Executive Advisors

Chief Executive Officer & Board Liaison

As a philanthropist, business advisor, and educator for most of her adult life, Sharon Douglas has taught at the K-12 and adult executive levels. A recent President of the Village of Lawrence Association, she has served on innumerable charitable boards, including the National Council of Jewish Women, Five Towns Music and Art Foundation, Women’s Division of the Long Island Jewish Hospital South Shore, SIBS of South Nassau Communities Hospital, The American Jewish Congress, and the American Red Cross on Long Island. In 1999, she was a member of the delegation to the United Nations for the Anne Frank Declaration of Peace and has for the past two decades represented the Anne Frank Center at numerous events in England and the Netherlands, including receptions for the Anne Frank Trust UK with Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha Cameron in June 2011. A long-standing board member of the Anne Frank Center, Sharon has previously served as Interim Executive Director, currently serves as the Secretary of the Board, and, with her husband Preston Douglas, was the 2016 winner of the Spirit of Anne Frank Distinguished Advocates Award. Sharon holds a BA in Education, with graduate study at Queens College and St. John's University.

Chief Operating Officer & Board Liaison

Elisa Rapaport has extensive experience with the Anne Frank Center, having previously served on the AFC board of directors, advisory board, and fundraising committee, in addition to planning numerous charity galas for the AFC and other nonprofits. Prior to her career as a college professor of ethics and philosophy, Elisa was an accomplished graphic designer, creative director, and production manager in the printing/advertising industry and founded her own design and marketing business. Elisa has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including American Forests, the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, and the American Red Cross, where she served on a National Council that developed a strategic planning initiative for philanthropy. For their nonprofit leadership through the Rapaport Family Charitable Trust, Elisa and Peter Rapaport received the 2013 Spirit of Anne Frank Distinguished Advocate Award and the 2015 Humanitarian Award from the American Red Cross. As an active nonprofit volunteer and major donor for many years, Elisa has worked extensively with the AFC executive committee of the board and with Sharon Douglas as a dedicated mentor and advisor to AFC staff. Elisa holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University at Buffalo, where she was awarded the inaugural George F. Hourani Fellowship in Ethics.

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Staff Members

Educational Programs

Hailing from Northern California, Alex’s professional work in theatre and film spans 20 years, having appeared on multiple off-Broadway and independent theatre stages throughout New York City. As a teaching artist, she has led workshops at The New School’s Summer Stage Acting Intensive and collaborated with youth theater groups around the country. She is a champion of collaboration, ensemble-building, and bridging differences through the practice of empathy. Alex holds an MFA in Acting from The New School and a BA in Dramatic Arts and Psychology. She likes to spend her spare time rediscovering favorite pastimes, such as cross-stitching, knitting, calligraphy, ink drawing, and water coloring.

Development

Alan Grossman has over 20 years of experience in development and leadership including social service organizations, public and private universities, consulting, and the corporate sector. Alan has also served on many boards throughout his career, including AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) New Jersey Chapter and has frequently taught fundraising basics and CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) courses. He holds a BS from Rutgers University and a Masters in Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Alan serves on the National Jewish Committee on Scouting for the BSA. More recently, he has completed “Leadership and Decision Making in a Diverse Society” at the Kennedy School, Harvard University.

Finance & Human Resources

Vik Gupta is a consulting director of finance to a number of nonprofits and small businesses. He creates and implements financial systems, improves internal controls, reports to management and board of directors, liaises with outside auditors, and is responsible for overall financial strategy. He works on contingencies to ensure organizational continuity even during adverse times. He works closely with all clients to understand their programmatic missions and how finance can support and further their missions. In his spare time, Vik is a photographer, volunteers with under-served communities, and teaches math to high-school students.

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Teaching Artists

Mario Haynes

With a passion for education and human rights issues, Mario is an actor/ writer/ teaching artist based in NYC. He teaches the “Art and Propaganda” and “Bystander to Ally” workshops for the AFC. www.mariohaynes.com

Maureen McNeil

Maureen McNeil is a nonprofit professional, author, educator, and social justice advocate, working with arts and cultural organizations to help strengthen underserved communities. She has contributed her talents through numerous cultural and nonprofit organizations, including the Woodstock Day School, Galison Books; Red Hook Arts; Girls Write Now; and the South Street Seaport Museum, and has led The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, the Josephine Herrick Project, and education programs at the Anne Frank Center  (2006-2012 & 2019). Maureen earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and an MS in Nonprofit Management at The New School.

Omo Misha

Misha brings her creativity into the classroom as an art teacher in our residency programs, such as "The Art of Self-Discovery" in PS 43 and Veritas Academy in Queens. 

www.omomisha.com

Rebecca Posner

Rebecca Sylvia Posner is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and movement educator. As a teaching artist, she uses mindfulness and creative arts practices to help young people empower themselves, such as the AFC's "The Art of Self-Discovery" residency program.

www.rebeccasylviastudio.com

Ava Tomlinson

Working with the AFC in NYC public schools for more than 10 years, Ava has taught numerous art residency programs, translating Anne Frank's influence on self-expression through painting, drawing, printmaking, and collage.

avatomlinson.com

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