Lee Rowland

Executive Director

Lee Rowland served for over a decade as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the New York Civil Liberties Union.  She has extensive experience as a litigator, lobbyist, and public speaker. She has served as lead counsel in federal First Amendment cases involving public employee speech rights, the First Amendment rights of community advocates, government regulation of digital speech, and state secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process. She is also a prolific author of amicus briefs and blogs, where she provides insightful analyses of issues such as speech and privacy intersection, student and public employee speech, obscenity, and the Communications Decency Act. She also has represented several NCAC Partner Organizations.

Rowland has taught at New York University School of Law and the Hunter College Human Rights Program. She is a Communications and Media Law Committee member at the New York Bar Association.  She is a graduate of Middlebury College and Harvard Law School.

[email protected]

Josh Corday

Chief Strategy and Development Officer

Josh is originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan and attended school at the University of Utah where he graduated with a degree in Political Science.

Josh’s first job in the non-profit sector was over 15 years ago working for a small social justice organization in upstate New York. He has spent his entire career in the development field working with both small and large nonprofits with a range of services, including the Special Olympics, United Way and NewYork Presbyterian Hospital. Josh’s work has primarily focused on individual and foundation giving in various director roles, most of which had a particular focus on major gifts.

Josh believes that free speech and freedom of expression are foundational principles that must always be protected and actively defended. Joining NCAC has given Josh the opportunity to combine his professional expertise with some of his own personal beliefs.

[email protected]

Barbara Pyles

Chief Financial Officer

[email protected]

Christine Emeran

Youth Free Expression Program Director

Christine Emeran joins NCAC with non-profit, international research and academic teaching experience. In previous roles, she served as a research consultant at UNESCO and UNESCO-International Institute for Education Planning in Paris, France, including initiatives on knowledge societies, primary education decentralization policies, youth program on climate change, and lifelong learning. Dr. Emeran is the author of New Generation Political Activism in Ukraine 2000–2014 (Routledge, 2018) and a book chapter titled “The March for Our Lives Movement in the USA: Generational Change and the Personalization of Protest” featured in a global social movement book series, When Students Protest: Secondary and High Schools (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021). Her journal service includes manuscript refereeing at Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization and Observatorio.

In her academic career, Dr. Emeran has taught sociology at St. John’s University, Manhattan College and political science courses on social movements at SciencesPO in Paris. She holds a PhD in sociology from the New School for Social Research, New York, MA in International Education from New York University and BA/BS in International Business from the American University.  Dr. Emeran presents and writes on contemporary youth social movements in Europe and the U.S, she is glad to be contributing her knowledge to support students’ rights to free expression.

[email protected]

Elizabeth Larison

Arts and Culture Advocacy Program Director

Elizabeth Larison has worked in curatorial, programmatic, and directorial capacities for arts organizations and venues such as Flux Factory, the Park Avenue Armory, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and apexart. As Director of NCAC’s Arts & Culture Advocacy Program, Elizabeth leads various initiatives in advising and educating artists, writers, playwrights, as well as curators and other cultural intermediaries, in how to address the presentation of controversial works. With academic degrees in Human Rights (BA) and Curatorial Studies (MA), and over fourteen years of working with and in support of artists and curators, Elizabeth brings a depth of understanding to the fundamental importance of defending artistic expression.

[email protected]

Olivia MacLennan

Community Organizer

[email protected]

Gianmarco Antosca

Youth Free Expression Program Coordinator

Gianmarco Antosca has always been dedicated to supporting and amplifying the voices of young people. In middle school, Gianmarco wrote a report on SNCC and ever since he’s been fascinated by young people who have spoken truth to power. As he’s gotten older, Gianmarco has been particularly interested in how the younger generations can work through their differences to build a better and more democratic future.

Before coming to NCAC, Gianmarco worked as an administrator at the University of Chicago, where he supported non-credit continuing education students and masters students. He’s worked with nonprofits in Washington, DC and Chicago focusing on human rights, art, and political engagement. Outside of his professional career, Gianmarco has been a bartender, a substitute teacher, and a photographer, among other things.

Gianmarco received an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago where he studied and wrote about mass media, ideology, and history. Before moving to Chicago, Gianmarco attended the University of Maryland and received BAs in Government and Politics and Film Studies.

He currently lives in Brooklyn with his dog, Harvey.

[email protected]

Alexander Finan

Communications  Coordinator

[email protected]

Svetlana Mintcheva

Program Consultant

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. Dr. Mintcheva has written on emerging trends in censorship, organized public discussions and mobilized support for individual artists. She is the co-editor of Censoring Culture: Contemporary Threats to Free Expression (The New Press, 2006) and of Curating Under Pressure: International Perspectives on Negotiating Conflict and Upholding Integrity (Routledge, 2020).

An academic as well as an activist, Dr. Mintcheva has taught literature and critical theory at the University of Sofia, Bulgaria and at Duke University, NC from which she received her Ph.D. in critical theory in 1999, as well as at New York University. Her current research focuses on the challenges to the concept of free speech posed by social media, social justice movements and political polarization.

[email protected]