Our Team

MoAD, a contemporary art museum, celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.

Board of Directors

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Name

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Professional title

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Eric McDonnell

Chair
Principal at Peacock Partnerships LLC

Eric McDonnell is a people-first advocate, strategist, diversity trainer, executive coach, and keynote speaker in pursuit of positive impact in the world. With more than 25 years of executive management and leadership experience, Eric provides strategic management consulting support to leaders and organizations in the nonprofit, government, philanthropic, and private sectors. Eric holds a BA in public administration from the University of San Francisco and is a Certified Life Coach. A native San Franciscan, Eric and his family live in the Bayview neighborhood, and he enjoys live music and cycling.

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Peggy Woodford Forbes

Vice Chair
Consultant

Peggy Woodford Forbes is formerly Chairwoman, CEO, and CIO of Woodford Capital Management, the investment firm she founded in 1990 in New York City. Woodford Forbes was the first African American woman to establish a registered investment advisory firm in growth equity management in the United States. Nearly a 30-year veteran of Wall Street, Woodford Forbes previously worked both for Osoborne Partners and Merrill Lynch, and has participated as an active partner and trustee for eight nonprofits nationwide. Woodford Forbes has a passion for business and the arts, and has passed on that love to her daughters Maya Forbes and China Forbes.

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Tiffany M. Stevenson

Treasurer
Chief People Officer at Weight Watchers

Tiffany Stevenson is the Chief People Officer at Weight Watchers. Her focus on business acumen seeks to align people strategy with business strategy while driving a fun, consistent workplace. She was previously the Vice President of Talent Management & Development at Sephora and worked on the National Advisory Council of Innovation and Leadership with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

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Elisa Durrette

Secretary
Head of Commercial Legal, Grammarly

As Head of Commercial Legal, Elisa Durrette manages a group of attorneys for Grammarly on a global scale. Durrette also serves on the board of directors for the Lab. Previously, Durrette was a technology entrepreneur and co-founded two music related start-ups as well as an early pre-cursor to Yelp. As an art collector, she began to purchase art in 2003 when living in South Africa, and went on to curate her own group show at Guerrero Gallery in 2018. Durrette holds a law degree from the Cornell Law School.

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Ammanuel Zegeye

Associate Partner at McKinsey & Co.

Ammanuel Zegeye is an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company where he advises industrial, technology and public sector clients across strategy, corporate finance, and operations topics. From 2015 to 2017, Zegeye focused on economic development with McKinsey in Ethiopia, growing the Addis Ababa office and advising clients on investment and industrialization strategy. Zegeye started his career as a financial analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York. Zegeye holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Economic History from Haverford College and the London School of Economics. In addition, Zegeye is a member of the Robert S. Brookings Society.

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Beryl Potter

Private Attorney

Beryl Crumpton Potter is an attorney with experience in board governance, advocacy, fundraising, and planning. She has worked with professional, civic, political, and community boards, organizations, and committees on the local, state, and national level. While actively running her private practice from 1996-2003, she engaged in labor and employment, civil rights, and family law. She served as Senior Trial Attorney for the Department of Child Support Services from 2003-2006. Potter is Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees of St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland and is a member of the Oakland Bay Area Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and Jack & Jill of America.

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Jill Cowan

Philanthropist

Jill Cowan is a local Bay Area philanthropist, art collector, and community activist. Cowan sits on the board of the YMCA of San Francisco and the national board of Summer Search. She is a San Francisco University High School Trustee and a member of Jack & Jill of America. Cowan is the wife of Stephen Davis, founding Managing Partner at Banneker Partners and an active investor in technology companies since 2000. Cowan is a graduate of Wellesley College. She and her husband reside in San Francisco.

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Julius Robinson

Retired Managing Director & Group Head, Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas at MUFG Union Bank

Julius Robinson had over 25 years of experience with MUFG Union Bank, overseeing a network of more than 130 locations across Northern and Central California. Robinson also oversaw the bank’s government relations activities and the MUFG Union Bank Foundation, the nonprofit entity that acts as the agent for the bank’s charitable contributions. In addition to his service with MoAD, Robinson also serves on the board of directors for Operation HOPE, Students Rising Above, and Alliant University.

