Board of Directors

Richard McCann author photo by Dave SingletonRichard McCann (Chairperson) holds an MA in Creative Writing and Modern Literature from Hollins University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. The author of the story collection Mother of Sorrows and the poetry collection Ghost Letters, McCann’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Esquire, Tin House and elsewhere. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, on whose Board of Trustees he served from 2000-2008. He teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at American University.

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Tracy B. McGillivary (President) grew up in Garden City, New York and studied English at Hofstra University. She holds a JD from the University of South Carolina, an LLM in taxation from The George Washington University, and worked in tax and real estate law before retiring to raise her twins. An active volunteer and fundraiser at St. Patrick’s, St. Albans, and NCS, she was Parent’s Committee chairperson for Boy Scout Troop 1946 and Treasurer, Spring Break Coordinator, and Fundraiser of the Combined Cathedral Crews Rowing Club. She recently spearheaded the PEN/Faulkner Book Group, a development initiative supporting PEN/Faulkner.

Frazier O'Leary headshotFrazier O’Leary (First Vice President) teaches at Cardozo High School and has been an English Teacher in DCPS for over 40 years. He has been an Adjunct Professor of English at The University of the District of Columbia for more than 30 years. He is a consultant with the College Board and a Table leader for the AP English Literature Exam. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Toni Morrison Society, the Treasurer of The School Club (an educational advocacy group), and a member of DC’s Coaches’ Hall of Fame, as well as a former President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. He loves his family, teaching, literature, and baseball in that order.

Willee Headshot_floralWillee Lewis (Vice President) studied English literature and education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and has taught English, writing, and drama in a number of settings, including ten years as an instructor at the Washington International School. She has served two terms as PEN/Faulkner’s president, and in 2005-2006 was part of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on the Future of the DC Library System. She is editor of Snakes: An Anthology of Serpent Tales and is active in several Washington-based charities and arts organizations.

Conrad Cafritz head shotConrad Cafritz (Treasurer) is chairman of Cafritz Interests, Novus Residences, and Modus Hotels. A leader in the Washington metropolitan real estate community for more than 40 years, he oversees a development and management practice that encompasses office, hotel, retail, residential, and industrial properties throughout the US. His father, Morris Cafritz, began developing real estate in Washington, DC in 1919 and became the city’s most prolific developer during the mid-20th century. Conrad Cafritz joined his father’s firm after graduating from Yale University in 1960 and soon established his own company, known today as Cafritz Interests, as well as the affiliated Potomac Hospitality Services (now Modus Hotels). Under his leadership, Cafritz Interests has grown into a diverse, full-service real estate development company.

Katherine Field Stephen photoKatherine Field Stephen (Secretary) is a journalist who is currently a contributor to The Christian Science Monitor. She edited a memoir about her mother called Kay Fanning’s Alaska Story which was published in 2006 by Epicenter Press. She has also contributed author profiles and other articles for The International Herald-Tribune, The Independent, and The Los Angeles Times. She has served on the board of the National Cathedral School and the Washington Ballet. She is married to journalist Andrew Stephen and has two children

Deborah Taylor Ashford head shotDeborah Taylor Ashford (Counsel) is a senior partner at Hogan Lovells, a global legal services firm, where she heads the Tax-Exempt Organizations Group. She provides general tax, corporate, and related representation to domestic and international non-profit organizations, foundations, trade associations, and related for‑profit entities. In 1996 she was nominated by President Clinton and elected by the United Nations General Assembly to serve as Judge, United Nations Administrative Tribunal. She was re-elected in 1999 for a second term. She holds a BA and an MA in English Literature from the University of Alabama and graduated from Yale Law in 1981.

Louis BayardLouis Bayard is the author of nine novels, including Mr. Timothy, The Pale Blue Eye, Lucky Strikes and Courting Mr. Lincoln. A New York Times Notable author, he has been nominated for both the Edgar and Dagger awards, and his story, “Banana Triangle Six,” was chosen for The Best American Mystery Stories 2018. His reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Salon. An instructor at George Washington University, he was also the author of the popular Downton Abbey recaps in the New York Times.

