Meet Our Team

The Foley Foundation is led by a committed Board of Directors and a hard-working full-time staff. We promise to support the families of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad with compassion and moral courage — and we promise to inform public debate and policy through research and education.

Board of Directors

  • Diane Foley

    Diane Foley

    President & Founder

    Diane M. Foley is President and Founder of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation, JWFLF, which she created in September 2014 less than a month after the public beheading by ISIS in Syria of her son James W. Foley, an American freelance conflict journalist.

  • Ellen Shearer

    Ellen Shearer is the William F. Thomas Professor of Journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. She also is Executive Editor of Medill News Service in Washington and co-director of the Medill National Security Journalism initiative.

  • Ali Soufan

    Ali Soufan

    Vice Chair

    Ali Soufan is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Soufan Group. A leading national security and counterterrorism expert, he plays a significant advisory role in global intelligence issues.

  • Rana Altenburg

    Rana H. Altenburg is associate vice president for public affairs at Marquette University. She leads the university’s governmental and community relations priorities and has worked at Marquette since 1996.

  • Peter Ventura

    Peter Ventura


    Peter has been a member of the Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, Professional Association team since 2003. In his current role as Principal, he is responsible for multiple pension, 401(k) and 403(b) plan audits.

  • Fernando Colina

    Before retiring in 2019, Fernando Colina had a long career in Information Technology, having worked for large (IBM), small (CDB Software), and mid-sized (BMC Software) companies. There he held technical, management, and executive positions.

  • Mark Donig is a Washington-based corporate attorney whose practice fuses international venture capital, technology, and commercial diplomacy.

  • COL Christopher P. Costa

    Chris Costa is the executive director of the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor for Georgetown University with the Security Studies Program –Walsh School of Foreign Studies.

  • Richard Gingras

    Richard Gingras is global Vice President, News at Google. In that role Gingras guides Google’s strategy in how it surfaces news on Google search, Google News, and its smart devices.

  • David Levinson

    David Levinson is one of the seven children of Robert “Bob” Levinson, considered to be the longest held hostage in American history. After Bob was taken captive by Iranian authorities in March 2007, David and the Levinson family relentlessly advocated for Bob’s safe return, building relationships across the United States government and private industries, and…

  • Neda Sharghi

    Neda Sharghi is the former Chair of The Bring Our Families Home Campaign, an advocacy campaign led by family members of Americans currently held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad.

  • Jere Van Dyk

    Jere Van Dyk, from Washington State, went to the University of Oregon (track and field scholarship), was in the U.S. Army, went to graduate school at the l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques, and began his career as an aide to U.S. Senator Henry M. Jackson in the U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.


  • Benjamin Gray

    Vice President & COO

    Benjamin Gray leads the overall operations of the Foley Foundation to include strategic planning and execution, partner relationship management, legislative and policy advocacy, advocacy on behalf of hostage families, program oversight, fundraising, and leadership of the staff.

  • Amy Coyne

    Amy Coyne

    Director of Corporate and Community Relations

    Amy plans, organizes, and executes each of the Foley Foundation’s major fundraisers and events to include the annual Foley Freedom Run and Foley Freedom Awards. She is the primary contact for corporate sponsors, manages the Foundation’s media operations, and is the New Hampshire office manager.

  • Tom Durkin

    Tom Durkin

    Education Program Director

    As Education Program Director, Tom cultivates relationships with Foundation partners, including non-profits, universities, and media organizations. He also maintains, updates, and develops the James W. Foley Journalist Safety Curricula with Marquette University’s Diederich College of Communication, Foley Foundation board members, and other safety experts.

  • Patricia Derochemont

    Patricia Derochemont

    Administrative Assistant

    Patti provides administrative support in the Foundation’s New Hampshire office.

Foley Fellows & Interns

Yiqing Wang

T.J. Dysart


  • Cynthia T. Loertscher

    Cynthia T. Loertscher

    Expert Consultant

    Cindy the author of the Foley Foundation’s annual research report, Bringing Americans Home and Foundation alumna. She is an expert in the field of hostage and wrongful detainee research.

Advisory Council

Peter Bergen

Mickey Bergman

David G. Bradley

Robert C. D’Amico

Hugh Dugan

Kathy Gest

Sam Goodwin

Richard Griffin

Delphine Halgand

Luke Hartig

Dr. Bruce Hoffman

Kate Joyce

Michael Joyce

Bob Klamser

Eric Lebson

Emily Lenzner

Tresha Mabile

Bryan Maxwell

David McCraw

Sarah Moriarty

Wendy Morigi

Mouaz Moustafa

Gary Noesner

Ursula Oaks

Doug Patteson

Daniel Presnell

Jason Rezaian

Yegi Rezaian

Robert Saale

Ameer Shalaby

Dana Shell Smith

Joel Simon

Judy Woodruff

Nizar Zakka