Board & Staff


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 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.


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.)


Mr. Blum is Managing Partner of Citadel Property Advisors 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 is the former CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute. Prior to his tenure with the Ayn Rand Institute, 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.


Chief Philosophy Officer and Senior Fellow

Onkar Ghate, Ph.D. in philosophy, joined ARI in 2000, after a brief but successful tenure in the finance industry. A year later, he launched ARI’s Objectivist Academic Center (OAC), which substantially expanded the Institute’s teaching and training activities. Dr. Ghate acts as a senior editor and instructor. He is also responsible for providing philosophic direction and oversight for the Institute’s many projects. [email protected] (See here for his Expert information.)


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).


Mr. Salzman is the litigation director at Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). He is also an adjunct professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, supervising a PLF-sponsored property rights and economic liberty litigation clinical program. His law practice has focused on 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 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.)


President & Chief Executive Officer

Tal Tsfany is the president and CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute. Mr. Tsfany has been an entrepreneur, investor and executive in the software world. He has built and grown successful teams and businesses in Israel and the United States. Mr. Tsfany is a co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel.


Instructor and Fellow

Ben Bayer, Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center, lectures and gives interviews for ARI. He writes for and is an associate editor of ARI’s online publication, New Ideal. (See here for his Expert information.)


Research Fellow

Tom Bowden is web editor of the Institute’s online journal, New Ideal, and delivers writing and editorial support for other ARI content projects. Prior to joining the Institute in 2007, Tom practiced law in Baltimore for twenty years.


Education Programs Coordinator

Jonathon Brajdic is responsible for coordinating many of ARI’s education programs, including the annual Essay Contests for students and the Free Books initiative for teachers. Prior to working at ARI, Jonathon participated in ARI’s Seasonal Internship program. He holds a BS in architecture.


Physical and Analog Archivist

Jeff Britting manages the physical holdings of the Ayn Rand Institute Corporate Archives. He contributes to public programs featuring the Archives’ collections. He advises on acquisitions and provides in-house and external research assistance. (See here for his Expert information.)


Senior Legacy Giving Manager

Kathy Cross created the Atlantis Legacy, ARI’s planned giving program. She assists donors with bequests, charitable trusts, and other arrangements; provides resources on tax and estate planning; guides donors making non-cash contributions or establishing memorial funds. She earned her BA in the Humanities and did graduate work in music.


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.


Graphic Design/Production Specialist

Simon Federman is responsible for the design and layout of marketing materials for ARI’s programs and activities. Simon began volunteering for ARI in 1985 prior to working full-time for the Institute in 2001.


Chief Philosophy Officer and Senior Fellow

Onkar Ghate, Ph.D. Philosophy, is Chief Philosophy Officer, Senior Fellow, and board member at ARI. He is a contributing author to many books on Rand’s fiction and philosophy. He leads ARI’s intellectual development program, serves as a senior editor and instructor, and provides philosophic oversight for the Institute’s projects. (See here for his Expert information.)


Donor Services Specialist

David Gulbraa is Donor Services Specialist at ARI, handling customer service for contributors and prospects. He also helps run conferences and special events.


Digital Archivist

Audra Hilse manages the digital aspects of the Ayn Rand Archives, including data about the holdings, digitized archival material, volunteer assistance, and efforts to make the Ayn Rand Papers and other collections available online. She is a 2009 OAC graduate and holds a BA in history and an MA in Library and Information Studies.


Business Operations Coordinator

Jeff Janicke provides administrative support for the Business Operations team and provides occasional project support for other departments. He worked in the insurance industry for many years as an agent. His background includes business operations and management.


Vice President of Content Products and Senior Fellow

Elan Journo writes and speaks for ARI, specializing in foreign policy, and is a senior editor of New Ideal. He is the author of What Justice Demands: America and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict , co-author of Failing to Confront Islamic Totalitarianism, editor of Winning the Unwinnable War, and a contributor to Defending Free Speech and A New Textbook of Americanism: The Politics of Ayn Rand. (See here for his Expert information.)


