WAMU 88.5 : About

Community Council Members

The WAMU 88.5 Community Council consists of up to 21 individuals living within the coverage area of the station who are contributing members and who wish to preserve, promote and strengthen the public radio service provided by WAMU 88.5. The composition of the Council reflects the diversity of the community served by the station.

How Members are Chosen

Each year at the Fall Quarterly meeting of the Community Council, the Chair appoints a Nominating Committee to consider all of the suggestions for new members which have been received from current members of the Council, station staff and station supporters. After reviewing the bios of all of the candidates, taking into consideration the need to maintain an ethnic, racial and gender balance and to represent all parts of the listening community, the Committee makes it recommendations. The report of the Nominating Committee is submitted to the entire Council at the final meeting of the year in December and the full Council votes to recommend candidates to fill vacancies. Members of our listening public may also self-nominate. (See below) Following the action by the Council, Station Management makes the appointments. Council Members serve three-year staggered terms. The station’s legal advisors, Peter Tannenwald and Matthew McCormick serve as an ex-officio members of the Council.

Council Members who have completed their first three-year term on the Council may be nominated to serve an additional term. However after they have completed their second term they must take a leave of at least one year before being reappointed. The appointment to a second three-year term is not automatic and must be approved by the Council and station management.

More Information

For additional information about the WAMU Community Council and its activities, please call Anne Healy at 202/885-1264 or send an e-mail to ahealy@wamu.org. If you are a WAMU member and would like to be considered for membership on the Council, please submit your bio and a letter explaining why you would like become a Council Member to Anne before Sept. 30 and she will bring your information to the attention of the Nominating Committee.


Every year, the members of the Community Council elect a Chair and a Vice Chair. The Chair convenes and presides over all Council meetings. The Vice Chair presides in the absence of the Chair. Kent W. Lynn is the 2015 Chair of the WAMU Community Council and Barbara H. Bares serves as Vice Chair.

Members of the 2015 Community Council:

Kent W. Lynn, Chair
Kent Lynn is a senior sales executive at the IBM Corporation in Washington, DC. A specialist on the telecommunications industry, Kent has been a principal IT consultant and has advised non-profit organizations and schools on technology issues. He has served as president of DC based Adventuring.org, is a member of the Victory Fund cabinet and volunteers at The Metropolitan Ear. Kent is a WAMU Leadership Circle member and a resident of the District of Columbia.

Barbara H. Bares, Vice Chair
Barbara Bares is an attorney residing in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is currently retired from practice. In addition to WAMU, Barbara’s principal volunteer commitment is at “Women for Women International” assisting in editing newsletters and reports and with administrative work. Prior to her retirement, Barbara was a Principal Attorney-Editor for West Group, DC responsible for legal text integrity and life cycle of multiple print products. Barbara is a WAMU Leadership Circle member.

Audrey Alvarado
Audrey Alvarado is President of Alvarado Consulting, based in the Washington, DC area. She has over 30 years of experience working in nonprofit and educational settings and special experience and interest in working with communities of color. Audrey has direct experience managing and running national, state and local based nonprofit organizations and she served as Vice President and Interim President of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. She is a sustaining member of WAMU and a resident of the District of Columbia.

Sharvell Becton
Sharvell Becton is the Director, Academic Tutoring and Mentoring Impact for the District of Columbia Branch of AARP Experience Corps. She is responsible for designing, monitoring and reviewing program services, and liaising with education and community groups. Her experience includes more than 18 years of experience designing and facilitating leadership and tools of advocacy workshops, board retreats, and seminars with activists in the U.S. and abroad. She has broad experience planning, organizing, and directing volunteer-led initiatives in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Sharvell is a long time WAMU listener and member, and she resides in the District of Columbia.

Christine D. Berg, M.D.
Chris Berg served as the Chief, Early Detection Research Group, Division of Cancer Prevention, National Cancer Institute. In this position, she was the Project Officer for the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCO) and the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST). She previously worked at Suburban Hospital as the Cancer Center Director and at the Georgetown University Medical School Lombardi Cancer Center as the head of Breast Cancer radiation oncology and as director of the residency training program. She is board certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Radiation Oncology.

Rudy Burwell
Rudy Burwell is the founder and the President of the Burwell Group. A retired Army Colonel, Rudy left the military as the Director of Army Reserve Communications where he oversaw a $5 million budget. He brings the Burwell Group more than 20+ years of management and crisis communications experience spanning from war zones to Capitol Hill to corporate boardrooms. Prior to forming the Burwell Group, he was the Executive Vice President for Hellerman Baretz Communications, an award winning strategic communications firm. Rudy is a graduate of Leadership Arlington and has long served as a mentor to at-risk youth.

Paul DesJardin
Paul DesJardin is the Director of the Department of Community Planning and Services (DCPS) for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). As DCPS Director, he is responsible for directing the Department’s technical and policy work in regional planning; land use/transportation and TOD-related studies; regional economic analysis and demographic forecasting; affordable housing; and foster care/child welfare. Paul is a member of the American Planning Association, National Capital Area Chapter and the co-chair of CAFN. He was recently appointed as a member of the PNC Community Development Advisory Board; and is currently a member of the vestry of St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church in Fairfax.

Patricia Hartge
Trisha Hartge is a Scientist Emerita at the National Institutes of Health, where she has conducted research since 1977 into the on the causes of lymphoma, melanoma and cancers of the breast, ovary, and other sites. She also served as the Deputy Director of the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Program in the National Cancer Institute from 1996 to 2013. She is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of Epidemiology. Long time WAMU listener and members, Trisha and her husband Alan Strasser live in Chevy Chase, Md.

