Our Board

Michael T. Nettles

Board Chairman and Trustee, Senior Vice President and the Edmund W. Gordon Chair of Policy Evaluation and Research, Educational Testing Service

Michael T. Nettles is the Senior Vice President and the Edmund W. Gordon Chair of Policy Evaluation & Research at the Educational Testing Service.

Nettles has a national reputation as a policy researcher on educational assessment, student performance and achievement, and educational equity. His publications reflect his broad interest in public policy, student and faculty access, opportunity, achievement, and assessment at both the K–12 and postsecondary levels.

In August 2014, President Barack Obama appointed Nettles to the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He was appointed by two US Secretaries’ of Education to serve on the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees and develops policies for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). He also served for eight years on both the College Board of Trustees and the GRE Board.

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Nettles earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Tennessee. He went on to receive master’s degrees in political science and higher education, and a Ph.D. in education at Iowa State University.

Larry Berger

Larry Berger

Trustee, CEO, Amplify Education

Larry Berger is the CEO of Amplify, a Brooklyn-based education company he co-founded (previously Wireless Generation) in 2000. He has led the invention of mobile software to help early reading teachers, and next-generation English, Math, and Science curricula for elementary and middle schools.

Larry was a Rhodes scholar, a White House Fellow working on educational technology at NASA, and a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow. He serves on the boards of Touch Press, The Academy of American Poets, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the Institute for Sustained Attention.

Prior to founding Amplify, Larry served as the educational technology specialist at the Children’s Aid Society, where he led the development of four community computer labs in disadvantaged neighborhoods that have served as models of using technology to

empower young people. Larry also developed, with Amplify co-founder Greg Gunn, the Hole in the Web, an online extension of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang camp for children with cancer and blood diseases. As a White House Fellow, Larry worked on science education in the office of the administrator of NASA. Larry holds a BA from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He has published widely on education and on educational entrepreneurship and has served as a co-investigator on several federally funded research grants.

Kenneth M. Jones II

Secretary, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, The MacArthur Foundation

Ken Jones serves as the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the MacArthur Foundation. As VP and CFO, and as a member of the Foundation’s executive leadership team, Jones is responsible for all aspects of the finance, accounting, tax, audit, administrative services and facilities functions of the MacArthur Foundation.

Jones was formerly the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In this role, Jones oversaw all finance, accounting, compliance, grants management, facilities, operations and information technology functions as well as the disaster recovery & relief process for the Foundation.

Previously, Jones worked at Danya International, a public health and education strategy development organization where he served as Chief Financial Officer as well as President & CFO for Zebra jobs. In addition, Jones served as Chief Financial Officer at Jhpiego, an international health NGO affiliate of Johns Hopkins University.

Jones also has significant corporate experience from Prudential, Ford, Mirant, and Pfizer corporations. He received his MBA from the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, a master’s degree in economics from the University of Buffalo, and a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.

Ken currently serves on the boards of the Council on Foundations, ABFE, Mission Investor Exchange, and Lutheran World Relief. Ken is a Who’s Who Black Baltimore recipient in 2010 as well as a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University Foundations program in 2006 and the Council of Foundations’ Career Pathways program in 2012. In 2017, Ken was an Arthur Vining Davis Fellow for the Aspen Ideas Festival held in Colorado. In 2018, Jones was selected as a Presidential Scholar at Concordia College-New York as well as a DCA Live Star CFO recipient.

Judith E. Leonard

Trustee, General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution

Judith Leonard is general counsel of the Smithsonian Institution. Ms. Leonard serves as the principal legal advisor to the Board of Regents, the Secretary, and other officials and directs and is responsible for the management of all legal matters relevant to the operations of the Smithsonian. These responsibilities include coordination with the Department of Justice on litigation matters, representation in administrative proceedings, engagement, and management of outside counsel; and management of the team of lawyers and support staff who provide the legal advice and representation to the entire Smithsonian. Ms. Leonard also provides legal advice to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and its trustees.

