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AGB Consulting

Chancellor, Pepperdine University
Dr. Michael F. Adams was named chancellor of Pepperdine University in August 2015, having served as vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine earlier in his career. As chancellor, Adams’ focus is on cultivating existing relationships and developing new partnerships to extend Pepperdine’s reach throughout Southern California and around the globe.
Managing Principal, AGB Institutional Strategies
Mr. Rick Beyer has a unique combination of experience in higher education and business. As the managing principal of AGB Institutional Strategies, he focuses on higher education trends, challenges, and the development of new models for colleges and universities.
Former Board Chair, Wilson College
Ms. Trudi Blair’s unique background in governance from both for-profit and not-for-profit sectors makes her a highly sought after advisor to boards of trustees and presidents. She was chair of the board of trustees at Wilson College from 2008 to 2011 and was a member of the board of trustees for 9 years.
Retired COO, University of Florida Foundation
Ms. Leslie Bram joined the UF Foundation as its associate general counsel in 1990. She was promoted to associate vice president and chief operating officer in 1994, and in that capacity supervised the administrative and business affairs of the UF Foundation. She retired from the University of Florida Foundation in September of 2014.
President Emeritus, Keuka College
Dr. Joseph G. Burke is president emeritus at Keuka College in New York. He consults actively on board and presidential assessment and leadership development; board roles, responsibilities, processes, and structure; and international programming.
Former President and COO, Georgia Tech Foundation
Mr. John Carter brings more than 35 years of experience in higher education foundation work, alumni relations, and organization restructuring.
President Emerita, Kent State University
A highly respected voice in higher education, Dr. Carol Cartwright’s career has been distinguished by innovative teaching, pioneering research, and national leadership. She works with both public and independent colleges and universities on governance, strategic planning and board and presidential assessments.
President Emerita, Valley City State University and Mayville State University
Dr. Ellen Chaffee’s distinguished career spans institutional, system, policy, and national professional leadership in both public and private higher education, as well as extensive research and publication. Particular areas of interest include leadership and organizational effectiveness, strategic thinking, organizational change, and the role of information and technology.
Board Chair, Mount Holyoke College
Ms. Mary Graham Davis brings extensive experience in effective organizational structure, business alignment and performance management, senior leadership coaching, and strategic directional change.
Chair, American University of Iraq; Former Chair, Nevada Board of Regents
Dr. Jill Derby has nearly 30 years’ experience working nationally and internationally in higher education governance. In 2011 she received a U.S. Senate appointment to the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, which counsels the U.S. Secretary of Education on higher education.
President Emerita, The College of New Jersey
R. Barbara Gitenstein, president emerita of the College of New Jersey, has over 40 years of experience as a college professor and administrator in both the public and private sectors. She came to the College of New Jersey from Drake University where she served as provost and executive vice president.
Founder and Former Senior Advisor, Commonfund Institute
As head of Commonfund Institute, Mr. John Griswold directed investor education and market research activities for Commonfund, a nonprofit investment management company.
Former Senior Vice President and Secretary of the Board, Howard University
Ms. Hampshire-Cowan is a senior fellow at AGB. She recently completed a 23-year tenure at Howard University which included serving as senior vice president and secretary, interim chief operating officer, and acting president.
Chancellor Emeritus, University System of Maryland
Dr. William Kirwan is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues shaping the higher education landscape.
Former Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement, President and CEO, East Carolina University Foundation and the East Carolina University Real Estate Foundation
As an AGB board governance consultant, Mr. James Lanier has worked with over 100 university and foundation boards throughout the U.S. on assessment, operations, and governance issues, and trains AGB facilitators and consultants.
President Emeritus, Elizabethtown College
Dr. Theodore E. Long has broad experience in the governance of independent colleges, especially on issues related to effective presidential leadership, board-president relations, strategic planning, institutional transformation, and the board’s role in leading change.
Former Vice President, AGB
Thomas C. Longin is the former vice president for programs and research for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (1997 – 2002).
President Emeritus, California State University Dominguez Hills
Dr. James E. Lyons, Sr. has served in a number of administrative positions in higher education, including five university presidencies. Most recently he served as the interim president of both the University of the District of Columbia and Dillard University.
Former Chancellor, Minnesota State University System and University of Maine System
Dr. Terrence “Terry” MacTaggart is an experienced leader and scholar in higher education. His consulting and research work focuses on higher education leadership and policy, strategic planning, board development, issues of shared governance, and leadership evaluation.
President Emerita, University of Iowa
Dr. Sally Mason served as the 20th president of the University of Iowa from 2007 through 2015. Trained as a cell developmental biologist, she also holds a full professorship in the department of biology in the college of liberal arts and sciences.
