Board of Directors
The Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is made up of alumni who represent the Leaders and Best in business and industry from across the nation. As a governing body, their job is to have full legal and fiduciary responsibility as it relates to the Alumni Association in serving its community and the University.
Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, ’79
Chair | Chicago, Illinois
Ms. Wilson-Thompson has been on the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors since 2012. She is the founder and principal of KWT, LLC, a human capital management advisory firm with a client base of global Fortune 500 companies. She’s the former executive vice president and global chief human relations officer of Walgreen’s Boots Alliance, where she helped create a positive work experience for 450,000 employees worldwide. An independent board director, Wilson-Thompson also serves on the Board for Tesla, McKesson, and Wolverine Worldwide and is a member of the NAACP Foundation Board of Trustees.
Thomas W. Hawkins, ’83
Treasurer | Miami, Florida
Tom serves on boards of public companies, including MSP Recovery and Lionheart III Corp., as well as not-for-profit entities. In the past, he led numerous functions as an executive at three Fortune 500 Companies, including Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation, and Republic Services. Tom has a long history of involvement with the University of Michigan, most recently as Co-Chair of the South Florida Council for the Victors for Michigan campaign.
Mary Kay Haben, MBA’79
Secretary | Glenview, Illinois
Haben is a member of the Boards of Directors of The Hershey Company, Equity Residential, and Grocery Outlet, Inc.
Previously served on the Boards of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. and Liz Claiborne, Inc., as well as serving as the chair of the Ross Business School Alumni Board of Governors.
Retired in 2011 from a successful 33-year career managing consumer food in confectionery businesses as Group President for Kraft, Inc. and President, NA for Wm Wrigley Jr company.
Haben received a bachelor’s degree in business administration, magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois, and an MBA in marketing from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.
Jamar Adams, ’07
New York, New York
Jamar Adams is the Founder & Managing Principal of Essence Development. Prior to founding Essence Development, Adams was the Vice President of New York Development at Related Companies. From the time he joined Related in 2012, Mr. Adams focused on the redevelopment and preservation of affordable multifamily housing across the United States including $800M+ in transactions and $1.5B+ in development.
In New York City, Mr. Adams led the construction and rehabilitation of nearly 5,000 affordable and workforce housing units. Projects under his purview include Riverwalk Park, a new construction workforce housing building on Roosevelt Island; Marine Terrace, a multi-family housing project for Veterans in Astoria, Queens; Phase 1 of Willets Point, a mixed-use neighborhood in Queens; Rockaway South, an affordable supportive housing building in Far Rockaway; and more.
Before his time at Related, Mr. Adams played in the National Football League with the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and sits on the board of their Alumni Association and its LEAD Scholars. Mr. Adams is also a mentor to young professionals and is actively involved in organizations committed to enhancing educational and economic opportunities including 100 Black Men of America as well as the Business of Sport School in New York City.
Tonya Allen, ’94, MSW’96, MPH’96
Tonya Allen serves as president of the McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation that seeks to advance a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and the planet thrive. McKnight annually grants about $120 million in support of climate solutions in the Midwest, an equitable and inclusive Minnesota, the arts, neuroscience, and international crop research.
Throughout her 25-year career, Allen has been a bridge-builder and a civic diplomat focused on community-led philanthropy and the power of transforming place. With extraordinary persistence, she has worked to bring people together across diverse sectors to catalyze fresh thinking, test new approaches, and advocate for equitable policies and practices that benefit everyone.
Allen is the chair for the Council on Foundations and the co-chair of the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. Allen’s leadership is well-lauded, and she received the University of Michigan’s Bicentennial Alumni Award, Funders Network’s Nicholas P. Bollman Award, and NAACP’s Great Expectations Award. She holds master’s degrees in public health and social work and a bachelor’s in sociology, each from the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor.
Learn more about Allen from the McKnight Foundation.
Tom Baird, ’83
Vice President for Development, Ex-Officio Member | Ann Arbor, Michigan
Tom Baird is the Vice President for Development at the University of Michigan, where he has responsibility for all fundraising and development activities across the university. This includes leading the central Office of University Development as well as oversight of more than 30 U-M fundraising units, including Michigan Medicine, UM-Flint, and UM-Dearborn.
