AboutThe Ayn Rand Institute

The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism

ARI offers a variety of educational experiences to promote greater understanding of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and, through the writing and speaking of our experts, advocates her principles of reason, rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism. Learn about ways to support us. Reach out to us with your media inquiries.

board & staff

Board of Directors

Executive Team

ARI Writers and Speakers

Please click here to see more information on our Experts page.


Marketing and Communications


Supporting Functions

Yaron Brook
Chairman of the Board

Yaron Brook, PhD, is chairman of the board of the Ayn Rand Institute. He is coauthor, with Don Watkins, of In Pursuit of Wealth and the national best-seller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government and the host of The Yaron Brook Show on TheBlaze Radio and BlogTalkRadio. A former finance professor, he has been published in academic as well as popular publications, and his opinion-editorials appear in major newspapers. He is frequently interviewed on national TV and radio. Dr. Brook is an internationally renowned speaker, and lectures on Objectivism, business ethics and foreign policy at college campuses, community groups and corporations across America and throughout the world. (See here for his Expert information.)

John Allison

John Allison is an Executive in Residence at the Wake Forest School of Business. He is a member of the Cato Institute’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Executive Advisory Council of the Cato Institute’s Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. Mr. Allison was president and CEO of the Cato Institute from October 2012 to April 2015. Prior to joining Cato, Mr. Allison was chairman and CEO of BB&T Corporation, the 10th-largest financial services holding company headquartered in the United States. During his tenure as CEO from 1989 to 2008, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets. He was recognized by the Harvard Business Review as one of the top 100 most successful CEOs in the world over the last decade.

Carl Barney

Carl Barney is the chairman of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education (CEHE), which consists of a group of eighteen colleges—Stevens-Henager Colleges, CollegeAmerica, California College San Diego. He is the chairman and founder of Independence University. The colleges offer associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

Harry Binswanger

Harry Binswanger, Ph.D. in philosophy, was an associate of Ayn Rand’s and is editor of The Ayn Rand Lexicon and the revised edition of Ayn Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. He is the author of How We Know and The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts and was the founding editor/publisher of The Objectivist Forum. He is the current owner and moderator of the Harry Binswanger Letter. (See here for his Expert information.)

Tim Blum

Mr. Blum is executive vice president of HSA Commercial Real Estate in Chicago, specializing in developing and repositioning retail-related real estate in the Midwest. His area of expertise entails adapting functionally obsolete buildings for retail purposes. He has developed over six million square feet of mixed-use and retail properties. He holds a degree in business administration.

Jim Brown
President & Chief Executive Officer
As the CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute, Jim Brown is responsible for the Institute’s operations and programs. He has a proven executive management track record and more than 30 years of experience in finance. Previously, Mr. Brown served as an airline pilot, an Air Force pilot and an instructor pilot. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned a BS from the United States Air Force Academy in political science.

Lars Seier Christensen

Mr. Christensen co-founded the Danish broker Saxo Bank in 1992. After twenty years as CEO, he stepped down in 2016. Still a major shareholder in Saxo Bank, he founded his own private equity firm, Seier Capital, with investments in business ranging from IT start-ups to the Danish gourmet restaurant Geranium.

Arturo Gamboa

Mr. Gamboa is an investor, entrepreneur, owner and shareholder of numerous businesses, such as hotels, agriculture, retail and real estate developments. He was formerly an entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and was a co-founder and executive vice president of Genomma Laboriatories International. His education was in engineering and he has an MBA from Duke University.

Peter LePort

Peter LePort, M.D., is a surgeon in private practice. Active in the fight against government control of health care, he is a cofounder and board member of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine. He is chairman of the board and a major stockholder in LePort Schools, a group of private schools enrolling children ranging from three months of age to eighth-graders. LePort Schools has more than 1,500 students in thirteen schools nationwide.

Arline Mann

Arline Mann is a retired attorney. She was formerly a managing director and associate general counsel of Goldman Sachs & Co.

