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 to the Director: 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 worked at the Kneerim & Williams literary agency, before joining Beacon Press in July 2018.


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 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 States 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.”
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.”
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.
Maya Fernandez, Assistant Editor: 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, DC, where she studied Literature, Creative Writing, and Sociology.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Olivia Bauer, Editorial Assistant: Olivia joined Beacon in 2019 and is the editorial assistant on young adult titles to Senior Editor, Joanna Green. Originally from White Plains, NY, she earned her Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College, where she studied English and Education.


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, Assistant to the Director of Sales and Marketing: 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.
Jennifer Canela, Sales Development Coordinator: Jennifer was an intern at Beacon Press before joining the sales and marketing team. She is a graduate from the University of Massachusetts-Boston with a BA in English and Professional Writing. While in school, she worked with two distinguished arts and creative writing journals, transcribing print to digital media. She is a proud Latina, a lover of words, and a firm believer in knowing the rules before you can break them. Sometimes she talks exclusively in puns.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Christian Coleman, Associate 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 with their elderly tuxedo cat, the esteemed Mr. George.

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, Associate Publicist: 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.”
Michelle Betters, Assistant Publicist: Prior to joining Beacon in 2018, Michelle worked at Ploughshares Literary Journal, Boston Review, and Trident Booksellers. She holds a Master’s degree in publishing and writing from Emerson College and a BFA in poetry from Pratt. She tweets about books and dogs at @mbetterpeaches.

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.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Daniel Barks, Print Planning 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.

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


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.


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.”
Isabel Tehan, Business Operations Assistant: Isabel earned a BA in English Literature and Spanish Language from the College of the Holy Cross. Before joining Beacon in June 2019, she worked as a research assistant at the Digital Transgender Archive and served as the Editorial Intern at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.