Director of Catering Operations
Program Officer for Science, Engineering and Technology
Rainer Assé is Program Officer for Science, Engineering and Technology at the Academy. He has worked with universities, international research institutes, and development organizations in the United States, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia as researcher and program manager. Using an environmental sociology approach, he has focused on innovation in environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture. Before joining the Academy, he worked in Vietnam with Harvard Kennedy School on public policy for water-food-energy nexus challenges and the International Livestock Research Institute on environmental issues in livestock management. Rainer earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Yale University, and a Masters in International Development and a PhD in Natural Resources from Cornell University.
Executive Assistant to the President
Phyllis S. Bendell
Director of Publications, Managing Editor of Dædalus
Manager of Human Resources and Organizational Development
for employment inquiries
Susan Chudd is the Manager of Human Resources and Organizational Development at the American Academy. In this role, she manages employee recruiting, onboarding, and benefits; provides support and consultation to staff; and works on projects designed to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and experience of staff. Prior to joining the Academy, Susan worked at Simmons College as the Director of Student Leadership and Activities. Susan holds an MBA from Simmons College, an MA in Higher Education from Boston College, and a dual degree of a BFA in music performance and a BS in Psychology from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Chief of Staff
Daniel Cuzzolino is Chief of Staff in the Office of the President at the American Academy. In this role, Daniel provides high-level organizational support to the President in the areas of executive communications, planning, and special projects. Prior to joining the Academy, Daniel served for more than 10 years as an analyst and senior policy advisor at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. In the latter role, he directed the development of the President’s annual drug policy strategy, which coordinates public health and safety programs among 16 federal departments and agencies. Daniel holds an MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in political science from the George Washington University.
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Steven W. Dansby
Director of Finance
Chief Advancement Officer
Program Director for The Humanities, Arts, and Culture;
and American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good
Jonathan F. Fanton
View the Academy President Page
Visit Jonathan Fanton’s personal website
Chief Communications Officer
Alison Franklin is the Chief Communications Officer at the Academy. She has 25 years of experience as a communications professional in academia, government, politics, and the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining the Academy staff in 2017, she was the Director of Communications at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University for six years. Previously, she led communications at City Year, a national service organization. Her experience in the public sector includes four years as an analyst on the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee, six years as communications director and press secretary for the Massachusetts Senate President, and campaign work in California and Massachusetts.
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Senior Research Associate, Humanities Indicators
Membership Engagement Coordinator
Program Director for Global Security and International Affairs
Francesca Giovannini is the Program Director for Global Security and International Affairs at the American Academy. In this role, she oversees the projects within the Global Security and International Affairs portfolio. She is also an Associate to the Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and an Affiliate to the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, where she was previously a MacArthur Nuclear Postdoctoral Fellow. She has taught undergraduate courses at University of California, Berkeley, and at Oxford University. Prior to completing her PhD at the University of Oxford, Francesca served as a Post-Conflict State-Building Consultant for the Crisis Prevention and Recovery Network program and the United Nations Regional Pacific Center, Suva – Fiji Islands, and as Resident Coordinator Analyst and Post-Conflict State-Building Specialist for the UN Development Program (UNDP) in Beirut, Lebanon. She also served in the Gaza Strip, Turkey and Ghana. She has written and presented on the emerging regional nuclear architectures in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and Europe.
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Kristin L. Gustafson
Director of Membership Information and Elections
Kristin Gustafson is the Director of Membership Information and Elections at the American Academy. She oversees the membership canvass committees, the sections panels and class committees, the nomination and election process, and the updating and maintenance of data for the entire membership. Prior to coming to the Academy she worked in city government, the software industry, and academia. She earned a master’s degree in intercultural management from the School for International Training, and a B.A. in international studies (with an emphasis on Latin America) from Earlham College.
Program Coordinator for Global Security and International Affairs
Kristin Josti is the Events Coordinator at the American Academy. In this role, she coordinates logistics for local, national, and international Academy events, including the annual Induction weekend. Prior to joining the Academy, she coordinated events at MIT and Stanford University. Kristin received her BA in English from Suffolk University, and her MFA in Writing from the University of San Francisco.
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Hellman Fellow in Science and Technology Policy
Program Coordinator for The Humanities, Arts, and Culture;
and American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good
Director of Archives
Michele Lavoie serves as the Director of Archives at the American Academy. In this role, she manages the preservation, digitization, and exhibition of the Academy’s historical records, publications, artifacts, and artwork. She provides operational support by conducting historical research for Academy staff and advises on various aspects of information management. Prior to joining the Academy, she was an archivist for History Associates in Rockville, MD, and the National Sporting Library and the McGhee Foundation, both of Middleburg, VA. Michele has over 15 years of experience in the archival profession, and earned her MLIS with an Archives concentration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Niki C. Lefebvre
Morton L. Mandel Presidential Fellow
Niki C. Lefebvre is the Morton L. Mandel Presidential Fellow at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She supports the office of the Academy President in the areas of speechwriting, communications, and management of the Academy’s Exploratory Fund. Niki joined the Academy after completing her Ph.D. in American Studies at Boston University, where her research explored the intersection of politics, international trade, and consumer culture during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Niki has also developed talks and tours at several public historical institutions, including the National Park Service, and holds an M.A. in public history from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a B.A. in history from Mount Holyoke College.
