The inaugural DPLA Board of Directors was established in September 2012 to support DPLA’s goal of creating and maintaining a free, open, and sustainable national digital library resource. The current DPLA Board is composed of public and research librarians, technologists, authors, intellectual property scholars, media studies scholars, and business experts from around the country.


Sarah Burnes

Literary Agent at The Gernert Company
After stints in the editorial departments of Houghton Mifflin, the Knopf group, and Little, Brown, Sarah Burnes became an agent in 2001. Joining The Gernert Company in 2005, she now represents adult fiction writers (Alice McDermott and Tony Earley among them); children’s fiction writers (New York Times bestsellers Margaret Stohl and Pseudonymous Bosch); and journalists and critics (New York Times Magazine contributor Jon Gertner and Freeman’s John Freeman). The awards her writers have either won or been shortlisted for include the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, the Story Prize, the Los Angeles Times First Book Prize, the Whiting Writer’s Award, and the Barnes and Noble Discover Award; and they have received grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. Sarah also sits on the board of the non-profit progressive publisher The New Press and lives with her husband and three children in Brooklyn, NY.

Paul Courant

Former University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Professor of Economics and Professor of Information at the University of Michigan
Paul N. Courant previously served as the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Harold T. Shapiro Collegiate Professor of Public Policy, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, Professor of Economics and Professor of Information at the University of Michigan. From 2002-2005 he served as Provost and Executive Vice-President for Academic Affairs, the chief academic officer and the chief budget officer of the University. He has also served as the Associate Provost for Academic and Budgetary Affairs, Chair of the Department of Economics and Director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies (which is now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy). In 1979 and 1980 he was a Senior Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. Paul has authored half a dozen books, and over seventy papers covering a broad range of topics in economics and public policy, including tax policy, state and local economic development, gender differences in pay, housing, radon and public health, relationships between economic growth and environmental policy, and university budgeting systems. More recently, his academic work has considered the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives, and the effects of new information technologies and other disruptions on scholarship, scholarly publication, and academic libraries. Paul holds a BA in History from Swarthmore College (1968); an MA in Economics from Princeton University (1973); and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University (1974).

Robert Darnton

Robert Darnton Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian at Harvard University
Robert Darnton is the Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and University Librarian at Harvard, as well as a member of the DPLA Board of Directors. Robert was educated at Harvard University (A.B., 1960) and Oxford University (B.Phil., 1962; D.Phil., 1964), where he was a Rhodes Scholar. After a brief stint as a reporter for The New York Times, he became a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard.  He taught at Princeton from 1968 until 2007, when he became Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the University Library at Harvard.  He has been a visiting professor or fellow at many universities and institutes for advanced study, and his outside activities include service as a trustee of the New York Public Library and the Oxford University Press (USA). He has written and edited two dozen books.

Laura DeBonis (Secretary)

Independent Consultant
Laura DeBonis works as a consultant to education companies and non-profits.  In addition to the DP.LA, she also serves on the Public Interest Declassification Board at the National Archives. Laura previously worked at Google in a variety of positions including Director of Library Partnerships for Book Search, Google’s initiative to make all the world’s books discoverable and searchable online. Laura started her career in documentary film and multimedia and in strategy consulting for internet businesses.  She is a graduate of Harvard College and has a MBA from Harvard Business School.

Luis Herrera

City Librarian for the City and County of San Francisco
Luis Herrera is the City Librarian of the San Francisco Public Library, where he is responsible for the administration of the city’s 28 libraries including a main library and 27 neighborhood branches. Previously, Luis served as the Director of Information Services for Pasadena Public Library and the Deputy Director of the San Diego and Long Beach Library systems in California. He has served as President of both the Public Library Association and the California Library Association. In January 2012, Luis was named the Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year. Luis is currently Chair of the Cal Humanities and was recently nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). He earned his BS from the University of Texas at El Paso, a MPA from California State University, and a MLS from the University of Arizona.

