Board of Directors

Our non-profit organization is governed by a Board of Directors.

Michelle Shimberg


Michelle Shimberg has been a school policy activist for nearly twenty years, helping to shape policy and programs for the 8th largest school district in the country. During this time she has built effective relationships with elected officials as well as administrators and parents that led to important changes. In addition to her work on education, Ms. Shimberg serves on the Board of Starting Right, an organization dedicated to ending homelessness through multiple strategies. She also serves as an officer of Men of Vision, a group that provides support to at-risk males. She is twice the past president of Delta Delta Delta Fraternity, an organization of more than 200,000 women.

David F. Bjorklund

Vice President

David F. Bjorklund is a Professor of Psychology at Florida Atlantic University where teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in developmental and evolutionary psychology. He served as Associate Editor of Child Development (1997-2001) and is currently serving as Editor of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (since 2007). His books include The Origins of Human Nature: Evolutionary Developmental Psychology (with Anthony Pellegrini); Origins of the Social Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and Child Development (edited with Bruce Ellis); Why Youth is Not Wasted on the Young; How Children Invented Humanity; and Children's Thinking: Cognitive Development and Individual Differences, now in its sixth edition. His current research interests include children's cognitive development and evolutionary developmental psychology.

Jerome Lieberman


Jerry is the co-founder and secretary/treasurer of the Evolution Institute. Prior to the establishment of EI as a non-profit in 2010, he served as president of the Humanists of Florida Association, which is affiliated with the American Humanist Association and was EI’s initial umbrella organization in 2008. Jerry presently serves on the boards of the Secular Student Alliance, Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN) Foundation, and Project Now Inter-generational Outreach. The lattermost is a neighborhood-based organization in East Tampa, FL with one of the state’s lowest income populations. EI collaborates closely with Project Now – providing technical assistance and organizational capacity building. Jerry concluded his formal education in 1973 when he was awarded his PhD from New York University. Prior to his retirement in 2002, he was founder and director of the Florida Community Partnership Center at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The center harnesses the massive human and technical resources within a large, comprehensive state university to improve the quality of life in impoverished neighborhoods in the Tampa Bay region. Before his retirement, he successfully created an endowment for his center, and it is now named the Jim Walter Partnership Center – as a result of a large donation from a family well known for affordable housing development. Before Jerry moved to Florida in 1989, he was a professor of political science in New Jersey for 25 years at Essex County College in Newark and at William Paterson University in Wayne. While at the former institution, he founded the Urban Institute and served as a dean. Governors of the state appointed him to serve on several boards that impacted NJ higher education as well as its electoral process. His background also includes extensive political campaign experience in the Democratic Party and experience as a professional consultant (including for the Meadowland Chamber of Commerce) and as a principal in an investment bank and import export company. In addition to teaching, research, and deep community engagement, he has been active in fundraising for organizations and political candidates that share his progressive values.

David Sloan Wilson

Director, This View of Life Editor in Chief

David Sloan Wilson is SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University. He applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the rest of life, both in his own research and as director of EvoS, a unique campus-wide evolutionary studies program that recently received NSF funding to expand into a nationwide consortium. His books include Darwin’s Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives, and The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time and Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others.

Julie Seaman


Julie Seaman is an Associate Professor of Law at Emory University, where she teaches courses in evidence, constitutional law, and freedom of speech. After earning her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1989, she served for two years as a law clerk for federal district court Judge Robert J. Ward and then took ten years off from her professional career to stay home with her three young children. She began teaching at Emory Law School soon after moving to Atlanta in 1998. Her research interests include issues at the intersection of law and neuroscience and the application of social, cognitive, and evolutionary psychology to the problem of hate speech in various institutional contexts. Julie holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard University, where she was on the editorial board of the Harvard Law Review.

Alphonso Mayfield


A union leader for more than eight years, Alphonso Mayfield is an emerging leader in the labor movement who, in a very short time, changed the direction of the labor movement in Florida by bridging the gap between communities and unions. Additionally Mr. Mayfield is an Executive Board member of SEIU International and Secretary Treasurer for SEIU Florida State Council. He is also an Executive Board member of Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, and Hip Hop Congress. He is also a Board of Trustee of the Florida Democratic Party. Mr. Mayfield has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Alcorn State University and is an aspiring Master’s degree candidate in Public Relations from Jackson State University.

