Board of Directors

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

David Sloan Wilson

President of Evolution Institute, 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.

Michelle Shimberg

Vice President

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.

Jerome Lieberman

Secretary/Treasurer

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.

Peter Turchin

Director

Peter Turchin is an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of Connecticut who works in the field of historical social science that he and his colleagues call Cliodynamics. His research interests lie at the intersection of social and cultural evolution, historical macrosociology, economic history and cliometrics, mathematical modeling of long-term social processes, and the construction and analysis of historical databases. Currently he investigates a set of broad and interrelated questions. How do human societies evolve? In particular, what processes explain the evolution of ultrasociality—our capacity to cooperate in huge anonymous societies of millions? Why do we see such a staggering degree of inequality in economic performance and effectiveness of governance among nations? Turchin uses the theoretical framework of cultural multilevel selection to address these questions. Currently his main research effort is directed at coordinating the Seshat Databank project, which builds a massive historical database of cultural evolution that will enable us to empirically test theoretical predictions coming from various social evolution theories. Turchin has published 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including a dozen in Nature, Science, and PNAS. His publications are frequently cited and in 2004 he was designated as “Highly cited researcher” by ISIHighlyCited.com. Turchin has authored seven books. His most recent book is Ultrasociety: How 10,000 Years of War Made Humans the Greatest Cooperators on Earth (Beresta Books, 2016).

Julie Seaman

Director

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

Director

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

Director

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.”

Kenneth Reardon

Director

Ken Reardon is professor and director of the master’s program in Urban Planning and Community Developmen at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Prior to joining UMass Boston he was director of the graduate program for the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Memphis. Prior to joining the Memphis faculty, Reardon was an associate professor and chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at AAP, where he pursued research, teaching, and outreach in the areas of neighborhood planning, community development, and community/university development partnerships. During his time in Ithaca, he coordinated the department’s New Orleans Planning Initiative, which produced a recovery plan for the Ninth Ward. Before joining the Cornell faculty, Reardon was a tenured planning professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where his work in establishing the East St. Louis Action Research Project earned him the AICP President’s Award and the Dale Prize for Excellence in City Planning.

Executive Advisory Board

Edwina Rogers

Edwina Rogers has served in public policy positions in the US Senate, White House, private, and international sectors for over twenty years. She has worked for two Presidents and four Senators, and founded or directed lobbying firms for public health issues. From 2012 to 2014, she was the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America. Ms. Rogers is currently CEO of an international organization, the Secular Policy Institute.

Bernard Lafayette Jr.

Bernard Lafayette, Jr. is a longtime civil rights activist and organizer, who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He played a leading role in early organizing of the Selma Voting Rights Movement; was a member of the Nashville Student Movement; and worked closely throughout the 1960s movements with groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the American Friends Service Committee. Lafayette has been recognized as a major authority on strategies for nonviolent social change. He is also recognized as one of the leading exponents of nonviolent direct action in the world. He was a Senior Fellow at the University of Rhode Island, where he helped to found the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies. The Center promotes nonviolence education using a curriculum based on the principles and methods of Martin Luther King, Jr. He is a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. (wikipedia)

Paul Liberti

Paul A. Liberti, Ph.D. is President, CSO and CEO at BioMagnetic Solutions, LLC. Liberti has long been regarded as an innovator and inventor whose work has had significant impact in science and medicine both academically and entrepreneurially. After 16 years of his academic career as Professor at Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College, Liberti founded the first biotech company to emerge from a Philadelphia medical university, starting a trend that many followed.

Mark Nouss

Mark Nouss was the president of the UF Alumni Association and a board member of both Tampa General Hospital Foundation and Mary Lee’s House in Tampa. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UF in 1981, a juris doctor from UF in 1985, and a master’s degree in law taxation from New York University in 1986. Before taking his current sabbatical from the practice of law, Mark was most recently financial director at JP Morgan Chase in New York. Prior to this, he was special counsel and a tax associate for almost 10 years at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York.

Barbara Oakley

Barbara Oakley is a Professor of Engineering at Oakland University. She is involved in multiple areas of research, ranging from STEM education, to Engineering education, to learning practices. Most notably, Professor Oakley has co-created and taught Learning How To Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects available on Coursera. It has become the world’s most popular online course. She is also the author of A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra) and has been featured in a number of popular media outlets. Oakley has most recently been featured in the Wall Street Journal with an op-ed article entitled How We Should Be Teaching Math.

Bernard Winograd

In memory of

Former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Prudential, Inc. Bernard oversaw the U.S. businesses of Prudential, where he managed over 450 billion dollars of assets. Before joining Prudential, he held executive positions at Taubman Centers, Inc., a national regional shopping center company, the Bendix Corporation, and the U.S. Treasury. A University of Chicago Bachelor of Arts graduate, he has a long standing interest in evolution that led to his association with the Evolution Institute. It was Bernard who originally proposed that “The Nature of Regulation” should become one of our focal topics.

Staff

The Evolution Institute, by design, maintains a lean staff. This keeps our overhead low, allowing us to direct resources towards our projects. We operate with a full-time Executive Director, part-time staff, and project-based individuals who operate around the globe under contract.

Jerry Miller

Executive Director

Jerry Miller, PhD, is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. He spent 18 years at the University of South Florida where he created, directed, researched, and managed organizations and projects that served communities and youth in economic development and job creation activities, as well as school-based and out of school intervention programs. Programs he directed include the nationally recognized Prodigy Youth Cultural Arts Program, a juvenile justice court diversion resiliency-based program for at-risk and arrested youth that has among the lowest recidivism rate in the state. He founded the College Link program that served about 2000 high school youth annually with tutoring and mentoring. He has also created micro lending programs and job development centers. He has been awarded over 25 grants and contracts from federal, state, and local agencies and foundations and has presented his work both domestically and internationally.

Ashle Bailey-Gilreath

Operations Manager

Ashle has worked in the non-profit sector both in the US and UK for over 7 years, in addition to her 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. She is a regular contributor to Learning & the Brain.

Eric Michael Johnson

This View of Life Editor

Eric Michael Johnson received his masters degree in evolutionary anthropology and he pursued his dissertation on bonobo (Pan paniscus) behavioral ecology before switching fields to work on the history of evolutionary biology in late-19th century England, Europe and Russia. In addition to publishing original research in such places as the Journal of Human Evolution and American Journal of Physical Anthropology, he has written on evolutionary topics for general audiences at Slate, Times Higher Education, Discover, Wired, Psychology Today and many others. He is a longtime advocate of science communication online and has spoken at academic as well as social media conferences on how important it is for scientists to reach out to the public by engaging readers with a compelling narrative. He can be found on Twitter at @ericmjohnson and his blog, The Primate Diaries, is currently hosted by Scientific American. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.