Speaker/ Moderator Biographies

February 6-9, 2022
Grand Hyatt Washington
1000 H Street, NW
Washington DC 20001


Susan Aldridge photo Susan C. Aldridge, Ph.D., Executive Higher Education Consultant
Susan Aldridge serves as an executive consultant to university presidents and ministers of education regarding business models and technology-enhanced education. She recently retired from Drexel University (PA) after serving six years as president of Drexel University Online, where she oversaw more than 125 online programs and over 9,000 online students. Previously, she was president of the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and vice chancellor for the Global Campus at Troy University (AL). She is the author of numerous publications including the book: Wired for Success. A graduate of Colorado Women’s College, she also earned a doctorate at the University of Colorado Denver.
Viviann Anguiano photo Viviann Anguiano, Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Viviann Anguiano works to improve affordability, consumer protections, accountability, and equity in higher education for all people as policy advisor to the committee and Chair Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). She was formerly an associate director at the Center for American Progress, where she helped develop and lead the higher education legislative and advocacy agenda. Anguiano has been dedicated to building a more equitable and just society, particularly for communities of color and marginalized groups through public policy, coalition-building, and community engagement. A proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, first-generation college graduate, and Chicagoan, Anguiano is graduate of Loyola University Chicago and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Marie Bernardo Sousa Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D., President, Providence Campus, Johnson & Wales University (RI)
Marie Bernardo-Sousa has spent her 30+-year higher education career at Johnson & Wales University. Beginning as an undergraduate student at the Providence campus, she held her first role in the Registrar’s Office, followed by a trajectory of positions at JWU. In March 2019, Bernardo-Sousa was appointed Providence campus president. She earned a doctorate in law and policy from Northeastern University (MA), after graduating from Emmanuel College (MA) and Johnson & Wales University.
Michael Beschloss, Presidential Historian and Bestselling Author
Michael Beschloss is an award-winning historian, scholar of leadership and bestselling author of ten books -- most recently the acclaimed New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Presidents of War.  Beschloss appears regularly on television as the NBC News Presidential Historian and contributor to the PBS NewsHour. He has also been a contributing columnist to The New York Times. Born in Chicago, Beschloss is an alumnus of Williams College and studied leadership at the Harvard Business School. He has served as an historian at the Smithsonian, a scholar at the University of Oxford, and a senior fellow of the Annenberg Foundation. Among his earlier books are:
  • The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler's Germany
  • Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America
  • Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations about Life with John F. Kennedy
Chatrane-Birbal.jpg Chatrane Birbal, Vice President, Government Relations, HR Policy Association
Chatrane Birbal is responsible for leading the HR Policy Association’s government relations strategy, building relationships with individuals in the U.S. Congress, Administration and regulatory agencies that oversee matters related to large employers and their workforces. She has nearly 20 years of high-level experience in federal government affairs including key roles at the Society of Human Resource Management and the Council on Foundations.  She is a graduate of the University at Buffalo (NY) and George Mason University (VA).
Nancy Blattner photo Nancy H. Blattner, Ph.D., President, Fontbonne University (MO)
Nancy Blattner has served as president of Fontbonne University since July 2020.  Previously, she was president of Caldwell University (NJ) and served as vice president and dean for academic affairs at Fontbonne. She also held several academic and administrative positions at Southeast Missouri State University. Blattner is a graduate of Southeast Missouri State University and earned a doctorate at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Sen Roy Blunt photo Hon. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Member, U.S. Senate
Building on a background as a public servant, university president, and teacher, Roy Blunt was elected to the Senate in 2010. He serves as the chair of the Senate Republican Policy Committee and as the ranking member of the Senate Rules Committee. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations; Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; and the Select Committee on Intelligence. Sen. Blunt is also the ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. Prior to the Senate, he served seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. Before serving in Congress, he was a history teacher, a county official, and in 1984 became the first Republican elected as Missouri's Secretary of State in more than 50 years. Sen. Blunt also served four years as the president of Southwest Baptist University (MO). He will not seek reelection this year.
Connie Book photo Constance “Connie” Ledoux Book, Ph.D., President, Elon University (NC)
Connie Book became Elon’s ninth president in March 2018, after serving as provost of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, and previously serving 16 years as a faculty member and senior administrator at Elon and three other institutions. She began her career as a television producer and reporter in Louisiana. Book is the author of Digital Television: DTV and the Consumer, the first book dedicated to understanding how the transition from analog to digital television impacted consumers. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and Northwestern State University (LA), and earned a doctorate from the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia. She is a member of the NAICU Board of Directors.
