WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key roles:
- Marc Nathanson, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Norway
- Randi Charno Levine, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Portuguese Republic
- Monde Muyangwa, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Africa at the United States Agency for International Development
- Bidtah Becker, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Arts
- Gretchen Gonzales Davidson, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Arts
- Estrellita Brodsky, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
- Vanessa Northington Gamble, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
- David Hajdu, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
- Jerry Kang, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
- Kathryn “Kit” Matthew, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
Marc Nathanson, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Norway
Marc Nathanson is one of America’s leading communications entrepreneurs and a noted environmentalist. He founded Falcon Cable TV in 1975 and in 1999, he became Vice Chairman of Charter Communications. Today, he is Chairman of Mapleton Investments, a holding company, and Chairman Emeritus of Falcon Water Technologies. He was Chairman of the United States Agency for Global Media during the Clinton-Gore and Bush-Cheney Administrations. He was appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 as Representative to the Board of Governors of the East-West Center in Honolulu. Nathanson is the immediate past Co-Chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy and Vice Chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). He is a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Nathanson has been honored by several environmental organizations for his work on water conservation. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Denver and a master’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow.
Randi Charno Levine, Nominee for Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Portuguese Republic
Randi Charno Levine is an advocate for the arts and cultural diplomacy leader. Currently, Charno Levine serves as Commissioner and Executive Committee member for Special Projects at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. She has helped curate and expand the museum’s permanent collection, chaired the 2019 Portrait of a Nation Gala, and revitalized their corporate partnership program. Charno Levine also serves as Trustee at the Meridian International Center in Washington, D.C, where she chairs the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy, providing guidance and leadership for its international exchange programs, exhibition development, and strategic and business partnerships. She is a Trustee at the New Museum in New York City and member of its Artemis Council, where she has supported diversity and equality for women in the arts and fostered global dialogues while traveling to China, Italy, Peru, Portugal, and Turkey. Charno Levine is a member of the Friends of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a board member of FACES at New York University’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. She earned her BA Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and is a published author.
Monde Muyangwa, Nominee for Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Africa at the United States Agency for International Development
Monde Muyangwa currently serves as the Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a position that she has held since 2014. In this capacity, she leads the Center’s programs on African democracy and governance; conflict management and peacebuilding; trade, investment, and sustainable development; and Africa’s evolving role in the global arena. Dr. Muyangwa has over 23 years of senior-level experience on Africa and U.S-Africa relations. Prior to joining the Wilson Center, Monde served as Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS) at the National Defense University from 2002 to 2013 where she led and managed the Center’s programs on security studies, counter-terrorism and transnational threats, civil–military relations, defense economics, and conflict management. From 1997 to 2000, she worked as Director of Research, and then Vice President for Research and Policy, at the National Summit on Africa where she led a policy-oriented nation-wide dialogue on Africa that culminated in a National Policy Plan of Action for US-Africa Relations.
She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Oxford (England), as well as a B.A. in Public Administration and Economics from the University of Zambia. She was a Rhodes Scholar, a Wingate Scholar, and the University of Zambia Valedictory Speaker for her graduating class. Monde is a Zambia-born immigrant and long-time resident of Bowie in Prince George’s County, Maryland.
Bidtah Becker, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Arts
Bidtah Becker is an Associate Attorney for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and the immediate past Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources from 2015 to January 2019. For more than a decade prior, she served as an attorney for the Nation focusing on water rights and natural resources. Passionate about water issues, she serves on the Leadership Team for the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin where she co-chairs the Universal Access to Clean Water effort, on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission.
Ms. Becker is equally passionate about the arts and artists, with an emphasis on supporting Indigenous artists. In 2012, President Obama appointed Ms. Becker to serve as a Trustee for the Institute of American Indian Arts and Culture (IAIA). She and her husband are Sustainers of gallupARTS, a 501©3 nonprofit arts council serving Northwest New Mexico and 2021 recipient of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. She has also served two separate terms on the board for the Southwestern Association of Indian Arts, including one year as board chair. She is a member of the Navajo Nation and lives on the Navajo Nation in Fort Defiance with her husband, Paul Spruhan, and two school age children.
