Pat Barr-Harrison, Ph.D.
Debra Kieft (Secretary)
James E. McFadden (Treasurer)
Gregory J. Nedved (President and Chair)
Jill Robbins, Ph.D. (Vice President and Assistant Chair)
Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, Ph.D. (Trustee)
Every three years, The National Museum of Language Board of Trustees is elected by Associates of the Museum. The current board members were elected in 2017. The survey below will allow you to cast your vote to approve the revised membership of the board.
Pat Barr-Harrison, Ph.D. is chair of the NML program committee. She coordinates the Movable and Outreach part of the Museum. She served as Supervisor of Foreign Languages K-12 in Prince George’s County (Maryland) Public Schools, supervising 300 teachers of French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, and Spanish, 1982-2004. Dr. Barr-Harrison is now a World Language Consultant – K-16, working with Public/Charter Schools, and other organizations. She has been President of The National Association of District Supervisors of Foreign Languages in the US (NADSFL) and of The Greater Washington Association of Teachers of Foreign Languages (GWATFL). She is on several national and regional Advisory and Executive Boards. Her honors include: Les Palmes Academiques (Embassy of France); The Robert J. Ludwig National Distinguished Leadership Award (New York Association of Teachers of FL); Educator of the Year Award (The Japan American Society); Outstanding Educator in Prince George’s County Public Schools; and GWATFL has named an award in her honor.
Luis Javier Pentón Herrera, Ph.D. is a literacy and language educator. His research interests and areas of expertise include Bilingual Education, Spanish, ESOL/ESL, Literacy Education, and Problem-Based Service-Learning (PBSL).
Debra Kieft, Secretary of the Board of Trustees, has been affiliated with NML since 2008 as an exhibit designer and preparator, flag designer and maker, associate and volunteer. She has worked for over 20 years in legal offices. Debra holds BA and MA degrees in the arts from Lycoming College and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has a long time love for the French language and has always been interested in world cultures, languages, and alphabets. As time permits, she spends time learning Latin and Ancient Greek, as well as perfecting fine art skills in oil painting and drawing and fiber arts. She is contributing her skills to the development of NML’s virtual exhibit on dialectology research. Debra has a longtime affiliation with the Museum of the Alphabet in Waxhaw, North Carolina where she has served as alphabet docent, exhibit designer, preparator, and educational writer on indigenous languages. It was during a trip to Thailand and Myanmar when she realized the language translation needs for indigenous people groups. She continues to support language translation projects in Kenya and Asia. It is her goal to study and learn a tonal language.
James E. McFadden, Treasurer, is retired from the U.S. Army after serving in a variety of transportation and comptroller positions to include Chief of Forces and Resources for the Special Operations Agency. He is also retired from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency where he served as a country program director. Mr. McFadden graduated from Youngstown State University with a BS in Business Administration and is a graduate of the Military Comptrollership course and the US Army Command and General Staff College. Mr. McFadden currently serves as member of the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Language as well as its Treasurer. He is also a member of the College Park, Maryland Advisory Planning Commission.
Gregory J. Nedved, President and Chair of the Board of Trustees, has been affiliated since 2008 with NML, where he has served in various capacities (exhibit designer, docent, newsletter editor, associate, trustee, secretary). He led the effort to create NML’s unique International Flag of Language in 2008. An award winning Defense Department historian, he has nearly 30 years of experience with Chinese-Mandarin as a military and government linguist, translator, interpreter, instructor, and freelancer. He has been a two-time president of the Defense Department’s Crypto-Linguistic Association, a professional language organization, and continues to run the organization’s newsletter. He is interested in the preservation of Native American languages and culture, having helped fund a Mi’kmaq (Nova Scotia/New Brunswick) language preservation DVD (cartoon) in 2006 (he had earlier helped fund a library on the Lower Brule Sioux Reservation in his home state of South Dakota). He has written books and articles on topics as diverse as vexillology, presidential trivia, steamboats and Chinese history. He is currently a docent at the National Cryptologic Museum at Fort Meade, Maryland. He has a B.A. from Saint Vincent College in history, M.A. from Hawaii Pacific University in diplomacy and military studies and is a graduate of the Naval War College Fleet Seminar Program and the University of Chicago’s Advanced Translation Certification Program.
Jill Robbins, Ph.D., Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, develops online learning materials for English learners. She is currently working on the NML virtual exhibit committee. She has taught language learners and teachers in the U.S., Japan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and China. Her research explores language learning strategies and metacognition. Dr. Robbins is the co-author of Integrating EFL Standards into Chinese Classroom Settings, Impact Listening 2, and The Learning Strategies Handbook. Dr. Robbins has served on the NML Board of Trustees from 2007 and helps maintain the NML website. She earned a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University.