Ellen Oh (CEO & President) – Ellen is a former corporate attorney with twenty years of experience in nonprofit, and entertainment/Intellectual Property Law. She is also a former adjunct college instructor and the author of the YA fantasy trilogy, The Prophecy Series, and the upcoming MG novel, The Spirit Hunters, to be published in fall 2017. Tumblr: elloellenoh Twitter: @elloellenoh
Dhonielle Clayton (COO & Sr. VP of Librarian Services) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s table with a stack of books. She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side. She earned an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA in Writing for Children at the New School. She taught secondary school for several years. Now, she is a librarian at Harlem Village Academies and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent — and decidedly diverse — literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. Her debut novel TINY PRETTY THINGS with Sona Charaipotra hits shelves in 2015 from Harper Teen,her YA fantasy series THE BELLES is coming soon from Disney/Hyperion, and she is represented by Victoria Marini at ICM/Gelfman Schnieder. Twitter: @brownbookworm
Lamar “L. R.” Giles (Sr. VP Fundraising) writes stories for teens and adults. He’s never met a genre he didn’t like, having penned science fiction, fantasy, horror, and noir thrillers, among others. He is a Virginia native, a Hopewell High Blue Devil, and an Old Dominion University Monarch. He resides in Chesapeake, Virginia, with his wife. Twitter: @LRGiles
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Sr. VP of Community & Member Relations) is the author of 8th Grade Superzero and the forthcoming Two Naomis with Audrey Vernick. She writes on literacy, parenting, and education issues for Brightly and Heinemann Digital Campus, and has contributed to the anthologies Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, Break These Rules, Imagine It Better: Visions of What School Could Be, and the forthcoming The Journey Is Everything. She believes in the power of a good book, a long walk, and a nice cup of tea (snacks optional but strongly recommended). Olugbemisola has a MA in Education and 15+ years of experience as a literacy educator and teaching artist in public schools and community organizations. She lives in NYC where she loves to write, make things, and needs to get more sleep. Find her online at olugbemisolabooks.com, or on Twitter at @olugbemisola
Karen Sandler (Sr. VP Communications) earned her MS in computer science from UCLA and worked as a software engineer for more than a dozen years, including work on communications satellites and the Space Shuttle program. In the late 1990s, she wrote numerous romance novels for adults, then switched to science fiction with the diverse young adult trilogy TANKBORN, AWAKENING, and REBELLION from multi-cultural publisher Lee & Low. She’s thrilled to be part of the We Need Diverse Books team promoting diversity in children’s literature. She lives in California’s Gold Country with her husband of 30+ years and is represented by Matt Bialer and Lindsay Ribar of SJGA. Twitter: @karensandlerYA
A journalist published by the New York Times, People, ABC News, Cosmopolitan and other major national media, Sona Charaipotra (Sr. VP Content Management) curates a kickass column on YA books and teen culture for Parade.com. A collector of presumably useless degrees, she double-majored in journalism and American Studies at Rutgers before getting her masters in screenwriting from New York University (where her thesis project was developed for the screen by MTV Films) and her MFA from the New School. When she’s not hanging out with her writer husband and two chatter-boxy kids, she can be found poking plot holes in teen shows like The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. Call it research: a strong believer that three-act structure can work in fiction, Sona puts her outline-obsession to good use as the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book development company with a decidedly diverse bent. Her debut novel, Tiny Pretty Things (with CAKE co-founder Dhonielle Clayton), is due Summer 2015 from HarperTeen. Twitter: @sona_c
Leland Keel, JD, MBA (CFO) is an Oxford University and Ivy League educated international attorney, business consultant, and finance professional. His remarkably peripatetic education has included studies at the University of Edinburgh, the Hague, the University of Leiden, and degrees from Dartmouth College and Cornell University. Born and raised in Southern California, Leland has traveled extensively and lived in Europe and the UK. His interests include international affairs, culture, philosophy, human rights, ethics, social justice, and social entrepreneurship. He has worked for a Member of the House of Commons at Parliament, managed a law firm in Beverly Hills, and is thrilled to be a reader among writers at WNDB, where he shares the vision and mission of promoting literature that reflects and honors the lives of ALL young people. Follow Leland on Twitter @LelandKeel.