President Biden Announces Key Appointments to Boards and Commissions
WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to serve in key roles:
- Amiyah Davis, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Michael Anthony Mendoza, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Liz Simons, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Liz Beretta-Perik, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
- Farah Fakir Cook, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
- Catherine Hurst Gledhill, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
- Teena Hostovich, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
- Shahid Ahmed Khan, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
- Noah Bryson Mamet, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
- Joan Sestak, Member, Route 66 Centennial Commission
Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, as amended, established the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as an independent organization in the executive branch of the federal government to coordinate federal programs related to delinquency, unaccompanied juveniles, and missing and exploited children. In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the Council holds public meetings four times each year in which members discuss activities to facilitate and support this cross-agency coordination. The Council’s Chair is the Attorney General and its Vice-Chair is the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Amiyah Davis, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
As an advocate and activist for youth in the juvenile justice system and related systems of care, Amiyah Davis uses her experience, voice, and influence to push for micro and macro policy change in communities across the United States. As an individual with lived experience, Davis understands that no effective change can be made without intentional partnerships with young people who are victims of the injustices in our nation’s juvenile justice and child welfare systems.
Currently, Davis serves as a Project Coordinator at the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, where she supports leaders in the youth-serving field to implement research-based system transformation efforts that elevate the voices of youth and families. In her career, Davis has led community outreach efforts, presented at national and state conferences, and facilitated meaningful partnerships with youth on various projects. She is blazing a path to impact policy change and the experiences of youth for generations to come, pushing youth-serving professionals to enhance their community-based efforts that prevent youth from system contact altogether.
Davis works at the national, state, and local levels to advocate for youth. In addition to her work at Georgetown, Davis was one of twelve individuals selected nationally to serve on the prestigious Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Juvenile Justice Youth Advisory Council and also was appointed to serve as a member of the Michigan Committee for Juvenile Justice. Davis is also certified to teach restorative practices.
Michael Anthony Mendoza, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Michael Anthony Mendoza is the Director of Advocacy and a Community Organizer at the Anti-Recidivism Coalition and has successfully worked with partner organizations to center the voices of currently and formerly incarcerated Californians in the service of passing legislation to help end mass incarceration and improve public safety for all. At 15, he was transferred to adult court and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. While incarcerated, Mendoza turned his life around and focused on healing and education to become the person he wanted to be. Changes in state law gave Mendoza the opportunity to demonstrate that he matured into a healthy and prosocial adult. Mendoza was released in 2014 after 17 years of incarceration. He immediately began advocating to reform California’s juvenile and criminal justice systems to implement a vision for a new justice system grounded in healing, health, and opportunity for growth. The California state legislature has recognized Mendoza for his advocacy and impact on the juvenile and criminal justice system and reentry.
Mendoza earned a B.A. in political science from San Francisco State University and serves on various boards and committees in support of safer communities, and a more just and equitable society.
Liz Simons, Member, Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Liz Simons is Chair of the Board of the Heising-Simons Foundation, a family foundation that supports a number of issues including reimagined approaches to justice that invest in communities rather than prisons and surveillance, and that promote practices of healing and community accountability rooted in our common humanity. She is also Chair of the Board of the Marshall Project, a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system. Simons is a founding pledger of One for Justice and an advisory board member of Smart Justice California, in which she regularly lifts up her voice in support of bills and policies that systems-impacted youth are fighting for. Additionally, she volunteers at The Beat Within, a magazine by and for incarcerated youth.
A former teacher, Simons worked in Spanish-bilingual and English as a Second Language classrooms, and subsequently founded Stretch to Kindergarten, a spring-summer early childhood education program. Simons earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s in education from Stanford University. Simons and her husband, Mark Heising, founded the Heising-Simons Foundation in 2007 and joined the Giving Pledge in 2016, publicly committing the majority of their wealth to philanthropic causes.
President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Established in 1958 by President Eisenhower, the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA) has played a valuable role in sustaining the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Cultural Center. Members of the Committee are civic and cultural leaders who are selected by the President of the United States to serve as representatives in their own communities for the Kennedy Center. The Center considers PACA appointees to be “Ambassadors for the Arts.” Acting as a national network for the Center, the PACA helps to broaden the Center’s influence and extend its vision across the country. The Committee serves as a national forum, giving its members the opportunity to share with the Kennedy Center their views on the Center’s artistic programming.
