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 headshotKathleen 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 and Wolverine Worldwide and is a member of the NAACP Foundation Board of Trustees.

Bob Stefanski headshotBob Stefanski, MSE’86, JD’89

Past Chair | Palo Alto, California

Bob is co-founder and managing director of eLab Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund. Prior to founding eLab Ventures, Bob was on the founding team of TIBCO Software, one of the leading enterprise infrastructure software companies in the world. He has been active as an alum in numerous capacities, including as a board member of the University’s Center for Entrepreneurship and as a member of the President’s West Coast Advisory Council.

Mary Kay Haben headshotMary 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.

Ignacio Salazar headshotIgnacio Salazar, MSW’72

Treasurer | Livonia, Michigan

Serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of SER Jobs for Progress National, Inc., a national network of employment and training providers comprised of affiliates in 19 States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. SER provides services to more than one million people annually. Mr. Salazar is committed to SER’s mission of transforming lives through employment, education, and empowerment.

Mr. Salazar began his four-decade career with SER in 1975, serving as Executive Director of SER Metro-Detroit Corporation. Following this he served as SER National Vice President (1980-1984). He returned to SER Metro-Detroit as President in 1984 and started subsidiaries in Arkansas, Illinois, New Mexico, and parts of Texas along with a for profit entity (SERCO) and title holding company (Empresa). While in Detroit, he also created the Samaritan Center, which is the nation’s largest one-stop workforce development complex. He has held the position of President for SER National since 2001.

He currently holds several leadership and advisory positions, including: Advisory Council Member, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an organization created by President Barack Obama; current member of the Executive Committee of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility; Joint Diversity Council Member, Comcast, Telemundo and NBCUniversal; Diversity and University of Michigan Alumni Association Board Treasurer. Mr. Salazar was also appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, a consultative commission created by Executive Order of then President George W. Bush, a post he held for three years (2008-2011). He also served on the Board of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and was also a member of the Executive Committee for the NAACP Detroit.

Mr. Salazar’s work on behalf of the Hispanic community and in workforce investment has earned him many awards and recognitions. Some highlights include: A profile in the July/August issues of Latino Leaders Magazine and selection as one of the publication’s 101 Most Influential Latinos in America (2015 & 2016). Governor’s Special Tribute Award by the Michigan Commission on Spanish Speaking Affairs; the Hispanic Economic Club of Michigan as “Professional of the Year”; Minority Women’s Network as “Man of the Year”; and the Martin Luther King Award “Keeping the Dream Alive,” bestowed on him by the Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit. Ameritech of Michigan and New Detroit, Inc. have also recognized him for outstanding service to the community.

During 1971 – 1977, he obtained a master’s degree from the University of Michigan Graduate School of Social Work in Ann Arbor and completed doctoral coursework at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher Education Administration. He also completed the Executive Leadership Seminar, “Best Practices in Corporate Governance,” at Harvard University.

Jamar Adams headshotJamar Adams, BGS’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 headshotTonya Allen, AB’94, MSW’96, MPH’96

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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, the chair of the Oakland University board of trustees, 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 headshotTom Baird, AB’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 HeadshotWendell 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 headshotFritz Brown, AB’90, MPP’96

Kalamazoo, Michigan

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.

Gwendolyn Hatten Butler headshotGwendolyn Hatten Butler, ’77

Chicago, Illinois

Ms. Hatten Butler is an Independent Director of Mutual of  America Financial Group, Wells Enterprises, Inc., and  Ferguson Partners. She is the former President and Chief  Investment Officer of Capri Investment Group, a real estate development and direct investment firm that has completed  more than $14 billion in commercial real estate investments  over the past 25 years. Ms. Hatten Butler is a senior business leader with an outstanding track record in delivering strong results over the course of her 35+ years in  the financial services, investment, and real estate industries.

Prior to joining Capri Investment Group, Ms. Hatten Butler held senior leadership positions at UBS Global Asset Management, Bear Stearns Asset Management, SEI Capital Resources, and Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company. While holding those positions, Ms. Hatten Butler maintained active FINRA Series 7, 63, and 65 licenses.

Ms. Hatten Butler is a member of the Board of Directors of Mutual of America Financial Group, Wells Enterprises, Inc., and Ferguson Partners. Ms. Hatten Butler is Chair of the Community Development Commission of the City of Chicago. She is active in numerous industry, civic, and philanthropic organizations, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Executive Council; the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, where she chairs the Nominating Committee; Develop Detroit; and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Ms. Hatten Butler is an active guest lecturer at the University of Michigan, New York University, and Northwestern University.

Ms. Hatten Butler received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. in Finance from Northwestern University. She previously served on the Board of Directors of Seaway Bank and Trust Company and chaired the Risk Management committee. Ms. Hatten Butler previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Securities Professionals and as President of the Board of Directors of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.

Wayee ChuWayee 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.

Thomas Hawkins headshotThomas W. Hawkins, ’83

Miami, Florida

Tom has served Boards and Committees of both private and public companies for more than 30 years as a lawyer, executive, and member. He has led law departments, corporate development teams, and other functions 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.

