The work of the Right Question Institute (RQI) is made possible by strong support and contributions from the RQI board, core staff, interns from local colleges, consultants, and professionals in the field who help to drive the work in new, exciting ways.
The RQI Team
RQI values the perspectives and experiences of people from varying backgrounds. That value is reflected in our leadership and their stories. Betsy Smith is RQI's executive director, and Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein, who helped found RQI in 1990, are co-directors of the Democracy-Building Program.
Honoring Andrew P. Minigan
Andrew was a driving force at the Right Question Institute and part of the heart and soul of what this organization is committed to. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 29. His legacy continues to inform RQI's work.
RQI Interns provide programmatic support to staff to help advance projects and initiatives across our fields of work. Current and past interns have worked with RQI while attending school at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard College, Tufts University, Northeastern University, Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Bates College, Washington University, UMass Boston, MIT, Suffolk University, and many others. There are opportunities to intern at RQI during the fall and spring academic semesters as well as during summer. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in applying.
- Mary M. Wendell, president, has decades of experience providing institutional leadership to educational organizations, including the Epiphany School in Boston, where she serves on the leadership council; the Forbes House Museum in Milton, Massachusetts, where she currently sits on the strategic planning committee, having also been chair of the board of trustees; and Middlebury College, her alma mater, where she served on the board of trustees. Wendell has also worked in the field of education as a high school administrator and community service organizer.
- John Y. Campbell, vice president, is the Morton L. and Carole S. Olshan Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He has published more than 100 articles, in addition to several books, about macroeconomics and finance. In addition to his scholarship, Campbell is a founding partner at Arrowstreet Capital, LP, an investment firm in Boston. From 2006 to 2011 Campbell was appointed as a Harvard College Professor for his contributions to undergraduate education, and from 2009 to 2012 he served as Chair of Harvard’s Department of Economics.
- David A. Guberman, treasurer, is a lawyer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, concentrating in labor, employment, and contract matters. He previously served as Chief Counsel to the Department of Unemployment Assistance, as an assistant attorney general in the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, and as a partner in a downtown Boston law firm. He earned a joint JD-MBA degree from Harvard Law and Business Schools and his bachelor's degree from Harvard College.
- Macky Buck is an early childhood educator, recently retired, who spent 35 years running a play-based child care program — Macky and Michael’s House — in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She earned her master’s degree in education from Antioch University.
- Diane Englander is a New York-based artist. She was previously a management consultant to nonprofits, both independently and at Community Resource Exchange in NYC. Diane has also worked at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, where among other efforts she initiated and oversaw the creation of the non-profit City Parks Foundation. She earned her law degree from Harvard Law School and her bachelor's degree from Harvard/Radcliffe.
- John Esterle is the former co-executive director of The Whitman Institute, an independent foundation based in San Francisco that closed its doors in 2022. Recently retired, his long career in philanthropy included being one of the founders of the Trust Based Philanthropy movement, advocating for foundations to spend out, and making the case for foundations to support dialogue, relationship building, and inclusive leadership. A past board president of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, he has served on a variety of nonprofit boards and advisory boards. He earned his master's degree from San Francisco State University and his undergraduate degree from the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University.
- Shonak Patel is an EdTech and tech-startup leader who has worked with companies such as Appcues, Testive, GatherEducation, and Swellr, which was a finalist in the 2011 Mass Challenge Startup accelerator competition. He also volunteers as a mentor with BUILD, which provides business and life mentorship to high-schoolers in Boston Public Schools, and he has been a volunteer math tutor. Shonak earned his bachelor's degree from Babson College, and has been recognized as a White House Champion of Change.
- Stephen Quatrano is a veteran entrepreneur, software engineer, and management consultant who has worked in the information and communications technology sector since 1982. He has been an engineer and strategist at companies such as Cisco Systems and Silverlink Communications in addition to a number of start-ups. Quatrano is currently founder of Meema Stories, which helps eldercare and dementia caregivers develop authentic connections with the people they serve. Quatrano earned his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College.