Business Operations Manager

Krissy Keys manages the Institute’s executive team activities, domestic events and serves as corporate secretary for ARI’s board of directors. Krissy holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in history.


Grant Manager

Duane Knight manages ARI’s growing partnerships with foundations, corporations and major ARI donors. Since 1996, he has worked in a variety of development roles at the Institute. Duane holds a bachelor’s degree in government.


Vice President of Education and Senior Fellow

Keith Lockitch oversees the production of ARI’s intellectual content. He writes, speaks and edits for ARI, serving in particular as a senior editor for New Ideal. He also teaches a course on writing for the Objectivist Academic Center. Keith holds a Ph.D. in physics and has done postdoctoral research in relativistic astrophysics. (See here for his Expert information.)


Development Account Manager

Stewart Margolis manages donor and prospect accounts, as well as fundraising dinners and events for ARI’s development team. Prior to working as an account manager, Stewart worked with the Free Books to Teachers program, Campus Clubs program, and the Objectivist Academic Center.


Associate Fellow

Mike Mazza, Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center. He also develops written content for ARI and helps manage the institute’s intellectual outreach programs.


Student Community Coordinator

Jennifer Minjarez markets ARI domestic conferences, primarily focusing on grassroots outreach to new audiences. She also supports marketing projects through copywriting, designing conference websites and scripting promotional videos.


Content Analytics and Data Manager

Zane Mitchell oversees much of ARI’s analytics and reporting activities. He holds degrees in business and political science.


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.


Director of Development

Matthew Morgen directs ARI’s fundraising team and handles donor and prospect accounts. Prior to working as ARI’s Director of Development, Matthew served as ARI’s High School programs manager. He has a BA in history and CFRE and CSPG fundraising certifications.


Director of Content Production

Lucy Rose manages the development of multimedia content for ARI Campus , YouTube, the Ayn Rand Institute Live! podcast, and other platforms. Lucy serves as the marketing channel manager for ARI Campus and the podcast and also oversees the Ayn Rand Institute eStore. She has a BA in English and graduated from the Objectivist Academic Center in 2009.


Director of Education Programs

Jeff Scialabba oversees education programs, including Free Books to Teachers, annual Essay Contests, and the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC). He supports the Junior Fellows Program, Seasonal Internships and activities for Objectivist academics and scholars. Jeff holds multiple degrees and is a graduate of the OAC.


Director of Cultural Outreach

Anu Seppala directs ARI’s cultural outreach programs, including its annual conference (OCON) and Ayn Rand Institute Global. She holds a master’s degree in economics and business administration.


Instructor and Fellow

Aaron Smith, Ph.D. in philosophy, teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center and develops educational content for ARI’s e-learning and intellectual training programs. He also writes, lectures and gives interviews for ARI. (See here for his Expert information.)


Legacy Giving Manager

Anna Steinberg assists donors with bequests, charitable trusts and other estate planning arrangements. She graduated with a BS in finance and accounting. Anna brings experience in management of complex projects in IT, finance, and in mergers and acquisitions.



Maria Torre is Controller of the Ayn Rand Institute, responsible for human resources and payroll. Maria has held a variety of positions within finance over the past twenty years. She holds a BA with an emphasis in finance.


President and Chief Executive Officer

Tal Tsfany is the president and CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute. Tal has been an entrepreneur, investor, and executive in the software world. He has built and grown successful teams and businesses in Israel and the United States. Tal is a co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and an MBA in business management.


Junior Fellow

Agustina Vergara Cid writes for New Ideal and manages administrative aspects of the publication. She also contributes to the Institute’s strategy for the Latin American region. Agustina holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in law and is a graduate of the Objectivist Academic Center


Content Production Specialist

Alex Wigger provides research and support for content development, data analysis and reporting, and oversees student relations for ARI Campus. He has a BA in philosophy and graduated from the Objectivist Academic Center in 2018.

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