Historically CRNI’s board of directors has been made of cartoonists, academics, philanthropists, journalists, diplomats and lawyers. Read more about the current board as well as our executive director here.
Dr. Robert Russell, Founder
Dr. Robert Russell founded Cartoonists Rights Network International in 1999. Dr. Russell’s lifelong commitment to human rights and dignity began as a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1960’s. He went on to spend over two decades in Africa and Asia as a consultant in institutional development and humanitarian assistance. In 2012 the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists presented Dr. Russell the Ink Bottle award, for his outstanding contributions to the profession of editorial cartooning. After twenty years as CRNI’s Executive Director Bro retired to an emeritus position on our board in 2019. When he’s not working on furthering CRNI’s mission and influence, “Bro” (as his friends and colleagues call him) is an enthusiastic student of the American Revolution and is equally interested in the technical and human implications of space flight.
Matt Wuerker, President
Matt Wuerker is the editorial cartoonist and illustrator for POLITICO where he also edits a weekly round-up of cartoonists’ work. Mr. Wuerker’s Op Ed illustrations are syndicated by the Tribune Syndicate and NewsArt.com. His cartoons have also been published in journals ranging from The Nation and The American Prospect to Z Magazine and Funny Times, and including major papers like the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Christian Science Monitor. Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning, he sits on the boards of the Herb Block Foundation (Washington DC), the Freedom Cartoonists Foundation (Geneva) and formerly the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. He assumed presidency of our board in 2020. We thank him for designing our logo.
Terry Anderson, Executive Director
Terry Anderson is a professional cartoonist and caricaturist. For more than fifteen years he produced comics and illustrations for The Glasgow Herald and for over two decades has been co-ordinator at the Scottish Cartoon Art Studio. In 2014 Terry organized an international cartoon exhibition on the Scottish independence referendum – The Auld Acquaintance – that was shown in six venues around Europe. The Scottish Cartoon Art Studio’s Fizzers® caricatures were the subject of a ten year retrospective exhibition at The People’s Palace & Winter Gardens, Glasgow in 2016/17. A former student of The Kubert School of cartooning, Terry is a member of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation (UK), France-Cartoons and Cartoon Movement. He previously served on the executive committee and ultimately as President of the Scottish Artists Union, the trade union for all visual artists working in Scotland. He is frequently asked to broadcast, speak publicly and lead workshops on the subject of cartooning.
Carl Nelson, Treasurer
Carl Nelson is president of NEI Communications, Inc., a Massachusetts-based public relations firm specializing in technology products and services. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Cartoon Art Association, as well as being an associate member of the National Cartoonist Society and the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists, and a trustee of the Meland Foundation. Mr. Nelson has also been responsible for creating promotions for charity sponsorships that have raised more than one million dollars for the USO and the Fisher House Foundation.
Patrick Gathara is a strategic communications consultant, writer and award-winning political cartoonist in Kenya. He has worked as a professional cartoonist for 20 years and was the General Secretary of the Association of East African Cartoonists for nearly a decade starting in 2001. He has published several collections of Kenyan cartoons as well as a study on the history and impact of political cartooning in Kenya. His writing has appeared in The Star (Kenya), The Washington Post, The Guardian and Al-Jazeera. He co-curates The Elephant, a Pan-African commentary platform “engaging citizens to reflect, re-member and re-envision their society.”
Dr. Ritu Gairola Khanduri
Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of Texas at Arlington, Ritu Gairola Khanduri specializes in visual anthropology with a particular interest in political cartoons. Dr. Khanduri has written on the significance of cartoons in Indian politics and presented papers at the Silha Center for Ethics & Hubbard School of Journalism, University of Minnesota, Miranda House College for Women, University of Delhi, Vigdis Finnbogadottier Institute for Multiculturalism & Foreign Languages, University of Iceland and the American Anthropological Association, Washington DC as well as having work featured in Visual Anthropology Review, The Journal of Graphic Novels & Comics, and History & Anthropology among others. She is currently working on a study of the portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi by cartoonists around the world.