Pete Boyle photo Pete Boyle, Vice President for Public Relations, NAICU
Pete Boyle joined the NAICU staff in 2013 as vice president of public affairs. Previously he spent nearly 15 years working on national higher education policy issues and directly with colleges and universities for two Washington, DC-based public relations and communications agencies, Lipman Hearne and Widmeyer Communications. At NAICU, Boyle oversees the Association’s internal and external communications activities, including media relations, publications, the website, and social media strategies. Boyle is a graduate of Stonehill College (MA).
Rhett Brown, Ed.D., President, Wingate University (NC)
Rhett Brown has served as president at Wingate University since June 2015.  He has spent more than 30 years on campus, including serving as vice president for student life and enrollment services. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and serves as a vestry member at his church. He earned a BA in English and an MBA from Wingate College, and a doctorate in education from the University of Alabama.
Mark Cavanaugh bio Mark Cavanaugh, Executive Director, Independent Higher Education of Colorado
Since 2015, Mark Cavanaugh has led Independent Higher Education of Colorado representing the University of Denver, Regis University and Colorado College. He was chief financial officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education overseeing finance for ten public university governing boards and held senior positions working for three Colorado governors. He is a graduate of Regis University and earned a J.D. from the University of Utah.
NAICU logo David P. Cleary, Republican Staff Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
David Cleary serves both as the Republican staff director of the Senate HELP Committee and as the principal advisor to Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the ranking member on the Committee.  He has been the Republican staff director since 2013, also serving under former Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN).  As chief of staff to Sen. Alexander, Cleary led the combined HELP committee staff and the Alexander personal office staff. Prior to joining the Senate, Cleary worked for the House Committee on Education and Workforce for Chairman John Boehner (R-OH) on disability policy. His career started at the U.S. Department of Education, working on elementary and secondary education and special education issues for several years.
Art Coleman photo Art Coleman, Managing Partner & Co-founder, Education Counsel
Art Coleman provides policy, strategic, and legal counseling services to national non-profit organizations and postsecondary institutions, where he addresses policy and legal issues associated with student access, diversity, inclusion, expression, and success.
He previously served as deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights in the 1990s where he led the development of the Department’s Title VI policy on race-conscious financial aid, as well as OCR’s first comprehensive Title IX sexual harassment policy guidance. With a focus on issues of diversity and inclusion, he has authored amicus briefs in Grutter v. Bollinger (2003), Gratz v. Bollinger (2003), and in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin (I and II, 2013 and 2016).  A former litigator, Coleman is a graduate of Duke University School of Law (NC) and the University of Virginia.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network).
Isiaah Crawford, Ph.D., President, University of Puget Sound (WA) and Chair, NAICU Board of Directors
A distinguished scholar, teacher, and college administrator, Isiaah Crawford became president of University of Puget Sound in July 2016. Crawford joined Puget Sound following service as provost and chief academic officer of Seattle University (2008–16), where he directed the Division of Academic Affairs and oversaw the university's schools and colleges, libraries, enrollment, information technology, institutional research, and offices supporting student academic achievement, faculty affairs, and global engagement. He has also served as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Loyola University Chicago, where he joined the faculty of the Department of Psychology in 1987. A licensed clinical psychologist, Crawford is a graduate of St. Louis University (MO), and earned master's and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from DePaul University (IL).
Paulette R. Dillard, Ph.D., President & CEO, Shaw University (NC)
Paulette Dillard has extensive higher education experience having p
reviously served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and department chair of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. She earned an undergraduate degree from Barber Scotia College (NC), and Master of Science degree from Tennessee State University.  She holds an MBA from the Jack Massey School of Business at Belmont University (TN) and a Ph.D. from Clark Atlanta University (GA)
Steven DiSalvo photo Steven DiSalvo, Ph.D., President, Endicott College (MA)
Steven DiSalvo is the seventh president of Endicott College (MA) and a higher education leader with a track record of transformative success at multiple U.S. colleges and universities, including Saint Anselm College (NH) and Marian University (WI). He also has served as CEO of the Hopewell Group, a leading philanthropic advising firm, and as executive director of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation. DiSalvo is a graduate of Fordham University (NY), where he earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. He is a former NAICU board member.
Roger Drake photo Roger D. Drake, Ed.D., President, Central Methodist University (MO)
Roger Drake became president of Central Methodist University in 2013. Prior to joining CMU, he was vice president of administration and finance at Lindsey Wilson College (KY) and vice president for business affairs at Lees College (KY). He earned a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, and an MBA and Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University (TN). He currently serves as chair of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Missouri (ICUM).