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Michelle Gaskill-Hames

Senior Vice President, Hospital and Health Plan Operations at Kaiser Permanente

As Senior Vice President of Hospital and Health Plan Operations at Kaiser Permanente, Gaskill-Hames provides executive oversight for 7 geographic service areas and 11 hospitals in the Bay Area. In her 20-year career starting as a bedside nurse, she has delivered leadership vision, driven cultural transformation, and executed several successful outcomes in the health care system top-line revenue enhancements and expense management. Her husband, Charley, is the Senior Pastor of Beebe Memorial Cathedral CME Church in Oakland. Together, they are committed to addressing healthcare and social disparities in the communities where they live and work.

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Vimbayi Kajese

Founder and CEO of #Adtags

As the first African to make history by anchoring the news in China, Vimbayi has a lot to say about the power of representation. She is unapologetic, and compelling in the way she deconstructs the different unassuming ways, that lack of representation, in media has on resilient majorities (POC). This is the thesis of her Tedx talk, this is why she founded her start-up #Adtags, and this is why she is proud to serve on the board of MoAD. Vimbayi was born in Zimbabwe and raised around the world to diplomatic parents. They read her stories that left an indelible mark, prompting her to create her own and share the less often-heard experiences of others. This, combined with over 20 years in activism, diplomacy, media, and innovation, give her insights, their unique, sharp, and often humorous, potency. It has opened doors to exclusive interviews with world leaders on international stages. She is a sought-after social commentator, panelist, moderator, and speaker. She was made a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum; was key in forming her country's presidential delegation to Davos; declared one of Zimbabwe's "Most Influential Under 40", was invited to speak on the TED stage; and was made a China-Africa 'Special Friendship Envoy and Cultural Ambassador’. Vimbayi has been a trusted advisor on boards ranging from micro-finance, wildlife conservation, and tech start-ups. She currently lives in the Bay Area with her partner where she also teaches a class on global entrepreneurship at Stanford. Her creative outlets include: penning her psycho-thriller, performing immersive poetry, and dabbling in a bit of stand-up comedy.

Our Staff

Name

Professional title
Professional title

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Name

Moad title
Professional title

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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Monetta White

she/her
Executive Director and CEO

Monetta White, a San Francisco native, has dedicated her career to preserving African American culture and advocating for the community. With over 20 years of experience in civic engagement, and entrepreneurship, she has collaborated with numerous non-profits, donors, and corporations.

Under her leadership, the museum has played a pioneering role in showcasing renowned Black artists and curators locally and internationally. Additionally, she forged a partnership with SFMOMA to establish a joint curatorial position aimed at nurturing the next generation of BIPOC art leaders.

Guided by her expertise, the museum has achieved remarkable success, including record-setting donor campaigns and art auctions, doubling its budget, expanding its global reach and digital audience, and creating new opportunities for Black curators and artists.

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Key Jo Lee

she/her
Chief of Curatorial Affairs and Public Programs

Key Jo Lee is chief of curatorial affairs and public programs at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco. In this role, Lee oversees the strategic direction for the museum’s exhibitions and programs; leads globally on identifying and promoting emerging artists from the African diaspora; and works to expand MoAD’s reach and influence locally, nationally, and internationally. She is responsible for the overall management and execution of the museum’s curatorial vision, including its exhibitions, publications, and public and educational programs, and plays an important role in the organization’s outreach, communications, and digital strategy. Lee has a master’s degree from and is PhD candidate in History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. Her first book, Perceptual Drift: Black Art and an Ethics of Looking, was published by Yale University Press and The Cleveland Museum of Art in January 2023.

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Sheeka Arbuthnot

she/her
Chief Development Officer

Sheeka deeply believes that art and culture are functions of a progressive and evolving society. She has committed her career as a development professional to ensuring that art institutions are securely funded and have the ability to thrive. Knowing that artists are innovators of societal change on all levels, and art institutions play a key role in fostering a public space and community dialogue for innovation, she is humbled to be a part of this community process. Prior to joining the team at MoAD, she worked as the Development Director for Path with Art, an arts organization in Seattle providing access to creative engagement for adults navigating trauma. Sheeka was born, raised, and educated in the Bay Area: graduating from Mills College with a B.A. in Art History and from San Francisco Art Institute with an M.A. in Contemporary Art History. She is thrilled to be back in San Francisco with her family.

