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Beacon Press Staff

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  Helene Atwan, Director: Helene has been director at Beacon since 1995.

Tom Hallock, Associate Publisher: Tom joined Beacon in 1996 after holding executive positions in sales and marketing at Farrar Straus and Giroux, Simon and Schuster and Aperture. He is a former independent bookseller and was the manager and buyer for the Brookline Booksmith in Brookline, MA. He has contributed several posts to Beacon Broadside: you can read them here, here, and here. Follow him on Twitter at @TomHallock.

Maya Fernandez, Assistant to the Director: Maya Fernandez joined Beacon Press in 2016 as the Assistant to the Director. Originally from Medford, MA, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from American University in Washington, D.C., where she studied Literature, Creative Writing, and Sociology.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”


Helene Atwan, Director: Helene has been director at Beacon since 1995. She previously held positions at Random House, Knopf, Viking, FSG, and Pocket Books. She acquires in narrative nonfiction, memoir, and general nonfiction, with a special interest in public health and legal issues. Titles include:

  • Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race, and Finding Home by Anita Hill
  • In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate by Nancy Gertner
  • White Coat, Black Hat: Adventures on the Dark Side of Medicine by Carl Elliott
  • Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health by Dr. Gil Welch
  • The Tyranny of the Meritocracy by Lani Guinier
  • Fugitive Days and Public Enemy by Bill Ayers
  • What Doctors Feel by Dr. Danielle Ofri
Gayatri Patnaik, Editorial Director: Gayatri, previously an editor at both Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge, has been at Beacon Press fifteen years and has published authors including Cornel West, Kate Bornstein, Marcus Rediker and Mary Frances Berry. She acquires in US History, with a focus on African American History and race/ethnicity/immigration, and began Beacon’s “ReVisioning American History” series. Gayatri occasionally signs memoir, began Beacon’s LGBTQ series, “Queer Action/Queer Ideas,” (edited with Michael Bronski) and developed books in “The King Legacy,” with Joanna Green, in a series about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her acquisitions include:
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (part of the “ReVisioning American History” series) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award
Read the Publishers Weekly profile on Gayatri by Judith Rosen. Follow her on Twitter at @gpatnaik1.

Amy Caldwell, Executive Editor: Amy has been at Beacon Press since 1995. She acquires in religion, with special emphases on interfaith issues; the relation between politics, culture, and religion; and how Americans live out their religious beliefs. She also acquires in science and society, as well as narrative nonfiction/memoir. Titles include:

  • Interfaith Leadership, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel
  • Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini
  • The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boy’s Club by Eileen Pollack
  • How To Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul
  • Do It Anyway by Courtney Martin
  • The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann
  • The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria
  • The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide by Gayle Brandeis
  • Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney Martin
  • Fallout, The New Wild, When the Rivers Run Dry and other titles by esteemed environmental journalist Fred Pearce
  • Saving Talk Therapy and Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder by Enrico Gnaulati

