The American Writers Museum Board of Trustees is committed to creating a Board that is representative of our country’s diverse population and the audience that the museum serves. Click here to see the AWM Board Diversity Statement.

Officers

John W. Estey

John W. Estey | Chair

Naples, FL
Favorite American Author: Frederick Douglass

Jane Irwin

Jane Irwin | Chair Elect

Winnetka, IL
Favorite American Author: Jon Krakauer

M. Hill Hammock

M. Hill Hammock | Immediate Past Chair

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: Mark Twain

Roberta Rubin

Roberta Rubin | Immediate Past Chair

Evanston, IL
Favorite American Author: David McCullough

Roger Baskes | Vice Chair

Gail Bent

Gail Bent | Vice Chair & Corporate Secretary

Seattle, WA
Favorite American Author: John Irving

Ellen Boates Clark

Ellen Boates Clark | Treasurer

Glenview, IL
Favorite American Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Werner Hein

Werner Hein | Vice Chair

Washington, DC
Favorite American Author: George Saunders

Malcolm E. O'Hagan

Malcolm E. O’Hagan | Founder

Chevy Chase, MD
Favorite American Author: Walt Whitman

Carey Cranston is the President of the American Writers Museum

Carey Cranston | President

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: James Baldwin

Trustees

Marie Arana

Olivia Bedi

Olivia Bedi

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: David Sedaris

Allan E. Bulley, III

Marion Cameron

Marion Cameron

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: Willa Cather

Joan Clifford

Joan E. Clifford

Chicago, IL

S. Leigh Pierson Conant

S. Leigh Pierson Conant

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: Gene Stratton Porter

Carolyn Curiel

Carolyn Curiel

Hammond, IN
Favorite American Author: Mark Twain

Edith Falk

Edith Falk

Chicago, IL

Robert Franden

Jay Hammer

Palm Beach, FL
Favorite American Author: Wallace Stevens

Karen Hale

Karen Hale

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: Maya Angelou

Julie Justie

Julie Justie

Arlington Heights, IL
Favorite American Author: Willa Cather

Ivan P. Kane

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman

Washington, DC
Favorite American Author: Toni Morrison

Coco Meers

Coco Meers

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: William Faulkner

Catherine Mouly

Grove Mower

Grove Mower

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: Elmore Leonard

Richard Murphy

Judy Pomeranz

Judy Pomeranz

Washington, DC
Favorite American Author: Mary Oliver

Dominique Raccah

Dominique Raccah

Naperville, IL
Favorite American Author: Mary Oliver

Chad Riley

Chad Riley

Austin, TX
Favorite American Author: Cormac McCarthy

Amanda Rutledge

Sarah Schrup

Chicago, IL
Favorite American Author: Wallace Stegner

Michael Scodro

Michael Scodro

Western Springs, IL
Favorite American Author: Shirley Jackson

Larry Shulman

Trustee Emeritus

Jerre Stead

Importance of diversity for the AWM Board of Trustees

The American Writers Museum’s exhibits, public programs, and youth education program present the diversity of American writers, including many writers from historically underrepresented groups, such as women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ writers. The AWM’s leadership is inspired by these writers, and their profound influence, to create a Board that is also representative of our country’s diverse population and the audience that the museum serves.

As the decision-making body at the highest level of organizational leadership, the Board of Trustees plays a critical role in creating a museum that prioritizes, supports, and invests in diversity, inclusion, accessibility, and equity. 
As the nation’s only museum dedicated to American writers and their influence on our history, our culture, and our daily lives, we embrace and celebrate our common humanity, and the inherent worth of all people. In celebrating all voices, we must also acknowledge that a climate of intolerance and inequity is a challenge to our values and ideals. The complex issues and dynamics at the intersection of race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, national origin, and religion call for proactive thinking within a museum that uses its platform to celebrate all writers and the relevance of their work.
We believe that the AWM is better able to do this work effectively and with authenticity when it is led by a Board of Trustees that is:

Diverse:

The individual leaders who compose the AWM Board are a reflection of our values and beliefs about who should be empowered and entrusted with the most important decisions. We believe that we can better fulfill our mission by drawing on the skills, talents, and perspectives of a broader and more diverse range of leaders, and that the diversity of viewpoints that comes from different life experiences and cultural backgrounds strengthens board deliberations and decision-making.

Inclusive:

By cultivating an inclusive culture, we aim to ensure that all board members are encouraged to bring their perspectives, identity, and life experience to their board service. To create an inclusive board culture, we welcome and celebrate differences and ensure that all board members are equally engaged and invested, sharing power and responsibility for the museum’s mission and the Board’s work.

Equity-focused:

The Board plays a critical role in prioritizing resources and strategies to ensure that the AWM is accessible and relevant to everyone. With an understanding of current cultural inequities, the Board has a powerful opportunity to strengthen the museum’s impact, relevance, and platform for dialogue.

The AWM Board of Trustees commits to filling vacant Board seats with Trustees who better represent the diversity of the American population, and to have a Board that is significantly more diverse by 2025.