Jamie Hollier (Treasurer)

JHollierHeadshotPresident of Anneal, Inc.; Partner, Commerce Kitchen
Jamie Hollier is a project manager and consultant who is passionate about technology and the ways it can be used to create stronger communities. Jamie is the owner of Anneal, a library consulting firm, and a partner at Commerce Kitchen, a web design, development, and marketing company. One of her current consulting roles is providing project management for DigitalLearn.org, a Public Library Association (PLA) Initiative funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Previous to this project, Jamie was the project manager for the Colorado State Library’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), was a rural library manager, and worked in the publishing industry with Cambium Learning. Jamie holds a MLS from Clarion University,  a certificate in Project Management from Colorado State University, and a BFA in Art History from Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Jennifer 8. Lee

jenny8leeninaportraitCEO and co-founder of Plympton
Jennifer 8. Lee is the CEO and co-founder of Plympton, a literary studio that focuses on digital innovation. A former New York Times journalist, she is also the author of “The Fortune Cookie Chronicles” (Twelve, 2008) and the producer of “The Search for General Tso,” a documentary which premiered in the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. She was on the launch team of Upworthy and was a lead judge in the Knight News Challenge. Jenny also serves on the boards of the Center for Public Integrity, Hacks/Hackers, the Nieman Foundation and the Asian American Writers Workshop, in addition to the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Committee. Among the projects she has helped launch are Recovering the Classics, a crowd-sourced book cover for public domain classics; NewsDiffs, which tracks changes in online articles after they have been published; Spark Camp, a weekend convening of interesting people around themes; and News Foo (now Newsgeist), a leading journalism un-conference. She graduated from Harvard, where she was vice president of The Harvard Crimson, with a degree in applied math and economics.

Niko Pfund

NikoPfundGlobal Academic Publisher of Oxford University Press, and President of Oxford University Press, USA
Niko Pfund is the Global Academic Publisher of Oxford University Press, and President of Oxford University Press, USA. A graduate of Amherst College, he began his career at Oxford in 1987 as an editorial assistant in law and social science before moving to New York University Press in 1990. At NYU Press, he was an editor and then editor in chief before becoming director in 1996. He returned to Oxford in 2000 in the role of Academic Publisher and is responsible for oversight of the Press’s scholarly and research publishing across the humanities, social sciences, science, law, and medicine, spanning the Press’s offices in Oxford, New York, and Delhi. A frequent speaker on publishing, scholarship, and media, he has given talks at the Library of Congress, the World Bank, George Washington, UNC, Fordham, Oberlin, USC, Yale, UT-Austin, NYU, MIT, Princeton, Williams, Columbia, Amherst, and many other institutions, as well as at a variety of scholarly conferences and publishing institutes. In 2012 he was named a Notable Person of the Year by Publishers Weekly.

Amy Elizabeth Ryan (Chair)

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 3.30.52 PMAdvisor in Residence at Simmons College
Amy Ryan is an Advisor in Residence at the Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science, a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries Visiting Committee, the Beacon Hill Village Council and the Massachusetts Women’s Forum. Ryan has over 35 years of public library management experience. From 2008 to 2015, she was president of Boston Public Library.  Prior to that, Ryan was director of the Hennepin County Library in Minnesota and had served in leadership positions for over 28 years with Minneapolis Public Library. In 2015, the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners awarded her the first ever Samuel Swett Green Award in honor of her “outstanding work and development of innovative library services and programs.”  She is also the recipient of other awards and recognitions including a 2007 Resolution of the City of Minneapolis honoring her as Committee Co-Chair for the consolidation of city and suburban libraries, as well as the American Institute of Architects Special Award acknowledging her contribution to library design.

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Siva_Vaidhyanathan_02_JHRobertson Professor in Media Studies Chair, Department of Media Studies, University of Virginia
Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor and the Chair of the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. He also teaches in the University of Virginia School of Law. Vaidhyanathan is the author of The Googlization of Everything And Why We Should Worry (University of California Press, 2011),Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn de la Pena) collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COMSalon.com, openDemocracy.net, Columbia Journalism Review, BookForum, Slate.com, the Washington Post, and The Nation. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and to MSNBC.COM and has appeared in a segment of “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart. After five years as a professional journalist, Vaidhyanathan earned a PhD in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught previously at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, and Universiteit van Amsterdam. You can follow him on Twitter at @sivavaid.


  • Cathy Casserly
  • John Palfrey


Board Committees, comprised of members of the DPLA Board of Directors, are tasked primarily with providing advice and recommendations on issues related to policy and strategy.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee will act for the Board, subject to the DPLA bylaws, on matters requiring Board action between meetings, and other matters delegated by the Board from time to time.

