Board of Trustees 2019/2020

Board Officers

  • Chair - Donna S. Morea '76, P'06

    President, U.S., Europe and Asia (Retired), CGI Technologies and Solutions

    Virginia

    Bio

    Professional History: Donna Morea is the retired president of CGI Technologies and Solutions, a role in which she led CGI’s multibillion-dollar software and services business in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Her clients included many of the world’s largest and most complex organizations in financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, and government.

    She currently serves as an operating advisor at the Carlyle Group and is an independent director on corporate boards, as well as in the not-for-profit sector. Donna is an independent director of SAIC, and an independent director of SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI). She also served on the board of directors of CGI, one of the largest global independent technology firms. In 2015, she was elected a trustee of the Inova Health System, the largest healthcare system in Northern Virginia, serving over 2 million patients annually.

    She has also served as chair of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the nation's largest technology council with over 1,000 member companies.

    She received an MBA, with distinction, in finance from Wharton.

    At Wesleyan: She is the parent of Emily Chandler ’06. Donna has participated in many Wesleyan alumni events, was a member of the Leadership Gift Committee for her 25th Reunion, and served as an associate agent for WAF. She received a Distinguished Alumna Award in 2006.

  • Senior Vice Chair - Anne S. Goldrach '79, P'12

    CEO/President, Greystone Management Corp.

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Anne is CEO and president of Greystone Management Corp., a fifth generation family business that owns and manages a diverse group of commercial, retail, and residential properties in Manhattan. In an earlier life, Anne was an art historian and curator specializing in nineteenth-century painting and costume.

    Anne serves on several boards, including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a leading New York arts advocacy group, where she is a member of the real estate and finance committees. She is also a member of the visiting committee of the Department of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum.

    At Wesleyan: Anne received her BA with high honors in 1979, majoring in the history of art. While at Wesleyan, she worked in the Print Room at the Davison Art Center and was a teaching assistant in the History of Photography. After graduation, she continued her studies in the history of art at Yale, and later obtained a master's of finance from NYU/Schack Institute. Her younger son, Noah, is a member of the Class of 2012.

  • Vice Chair - Robert A. Pruzan '85

    Founding Partner, Centerview Partners

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Robert is a partner and cofounder of Centerview Partners. As an investment banker with over 30 years of experience, he has advised on many of the largest and most complex mergers, acquisitions, and strategic restructuring transactions around the globe. He has completed nearly $1 trillion of transactions in his career across a broad range of industry sectors. In addition, he is a leading advisor to boards of directors in shareholder activist defense and special committee assignments.

    Prior to Centerview, Robert was head of Global Investment Banking and CEO of North America at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and president of Wasserstein Perella & Co. He holds a BA from Wesleyan University and graduated with distinction from Harvard Business School. He is a former member of McKinsey & Company where he specialized in strategic consulting for consumer products companies and financial institutions. Robert is a steadfast supporter and board member of various artistic, educational, and cultural organizations. He serves as chairman of the board of the Jewish Museum and is a former cochairman of the board of trustees for the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. Robert serves as the vice chairman of the board of ArtsConnection, a leading not-for-profit organization that provides arts education to New York City public school children, and he is a trustee on the board of Wesleyan University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is married, with two children, and lives in New York City.

  • Secretary - Marc N. Casper '90, P'23

    President and CEO, Thermo Fisher Scientific

    Massachusetts

    Bio

    Professional History: Marc Casper has been president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific since October 2009.

    He joined the company in 2001 when it was Thermo Electron, serving as president of the Life and Laboratory Sciences businesses. He was named senior vice president in 2003, and in 2005 he assumed responsibility for all of the company’s operating divisions. In 2006, when Thermo Fisher Scientific was created through the merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific, Marc was named executive vice president and president of its Analytical Technologies businesses. He became chief operating officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific two years later and served in that role until being named president and CEO.

    Prior to joining Thermo Fisher, Marc served as president, chief executive officer, and a director of Kendro Laboratory Products. Previously, he worked for clinical diagnostics provider Dade Behring Inc., serving as president–Americas. Marc began his career at Bain & Company and Bain Capital.

    Marc serves on the boards of trustees of Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Wesleyan University and serves on the board of U.S. Bancorp. He was former vice chair of the U.S. China Business Council and was previously a director of the Advisory Board Company and Zimmer Holdings. He earned an MBA with high distinction from Harvard Business School.

    At Wesleyan: Marc earned his bachelor’s degree in economics. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He was codirector of WESU-FM sports, an avid fan of ice hockey, and the manager of the Cardinals men’s ice hockey team.

Board Members

  • Leo Y. Au '71

    Senior Vice President and Corporate Treasurer (Retired), Mellon Financial Corporation

    Florida

    Bio

    Professional History: Leo is a retired senior vice president and corporate treasurer of Mellon Financial Corporation, a global financial services company previously headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At Mellon, he held senior positions in finance, foreign exchange, and capital markets. As treasurer, Leo had primary responsibility for asset/liability management, capital management, currency exposure management, corporate risk management, and employee benefits finance functions. He retired in 2007 after the completion of Mellon’s merger with the Bank of New York.