Gretchen Gonzales Davidson, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Arts
Gretchen Gonzales Davidson currently chairs the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, a state agency dedicated to ensuring that every citizen and community in Michigan enjoys the civic, economic, and educational benefits of arts and culture. Gretchen has a production company, El Studio 444, is Chair of the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and serves on numerous boards including the Detroit Children’s Fund, BasBlue, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Henry Ford Health System, and REBOOT. She grew up in Flint, MI, and has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Michigan State University. She moved to the Detroit area in 1998 as a musician and has played in various bands. She and her husband Ethan Daniel Davidson reside in Birmingham, Michigan, with their three boys.
Estrellita Brodsky, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
Estrellita B. Brodsky, PhD, is a New York-based curator, collector and philanthropist, and an advocate for the art from Latin America and artists of the Latin American diaspora. She has endowed curatorial positions in Latin American art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Modern, and MoMA and serves as a member of The Metropolitan Museum’s Latin American Art Initiative and the Tate Americas Foundation board of trustees. In 2015 she founded ANOTHER SPACE, a program and not-for-profit exhibition gallery established by the Daniel and Estrellita B. Brodsky Foundation to broaden international awareness and appreciation of art from Latin America. Dr. Brodsky holds a doctorate in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University and a Master’s Degree from Hunter College. A former co-chair of the board of trustees of El Museo del Barrio, a New York museum specializing in art from Latin America and its diaspora, Dr. Brodsky has taught at Hunter College, and lectured and written extensively on Post-War Latin American art.
Vanessa Northington Gamble, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
Vanessa Northington Gamble, MD, PhD is University Professor of Medical Humanities, Professor of Medicine, and Professor of Health Policy and American Studies at the George Washington University. She is also Adjunct Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She previously served as the Director of the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. Dr. Gamble has spent her career working to promote equity and justice in medicine and public health. Dr. Gamble’s honors include election to the National Academy of Medicine, the Hastings Center, and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She was the 2021 recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania – the highest honor bestowed by the institution. A proud native of West Philadelphia, Dr. Gamble received her B.A. from Hampshire College and her MD and PhD in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania.
David Hajdu, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
David Hajdu has been an important cultural historian, critic, and educator for more than 30 years. Long recognized as “one of our sharpest music critics” (The Wall Street Journal), Hajdu has written extensively on music in every style as Music Critic for The New Republic for more than 10 years and, more recently, as Music Critic for The Nation. His essays and commentary on a varied range of cultural subjects appear regularly in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and other publications. As an educator, Hajdu taught at the New School University, Syracuse University, and the University of Chicago before joining the faculty of Columbia University, where he specializes in arts and culture as a professor at the Graduate School of Journalism. He has served on juries for the PEN/Faulkner Awards, the Pulitzer Prizes, and the National Magazine Awards. An accomplished songwriter and librettist for concert music, he has had original works performed in Carnegie Hall, Disney Hall, and many other venues. Born and raised in rural New Jersey, he has lived in New York since his undergraduate years at New York University.
Jerry Kang, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
Jerry Kang is Distinguished Professor of Law and Distinguished Professor of Asian American Studies at the UCLA School of Law. From 2010 – 2020, he served as the inaugural Korea Times–Hankook Ilbo Endowed Chair for Law and Korean American Studies, also at UCLA. He graduated magna cum laude from both Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review. After clerking for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, he started his professorship at UCLA in 1995. A leading scholar on implicit bias, Professor Kang collaborates broadly across disciplines and industries on scholarly, educational, and advocacy projects. He has also received UCLA’s highest recognition: the Eby Art of Teaching Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2020, he stepped down as UCLA’s Founding Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion after completing a five-year mission to “build equity for all.”
Kathryn “Kit” Matthew, Nominee for Member of the National Council on the Humanities
Dr. Kathryn “Kit” Matthew brings cross-sector expertise to her work focused on strengthening cultural organizations so that they can effectively contribute to vibrant and resilient communities. During the Obama-Biden administration, she served as the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. This executive-level agency provides nationwide funding for museums, libraries, and archives including tribal and African American institutions. During her tenure within two Presidential Administrations, Dr. Matthew prioritized investments in cultural stewardship, information access, lifelong learning, digital inclusion, and community wellbeing.
Over the course of her career, she has demonstrated a record of success including: developing science and cultural programs for Hispanic and Native American communities while heading the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science; leading teams at several museum expansion projects; and providing product leadership to develop constituent engagement software tailored for Arts and Cultural organizations. Her previous corporate experiences in business planning, innovation management, and new product development skills have been adapted to both the nonprofit and grantmaking sectors. Trained as a research ecologist (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) she also earned an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. A native of South Carolina, she currently resides in Charleston with her husband Dr. George Stevens.