Brandon Willitts | Executive Director and Co-founder

Brandon Willitts is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Words After War. The fourth generation of his family to have served in the military, Brandon enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an intelligence specialist shortly after 9/11, and was first assigned to the Directorate for Intelligence on the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the early-months of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

He was selected by the Center for a New American Security as a 2015 Next Generation National Security Leader, and his nonprofit work has been featured in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, and Narratively, among others. He holds a B.A. in literature and writing from Marlboro College. A native of California and Maryland, he now lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.


Kelly Shetron | Producer

Kelly is a Brooklyn-based writer, producer, and strategist with a passion for storytelling in all mediums. Her work has appeared in The Rumpus, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and Freerange Nonfiction. She studied nonfiction writing + multimedia storytelling at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Maine, and she holds a BA in English and economics from Muhlenberg College. Find her on Twitter @kellyshetron.


Matt Gallagher | Writing Instructor

Matt is the author of the Iraq memoir Kaboom and coeditor of, and contributor to, the short fiction collection Fire & Forget: Short Stories from the Long War. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and lives in Brooklyn. His novel Youngblood is forthcoming from Atria/Simon & Schuster.


David Eisler | Program Manager and Board Member

David is a writer and veteran, having served as an Army captain in Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan. He grew up in Florida, studied astronomy and physics at Cornell, and is currently finishing his masters in international affairs at Columbia University.

His writing has appeared in The New York TimesMilitary ReviewThe Daily Beast, and other dusty corners of the Internet.


Maxwell Neely-Cohen | Senior Advisor

Maxwell Neely-Cohen’s debut novel, Echo of the Boom, was published in 2014. His shorter work has been featured in The New Inquiry, The Atlantic, The Millions, and Offworld. He lives in New York City.


Maurice Decaul | Writer in Residence

Maurice, a former Marine, is a poet, essayist, and playwright, whose writing has been featured in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, Sierra Magazine, Epiphany, Callaloo, Narrative and others. His poems have been translated into French and Arabic and his theatrical works, Holding it Down and Sleep Song, collaborations with composer Vijay Iyer and poet Mike Ladd, have been produced and performed at New York City’s Harlem Stage, Washington DC’s ATLAS INTERSECTIONS FESTIVAL, in Paris and in Antwerp. His play Dijla Wal FuratBetween the Tigris and the Euphrates was produced in New York City by Poetic Theater Productions in the winter of 2015. Maurice is a graduate of Columbia University. He will graduate from New York University in the spring of 2015 and will begin working towards his MFA in playwriting at Brown University in the fall of 2015.