Chicagoans Lew Manilow, Linda Johnson Rice, Beth White plus designer Michael Smith tapped for White House preservation panelContinue reading.
Obama’s half-sister, Soetoro-Ng, daughters godmother and Penny Pritzker’s husband tapped for White House panel
Obama half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng on the South Lawn of the White House June 16, 2009. (Photo by Lynn Sweet)
WASHINGTON–President Obama’s half sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, Bryan Traubert, the Chicago physican married to Penny Pritzker, Obama’s presidential campaign finance chair, and the Obama daughters godmother are among those named Wednesday to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) who had to withdraw his appointment as Health and Human Services secretary and Health czar, is also on the commission.
The director of the program is Cindy Moelis, a friend of First Lady Michelle Obama who worked with her in Mayor Daley’s city hall. Moelis went on to become the Executive Director of the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, established by Pritzker and her Traubert, her husband. Moelis’ husband is Robert Rivkin, a lawyer who is general counsel to the Transportation Department, working for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
I ran into Soetoro-Ng on Tuesday while at the White House kitchen garden on the South Lawn of the White House, while waiting for First Lady Michelle Obama to harvest some vegetables with students from a Washington grammar school. Soetoro-Ng said she was staying at the White House a few days.
Others from Chicago on the Commission:
*Judy Wise, an Obama fund-raising bundler.
*Eleanor Kaye Wilson, identified only as a Chicago educator in the press release is also, according to Felsenthal, the godmother of the Obama girls.
Writes Felsenthal over at the Huffington Post, “Another Chicago name on the list, Eleanor Kaye Wilson, caught my eye. When I was writing a profile of Michelle for Chicago magazine, I tried but failed to land an interview with Ms. Wilson, known affectionately by the Obamas as “Mama Kaye.”
“Ms. Wilson, who lives in Olympia Fields, is the Obama girls’ godmother as well as a friend and contemporary of Michelle’s mother, Marian Robinson. Yvonne Davila, a friend of Michelle’s since their days working in City Hall, told me that when Michelle and Barack were on the campaign trail, the Obama girls would often stay with with Mama Kaye, whom she describes as “the Martha Stewart of our group. … She does foods that are amazing. She also does arts and crafts and it’s such a great [treat] for our kids to go over there.”
Office of the Press Secretary
Below, from the White House….
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2009
President Obama Announces Appointments to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
Washington, DC – Today, President Obama appointed 28 members to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. This accomplished group of citizens representing a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and professions are responsible for recommending a group of exceptional men and women to the President for selection as White House Fellows. The commission will be chaired by John Phillips, a partner at Phillips and Cohen Law Firm. Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, will vice-chair the commission. A full list of commissioners and their biographies can be found below.
“The men and women of this commission embody what makes the White House Fellows program so special,” said President Obama. “These leaders are diverse, non-partisan, and committed to mentoring our next generation of public servants. I’m confident that they will select a class of White House Fellows that demonstrate extraordinary leadership, strong character, and a deep commitment to serving their country.”
The White House Fellowship is America’s most prestigious program for leadership and public service, providing young individuals with experience working at the highest levels of the federal government. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors and complete service activities throughout the year. Alumni of this non-partisan program include former Secretary of State General Colin Powell, retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark, and author Doris Kearns Goodwin.
“The White House Fellows program is so important as it allows for a variety of perspectives to come together to offer expertise and experience on important policy issues and then these Fellows carry what they’ve learned back to their own communities to benefit Americans far outside the walls of the White House,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.
The Commission will convene this week in Washington, DC to select the 2009-2010 class of White House Fellows. The Commission will select 11 to 19 fellows from among the 30 chosen as national finalists; more than one thousand people applied for the class.
Additional information about the program is available at www.whitehouse.gov/fellows.
2009-2010 President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
John R. Phillips (Chair)
John R. Phillips is a partner in the Washington, DC Law Firm of Phillips & Cohen, LLP. Mr. Phillips has a long history of involvement in public interest law, having founded the Center for Law in Public Interest in 1971 in Los Angeles, one of the first Ford Foundation funded “Public Interest Law Firms.” He was its co-director for seventeen years, focusing on the environment, civil rights, corporate fraud and other issues. From 1984 to 1986, Mr. Phillips successfully worked with Congress to amend and modernize the dormant Civil War-era law – the Federal False Claims Act – to make it an effective tool to combat fraud against the government. After President Reagan signed the amendments into law in 1986, Mr. Phillips and his firm initiated law suits under the law against corporations that defrauded the government which has returned approximately $4 billion dollars to the government. For his efforts he has received numerous citations and life-time achievement awards. For the past decade, he has been included on the National Law Journals’ list of “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America”. From 1988 to 1993, Mr. Phillips was an appointed member of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. In 1997, he was appointed by President Clinton to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. He graduated in 1966 from the University of Notre Dame and in 1969 from the University of California School of Law in Berkeley (Boalt Hall), where he was an editor of the California Law Review.