Erik Fatemi, Principal, Cornerstone Government Affairs, Washington, DC  

Erik Fatemi joined Cornerstone in 2013 after serving 12 years on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education under Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA). As staff director from 2010- 2013, Fatemi oversaw the entire breadth of funding and policy issues in the subcommittee’s jurisdiction. Prior to Capitol Hill, he worked as a reporter, editor and columnist at various news organizations, most recently at Education Week. Erik earned a degree in English from Princeton University (NJ).   

Jody Feder, Director of Accountability and Regulatory Affairs, NAICU.
Jody Feder represents NAICU on issues including: accreditation, state authorization, Title IX, and educational privacy with Congress and the Administration. She joined the NAICU staff in March 2017 after more than 14 years as a legislative attorney with the Congressional Research Service. At CRS, she provided nonpartisan advice and analysis to Members of Congress on civil rights and education law. Prior to attending law school, she wrote about federal education issues as an editor for Thompson Publishing Group. Feder earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and government from Brown University (RI), and a law degree from Yale University (CT).

David H. Feldman, Ph.D.Professor of Economics, William & Mary (VA)   
David Feldman teaches economics and public policy at William & Mary. His work explores the drivers of college cost and price. His two most recent books, coauthored with Robert Archibald, are Why Does College Cost so Much? and The Road Ahead for America’s Colleges and Universities, both for Oxford University Press. A new book is in the works on policy options to improve college access and student success.  He earned a A.B. from Kenyon College (OH) and a master's degree and Ph.D. in economics from Duke University (NC). 

Sarah A. Flanagan, Vice President for Government Relations and Policy Development, NAICU
Sarah Flanagan leads the NAICU government relations team.  As vice president, she directs a comprehensive government relations effort, in coordination with related state associations, that focuses on issues of government regulation, student financial assistance, and tax policy. Before joining NAICU, she was the professional staff member for higher education on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Education, Arts and Humanities under Sen. Claiborne Pell (D-RI), and staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Children, Families, Drugs and Alcoholism under Sen. Christopher Dodd (D_CT). Flanagan earned a B.A. degree from Providence College (RI) and a M.A.T. degree from Rhode Island College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Beacon College (FL).
Lindsay FryerSenior Vice President, Penn Hill Group
Lindsay Fryer brings comprehensive policy knowledge of federal education, research, workforce training, social services laws and legislative processes. Before joining Penn Hill Group, Fryer served as a senior education policy advisor to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. She helps clients develop, improve and implement Federal policy and advocacy strategies on topics such as early childhood education, K-12 and higher education among others.

Stephanie T. Giesecke, Senior Director for Budget and Appropriations, NAICU 

Stephanie Giesecke represents NAICU with Congress, the administration, and the higher education community on budget and appropriations issues. Previously, she was a legislative assistant for Rep. Bill Alexander (D-AR), and a legislative assistant for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). She is an active member of the Committee for Education Funding and served as its president in 2006 and 2019. Giesecke is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (MO) and The George Washington University (DC). 

