The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships
The President's Commission on White House Fellowships, established by President Lyndon B. Johnson by Executive Order 11183, is composed of twenty to thirty outstanding citizens who represent a broad range of backgrounds, interests, and professions. Some Commissioners have served through several Administrations and some are former Fellows. The Commission interviews National Finalists and then recommends those individuals it finds most qualified to the President for appointment as White House Fellows.
|Mary Zients (Chair)||Cheryl Dorsey (Vice Chair)|
|Katherine Archuleta (Ex-Officio)||Wesley Clark|
|Nelson Diaz||Matrice Ellis-Kirk|
|Helene Gayle||Alice Germond|
|Vartan Gregorian||Steve Gunderson|
|Cynthia Hale||Deborah Harmon|
|Christy Haubegger||Peter Blair Henry|
|John Hockenberry||George Muñoz|
|Lloyd W. Newton||Ted Olson|
|Roger Porter||Azita Raji|
|Rion Joaquin Ramirez||George Thibault|
|Eleanor Kaye Wilson||Judy Wise|
E. Kinney Zalesne
(Ex-Officio; President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association)
Mary Zients (Chair)
Mary Menell Zients is a founder and Board Chair of the Urban Alliance Foundation in Washington, D.C. Previously, Ms. Zients was Chair of the Women for Women International board from 2005 to 2012, and currently serves on the board’s Executive Committee. Earlier in her career, she spent four years in strategic management consulting for Fortune 500 companies at Bain & Company. She is currently President of the Board of Trustees of the Maret School in Washington, D.C., was a founding board member of City Year South Africa, and serves as Chair of the U.S. Committee supporting the establishment of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital. Ms. Zients received a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Cheryl Dorsey (Vice Chair)
Cheryl Dorsey is President of Echoing Green, a pioneer in the social entrepreneurship movement. The mission of Echoing Green is to unleash next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Its signature program, the Echoing Green Fellowship, provides seed capital and support to the most promising social entrepreneurs with bold ideas for change. As a co-founder of The Family Van, a community-based mobile health unit that provides basic health care and outreach services to at-risk residents of inner-city Boston neighborhoods, Dorsey received an Echoing Green Fellowship in 1992 to help launch the program. Cheryl has served as a White House Fellow and Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Labor, Special Assistant to the Director of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Labor Department, and Transition Team Member of the Innovation and Civil Society subgroup of the Technology, Innovation, and Government Reform Policy Working Group. Dorsey currently serves on several boards and has received numerous public service awards and recognition for her work. Most recently, Dorsey was named one of "America's Best Leaders" by US News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and one of The Nonprofit Times' "Power and Influence Top 50." Dorsey received her Bachelor's degree in History and Science magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her master's in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School. She completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC.
Katherine Archuleta (Ex-Officio)
Katherine Archuleta most recently served as National Political Director for Obama for America, a position she held from 2011 to 2012. Prior to this, Ms. Archuleta served as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2009 to 2011. From October 2005 to May 2009, she served as a Senior Advisor on Policy and Initiatives for the City and County of Denver, Colorado. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation from 2002 to 2005. Ms. Archuleta was the Director of Professional Services for Davis, Graham and Stubbs, LLP from 2000 to 2002, and Co-Founder and Principal of the Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action from 1997 to 2000. She served as Senior Policy Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy in 1997. From 1993 to 1997, Ms. Archuleta served at the U.S. Department of Transportation, first as Deputy Chief of Staff and then as Chief of Staff. She served as an adjunct professor at the University of Denver from 1992 to 1993. Prior to that, she worked in a number of roles in the Office of the Mayor of Denver from 1983 to 1991, including Deputy Chief of Staff. Ms. Archuleta received a B.A. from Metropolitan State College and a M.Ed. from the University of Northern Colorado.
General Clark serves as Chairman and CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, Co-Chairman of Growth Energy, senior fellow at UCLA's Burkle Center for International Relations, Advisor to the Blackstone Group, as well as numerous charitable and corporate boards.
Clark retired a four star general after 38 years in the United States Army. He graduated first in his class at West Point and attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. As Supreme Allied Commander Europe, he led NATO forces to victory in Operation Allied Force, saving 1.5 million Albanians from ethnic cleansing.
His awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, silver star, bronze star, purple heart, honorary knighthoods from the British and Dutch governments, and Commander of the Legion of Honor from the French government.
