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Advisory Council

William Atkins

Chief Financial Officer, One Concern

William Atkins is the Chief Financial Officer at One Concern, a Menlo Park, California based disaster resilience digital analytical solutions company. Prior to One Concern, he was CFO at a number of companies, including Clarify Health Solutions, a healthcare data analytics company, Airobotics, an enterprise robotic drone and geospatial analytics company, and Calix, a NYSE listed telecom and data networking company. Previous positions held also include senior partner at Fairfax Media Partners, CFO of Rivada Networks, and EVP and CFO of Intelsat.

Before joining Intelsat, Atkins held various positions at Morgan Stanley, including head of European telecommunications corporate finance, head of European corporate finance execution, and deputy head of investment banking in Tokyo. Prior to Morgan Stanley, he co-founded the telecommunications investment banking practice at S.G. Warburg. Atkins has an AB in History and an AM in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.

Giovanna Ceserani

Associate Professor of Classics, Stanford University
Director, Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis

Giovanna Ceserani (Stanford Humanities Center class of 2007-2008 and 2017-2018) is Associate Professor of Classics and, by courtesy, of History, and the Director of the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA) at Stanford University. She works on the classical tradition with an emphasis on the intellectual history of classical scholarship and archaeology from the eighteenth century onwards. A recipient of the New Directions Mellon Fellowship and an alumna of the Princeton Society of Fellows, she is the author of Italy’s Lost Greece: Magna Graecia and the Making of Modern Archaeology (Oxford University Press, 2012). Her two current book projects concern the emergence of modern histories of ancient Greece, and manuscript accounts of travels to Italy in the eighteenth century. Her interest in these travels is engaging new digital approaches: she was a founding member of the Stanford digital project Mapping the Republic of Letters, and is director of the Stanford digital project The Grand Tour Project.

As Director of CESTA, Ceserani serves ex-officio on the Humanities Center’s Advisory Council.

Kristin Kennedy Clark

Non-profit Consultant, Education and the Arts

Kristin Kennedy Clark graduated from Stanford University with a humanities honors degree in modern thought and literature. From 1990 to 1999, she worked as an investment banker, first at Alex Brown & Sons in San Francisco and then at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York, where she was a member of the firm’s Corporate Finance and Equity Capital Market divisions. Kristin is now an active fundraiser and not-for-profit consultant with a focus on education and the arts.

At Stanford, Kristin is a member of the Council on Lifelong Engagement and Advocacy for Development (LEAD). In her local community, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the New York City Ballet and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Professional Children’s School. She also currently serves on the Leadership Council for the Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech as well as the Lincoln Center All-Campus Marketing team. Other key volunteer and fundraising affiliations have included the Chapin School, the Dalton School, the School of American Ballet, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Society and the Museum of the City of New York.

Andrea Davies

Associate Director, Stanford Humanities Center

Andrea Rees Davies holds a PhD in history, a MA in history and a MA in religious studies from Stanford, as well as a BA in comparative religion and women’s studies from Harvard University.

In addition to her work at the Humanities Center, Davies currently teaches a course on LGBTQ U.S. History and created a LGBTQ Oral History Project at Stanford. Davies’ research interests in the history of social inequality includes her book Saving San Francisco: Relief and Recovery After the 1906 Disaster, which reveals how new relief policies preserved social hierarchies in the early-twentieth-century city. Her interest in the social consequences of disasters was sparked by her experiences as a San Francisco firefighter. 

Davies has also worked on interdisciplinary research teams and published research studies on gender inequality in Silicon Valley high-tech companies, venture capitalist perceptions of women entrepreneurs, the history of the racialized and gendered “ideal worker” myth, and dual-career academic couples at U.S. research universities

As Associate Director of the Stanford Humanities Center, Davies serves ex-officio on the Center’s Advisory Council.


Paula Findlen
Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History, Professor of Early Modern Europe and History of Science
Co-Director of the Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology
Stanford University

Paula Findlen (Stanford Humanities Center class of 1998-99 and 2011-12) is Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History at Stanford University. A specialist in the history of the Renaissance, she is the author and editor of numerous books, including the prize-winning Possessing Nature: Museums, Collecting, and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy (University of California Press, 1994) and Early Modern Things: Objects and Their Histories, 1500-1800 (Routledge, 2013). Findlen has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Getty Foundation.

Roland Greene

Anthony P. Meier Family Professor of the Humanities
Professor of English and Comparative Literature
Director, Stanford Humanities Center

Roland Greene assumed the directorship of the Stanford Humanities Center in September 2019. As Director of the Center, he holds the Anthony P. Meier Family Professorship in the Humanities. He is also the Mark Pigott KBE Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and is professor of English and comparative literature.

His research and teaching are concerned with the early modern literatures of England, Latin Europe, and the transatlantic world, and with poetry and poetics from the Renaissance to the present.

