Board of Directors

Oregon Humanities board members advise and support the organization's work in a number of ways. Board members serve renewable three-year terms and attend three general meetings per year that are held in various locations around the state. The Oregon Humanities board has financial oversight of the organization, takes an active role in fundraising, sets policy, approves new program initiatives, and promotes awareness of the organization.

Emily Karr

Chair

Emily Karr is partner at the law firm Stoel Rives and practices in the areas of estate and financial planning, personal tax planning, and the administration of estates and trusts. She also serves on the boards of the Library Foundation and Northwest Academy, and is a past board member for Business for Culture and the Arts, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and Northwest Earth Institute. She was elected to the board in 2014.

Robert Arellano

Vice Chair

Robert Arellano is a professor at Southern Oregon University, where, in 2010, he directed a group of faculty in creating the Center for Emerging Media and Digital Arts. He is the author of six novels, including the recent Edgar Award finalist Havana Lunar and the Internet's first hypertext novel, Sunshine 69. His essays have been published in Tin House, the Village Voice, and Oregon Humanities. He was elected to the board in 2016 and lives in Talent.

Diana Tomseth

Secretary

Diana Tomseth has served on Les Schwab Tire Center's board for more than thirty years. She chairs the Dorothy Schwab Educational Foundation board and administers the Echo Fund, which facilitates an exchange of creativity and empowerment. She has served in board leadership positions at Seven Peaks School and the KIDS Center, a nonprofit serving sexually and physically abused children in Central Oregon. She lives in Bend and was elected to the board in 2017.

Jeff Cronn

Treasurer

Jeff Cronn is a partner at Tonkon Torp LLP and has served as chair of the firm's business department since 2008. His practice emphasizes merger and acquisition transactions and a range of corporate and business matters. Jeff is a founder of Marathon Education Partners, a college-access program for low-income children, and is actively involved with the James Beard Public Market and literary and other nonprofit organizations in the Portland area. He was elected to the board in 2014.

Janet Webster

Janet Webster was head librarian of the Guin Library at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport for over twenty-five years. She chairs the Oregon Library Association Legislative Committee and is a member of the Oregon Community Foundation's North Coast Leadership Council. She was elected to the board in 2012. She lives in Newport.

Alicia Bay

Alicia Bay, a former middle school history and math teacher, is the executive director of Gilbert House Children's Museum in Salem. As the first college graduate in her family, the focus of her work at the Gilbert house has been to expand science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) programs and diversity outreach to give children opportunities to engage in compelling programs that spark their interest and curiosity. Prior to her work at the Gilbert House, she helped found Salem Harvest, a local nonprofit that helps donate tens of thousands of pounds of local produce to community food banks. She and her husband have two middle school daughters. She was elected to the board in 2020, and calls Salem home.

Javier Cervantes

The son of Mexican immigrants, Javier Cervantes is the first in his family to graduate from high school, community college, and university. His life and accomplishments are the embodiment of the dreams his parents set forth when they came to the United States. Born and raised in Oregon, he has had a unique transnational experience having lived in a two-country modality between Mexico and the US most of his life. Being from rural Oregon allows Javier to speak to the rural experience, and having lived in Los Angeles and Chicago, Javier can also relate to a distinctly urban existence. Currently, Javier serves as the Director of Institutional Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Linn-Benton Community College and is the owner of OtroSol Diversity Concepts, LLC.

Justin Chin

Justin Chin is director of career services at Eastern Oregon University. He has worked in education for over twenty years at high schools, community colleges, and universities as a teacher, advisor, mentor, coach, and administrator. He was elected to the board in 2018. He lives in La Grande.

Paul Duden

Paul currently practices mediation and arbitration of civil actions, and was a trial lawyer for more than forty years. He is an active member of the Oregon State Bar Association and Oregon Mediation Association. Paul is a founder of the Oregon Law Related Education Project and for twenty years has been a trustee of the Gordon Foundation, which awards grants to children. He was appointed to the board in November 2009 and lives in Portland.

Kimberly Howard

Kimberly Howard heads education initiatives for the corporate social responsibility team at Portland General Electric. Prior to joining PGE, she was trust manager of the Oregon Cultural Trust, managing director at Portland's Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, and education/outreach director for Artists Repertory Theater. She serves on the board of Portland Playhouse and currently represents Oregon on the Western States Arts Federation's Regional Multicultural Advisory Committee. Howard is also an accomplished actress, with credits in New York, the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and several Portland theaters. She was elected to the board in 2014.

