Rob Pfaltzgraff, MPI's president, works closely with film directors, producers, financiers, and the media to ensure that MPI's films are well produced, generously funded, and skillfully promoted. Since MPI was founded, he has overseen millions of dollars in grant awards to film projects. He is responsible for day-to-day operations including financial management, programs, and fundraising. He serves as executive producer for a variety of MPI's productions. Rob graduated from Tufts University and prior to joining MPI in 2006, he was the vice president of marketing, development, and management at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).
Erin O'Connor, PhD
Erin O'Connor, MPI's executive vice president, holds a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a doctorate in English language and literature from the University of Michigan. She has years of teaching experience at the university and secondary school level; she also has extensive experience with writing, editing, development, marketing, and consulting within the nonprofit world. Shaping MPI's mission while also spearheading some of MPI's most vital program work, Erin is active in MPI's production, fundraising, marketing, and acquisition efforts. In addition to creating original content on MPI's creative team, Erin regularly provides mentoring and editorial guidance for filmmakers as they refine and polish their work.
Maurice Black, PhD
Maurice Black, MPI's executive vice president, earned his BA in English and economics from the National University of Ireland and his doctorate in English literature from the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensive experience in education, publishing, media, and nonprofit organizations, and has been involved with MPI since its founding. Active in programming, development, communications, and digital strategy, he provides script coverage, editorial guidance, and fundraising advice to MPI filmmakers and recruits fellows to its award-winning Rising Filmmakers program. Maurice teaches screenwriting workshops to MPI filmmakers and is actively involved in developing MPI's original narrative film content on the MPI creative team.
Lana Link, MPI's vice president of marketing, spearheads marketing efforts for in-house productions and assists MPI-supported filmmakers with their marketing and distribution strategies, as well as story consultation. She is also a member of MPI's creative team, on which she writes scripts and comedy sketches. Link is a former College of Public Interest Law Fellow at the Pacific Legal Foundation, where she filed briefs in courts around the country in the areas of economic liberty and individual rights. Lana is a graduate of the University of Chicago and a former Fulbright grant recipient in Vienna, Austria. She earned her JD from Pepperdine University School of Law where she was a lead articles editor for the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship, and the Law.
Stacie Fulcher, MPI's director of talent development, holds a BA in political science from the University of Georgia. She previously worked for the Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform in Washington, D.C., where she managed nonprofit programs, fundraising, marketing, and outreach efforts. A vital contributor to MPI's program work, Stacie spearheads the Hollywood Career Launch Program while advancing fundraising efforts, film promotions, and marketing campaigns.
Jason W. Pompilio
Jason W. Pompilio, MPI's director of business operations, previously served as the program manager at DonorsTrust in Alexandria, VA, where he managed the organization's grantmaking process. Previously Jason was the deputy director of the Semester in Washington Politics program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Jason earned his BA in finance and marketing from the University of Kentucky, his MS in applied and resource economics from East Carolina University, and his MPS in legislative affairs from George Washington University. Jason's work at MPI covers areas of data integrity, project management, and development research.
Hannah Ruth Earl, MPI's educational marketing and distribution associate, leads development strategy for MPI's growing roster of educational content. She previously worked in independent film production at Bold Films and Rumble Films. In her current role at MPI, Hannah also assists with Masterclasses and the Hollywood Career Launch Program. A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Hannah holds an MA in religion from Yale Divinity School.
Claudia Murray, MPI's senior impact producer, develops social action campaigns designed to accompany MPI-supported films and spur social action. She has experience organizing a broad array of outreach initiatives and has helped street vendors, parents, limo drivers, craft-beer aficionados, homeowners, and many others fight for their rights. A lifelong advocate for civil liberties, Claudia began her career as an attorney for the Institute for Justice. She most recently worked as a speechwriter and policy advisor for Florida's Chief Financial Officer. Claudia earned a BA in creative writing and a subsequent JD from the University of Florida, where she was the executive managing editor of the Florida Law Review.