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Ms. Leonard served as the vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at the University of Arizona from 1998 until 2009. In that role, she served as principal legal advisor, directed and coordinated all legal matters, advised on policy and compliance, served as a member of the university president’s cabinet and supervised the legal department. In addition to serving as the vice president for legal affairs and general counsel at the University of Arizona, Ms. Leonard also was an adjunct associate professor in the College of Education’s Higher Education Leadership graduate degree program.

Ms. Leonard previously spent 10 years in Washington, D.C., as an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Education and as General Counsel of the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Executive Office of the President. She served as assistant attorney general in the office of the Arizona Attorney General (1990-1991) and as associate university counsel at the University of North Carolina (1983-1990), where she also lectured in the schools of business, medicine, nursing, public health, dentistry, and pharmacy.
In 2014, Ms. Leonard was elected to the American Law Institute, the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly works to clarify, modernize and improve the law. She served on the American Bar Association’s Legal Education Accreditation Committee from 2015 through 2018 and remains active in the National Association of College and University Attorneys and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She is an active member of the Women’s Advisory Board of the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital and of the Washington D.C. chapter of the International Women’s Forum.

Ms. Leonard earned her juris doctor and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University.

Hakim J. Lucas

Board Vice Chair and Trustee, President & CEO, Virginia Union University

The Virginia Union University Board of Trustees named Dr. Hakim J. Lucas the 13th President of the University effective September 1, 2017.

Lucas brings nearly two decades of progressive leadership experience in higher education. His career successes include fundraising, strategic planning, and the engagement and retention of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Lucas has served as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, FL since 2012. Under his leadership, unrestricted and restricted giving rose by 30 percent, and the endowment increased by 53 percent. He developed a strategic government relations plan that resulted in millions of dollars in appropriations from the state of Florida. These funds aided in the development of new academic programs and a Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. His responsibilities also included chairing the Strategic Growth and Sustainability Taskforce, as well as leading the sponsored research team that secured more than $45 million in research grants.

Prior to his accomplishments at Bethune-Cookman, Lucas served as Director of Development at State University of New York at Old Westbury, and the Dean of Institutional Advancement and Development at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, NY. He was also a tenured lecturer and Deputy Chair of the Philosophy and Religion department at Medgar Evers College.

Lucas earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, a master’s degree in education from Tufts University, and a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. He earned his doctoral degree in education from Fordham University.

Lily D. McNair

Trustee, Former President, Tuskegee University

Dr. Lily D. McNair served as Tuskegee University’s eighth president  from 2018 to 2021. Her appointment as Tuskegee’s first female president, by unanimous vote of the university’s Board of Trustees, came after nearly seven years of service as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College — a private college of 2,200 students located on New York’s Staten Island.

She previously served as associate provost of research and divisional coordinator for science and mathematics at Spelman College, where she was responsible for cultivating the institution’s research capabilities. This included strengthening its infrastructure of policies and procedures related to faculty involvement in research, and developing a coordinated system to improve the efficient use of its research resources.

McNair served as associate professor of psychology and associate director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Program at The University of Georgia, where in 1999 she was the first African-American woman to obtain tenure and promotion in the Department of Psychology. She also has served as professor of psychology on the faculty of The State University of New York at New Paltz, and as a clinical psychologist at Vassar College.

A clinical psychologist by training, McNair’s research has focused on the development and evaluation of community-based interventions targeting substance use and early sexual behavior in African-American youth. Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary findings of these longitudinal studies are demonstrating the significant impact of positive parenting practices on children’s outcomes across a variety of domains. McNair is also the co-editor of Women: Images and Realities (4th ed.), an introductory multicultural women’s studies textbook.

