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August 25, 2020

Talents for Teaching and More: Meet the New Fall Faculty

By NYU SPS Center for Publishing Staff

Mastering the art of cocktail waitressing, prowess at rock climbing, or expertise in building standing desks out of novels are not in the list of credentials needed to teach at the NYU SPS Center for Publishing. Yet, it’s always great to have interests or special skills outside the classroom, and this semester our new faculty members are talented and engaged in multiple ways. Read on to learn all about the nine publishing professionals who have joined the MS in Publishing: Digital and Print Media faculty this fall. In addition to their bios, you will find some fun facts and aspirations. Anyone share Claire McGinnis’ dream of someday working on an organic coffee farm in Hawaii? We do!

Jenifer Berman (Introduction to Marketing and Branding) is the Chief Marketing Officer of Insider Inc., where she oversees all marketing and sales activities for Business Insider, Insider, and Insider Studios. Prior to joining Insider Inc., Jenifer was the Associate Publisher for Marketing at Vanity Fair, where she launched VF Studios, the branded content group, as well as experiential marketing extensions, including the New Establishment Summit and Vanity Fair Founders Fair. Jenifer previously led global marketing and brand development at National Geographic. She began her marketing career at Condé Nast and spent most of her tenure there at The New Yorker. Earlier in her career, she was an editor and journalist focusing on art and culture. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Jen was an expert cocktail waitress back in the day. When she first moved to New York (and was an editorial assistant by day) she worked at night at various downtown establishments including Chumley's and the Mercury Lounge, where she saw the press tour show for Radiohead's The Bends. It still ranks as her best live music experience ever.


Elizabeth Breeden (Advanced Social Media Marketing) is a Senior Marketing Manager at Simon & Schuster. She began her career in Simon & Schuster editorial in 2013. Since joining the S&S imprint marketing team in 2015, she has worked with multiple New York Times bestselling novelists, including Alice Hoffman, Mary Higgins Clark, Lauren Weisberger, Megan Miranda, and Nelson DeMille, as well as nonfiction bestsellers such as Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister, The Library Book by Susan Orlean, and The Book of Gutsy Women by Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. Elizabeth holds a degree in English Literature from Smith College.

Having spent the majority of her life without a driver's license, Elizabeth’s preferred method of transport is by train, having ridden coast-to-coast routes on Amtrak, multi-day rides into the Australian Outback, and the Flying Scotsman from London to Edinburgh.


Arianna Davis (Writing and Editing for Digital Platforms) is the Digital Director of O, The Oprah Magazine at Hearst Magazines, where she oversees OprahMag.com and all of the website’s editorial and video content and strategy, as well as O's social channels. Previously at Refinery29, Arianna was a senior features writer who specialized in features, pop-culture, and personal essays. She began her career at O followed by a stint at Us Weekly. Throughout her career, she has interviewed everyone from Hillary Clinton to Oprah Winfrey, Mariah Carey, and Will Smith. Arianna has served as an entertainment expert for outlets like Access Hollywood, Fusion, VH1, and TLC. She has moderated panels for Netflix, OWN, Starz, and more. Additionally, Arianna's writing has been featured in New York MagazineGlamourMarie Claire, POPSUGAR Latina, and more. Arianna is the author of the forthcoming book What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly, on sale October 20th. She holds a degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University.

Arianna's apartment is filled with books. Like, so many books that she uses stacks of books as her nightstand. During the pandemic, she even created a standing desk by using two stacks of novels to prop up her laptop. She just can't let them go! 


Christine Gillespie (Introduction to Book Publishing) is Senior Vice President and Associate Publisher of Knopf, Pantheon and Schocken Books at Penguin Random House. She directly oversees the marketing, advertising, and sales marketing groups, and has a deep love of commercial women's fiction and narrative nonfiction. Recent bestsellers she has worked on include The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott, Weather by Jenny Offill, and Until the End of Time by Brian Greene. Chris has worked at Knopf for 15 years and in the publishing industry for 27 years. Her wide-ranging experience includes positions in publicity, sales, marketing, and retail, providing her with a deep perspective on what it takes to create alignment on the strategic objectives of her imprints. Chris holds a degree in English from Mount Holyoke College.