Emmanual A. Guillory, Director of Student and Institutional Aid Policy, NAICU
NAICU’s lead policy expert on Title IV federal student assistance programs and the institutional aid programs found in Titles III and V of the Higher Education Act (HEA), Emmanual Guillory is responsible for developing the Association’s policy positions on student and institutional aid. Previously, Guillory served as the director for public policy and government affairs at UNCF (United Negro College Fund, Inc.) and as a professional staff member for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.  Guillory earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Texas A&M University and a master's degree in college student personnel  from Bowling Green State University (OH). 
Nathan L. Gonzales, Editor and Publisher of Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales,
Nathan Gonzales provides non-partisan analysis of campaigns for Senate, House, governor and president through Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. He also serves as an elections analyst for CQ Roll Call. He offers audiences some of the most detailed electoral forecasting in the business. On Election Night 2016, Gonzales was an on-air analyst for PBS Newshour after working as an off-air consultant for ABC News on their Election Night Decision Desk for 14 years. Previously, he was an editor, analyst, and writer for The Rothenberg Political Report for more than 13 years before taking over the company in 2015. Additionally, he worked for CNN as a political analyst and as an associate producer for Capital Gang.  
Gonzales has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC, and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Gonzales earned a master of arts from The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (DC) and a bachelor of arts from Vanguard University (CA). 
Marjorie Hass, Ph.D., President, Council on Independent Colleges (DC)
Marjorie Hass became CIC president in July 2021, after years of strengthening independent higher education in various leadership roles. Previously, Hass spent almost five years as president of Rhodes College (TN) and eight years as president of Austin College (TX). Earlier, she spent more than 16 years as a member of the philosophy faculty and subsequently as provost at Muhlenberg College (PA). She is the author of A Leadership Guide for Women in Higher Education. A philosopher by training, Hass earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a former chair of the NAICU Board of Directors.

Donald E. Heller, Ed.D., Vice President of Operations and Professor of Education, University of San Francisco (CA) 

Donald Heller’s academic work is in educational economics, public policy, and finance, and he has consulted with the federal government, university systems, and policymaking organizations in numerous states.  He has also testified in front of Congressional committees, state legislatures, and in federal court cases as an expert witness.  He earned an Ed.D. and Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (MA) and a B.A. in economics and political science from Tufts University (MA) 

Steve HeuerAssociate Vice President, Government Affairs, New York University 

Steve Heuer has worked for New York University (NYU) for the past 16 years, and currently represents the university’s policy interests at the city, state and federal level. Prior to joining NYU, he spent eight years on Capitol Hill, working for Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) and as legislative director and Washington director for Rep. Bill Luther (D-MN).  He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.

Kim Hewitt photo Kimberly Hewitt, J.D., Vice President for Institutional Equity and Chief Diversity Officer, Duke University (NC)
Kimberly Hewitt was appointed the chief equity and diversity officer at Duke in August 2019. Previously, she served as the vice provost for institutional equity at Johns Hopkins University (MD) and director of the Office for Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at the University of Minnesota. Hewitt started her career in higher education as assistant dean for students and multicultural affairs at Hamline University School of Law (MN). She also has 14 years of experience practicing law in the areas of employment, labor, and education law and was a partner in the law firm Rider Bennett. Hewitt is a graduate of Stanford University (CA) and the University of Minnesota Law School.
Mary Dana Hinton, Ph.D., President, Hollins University (VA)
Mary Hinton became the thirteenth president of Hollins University on August 1, 2020. Previously she served six years as president of the College of Saint Benedict (MN). She is the incoming chair of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), beginning in February 2022, and currently chairs the AAC&U Presidents’ Trust. Hinton earned a Ph.D. in religion and religious education from Fordham University (NY), an M.A. in clinical child psychology from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a B.A. in psychology from Williams College (MA). 
She is a member of the NAICU Board of Directors.
Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., Ed.D., President, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (DC)
Rev. Dennis Holtschneider assumed the ACCU presidency on July 1, 2019. A Detroit native, Fr. Holtschneider earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Niagara University (NY) in 1985. He studied for the priesthood at Mary Immaculate Seminary (PA) and was ordained in 1989. He earned a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy in 1997 from Harvard University (MA). Currently, he is a faculty member for several higher education leadership programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as the Boston College Institute for Administrators in Catholic Higher Education. He currently serves as vice chair of the NAICU Secretariat.
Julia Jasken photo Julia Jasken, Ph.D., President, McDaniel College (MD)
Julia Jasken is the 10th president of McDaniel College and the second woman president in the college’s 154-year history. Her expertise spans community engagement; new academic program development; academic and campus life restructuring; student success initiatives; oversight of institutional diversity, equity and inclusion efforts; adjunct faculty union contract negotiations; and building and supporting a culture of safety compliance. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict (MN) and Northern Illinois University, and earned a doctorate in rhetoric and technical communication from Michigan Technological University.
Scott Jeffe photo Scott Jeffe, Vice President, Research (Graduate and Online), RNL
Scott Jeffe has worked with more than 200 institutions in 40+ states to apply market data to strategic decisions. With a focus on profiling the demands and preferences of nontraditional (adult, online, etc.) students, he has developed a unique sensitivity to ensuring that programs align with student demand while upholding institutional mission and values. He is the author of a national study on the demands and preferences of post-traditional graduate students. Previously, he served in market research positions at Education Dynamics and the College Board. Jeffe is a graduate of St. Lawrence University (NY) and the University at Albany, SUNY.