Jackson Bryer headshotJackson R. Bryer is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Maryland, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses for 41 years. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of books on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eugene O’Neill, Ernest Hemingway, August Wilson, Lillian Hellman, Thornton Wilder, Lanford Wilson, Carson McCullers, William Styron, Louis Auchincloss, Samuel Beckett, Wallace Stevens, and Hamlin Garland. A member of the PEN/Faulkner Board since 1991, he lives in Kensington, Maryland, with his wife, Mary C. Hartig.

Hache Carillo © Nico TucciH. G. Carrillo is the author of Loosing My Espanish, a novel published by Pantheon Books and in paperback by Anchor Books. His short stories have appeared in Kenyon Review, Conjunctions, The Iowa Review, Glimmer Train, Ninth Letter, Slice and other journals and publications. Carrillo lives in Washington, DC, where he is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at The George Washington University. He is currently at work on a novel.

Susan Coll is the author of five novels, most recently The Stager, a New York Times and Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice. Her work has appeared in publications including the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, Washingtonian, Moment Magazine,,, and The Millions. She is currently teaching an intensive, year-long novel writing class at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and previously worked at Politics & Prose bookstore, where she oversaw events and programs for five years.

PF LogoMolly Elkin is a partner in the law firm Woodley & McGillivary in Washington, DC, where she represents unions and employees in class actions, civil rights cases, First Amendment cases, and multi-plaintiff wage and hour litigation. She is a 1990 Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Wisconsin and earned her JD at The George Washington University in 1993. She was introduced to PEN/Faulkner in 1994 when her father, novelist Stanley Elkin (a three-time finalist for the National Book Award and two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award) was a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. She lives in DC with her husband Ivan Wasserman and their three daughters.

Renée K. Gardner is the Principal and Co-Founder of the Gardner/Mills Group. Gardner specializes in planning and directing events, from seminars and conferences to major benefits and premieres, and developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to raise funds and build new and substantial financial support for a diverse array of public institutions and non-profit organizations. As Director of External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in the 1980s, she directed all fundraising, special events, and public relations efforts, managing numerous events from intimate dinners to receptions for 5,000 guests. Prior to the Smithsonian, she served as Director of Special Events for WashingtonInc. She also held the positions of Director of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial; Vice President of Italian Aircraft Corporation, a European aviation firm; and, Assistant to the Italian Ambassador of the European Community.

ginnyGinny Grenham has spent over 25 years in Washington, D.C. working in government and public relations, with a special focus on women’s health, wellness, technology, and Hispanic media. Currently, Ginny runs a consulting practice, where she helps clients develop creative and innovative strategic partnerships with non-profits, government, and community leaders. In addition to a range of corporate clients, Ginny works with non-profits in the areas of childhood obesity, mental health and addiction, and literacy and the arts in underserved populations. Ginny helped to establish a number of undergraduate scholarships for Hispanic students, as well as The Latino Leadership Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School. Ginny serves on the board of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, as well as other local community organizations.

Mary Haft headshotMary Haft is a writer, producer, and founder of Haft Productions, LLC, specializing in documentaries for nonprofits. She is the author of Nantucket: Portrait of an American Town and one of the founding partners of the Nantucket Book Festival. Recently, she brought PEN/Faulkner’s Writers in Schools program to Nantucket’s public school system, and inaugurated an annual Young Writer Award to encourage the act of writing. A part of the PEN/Faulkner team for many years, she has also co-chaired the annual PEN/Faulkner Gala in Washington for the past seven years.

Mimi Houstoun headshotMimi Houstoun is a graduate of William & Mary College. She has spent the last 25 years raising her four children with her husband, Richard. Over the years she has been involved with St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School and the Maret School  in various fundraising and volunteering positions. For the past four years she has been a volunteer with Reading Partners and, for the last three years, has served on their board helping promote literacy amongst elementary students in the greater Washington, DC region.

