Joan E. Bertin is a graduate of NYU Law School, where she was a fellow in the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program. After law school, she spent seven years representing indigent clients as a legal services lawyer, and more than a dozen litigating civil rights and civil liberties cases at the ACLU. She has taught at Columbia University, where she remains on the faculty, and at Sarah Lawrence College, where she held the Joanne Woodward Chair in Public Policy, but prefers activism to academia. She frequently speaks and writes on legal and policy issues, and is the author of more than 30 chapters and articles in professional books and journals.
Svetlana Mintcheva joined NCAC after years of academic teaching and research on post World War II art and literature. Having spent a large part of her academic career analyzing provocative art and its socio-political contexts, she is happy to be on the front lines protecting the coexistence of a diversity of voices in the cultural sphere. Svetlana has published and presented multiple papers on contemporary art and writing — most recently, she co-edited Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression (2006, The New Press). She curated the 2007 exhibition "Filth, Treason, Blasphemy?: Museums and Censorship," at the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum in Chicago, IL and conceived "Exposing the Censor Within," a traveling interactive public art installation, which opened in California in March of 2007.
An academic and an activist, Mintcheva has taught literature and critical theory at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and at Duke University, from which she received her Ph.D. in critical theory in 1999. She currently teaches part-time at New York University. Her academic research and writing focus on postmodern literature and aesthetic provocations as well as issues in censorship and ethics.
Andy DiBella oversees all aspects of the organization's fundraising. He joined NCAC in 2014 with a decade of experience in nonprofit development and a love of lit, film, free speech and the occasional nude. Prior to NCAC, he ran successful fundraising campaigns for affordable housing, homeless services and arts organizations in Los Angeles. Andy received his BA in English and Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.
Jas Chana is NCAC's Communications Director. He has a Master's degree in Religious Studies and Journalism from New York University and a Bachelors in Theology from Durham University. Prior to joining NCAC he worked as a journalist for a number of years. His reporting and writing can be found in Tablet Magazine, The New York Observer and Religion Dispatches, among other publications.
Senior Consultant, Youth Free Expression Program
Austin Dacey comes to NCAC with 15 years of experience in the NGO sector as a specialist in freedom of inquiry, conscience, and expression. As a former representative to the United Nations for the Center for Inquiry and the Copenhagen-based Freemuse: The World Forum on Music and Censorship, he has made contributions to the Human Rights Council and the Universal Periodic Review. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including USA Today, Salon, and the New York Times, which ran his 2006 op-ed "Believing in Doubt." He is the author The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life and The Future of Blasphemy: Speaking of the Sacred in an Age of Human Rights. In 2010 he created The Impossible Music Sessions, a forum in New York City for banned music from around the world which was featured by the Wall Street Journal, BBC World Service and NPR. He holds a Ph.D. in applied ethics and social philosophy and has taught ethics at Polytechnic Institute of NYU.
Program Associate, Youth Free Expression Program
Josh recently graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in political science. In 2015, he co-founded the Princeton Open Campus Coalition, a non-partisan student organization devoted to protecting free academic speech and the right to dissent. He has spoken about the importance of free speech on campus at the Conservative Political Action Conference and has testified before the House Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee. His writings on free speech have appeared in the National Review and the Princeton Tory, a conservative collegiate magazine of which he was editor-in-chief.
Program Associate, Arts Advocacy Program
Joy Garnett is a visual artist and writer living in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA in Humanities and Middle East Studies from McGill University, studied painting at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and completed her MFA at The City College of New York. She was the Arts Editor for Cultural Politics (2005-2016), a peer-reviewed media theory journal published by Duke University Press. Joy served on the Committee for Intellectual Property at the College Art Association and has written extensively about art, copyright and free speech issues for publications that include Harper’s, M/E/A/N/I/N/G, Journal of Visual Culture and Artnet Magazine; she now writes the irregular column "Copy That!" for Art21 Magazine. Her paintings have been shown at the Milwaukee Art Museum, MoMA-PS1, Whitney Museum of American Art, Boston University Art Gallery, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Museum of Contemporary Craft Portland, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and Witte Zaal in Ghent, Belgium.
Finance & Administration