McNair’s continuing research interests include examining the role of stress in the alcohol consumption of female college students. This interest, dating back to her dissertation research, marked the beginning of her longstanding interest in gender-related issues in social behavior. She continued this line of research while at The University of Georgia by investigating cognitive factors related to alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors, with particular attention to gender-related influences on decision-making and risk-taking. Her work examines two specific areas of sexual risk: sexual behaviors related to the transmission of HIV/AIDS (unsafe sexual practices), and sexual aggression (i.e., acquaintance rape). McNair also is interested in the dyadic nature of alcohol use and sexual risk-taking and has begun to investigate the changes in alcohol consumption and sexual risk-taking that occur in dating couples over the course of their relationships.

McNair has served as major professor for more than 10 doctoral students in clinical psychology at The University of Georgia, where she was actively involved in both undergraduate and graduate training. She considers her contributions to the education of junior scholars to be among the most rewarding aspects of her career at UGA, where she was actively involved in increasing the numbers of African-American graduate students in the Department of Psychology.

A native of New Jersey, McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She is married to Dr. George W. Roberts, a retired senior administrator at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Together they have two adult children: Randall Roberts and Marguerite Roberts.

Ajay K. Mehrotra

Trustee, Executive Director, American Bar Foundation

Dr. Ajay K. Mehrotra is the Executive Director and a Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation (ABF), a Chicago-based, independent, non-profit research institute that focuses on the empirical and interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and legal processes. He is also a Professor of Law at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, and an Affiliated Professor of History at Northwestern University.

Mehrotra’s scholarship and teaching focus on legal history and tax law. More generally, his research explores law and political economy in historical and comparative perspective, with a particular focus on tax law and policy. He is the author of Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013), which received the 2014 Best Book award from the U.S. Society for Intellectual History. He is the co-editor (with Isaac William Martin and Monica Prasad) of The New Fiscal Sociology: Taxation in Comparative and Historical Perspective (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009). His writings have also appeared in student-edited law reviews and interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journals including Law & Social Inquiry, Law & History Review, and Law & Society Review. His scholarship, teaching, and programmatic efforts have been supported by grants and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the AccessLex Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Science Foundation, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council.

Before joining the ABF and Northwestern, Mehrotra taught American legal history, federal income tax, taxation of business entities, and tax policy at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. He also co-taught strategic tax planning at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business. He was also an adjunct professor of history at Indiana University and an Affiliated Faculty member of the Lin & Vincent Ostrom Workshop on Political Theory & Policy Analysis. Prior to his time at Indiana University he was a Doctoral Fellow at the ABF. After law school and before he embarked on his academic career, Mehrotra was an Associate in the Structured Finance department of the New York offices of J.P. Morgan.

Mehrotra received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, his J.D. from Georgetown, and his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Chicago.

Michele S. Warman

Trustee, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel & Secretary, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Michele S. Warman is executive vice president, chief operating officer, general counsel and secretary of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Ms. Warman oversees the Foundation’s overall operations and legal affairs, including finance, grant management, and human resources, and is secretary to the Board of Trustees. Ms. Warman works closely with the Foundation’s president, board, and staff in the day-to-day management of the Foundation and in setting overall direction.

Ms. Warman received an A.B. from Princeton University in 1982, where she received the M. Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the university’s highest undergraduate distinction, an M.A. from the University of Oxford, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Prior to joining the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1999, Ms. Warman was an associate at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, and a law clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit. At Davis Polk, Ms. Warman represented Fortune 500 companies in litigation and investigative matters and provided counsel to corporate boards. In her pro bono practice, she represented civil rights groups in amici briefs before the U.S. Supreme Court and indigent clients in litigation disputes. Ms. Warman has been honored as one of New York’s Outstanding Women of the Bar by the New York County Lawyers’ Association.

Ms. Warman is a board member of Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life, and past member of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs’ Advisory Council, and of Princeton’s Alumni Council’s Executive Committee and Committee on Academic Programs. She serves on a variety of fellowship selection panels, including the Rhodes Scholarship, Schwarzman Scholars, and Schmidt Science Fellows, and on the Rhodes Development Committee. Ms. Warman is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C. Bars.