Kristin Aguilera, Deputy Director
Kristin Aguilera is the Museum's Deputy Director. She also runs the communications department and has been the editor of Financial History magazine since 1997. She is a frequent contributor to the Bloomberg Echoes blog and holds a BA in Journalism from Marist College and an MS in Publishing from New York University.
Howard A. Baker
Howard A. Baker has been in the securities industry for more than 40 years. Following a lengthy career at the American Stock Exchange where he held several senior management positions in the options and derivative securities areas, Mr. Baker now heads his own firm, Howard Baker Associates, which provides legal and consulting services to select U.S. and international financial organizations. Mr. Baker holds a Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School and a BA from Boston University where he has served as Chair of its National Alumni Council. He is a past Associate Dean of the Suffolk Academy of Law, the education affiliate of the Suffolk County (NY) Bar Association; a former board member of The Options Clearing Corporation; an Adjunct Professor at New York University's Stern School of Business; and presently serves as a Public Arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Mr. Baker has served on the Financial History editorial board since 1999.
Peter A. Cohen, Chair
Peter A. Cohen is the founder of Peter Cohen LLC – an investment platform with holdings in technology and biotechnology companies, and an arbitrage fund. He is also the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Andover National Corporation, an investment company which is building a portfolio of environmental service businesses.
Until June 2018, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cowen Inc., a 100-year-old investment bank that specializes in serving healthcare and technology companies. Cowen had been acquired in 2009 by Ramius Capital, a $13 billion alternative asset manager that was founded by Mr. Cohen in 1994. In the nine years after that transaction, Mr. Cohen oversaw the reinvigoration of Cowen’s business through seven acquisitions and a diversification of the bank’s revenue base. Entering 2018, he decided to turn over Cowen to his successor and devote all of his time to his investments.
From 1990-1994, Mr. Cohen worked with Republic New York Corporation, a bank holding company; launched an investment management firm; and represented companies in merger activities. He formed Republic New York Securities for Republic New York Corporation and served as Vice Chairman and board member of the holding company.
Mr. Cohen spent the prior two decades rising through the ranks of the firm that would eventually become Shearson Lehman Brothers. He joined Shearson in 1971 as an equity analyst, but soon transitioned to become assistant to then-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sandy Weill. Over the following years the firm made a series of acquisitions, culminating in its merger with American Express in 1981. By that time, Mr. Cohen had risen to President and Chief Operating Officer. He was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 1983, and Shearson continued to make acquisitions throughout the decade, becoming Shearson Lehman Brothers. When Mr. Cohen departed in 1990, the firm had grown to 23,000 employees in 700 offices around the world.
Mr. Cohen has been fortunate to serve on the boards of numerous public companies and industry bodies based in the United States and overseas. He has been a board member of the New York Stock Exchange, the Depository Trust Company and the New York Federal Reserve’s Capital Markets Advisory Committee. He has served on the boards of three defense contractors – GRC International, Titan International Corporation and L-3 Communications – as well as on the boards of other prominent US companies including American Express, Shearson Lehman Brothers and Kroll Inc. He also spent 30 years on the board of the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, was a member of the New York City Opera and continues to be a director of The Children’s Hearing Institute.
Outside the United States, he was a board member of Société Générale de Belgique, the Belgium holding company; Cerus, a French investment company; Olivetti, an Italian office products company; Telecom Italia, the Italian national phone company; and CIR International, an Italian holding company. Today, he continues to be the Lead Director of Scientific Games Corporation, the largest US lottery operator and gaming-machine manufacturer and is on the board of a technology company and two bio-tech companies.
Mr. Cohen was the recipient of the Museum of American Finance Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been a member of the Museum's Board of Trustees since 2020 and currently serves as Board Chair.
Lawrence A. Cunningham
Lawrence A. Cunningham is an author, lecturer, professor, public company director and consultant on corporate governance. Currently the Tucker Research Professor at George Washington University and Founding Director of George Washington University in New York, Cunningham’s dozen books include The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, in collaboration with Warren Buffett; The AIG Story, with Hank Greenberg; and Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values, published by Columbia University Press. He is on the board of directors of Constellation Software Inc. and a member of the Dean’s Council of Lerner College of Business of the University of Delaware. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Delaware and a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law in New York City. Cunningham received the 2018 lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Corporate Directors and the 2017 Girard College Alumni Award of Merit. He has written many articles for Financial History magazine and has served on its editorial board since 2016. He joined the Museum's Board of Trustees in 2019.