Liz Beretta-Perik, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Liz Beretta-Perik understands the impact of the arts on people’s lives. She is dedicated to supporting and improving healthcare, helping at risk children, empowering and electing women, and sustaining the arts. As a member of the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board and Madison Council, Beretta-Perik helps protect, expand, and ensure access to the national collections that inspire generations of Americans and online visitors worldwide. She serves a number of community organizations in her home state of Rhode Island, including the Martin Luther King Community Center, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Adoption RI, Sojourner House, Day One Sexual Assault & Trauma Resource Center, and the Newport Boys and Girls Club. A Democrat active in state and national campaigns, Beretta-Perik serves as the Rhode Island Democratic National Committeewoman, Treasurer of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, and Chair of the Rhode Island Affirmative Action Delegate Committee. She earned a BA in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross and an MA in Finance from Boston College while working as a commercial and private banker. Beretta-Perik and her husband, Michael, have three adult sons and reside in Jamestown, Rhode Island.
Farah Fakir Cook, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Farah Cook is a partner in Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP’s Atlanta office, where her practice focuses on intellectual property and technology transactions. Representing some of the world’s most renowned tech companies, Cook has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades for her cutting-edge legal work, including being named Atlanta Lawyer of the Year in 2023 for IT Outsourcing Law by The Best Lawyers in America and being recommended by Legal 500 US in the area of Technology/Outsourcing. She is a frequently invited presenter and panelist on current legal and policy issues impacting the tech industry.
A tireless champion and prolific fundraiser for community and arts organizations she believes in, Cook is an established trustee and board member. She is particularly passionate about providing educational opportunities, exposure to the arts, and mentorship for disadvantaged children and youth. Cook has served in leadership roles at many leading nonprofits, including as trustee for the Fernbank Museum and for the Aloha Foundation, and as a board member of Jack and Jill of America, Atlanta Chapter, and The Links, Inc., Dogwood City Chapter. In addition, she has previously supported the Atlanta Jazz Festival, National Black Arts Festival, and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival. Cook graduated from Spelman College with a BA in French. She went on to earn an MA in French Cultural Studies from Columbia University and a JD from Howard University School of Law. Cook resides in Atlanta with her husband and three children.
Catherine Hurst Gledhill, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Catherine Hurst Gledhill is currently a member of the Executive Committee of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago’s Foundation Board and is Chair of the Hospital’s capital campaign’s ad-hoc committee. She is also a member of the Executive Committee of Lincoln Park Zoo’s Board of Trustees and is Co-Chair of the Resource Development Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab Investors’ Council, which serves as an advisory resource for the organization.
Gledhill graduated from Miami University with a BS in Business Administration and from DePaul University with an MS in Taxation. Before leaving the workforce to focus on her (then) young children and charitable efforts, she worked at KPMG in corporate international tax as a Certified Public Accountant in both Boston and Chicago. More broadly, she and her husband have supported non-profit organizations for over 30 years, including Chicago’s Center on Halsted, Lyric Opera of Chicago, John G. Shedd Aquarium, and Youth Guidance, as well as national organizations such as Harvard Business School, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Public Radio, and Teach For America. They founded the BCMR Gledhill Foundation to instill in their children the responsibility, commitment, and joy of serving and lifting others. The foundation focuses primarily on access, education, leadership development, and mental health. The Foundation recently underwrote the transformation of the student LGBTQ center on the campus of Brown University, expanded Principal leadership development in Chicago’s public schools, and advanced the educational programs at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Teena Hostovich, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Teena Hostovich is the Vice Chair of the Pacific of Lockton Insurance Brokers, based out of Los Angeles. She has combined her lifelong passion for the arts, history, and education with her corporate governance responsibility, political activism, and philanthropic work. In addition to serving on the Board of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for over a decade, she has been one of the Chairs (along with her husband and son) of Hollywood Bowl Opening Night many times (including 2023) honoring significant artists and showcasing the LA music community while raising money for Music Matters benefitting music/arts programs in public schools. In support of that goal, Hostovich was on the Steering Committee for Vote Arts and Music in Schools (California Prop 28) which passed overwhelmingly and will provide guaranteed funding for these programs for students in all California public schools. Hostovich is on the Kennedy Center International Committee for the Arts and President’s Council, along with being a member of the National Council for American Film Institute.
Believing in the transformative power of education, Hostovich is active with her alma mater, University of Southern California (USC), as a member of Marshall School Board of Leaders, a mentor/instructor in the CAP/USC program, and adviser to the newly established Risk Management degree program. She is also on the Board of University of Redlands, is a past board member of Flintridge Prep in La Canada, and an advisor to Oxford University Women’s Studies program. Hostovich and her husband, Doug Martinet, live in La Canada Flintridge, California with their son, Michael Martinet, who attends USC.
Shahid Ahmed Khan, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Shahid Ahmed Khan is a community leader, political advisor, and businessman residing in the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts. For more than two decades Khan’s professional life has been tied to international affairs, with a particular focus on the Asian and Muslim world. His experience has centered on advancing U.S. values and principles through constructive community engagement with the American-Muslim and South Asian communities. Khan served as member of the Board of Trustees of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and has previously served on the Advisory Board of the Democratic National Committee. He served as the National Finance Co-Chair for the 2004 Presidential campaign of John Kerry, and served as an advisor on presidential, gubernatorial, senatorial, congressional, mayoral, and judicial campaigns in the United States for the past twenty years. Khan played an integral role in mobilizing and involving the South Asian-American community in the Biden for President campaign.
Khan is a recognized political and social activist on South Asian affairs. He is the founder of Triconboston Consulting Corporation, where he has advised companies focused on renewable energy, IT, and healthcare. He serves as Advisor on Dunya Media Network International.
Noah Bryson Mamet, Member, President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts
Noah B. Mamet served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Argentina. Mamet was awarded the Medal of San Martin at the rank of Great Cross by the government of Argentina, only the third American in over 200 years to receive the country’s highest distinction. He was also awarded the “Corporate Citizenship Award” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well as the “Bridges of the Americas” award. During Mamet’s time in Argentina, bilateral relations between the U.S. and Argentina improved dramatically. Besides issues related to economic development, security cooperation, climate change, and technology, he created a new emphasis on educational and cultural exchanges. Under his leadership, the U.S. Embassy was the first embassy in Argentina to install renewable energy through the use of solar panels and became the first embassy in the world to install a wind turbine.
Mamet is the founder of NMA Consulting Partners, which has represented numerous clients including the Wasserman Foundation, Tesla, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the National Democratic Institute. In 2020 he Co-Chaired Ambassadors For Biden and was a member of Biden’s LatAm Advisory Council. He is Chairman for the Americas for Delphos International, a global leader assisting companies in emerging markets, and is on the Advisory Boards of Globant, DirecTV LatAm, the Wilson Center’s LatAm Program, and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Outside the world of business, politics, and international affairs, Mamet has worked on numerous philanthropic causes, including educational reform in the city of Los Angeles. A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, he delivered the 2020 commencement address to his alma mater.
Route 66 Centennial Commission
The Route 66 Centennial Commission was established by Congress to study and recommend in a report to Congress activities that would be fitting and proper to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Mother Road of the United States, Route 66, in 2026. The Commission shall study activities that may be carried out by the federal government to honor Route 66, including potential ceremonies and celebrations, the production and publication of media or other materials, and the issuance of commemorative items.
Joan Sestak, Member, Route 66 Centennial Commission
Joan M. Sestak is the Director of Community and Governmental Relations for the University of Illinois Springfield. Having more than 40 years of experience working as a community and government relations professional, Sestak has held positions in federal and state government, as well as in the private sector. She is an active member of the community serving on the Philanthropic Education Organization, Friends of Sangamon Auditorium, the University of Illinois Professional Staff Leadership Academy Steering Committee, and Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Sestak is involved with the local performing arts community, volunteering with the Springfield Muni Opera and The Legacy Theater.
A lifelong resident of Springfield, Sestak is a proud graduate of the University of Illinois Springfield, earning a degree in communications.