Staff and Board


Adnaan Wasey, Executive Director

Adnaan Wasey is the Executive Director of Rooftop Films, steering the organizational vision, financial management, and creative direction of the nearly 30-year-old New York City-based cultural institution. With over two decades in media and nonprofit leadership, Adnaan has demonstrated a track record of innovation and a deep commitment to storytelling that engages and reflects diverse communities. His experience also includes roles at organizations such as the PBS series POV, The New York Times, Disney, WNYC New York Public Radio, and The Gotham Film & Media Institute (formerly IFP).

For his boundary-pushing work as a creative professional, Adnaan has won an Emmy Award and received multiple Emmy and Webby nominations, among other awards. As a respected thought leader in the media industry, his insights have made him a sought-after speaker and facilitator at venues such as SXSW, YouTube, New York Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Independent Film Week, Media Impact Funders, and International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). He previously served on the board of The Flaherty and currently co-leads the Producers Guild of America’s Asian American & Pacific Islanders Working Group.

Connect with Adnaan at @adnaanwasey.

Saidah Russell, Programmer

Saidah joined the Rooftop Films team in 2022 and previously worked full time in film exhibition at an arthouse theater in Westchester, NY. She has experience working on screening committees for several festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, Hamptons International Film Festival, and Indie Memphis Film Festival. She is the Director of Programming for the TIDE Film Festival, an emerging Brooklyn-based festival dedicated to showcasing work by filmmakers of color.

Kate Gellene, Operations Manager

Kate joined the Rooftop Films team as an intern in the fall of 2011 and wore many hats before becoming Operations Manager in 2014 — including event management, fundraising & membership, and social media. Born and raised in New Jersey, Kate studied Cinema Studies with a minor in French at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. During the summer, Kate can (occasionally) be found making your drink at the after-party. Or at the beach.

Kristen Kelley Rand, Communications Manager

Originally from Massachusetts, Kristen earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University’s Gallatin School, where—pursuing as well-rounded an arts education possible—she designed her own interdisciplinary program unifying the studies of marketing communications, production, and performance. She came to Rooftop following tenure at Universal Pictures, W Magazine, and inside the halls of the McKittrick Hotel with Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. She credits Julia Roberts for helping shape her into the rom-com savant she is today, and firmly believes that you should eliminate the term “guilty pleasure” from your vocabulary if you haven’t already.

John Rossi, Technical Manager

John has a BA in English, which he has never regretted. When he isn’t designing and running shows for Rooftop, he enjoys writing, reading, and wowing his friends with his prowess at the NY Times Crossword. A veteran technician with Rooftop and a decade-long event hand, John comes to the Technical Manager role with years of experience and the ability to appreciate the sunsets & slight showers that always add a bit of charm to our wonderful outdoor series.

Mary Carpenter, Development Manager

Born and raised in New York, Mary earned a BA in Journalism and Public Relations from Salve Regina University. She joined Rooftop in the summer of 2022 as a member of the box office team, later working as the fundraising assistant throughout the spring of 2023. She now takes on the role of Development Manager, bringing over 15 years of experience in communications and development, both as a corporate and freelance consultant. In her spare time, you’ll find her walking across Brooklyn, frequenting queer dance floors, getting her weekly live music fix, writing poetry, and working to build community centered in inclusivity, sustainability and mutual aid. “Life’s short, live many.”

Isabella Jackson, Features Programmer

Isabella is a writer and dancer from a tiny town in Pennsylvania. She came to New York to study Dance and Film at The New School, and went on to get her MFA in Screenwriting from Brooklyn College. She’s passionate about independent filmmaking, having worked in and around the industry since 2014 with IFP, The Hamptons International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, NewFest, and DOCNYC. Outside of festivals, she works in TV as a Writer’s Assistant and Script Coordinator. In the world, you can find her listening to disco, writing strange stories, or watching a campy horror flick.

Darby Puckett, Shorts Programmer

Darby is an actress and filmmaker from Virginia Beach, VA. She started at Rooftop as an intern, and that’s when the addiction to watching short films began. Aside from film watching, she’s usually training for a random half marathon, memorizing lines, or dream-casting Broadway musicals.

Hilina Kidane, Shorts Programmer

Hilina began with Rooftop Films as Volunteer Coordinator before coming on as Shorts Programmer. She’s worked across a number of film festivals and is currently full-time at the New York International Children’s Film Festival, where she supports youth-enrichment programs.


Jess Jacobs, Board Chair

Evan List
Vice President & Client Advisor, Bernstein Global Wealth Management

Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Filmmaker, Founder and Former Artistic Director of Rooftop Films

Ryan Smith
Managing Director, Piper Sandler

Entertainment Journalist/Critic/Producer/Host

Adam Kersh
Co-Founder, Fusion Management

Sara Christoph
Business Development Manager, Morgan Stanley