Board of Advisors

Board of Advisors

Behind the Book relies on our Advisory Board to guide us in our work and to help spread our mission.

Denise Bell – Ms. Bell served as Behind the Book’s first Director of Development from 2003-2007. In 2005, she founded and continues to curate the Behind the Book Reading Series at KGB Bar. She works on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, which is part of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Melanie Fallon-Houska – Ms. Fallon-Houska serves as Director for both Penguin Random House Foundation and Penguin Random House Corporate Giving.

Christine V. Fleming – Ms. Fleming served for a decade on the Chelsea Day School Board of Directors, including eight years as president.  As co-chair of the Parent Association Literary Committee at Little Red School House Elisabeth Irwin High School, she helped organize book weeks and author visits to every classroom.

Micaela Gutierrez – Ms. Gutierrez is the Head of Assessment & Evaluation at the Future Project. She works as part of a research and development team to create measurements that assess The Future Project’s impact, to ensure The Future Project’s work is aligned with the latest research in education and psychology, & to design new products and services that are based in research and best practices.

Lynn Huber – Ms. Huber – is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. She currently teaches graduate courses in literacy and works with Teach for America teachers working in New York City Charter Schools.  She holds a doctorate in Literature, Language and Learning from Fordham University.  Her research interests include critical literacy, social justice and early language/vocabulary development.

Barbara Korein – Ms. Korein has an MA in Arts Education and a teaching certification from NY State in Art Education for K-12.  She worked for more than a decade as a photographer, writer and editor of a local Westchester newspaper before beginning her career as an art teacher.  Ms. Korein served as one of BtB’s first teaching artists.

Emmelene Lee – Ms. Lee is a Senior Vice President in the Corporate Strategy Group of CIT Group Inc.  Prior to joining CIT, she was a Director in the Financial Institutions Group at Houlihan Lokey.  Ms. Lee holds a B.A. and a B.A.S. from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an M.B.A. from the Wharton School.  An avid reader since childhood, she believes that reading is the fundamental basis to education, opening both minds and doors. She formerly served as the Chair of Behind the Book’s Board of Directors.

Annmarie McLeoud – For nearly twenty years, Ms. McLeoud has been an educator in Bedford-Stuyvesant’s public schools. Ms. McLeoud is currently the librarian at Community School 21 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, where BtB has been running programs for several years.

James Meader – Mr. Meader is the Executive Director of Publicity at Picador, the literary trade paperback imprint of Macmillan. He studied literature at Middlebury College.

Muffie Meyer – A co-founder of Middlemarch Films, Ms. Meyer has produced and directed more than 100 films, including Benjamin Franklin, which won the 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special.  Ms. Meyer serves on the Strategic Planning Committee of Behind the Book.

Francine Prose – Ms. Prose is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, as well as fourteen books of fiction, including A Changed Man, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award.  A film of her novel, Household Saints (1981), was released in 1993.  Her stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, Die Zeit, and Harper’s, where she is a contributing editor.

Doreen Rappaport – Ms. Rappaport is the author of many historical fiction and nonfiction books for children. Her books include Martin’s Big Words, Nobody Gonna Turn Me Round, and The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, among others.

Brian O. Selznick – An illustrator and author of numerous children’s books, Mr. Selznick won the 2008 Caldecott Award for The Invention of Hugo Cabret and a 2002 Caldecott Honor for The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins. Other books he has illustrated include Frindle, The Doll People, and A Week in the Woods, among many others.

Sharon Teitelbaum – Ms. Teitelbaum has been a press representative for CBS and NBC and an assistant director of community affairs for CBS.  She holds a BA from the University of Chicago and an MA from Brandeis University where she concentrated on immigration history.

Rita Williams-Garcia – Ms.Williams-Garcia is the author of six distinguished novels for young adults: Jumped, No Laughter Here, Every Time a Rainbow Dies, Fast Talk on a Slow Track, Blue Tights, and Like Sisters on the Home Front. Ms. Williams-has been a recipient of the Newbery Honor Award, Coretta Scott King Award, and Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Do you have a particular interest or expertise in literacy or children’s literature?  Behind the Book is always seeking interested, passionate and committed individuals to serve on our Advisory Board.  Please contact Jo Umans at for more information or to express interest.