Lesley A. Langa is a cultural policy researcher with fifteen years of experience working for national cultural organizations such as the National Gallery of Art, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Heritage Preservation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She has also consulted for the Smithsonian Institution Accessibility Program (SIAP) and the Smithsonian Center for Digital Learning and Access (SCDLA). Her focus is on the objects protected by our cultural organizations, and how they draw in and communicate to audiences. She brings a breadth of skills to the job, with skills in qualitative and quantitative research, having used a variety of methods including, archival research, focus groups, interviews, sample surveys, program evaluation and technology/website testing. Ms. Langa is also currently a doctoral candidate in the iSchool at the University of Maryland, and received a Master’s Degree in Art History from Florida State University. Her research has been published in Curator, Museum Management & Curatorship, First Monday, and presented at the American Alliance of Museums, the American Library Association, the iConference, the Museum Computer Network, and the Visitor Studies Association.
Carlos A. Manjarrez has more than 20 years of policy research experience. He is a principal and co-founder of NovaKultura Consulting, while he also serves as the director of the Office of Data Governance and Analysis at the Legal Services Corporation, where he heads a research team focused on civil legal aid and access for low-income families. Manjarrez was the founding director of the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, overseeing the only statistical program focused on cultural data in the United States federal statistical system. He has worked on more than 30 national surveys of individuals and institutions, and his research teams are responsible for making over 80 data files open and accessible through data catalogs and DATA.GOV. He has received support for his research from a variety of foundations and public agencies including the National Science Foundation, Kimsey Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United States Agency for International Development, and The World Bank Group. Manjarrez is a Ph.D. student in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Maryland, College Park focusing on local economic development and cultural sustainability.
Abby McDermott possesses over a decade of experience working in the nonprofit and research sectors in the Washington, DC region, primarily as a project manager and research team leader with extensive experience in organizational Website development, conference planning, academic publishing, and public library digital services. Her previous employers include TechnoServe, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit focused on small-and medium enterprise development in Africa and Latin America, the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), and the Information and Policy and Access Center (iPAC) within the University of Maryland’s iSchool. Ms. McDermott is a librarian (MLS, Univ. of Maryland iSchool) and during her career in library science, she has focused on copyright reform, the role of the library in civics and community engagement, and the digital divide. She has authored or co-authored articles in Public Library Quarterly and Information Technology and Libraries. She is personally passionate about environmental education and outreach.
Greer Mellon is currently a Paul Lazarsfeld Fellow and doctoral candidate in Sociology at Columbia University, where she conducts research on education, labor markets, and social inequality. Ms. Mellon has worked in research in the nonprofit and government sectors, most recently as a Research Analyst at Legal Services Corporation, where she analyzed data on the performance of legal aid organizations and created data visualizations of key program metrics. She also worked as the Director of Evaluation at the Digital Harbor Foundation, a technology education nonprofit based in Baltimore, where she evaluated year-round youth technology programs. As a Political Market Research Analyst at Benenson Strategy Group (chief pollster to President Obama), she wrote and implemented polls for national political campaigns, advocacy groups, and nonprofit organizations. Greer received an M.Phil. in International Development from the University of Oxford, where she was a Kellett Fellow, and her B.A. in History and Art History magna cum laude from Columbia University.
Satvika Neti is currently a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs, placed with YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Homewood Children’s Village. Ms. Neti applies her B.S. in international relations and politics in conjunction with her minors in computer science and policy from Carnegie Mellon University to seek new and innovative ways to leverage technology for social impact. Ms. Neti has focused her efforts on improving the ways nonprofits interact with technology and data, including: data gathering and archiving for the ACLU; an impact assessment at the Center for American Progress; and data analysis and visualizations for both the Society for Science and the Public and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Ms. Neti’s entrepreneurial drive has motivated her to launch a number of initiatives including Moneythink-CMU, Arcsis Media, and Beyond the Binary. She is currently focused on a skills education program called WE Education.