Board of Directors
Skyler J. Arndt‐Briggs
Board Member since 1994
Skyler J. Arndt‐Briggs graduated from Princeton University in 1977, with a major in French literature and concentrations in dance and women’s studies. After working in movement therapies, Sky undertook a graduate degree in cultural anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her dissertation on The Social Practice of Place in Weimar Republic Berlin (2000) was supported by a Fulbright‐Hayes Award and The Wenner‐Gren Foundation and was based on over 65 extensive life histories of Berlin residents that she gathered from 1988 to 1991.
Sky is the Executive Director of the DEFA Film Library and teaches in UMass’ German and Scandinavian Studies program. She writes on East German cinema, its international ties during the global Cold War, and its Anglo‐American reception since the fall of the Wall. She is is currently launching a new book series on Film and the Global Cold War with Berghahn Press. Her most recent publication is a co-edited volume entitled DEFA International: Grenzüberschreitende Filmbeziehungen vor und nach dem Mauerbau. The DEFA Film Library is a unique research center at UMass Amherst, which houses the only archive of films made in former East Germany located outside of Germany. In addition to welcoming researchers and visiting filmmakers and organizing conference panels, publications and biennial research institutes, the Film Library subtitles and produces German films on DVD. Its film series have screened at prestigious international and national venues, including The Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), and Toronto Film Festival.
Sky was very close to Lois Roth and has been actively involved in a wide range of Foundation activities since the mid-1990s. She is married to Gregory Briggs, who also holds a PhD in anthropology and specializes in vocational education. They have two daughters. Rosalie, who graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and teaches in inner‐city Denver, and Thea, who graduated from Barnard College, Lois’ alma mater, in 2013.
Anne V. Barbaro
Board Member since 2012
Anne V. Barbaro (nee Stenzel) graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1980, with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Anthropology, with concentrations in American Government and African Pre‐history, respectively. After spending three years in Mexico as a photographer and English teacher, Anne joined the U.S. Information Agency in 1983, where Lois Roth and Dick Arndt were widely known and admired officers.
As a Foreign Service Officer, Anne served in Kuala Lumpur, Montevideo, Washington DC, Paris, Colombo, Madrid, Brussels, and again in Washington DC. In every post she had the pleasure of working on cultural diplomacy programs. In Montevideo, Anne was the Executive Director of the Alianza Cultural Uruguay‐Estados Unidos, a bi‐national center with 5,000 students of English, a United States Information Service library, two theaters, and an art gallery that thrive to this day. In Paris, Colombo, Madrid and Brussels she served on the Fulbright Commission boards, often as Treasurer, and always on the selection committees.
Anne retired from the State Department in 2007, from her position as Office Director for European Press and Public Diplomacy, with the rank of Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service. From 2010‐2012 Anne worked for XL Associates on a contract with the Bureau of International Information Programs, creating a new organizational structure for 800+ public engagement spaces (libraries, cultural centers, bi‐ national centers, American Corners) and securing an annual budget of $15 million to upgrade and expand this network. Since 2013 Anne has worked as a Retired Annuitant Employee at the State Department where her job is pre-publication review of manuscripts by former employees to ensure they do not inadvertently release classified information.
She currently resides in Reston, VA with her husband Anthony. Anne and Tony have two wonderful grown-up offspring and the family volunteers with Reston Cornerstones.
Read Anne’s article on joining the Roth Foundation Board!
Board Member since 2019
Brett A. Berliner graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1982 with Bachelors of Arts degrees in Molecular Biology and History. After realizing laboratory work was not for him, he earned a Masters of Arts in History at the University of Washington in Seattle. Brett then taught High School math for five years at an ESL school in Washington DC. He then returned to graduate school, earning a doctorate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in European History.
Since 1999, Brett has been teaching in the Department of History at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. HE teaches undergraduates World History and European History. At the graduate level, Brett teaches courses on blacks in Europe and racism in Europe. He spends much of his time mentoring students and working on their writing skills. He has published one book, Ambivalent Desire (2002), and a few articles on race in Europe. He is now researching international philanthropic and epistolary relationships.