Peter Ljutich serves as a research associate at the American Academy. In this role, he prepares presidential briefings, new member nominations, and other research projects. He previously served as the Academy’s associate director of foundation and corporate relations. Prior to joining the Academy, he worked at Brandeis University, where he headed the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations, as associate director, director, and assistant vice president. He received an A.B. from Rutgers University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from Harvard University, all in European history.
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Senior Editorial Associate
Morton L. Mandel Director of Membership Engagement
Laurie McDonough joined the American Academy in June 2015 as the Academy’s first Morton L. Mandel Director of Membership Engagement. She designs and implements programs and activities that provide members with more opportunities to connect to the Academy—and to each other. Prior to joining the Academy, Laurie worked in Stanford University's School of Humanities and Sciences for nearly ten years. As associate director of development programs, she led annual giving, outreach events, stewardship, volunteer councils, and administration for the school’s External Relations team. Laurie earned an A.B. in chemistry at Bowdoin College and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder, working under Academy member Stephen Leone.
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Program Associate for Global Security and International Affairs
Kathryn Moffat serves as the Program Associate for Global Security and International Affairs at the American Academy. She is responsible for managing the project on New Dilemmas in Ethics, Technology, and War and developing potential new Global Security projects. Kathryn joined the Academy in 2014 as Program Coordinator for Global Security and International Affairs. Prior to joining the Academy, Kathryn was a staff intern at the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Kathryn received her M.A. in Latin American Studies from Georgetown University and her B.A. from the University of Washington in history, Spanish, Eastern European literatures and cultures.
Executive Administrative Coordinator
Associate Director of Development, Director of Institutional Giving
Associate Director of Development; Director of the Annual Fund
Director of Events
Program Director for Education and the Development of Knowledge
John E. Bryson Director of Science, Engineering, and Technology Programs
Senior Program Director and Advisor to the President
John Randell leads the Science, Engineering, and Technology program at the American Academy. He is currently the staff director for a multiyear initiative on The Public Face of Science, which is examining the public’s perceptions of the scientific process and exploring how scientific expertise is incorporated into public policy. John was also the staff director for the Academy report Restoring the Foundation: The Vital Role of Research in Preserving the American Dream. Other Academy projects include a recent report on public trust in childhood vaccinations and a six-year study on the social and regulatory factors that govern the adoption of clean energy technologies. John received undergraduate degrees in mathematics and microbiology from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in virology from Harvard University. From 2003–2009 he was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Stephen P. Bell at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied the initiation and cell-cycle control of eukaryotic DNA replication. In 2001 he was a visiting assistant professor of microbiology at Kathmandu University Medical School.
Theresa M. Rice
Development Operations and Database Manager
Chief Operating Officer
Mark is responsible for day-to-day operations of the Academy including oversight of member events, the nomination and election process, governance support, finance and administration, human resources, facilities, information technology, and catering operations. Before joining the Academy, he held the position of chief operating officer for the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. He also enjoyed a 26-year career with the American Red Cross, working last as the chief operating officer with ARC of Mass Bay in Boston. During this time, he filled the position of interim CEO from January 2001 through January 2002, leading the local unit through its response in support of the families of victims of the September 11 attacks. Before coming to Boston, he was the national Vice President of Chapter Operations at the Red Cross National Headquarters in Washington, DC, and also held other leadership positions in the Red Cross. He holds a BA from the University of Vermont.
Director of Strategic Implementation
Program Coordinator for Science, Engineering, and Technology
Program Officer for The Humanities, Arts, and Culture; Education and the Development of Knowledge; and American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good
Natoschia Scruggs is the Program Officer for The Humanities, Arts, and Culture; Education and the Development of Knowledge; and American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good. She has held many positions over the years in academia, at NGOs, and in government. Just prior to coming to the Academy, Natoschia served nearly five years as principal advisor on research to Ambassador Susan Rice, Ambassador Samantha Power, and Ambassador Nikki Haley at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She has an interdisciplinary PhD in African Diaspora Studies with a focus on global migration, comparative public policy, and women’s studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Ford Foundation Fellow and Fulbright Scholar.
Director of Development
Emmanuel J. Tellez
Membership Information & Elections Coordinator
Senior Program Advisor
Robert B. Townsend
Director, Washington DC Office
Robert Townsend oversees the Washington office of the American Academy and day-to-day work on the Humanities Indicators initiative. Prior to the Academy, he spent 24 years at the American Historical Association, in positions ranging from editorial assistant to deputy director. He is the author of History’s Babel: Scholarship, Professionalization, and the Historical Enterprise in the United States, 1880-1940 (University of Chicago Press, 2013) and author or co-author of over 200 articles on various aspects of history, higher education, and electronic publishing. He received his PhD in history and new media from George Mason University.
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Peter Walton is Associate Editor at the American Academy. Peter edits Dædalus, the Bulletin, and reports and research papers produced by the Academy. Prior to joining the Publications Department at the Academy, Peter worked for the Earshot Jazz Society of Seattle and the Seattle Opera. He earned his BA in history and music at the University of Washington.
Jennie Wood is the Development Associate at the American Academy. In this role, Jennie provides a wide range of organizational support for the development team. Prior to joining the Academy in February 2017, Jennie worked for Pearson as a writer and editor. She is a writing instructor at Grub Street, Boston’s independent writing center. Jennie is also an author and graphic novelist whose work has been featured in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Advocate. She holds a BFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University.
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