Cheryl Dorsey (Vice Chair)
Cheryl Lynn Dorsey is the President of Echoing Green, which provides funding and support to social entrepreneurs launching organizations globally. She was a previous White House Fellow from 1997-1998. Afterwards, Dr. Dorsey became the Special Assistant to the Director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau and then the Director of Public Health Initiatives for Danya International, Inc. She has received numerous other fellowships and awards including the Pforzheimer Foundation Fellowship from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and the John Whitehead Social Enterprise Award from Harvard Business School. In addition, Dr. Dorsey is the co-author of Be Bold: Create a Career with Impact. She served as the American delegate to the Perspectives on Europe Conference as well as a facilitator of the Social Entrepreneur Summit hosted by the Schwab Foundation and World Economic Forum. Currently, she sits on the board of Freelancers Insurance Company, Donorschoose.org, City Year, Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, Action Tank for Social Entrepreneurs, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Visiting Committee. She received her B.A from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and M.P.P from the John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Berry serves as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. He began his federal career as a Legislative Director for U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD), a major leader on all issues affecting the Civil Service. Mr. Berry was responsible for overseeing Hoyer’s work on federal employees, and was the primary craftsman behind the locality pay reform, among many other issues affecting pay and benefits of employees and retirees. Mr. Berry began his management career at the Department of Treasury, where he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary and acting Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement. Later during the Clinton administration, Mr. Berry was appointed Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, where he focused on employee partnerships, worklife issues for employees and reversing years of decline by achieving one of the largest budgetary increases in the Department’s 150-year history. As Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Mr. Berry worked with Interior Inspector General, Earl Devaney, to reconcile 20 years of financial records, establish sound management practices, while also conserving over 3 million acres of wildlife habitat through innovative public-private partnerships. Most recently, Mr. Berry served as Director of the National Zoo.
Tom Brokaw is a Special Correspondent for NBC News. During 2008, he served as the Interim Moderator on Meet the Press. From 1982 to 2004, he served as the White House correspondent, the Chief Correspondent for Today, and the NBC Nightly News anchor. He has reported on 23 NBC News documentaries and authored five books, including The Greatest Generation and Boom! Talking About the Sixties. Also, Mr. Brokaw has served as an overseer for the International Rescue committee, a public trustee for the Mayo Clinic, member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Museum of Natural History.
General Wesley Clark:
Wesley K. Clark, General, US Army (retired), came home on a stretcher from Vietnam in 1970, where he was wounded in action as an infantry company commander. He stayed with the Army for another thirty years. In his last position, as Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, he led NATO forces to victory in a 78-day air campaign which saved 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing. He now heads his own consulting firm and is active in the energy, banking and business services field. He is a noted author and TV commentator. He also teaches at UCLA’s Burkle Center, and works with numerous not for profit efforts, including the International Crisis Group. He was a Democratic candidate for President of the United States in 2004. General Clark graduated first in his class from West Point and received his B.A. and M.A. as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He was a 1975-76 White House Fellow and a Commissioner from 1993-2000. Among his awards are the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Silver Star, Purple Heart and honorary knighthoods from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands and numerous honorary degrees.
Thomas Daschle is an advisor to the Alston & Bird law firm and a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is the only senator to have served twice as both Majority and Minority Leader. Senator Daschle served his home state, South Dakota, in the Senate from 1987 to 2005. In 1988, he became the first Co-Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. He was the National Co-Chair of Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign and continues to be a leading advocate for universal health care. In addition, Senator Daschle co-chaired ONE Vote ’08 initiative and co-founded the Bipartisan Policy Center. He is also the Vice Chair of the National Democratic Institute. He authored Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever and co-authored Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.
