Michele Raphael is a dynamic and recognized leader in communications, culture and the arts. Her pro-bono and advocacy work is focused on uplifting women’s issues and diversity, equity and inclusion. The Director of Development and Communications for Beyond Baroque, one of the leading independent literary arts centers in the U.S., dedicated to expanding the public’s knowledge of poetry, literature and art through cultural events and community engagement, she also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Public Relations Strategies in the Communication Studies Department of Loyola Marymount University, a Mentor at WriteGirl, and a Contributing Writer to USA TODAY Magazines and other publications. She previously held roles as Director of Publications and Projects at USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, Entertainment Editor at LA Weekly, Digital Features Editor and “Cybertainment” Columnist at Los Angeles Times, and CEO and founder of boutique media agency Maximizing Media. A former National Press Foundation fellow, she holds an MA in Journalism from USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and a BA in French from Pitzer College. She lives in Los Angeles with her teenage daughter and son.