AJ Muste Institute Board of Directors and Staff

Board of Directors

Carol Kalafatic Carol Kalafatic, Board Chair

Carol is Quechua & has collaborated with Indigenous Peoples (IPs) since 1991, as a policy advocate, organizer, and writer on IPs’ self-determination & food sovereignty. IPs, civil society groups and Bureau of UN Committee on World Food Security appointed her to the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security & Nutrition, which she Vice-Chaired. Among other responsibilities, she was Indigenous Focal Point for the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, bringing IPs’ voices to food governance debates. She was key in convincing the UN Food & Agriculture Organization to establish a Policy on Indigenous & Tribal Peoples, and was lead author of its framework. She has written on IPs' Futures (in the journal Development), Coalition Building (AgroecologyNOW!), and contributed to Food Security Policy, Evaluation and Impact Assessment (Routledge), among other books. She is a Fellow at the Resistance Studies Initiative (UMass-Amherst) & Board Member of Forest Peoples Programme.

Nina Streich Nina Streich, Board Treasurer

Nina has been an activist for over 30 years in disarmament, social justice and environmental movements on a local and national level. She is executive director of the Orlando, Florida-based Global Peace Film Festival, which she created in 2003. She has an extensive background in film, TV and media industries and has produced documentaries on peace and justice issues. An accomplished events producer, she has organized film premiers, music festivals, conferences, parades, street fairs and press conferences. She has produced several documentaries on subjects she is passionate about – mainly political, of course.

Robert T. Taylor Robert T. Taylor, Board Secretary

Robert is the executive director of East Harlem's Youth Action Programs and Homes/YouthBuild, which partners with out-of-school youth to help them complete their education, learn a trade, and engage in community leadership through service and activism. He brings to the Board a background in youth, community development, higher education and local New York City government.

Diane Tosh Diane Tosh, Board Vice Chair

Diane a Brooklyn based family development consultant. She began volunteering at the War Resisters League in the 1970’s and went on to a life of activism in groups and coalitions focused on social, economic and racial justice. She has served on the boards of local and national organizations, specializing in development, marketing, and community outreach.

James A. Cole James A. Cole, Board Member

James is a longtime educator who is currently an assistant principal and founding staff member at a New York City middle school. His background includes working as an environmental educator, science teacher, and dean of students in a variety of educational settings.

King Downing King Downing, Board Member

King is an attorney and founder of the Human Rights-Racial Justice Center, advocating and organizing on criminal and economic injustice, including police practices, racial profiling and mass incarceration. Most recently he ran the Mass Defense program of the National Lawyers Guild. He also directed the Healing Justice Program of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and is the former national coordinator of the ACLU's Campaign Against Racial Profiling. King is a contributor to the following books: Twelve Angry Men, (New Press) and Torture in the U.S., 2nd Edition, (AFSC).

Johanna Fernandez Johanna Fernandez, Board Member

Johanna is associate professor of History at Baruch College of the City University of New York. Her book, The Young Lords: A Radical History, received the 2021 New York Society Library’s New York City Book Award and three Organization of American Historians awards: the Frederick Jackson Turner award for best first book in history, the Liberty Legacy Foundation award for best book on civil rights, the Merle Curti award for best social history and the 2021 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Dr. Fernández’s 2014 Freedom of Information Law lawsuit against the NYPD led to recovery of the "lost" Handschu files, the largest repository of police surveillance records nationally, namely over one million surveillance files of New Yorkers compiled between 1954-1972, including those of Malcolm X.

Ynestra King Ynestra King, Board Member

Ynestra has been an activist, teacher and writer since the 1970s. She is an ecofeminist theorist, a founder of Women and Life on Earth and the feminist anti-militarist movement, as well as the Committee on Women, Population and Environment. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Barnard Center for Research on Women. Ynestra is at work on a memoir about living with disability.

Matt Meyer Matt Meyer, Board Member

Matt is Secretary-General of the International Peace Research Association (the world’s leading consortium of university-based professors, scholars, students, and community leaders). Meyer also serves as the Senior Research Scholar of the University of Massachusetts/Amherst’s Resistance Studies Initiative; the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR)'s Financial Advisory Committee; and the War Resisters' International Africa Support Coordinator. As National Chair of both the War Resisters League (1985-1990) and the Fellowship of Reconciliation (2017-2019), Meyer is second only to A.J. Muste in serving as elected leader of both historic US peace organizations.

Peter Muste Peter Muste, Board Member

Peter has been a theatre professional and arts educator for many years, and is a partner in the New York Education Network for Teachers and Artists (ENTA), which develops education-through-the-arts programs. He was a founding director of Chicago's Public Access Theatre, which brought socially relevant dramatic works to parks and other public spaces. A longtime supporter of the Muste Institute, Peter served as Board Chair from 2006 until 2012. He has been directly involved in the Institute’s efforts to address militarism in the United States. A.J. Muste was Peter's grandfather; Peter's father was A.J.'s son John Muste, who passed away in 2002.

Ivan Rosales Ivan Rosales, Board Member

Ivan is the Finance and Operations Director at North Star Fund, a social justice fund that supports grassroots organizing led by communities of color building power in New York City and the Hudson Valley. He began organizing in the immigrant rights movement in 2010 and since then has become even more committed to community organizing and social justice. Ivan is also a member of the Donors of Color Network and serves on the board of the New York State Youth Leadership Council.

Staff

Heidi Boghosian Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director

Heidi joined the Muste Institute staff in 2014. The former executive director of the National Lawyers Guild, she writes frequently about protest and privacy. She wrote "I Have Nothing to Hide" and 20 other Myths About Surveillance and Privacy (Beacon Press 2021).

Eric Bachman, Program Associate, International Nonviolence Training Fund

Eric joined the Muste Institute staff in 2009. He has more than 40 years of experience in nonviolence training, organizing grassroots peace and environmental campaigns, nonprofit administration, and information technology. Eric was based in Germany from 1969 until 2005, and traveled extensively in the Balkan region from 1991 to 1998. He now lives in Vermont.

Daniel Strum Daniel Strum, Program and Operations Manager

Daniel joined the Muste Institute staff in March 2020. Daniel comes to the Muste Institute after 3 years as Database Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights. He has been a website and Constituency Relationship Management (CRM) system developer for 15 years. He is also a in New York City based progressive political activist.