Salene HitchcockSalene Hitchcock-Gear, ’84

Potomac, Maryland

Salene is president of Prudential Individual Life Insurance. An insurance industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Hitchcock-Gear is also president of Prudential Advisors, the company’s national sales organization. Additionally, she represents Prudential as a director on the Women Presidents’ Organization Advisory Board and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Grace Meng headshotGrace Meng, ’97

New York, New York

Is serving her fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Sixth Congressional District of New York, encompassing the borough of Queens. Ms. Meng is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

U.S. Congresswoman Grace Meng is serving her fourth term in the United States House of Representatives. Grace represents the Sixth Congressional District of New York encompassing the New York City borough of Queens, including west, central and northeast Queens.

Grace is the first and only Asian American Member of Congress from New York State and the first female Congressmember from Queens since former Vice Presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.

Grace is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittees on State and Foreign Operations, Homeland Security, and Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. The Appropriations Committee is responsible for funding every federal agency, program, and project within the United States government. She also serves on the House Ethics Committee.

Grace is also a Senior Whip and Regional Whip for New York, and a founder and Co-Chair of the Kids’ Safety Caucus, the first bipartisan coalition in the House that promotes child-safety issues. She helped create and serves as a founding member and former Co-Chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus which works to mitigate excessive aircraft noise that adversely affects communities.

Grace has passed several pieces of legislation in law. These include laws about religious freedom, making Queens historic sites part of the National Park Service, striking “Oriental” from federal law, and protecting public housing residents from insufficient heat. Also signed into law were her measures to assist veterans and members of the military, and provisions to improve consumer protections and safeguards for children.

In addition, Grace has fought to expand opportunities for communities of color, young people, and women, and she secured resources to help local small businesses.

Born in Elmhurst, Queens, and raised in the Bayside and Flushing sections of the borough, Grace attended local schools and graduated from Stuyvesant High School and the University of Michigan. She then earned a law degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.

Prior to serving in Congress, Grace was a member of the New York State Assembly. Before entering public service, she worked as a public-interest lawyer.

Grace resides in Queens with her husband, Wayne, and two sons, Tyler and Brandon.

Anup PopatAnup 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.

Andrea Robb headshotAndrea Robb, ’96

San Francisco, California

Is a former HR leader at Lucasfilm, Airbnb, and Autodesk and now is an entrepreneur and advisor on the future of work and education, having founded Andrea Robb Consulting.

She works with organizations in the public and private sectors that seek modern ideas for work, including organization design, talent strategy, recruiting, learning + development, analytics, and diversity + belonging. She also advises leaders in higher education on how to design their curriculum to better prepare their students for the nature of 21st-century work.

She is an LSA grad (‘96) with a major in psychology and is a three-term Angell Scholar. Andrea also holds a Masters in Education and Public Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two children.

Charles SchwartzCharles Schwartz, M.D., ’90

Birmingham, Michigan

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).

David Segura headshotDavid Segura, ’93

Chicago, Illinois

David Segura is the CEO of Vision Information Technologies Inc, operating an MBE led technology outsourcing business with Softtek, with 15,000 employees and global delivery centers supporting Fortune 500 corporations.

David Segura, a highly accomplished entrepreneur and senior executive, has held board, CEO, advisor, investor and U.S. presidentially-appointed public service roles. Guiding corporate, nonprofit and international development efforts, David garnered multiple awards and broad recognition during his career.

David transformed a U.S. startup into an international IT managed services leader, advising Fortune 500’s on strategic priorities, IT investment decision making and technology implementations world-wide.

Under David’s leadership as Board Chairman and CEO, VisionIT became a top 30 Hispanic owned business in the U.S. and was transformed into a thriving international company that generated $1.6B in revenue since inception. David negotiated the Company’s sale to Softtek, the largest provider of IT services from Latin America, in 2019. Today he now operates an MBE led partnership with Softtek as CEO of Vision Information Technologies leveraging Softtek’s 15,000 employees with $700M+ in annual revenue and global IT delivery centers across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

David is a current investor and advisor of FreightVerify, a cloud-based freight logistics software company based in Ann Arbor.

Board Member of Alumni Association of the University of Michigan, Chairing the Diversity Committee and serving as a member of Digital Strategy Committee, and he is a National Advisory Council Member with the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

Earlier board service roles include: Board Director, FreightVerify, Co-Founder & Vice Chairman, HITEC (Hispanic Information Technology Executive Council), Board Member, Stanford University’s Latino Business Action Network, and Board Member, Detroit Regional Chamber. One of his most significant achievements, based on building a successful minority owned U.S. and international business, was David’s appointment as an Advisory Committee Member for U.S. Trade Policy & Negotiations (ACTPN), by President Obama, September 2010 – August 2018.

A graduate of the University of Michigan, in Computer Science, David was awarded Alumni of the Year, University of Michigan Dearborn, School of Engineering in2020.

Rajiv Shah 360x260Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, ’95

Washington, D.C.

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.

Gabriela Teran headshotGabriela Teran, ’96

New 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 headshotPaul Viera, ’81

Atlanta, Georgia

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.

Kurtis Wilder headshotFormer Justice Kurtis Wilder, ’81, JD’84

Novi, Michigan

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
Plymouth.
 
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 headshotLynn Wooten, ’88, MS’90, 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.

Calendar of Events

2022

  • May 13 – Board of Directors Spring Meeting (Virtual)
  • Aug. 18 – Board of Directors Summer Meeting (Virtual)
  • Sept. 23–24 – Board of Directors Fall Meeting in Ann Arbor (Homecoming)

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 2022 application will be open until June 1, 2022.