Dr. Brian Grinder is a professor in the Department of Management at Eastern Washington University. He has served on the Financial History editorial board since 2001, and is the co-author of its “Educators’ Perspective” column.
Gregory DL Morris
Gregory DL Morris, principal of Enterprise & Industry Historic Research, is a veteran journalist and historian. In more than two decades of writing and editing trade and consumer publications he has reported from 43 states, eight Canadian provinces, and 13 countries on five continents. He was founding Gulf Coast Bureau Chief and Global Markets Editor for ChemicalWeek, Executive Editor of Bank Investment Marketing, Editor-in-Chief of The Green Magazine, and Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Today's Refinery. Morris has had features in books and national magazines including The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge (first and second editions), American Heritage, Continental (in-flight), Financial Planning, Risk & Insurance, Institutional Investor News, Trains, and American Oil & Gas Reporter.
He has served as a guest curator for two of the Museum’s exhibits, and is an editorial board member and frequent contributor to Financial History magazine.
Dr. Susie J. Pak is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at St. John’s University (New York). A graduate of Dartmouth College and Cornell University, she is the author of Gentlemen Bankers: The World of J.P. Morgan (Harvard University Press). Dr. Pak also serves as Trustee of the Business History Conference and co-chair of the Columbia University Economic History Seminar. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Business History Review and has served on the Financial History editorial board since 2017.
Arthur W. Samansky
Art Samansky is a founding principal of The Samansky Group, a Long Island, NY-based corporate communications firm. He developed his expertise in public affairs, strategic and crisis communications planning, media and presentation/speech training, message development, and related communications disciplines over a more than 40-year career in New York City journalism, and public affairs posts in the public and private sectors with domestic and global organizations. He has served on the Financial History editorial board since 1990.
Myles C. Thompson
Myles C. Thompson has been the publisher of Columbia Business School Publishing (CBSP) since it was founded in 2007 in collaboration with Columbia Business School. The imprint’s program extends Columbia Business School's commitment to bridging academic research and business practice, and reaching the global academic and business communities. By leveraging knowledge gained through innovative research and professional experiences, CBSP seeks to publish books that incorporate the entrepreneurial mindset promoted by the business school. Myles has served on the Financial History editorial board since 2014.
Janice Traflet is the Howard I. Scott Research Professor of Management in Bucknell's Freeman College of Management. In her research, Traflet explores many facets of Wall Street history, focusing especially on how ordinary citizens have interacted with the securities markets over time. She also delves into the history of women investing in equities and pioneering women shareholder activists. Her first book, published in 2013 by Johns Hopkins University Press, was A Nation of Small Shareholders: Marketing Wall Street After World War II. Traflet is a member of the editorial board of Essays in Economic and Business History. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, such as Journal of Business Ethics, Business History, Journal of Cultural Economy and Essays in Economic and Business History. She currently is working on her second book, this one on legendary corporate gadfly Wilma Soss, which she is co-authoring with Robert E. Wright. She has served on the Financial History editorial board since 2019.
Robert E. Wright
Dr. Robert E. Wright is a senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research. Prior to that he was the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana University, where he taught courses in business, economic, financial and policy history. He is the editor or co-editor of more than 20 volumes and the author or co-author of 18 books, including The Poverty of Slavery: How Unfree Labor Pollutes the Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Dr. Wright is one of the Museum's guest curators and has served on the Financial History editorial board since 2008.
Jason Zweig is The Wall Street Journal’s personal finance columnist. Prior to his work at the Journal, he was a senior writer and columnist at Money magazine. He is the author of Your Money and Your Brain (Simon & Schuster, 2007) and the editor of the updated edition of Benjamin Graham’s classic, The Intelligent Investor (HarperCollins, 2003). He has served on the Financial History editorial board since 1990, and is also a past member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.
In this issue: