Board of Directors




Paul Palmer, Chairman

Zette Emmons, Secretary

Daisy Paradis

Andrew Faulkner

Jinghong Li

Cynthia McVay

Kate Winn

Moez Doraid

Andy Ayres




Board members at the closing night of WMI's Festival Ay! Más Flamenco: (from left) Paul Palmer, Daisy Paradis, Zette Emmons, Kate Winn and Andrew Faulkner






Erin Ardleigh


Growing up in New Orleans, I was surrounded by music, especially jazz. After 20 years of listening to the concerts and cab drivers in New York, I've been exposed to music from all over the world and have developed a passion for African music. When I travel, I love to ask the locals what they're listening to. Music is an opportunity to connect people across countries and cultures - a much needed common ground. I'm excited to support a cultural treasure like the World Music Institute.


Lauren Merkel


Lauren Merkel, a senior consultant at the world's leading cultural consulting firm and former consultant with Lincoln Center Global, has been inspired and motivated by music from a very young age. As a singer and performer, she knows there is nothing like sharing music with others. Few things in this world have the ability to MOVE -- music is soft power. Lauren is thrilled to be a part of the Advisory Board to help get more people engaged with and moving for the World Music Institute. 


Rex Niswander


Every year the World Music Institute gives us dozens of opportunities to enjoy live performances of world music and dance in a variety of New York City venues.  We're lucky to have them and I'm proud to be involved through service on the World Music Institute's Advisory Board.



Kellie Castruita Specter


My love of world music began early. My grandmother would listen to Mexican Ranchera and Bolero music, and through it, I learned the joys and sorrows of my family's culture. I also learned that music has no barriers or borders. I have been attending concerts presented by the World Music Institute for over 15 years, and those musical experiences have enriched my life in New York City. I am deeply honored to serve on the Advisory Board of this important organization. 



Muhal Richard Abrams
Philip Glass
Zakir Hussain
Mira Nair
Javier Limon


"Javier Limón's career as a musician and producer has developed in many genres and styles from different cultures including Flamenco, Fado, Latin American Music, Mediterranean, Jazz, the Middle East, Africa and India among others. In WMI, Javier finds the perfect laboratory to share the knowledge learned during these years. "