President Emeritus, Drake University
Dr. David Maxwell served as president of Drake University from 1999-2015 and held a faculty appointment as professor of literature. He was named president emeritus by the Drake Board of Trustees upon his retirement. Maxwell was also the director of the National Foreign Language Center in Washington DC from 1993 to 1999, after serving as president of Whitman College from 1989 to 1993.
Former Chancellor, University of Alabama System and University System of Georgia
Dr. Thomas C. Meredith has served as a university president and as the head of three university systems. Most recently he served as Commissioner of Higher Education for Mississippi's university system of eight universities. In January 2002, he was appointed chancellor for the University System of Georgia, responsible for the state's 34 public colleges and universities.
President Emeritus, Roosevelt University
Dr. Chuck Middleton served as chair of the board of trustees of the seven City Colleges of Chicago from 2015 to 2017. During his tenure, the Colleges completed a major transformation in their academic quality and program focus and scope.
Chancellor, University of Richmond
Dr. Richard Morrill brings more than 40 years of higher education experience, having served as faculty, provost, president, board member, and advocate.
Senior Scholar, American Association of State Colleges & Universities
Dr. Charlie Nelms is a transformational servant-leader, a motivational speaker, and a consultant with expertise in higher education. He has more than 40 years of experience and leadership in student access, retention, and graduation; institutional effectiveness; and strategic planning.
Former Senior Vice President for Programs and Research, AGB
Mr. Rich Novak is a senior fellow at AGB, serving to advance the association’s interests and member needs in state and federal policy and board education. During his 21-year career at AGB, he served as the senior vice president for programs and research and as executive director of the Ingram Center.
President Emeritus, Warren Wilson College
Dr. Doug Orr assists independent college and university governing boards in becoming more effective, cohesive and strategic in carrying out their responsibilities. He facilitates interactive board assessment retreats, with an emphasis on the importance of the board working within the context of the distinctive institutional culture, legacy and mission.
President Emeritus and Regent Professor, University of Wisconsin System
Dr. Kevin P. Reilly is president emeritus and regent professor with the 26-campus University of Wisconsin (UW) System, having served as president from 2004-2013.   
Former Chancellor, Winston-Salem State University
Dr. Alvin J. Schexnider is president of Schexnider & Associates, LLC, a management consulting firm in Chesapeake, Virginia. Before retiring in April 2007, he was executive vice president of Norfolk State University where he also served as interim president. Following an 18 month hiatus he served as president of Thomas Nelson Community College from 2008 to 2011 before a second retirement.
Former Chancellor, Syracuse University
Dr. Kenneth A. Shaw is a nationally respected administrator and educator. He retired as the 10th chancellor of Syracuse University after serving as a university president for nearly 30 years. He has consulted with numerous educational, governmental, and private-sector for-profit and nonprofit organizations and currently serves on a number of such boards.
President Emeritus, Berea College
Dr. Larry D. Shinn brings the experience of his 42-year career in higher education to work collaboratively with presidents and boards of trustees on presidential coaching and assessment, board assessment and development, and strategic thinking as an effective means of institutional transformation.
Past President, University of Montana and Commissioner Emerita, Montana University System
Dr. Sheila Stearns is a native Montanan who has served in a variety of senior administrative positions in higher education, including president of the University of Montana, vice president of the University of Montana, chancellor of UM-Western, president of Wayne State College in Nebraska, and commissioner of higher education in Montana.
Former Executive Vice President, Institutional Advancement and Executive Director, College of Charleston Foundation
George P. Watt Jr. joined AGB as a senior fellow in July 2017, with a focus on AGB’s support of institutionally-related foundations.
Senior Counsel, University System of New Hampshire
Larry White has worked for more than thirty years as a higher education lawyer and administrator. He is currently senior counsel in the general counsel’s office at the University of New Hampshire. Prior to his retirement as a full-time university lawyer in 2015, he served as vice president and general counsel at the University of Delaware.
President Emerita, Kalamazoo College
Dr. Eileen B. Wilson-Oyelaran, president emerita of Kalamazoo College, retired in July 2016 after serving eleven years as president.
Former Deputy Undersecretary and Deputy General Counsel, U.S. Department of Education
Georgia Yuan is a governance expert and executive coach with AGB and search consultant with AGB Search whose experience and wisdom is derived from over 20 years as chief legal and policy advisor to presidents and administrators in higher education and the federal government. A strategic thinker and mentor, she is known as a professional with integrity, ability, creativity, and judgment.

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