The Honorable Nelson Diaz was born and raised in Harlem, and is a partner at Dilworth Paxson, where he concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation, dispute resolution, public housing issues, and government relations. He has represented public entities, corporations, hospitals, banks, and nonprofit organizations in both State and Federal Courts. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New York, and Washington, D.C. While working around the world on human and civil rights, Judge Diaz served as a Judge for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas from 1981 to 1993, where he made his mark as the youngest judge elected to the Court, the first Latino judge to serve in Pennsylvania history, and the first minority person to be Administrative Judge in the State. During his distinguished career, Judge Diaz served as the City Solicitor of Philadelphia, 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 and civil rights litigation. Judge Diaz was recognized as one of the 100 most influential Hispanic Americans and Elite Corporate Directors by Hispanic Business, and received the Latino Trendsetter Award in 2012 for his work and public service, among numerous other awards. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the General Counsel of the Urban Affairs Coalition, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Exelon Corporation and PECO Energy Co. He was formerly on the Advisory Board of PNC and the Legg Mason Family of Funds. In addition to the honorary doctorates he has been awarded from Temple University, LaSalle University, Albright College and Lincoln University, Judge Diaz holds a B.S. from Saint John’s University and a J.D. from Temple University. Today, he serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Temple University. He served as a 1977-1978 White House Fellow as a Special Assistant to Vice President Walter F. Mondale.
Matrice Ellis-Kirk is a senior member of the RSR Partners’ Board of Directors Practice and head of the firm’s Dallas office. Having a passion for topics related to governance and diverse boards, her current search work focuses on the boardroom.
Matrice is active within the business and civic communities, serving on a number of boards, including the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, North Texas Tollway Authority, and The Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation. She has served on the University of Pennsylvania Board of Visitors, as a non-executive director of public company boards and also as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on Women’s Empowerment.
Prior to joining RSR Partners, Matrice worked for over 18 years with two global recruiting firms, Heidrick & Struggles and Spencer Stuart. There she led board assignments for non-executive directors for public and privately held companies. She also conducted senior level search assignments for business-to-consumer companies across multiple functions. In addition, while at Heidrick, she was managing partner leading Diversity Advisory Services and the Global Knowledge Management organization; and as a member of the management committee, in a North America corporate role leading the Client Service Organization where she streamlined internal processes.
Prior to a career in search, Matrice spent several years leading the Dallas office as vice president and office manager of Apex Securities, a Texas-based investment banking firm. Previously, she worked as director of the Office of Management and Budget with Dallas Area Rapid Transit and earlier with MBank Dallas in several banking roles.
Matrice holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She and her husband, Ron, have two children, Elizabeth and Catherine.
Helene D. Gayle is president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization with approximately 10,000 staff whose poverty fighting programs reached 83 million people last year in 84 countries. Since joining CARE in 2006, Dr. Gayle has led efforts to reinforce CARE’s commitment to empowering girls and women to bring lasting change to poor communities. Under her leadership, CARE has strengthened its focus on long term impact, increased policy and advocacy efforts and deepened connections between poverty and the environment. Gayle has leveraged partnerships with the private sector, governments, and the other NGOs expand CARE’s reach and impact across the globe. An expert on health, global development and humanitarian issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. Dr. Gayle then worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle serves on public company and non-profit boards including The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the New America Foundation, the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, and the ONE Campaign. Additionally, she currently serves on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships and the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Public Health Association, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women,” Foreign Policy magazine's "Top 100 Global Thinkers," and Newsweek's top 10 "Women in Leadership," Dr. Gayle has been featured by national and international media outlets. She has also published numerous scientific articles on HIV/AIDS and other public health issues.
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. She has received 13 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
Alice T. Germond
Alice T. Germond is Secretary Emeritus of the Democratic National Committee. She served as Secretary of the Democratic National Committee from 2002 to 2013. Previously, she was Executive Vice President of NARAL Pro-Choice America from 1998 to 2002, while also serving as Acting President in 2002. From 1995 to 1998, she consulted for several nonprofit organizations, including the AFL-CIO Working Women’s Division and the SEIU Political Department. Ms. Germond held several senior positions at the Democratic National Committee from 1989 to 1996. She served as a Commissioner on the California Council on Criminal Justice from 1976 to 1983 and the Los Angeles City-County Consolidation Commission from 1980 to 1983. Ms. Germond received a B.A. from Bennington College and an M.S. from California State University, Los Angeles.
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 The Hunter Foundation, the Aga Khan Museum, the Library of Alexandria, National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center, The American Academy in Berlin, and National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. 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 Presidential 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.
Steve Gunderson’s entire career has held the issues of education and workforce investment as priorities for both the nation and his professional work.Today, he advances this work as the President and CEO of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities.