    Leo serves on the board of directors of the Harvard Club of Naples. He served as the participation chair for his 25th reunion class gift at Harvard Business School in 2001. Leo received a MA from the University of Chicago and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

    At Wesleyan: Leo was a sociology major. He was involved with WESU-FM and was a Wesleyan volunteer. He received a Wesleyan University Service Award in 2011.

  • Souleymane Ba '03

    Partner, Helios Investment Partners

    England

    Bio
    Professional History: Mr. Ba is a partner at Helios Investment Partners, a specialist private equity firm with investments in more than 30 countries in Africa. Prior to joining Helios, Mr. Ba worked at Morgan Stanley, The Carlyle Group and Warburg Pincus. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

    Souleymane serves on the boards of Solevo and Bayport Management Limited.

    At Wesleyan: Souleymane majored in economics and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. He was a resident advisor, member of Wesleyan Students’ Assembly, cochair of the African Students Association, treasurer of the International Students Association and a member of the rugby team. He was a recipient of the White Prize, the Plukas Teaching Apprentice Prize, the Heideman award and the Gilbert Clee Scholarship.
  • Essel W. Bailey, Jr. '66

    Managing Director, Alpha Capital Inc., President of Orion Care Services and Vice Chair of Knightsbridge Winery

    Michigan

    Bio

    Professional History: Mr. Bailey is a lawyer and private investor with a long involvement in healthcare services to the elderly. He has organized and run two public companies, and served as a director of several publicly listed companies; he has spent the last 30 years working with the capital markets, with investment banks and other financial organizations in real estate, finance, healthcare and manufacturing in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

    After several years in Michigan state government, Mr. Bailey spent 16 years with the Detroit law firm Dykema, Gossett where he was a partner. He left the firm in 1987 to organize and capitalize several public and private companies and founded Omega Healthcare Investors and Omega Worldwide Inc, both public providers of healthcare finance, the latter in the UK and Australia. He retired from public companies in 2000 and organized a private company providing healthcare services through retirement communities, assisted living and nursing facilities. He serves as a director of nonprofit organizations related to mental health and education, and is active on conservation issues, serving as an officer of the Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy and as a supporter of the College of the Environment at Wesleyan. He is also chair of the Economic Dinner Group, a town-gown organization at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He continues as a director and a principal owner of companies engaged in real estate, healthcare services to the elderly and the production of the premium California wine, Knightsbridge. Raised in Michigan and educated at Cranbrook School, he also holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.

    At Wesleyan: Essel received his BA in History in 1966.  He spent four years on the track team, running hurdles and high jumping, and was a member of Eclectic, and the Student Judiciary Council, charged with issues related to the Honor Code. Essel has also been a member of the President’s Council.

  • Adam C. Bird '87, P'19, '22

    Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company

    Germany

    Bio

    Professional History: Adam is a senior partner with McKinsey & Company and the global leader of the Consumer Tech & Media practice. He advises the top management of the most disruptive and disrupted companies on their most critical business issues. His client work in the US, Europe, and Asia has spanned all major media, entertainment, and consumer technology segments. Adam was one of the first people to be elected directly to become a McKinsey senior partner and is a member of the Senior Partners Committee.

    He was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He is a board member of the Paley Center for Media and the past vice chair of the board of the Munich International School.

    Prior to McKinsey, Adam was the youngest senior partner with Booz Allen Hamilton (sold to the Carlyle Group) and the managing director of the Global Consumer and Media practices, as well as a member of their board of directors. He moved to Europe over two decades ago to co-found an advisory firm (sold to Cap Gemini).

    At Wesleyan: Adam graduated with honors from the College of Social Studies. While at Wesleyan, he was a student representative to the Wesleyan Board of Trustees, a teaching assistant for French and an avid participant in a wide range of sports. He is the father of Matthew ’19 and Sophie ’22.

  • Phoebe C. Boyer '89, P'19, '23

    President & CEO, The Children's Aid Society

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Phoebe became The Children's Aid Society's 11th president and chief executive officer in October 2014.

    Phoebe came to Children’s Aid from the Robertson Foundation, a $1-billion family foundation created by Julian Robertson and his family that takes a targeted approach to supporting critical national issues, including education reform. She spent more than a decade at the foundation, most recently as its executive director, where she oversaw operations and grantmaking of more than $100 million annually. During her tenure there, she developed and executed the foundation’s national K-12 education reform strategy.

    She also served for 12 years (1999-2012) as the executive director of the Tiger Foundation, founded by Julian Robertson as well, with a mission to break the cycle of poverty in New York City. During her tenure at the Tiger Foundation, the organization provided more than $112 million in funding to New York City nonprofits in the areas of education, youth development, job training, and social services. Phoebe also raised more than $200 million to support the foundation’s work.

