Board of Directors




Paul Palmer, Chairman

Zette Emmons, Secretary

Daisy Paradis

Andrew Faulkner

Jinghong Li

Cynthia McVay

Kate Winn




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.


Cindy Kynard


As a marketer, I help curate and produce experiential campaigns for iconic brands across media and consumer segments. Since childhood I've had a love of music, particularly jazz, which I’ve discovered is in my family(!). Early in my career, I found my calling in the performing arts working on the pioneer team of Jazz at Lincoln Center and then 651 Arts. Through WMI I've found the perfect way to fuse my love of live music and dance (from the African Diaspora) with my marketing skills as an advisory board member. And the future is looking so bright! I’m proud to serve on this board and help bring their rich cultural programming to all potential fans.



 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




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. "