Board & Staff | The Ayn Rand Institute

Board & Staff

Board of Directors


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 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 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.


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.


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.)


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.


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.

Executive Team


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.)


Vice President of Content 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.)


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.

ARI Writers and Speakers

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


Instructor and Fellow

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


Research Fellow

Tom Bowden writes and edits for the Institute’s online publication, New Ideal, administers that publication’s website, 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.


Director 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.)


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.)


Junior Fellow

Agustina Vergara Cid is a junior fellow, and assists ARI’s intellectuals with research and produces content for New Ideal. Agustina holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Law and is undergoing training through ARI’s Intellectual Development program, which includes being a current student in the Objectivist Academic Center.



Director, Ayn Rand Institute Israel

Boaz Arad is the co-founder of the Ayn Rand Center Israel and a founder of the Israeli Freedom Movement. He was previously a member of the editorial board at Business Week (Hebrew) and writer of a weekly column in Makor Rishon and a research fellow in the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies. He established Iconic, a website on Ayn Rand’s philosophy and writings, and Green Blog.


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 ARI’s contests efficiently. He has a BFA in film and television production, which he continues to practice on his YouTube channel.


Director of Education and Student Channels

Marilee Dahl is the Director of Education and Student Channels at ARI. She oversees all aspects of ARI’s education and student outreach efforts, including ARI’s Books to Teachers Program, essay contests, teacher workshops, and student conferences.


Content Production Manager

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.


Intellectual Development Programs Manager

Jeff Scialabba manages ARI’s programs for current and aspiring intellectuals. Programs include the Objectivist Academic Center (OAC), Junior Fellows ProgramInternships, 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 also oversees the Ayn Rand Archives. She holds a master’s degree in economics and business administration.


General Manager, Ayn Rand Institute Europe

Based in France, Annie Vinther Sanz oversees ARI’s European Programs. Prior to that, she worked for two decades in international trade, in contract and project management. She earned her MSc (Marketing and International Trade) in 1994.



Jenniffer Woodson is responsible for processing and preserving Ayn Rand’s personal papers and other related collections. As archives department manager, she also assists researchers, answers reference questions, and supervises interns. A Certified Archivist, Jenniffer earned a Master of Library and Information Science.


Content Production Coordinator

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.

Marketing and Communication


Video Production Specialist

Colin Campbell is a video production specialist at ARI and works with the multimedia producer and editor on post-production and asset management projects. He has worked as a computer technician, as well as a production assistant and as an extra on multiple short films and promotional videos. Colin holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications: Radio/TV/Film.


Director of Marketing

Adam Edmonsond directs ARI’s marketing programs, drawing on his experience as a marketing strategist and consultant to entrepreneurial businesses in a broad range of industries. He holds a B.A. in philosophy.


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.


Social Media Strategist

Jennifer Miguel is ARI’s social media strategist, 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.


Director of Digital Marketing

Zane Mitchell is ARI’s Director of Digital Marketing. In addition to overseeing digital marketing, Zane 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.


Content Writer

Alex Prisc is a marketing writer, overseeing ARI’s Impact Weekly, the monthly student newsletter and provides support for projects within the Marketing and Communications division. Alex began volunteering for ARI in 2011, prior to starting work at ARI. He has a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree.



Legacy Giving Manager

Robert Begley manages ARI’s planned giving program, Atlantis Legacy. He assists donors with legacy gifts such as bequests, charitable trusts, and other tax-advantaged arrangements. Based in New York City, he has worked on Wall Street and is a public speaker and writer.


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.


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.


Grants 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.


Account Manager; Northern United States

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.


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 ARI’s Development Account Manager, Matthew served as ARI’s customer service and High School programs manager.

Shared Services



Lance Arenson oversees finance and reporting for ARI and ensures that the Institute is fiscally responsible to its board and contributors. He has more than twenty years of experience as a senior-level financial professional. Lance holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business/Management.


IT Services Manager

Ayesha holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and in her role as the IT Services Manager is responsible for implementing and maintaining Ayn Rand Institute’s technology infrastructure.


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.


Business Operations and Executive Manager

Krissy Keys is ARI’s business operations and executive manager. She 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.


Assistant Controller

Maria Torre is Assistant 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.

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