His commitment began at the age of 23, when he was first elected to the Wisconsin State Legislature. After three terms in Madison, Gunderson served 16 years in the U.S. Congress and was a recognized leader on agriculture, education, employment policy, health care and human rights issues. Following his career in public service, he was named the senior consultant and managing director of the Washington office of The Greystone Group, a strategic management and communications consulting firm. His portfolio centered around research, writing, speaking and consulting on the jobs revolution in America. He was the lead author of a book on this subject, The Jobs Revolution: Changing How America Works and published “The New Middle Class:Creating Wealth, Wages and Opportunity in the 21st Century.
Gunderson served as President and CEO of the Council on Foundations between 2005 and 2011.One of his many priorities at the Council was education and workforce investment.Under his leadership the Council has created a division for Public-Private Partnerships where the National Fund for Workforce Solutions operates under the leadership of Stephanie Powers.He is recognized for his insight and analysis on the national political issues of the day, and has lectured widely from Harvard University to The Brookings Institution.
A graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the Brown School of Broadcasting, Gunderson and his partner, Ethan Ngo, live in Alexandria, Virginia. He serves on various nonprofit boards including Lutheran World Relief and The White House Fellows Selection Commission and The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.
Dr. 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, as the Chairperson of the Board at Beulah Heights University, Chairperson of City of Hope Ministries, Inc,. As a recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dr. Hale received 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. and in 2013, she received the Keeper of the Flame Award from The Balm in Gilead, Inc. She authored her first book entitled I’m A Piece of Work: Sisters Shaped by God in 2010. 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.
Ms. Harmon is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Artemis Real Estate Partners, LLC, a real estate investment firm that manages institutional, third party capital in a variety of real estate strategies. She is responsible for establishing, implementing and overseeing the company’s strategic direction. Ms. Harmon has over twenty-five years of experience in the real estate industry. Prior to co-founding Artemis, she spent 17 years with the J.E. Robert Companies, Inc. ("JER"), a real estate investment firm where she was last President and Chief Investment Officer. Prior to JER, Ms. Harmon was a Managing Director at Banker’s Trust Company in New York City where she worked in both the corporate finance and real estate groups.
Ms. Harmon currently serves on the Board of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., a publicly-traded national real estate development company, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Caravel Management, a New York-based fund manager investing in the beyond-BRICs Emerging and Frontier Markets, and on the Investment Committee of Sidwell Friends School.
Much of Ms. Harmon’s philanthropy is directed toward improving the lives of women and children. She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board for Women for Women International, a non-profit organization that supports women and children in war-torn countries. From 2008 to 2012, she served on the Advisory Council of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. From 2002 through 2010, Ms. Harmon served on the Board of Trustees for Sidwell and was chairperson of their Investment Committee; and from 1999 to 2001 she served on the Board of Beauvoir, The National Cathedral Elementary School. From 1997 through 2001, Ms. Harmon sat on the Board of Avis Group Holdings, Inc., chairing the special committee of independent directors. Ms. Harmon was a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization from 1997 to 2002 and sat on the Board for the National Child Research Center from 1994 to 1997.
Ms. Harmon earned a B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member and serves on the planning committee of Pension Real Estate Association (PREA) and is a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and Urban Land Institute (ULI).
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 Blair Henry
Peter Henry is the Dean of New York University’s Stern School of Business and a former Professor of International Economics at Stanford University. In 2008, he led Barack Obama’s Presidential Transition Team in its review of international lending agencies such as the IMF and World Bank. A member of the board of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Kraft Foods Group, Peter received his PhD in economics from MIT and Bachelor’s degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of North Carolina, where he was a Morehead Scholar and a finalist in the 1991 campus-wide slam dunk competition. He just published his first book, TURNAROUND: Third World Lessons for First World Growth. Born in Jamaica, Peter became a US citizen in 1986. He lives in New York City with his wife of 17 years and their four sons.
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.
Mr. Muñoz is a Principal and Co-founder of Muñoz Group Investment Banking, and a partner in the law firm of Tobin & Muñoz. 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. Muñoz 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. Muñoz was a partner in Stevenson, Colling, & Muñoz (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, Laureate Education, and the National Geographic Society. Mr. Muñoz 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
General Retired, Lloyd W. "Fig" Newton is a former Executive Vice President, Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut. He provided leadership and direction for all business development, aftermarket services and activities associated with integrated logistics and fleet management. Newton joined Pratt & Whitney in September 2000 and helped to grow the Military Engine business to annual revenue of $1.3 Billion.In August 2000, He retired as a four-star General from the United States Air Force where he 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. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of Goodrich Corporation, Sonoco Products Company, and Torchmark Corporation; as well as 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.
