Beacon Press: Beacon Press Staff
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Beacon Press Staff

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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 oversees all aspects of the publishing house, including production, design, business and editorial, as well as acting as an editor for a select number of titles. 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
  • For All of Us, One Today by Richard Blanco
  • 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

Follow Helene on Twitter at @hatwan; read her blogposts on Beacon Broadside here, here, and here. Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Haley Lynch, Assistant Editor: Haley earned a BA in Comparative Literature at Hamilton College and graduated from the Columbia Publishing Course in 2017. She interned with the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency, Da Capo Press and Seal Press, and worked at the Kneerim & Williams literary agency, before joining Beacon Press in July 2018. She acquires narrative nonfiction with an emphasis on intersectional feminism and lifting up marginalized voices. Her areas of particular interest include public health and policy, social activism, cultural studies, neurodiversity, and food waste. Titles include:
  • Marching Toward Coverage: How Women Can Lead the Fight for Universal Healthcare by Rosemarie Day
  • All Made Up: The Power and Pitfalls of Beauty Culture, from Cleopatra to Kim Kardashian by Rae Nudson
  • Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books, and Questions That Grew Me Up by Remica Bingham-Risher

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


Gayatri Patnaik, Associate Director and Editorial Director: Gayatri, previously an editor at both Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge, has been at Beacon Press over fifteen years and has published authors including Imani Perry, Cornel West, Kate Bornstein, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Jeanne Theoharis. She acquires in US History, with a focus on African American History and race/ethnicity/immigration, and began Beacon’s award-winning “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, recipient of the 2015 American Book Award
  • Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry. Winner of the 2019 Pen/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography; winner of the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction; Winner of the 2018 Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction.

Read the Publishers Weekly profile on Gayatri by Judith Rosen. Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.” Follow her on Twitter at @gpatnaik1.

Amy Caldwell, Associate Editorial Director: 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.”
Joanna Green, Senior Editor: Joanna Green joined Beacon in 2005 and previously worked for New Moon Magazine. She acquires narrative nonfiction in the areas of economic justice, labor and business, law and society, disability, political science, sports, and activism, among other topics. She also develops YA adaptations of books in the “ReVisioning History” series and other books for middle grade and young adult readers. Titles include:
  • What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon
  • White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality by Sheryll Cashin
  • Refinery Town: Big Oil, Big Money, and the Remaking of an American City by Steve Early
  • Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim by Leah Vernon
  • The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better . . . or Worse by Benjamin van Rooij and Adam Fine
  • Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Sharon daVanport, and Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
  • A Disability History of the United States by Kim E. Nielsen
  • Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX by Ginny Gilder
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.”
Catherine Tung, Associate Editor: Catherine joined Beacon Press in late 2019 after 7 years at Vintage Books, where she acquired in memoir, fiction, and nonfiction titles on politics, disability, cultural studies, and mental health. At Beacon, she is actively developing a list focused on urban studies, sexuality, Asian American writing, music, art, food, and health. Outside the office, she enjoys musicmaking, community building, knitting, gardening, and friendly debates over bourbon.
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.”
Melissa Nasson, Esq., Contracts Director: Melissa Nasson joined Beacon Press in 2013 after finishing her law degree at Boston University and interning at the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency and The Perseus Books Group. She manages all contracts and advises on legal matters for Beacon Press. 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.”
Maya Fernandez, Associate Editor: Maya Fernandez joined Beacon Press in 2016. Originally from Medford, MA, she earned a Bachelor of Arts from American University in Washington, DC, where she studied Literature, Creative Writing, and Sociology. She acquires narrative non-fiction specifically focused on marginalized experiences, feminism, the Black diaspora, queer studies, media, popular culture, and the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. Titles include:
  • How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal M. Fleming
  • Dance We Do: A Poet Explores Black Dance by Ntozake Shange
  • Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother by G’Ra Asim