    Before her work with foundations, Phoebe worked at Inwood House, a nonprofit in Upper Manhattan, where she spent four years helping distressed teens take charge of their lives by educating them in making sound decisions, preventing pregnancy, and building self-esteem. She was the assistant executive director during her final two years at Inwood House, where she was responsible for overall administration and the organization’s financial management. She also restructured and expanded a community-based adolescent pregnancy prevention program in the South Bronx and served as a liaison with a number of city agencies.

    In addition to her work forging partnerships between the private sector and nonprofits, Phoebe also has experience working in city government. She worked for the New York City Department of Corrections, managing emergency prison construction and other related projects. She then went to the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Bridges, where she rose to the position of deputy director of the Management Analysis Unit.

    Phoebe graduated from Wesleyan University, on whose board she serves, and earned her master of business administration from Columbia Business School, where she won the Joanne Martin Academic Award for Public and Nonprofit Management.

    At Wesleyan: As an undergraduate, Phoebe majored in art history, played on the varsity lacrosse team, edited the yearbook, and was a senior interviewer.  As an alumna, she has been involved in all of her reunions, was awarded the Wesleyan University Service Award in 2004, and served as an alumni-elected trustee and on the advisory board of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

  • Andrew M. Brandon-Gordon '86

    Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

    California

    Bio

    Professional History: Andy is global chairman of Investment Banking Services (IBS), head of the Investment Banking Division’s West Region, and global head of media and telecommunications for Technology, Media and Telecom (TMT) Investment Banking. He also serves as cohead of the IBS Leadership Group and is a member of the Partnership Committee. 

    Andy joined Goldman Sachs in 1986 in Mortgage Finance in New York after working as a trainee in Fixed Income Sales in 1984. He worked in mergers and acquisitions and financial institutions in New York and Los Angeles before joining Investment Banking Services in 1994. Andy was named partner in 1998. 

    Andy is founding chairman of the Sierra Canyon School, an early-kindergarten-through-grade-12 college preparatory school. He serves on the board of trustees for Wesleyan University and is cochairman emeritus and trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

    Andy earned a BA from Wesleyan University in 1986 and a general course degree from the London School of Economics in 1985.

  • Karen E. Donfried '84

    President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF)

    District of Columbia

    Bio

    Professional History: Karen is president of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening transatlantic relations headquartered in Washington, DC, with seven offices across Europe. Before assuming this role in April 2014, she was the special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. Her government service spans a wide range of additional positions in Congress and the Executive Branch, including the State Department and National Intelligence Council. She holds a master of arts degree from the University of Munich and a PhD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She serves as a senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    At Wesleyan: Karen received her BA with high honors from Wesleyan in 1984, majoring in government and German. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, received the Prentice Prize for excellence in German, and was a Keeney Scholar. She received a Distinguished Alumna Award in 2014.

  • John B. Frank '78, P'12

    Vice Chairman, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.

    California

    Bio

    Professional History: John Frank is Oaktree’s vice chairman and works closely with Howard Marks, Bruce Karsh and Jay Wintrob in managing the firm. John joined in 2001 as general counsel and was named Oaktree’s managing principal in early 2006, a position he held for about nine years. As managing principal, John was the firm’s principal executive officer and responsible for all aspects of the firm’s management. Prior to joining Oaktree, Mr. Frank was a partner of the Los Angeles law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, where he managed a number of notable merger and acquisition transactions. While at that firm, he served as primary outside counsel to publicly and privately held corporations and as special counsel to various boards of directors and special board committees. Prior to joining Munger Tolles in 1984, John served as a law clerk to the Honorable Frank M. Coffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Frank served as a legislative assistant to the Honorable Robert F. Drinan, Member of Congress. Mr. Frank holds a BA, with honors in history, from Wesleyan University and a JD magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was managing editor of the Michigan Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He is a member of the State Bar of California and, while in private practice, was listed in Woodward & White's Best Lawyers in America. John is a member of the board of directors of Chevron Corporation and a Trustee of Wesleyan University, The James Irvine Foundation, Good Samaritan Hospital of Los Angeles, and the XPRIZE Foundation.

    At Wesleyan: As an undergraduate, John was the president of his class, a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, and was also active in the debating club. As an alumnus, he has hosted several events for Wesleyan and was a member of the Los Angeles Campaign Council.

  • Michael T. Fries '85

    President & CEO, Liberty Global

    Colorado

    Bio

    Professional History: Mike is chief executive officer of Liberty Global, a company he cofounded 29 years ago and has led to become the largest international TV and broadband company in the world with 21 million customers, 27,000 employees and revenue of $15 billion. Mike is Executive Chairman of Liberty Latin America and serves on the boards of Grupo Televisa and Lionsgate. Mike is an engaged industry and community leader and also serves as board member for Cable Labs and trustee for The Paley Center for Media, and he chairs the board for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and the Biennial of the Americas. He is a Digital Communications Governor and Steering Committee Member of the World Economic Forum and a member of Young Presidents’ Organization. Recognitions for his achievements include EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Media, Entertainment and Communications, Industry Leader of the Year by Digital TV Europe, and inductions into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and the Cable Hall of Fame. He holds an MBA from Columbia University, where he is a member of the Board of Overseers for the Business School.

