Board of Directors

City of Asylum

Carol Brown, 2015

Founding and now retired President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She also served as chairman of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the MidAtlantic Arts Foundation and the National Assembly of State Art Agencies and on the boards of Americans for the Arts, the National Advisory Board of the Shakespeare Theater in Washington, DC, the Theatre Communi-cations Group in New York, Duquesne University, Carlow University, Pittsburgh’s Riverlife Task Force, and Mellon Financial Corporation. She is currently a member of the boards of Carnegie Mellon University, the Heinz Endowments, the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and the Allegheny County Parks Foundation.



Anne Billiet Lackner, 2013, Vice President

A native of Belgium, where she was a lawyer, she came to the United States in 1980 and now serves as Honorary Consul of Belgium. She is co-founder of The Lackner Group, Inc., a software company committed to providing innovative solutions in trust and estate admini-stration, to law firms, bank trust officers and C.P.A’s, and a member of the external advisory board at the University of Pittsburgh’s EU Center of Excellence/European Studies Center.



Michael McLean, 2011

Michael McLean joined the board in 2011. He is a lawyer and Partner at K & L Gates, one of the largest legal firms in the world, with branches in almost 40 countries. Former Chair of the Three Rivers Arts Festival and Trustee of the Carnegie Museum of Art, he is currently on the Board of the Allegheny Heart Institute, serves on the International Studies Advisory Board of University of Pittsburgh Law School and is a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for International Studies.



Gwendolyn Moorer, 2011

Northside community resident Gwendolyn Moorer joined the board in 2011. She is a Project Manager for the City of Pittsburgh’s Information Systems department and owner of the Northside franchise of Rita’s Water Ices. She is on the Development Board of the Central Northside Neighborhood Council and on the board of Artists Image Resources.



Charles F. O’Hanlon III, 2010, Secretary/Treasurer

Charles O’Hanlon III joined the board in 2010, and currently serves as Secretary/Treasurer. He is President and CEO of Celsense, Inc., a biotechnology company. Previously, he was a Managing Director of Cornerstone Capital Advisors, Ltd. He spent 25 years in banking and financial services, including National City Bank and Mellon Bank, where he held management positions. He has served as a member of the Boards of Directors for several privately held corporations and non-profit organizations.


Ralph Henry Reese, co-founder, President

Entrepreneur (co-founder/former principal in Reese Brothers and Communications & Commerce), former Treasurer of Cave Canem: A Home for Black Poetry, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust Programming Advisory Committee, Board International Cities of Refuge Network.



Audrey Russo, 2017 

Since 2007 Audrey has led the region’s technology business sector as President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council.  She has deep experience in IT, operations, and finance, having worked at Alcoa, Reynolds Metals & MAYA Design.  She is a previous Board Chair for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, serves on the Regional Industrial Development Corporation, Greater Pittsburgh Urban League, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, and CityLab. She also co-hosts TechVibe Radio show.



Diane Samuels, co-founder

Visual Artist, Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania, represented by Pavel Zoubok Fine Arts (NYC).



Akhil Sharma, 2015
Author of An Obedient Father, winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award, and Family Life, selected by the New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2014. His short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Award Stories. A native of Delhi, he lives in New York City and is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University, Newark.



Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds

Trustee Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Term Trustee Carnegie Mellon University, Board of National Poetry Series, Board of Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, Board of Autumn House Press.



Eric Shiner, 2017

Eric Is Senior Vice President of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s. Formerly, he was the director of The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh from 2010 to 2016, its Milton Fine Curator of Art from 2008 to 2010, and team leader on its major Warhol retrospective that traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Tokyo between 2012 and 2014.  A leading scholar on Andy Warhol and Asian contemporary art, he lived and worked in Japan for six years and was assistant curator of the inaugural Yokohama Triennale in 2001.  He has curated dozens of contemporary art exhibitions in cities around the globe, including Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei, Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After, and Armory Focus:  USA at the Armory Show.



Barbara Talerico, 2015

Retired from BNY Mellon as an Information Technology Project Manager and manager of the bank’s International Help Desk. Prior to BNY, she was a Certified Financial Planner. Her 16 years of volunteer service includes Past President and Treasurer for the Allegheny City Central Association; Past President of the Mexican War Streets Society; Member of the Allegheny Commons Master Plan Steering Committee; Chair of the Fundraising Committee for Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild/Bidwell Training Center.



Founding North American Board:

Russell Banks

Dionne Brand

Carolyn Forche

Michael Ondaatje

Caryl Phillips

Salman Rushdie

Wole Soyinka

Derek Walcott



Advisory Board:

Mia Alvar

Jill Bialosky

Angie Cruz

Craig Dunham

Amy Finnerty

Michael Formanek

John Freeman

Tomas Fujiwara

Mary Halvorson

Chuck Kinder

Oliver Lake

Claire Messud

Marc Nieson

George Packer

Laura Secor

James Wood

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