Board of Directors & Advisory Board
The IRF is governed through the Board of Directors made up of the founding members and inducted adherent professionals active in each field-specific council of the organization. The Board of Directors oversees the nomination and induction of new endorsers and honorary members into the Advisory Board.
CRISTINA A. BEJAN
Board of Directors Member
Cristina A. Bejan is a historian, theatre artist, and poet. A Rhodes and Fulbright scholar, she has had fellowships at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Wilson Center and Georgetown University. She has taught at five universities in the USA including Metropolitan State University of Denver and Duke University. Bejan received her Masters and DPhil (PhD) in Modern History from the University of Oxford and her BA in Philosophy (Honors) from Northwestern University, where she also studied theatre. While a researcher for USHMM, she authored 64 articles on camps in Africa and Europe for the "Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos - Vol. 3." A playwright and spoken word artist, her creative work has appeared in the US, UK, Romania and Vanuatu. Bejan runs the arts and culture collective Bucharest Inside the Beltway (BiB), based in Denver, CO. Please visit www.cristinaabejan.com for more info.
ADRIAN BEJAN, PH.D
Advisory Board Member
Prof. Adrian Bejan was awarded the Benjamin Franklin Medal in 2018 and the Humboldt Research Award in 2019. He received all his degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: B.S. (1971, Honors Course), M.S. (1972, Honors Course) and Ph.D. (1975).
He is the J.A. Jones Distinguished Professor at Duke University. His research is in applied physics, thermodynamics, and evolutionary design.
He is the author of 30 books and 670 peer-refereed journal articles. His h index is 100, with total 78,000 citations. He received the major international awards for thermal sciences, for example,
Max Jakob Memorial Award (1999 ASME & AIChE),
Heat Transfer Memorial Award (1994 ASME),
Luikov Medal (2006 International Center for Heat and Mass Transfer), and Donald Q. Kern Award (2008 AIChE).
Professor Bejan was awarded 18 honorary doctorates from universities in 11 countries. He is Honorary Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and member of the Academy of Europe and the national academies of Mexico, Turkey, Romania and Moldova.
GEORGE A CALIN, M.D., PH.D.
Advisory Board Member
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Professor, Department of Translational Molecular Pathology
Co-Director, Center for RNA Interference and Non-Coding RNAs and Alan M. Gewirtz Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Scholar, Prof. Dr. George Adrian Calin received both his MD and PhD degrees from Carol Davila University of Medicine in Bucharest, Romania, where he also served as an Assistant Professor in Gastroenterology. He completed cancer genomics training at University of Ferrara, Italy and then in 2000 became a postdoctoral fellow at Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, where while working in Dr. Carlo Croce laboratory, made the discovery linking microRNA genes to cancer. Subsequently, he held research and teaching positions at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia and Ohio State University, Columbus. Currently, Dr. Calin is an Associate Professor in Experimental Therapeutics at MD Anderson. Dr. Calin’s research focuses on the roles of microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs in cancer initiation and progression, mechanisms of cancer predisposition, and new RNA therapeutic options.
DENNIS DELETANT OBE
Advisory Board Member
Prof. Dennis Deletant was Visiting Ion Rațiu Professor of Romanian Studies in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington DC from August 2011 to July 2020. He is Emeritus Professor of Romanian Studies at University College, London, where he taught in the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, between 1969 and 2011, and was Professor of Romanian Studies at the University of Amsterdam (on secondment from UCL) between 2003 and 2010.
He was awarded Ordinul pentru merit (Order of Merit) with the rank of commander for services to Romanian democracy on 1 December 2000 by President Emil Constantinescu of Romania and The Star of Romania, Romania’s highest civilian honor, by President Klaus Iohannis on 26 October 2016 for his activity in the promotion of Romanian history, language and culture.
He is the author of several monographs on Romanian history, among them Ceauşescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-89, London: Hurst & Co., 1995; New York: M.E. Sharpe, 1995: Hitler’s Forgotten Ally. Ion Antonescu and his Regime, Romania, 1940-1944, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006; and British Clandestine Activities in Romania during the Second World War, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. All of the above-mentioned have been translated into Romania and published. His most recent study in English, Romania under Communism: Paradox and Degeneration, was published in October 2018 (Oxford; New York: Routledge).
