Visiting Speakers

Joan Donovan

Media Manipulation Research Lead

Joan Donovan is the Media Manipulation Research Lead at Data and Society Research Institute, where she researches how the internet became a political tool. She received her PhD in Sociology and Science Studies at University of California San Diego, where she studied activist communication networks. After UCSD, she went to UCLA for a Post-Doc at the Institute for Society and Genetics, where she studied white nationalists use of science and DNA ancestry tests in the search for racial purity. 

Whitney Dow

Documentary Filmmaker

Whitney Dow is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator. He has been producing and directing films focused on race and identity for almost two decades and is a partner in Two Tone Productions. His directorial credits include: Two Towns of Jasper); I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education, Unfinished Country; and When the Drum is Beating. His producer credits include: Freedom Summer; Banished: How Whites Drove Blacks Out of Town in America , The Undocumented, Toots and Among the Believers.  Dow’s current focus is on the Whiteness Project, a story-based interactive media and research project he is producing in collaboration with American Documentary | POV and Columbia University's INCITE Institute, and Veterans Coming Home , a digital initiative by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting which focuses on the American Military Civilian Divide.  Dow teaches interactive storytelling in the Integrated Media Arts (IMA) MFA program at CUNY Hunter College and has a Research Scholar appointment at Columbia University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE). He is a sought after lecturer on race, interactive storytelling, and documentary filmmaking.

Leonard Downie Jr.

Weil Family Professor of Journalism
Arizona State University

Leonard Downie Jr., the Weil Family Professor of Journalism at the Cronkite School, is the former executive editor and vice president of The Washington Post. During his 44 years in the Post newsroom, he was also an investigative reporter, editor on the local and national news staffs, London correspondent, and, from 1984 to 1991, managing editor under then-executive editor Ben Bradlee. As deputy metro editor from 1972 to 1974, Downie helped supervise the Post’s Watergate coverage. He also oversaw the newspaper’s coverage of every national election from 1984 through 2008. During his 17 years as executive editor, The Washington Post won 25 Pulitzer prizes.

Mihaela Drăgan

Actress and playwright

Mihaela Drăgan is an actress and playwright who lives and works in Bucharest and Berlin, where she is currently working at the Maxim Gorki Theatre. In 2014, she founded the Giuvlipen Theatre Company, a “revolutionary theater” according to Reuters, together with other Roma actresses. She is also a teacher at the Theatre of the Oppressed where she works with Roma women on their specific issues. In addition, she had multiple talks like “Producing Roma Feminist Theatre “ and has been a speaker for TEDxEroilor and Creative Mornings. Ms. Drăgan is one of the six finalists for The 2017 Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award from New York that acknowledges the exceptional work of 20 women in theatre around the world.

Bozhidar Draganov

Senior Project Manager for Solar PV

Bozhidar Draganov has an MBA from EMLYON Business School Master of Business Administration with a focus in Strategy and Entrepreneurial Finance. He is Roma - originally from Bulgaria - but currently living and working in Jordan as a Senior Project Manager for Solar PV, supervising the design, execution and handover of 5 Solar PV power plants. He is also building a team of Project Managers and establishing internal procedures to manage the growth of company operations. Previously, Mr. Draganov managed Youth Professional Network Arete Youth Foundation and assisted Roma youth in seeking employment, internships and scholarships. Also, he was a board Member of Plovdiv Youth Club Foundation for Regional Development and helped children from underprivileged backgrounds have access to education and achieve their potential.                  

Lisa Dwan

Actress, producer and director

Lisa Dwan, acclaimed Irish actress, producer and director, has just opened a new one-woman Samuel Beckett show at the Old Vic in London, No’s Knife. In regard to Dwan’s performance critics are writing that it is technically flawless; that Dwan illuminates Beckett’s triptych in a dazzling display of theatrical brilliance. This is Beckett, performed the way that Beckett would have wanted.

Cornelius Eady has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, American University, The Writer's Voice, The College of William and Mary, University of Notre Dame, Sweet Briar College, the State University of New York, and the City College of New York. He is the author of eight books of poetry.

Helene Peet Foley

Professor of Classics
Barnard College

Helene Peet Foley, Professor of Classics, joined the faculty of Barnard College in 1979 after teaching at Stanford University. She has also taught as a visiting Professor at Dartmouth, New York University, and University of California, Berkeley.