Miller Center Staff
William J. Antholis, Director & CEO
William J. Antholis serves as director and CEO of the Miller Center, a nonpartisan affiliate of the University of Virginia that specializes in presidential scholarship, public policy, and political history. Immediately prior, he served as managing director at The Brookings Institution from 2004 to 2014. In that capacity, he worked directly with Brookings' president and vice presidents to help manage the full range of policy studies, develop new initiatives, coordinate research across programs, strengthen the policy impact of Brookings’ research, and ensure the quality and independence of that research. Antholis is the author of the book Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global. It explores how country-sized provinces and states in the world’s two biggest nations are increasingly becoming global players. He has published articles, book chapters, and opinion pieces on U.S. politics, U.S. foreign policy, international organizations, the G8, climate change, and trade. From 1995 to 1999, Antholis served in government. At the White House, he was director of international economic affairs on the staff of the National Security Council and National Economic Council, where he served as the chief staff person for the G8 Summits in 1997 and 1998. He also was deputy director of the White House climate change policy team. At the State Department, he served on the policy planning staff and in the economic affairs bureau. Prior to joining Brookings, he served for five years as director of studies and senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund. Antholis earned his Ph.D. from Yale University in politics (1993) and his B.A. from the University of Virginia in government and foreign affairs (1986).
Meghan Murray, Chief Operating Officer
Meghan Murray is the Miller Center's COO. Previously, she served in a number of strategic and managerial roles across several industries, including startups and Fortune 100 corporations; complemented by work for local nonprofits and small businesses. She began her career in political fundraising and media, then earned a business degree and worked for organizations such as Gap Inc and Fannie Mae, eventually creating a consulting business out of those experiences. Murray is a graduate of the University of Virginia (BA, Government) and the University of Oxford (MBA). In addition, she teaches as an adjunct instructor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business.
Douglas A. Blackmon, Director of Public Programs and Senior Fellow
Douglas A. Blackmon is the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II , and co-executive producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary of the same name. He is also executive producer and host of American Forum, a public affairs program produced by the Miller Center and aired on more than 100 public television affiliates across the U.S.
Andrew Chancey, Director of Administration and Finance
Andrew Chancey is the director of administration and finance. Prior to coming to the Miller Center in September 2008, he worked at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities for eight and a half years. Chancey earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Florida, M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, M.A. from the University of Georgia, and M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Michael Greco, Director of Library, Web, Information Technology and Audiovisual Services
Michael Greco serves as the Miller Center’s director of library, web, information technology, and audiovisual services. He previously oversaw the Center’s physical plant. Greco joined the Miller Center in March, 2002, to direct the newly constructed Scripps Library. Before coming to the Miller Center, he was an archivist at the United States Mint in Washington, D.C. He holds a masters of library science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and masters of arts degrees in public history and English from North Carolina State University.
Barbara A. Perry, Director of Presidential Studies
Barbara A. Perry, the White Burkett Miller Center professor of ethics and institutions, is the director of presidential studies and co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program. She is also the project director of the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project.
Doug Trout, Executive Director, Miller Center Foundation
Doug Trout is the executive director of the Miller Center Foundation. Prior to joining the Miller Center in 2012, he served as director of the Graduate Fellowship Program for the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. Earlier, he worked for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, where he served as director of development. Trout also served as associate director of development for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. He served for six years in a number of capacities for Presidential Classroom, including program manager and associate director of development.
Howard Witt, Managing Editor and Director of Communications
Howard Witt is the Miller Center’s managing editor, directing communications, marketing and publications for the Center. Before joining the Miller Center in September, 2015, Witt was the executive editor of the Lafayette (Ind.) Journal & Courier, an award-winning digital and print news operation in northwest Indiana. He also oversaw two other Indiana newspapers, the Muncie Star Press and the Richmond Palladium-Item. From 2009-2013, Witt was the senior managing editor of Stars and Stripes, the independent newspaper serving the U.S. military community. Under his leadership, Stars and Stripes won a number of major journalism prizes, including a Polk award and National Headliner award. From 2003-2009, Witt was stationed in Texas as the southwest bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune. For his coverage of civil rights issues in 2007, Witt was recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting, and he also won the Nieman Foundation’s Taylor Award for Fairness in Journalism, the American Judicature Society’s Toni House Journalism Award, the Chicago Bar Association’s Herman Kogan Award, and several other major national citations. Witt started at the Tribune as a summer intern in 1982 and during his 25-year career there he served as a national correspondent, foreign correspondent and editor. From 1987 to 1994, Witt was stationed in Toronto, Johannesburg, and Moscow.