A U-M alumnus (AB ‘83) with 23 years of experience in higher education philanthropy, Baird focuses intently on organizational leadership, creating a positive work culture, and developing trusted relationships. He most recently spent three years as assistant dean for advancement at the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA), helping the 85-person team raise more than $544 million, or 136 percent of the college’s Victors for Michigan campaign goal.
Before his service to LSA, Baird was the assistant vice president and campaign director for the Victors for Michigan campaign, which ultimately raised more than $5 billion. He served as vice chancellor for advancement for UM-Dearborn (2003-11), assistant vice president and Victors for Michigan campaign director (2011-15), and the interim associate vice president of development for Michigan Medicine during a time of transition in 2015. Earlier he served as interim assistant dean of development for LSA.
Prior to his career in university fundraising, Baird worked in the financial services and airline industries. He earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from U-M and a master’s degree in human resources education from Boston University.
Tom, his wife Sarah, and his daughter Sheridan live in Ann Arbor. They are proud to be regular week one Michigania campers.
Wendell Brooks, ’87
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wendell is launching Snowcloud Capital, a new venture capital firm focused on providing growth capital to the deep technology sector. For the past six years, Wendell led Intel Capital as President and served as a Senior Vice President at Intel Corporation, sitting on the management committee. He managed a $5 billion portfolio of investments and led the acquisitions of Altera ($16B), Mobileye ($15B), and Habana ($2B).
Prior to joining Intel, Wendell enjoyed a 25-year career as an M&A advisor. He served as a managing director at Allen & Co., the leading M&A advisory boutique in the technology, media, and telecoms space from 2008-2014. Prior to that, he worked as a managing director leading the European TMT practice for Salomon Smith Barney from 1993-2008. He has spent half of his career based in Europe and half in the US.
Wendell holds a BSIOE from Michigan in 1987 and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago in 1991. Wendell lives with his wife Karin in Ann Arbor. They are the proud parents of four wonderful children – three of whom graduated or are attending the University of Michigan.
Fritz Brown, ’90, MPP’96
His responsibilities at Treystar encompass day-to-day management of the company’s 500,000-square-foot commercial real estate portfolio as well as its ancillary businesses. In addition, Fritz leads Treystar efforts in the leasing and development of the company’s 200,000-square-foot office space portfolio in Portage and downtown Kalamazoo. He also provides leadership and insight into Treystar’s ongoing retail development projects, including build-to-suit and renovation ventures.
Prior to Treystar, Fritz worked in the business development office of Bechtel Corporation, one of the most respected engineering, construction, and project management companies in the world. While at Bechtel in San Francisco, he actively sought new business opportunities for civil infrastructure projects around the globe.
Since returning to his hometown of Kalamazoo in 1999, Fritz has supported and participated in many community initiatives, including serving as a board member of the City of Kalamazoo’s Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, member of the Kalamazoo Economic Development Corporation, and board member of the Monroe-Brown Foundation. A licensed realtor in the state of Michigan and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Fritz earned a bachelor’s degree and Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.
Wayee Chu, ’97
San Francisco, California
Wayee is a general partner at Reach Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital fund supporting entrepreneurs in the areas of education and future of work. Prior to joining Reach, she was the co-founder of the NewSchools Seed Fund, an equity research analyst at Merrill Lynch. She began her career as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley. Wayee also serves on the Board of Trustees of the SFMOMA and is actively involved with several education nonprofits.
Joseph Giles, ’96, MBA’01, JD’01
Joseph Giles is a Venture Chair with Redesign Health, a healthcare innovation platform based in New York. Prior to Redesign Health, Giles was Founder and CEO of Midwest Vision Partners, a provider of eyecare management services to leading ophthalmology and optometry practices in the Midwest including over 120 physicians and 55 locations. Prior to leading MVP, Giles was President and Chief Operating Officer of Athletico Physical Therapy, the third-largest physical therapy group in the US. Prior to Athletico, Giles spent 14 years in investment banking and private equity. Giles has served on numerous corporate boards and holds an MBA, JD, and BBA from the University of Michigan. Giles lives in Chicago with his wife, Stacy Giles, and their two children, Justin and Alex.