Greene received his doctorate from Princeton University and previously held appointments at Harvard University and the University of Oregon. He is the author of several books, including Five Words: Critical Semantics in the Age of Shakespeare and Cervantes (2013); Unrequited Conquests: Love and Empire in the Colonial Americas (1999); and Post-Petrarchism: Origins and Innovations of the Western Lyric Sequence (1991). Greene is also the editor in chief of the fourth edition of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012), considered the leading reference book on poetry. He is a past president of the Modern Language Association and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

A member of the Stanford faculty since 2001, he is co-chair and founder of two research workshops in which most of his PhD students participate: Renaissances and Poetics. Additionally, Greene is actively involved with the Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, the Bing Overseas Studies Program, and the Program in Structured Liberal Education (SLE), of which he is a former director.

Greene is also the founder and director of Arcade, a digital salon for literary studies and the humanities.

As Director of the Stanford Humanities Center, Greene serves ex-officio on the Humanities Center’s Advisory Council.

Mark Greif

Associate Professor of English
Stanford Univiersity

Mark Greif is Associate Professor of English at Stanford University. His scholarly work looks at the connections of literature to intellectual and cultural history, the popular arts, aesthetics, and everyday ethics. He taught at the New School and Brown before coming to Stanford in 2018. He is the author of The Age of the Crisis of Man: Thought and Fiction in America, 1933-1973 (Princeton University Press, 2015) which received the Morris D. Forkosch Prize from the Journal of the History of Ideas, and the Susanne M. Glasscock Prize for interdisciplinary humanities scholarship. His book Against Everything: Essays (Pantheon, 2016) was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award in Criticism. He has been a Marshall Scholar, and has received fellowships from the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the American Council of Learned Societies. He is a member of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU.

Niloofar Haeri

Chair, Department of Anthropology
Director of the Program in Islamic Studies
Johns Hopkins University

Niloofar Haeri (Stanford Humanities Center class of 2015–16) is professor of anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. She is a linguistic anthropologist who has carried out research in Egypt and Iran. She is the author of Sacred Language, Ordinary People: Dilemmas of Culture and Politics in Egypt (2003) and co-editor of Langue, religion et modernité dans l’espace Musulman contemporain (2008). She recently edited a special section of a journal on comparative notions of sincerity in Protestant Christianity, Russian Orthodox, Jewish ultra-Orthodox and Shi’a women in Iran. Her forthcoming book is on the uses of prayer and poetry as grounds for debating what is true Islam. For this project, she was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship and a Stanford Humanities Center fellowship.

Roberta Katz
Executive Officer and Director of the Charles and Roberta Katz Family Foundation
Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University (CASBS and Department of Communication)
Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning, Emerita, Stanford University

Roberta Katz, a senior research scholar at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), coordinates an interdisciplinary set of scholars who are examining the cultural norms and values of those born during and after the mid-1990s, an age group that has been denominated “Generation Z.”  The research will look closely at the traits that define the Generation Z culture, both in and outside the United States, and at the historical trends that have influenced the enculturation of members of this group.

Katz holds a PhD in anthropology as well as a law degree, and was previously the General Counsel of McCaw Cellular Corporation (now AT&T Wireless) and then of Netscape Corporation. During the years 2004 to 2017, she served under Stanford University Presidents John Hennessy and Marc Tessier-Lavigne as the university's associate vice president for strategic planning, helping to facilitate a variety of interdisciplinary research initiatives, and she also served for a year as President Tessier-Lavigne’s chief of staff. Katz serves on various nonprofit and advisory boards and is currently the Chair of the Board of the Exploratorium, a San Francisco-based institution devoted to experiential education about the physical and behavioral sciences.

Regina Kunzel

Larned Professor of History and Gender and Sexuality Studies
Yale University

Regina Kunzel (Stanford Humanities Center class of 2013-14) is an historian of gender and sexuality in the 20th-century U.S., with interdisciplinary interests in American Studies and LGBTQ studies. Her research focuses on the twined histories of difference and normalcy, the regulatory force of carceral institutions, and relationships between expert discourses and the self-representations of historical subjects. Her most recent book is Criminal Intimacy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality (2008). She is currently working on a book exploring the encounter of sexual- and gender-variant people with psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the mid-twentieth-century U.S.

Linda R. Meier

Chairman, Western Region Advisory Board of Institute of International Education, Inc. 

Linda R. Meier is a founding director of University Bank and Trust Company of Palo Alto. Most of her professional career has been spent in civic and board service. Meier has been a Trustee of Institute of International Education, Inc. since 2001. She has served in numerous volunteer roles for Stanford University, including Chair of the Stanford Athletic Board, Vice Chair at Outreach for the Campaign for Undergraduate Education, and on the Board of the Stanford Alumni Association. She served as a Trustee of Stanford University from 1984 to 1994. Currently she serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Medicine Community Council and the Stanford Hospital Board of Directors. Meier received her AB in Sociology from Stanford University.

