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Board of Advisors

Helene Atwan

Director, Beacon Press (retired)

Helene began her publishing career in 1976 at Random House in New York as an Assistant Editor in their College Division, before moving to Alfred A. Knopf in 1977 as a Publicity Associate. She then joined The Viking Press in 1979 as the Associate Director of Publicity. In 1981, she moved to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where she began as the Director of Publicity. She also became a Vice President of the house in 1987 and the Associate Publisher in 1991. In 1993, she joined the Pocket Books division of Simon & Schuster as a Vice President and Director of Marketing. She was appointed Director of Beacon Press by the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalists Association in October of 1995. Atwan received her B.A. from the University of South Carolina summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She went on to receive her M.A. in English Literature at the University of Virginia.

Caleb Gayle

Professor of Journalism

Caleb Gayle is an award-winning journalist who writes about the history of race and identity. A senior fellow at Northeastern’s Burnes Center for Social Change, he holds fellowships from New America, PEN America, and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He is the author of We Refuse to Forget. Gayle’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, TIME, The Guardian, Guernica, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, among many other publications. His nonfiction work has been recognized as part of the Notable Essays Collection of the 2019 Best American Essays. Gayle has also won the Center for Fiction/Susan Kamil Emerging Writer Fellowship, the Truman Scholarship, the Rotary Ambassadorial Fellowship, the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship, among others. Gayle’s forthcoming books include Pushahead: The Story of Edward McCabe and His Dreams of Colonization and a children’s book, What Was the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921?

Danielle Legros Georges

Professor of Poetry

Danielle Legros Georges is a creative and critical writer, translator, and academic who works in the fields of contemporary U.S. poetry, African-American and African-diasporic poetry and literature, Caribbean and Haitian studies. She is the author of several books of poetry including Maroon; The Dear Remote Nearness of You; and Island Heart, translations of the poems of 20th-century Haitian-French poet Ida Faubert. Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from institutions including The American Antiquarian Society, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, MASS MoCA, the PEN/Heim Translation Fund, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and the Boston Foundation. In 2014, Legros Georges was named Boston’s Poet Laureate. Her four-year term included collaborations with area artists, literary organizations, museums, libraries, and schools; and representing Boston at international literary events. She is a contributing editor of Consequence Forum and Salamander Magazine; the creative editor of sx salon, a digital forum for explorations of Caribbean literature; and a professor of creative writing at Lesley University.

Jennifer Haigh


Jennifer Haigh is the author of the short-story collection News from Heaven and six bestselling and critically acclaimed novels, including Mercy Street, Mrs. Kimble, Faith and Heat and Light, named a Best Book of 2016 by the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and NPR. Her books have won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Massachusetts Book Award and the PEN New England Award in Fiction, and have been published in eighteen languages. Haigh's short stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Ploughshares, The Best American Short Stories and many other places. Her work has been recognized by the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Boston and teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Boston University.

Emily Costello

Managing Editor, The Conversation

Emily directs coverage across the newsroom at The Conversation, working with external media partners like the AP, Chronicle of Philanthropy and Religion News Service, and making sure The Conversation's articles are of consistent high quality. Emily is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Barnard College. She is a member of the first journalism cohort for Take the Lead: 50 Women Can Change the World.

Sandra Goroff


Sandra Goroff ( is a Boston-based national publicist, specializing in authors and books, but also in publicizing art, lifestyles, innovation, design and architecture, movies, and museums. Her promotional efforts have helped place numerous authors and others onto TV shows such as The Tonight Show, Today, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, and Oprah, onto National Public Radio, and onto the pages of The New York Times, USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fast Company, Business Week, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. Sandy has helped tell about unknowns-becoming-celebrities - as was the case of Adrift: 76 Days Lost at Sea author Steven Callahan - about celebrity authors like a US President, a First Lady, renowned movie actor Kirk Douglas, famed anthropologist Jane Goodall, radio legend Garrison Keillor of Prairie Home Companion fame, a couple of Fortune 100 CEOs, and Clive Cussler, whose novel Flood Tide went to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List while Sandy served as publicist. Sandy has worked with them all, and in many of their cases, Sandy has helped sell their books by the millions. Sandy started her literary and art publicity career as a director of publicity at Houghton Mifflin Company’s Trade and Reference Division in Boston where she worked for 12 years before starting Sandra Goroff & Associates. During her tenure at Houghton Mifflin, Advertising Age chose her as one of the nation’s 100 top marketers. While there, Sandy also received Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism’s National Integrated Marketing “Out of the Box” Award, a Mercury Award, and numerous first-place Bell Ringer Awards from the Publicity Club of New England in the categories of product publicity, press kit design, and marketing communications. While at Houghton Mifflin, Sandy taught graduate school courses in book marketing and promotion at Emerson College.

Gaurav Malik

Financial Strategist

Gaurav is a Senior Managing Director of State Street Global Advisors and the Chief Investment Strategist. He leads a team of professionals responsible for helping advisors, consultants and institutional clients analyze economic and market developments, assess the impact to their portfolios and identify specific products and solutions to help them manage risk and take advantage of market opportunities. He leads State Street's Macroeconomic and Policy, Investment Strategy and Research, and a team of client facing portfolio strategists. He is a member of the firm's Executive Management Group. Gaurav holds an MBA in Finance from Cornell University, a Masters in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on Neural Networks, from Boston University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Robert Gordon's University in Aberdeen.

Timothy Patrick McCarthy

Professor of Education

Timothy McCarthy is an award-winning scholar, educator, and activist who has taught at Harvard University for more than two decades. At the Graduate School of Education, he is core faculty in both the Equity and Opportunity Foundations Curriculum and the new online Master’s Program in Education Leadership. At the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the first openly gay faculty member and still teaches the school’s only course on LGBTQ matters, he is faculty affiliate at the Center for Public Leadership. A historian of politics and social movements, he teaches courses on equity and justice, brave communication and leadership, and race, gender, and sexuality. McCarthy is the Stanley Paterson Professor of American History and Academic Co-Director of the Boston Clemente Course, a free college humanities course for lower income adults in Dorchester and co-recipient of the 2015 National Humanities Medal from President Obama. He has taught in Clemente since its founding in 2001. The adopted only son and grandson of public school teachers and factory workers, McCarthy graduated with honors in history and literature from Harvard College and earned his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He is author or editor of five books, including Reckoning with History: Unfinished Stories of American Freedom and Stonewall’s Children: Living Queer History in an Age of Liberation, Loss, and Love, forthcoming from the New Press. He is a frequent media commentator whose work has been featured in Salon, Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Pangyrus, Gay and Lesbian Review, The Nation, NPR, Al Jazeera, and BBC, as well as several documentary films, including A Reckoning in Boston and Building a Bridge. In June 2019, McCarthy was guest editor for The Nation's historic Reclaiming Stonewall 50 forum, and was creative director, head writer, and lead interviewer for the PBS television special True Colors: LGBTQ+ Our Stories, Our Songs, which aired in June 2022.