For a complete list of Miller Center scholars and experts, visit our Experts page
Stefanie Georgakis Abbott, Assistant Director of Presidential Studies
Stefanie Georgakis Abbott is the assistant director of presidential studies at the Miller Center. Before joining the Miller Center in 2014, she supported project management for the U.S. Coast Guard, worked in academic publishing, and taught courses at Virginia Tech and Radford University. She holds a B.A. in international studies and a B.A. in French from Virginia Tech, an M.A. in nationalism studies from Central European University, and a Ph.D. in public and international affairs from Virginia Tech.
Sakib Ahmed, Front-End Web Developer and Administrator
Sakib Ahmed is the Miller Center’s front-end web developer. Most recently he served as communications coordinator for the University of Virginia Office for Sustainability, where he managed web design, digital, print, and visual communications. Ahmed holds a B.A. in political science and sustainability studies from Stony Brook University.
Sheila Blackford, Librarian and Managing Editor of American President
Sheila Blackford is the Scripps librarian and managing editor of American President. She joined the Miller Center in November, 2006. Previously she was the American history editor for the Microsoft Encarta Reference Library. She holds a B.A. degree in history from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in information sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Shirley Burke, Executive Assistant for American Forum
Shirley Burke is executive assistant for public programs. She previously was executive assistant to former Miller Center Directors Philip Zelikow and Ken Thompson. She joined the Miller Center in January, 1976.
Robert Canevari Jr., Assistant Audiovisual Producer and Facilities Coordinator
Robert T. Canevari, Jr. is assistant audiovisual producer for the Miller Center, where he assists in producing television and web programming. He joined the Miller Center in March, 2007 and has more than 20 years of video and editing experience, with an emphasis on live production.
David Courtney, Senior Art Director
As senior art director, David Courtney is responsible for developing and implementing the visual components of the Miller Center brand to advance the Center’s profile. Courtney has 20 years of advertising experience with a background in art direction/design. His advertising and branding work has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation, the Advertising Club of Buffalo, and the Cable/Telecommunications Association for Marketing. Prior to the Miller Center, he was the director of web services at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, managing/developing the college’s website, social media accounts, and online marketing initiatives. Born in Buffalo, Courtney graduated with the Dean’s Award of Excellence in Design from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, earning a bachelor’s degree in communication design. He and his wife, Andalyn, live in Charlottesville with their son, Theo.
Bryan Craig, Senior Researcher
As senior researcher, Bryan Craig prepares briefing materials for the Presidential Oral History Project. Craig holds a B.A. in political science from Ohio University, and master's degrees in library science and history from Kent State University. He has worked in presidential history in different capacities, including as a consultant for Montpelier (James Madison’s home); as a national park ranger for the James A. Garfield National Historic Site; and as a research librarian and technical assistant for Monticello. Craig is also an expert in social media and runs the Miller Center's Twitter feed and Facebook page.
Nancy Deane, Procurement Specialist
Nancy Deane joined the Miller Center as the financial and procurement specialist in 2013. She brings more than 20 years of financial experience to the Center and currently serves as the Center’s expert on procurement services and processing all financial transactions.
Reid Forbes, Events Coordinator
Reid Higgins Forbes, Miller Center events coordinator, brings more than 20 years of experience in event, project, and operations management. Prior to joining the Miller Center, she was assistant director of facilities at St. Anne’s-Belfield School. Forbes holds a B.A. in East Asian history and psychology from Guilford College. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree from American University in sustainability management. She resides in Charlottesville with her four children.
Sean Gallagher, Systems Administrator
Sean Gallagher is systems administrator for the Miller Center where he has primary responsibility for network and server infrastructure. Gallagher also serves as the Center’s official photographer. He joined the Miller Center in November 2005 and holds a B.A. degree in Spanish literature from North Carolina State University.
