Board of Directors



PEN/Faulkner Foundation Board of Directors 2015 – 2016


Susan Richards ShreveSusan Richards Shreve (Chairwoman) is the author of 14 novels, most recently You Are the Love of My Life. She has written twenty-eight books for children. Shreve is the founder of the Master of Fine Arts Degree at George Mason University where she is a Professor of English, and a former President and present Co-Chairman of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Among other honors and awards, she has been a Guggenheim Fellow, an NEA fellow, and a Jenny McKean Moore Fellow.



Richard McCann author photo by Dave SingletonRichard McCann (President) 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.



Willee Headshot_floralWillee Lewis (Executive 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.




Mary Haft headshotMary Haft (Vice President) Mary 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.




Lisa Page headshotLisa Page (Vice President) 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.





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.


madison.smartt.bell_-460x260Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels, including All Souls’ Rising, which was a finalist for the 1995 PEN/Faulkner Award, and two collections of short stories. Born in Tennessee, he is a graduate of Princeton University and Hollins College and has taught in programs including the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars. Since 1984, he has taught at Goucher College, along with his wife, the poet Elizabeth Spires. He has been a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers since 2003. At present he is working to complete The Witch of Matongé, a novel as indescribable as the Golux’s hat.



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.



PF LogoLeslie Cockburn is the author of five books (two with Andrew Cockburn) including her first work of fiction, Baghdad Solitaire (September 2013). She was a Ferris Professor at Princeton, a Poynter Fellow at Yale and has won numerous awards for her journalism over the past 30 years covering foreign affairs and finance. She is a former correspondent for PBS Frontline, writer for Vanity Fair and producer for 60 Minutes.She directed American Casino (Spring 2009) the first feature documentary on the financial meltdown that led to the recession. She co-produced the feature film The Peacemaker.



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.



Richard Ford author photo © Robert YagerRichard Ford is a novelist and a story writer, and has enjoyed an association with PEN/Faulkner for more than two decades—both as a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winner and as a Board member. He is the author of ten volumes of fiction and many essays. His novels include Independence Day, The Lay of the Land, and Canada, which was a New York Times best-seller and winner of the 2012 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. He lives with his wife Kristina Ford in East Boothbay, Maine, and in New York City.



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.



Janet GriffinJanet Alexander Griffin (Ex-Officio) is the Artistic Producer and Director of Public Programs at the Folger Shakespeare Library. During her tenure, Folger Theatre has mounted more than 70 plays, including at least half of Shakespeare’s works, as well as other drama, old and new, which reflects the Folger collection. She also oversees the early music series with the Folger Consort; the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series; public lectures, seminars, and humanities programs; and the collaboration with the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.  Originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she did graduate work is in Irish literature at University College, Dublin.



Pati Griffith headshotPatricia Griffith is the author of four novels including The World Around Midnight, which was named one of the outstanding books of the year by the American Library Association. Her fourth novel, Supporting the Sky, was a Literary Guild selection. Griffith’s plays have been produced in Equity productions in New York and Dallas. Her short stories have appeared in Harper’s, The Paris Review, Washingtonian and elsewhere and have twice been included in the O. Henry Prize Stories. A former president and co-chair of PEN/Faulkner, Griffith is an associate professor at The George Washington University where she teaches dramatic writing and Contemporary Drama.



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.



Frazier O'Leary headshotFrazier O’Leary 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.



PF LogoTracy B. McGillivary 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.



George Pelecanos author photo © Ian AllenGeorge Pelecanos is an independent film producer and was a producer and Emmy-nominated writer on HBO’s The Wire, Treme, and The Pacific. The recipient of numerous international writing awards, he is the author of 19 novels set in and around Washington, DC. His fiction and essays have appeared in Playboy, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and GQ among other publications.  Esquire magazine has hailed Pelecanos as “the poet laureate of the DC crime world.” He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.



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.




Margaret Talbot author photoMargaret Talbot has been a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, where she covers culture and politics, since 2003, and was formerly a Contributing Writer for The New York Times magazine. She has also written for The New Republic, The Atlantic, and other publications, and has been a regular on the Slate Double X and New Yorker podcasts. Her first book, The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and my Father’s Twentieth Century, recounts the story of her father’s (stage and screen actor Lyle Talbot) exceptionally long and varied career from 1931-1960.



Deborah Tannen author photoDeborah 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; her most recent is You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!: Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives. 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.



Mary Kay Zuravleff author photo © Epic Photography 2013Mary Kay Zuravleff is the author of three novels: Man Alive!, The Bowl Is Already Broken, and The Frequency of Souls, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction has won the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the James Jones First Novel Award, and a half dozen individual artist grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She is co-founder of the DC Women Writers Group, and she lives in Washington with her family.


Directors Emeriti

Mary Lee Settle, Founder

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