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Nicole-Anne Keyton, Editorial Assistant: Nicole joined Beacon’s editorial team in December 2019, where they assist Associate Editorial Director Amy Caldwell. Nicole received an MFA for Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema at Virginia Commonwealth University. While pursuing their MFA, Nicole also served as editor-in-chief for the online literary journal Breakwater Review. Outside of Beacon, Nicole devotes time to social activism; making zero progress with their endless TBR bookshelf; and chasing their dog, Sassy, around in open fields.
Alison Rodriguez, Editorial Assistant: Alison joined Beacon Press in January 2020 after graduating from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a focus in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prior to joining Beacon, Alison interned at Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster UK.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Ruthie Block, Editorial Assistant and Assistant to the Associate Director: Ruthie received a BA in English and Africana Studies from Tufts University in 2021. Previously, Ruthie interned at The Feminist Press, as well as working at Beacon as an intern and freelancer. Outside the office, Ruthie enjoys farming, community building, reality TV, and adding to their ever-growing collection of books to read.


Sanj Kharbanda, Director of Sales and Marketing: Sanj is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing at Beacon Press. He joined Beacon in 2017 after holding executive positions in marketing and digital strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Sanj thrives at the intersection of books, marketing, and technology: he is an engineer by training, but books and bookselling are his passion.

Alyssa Hassan, Associate Director of Marketing: Alyssa has been at Beacon Press since 2006. Prior to that, she worked in marketing for other progressive, nonprofit organizations and publishers including South End Press, Z Magazine, and Dollars and Sense. Her gravestone epitaph will read, “It’s A-lee-sa.” Follow her on Twitter at @alyssahassan.

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

Emily Powers, 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.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Isabella Sanchez, Marketing and Sales Coordinator: Isabella joined Beacon Press in 2018 as the Assistant to the Director of Sales and Marketing. She received her BA in English from Boston University in 2018, where she worked as a Research Assistant for the Director of Museum Studies and as a Writing Fellow. She is particularly fond of podcasts and reading five books at once.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Christian Coleman, Digital Marketing Manager: 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.

Read his 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.

Caitlin Meyer, Associate Director of Publicity: 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.
Perpetua Charles, Publicist: Perpetua Charles joined Beacon Press in 2015. She is a graduate of Florida Southern College and earned her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Perpetua has extensive publicity experience in the areas of race and culture, memoir, education, and history. Some of her favorite things include the Lord, TV, Disney princesses, books, 90s-00s teen pop, and the color pink. Connect with Perpetua on Instagram at @princessperpetuaa.

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.”

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.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Travis Cohen, Production Associate: Travis received his BS in Mass Communication from Frostburg State University in 2014. Before Beacon, he worked at Politics and Prose and Brookline Booksmith, as well as interned for MIT Press. In his spare time, he loves to read/browse books, play video games, and watch anything with beautiful set production.


Carol Chu, Creative Director: Prior to joining Beacon, Carol was Creative Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has designed and art directed a variety of books for a variety of readers. She has a Master’s in design from the Pratt Institute and has a BA in Journalism. When she’s not in front of a Mac, she’s illustrated three books, authored two, and translated one. She’s partial to well-kerned lettering and enjoys a good glyph. Her favorite color is PMS 032c.

Read her 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.

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


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.” Read his profile piece on the American Historical Association’s blog.

Jill Dougan, Business Manager: 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.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Claire Desroches, Business Operations Analyst: Claire joined Beacon Press in 2018 after several years of managing a small boutique hotel. She graduated from Northeastern University, where she earned a dual major in English and Religious Studies.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Carlie Brainard, Business Operations Assistant: Carlie earned her dual BA in English and Strategic Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in writing from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY. While there, Carlie served as the Chief Copy Editor of her Honors Program’s award-winning newsletter The Pinnacle and interned at The Shakespeare Newsletter, among other campus involvements. In addition to working at Beacon, Carlie is pursuing her MA in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.