Robert Mayhew

Dr. Mayhew, Ph.D. in philosophy, is professor of philosophy at Seton Hall University. He specializes in ancient philosophy, and has recently completed books on Aristotle’s lost work on Homer and on Theophrastus’ On Winds. His most recent work on Ayn Rand is an annotated edition of her previously unpublished play The Unconquered (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).

Larry Salzman

Mr. Salzman is an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). He is the supervising attorney of the PLF-sponsored property rights and economic liberty litigation clinical program at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, where he serves as an adjunct professor. Previously, Mr. Salzman was an attorney at the Institute for Justice, litigating constitutional cases involving property rights and economic liberty. Earlier in his career, he spent ten years in business as co-founder and CEO of an e-commerce company.

Tara Smith

Tara Smith is professor of philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, where she holds the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism. A specialist in moral, political, and legal philosophy, she has published books on judicial review in an objective legal system, individual rights, the foundations of value, and egoistic moral virtues. (See here for her Expert information.)

Jim Brown
President & Chief Executive Officer

As the CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute, Jim Brown is responsible for the Institute’s operations and programs. He has a proven executive management track record and more than 30 years of experience in finance. Previously, Mr. Brown served as an airline pilot, an Air Force pilot and an instructor pilot. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and earned a BS from the United States Air Force Academy in political science.


Onkar Ghate
Chief Content Officer

Onkar Ghate, Ph.D. in philosophy, is the Institute’s senior editor and senior instructor. He is also responsible for providing philosophic direction and oversight for the Institute’s many projects. oghate@aynrand.org (See here for his Expert information.)


Chris Locke
Vice President of Marketing and Development

Chris Locke is Vice President of Marketing and Development. In this global role, she oversees the Institute’s strategic marketing, branding and development. Chris has initiated and launched a number of internal and external marketing campaigns, and her vision inspires ARI’s long-term development activities. Her educational background includes a BA in communications/public relations from CSU. clocke@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 279


Keith Lockitch
Vice President of Educational Programs

Keith Lockitch oversees all of the Institute’s educational programs. He also teaches, writes, speaks and serves as a senior editor for ARI. He holds a Ph.D. in physics and has done postdoctoral research in relativistic astrophysics. klockitch@aynrand.org, 929-222-6550, ext. 230 (See here for his Expert information.)


Vice President of Finance and Business Operations

As Vice President of Finance and Business Operations and corporate treasurer, Valerie Usher oversees the organization’s day-to-day financial, human resource, legal, information technology, office and administrative operations. Valerie comes to ARI with over twenty years of charitable business experience at various nonprofit organizations in the Washington, DC, area. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the State University of New York at Oswego. vusher@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 240


Ben Bayer, Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center and for other Institute projects. He also writes and edits Institute-sponsored content. bbayer@aynrand.org (See here for Ben’s Expert information.)


Elan Journo
Fellow and Director of Policy Research

Elan Journo writes, edits, lectures and gives interviews for ARI. He specializes in foreign policy. His first book, Winning the Unwinnable War, analyzes U.S. policy since 9/11. ejourno@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 215 (See here for his Expert information.)


Amanda Maxham
Writer and Research Associate

Amanda Maxham, Ph.D. in astrophysics, carries out writing and research on public policy issues at ARI and blogs at Voices for Reason. She is an alumna of the Junior Fellows Program, 2012–13. amaxham@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 285 (See here for her Expert information.)


Steve Simpson
Director of Legal Studies
Steve Simpson is a former constitutional lawyer who writes and speaks for ARI on issues relating to law and government. He also helps manage ARI’s policy work and its media and outreach efforts. ssimpson@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 258 (See here for his Expert information.)


Aaron Smith

Aaron Smith, Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center and develops educational content for ARI’s e-learning programs. He also teaches in the Seasonal Internship program and lectures for ARI. asmith@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 248 (See here for his Expert information.)