Mitsu Iwasaki

Mitsu Iwasaki is executive director at Mazamas, a Portland based non-profit seeking to inspire and educate everyone to love and protect the mountains. Previously, Iwasaki was the executive director at Northwest Outward Bound School. He is also a partner at the Outdoor Policy Outfit working to strengthen collective impact and investment in political power for the outdoor industry. Mitsu was elected to the board on September 2019.

Julie Jones Manning

Julie Jones Manning is vice president for marketing, public relations, and community health promotion at Samaritan Health Services, a Corvallis-based regional health system serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties. She served a four-year term as the mayor of Corvallis, where she lives, and has served on the boards of the Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network, the League of Oregon Cities, and the Cascades West Council of Government. She was elected to the board in 2017.

Kate Lasky

Kate Lasky has been the library director of Josephine Community Library District since 2018 and was previously executive director of Josephine Community Libraries, Inc. Lasky is a board member of the Public Library Division of the Oregon Library Association and serves on the OLA's Legislative and Development Committee. She lives in Grants Pass and was elected to the board in 2016.

Kerani Mitchell

Kerani Mitchell is a founding partner of Allyship in Action, an equity and inclusion consulting company in Central Oregon, and an accounting associate at Groundswell Fund. Her professional and volunteer work focuses on equity for communities of color and LGBTQ folks and the promotion of arts and culture. Residing in Bend, Kerani is also a founding board member of Bend International School and served as a contract facilitator for Oregon Humanities for three years before joining the board in September 2019.

Alberto Moreno

Alberto Moreno is the executive director of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition, a statewide organization whose mission is to eliminate health disparities for Latinos in Oregon. He also serves as the chair of the Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and he founded the Oregon Community Health Workers Association. Moreno has informed state policy that supports health workers including establishment of Oregon's Traditional Health Worker Commission. He is a columnist for El Hispanic News and was appointed to the board in 2015.

Jennifer Parrish Taylor

Jennifer Parrish Taylor is the state affiliate political organizer for American Federation of Teachers, Oregon. Previously, she has worked for nonprofits (NARAL Pro-Choice America), political candidates (Senators John Kerry and Barack Obama), and unions (Working America, SEIU, and AFT-OR). She serves on the board of the Oregon Labor Candidate School, where she works with other members to identify and recruit labor-friendly candidates to run for office. She was appointed to the board in 2017 and lives in her hometown of Portland.

Tiffani Penson

Tiffani Penson is a native Oregonian and very involved in the community. She is currently the Supplier Diversity Officer for the City of Portland. Tiffani specializes in building valuable internal and external community relationships, creating and executing programs to improve youth engagement, improving government processes and creating outreach opportunities for bureaus which combined leads to successful sustainable city partnerships and programs. Tiffani was just recently elected to the Portland Community College Board Zone 2, and serves the board of Kairos PDX, and Oregon Native American Chamber and Architecture Foundation of Oregon. She joined Oregon Humanities board on September 2019

 

Camille Preus

Camille is executive director of the Oregon Community College Association, where she represents all seventeen of Oregon’s community colleges as the primary voice on legislative and regulatory issues at the state and federal level, advocates for state-level leadership for student success efforts, and fosters partnerships to further community college interests. Before joining the Oregon Community College Association, she was president of Blue Mountain Community College, where she served from 2013 to 2018.  She also serves on the boards of the Women's Foundation of Oregon, the Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation, and several other organizations. She was elected to the board in 2018.

Jacqueline Willingham

Jackie retired from her insurance career as Vice President of Disability and Life Benefits in the Employee Benefits Division at Standard Insurance Company. She now enjoys working part-time as a freelance consultant and the opportunity that provides to pursue many interests. Raised in California, she is a graduate of Willamette University in Salem. Jackie’s most recent board experience was with Literary Arts in Portland; she completed her service with a two-year term as Board Chair and continues as a volunteer. She enjoys utilizing her career experience in new ways, both as a consultant and a volunteer, particularly in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, engaging problem-solving teams and performing project work. She is energized by participating in her community in various ways, and especially enjoys travel, being a student as Portland State, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Portland with her husband, Bill, a historian and writer.