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Rakia A. Clark, Senior Editor: Rakia joined Beacon Press in 2015 and works remotely from New York City. Her acquisitions examine the cultural importance of media, tech, sports and pop culture at large. She also acquires memoir/biography and narrative nonfiction about criminal justice, race and class. Rakia’s previous editorial posts include HarperCollins, Viking Penguin, and Kensington Publishing Corp. Recent acquisitions:
  • Reclaiming Our Space: Black Feminism in the 21st Century by Feminista Jones
  • ACE: How Asexuality Shapes Our Culture by Angela Chen
  • White Negroes: Love & Theft in the New Millennium by Lauren Michele Jackson
  • The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America and the Politics of Patriotism by Howard Bryant
  • Rectify: A Story of Healing and Redemption After Wrongful Conviction by Lara Bazelon
  • Righteousness Like a Mighty Stream: Rewriting the American Criminal Justice Narrative by Jonathan Rapping
  • A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life & Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks by Angela Jackson
  • Infinite Hope: How Wrongful Conviction, Solitary Confinement, and 12 Years on Death Row Failed to Kill My Soul by Anthony Graves
  • Memes to Movements: Social Change and the Global Meme Generation by An Xiao Mina
  • Bootstrapping: How Millennials Are Building the New Innovation Economy by S. Craig Watkins
Read Kirkus Reviews’s Q&A with Rakia.
Joanna Green, Senior Editor: Joanna Green joined Beacon in 2005 and previously worked for New Moon Magazine. She acquires narrative nonfiction with an emphasis on social justice in the areas of economic justice, labor and business, law and society, disability, sports, and activism. She also develops YA editions of books in the “ReVisioning American History” series. Titles include:
  • Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City by Steve Early
  • Beyond $15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement by Jonathan Rosenblum
  • Powered by Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists by Lyn Mikel Brown
  • Ethical Chic: The Inside Story of the Companies We Think We Love by Fran Hawthorne
  • Place, Not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America by Sheryll Cashin
  • Life as Jamie Knows It: An Exceptional Child Grows Up by Michael Bérubé
  • A Disability History of the United by Kim E. Nielsen
  • Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights by Lennard Davis
  • Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX by Ginny Gilder
Rachael Marks, Editor: Rachael Marks joined Beacon Press in 2010 and acquires in education, with a special interest in educational equality and democracy; cultural environments of urban, suburban, and rural educational settings; issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. Titles include:
  • For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Christopher Emdin
  • These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon Our Public Schools by Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi
  • Her Body, Our Laws: On the Frontlines of the Abortion War from El Salvador to Oklahoma by Michelle Oberman
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Will Myers, Editor: Will Myers joined Beacon Press in 2010. He acquires for the nature and environment list, with a particular interest in books on environmental justice and activism, climate change, and the intersection of race, class, and the environment. Titles include:
  • The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement Is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
  • What We’re Fighting for Now Is Each Other: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Climate Justice by Wen Stephenson
  • Junk Raft: An Ocean Voyage and a Rising Tide of Activism to Fight Plastic Pollution by Marcus Eriksen

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Melissa Nasson, Esq., Contracts Director, Director of Beacon Press Audio: Melissa Nasson joined Beacon Press in 2013 after finishing her law degree at Boston University and interning at the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency, The Perseus Books Group, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts. She handles contract negotiation for Beacon, as well as project managing all audiobook publication under the Beacon Press Audio imprint. She lives with her husband Amory and their tortoise Norton in Brighton, MA.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Ayla Zuraw-Friedland, Editorial Assistant: Ayla Zuraw-Friedland joined Beacon in 2015 as assistant to senior editors Joanna Green, Jill Petty, and Rakia Clark. Originally from Mansfield Center, CT, she is a graduate of Connecticut College where she studied Literatures in English and Creative Writing and served as Editor of the college newspaper.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Molly Velazquez-Brown, Editorial Assistant: Molly joined Beacon in 2017 as an assistant to Editorial Director, Gayatri Patnaik and Executive Editor, Amy Caldwell. Originally from Cambridge, MA, she earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Writing, Rhetoric, and Communications as well as Psychology from Syracuse University.


Sanj Kharbanda, Director of Sales and Marketing: Sanj joined Beacon in 2017 after holding executive positions in marketing and digital strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Sanj is a forward-thinking and versatile manager who thrives at the intersection of books, marketing, and technology. He is a former bookseller and was the manager for Wordsworth Books in Cambridge, MA.

Alyssa Hassan, Senior Marketing Manager: Alyssa joined Beacon in 2006 after five years at South End Press. She has also worked with Z Magazine, Dollars and Sense, and other progressive non-profit organizations on book design and web-based outreach. She is a graduate of Cornell University. Follow her on Twitter at @alyssahassan.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Emily Powers, Associate Marketing Manager: Emily joined Beacon in 2016 after three years at Cornell University Press. Previously, she worked as an intern at the UN Refugee Agency and Harvard Common Press. She is a graduate of Le Moyne College. Follow her on Twitter at @emilykpowers.
Yaisha Cordero-Rivera, Sales Assistant: Yaisha joined Beacon Press in 2017 after graduating from Emerson College with a master’s degree in Publishing and Writing. Originally from Puerto Rico, Yaisha is selling books, making moves, and still acclimating to the unforgiving New England winter.
Christian Coleman, Digital Marketing Associate: Before joining Beacon in 2015, Christian worked in writing, copy editing, and marketing positions at Sustainable Silicon Valley and Trikone. He graduated from Boston College and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Follow him on Twitter at @coleman_II.
Kennia Joseph, Special Sales and Rights Associate: Kennia graduated with honors from Rutgers University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English. She also completed the Columbia Publishing Course in July 2016, and hopes to use her experience to continue pursuing a career in book marketing. She joined Beacon Press in 2016.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”