Mr. Diaz joined Cozen O’Connor Law Firm in May 2007 as Of Counsel in the Government Affairs and General Litigation Departments. Mr. Diaz served as a Judge for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas from 1981 through 1993, the first Latino and youngest to serve. He was also appointed administrative judge by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. During his distinguished career, Mr. Diaz also served as City Solicitor of Philadelphia and a partner at Blank Rome Law Firm for 10 years and was appointed by President Clinton to be the General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he focused on reforming public and mixed-use housing programs. Mr. Diaz is a member of the Board of Directors of Exelon Corporation, the Advisory Board of PNC, and the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Temple University, where he also served on the University’s Presidential Search Committee. He is a former chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Hispanic Caucus.
Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO of CARE USA, is an internationally recognized expert on health, global development and humanitarian issues. Dr. Gayle spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gayle then directed the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At CARE, she heads one of the world’s premier international humanitarian organizations, with programs in more than 70 countries to end poverty. Named one of Newsweek’s top 10 “Women in Leadership” in October 2008 and the Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” in 2006, Dr. Gayle has published numerous scientific articles and has been featured in media outlets as diverse as the New York Times, Washington Post, Glamour, O magazine, Ebony, Essence, the Financial Times, National Public Radio and CNN. Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a B.A. in psychology at Barnard College, an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.P.H. from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Gayle serves on several boards, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, ONE, the American Museum of Natural History, the Institute of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Vartan Gregorian is President of Carnegie Corporation of New York, a position he assumed in June 1997. Previously, he served as President of Brown University from 1989-1997. From 1981-1989, he was President of The New York Public Library. Gregorian has taught European and Middle Eastern history at San Francisco State College, UCLA, and the University of Texas at Austin. In 1972, he joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty and was appointed Tarzian Professor of History and professor of South Asian history. In 1974, he became the founding dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania and four years later became its twenty-third provost. Gregorian is the author of The Road to Home: My Life and Times; Islam: A Mosaic, Not a Monolith; and The Emergence of Modern Afghanistan, 1880-1946. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including those from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Philosophical Society. Currently, he serves on several boards including Brandeis University, The Hunter Foundation, National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center, The American Academy in Berlin, Qatar Foundation, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, Central European University, Human Rights Watch, Museum of Modern Art, and The Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton. Among the many awards and honors Gregorian has received are the American Academy of the Institute of Arts and Letters’ Gold Medal for Service to the Arts (1989), the National Humanities Medal (1998), and the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award (2004). After majoring in history and the humanities, Gregorian graduated with honors from Stanford University in 1958 and was awarded a Ph.D. in history and humanities from Stanford in 1964.
Cynthia Hale is the founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia. Averaging 1,500 in worship each Sunday morning, Ray of Hope has been recognized as the Church of the Week by the 700 Club as well as in Excellent Protestant Congregations: The Guide to Best Places and Practice. She established Elah Pastoral Ministries, Inc., a mentorship program that assists in the development of pastors and para-church leaders, in 2004 and convened the first Women in Ministry Conference in 2005. She gave the opening invocation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and was also a participant at the National Prayer Service for President Barack Obama’s inauguration and served as Co-Chair for Women in Ministry for Obama. As a member of numerous boards, she serves on the Board of Trustees at Hollins University, Secretary of the Board of Beulah Heights University, Chairperson of City of Hope Ministries, Inc, Co-Chair of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, and Chair of the 21st Century Vision Team Christian Church. As a recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Hale received the Trumpet Awards’ Spiritual Enlightenment Award in 2005, the Sisters of African Descent’s Religious Leadership Award in 2006, and the Pinnacle Leadership Award in 2007 from the Fortitude Educational and Cultural Development Foundation, Inc. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Hale received her B.A. from Hollins College, M.Div from Duke University, and Doctorate of Ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Deborah Harmon is the President of Harmon & Co. and a Principal of Caravel Management LLC, a firm established to manage the Caravel Fund International Ltd., an emerging markets long-only public equities fund. Ms. Harmon joined the J.E. Robert Companies, Inc. (JER) in 1991 as a founding principal of the Blackstone Robert Group, which was a joint venture of the Blackstone Group and the J.E. Robert Company. From 1996 through 2007, Deborah Harmon was President of JER and, in 2001, assumed the additional role of Chief Investment Officer. Prior to JER, Harmon was a Managing Director at Bankers Trust Company in New York City. From 1991 through 1999, she worked in both the corporate finance and real estate groups. She was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for Women for Women International (WFW), a non-profit organization that supports women and children in war-torn countries. She also currently serves as Leadership Chair of the Washington, DC branch of WFW. Since 2002, Ms. Harmon has served on the Board of Trustees for Sidwell Friends School (SFS) in Washington, DC, and is Chairperson of Sidwell’s Investment Committee. In 1999, she served as a Regional Panelist for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.
