The RethinkTank is comprised of invited, interested, and influential individuals who are open to utilizing their insight, experience, prominence, and contacts in furtherance of Rethink The Conversation’s mission. It serves as a volunteer advisory board to help enhance Rethink The Conversation’s programmatic and development efforts and maximize its effectiveness, impact, and growth.
Dr. Berman is an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the former Director of the National Center for the Study and Prevention of Suicide at the Washington School of Psychiatry, tenured professor of psychology at American University, and past president of both the American Association of Suicidology (AAS) and the International Association for Suicide Prevention. He is the recipient of AAS’s Shneidman Award (for Outstanding Contributions in Research in Suicidology) and Louis I. Dublin Award (for outstanding service and contributions to the field of suicide prevention). He has authored/edited nine books and more than 170 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on suicide prevention.
Alan L. (Lanny) Berman, PhD
Former Executive Director,
American Association of Suicidology
Dr. Blumberg is devoted to understanding brain circuitry differences that underlie mood disorders, with a focus on bipolar disorder and circuitry changes in mood disorders across the lifespan, as well as the associated high risk of suicide. She directs the Mood Disorders Research Program at Yale, which brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scientists to study the genetic, developmental, and environmental factors that cause mood disorders, in order to develop new methods for early detection and more effective interventions to prevent mood disorder symptoms and suicide. She studied neuroscience as an undergraduate at Harvard University and completed her medical degree, psychiatry training, and specialty training in neuroimaging at Cornell University Medical College prior to joining the Yale faculty in 1998. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the American Psychiatric Association’s Ittleson Award for her contribution to child and adolescent psychiatry and the Brain and Behavior Colvin Prize for Research in Mood Disorders.
Hilary P. Blumberg, MD
Director, Mood Disorders Research Program
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Former Head of Coaching Systems, the Professional Golfers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland, and having worked in the sports sector since 1997, Jane Booth is a consultant specializing in leadership and change within sports and business. For the previous ten years she headed up all aspects of coaching for The PGA -- her career highlight to date was involvement in the Ryder Cup matches of 2012 and 2014, with a focus on sustainable legacy for the 2014 event at Gleneagles. After a fantastic ten years she decided to build a legacy of her own within coaching, leadership, and development with a particular focus on supporting women to achieve their potential.
Jane Booth, MBA
Founder, Opus 29 Consultancy
Stirling, Scotland, UK
U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.)
United States Senate
U.S. Senator Chris Coons is a graduate of Amherst College with degrees in chemistry and political science. He earned a law degree from Yale Law School while simultaneously earning a master’s degree in ethics from Yale Divinity School.
He currently serves on the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics committees. He is the vice chair of the Ethics committee, and the senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. He has been recognized by the Bipartisan Policy Center with its Legislative Action Award.
Before joining the Senate, he was the New Castle County Executive, New Castle County Council President, and worked as an attorney for Delaware-based W.L. Gore & Associates, an innovative, science-based business; the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, helping at-risk youth stay in school, get to college and build their lives; and the Coalition for the Homeless.
Donna Dees began her career in public relations at the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather in 1987. A decade later she created the grassroots organizing strategy for the Million Mom March on the National Mall in Washington, DC, and in 77 other communities nationwide. That 2000 march remains the largest protest against gun violence in U.S. history. Following the march’s success, Dees spearheaded the merger of the Million Mom March, the Bell Campaign, and Handgun Control, Inc. to create the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
She co-authored “Looking for a Few Good Moms,” which was cited by The Atlantic as "one of the best books on female leadership," and was the foundation for Moms Demand Action -- an organization launched by an Indiana mother following the Newtown massacre. Dees has been honored by Glamour magazine as a "Woman of the Year" and received Oprah Magazine's "Chutzpah Award". An alumnae of LSU, she was inducted into their Manship School of Communications Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of "Sarah Brady Visionary Award" by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
Founder, Million Mom March
Josh Feigelson is the former Dean of Students in The University of Chicago Divinity School and previously served as Founder and Executive Director of Ask Big Questions, a national initiative to help colleges and universities nurture individuals and communities in healthier habits of civic engagement and civil discourse. From 2005-2011 he was Campus Rabbi at Northwestern University Hillel. He holds a doctorate in Religious Studies from Northwestern University (2015), and rabbinic ordination from Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School. Josh lives in Skokie, IL with his wife and three children.