    At Wesleyan: Mike double-majored in economics and government, rowed varsity crew and was a Psi U member. He has generously endowed the Charles W. Fries Professor of Film Studies and Curator of the Wesleyan Cinema Archives in honor of his father, and he recently opened the Fries Center for Global Studies.

  • Susannah Gray '82

    Retired, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Royalty Pharma

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Susannah retired from Royalty Pharma, the largest aggregator of pharmaceutical royalty assets worldwide, in September 2019, after a 14-year career there. For most of these years, she served as the chief financial officer, assuming the role of strategy & finance officer in December 2018. At Royalty Pharma, Susannah led the company’s efforts to maximize it financial capabilities. She established the company’s presence in the institutional debt markets, raising over $20 billion in debt and managing an expanding balance sheet. Previously, she was a managing director and the senior analyst covering the healthcare sector for CIBC World Market’s high-yield group from 2002 to 2004. She worked in similar capacities at Merrill Lynch (1998 to 2002) and Chase Securities (1990 to 1998). Susannah also serves on the boards of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and StreetSquash.

    Ms. Gray received a BA with honors from Wesleyan University and holds an MBA degree from Columbia University.

    At Wesleyan: Susannah majored in the College of Social Studies.

  • Emily Greenhouse '08

    Editor, The New York Review of Books

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Emily is the co-editor of The New York Review of Books. Previously, she worked as managing editor of The New Yorker and as a reporter at Bloomberg, covering gender and politics. She has written for publications including Rolling Stone and The New Republic.

    At Wesleyan: Emily double-majored in the College of Letters and French studies. She wrote a column for the Wesleyan Argus, conducted theater workshops at Oddfellows Playhouse, and worked at the College of Letters Library.

  • Edward J. Heffernan '84, P'21

    Retired, CEO, Alliance Data

    Texas

    Bio

    Professional History: Ed retired as president and CEO of Alliance Data in June 2019. Following Wesleyan, he attended Columbia Business School and subsequently worked in New York City and, later, in Silicon Valley. He moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1998 to join a small, privately held company (Alliance Data). Alliance went public in 2001 on the NYSE and, at the time of his retirement, had joined the ranks of the Fortune 500, S&P500 and Fortune's Top 100 employers.

    Ed serves on the boards of Children’s Medical Center (Texas) and The Shelton School in Dallas (for children with learning differences). Ed is committed to expanding Wesleyan’s reach into Texas and has a strong belief in the ongoing value of a liberal arts education.

    At Wesleyan: Ed received a BA with a major in mathematics and economics and played varsity hockey.

  • Kiki Kennedy P'16, '20

    Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University

    Connecticut

    Bio

    Professional History: Since 1992, Kiki has been an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale University Medical School. She currently leads an advocacy training initiative for the Yale Department of Psychiatry and also supervises psychiatry residents in psychotherapy for the Connecticut Mental Health Center and the Yale Long Term Psychotherapy Clinic. In addition, Kiki is a current member of the Council on Advocacy and Government Relations for the American Psychiatric Association, a member of the Committee on Psychotherapy for the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry and on the executive committee for the Austen Riggs Center, a nonprofit psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Since 1991, she has seen outpatients in her private psychiatry practice in New Haven, Connecticut.

    Kiki graduated from Brown University with a bachelor of science in psychology and received her MD from the University of Connecticut. She completed her psychiatry residency and a fellowship in psychotherapy at Yale University.

    She also serves as a board member for Connecticut Fund for the Environment, The Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and The Festival of Arts and Ideas.

    At Wesleyan: Kiki volunteered during the WesFest parent panel event in 2015 and also hosted the THIS IS WHY campaign donor recognition event in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, in 2013. Her daughter, Kiley, graduated from Wesleyan in 2016 with high honors in physics and served as co-captain of the track and field team. Her son, Teddy, class of 2020, rowed on the men's crew team this past year and is a member of Psi Upsilon. 

  • C. Andrew "Andy" McGadney '92

    Vice President and Dean of Student Advancement, Colby College

    Maine

    Bio

    Professional History: Vice President and Dean of Student Advancement Andy McGadney oversees DavisConnects—a new global liberal arts model that infuses the pursuit of knowledge with a set of integrated research, internship, and global experiences designed to enhance the academic experience and prepare students for life after Colby. McGadney also facilitates all ceremonial campus events. Prior to his current role, McGadney served as the vice president and secretary of the college, where he oversaw the implementation of complex strategic initiatives that emerged through Colby’s planning process and promoted, facilitated, and supported governance practices across the college. As the principal liaison to the board of trustees, he held primary responsibility for three annual board meetings (fall, winter spring), committee staffing, summer retreats and new trustee orientation.

