AJ Muste Institute Board of Directors and Staff

Board of Directors

Johanna Fernandez Johanna Fernandez, Board Chair

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.

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.

Ivan Rosales Ivan Rosales, Board Treasurer

Ivan Rosales is the Chief Finance and Operations Officer at the Clara Lionel Foundation which focuses on climate resilience and climate justice in the Caribbean and United States. Ivan began organizing in the immigrant rights movement in 2010 and since then has become even more committed to community organizing and social and climate justice. Over the years, Ivan has served on the boards of the ACLU of Southern California and the New York State Youth Leadership Council. Ivan splits his time between Brooklyn and San Bernardino, CA.

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).

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.

Nina Streich Nina Streich, Board Member

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 Member

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.

Yuko Tonohira Yuko Tonohira, Board Member

Yuko Tonohira is an organizer and illustrator, and has been a member of Sloths Against Nuclear State, Asian American Oral History Collective among others. She has organized educational events and created visual materials linking to anti-colonialism and anti-militarism struggles.


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).

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.

Michelle Zappone Michelle Zappone, Michelle Zappone

Michelle joined the Muste staff in October 2023. Michelle has a background of development and communications in the education sector. She is passionate about connecting youth activists with resources and sharing their perspectives with the wider activist community.