Dr. Deborah Pope

Executive Director

Deborah Pope has focused the work and mission of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation on increasing diversity in children’s literature and enriching the quality of public education.

Through her efforts, the Ezra Jack Keats Book Award is recognized internationally as an imprimatur of quality diverse children’s books, and the New York City EJK Bookmaking Competition has become  a program easily transferred to school districts across the country. She has increased the national impact of the EJK Mini-Grants Program, and made  the Foundation website a  valuable resource for families, educators and researchers.

Deborah was co-executive producer of the 2016 Amazon Snowy Day Holiday Special which earned two Daytime Emmys®, two Kidscreen Awards and a BAFTA nomination. She successfully campaigned for the 2017 USPS Snowy Day Stamps series honoring EJK’s classic book.

Deborah came to the Foundation from an extensive career in theatre and arts-in-education. She was Founding Artistic Director of The New Theatre of Brooklyn (TNT), an award-winning regional theatre for which she developed an enriched arts-in-education program.


Diana Vozza

Associate Executive Director

Since 2010 Diana has fostered the evolution, growth and effectiveness of the Foundation’s programs, collaborating on all aspects of our creative planning and development. She has guided the design and implementation of our website, ever refining its presentation of our mission and usability. Diana oversees all digital and print production, and produces our videos, webinars and award ceremonies. Diana became captivated by Keats when she began reading to her son and realized how important picture books are in early childhood development. After earning a B.F.A. at the Maryland Institute College of Art, she worked for over 20 years as a documentary television editor. Diana has taught video editing in New York, at both the School of Visual Arts, and NYU.

Jocelyn McCarthy

Director of Media Strategy

Jocelyn has spearheaded the expansion of the Foundation’s presence on all social media platforms, representing our mission and programs with an accurate and engaging voice since 2020. In addition Jocelyn manages the technical aspects of recording and presenting our various online events, and participates as a creative force in the constant need to update our website interface. She became aware of the Foundation while visiting New York, and was impressed by its programs and mission even as a teenager. Jocelyn has an entrepreneurial spirit, 20 years experience in marketing and promotions, and is a dedicated advocate for quality early childhood education. Jocelyn lives in Los Angeles.


Jay Boucher


As the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation’s Web and Game Designer, Jay Boucher is responsible for our site and online [document or style] design and for translating the look and spirit of Keats into the world of online games. In addition to his work with the Keats Foundation he also works as a graphic designer at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. He is an avid sketcher and draws from life every chance he gets, posting to Instagram as HobokenPudding. His previous work includes interactive and game design for and teaching art and drawing in northern NJ. He is the proud father of two daughters. Jay’s website is


Dr. Lillie Pope


Lillie Pope, Vice President of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, designed the foundation’s core programs. Dr. Pope was Founding Director of the internationally acclaimed Learning and Reading Disabilities Program at Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn. There she developed a reading program that focused on prevention and remediation for children with learning and behavioral problems in school. Her program served as a model for many organizations with similar goals. As Director of Education and Training at JOIN, a New York City agency offering educational opportunities to school dropouts, Dr. Pope ran a successful city-wide program of remedial education. She also taught classes at New York University and Brooklyn College. An expert on mental health and special education, Dr. Pope received the Mary Hornby Award in 1981 for her work in the field of learning disabilities. Of her seven books, she is best known for the classic, Teach Anyone to Read: The Non-Nonsense Guide. For more on Lillie Pope, visit Wikipedia.


Dr. Martin Pope


Martin Pope, President of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, and Ezra met in junior high school and were best friends until Ezra’s death in 1983. Dr. Pope was a scientist and happily married for 70 years. Keats was an artist and a lifelong bachelor. Yet their complementary vocations allowed them to cheer for and challenge each other for 53 years. Dr. Pope was a Professor Emeritus of New York University and the former Director of its Radiation and Solid State Physics Lab. He is one of the founders of the field of electronic properties of organic crystals. Dr. Pope is internationally known for his pioneering work in electroluminescence and for developing the processes fundamental to the creation of more efficient solar panels and OLED screens. In 2006 Dr. Pope was awarded the Davy Medal by the Royal Society of Great Britain for his outstanding work and contributions to his field. For more on Martin Pope read the New York Times Obituary, or visit Wikipedia.