Mr. Kowsar is an Iranian exile living in the Washington DC area and the 2001 recipient of CRNI’s Courage In Cartooning award after his cartoons led to jail time in Tehran. He is also a four-time winner of the Crystal Pen and Honorary Diploma award from the Iranian press. An experienced broadcaster, researcher and film-maker, he is a frequent contributor to Persian-language media and an expert on geology, sedimentology and water management. In 2017 he received a further four-year prison sentence in absentia from the Islamic Revolutionary Court.
Dr. John A. Lent
Dr. John A. Lent is a faculty member of the Mass Media & Communications Program of the School of Communication and Theater at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa. In 2000, he was Rogers Distinguished Professor of Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and from 2002-2005 was guest professor at Shanghai University. Dr. Lent still acts as professor/advisor to doctoral candidates at the Animation School of the Communication University of China. Dr. Lent’s publications on mass communications include 70 books and monographs as author or editor. He is also the founder and editor of the International Journal of Comic Art.
Nasreen Sultana Mitu
Nasreen Sultana Mitu began cartooning in the Bangladeshi satirical magazine UNMAD and currently is an associate editor there; her political cartoons have also appeared in bdnews24.com and New Age and she has won numerous of awards over a decade and a half of cartooning. Besides this she held an assistant professor post at the Institute of Education and Research, University of Rajshahi until October 2018, developing cartoon-based science educational resources. With a view to popularizing science beyond formal classrooms, she founded her own organization Project Tiktaalik which aims to develop printed and web-based science learning materials in cartoon and comic formats. Currently she is a national consultant for UNICEF Bangladesh, working closely with the National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) of Bangladesh.
Joel Pett is a nationally syndicated cartoonist and winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for political cartooning. He has also received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for outstanding coverage of the disadvantaged, and the 1995, 2007, 2010 and 2011 Global Media Award for cartoons on population issues. In addition to serving as president of CRNI’s board of directors for a decade, Mr. Pett is a former president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists and served on the board of MyBillofRights.org, the Bill of Rights Monument Project. Joel has been the editorial cartoonist at the Lexington Herald-Leader since 1984.
Amb. Cynthia P. Schneider
Cynthia P. Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy, with a focus on relations with the Muslim world. Ambassador Schneider co-directs the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics at Georgetown, as well as the Los Angeles-based MOST Resource (Muslims on Screen and Television). Additionally, she co-directs the Timbuktu Renaissance project which grew out of her work leading the Arts and Culture Dialogue Initiative within Brookings’ Center for Middle East Policy. From 1998-2001 she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, during which time she led initiatives in cultural diplomacy, biotechnology, cyber security, and education. From 1984-1998 Prof. Schneider taught art history at Georgetown, and published on seventeenth century Dutch art. Dr. Schneider has a PhD and BA from Harvard University.
Rayma Suprani is a Venezuelan journalist and professional cartoonist. She published her cartoons for two decades in one of Venezuela’s most important newspapers but was fired over the political content of one of her cartoons. She was also threatened many times over and ultimately had to leave Venezuela. Today she lives in the United States. She has continued to create cartoons on an almost daily basis, published on her website, social media and via Cartooning for Peace. She was awarded the Interamerican Society Press Prize (2005) and the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum 2019. She is uncompromising in her defense of human rights, democracy and freedom through her drawings.
Patrick Chappatte (Honorary Member)
Patrick Chappatte is an editorial cartoonist and graphical journalist seen in Le Temps, Der Spiegel, NZZ, Canard Enchaîné and The Boston Globe among other titles. He was one of the cartoonists whose work was notoriously and unfairly dropped from the international edition of the The New York Times in 2019. He is the first non-American to receive the Thomas Nast Award given by the Overseas Press Club of America, and has won three times. He sits as an international advisor to the board of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) and is a member of Cartooning for Peace. His first long-form book, entitled Au coeur de la vague (At the heart of the wave), covers the COVID-19 health crisis and was published in 2020. The following year he became president of the Freedom Cartoonists Foundation, Geneva (formerly Cartooning for Peace Swiss Foundation); the foundation and CRNI jointly present awards to courageous cartoonists in alternating years.