Salene Hitchcock-Gear, ’84
Hitchcock-Gear is an inspired leader in the insurance industry who brings together creative teams to deliver solutions that help secure the financial futures of a diverse range of customers. She is currently the resident of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, a business unit of Prudential that offers competitive financial solutions through a robust portfolio of life insurance products. Salene returned to Prudential in 2017 as chief operating officer of Prudential Advisors and became president of that business shortly thereafter. She was then appointed as the president of the life insurance business in 2018.
With more than 30 years in the insurance industry, Salene previously served as president and CEO of Ameritas Investment Corp. and president and CEO of Acacia Life Insurance Company.
Serving others is a core aspect of Salene’s values. She is the incoming chair of The American College of Financial Services’ board of trustees and is currently the vice chair. She is also an advisory board director for the Women Presidents Organization and a University of Michigan Alumni Association director. Previous nonprofit board service includes the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and City Year Washington, D.C.
Salene graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Michigan and is a proud Wolverine. She also has a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, as well as FINRA Series 7 and 24 securities licenses. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
Salene considers her role as mom to be one of her proudest accomplishments. An avid sports fan, she especially looks forward to cheering on the Michigan Wolverines during college football season.
Connect with her on Twitter @Salene.
Li Li Leung, ’95
Li Li Leung became the President and Chief Executive Officer of USA Gymnastics in March 2019. Since that time, she has led the organization through an ongoing cultural transformation while emerging as a leader with the Olympic and international gymnastics movements. Leung immediately began the work of reshaping organizational culture, working collaboratively to institute new norms and standards at all levels of the sport, particularly in matters related to athlete safety. Established in December 2020, USAG’s Athlete Bill of Rights was among the first of its kind in sport. Leung was voted vice chair of the NGB Council of U.S. Olympic sport governing bodies in October 2020 and was elected to the Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) in November 2021.
Prior to joining USAG, Leung most recently served as a Vice President at the National Basketball Association (NBA), where she was responsible for building, leading, negotiating and managing key partner relationships around the world. Previously, she was a managing director at the global sports management firm Helios Partners, where she launched and managed their China and UK offices and helped clients break into emerging markets.
Leung began her gymnastics career at age 7. She competed in many USA Gymnastics events, was a member of the U.S. junior national training team and represented the U.S. in the 1988 Junior Pan American Games. She was a four-year member of the fourtime Big 10 champion University of Michigan gymnastics team and was an NCAA Championships participant. She was a volunteer assistant gymnastics coach, while earning two master’s degrees.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in psychology, at Michigan. Leung earned both of her advanced degrees – Master of Science in sports management and Master of Business Administration – at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Dr. Prakash Patel, ’89
Boca Raton, Florida
Over 25 years of proven healthcare senior executive outcomes around transforming business models and company cultures and growing enterprises profitably. C-Suite P&L, strategy and operations experiences in small to large ($16B) companies around healthcare services, managed care, and technology.
Currently, Dr. Patel is Sr. Advisor to Growth Curve Capital, and is on the boards of Nirvana Health, Dugout Ventures and Performance Kitchen, Eternal Health, and Connections Health Solutions.
Anup Popat, ’95
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Is chairman and CEO of Systems Technology Group (STG), a global technology consulting firm named one of Michigan’s largest Certified Minority Businesses by Crain’s Detroit Business. STG helps Fortune 500 companies and state governments enable their digital transformation ambitions. He is also CIO of the Popat Family office and sits on the board of several Greater Detroit nonprofits.
Dr. Charles Schwartz, ’90
Is the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Michigan. He previously served as Assistant Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at New York University Langone Medical Center from 2002-2012.v
He specializes in minimally invasive cardiac valve surgery and coronary artery bypass surgery. He has a particular interest in the application of Human Factors in health care to improve patient safety. Dr. Schwartz grew up in Bloomfield Hills, MI.