Brett lives in Baltimore with his wife, Sharon L. Stowers, a cultural anthropologist and fantastic teacher. They have one daughter who, now, lives too far away.
Board Member since 2018
Deborah Dubois is the President of the MBA Opens Doors Foundation, a 501c3 charitable organization that provides mortgage and rental payment assistance to families with critically-ill or injured children. As President, Deborah is responsible for the strategic growth of the Foundation, which includes a national network of children’s hospitals and more than1,500 corporate and individual donors from the real estate finance industry.
Prior to the Opens Doors Foundation, Deborah served as the Chief Development Officer for The Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative journalism newsroom, where she led the fundraising and resource development operations, strengthening existing donor relationships and bringing new donors to the organization’s roster at a critical point in the organization’s history. Prior to the Center, she served as a Deputy Executive Director for Justice at Stake, a judicial independence organization and before that as the Vice President of Development, Marketing and Communications for the National Legal Aid & Defender Association.
In 1992, Deborah moved to Prague, Czech Republic, where she went on to found a bi-lingual magazine called One Eye Open/jednim okem, a journal that focused on women’s issues in post-communist Europe. While in Prague, she also served in marketing and business development capacities for the law firm, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Upon returning to the United States, Deborah joined World Learning as a Program Officer, designing US-based education and training programs for public administration professionals from Central and Eastern Europe.
Deborah holds an undergraduate degree in government from Cornell University and an MBA degree from The George Washington University. She resides in Arlington, VA with her partner, Lisa Carrol.
Lisa L. Helling
Board Member since 2022
During nearly 30 years in the diplomatic service, Lisa Helling’s assignments in Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Afghanistan, and supporting U.S. embassies in Central Asia and the Caucasus permitted her to advance U.S. policy goals in countries in transition. She led teams that initiated and managed programs advancing policy priorities in areas including democracy development, advancing women’s equality and leadership, building civil society and protecting cultural heritage, principally through public diplomacy, educational and cultural programs.
As Executive Director of the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Ms. Helling advised the presidentially appointed Board on oversight of the worldwide Fulbright academic exchange program. In her capacity as Senior Adviser and State Department Liaison to the Smithsonian Institution, she marshalled the Smithsonian’s formidable scientific research, educational and cultural resources for U.S. Embassy outreach efforts around the world. She retired from the State Department as a member of the Senior Foreign Service in 2019.
Currently, Ms. Helling is consulting with the State Department’s National Museum of American Diplomacy on resources for its planned permanent exhibit on the history of American diplomacy. She is also a member of the Alumni Council of the University of Denver’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Ms. Helling received a BA summa cum laude in Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Denver’s College of Arts and Sciences and a JD from the University of Denver’s College of Law. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, she practiced law in the areas of international trade and intellectual property in Washington, DC.
Board Member since 2019
Marti Estell completed twenty-nine years as a career Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, rising to the ranks of the Senior Foreign Service. While overseas, she served as the Public Affairs Officer in San Salvador and Quito; Cultural Affairs Officer in Madrid and the Embassy Spokesperson in Tegucigalpa. She began her career in public diplomacy positions in Malaysia and Indonesia. Throughout her career, Marti led teams responsible for creating and carrying out public diplomacy programs and student exchanges, where she developed institutional relationships with universities and other academic partners, including binational Fulbright Commissions.
Marti’s domestic assignments included as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Diplomacy Center and the Office of Policy, Planning, and Resources in the Bureau of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. She also served as the Division Chief for Recruitment in the Bureau of Human Resources and the Director of the Office of English Language Programs in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
Marti earned a BA in Political Science and French from Stephens College in Columbia, MO and a MA in Western European Politics from the University of Essex (UK).
William Alvarado Rivera
Roth Foundation Alumnus
Board Member since 2004
William Alvarado Rivera is a Roth Foundation alumnus, having received an LRE project support award in 1991 while conducting research at the University of Stockholm as a Fulbright Scholar. His work in Sweden built upon his undergraduate studies at Brown University, where he majored in Public Policy and American Institutions. LRE’s support enhanced his efforts to compare U.S. and Swedish social welfare policy, particularly with regard to the establishment of paternity and enforcement of child support obligations, which were the subject of his honors thesis at Brown.