Thomas Bowden

Tom Bowden writes course content for ARI Campus and provides research and writing support for various ARI programs.  He has also previously written for the policy team. Prior to ARI, Tom practiced law for many years. tbowden@aynrand.org


Jeff Britting
Archives Curator

Jeff Britting writes essays and books, conducts oral histories and curates exhibits and other public programming. He is also responsible for prospecting new acquisitions and providing in-house and external scholars with research assistance. jbritting@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 203 (See here for his Expert information.)


Anthony Lansing
OAC Coordinator

Anthony Lansing administers the Objectivist Academic Center program, including student relations, records, marketing, grants, admissions and the academic calendar. He completed the OAC’s Core Course in 2013. alansing@aynrand.org


Anthony Loy
Student Outreach Coordinator

Anthony Loy is the primary liaison between students, teachers and parents for ARI’s annual essay contests, providing clarification and assistance for submissions and content as well as maintaining the necessary databases to track and run our contests efficiently. He has a BFA in film and television production, which he continues to practice on his YouTube channel. aloy@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 269 


Stewart Margolis
Teacher Outreach Coordinator

Stewart Margolis provides customer service support for high school students and teachers and coordinates high school speaking events for high school classrooms. Stewart previously worked at ARI supporting the Campus Clubs program, as well as the OAC. He is also a working screenwriter and filmmaker and has a BA and an MFA from UCLA. smargolis@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 218


Zane Mitchell
High School Programs Manager

Zane Mitchell oversees ARI’s programs for high school students and teachers. These include the Essay Contests program and the Free Books to Teachers program. He holds degrees in business and political science from San Diego State University. zmitchell@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 243


Richard E. Ralston
Publishing Manager

Richard Ralston manages the Institute's publishing projects and coordinates those activities with the publishers. Richard also seeks new publishers for works by Leonard Peikoff and ARI staff writers and manages ARI Press eBook and print-on-demand publications. Richard is a former Circulation and Publishing Director of The Christian Science Monitor. He has a BA in history and an MA in international relations. rralston@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 237


Lucy Rose
eLearning Programs Manager

Lucy Rose manages ARI’s e-learning programs, ARI Campus and the Ayn Rand Institute eStore. She has a BA in English from Columbia University, completed the OAC’s 4-year program in 2009 and previously worked in corporate communications and marketing. lrose@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 210


Jeff Scialabba
College Programs Manager

Jeff Scialabba manages ARI’s programs and activities for college students and professors. These include the Seasonal Internship, Campus Clubs and the Objectivist Academic Center programs, professor outreach and support, and maintaining relationships with other organizations that reach college students and academics. Jeff holds degrees from Tufts University, Middlebury University and Georgetown University. He is a graduate of ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center. jscialabba@aynrand.org


Anu Seppala
Director of Cultural Outreach

Anu Seppala directs the Institute’s cultural outreach programs, including OCON. She also oversees the Publishing department and the Ayn Rand Archives and is responsible for international outreach and coordinating our speaking events abroad. She holds a Master’s degree in economics and business administration and was previously in banking and finance in Finland and New York City. aseppala@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 212


Alex Wigger
ARI Campus Coordinator

Alex Wigger provides research and support for course content development, data analysis and reporting, and student relations for ARI Campus. He has a BA in philosophy and completed the OAC's Core Course in 2014. Alex also has experience in management, customer relations and technical support from various fields. awigger@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 213


Jenniffer Woodson

As department manager, Jenniffer Woodson is responsible for processing and preserving Ayn Rand's personal papers and other related collections. She also assists researchers, answers reference questions and supervises interns. A Certified Archivist, Jenniffer earned a Master of Library and Information Science in 2011. jwoodson@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 214


Niv Brook
Technical Media Coordinator

Niv Brook supports ARI’s video production efforts by filming and editing material for the Content and Philosophical Leadership Division and other programs. nbrook@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 283


Colin Campbell
Editing Assistant

Colin Campbell has a Bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton in Communications: Radio/TV/Film, with a focus on post-production video editing. He has worked as a computer technician, as well as a production assistant and as an extra on multiple short films and promotional videos. As the editing assistant at ARI, Colin supports the multimedia producer and editor in all areas of post-production and asset management. ccampbell@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 284


