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




Hal Freedman


As a software designer and technology program manager (currently at Adobe), I’ve sought to innovate in ways that enable people to broaden their world view and generate insights that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. As a composer and keyboard performer, I’ve always been drawn to and influenced by music of many different cultures, which has expanded and deepened my own music. World Music Institute has always fed my passion for exploring and experiencing music and dance from other countries and seeks to expand the world view and artistic experience of the listening public. I’m delighted and honored to be a part of their Advisory Board.


Mariana Hallock

I have always believed that through the arts we can rebuild empathy and bring closer together different beliefs, cultures and societies. World Music Institute builds those bridges by providing excellent and accessible programming, all year round. When I first learned about WMI in 2015, I was immediately drawn to its mission and knew I had to get involved. After volunteering for two years, I am now an advisory board member and honored by this opportunity to further contribute to WMI's success and impact on the New York community.




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. 


Kamakshi Rao


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. "