Advisory Board Member
Andrea Deletant (born Caracostea in 1948), BA, CIOL - After completing her degree in German and English Language and Literature in the University of Bucharest, Andrea moved to Great Britain having married Prof. Dennis Deletant. Andrea worked for 11 years as a Director of URBED (The Urban and Economic Development Group) in charge of training for business startups and small businesses, where she pioneered several training programmes aimed at specific market segments and minority groups. She then decided to practice what she taught and set up her own freelance enterprise as a translator, interpreter and teacher of Romanian Language. She taught Romanian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where most British Ambassadors and other members of the British Embassy in Bucharest, as well as Directors and staff from The British Council, International Solicitors Offices and Banks were her students. She translated a number of books from Romanian into English (with Brenda Walker) including an Anthology of Romanian Poetry, An Anthology of Romanian Women Poets, Let’s Talk About the Weather, (poems by Marin Sorescu), The Thirst of the Salt Mountain, (3 plays by Marin Sorescu, out of which Jonah has been performed in London and Washington), Call Yourself Alive? (poems by Nina Cassian) and Exile on a Peppercorn (poems by Mircea Dinescu). She is an active member of the British Chartered Institute of Linguists.
Advisory Board Member
Ioana Ieronim is a Romanian American award winning author of several collections of poems and two volumes of narrative poetry, Triumph of the Water Witch (with multiple editions, including in England and Germany) and Lavinia and Her Daughters, A Carpathian Elegy, a revised edition of Egloga, translated by Adam J. Sorkin with the author, just published in the United States). Among her recently published works there is a volume of plays, Free Casino, and two recent books of poetry, Passage and Portraits Self-Portraits, at Tracus Arte Press, Bucharest. Online: Gowns (theater play in Romanian); Omnivorous Syllables, Ariadne’s Veil (collections of verse in English); When Big Is Not Beautiful. The House of the People (collage and verse). Verse published in translation in several European countries and Turkey, Israel, the U.S.A. She participated in multimedia shows (in Romania and the United States). She also published studies on the Balkan and Israeli drama and essays in Romanian and foreign journals. She translated poetry and drama extensively, from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller and Tony Kushner. She was an editor for foreign encyclopedias, cultural journalist, Romania’s cultural attaché in Washington DC (1992-96), Fulbright program director in Bucharest. Member of the PEN Center and of the Writers’ Union in Romania. She lives in Washington DC and Bucharest.
ELENA IUGA, ESQ.
Board of Directors Secretary
Elena Iuga practices law in New York, Virginia and the District of Columbia, concentrating in legal malpractice on behalf of plaintiffs. Her experience extends to several other areas of civil litigation, including appellate work. A large share of her practice is in family law, having handled numerous contested and uncontested divorce, custody and child support matters, as well as numerous child abuse and neglect matters. Elena’s experience covers also personal injury law. Elena is proficient in the area of labor and employment law, as well as administrative law.
Elena worked as in-house counsel for a construction company in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, after graduating from law school. Subsequently, she worked in the media and international relations department of the Cluj-Napoca City Hall, for about two years, prior to immigrating to the United States. After arriving in Washington, D.C., Elena interned for six months with the Law Offices of Paul Strauss and Associates, where she had significant hands-on experience in a variety of civil matters. After graduating from her LL.M. in Comparative Law at the University of San Diego, School of Law, in 2002, she returned to the Law Offices of Paul Strauss and Associates where she practiced as an associate attorney until 2012. Elena joined Crowley, Hoge & Fein, P.C. in 2012 as an associate, having been in practice in the United States for over twelve years.
ERNEST H. LATHAM JR., PH.D.
Advisory Board Member
Ernest H. Latham Jr., Ph.D., American historian and diplomat, author of Timeless and Transitory: 20th Century Relations Between Romania and the English Speaking World (essays, 2012); In Caesar’s Household (sermons, 2013); What Strange Fate: J. Breckenridge Bayne, an American Doctor on the Romanian Front, 1916-1919 (2016), and numerous articles, prefaces and reviews about Romania. He edited and reintroduced Athene Palace, by Countess R. Waldeck, republished in several editions and translations. He revised, i.a., entries on Romania for the Encyclopaedia Britannica (2000). He was Fulbright Professor in Romania, at the Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca and at the University of Bucharest (2000-2002) and coordinator of advanced area studies for Romania and Moldova at the Foreign Service Institute (U.S. Department of State). He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Bucharest. He served as the American cultural attaché in communist Romania between 1983 and 1987. A selection of documents from his Securitate file, compiled by the Romanian secret police during his years as an American diplomat in Bucharest, has been published in Romanian (Dosarul de Securitate al unui Diplomat American) and in English (Targeted as a Spy).
Advisory Board Member
Stefania Magidson was born in Romania and in 1983 immigrated with her family to the United States. She received a BS in Health Education and a Master’s in Applied Spiritual Psychology. In 2002 she founded Blue Heron Foundation, one of the largest non-profit organizations in the Romanian diaspora, focusing on improving the quality of life of Romanian and Moldovan orphaned youth by providing them greater access to life’s opportunities through merit-based college scholarships in Romania and Moldova. To date, the organization has raised over $2,100,000, has awarded over 400 college scholarships, and has touched the lives of over 3,000 kids.
Stefania is a supporter of the UCLA Graduate School of Education, The Everychild Foundation and the Making Waves Romanian Film Festival; Stefania is the Chair of the Romanian Film Committee of the South-East European Film Festival, member of the advisory board of the Roma People’s Project at the Hayman Center for Humanities at Columbia University and member of the Dean’s Council Council at Tisch School of the Arts. She is the author of the book “Searching for the White Magician” a series of dialogues where she explores themes ranging from immigration and philanthropy to spiritual psychology and self-realization.
In December 2018, Stefania presented Blue Heron at INK Talks in Hyderabad, India's foremost platform for the exchange of inspiring stories and cutting-edge ideas, extending an invitation to replicate the Blue Heron scholarship & mentorship model in other parts of the world. Stefania lives in Los Angeles with her husband Mark and their two sons.
TEODOR V. STAN
President and Founder
Teodor Stan is the founding President of the Immigration Research Forum (IRF). He is an experienced journalist and social scientist, having covered over several years the disintegration of the Netherlands Antilles as a state and the integration of Caribbean territories administered directly from the Hague. He is a contributor to the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs on the nexus of migration and democratic governance in Southeast Europe and the wider Black Sea region. He previously guided the Horatio Alger Association as National Programs Coordinator, and was a program associate at the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX). As a naturalized Romanian-American he is the convener of the first conference of Romanian American professionals in Washington, DC and established nation-wide field-specific diaspora councils in order to initiate the mapping of current expertise and peer support mechanisms that nurture the integration and positive visibility of immigrants’ contributions to their host communities.
Teodor obtained his Master’s in area studies from the Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, international affairs and globalization from Bard College having focused his studies on comparative democratic consolidation, global governance, development, nationalism and human rights. He is an alumn of Bard’s New York-based Globalization and International Affairs Program, where he co-edited BardPolitik, the Bard Journal of Global Affairs.
ADRIAN STOICA, PHD
Board of Directors Member
Adrian Stoica, PhD, is a Senior Research Scientist, Principal, with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Calltech).
During his 25 years at JPL Adrian contributed in various roles; he was Project Manager for many technology projects funded by NASA, DARPA and other government organizations, Supervisor of the Robotics Systems Estimation, Decision and Control Group, and Program Manager in the Office of Strategic Planning. Adrian was born and educated in Iasi (Jassy), Romania, and went for a PhD to Melbourne, Australia. After moving to Pasadena, California, he maintained close relations with Romania, where he organized a number of conferences and summer schools, and invested in various projects. He is actively involved with the Romanian diaspora in the Los Angeles area. In 2014 he was the General Chair of the Romanian American Academy of Arts and Sciences, organized at Caltech, Pasadena.
GABRIEL C. TENDER, MD
Board of Directors Treasurer
Doctor Gabriel Tender is the Director of the Minimally Invasive Spine Service, an Associate Professor of Clinical Neurosurgery and Adjunct Professor of the Family Nursing Department of the Louisiana State University, New Orleans School of Medicine. He finished the Craiova Medical School and continued his residency with the LSU School of Medicine. He is a certified member of the American Board of Neurosurgical Society since 2009. His clinical interests include Complex Spinal Surgery and Neurotrauma and his research interests include Minimally Invasive and Complex Spine Surgery, Chronic Pain Treatment, Neurotrauma, Spine Biomechanics, Neuropathic Pain Modulation and Treatment.