Jim Acosta is CNN's chief White House correspondent and is currently covering the Trump administration. He regularly covers presidential press conferences, visits by heads of state, and issues impacting the executive branch of the federal government.

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s first book is Friday Black. He was recently named one of the “5 under 35 Authors” in 2018 by the National Book Foundation.

Mindy Aloff serves as editor of the Dance Critics Association News and a consultant to The George Balanchine Foundation. Her writing has been published by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Atlantic and many others.


Emily Barnard has the distinction of being the Julian Lindsay Green and Gold Professor of English at the University of Vermont. She holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.

David Blight is a Professor of American History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others.

Tina Cassidy is the executive vice president and chief content officer at the public relations and social content firm InkHouse. She was previously a journalist at the Boston Globe.


N.D. Galland is author to many historical and contemporary novels including: Godiva, I ,Iago, Crossed Stepdog, and New York Times best-selling Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. She is a resident of Martha’s Vineyard.

Richard Gergel is a United States district judge who presides in the same courthouse in Charleston, South Carolina, Judge Waring once served. Judge Gergel has an undergraduate and law degree from Duke University

Henry Louis Gates is a Professor and the Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Gates has authored and co-authored twenty-two books and created eighteen documentary films, including Finding Your Roots.


Juliet Grames is a book publisher at Soho press where she is currently an Associate Publisher and curator of the Soho Crime imprint. The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is her first novel.

John Grisham is the bestselling author of thirty novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers. Grisham also holds a law degree from the University of Mississippi.

Tony Horwitz was formerly a national correspondent mainly for the Wall Street Journal and has covered the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. His writing has won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.


Valerie Jarrett was the longest serving senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She is currently a senior adviser to the Obama Foundation and a senior distinguished fellow at the University of Chicago Law School.

Eric Klinenberg is a professor of sociology and director of the Institute for Public Knowledge at New York University. He has written many works including #1 New York Times bestseller Modern Romance.

Mark Leibovich is a chief national correspondent for the New York Times. Leibovich has previously worked at The Washington Post, The San Jose Mercury News, and The Boston Phoenix.


Valeria Luiselli is an acclaimed writer for both her fiction and non-fiction works. Luiselli is the winner of two Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and an American Book Award,

Steve McCauley is the Director of Creative writing at Brandeis University. He has written many distinguished pieces with one of his works, The Object of My Affection, being adapted to film.

William McRaven is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Make Your Bed. He served in the Navy for 37 years with his final assignment as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces.


Suketu Mehta is an Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University. His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, and Mehta has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship.

Janet Messineo is a Martha’s Vineyard resident and was former president of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association. She has written about fishing for many publications including On the Water, Vineyard Style, and the Martha’s Vineyard Times.

Mary Norris worked for the New Yorker as a copy editor and query proofreader for more than thirty years. Her first book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, is a New York Times bestseller.


Sigrid Nunez has written over seven novels in the past 20 years. Her works have earned her many awards including the Rome Prize in Literature, a Berlin Prize fellowship, and a Whiting Award.

Kwame Onwauchi is  A former Top Chef contestant and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes. Onwuachi trained at the Culinary Institute of America and has opened five restaurants before turning thirty.

The Pollan Family recipes have appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine, Elle, People, Vogue, and many others. Each of the Pollans is a recipient of the Global Green 2015 Sustainability in Food Award.


Ruth Reichl was editor and chief of Gourmet Magazine for 10 years. She is also the author of best-selling memoirs Garlic and Sapphires, Tender at the Bone, and Comfort Me with Apples.

Victoria Riskin was formerly the President of the Writers Guild of America West. She is a Martha’s Vineyard resident.

Richard Russo is the author of over eight novels, two of which, Empire Falls and Nobody’s Fool, have been adapted into films. Russo has won a Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls.


Dani Shapiro’s memoir is the first of its kind to explain the life-altering implications of DNA testing. Shapiro has appeared on The Today Show, On Point, and All Things Considered.

Gary Shteyngart’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. His publications have been translated in over 26 languages.

Lisa Taddeo has written for New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, and many other publications. Her various short stories have won two Pushcart Prizes.


Holden Thorp is the Provost at Washington University. Thorp holds degrees from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, California Institute of Technology, and Yale University.

Buck Goldstein teaches at the University of North Carolina where he also founded the Shuford Entrepreneurship Program. He is a resident of Martha’s Vineyard and Chapel Hill, N.C.