Staff

Administration

Edward F. Rover
Chairman and President

Education | Harvard Law School
> Read More
Edward Rover is the Chairman, President, and CEO of the Dana Foundation. He is Chairman of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the European Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

Mr. Rover was a senior partner at White & Case until 2004. At White & Case, he led a broad tax practice, where he advised and represented many tax-exempt organizations and domestic and international companies. He served as outside counsel to many public charities and private foundations. He continued to act “of Counsel” to White & Case until December 31, 2016.

He has served as director of the Foundation since 1995.

Mr. Rover earned his B.A., egregia cum laude from Fordham University, after studying at the Institute d’Etudes Politique in Paris. He earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Barbara E. Gill
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs; Executive Director, Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives; Assistant Treasurer

Education | Columbia University
> Read More
Barbara Gill is an Executive Vice President and the Executive Director of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives. She has overall responsibility for the Foundation’s Public Affairs division; including the global Dana Alliance with membership of more than 600 eminent neuroscientists and clinicians in 34 countries; program development and implementation worldwide; budget, financial, and management responsibilities; and establishing and maintaining strategic programming partner relationships in the US and Europe.

Ms. Gill has an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a background in communications and public affairs. Prior to joining the Dana Foundation in 1992, she was in corporate public affairs at Mobil Corporation.

Burton M. Mirsky
Executive Vice President, Finance; Treasurer; Assistant Secretary

Education | University of Pennsylvania Law School
> Read More
Burton M. Mirsky is an Executive Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer. He joined the Foundation in 1996 upon his retirement after 35 years at KPMG LLP, including 28 years as a tax partner serving multi-national clients. At KPMG, he served terms as partner-in-charge of professional development for the firm and as partner-in-charge of professional practice for the New York region. He was also a lecturer in taxation at the Wharton School of Finance of the University of Pennsylvania from 1985 through 1995.

Mr. Mirsky earned a B.S. in Economics degree from the Wharton School and a LL.B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma and Beta Alpha Psi honorary societies. He is a Certified Public Accountant in New York, where he served as a director of the New York State Society of CPAs, and New Jersey, and is a member of the New York Bar.

Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives/Public Affairs

Amanda Bastone
Project Associate

Education | Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College
> Read More
Amanda Bastone is the Dana Foundation’s Project Associate. In addition to managing administrative tasks for the Foundation’s website and various social media platforms. She assists in organizing programs with the directors of Brain Awareness Week and the Cognitive Fitness Initiative. She received a B.A. in Sociology and Art History from Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College, where she graduated summa cum laude. Ms. Bastone is a member of Phi Betta Kappa. She is studying web development at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was an Apprentice Museum Educator at the Rubin Museum, a research assistant at Roosevelt House School of Public Policy at Hunter College, and an intern at the Bronx Zoo. 

Brandon Barrera
Public Affairs Assistant

Education |  Lehman College
> Read More
Brandon Barrera is a Public Affairs Assistant at the Dana Foundation. He works on a variety of projects across the Dana Alliance/Public Affairs Department, including the New York City Regional Brain Bee, the Successful Aging & Your Brain program, and Dana Alliance membership and events. He is also responsible for the administrative aspects of the department, such as managing the budget and coordinating email campaigns. He is currently pursuing a B.A. in Journalism from Lehman College and is active in community organizing.

Barbara D. Best
Vice President, Dana Alliance and Director, Member Relations

Education | School of Visual Arts
> Read More
Barbara Best is the Vice President and Director of Member Relations for the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives (DABI). She is responsible for all aspects of DABI membership, including working with the Executive Committees, overseeing and implementing new member nominations, and finding innovative ways to engage members in both DABI and Foundation outreach. She supervises the European Dana Alliance (EDAB) staff to ensure EDAB members’ inclusion in the Alliance’s global membership. Ms. Best serves as second-in-command in the Public Affairs department for the Executive Vice President. Prior to her work at the Foundation, Ms. Best worked for Doyle Dane Bernbach and Mobil Oil, among others. She is a founding member of Tennis Against Breast Cancer, a member of the United States Tennis Association and a volunteer at local senior centers and soup kitchens. Ms. Best attended LaGuardia Community College and the School of Visual Arts.

Laura Reynolds
Director, Cognitive Fitness Initiative

Education | University of Massachusetts
> Read More
Laura Reynolds is the Director of the Cognitive Fitness Initiative. She is responsible for overall management of the Successful Aging & Your Brain project, which focuses on maximizing brain function and health in older adults. The program includes live public forums, printed materials, a website section, and a DVD program. She also serves as a mentor to junior staff and works on special assignments for the Executive Vice President of Public Affairs. Ms. Reynolds has B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts.

