The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation For Documentary Photography & Film
Board of Trustees
The foundation Board of Trustees is comprised of well-respected professionals who govern the foundation, establish policy, set priorities, and make final grant decisions. All members are unpaid volunteers. The foundation’s appointment process ensures that the board represents a diverse range of views and knowledge.
Mr. Rivera-Ortiz (American) is our foundation President & Founder. He holds a MS degree from Columbia University in the City of New York. Mr. Rivera-Ortiz is a documentary photographer and journalist. His photographic stories of hardship and hope serve as the catalyst for everything we do as a foundation. His work is collected in major museums including The George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum, home to the Hallmark Collection, in Kansas City, MO. He is a nominator for the Prix Pictet. Mr. Rivera-Ortiz was born and raised in poverty in southern Puerto Rico.
Julia de Bierre
Ms. de Bierre is an Anglo-French, Malaysian born writer, art curator and heritage conservationist. She lives and works in two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: George Town, on the island of Penang, Malaysia, and Arles, France. Housed in a 17th century Arles mansion, Ms. de Bierre founded Galerie Huit in 2007, providing a creative venue for both artists and photographers. A graduate of Bristol University (UK), she curated the Chateau de Lucens, one of Switzerland's most splendid historical monuments. In Lucens, she also co-created a program of art workshops, exhibitions and conferences.
Mr. Pfanner is an attorney admitted to practice in Switzerland and England & Wales. He started his career as a Legal Counsel at the Swiss Federal Department for Communication, Transportation and Energy in Berne, Switzerland. He then worked for a law firm in London and later joined the global reinsurance company Swiss Re in Zurich/Switzerland where he headed the Legal Department at the Corporate Centre. Mr. Pfanner is currently a partner in a financial services company based in Zurich and in the Principality of Liechtenstein.
Mr. Scribner is an attorney based in Rochester, NY, where he has practiced since graduating from the law school of the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1987. Previously, he held several positions including at B. Forman Company. Mr. Scribner attended Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He graduated with majors in government and drama in 1975. Mr. Scribner is President of the Rochester Community Players, Inc., and founded The Shakespeare Players and The Irish Players of Rochester, programs of RCP that actively engage in local and international art performances.
Michael Benson is a writer and film producer. His book 1000 Years 1000 Words won a D&AD silver award in 2001. His play Life’s A Monkey was performed at the Cochrane Theatre in London in the autumn of 2002. Mr. Benson is also the Director of the Prix Pictet in which role he has curated over 50 exhibitions worldwide. Mr. Benson founded Candlestar Ltd in 2003 whose arts clients have included Frieze Art Fair, the Sovereign European Art Prize, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, and the Conde Nast College of Fashion and Design. Previously, Mr. Benson was Director of Communications and Marketing at the London Institute (now the University of the Arts, London).
Mr. Callinan is a non-profit advocate and activist and the founder of ChartiableWords.com and The Charitable Words Scholars Fund, Cincinnati, OH. Since 2011, he is the McMicken Professor of Journalism at the University of Cincinnati. A Minnesota native, Mr. Callinan has worked as a reporter and editor at major U.S. newspapers including The Cincinnati Enquirer, The Arizona Republic or the Democrat and Chronicle. He has twice been a Pulitzer prize judge at Columbia University. Mr. Callinan holds an M.S. degree at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Enrico Stefanelli is a photographer, journalist, curator and teaches photography in workshops. He is the founder and artistic director of Photolux Festival, the biennial of photography in Lucca, Italy. Since 2010, Enrico has been the Italian curator of EPEA, the European Photo Exhibition Award. He has written articles and contributions on photography for several catalogs, books and magazines. He’s member of the Nominating committee for the Joop Swart Masterclass at World Press Photo Foundation. He has been appointed as an expert for portfolio reviews at Fotografia Europea in Italy , Les Rencontres d'Arles, Eyes in Progress in France and Kaunas Festival in Lithuania. He has been appointed as a member of the Jury at Kaunas Festival in Lithuania, Lens Culture in The Nederlands, The Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation Grant in France and Fotodoc Center at Sakharov Center in Russia.
President: Julia de Bierre, Galerie Huit, Arles
Treasurer: André Pfanner, Trustee, Zurich
Member: Jacques Durand, Arles