He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan and his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine. He served as a research Fellow in the thoracic surgery research laboratory at the University of Michigan Medical Center and completed his General Surgery residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. He completed a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center and then remained on the faculty at NYU for 10 years. He served as President of the New York Society for Thoracic Surgery in 2012.
Dr. Schwartz is active in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the American College of Surgeons, the Association for Academic Surgery, and the Michigan Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons. Dr. Schwartz has published over 60 papers and book chapters.
Dr. Schwartz is actively involved in Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit and is on the Board of Directors at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, MI. He serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Michigan School of Literature, Science and the Arts.
Additionally, he serves on the University of Michigan New York City/Tri-State Major Gift Committee and the Greater Detroit Campaign Leadership Council. He lives in Birmingham, MI with his wife, Cathy, and two children, Claire (student at UM Stamps School of Art) and Joey (high school senior).
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, ’95
Since 2017 Dr. Rajiv J. Shah has served as President of The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world.
Appointed USAID Administrator by President Obama in 2009, Dr. Shah reshaped the $20 billion agency’s operations in more than 70 countries around the world by elevating the role of innovation, creating high impact public-private partnerships, and focusing US investments to deliver stronger results. He also led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture.
Previously, Shah founded Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia, and served as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University. At the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he created the International Financing Facility for Immunization which helped reshape the global vaccine industry and save millions of lives.
Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business.
Steve Shindler, ’85
Steve Shindler is a Director of NII Holdings, Inc., a provider of differentiated mobile communications services in Latin America, where he served as CEO for 14 years and on the Board of Directors since 1997. As Chief Executive Officer, Steve successfully transformed NII from a start-up operation into a leading wireless provider with over 11 million subscribers and an $8 billion market cap.
Prior to NII Steve was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nextel Communications, Inc., where he helped the company fund the build out of a US nationwide highly differentiated wireless network. Prior to joining Nextel, he was Managing Director of Communications Finance at The Toronto Dominion Bank, one of the largest suppliers of capital to the wireless industry. Steve is also a founding partner of RIME Communications Capital, a firm that has invested in early-stage media, tech and telco companies. Steve earned an MBA in finance from Cornell University.
Steve is also a Director of Nikola Corporation (Nasdaq NKLA), a hydrogen fuel cell trucking company providing zero emissions solutions, and an Executive Officer of VectoIQ Acquisition Corp, a SPAC seeking business combinations in the auto technology sector. Steve serves on the Board of Roundtrip EV which provides trucks as a service in the electrification of the waste industry, and on the Advisory Board of Glydways, a low-cost, low emission public transportation service. In non-profits Steve serves on the Board of Educando, which provides teacher and principal training in Latin America; is a Trustee at Miss Halls School, an all-girls boarding high school in Pittsfield MA; and serves on the Advisory Board of Interwoven Congregations (founded by UM graduate Pat Jackson), which brings people of different races together across faith-based congregations. Steve has been an active member of the LSA Dean’s Advisory Council for 16 years and his wife Mary Kay, son Robbie and daughter Danielle are all U of M graduates.
Gabriela Teran, ’96New York, New York Is the Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Ms. Teran has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Paul Viera, ’81
Viera is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of EARNEST Partners, a global investment firm responsible for overseeing over $25 billion for municipalities, states, corporations, endowments, and universities. He conceived and developed Return Pattern Recognition®, the investment methodology used to screen equities at EARNEST Partners.
Mr. Viera has a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan, an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and has over 30 years of investment experience. He was a Vice President at Bankers Trust in both New York and London. He later joined Invesco, where he became a Global Partner and senior member of its Investment Team.
Mr. Viera serves as a member of the following Boards: the Board of Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), the Board of Dean’s Advisors for Harvard Business School, the Board of Foreign Advisors of Haitong Securities (the second-largest Chinese securities firm), the Carter Center Board of Councilors, the National Center for Human & Civil Rights, the University of Michigan School of Information External Advisory Board, the Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School Board, and the Emory University Board of Visitors. Mr. Viera also serves as a Trustee of the Woodruff Arts Center and a member of its investment committee. Additionally, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a commentator for several news organizations.