Pamela MacColl, Director of Communications: Pamela has been the Communications Director at Beacon Press since 1999. Before joining Beacon, she held positions at Random House, New American Library, The Scribner Book Company, and MacMillan. She served as a publicity consultant to St. Martin’s Press, Random House, and Simon and Schuster. While at Beacon, Pamela has worked with a wide range of authors, including Marian Wright Edelman, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Rashid Khalidi, Robert Reich, William Ayers, Anita Hill, Danielle Ofri, Eboo Patel, Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II, Cornel West, Lani Guinier, Marcus Rediker, Sheryll Cashin, and Jeanne Theoharis. Pamela and her husband raised their three children in Providence, RI, where they still live with their elderly tuxedo cat, the esteemed Mr. George.

Caitlin Meyer, Publicity Manager: Caitlin joined Beacon Press in 2008. Previously she worked as a Copywriter at both a boutique advertising agency and a large academic publisher, and as the Communications and Public Relations Manager at the educational non-profit Facing History and Ourselves. She received her BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and has led workshops in short story writing and book publicity. Areas of professional focus include (but are not limited to) feminism, science, environment, race and society, and American culture. She is also the exhausted parent of a small human. You can find her on Twitter at @NotNerdEnough.

Nicholas DiSabatino, Publicist: Nicholas DiSabatino joined Beacon Press in the fall of 2012 in the Marketing Department. He has since moved from on from Publicity Assistant to Associate Publicist to Publicist in the Publicity Department. He has an MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College and a BA in English and LGBT Studies from Kent State University. Originally from Ohio, Nicholas lives with his husband Josh and their fat black cat Roxie in Somerville, MA. He enjoys watching Katharine Hepburn movies, reading X-Men comics, collecting antiquarian editions of Edith Wharton novels, and arguing politics with his in-laws. You can find him on Twitter at @NDiSabat.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Perpetua Charles, Publicity Assistant: Perpetua Charles joined Beacon Press in June 2015. She is a graduate of Florida Southern College and earned her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College 2015.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”


Marcy Barnes, Production Director: Prior to joining Beacon in 2011, Marcy held posts at Harvard Education Publishing Group, Harvard Business School Publishing, Elsevier Science, and Addison-Wesley Professional. She has an MA in Information and Library Science from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and a BA in English and Sociology from the University of Leeds (UK).

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Susan Lumenello, Managing Editor: Susan joined Beacon Press in 2008. She is a graduate of Tufts University and the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Beth Collins, Production Manager: Beth joined Beacon Press in 2008. When she’s not making books, Beth enjoys biking, skiing, and discovering new candy from around the globe. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.
Daniel Barks, Reprint and Digital Production Manager: Daniel joined Beacon in 2013 with extensive indie bookstore background having worked in management at both Left Bank Books in St Louis and Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis.


Bob Kosturko, Creative Director: Prior to joining Beacon in 2004, Bob held Art Director positions at Houghton Mifflin, Little, Brown and Co., and Random House. He got his start in publishing designing “coffee table” books for Michael Friedman Publishing Group in New York. He has a BFA from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he majored in Studio Art and Art History. Bob lives with his wife Candace and their cat Chester in downtown Boston.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Louis Roe, Designer: Louis has been designing at Beacon Press since 2015, after graduating from Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program and a brief stint in content marketing. He previously interned at Wind Ridge Books in Shelburne, VT.


Clifford Manko, Chief Financial Officer: Cliff joined Beacon Press in 2016 as CFO. Prior to Beacon, Cliff was Senior Vice President of Finance at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Vice President of Finance at Cengage Learning. He began his finance career at Ernst & Young, where he was a CPA and audit manager. Cliff is a graduate of Cornell and NYU Business School.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Greg Kanter, Director of Business Operations: Greg joined Beacon in 2001, having previously managed inventory and distribution for Element Books in Boston. Before that, he worked as an independent bookseller in Massachusetts and Ohio. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Jill Dougan, Business Finance Associate: Jill has twenty-nine years of experience in publishing, previously working with Houghton Mifflin, Pearson Education, and MPS North America. Jill’s previous experience includes rights and permissions work, author royalty management, contract negotiation and administration, and other financial capacities. Jill has a BS in Business Administration from Eastern Nazarene College. She lives in Abington with her husband and two daughters.