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Griffith Observatory Foundation

Board of Directors

Griffith Observatory Foundation’s Board of Directors is committed to supporting and promoting Griffith Observatory as a strong community centerpiece of science literacy, education, and public astronomy.

Board Officers

Danish Khan

Danish F. Khan

President

Danish is an impact-driven leader at the intersection of product management, strategy, and innovation. His innovative concepts have been featured in the Wall Street Journal. He has been a chief of staff and management consultant for Fortune 500 firms, as well as a successful entrepreneur. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. You can find his latest on LinkedIn or Instagram.

Dr. Eve Haberfield

Vice President

A drive to make science accessible to the public and a passion to increase science literacy has motivated Eve Haberfield throughout her career. Dr. Haberfield served as the Director of Humanities, Sciences and Health Sciences at UCLA Extension where she provided academic and administrative leadership for over 800 courses each year.

Tricia Nelson

Secretary

Tricia Nelson is a writer, editor, digital producer, multiplatform storyteller, and proud 24+-year Los Angeles resident. From her earliest childhood visits to the Hayden Planetarium in New York City, she’s been inspired by the beauty, mystery, and possibilities of the cosmos, and her enthusiasm for everything the Griffith Observatory represents knows no bounds.

David Primes

David Primes

Treasurer

A frequent lecturer and consultant on computer topics and accounting technology, Primes is a member of numerous professional associations. He formerly chaired the National Kidney Foundation of Southern California and the Education Foundation of the California Society of CPAs.

Board Members

Shana Barghouti smiling at the camera next to the east exit of the Samuel Oschin Planetarium.

Shana Barghouti

Board Member

Shana is Co-Chief Investment Officer at ReMY Investors & Consultants, a multifamily investment firm based in Los Angeles. She is eager to support the Observatory’s important role in providing science education to children throughout southern California and in offering an iconic place for millions of Angelenos (and visitors from around the world) to appreciate astronomy and Los Angeles’ special place in the universe.

André Bormanis

André Bormanis

Board Member

Mr. Bormanis is a writer, consultant, and television producer, currently serving as a writer and co-executive producer of the Fox / Hulu television series, The Orville.  He was also a writer and consulting producer on the latest season of the Fox / National Geographic television series Cosmos, based on the award-wining PBS series created by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.

Terri Bloomgarden

Board Member

Having a mid-August birthday gives me a gift each year with the Perseid meteor shower. Through the years I have shared this gift with family and dozens of friends. Taking people to remote places or even to our yard to observe this event encouraged many of them to take an interest in the universe. I want to be part of the effort to help others become aware of the worlds above us.

Ethan Eller

Board Member

Ethan Eller has lived his entire life in and around the Pasadena area, and he still remembers taking a field trip with his elementary school class to Griffith Observatory. His father worked at JPL in the 50s, and instilled a lifelong love of science, science fiction, and astronomy into his son.

Irfan Furniturewala smiling at the camera in the South Promenade of Griffith Observatory.

Irfan Furniturewala

Board Member

Irfan is a partner and equity portfolio manager at Capital Group, a global investment firm. Prior, Irfan was a senior design engineer at Motorola, Inc. where he was a co-inventor of two approved patents. A longtime advocate for organizations that foster and improve access to education, Irfan hopes that he can play a part in sparking the curiosity, imagination, and love of science for future generations at Griffith Observatory.

Alan Kaye

Dr. Alan Kaye

Board Member

Alan has been fascinated with astronomy since he was a child. Growing up in New York, he spent hours at the Hayden Planetarium telling everyone he was going to be an astronomer! Although his career ultimately took another path, that of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, his love of astronomy never waned. He was fortunate to visit many planetariums throughout the U.S. over the years, and is honored to have friends at JPL and NASA.

Vicke Selk

Vicke Selk

Board Member

Vicke Selk credits synergy with bringing her to the Griffith Observatory Foundation board. She and her husband John had just become interested in amateur astronomy and with the purchase of a telescope were beginning to become acquainted with the night sky, when she was asked to meet with Griffith Observatory personnel to discuss the upcoming Observatory renovation and expansion project that was in the early stages of development.

Rich Semler

Rich Semler

Board Member

Rich Semler has been a Board Member of Griffith Observatory Foundation since 2013, and served as Griffith Observatory Foundation President from 2016 through 2018, after serving as Vice President in 2014 and 2015. He has also been an Executive Producer for Signs of Life since 2016.

Grady Smith

Board Member, Past President

Grady has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with Griffith Observatory. His first view through a telescope was of Saturn, through the Observatory’s Zeiss refractor – and he was hooked. During a subsequent childhood spent behind the eyepiece of a telescope, living both in LA and in the mountains near Yosemite, he would frequently call the Observatory’s staff to ask questions and would anxiously await the arrival of the Griffith Observer.

Samira Sohail leaning on the parapet of the South Promenade at Griffith Observatory.

Samira Sohail

Board Member

Samira, Angeleno and Londoner, is a product maker and investor who blends global technology expertise with cultural understanding. Samira leads Luxo Beta, a product and venture studio where she makes, breaks, and invests in startups across the media, creative, and cultural landscapes. An advocate of S.T.E.A.M. education, a lifelong learner, and a celestial adventurer, Samira is driven by a vision of universal knowledge access, balanced thinking, and fostering creativity. 

Jordan Sternlieb smiling at the camera in the South Promenade of Griffith Observatory.

Jordan Sternlieb

Board Member

Jordan is a senior partner and office leader of West Monroe, Los Angeles, a leading digital services and business consulting firm named one of Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in Los Angeles” for the past eight years. He works with local leaders in financial services, healthcare and life sciences, utility, private equity, high tech, and software. Jordan’s lifelong interest in astronomy and education drew him to serve on the Griffith Observatory Foundation Board. He is a native Angeleno.

McKinley Tennyson

McKinley Tennyson

Board Member

McKinley Tennyson is a Vice President of MUFG Union Bank’s Commercial Banking team in Los Angeles. He has served both private and publicly held companies across several industries, including: financial services, technology, manufacturing, real estate, and nonprofit.

Charles Wilmot

Charles Wilmot

Board Member

Charles Wilmot has been a banking professional for more than 20 years and currently serves as a senior vice president and group lead in the commercial bank with Wells Fargo Bank. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Wilmot spent 10 years with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi / BTMU Securities and Union Bank (all members of MUFG, a global financial services firm) in corporate and capital market banking.

Foundation Staff

Ann Marie Bedtke

Executive Director

Nikki Gordon

Director of Communications

Melanie Flavin

Director of Development

Troy Powers

Director of Finance and Administrative Services

Benjamin Roudenis

Director of Information Technology

Matthew Burlando

Program Production Engineer

Allan Ault

Services Coordinator

Yoseline Gutierrez

Development Coordinator

Ella Ritts

Communications Coordinator

Alesha Burk

Executive Assistant

Lex McNaughton

Event Manager

Sarah VanderWood

Development Manager