II. 2015: Biographies of Candidates to be Elected or Reelected to the Board of Trustees
For President: Andrew Solomon
Andrew Solomon is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture and psychology, and a Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University.
Solomon’s newest book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (2012) won the National Book Critics Circle award for nonfiction; the Wellcome Prize; the Green Carnation prize; the J. Anthony Lukas award; the Anisfield-Wolf Award; the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; and more than twenty additional national awards. The New York Times hailed the book, writing, “It’s a book everyone should read… there’s no one who wouldn’t be a more imaginative and understanding parent — or human being — for having done so… a wise and beautiful book.” People described it as “a brave, beautiful book that will expand your humanity.”
Solomon’s previous book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (2001), won the National Book Award for Nonfiction, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and was included in The Times of London’s list of one hundred best books of the decade. A New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback editions, The Noonday Demon has been published in twenty-four languages. The New York Times described it as “All-encompassing, brave, deeply humane… a book of remarkable depth, breadth and vitality… open-minded, critically informed and poetic all at the same time… fearless, and full of compassion.”
Andrew Solomon received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University in 1985, and later earned a Master’s degree in English at Jesus College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, he received the top first-class degree in English in his year, the only foreign student ever to be so-honored, as well as the University writing prize. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Cambridge University in 2013.
In 1988, Solomon began his study of Russian artists, which culminated with the publication of The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost (1991). His recently reissued first novel, A Stone Boat (1994), was a national bestseller and runner up for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction prize; it has since been published in five languages.
He has authored essays for many anthologies and books of criticism. He continues to write for the New York Times and the New Yorker, and appears frequently on National Public Radio.
Solomon is an activist in LGBT rights, mental health, education and the arts. He is founder of the Solomon Research Fellowships in LGBT Studies at Yale University, and a member of the boards of directors of the National LGBTQ Force and Trans Youth Family Allies. He is a director of the University of Michigan Depression Center and Columbia Psychiatry; a member of the Board of Visitors of Columbia University Medical Center, of the National Advisory Board of the Depression Center at the University of Michigan, and on the Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. In 2011, he was appointed Special Advisor on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Mental Health at the Yale School of Psychiatry.
Additionally, Solomon serves on the boards of PEN; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the World Monuments Fund; Yaddo; and The Alex Fund, which supports the education of Romani children. He is a member of the Library Council Steering Committee at the New York Public Library. He is also a fellow of Berkeley College at Yale University, and a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities and the Council on Foreign Relations.
He lives with his husband and son in New York and London and is a dual national. He also has a daughter with a college friend; mother and daughter live in Texas but visit often.
For Executive Vice-President/Treasurer: John Troubh
Troubh Partners LP
John Troubh is co-founder and chief executive of Troubh Partners, an investment partnership established in 1996. His most significant philanthropic interests have included the East Harlem School and the New York City Parks Foundation, where he is a Trustee. Together with his wife Louisa, Troubh is a major supporter of the Albert Oliver Program, an educational and multi-service organization providing secondary school scholarships to African American and Latino students from New York City. Troubh is also an incoming member of the Board of Trustees of Colorado College. His interest in the importance of literacy and free expression drew him to the PEN American Center.
For Vice-President: Annette Tapert
Annette Tapert is the author of 11 books, including The Power of Style; The Power of Glamour: The Women Who Defined the Magic of Stardom; Slim: Memories of a Rich and Imperfect Life; and Swifty: My Life and Good Times (co-author with Irving Lazar); and Lines of Battle: Letters from American Servicemen, of which she is the editor. She is also a long-time style, fashion, and beauty writer; her articles appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Town & Country, Harper’s Bazaar, House Beautiful, and numerous other journals.
TERM TRUSTEE CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION TO SECOND THREE-YEAR TERM
Co-founder of Human Rights Watch and Writer
Jeri Laber is one of the founders of Human Rights Watch, the largest human rights organization in the United States. She is the author and/or editor of dozens of Human Rights Watch reports and more than 100 articles on human rights issues published in the New York Times, The New York Review of Books and many other publications. Her memoir “The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement” was published in 2002 by Public Affairs. She is co-author, with Barnett Rubin, of “A Nation is Dying: Afghanistan Under the Soviets,” Northwestern University Press.
Chairman, Slate Group
Jacob Weisberg is Chairman of The Slate Group, a unit of the Graham Holdings Company devoted to developing a family of Internet-based publications through start-ups and acquisitions. The Slate group’s roster includes Slate, The Root, and the video site Slate V.
A native of Chicago, Weisberg attended Yale University and New College, Oxford. From 1989 until 1994, he worked as a writer and editor at The New Republic. Between 1994 and 1996, he covered politics for New York Magazine. In 1996, he joined the new Internet magazine Slate, where he covered the 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns as Chief Political Correspondent.
Weisberg served as Editor of Slate from 2002 until 2008. He has also been a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, and a reporter for Newsweek in London and Washington.
Weisberg is the author of several books, including The Bush Tragedy, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2008. With former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, he co-wrote In an Uncertain World, which was published in 2003. His first book, In Defense of Government, was published in 1996.
His regular opinion column is published by Slate. In addition, Weisberg is a member of the Financial Times A-List board of contributors, and a contributing editor for Vogue. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the PEN American Center and the Committee to Protect Journalists.
TERM TRUSTEE CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION TO FIRST THREE-YEAR TERM
Poet and Activist
Masha Gessen is the author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot as well as six other books, including the international bestseller The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin. She is also the co-editor, with Joseph Huff-Hannon, of the anthology Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories (OR Books, February 2014). Born in Moscow, she emigrated to the United States in her teens, then returned to Russia a decade later. Writing in both Russian and English, she has covered every major development in Russian politics and culture of the past two decades, receiving numerous awards and fellowships in the process. She blogs weekly for The New York Times and has written for The New York Review of Books, International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, U.S. News & World Report (where she served as Moscow Bureau Chief), Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Granta, and Slate. Gessen has also edited several Russian magazines and written for many more. After 20 years in Moscow, she has relocated to New York City earlier this year.