    Before his arrival on Mayflower Hill, McGadney was vice president for university advancement at Clark University for eight years, where he led a $125-million comprehensive campaign and engineered significant increases in annual giving and in corporate and foundation support. As director of development, McGadney led all areas of fund development and post campaign planning streams during Wesleyan’s then-record setting $281 million fundraising effort. He worked within the University Relations office at Wesleyan for approximately 12 years. Andy earned a master's of public administration and policy from Columbia University and a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

    At Wesleyan: Andy majored in Sociology and African-American studies. He received the Wesleyan University service award during his 25th reunion and is the recipient of the Heidman service award.

  • Pritha J. Mittal '96

    Senior Management Consultant, Robin Hood Foundation

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Pritha is a senior management consultant at the Robin Hood Foundation, New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization. She is working across Robin Hood’s community partners to help them build scale and capacity to serve the most vulnerable in New York City and its surrounding boroughs. Prior to joining Robin Hood, Pritha spent 14 years at Deloitte, providing consulting services to senior leadership across the healthcare sector around strategic direction and operations. After graduating from Wesleyan University, she was awarded a fellowship through the National Institutes of Health, where she analyzed the policy implications around genetic cloning.

    Pritha holds a master’s in public health (MPH) and a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Columbia University. She is the vice chair and head of the nominating committee for the Carter Burden Network, the largest provider of services to seniors living in New York City. She also serves on the leadership council for Success Academy and on the executive committee for NEST+m (New Explorations in Science and Technology +Math), a New York City public school for gifted and talented students serving all five boroughs. 

    At Wesleyan: Pritha was a Neuroscience major and served as a resident advisor in Clark. She played three varsity sports—tennis, squash and lacrosse—and in her senior year served as co-captain of the lacrosse team. Prior to joining the Wesleyan Board, Pritha served as one of the class agents for the class of ’96 for several years. 

  • Marc O. Nachmann '91

    Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Company

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Marc is cohead of the Investment Banking Division (IBD) and head of Latin America for Goldman, Sachs & Company. He serves as a member of the Management Committee, Firmwide Risk Committee, Firmwide Capital Committee, Firmwide Investment Policy Committee, and IBD Executive Committee. Prior to assuming his current role, Marc was head of the Global Financial Group. Before that, he was cohead of the Global Natural Resources business. Marc was a member of the firm's Strategy Committee from 1998 to 2002. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 in the Investment Banking Division and was named managing director in 2002 and partner in 2004. Marc earned a BA from Wesleyan University in 1991 and a PhD in business economics from Harvard Business School in 1994. Marc and his wife, Luanne, have two children.

    At Wesleyan: Marc entered Wesleyan as an exchange student from Germany in 1988. He graduated in three years with university honors and a degree in physics and mathematics-economics in 1991.

  • Philip J. Rauch '71

    Managing Director and Wealth Advisor, William Blair

    Maryland

    Bio

    Professional History: Philip is a managing director and wealth advisor with William Blair's Private Wealth Management group located in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to joining William Blair, Philip worked at Brown Advisory, Alex Brown & Sons, T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley. He is a chartered financial analyst, certified public accountant, and a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

    Phil serves as a trustee of CenterStage, a Baltimore theater company; the Rauch Foundation, a private foundation; and several other nonprofit organizations.

    At Wesleyan: Phil graduated from Wesleyan in 1971 as a government major, cum laude and spent a semester abroad in Germany. He was a member of the crew team and Beta Theta Pi.

  • John B. Rhea '87

    President, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets, of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: John is president, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets, of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC, a full-service investment banking company founded in 1996. Prior to his current role, he was a senior advisor to The Boston Consulting Group. John is also a founder and managing partner of RHEAL Capital Management, LLC, a real estate development and investment firm based in New York. From 2009 to 2014, he was chairman and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority, appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Before serving in the Bloomberg administration, John spent 15 years in the financial services industry, most notably as a managing director and investment banking group head at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Barclays Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers). Early in his career, John also worked at PepsiCo, Inc.; The Boston Consulting Group; and UBS Securities. 

    John serves on the board of directors of Invitation Homes (NYSE:INVH) and is a member of the compensation committee and chairman of the audit committee. He is a founding investor and current director of WhistlePig LLC, a leading producer and marketer of straight rye whiskey. John has a long record of nonprofit service.  In addition to serving as a trustee of Wesleyan, he is currently a director of Red Cross Greater New York, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy. A recipient of numerous honors and awards, John was twice listed in 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate and 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.

    John is a graduate of the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan and the Harvard Business School.

  • Rashida Richardson '08

    Director of Policy Research, AI Now Institute

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Rashida is the director of policy research at the AI Now Institute at New York University, the first university research institute dedicated to understanding the social implications of artificial intelligence. In this role, Rashida designs, implements, and coordinates AI Now’s global research and policy advocacy strategy and initiatives on the topics of law, policy, and civil rights. Before AI Now, Rashida worked at the ACLU of New York (NYCLU), the Center for HIV Law and Policy, HIP Investor, and Facebook Inc. Throughout her legal career, Rashida has worked on a range of issues including criminal justice, privacy, surveillance, education equity, racial justice, and human rights. She received her JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

    Rashida served as an adjunct member of faculty at Fordham Law School and New York University Law School, and is a frequent lecturer and presenter at academic and technology-focused events and conferences. An advisory board member of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project at Northeastern University Law School, she is also a board member of the College & Community Fellowship.

