Born in Iran and raised as a member of the Baha’i faith, Payam Zamani is the founder, chairman, and CEO of One Planet, a socially responsible hybrid tech firm that owns and operates a suite of online technology and media businesses and is an early stage investor. He is also the Founder and the Editor-in-Chief of BahaiTeachings.org.
The "Grandmother of Performance Art," Abramović has presented her work with performances, sound, photography, video, and sculpture in solo exhibitions at major institutions in the U.S. and Europe. She was also the subject of a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, "The Artist is Present," in 2010.
An award-winning journalist and writer, Ruthie Ackerman is an in-demand book coach and teaches writing workshops for individuals and corporations. She was most recently the Deputy Editor at ForbesWomen. The recipient of a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Writing Fellowship and Johns Hopkins International Reporting Fellowship, her work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Salon, and The San Francisco Chronicle among others.
Tim Adams is Lead Feature Writer at the Observer. He has written cover stories for TheNew York TimesMagazine, Granta and Bloomberg Businessweek. He received the One World Media press award last year and in 2014 was named ‘Arts and Culture Writer of the Year’ by the Foreign Press Association.
William Lee Adams is a Vietnamese-American broadcaster and journalist based in London, where he currently presents the BBC Minute — the flagship youth news program from the BBC World Service. He is best known as the founder and face of Wiwibloggs, the world’s most-followed independent Eurovision blog and YouTube channel. Wild Dances is his first book.
Emma Ahlqvist is an artist and writer born in Sweden and based in Scotland. She is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and mother to a four-year-old son, Tor, and two-year-old daughter, Runa. Her illustrations have appeared in The Guardian and elsewhere, and her work on motherhood, which she shares on Instagram at @emmajahlqvist, has been featured by myriad websites and social media feeds. In 2017, Emma published a graphic novel in Swedish, Ta mig härifrån (I'm Leaving Soon). Her first book in English is forthcoming from Princeton Architectural Press.
Samina Ali is recognized as one of the most influential voices in Muslim America, a powerful advocate for Muslim women’s rights and interfaith understanding, with an international profile: featured speaker at the International Conference of the Nobel Women’s Initiative; curator of the groundbreaking exhibition Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices; and Cultural Ambassador for the U.S State Department abroad. Her TEDx talk “What Does the Qu’ran Really Say about a Muslim Woman’s Hijab?” has more than eight million views. Ali’s award-winning novel Madras on Rainy Days was the winner of France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Étranger Award and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Samina is currently at work on a memoir about her recovery from a fatal illness, which led to rediscovering and redefining her own identity as a mother, daughter, wife, and Muslim woman.
Pamela Anderson is a model, actress, activist, and author.
Kendra Atleework is the author of the award-winning Miracle Country: A Memoir of a Family and a Landscape, winner of the Ellen Meloy Desert Writer Award, the Sigurd F. Olsen Nature Writing Award, and the Women Writing the West WILLA Literary Award. The San Francisco Chronicle hailed Miracle Country as “Powerful… reminds us to hold our loved ones close [and] treat the land as sacred.” In the Los Angeles Times: “A vivid picture of a place, and a family… sure to make readers fall in love with Miracle Country.” From bestselling author Luis Alberto Urrea, Miracle Country is “radiant with light and shadowy as midnight… [Atleework] flies with burning wings.”Kendra Atleework received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota and now lives in her hometown of Bishop, California.
Internationally acclaimed poet, novelist, screenwriter and memoirist Jimmy Santiago Baca is the recipient of numerous literary awards including the Pushcart Prize, the American Book Award, and the International Hispanic Heritage Award. While serving a maximum security prison sentence for drug possession, Mr. Santiago Baca taught himself to read and write and discovered poetry, experiences documented in his brilliant memoir A Place to Stand (Grove Press), which went on to win the prestigious 2001 International Prize. His most recent poetry collection, Singing at the Gates, was also published by Grove Press.
April Balascio is the star of the 2019 true crime podcast, The Clearing, which has nearly 17 million downloads to date and is currently being developed as a major television series. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, Michael.
Platinum-selling singer-songwriter, Bareilles has been nominated for a Grammy Award five times. Her hit single “Love Song” reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2007. Bareilles also wrote the songs and music for the hit Broadway musical, Waitress.
A former Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Barofsky is a Senior Fellow at NYU’s Center on the Administration of Criminal Law and a partner in the Litigation Department of national law firm Jenner & Block LLP. His book Bailout was a New York Times Bestseller.
