Staff Bios

Meet the MoAD team!

Linda Harrison

Executive Director

Linda Harrison was appointed as the Executive Director of MoAD in November 2013. She has over 20 years of leadership experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Ms. Harrison’s professional experience in corporate management and high value real estate provided her with an outstanding background in executive leadership for MoAD; she is especially skilled in sales, marketing/outreach, and strategic planning.

Prior to joining MoAD, Linda founded two San Francisco businesses, worked as a Vice President for Eastman Kodak, a Fortune 500 company, and served on multiple Bay Area nonprofit Boards of Directors. Among her board roles, she served as President of Frameline, presenters of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, one of the country’s largest film festivals.

Linda also served on the Board of EARN, a San Francisco nonprofit that helps low-income American families achieve financial stability. She is President of the Emeritus Board of Frameline and serves on the Advisory Board of Horizons Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that actively secures the LGBT community’s future by promoting planned giving and building the LGBT Community Endowment Fund.

Linda enjoys living in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood with her wife, Ellen. They love attending film festivals and traveling on ships with funny names to far away places.

Michael Warr

Deputy Director

Before joining MoAD, Warr ran his own consulting practice focusing on planning, managing and implementing projects for a wide range of non­‐profit organizations, including: San Francisco Pride, Cave Canem (“A Place for Black Writers”), Red Poppy Art House, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, and Macarthur Foundation, among others. Previous to these duties, he served as executive director of DanceAfrica Chicago and several other nonprofits, and as a consultant at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services. He also worked as an Africa correspondent for the BBC, The Guardian, African Confidential and other media outlets.

Warr is also a widely published author and poet. He is the Poetry Editor of the upcoming Of Poetry & Protest – From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. Among his most notable achievements: recipient of the 2014 Creative Work Fund award for his multimedia project, Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point; recipient of the 2012 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature; recipient of the 2012 Poetry Honor Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA); and recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Significant Illinois Poets Award, a National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. His major works include The Armageddon of Funk (2011), Power Lines: A Decade of Poetry From Chicago’s Guild Complex (1999) as a co-­‐editor and We Are All The Black Boy (1991).

Lovisa Brown

Senior Director of Education

Lovisa Brown has over 20 years of experience working in educational programs in a variety of non-profit organizations in the Bay Area as well as programs in Central and South America. At MoAD, she leads the educational programs that enhance the patrons and visitors experience at the Museum. Her department helps to connect youth, educators, and the public to the historical, cultural, and intellectual contributions of the worldwide African Diaspora.

Lovisa manages a number of MoAD programs, including Behind the Lens, Scholarly Voices, School and Group tours, the Diaspora Curriculum Project, Education Workshops, and the Museum’s Intern and Docent programs. She also helps develop teacher learning aides. Lovisa strives to develop creative ways to help others discover their connection to the African Diaspora. She is passionate about her work at MoAD and hopes to discover something new every day.

Lovisa was also the Education Manager at the International Museum of Women. She has been an educational consultant with many Bay Area cultural institutions, including the Contemporary Jewish Museum, the de Young, and the Asian Art Museum.

When not at MoAD, Lovisa enjoys sharing meals with friends, discovering new places, and watching great indie films.

Emily A. Kuhlmann

Exhibitions Manager

Emily has been employed at MoAD since 2011. She has worked on past exhibitions such as Choose Paint! Choose Abstraction! Celebrating Bay Area Abstract Artists (2012) and Crosscurrents: Africa and Black Diasporas in Dialogue, 1960-1980 (2013).

Emily received her B.A. from the University of California, Irvine in Art History with a minor in Women’s Studies. After falling in love with art history, she immediately continued her education back in Northern California, where she graduated with an M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts. Her research interests include performance studies and critical race art history. Concerned with accepted norms of race, class, and gender, Emily explored the work of William Pope.L, Wu Tsang, and Adrian Piper in her thesis Making Visible Bodies: Artistic Interventions of Recognition and Responsibility. 

Petrina “Trina” de Chalus

Director of Retail & Visitor Experience

Trina has always been dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Black art, so she is thrilled to share her enthusiasm and knowledge in her position at MoAD. As the Director of Retail and Visitor Experience, Trina seeks to create an environment that is welcoming, educational, and fun – while inspiring people to learn more about the art and craftsmanship found throughout the African Diaspora.

A proud Detroit native, Trina was exposed to art while in elementary school. Some of her fondest memories include visits to The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum where she first saw work by Diego Rivera, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti and Romare Bearden. Drawn to folk and craft artists, Trina began her own explorations of art through batiking, a process well known in West Africa and the Georgia and Carolina Sea Islands.