Amanda Burtka, MPI's communications associate, assists in copywriting and marketing efforts across the organization. She previously worked in regulatory writing and document quality control for global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies before moving on to study theology at Villanova University. She has also worked as an independent writing and editing consultant, specializing in manuscript reviews and hands-on editorial services. Passionate about ideas and stories, Amanda earned her BA in English literature from Regent University.
Nicole Wisdom, MPI's impact producer, works with the impact production team and MPI filmmakers to create marketing, premiere, and distribution strategies for the social action arms of their films. A former intern in MPI's Hollywood Career Launch Program, Nicole has worked closely with top industry players and has extensive experience in reality television. She earned a BA in philosophy, politics & law from the University of Southern California where she also studied film. Nicole serves as a committee member for the Young Professionals division of the Human Rights Watch in Los Angeles.
In addition to serving as MPI's president, Rob Pfaltzgraff is the secretary and treasurer of MPI's board. (Pfaltzgraff's biography is listed above.)
David Thayer, chairman of MPI's board of directors, is a founding partner at the Harvest Funds, an investment partnership based in Wayne, PA, which invests in tax-advantaged energy infrastructure. For twenty years, he served in the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserves. Deployed as an armored cavalry platoon leader following the events of September 11th, he later held senior positions in the U.S. Army's Officer Candidate School before completing his career as commanding officer of the First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry. Thayer also serves on the board of the John Boyer Memorial Scholarship Trust. He received a BS from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from the London School of Economics, and an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago.
Michael J. Friedman
Michael J. Friedman is general counsel at Trillium Trading, LLC, a premier proprietary trading firm that focuses on short-term equity trading. He serves as compliance chief of the company's trading unit and as a corporate adviser to its technology and business development teams. Previously, he was a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, an international law firm with 15 offices worldwide. His practice focused on issues of corporate governance and director and officer liability. He received an AB in history, cum laude, from Princeton University and a JD from Northwestern University School of Law. At Northwestern, he was note and comment editor of the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology and was awarded the Lowden-Wigmore Prize for best student-written journal article. In 2009, he received the Burton Award for his achievement in legal writing. He serves on the board of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.
Kevin Harper is the founder and chief investment officer of Junto Financial. Prior to that, he was a managing director of investment research at Endowment Capital Group LLC, where he was instrumental in launching the fund and raising approximately $500 million from endowment and foundation clients. A Pennsylvania Army National Guard veteran, Harper served with the 28th Division in Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia and was awarded the 104th Squadron's "Enlisted Soldier of the Deployment." He is also founder and chairman of the ValorTrust Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to helping disabled veterans. Harper holds a BS from the Wharton School, a BA in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Wharton School.
Marc Leader is a financial executive at SunGard Availability Services, which provides IT operations support for disaster recovery, managed services, IT consulting, and business continuity management. He is responsible for the company's annual and long-range financial plans, as well as the evaluation of strategic initiatives. He has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association and PSI Upsilon of Philadelphia. He holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from New York University's Leonard Stern School of Business.
Rebekah Mercer grew up in Westchester County, New York, the second of three girls. She attended Stanford University, where she received a dual BS in biology and mathematics and an MS in operations research and engineering economic systems. She worked as a trader for a New York financial firm before retiring to raise her four children. She serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. With her sisters, she also owns and runs Ruby et Violette, a gourmet ice cream and chocolate chunk cookie company.
Stephen Modzelewski ("Moz")
Stephen Modzelewski been active in the field of finance since 1982, when he joined Salomon Brothers, which is now a part of Citicorp. In his 5 year tenure there, he created various mathematical models for valuing fixed income securities, developed the conceptual framework for "option adjusted spread," which has become a standard analytical metric for complex fixed income securities. In 1988, he and a colleague left Salomon and established the hedge fund Parsec Trading Corp., which has been a successful fixed income arbitrage fund for 25 years. At the end of 2002, Moz established his own trading and investment firm, Maple Engine L.P., a private multi-strategy investment and trading fund focusing on speculative trading and venture investment. He serves on the Boards of the Reason Foundation and the Institute for Justice.