Jené Ray Barranco is a motivational speaker to Christian and secular groups, churches and women’s conferences, and a founder of a ministry to single moms. Her memoir, Goodnight, I Love You, grew out of her blog “A Woman’s Heart”; she now writes about purpose and faith at “Eyesstr8ahead”.
Natasha Barrett is a writer based in Los Angeles. She started her career writing for magazines including Variety, Cosmopolitan, In Style, Harper's Bazaar, Shape Magazine, Santa Barbara Magazine, and Ray Gun among others before moving to Detour Magazine as Senior Editor covering celebrity, fashion, and tech. After Detour, she continued writing for fashion brands and blogs, composing press releases and online copy, and eventually transitioning to real estate where she currently works at The Agency (Yes, the real estate firm from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, where Natasha has appeared on countless episodes).
Artist and writer Mira Bartók is the author of The Memory Palace (Free Press), winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. Her writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and noted in The Best American Essays 1999 and other anthologies. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants for her art and for her writing.
Ann Bauer is a novelist and nonfiction writer. Her books include A Wild Ride Up The Cupboards (Scribner), The Forever Marriage (Overlook Press), and Forgiveness 4 You (Overlook Press).
Ruha Benjamin is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, founder of the IDA B. WELLS Just Data Lab, editor of Captivating Technology (Duke), and author of People’s Science (Stanford) and the award-winning Race After Technology (Polity). She writes, teaches, and speaks widely about the social dimensions of science, technology, and medicine, and the relationship between knowledge and power, race and citizenship, health and justice.
Arthur Blank is the co-founder of the Home Depot. He is the owner of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United of Major League Soccer, Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the PGA Tour Superstores retail chain and is one of America’s most effective philanthropists.
The New York Times’s Visual Op-Ed Columnist, Blow was previously the paper’s Graphics Director and Design Director for News. In those roles he led the Times to numerous design awards. His Op-Ed column appears twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays.
A bartender to the Hollywood elite, for whom he set up intimate social liaisons, Bowers was the author of Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywoodand The Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. Full Service, co-authored with Lionel Friedberg, was a New York Times Bestseller and a Los Angeles Times Bestseller.
Vogue’s International Editor-at-Large, Bowles was previously Vogue’s European Editor-at-Large and a creative consultant for The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Ruth Brandon was a trainee producer for the BBC, working in radio and television after reading French and Spanish at Girton College, Cambridge. But she found she preferred writing, and moved to freelance journalism, and eventually to books. Ruth is primarily a non-fiction writer, using biography to look at social and cultural history through individual lives. Ruth lives in London. She is married, with one daughter.
Author and screenwriter Carolyn S. Briggs is the author of the memoir This Dark World (Bloomsbury), which was adapted for film and released in 2011 as Higher Ground, directed by and starring Oscar-nominated actor Vera Farmiga.
Michael Brodeur is classical music editor at The Washington Post, and is a former cultural critic at the Boston Globe. Michael’s written on the gym and the body for Thrillist, the Boston Globe Magazine, and Medium; Swole is his first book.
Waka lives in Portland, OR and works remotely for the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE), a non-profit group. While I Was Away is her MG debut.
Will Betke-Brunswick is a cartoonist and graduate from the California College of the Arts MFA in Comics program. Will’s nonfiction comics have been published online and in print, including in INTO, the trans anthology How to Wait: An Anthology of Transition, and the second edition of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves. Will regularly shares work on Instagram @transboycomics.
Majka Burhardt is the author of Coffee Story: Ethiopia and Vertical Ethiopia: Climbing Toward Possibility in the Horn of Africa and Executive Producer of films Waypoint Namibia and Namuli. She is the founder and executive director of Legado, where she works to protect the world’s most threatened mountain ecosystems by empowering the people who call them home. Legado originated during a pioneering climbing and conservation research expedition to Mozambique.
Diane Cardwell is an award-winning journalist who edited and wrote features on a broad range of subjects, including popular culture, politics, crime, real estate, the New York hospitality industry and, most recently, energy, with a focus on renewables and clean-tech. A longtime staff member at The New York Times, she has contributed articles to numerous publications, including New York, O, Details, Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone and Vogue. Rockaway, her memoir about how surfing changed her life, is out now from Houghton Mifflin.
Jim Carrey is an actor, comedian, and visual artist, and has starred in some of the most beloved films of the past two decades (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Dumb & Dumber, The Truman Show, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas, among others). He is the executive producer and star of the Showtime series Kidding and the author, with Dana Vachon, of the semi-autobiographical novel Memoirs & Misinformation (Knopf, 2020).