Trina has traveled extensively, following her passions for art and the social sciences. Nepal, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, South Africa and Mozambique are just a few of the places her interests have taken her. Trina re-visited batiking while learning to carve stone and assist in limestone printmaking during her time as a resident artist on the farm of Nicholas Mukomberanwa, a renowned Shona stone sculptor.

Trina’s professional career spans almost two decades of administrative work in advertising, high-end post production photography, custom art framing, merchandising, and interior design. At home, Petrina surrounds herself with art from around the African Diaspora – Cuba, Haiti, Belize, Oakland, CA (courtesy of her 5 year old son!) and much more are all represented.

Linda Spain de Bruin

Chief Financial Officer

Linda joined MoAD in March 2013. Her financial career began as a cost accounting instructor at the University of Texas in Austin. Since then she has logged over 25 years as an accomplished financial and operational manager in the private and non-profit sector. As CFO, Linda successfully organized and grew a consumer product company to a multi-million business catering to Fortune 500 retailers.

She has also managed a cross-cultural exchange program and an international economic policy program. Linda’s expertise includes annual budgeting, financial modeling, cash flow forecasting, lending and legal negotiations, and audit management. Linda is also adept at creating order out of chaos and streamlining processes, making her an ideal member of FENG, the Financial Executives Networking Group. Before diving into the world of finance, Linda studied the German, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Japanese languages.

Indiia Wilmott

Facility Rentals & Special Events Coordinator

Indiia is a teacher at heart, having worked in education for 16 years. At MoAD, she works alongside Lovisa Brown in the Education Department. Right now, Indiia is focusing at MoAD on writing curriculum and facilitating workshops for tween girls. Prior to MoAD, Indiia spent two years as the co-founder and teacher for a program called Yes To Arts, providing free arts programs for students in low-income neighborhoods.

Outside of work, Indiia is a musical theatre actress. When she’s not performing, she is a huge supporter of the Bay Area’s theatre scene.

Elizabeth Gessel, Ph.D.

Program Manager

Elizabeth leads MoAD’s Public Programs department; and she is a critical thinker with excellent research, writing and communication skills. She has been developing and running public programs at MoAD since 2010. She has launched new program series on spiritual practices, folktales, sacred music, and dance. With a Ph.D in history from the University of California at Berkeley, Elizabeth is experienced in the educational and community organizing field, having worked with educational reform organizations and public school volunteers.

Elizabeth participated in a Museum Studies program at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Since then, she has worked with museums developing and producing educational curriculum, leading school tours, and working with community non-profit organizations. She brings a level of leadership and experience to MoAD, having worked with educational institutions and community groups managing projects and programs.

Elizabeth likes almost any activity she does with her family who include her two sons, Milo and Henry, and her dog, Lucy.

Shennel Fuller

Merchandise Manager

Shennel Fuller has over 10 years of experience working in corporate retail with companies such as Converse, Levis, and 7 for all Mankind. At MoAD, she manages the communication and drives seasonal business strategies which includes (but not limited to) buying, inventory management, and financial planning. Her efforts helps to revitalizes the museum store and maximize the opportunities to enrich the community with the beautiful culture and history that came out of the dispersal of Africans throughout the world.

Shennel graduated from Bridgewater State University where she was the President of the nationwide Phi Alpha Honor’s society and a two time recipient of the Dr. Robert A. Daniel African American Scholarship.

Outside of work, Shennel enjoys running, exploring the San Francisco food scene, art history, and of course all things related to fashion!

Sharif Frink

Marketing & Communications Manager

Sharif Frink joined the staff in March 2015 as the Marketing and Communications Manager. He has over 15 years of experience in social marketing, entertainment public relations, community outreach and radio promotions. Sharif has a B.A. in public relations from Florida A&M University and an M.B.A. from Golden Gate University.


Prior to joining the staff, Sharif was a dedicated volunteer. His first MoAD experience was the February 2011 opening reception for Textural Rhythms: Constructing the Jazz Traditional, Contemporary African American Quilts. After the reception, he went on a date with his future-to-be wife, Dania. They enjoy live music, going to art galleries and experiencing new food.

Jasmine Brown

Development Associate

Jasmine Brown began her journey at the Museum of the African Diaspora as an Education Intern, and now works in Development at MoAD. She has an educational background steeped in history and fine art, work experience in program administration, and a sincere commitment to public service.

Jasmine obtained a Bachelors of Art in African American Studies and Film from the University of California Los Angeles. Over the course of four years, she worked in programing: managing interdepartmental and public relations for a number of organizations, providing logistical and clerical support in: multi-disciplinary research, publications, and event planning. She gained substantial experience in program development, implementation and evaluation. She has worked with organizations dedicated to serving diverse demographics, thus developing a love for programs that provide socio-cultural access to underrepresented persons.