Joshua M. Feigelson
Institute for Jewish Spirituality
Elisabeth Fontenelli retired as a Goldman Sachs Partner in 2017 after 30 years on Wall Street. Lisa’s financial, operating, and managerial skills currently are employed in her service as a Trustee at Syracuse University; Chair of the Whitman School of Management Advisory Board; and as a supporter of the Food Bank for NYC, PeacePlayers International, and the Mercy Center in Asbury Park, NJ. Lisa spent 25 years at Goldman Sachs, where she was named a Partner in 2006, and served in global leadership of the Research Division and as a member of the firm’s Partnership Committee.
Retired Partner and former Global Head of Securities Research
New York, NY
Edward Guedes is a member in the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L., in Miami, Florida, where he chairs the firm’s Appellate Practice Group. His high-profile clients include major national corporations, smaller business entities, individuals and local governments. Ed has been repeatedly recognized for his accomplishments by organizations such as Chambers and Partners, Best Lawyers in America/U.S. News & World Report, and Florida Super Lawyers Magazine. In 2008, Ed was one of five individuals – and the only one not already a member of the judiciary – nominated to fill a vacancy on the Florida Supreme Court.
Edward G. Guedes, Esq.
Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Cole, & Bierman, P.L.
Anna Kaye holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University. Her long career began at the NYC Division of AIDS services (DAS) at the inception of the AIDS epidemic where she worked with people living with HIV and AIDS, helping to connect them to available housing, and social and financial services. She then served as their training coordinator, and was responsible for developing and delivering a training curriculum for all direct service employees hired by DAS. Seeing hundreds of children left behind following their parents’ deaths, Anna assisted with the opening of The Family Center in NYC where she served as the Director of Development, and raised public, private, and corporate funds to assist parents with AIDS and cancer living below the poverty with the process of creating legalized custody plans. Over the last 25 years, Anna has held senior positions at the Ad Council and United Way.
Chief Engagement Consultant
Phyllis Kosminsky, the former president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, is a clinical social worker in private practice and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut, where her work focuses on grief, loss and trauma. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Kosminsky has provided individual counseling to hundreds of bereaved individuals, and has helped many more in bereavement support groups and in the aftermath of traumatic events. She has conducted trainings for mental health professionals nationally and internationally in the treatment of normal and problematic grief. Her publications include journal articles, book chapters, and the book Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal (McGraw Hill, 2007) Her book with John R. Jordan, Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications was published by Routledge in February of 2016.
Phyllis Kosminsky, LCSW, PhD
Center for Hope
Fred Lane is an author and expert on the legal and cultural implications of emerging technology. A graduate of Amherst College and Boston College Law School. Fred has been on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and has also appeared as a guest on a variety of other national television programs, including ABC’s “Good Morning America Weekend,” NBC’s “Weekend Today,” ABC’s “Nightline,” CBS’s “60 Minutes,” and assorted BBC documentaries. He also lectures before college, university, and professional audience on internet technology, workplace and personal privacy, computer forensics, and censorship issues. Fred served on the Board of Directors for Vermont Community Access Media, one of the region’s three public access television stations.
Author, Cybertraps book series
Before becoming an entrepreneur who helps people create lives that make significant impact on others, Zena Martin was a marketing communications professional for 30 years, working in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. She is a dual American-British citizen and an honors graduate of Amherst College, where she served as Senior Class President. She has been a keynote speaker, media pundit, and trainer on communications for the likes of The Chartered Institute of Marketing, The Chartered Institute of Public Relations, The International Public Relations Association, The Public Relations Consultants Association, Thomson Reuters, London Live, and BBC Radio 4. Zena serves on the Trustee Board for The Association of Junior Leagues International; as a Sustainer member of the Junior League of Savannah; and as a Volunteer Reader for The Marshes of Glynn Reading Rockets
Independent Entrepreneur, Rodan & Fields
Saint Simons Island, GA
Robert A. Neimeyer is a former Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis. Since completing his doctoral training at the University of Nebraska in 1982, he has published 30 books, including Techniques of Grief Therapy: Creative Practices for Counseling the Bereaved and Grief and the Expressive Arts: Practices for Creating Meaning, the latter with Barbara Thompson, and serves as Editor of the journal Death Studies. The author of nearly 500 articles and book chapters, he is currently working to advance a more adequate theory of grieving as a meaning-making process, both in his published work and through his frequent professional workshops for national and international audiences. Neimeyer served as President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), and Chair of the International Work Group for Death, Dying, & Bereavement. In recognition of his scholarly contributions, he has been granted the Eminent Faculty Award by the University of Memphis, made a Fellow of the Clinical Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association, and given Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Association for Death Education and Counseling and the International Network on Personal Meaning.
