Meet the MoAD team!
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. She was honored by the Yerba Buena Alliance as a recipient of the “UnSung Hero Award” Alliance in 2016, received the Powerful Women of the Bay Award in 2014, and was nominated for The Most Influential Women in Business Award.
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.
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.
Emily A. Kuhlmann
Director of Exhibitions & Curatorial Affairs
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.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Mark Sabb is a digital strategist, artist, and designer dedicated to the intersection of arts and community. Through independent collaborations Mark has cemented himself as a cutting edge digital artist in San Francisco, and in 2014, along with Michael Warr, Mark was granted the Creative Work Fund award as a part of the multimedia project, Tracing Poetic Memory in Bayview Hunters Point.
Director of Education
Demetri Broxton joined MoAD in January 2016 as the Director of Education. An Oakland-native, Broxton has over 16 years of experience working in the field of education and the arts. At MoAD, he leads the educational programs that enhance the visitor experience at the Museum. His department helps to connect youth, educators, and the public to the historical, cultural, and intellectual contributions of the worldwide African Diaspora.
This appointment marks Broxton’s second tenure with MoAD. He previously served as Education Program Manager for MoAD from 2007 through 2010. Outside of his role at MoAD, Demetri is an independent curator and educator. In 2012, Broxton founded Demetri Broxton Studio, an independent curatorial service and has served as curator for the City of Berkeley’s Civic Arts galleries since 2013. Demetri’s largest projects include Decoding Identity, which he co-curated at MoAD in 2009 and Past Forward, at the African American Art and Culture Complex (SF) in 2010.
Demetri graduated from San Francisco State University with an M.A. in Museum Studies with a dual emphasis on Education and Curatorial Practice. He received his Bachelors of Fine Arts from UC Berkeley in Art Practice and Education.
Elizabeth Gessel, Ph.D.
Director of Public Programs
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.
Executive Assistant & Operations Manager
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.
School & Community Outreach Coordinator
Richard Collins joined MoAD after working the last six years as a classroom teacher in K-12 public schools and teaching college freshman at California State University East Bay while earning his MA in Applied Anthropology. His interest in museums began as an undergraduate student when he pursued several internships including an education internship with MoAD in 2009. After this internship Richard went on to become an intern with the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2010. While working for the Smithsonian he formed the idea for his MA thesis “Reframing Learning In Museums” based on a film workshop he lead there. His thesis also explored the use of cell phones and handheld technology in classroom and museums as an educational tool and idea he hopes to incorporate in future museum education practices.
In addition to classroom teaching Richard has held many positions with San Francisco museums and cultural institutions from working as a docent, in public education, and managing visitor services. His combination of frontline museum experience and classroom teaching skills lead him to the role he currently holds with MoAD leading school groups and public tours as well as training docents.
Richard is a Bay Area native who spent most of his life in the East Bay and has also lived Washington D.C. where his extended family is from. He has a passion for learning about different cultures and subcultures and has been a lifelong Golden State Warriors fan.
Paul T Plale
Graphic Designer & Marketing Associate
Paul T. Plale joined MoAD in April 2014 as a graphic design intern. He studied at Academy of Art University in San Francisco pursuing Web Design & New Media with a focus on brand design, where his work was featured multiple times in the AAU Spring Show. Prior to working at MoAD, he designed for African American Shakespeare Company and served as President of SpeakOut! Slam Poetry.
Born in Albuquerque, raised in central Pennsylvania and educated in San Francisco, Paul interprets life and art from many angles at once. He enjoys exploring the conflux of subcultures as they interrelate and spark new ideas. These ideas find their way into his art, writing and design.
When he’s not in museums & galleries, Paul can be found browsing comic shops or record stores, and volunteering at Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society. His work was recently featured in the graphic novel anthology Not Forgotten, and in the 3rd Street Village Gallery.
Director of Facilities
Eric joined the MoAD staff in January 2016. He graduated Ohio University in 1979 with a B.S. in Journalism / Theater Criticism, but has spent a majority of his career in museum services. He managed offices and operations for the Western Association of Art Museums, the Art Museum Association of America and the American Federation of Arts, and served as Operations Manager for the San Francisco Performing Arts Library & Museum (now Museum of Performance & Design) for ten years. Other positions included Executive Officer to two advisory boards for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and four years as Operations Manager at Rising Sun Energy Center, an energy efficiency jobs training and workforce development non-profit based in Berkeley.
Eric continues to be active in the arts as a producer (Keep Your Day Job Productions)and as a playwright and performer. His credits include shows at The Hypnodrome, the New Conservatory Theater, the Cable Car Theater, Theater Rhinoceros, and the American Conservatory Theater Studio.
Visitor Experience Manager
Anna Escobedo joined the MoAD staff in December 2016 as the Manager of Visitor Experience. For the past three years, Anna has worked for Visitor Services and Education departments at several museums for the past three years and has been involved in arts and community engagement programs for nearly a decade.
Anna grew up in East Compton and moved to San Francisco in 2008 to pursue a double major in Latina/o Studies and Art with a double concentration in Studio Painting and Art History at San Francisco State University. She has worked on numerous art projects in the Mission District of San Francisco and is the lead mural restorer who oversees the maintenance of The Women’s Building “Maestrapiece” mural.
In her spare time, Anna serves as a board member for the non-profit organization Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, where she leads the neighborhood Cultural Arts and Assets Committee. Additionally, she works closely with various art based non-profits in the Mission District including: Carnaval San Francisco, Brava Theatre Center, Precita Eyes Muralists, Acción Latina, Talleres De Poesia, and the SF International Flor y Canto Literary Festival.
Currently, Anna is pursuing her M.B.A. and her M.A. degrees in Museum Studies at John F. Kennedy University. She connects personally with the story of the diaspora, identifying herself as Mayan Afro-Latina.
Visitor Experience Manager
Traka Lopez joined MoAD in 2014 as an education intern. She is presently on staff at MoAD, having over four years of experience working in the field of education and the arts. At MoAD, she is too a council member of the young professional group MoAD Vanguard. Additionally, she is part of the executive and strategic planning board for the Art Education Alliance of the Bay Area associated with the SF Commission. Outside of MoAD, Traka is a creator, director, and educator for the Alameda County Juvenile Hall Art Therapy Program. As an advocator for the diversification of art education and art history, she is an independent curator, artist and curriculum writer.
Aside from her career, she is extremely active within the Bay Area community. Being part varies outreach programs, I thrive for equality for all. Lastly, she is currently involved with the Black Female Project and other community nonprofits.