Speaker Biographies



Charles G. Bakaly, III is senior counselor at Edelman. A former government official and lawyer, Bakaly applies his 35 years of experience to help clients navigate enterprise, reputation and legal risks to make good decisions in a complex external environment. At Edelman, he conceives and executes campaign strategies for organizations to promote and protect their reputations. Bakaly and his team have assisted major public and private institutions, including Penn State, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Yale University (CT) and the Yale-New Haven Health System. He is a frequent speaker among higher education audiences on crisis and reputation management issues. Bakaly earned a bachelor’s degree from The Colorado College and a juris doctor degree from Southwestern Law School (CA).
Dan H. Berger, Esq., partner at Curran and Berger, LLP, is a frequent speaker, editor and writer on immigration law. Berger has been editor for the AILA Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook since 2000, and edited Immigration Options for Academics and Researchers (2005 and 2011 editions), the International Adoption Sourcebook, and the Diplomatic Visa Guide. He has written on a wide variety of topics including: Outstanding Professor / Researcher green cards, temporary visa "d3" waivers, green cards for Iraqi and Afghan translators, use of DNA evidence in immigration cases, and the elements of immigration law for in-house legal counsel. Berger earned a bachelor’s degree in American history with focus on immigration from Harvard College (MA) and a doctor of law degree from Cornell Law School (NY).
Maureen Budetti is NAICU director of student aid policy. With more than 20 years of higher education experience, she is responsible for developing legislative strategies for NAICU policy, and represents the association to members of Congress, congressional staff, and officials of the U.S. Department of Education. Previously, she was principal legislative analyst with the University of California’s Office of Federal Governmental Relations. She also has worked at the American Council on Education and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Budetti earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College (IN) and master’s degrees from Columbia University (NY) and the University of California at Berkeley.

Rep. Michael E. Capuano (D-MA) is serving his ninth term in Congress for Massachusetts' Seventh District, which includes most of Boston. He is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Financial Services Committee. Capuano is co-chair of the Congressional Independent College Caucus.   He earned a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College (NH) and a law degree from Boston College Law School.

