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Our Program Development Team is responsible for the creation of Journeys in Film curriculum guides, educator professional development workshops, partnerships with schools, universities and other community organizations, promotion of international education reform on local and national levels, and general organizational growth of Journeys in Film.

Joanne AsheFounder and Executive Director

Journeys in Film reflects Joanne Ashe’s vision and her lifelong commitment to education and cross-cultural concerns. She has been involved in many successful educational and social initiatives, including working with the Russian Olympic Committee to establish a cross-cultural physical education program and curating exhibits on racism and children’s mental health issues. A social worker and activist with a master’s degree in education, Joanne has been influential in calling attention to the plight of orphaned children around the world. Her documentary film, The Waiting Children addressed the issues of international adoption; its premiere at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival led to an interest in foreign films that sowed the seeds for Journeys in Film. The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Joanne founded and co-facilitated a therapy group to ease survivors’ trauma and speaks on the Holocaust at schools throughout New Mexico. She served on the board of New Day Runaway Shelters and worked with teens to produce a short documentary on the positive experiences of living in the shelter. Joanne has been involved in several diversity initiatives in New Mexico, including the internationally acclaimed exhibit, Anne Frank in the World.

Eileen Mattingly  –  Director of Education


Eileen Mattingly has been a classroom teacher (middle school through college) in the Philippines, Massachusetts, New York and Maryland for over 30 years. She has a B.A. in International Studies from Georgetown University, MA degrees from St. John’s University and Johns Hopkins University, and has been selected for two fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Eileen has been a curriculum consultant for PBS, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Center for Learning. She has presented curriculum workshops for the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council for the Social Studies and other organizations. She served as Director of Coverdell World Wise Schools, the National Peace Corps’ K-12 program on cross-cultural education, and was founding principal of an independent high school focusing on global studies near Annapolis, Maryland. She is strongly committed to using interdisciplinary cross-cultural curriculum to help students understand and appreciate people from other cultures.

Martine Joelle McDonald  –  Director of Programs

Martine Joelle McDonald has worked at the intersection of film and youth development for 10 years. After earning a Bachelors of Arts degree in Peace Studies from Naropa University, Martine taught peacebuilding and conflict transformation skills to 600 K-3rd graders a week as an AmeriCorps educator with PeaceFirst in underserved Los Angeles public schools. She later joined the Tools for Tolerance for Educators program at the Museum of Tolerance. She enjoys consulting and mentoring with various arts and youth programs including Outfest, PeaceJam Foundation and Three Dot Dash. She also serves on the board of Mixed Roots Stories.

Roger B. Hirschland – Founding Executive Editor (In Memoriam)

 Roger B. Hirschland graduated from Brown University in anthropology in 1965 and immediately served two years in the Peace Corps working in community development in Sierra Leone, West Africa. Following a year of graduate school at Brown, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, then taught English and social studies for eight years at the Gordon School, in East Providence, R.I. While teaching, he earned a master’s degree in the teaching of English from Boston University. After two years of editing in the newsroom at the Providence Journal, Roger moved to Washington. D.C., and joined the staff of the National Geographic Society. He worked as a writer and an editor of books and of their children’s magazine, World, for eight years, and then wrote and edited geography materials for students and teachers for 14 years in a program at National Geographic that aims to invigorate the teaching of geography in schools nationwide. He worked for many years on the Society’s style committee and served as guide and lecturer on several National Geographic excursions to Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

Amy Shea – Director of Research

 Amy Shea is the 2014 recipient of the Great Mind Award in Innovation from the  Advertising Research Foundation, given in recognition of her methodology uncovering the story dynamics that lead to strategic insights derived from data. She is one of the few people in the world to have been honored twice with a David Ogilvy Award for Research Excellence, in recognition of her pivotal strategic contribution to brand success for IBM and Delta Dental. Shea was a member of the American Association of Advertising Agencies/Advertising Research co-committee created to Study Emotional Response in Advertising, publishing her findings on what is considered the gold standard in branded entertainment research on BMW’s online films. A sought-after presenter, Amy brings a direct and creative perspective to the conference stage. She presents on brand development, communications, and the role of brand story in advertising and film throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Her academic background includes an undergraduate degree earned by the University of New Hampshire, with joint studies at Harvard University, and a post-graduate degree in Marketing Research is from the University of Georgia. Amy Shea has contributed her skills and background to Journeys in Film since its inception.