David L. Carroll has written nine network TV programs and the EMMY Award winning adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. He is the author of 40 published books, a majority of which deal with health, self-help, and spirituality, including Five Stages of the Soul, Spiritual Parenting, and Living with Dying.
Described by Rolling Stone as “one of America’s best and most ambitious songwriters,” singer, music producer, visual artist, and writer, Neko Case has built a career with her distinctive style and musical versatility. In addition to her numerous critically acclaimed and Grammy-nominated solo records, Case is a founding member of The New Pornographers and recorded a collaborative album with k.d. lang and Laura Veirs.
Maureen Cavanagh has worked as a waitress, shot-girl, house cleaner, booking agent for punk rock bands in New York City in the 1980s, babysitter, tutor, bookkeeper, waitress again, owner of a commercial janitorial service, founder of the Utah chapter of a nonprofit called Project Children, fundraiser, domestic-violence advocate, publicist, grant writer, homelessness-prevention advocate, waitress once more, sub-prime auto finance company administrator, ESL tutor, tutor in a correctional facility, reading specialist, Language-based Learning Disability Special Education teacher, and automotive insurance agent. Cavanagh is now a treatment advocate and the founder of Magnolia New Beginnings, a peer-to-peer network and non-profit to assist those or their loved ones affected by substance use disorder.
Terri Cheney is the author of the New York Times bestseller Manic: A Memoir, and speaks nationally and internationally on mental health issues. Her stories and commentary have been featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, on NPR, NBC, and PBS, and in her long-running, widely read column in Psychology Today; her writing has also been adapted for television—her essay on bipolar dating life for the NYT’s Modern Love column was chosen for the recent Amazon TV series.
Rita Zoey Chin is the author of the critically acclaimed debut memoir Let the Tornado Come, hailed by The Huffington Post as a “euphoric ode to the human spirit.” She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and is the recipient of a Katherine Anne Porter Prize and an Academy of American Poets award. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Tin House, Marie Claire, and elsewhere. Her first novel, The Strange Inheritance of Leah Fern, is forthcoming from Melville House.
Anthony Chin-Quee is a board certified Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat surgeon) with degrees from Harvard University and Emory University School of Medicine. He has appeared at The Moth competitions, where he's won their Storyslam and placed as a runner-up in the Detroit Grandslam. He was a medical consultant for ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and is currently a staff writer for FOX's "The Resident," distilling complex medical and social issues into palatable and understandable mainstream storylines. He has published opinions in Forbes and been interviewed by NPR on the topic of systemic racism in medical education.
According to a recent profile in The New Yorker, Robert Christgau is “not just the Dean of American Rock Critics…but one of America’s sharper public intellectuals of the past half century, and certainly one of its most influential.” A rock critic since 1967, he was a senior editor and the chief music critic at The Village Voice for over three decades. His Is It Still Good to Ya?: Fifty Years of Rock Criticism, 1967-2017 was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Critics Circle award in the category of criticism; he currently writes a music column for Vice.
After a career as an actor, script writer, video producer, and founder of the St. Croix Festival Theater, Carrie Classon earned her MBA and travelled the world working on public and private infrastructure projects. Her written work includes the one-woman plays Letters from Lagos and I've Been Waiting All My Life to Be Middle-Aged which is currently in production. She writes “Letters from Home,” a syndicated column that is published widely in the Midwest. A graduate of the University of New Mexico’s MFA program, she now lives in Los Alamos, NM.
An iconic model of the 60s and 70s, Cleveland served as a muse to designers such as Halston, Stephen Burrows, and Yves Saint Laurent. She has participated in landmark fashion shows including the Battle of Versailles and has appeared in several documentaries.
Keith Corbin is chef of Alta Adams restaurant in Compton, California.
Andy Corren spent decades in the entertainment industry as a successful talent manager for numerous high profile actors, eventually establishing his own firm. He is a published and produced playwright and performer.
A former chancellor of the New York City public school system and former superintendent for Miami-Dade county’s public schools, Crew is an education consultant and frequent lecturer. The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York appointed Crew as president of Medgar Evers College.
Hopwood DePree is a writer, actor, and producer who moved from Hollywood to Middleton, England to try to save from ruin his ancestors’ 600 year old estate, Hopwood Hall.
Ani DiFranco is a Grammy Award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist, poet, songwriter, activist, businesswoman, and New York Times bestselling author. She has released more than 20 albums, and is one of the first independent musicians to create her own label, Righteous Babe Records (based in Buffalo, NY). She is widely known as an activist and feminist icon, and the Righteous Babe Foundation supports causes ranging from abortion rights to gay visibility.
