The Right Question Institute values the perspectives and experiences of people from varying backgrounds. That value is reflected in our leadership and their stories. The Right Question Institute is led by Co-Directors Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein, who are part of the founding core of the organization. Additional senior staff: Lavada Berger, Deputy Director, and Kate Hornstein, Director of Development. For speaking engagements, contact us.
Luz Santana, M.A., has modeled in her own life – raising her family on welfare, working on the factory floor, going back to school and then sharing her new skills with others – much of what we aim to accomplish through the work of the organization. She is nationally recognized as a gifted designer and facilitator of educational programs that help all people, no matter their level of education or income, learn to think and act more effectively on their own behalf. She has served as a parent advocate in Lawrence, MA, and as an adjunct faculty member at the Springfield College – Boston Campus. She received a B.A. and Master’s Degree from the Springfield College School of Human Services. (email: luz at rightquestion dot org)
Dan Rothstein, Ed.D., has spent many years learning from the people with whom he has worked and has applied those lessons to designing strategies to promote more effective advocacy and citizen participation efforts. Prior to his work with RQI, he developed and implemented programs as a community educator, organizer, and urban planner. He served as Director of Neighborhood Planning for the City of Lawrence, Massachusetts, and was a Fulbright Scholar and one of the very few non-academics to be chosen as a National Academy of Education Spencer Fellow. He graduated from Harvard College and earned a doctorate in Education and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where he served as an editor of The Harvard Educational Review. (email: dan at rightquestion dot org)
Lavada Berger, B.A., joined the Right Question Institute as Deputy Director in 2013. She is completely ecstatic about being able to do work like the work she imagined herself doing when she was four years old playing office and selling her artwork in the Seth Boyden housing projects in Newark, NJ. Her work with RQI focuses on organizational design and effectiveness — not very different from when she was planning to spread her artwork and effectively manage her stacks of paper. She first started working with RQI as a freshman at Harvard College and has maintained close ties — as a board member and now Deputy Director — because of its mission to promote microdemocracy in communities like her hometown of Newark, NJ. Prior to 2013, she was a third grade teacher at North Star Academy in Newark, NJ and a strategy consultant with Monitor Deloitte. Her students continue to inspire her to work so that all students build the very powerful skill of asking questions on their way to being innovators and change agents. (email: lavada at rightquestion dot org)
Kate Hornstein, M.A., recently joined the staff of the Right Question Institute as Director of Development. Kate has over 20 years of fundraising experience as both a staff member and consultant with organizations ranging from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation. Much of her work has focused on human services, children’s causes, and education. Kate holds a B.A. in English from Oberlin College and an M.A. in English from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. (email: kate at rightquestion dot org)
Naomi Campbell joined the Right Question Institute as the inaugural Microdemocracy Fellow. She earned a B.A. in history and political science from Washington University in St. Louis in the spring of 2012, after completing a senior thesis in history on Mapuche identity struggles under democratic and military rule in Chile. Naomi worked with RQI in the summer of 2011 on a variety projects, returning in the summer of 2012 as the Coordinator of Summer Interns and as a research associate. During her year as a Microdemocracy Fellow she will provide support in all programmatic areas and will work in collaboration with Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana on the presentation of RQI’s theory of Microdemocracy. (email: naomi.campbell at rightquestion dot org)
Rebecca Howe joined the Right Question Institute in the summer of 2013 as a Patient Engagement Fellow. Rebecca first connected with RQI in 2010 while beginning research for her senior thesis at Harvard. For her thesis in Social Studies, she designed and conducted a study at a local community health center to understand the impact of the RQI strategy on patient engagement. After graduating in 2011, she worked with Dan and Luz to clarify the impact and message of the Right Question Effective Patient Strategy (RQ-EPS). Rebecca returns to Cambridge after working for two years as a research assistant and patient advocate at the University of California San Francisco Breast Care Center. (email: rebecca.howe at rightquestion dot org)
The Right Question Institute Board provides strong support for the work of RQI staff to develop a new model for building capacity in low-income communities, for identifying ways for systemic integration of RQI methods and for the development of the concept of Microdemocracy. The Board includes a former Head Start parent, frontline staff in different fields and professions, university scholars and a wide range of extensive civic expertise in various fields.
- Agnes S. Bain, Treasurer: Professor of Government, Suffolk University
- Macky Buck, Clerk: Family day care provider and early childhood educator
- Diane Englander, President: Artist and consultant to non-profit organizations
- Franklin M. Fisher: Professor Emeritus of Microeconomics, MIT; Director, National Bureau of Economic Research
- Gail Fuller: Communications and Marketing Consultant
- David Guberman: Chief Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance
- Dan Rothstein: Co-Director, The Right Question Institute
- Stephen Quatrano: Cisco Systems, Inc.
- Enid Shapiro: Social Work Consultant, Simmons College Incorporator
- Mary Wendell, Vice-President: Board Chair Forbes House Museum, Milton, MA
National Advisory Board
- Archon Fung: Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
- Craig Kennedy: President, The German Marshall Fund
- Bill Kovach: Chair, Committee of Concerned Journalists
- Martha Minow: Dean, Harvard Law School
- Wendy Puriefoy: Past President, The Public Education Network
Financial support for RQI comes from three sources: Individual donors, Service-related revenue and Foundation grants.
We are deeply grateful to the many individual donors who provide essential support for the work of The Right Question Institute (RQI). Donors support the:
- development of RQI’s innovative educational strategy that helps people learn to become more self-sufficient
- dissemination of the strategy to organizations and programs all around the country
- development of new methods and new ideas for building the capacity of all people, no matter their educational or literacy level, to participate in democracy on all levels and to make democracy work better.
We also support our work with income from providing consulting and training services as well as through sales of materials and curricula.
RQI’s innovative work also receives strong support from private foundations. The following are some of the funders who have supported our work in various fields:
- The Boston Foundation
- Bushrod H. Campbell and Adah F. Hall Charity Fund
- The Cabot Family Charitable Trust
- Carnegie Corporation
- The Germanacos Foundation
- Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation
- Jane’s Trust
- The Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust
- The Joyce Foundation
- The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- Partners HealthCare Community Benefits
- The Proteus Fund
- The Rhode Island Foundation
- Rita Allen Foundation
- Rockefeller Brothers Fund
- The Wallace Foundation
- The Whitman Institute
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