Michael McWilliams, Executive Director

Michael is a veteran public affairs strategist, executive, and communicator with experience across diverse fields. He joined The Global Institute for the Arts and Leadership in April 2017 as an Encore Fellow focused on building organizational capacity in key facets of nonprofit management, development, and programming. 

A writer and public issues advocate by avocation, Michael has most recently consulted in nonprofit development and communication while serving on several nonprofit boards. He had earlier repatriated to the US from Stockholm, Sweden upon finishing work with a UN-affiliated global NGO focused on the planetary water crisis. Prior to that, he held executive roles in the American public policy and nonprofit arenas after a career as an entrepreneur and corporate manager in the fields of finance, manufacturing, and technology. He serves on the board for Our Heart Speaks, a global health initiative for people facing chronic illness or sudden disability, and helps out with grant writing for Shelter Music Boston. 

Michael considers himself an aficionado of all the arts, with a special interest in folk, jazz, and choral music. He wields a marginal tenor in chorale singing and sometimes attempts to play the Great Highland Bagpipes. 

He can be reached at

Fred Mandell, Chairman

Fred Mandell PhD is the Chairman of the Board of The Global Institute for the Arts and Leadership and founding principal of the Kalon Leadership Group, LLC. A former senior executive for a Fortune 500 company, Fred built top performing sales and marketing organizations, ran a multi-billion dollar investment company and helped implement global strategy. He teaches the number one rated leadership program at MIT Sloan Innovation Period.  

As an artist Fred's sculptures, paintings, and drawings are held in private and corporate collections. Contact Fred here.

Nancy Adler

Dr. Adler is the S. Bronfman Chair in Management at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She has been recognized as one of the top 25 leadership experts in the world.  She consults on global leadership and cross-cultural management to private corporations and government organizations on projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East.

Dr. Adler is also a visual artist whose works are held in private collections worldwide. Contact Dr. Adler here.

Howard Margules

Howard is a retired financial services (Lincoln Financial Group) executive with an extensive background in developing and managing businesses in both the United States and China. He has broad- based global experience in business development, marketing, sales, strategic planning, customer service, and alliance management. Howard currently merges an interest in photography to support an array of non- profit organizations including High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, The Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and Pet Partners. He gains great satisfaction in working one-on-one with disadvantaged individuals. Contact Howard here.

Mario F. Sanabria, Secretary

Mario was elected and served as the first National Executive Director of the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. (1993-1995). Prior to that, he was Partner at Sable Group, Inc. and had a 26-year career at IBM Corporation, where he served was Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action including projects in Europe, Asia, South America, The Caribbean and South Africa. Mario has served as the Director of Education & Training for The American Institute for Managing Diversity, Chairman of the Urban League of Southwestern Connecticut, Co-Chair of the Connecticut State Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission. Contact Mario here.

Barry Svigals, FAIA Partner Emeritus Svigals + Partners 

Artist, architect, writer and public speaker, Barry is the founder of Svigals + Partners, an architecture and art firm, whose mission is to nurture and inspire prosperous, compassionate communities. He believes we are all creative and that capacity needs to find expression in how we live and work together. Awakening creativity, we can participate in bringing to life our communities and more fully contribute to the world we inhabit. It can remind us that our struggles, our joys and sorrows, are shared. They are what bind us as a community.  

Perhaps now more than ever, we need to feel again a sense of our collective humanity. Through creative engagement, Barry's aim is to touch that commonality we all carry in our hearts. This has been his effort as both an artist and architect: to remember, and remind others, that we are born to be creative and we need to bring that creative spirit to our lives, our communities and the world. 

Trained as an architect at the Yale School of Architecture, Barry also studied sculpture at the Ecole Nationale Superiere in Paris. Encompassing a wide range of clients, his firm's architectural designs include projects for Yale University, Boston College and the University of Connecticut, as well as numerous public schools, including most recently, the new elementary school for Sandy Hook. Corporate clients include PepsiCo, Yale New Haven Hospital and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He has also designed homes for Jane Pauley and Garry Trudeau as well as Keith Richards and Patti Hansen. 

Over the last 35 years, he has taught and lectured at a number of academic institutions including the Yale School of Architecture, the Harvard School of Business, and Stamford University. His love of sculpture and figurative art led to its integration into the architecture of his firm, bringing back an historical tradition and providing a dimension which could give it deeper meaning. For this contribution to the practice of architecture, he was awarded the Fellowship to the American Institute of Architects.

Dr. Todd Jokl

Todd is the Campus Dean of the University of New Haven’s Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. 

Prior to his appointment at Lyme, he was an Associate Professor of Art and Design as well as Chairperson of the Department of Art and Design at the University. After receiving his BA from Yale University, he moved to San Francisco where he spent six years working in the fields of advertising and marketing with J. Walter Thompson, and Goldberg, Moser, O’Neil on brands such as Sprint Telecommunications, Dell Computers, and Sun Microsystems. 

While in the Bay Area, he continued producing his own artwork and through connections with his professional and artistic practices, he became acutely aware of technology and its impact on lives.  In 2000, Todd returned to Connecticut and completed his MFA at the University of Connecticut in 2002 with a concentration in New Media and Photography.  In 2018, Todd earned his Ed.D from So. CT State University where his doctoral studies and dissertation focused on college retention and intellectual and emotional development of young adults. 

He has exhibited his work nationally and lectured on topics of the evolution of perception and time in relation to arts.


Robert D. Austin, Board of Advisors

Robert D. Austin taught at Harvard Business School for more than a decade as Professor of Technology and Operations Management.  He chaired the executive program for Chief Information Officers and is currently Chair in Management of Creativity and Innovation at Copenhagen Business School (CBS).  His executive experiences ranges from Ford Motor Company, at Novell as part of a strategic project sponsored by Eric Schmidt, as CEO of CBS-SIMI Executive (now CBS Executive, the largest executive education provider in northern Europe).  He is a member of the international jury for the CIO 100 Awards, which selects for recognition the best examples of IT projects that “[create] new business value by innovating with technology” and he has advised the European Commission on “e-Competencies for Innovation.”

Prof. Austin studied playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin, and has had two plays produced by theatre companies.

Annalie Killian, Board of Advisors

Annalie Killian is Catalyst for Magic at AMP, Australia. She brings creativity and innovation to business by cultivating a culture of collaboration, championing the exploration of trends, and fostering experimentation with new ideas and emerging technologies. She is producer of AMP’s biannual festival of innovation in business, leadership and technology. Annalie serves as a Fellow of the Aspen Institute’s First Movers Programme, designed to develop and connect global leaders working at the intersection of business growth and social innovation.

David Lank, Board of Advisors

As founder in 1968 and now Chair of Helix Investments, David has been directly involved in the venture capital funding of 147 companies as well as numerous other entrepreneurial initiatives. Author of more than 40 books, his broad experience in cultural and conservation organizations led to his being named to the Order of Canada in 1996. David is a graduate of Princeton University.  As Director Emeritus of the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at McGill University, David teaches MBA level courses in entrepreneurial start-ups, early-phase management and entrepreneurial leadership.

Louis Perry, Board of Advisors

Born in a housing project in Brooklyn, NY, Louis Perry put himself through college, moved to Los Angeles and built Kadima Security Inc. from an idea into a leading, multi-million dollar security firm providing services to elite high profile individuals, international figures, celebrities, politicians, and former presidents. Clients have included author and holocaust survivor Eli Weisel, former presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.  Louis has been recognized as “Most Admired CEO” in Los Angeles.