focus on the hidden history of the people and culture of Washington, DC. She is a member of Lambda Alpha, a land economics honors society.

 

Bert_Brandenburg_headshotBert Brandenburg
Treasurer
Board member since 2012

Bert Brandenburg earned his B.A. in Foreign Affairs (with a Minor in Middle Eastern Studies) and his J.D. from the University of Virginia. He was Vice President of International Programs for the Santéch Institute, and served as an observer during the 1990 Pakistan national elections and on the board of directors of the National Peace Foundation. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and published articles and monographs on international law, war powers, civil rights, judicial elections, information policy, and communications.

Bert is the President of Appleseed, a network of public interest justice centers working to adopt systemic reforms on behalf of low-income people across the United States and Mexico.  He previously served as Executive Director of Justice at Stake, a national partnership that helps keep courts fair, impartial and independent through advocacy, legislation and litigation. Justice at Stake has helped pass reform legislation, built a coalition of more than 50 organizations, and has helped put the issue of independent courts on the national map. He also serves as president of the board of directors of the National Institute on Money in State Politics, on the Policy Advisory Board of Transparency International-USA, and on the National Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Judicial Campaign Conduct.

Under Attorney General Janet Reno, Bert was the Director of Public Affairs and chief spokesperson at the Justice Department, where he supervised media strategy and press relations for the Department, the FBI, DEA, INS, and 93 U.S. Attorney’s offices. He served in policy and communications positions for the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the National Performance Review, the 1992 Clinton-Gore campaign and presidential transition team, Congressman Edward Feighan, and the Progressive Policy Institute.

 

A. Michae_JEF2919-webl Gellman
Board Member since 2011

A. Michael Gellman works with Rubino and Company, where he specializes in nonprofit accounting, focusing on specialized management and advisory services for trade and professional associations, public charities, private foundations, private schools and endowment based foundations. He has conducted numerous seminars and lectures, and written articles on budgeting, reserve and investment policies, financial management, fees for services, leading economic indicators for nonprofits, and the impact of Federal form 990 on governance and transparency and accountability.

Mike has served as Chair of Greater Washington Society of CPAs’ Not-For-Profit Committee and Chair of the Annual Not-For-Profit Organizations Symposium, and is a Past President of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs. He has also served on the Finance & Administration Section Council of the American Society of Association Executives and is the current Chair of Marketing Committee and Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Committee for GWSCPA’s, and is serving on various other nonprofit boards including B’nai B’rith International.

 

bio-klopfensteinNeil Klopfenstein
Board Member since 2012

Neil Klopfenstein grew up on a farm in southeast Iowa. He holds a Masters degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College, a Masters in City Planning from M.I.T., and a B.S. in Urban Planning and International Studies from Iowa State University. He studied as a Fulbright Research Scholar to Norway, and has served on the boards of Fulbright Commissions in Thailand, Brazil and Norway, where he chaired the U.S.-Norway Educational Foundation. In his 28 years as a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, Neil served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Iceland and worked in public diplomacy assignments at U.S. missions in Oslo, Sao Paulo, Recife and Bangkok. In Washington, Neil recently left the position of Director of the Washington and New York Foreign Press Centers. He has also held positions in the State Department’s Bureaus of Western Hemisphere Affairs and International Information Programs. His last assignment was as the Executive Secretary for the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), seconded by the State Department to the international staff of the Organization of American States. At present, Neil is enrolled as a graduate student in the University of Maryland’s Masters of Education program where he is learning to become a TESOL teacher.  He resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.

 

MansbachPhoto.2 (1)Steven A. Mansbach
Board Member since 2012

Steven Mansbach is a professor of the history of twentieth-century art at the University of Maryland, with research and teaching interests that focus on the genesis and reception of “classical” modern art. His publications on the art of Central and Eastern Europe, from the Baltic north to the Adriatic south, include numerous essays, articles, exhibition catalogues, and books, such as: Graphic Modernism (2007), Modern Art in Eastern Europe: From the Baltic to the Balkans ca. 1890 to 1939, and Standing in the Tempest: Painters of the Hungarian Avant-Garde. Steven has taught this subject as a DAAD and Fulbright professor in Germany, Poland, Hungary, and South Africa, as well as at several American universities and spent three years as a Humboldt Fellow and two years as a senior Fulbright scholar in Berlin.