Rick Wallace, ’82
Palo Alto, California
Rick Wallace serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of KLA as well as a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He began as an applications engineer at KLA Instruments in 1988, and has held various general management positions throughout his 30+-year tenure with the company. Earlier in his career, he held positions with Ultratech Stepper and Cypress Semiconductor.
Mr. Wallace earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University.
Former Justice Kurtis Wilder, ’81, JD’84
Former Justice Kurtis T. Wilder is a Shareholder in the law firm of Butzel Long, based in Butzel’s Detroit office. He rejoined Butzel after nearly 27 years as a Trial Judge, Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals, and Michigan Supreme Court Justice, one of only 5 jurists in Michigan history to have served on all three levels of Michigan’s Court System.
Justice Wilder concentrates his practice in appeals, litigation, and mediation and
facilitation. As a former trial and appellate jurist, Justice Wilder has unique perspectives
on oral advocacy at the trial and appellate level, trial and appeals preparation, and
alternative dispute resolution. Since returning to private practice, he has successfully
argued cases in the Michigan Supreme Court, US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
and the Michigan Court of Appeals, and federal and state trial courts. He serves as a
Neutral Mediator/Arbitrator with New Era ADR, a digital advanced dispute resolution
platform, and as Senior Lecturing Fellow at Regent University School of Law.
Justice Wilder plays an active role in a number of nonprofit organizations, including as a
member of the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association of the University of
Michigan. He also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Interlochen Center for
the Arts, Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra,
Executive Committee member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Rhetoricos of
Gamma Rho Boule, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and a member of the Boards of Directors
of The Children’s Foundation and Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars. Justice Wilder
also serves as an Elder and Chancel Choir member at First Presbyterian Church of
Justice Wilder graduated from the University of Michigan with an A.B. degree in Political
Science in 1981, and from the University of Michigan Law School with a Juris Doctor
degree in 1984.
Lynn Wooten, PHD’95
Lynn Perry Wooten, a seasoned academic and an expert on organizational development and transformation, became the ninth president and first African American to lead Simmons University on July 1, 2020.
Specializing in crisis leadership, diversity and inclusion, and positive leadership—organizational behavior that reveals and nurtures the highest level of human potential—Dr. Wooten is an innovative leader whose research has informed her work in the classroom and as an administrator.
She first joined a university faculty in 1994 and has served in administrative roles since 2008. Dr. Wooten came to Simmons from Cornell University, where she was the David J. Nolan Dean and Professor of Management and Organizations at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. She also has had a robust clinical practice, providing leadership development, education, and training for a wide variety of institutions.
Dr. Wooten is the author of two books, Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building and Inclusion (2016) and Leading Under Pressure: From Surviving to Thriving Before, During, and After a Crisis (2010), nearly 30 journal articles, and more than 15 book chapters.
A graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, where she earned a BS in accounting, Dr. Wooten also holds an MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, a PhD in business administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and a Certificate in Advanced Educational Leadership from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Wooten began her career as assistant professor at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business. In 1998 she returned to the University of Michigan, where she was on the faculty of the Ross School of Business for nearly 20 years and served as Co-Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations, Co-Faculty Director of the Executive Leadership Institute, and Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Excellence. She left Michigan in 2017 for the deanship at Cornell.
Linda Zhang, ’96, MSE’98, MBA’11
Linda is the Chief Engineer for the all-electric F-150 Lightning at Ford Motor Company, with more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry.
Calendar of Events
- Sept. 22–23 – Board of Directors Fall Meeting in Ann Arbor (Homecoming)
- Feb. 23–24 – Winter Retreat (Location TBD)
- May 10 – Spring Meeting (Virtual)
- Fall 2024 – Fall Meeting in Ann Arbor (Homecoming date TBD)
Join the Board of Directors
Would you like to apply to serve on the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan Board of Directors? The nomination cycle for the Board of Directors this year is complete. The digital application for the next cycle will be available in this space in January 2024.