Patrick Garrity, Research Fellow
Patrick J. Garrity is a research associate with the Presidential Recordings Program. His research interests include the history of American foreign policy, U.S. nuclear strategy, and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. He joined the Miller Center in 2000, on assignment from the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He holds a Ph.D. in government from Claremont Graduate University. He has previously held research and teaching positions at Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
Nick Gibiser, Senior Producer
Nick Gibiser is the senior producer of American Forum, a public affairs television program produced by the Miller Center. Previously, he worked for two public relations firms: Wireside Communications in Richmond and MissionCTRL Communications in San Francisco. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016 with a B.A. in Media Studies.
Kevan Holdsworth, Audiovisual Services Coordinator
Kevan Holdsworth is coordinator for audiovisual services for the Miller Center, where he exercises primary responsibility for producing television and web programming. Holdsworth joined the Miller Center in November 2005. He brings 16 years of film and video production experience with an emphasis on post-production to his position at the Miller Center.
Rob Martin, Research Director
As research director for the Presidential Oral History Program, Rob Martin prepares briefing materials for the George W. Bush Oral History Project. He also serves as research liaison with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. He received his B.A. from Lafayette College in government, his master’s degree in political science from the College of William and Mary, and is ABD at the University of Virginia’s department of politics. He has previously served at the Miller Center as research director for the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project and has worked on the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and William J. Clinton Presidential Oral History Projects.
Keri Matthews, Associate Editor
Keri Matthews is associate editor for the Presidential Recordings Program and coordinator for the Presidential Oral History Program. She joined the Miller Center in December 2009. She earned an MA in Art & Architectural History from the University of Virginia.
Alfred Reaves IV, Faculty Coordinator
Alfred Reaves IV is the faculty coordinator at the Miller Center. Most recently he served in the University of Virginia Office of Sponsored Programs, where he functioned as the administrative assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Research, Director of Grants and Contracts, Director of Operations, Business Manager, Account Create Manager, the professional staff within OSP, and the Research Community. Reaves holds a B.A. in political science (Pre-Law) from James Madison University.
Natalie Russell, Writer
Natalie Russell serves as writer in the Miller Center communications department. Prior to coming on board in spring 2017, she was the editor of local-foods magazine Edible Blue Ridge and a freelance writer for publications that included USA Weekend, Real Simple, and Garden & Gun. Before moving to Charlottesville, she served as managing editor at Martha Stewart Living and copy chief at O, The Oprah Magazine.
Woody Sherman, Assistant Audiovisual Producer
Woody Sherman joined the Miller Center at the end of 2013. He has more than 30 years of experience in creative visual and online efforts as a producer, editor, director, post-production business owner, and writer. A son of a career U.S. Foreign Service officer, Sherman grew up in Italy and Japan, and spent some time at the Department of State directly after high school working as a classified material courier between there and Capitol Hill.
Jen Starkey, Business Administrator
Jen Starkey is the Miller Center's business administrator. Prior to joining the Miller Center in May 2011, she held the position of business operations coordinator for the Dean’s Office in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Jen holds a B.A. in special studies from the University of Buffalo.
Matthew Stephens, Web Developer
Matthew Stephens joined the Miller Center as a web developer in 2014. Previously he was a technologist in Alderman Library at the University of Virginia. A proud immigrant to the United States, Stephens earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada.
Nancy Blacker Tynes, Executive Assistant to the Director & CEO
Nancy Blacker Tynes is executive assistant to the director and CEO. Prior to coming to the Miller Center in January 2018, she served as district administrator in Virginia’s 7th congressional district office where she managed scheduling, administrative duties, and special projects. Additionally, she has supported the educational and developmental efforts of several nonprofit organizations. Nancy holds a B.S. in mass communications from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. She and her husband, Lin, have two children; their son, Andrew, graduated from Princeton University and their daughter, Annie, will be attending University of Lynchburg as a student athlete.