Nina Witoszek


Professor Nina Witoszek is currently Research Director at the Centre for Development and the Environment at Oslo University. Prior to her work at SUM, she taught comparative cultural history at the National University of Ireland in Galway (1995-1997) and the European University in Florence (1997-1999). She held fellowships at the Swedish Collegium of the Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Uppsala (1993), Robinson College, Cambridge (1995) and Mansfield College, Oxford (2001) and visiting professorship at Stanford University (2010). Nina Witoszek is also a fiction writer (under the pen name Nina FitzPatrick). She is best known for the infamous collection of short stories, Fables of the Irish Intelligentsia (1991), which won the Irish Times-Aer Lingus Award for fiction in 1991. The prize was subsequently withdrawn when she couldn’t prove her Irish ancestry. Until 2001 her fictional work – including The Loves of Faustyna (1995) and Daimons (2003), as well as several well film scripts – was written together with her late husband Pat Sheeran. Witoszek is the recipient of the Norwegian Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord) Award for “bringing Eastern European perspectives to the public debate in Scandinavia.” In 2006 she was chosen by the Norwegian daily Dagbladet as “one of the 10 most important intellectuals in Norway.”

Rafael Wittek


Rafael Wittek is a professor of Theoretical Sociology at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). His interests are in the fields of cooperation science, economic and organizational sociology and social network research. His work addresses a broad range of societal issues, like the performance of humanitarian organizations, community resilience, corruption of civil servants, conditions for successful reform implementation, employee voice, workplace solidarity, or health and compensation inequalities. He held teaching appointments at Cornell University, the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, and the Università della Svizzera Italiana. He is the principal investigator and Scientific Director and of the research and training center Sustainable Cooperation – Roadmaps to Resilient Societies (SCOOP), a trans-disciplinary inter-university consortium uniting sociologists, psychologists, historians and philosophers. In 2017 this initiative was awarded a ten-year 18M€ government grant to investigate the psychological and institutional foundations fostering or impeding sustainable cooperation in and between communities, families and organizations. Collaborating closely with societal stakeholders, SCOOP explores how alternative institutional arrangements can contribute to improving societal resilience, in particular in the policy domains of work, care and inclusion.

Lisi Krall


Lisi Krall is a Professor of Economics at the State University of New York, Cortland. She is a board member of the International Society of Ecological Economics (ISEE) and also works with The Land Institute and its attempt to push cultural change through its Ecosphere Studies and New Perennials Project. Her present research is focused on economic systems, their etiology, structure and dynamic, and the context they establish between humans and the more-than-human world. She utilizes a transdisciplinary methodology incorporating evolutionary biology, history, anthropology as well as economics and ecology to understand the significance and legacy of the human transition to grain agriculture. This research and methodology have culminated in her forthcoming book Bitter Harvest: An Inquiry Into the War Between Economy and Earth.

Gin Lieberman


Gin Lieberman has been involved with the Evolution Institute since its inception – assisting with the necessary paperwork for incorporation and non-profit status. Most recently, she have participated in Quality of Life workshops in Oslo and in Mondragon, Spain. Additionally, she has served as Project Resource Manager for EI and interim editor of TVOL. Before she retired, Gin was an educator: First teaching high school biology and chemistry and later university courses such as Public Speaking, Organizational Communication, and Writing for the Mass Media. The American Humanist Association has certified and endorsed her as a Humanist Celebrant, which enables her to officiate at weddings, celebrations of life, and other human rites of passage. Being active in the humanist community, Gin has served on the Florida Humanist Association and Tampa Humanist Association boards. Gin's undergraduate degree is in biology, with her master’s is in journalism studies, and doctorate in communication with a cognate in moral and political philosophy.


The Evolution Institute operates with both operational staff and project-based individuals working around the globe.

Ashle Bailey-Gilreath

Operations Manager

Ashle has worked in the non-profit sector both in the US and UK for over 11 years, in addition to her past role as research assistant for the University of Oxford and Queen’s University Belfast. She holds an MA in Cognition and Culture and an MA in nonprofit Management, with an emphasis on cultural institutions.

Daniel Hoyer

Senior Project Manager & Lead Researcher, Seshat

Daniel Hoyer is Project Manager of Seshat: Global History Databank and Part-Time Professor, George Brown College Centre for Preparatory & Liberal Studies. He holds a PhD in Classics from New York University, where he studied economic and social development in the high Roman Empire. His current research employs comparative historical and social scientific methods to explore the causes and limiting factors to economic growth, societal development, and general well-being. In particular, he is interested in understanding the role of prosocial cultural traits in promoting equitable distribution of resources and limiting predatory activity in past societies.