Theodore B. Olson is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s Appellate and Constitutional Law and Crisis Management Practice groups. He was Solicitor General of the United States from 2001-2004 and Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 1981-1984. Mr. Olson has argued 60 cases before the United States Supreme Court including the Bush v. Gore cases, McConnell v. FEC, Citizens United v. FEC, Caperton v. Massey, Rasul v. Bush, and the recent challenge to California’s Proposition 8, Hollingsworth v. Perry, as well as cases involving telecommunications, antitrust, the environment, patents, constitutional provisions and many other subjects. His clients have included Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. He serves as a President Obama appointee on the ten-person Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States. He also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts. He was Co-Chair of the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy and a member of the President’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. He was a Visiting Scholar at the National Constitution Center, 2006-2007. He has twice received the William J. Randolph Award, the Justice Department’s highest award, and the Defense Department’s highest civilian award, the Medal for Distinguished Public Service.
Mr. Roger Porter is the IBM Professor of Business and Government and the Master of Dunster House at Harvard University. He is also 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.
Azita Raji is a recognized business strategist, and a former Wall Street executive with international experience, who currently brings her expertise in global financial markets, economics, and strategic thinking to numerous leadership roles in the non-profit sector, by serving as an active trustee, co-founder, and advisor on national boards and appointed commissions, including The President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, Barnard College, Columbia Business School’s Social Enterprise Program, Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Economic Advisory Council of the Center for American Progress, National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, and National Partnership for Women and Families. During the 2012 Obama campaign, Raji served as National Finance Vice Chair and Chair of the Swing State Victory Fund, in addition to serving on the national advisory board of the Democratic National Committee since 2008.
Raji holds a B.A. in architecture and French from Barnard College, Columbia University, and an M.B.A. in finance from Columbia Business School. She is a designated Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Bretton Woods Committee.
Raji was born in Tehran, Iran, and spent her early years growing up and studying in Iran and Western Europe. She attended and graduated from an international high school in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she was a competitive downhill skier and chess player, before coming to live in the United States for the first time, to attend college at age 17. Throughout her life she has lived, studied, and worked in the Middle East, Latin America, Western Europe, and the Far East, and is fluent and literate in several languages, including Farsi and French. She has drawn from her wide global awareness and cultural perspective throughout her life and career. Raji currently resides in Northern California with her family.
Rion Joaquin Ramirez
Rion Joaquin Ramirez is General Counsel at Port Madison Enterprises, the economic development arm of the Suquamish Tribe. From 2001 to 2005, he was an Associate at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, and prior to that, he was an Associate at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, P.C. from 1997 to 2001. He also served as Counsel for the University of Washington’s Child Advocacy Clinic from 1997 to 1998. He became a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Executive Committee in 2013. In 2012, Mr. Ramirez was a member of the Obama for America National Finance Committee and co-chair of the Obama Native Outreach Group. He is a past President of the Northwest Indian Bar Association and a former Appellate Court Justice for the Turtle Mountain Band of the Chippewa Indians, where he is an enrolled member. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Washington Bar Association, and the Native American Bar Association. Mr. Ramirez received a B.A. from the University of Washington and a J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law.
Dr. George 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 is a member of the Institute of Medicine. George graduated from Georgetown University and received his M.D. from Harvard Medical 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, an international non-profit professional development organization for educators reaching more than 2 million students every year. She was the founder of the organization’s first regional office in Chicago and served as its Executive Director until 2002, when she founded the UK office. She now works across the organization. Ms. Wise also 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. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Committee on Illinois Government and worked in the news department at both NBC TV and CBS TV in Chicago. During Barack Obama’s campaign, she was on the National Finance Committee. Ms. Wise received her B.A. from Washington University and M.A. in psychiatric social work from the University of Chicago. She is married to Sheldon Baskin and has two grown children.
E. Kinney Zalesne (Ex-officio; President of the White House Fellows Foundation and Association)
E. Kinney Zalesne is the bestselling collaborator on Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow’s Big Changes, and of the regular Microtrends column in the Wall Street Journal. In addition to being a highly sought-after speaker in the U.S. and abroad, Ms. Zalesne has also written for Business Week and the Financial Times and has appeared as an expert on MSNBC, Tucker Carlson, and dozens of other TV and radio shows.
As chief executive of Zalesne LLC, Zalesne advises CEOs on their personal strategic positioning, helping them maximize their personal stories and stature on behalf of their organizations. Her clients include current and former CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, as well as political leaders and social entrepreneurs.
Zalesne is a former prosecutor, White House Fellow with Vice President Al Gore, Counsel to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and Senior Consultant with Penn Schoen & Berland, where she helped shape the successful re-election campaigns of President Bill Clinton in 1996 and Senator Hillary Clinton in 2006. Zalesne lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and their three children.