Board of Directors
Denise Stephens, Chair
Vice Provost and University Librarian, Washington University in St. Louis
Denise Stephens was appointed the Vice Provost and University Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis in July 2017. In this role, Stephens manages the University Libraries’ nine locations, the system’s vast archives and special collections, and more than 150 professional and support staff. Before joining Washington University, Stephens served as university librarian at University of California at Santa Barbara for five years. Her background includes a broad range of leadership and management roles related to the intersection of evolving information resource strategies and scholarship in the academic environment. She has actively participated in implementing digital library initiatives and service programs in research university libraries for 20 years. In addition to her current position, she has held leadership roles at Syracuse University, as Associate and Acting University Librarian, and the University of Kansas, where she served as Vice Provost and Chief Information Officer. Early in her career, she helped to launch transformative spatial data services among emerging digital library programs at the University of Virginia. Stephens has a BA in Political Science and a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
City Librarian, San José, California
Jill Bourne is the city librarian in San José, California, overseeing the city’s main Martin Luther King, Jr., Library, in a partnership with the San José State University, and 22 branch libraries. In 2017, Bourne was named the Library Journal Librarian of the Year. A member of the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board and American Library Association Committee on Literacy, Bourne has also been acknowledged as a Library Journal “Mover & Shaker.” Bourne holds a B.A. from New York University and an MLIS from the University of Washington.
Laura DeBonis, Treasurer
Laura DeBonis works as an independent consultant and advisor to tech startups and nonprofits. Recently she concluded her term on the Public Interest Declassification Board at the National Archives, to which she was appointed in 2015 by President Obama and where she served as Co-Chair of the Technology Working Group. Laura has previously worked at EF Education First and 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. Laura is thrilled to be returning to the board of DPLA!
Jennifer 8. Lee
CEO 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.
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Katherine Maher is the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and its sister projects. She is a longtime advocate for free and open societies, and has lived and worked around the world leading the introduction of technology and innovation in human rights, good governance, and international development. Katherine has worked with UNICEF, the National Democratic Institute, the World Bank, and Access Now on programs supporting technologies for democratic participation, civic engagement, and open government. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Human Rights and a fellow at the Truman National Security Project.
Global 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.
Director, Cleveland Public Library
Felton Thomas is the director of the Cleveland Public Library. During his tenure, Cleveland Public Library was named a “Top Innovator” by the Urban Libraries Council for its use of technology and data to inform decision making. Thomas has been named a Library Journal “Mover and Shaker” and has served as president of the Public Library Association, a member of the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet and president of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Thomas earned a B.A. in psychology from The University of Nevada-Las Vegas and his MLIS from The University of Hawaii, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Managerial Leadership in the Information Profession at Simmons College. His library career began at age 13, when he became the youngest employee in Las Vegas-Clark County Library District history.
Vice Provost of University Libraries and University Librarian, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Elaine Westbrooks is the vice provost of university libraries and university librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Westbrooks has previously held positions at the University of Pittsburgh, Cornell University, University of Nebraska and University of Michigan. She has presented her research at various conferences, including the American Library Association, the Coalition for Networked Information, Dublin Core, and the Library and Information Technology Association. In 2015, Elaine was the recipient of the Foreign Expert Award from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. She has a B.A. in Linguistics and an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.
Brian Bannon • Chris Bourg • Sarah Burnes • Cathy Casserly • Paul Courant • Robert Darnton • Luis Herrera • Jamie Hollier • Mary Minow • John Palfrey • Amy Ryan • Siva Vaidhyanathan
Community + Open Board Calls
The Board of Directors holds a Community + Open Board conference call quarterly. 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).
These calls are open to the public, as per DPLA’s Open Meetings Guidelines.
Our most recent Community + Open Board Call was held on Friday, June 26, 2020. It featured a conversation with ALA Executive Director Tracie D. Hall and MacArthur Foundation President John Palfrey about equity, access and the future of reading, with concluding remarks from Cleveland Public Library CEO and DPLA board member Felton Thomas.
Open Board Call Schedule
Notes from Past Board Calls
Find notes from previous Board calls in Historical Materials.
Board Responsibilities and Expectations