    At Wesleyan: Rashida majored in the College of Social Studies, graduating with honors. She served in a variety of leadership positions including senior class president, residential advisor, and co-coordinator and sexual health educator of AIDS and Sexual Health Awareness (ASHA). A tutor and mentor of Wesleyan University Writer's Workshop, she also served on the editorial board of Historical Narrative (Wesleyan’s undergraduate history journal) and was a member of the Student Budgetary Committee and the women's water polo team.

  • Michele A. Roberts '77

    Executive Director, National Basketball Players Association

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Notably, Michele Roberts is the first woman to head a major professional sports union in North America. In her role as executive director, Ms. Roberts serves as the primary advocate for all players, ensuring the protection of the organization and its membership, including serving as the lead negotiator in all collective bargaining activities. Prior to this selection, Ms. Roberts was a renowned trial lawyer and member of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s Litigation Group. Her practice focused on complex civil and white collar criminal litigation before state and federal courts and in administrative proceedings. Ms. Roberts has tried more than 100 cases to jury verdicts, representing clients in a wide variety of areas, including products liability, white collar, racketeering, securities regulation violations, Title VII issues, and premises liability. She has been called the “finest pure trial lawyer in Washington, DC” by Washingtonian Magazine. Ms. Roberts is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

    Ms. Roberts also served for eight years in the office of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where she was named chief of the Trial Division. She served as counsel in more than 40 jury trials.

    Ms. Roberts is a frequent lecturer and presenter to both the bench and bar on a variety of topics related to litigation and trial practice. She served as an adjunct member of the faculty at Harvard Law School, teaching a Trial Advocacy Workshop and was an instructor with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.

    Ms. Roberts received her JD from University of California at Berkeley.

    At Wesleyan: Ms. Roberts received a BA in Government.

  • Laura Davidson Ross '93

    Head of Upper School, Harvard-Westlake School

    California

    Bio

    Professional History: A native of Santa Barbara, Calif., Laura is currently the head of the upper school campus of the Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, Calif., and has served in this capacity since the fall of 2017. Prior to her position at Harvard-Westlake she was the head of upper school at Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas, for five years. Before assuming these two division-head positions, Laura had a 17-year career in college admissions and college counseling. She worked in the admissions offices of Scripps College in Claremont, Calif., and Columbia University in New York, New York, and as director of college counseling at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, Calif., and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas.

    Laura is also a teacher of world religions, ethics and social change, and mindfulness and meditation. She has been a soccer coach and a boarding school dorm parent, and she has led multiple committees and school-wide initiatives. A former member of the board of directors of the Magellan International School in Austin, Texas, she was elected to the Board of Trustees at Wesleyan University, her alma mater. Previously, she also had served on Wesleyan’s Alumni Admissions Advisory Council for several years. She is married to Gregg Ross (Wesleyan ’90) and they have two children, Casey, 14, and Graham, 12.

    Laura majored in religion at Wesleyan and earned an M.A. from Stanford in higher education administration and student affairs.

    At Wesleyan: Laura was a member of the women’s varsity soccer team, sang in the Ebony Singers, and worked with the Sexual Assault Education Program. She studied abroad in the spring of her junior year in Avignon, France.

  • Michael S. Roth '78

    President, Wesleyan University

    Connecticut

    Bio

    Professional History: Michael S. Roth '78 became the 16th president of Wesleyan University in 2007, after having served as Hartley Burr Alexander Professor of Humanities at Scripps College, Associate Director of the Getty Research Institute, and President of the California College of the Arts. At Wesleyan, Roth has overseen the launch of academic programs such as the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and the Shapiro Center for Writing, as well as four new interdisciplinary colleges emphasizing advanced research and cohort building in the areas of the environment, film, East Asian studies, and integrative sciences. Under his leadership, Wesleyan had its most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history, raising more than $482 million, primarily for financial aid. Roth has undertaken a number of initiatives that have energized the curriculum and helped to make a Wesleyan education more affordable and accessible to students from under-represented groups—creating a supportive and diverse campus community that inspires students to achieve their personal best.

    Author and curator (most notably of the exhibition “Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture,” which opened at the Library of Congress in 1998), Roth describes his scholarly interests as centered on “how people make sense of the past.” His 2014 book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters (Yale University Press), has been a powerful tool for students, their families, faculty and policymakers who are wrestling with the future of higher education in America. It was recognized in 2016 with the Assocation of American Colleges & Universities’ Frederic W. Ness award for a book that best illuminates the goals and practices of a contemporary liberal education. In summer 2019, Roth’s newest book, Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness (Yale University Press), will address some of the most contentious issues in American higher education, including affirmative action, safe spaces, and questions of free speech. Roth regularly publishes essays, book reviews, and commentaries in the national media and scholarly journals. He continues to teach undergraduate courses and through Coursera has offered MOOCs, most recently, “How to Change the World.”