Karen Duffy is the author of the New York Times bestseller Model Patient: My Life as an Incurable Wise-Ass. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Glamour, Esquire, and the New York Daily News, and has played parts in the movies Dumb and Dumber, Celebrity, and Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox.She was also the face for Revlon's "Charlie’s Girl" and a VJ for MTV. She resides in New York with her husband and son.
A former senior editor at The New Yorker, Eakin has worked as an ideas reporter for the New York Times and a fashion features writer at Vogue. She’s written for Vanity Fair, The New York Review of Books, and The New Republic, among other publications.
Mieke Eerkens is a Dutch-American writer who grew up divided between the foothills of California and the canals of the Netherlands. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s MFA program in nonfiction writing, and her work has appeared in publications such as Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, Guernica, Creative Nonfiction, Best Travel Writing 2011, and the Norton anthology Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts.
Linda T. Elkins-Tanton is the Managing Director of Arizona State University’s Interplanetary Initiative, Principal Investigator of the NASA Psyche mission: Journey to a Metallic World, and co-founder of the ed tech company Beagle Learning. Her past appointments include Director of ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, Director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Assistant Professor at MIT, and Research Associate at Brown University. She received her B.S., M.S., and PhD degrees from MIT. Among her many accolades, she is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of numerous awards including the Arthur L. Day Prize from the National Academy of Sciences which called her, “the world’s leading figure in the early evolution of rocky planets.”
Mark Ellison has worked as a carpenter, mostly in and around New York City, for nearly four decades. His work has won numerous awards, and he is widely considered one of the top carpenters in New York.
Founder and CEO of VentureMark Inc., a Chicago-based real estate investment firm, Falanga has taught at Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.
Graham Farmelo is an award-winning science writer and biographer. Formerly an academic and senior executive of the Science Museum from 1990-2003, he also works as speaker and consultant in science communication. Graham is often a guest on BBC Radio 4, has contributed to the New Scientist and Scientific American and written reviews in a wide range of publications, notably The Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, Nature and Times Higher Education. He is a Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge, and a regular visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.The Strangest Man, his masterful biography of Paul Dirac—pioneer in quantum mechanics, the ‘British Einstein’ and youngest theoretician ever to win the Nobel Prize for Physics—won the 2009 Costa Book Award for Biography and the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology. It was also chosen by Physics World as their Book of the Year. Farmelo was awarded the Kelvin Prize and Medal in 2012 by the Institute of Physics, which elected him a Fellow in 1998. In 2011 he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the British Science Association. Graham is also an undercover restaurant critic and is based in London.
Professor of the Practice and founding director of Georgetown University’s Journalism program, Feinman has worked as a ghostwriter, researcher, or editor for various books by Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee, and Hillary Clinton, among others. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Glamour, and Writer’s Chronicle.
The FBI’s second in command in the 1970s, Felt revealed himself, in 2005, to be the famous Woodward and Bernstein source “Deep Throat.” He died in 2008, and his daughter Joan Felt is the executor of his estate. His story is under option to Universal and Tom Hanks’s production company Playtone.
America Ferrera is an award-winning actress, producer, director and activist. In 2016 Ferrera co-founded HARNESS, an social justice story telling non-profit, and she speaks throughout the country as an advocate for human and civil rights and was the opening speaker at the monumental Women’s March on Washington in January 2017.
Best known as the costume designer on Sex and the City, Patricia Field is a designer, stylist, boutique owner, and fashion icon. For her work on The Devil Wears Prada, she was nominated for an Academy Award, and for her work on Sex and the City, she’s been nominated for five and won one Emmy Award.
The recipient of the Oxford American's 2018-19 Jeff Baskin Writers Fellowship, Fields has published essays and photography in the Oxford American, the Baffler, Columbia Journalism Review, Sonora Review, War, and elsewhere. He holds an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program and hails from Houston, Texas.
A singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Fogerty is best known for his work with his band Creedence Clearwater Revival and for his work as a solo recording artist.
After losing his sight in his teens, Chad E. Foster became the first blind graduate of the Harvard Business School leadership program. He is an executive at Red Hat and a leading speaker to business audiences.
Alex Cody Foster has worked as a professional ghostwriter for eight years, helping celebrities, businesspeople, and thought leaders tell their stories. The Man Who Hacked the World is the first book he has written under his own name. He lives in Bar Harbor, Maine with his girlfriend and dog.