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Elizabeth Gessel, Ph.D.

she/her
Director of Public Programs

Elizabeth leads MoAD’s Public Programs department; 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, film and dance and overseen the development of two residency programs, the Chef-in-Residence and Poets-in-Residence programs at MoAD. She directed the transition to exclusively virtual programming during the novel coronavirus pandemic for MoAD. Elizabeth has a B.A. (with highest honors) and a Ph.D. in History from University of California, Berkeley.

Elizabeth participated in a Museum Studies program at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation that ignited her interest in working in museums. She loves to tell the extraordinary stories of resilience and joy, and to showcase the historical, cultural, and intellectual contributions of the global African Diaspora. She enjoys collaborating with other institutions and non-profits in the Bay Area and around the world. Elizabeth likes almost any activity she does with her family and her dog, Nova.

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Nia McAllister

she/her
Senior Public Programs Manager

Nia McAllister is an award-winning poet, writer, environmental justice advocate working at the intersection of art, activism, and public engagement. She received her B.A. in Environmental Analysis: Race, Class, Gender, and the Environment from Pomona College and went on to join MoAD in December 2017. As the Senior Public Programs Manager, Nia creates participatory spaces for creative expression and literary dialogue. She leads the museum’s literary events under the MoAD Lit program and is the host and founder of the Open Mic series at MoAD. Since launching the series in April 2018, Nia has been integral in growing a vibrant poetry community at the Museum.

At MoAD and beyond, Nia creates platforms for amplifying the work of Black artists on a global scale. Nia's writing and poetry have been featured on Poets of Color Podcast, Bay Poets | KALW Public Media, and published in Doek! Literary Magazine, Radicle magazine, Meridians journal, and Painting the Streets: Oakland Uprising in the Time of Rebellion (Nomadic Press, 2022). She is a recipient of the 2023 San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press Literary Awards.

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Demetri Broxton

he/him
Senior Director of Education

Demetri Broxton joined MoAD in January 2016 as the Senior Director of Education. Born and raised in Oakland, CA, Broxton has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of education and the arts. At MoAD, he leads the educational programs that enhance the visitor experience at the Museum. His department connects youth, educators, and the public to contemporary art and artists of the 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, Broxton is a practicing fine artist represented by Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco. He is an emeritus board member of California Association of Museums and Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals.  He is an advisory board member for the SFSU Museum Studies Department and Black [Spaces] Residency. Demetri graduated from San Francisco State University earning an M.A. in Museum Studies with a dual emphasis on Education and Curatorial Practice. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UC Berkeley with a major in Art Practice and minor in Education.

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Paul Plale

he/him
Brand Design Manager

Paul Plale is currently Museum of the African Diaspora’s Brand Design Manager. He joined MoAD during its renovation in April 2014 as a graphic design intern. He has been involved in the brand’s evolution ever since, from exhibition graphics to web presence to program branding to print advertising.

Paul 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.

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.

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Kitsaun King

she/her
Development Manager

I have been involved with MoAD since its opening in 2005. I have served as a volunteer and now as an employee. It has been my great pleasure to work with an outstanding staff in a worldclass institution, the only one of its kind in the Bay Area.


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Alicia Chow

she/her
Visitor Experience Associate

Alicia is a photographer, writer, and dancer born in Hong Kong and raised in Beijing, China. She joined MoAD in 2023 and has previously worked at various other museums in the Bay Area, with a focus on Visitor Experience. Alicia moved to the Bay Area in 2017 while pursuing a degree in Cognitive Science at the University of California, Berkeley; her current favorite activities in San Francisco include walking in the botanical gardens, museum hopping, and discovering new places to eat. In her free time Alicia can be found learning new languages, muscling through writer's block, and organizing self-portrait photoshoots.

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Alex Jenney

he/him
Events Manager

Alex Jenney is the Events Manager at Museum of the African Diaspora. Born and raised in Oakland California, Alex has a lengthy history of event production and event planning in the East Bay. Having recently joined MoAD, Alex’s experience in the events industry began in 2010 working as Event Production Supervisor for Oakland Venue Management, later moving onto Oakland Museum of CA. Aside from his experience in event producing, Alex is a music-based creative writer having worked on animated content with TheRapOff, as well as an active member of the Bay Area hip-hop collective Grand Nationxl.

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Luke Williams

he/him
Curatorial Fellow

Luke Williams is a scholar, artist, organizer, and critic of twentieth and twenty-first century Black visual cultures and performance. As MoAD,’s curatorial fellow, he facilitates the Emerging Artist Program by collaborating with emerging artists to translate their concepts for diverse audiences. He is responsible for executing the museum’s curatorial vision and engaging critical voices through publications to elevate the discourse surrounding Afro Diasporic culture. Williams is a PhD candidate in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University.

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Si Mon' Emmett-Salah

she/her
Education Program Manager

Si Mon' Emmett-Salah is a San Francisco based arts educator and director. She currently holds the Education Program Manager position at the Museum of the African Diaspora. Si Mon’ proudly hails from Dallas, Texas and studied at the University of Texas at Austin where she received her K-12 teaching certification in arts education. Her work outside of MoAD is centered on the performing arts and spans from directing theatre to producing and assistant directing film.

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Mary Powers

she/her
Registrar

Mary began her career in the arts in the Bay Area in 2007 and has been committed to helping foster a vibrant and diverse arts community ever since.  Supporting public art has always been at the heart of her work leading her to roles focused on building and managing art collections for public and private entities, including galleries, museums, and health care institutions.  She is passionate about working with organizations who prioritize community involvement and making space and meaningful opportunities available to local and emerging artists.

Outside of work, Mary devotes time to her own studio practices including stained glass and glass blowing.  She loves travel, taking her dogs to the beach, and making food with friends.

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Dariane Beamon

she/her
Education Program Coordinator

Dariane Beamon, a proud Oakland native and UC Berkeley alumna, is an emerging mixed media artist and educator with a rich background spanning seven years in the field of education. Grounded in a profound passion for unraveling the interconnectedness of arts and education, Dariane commenced her journey at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) three years ago as a teaching artist. Today, in her role as an Education Program Coordinator, she plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between youth, educators, and the world of art. Dariane leverages her artistic expertise to cultivate a transformative learning experience, utilizing the arts as a powerful conduit for education. Her commitment to fostering a dynamic relationship between creativity and learning positions her as a driving force in helping to shaping innovative educational initiatives at MoAD alongside the Education Team.

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Philip Broadus

he/him
Chief Operating Officer

As the Chief Operating Officer at MoAD, he's a dynamic force, blending a rich career background from his time at the non-profit youth organization JCYC, to his impactful roles at innovative corporate entities like WeDriveU, Inc., and the Japanese group, Toridoll Holdings Corporation of Marugame Udon. With MoAD, his approach is refreshingly hands-on, rooted in operational strategy, HR management, and keen application of compassion. He's instrumental in streamlining processes, introducing advanced systems, and cultivating powerful partnerships. Known for his knack in nurturing strong operational standards, and fostering collaboration, his influence extends beyond the museum's walls, strengthening its role and presence in the broader community.

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Danyn Oakes

she/her
Marketing Project Coordinator

Danyn Oakes has over ten years of experience in marketing, specializing in websites, email, operations, CRMs, and integrations. She has significantly increased efficiencies for her previous companies, saving hundreds of hours, by creating low-code/no-code automations and workflows to manage lead flow, onboarding processes, and campaigns. As MoAD’s marketing project coordinator, Danyn manages the museum’s marketing projects and campaigns, keeping everything on track and on time.


Danyn grew up in rural Oregon, and while she enjoys the outdoors, the city is where she thrives. She keeps busy with her casual running club, her history society, and, of course, experiencing San Francisco’s arts, restaurants, and nightlife. She lives in SOMA and is most often found there or in the Mission.

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Linda Spain de Bruin

she/her
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.