Christy Haubegger is an executive at Creative Artists Agency where she provides insights and expertise on multicultural markets. In 1996, she founded Latina magazine, which showcases fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and empowerment for Hispanic women, serving as its publisher, president, and CEO until 2001. She continues to be a member on the board of Latina Media Ventures. In 2002, Ms. Haubegger expanded into the television and motion picture world, serving as the Associate Producer on Chasing Papi and Executive Producer of Spanglish. She is also the recipient of numerous awards including being one of Newsweek’s “Women of the New Century” in 2001 and Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch.” In recognition of her advances made in raising the profile of the Hispanic market, Ms. Haubegger was the youngest inductee into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement. Currently, she serves on the Board for Management Leadership for Tomorrow, which is dedicated to increasing the number of minority MBA candidates at the nation’s top business schools. Ms. Haubegger received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from Stanford Law School.
Peter Henry is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of International Economics, the John and Cynthia Fry Gunn Faculty Scholar, and Associate Director of the Center for Global Business and the Economy at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Henry has received numerous awards and honors including a National Science Foundation Faculty Early CAREER Development Award, a National Science Foundation Minority Graduate Fellowship, a Ford Foundation Graduate Fellowship, and the National Economic Association Dissertation Prize. He has published several articles in journals and books, including “Capital Account Liberalization, the Cost of Capital, and Economic Growth” in the American Economic Review and “Financial Instability” in Bjorn Lomborg’s Solutions for the World’s Biggest Problems: Costs and Benefits. After receiving his B.A. in Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, earning a B.A. in Mathematics. He received his PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
John Hockenberry is the host of the PRI distributed public radio program The Takeaway. The recipient of four Peabody Awards for broadcast journalism, he has conducted weekly public radio commentaries on The Infinite Mind for more than a decade. In his twelve year career in television for ABC and NBC, he won four Emmy awards. He is also the recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award and Casey Medal. Mr. Hockenberry launched, Hockenberry, a news interview program and the format breaking Edgewise at MSNBC , Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio and was a longtime contributor to public radio programs. In addition, he is the author of A River Out of Eden and Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence. He contributes articles to publications such as The New York Times, the New Yorker, Metropolis and The Washington Post.
Claudia Kennedy retired as a Lieutenant General in the United States Army and was the first woman in the Army to be appointed to that rank. General Kennedy’s last position of her 32-year career was serving as the head of Army Intelligence, 1997-2000. Since retirement, she has served on boards of a number of non-profits, including Opportunity International (micro-finance), Population Action International and Neighborhood Outreach Connection (anti-poverty effort in Beaufort County, South Carolina). For the last three years, she has been a member of the Employment Practices Advisory Panel reporting to the Board of Walmart, Inc.
Maya Lin is an artist whose exhibition, Maya Lin: Systematic Landscapes, is currently on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC through July 12. She is the designer for the Museum of Chinese in America in Manhattan’s Chinatown, opening June 26. In addition, she is working on her last memorial, entitled What is Missing?, which focuses on the issues of biodiversity and habitat loss. Her works include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC and recent site-specific installations such as Storm King Wavefield at the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY, Where the Land Meets the Sea at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and Eleven Minute Line in Wanas, Sweden. Her architectural works include institutional and private commissions, from a chapel and library for the Children’s Defense Fund to the Sculpture Center’s space in Long Island City to Aveda’s headquarters in downtown Manhattan to private residences throughout the country. Ms. Lin has addressed social issues in all of her memorials, which include the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, AL, the Women’s Table at Yale University, and the Confluence Project, a multi-sited installation spanning the Columbia River system in the Pacific Northwest that focuses on the history of Lewis and Clark as well as the history of the Native American tribes in those regions. She has received numerous awards including the Presidential Design Award, a National Endowment for the Arts artist award, and the Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2005, Ms. Lin was inducted into the Women’s Hall of Fame. She received her Master of Architecture from Yale University in 1986.