Kathryn Moler

Vice Provost and Dean of Research
Professor of Applied Physics and of Physics
Stanford University

Kathryn “Kam” Moler is vice provost and dean of research, and professor of applied physics and of physics, with a focus on nanotechnology. She conducts research in magnetic imaging, develops tools that measure nanoscale magnetic fields, and studies quantum materials and devices. Moler has held numerous leadership positions at Stanford, most recently as senior associate dean for the natural sciences, overseeing the Departments of Applied Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics, and Statistics, as well as the Hopkins Marine Station. She has chaired the Faculty Senate and served on both the University Budget Group and the 2016 Presidential Search Committee.

As Vice Provost and Dean of Research, Moler serves ex-officio on the Humanities Center’s Advisory Council.

Serena Rao

Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, Office of Research,
Stanford University

Serena Rao is the senior associate dean for finance and administration for the Vice Provost and Dean of Research. Serving as the chief operating officer and reporting to the Dean, she provides oversight for resource planning, financial operation, facilities management, human resources, and research administration for 20 interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and labs. Prior to joining the Dean of Research in 2019, Rao was responsible for finance, facilities, and strategy functions of Stanford Libraries. In addition, she worked at the University Budget Office for 6+ years, where she undertook analytical projects for senior leadership and was a member in the provost's Budget Group. Prior to Stanford, she managed city-wide transportation and transit capital budgets under the Office of Management and Budget of New York City. She has an MPA from New York University and dual bachelor's in Economics and Public Policy from Peking University.

As Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, Rao serves ex-officio on the Humanities Center’s Advisory Council.

Gabriella Safran

Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies; Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Professor, by courtesy, of German Studies and of Comparative Literature
Director of Graduate Studies, Slavic Languages and Literatures
Senior Associate Dean for Humanities and Arts, School of Humanities & Sciences
Stanford University

Gabriella Safran (Stanford Humanities Center class of 2015-16) is the Eva Chernov Lokey Professor in Jewish Studies. She teaches in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, and she is also Professor, by courtesy, of German Studies and of Comparative Literature. She teaches and writes on Russian literature, Yiddish literature, folklore, and folkloristics. Her most recent monograph, Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk's Creator, S. An-sky (Harvard, 2010), is a biography of an early-twentieth-century Russian and Yiddish writer who was also an ethnographer, a revolutionary, and a wartime relief worker.  She is now completing a book on how mid-19th-century Russian writers competed with each other in describing how they listened to people unlike themselves. Her next research project addresses the transnational rise of the notion of Jewish speech style as comical. 

As Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities and Arts in Stanford’s School of Humanities & Sciences, Safran serves ex-officio on the Humanities Center’s Advisory Council.

Peter Seymour

Chief Financial Officer, Douglas Emmett Inc.

Peter Seymour joined Douglas Emmett in May of 2017 and currently serves as CFO for this NYSE-listed REIT (DEI) that is one of the largest owners and operators of Class-A office buildings and luxury apartment communities in the premier coastal submarkets of Los Angeles and Honolulu. Prior to Douglas Emmett, Seymour had a 20-year career at Disney where for the last five years he served as executive vice president and CFO of Disney ABC Television Group. He joined Disney’s corporate strategic planning unit in 1996 from the LEK/Alcar Consulting Group where he managed strategy consulting projects in technology and media fields. Seymour has an AB in economics and Asian languages and an MBA from Stanford University. He serves on the Stanford Parents' Advisory Board as well as the boards of the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Christen A. Smith

Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology
Director, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies 
University of Texas, Austin

Christen A. Smith (Stanford Humanities Center class of 2005-06) is Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies and Associate Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies and Anthropology at the University of Texas, Austin. Her research examines the gender and racial dimensions of state violence, and Black women’s intellectual contributions to the Americas. Her first book, Afro-Paradise: Blackness, Violence and Performance in Brazil, looks at the performative dimensions of anti-Black police violence, and won honorable mention for the 2017 Errol Hill Award. She is currently working on two projects. The first, tentatively titled Sequelae: Violence, Space and Time, considers the lingering, deadly impact of police violence on Black women, and its temporal and spatial dimensions. The second is a collaborative translation project that explores the life and work of Black Brazilian radical thinker Beatriz Nascimento. Smith is deeply committed to and engaged in transnational collaboration, and actively works to promote social justice through transnational dialogue.

Dafna Zur

Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures,
Stanford University

Dafna Zur (Stanford Humanities Center class of 2016-17) is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University. She teaches courses on Korean literature, cinema, and popular culture. Her book, Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea (Stanford University Press, 2017), traces the affective investments and coded aspirations made possible by children’s literature in colonial and postcolonial Korea. Zur is working on a new project on moral education in science and literary youth magazines in postwar North and South Korea. She has published articles on North Korean science fiction, the Korean War in North and South Korean children’s literature, childhood in cinema, and Korean popular culture. Her translations of Korean fiction have appeared in, The Columbia Anthology of Modern Korean Short Stories, and the Asia Literary Review.