Beacon Press: Beacon Press Staff
Login Cart

Beacon Press Staff

If you are interested in submitting a manuscript to Beacon Press, please view our submissions guidelines. For publicity, contact For marketing, contact For production, contact


Gayatri Patnaik, Director: Gayatri, previously an editor at both Palgrave Macmillan and Routledge, has been at Beacon Press for 20 years and is the recipient of the Editorial Excellence Award by Biographers International Organization (2020). Gayatri has published award-winning authors including Imani Perry, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jeanne Theoharis, Cornel West, and Kate Bornstein. She acquires in US History, with a focus on African American History and race/ethnicity/immigration, and began Beacon’s award-winning “ReVisioning History” and “Myths Made in America” series. Gayatri occasionally signs memoir, began Beacon’s LGBTQ series, “Queer Action/Queer Ideas,” (edited with Michael Bronski) and developed books in “The King Legacy,” with Joanna Green, in a series about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Her acquisitions include:
  • The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks by Jeanne Theoharis, winner of the 2014 NAACP Image Award
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States (part of the “ReVisioning American History” series) by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, recipient of the 2015 American Book Award
  • Breathe: A Letter to My Sons and Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberryby Imani Perry. The latter book was winner of the 2019 Pen/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography; winner of the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction; winner of the 2018 Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction.

Read the Publishers Weekly profile on Gayatri by Judith Rosen. Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.” Follow her on Twitter at @gpatnaik1.
Emma Gibbons, Assistant to the Director: Emma earned an MA in Library and Information Science from Louisiana State University and a BA in English from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Prior to joining Beacon, she did a number of things, including working at Tulane Law Library in New Orleans, working as a public librarian in southwestern New York, and especially having a blast as a seasonal lawn tech during the height of the pandemic.


Amy Caldwell, Editorial Director: Amy has been at Beacon Press since 1995. She acquires in religion, with special emphases on interfaith issues; the relation between politics, culture, and religion; and how Americans live out their religious beliefs. She also acquires in science and society, as well as narrative nonfiction/memoir. Titles include:

  • Interfaith Leadership, Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice and the Promise of America, and Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel
  • Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini
  • The Only Woman in the Room: Why Science is Still a Boy’s Club by Eileen Pollack
  • How To Be a Muslim: An American Story by Haroon Moghul
  • Do It Anyway by Courtney Martin
  • The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America by Ann Neumann
  • The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan by Rafia Zakaria
  • The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide by Gayle Brandeis
  • Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney Martin
  • Fallout, The New Wild, When the Rivers Run Dry and other titles by esteemed environmental journalist Fred Pearce
  • Saving Talk Therapy and Back to Normal: Why Ordinary Childhood Behavior Is Mistaken for ADHD, Bipolar Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder by Enrico Gnaulati

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Joanna Green, Executive Editor and Director of YA Development: Joanna Green joined Beacon in 2005 and previously worked for New Moon Girls. She acquires narrative nonfiction in the areas of economic justice, labor and business, law and society, disability, political science, sports, and activism, among other topics. She also develops YA adaptations of books in the “ReVisioning History” series and other books for middle grade and young adult readers. Titles include:
  • What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat by Aubrey Gordon
  • White Space, Black Hood: Opportunity Hoarding and Segregation in the Age of Inequality by Sheryll Cashin
  • Chokepoint Capitalism: How Big Tech and Big Content Captured Creative Labor Markets and How We’ll Win Them Back by Rebecca Giblin and Cory Doctorow
  • Unashamed: Musings of a Fat, Black Muslim by Leah Vernon
  • The Behavioral Code: The Hidden Ways the Law Makes Us Better . . . or Worse by Benjamin van Rooij and Adam Fine
  • Sincerely, Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Sharon daVanport, and Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
  • Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends On It by Chloe Maxmin and Canyon Woodward
  • Course Correction: A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX by Ginny Gilder
Susan Lumenello, Managing Editor: Susan joined Beacon Press in 2008. She is a graduate of Tufts University and the Bennington Writing Seminars.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Catherine Tung, Editor: Catherine joined Beacon Press in late 2019 after 7 years at Vintage Books, where she acquired in memoir, fiction, and nonfiction titles on politics, disability, cultural studies, and mental health. At Beacon, she is actively developing a list focused on oral history, urban planning, sexuality, and Asian American writing. Outside the office, she enjoys musicmaking, community building, knitting, gardening, and friendly debates over bourbon.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Rachael Marks, Executive Editor: Rachael Marks joined Beacon Press in 2010 and acquires in education, with a special interest in educational equality and democracy; cultural environments of urban, suburban, and rural educational settings; issues of difference, diversity, social justice, and alliance building. Titles include:
  • For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Christopher Emdin
  • These Schools Belong to You and Me: Why We Can’t Afford to Abandon Our Public Schools by Deborah Meier and Emily Gasoi
  • Her Body, Our Laws: On the Frontlines of the Abortion War from El Salvador to Oklahoma by Michelle Oberman
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Helene Atwan, Contributing Editor: Helene began her publishing career in 1976 at Random House in New York as an assistant editor before moving to Alfred A. Knopf in 1977 as a publicity associate. She then joined The Viking Press in 1979 as the associate director of publicity, and in 1981, she moved to Farrar, Straus and Giroux, where she began as the director of publicity, becoming a vice president of the house in 1987, and the associate publisher in 1991. In 1993, she joined the Pocket Books division of Simon & Schuster as a vice president and director of marketing and was appointed director of Beacon Press by the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalists Association in 1995.

As Director of Beacon Press, Atwan acquired and edited numerous award-winning books, including by Mary Oliver, Gayl Jones, Anita Hill, Rashid Khalidi, Cornel West, Sonia Sanchez, Lani Guinier, Bill Ayers, Howard Zinn, Danielle Ofri, Richard Blanco, among others.

Atwan has served on PEN New England’s Executive Board, including as Chair of the Executive Board and participates in the publishing world by giving lectures and moderating discussions at universities, special events and writers’ conferences. She has also served on various advisory boards and has been a participant in writers conferences, including those put on by New England Writers’ Workshop; The Neiman Foundation at Harvard University; the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshops; GrubStreet writer’s festival, among others.

Currently, she lives in Pasadena, California, where she works as a contributing editor at Beacon Press, and serves on the boards of advisors of both Johns Hopkins University Press and the NAACP’s Entertainment Committee.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Melissa Nasson, Esq., Contracts Director: Melissa Nasson joined Beacon Press in 2013 after finishing her law degree at Boston University and interning at the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency and The Perseus Books Group. She manages all contracts and advises on legal matters for Beacon Press. She lives with her husband Amory and their tortoise Norton in Brighton, MA.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Maya Fernandez, Associate Editor: Maya Fernandez joined Beacon Press in 2016. She acquires narrative non-fiction titles that include underrepresented voices, the Black diaspora, Black voices, queer studies, queer voices, digital media and entertainment, popular culture, and the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. When not editing, you can find her doting over her fur baby, Perri, being a dedicated hive member, and wishing for warmer weather. She is based in Washington, DC. Titles include:
  • And the Category Is . . . : Inside New York’s Vogue, House, and Ballroom Community by Ricky Tucker
  • Living While Black: Using Joy, Beauty, and Connection to Heal Racial Trauma by Guilaine Kinouani
  • Momfluenced: Inside the Maddening, Picture-Perfect World of Mommy Influencer Culture by Sara Petersen

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Haley Lynch, Associate Editor: Haley earned a BA in Comparative Literature at Hamilton College and graduated from the Columbia Publishing Course in 2017. She interned with the Zachary Shuster Harmsworth literary agency, Da Capo Press and Seal Press, and worked at the Kneerim & Williams literary agency, before joining Beacon Press in July 2018. She acquires narrative nonfiction with an emphasis on intersectional feminism and lifting up marginalized voices. Her areas of particular interest include public health and policy, social activism, cultural studies, neurodiversity, and food waste. Titles include:
  • Marching Toward Coverage: How Women Can Lead the Fight for Universal Healthcare by Rosemarie Day
  • All Made Up: The Power and Pitfalls of Beauty Culture, from Cleopatra to Kim Kardashian by Rae Nudson
  • Soul Culture: Black Poets, Books, and Questions That Grew Me Up by Remica Bingham-Risher

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Nicole-Anne Keyton, Assistant Editor: Nicole joined Beacon’s editorial team in December 2019, where they assist editorial director Amy Caldwell. Nicole is a Kundiman fellow and has received an MFA for creative writing from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a BA in cinema from Virginia Commonwealth University. Nicole served as editor in chief for the online literary journal Breakwater Review and is currently the assistant editor and fiction editor for Vagabond City Lit. Outside of Beacon, Nicole writes book reviews and dabbles between making zero progress with their endless TBR shelf and hanging out with their rescue pup, Sassy.

Read their staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Alison Rodriguez, Assistant Editor: Alison joined Beacon Press in January 2020 after graduating from Boston University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and a focus in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Prior to joining Beacon, Alison interned at Hachette Book Group and Simon & Schuster UK.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Rebecca Johnson, Editorial Assistant: Becca joined Beacon Press in September 2023 after graduating from Skidmore College with a BA in English. Before Beacon, she interned at Nosy Crow Inc., an independent children’s book publishing company based in the Boston area. During undergrad, she worked as a bookseller at a local independent bookstore. She also trained as a tutor at Skidmore College’s Writing Center. She is thrilled to continue her career in publishing with Executive Editor, Rachael Marks, and the rest of the Beacon team.


Sanj Kharbanda, Associate Publisher: Sanj is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing at Beacon Press. He joined Beacon in 2017 after holding executive positions in marketing and digital strategy at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Sanj thrives at the intersection of books, marketing, and technology: he is an engineer by training, but books and bookselling are his passion.

Alyssa Hassan, Associate Director of Marketing: Alyssa has been at Beacon Press since 2006. Prior to that, she worked in marketing for other progressive, nonprofit organizations and publishers including South End Press, Z Magazine, and Dollars and Sense. Her gravestone epitaph will read, “It’s A-lee-sa.” Follow her on Twitter at @alyssahassan.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Brittany Wallace, Sales and Marketing Coordinator: Brittany joined Beacon Press in 2021 after completing her master’s in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College. Previously, she worked as a bookseller and magazine buyer at a Boston-based independent bookstore, and before that, she was at Barnes & Noble. She also has several years of experience editing at an online magazine, where she curated the fiction and nonfiction sections. When she’s not working, Brittany is likely hiking in the forest while listening to a true crime podcast telling her to stay out of the forest. You can find her yelling about books and her dog on Twitter @thebooseller.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Frankie Karnedy, Sales and Marketing Assistant: Frankie joined Beacon Press in 2022 after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Writing Seminars and English. Previously, she interned at a literary agency and worked with children and teens at her local library. When she’s not trying to get to the bottom of her endless TBR list, she enjoys taking dance classes and baking fun desserts.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Emily Powers, Senior Marketing Manager: Emily joined Beacon in 2016 after three years at Cornell University Press. Previously, she worked as an intern at the UN Refugee Agency and Harvard Common Press. She is a graduate of Le Moyne College. Follow her on Twitter at @emilykpowers.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Christian Coleman, Digital Marketing Manager: Before joining Beacon in 2015, Christian worked in writing, copy editing, and marketing positions at Sustainable Silicon Valley and Trikone. He graduated from Boston College and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. Follow him on Twitter at @coleman_II.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”


Pamela MacColl, Director of Communications: Pamela has been the Communications Director at Beacon Press since 1999. Before joining Beacon, she held positions at Random House, New American Library, The Scribner Book Company, and MacMillan. She served as a publicity consultant to St. Martin’s Press, Random House, and Simon and Schuster. While at Beacon, Pamela has worked with a wide range of authors, including Marian Wright Edelman, Michael Patrick MacDonald, Rashid Khalidi, Robert Reich, William Ayers, Anita Hill, Danielle Ofri, Eboo Patel, Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II, Cornel West, Lani Guinier, Marcus Rediker, Sheryll Cashin, and Jeanne Theoharis. Pamela and her husband raised their three children in Providence, RI, where they still live.

Caitlin Meyer, Associate Director of Publicity: Caitlin joined Beacon Press in 2008. Previously she worked as a Copywriter at both a boutique advertising agency and a large academic publisher, and as the Communications and Public Relations Manager at the educational non-profit Facing History and Ourselves. She received her BFA in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and has led workshops in short story writing and book publicity. Areas of professional focus include (but are not limited to) feminism, science, environment, race and society, and American culture. She is also the exhausted parent of a small human. You can find her on Twitter at @NotNerdEnough.
Bev Rivero, Senior Publicist: Before joining Beacon in 2021, Bev was the communications and marketing manager at the National Book Foundation, where she worked on the National Book Awards, promoted the Foundation’s public and educational programs, and led all social media and marketing campaigns. Prior to NBF, she was in publicity at the New Press for 6 years, where she worked with authors committed to social justice, including Paul Butler, Michelle Alexander, and many more. She has extensive experience promoting nonfiction and tailoring outreach campaigns that resonate with activists and change-makers. Bev is a NYC-based graduate of Johns Hopkins University, ardent supporter of indie presses, and a graphic designer. You can follow her on Twitter @LOLBev, where she mostly retweets content about books, pickles, and migrant justice.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Perpetua Charles, Publicist: Perpetua Charles joined Beacon Press in 2015. She is a graduate of Florida Southern College and earned her MA in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College. Perpetua has extensive publicity experience in the areas of race and culture, memoir, education, and history. Some of her favorite things include the Lord, TV, Disney princesses, books, 90s-00s teen pop, and the color pink. Connect with Perpetua on Instagram at @princessperpetuaa.

Read her first and second staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Mei Su Bailey, Publicity Assistant: Prior to joining Beacon Press in 2024, Mei Su worked at various youth advocacy and literary organizations, including 826 Boston, Dear Asian Youth, and the Fir Acres Writing Workshop. She holds a degree in sociology and anthropology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford. Outside of work, you can find her playing with cats, making things with yarn, and enjoying many bowls of noodle soup with chili oil.


Marcy Barnes, Production Director: Prior to joining Beacon in 2011, Marcy held posts at Harvard Education Publishing Group, Harvard Business School Publishing, Elsevier Science, and Addison-Wesley Professional. She has an MA in Information and Library Science from Manchester Metropolitan University (UK) and a BA in English and Sociology from the University of Leeds (UK).

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Beth Collins, Production Manager: Beth joined Beacon Press in 2008. When she’s not making books, Beth enjoys biking, skiing, and discovering new candy from around the globe. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Travis Cohen, Production Associate: Travis received his BS in Mass Communication from Frostburg State University in 2014. Before Beacon, he worked at Politics and Prose and Brookline Booksmith, as well as interned for MIT Press. In his spare time, he loves to read/browse books, play video games, and watch anything with beautiful set production.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”


Carol Chu, Creative Director: Prior to joining Beacon, Carol was Creative Director at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and has designed and art directed a variety of books for a variety of readers. She has a Master’s in design from the Pratt Institute and has a BA in Journalism. When she’s not in front of a Mac, she’s illustrated three books, authored two, and translated one. She’s partial to well-kerned lettering and enjoys a good glyph. Her favorite color is PMS 032c.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Louis Roe, Associate Art Director: Louis has been designing at Beacon Press since 2015, after graduating from Emerson College’s Writing, Literature, and Publishing program and a brief stint in content marketing. He previously interned at Wind Ridge Books in Shelburne, VT.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”


Matt Davis, Chief Financial Officer: In 2023, Matt joined Beacon Press as CFO. Prior to Beacon, Matt spent 32 years at Cengage Learning (previously Thomson Learning), most recently as vice president of finance. He began his career at PriceWaterhouse and is a graduate of Fairfield University. Matt lives on the South Shore with his wife, 3 children, a labradoodle, and now, only one cat.

Read his staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”

Jill Dougan, Associate Director of Business Operations: Jill has twenty-nine years of experience in publishing, previously working with Houghton Mifflin, Pearson Education, and MPS North America. Jill’s previous experience includes rights and permissions work, author royalty management, contract negotiation and administration, and other financial capacities. Jill has a BS in Business Administration from Eastern Nazarene College. She lives in Abington with her husband and two daughters.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”
Claire Desroches, Business Operations Analyst: Claire joined Beacon Press in 2018 after several years of managing a small boutique hotel. She graduated from Northeastern University, where she earned a dual major in English and Religious Studies.

Read her staff profile on our blog series “Beacon Behind the Books.”