President and CEO
Renowned educator, scholar, and leader Roger Brooks is President and CEO of Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit organization that provides methods, tools, and coaching for educators worldwide who share the goal of creating a better, more informed, and more thoughtful society. Facing History educators help more than 3.4 million students annually make the essential connection between the histories of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism, and the moral choices they face in their own lives.
Brooks is known for his leadership in curricular reform designed to prepare for and respond to the changing landscape of higher education (see his TEDx talk). He also has a longstanding partnership with the Holocaust Education Foundation, which prepares collegiate faculty to teach curriculum related to the Holocaust and genocide. Brooks is a world-renowned expert in early rabbinic culture, particularly in the third- through fifth-century tax codes that emphasized the relationships between incipient rabbinic culture, the Jews, their God, and Roman Imperial power. He is the author or editor of 6 books, numerous articles, and several volumes of translation and commentary on foundational Jewish texts.
Brooks joined Facing History in late 2014, following a long and distinguished tenure at Connecticut College as the Elie Wiesel Professor in the Department of Religious Studies (1991-2014). Brooks also served as Associate Dean of the Faculty (2003-2007), and Dean of the Faculty and Chief Academic Officer (2007-2014). He was named Elie Wiesel Professor Emeritus of Judaic studies at the college in 2015.
Vice President and Chief Program Officer
Marc Skvirsky is a member of the senior management team, overseeing all aspects of organizational management, growth, and strategy. He joined the organization over 30 years ago, helping to develop it from a small educational nonprofit with a handful of staff to an international organization with 10 offices and partnerships around the globe. Marc directs all aspects of Facing History's program implementation in schools, districts, and educational networks, both in the U.S. and internationally. He is responsible for strategic planning; the ongoing professional development of Facing History's program staff focused on new scholarship, pedagogy, instructional technology, and educational trends; and the development and implementation of online learning and community. He develops content and outreach partnerships with filmmakers, authors, educational leaders, and scholars. He reviews all Facing History publications and digital content, and designs Facing History-themed international study trips for stakeholders, including to South Africa, Eastern Europe, Northern Ireland, and the American South. He speaks at conferences and think tanks on topics ranging from school reform and civic education, to Holocaust and genocide studies, and social-emotional learning. Before joining Facing History, Marc was a classroom teacher, participating in the design team for an urban middle school magnet program, and teaching social studies and English. He received a B.A. in education and M.Ed. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Chief Communications Officer
Anne Burt has been with Facing History and Ourselves since 2012. Before joining the staff, she served as Director of Communications, Public Affairs, and Marketing for Columbia University’s School of the Arts. At Columbia, she also held a prior role as Senior Public Affairs Officer, Arts & Culture. From 2001-2005, Anne taught classes in writing and literature at Seton Hall and Fordham Universities while also serving for a year as Director of Information Services at Poets & Writers, Inc. Anne held a variety of earlier roles in communications, development, and advocacy and has edited two collections of essays: My Father Married Your Mother (W.W. Norton & Co., 2006) and About Face (Seal Press, 2008). She has published both fiction and essays in numerous magazines and on National Public Radio. She received her B.A. in History from Yale University and an M.A. in Creative Writing and English Literature from New York University.
Julie Abrams Leff
Julie is the Chair of the Board of Directors. She chairs the Executive Committee and serves as an ex-officio member of all Board Committees.
She previously served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors (2012-2013), working closely with the Advisory Board Chairs, and as Chair of the New York Advisory Board (2009-2013). Julie and her husband, Paul, co-chaired the 2002 New York Benefit Dinner.
Earlier Julie taught seventh grade social studies at the Great Neck South Middle School and humanities at the Hewitt School. She was first introduced to Facing History by Seth Klarman and subsequently participated in the Holocaust and Human Behavior Seminar in 1991. As she became more knowledgeable about Facing History and its mission, programs and impact, she became an active volunteer and assumed increasingly important leadership roles in the organization. She traveled on the Civil Rights Trip.
In addition to her work with Facing History, Julie is a member of the Board of Directors of Ramapo for Children and New York City Center. She is also a member of the Tufts Leadership Council.