Board of Directors

Jonathan L. Cohen

Chairman of the Board

Founder and President, Generated Materials Recovery LLC

Jonathan L. Cohen is the founder and President of Generated Materials Recovery, a national provider of recycling services for manufacturing and industrial facilities. He is the Chair of the Board of the Anne Frank Center USA, having previously served as a trustee for 10 years. He serves on the national board of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Manufacturers Council, is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (Manhattan and Arizona Chapters) where is on the executive committees for the Manufacturing Excellence Network and Sustainable Business Network. Jonathan graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where he received a BA, majoring in both English Literature and German. Jonathan is an avid reader, traveler, skier, and tennis player.  Raised in New York, he now lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Dara, and their children, James, Leo and Lana.

Sharon R. Douglas

Board Secretary & Chief Executive Officer


A passionate advocate for the Anne Frank Center for nearly a decade, Sharon Douglas currently serves as the organization's Chief Executive Officer. With her husband Preston, Sharon was the 2016 winner of the Spirit of Anne Frank Distinguished Advocates Award. She holds a BA in Education, with graduate study at Queens College and St. John's University.

Charles H. F. Garner, Esq

Board Vice Chair

Managing Director & General Counsel, M-III Partners

Charles Garner has more than 25 years of legal, advisory and operational management experience in international law, real estate investment, telecom and technology. Charles is an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania and has a JD from NYU. He also previously served as Chairman of the Board of the African Medical & Research Foundation and as a Director of Continuum Health Partners.

Anthony Polak

Board Treasurer

Investment Advisor, Aegis Capital


Tony Polak continues the tradition of the Polak family's support of the Anne Frank Center, with his parents Jack and Ina Polak having been champions of the organization since the early 1980s. He has an MBA from American University in Washington, DC. Tony has actively volunteered with the youth basketball programs at the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club and YMCA.

Evi Blaikie

Hidden Children Foundation, "Remember Us" video
Author, Magda's Daughter: A Hidden Child's Journey Home

Holocaust Survivor

George Fechter


Civil rights and social equity advocate

Irene R. Gottlieb

Founder, Garnet Media Group
Author, photographer

Pieter Kohnstam

Author, A Chance to Live: A Family's Journey to Freedom

Holocaust Survivor

Peter M. Rapaport, PhD

Immediate Past President

Private Wealth Manager, Henley & Co.


A long-time volunteer and supporter of the Anne Frank Center, Peter Rapaport began his term as AFC Board Chair in 2017. He has a long history of sponsoring education, health, and environmental nonprofit initiatives through the Rapaport Family Charitable Trust, and with Elisa Rapaport was the 2013 recipient of the AFC Distinguished Advocate Award at the Spirit of Anne Frank Awards gala. He is Chair Emeritus of the Greater New York metropolitan region of the American Red Cross and the current volunteer partner for executive director of the chapter that spans the state of New Jersey. Peter holds an MBA and a PhD in Psychology and attended the University of Pennsylvania as an undergrad.

Sybil Rosenberg

Sponsor, Jacob Salzman SAFA Scholarship

Real estate management

Are you interested in joining our Board of Directors?

Please contact us at for more information on this opportunity to serve as an ambassador and philanthropist for the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.


Advisory Council

The AFC Advisory Council engages an accomplished group of professionals as ambassadors, occasionally lending their expertise and presence. Advisory Council members include scholars, clergy, industry leaders, public figures, and others with backgrounds as varied as the communities we serve. The Advisory Council is distinct from board membership, as there are no philanthropic or time commitments beyond serving as an ambassador on the AFC's behalf.  

Joyce Ahrens

Foundations Developmental Resources, LLC

Amanda Bailey

VP Human Resources
Brown University

Lt. Col. Jennifer Bower

Assistant Professor
U.S. Army War College

Maria Esposito, PhD

Associate Professor of Education
Molloy College, NY

Josh Lockwood

Division VP, Northeast

American Red Cross of Greater NY

Lauren McGowan

Director of Development
North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center

Jud Newborn, PhD

Curator/Producer, Cinema Arts Centre

Author, Sophie Scholl and the White Rose

Founding Historian, NY Museum of Jewish Heritage

Joysetta Pearse

Director, African American Museum of Nassau County

Jonathan E. Rothschild

President & CEO, Arterio, Inc.
Roslyn, NY

Ivy Schamis

2018 SAFA Teacher of the Year

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland, FL

Siddhartha V. Shah, PhD

Curator of Indian & South Asian Art

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA

Barton Shallat

Rabbi Emeritus
Temple Beth El, Huntington, NY

William Shulman, PhD

Professor Emeritus, CUNY

President, Association of Holocaust Organizations

Wilma Tootle, LHD

President, W. H. Tootle Consulting Services

Retired educator

Gerhard van der Poel

Managing Director, The Transportation Group

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Are you interested in joining our Advisory Council?

Please contact us at for more information on this opportunity.

Inspiring every generation to build the more compassionate world Anne Frank envisioned.

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The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect preserves the legacy of the young diarist through education and arts programming. We work to create the kinder and fairer world of which Anne Frank dreamed.

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Please support us to help us continue our mission. Contributions to the organization are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

© 2020 by Anne Frank Center USA

All quotations from Anne Frank and photos of the Frank family are used by permission and copyright ANNE FRANK FONDS Basel, Switzerland.