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.)


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. (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.


Development Account Manager

Kirk Barbera manages donor and prospect accounts, as well as fundraising dinners and events for ARI’s development team. Kirk has also worked as a student relations coordinator for the ARI Campus. He graduated from the Objectivist Academic Center in 2013.


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 journal, 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’s collections. He advises on acquisitions and provides in-house and external research assistance. (See here for his Expert information.)


Development Marketing Manager

Amber helps plan, manage and execute marketing campaigns. She comes from two decades in the outdoor industry with an emphasis on introducing brands to the US market. Her background in brand development guides her overall goals while her project management experience makes things happen. She holds a BS in psychology and graduated from the OAC in 2011.


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.


Junior Fellow

Tristan de Liège, Ph.D. in philosophy is a teaching assistant at the Objectivist Academic Center.


Online Community Specialist

Jonathan Divin participated in ARI’s student internship program and in the OAC during his time as a college student, where he received support from ARI to run a successful campus club. As ARI’s Online Community Specialist, Jonathan hopes to cultivate a community of individuals brought together by the impact ARI has had on their growth and lives.


Archives Coordinator

Simon Federman is responsible for rehousing and cataloging Ayn Rand Archives items. In addition, Simon provides design support for ARI Press books and for the marketing and product teams. Simon began volunteering for ARI in 1985 prior to working full time for the Institute in 2001


Information Technology Manager

Vinny Freire manages the information technology at ARI, providing digital infrastructure and support for the organization’s operations and its projects. He has over 25 years of experience consulting and executing digital products. He holds a BA in fine arts and multimedia with a minor in advertising and communication.


Chief Philosophy Officer and Senior Fellow

Onkar Ghate, Ph.D. in philosophy, is Chief Philosophy Officer, senior fellow, and ARI board member. 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.)


Junior Fellow

Ziemowit Gowin, Ph.D. student in philosophy at the University of Warsaw, works mainly in contemporary ethics and philosophy of well-being. Ziemowit is a teaching assistant in the Objectivist Academic Center.


Donor Services Specialist

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


Digital Archivist

Audra Hilse manages the digital aspects of the Ayn Rand Archives, including data about the holdings and digitized archival material, and provides volunteer assistance, as well as implementing 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 lends 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 IsraeliPalestinian 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 and 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 educational content. He writes, speaks and edits for ARI, serving in particular as a senior editor for New Ideal. He 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.)



Judy Lu oversees the institute’s operational accounting and leads the production of financial reports, maintains the accounting system, and cash flow, and related internal control functions. She holds a BS in managerial economics with an emphasis in finance.


Marketing Director

Rachael Mare has been passionate about ARI’s mission for a quarter century. Her mission for ARI’s marketing team: tell stories that move people, connect and inspire by integrating reason and emotion, and demonstrate the impact our work is having—so we can continue to change the lives of even more people for the better.


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.


ARU Mentorship Strategist & Special Projects Manager

Amanda Maxham is an astrophysicist with a passion for helping heroes find purpose and achieve great things. She mentors Ayn Rand University students and brings special ARI projects to life.


Associate Fellow

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


Student Community Coordinator

Jennifer Minjarez connects young Rand fans to intellectual and social resources through ARI programs and the broader Objectivist network. She supports the growth of Ayn Rand University through one-on-one admissions outreach and programs that prepare students to join the university. She also manages the university’s social networking platform.


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.


Junior Fellow

Ricardo Pinto is a BA student in philosophy and a graduate of the Objectivist Academic Center. He currently lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Director of Content Production

Lucy Rose manages the development of multimedia content for ARI Campus, ARI’s YouTube channel, and ARI’s podcasts. She oversees the ARI Campus website and associated Ayn Rand University mobile app, as well as the ARI eStore. She has a BA in English and graduated from the Objectivist Academic Center in 2009.


Staff Accountant

Romy Salgado is a staff accountant responsible for bank reconciliations, revenue and payments. She is knowledgeable about GAAP and is assistant to the controller. 


Junior Fellow

Ray Schuur is being trained as a junior fellow at ARI to take on future intellectual work in the OGC, OAC, ARU and beyond. Ray is also a doctoral candidate in philosophy with research interests in the history and philosophy of science, and of medicine and psychiatry in particular, as well as ethics, bioethics, and political philosophy.


Visiting Fellow

Dan Schwartz teaches in Ayn Rand University and assists with other education programs at ARI. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and has published articles in peer-reviewed journals on Francis Bacon and the philosophy of scientific method in the 17th century.


Director of Education Programs

Jeff Scialabba oversees education programs, including Free Books to Teachers, annual Essay Contests, and the Objectivist Academic Center. 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.


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.)


Visiting Fellow and Director of ARI Europe

Nikos Sotirakopoulos, Ph.D. in social sciences, teaches in the Objectivist Academic Center and manages ARI Europe. He is the author of Identity Politics and Tribalism: The New Culture Wars.


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.


President and Chief Executive Officer

Tal Tsfany is the president and CEO of the Ayn Rand Institute. He 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 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


Director of Coaching & Mentoring

Don Watkins manages the Ayn Rand University coaching and mentorship practice, where he works closely with students to help them achieve their learning, career, and life goals. He is the author of five books, including the national best-seller Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government (with Yaron Brook).


Junior Fellow

Sam Weaver holds a Conceptual Education Fellowship at ARI. He is a teaching assistant in the Objectivist Academic Center and speaks to middle and high school students. He develops educational content around Ayn Rand’s novels and writes and speaks for ARI, focusing on issues in the field of education. Sam holds a BA in English and graduated from the OAC in 2019.


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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