Joanne Leedom-Ackerman author photoJoanne Leedom-Ackerman is a novelist, short story writer, and journalist. Her works of fiction include The Dark Path to the River and No Marble Angels. A former reporter for The Christian Science Monitor, Joanne  is a Vice President and  former International Secretary of PEN International. She serves on the boards of PEN American Center, Poets and Writers, International Center for Journalists and Johns Hopkins University as well as International Crisis Group and Refugees International. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Joanne lives in Washington, DC.

Picture1Dale LeFebvre is the founder and Chairman of, a holding company that creates value for technology driven companies through a proprietary methodology of Transformational Investing™. Dale has managed and raised more than $1 billion in institutional capital. The current portfolio generates more than $300 million with operations in 11 states and territories, and now employs more than 1600. He is an alum of McKinsey and Company and is the recipient of numerous honors and awards from Bell Labs Fellow, to Harvard Law Traphagen, to Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow. He also holds multiple patents.

Dale is an Electrical Engineering graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. A lifelong learner, he is currently pursuing his Master of Fine Arts.

Tony Lewis Jr. is an author, community leader, workforce development specialist, re-entry expert, and champion for children with incarcerated parents. Mr. Lewis has fought relentlessly for 19 years to uplift and empower men, women, and children impacted by mass incarceration. His advocacy has been featured on CNN, BET, Elite Daily, and in the Washington Post. He is the winner of many awards, including the Steve Harvey/Ford Motor Company “Best Community Leader” award and the Presidential Call to Service award.

Malcolm O'HaganDr. Malcolm O’Hagan is the founder of the American Writers Museum. He served as CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. He is a past President of the Washington Industrial Roundtable and Chairman of the Council of Manufacturing Associations. He served in the Carter and Reagan administrations as Executive Director of the U.S. Metric Board.

Dr. O’Hagan, a naturalized US citizen, was born and raised in Ireland and holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The National University of Ireland. He obtained his D.Sc. from The George Washington University and is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from GWU.

Lisa Page headshotLisa Page is Director of Creative Writing at The George Washington University and a freelance writer based in Washington, DC. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post Book World, Playboy, The Crisis, Washingtonian, Emerge, Savoy, Phoebe, the Chicago Tribune and other publications. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the anthologies Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About Race, Gravity Dancers, and Dream Me Home Safely: Writers on Growing Up in America. She is a regular guest on NPR’s The Diane Rehm Show Reader’s Review. She is a former President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Dolen Perkins-ValdezDolen Perkins-Valdez is the author of Balm and Wench, which was a New York Times best-seller. In 2011, she was a finalist for two NAACP Image Awards and the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award for fiction. She was awarded the First Novelist Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, and she received a DC Commission on the Arts Grant for her second novel. A graduate of Harvard University and a former University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA, she teaches writing in the Stonecoast MFA program. She lives in Washington, DC with her family.

Anas “Andy” Shallal is an artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of Busboys and Poets, a group of restaurants in the Washington metropolitan area in which art, culture, and politics intentionally collide over mindfully sourced food, drinks, and programming that feeds the mind body and soul. With seven locations in and around DC, including the latest location in Anacostia, Busboys and Poets has become home for progressives, artists, and intellectuals, including such notables as the late Howard Zinn, Cornel West, Alice Walker, and Nikki Giovanni, to name a few.

Deborah Tannen author photo

Deborah Tannen is professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of many books, including three New York Times bestsellers. Best known of these is You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation, which was on the list for nearly four years, including eight months at number one, and has been translated into 31 languages. Her most recent book is You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women’s Friendships. Her play “An Act of Devotion” is included in The Best American Short Plays 1993-1994 and was produced by Horizons Theater in Arlington, VA.

Directors Emeriti

Mary Lee Settle, Founder

Thomas Caplan
Stephen Goodwin
Nick Kotz
Beverly Lowry
E. Ethelbert Miller
Azar Nafisi
Diane Rehm
Susan Shreve
Susan Stamberg
Lou Stovall
Mary Kay Zuravleff