Nakeisha Neal Jones
Nakeisha Neal Jones is the Executive Director of Public Allies, Washington, DC, an organization which advances new leadership to strengthen communities, nonprofits and civic participation. Programs include an apprenticeship for young adult leaders seeking to launch careers and contribute to lasting social change. Nakeisha re-established the Public Allies site in Washington after a six year pause. Before joining Public Allies, she served as Project Manager in the Office of the District of Columbia’s Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development.

Jody Steiner Kelly
Jody Steiner Kelly is the Director of Clinical Administration for the Arlington Free Clinic (AFC) where she is responsible for all administrative aspects of the clinical program. In addition she serves as the Development Director for the Clinic’s major fundraiser and as AFC’s Media Spokesperson for national and international news radio and TV organizations. Jody was a Member of the Leadership Arlington Class of 2011.

Virginia “Ginny” A. McArthur
Ginny McArthur is an attorney and the founder of McArthur Franklin PLLC, which represents individuals in estate and gift tax planning, trust and estate administration, charitable planning and probate. She is listed in the Best Lawyers of America and was recently named as one of the top 50 female attorneys in DC. Ginny currently serves as the Vice Chair of WAMU’s Development Advisory Council and is the DAC’s liaison with the Community Council. She is a WAMU Leadership Donor member and a resident of the District of Columbia.

Lawrence T. McCarthy
Lawrence (Larry) McCarthy currently serves as Co-Chair of Publicity and Membership and as a member of the Curriculum Committee of American University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He is also a member of the University’s Institutional Review Board. A retired Federal Executive, he was responsible for intelligence operations, program management and budget development for various military and civilian agencies. Larry is a resident of the District of Columbia.

David A. Nemazie
David Nemazie, a marine scientist, is the Associate Vice President for External Affairs at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. He has extensive experience in research, science and policy interface, administration, partnership development, and public relations. He has developed partnerships with the public, private, and non-profit sector, locally and internationally. David is an active member of Maryland’s Eastern Shore community serving on several non-profit and governmental boards.

Margaret K. O’Bryon
Margaret O’Bryon recently retired as the president and CEO of the Consumer Health Foundation (CHF) The foundation supports local grassroots and community-based organizations in the metropolitan Washington, DC area that work to improve these communities overall health and to secure access to equitable, quality health care. She is currently teaching at Georgetown University.

R. Daniel Okonkwo
Daniel Okonkwo is the Executive Director of DC Lawyers for Youth, a nonprofit organization focused on juvenile justice reform in Washington, DC. In this position, he is responsible for the everyday operation of the organization and supervising DCLY staff as well as reporting to the Board of Directors. He also serves as the DC representative in the National Juvenile Justice Network. Daniel graduated from Georgetown University Law Center where he received the Juvenile Justice Award in 2005. He recently joined WAMU as a sustaining member. Daniel resides in the District of Columbia.

Micaela Mejia Pond
Micaela Mejia Pond is a lifelong elementary educator. She was inspired to go into education by her teacher Christa McAuliffe, who was the teacher aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. She has spent most of her years teaching at Francis Scott Key Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia. She has been a presenter at the National Association of Bilingual Education Conferences.

Anthony R. Sarmiento
Anthony Sarmiento is the Executive Director of Senior Service America, Inc., a national nonprofit organization providing employment and community service opportunities to older adults. Retired from the national AFL-CIO staff, he currently serves on the board of directors of the Maryland Workforce Corporation, the American Youth Policy Forum, and the Poverty and Race Research Action Council. He is a WAMU member and graduate of American University. A lifelong resident of the Washington area, Anthony resides in Silver Spring, Md.

Eugene Sofer
Gene Sofer is a partner in the Susquehanna Group, a consulting firm specializing in public policy based in Washington, DC. He has had a long career in public policy in Washington serving as the majority associate staff person on the House Budget Committee and as Counsel to the House Education and Labor Committee. Gene was the first director of Congressional and Intergovernmental relations at the Corporation for National and Community Service. He also served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Holocaust assets in the United States is the author of “From Pale to Pampa: A Social History of the Jews of Buenos Aires” among other scholarly publications.

Shay Stevens
Shay Stevens is the inaugural MARS Urban Arts Curator for Washington Performing Arts. Prior to her role at Washington Performing Arts, Shay was an arts management consultant who managed special projects for RADish, LLC, an artist and event management company that specializes in international music programming and touring. Shay also worked as a consultant with the DeVos Institute for Arts Management for the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta. A WAMU listener and member, Shay resides in Deale, Maryland.

Thomas F. Walls
Tom Walls is a principal with Dentons in the Public Policy and Regulation practice. He relies on broad experience in the public and private sectors to provide strategic government relations advice to clients on a broad array of issues, including telecommunications, trade, health care, agriculture and energy. As a member of the firm's political law compliance team, he works to ensure that clients who pursue an aggressive policy agenda comply with key legal and ethical requirements. Tom is Capitol Hill veteran. Before joining Dentons, he served on the staff of three United States Senators. 

Ex Officio Member

Peter Tannenwald
Peter Tannenwald is a Communications Attorney and a Member in the firm of Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC. He has been practicing law in the District of Columbia for more than 40 years. Peter has served as an invaluable adviser to WAMU 88.5 on communications issues for nearly all of these years.

Matthew McCormick
Matthew McCormick has practiced broadcast communications law for over thirty years. Previously, he worked as a broadcast journalist and has been a radio station owner. Matt is a colleague of Peter Tannenwald’s at Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC and he also advises WAMU on communications issues.


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