Over the years Christine has lived in 10 states and 13 cities - mostly before she even left home for college!


Claire Howorth (Introduction to Magazine Media) is an executive editor at Vanity Fair, where she began her media career as Assistant to the Editor. In between her two tenures at Vanity Fair, she held editorial roles at The Daily Beast, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and Harper's Bazaar, among other publications. She was most recently an editorial director and assistant managing editor at TIME, where she oversaw opinions and lifestyle coverage, including cover packages; she wrote one of her own, The Goddess Myth, about modern motherhood. She holds a degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

In another life—known as college—Claire did lots of rock climbing. (Now, it takes all of her courage to scale a household ladder.)


Andrew Jacobs (Publishing and Internet Law) is Assistant General Counsel at HarperCollins Publishers, where he conducts pre-publication review of manuscripts, provides intellectual property and licensing advice, manages company litigation, and handles a variety of other legal matters. Before joining HarperCollins, Andrew served as Senior Counsel for Litigation at NBCUniversal Media, and was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, where he litigated copyright, defamation, and other content-related cases. Andrew graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and Brown University.

In college, Andrew spent a summer phonetically transcribing conversations between mothers and their 2-year-old children for a linguistics study.


Claire McGinnis (Publicity Practices in Publishing) is the Associate Director of Publicity at Riverhead Books, a division of Penguin Random House. She has worked within the Penguin Group for 15 years. At Riverhead, she has worked on a variety of publicity campaigns for literary and commercial fiction, literature in translation, science, spiritual and idea-driven nonfiction and memoir. She works closely with bestselling and award-winning writers like Marlon James, Olga Tokarczuk, Jaqueline Woodson, Lauren Groff, Meg Wolitzer, Anne Lamott, Nick Hornby, Danzy Senna, Emma Straub, David Treuer and Brit Bennett. She regularly represents Riverhead at a variety of literary festivals, conferences and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. Claire is also the founder and producer of the literary podcast Marlon and Jake Read Dead People. She has an English degree from Kenyon College with a concentration in Women & Gender Studies.

Despite having lived in NYC for the past 15 years, Claire aspires to one day work barefoot on an organic coffee farm in Hawaii.


Brian McLendon (Book Marketing and Branding) is Vice President, Associate Publisher, and Marketing Director of Grand Central Publishing and Twelve at Hachette Book Group, where he oversees marketing and advertising for the Grand Central Publishing division; leads the franchise author program for such bestselling authors as David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, Harlan Coben, Preston & Child, Nicholas Sparks, among others; develops publishing and launch strategies for a wide array of fiction and nonfiction titles across an array of categories and genres; and works closely with Hachette's Marketing Strategy team to develop and implement new marketing initiatives and best practices. He started his career as a bookseller and has worked at both Simon & Schuster and Random House, where he was Director of Publicity at Ballantine Books. Brian received his degree from Vassar College.

One day, while rummaging through a Brooklyn stoop sale, Brian's spouse found an old copy of The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The next day, Bauman's Rare Books offered $7500 for this rare third printing of the famous novel. Needless to say, it has a place of honor on their bookshelf.


Filipe Silva (The Global Marketplace) is Manager of International Sales at Macmillan Publishers, where he directs open market sales, business strategy, and revenue across international distribution channels; oversees sales representatives across the globe; and collaborates with publishers, production, marketing and publicity. Before joining Macmillan Publishers, he was Associate Director of International Sales at Penguin Random House and then founded his own ecommerce bookstore venture in the U.S market. Filipe received his degree from William Paterson University.

Filipe's family members were mostly born and raised in Portugal, and now inhabit the Global Marketplace – in countries ranging from Australia to Germany, Switzerland to Canada, Portugal to the United States, and formerly Brazil, where his grandfather worked for decades. As Filipe likes to travel, enjoying time with his family is a great reason to see the world.


For more information about the NYUSPS Center for Publishing, please visit our website.


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