ELA's Board of Directors reflects a range of expertise and diverse backgrounds.

Juliette Blevins is a Professor in the Linguistics Program at CUNY Graduate Center, heading the Endangered Language Initiative. She was previously a Senior Scientist in the Department of Linguistics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, for five years, following professorships at UT Austin, the University of Western Australia, and UC Berkeley. Her contributions to linguistics include over one hundred publications, and span a range of sub-disciplines, from novel syntheses of phonetics, phonology, typology, and sound change, to historical reconstruction and endangered language documentation and revitalization. Areal interests include Australian Aboriginal languages, American Indian languages, Austronesian languages, and the languages of the Andaman Islands.  (Personal webpage)


Habib Borjian has carried out fieldwork and published on various languages of the Iranian family, especially those in danger of extinction. He collaborates with Endangered Language Alliance to document rare languages spoken by immigrant communities in New York City. He is Senior Assistant Editor of Encyclopaedia Iranica, to which he is a regular contributor, and Associate Editor of Journal Persianate Studies. Borjian is a regional director for the Middle East at Endangered Languages Catalogue, a joint project of the Eastern Michigan University and University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Paul Collins is an attorney whose practice includes estate and trust planning and administration, both domestic and international; fiduciary litigation, such as contested probate and accounting matters, guardianships, and proceedings for the construction of wills and trusts; asset protection strategies; charitable giving techniques, including the creation and administration of foundations and split-interest trusts; and the preparation of pre- and post-nuptial agreements. A member of the New York City and State bar associations, Paul also has a long-standing passion for languages and would have most likely been a linguist had he not entered law.


Charles Häberl is an Associate Professor at the Department of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian Languages and Literatures at Rutgers. Born and raised in the State of New Jersey, he received his PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. He served as the Director of Rutgers’ Center for Middle Eastern Studies from 2009-2012 and is currently serving as Near East Regional Director for the Endangered Languages Catalogue. Together with James McGrath of Butler University, he received two NEH grants to create a critical edition and translation of the Mandaean Book of John. His primary academic focus is on the languages of the Middle East, both ancient and modern, and ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities from the region. He has conducted field work with speakers of several different Semitic and Iranian languages, resulting in a monograph on the Neo-Mandaic dialect of Khorramshahr.


Bob Holman, founder and proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, is a poet most often connected with spoken word, performance, hiphop and slam. He has published sixteen books of poetry and released two CDs. He has taught at NYU, Columbia, and Princeton. His curricula includes “Translating Endangered Languages” and the “Poets Census,” where students locate poets from non-English speaking communities. Holman is the director of KHONSAY: Poem of Many Tongues, a poem-film of endangered languages, produced by Steve Zeitlin of CityLore. He was the host of “On the Road with Bob Holman,” a series of half-hour documentaries and the 2015 PBS film “Language Matters,” produced by David Grubin. He is also the creative consultant of a treasure-language ballet produced by LINES Ballet Company in San Francisco. Holman has a chapter covering endangered language education activism forthcoming in Language and Globalization: An Autoethnographic Approach (Maryam Borjian [ed.], Routledge, 2017). He believes that part of the poet’s job is to protect language itself.


Nyasha Laing is a human rights consultant and writer/producer who has worked with a host of organizations on research, advocacy and communications campaigns and is passionate about issues of race and culture. Her first documentary film, Punta Soul was showcased in the WOMEX IMZ Showcase (Seville), the Pan African Film Festival (Los Angeles), and the Pan Caribbean festival (Washington). Nyasha holds a degree in History from Yale University and a JD from NYU School of Law.