Writer and Historian
Barbara Goldsmith is the author and historian of five award-winning New York Times best-selling books. Her award-winning, bestselling books include The Straw Man, Little Gloria . . . Happy at Last (for which she won an Emmy for the mini-series featuring Angela Landsbury, Christopher Plummer and Bette Davis), Johnson v. Johnson, Other Powers: The Age of Suffrage, Spiritualism and the Scandalous Victoria Woodhull, and Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie which recently won the prestigious American Institute of Physics Best Book Award and has been translated into twenty-one languages, sparking a new interest in Madame Curie.
Goldsmith was a Founding and Contributing Editor of New York Magazine, the Senior Editor of Harper’s Bazaar, and has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair. Goldsmith has received four doctorates in the field of Literature and in Humane Letters, honoris causa and is a Trustee and Literary Lion of the New York Public Library, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Authors League, and Poets and Writers. She was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Literacy Partners, two Presidential literary citations, the Authors Guild Award for Distinguished Service to the Literary Community, a Lifetime Achievement Award in Literary Arts of the Guild Hall Academy of the Arts, the Poets and Writers “Writers for Writers” award, the American Publishers Association Literary Award, and was a Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Best Non-Fiction Book. She was elected to the President’s Commission for the Celebration of Women in American History, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Commission for Preservation and Access, and the Permanent Paper Task Force of the National Library of Medicine.
She is the donor of the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Divisions of The New York Public Library, as well as New York University, and the Barbara Goldsmith Rare Book Room at the American Academy in Rome. She achieved a $20 million increase in federal funds for preservation and conservation. As a crusader for human rights, Goldsmith is donor of the PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award, which effects the release of writers of conscience who are in prison, tortured, or have disappeared. Ms. Goldsmith has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was recently designated a “Living Landmark” by the New York Landmark Conservancy.
Tom Healy is a poet, professor, public servant, and art gallery owner. In 2011, President Obama appointed him as Chairman to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Tom Healy pioneered New York’s Chelsea arts district. From 1994 to 2000, Healy opened and ran one of the first Chelsea art galleries, with Pat Hearn and Matthew Marks, showing many young artists who went on to prominence, including Tom Sachs, Janet Cardiff, Kara Walker, and Karen Finley.
Before his gallery, Healy owned a consulting company to museums, film festivals, and other prominent cultural institutions around the world. Healy has played an active role in the New York City arts scene; after the September 11 attacks he served as president of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, where he led rebuilding efforts for the downtown arts community. In 2006, Mayor Michael Bloomberg awarded him the NYC Arts Award, the city’s most prestigious award for achievement in the arts.
Tom Healy’s first book of poetry, What the Right Hand Knows, was published by Four Way Books in October 2009 with an introduction by poet Richard Howard and cover art by poet John Ashbery. The book was nominated for both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Lambda Literary Award. His second book, Animal Spirits, was released in 2013 by Monk Books. Healy directs arts programs at Columbia University, teaches at NYU, and is a visiting professor at the New School. He is a visiting fellow at the Goreé Institute in Dakar and a lecturer at Pratt in Brooklyn, where he teaches a seminar on the musical obsessions of writers. His poems and essays about contemporary artists have appeared in The Paris Review, Yale Review, BOMB, Salmagundi, Tin House, Drunken Boat, and other journals. He has also served on the boards of many cultural organizations including the Brooklyn Museum, Creative Time, Poets House, and the Miami Poetry Festival.
Paul Muldoon is the author of 12 books of poems, including Moy Sand and Gravel, for which he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize, and the forthcoming One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. He is the Howard Clark University Professor at Princeton and Poetry Editor of The New Yorker.
CEO of Hachette
Michael Pietsch is the Chief Executive Officer of Hachette Book Group. He joined HBG’s oldest division, Little, Brown and Company, in 1991 as an editor, and served as its Publisher from 2001 to 2013. He has worked as editor with America’s bestselling novelist, James Patterson, as well as with Michael Connelly, Stacy Schiff, Peter Guralnick, Walter Mosley, George Pelecanos, David Foster Wallace, Alice Sebold, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Martin Amis, Rick Moody, Nick Tosches, and many others. A career highlight was editing the posthumous Ernest Hemingway memoir The Dangerous Summer. As Hachette’s CEO he continues to edit, including most recently Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning bestseller, The Goldfinch.
Pietsch serves on the boards of Poets and Writers, the Association of American Publishers, and World Book Night. He lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York, with his wife Janet Vultee Pietsch, a children’s book editor. They have three children.
Laura Baudo Sillerman
Foundation President and Writer
Laura Baudo Sillerman is Chairman of the Education Committee of The American Museum of Natural History where she also serves on the board and the task force for the Twenty-first Century Campaign. Sillerman is a member of the Board of Trustees of Harlem Academy and a member of the advisory boards of Stony Brook University’s Southampton Campus, The Southampton Writers Conference and The Southampton Review as well as the Poetry Society of America.
Along with her husband, Robert F.X. Sillerman, she is a founder of The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at Brandeis University, where she serves as consultant to the Center. She is a co-founder of The African Poetry Fund and Series with Kwame Dawes and the underwriter of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. She is also a founding board member and the poetry editor of Women’s Voices for Change. She has served as a trustee of Marietta College and on numerous advisory boards and ad hoc committees of that institution. She was a member of the advisory committee for the Unterberg Poetry Center of the 92nd Street Y for a decade and is in her third year as a judge of the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in numerous publications in print and online.