Thomas van der Voort, Media Strategist
Tom van der Voort serves as the Miller Center’s media strategist and comes to the center with more than 20 years of experience in advertising, media, and marketing. Most recently he served as the director of marketing for the Southern Environmental Law Center in Charlottesville. Prior to that van der Voort spent a decade in digital and social media, first as a founder and creative director at Labrador Communications, an early-stage mobile media company, where he wrote and hosted Rowdy Racing, the top-rated sports podcast on Apple’s iTunes. Following the acquisition of Labrador, he became the executive producer and host for the Sporting News in Charlotte, North Carolina. Van der Voort began his career in advertising, first as an account supervisor and later as a copywriter and creative director for Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising and The Geppetto Group in New York City. He holds an A.B. in history from Princeton University and an M.A. in American history from the University of North Carolina. He grew up in Washington, D.C., and in his youth he enjoyed several stints as a researcher in the Congressional Research Service.
Gail Hyder Wiley, Editor
Gail Hyder Wiley joined the Miller Center as editor for the Presidential Oral History Program in May 2016 after decades building her freelance editing business, including several years as a freelancer for the POHP. In addition, Wiley has developed editorial style guidelines for many schools and departments at the University of Virginia, as well as copyediting for advertising and branding agencies in Charlottesville and beyond. Bringing organizational skills and a zest for finding a better way to do things, Wiley has been involved in many community organizations and programs. She is cofounder of Charlottesville Albemarle Rides to Vote (CAR2Vote), a nonpartisan effort to provide free rides to voters who need to get identification credentials to vote or who need to get to the polls for primaries and elections. She started her career in advertising, first with Media General and Reed Advertising in Richmond, Virginia, and then with Payne, Ross & Associates in Charlottesville. She holds a B.A. in rhetoric and speech communication from the University of Virginia.
Miller Center Foundation
Renee Branson, Associate Director
Renee Branson came to the Miller Center Foundation in early 2015 as the associate director of development. Before her work at the Miller Center, Branson served as a program director for Healthy Families at the Charlottesville nonprofit ReadyKids from 2010-2015. Prior to her work in nonprofit management in Virginia, she was a high school teacher and counselor in St. Louis, Missouri, and Boulder, Colorado. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 1995 with a B.S. in secondary education with a focus in English literature, public speaking, and debate. Branson received her Master of Arts in counseling psychology in 2009 from the University of Colorado. While there, she was inducted into Chi Sigma Iota, the counseling academic and professional honor society. She served as the president of the Beta Alpha Omega chapter in 2008-2009. Branson has served as a speaker coach for TEDxCharlottesville since its inaugural season in 2013.
Susan M. Cortese, Senior Associate Director
Susan M. Cortese is senior associate director of the Miller Center Foundation. Prior to joining the Miller Center Foundation in late 2015, she served in a variety of senior client-facing roles, including vice president of national accounts & consulting services for Experian Information Services, director of development for Hospice Giving Foundation in Monterey, California, and most recently as a senior relationship management specialist for a division of the NYSE. Cortese is from Virginia, and a graduate of the Curry School at University of Virginia. Recently she found her way home again, returning to the Charlottesville area in 2013. She is an avid reader, a hiker, a mediocre golfer, and loves to travel. She lives with her husband, Rick, in Keswick, Virginia and has a son, Hank, who lives and works in Seattle.
Kate Huber, Foundation Administrator and Special Projects Coordinator
Kate Huber is the Foundation administrator and special projects coordinator for the Miller Center Foundation. Before joining the Miller Center Foundation staff in Spring 2014, she was a gift and information processor for UVA University Advancement, program support for the UVA Medical School’s Summer program, and worked for two years at the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C. Huber holds a B.A. in political science and anthropology from the College of the Holy Cross.
Karen McGrath, Director of Annual Giving
Karen D. McGrath is director of annual giving, leading the efforts in both retaining current donors as well as the expansion of the annual giving program for the Miller Center Foundation. McGrath has been part of the UVA community for nearly 20 years and during that time held positions in Athletics, the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and the President’s Office. She also served as associate director of development for the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, Virginia. McGrath has held senior-level donor relations positions and played a role in two major UVA capital campaigns, including the South Lawn Project. She is a graduate of Radford University and resides in Keswick, Virginia, with her husband and two daughters.