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Staff and Board




Mark Wallem, Executive Director




Mark Wallem has recently returned to the United States after a 21-year career in international development, including posts in Nepal, Cambodia, the Philippines, Ukraine, and Thailand. His most recent endeavor was a ground breaking Internet Freedom program, promoting and defending online freedom of expression in Southeast Asia. He has also directed programs for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and UN Women. Hailing from Minnesota, Wallem is a lawyer, with a history of political activism and rights advocacy in both the US and abroad.

Dennis Meaney   


Dennis MeaneyExecutive Assistant


Dennis Meaney is a writer and organizer from Long Island, New York. He has spent the last several years organizing in electoral politics and doing editorial work for international affairs publications. He recently earned his Master's Degree in International Relations and Economics from Seton Hall University. He has long had an interest in Antifascism, Left Politics, and European History.  
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Marina Mihajlova, Bookkeeper
Marina Mihajlova moved to NYC from Macedonia (Southeast Europe) in 2011, along with her family.  She has been in the accounting and bookkeeping sector since she was young, and was brought up working with her family’s business in her home country.  Coming to the US was a big challenge, and the accounting practices differ somewhat, but in the end, the numbers are still what matter. Like ALBA, she is dedicated to social activism and the defense of human rights. Marina is also a supporter of Greenpeace, environmental justice, and animal welfare.


Board of Governors


Peter Carroll Edited


Peter N. Carroll, Co-Chair


Peter N. Carroll is the author and editor of 17 books, including The Odyssey of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade: Americans in the Spanish Civil War (Stanford, 1994), The Good Fight Continues: World War II Letters from the Abraham Lincoln Brigade(2006), and Facing Fascism: New York and the Spanish Civil War (NYU, 2007). He is co-curator of two museum exhibitions: Shouts From the Wall: Posters of the Spanish Civil War (with Cary Nelson) and They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime From the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo (with Anthony L. Geist). He is an editor of The Volunteer and he serves as a trustee of the Puffin Nation Prize for creative citizenship. He teaches history at Stanford University. He is also the author of a poetry volume, Riverborne: A Mississippi Requiem (2008).


Sebastiaan Faber Edited 

Sebastiaan Faber,  Co-Chair



Sebastiaan Faber was born and raised in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he studied Spanish; his doctorate is from the University of California, Davis. He is Professor of the Department of Hispanic Studies at Oberlin College, where he directs the Center of Languages and Cultures.  Sebastiaan is the author of Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Exiles in Mexico (Vanderbilt, 2002) and Anglo-American Hispanists and the Spanish Civil War (Palgrave, 2008), as well as some sixty articles on Spanish and Latin American literature, history, and politics. You can find his faculty webpage here. In 2000 he won the George Watt Essay Prize in the graduate category and has been on the ALBA board since 2004. He is an editor of the online edition of The Volunteer.  


 Kate Doyle

Kate Doyle, Co-Chair



Kate Doyle is senior analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America at the National Security Archive where she directs the Evidence Project, connecting the right to truth and access to information with human rights and justice struggles in Latin America. Since 1992, Doyle has worked with human rights organizations, truth commissions and prosecutors to obtain government records from secret archives that shed light on state violence. In 2012, Doyle was awarded the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism, which she shared with Fredy Peccerelli  of the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala.



Dan Czitrom Edited 2

Daniel Czitrom, Chair Emeritus



Daniel Czitrom is Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College, where he has taught since 1981 with a focus on recent American cultural and political history. He joined the ALBA Board in 1987 and served as its Chair from 1990-94. His latest book is Rediscovering Jacob Riis: Exposure Journalism and Photography in Turn of the Century New York (with Bonnie Yochelson, 2007). Czitrom is also the author ofMedia and the American Mind: From Morse to McLuhan (1982), which received the First Books Award from the American Historical Association and has been translated into Spanish and Chinese. He is also co-author of Out of Many: A History of the American People(Pearson Prentice Hall, 6th ed., 2008), a best selling U.S. History college textbook. In 2003 Czitrom’s historical drama, Red Bessie, (co-written with playwright Jack Gilhooley), was produced at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is based on the letters and experiences of two Lincoln Brigade vets, the brothers Joe and Leo Gordon


Joan Cohen Edited

Joan Levenson Cohen, Secretary and

interim Treasurer



Joan Levenson Cohen is a retired New York City teacher who specialized in early literacy, coinciding with an ongoing extracurricular life in union, peace and health care activism. She is the daughter of a vet, Leonard Levenson.