The members of the Board Executive Committee are:

  • Amy Ryan (Chair)
  • Jamie Hollier (Treasurer)
  • Laura DeBonis (Secretary)
  • Dan Cohen (ex officio)

Finance Committee

The purpose of the Board Finance Committee is to oversee the financial doings of DPLA; to review and evaluate DPLA’s fiscal operation and its managers; to report to the Board and/or Executive Director on DPLA’s finances, and/or any irregularities or issues; to provide advice and recommendations to the Board of Directors, Executive Director, Director for Content, and staff on how DPLA’s financial operations align with its mission, vision, and strategic goals. An Audit subcommittee may be formed.

The members of the Board Finance Committee are:

  • Jamie Hollier (Chair)
  • Paul Courant
  • Amy Ryan (ex officio)
  • Dan Cohen (ex officio)

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee has two principal responsibilities: to promote the effective functioning of the Board and to oversee the activities of all the operational committees.  It is an advisory body.  Rather than making decisions and implementing them, it serves as a forum for discussing issues and for counseling the Board, the executive director, and the staff.  It makes recommendations to the Board about replacing Board members as they rotate off and about related issues such as the Board’s size and composition.  Its oversight responsibilities commit it to work with the operating committees in order to resolve any difficulties that may arise and to stimulate cooperation in areas where their activities overlap.  By regular consultation with committee chairs, it should promote the active engagement of all committee members and coordinate their work for the good of the DPLA as a whole. Accepted: July 2014.

The members of the Board Governance Committee are:

  • Robert Darnton (Chair)
  • Laura DeBonis
  • Luis Herrera
  • Siva Vaidhyanathan
  • Amy Ryan (ex officio)
  • Dan Cohen (ex officio)

DPLAfest Committee

The DPLAfest Committee will assist with the planning and coordination of the annual DPLAfest conference, in concert with DPLA staff.

The members of the Board DPLAfest Committee are:

  • Siva Vaidhyanathan (Chair)
  • Jamie Hollier
  • Jenny Lee
  • Amy Ryan (ex officio)
  • Dan Cohen (ex officio)

Partnerships and Development Committee

The Partnerships and Development Committee will make recommendations to the Board on the ways in which DPLA can innovate and create strategic partnerships to further its mission, such as DPLA’s efforts around eBooks. The Partnerships and Development Committee will provide counsel on the development and implementation of DPLA’s long-term sustainability plan(s), as well as identify and solicit funds from external sources of support, in concert with the Business Development Director and Executive Director. The committee will also provide advice and recommendations about potential new markets/audiences and their needs, and how to meet those needs.

The members of the Board Partnerships and Development Committee are:

  • Laura DeBonis (Chair)
  • Jenny Lee
  • Niko Pfund
  • Sarah Burnes
  • Amy Ryan (ex officio)
  • Dan Cohen (ex officio)

Open Quarterly Board Calls

The Board of Directors holds an open conference call on the 15th of September, December, March, and June at 3:00 PM Eastern, except when that date falls on a weekend. The board will strive to host at least one in-person meeting per year (or video-enabled web conference for those who can’t make it). Additionally, the Board’s Governance and Finance Committees convene open calls every other month on a rotating basis.

These calls are open to the public, as per DPLA’s open meetings guidelines. Agendas are posted at least one week in advance of the call on this page, the blog, and the news list. Notes are published via those same channels within two weeks after each call; notes from past calls can be found below.

Join our news list to receive periodic updates from DPLA, including upcoming open calls, or sync with our events calendar.



  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM Eastern
  • Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 3:00 PM Eastern

Board Committees (Governance and Finance)

  • [Finance] Wednesday, January 6, 2016, 1:00 PM Eastern (cancelled)
  • [Governance] Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 1:00 PM Eastern
  • [Finance] Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 1:00 PM Eastern
  • [Governance] Wednesday, July 13, 2016, 1:00 PM Eastern
  • [Finance] Wednesday, September 7, 2016, 1:00 PM Eastern
  • [Governance] Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 1:00 PM Eastern

Dial-in information for Board calls will be posted here one week in advance of the call. For Governance and Finance Committee calls, a link to dial-in information will be posted here one week in advance of the call.

Notes from past Board calls