  • John M. Shapiro '74

    Managing Director, Chieftain Capital Management, Inc.

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: John is a managing director of Chieftain Capital Management, Inc., an investment advisory firm that he co-founded in 1984 and converted to a family investment office in 2018. Previously, he worked at Central National Corporation and Merrill Lynch & Co. He serves as chairman of Lawyers for Children. He is a trustee and member of the executive committee of The Rockefeller University and the Jewish Museum. He also serves on the board at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Jerusalem Foundation, the Investment Committee of the JPB Foundation and is a member of The Committee on Drawings and Prints for The Museum of Modern Art. He previously served as president of the American Jewish Committee, where he will continue as honorary president and chairman of the Transatlantic Institute. He has been president of the UJA-Federation of New York, president of The Dalton School in New York City, and vice chairman of the American Academy in Rome. He also was on the executive committee of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. with high honors from Columbia Business School, where he also was awarded the prize for finance and accounting. John is married and has two children.

    At Wesleyan: John was a philosophy major, earning his bachelor’s degree with honors for his creative writing thesis. While at Wesleyan he was a member of the rugby club and the intramural hockey league. Since graduation he and his wife, Trustee Emerita Shonni J. Silverberg ’76, have endowed the Shapiro Center for Writing, initiated and provided an endowment for a Certificate in Jewish and Israel Studies, and funded a number of scholarships. He has been a member of his class reunion committee and received a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2014.

  • Shana A. Simmons '03

    Corporate Counsel, Google Inc.

    California

    Bio

    Professional History: Shana is a corporate counsel at Google Inc., where she manages a team that supports Google’s growing Cloud business and also brings her commitment to diversity and inclusion to the work place. Before Google, she was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Stein and Hamilton LLP in its New York and London offices. Shana received a law degree from University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as the diversity editor of the California Law Review, development editor of the Berkeley Journal of African American Law & Policy, and co-president of the Law Students of African Descent. While in law school, Shana also interned at the East Bay Community Law Center, where she focused on projects that would empower low-income communities of color to build long-term solutions to poverty through the advancement of community-owned cooperative businesses and affordable housing. Before law school, Shana taught for three years (one year in Washington, DC, at a public charter high school geared towards disadvantaged black youth and the next two years at the American Indian Public Charter School in Oakland, California, where her seventh-grade students received the highest scores in Alameda County on the standardized state math tests). Shana was recognized in 2009 for her work with Oakland youth with a proclamation from the Mayor of Oakland.

    Shana has served on the boards of the YMCA of the East Bay and Harlem Week, Inc., and currently sits on the board of Lawyers for One America.

    At Wesleyan: Shana was a College of Social Studies major and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. She was an active contributor to the student of color community on campus, served in leadership positions with Ujamaa, the Student of Color Council, and she also coordinated the Students of Color Pre-Frosh Weekend during her four years at Wesleyan, receiving the Vanguard Prize for her efforts. She was a resident advisor in Malcolm X House and WestCo, and the head resident of the Affinity Program Houses. She was also a senior interviewer.

  • Franklin Sirmans '91

    Director, PĂ©rez Art Museum Miami (PAMM)

    Florida

    Bio

    Professional History: Franklin is the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Since coming to PAMM in 2015, he has overseen the acquisition of more than a thousand works of art by donation or purchase. As director, Franklin has pursued his vision of PAMM as “the people's museum,” representing a Miami lens by strengthening existing affiliate groups, such as the PAMM Fund for African American Art, and creating the International Women's Committee and the Latin American and Latinx Art Fund. Franklin has organized Toba Khedoori (2017) and he was the cocurator of The World's Game: Futbol and Contemporary Art (2018). Prior to his appointment he was the department head and curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from 2010 until fall 2015. At LACMA Franklin organized Toba Khedoori; Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada; Variations: Conservations in and around Abstract Painting; Fútbol: The Beautiful Game; and Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation. From 2006 to 2010 he was curator of modern and contemporary art at The Menil Collection in Houston, where he organized several exhibitions, including NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, Maurizio Cattelan: Is Their Life Before Death?; and Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1966. From 2005 to 2006 Franklin was curatorial advisory committee member at MoMA/PS1. He was the artistic director of Prospect.3 New Orleans from 2012 until 2014. He was awarded the 2007 David C. Driskell Prize, administered by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

    At Wesleyan: An undergraduate English and art history major, Sirmans wrote his honors thesis on Jean-Michel Basquiat, working with Professor Peter Mark. Professor Mark’s dual interest and role in teaching African and African American art had a profound influence on the thesis and later work. Shortly after graduating from Wesleyan, Sirmans’s thesis became the chronology for the 1992 Whitney Museum show and catalogue on the artist. 