Gina Herrmann

Gina Herrmann, Executive Committee



Gina Herrmann is Associate Professor of Spanish Literature and Culture at the University of Oregon and is on the editorial board of The Volunteer. She is the author of articles on Spanish political culture, particularly communist literature and history, and is an oral historian. Her first book, Written in Red: The Communist Memoir in Spain, was published by the University of Illinois Press in 2009

Anthony Geist Edited

Anthony L. Geist, Executive Committee



Anthony Geist is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Geist's research concerns the art and literature of the Spanish Civil War. He published a photo-essay on Seattle-area Lincoln Brigade veterans, coauthored with the Spanish photojournalist José Moreno, entitled Passing the Torch: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade and its Legacy of Hope / Otra cara de América: Los brigadistas y su legado de esperanza. He has also curated ALBA’s traveling exhibit, They Still Draw Pictures: Children’s Art in Wartime from the Spanish Civil War to Kosovo. The accompanying book was published in 2002. In 2006 he co-produced and co-directed a documentary film on the American volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War, Souls without Borders: The Untold Story of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 1936-2006.

Jo Labyani Edited

Jo Labanyi, Executive Committee



Jo Labanyi is Professor of Spanish at New York University where she directs the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center. A founding editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, she has published widely on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Spanish culture. She is currently writing the volume on Spanish literature in the Oxford University Press’ Very Short Introduction series; co-authoring a Cultural History of Modern Literatures in Spain (Polity); and co-editing a Companion to Spanish Cinema (Blackwell). She has a particular interest in the memory of the Spanish Civil War, on which she has published several articles, and in the early Franco Dictatorship.


 Aaron Retish Edited


Aaron Retish, Executive Committee



Aaron Retish is Associate Professor of history at Wayne State University in Detroit where he helps coordinate Wayne State’s Abraham Lincoln Brigade Veterans Scholarship. He is the author of Russia’s Peasants in Revolution and Civil War: Citizenship, Identity, and the Creation of the Soviet State, 1914-1922 (Cambridge University Press, 2008) as well as articles on violence and peasant identity in the Revolutionary era.  He is currently working on a book project that studies local courts and popular ideas of legality and justice in the early Soviet era.


Maria Hernandez-Ojeda

María Hernández-Ojeda, Executive Committee

María Hernández-Ojeda is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages at Hunter College. Her research area includes the literary and historical relationship between the Canary Islands and Latin America, the cultural production of the Spanish Civil War, and anarchist and feminist women authors.  She is currently researching a book project entitled Antifascist Women Activists: Hunter College Students and the Spanish Civil War.

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Nancy Wallach, Executive Committee 




Nancy Wallach is the daughter of Abraham Lincoln Brigade Veteran Hy Wallach, and active VALB board member who served in the capacities of Treasurer, Corresponding Secretary and Executive Secretary at various times.  She is a retired NYC public school teacher with a background in art education and professional development and support.  She has been a recipient of the NYC Schools and Culture Award, the Lincoln Center Institute's Creative Teaching Award, NYCATA/UFT's Art Educator of the Year and received many other grants in the area of arts education.  She considers her participation in the 75th Anniversary Tribute to the Founding of the International Brigades in Spain to be a highlight of her activities on behalf of preserving the legacy of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Josie Yurek Headshot Edited

Josephine Nelson-Yurek, Executive Committee



Josephine Nelson Yurek is a founding member of the Bronx National Organization for Women and of the Cinnamon Tree Day Care Center. Member of the board of directors of Lehman College Performing Arts Center for ten years. Retired as a high school administrator from the New York City public school system. Daughter of a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, Steve Nelson. 



Angela Giral


Angela Giral was born in Madrid less than a year before the Spanish Civil War started. The family escaped from their summer residence in San Rafael, walking all night through the Segovia Forest. In 1939, they moved to Mexico, where Angela attended the National University (UNAM). In 1956, she moved to Ann Arbor, where she obtained a Masters of Library Science. She has worked as a librarian at Princeton (Urban and Environmental Studies), Harvard (Graduate School of Design), and Columbia (Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library). She became an American citizen in 1970. From her early childhood, listening to the songs of the Spanish Civil War, she was in awe of the young people who gave their energy, youth, and, sometimes, their lives, to defend democracy and the republican ideals of her country when it was an early victim of fascism.

Ellyn Polshek

Ellyn Polshek

Prior to attending law school, Ellyn Polshek worked in publishing as Managing Editor at Grossman Publishers, a Division of the Viking Press, then as a Senior Editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston and later at William Morrow. She received her JD in 1985 at the Columbia Law School.  Following graduation, she practiced law as an Assistant District Attorney in the Appeals Bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.  She argued her cases before the Appellate Division in New York County and when necessary at the Court of Appeals in Albany.

John Brickman

John Brickman



John M. Brickman, a lawyer, is a partner and head of litigation in the Long Island office of McLaughlin & Stern, LLP. He serves as a Commissioner of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission.  From 2007 until 2011, he was a Commissioner of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity, which enforced lobbying and public employee ethics laws; he was a Director of the Nassau Health Care Corporation, which operates the Nassau University Medical Center; and he is a Director and former Chairman of the Correctional Association of New York, an organization founded in 1844 that visits prisons and does research and advocacy in criminal justice. 
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Christopher Brooks


Chris Brooks is the driving force behind ALBA’s online biographical database of Lincoln Brigade veterans. His countless hours of research and correspondence have produced a comprehensive and accessible collection that has put a story and a face to thousands of veterans.
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Robert Coale




Robert S. Coale is Professeur des Universités (Professor) in Hispanic Studies at the Université de Rouen (Normandy, France). Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, he holds a B.A. in history and Spanish from Washington College. One day some thirty years ago he went off to Madrid to improve his Spanish and never looked back, eventually earning a Doctorat from the Université de Paris IV-La Sorbonne. In 1996 he actively participated in the 60th anniversary Homage to the IB in Madrid and thus began his relationship with ALBA. He has been the moderator of the ALBA listserv since 1999. His area of specialization is 20th century Spanish history, especially the Spanish Civil War, the International Brigades and the exile of Spanish Loyalists in France. He occasionally returns to the US so as not to forget how to pronounce Bawlmer.

Paco de Onis

Paco de Onis

Paco de Onís grew up in several Latin American countries during a time of dictatorships. He is the Executive Director and Executive Producer of Skylight, a human rights media organization dedicated to advancing social justice through storytelling. Paco's grandfather, Federico de Onís, founded the Spanish and Portuguese Studies Department at Columbia University after the first world war. He never returned to Spain after the end of the Spanish Civil War.  Paco’s film producing credits include 500 YEARSGranito: How to Nail a Dictator, Rebel CitizenDisruptionState of Fear, and The Reckoning.

Peter Glazer Headshot Edited

 Peter Glazer


Peter Glazer is Associate Professor in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He holds a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University.  He is a professional director and playwright whose plays, adaptations, collaborations and directing projects include Woody Guthrie's American Song (Bay Area Drama Critics award winner at Berkeley Rep and San Jose Rep; Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations Off-Broadway at Melting Pot Theater Co.; Joseph Jefferson Award winner at Northlight Theater in Chicago), O'Carolan's Farewell to Music (Delaware Theater Co.), Michael, Margaret, Pat & Kate (Marin Theater Co., Victory Gardens Theater), Heart of Spain and Foe (Northwestern University), My Fair Lady (American Musical Theater of San Jose), Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love (Industrial Strength Co. at the Magic Theater). 

Peter Miller



 Peter Miller



Peter Miller's award-winning documentaries include the theatrically-released AKA Doc Pomus, Jews and Baseball:An American Love Story, and Sacco and Vanzetti. His musical short The Internationale was short-listed for an Academy Award nomination. With Carlos Sandoval, he directed and produced the PBS American Experience documentary A Class Apart, which is now being adapted as a feature film executive produced by Eva Longoria. Other critically acclaimed recent films include Projections of America, about a little-known WWII propaganda film team, Robert Shaw; Man of Many Voices, about the celebrated conductor,Refugee Kids:one Small School Takes on the World, and Sosúa:Maek a Better World. He is currently co-directing Quality of Life , about the Palliative Care movement in medicine, and producing BEDLAM, a new film about mental illness. Peter has also worked as a producer on landmark documentaries including The Uprising of '34, Passin' It On, and the Academy Award-winning American Dream as well as numerous films by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick including The War, Jazz, and Frank Lloyd Wright.


Julia Newman Headshot Edited

Julia Newman



Julia Newman worked in advertising as a producer of television commercials for many years and as a journalist whose writings have appeared in the New York Daily News, Miami Herald, Travel and Leisure, and Metropolitan Home.  Her award winning documentary, Into the Fire: American Women in the Spanish Civil War, was broadcast on Public Television and Spanish Television and is distributed in the U. S. by First Run Features. She was Executive Director of ALBA for 5 1/2 years.