Karin L. Johns, Director of Tax Policy, NAICU
As director of tax policy, Karin Johns is responsible for developing NAICU's legislative strategies and representing the association on tax policy issues and nonprofit governance. She also serves as liaison to the NAICU Secretariat, co-chairs the Section 127 Coalition, handles issues affecting international students, immigration, and several Department of Labor issues like the overtime rule. Previously, she was legislative director for Rep. Phil English (R-PA), and a legislative assistant for Rep. Fred Grandy (R-IA). Johns graduated from Westminster College (PA) and attended the Fund for American Studies Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University (DC). 

Chris Kush photo Christopher Kush, MPP, Chief Executive Officer, Soapbox Consulting
As CEO of Soapbox Consulting, Christopher Kush has trained hundreds of thousands of citizens from all over the United States to effectively influence Congress, state, and local governments. He has helped design sophisticated key-contact networks, lobby days, and grassroots training programs for many national associations including the American Cancer Society, Human Rights Campaign, United Way Worldwide, and the American Institute of Architects. Kush is the author of three books on grassroots organizing including Grassroots Games and, most recently, The One-Hour Activist. He has appeared on National Public Radio, ABC and Fox News affiliates, C-SPAN’s Book TV, and in U.S. News & World Report, The Los Angeles Times, and on the Sirius Satellite Radio Network.  

James Kvaal, Under Secretary of Education, U.S. Department of Education
James Kvaal was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be Under Secretary of Education on September 14, 2021. He served in the Obama Administration as the deputy domestic policy adviser at the White House and deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. He led efforts to cut student loan monthly payments, hold career colleges accountable for excessive debts, and make community colleges tuition-free. He also has served in senior roles in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. He is a former president of the Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS), a research and advocacy nonprofit dedicated to affordability and equity in higher education. Kvaal taught at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, and graduated from Stanford University (CA) and Harvard Law School (MA).

James Laws photo James E. Laws, Jr., Ed.D.,  Division Director, U.S. Department of Education 
James Laws. has more than 30 years of experience in education, working at the local, state, and federal levels. He currently  manages multiple grant programs aimed at assisting minority serving institutions. He has worked in administration and leadership, taught at colleges and universities, and served on the Richmond School Board in Virginia. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and earned a doctorate in higher education administration from the College of William and Mary (VA).
NAICU logo Sarah Ketchen Lipson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Health Law Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health
Sarah Ketchen Lipson’s research focuses on understanding and addressing mental health in college student populations. She is principal investigator of the Healthy Minds Network, including the national Healthy Minds Study, an annual survey of undergraduate and graduate student mental health that has been conducted on hundreds of college and university campuses. She is graduate of Tufts University (MA) and Harvard University Graduate School of Education (MA), and earned a doctorate at the University of Michigan.
Ann McElaney-Johson photo Ann McElaney-Johnson, Ph.D., President, Mount Saint Mary's University (CA)
Ann McElaney-Johnson is the 12th president of Mount Saint Mary's University, the only women’s university in Los Angeles. Recognized as a thought leader for women’s issues and a champion for innovative teaching and learning, she has presented on issues related to women and girls at a variety of venues, including China Women’s University in Beijing, the Milken Institute Global Conference, and the American Council on Education, and before the California State Senate. McElaney-Johnson has more than 30 years of service to liberal arts colleges nationally as a faculty member, associate dean and chief academic and student affairs officer. She earned a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master’s degree from Middlebury College (VT), and a bachelor’s degree the College of the Holy Cross (MA). She is a member of the NAICU Board of Directors. 
Barbara Mistick photo Barbara K. Mistick, D.M., President, NAICU
In the two years since she was named president, Barbara Mistick has led independent higher education through the COVID-19 pandemic and helped secure over $77 billion dollars in relief funds from Congress.  She also expanded NAICU’s mission to secure institutional aid along with student aid through the use of Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds in each of the three stimulus rounds provided by Congress. Mistick also led the publication of NAICU’s first-ever national economic and community impact study, Private, Nonprofit Higher Education: Shaping Lives and Anchoring Communities.  During the course of her 30-year career,  Mistick has been an entrepreneur, educator and leader at institutions such as Wilson College (PA), the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University (PA), and the National Education Center for Women in Business at Seton Hill University (PA). She is a graduate of Carlow University (PA) and the University of Pittsburgh (PA), and earned a doctor of management from Case Western Reserve University (OH ). 

