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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.