Matthew Chingos, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, where he studies education-related topics at both the K–12 and postsecondary levels. Chingos's expertise includes class-size reduction, standardized testing, teacher quality, student loan debt, and college graduation rates. Current research examines the long-term effects of school choice policies, student transportation, and college living costs. Before joining the Urban Institute, Chingos was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is the coauthor of Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America's Public Universities and Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt. Chingos earned a BA in government and economics and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University (MA)
David Clinefelter, Ph.D., is chief academic officer at The Learning House, Inc., where he develops academic tools, training and strategies for online higher education. Clinefelter was a professor at the University of Nebraska, Omaha; a lecturer at The Ohio State University; and both vice president of academic affairs and president at Graceland University (IA). In 2002, he was provost at Kaplan University (IA), and joined Walden University (MN) as chief academic officer in 2010. He earned a master's degree and a doctorate from The Ohio State University.
Melissa Kane Connolly, vice president for university relations at Hofstra University (NY), is responsible for the university’s communication, marketing and public relations efforts. She helped lead the University’s hosting of the 2012 and 2008 presidential debates; chaired each debate’s award-winning companion event series, and the 2010 New York State gubernatorial debate at Hofstra. An adjunct assistant professor at Hofstra, Connolly teaches mass media, public relations and crisis communication. Prior to joining Hofstra, she served as director of communications for New York State Senator Kemp Hannon and as the first director of marketing for Farrell Fritz, P.C. Connolly earned a bachelor of arts in communication arts from Hofstra University.
Charles E. Cook, Jr., is editor and publisher of the Cook Political Report and a political analyst and columnist for National Journal magazine. Cook is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities on American politics and U.S. elections. He founded the Cook Political Report in 1984, became a columnist for Roll Call in 1986, and moved to National Journal in 1998. He has served as a political analyst or election night analyst for CBS, CNN and NBC News and has appeared on Meet the Press and This Week. In 2010, he was a co-recipient of the American Political Science Association's prestigious Carey McWilliams Award to honor "a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics." He is a graduate of Georgetown University (DC).
Kim Dancy is a policy analyst with the Education Policy program at New America. Working with the higher education team, she provides research and data analysis of higher education issues, including federal funding for education programs. Prior to joining New America, Dancy worked for the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, where her work focused on the use of competency-based education in career and technical fields, as well as the alignment of educational programs with labor market needs. Dancy earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a master's degree in public policy from Georgetown University (DC).
John J. DeGioia, Ph.D., is the 48th president of Georgetown University (DC). For nearly four decades, he has worked to deepen Georgetown’s tradition of academic excellence, commitment to its Catholic and Jesuit identity, engagement with the Washington, D.C. community, and global mission. Previously DeGioia held a variety of senior administrative positions at Georgetown, including senior vice president and dean of student affairs. He continues to teach an Ignatius Seminar each fall, which offers first year students the opportunity to encounter unique courses of study inspired by the Jesuit educational theme of cura personalis (care for the whole person). DeGioia earned a bachelor's degree in English and Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University.
Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., is the tenth president of Saint Anselm College (NH), and its first lay president. DiSalvo joined the college in July of 2013 after serving as president of Marian University (WI). At Saint Anselm, he has advanced the college's national reputation through scholarship, athletics and via the college’s prestigious New Hampshire Institute of Politics. During his tenure at Marian University, DiSalvo strengthened the university's endowment, improved its physical plant and added both undergraduate and graduate programs that focused on academic quality and service. He completed a Ph.D. in educational leadership at Fordham University (NY) where he also earned an M.B.A. in marketing and B.S. in psychology.
Donald Downs, Ph.D., is the Alexander Meiklejohn Emeritus Professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an affiliate professor of law and journalism. Downs is a faculty consultant to the Institute for Humane Studies in its national Free Speech and Open Inquiry Project. His six prize winning books include Cornell `69: Liberalism and the Crisis of the American University; Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus; and Arms and the University: Military Presence and the Civic Education on Non-Military Students. Nationally recognized as a leader for promoting free speech and academic freedom on campus, Downs received the national Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Academic Freedom Award in 2013. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University (NY) and a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley.
Richard Ekman, Ph.D., has been president of the Council of Independent Colleges since 2000. He previously served as vice president for programs at Atlantic Philanthropies and, from 1991 to 1999, as secretary and senior program officer of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. In addition to overall administrative responsibilities, he was focused on directing programs in higher education, technology and scholarly communication, libraries, area studies, and faculty development. His campus experience includes service as vice president and dean of Hiram College (OH), and assistant to the provost of the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
Sarah A. Flanagan, NAICU vice president for government relations and policy development, has an extensive background in higher education policy, education, and the federal government. She has been instrumental in a number of successful policy efforts with NAICU. Previously, she was the professional staff member for higher education on the Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts, and Humanities, and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Children, Family, Drugs, and Alcoholism. Flanagan earned a B.A. from Providence College (RI) and an M.A.T. from Rhode Island College. She is a trustee of Mary Baldwin College (VA) and Beacon College (FL), and a trustee emerita of Providence College (MA).

William M. B. Fleming, Jr., was elected the eighth president of Palm Beach Atlantic University (FL) in May 2012, after serving as interim president for 14 months and as vice president for development since 1992.  Under Fleming's leadership, the university has gained significant momentum including enrollment growth; the establishment centers of excellence in public policy, experiential learning, medical missions, and integrative science; and the addition of the 80-acre Rinker Athletic Campus. Prior to coming to Palm Beach Atlantic, Fleming served in several administrative roles at Wingate University (NC) and Guilford College (NC). He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Guilford. 
Jon W. Fuller, Ph.D., serves as a consultant, coordinating the work of NAICU’s Legal Services Review Panel.  He previously was a member of NAICU’s government relations staff; he also served as president of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, and was a senior federal education official.  He earned a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University (NJ).
Stephanie Giesecke, NAICU’s director for budget and appropriations, represents the association with Congress and the higher education community on budget and appropriations issues. She is the key staff member for the Student Aid Alliance. Previously, she was a legislative assistant for the Association of Community College Trustees, and was a legislative assistant for Rep. Bill Alexander (D-AR). She is an active member of the Committee for Education Funding and served as president in 2006. Giesecke earned a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis (MO) and a master’s degree from The George Washington University (DC).