Bill has carried his academic interest in child support and social welfare policy into his professional career. Following his graduation from Stanford Law School, he spent over seven years as a litigator in the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Bill then spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in leadership positions with the Office of Child Support Enforcement and the Office of the General Counsel. At HHS, he litigated and advised on issues arising under federal anti-poverty programs, including child support enforcement, Head Start, foster care, child and elder abuse and neglect, refugee assistance, and public assistance for low-income families. Bill also helped negotiate bilateral child support agreements with El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.
In 2015, Bill became Senior Vice President for Litigation of AARP Foundation, which advocates in courts throughout the country for the rights of people 50 and older, addressing diverse legal issues that affect their daily lives and assuring that they have a voice in the judicial system. As a member of the Foundation’s executive team, Bill leads one of the nation’s largest charities, helping millions of older Americans who struggle to meet their basic needs for nutritious food, safe and affordable housing, adequate income, and much-needed personal connections.
Bill has served as President of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia and has held leadership positions with the District of Columbia Bar, the American Bar Association, and various local youth-oriented non-profit organizations.
Bill lives in McLean, Virginia, with his wife and two daughters.
Board Member since 2019
Katheryne is an expert in reputation management with over 18 years’ experience at the international C-Suite level in Washington, D.C. She has vast experience in helping CEOs establish their D.C. offices and international projects, including infrastructure development for HR, IT, Financial and Operational policies and procedures. Her expertise extends to managing, administrating, transitioning, organizing, leading, and working with national and international organizations and businesses in the private and public sectors.
Currently, she works as the Director of Talent Management at the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., where she is responsible for Training & Development, Recruiting, and Employee Engagement and, together with the Chief Diversity Officer, helping manage the Association’s internal Diversity & Inclusion initiatives.
From 2012-2015, she was the Administrative Director for a private equity firm specializing in the defense, intelligence and security sectors. In this role, she handled not only the daily office management with the COO, but the firm’s financial compliance requirements as well as international security clearances for the financial entities. Among her other previous positions, Katheryne worked for the Protocol Office of three German Ambassadors and Germany’s Presidency of the European Union at the German Embassy in 2007.
Additionally, Katheryne spent 18 years in the Seattle area working in Education. And though she began her career as an Adjunct Germanics Professor, Katheryne moved into Secondary Education as both an Educator and Educator-Administrator.
She has an MA in Germanics and recently defended her dissertation “Are you the REAL Deal: The Art and Science of Human Capital Due Diligence” to earn her MBA. She also holds certifications/degrees in: Education (Special Education, German, History, International Baccalaureate), Protocol (German and American), and Human Resource Management (SHRM-CP). Katheryne and her husband, an Autism Specialist for the DC Public Schools, reside in Arlington, VA.
Board Member since 2016
Laurie Weitzenkorn spent twenty-six years as a career Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State, rising to the ranks of the senior Foreign Service. Before retiring in 2014, she worked with the Bureau of International Information Programs, where she spent time serving as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State overseeing five offices in the Bureau. Previously, Laurie was Counselor for Public Affairs at US Embassies in Athens, Santiago, San Jose, and Ljubljana. She has also served in Public Affairs positions in Bucharest, Brasilia, and at the State Department. In Brasilia, Laurie was the Executive Director of the Casa Thomas Jefferson, a Brazilian-American Cultural Center which provided English classes for some 9,000 students and cultural programming in the Center’s library, art gallery, and theater.
While overseas, Laurie held leadership positions on the Boards of the Fulbright Commission in several countries. In Chile, she worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the State Department, and the Fulbright Commission to launch a new scholarship program which allowed one hundred young academics, many from disadvantaged and underserved rural areas, to enter doctoral programs in the U.S.
Prior to joining the Department of State in 1988, Laurie worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. as an Assistant Curator in the Department of American Prints and Drawings and as a Research Assistant in the Department of American Painting where she was a co-author of the catalogue of the Gallery’s extensive American folk painting collection.
Ms. Weitzenkorn has a B.S. in Spanish from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Art History from Columbia University. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband.