NGO PROOF creates exhibitions, publications, and workshops in war-torn and conflict-ridden places. Find staff, annual report, and board members.
"If I did not do good things, perhaps there is no today for me."
– Huy Sarin, rescuer, Cambodia
PROOF uses visual storytelling for genocide prevention and peacebuilding
Bringing together photographers, documentarians, academics, and activists, PROOF creates exhibitions, publications, and on-site activities in nations with some of the world’s most troubled histories. PROOF’s exhibitions tell untold stories of acts of moral courage as well as document injustice and human rights abuses.
By partnering with local organizations in post-conflict societies, PROOF creates visual documentary projects that become sustainable educational tools in regions riven by recent armed conflict and atrocities. PROOF’s mission is to contribute to research and scholarship, develop educational materials for local and international use, and encourage activism and empowerment to promote social change.
Leora Kahn | Executive Director
Leora Kahn is the founder and Executive Director of PROOF: Media for Social Justice. A photo editor for over 25 years, in 2006, she and a group of internationally known photojournalists decided to combine their skills and experience to make an impact in the world. PROOF was born six months later.
Leora was previously the director of photography at Workman Publishing and at Corbis. She has also worked for Time, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, and US News and World Report as well as for the Ford and Annie E. Casey Foundations. She has curated exhibitions for the Ford Foundation, ABC Television, Amnesty International, Women’s Refugee Commission, and the Holocaust Museum in Houston.
Leora’s film credits include "Rene and I," an award-winning documentary about the life of an extraordinary woman who, as a child, was experimented on by Josef Mengele during the Holocaust. She also co-produced "Original Intent," a documentary exploring the judicial philosophy promoted by Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.
Leora was previously a fellow at the Genocide Studies Center at Yale University where she conducted research on rescuers and rescuing behavior. She was the Cathy Cohen Lasry Visiting Lecturer at Clark University’s Holocaust and Genocide Center. She is a recipient of The Adriane de Rothschild Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist.
Jonathan Alter | Bloomberg Review
Louis Bickford | (hiatus)
Brenna Britton | People Magazine
Adrian Edwards | Panos Pictures
Mark O’Brien | Pro Bono Net
Alex Gibney | Jigsaw Productions
Olivia Drier | Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
John Withers II | Former U.S. Ambassador
Ed Kashi | V11 Photo Agency
Fran Kaufman | Art + Banking
Ben Kiernan | Yale University
Peter Mantello | Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University
Tali Nates | Johannesburg Holocaust Centre
Marc Skvirsky | Facing History and Ourselves
Leora Kahn | Executive Director
Maya Hadar | Communications Director
Willhemina Wahlin | Creative Director
Emily Masseo | Program Coordinator
Anna Strizich | Development Assistant
Tatiana Leon | Exhibition Coordinator
Edouard Gusman | Educational & Technical Advisor
Emma Andersson | Social Media Associate
Board of Directors
David Garrison | Chair
David is Associate Principal and Director of Marketing at Edelman Consulting, the management strategy arm of Edelman, the premier global PR agency. Prior to joining Edelman Consulting, he held roles as CMO of Indaba Music, the leading collaboration tool for musicians, and Director of Strategic Initiatives at SS+K, a strategic marketing agency. He also spent several years consulting with Katzenbach Partners, a McKinsey & Co. off-shoot, and co-founded Remède Naturopathics, a clinic for integrative medicine in NYC.
David has long been involved with non-profits and in the Arts and has consulted for and advised a wide range of organizations, including the Ontario Arts Council, the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and the Nathaniel Dett Chorale.
Paul Levitz | Treasurer
Paul is primarily known for his work for DC Comics, where he has written most of their classic characters including the Justice Society, Superman in both comics and the newspaper strip, and acclaimed runs on The Legion of Super-Heroes.
Cumulatively, Levitz has written over 300 stories with sales of over 25 million copies, and translations into over 20 languages. As a DC staffer from 1973, Levitz was an assistant editor, the company’s youngest editor ever, and in a series of business capacities, became Executive Vice President & Publisher in 1989 and then served as President & Publisher from 2002 to 2009. He continues as a Contributing Editor, but is now concentrating on his writing.
His current writing projects include Taschen’s 75 YEARS OF DC COMICS: THE ART OF MODERN MYTHMAKING, published for holiday, 2010, which has won the Eisner (comics’ “Oscar”), the United Kingdom’s prestigious Eagle Award, Germany’s Peng Award, and is currently nominated for America’s other major comics award, the Harvey.
He has been teaching “Writing For Media” at Manhattanville College since last fall, and will launch a new course in “The Business of Comics and Graphic Novels” for Pace University’s M.S. In Publishing program this fall. He developedg a course on “Transmedia” for Columbia University’s American Studies department.
F. Robert Stein
Bob Stein is an attorney who counsels and represents authors, literary agents, book publishers and others in all aspects of book publishing. He also represents film producers in the pre-release review of screenplays and films (including Academy Award winners The Cove and Taxi to the Dark Side and Academy Award-nominated The Betrayal-Nerakhoon, No End in Sight and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room), and assists insurers of film and television productions in determining the insurability of various productions.
Bob has been “Of Counsel” to the law firm of Pryor Cashman LLP since 1987. He previously served as Vice President and General Counsel of Warner Publishing, Inc. (including its subsidiaries, Warner Books and DC Comics), as Deputy General Counsel of Simon & Schuster, Inc., and as an attorney at both Random House, Inc., and CBS, Inc.
Bob is a graduate of Cornell University and of Columbia Law School. He is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.
Leslie Thurman | Secretary
Leslie Thurman is Director of Outreach Initiatives at Warner Bros. Entertainment. Her experience encompasses corporate social responsibility (CSR), philanthropy, strategic partnerships and international development. Leslie has worked extensively in both public and private sector environments, with significant experience leading corporate partnerships and community development activities on a global basis. She has technical expertise in community development, disaster relief, education, health and sustainability. Leslie is a passionate supporter of issues of environmental, social, health and cultural import, engaging stakeholders across a wide spectrum of industries and including corporations, high profile clients, entertainment and media executives, philanthropists, legislators and journalists.
Sam B. McElwain
Formerly with Advent Software, a financial software firm, Sam has traveled and backpacked in 60 countries around the world. Journeys in Europe, the Middle East, India, South East Asia, and Africa have deepened his knowledge of different cultures and world issues.
Especially passionate about Africa, Sam decided to make a documentary in 2008 after viewing a BBC report about a condom recall in Uganda. Sam self-financed and shot the 25-minute film, “Stigma Lost,” which explores the reasons the rate of HIV was increasing in Uganda.
Sam has built relationships with young professionals in New York and is committed to attracting them to humanitarian causes.
He is studying genocide and international relations at New York University as part of his passion to raise awareness of and prevent human rights atrocities.