Our Board

Milton J. Little, Jr.

Board Chair and Trustee, President, United Way of Greater Atlanta

Milton J. Little, Jr. became the first African-American president of United Way of Greater Atlanta, the second-largest in the national system, in July 2007. Altogether, Little has helped raise more than half a billion dollars for local community needs and priorities. Before joining United Way, he served as chief operating officer and interim president and CEO of the National Urban League. He graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in sociology and earned an M.A. in urban sociology and social policy from Columbia University.

He is a member of many boards and advisory committees. Notable among them are the Center for Assessment and Policy Development, chair of the Southern Education Foundation, and as vice chair of the board of directors for Ways to Work. He is a member of the Atlanta Mayoral Board of Service, 100 Black Men of Atlanta, TechBridge Advisory Board, Siemer Institute for Family Stability Advisory Council, Atlanta Choice Neighborhoods Governing Body, Junior League of Atlanta Community Advisory Board, University of Georgia Advisory Board for the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development, Atlanta Speech School Board of Advisors, Woodruff Arts Center Board of Trustees, Central Atlanta Progress, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Georgia’s Older Adults Cabinet, the Atlanta Early Education Leadership Council, Hope Atlanta Advisory Council, Get Georgia Ready Reading Cabinet, and Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta. In January 2018, he was selected to serve on Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ Transition Team.

Little is a native New Yorker and has two sons: Milton and Taylor, and three grandchildren: Joi, Miles, and Langston.

Esther Aguilera

Trustee, President, and CEO, Latino Corporate Directors Association

Esther Aguilera is president and CEO of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. In this role, she brings together accomplished executives at the highest levels of corporate governance to advance diversity in the boardroom. She brings a 25-year record of success executing strategic business plans to drive organizational effectiveness, growth, and impact. Previous positions included leading the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) for 11 years as its President & CEO, principal at the Dewey Square Group, senior advisor to the Secretary of the US Department of Energy, executive and legislative director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Occidental College and completed the Harvard Corporate Governance Executive Program in 2005.

Frederick J. Frelow

Board Treasurer and Trustee, Chief Executive Officer, Frelow & Associates

Dr. Frederick J. Frelow (Board Treasurer and SEF Trustee) previously served as Interim President of the Southern Education Foundation. His tenure at the Ford Foundation centered on issues of education and scholarship in the United States and focused on improving the quality of teaching in secondary schools serving low-income, minority, and immigrant children.  Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2008, he was director of early-college initiatives at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, where he was responsible for managing the developing of 14 early-college high schools.  Previously, he was the associate director in the working communities division of the Rockefeller Foundation, where he oversaw development and implementation of the foundation’s school reform program.  He has served as director of national affairs and associate director of urban initiatives for the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future at Teachers College, Columbia University; director of curriculum for the Nyack, NY., public schools; and director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Magnet School Assistance Project at Louis Armstrong Middle School in Queens, N.Y.  He also taught for 12 years in Newton, Mass., public schools.  Freelow has an Ed.D. in educational administration and policy analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a master’s degree in education and policy analysis from Boston University.

Kenneth M. Jones II

Trustee, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, The Annie E. Casey Foundation

Ken Jones is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In this role, Jones oversees 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.

Hakim J. Lucas

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, President, Tuskegee University

Dr. Lily D. McNair has been selected as Tuskegee University’s eighth president by unanimous vote of the university’s Board of Trustees. Her appointment as Tuskegee’s first female president comes 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.

Michael T. Nettles

Trustee, Senior Vice President at ETS

Michael T. Nettles is Senior Vice President and the Edmund W. Gordon Chair of ETS’s Policy Evaluation & Research Center (PERC).

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.

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.

Warren Simmons

Trustee, Senior Policy Advisor, National Education Policy Center, School of Education, University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Warren Simmons is a Senior Policy Advisor at the National Education Policy Center in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Prior to this role, he served as Executive Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform for 18 years. Before joining the Annenberg Institute in 1998, he was the executive director of the Philadelphia Education Fund, a nonprofit organization that helped the School District of Philadelphia to fund, develop, and implement new academic standards, content-based professional development, standards-based curriculum resources, and comprehensive school reform, as part of the Children Achieving reform agenda. From 1995-98, Dr. Simmons served as Director of Baltimore Initiatives at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he developed and funded initiatives on community development and urban school reform.  Previous positions include being director of equity initiatives for the New Standards Project, and special assistant to the superintendent of schools in Prince George’s County, Maryland, where he planned and/or implemented district-wide initiatives on improving the achievement of disadvantaged students.

Dr. Simmons has served on the boards and advisory groups of several education reform organizations including the Public Education Network, the Merck Institute, the National Center on Education and the Economy, PLATO Learning, Inc., the College Crusade of Rhode Island, and the Cowen Institute’s National Advisory Council.  He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and FHI 360, an international development organization. Dr. Simmons received a B.A. in psychology from Macalester College in 1973 and a Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell University in 1979.

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.