Simon Federman
Marketing Communications Specialist

Simon Federman is responsible for the design and layout of marketing materials for the Institute’s programs and activities. Simon began volunteering for ARI in 1985 prior to starting work at ARI. sfederman@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 224


Krissy Keys
Events Manager

Krissy Keys joined ARI in 2016 as a college programs specialist working with ARI’s internship program and student events. She stepped into the role of events manager in 2017. As events manager, Krissy oversees all of the Institute’s events, including the strategy involved in and execution of the events. Previously, she managed student programs and events at the Institute for Justice, where she assisted with the state chapters’ program and litigation management. Krissy graduated from Clarion University with a major in political science and minor in history. kkeys@aynrand.org


Sara Leopold
Public Relations Director

Sara Leopold is Public Relations Director for the Institute. In this role, she oversees media relations and public affairs. She focuses on promoting a positive image of Ayn Rand’s legacy and growing public awareness of its experts. She was previously Director of Publicity at publishing houses including Oxford University Press and Picador USA. Sara is based in New York City. sleopold@aynrand.org


Dustin Maenpa
Video/Digital Editor

Dustin Maenpa implements the post-production duties for video/digital materials in support of and in consultation with ARI’s education, policy, the ARI Campus e-learning website personnel and other programs. Dustin is a multi-media specialist with over ten years of post-production experience; including video and audio post-production, broadcast production, color correction, audio mixing, and offline and online editing. dmaenpa@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 287


Jennifer Miguel
Social Media Strategist

Jennifer Miguel engages in digital marketing, utilizing the Institute’s numerous social media platforms to maximize the effectiveness of ARI’s digital communications strategies in the promotion of its programs, policy, events and activities. jmiguel@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 247


Donna Montrezza
Copy Editor

Donna Montrezza proofreads copy and assists with a wide variety of projects, including, for example, Archives and ARI Campus. Over the years, she has proofed and copyedited the published works of many Objectivist authors. dmontrezza@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 216


Rikki Nedelkow
Marketing Director

Rikki Nedelkow joined ARI in October 2014 and is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of marketing campaigns that enhance brand awareness and foster audience engagement. She plays a critical role in driving participation in the organization’s growth and its programs. Rikki attended UCLA where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She has worked in the marketing industry since 2000. rnedelkow@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 234


Michael Paxton
Multimedia Producer

Michael Paxton is an Academy Award-nominated writer, producer and director, with an MFA in film production from NYU. He has worked in the movie and animation industries for over 25 years. Michael produces and directs the educational videos for ARI Campus, and consults with ARI’s education and policy departments in support of their multimedia needs. mpaxton@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 284


Alex Prisc
Marketing Writer

Alex Prisc is ARI’s primary Marketing Writer and provides additional support in other projects within the Marketing and Communications Department. He has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Miami and began volunteering for ARI in 2011, prior to starting work at ARI. aprisc@aynrand.org


Tsvet Tsonevski
College Programs Coordinator

Tsvet Tsonevski coordinates the Institute's programs and activities for college students and professors, including speaking events on college campuses and the Campus Club program. Tsvet holds degrees in law and economics from George Mason School of Law and is currently enrolled in the Objectivist Academic Center. ttsonevski@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 217


David Antonacci
Marketing Programs Specialist

David Antonacci coordinates marketing production such as printing, mailing and product custom designs for various ARI programs as well as fundraising activities. David also oversees contributor incentive and giving programs, events, and other fundraising programs. He has a BS in business management, and prior to ARI, he worked in new media marketing. dantonacci@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 202


Director of Development Operations

As Director of Development Operations, Jason Bateman is responsible for optimizing ARI’s use of development analytics, tools, and programs to provide operational effectiveness in maximizing revenues. He brings fifteen years of development operations and leadership experience to ARI. His background, knowledge and skills will help streamline, strengthen and position the Institute for major long-term growth. Jason holds a BA in both political science and studio art, with a minor in communications, from Hamilton College in New York. jbateman@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 201