James Clarke – Film Literacy Specialist

James Clarke has worked in Higher Education in the UK since 2004, working at universities including the University of Warwick and the University of Sussex. At Warwick , James taught screenwriting in the Department of English and at Sussex James taught Film Studies. Since 2001, James has had a number of books published about film and filmmakers. his work includes Bodies in Heroic Motion: The Cinema of James Cameron (published by Columbia University Press and Wallflower Press) and The Virgin Film Guide: Animated Films (published by Virgin Books). James has also written for the British Film Institute and other film education outlets in the UK. James has also worked as a consultant for the British Council, writing and producing a range of short films about aspects of British literary heritage. James secured a BA (Hons) in Film and Literature at the University of Warwick and a Postgraduate Diploma in Film and Television Production at The University of Bristol. James’ new book is being published in summer 2018 and is entitled Through Her Lens: The Stories Behind the Photography of Eva Sereny. You can follow James on Twitter: @jasclarkewriter

Ethan SilvermanFilm Literacy Consultant

Ethan Silverman brings 20 years of professional experience as a theater director and filmmaker to Journeys in Film.  He has directed new plays, revivals, and performance pieces at many theatres around the country, including Bill Grahan Presents with Ron Silver and his adaptation of Pete Townshend’s The Boy Who Heard Music at New York Stage & Film.  His first short film Central Park and his documentary The Waiting Children (produced by Joanne Strahl Ashe) both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.  Ethan is a member of the Writers Guild of America East and has written screenplays for Disney Pictures, VH-1, and Barry Levinson.  In 2008, he was selected for a creative residency at The Yaddo Institute, in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Currently teaching Narrative Strategies and Thesis Writing at the MFA Program in Design & Technology at Parsons The New School in New York City, Ethan is, “proud to have been an early developer and facilitator of Journeys in Film.”

Board of Directors


Diana Barrett

Diana Barrett holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Business Administration from Harvard University, where she taught Business Leadership in the Social Sector as well as in various other executive programs. The use of public and private partnerships for global poverty reduction is an area of special interest to Diana, which led her to found The Fledgling Fund (2005). The Fledgling Fund provides an opportunity to focus on innovative approaches to complex social issues including the use of media to ignite social change. Diana also serves on the Boards of the International Center for Photography, the Institute for Philanthropy in the U.K., the Social Change Film Forum at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Advisory Board of the Acumen Fund.

Michael H. Levine, Ph.D

Michael H. Levine is Sesame Workshop’s Chief Knowledge Officer. Until 2018, he was the founding executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. As Executive Director of the Sesame Workshops’ Joan Ganz Cooney Center, Dr. Levine oversaw efforts to catalyze and support research, innovation, and investment in educational media technologies for young children. Prior to joining the Center, Michael served as Vice President of New Media and Executive Director of Education for Asia Society, managing the global nonprofit organization’s interactive media and educational initiatives to promote knowledge and understanding of Asia and other world regions, languages and cultures. Previously, he oversaw the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s groundbreaking work in early childhood development, educational media, and primary grades reform and was a senior advisor to the New York City Schools Chancellor, where he directed dropout prevention, afterschool, and early childhood initiatives. Dr. Levine is a Pahara-Aspen Education Reform Fellow and has been a frequent adviser to the U.S. Department of Education and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, writes for public affairs journals, and appears frequently in the media. His new book, co-authored with Lisa Guernsey of New America is Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens.

Erica Spellman-Silverman

Erica Spellman-Silverman was a Senior Vice-President at both ICM and William Morris Publishing in New York City. She has taught as Adjunct Professor for 2 years in MFA Program at NYU Tisch Film School. She was invited to give her lecture, “The Business of The Movie Business” at Harvard Law School, Harvard School of Business, NYU Creative Writing, Columbia University Film School, and Bennington College. Erica received a B.A. from NYU in English. She currently holds the position of Literary Agent for Trident Media Group.

National Advisory Council

We are very proud of the prominent members of our National Advisory Council, who volunteer their efforts on our behalf in multiple ways. By supporting Journeys in Film, each individual listed below understands and supports the critical need for preparing today’s American youth for participation in our increasingly interdependent world.

Liam Neeson | Founding Spokesperson | A Letter From Liam

Kristin Wiig| Actor | Spokesperson

Brooke Adams | Actor

Sharon Bialy | Casting Director, CSA

Ted Danson | Actor

Professor Alan Dershowitz | Harvard Law School

Sara Jo Fischer | Independent Art Consultant

Gary Foster | Horseshoe Bay Productions

Scott Frank  | Screenwriter, Director

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. | Chair of African and African American Studies, Harvard University

Jill Iscol | Ed President IF Hummingbird Foundation

Rosabeth Moss Kanter | Harvard Business School

Bruce R. Katz | Rockport Shoe Company

Alexi Ashe Meyers| Lawyer

William Nix| Chairman, Creative Projects Group

Harold Ramis | Director, Writer, Actor In Memorium

Bonnie Reuben | Communications

Emily Shagley | Marketing Specialist

Tony Shalhoub | Actor | An Interview with Tony

Professor Richard A. Shweder | University of Chicago

Mary Steenburgen | Actor

Walter Teller | Entertainment Lawyer

Loung Ung| Spokesperson for The Cambodia Fund

Elizabeth Clark Zoia | Public Relations Specialist

.*We would like to give special recognition to the late Sonia Weitz, a Holocaust survivor, for her valuable service on our National Advisory Council.  She was a remarkable woman who dedicated her life to educating youth about the dangers of ignorance and bigotry, through her firsthand testimonies.  View our Sonia Weitz Legacy page to learn more.*