Kathleen M. Roina
Director, Brain Awareness Campaign

Education | College of the Holy Cross
> Read More
Kathleen Roina is Director of the Brain Awareness Campaign. Ms. Roina directs the annual global campaign; the New York City Regional Brain Bee, an academic neuroscience competition for high school students; and the Lending Library program, a year-round neuroscience outreach program at select partner universities. Ms. Roina is responsible for several print and online resources, including the Mind Boggling series for K-12 students, the Q & A: Answering your Questions about the Brain for adult readers; and other print and online materials across several age groups. Ms. Roina received a B.A. in History from the College of the Holy Cross. She is a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, NYC, a physical activity youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade.

Finance and Administration

Daniel Cosgrove
Office Assistant

Education | Pace University
> Read More
Dan Cosgrove is an Office Assistant at the Dana Foundation. He performs administrative duties, including preparing information for Board meetings and scanning and filing grant-related documents. Mr. Cosgrove is currently working towards a B.A. in Finance at Pace University with a minor in Psychology, where he expects to graduate in 2019. He is currently President of the Delta Zeta Chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity, where he has also served as Treasurer. He joined the Foundation in 2016.

Brigida C. Gay
Controller

Education | University of Santo Tomas
> Read More
Brigida Gay is the Controller at the Dana Foundation. She handles the company’s internal accounting and financial procedures, oversees accounts payable and cash management functions, and coordinates with the Executive Vice President, Finance, to prepare the annual budget. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Gay was an External Auditor at a CPA firm, and then an Internal Auditor with a Philippine government group before she moved to the United States, where she worked as an assistant to the Assistant Controller. Ms. Gay earned a B.S., Commerce in Accounting cum laude from the University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines and passed the CPA board exam in the same year.

Patricia Mangini
Director, Human Resources

Education | Pace University
> Read More
Patricia Mangini is the Director of Human Resources. She is responsible for employee relations, benefits administration, and payroll. She also oversees Dana Press’ business affairs. Ms. Mangini received a B.S. in Management from Pace University.

Christian Medina
Assistant Controller

Education | Fairleigh Dickinson University
> Read More
Christian Medina is the Assistant Controller at the Dana Foundation. She oversees the accounts payable, handles bank reconciliations, journal entries, and other administrative duties. Ms. Medina earned her B.A. in Accounting with a minor in Administrative Science from Monroe College and obtained her M.A. in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She served as President of the PTA at the School of Law and Public Service for three years, and was awarded the Chancellor District award in 2003.

Megan Messana
Office and Communications Assistant

Education | Columbia University
> Read More
Megan Messana is the Office and Communications Assistant at the Dana Foundation. She performs administrative duties including but not limited to data entry and file management, as well as contributes to the Foundation’s blog and social media. Ms. Messana has an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and B.A.s in Journalism and English from Brooklyn College. She joined the Foundation in 2018.

Steven Protass
Finance Associate

Education | Baruch College
> Read More
Steven Protass is a Finance Associate at the Dana Foundation, where his main responsibilities include managing financial statements, tax return filings, and general accounting issues, as well as attending Foundation Investment Committee meetings. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008, Mr. Protass was a Tax Partner at KPMG and Tax Director at MasterCard Intl. He has also served as both the President and Treasurer of the United Cerebral Palsy Association Nassau. Mr. Protass received a B.S. in Accounting from Baruch College and is a New York State Certified Public Accountant. He was a frequent speaker for the New York State Society of CPAs.

Grants

Carolyn Asbury, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant

Education | University of Pennsylvania
> Read More
Carolyn Asbury is a Senior Consultant, advising on the Neuroscience Grants program and on Cerebrum.

Dr. Asbury is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. She conducts policy research on drugs and biologics for rare “orphan” diseases. Dr. Asbury was a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She also directed the Pew Charitable Trusts Health and Human Services Program. Dr. Asbury is the author of Orphan Drugs: Medical vs Market Value (Lexington Books). She also advised pro bono on the 1973 Orphan Drug Act and has published on orphan drug policy in journals and in book chapters. She served on the Boards of the U.S. Pharmacopeia, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Treatment Research Institute, and National Organization for Rare Disorders. Dr. Asbury received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a ScMPH from Johns Hopkins University.

Mary M. Lucas
Grants Director

Education | New York University
> Read More
Mary Lucas is the Grants Director of the Dana Foundation. Her responsibilities include managing the grants administration process and staff, as well as fielding grants questions from potential recipients. Ms. Lucas received her M.A. from New York University and has two-thirds of her M.B.A. from Baruch University.

Celina Sooksatan
Grants Associate

Education | Ursinus College
> Read More
Celina Sooksatan is the Grants Associate at the Dana Foundation. She performs administrative oversight of current grants, and handles part of the processes for potential grantee applications. Ms. Sooksatan also takes on occasional graphic design projects for the Foundation’s Communications team. She graduated from Ursinus College with a B.A. in Media and Communications.

