Who we are
Board of Directors
Tina Valentin Aguirre (Chair)
Tina has fundraised for organizations that focus on HIV, health, and the arts, including Mission Neighborhood Health Center, the NAMES Project Foundation, and LYRIC. Tina serves as Associate Director, Institutional Giving at Shanti, where he’s worked since 2012, raising money for HIV, cancer, and LGBTQ senior services, as well as for Pets Are Wonderful Support (PAWS). Tina is a poet, movie director, and opera producer, holding a BA in communication from Stanford University.
Beth spent her career in business and nonprofit management. She has contributed over 40 years of board service to a number of organizations in various arenas, as officer as well as general member, and has worked extensively with HIV/AIDS nonprofits. She received her BA and MA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her MBA from Golden Gate University.
Nick attended the University of San Francisco after a career in IT, obtaining his MA in Public Affairs. He has been involved with several LGBT, A&PI, and Japanese American groups, and currently works with the Fred T. Korematsu Institute and San Francisco’s LGBTQ Cultural Heritage Strategy. He is also a member of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premiere A & PI drag troupe, the Rice Rockettes, and can be seen every second Thursday at the Lookout in the Castro as Kristi Yummykochi.
Dr. Rigoberto Marquez is the associate director of Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Before joining Stanford, he was a fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University. Rigoberto’s research and community work focus on the roles family and community play in the lives of queer youth of color and the implications this has for theory, policy and practice. Dr. Marquez is excited to support the work of the GLBT Historical Society and to find new ways of introducing students and researchers to the importance of archives.
Maria Powers (Treasurer)
Maria has worked in finance in the nonprofit sector for most of her professional career, beginning with an accounting internship at the National Building Museum, in Washington, D.C. to her current role as CFO for the San Francisco Community Clinics Consortium.
Lito works as a program manager with West Corporation and has served on many nonprofit boards in the Latino and LGBTQ communities. He is a former board of the San Francisco Latino Democratic Club. He also founded the Queer Latinx Social Club. Lito’s essay “I Love You Alto” appears in the anthology Virgins, Guerrillas y Locas: Gay Latinos Writing on Love (Cleis Press, 1999).
Marc is the Jamie and Phyllis Pasker Professor of History at San Francisco State University. He is the author of City of Sisterly and Brotherly Loves: Lesbian and Gay Philadelphia, 1945-1972 (University of Chicago Press, 2000), Sexual Injustice: Supreme Court Decisions from Griswold to Roe (University of North Carolina Press, 2010), Rethinking the Gay and Lesbian Movement (Routledge, 2012), and The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History (NYU Press, 2019). Stein earned his PhD in History at the University of Pennsylvania and taught for many years at York University in Toronto.
Miko Thomas (a.k.a. Landa Lakes)
Landa was honored to be elected Grand Duchess 36 of San Francisco in 2008 and since that time as served on the board as President of the Board, VP of Membership Affairs/Chancellor of Protocol, and Ball Chair. Landa began her life in the activist community in the Gay and Lesbian Alliance, ACT UP Oklahoma and the American Indian Student Association at the University of Oklahoma. She was Chairperson for the Bay Area American Indian Two-Spirits for six years and also served on the board of the Native American AIDS Project, Chickasaw Hika Council and the Human Rights Commission of San Francisco.
In compliance with the requirements of the City and County of San Francisco, two Board of Directors meetings per year are open to attendance by the public. Unless otherwise specified by an action of the board, the April and October regular meetings are designated for this purpose. The next public meetings are October 22, 2018, and April 22, 2019. Meetings start at 6:00 p.m. To attend or to request an agenda in advance, write at least 72 hours before the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel Bao’s relationship with the GLBT Historical Society began in 1990 as a graduate student doing research in the archives. Since then, he’s taken on many different roles at the society, from Archives Committee volunteer to Board Member to Acting Executive Director. He received his master’s degree in Latin American studies from Stanford University in 1990.
Terry Beswick brings over three decades of experience as a community leader in HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ activism to his current role as executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. Beswick has worked as a journalist, activist, fundraiser and policy-maker with AIDS and LGBT-related nonprofit and governmental organizations in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., including Project Inform, the Castro Country Club, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the White House Office of National HIV/AIDS Policy, the DHHS National AIDS Program Office, and the Bay Area Reporter, among others. In the mid-1980s, he was a co-founder of ACT UP in San Francisco and the first national coordinator of ACT NOW, the national ACT UP network. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University.