Sometimes, scholarship and its presentation take place under unstable conditions, something Steven has experienced repeatedly in his career: in conducting research in Romania when Chernobyl exploded, gathering research photographs in the Balkans during the internecine strife as Yugoslavia collapsed, and being interrogated regularly by the police in Czechoslovakia and East Germany during the soviet period. In Berlin from 1988 to 1997, including as the founding dean and director of the American Academy, Steven was witness to the profound global shift that took place with the end of the Cold War. Invited for the first time to be a guest professor at the University of Cape Town when the academic boycott of the apartheid state was still in effect, he received the endorsement of both the banned ANC and the National government; but on his obligatory lecture delivered in Soweto, riots broke out—having, of course, nothing to do with the lecture or the lecturer, who made it safely out. Of course, he was well prepared for such peripatetic shifts having been a student in the turbulent 1960s at Cornell, then at Princeton, and finally writing his dissertation in London and Amsterdam.

Dividing his time these days between Washington and New York, Steven now happily continues his research, teaching, and other academic activities under comparatively calm conditions, and has served almost a decade as associate dean of the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA) at the National Gallery of Art.

 

bio-rivera

William Alvarado Rivera
Roth Endowment Alumnus
Board Member since 2004

William Alvarado Rivera is a Roth Endowment alumnus, having received an LRE project support award in 1991 while conducting research at the University of Stockholm as a Fulbright Scholar. His work in Sweden built upon his undergraduate studies at Brown University, where he majored in Public Policy and American Institutions. LRE’s support enhanced his efforts to compare U.S. and Swedish social welfare policy, particularly with regard to the establishment of paternity and enforcement of child support obligations, which were the subject of his honors thesis at Brown.

Bill has carried his academic interest in child support and social welfare policy into his professional career. Following his graduation from Stanford Law School, he spent over seven years as a litigator in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Bill then spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in leadership positions with the Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Office of the General Counsel.  At HHS, he litigated and advised on issues arising under federal anti-poverty programs, including child support enforcement, Head Start, foster care, child and elder abuse and neglect, refugee assistance, and public assistance for low-income families.  Bill also helped negotiate bilateral child support agreements with El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

In 2015, Bill became Senior Vice President for Litigation of AARP Foundation, which advocates in courts throughout the country for the rights of people 50 and older, addressing diverse legal issues that affect their daily lives and assuring that they have a voice in the judicial system.  As a member of the Foundation’s executive team, Bill leads one of the nation’s largest charities, helping millions of older Americans who struggle to meet their basic needs for nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, adequate income, and much-needed personal connections.   

Bill has served as President of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia and has held leadership positions with the District of Columbia Bar, the American Bar Association, and various local youth-oriented non-profit organizations.

Bill lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters.

 

Laurie Wei20160803_152305 (1)zenkorn
Board Member since 2016

Laurie Weitzenkorn spent twenty-six years as a career Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, rising to the ranks of the senior Foreign Service. Before retiring in 2014, she worked with the Bureau of International Information Programs, where she spent time serving as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State overseeing five offices in the Bureau. Previously, Laurie was Counselor for Public Affairs at US Embassies in Athens, Santiago, San Jose, and Ljubljana. She has also served in Public Affairs positions in Bucharest, Brasilia, and at the State Department. In Brasilia, Laurie was the Executive Director of the Casa Thomas Jefferson, a Brazilian-American Cultural Center which provided English classes for some 9,000 students and cultural programming in the Center’s library, art gallery, and theater.

While overseas, Laurie held leadership positions on the Boards of the Fulbright Commission in several countries. In Chile, she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Department, and the Fulbright Commission to launch a new scholarship program which allowed one hundred young academics, many from disadvantaged and underserved rural areas, to enter doctoral programs in the U.S.

Prior to joining the Department of State in 1988, Laurie worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. as an Assistant Curator in the Department of American Prints and Drawings and as a Research Assistant in the Department of American Painting where she was a co-author of the catalogue of the Gallery’s extensive American folk painting collection.

Ms. Weitzenkorn has a B.S. in Spanish from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Art History from Columbia University. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and daughter.