Communications Department

Bill Glovin
Executive Editor, Dana Press
Editor, Cerebrum

Education | George Washington University
> Read More
Bill Glovin is Executive Editor of the Dana Press and serves as Editor of Cerebrum and the Cerebrum Anthology: Emerging Issues in Brain Science. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Glovin was Senior Editor of Rutgers Magazine and editor of Rutgers Focus. He has served as managing editor of New Jersey Success, editor of New Jersey Business magazine, and as a staff writer at The Record newspaper in Hackensack, NJ. Mr. Glovin has won 20 writing awards from the Society of Professional Journalists of New Jersey and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He has a B.A. in Journalism from George Washington University.

Blayne Jeffries
Communications Associate

Education | Long Island University
> Read More
Blayne Jeffries is the Communications Associate. She is the layout/design production editor for the department’s monthly publication, Brain in the News. Ms. Jeffries works with outside vendors essential for publication production, contributes to the Foundation’s social media, and edits the “Seniors” web section. She also handles administrative duties. Ms. Jeffries has an M.A. in Media Arts from Long Island University and a B.A. in Journalism from Hampton University.

Marc-Arthur Nicolas
Internet Associate

Education | Brooklyn College
> Read More
Marc-Arthur Nicolas is the Web Associate. He is the front-end developer of Dana.org, the Foundation Blog, and the Intranet sites. He is responsible for developing new web applications, web-based tools, and functionalities for the Foundation. He has worked at NYSE in System Support and at IBM as a web developer. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Brooklyn College and has a certificate in Web Development and a certificate in Digital Marketing, both from New York University.

Rekeube Otor
IT Technician

Education | Baruch College
> Read More
Rekeube Otor is the IT technician at the Foundation. He is responsible for the general function of Internet applications and security, the Foundation’s operating systems, and electronic equipment. Mr. Otor received a B.B.A. from Baruch College in Information Systems Management, and A.A.S. in Programming and Systems from LaGuardia Community College. He is also a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA).

Nicky Penttila
Executive Editor, Web 

Education | Michigan State University
> Read More
Nicky Penttila is the Executive Editor, Web. She manages the stream of content posted on the Foundation website, including editing its news stories. She is also responsible for spreading the word about the Foundation’s activities through social media. Before joining the Foundation, Ms. Penttila worked as a journalist for the Harford Courant, San Francisco Examiner, and the Baltimore Sun. She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers and the DC Science Writers Association. Ms. Penttila has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Central Connecticut State University.

Seimi Rurup
Editor

Education | Sarah Lawrence College
> Read More
Seimi Rurup serves as Editor at the Dana Foundation. She edits and oversees the production of the print publication, Brain in the News, in addition to managing the Foundation’s blog and certain social media channels. In addition to her work with copy, Ms. Rurup has helped implement new creative projects for further outreach including video, graphic design, and illustration. Ms. Rurup has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, with a minor in Japanese. She obtained an advanced diploma from New York University in Copyediting, Proofreading, and Fact-Checking and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the New York Women in Communications, Inc.

James Rutt
Chief Information Officer

Education | Stetson University
> Read More
James Rutt is the Chief Information Officer at the Dana Foundation. His responsibilities include providing strategic planning for information and technology management and overseeing all back office technology operations necessary to support the Foundation. Mr. Rutt is a graduate of Stetson University, where he received a B.B.A. degree. He has 20 years of technology experience and has been at Dana for seven years. Mr. Rutt is a board director of Technology Affinity Group (TAG) and is a member of Society for Information Management, Cloud Security Alliance, and CIO4Good, among other leadership organizations.

Isaac Sashitzky
Director of Web Technology

Education | Touro College
> Read More
Isaac Sashitzky is the Director of Web Technology. His responsibilities include managing the technical updating of the Foundation’s website, and administration of the Content Management System (CMS). He provides technical support and works on web-based projects. Mr. Sashitzky is a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society. He received his B.S. in Business Administration and Management from Touro College, and has a certificate in Internet Technologies and a certificate in Web Development, both from New York University.

Ann Whitman
Director, Marketing & Communications

Education | Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
> Read More
Ann Whitman is the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Dana Foundation. She develops the Foundation’s marketing and media strategies, edits and produces content for the website and social media, and works with the EVP of Public Affairs on educational outreach programs in partnership with AAAS. Ms. Whitman received a B.A. in History from Hamilton College and an M.S. in Nonprofit Management from Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy. Previously, Ms. Whitman worked in the development office of a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on GED preparation and workforce training for underserved populations. She is a member of New York Women in Communications, Inc.

Consultants

Guy McKhann, M.D.
Philip Uri Treisman, Ph.D.