Robert Begley
Development Specialist

Robert Begley conducts foundation research, telemarketing outreach for ARI national and regional events, and writes fundraising communications. He is based in New York City where he supports local ARI events. Robert previously worked as a global data center manager for several financial institutions. rbegley@aynrand.org, 917-655-2053 


Kathy Cross
Gift and Estate Planning Manager

Kathy Cross is responsible for the Atlantis Legacy, the Institute’s planned giving program. She assists donors with legacy gifts such as bequests, charitable trusts and other tax-advantaged arrangements. She also provides information on tax and estate planning issues, and guides donors wishing to make non-cash contributions or establish memorial funds. Prior to joining the Institute’s development team, Kathy managed several ARI educational programs and edited our newsletter. Her educational background includes a BA in the humanities and graduate work in music. kcross@aynrand.org, 732-242-9408


Marilee Dahl
Development Account Manager

Marilee Dahl manages donor and prospect accounts, as well as fundraising dinners and events for the Development division. Prior to working as Development Account Manager, Marilee served as ARI’s director of Education, overseeing all high school outreach programs. mdahl@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 209


Angela Dietrich
Executive Liaison Officer

Angela Dietrich is the liaison between the Executive Chairman of the Ayn Rand Institute, its contributors, new prospects and the media; she assists in executing fundraising strategic plans; and serves as corporate secretary. In these roles, she seeks new ways to discover and cultivate potential sponsors. Prior to joining ARI, Angela supported CEOs in the lobbying, software and automotive sectors and created cost-effective marketing strategies through relationship building. Her educational background includes a BA in creative writing and an MA in literature. adietrich@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 207


David Gulbraa
Donor Services Specialist

David Gulbraa is the Donor Services Specialist at the Institute, handling customer service for donors and prospects. He also helps run conferences and special events. Before coming to ARI, he published the magazine Radical Romantic and ran a small book publishing company. dgulbraa@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 204


Duane Knight
Director of Development

Duane Knight oversees ARI’s development activities, which generate both short- and long-term financial support for the Institute from individuals, corporations and foundations. Prior to joining ARI, he worked for more than a decade in various capacities related to sales, marketing, development and management for a major business and trade association. dknight@aynrand.org, 800-365-6552 ext. 401


Matthew Morgen
Development Account Manager

Matthew Morgen manages donor and prospect accounts, as well as fundraising dinners and events for the Development division. Prior to working as Development Account Manager, Matthew served as ARI’s customer service and High School Programs manager, overseeing all high school outreach programs. mmorgen@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 259


Lauren Benjamin
Senior Administrative Assistant

Lauren Benjamin provides administrative support to the CEO. She has a BA in psychology and experience in administration and project management for the financial and construction industries. lbenjamin@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 205


Lew Hendrickson
Human Resources Operations Manager

Lew Hendrickson manages ARI’s human resources and legal programs with administration, record-keeping and program development assistance. He received a BA in international studies from the University of Iowa, and served in the United States Army for three years. He also coordinates ARI’s volunteer program. Those interested in volunteering for ARI should visit our Get Involved page. lhendrickson@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 272


Ayesha Ilyas
Web Developer

Ayesha Ilyas provides programming support and maintenance for various ARI web properties and for email marketing. ailyas@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 227


Jeff Janicke
Business Operations Coordinator

Jeff Janicke provides administrative support for the Business Operations Division and provides occasional project support for other departments. Jeff worked in the insurance industry for many years as an agent. His background includes business operations and management. jjanicke@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 228


Andrew May
Receptionist/Bookkeeping Assistant

Andrew May is ARI’s primary receptionist and provides bookkeeping and other administrative support to the Business Operations Division. He has a BS in entrepreneurship and a BA in philosophy from Indiana University. amay@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 200


Stacy Smith
Customer Service Coordinator

Stacy Smith provides customer service for the Ayn Rand Institute eStore. She is responsible for uploading eStore products and processing orders.  Stacy has a background in both retail loss prevention and music publishing. ssmith@aynrand.org, 949-222-6550, ext. 245



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