  • Adam Usdan '83

    Founder, President and General Partner, Trellus Management Co., LLC

    Bio

    Professional History: Adam is a general partner in Trellus Management, a fund that he founded in 1994. From 1994 to 1997, he served as an advisor to Neuberger and Berman, a firm of securities analysts and pension managers. Prior to that, he spent seven years at Odyssey Partners, where he primarily was responsible for investment decisions concerning small to medium capitalization securities.

    Adam is a member of the board of overseers at the Graduate School of International Economics and Finance of Brandeis University. He is a board member of the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and has been a member of the board of the Park Avenue Synagogue. He is also a member of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veteran’s Healthcare Advisory Board and the Weill Cornell Dean’s Council.

    He holds an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University with majors in finance, marketing, and accounting (1987). He is an owner of Winter Hill Farm in Freeport, Maine. He serves on the board of Griffin Mining, a zinc and gold producer, as well as on the board of Juhl Energy.

    At Wesleyan: As an undergraduate, Adam lived in Foss Hill. Before joining the Wesleyan board, Adam served on the Portfolio Subcommittee.

  • Ellen E. West P'19, '22

    Vice President of Investor Relations, Alphabet (Google)

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Ellen is the Vice President of Investor Relations for Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and co-head of Google’s New York office. She is responsible for telling the company’s story to the investment community. She joined Google in early 2007 to start a communications team in New York and eventually led communications for the advertising business and the Americas. Prior to joining Google, Ellen was a leading consultant in the field of corporate social responsibility, with several years of experience advising multinational companies in the UK, Europe and the former Soviet Union.

    Ellen started her career as an associate in mergers and acquisitions at Goldman Sachs. She then worked as a research associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, developing course material for a new program in business ethics. Ellen subsequently held senior management positions with the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, United Way International in Moscow, and the Charities Aid Foundation in the UK. Before relocating to New York in 2002, Ellen was a senior consultant with The Corporate Citizenship Company in London, England.

    Ellen is a summa cum laude graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and has a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

    At Wesleyan: Ellen is the parent of Kira Newmark, Wesleyan ‘19 and Jonah Newmark, Wesleyan ‘22.

  • Luke Wood '91

    President, Beats by Dr. Dre

    California

    Bio

    Professional History: Luke Wood is president of Beats by Dr. Dre, a premium brand of headphones and speakers, that was acquired by Apple in 2014. A producer, guitarist and music industry vet with more than 20 years of experience, Luke officially joined Beats in 2011. Prior to that, Luke served as chief strategy officer of Interscope Geffen A&M and president of the imprint DGC Records, where he worked with artists including Weezer, All American Rejects, Rise Against, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. He began his career with Geffen Records in 1991 as a director of publicity, representing such bands as Nirvana and Sonic Youth. A lifelong songwriter and musician, Luke signed a publishing deal with Universal Music Group in 1996 and that same year his band, Sammy, released its third album on Geffen/DGC Records. In August 2014, Luke joined the board of directors for Fender Musical Instruments.

    At Wesleyan: As an undergraduate, Luke majored in American studies. His senior project on Resistance and the Birth of Rock and Roll continues to inform his work in business, music, and beyond. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award at his 25th Reunion.

  • Alford A. Young Jr. '88

    Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Sociology, University of Michigan

    Michigan

    Bio

    Professional History: Al is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Sociology, Afroamerican and African Studies, and Public Policy (by courtesy) at the University of Michigan. He received an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. He has published four books and over 30 articles on the life experiences of low-income African Americans, African American intellectuals, and diversity and multiculturalism in higher education. He created and directs the Scholars Network on Black Masculinity, a nationwide, cross-disciplinary assembly designed to influence social policy and reshape public understanding about the condition of African American males.

    Al has served as consultant to the Urban Institute, the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, and Mathematica Policy Research. He serves on the advisory board of the Morehouse College Research Institute and is past chair of the board of the YMCA of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He received that organization’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003 and its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.

    At Wesleyan: Al majored in sociology-psychology and in African American studies (with honors). He was co-chair of Ujamaa, the Black students’ association, a member of the Wesleyan Student Assembly, a student representative to the board of trustees, and a member of the Presidential Search Committee of 1988. He was awarded the Butterfield Prize and the Robert Lynd Award (sociology), the Alumni Service Award in 2008, and the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013. He served as an alumni-elected trustee from 1998-2001.

  • Donna S. Zilkha P'10, '10, '16

    Executive Director of College and International Services, Aristotle Circle

    New York

    Bio

    Professional History: Donna is currently executive director of College and International Services at Aristotle Circle, an education technology company. Donna started her career 35 years ago as a lawyer with Shearman & Sterling. When she moved to France and had children, she became involved in education policy, as a member of the board of education of the town of Neuilly and as head of a national public interest group for parents of students in public education. She sits on the board of a private school in New York City and is a member of the head’s advisory council at another. She graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and Columbia Law School.

    Donna is an expert on educational policy and U.S. school and college admissions and has been invited to speak about college admissions before large student, government, and family groups in many countries around the world.

    At Wesleyan: Donna is the mother of three Wesleyan alumni: Alexis ’10, Rebecca ’10, and Laetitia ’16.