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) represents the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives, including Roanoke, VA.  He currently serves as chair of the Judiciary Committee and as a member of the Agriculture Committee. Goodlatte is co-chair of the Congressional Independent College Caucus.  He is a graduate of Bates College (ME) and the Washington and Lee University School of Law (VA).

Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., is president of Austin College (TX) and the 2016 chair of the NAICU Board of Directors. Hass became the 15th president of Austin College in July 2009 and has cultivated a culture of academic excellence and a commitment to educational access for talented students regardless of financial background. She also has worked to extend the campus by construction of high-end residential housing and the IDEA Center, LEED® Gold-certified science complex housing the largest research-grade telescope in the region. She will leave Austin College to assume the presidency at Rhodes College (TN) on July 1. Previously, she served as provost at Muhlenberg College (PA) and as a member of the philosophy faculty and director of the Center for Ethics. Her scholarship and teaching focus on issues in philosophy of language and philosophy of logic. She earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in philosophy at the University of Illinois, Urbana‐Champaign.

Shirley V. Hoogstra, J.D., is the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, a role that combines her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education. Previously, Hoogstra served as vice president for student life at her alma mater, Calvin College (MI), and practiced law as a partner at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven (CT). She has served on the boards of several organizations, including the New Haven County Bar Association and Calvin College. She earned a bachelor’s in education at Calvin and a juris doctor from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
Mark Huelsman, Ed.M., a senior policy analyst at Demos, focuses primarily on college affordability, student debt, financial aid, and state investment in higher education. Prior to joining Demos, he was a research analyst at the Institute for Higher Education Policy, where he worked on several research projects and authored several publications on federal financial aid, student loan debt and repayment, institutional accountability, and the need for better higher education data. He has also served as a policy analyst at the New America Foundation and as a legislative assistant with the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution. Huelsman earned a B.A. in government and politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and an Ed.M. in International Education Policy from Harvard University (MA).
Jim Hundrieser, Ph.D., is associate managing principal, AGB Institutional Strategies. Before joining AGBIS, Hundrieser served as vice president of marketing and enrollment management at Plymouth State University (NH), where he reengineered marketing, communications, and recruitment efforts, leading to two straight years of record enrollment. As vice president with Noel-Levitz, he worked with more than 50 colleges and universities implementing strategies for small private institutions as well as large research institutions. Using data-informed tools to shape strategy, Hundrieser has focused on creating enrollment plans to drive revenue growth. His expertise covers strategic enrollment planning, student recruitment, retention, academic advising, assessment, co-curricular programming, athletics, and campus organization. He earned a Ph.D. in leadership and education from Barry University (FL).
Paul B. Hunt is president of Millennium Advisory Services, Inc., a registered investment advisory firm he co-founded in 2000. His career in financial services began in 1988, and he founded his first independent firm in 1994. Hunt began working in the private nonprofit education retirement plan market in 2007 and has headed the firm’s strategic initiative of implementing turn-key solutions for nonprofit retirement plan sponsors. He testified in front of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee regarding the transparency of fees in retirement plans. Hunt graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. in administration of justice and a certificate in accounting. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®), a Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) and holds a Series 65 securities license.
Scott Jaschik is editor and one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Jaschik is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999 to 2003, Jaschik was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Cornell University (NY).
Karin Johns, NAICU’s director of tax policy, is responsible for developing legislative strategies and representing the association on tax policy issues with Congress and the higher education community. She also serves as liaison to the NAICU Secretariat, chairs the Coalition to Preserve Employer-Provided Education Assistance (IRC Sec. 127) for the higher education community, handles post-9/11 issues affecting international students, and Department of Labor issues and regulations affecting colleges and universities. Previously, she was legislative director for Rep. Phil English (R-PA), managing legislative staff and overseeing Ways and Means Committee issues. She also worked for Rep. Fred Grandy (R-IA). Johns graduated from Westminster College (PA) with a B.A. in information arts, and a concentration in political science. After graduation, she attended the Fund for American Studies Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University (DC).
Andrew J. Magda is the manager of market research of The Learning House, Inc., where he leads in the development of custom and large-scale market research studies and assists partner institutions with their research needs. Prior to Learning House, Andrew was a senior analyst at Eduventures and a project manager at the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut.