Robert A. Neimeyer, PhD
Director, Portland Institute for
Loss and Transition
Jana Paley’s real estate career began over 30 years ago as a pioneer in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia when she renovated her first historic apartment property while still a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania. Since forming her first real estate company in 1993, Jana has redeveloped the Philadelphia waterfront, rehabilitated historic properties, built affordable townhomes, and renovated shopping centers. She now develops urban apartment complexes in the southeast, and has provided the original seed funding for several businesses in the medical field. A graduate of Phillips Academy, Jana has served on the school’s Alumni Council, Development Board, and as a regional alumni association president. She is an avid amateur golfer and has played in several Pennsylvania Amateur Championships. Jana earned her B.A. in American Studies magna cum laude from Amherst College and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
President, Ark Ventures
Ira Schall is a member of both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA). His areas of practice include not-for-profit organizations, tax planning, and consulting to small businesses. He received his B.S. in Accounting from Brooklyn College. Ira and his firm serve as Rethink The Conversation’s outside accountants.
Ira Schall, CPA
Schall & Ashenfarb, CPA’s, LLC
New York, NY
Donna Schuurman is an internationally recognized authority on grief and bereaved children, teens, and families, with over 30 years’ experience and the author of Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent. Dr. Schuurman is a member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement, and a founding board member of The National Alliance for Grieving Children. She has trained the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and FBI’s Rapid Deployment teams, as well as medical personnel, NGO staff and caregivers following major disasters including the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, Japan’s 1995 Kobe earthquake and 3/11 tsunami, and the Sandy Hook School shootings in Newtown, CT. Past President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, she was awarded their Annual Service and Annual Clinical Service Awards.
Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT
Senior Director of Advocacy & Training
and Executive Director Emeritus
The Dougy Center for
Grieving Children & Families
Dr. Schwartz has over 30 years experience in higher education mental health and suicide prevention settings as a chief medical officer, university counseling service director, and dean of student services. As medical director at The Jed Foundation, he advised many colleges and universities (including Columbia, Penn, USC, Tulane, Johns Hopkins, Harvard and many others) around their suicide prevention program and policies. He has also advised numerous media efforts (most recently Oprah and Prince Harry's Apple TV series "The Me You Cannot See") and sports enterprises (NBA, NCAA, US Olympic Committee) on their mental health efforts.
Dr. Victor Schwartz
Chief Wellness Officer, CUNY School of Medicine
Former Medical Director,
The Jed Foundation
New York, NY
Dr. Joseph E. (Jed) Struckus is a practicing Clinical, Health and Neuropsychologist with a BA from Amherst College, a PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and advanced training in trauma work. Jed has been in private practice for over 30 years, working primarily with adolescents and young adults, including those who have experienced trauma in the context of catastrophic loss. He has consulted for a number of public school systems, private schools, and therapeutic programs; has worked nationally and internationally within his areas of specialty; and frequently integrates equine assisted therapy and ecotherapy into his trauma work with adolescents.
Dr. Joseph Struckus, PhD
Cornwall Bridge, CT
Celia Williams is a full-time producer with over 30 years of professional experience. Her clients have included Virtue (the advertising arm of VICE), Ogilvy and Mather, Hudson Rouge, FCB NYC, and StrawberryFrog. Celia has been on staff at mcgarrybowen, The Martin Agency, Arnold NYC, Endless Noise, DDB New York, DDB Chicago, and Marshall Field’s. She opened the New York offices of Freefolk, a UK based post-production company and led them to profitability in the first year, overseeing sales and marketing in an environment saturated with well-established high-end competition, and serving as both office manager and executive producer of in-house projects.
Executive Content Producer
Sidney Zisook, M.D.
Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Director, Residency Training Program
UC San Diego School of Medicine
San Diego VA Healthcare System
San Diego, CA
Sidney Zisook received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Berkeley and his medical degree from Stritch-Loyola, Chicago. He completed his residency in Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and was a clinical fellow of Harvard Medical School. Currently, he serves as principal investigator (PI) on a multi-site NIMH research study assessing treatment of Complicated Grief, PI on an American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) interventions study providing grief-focused psychotherapy for individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide, Co-Chair of a VA Cooperative Study on Treatment Resistant Depression, PI of the John A. Majda MD Memorial Fund dedicated to facilitating research related to de-stigmatizing physician depression and prevention of physician suicide, Scientific Advisory Council of AFSP, Chair of the UCSD task force on physician depression and suicide prevention, board of directors of the American Society of Clinical Pharmacology, and founding president of the San Diego chapter of AFSP. He was an advisor to the DSM-5 Task Force on Mood Disorders and has published extensively on suicide prevention, grief and bereavement, treatment of depression, and psychiatric education.