George Muoz is a Principal and Co-founder of Muoz Group Investment Banking, and a partner in the law firm of Tobin, Petkus & Muoz. He has held Presidential Appointments before, including having served as the President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) from 1997-2001. Mr. Muoz was also an Assistant Secretary and the Chief Financial Officer of the U.S. Treasury Department from 1993 to 1997. Prior to moving to Washington, DC, Mr. Muoz was a partner in Stevenson, Colling, & Muoz (1990-1993), an investment banking firm in Chicago, IL; and an Associate and Partner at Mayer Brown and Platt, a Chicago law firm (1980-1989). Currently, he is on the Board of Directors of Marriott International, Altria Group, and the National Geographic Society. Mr. Muoz is a former President of the Chicago Board of Education (1984-86), Executive Vice-Chair of the CFO Council of the Federal Government (1994-97), a member of the Governing Board of the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards (2003-2005), and has been listed in Hispanic Business’ “Top 100 Influential”. He is a Certified Public Accountant and received his B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He holds a Master’s degree of Law in Taxation from DePaul University, a M.A. in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and his JD from Harvard Law School.
Lloyd W. Newton is the Director of Goodrich Corporation’s Industrial Goods and Aerospace/Defense Products and Services Sector, Sonoco Products Company’s Consumer Goods and Paper & Paper Products Sector, and Torchmark Corporation’s Financial and Life Insurance Sector. He retired as a four-star General from the United States Air Force and was Commander, Air Education and Training Command, which consisted of 13 bases, 43,000 active duty personnel, and 14,000 civilians. General Newton was appointed by the President in 2005 to serve as a Commissioner on the Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission. In 2000, he became the Vice President of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines and eventually became the Executive Vice President. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors of Goodrich Corporation, Sonoco Products Company and Torchmark Corporation; and the Boards of the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, and the Air Force Association. He received a B.S. in Aviation Education from Tennessee State University and a M.A. in Public Administration from George Washington University.
Pierre Omidyar is the founder of eBay, which today enables more than 85 million buyers and sellers worldwide to connect and prosper. Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre created a platform that gave people equal access to information, opportunity, and tools to pursue their goals. In 2004, Pierre and his wife Pam founded Omidyar Network to invest in nonprofit and for-profit efforts that enable people around the world to improve their lives and make powerful contributions to their communities. Omidyar Network has funded organizations in areas such as microfinance, social media, and government transparency. As an extension of Omidyar Network’s work in microfinance, Pierre and Pam gave $100 million to Tufts University to create the Omidyar-Tufts Microfinance Fund, which aims to accelerate the growth of the microfinance industry. Today, Pierre serves as a trustee of Tufts University, Punahou School, and Santa Fe Institute, and as chairman of eBay.
Roger B. Porter is the IBM Professor of Business and Government and the Master of Dunster House at Harvard University. He is also the Director of Harvard’s Center for Business and Government and a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Mr. Porter is a former White House Fellow (1974-75) and Commissioner. He has served in three White House administrations as Assistant to the President for Economic and Domestic Policy (1989-93), Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Policy Development (1981-85), and Special Assistant to the President and Executive Secretary of the President’s Economic Policy Board (1974-77). He also served as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury (1981-85). Mr. Porter joined the Harvard faculty in 1978. His teaching, research and writing focus on economic policy, strategic decision making, the relationship of business and government, and the American Presidency. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the White House Historical Association and was a member on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (1976-81, 1982-93, 1994-2001, 2008-09). After graduating from Brigham Young University, Mr. Porter was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he received his B.Phil. He received his M.A.and PhD degrees from Harvard University.
Paul Sarbanes is the former United States Senator from Maryland. He was elected to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1970, and then served the U.S. Senate from 1976 to 2007, becoming the longest-serving senator in Maryland history. As senator, he served on several financial and economic committees and sponsored the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which reformed federal securities laws after the 2002 corporate accounting scandals. Mr. Sarbanes was a Rhodes Scholar and earned degrees from Princeton University, Oxford University, and Harvard Law School.
Ruth J. Simmons:
Ruth J. Simmons is the President of Brown University and also a professor in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of Africana Studies. She has served in various administrative positions at the University of Southern California, Princeton University, and Spelman College prior to becoming President of Smith College in 1995. At Smith, she was responsible for various initiatives including the first women’s college engineering program. Dr. Simmons has received numerous awards and fellowships including the Fulbright Fellowship, the 2001 President’s Award from the United Negro College Fund, the 2002 Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the 2004 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal. In addition, Dr. Simmons has been featured as a speaker at the White House, the World Economic Forum, the National Press Club, the Association of American Universities, and the American Council on Education. Currently, she resides on a number of boards, including the Howard University Board of Trustees, Texas Instruments, and the Goldman Sachs Group. Dr. Simmons graduated from Dillard University and received her PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures from Harvard University.
Maya Soetoro-Ng, PhD. has taught and developed Humanities curriculum in public and private schools in New York and Hawaii for fifteen years. She also taught Multicultural Education and Educational Theory at the University of Hawaii’s College of Education. In 2007 and 2008, she campaigned across more than a dozen states for her brother, President Barack Obama. Her children’s book Ladder to the Moon will be published in the winter, and she is currently working on a book about high school Peace Education.
George E. Thibault is the seventh president of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation. He has held several leadership and director positions at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Brockton/West Roxbury VA Medical Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Thibault was the Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Partners HealthCare System, Inc. from 1997 to 2007. He has served as the Daniel D. Federman Professor of Medicine and Medical Education at Harvard Medical School and was chosen as the first Director of The Academy for Harvard. In addition, he has served and chaired on the committees of national organizations including the Institute of Medicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the American College of Physicians. Dr. Thibault is also the recipient of various awards from both Georgetown University (Ryan Prize in Philosophy, Alumni Prize, and Cohongaroton Speaker) and Harvard University (Alpha Omega Alpha, Henry Asbury Christian Award and Society of Fellows). He graduated from Georgetown University and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School.
Bryan Traubert is the Founder and Partner of Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago, which is a comprehensive ophthalmic group practice, since 1986. He received a Medical Ethics Fellowship in 2002 from the University of Chicago. Currently, he is the President of the Board of Marwen and resides on the Harvard School of Public Health Board of Visitors, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago Board, National Public Radio Foundation Board, Chicago Lighthouse for the Blind Board, and Chicago Public Radio Board. In addition, he served as the President of the Renaissance Society at University of Chicago Board from 1998-2001, as well as the Founder and Board Chair of Chicago Run. He is also a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Illinois Association of Ophthalmology. Dr. Traubert received his B.S. in Biology from the Citadel and his M.D. from the University of Illinois.
Laurence Tribe is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. Prior to this appointment, he was Harvard’s Ralph S. Tyler, Jr. Professor of Constitutional Law from 1982-2004 and has been a member of Harvard’s faculty since 1968. Mr. Tribe has argued 35 U.S. Supreme Court cases including Bowers v. Hardwick and Bush v. Gore. He was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer and has authored over 110 scholarly articles and books including The Invisible Constitution and American Constitutional Law, the most frequently cited legal text since 1950. As the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and other awards, Mr. Tribe was appointed to deliver the Constitution Day Lecture for the National Archives of the United States in 2008 and received the American Bar Foundation’s Outstanding Scholar Award for 2009. He has been a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1980 and a member of the National Advisory Board for the American Civil Liberties Union since 1995. Mr. Tribe received his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics summa cum laude from Harvard College and his Law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Eleanor Kaye Wilson:
For over 35 years, Kaye Wilson has worked in a variety of positions in education institutions, government agencies, foundations and nonprofit organizations. As one of the first staff members of DePaul University’s School for New Learning, Ms. Wilson served as the Director and Assistant Dean. She has served as Executive Director of Urban Programs at Chicago City-Wide College, where she developed Project Choice, a welfare-to-work education and training program for General Assistance participants; and as founder of the Wells Prep School, which was a juvenile delinquency prevention demonstration program designed in an elementary school setting for public housing children in Chicago, Illinois. For the past twelve years, Ms. Wilson has been a nonprofit consultant in the metropolitan Chicago area. She is an active volunteer on numerous boards, committees, and taskforces. She is currently Vice Chair of two boards: Community Assistance Programs and the Rich Township District 227 Foundation.
Judy Wise is the Senior Director of Facing History and Ourselves, a non-profit professional development organization for educators. She was the founder of the organization’s first regional office in Chicago and served as its Executive Director until 2002. In addition, Ms. Wise serves on Chicago’s Human Rights Watch committee and is a Board Member of Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, which recognized her as one of 40 Who Made a Difference in celebration of the organization’s 40th Anniversary. During Barack Obama’s campaign, she was on the National Finance Committee. She has also served as Executive Director of the Committee on Illinois Government prior to her involvement with Facing History and Ourselves. Ms. Wise received her B.A. from Washington University and M.A. in psychiatric social work from the University of Chicago.