New Members Elected to Federation Board of Directors

November 13, 2016

New Members Elected to Federation of State Humanities Councils Board of Directors
The States of Alabama, Florida, New Jersey, and Rhode Island Represented in Newly Elected Members

The Federation of State Humanities Councils is pleased to announce the election of four new members to its board of directors, effective November 12, 2016. The board members include two humanities council executive directors and two public members.

“All of the new members bring expertise, knowledge, and passion to the Federation board as well as an understanding of the importance of the work of the state humanities councils,” said Esther Mackintosh, Federation of State Humanities Councils President. “Each brings a perspective and experience that will be invaluable in helping to guide the Federation in serving the councils through the coming years.”

 About the Elected Board Members:

dekeyser-photoArmand DeKeyser is the executive director of Alabama Humanities Foundation. Before joining the council in 2012, DeKeyser served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), worked in the private sector as a governmental relations specialist, and served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN). DeKeyser is also a member of the Alabama Bicentennial Advisory Committee, serves as Chair of the Alabama Association of Nonprofits, is a member of Ingram State Technical College Institutional Advisory Committee, and a graduate of Leadership Birmingham.  When asked about his election to the Federation board, DeKeyser stated, “I have been exhilarated by the knowledge I have gained through the Alabama Humanities Foundation… if it is like this on a state level, I can’t imagine the thrill it will be to serve on the national board.”

seibert-pictureSteven Seibert stated during a recent interview that “the humanities describe what gives meaning to our lives; our history, culture, music, art, literature, and beliefs. They tie us together as humans.” Seibert is the immediate past chair of the Florida Humanities Council and has been a Florida Supreme Court certified mediator for the past 20 years. He has been a member of the board of directors of the Mosaic Company, one of the world’s leading crop nutrition companies, and a respected member of the Florida Bar for more than 30 years. Seibert has received notable appointments from the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court and from four different Florida Governors.

briann-headshotBriann Greenfield is the executive director of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Prior to joining the council in 2014, Greenfield was a professor of history at Central Connecticut State University. She has held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Winterthur Museum, and is the author of Out of the Attic: Inventing Antiques in Twentieth-Century New England. Greenfield is an active member of the history community and has served on boards for many organizations, including Connecticut Humanities, Connecticut Historical Society, Connecticut Explored magazine, New Jersey Historic Trust, and the National Council on Public History. In an interview after her nomination, Greenfield stated that “in making the humanities public, we make them important. The humanities provide us the tools to cultivate values, question the status quo, and build a better future.”

abrams-photoJoan Abrams hopes to “bring her development and communication background to the Federation board” in addition to her passion for philanthropy. Abrams is the immediate past chair of the board for Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and is a special projects consultant to the Community College of RI and other not- for-profit organizations. She recently retired from Simmons College in Boston, MA, where she served as Professor of Practice and director of the Masters in Communications Management. Currently, Abrams serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she earned her Master’s in Public Administration. She has been named to the Board of Governors of Higher Education for the three Rhode Island state colleges and was named Rhode Island’s Philanthropic Citizen of the Year in 2010.

To read more about the Federation Board of Directors, please visit:

The Federation of State Humanities Councils

The Federation of State Humanities Councils, founded in 1977 as the membership association of state and territorial councils, provides support for the state humanities councils and strives to create greater awareness of the humanities in public and private life.

For more information about the Federation of State Humanities Councils, please visit:

The State Humanities Councils

The state humanities councils are independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations supporting grassroots humanities programs and community-based activities. Humanities councils were created by Congress in the early 1970s and receive an annual congressional appropriation through the National Endowment for the Humanities, which most councils supplement with state and private funding.

For more information about the state humanities councils, please visit: