Our Team

Leia Alex
Executive Director

Leia Alex

Leia Alex joined Paintbrush Diplomacy as Director in 2016. Since then, she has worked to preserve Paintbrush Diplomacy’s incredible arts collection and continue its programming. Previously, she worked with organizations like International Arts and Artists and the National Peace Corps Association in Washington, D.C. She studied Culture and Politics while at Georgetown University, looking specifically at the intersections between art and diplomacy. She has also worked in theater and the performing arts. As a lifelong artist, Leia loves exploring all different forms of art, including dance, graphic design, painting, and theater.

Izabela Rice
Collections Manager

Izabela Rice is excited to join the Paintbrush Diplomacy team and work with the incredible and unique art collection! Izabela (Izzy) is a 2020 graduate from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in both Art History and Psychology. She has prior cataloguing and collections experience from Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, The Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology, and Worcester Art Museum. In her free time she enjoys creative writing, dabbling in unconventional art mediums, and taking walks with her dog. 

Rebecca Alex
Head of Education & Legacy

Rebecca Alex

Rebecca Alex, M.F.A., joins the Paintbrush Diplomacy team after recently retiring as a professor and chair of the Art Department at the College of San Mateo, where she taught drawing, painting, color and design for twenty-eight years.  Prior to college teaching, Rebecca taught art to children from elementary to middle school for seven years. She is an enthusiastic advocate for the arts and is looking forward to managing the Paintbrush Diplomacy collections. Rebecca works in her Russian River art studio, www.rebeccajalex.com, primarily in oil, egg tempera and encaustic media.

Caroline Welch
Board President

Caroline Welch joined with Paintbrush Diplomacy in 2020 to help uplift the organization’s mission to cultivate cultural awareness and connect people through creative learning. She is a passionate advocate for arts and arts programming and has worked with organizations like International Arts and Artists in Washington, D.C. As a resident of New York City, she loves exploring the variety of mediums offered and has experience with theater, media and photography.

Conor Ross
Board Vice-President

Conor Ross is excited to join Paintbrush Diplomacy and drive their mission of connectivity through the power of art. He joined the Board in 2020, but he has been a lifelong advocate and participant in the arts. He has worked with a number of theater companies and advocacy groups during his time in San Francisco, such as Crowded Fire Theatre Company and the Magic Theatre. Newly based in New York City, he is excited to expand his art advocacy work further and bring Paintbrush Diplomacy into the fold.

Keegan Lillo
Technical Officer

Keegan joined the Paintbrush Diplomacy team in 2018 to lead the website redesign efforts, integrating the old Online Teaching Museum website into our current platform and making the site more beautiful and user friendly. An Australian native, Keegan grew up in Melbourne and moved to the Bay Area to work in 2014.