Board of Directors & Staff

Year-Round and Festival

NewFest Staff

Robert Kushner

Executive Director

Robert has been NewFest’s Executive Director since 2015, after serving on its Board of Directors for four years. Prior to NewFest, Robert was a creative executive, marketing strategist and entrepreneur. During his advertising career he worked on numerous consumer brands from Procter & Gamble and General Motors, and on diverse accounts ranging from USA Network to Continental Airlines. As a Creative Director at the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), he developed B2B campaigns for divisions including NBC Marketing, NBC News, Late Night, NBC Corporate and International Sales. Robert went on to be the Managing Partner and Executive Creative Director at Blue Marble ACG, a leading Internet development company at the forefront of the industry. He is a graduate of the Stanford Business School’s Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders.

Nick McCarthy

Director of Programming & Operations

Nick McCarthy has been with NewFest since 2016, and curates & manages the annual New York LGBTQ Film Festival in addition to NewFest’s year-round programming. Prior to NewFest, Nick served as the Film Curator at The Tank, and worked in academic publishing and international media, serving as a Production Coordinator of the female-led, MENA-region talk show NIDA’A. Nick received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing and Visual Arts / Media Studies from Emerson College. Nick has written about film & media for publications including Slant Magazine, Time Out New York, NBC News, and the Boston Phoenix, and has served on multiple domestic and international film festival juries, including GAZE in Dublin, Columbia University’s CUFF in New York City, and Inside Out in Toronto.

Radhika Rajkumar

Development & Events Coordinator

Radhika Rajkumar has been with NewFest since June 2018. With a background in journalism and photography, she has worked in a variety of media environments attempting to improve issues of race, gender, and sexuality, including Refinery29 and Primary Wave Entertainment. She is a graduate of New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Media as Global Intersectional Justice.

2019 Festival Team

Programmer & Programming Coordinator: Desmond Thorne
Associate Programmer: Sarah Fonseca

Board of Directors

Bill Berman, Board Co-Chair, Ogilvy & Mather
Sandy Markman, Board Co-Chair, The Estée Lauder Companies
Josh Schiowitz, Board Treasurer, Schiowitz Artists Management

Adam Natale, Board Secretary, SVA Theatre
Mike Balaban, Balaban Associates
Ann Brown, Bumble and bumble.
Thomas Dima, UWG
Ronald Lense, Douglas Elliman
Jane Sasseen, McGraw Center for Business Journalism
Ron Simons, SimonSays Entertainment
Andrew Uriarte, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts


2018 Festival Team

Executive Director: Robert Kushner
Programming and Operations Manager: Nick McCarthy
Festival Producer: Liam Dacey

Development & Events Coordinator: Radhika Rajkumar
Shorts Programmer: Allie Esslinger
Filmmaker & Hospitality Manager: Emily Shurtz
Social Media Manager: Alex Kacala
Website & Image Consultant: Kathy Meng
Operations & Production Coordinator: Alexandra Dinu
Volunteer Coordinator: Katie Bishop
Technical Director: Joseph Quartararo
Print Traffic Coordinator: James Cathcart
Ticketing & Accreditation Manager: Natasha Hoover
Community Engagement Associate: Annette Covrigaru

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