John M. McCardell, Jr., Ph.D., is vice chancellor of The University of the South in Sewanee, TN, and the president emeritus and a professor of history at Middlebury College (VT). He is a former chair of the NAICU Board of Directors.  A distinguished historian and respected national leader in liberal arts education, McCardell is the author of The Idea of a Southern Nation, as well as many essays, chapters, articles, and book reviews. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University (VA) and completed graduate work at The Johns Hopkins University and then at Harvard University, where he earned Ph.D. in history.

Mike McCurry is a distinguished professor of public theology at Wesley Theological Seminary (DC). After 35 years in national politics and presidential campaigns including time as White House Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton, McCurry joined the Wesley Seminary community as a member of its Board of Governors, then as a student, and now a faculty member teaching in the area of faith and politics. He co-directs the WTS-sponsored National Capital Semester for Seminarians (NCSS). McCurray earned a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University (NJ), and master’s degrees from Georgetown University (DC) and Wesley Theological Seminary.

James H. Mullen, Jr., Ed.D., is the 21st president of Allegheny College (PA). In more than 30 years in higher education, he also has held leadership roles at Middlesex Community College (CT), Trinity College (CT), University of North Carolina at Asheville, and Elms College (MA). During his tenure, Allegheny has celebrated its bicentennial and publicly launched the largest comprehensive fundraising campaign in its history. One of Mullen’s key initiatives was the 2011 establishment of the Allegheny College Prize for Civility in Public Life, which is awarded annually to recognize two political figures who argue passionately but with civility for their beliefs. Mullen has been a sought-after lecturer in public policy and civility in public discourse, where his work focuses on the American presidency. He is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross (MA), the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Christopher B. Nelson, who has been president of St. John's College (MD) since June 1991, is the 2017 NAICU Board Chair. A national spokesperson for the liberal arts, he regularly participates in the national conversation about higher education and frequently serves as a panelist and speaker addressing issues of institutional autonomy, government regulatory intrusion, and changes proposed in the accrediting system. Nelson plans to retire from the St. John’s presidency at the end of the 2016-17 academic year. An alumnus of St. John's College and a graduate of the University of Utah College of Law, he practiced law in Chicago for 18 years and served as chair of the law firm when he left the practice to accept the presidency at St. John's College. NAICU honored Nelson in 2015 with the Henry Paley Memorial Award.
Tim Powers is director of accountability and regulatory affairs at NAICU. He serves as a liaison to Congress, the Executive Branch, and the broader higher education community on accountability and regulatory issues, including accreditation, state authorization, campus-based aid, and distance education. Powers joined NAICU in January 2015 after more than five years on the staff of former U.S. Representative Tim Bishop (D-NY), where he focused primarily on higher education issues under the jurisdiction of the House Education & the Workforce Committee. He earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Wake Forest University (NC) and an MBA at Georgetown University (DC).
Jonathan Rauch, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, is the author of six books and many articles on public policy, culture, and government. A contributing editor of The Atlantic, his July/August 2016 article, How American Politics Went Insane, explored the impact of chaos syndrome on America’s political system. Although much of his writing has been on public policy, he has also written on topics as widely varied as adultery, agriculture, economics, gay marriage, height discrimination, biological rhythms, number inflation, and animal rights. His multiple-award-winning column, Social Studies, appeared from 1998 to 2010 in National Journal. He has also written for many publications, such as: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and others. Rauch is a graduate of Yale University (CT) and was a reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal before moving to Washington in 1984.
John A. Roush, Ph.D., has served as the 20th president of Centre College (KY) since 1998. Under his leadership, the College has added 14 new endowed professorships; instituted a Centre Scholars Program to honor outstanding work at the junior faculty rank; and completed six renovation or construction projects. Roush’s higher education career began in athletics at Miami University before he transitioned to administration and ultimately served as executive assistant to the president. In 1982, he moved to the University of Richmond as executive assistant to the president and was made vice president for planning, executive assistant to the president, and secretary to the board of trustees in 1990. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Ohio University and was a three-time Academic All-American in football. Roush also earn earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Miami University (OH).

Gary Steinke has been president of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities since November 2007.  A native of Iowa, he has served as deputy executive director and executive director of the Iowa Board of Regents, assistant to the president and director of governmental relations at Iowa State University, and assistant to the governor and legislative liaison.  He also served as the caucus staff director in the Iowa House of Representatives.  He earned a B.A. degree from Loras College (IA) and an M.A. from Drake University (IA).
Michael Stratford is an education reporter for POLITICO Pro. He most recently covered federal higher education policy and student loans at Inside Higher Ed, with previous bylines at The Associated Press, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. Stratford graduated from Cornell University (NY), where he was managing editor of The Cornell Daily Sun.
India Suter is the director of business development for Asset Strategy Consultants. As a “preferred vendor” with TIAA, she focuses on helping higher-ed clients understand the complexities of DOL regulations, their impact on plan conversions, and how best to obtain comfort for participants and compliance for the plan. Suter has over 12 years of experience working in management for major law firms, both in Baltimore and Washington, DC, including Semmes Bowen and Semmes, and Venable LLP. She earned a BA in history from the University of Mary Washington (VA), an ABA Paralegal Certificate from Georgetown University (DC), and an MBA from the Carey School of Business at Johns Hopkins University (MD).

William E. “Bill” Troutt, Ph.D., has been president of Rhodes College (TN) since 1999.  Previously, he was president at Belmont University (TN) from 1982-1999.  Entering his 35th year as a college president, he is one of only three current presidents in America who have served for more than three decades. The former board chair of both the NAICU and American Council on Education, he also chaired the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education, established by Congress in 1997.  Troutt is the 2017 recipient of the Henry Paley Memorial Award.  (See page 19 for a full bio).
J.D. Vance is a principal at the Silicon Valley investment firm Mithril Capital Management and is the author of The New York Times bestselling novel Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. He grew up in the Rust Belt city of Middletown, OH, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, KY. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq. Prior to joining Mithril, he ran a neuroscience-focused biotechnology company, Circuit Therapeutics. His career began as a regulatory lawyer at the international firm Sidley Austin LLP. Vance is a board member of the Yale Veterans Association, a contributing opinion writer to The New York Times and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC. He earned a BA from The Ohio State University and a JD from Yale Law School (CT), where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
George Waldner, Ph.D., is a visiting fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies and is working to strengthening outreach efforts to academic leaders. Waldner is president emeritus of York College (PA), where he oversaw significant growth in the college’s resources while maintaining its ongoing commitment to high-quality but affordable education. Prior to York College, he served as the vice president for academic affairs and professor of political science at Wilkes University (PA) as well as the provost and faculty member in political science at Oglethorpe University (GA). Waldner earned a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University (NJ).
David L. Warren, Ph.D., became president of NAICU in 1993 after nearly a decade as president of Ohio Wesleyan University. Earlier, he held administrative and faculty positions at Yale University and Antioch University, and served as chief administrative officer of the City of New Haven, CT. At NAICU, Warren has led cooperative efforts with other national higher education associations, such as the National Student Aid Alliance, National Campus Voter Registration Project, Campus Cares, and the University & College Accountability Network (U-CAN), a major national consumer information effort for informed college-choice decisions.. His work on behalf of higher education has been recognized with 21 honorary degrees.
Julia Weede is executive vice president at Edelman and leads the Education Practice. With more than 25 years’ expertise in education and non-profit communications strategy, Weede is an expert in national media relations, platform development, thought leadership and reputation management. She has worked with dozens of colleges and universities, such as Carnegie Mellon University, The University of Chicago, The University of Notre Dame, and Denison University. Weede also leads Edelman’s research in higher education issues, and created a new study on the drivers of university reputation in the public sphere. She began her career in enrollment for private liberal arts colleges, and later worked in marketing for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The New York Botanical Garden and Biltmore Estate. She is a graduate of St. Olaf College (MN).
Judy Woodruff has served as co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour since August 2013. She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS. For 12 years, Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, including anchoring the weekday program, Inside Politics. At PBS, she was the chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and also anchored PBS' award-winning weekly documentary series, Frontline with Judy Woodruff. She also has served as a visiting professor at Duke University's (NC) Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy and as a visiting fellow at Harvard University's (MA) Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women's Media Foundation which promotes and encourages women in communication industries worldwide. Woodruff is a graduate of Meredith College (NC) and Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita.