Our Leadership


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, Senior Education Associate. For speaking engagements, contact us.

DSC_0076Luz 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)

DSC_0012Dan 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)

DSC_0039Lavada Berger, B.A., joined the Right Question Institute in 2013 and now serves as a Senior Education Associate. 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)

DSC_0066Andrew P. Minigan Ed.M., initially worked as a Graduate Education Intern for RQI before joining the staff in June of 2015 as an Education Research Fellow. He conferred his Ed.M. in Human Development & Psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he also worked in Dr. Paul Harris’ Early Childhood Lab. Previously, he conferred a B.A. in Psychology from the University of New Hampshire. At UNH, Andrew was an Undergraduate Research Assistant in Dr. David Pillemer’s research lab, received the 2014 Herbert A. Carroll Award for most outstanding senior in psychology, was a fellow in the College of Liberal Arts, received a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship to design and conduct his own research study, and published work in the academic journal Memory. (email: Andrew dot Miniganat 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, professionals in various fields, and all bring with them a wide range of civic expertise.

Executive Committee

Mary Wendell, President: Mary Wendell is a volunteer for various non-profit organizations. She currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the Forbes House Museum in Milton, MA and serves on the Board of Overseers for the Epiphany School in Boston. She is a former trustee of Middlebury College of which she is an alumna.

Diane Englander, Vice-President: Diane Englander is an artist whose previous work was as a management consultant to non-profits, both independently and on the staff of Community Resource Exchange in NYC. She is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School.


  • Agnes S. Bain, Treasurer: Professor of Government, Suffolk University
  • Macky Buck, Clerk: Family day care provider and early childhood educator
  • Gail Fuller: Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Rebuilding Together
  • David Guberman: Chief Counsel, Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development
  • Dan Rothstein: Co-Director, The Right Question Institute
  • Stephen Quatrano: Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Enid Shapiro: Social Work Consultant, Simmons College Incorporator

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.

Individual Donors

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.

Service-related revenue

We also support our work with income from providing consulting and training services as well as through sales of materials and curricula.

Foundation Grants

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
  • Germeshausen Foundation
  • Herman and Frieda L. Miller Foundation
  • Jane’s Trust
  • The Jane B. Cook 1992 Charitable Trust
  • The John Templeton Foundation
  • The Joyce Foundation
  • The Nellie Mae Education 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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