Larry Cox Edited

Larry Cox 





Larry Cox was appointed executive director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) in January 2006. A veteran human rights advocate, he served 11 years as senior program officer for the Ford Foundation, Human Rights unit, where he focused on the promotion of international justice and the advancement of domestic human rights. In 1990, Cox became the executive director of the Rainforest Foundation, an international organization that works with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon to protect their rights. During his time at the Rainforest Foundation, Cox dedicated much of his time to the issue of demarcation of indigenous territories in Brazil. Cox holds a B.A. in history from Mount Union College, has completed graduate work at the University of Geneva and is currently pursuing an M.A. in religion and human rights at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Judge Garzon

Baltasar Garzón



Judge Garzón formerly served on Spain's central criminal court,the Audiencia Nacional, and was the examining magistrate of the Juzgado Central de Instrucción No. 5, which investigates the most important criminal cases in Spain, including terrorism, organized crime, and money laundering. Garzón is currently head of Julian Assange's legal team. Garzón is also the recipient of the first ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Award.

Adam Hochschild headshot 

Adam Hochschild



Adam Hochschild is the author of eight books; the latest, "Spain in Our Hearts: Americans and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939," appeared in 2016. "Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves" won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN USA Literary Award, the Gold Medal of the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has twice been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Joyce Horman

Joyce Horman



For over 40 years Joyce Horman has pressed the United States and Chilean governments, and legal authorities in both countries, to investigate and resolve the wrongful death of her husband Charles in the violent aftermath of Pinochet’s 1973 military coup.  With the CCR she sued Kissinger for cover up and collusion in Charles' wrongful death.  The movie Missingtold of her husband's disappearance in the midst of Pinochet's dictatorship with the cooperation and possible direction of American military intelligence.  Her Foundation produced the "Tribute to Justice" in 1973 honoring those who fought to bring Pinochet to justice for human rights crimes. 

Robin Kelley

Robin D.G. Kelley



Robin D.G. Kelley is the Gary B. Nash Professor of American History at UCLA. His books include the prize-winning Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (Free Press, 2009); Africa Speaks, America Answers: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times (Harvard Press, 2012); Yo' Mama's DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (Beacon Press, 1997); Race Rebels: Culture, Politics, and the Black Working Class (Free Press, 1994); and Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination (Beacon Press, 2002). He also edited (with Franklin Rosemont) Black, Brown, and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the African Diaspora (University of Texas Press, 2009), recipient of an American Book Award, and (with Stephen Tuck) The Other Special Relationship: Race, Rights and Riots in Britain and the United States (New York: Palgrave, 2015). Kelley's essays have appeared in several anthologies and publications, including The Nation, Monthly Review, The Voice Literary Supplement, New York Times (Arts and Leisure), Counterpunch, Black Music Research Journal, Callaloo, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text, Boston Review, American Historical Review, Journal of American History, and Souls, to name a few.

Howard Lurie

Howard Lurie



Howard Lurie is the Associate Director for Educational Productions at WGBH Boston. For more than 20 years he has led professional development efforts for K-16 teachers featuring the use of digital media, technology and inquiry based learning. He holds degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Judy Montell Edited

Judith Montell



Judith Montell started her directing career in theater, producing and directing professional summer theaters in Buffalo, New York and Bismarck, North Dakota. From theater she moved into the world of film as a production manager for Amram Nowak Associates, a New York producer of documentary and educational films. After taking a 15-year break to raise two daughters, she began producing her own documentaries. Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, which received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Achievement in Documentary Feature, was her first feature-length documentary. You are History, You Are Legend is a 25-minute sequel to Forever Activists, commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War. Professional Revolutionary: The Life of Saul Wellman is the story of another veteran of the Spanish Civil War and provides an in-depth look at one man and the ways he was impelled to make a difference in the world around him throughout his long life.

Antonio Munoz Molina

Antonio Muñoz Molina



Antonio Muñoz Molina is a Spanish writer and, since 1995, a full member of the Royal Spanish Academy. He studied art history at the University of Granada and journalism in Madrid. He began writing in the 1980s and his first published book, El Robinsón urbano, a collection of his journalistic work, was published in 1984. His columns have regularly appeared in El País and Die Welt.

John Sales Edited

John Sayles

John Sayles is the writer and director of acclaimed independent films including Return of the Secaucus Seven, Lianna, Baby It’s You, The Brother From Another Planet, Matewan, Eight Men Out, City of Hope, Passion Fish, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star, Men with Guns, Limbo, Sunshine State, Casa de los Babys, Silver City and most recently, Honeydripper.  Sayles has also written novels and short stories.  Among his awards: John D. MacArthur Award, Eugene V. Debs Award, John Steinbeck Award, John Cassavettes Award, Ian McLellan Hunter Award.  He has been nominated twice for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

Jim Skillman

Jim Skillman



Jim Skillman is a social justice activist/organizer from Atlanta, Georgia. He serves as a coordinator with the Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition, the Atlanta Jobs with Justice Organizing Committee, and as a member of the Atlanta chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson



Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 21 honorary doctorate degrees. He is the author of award winning and New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy.