Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Aron Aji
President, 2016-2019
University of Iowa

Aron Aji is the Director of MFA in Literary Translation. A native of Turkey, he has translated works by Bilge Karasu, Murathan Mungan, Elif Shafak, Latife Tekin, and other Turkish writers, including three book-length works by Karasu: Death in Troy; The Garden of Departed Cats (2004 National Translation Award); and A Long Day’s Evening (NEA Literature Fellowship and shortlisted for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize). He is also the editor of the collection of scholarly essays Milan Kundera and the Art of Fiction

Ellen Elias-Bursac
Vice President, 2016-2019

Ellen Elias-Bursac has been translating novels and non-fiction by Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian writers since the 1980s. She won the National Translation Award for her translation of David Albahari's novel Götz and Meyer in 2006. Her book Translating Evidence and Interpreting Testimony at a War Crimes Tribunal: Working in a Tug-of-War was given the Mary Zirin Prize in 2015.


Patrick Blaine
Treasurer, 2018-2021

Patrick Blaine is a Spanish-English fiction translator and Latin American Cultural Studies scholar. His two most recent translations are Dark Echoes of the Past and Angels and Loners, both by Chilean author Ramón Díaz Eterovic (AmazonCrossing). He earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington (2010), specializing in post-dictatorial cultural production of the Southern Cone. Blaine has written and translated literary and film criticism (LOM, Duke, LAP). He makes his home in Eugene, Oregon, where he is Dean of Languages, Literature, and Communication at Lane Community College.

Samantha Schnee
Secretary, 2017-2020

Samantha Schnee’s translation of Carmen Boullosa's Texas: The Great Theft (Deep Vellum, 2014) was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the PEN America Translation Prize, and won the Typographical Era Translation Award. She won the 2015 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation for her excerpt of Carmen Boullosa’s The Conspiracy of the Romantics, and recently completed a translation of Boullosa’s latest novel, The Book of Anna. She is the founding editor of Words without Borders and currently chairs the PEN/Heim Translation Fund jury. She lived in the UK for the better part of the past decade, where she served as a trustee of English PEN, and chaired its Writers in Translation Committee.

Russell Valentino
Past President (2013-2016); Ex officio 2016-2019
Indiana University

Russell Scott Valentino is the author of two books about Russian literature and the translator of seven book-length literary works from Italian, Russian, and Croatian. He served as Editor-in-chief at The Iowa Review from 2009 to 2013. Russell is currently Senior Editor at Autumn Hill Books, and Associate Dean for International Affairs and Professor of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Indiana University.

Elizabeth Harris
At-Large, 2017-2020

Elizabeth Harris’s translations from Italian include Mario Rigoni Stern’s Giacomo’s Seasons (Autumn Hill Books), Giulio Mozzi’s This Is the Garden (Open Letter Books), and Antonio Tabucchi’s Tristano Dies and For Isabel: A Mandala (both with Archipelago Books). Her prizes, for various translations of Tabucchi, include a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, an NEA Translation Fellowship, The Italian Prose in Translation Award, and the National Translation Award for Prose. A professor of creative writing for many years, Harris now translates full-time and lives with her family in a small Wisconsin town on the Mississippi.

Mira Rosenthal
At-Large, 2017-2020

Mira Rosenthal is a poet, translator, and scholar. Her first book of poems, The Local World (Kent State, 2011), received the Wick Poetry Prize. Her second book of translations, Polish poet Tomasz Różycki’s Colonies (Zephyr Press, 2013), won the Northern California Book Award and was a finalist for numerous other prizes, including the International Griffin Poetry Prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Her honors include an NEA Fellowship, a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Stegner Fellowship in Poetry from Stanford University. She teaches in Cal Poly’s creative writing program.

Sebastian Schulman
At-Large, 2017-2020

Sebastian Schulman is the Executive Director of KlezKanada, an organization devoted in Jewish arts and culture, and a literary translator from Yiddish and Esperanto. His translations and other writings has appeared in Words without Borders, Tupelo Quarterly, Forward, and elsewhere. His translation of Spomenka Stimec's Esperanto-language novel Croatian War Nocturnal was published by Phoneme Media in 2017.

Elections are held annually in the summer and are governed by the ALTA bylaws.