Robert "Bo" NewsomeDirector of Outreach and State Relations, NAICU 

Robert "Bo" Newsome coordinates projects that help NAICU members become more active in the public policy arena and to reinforce the NAICU agenda within the association's membership. He also coordinates the National Campus Voter Registration Project and serves as NAICU's liaison to the National Association of Independent College and University State Executives (NAICUSE). Newsome earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University (NY) and a master’s degree education and human development from The George Washington University (DC). 

Alex NockPrincipal, Penn Hill Group
Alex Nock brings over 25 years of experience in federal education, disability, labor and health policy to Penn Hill Group. Previously, Nock served as the Democratic deputy staff director for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. He helps clients identify and secure their policy goals with Congress, the Administration, and congressional and presidential campaigns. 
Peter Oppenheim, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates, Washington, DC 
Peter Oppenheim has more than a decade of federal legislative and executive branch experience, including serving as the general counsel and education policy director for Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Richard Burr (R-NC) on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; and as assistant secretary for legislation and congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. He earned a bachelor's degree from Colby College (ME), and a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law (DC). 
Joe Parisi photo Joe Parisi, Ed.D., Vice President for Enrollment Management, Central Methodist University (MO)
As vice president, Joe Parisi has directed the Admissions, Financial Aid, Athletics, and Marketing Communications departments at Central Methodist since 2017. He is a graduate of Missouri Valley College, and earned graduate degrees from Lindenwood University (MO).
Clay Pell photo Clay Pell, IVCommander, U.S. Coast Guard Reserve
Clay Pell followed his father and grandfather into the U.S. Coast Guard – the military service in which Sen. Claiborne Pell originally imagined the Pell Grant on the model of the GI Bill. Now commander and strategic advisor to 27th Commandant, Clay is helping to chart the future of America’s humanitarian and lifesaving service, inspired by the stories he hears every day of lives changed through education and opportunity.
Sasha Peterson photo Sasha Peterson, Chief Innovation Officer, Liaison
Sasha Peterson oversees three vital, significant and visionary roles. As chief product officer, he presides over Liaison’s product development team, and as chief revenue officer, he leads the sales and marketing teams. He also serves as chief operating officer of the TargetX line of business. Prior to joining TargetX, Sasha held a variety of executive leadership roles at top education technology firms, including president of Hobsons EMT and vice president of partnerships at Altius Education. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of California,  Berkeley.

Danica PetroshiusManaging Principal, Penn Hill Group
Danica Petroshius brings more than 25 years of experience in public policy, advocacy, management, strategic consulting and communications to Penn Hill Group. Petroshius served in the office of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) for 10 years, including two years as chief of staff. She works with national, state and local organizations to develop, refine and implement policy and advocacy strategies. Petroshius also consults with leading national organizations, leveraging her skills in facilitation, design thinking, strategic planning, and advocacy training.
Charles Ramos photo Charles Ramos, Vice President, Research (Graduate and Online Enrollment Management), RNL
Charles Ramos is a veteran of higher education, with over 24 years of experience as an enrollment professional and consultant. His work has led to increased enrollment and sustainable revenue growth in the undergraduate, graduate, online and non-traditional markets for over 100 institutions across the United States and Canada. He started his career at Saint Louis University where he began building his enrollment management expertise. Through time spent as vice president at Ruffalo Noel Levitz and in outreach services at ACT, Inc., he was deeply immersed in consulting in the areas of recruitment, retention and strategic enrollment management, as well as managing some of the largest partnerships for RNL. He is a graduate of Saint Louis University (MO).

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, Daughter of the late Lois Dickson Rice
Amb. Susan Rice served as President Barack Obama’s permanent representative to the United Nations and national security advisor from 2009–2017. She most recently was a distinguished visiting research fellow at American University’s School of International Service (DC) and a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (MA). Currently, Amb. Rice is domestic policy advisor to President Joe Biden and leads the Domestic Policy Council. She earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in international relations as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and a B.A. in history from Stanford University (CA). She will accept NAICU's Advocacy Award in her personal capacity on behalf of her family and her mother, Lois Dickson Rice, the "Mother of the Pell Grant."

L Song Richardson photo L. Song Richardson, J.D., President, Colorado College
L. Song Richardson became the fourthteenth president of Colorado College on July 1, 2021. She was formerly the dean and chancellor’s professor of law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. At the time of her appointment as UCI Law’s second dean, she was the only woman of color to lead a top-30 law school. She earned an A.B. from Harvard College (MA) and J.D. from Yale Law School (CT).
Suzanne M. Rivera, Ph.D., President, Macalester College (MN)
Suzanne Rivera became Macalester College’s (MN) seventeenth president on June 1, 2020. Having worked in higher education for 25 years, Rivera is an accomplished leader, instructor, researcher, and scholar. She is an advocate for social justice and brings a strong commitment to inclusion and equity to her role as president. Prior to her Macalester appointment, Rivera was the vice president for research and technology management at Case Western Reserve University (OH). She is a graduate of Brown University (RI) and the University of California-Berkeley, and earned a doctorate in public affairs from the University of Texas at Dallas.
David Rowe photo David Rowe, Ph.D., Practice Leader for Private Higher Education and Foundations, AGB Consulting
A former NACIU board member, David Rowe is the former president of Centenary College of Louisiana.  He headed the school when it launched its distinctive Centenary in Paris program. Most recently, he led Lancaster Theological Seminary (PA) as interim president into a definitive agreement for combination with Moravian University (PA). Rowe guides boards and presidents through mission-critical institutional transformations as president of The Windermere Group, LLC. Rowe is a graduate of Southwestern University (TX) and Emory University (GA) and earned a doctorate from Georgia State University. You can reach David at drowe@agb.org.
Chance Russell photo Chance Russell, Professional Staff Member, U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor, Minority Staff
Chance Russell manages the higher education portfolio for House Committee on Education and Labor Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC).  Russell has worked for the Education Committee since 2019, and previously served as a legislative assistant under the policy team. Prior to joining the committee, he served in the office of former Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) and for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs when Rep. Roe served as chairman. He earned a B.A. in economics and public policy from the University of Mississippi, and master’s degree in economics from American University (DC).
Misty Sabouneh, Assistant Vice President. Financial Literacy and Integrity, Southern New Hampshire University
Misty Sabouneh has more than a decade of experience working with universities to implement strategies to improve student’s financial wellness and decrease student loan delinquency and default. In 2021, she served as the primary negotiator representing the private, nonprofit sector on the student loans and affordability committee during the U.S. Department of Education's negotiated rule making process. She earned a bachelor of science in information technology from University of Phoenix.
Suzanne Sharp photo Suzanne Sharp, Ed.D., Executive Director, Enrollment Management, Liaison
Suzanne Sharp served as the vice president of enrollment management at Stephens College (MO) prior to joining Liaison. Other professional experience includes assistant dean of enrollment management at Westminster College (MO), student services coordinator at the University of Missouri, and corporate facilitator at Missouri Employers Mutual. A graduate of St. Cloud State University and Central Missouri State University, Sharp earned a doctorate from the University of Missouri.

Andrew "Andy" Sonn, Ed.D., Director, Military and Veteran Services, The George Washington University (DC)

Andrew Sonn directs the Office of Military and Veteran Services at George Washington University (GW). He is a graduate of GW’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and teaches courses in the Educational Leadership Department. A school certifying officer (SCO), he has worked with student veterans since 2008, when he helped found GW’s dedicated office to support military-affiliated student success. 

Josh Sosnin photo Josh Sosnin, Vice President & CISO, Ellucian
Josh Sosnin is responsible for all aspects of information security for Ellucian, including the security of their software products and cloud services, along with researching and combating threats specific to higher education. Sosnin also acts as the customer security advocate for Ellucian, which includes over 2,500 institutions in nearly 50 countries. He joined Ellucian with over 20 years of global experience in information security, IT compliance,  and data privacy. He is a graduate of Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
Eric Spina photo Eric F. Spina, Ph.D., President, University of Dayton (OH) and Vice Chair of the NAICU Board of Directors
Eric Spina has served as president of the University of Dayton (OH), a top-tier national Catholic research university, since July 2016. Before taking the leadership helm at Dayton, Spina developed a stellar reputation for scholarship, teaching and research at Syracuse University (NY), where he served as vice chancellor and provost for nearly nine years of his 28-year tenure. A mechanical and aerospace engineer, he has more than 20 years of research experience in experimental fluid mechanics. Spina earned doctorate and master's degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University (NJ) and a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University (PA).
Rev David Tyson Rev. David T. Tyson, C.S.C., President, Holy Cross College (IN)
Rev.. David Tyson was appointed the fifth president of Holy Cross College in April 2017.  Previously he served 13 years as president of the University of Portland (OR) and nine years as the provincial superior of what was then called the Indiana Province of Holy Cross, the largest Holy Cross province in the world. The University of Portland awarded Rev. Tyson its highest accolade, the Christus Magister Medal, for outstanding service to the university and Catholic higher education in the United States. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame (IN), Rev. Tyson earned a doctorate in higher education from Indiana University Bloomington. 
Michelle Vasquez Michelle Vasquez, Student at Trinity Washington University (DC)
Michelle Vasquez is a first-generation scholar who was born and raised in Washington, D.C.  She is a senior honors student majoring in political science while also minoring in both business administration and data analytics.  She has been actively involved at Trinity Washington serving as president of the Student Government Council and was elected as a Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society member. Vasquez is passionate about the intersection between government, politics, and business.
Reynold Verrit Reynold Verret, Ph.D., President, Xavier University of Louisiana
Reynold Verret has served as the president of Xavier University since July 2015. Previously, he served as provost and chief administrative officer at Savannah State (GA), provost at Wilkes University (PA), dean of the Misher College of Arts and Sciences at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (PA), and chair of chemistry at Clark Atlanta University. Verret is a native of Haiti who earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University (NY), a doctorate in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Howard Hughes Institute for Immunology at Yale University (CT) and the Center for Cancer Research at MIT.
Claire Viall photo Claire Viall, Professional Staff Member, U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor 
Claire Viall leads a policy portfolio that includes federal student loans, accountability, students with disabilities, and student veterans on the higher education team for the House Committee on Education and Labor, under the leadership of Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA). She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from The George Washington University (DC)

Susan Ware, Independent Researcher
Historian Susan Ware specializes in 20th century U.S. history, women's history and biography.  Since 2012, she has served as the general editor of the biographical reference work American National Biography.  Her publications include Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports (2011) and Title IX: A Brief History with Documents (2007; second edition, 2014). 
A. Hope Williams, Ph.D., President, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
Hope Williams has led the statewide advocacy, public policy and fundraising organization for the 36 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in North Carolina since 1992. She is an advocate on state and federal public policy issues, represents independent higher education with other education sectors, seeks scholarship and program support for students and campuses, and fosters collaborative partnerships among campuses. She is a graduate of Duke University (NC) and North Carolina State University, and earned a doctorate in education from the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 
Jamel Santa Cruz Wright photo Jamel Santa Cruze Wright, Ph.D.President, Eureka College (IL)
Jamel Santa Cruze Wright is the first woman and African American to serve as president of the 165-year-old institution. She is an author, trainer, and consultant on current issues related to communication, leadership development, and diversity and inclusion. Wright displayed an enduring passion for education and servant leadership while serving as a coordinator of the America Reads Program, president of the St. Joseph Area Literacy Coalition, and a teacher/trainer with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom School Initiative. Later she embarked on a 20-year higher education career, including serving as an administrator and faculty member at Boston College (MA), Saint Louis University (MO) and the University of Kansas. Wright earned a doctorate and a master’s degree from University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Western State University.
Alexander Yaffee Alexander Yaffe, Managing Director, Pearl Meyer
Alexander Yaffe, who manages the firm’s Baltimore office, is the former president and CEO of Yaffe & Company. A second-generation expert in executive compensation, he has two decades experience assisting hundreds of tax-exempt boards and their leadership teams with assessing executive compensation programs, executive performance evaluation methods, retirement plan designs, leadership transition, succession and retention planning. Yaffee graduated from Full Sail University (FL) and continued his studies at Columbia University (NY).