Curator of Exhibitions
Nalini Elias collaborates with community curators to manage the GLBT Historical Society Museum’s exhibitions. She also directs the society’s programs and events. Before joining the society in 2018, she worked for the Museum of Latin American Art and interned at various cultural organizations in San Francisco including the De Young Museum, the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, and the Fraenkel Gallery. Nalini holds a master’s degree in museum studies from the University of San Francisco, and is passionate about the intersection of art, culture and identity.
Director, Dr. John P. De Cecco Archives & Special Collections
Kelsi Evans previously served as Project Archivist for the AIDS History Project at the University of California, San Francisco Archives and Special Collections. Prior to UCSF, she worked at NYU’s Fales Library and Special Collections and the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami. Kelsi holds an MA in archives and public history from New York University and an MA in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Isaac Fellman has worked in archives at the California Historical Society, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Oregon Health and Science University. He earned his MLS from Emporia State University and his MA in literature from the University of Oregon. Isaac is also a Lambda Literary Award-winning fantasy writer.
Senior Public History Advisor
Gerard Koskovich is a public historian who has published and presented widely in the United States, Europe and Japan on LGBTQ archives, museums, heritage and historic places. A founding member of the GLBT Historical Society, he also has curated numerous exhibitions on LGBTQ history and culture. As senior public history advisor, he is responsible for managing partnerships and special projects and for advising on historical initiatives of the society.
Museum Operations Manager
Leigh Pfeffer has held a variety of roles in nonprofits and museums, from program and events coordination to visitor services. Leigh manages fundraising efforts for the society and is excited about cultivating relationships with community members who share a passion for our mission. Before joining the GLBT Historical Society, they worked for the Exploratorium and managed a volunteer speakers panel program and operations at the Diversity Center in Santa Cruz. In their spare time, Leigh produces and is co-host of the podcast History is Gay.
Mikaela Rioux has held several positions in non-profit development and administration with various LGBTQ- and women-focused organizations, including Equality California, the Global Fund for Women and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. When she’s not in the office, you can find Mikaela designing one-of-a-kind costumes from upcycled materials and singing with her treble choir, Conspiracy of Venus.
Mark Sawchuk received his PhD in European history at the University of California at Berkeley in 2011, and taught as a lecturer there for five years. He has worked with nonprofits in various capacities for much of his career.
Museum Collections Registrar
Ramon Silvestre is an expert in material culture studies. He previously was a Visiting Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, and has published in many national and international professional journals, including The Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. He holds a PhD in anthropology and a master’s degree in curatorial and museum studies from the University of Arizona, and conducted fieldwork and museum collections acquisitions among the Kalinga and Ifugao tribes in northern Philippines, the Iban in Indonesia and the Dayak in Borneo.
The GLBT Historical Society’s volunteer working groups continue the organization’s tradition of engagement, passion, and creativity with deep roots in the community. They are advisory and operational bodies that carry out designated functions focused on key initiatives under the direction of the executive director and the supervision of each working group chair.
Members of the working groups are asked to commit to a six-month term of service, offering volunteers the opportunity to make a more sustained commitment to the society. The organization currently has five standing working groups. Active working group members receive a one-year regular membership in the GLBT Historical Society.
Please read below to find out more about each group. If you are interested in more information or joining one of the working groups, please contact that group’s chair.
Chair: Joanna Black
The Archives working group is responsible for recommending archival and collection policies, goals, and budgets that support the mission, values, and strategic goals of the GLBT Historical Society.
Chair: Elisabeth Cornu
This working group plans the society’s upcoming exhibitions in conjunction with community input.
Chair: Shayne Watson
The Historic Places working group directs the society’s efforts to preserve historic queer sites in San Francisco.
Programming & Education
Chair: Lito Sandoval
This working group plans the society’s programs and events and directs its educational outreach.
National Advisory Council
The society’s National Advisory Council advises and supports our staff and Board on the fulfillment of our mission, with particular emphasis on guiding our campaign to establish a New Museum of LGBTQ History and Culture—a world-class museum, archives and public history center in San Francisco that we believe is vital to the preservation of our heritage and the representation of our diverse LGBTQ communities.
Dustin Lance Black
Jennifer DeVere Brody
Ms. Bob Davis
Marc Robert Stein