In addition to the Girard-diCarlos, the Center is honored to have an outstanding group of Advisory Board members who provide vital real-world perspective and counsel to help the Center fulfill its mission.
Congressman Charlie Dent is Executive Director and Vice President of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program, where he leads bipartisan, bicameral policy education programs for sitting members of Congress. Congressman Dent also serves as a Senior Policy Advisor to DLA Piper where he provides strategic advice and counsel to clients on a variety of public policy issues. In addition to his roles with the Aspen Institute and DLA Piper, Congressman Dent is a Political Commentator for CNN, a Distinguished Advisor for Pew Charitable Trusts, and a former Visiting Fellow for the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Perry World House.
Prior to those positions, Congressman Dent served 7 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives representing the 15th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. During his time in Congress, Congressman Dent distinguished himself as a strong, independent leader who is well respected on both sides of the aisle. Congressman Dent was a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies. Additionally, he served as the Chairman of the House Committee on Ethics from 2015–2017. In addition to his role as a senior Appropriator, Congressman Dent was the co-chair of the Tuesday Group, a caucus of more than 50 center-right Republicans, where he played an important role in many of the most challenging policy and political issues confronted by Congress. Congressman Dent was also a founding member of the Problem Solvers Caucus. Congressman Dent was a member of the Speaker of the House’s weekly cross section lunch and was a member of the Majority Leader’s Chairman’s Table.
Before his time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Dent served for 6 years in the Pennsylvania State Senate and 8 years in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Congressman Dent holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s of Public Administration from Lehigh University. In 2015, Moravian College conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws upon Congressman Dent.
Mary C. Gentile, PhD, is Creator/Director of Giving Voice to Values, Richard M. Waitzer Bicentennial Professor of Ethics at University of Virginia Darden School of Business, Senior Advisor at Aspen Institute Business & Society Program and consultant on management education and leadership development. Among numerous other awards, Gentile was named as one of the “Top Minds 2017” by ComplianceWeek; one of the 2015 “100 Most Influential in Business Ethics” by Ethisphere; and one of the “Top Thought Leaders in Trust: 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award Winners” by Trust Across America-Trust Around the World, January 2015. She was recently “short-listed” for the Thinkers50 2019 award for “Ideas Into Practice” (having also been short-listed in 2017). Giving Voice To Values also won the Bronze Medal in the 2017 Reimagine Education Ethical Leadership Awards.
Giving Voice to Values, a pioneering business curriculum for values-driven leadership, has been featured in Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, McKinsey Quarterly, etc. and presented and/or piloted in over 1,300 business schools and organizations globally. The award winning book, Giving Voice To Values: How To Speak Your Mind When You Know What's Right, has been translated in Chinese and Korean. Gentile has authored numerous books and articles and partnered with Nomadic.fm on online interactive social cohort-based modules. There is a 4-week online course offered by The University of Virginia from Coursera.
From 1985–95, Gentile was faculty member and manager of case research at Harvard Business School and one of the principal architects of HBS’s Leadership, Ethics and Corporate Responsibility curriculum. She co-authored Can Ethics Be Taught? Perspectives, Challenges, and Approaches at Harvard Business School and was Content Expert for the award-winning interactive CD-ROM, Managing Across Differences (HBS Publishing).
Gentile earned her Bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary and her MA and PhD from State University of New York-Buffalo.
Michael is the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cozen O'Connor. Under his leadership and strategic direction, the firm has grown in revenue by more than 70 percent, with revenue in excess of $530 million, and has been recognized as one of the top 100 law firms globally. He chairs the firm's Board of Directors and serves on its Management Committee. His business, entrepreneurial, and investing experience arms him with a unique ability to manage a global law firm in an ever-changing market and provide legal and business insight on countless complex client matters. Michael joined Cozen O’Connor in 1994 as the firm's first transactional lawyer, and has held numerous leadership positions at the firm including President of the firm and Chair of the Business Law Department.
Since Michael began his tenure as CEO, the firm has received countless accolades for its commitment to a quality and diverse workplace and the firm’s dedication and generosity to the communities and causes in which our employees and clients live and work.
In addition to his role as CEO of the firm, Michael is a recognized leader in the venture capital, private equity and emerging business space and began his career as a young associate during the IPO craze of the late 1980s. He understands, first hand, the critical roles of modern executives. An important element of Michael’s practice is making the necessary introductions to help clients raise capital and find joint venture partners, and he is constantly relied upon for his business acumen and investment instincts. Michael’s practice is focused on all forms of equity and debt capital-raising transactions, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and initial public offerings.
Michael is a frequent speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurism in the Mid-Atlantic region and is regularly quoted as a thought leader in local, regional, and national publications. He is Chambers-ranked for Corporate Law - M&A and Private Equity. Each year since it was first established in 2015, the Philadelphia Business Journal has named Michael one of the most influential people in the Philadelphia region and he has been named a Pennsylvania "Super Lawyer" by Law Politics from 2004 to present.
Michael has significant personal business and investing experience, which differentiates him from his peers in the venture capital and private equity space. Michael was an early investor and currently serves on the board of directors of The Beachbody Company, Inc. (NYSE: BODY), the creator of the popular fitness programs P90X and Insanity, the leading health and fitness direct marketing company in the country. Michael was also one of the original principal owners of the Valley Forge Casino and Resort.
Michael is a member of the board of directors of a number of for-profit companies, including FS Holdings, LLC and Hanover Fire and Casualty Co. He also sits on several nonprofit boards, including Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Villanova Law School (as the current board chair), Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT).
Born and raised in the Philadelphia area, Michael received his undergraduate degree in 1986, summa cum laude, from The Pennsylvania State University, and his law degree in 1989, magna cum laude, from Villanova University, where he was a law review editor and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Pamela Forbes Lieberman serves on the board of directors of Standard Motor Products and guest lectures and speaks on culture, leadership, employee engagement and turnarounds.
Ms. Forbes Lieberman was president, chief executive officer and a board member of True Value Company, where she led a successful strategic, financial, operating and culture turnaround of a $2 billion, at the time public reporting, wholesaler/retailer. She joined True Value as chief financial officer in March 2001, assumed the additional responsibilities of chief operating officer in July 2001, and was promoted to CEO and appointed to the board of directors in November 2001. After leaving the company in late 2004, Ms. Forbes Lieberman led private equity owned ERI, an entertainment industry value-add distribution business.
Prior to joining True Value, Ms. Forbes Lieberman held CFO positions at ShopTalk, a start-up voice application software company, Martin-Brower Company, one of the largest distributors in the McDonald's system, and Fel-Pro Inc., an internationally renowned automotive parts company consistently recognized as one of Fortune's "Top 10 Best to Work For". She orchestrated the process that ultimately led to the sale of the business for an industry setting EBITDA multiple. Previously, Ms. Forbes Lieberman was vice president of finance for Bunzl Building Supply, a subsidiary of UK based Bunzl plc. Prior to that, she was a financial executive with Kraft Foods. She began her career at Price Waterhouse working on manufacturing, distribution and retail engagements until leaving as a senior manager.
Ms. Forbes Lieberman serves on the board of trustees of Rush University Medical Center, the executive council for Granite Creek Private Equity, and the International Women's Forum Chicago Chapter board of directors. She is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network where she was a former chair and a founding member of The Chicago Network’s Women on Boards committee. Ms. Forbes Lieberman was chairman of the board of AM Castle & Co. and a board member of VWR Corporation until both companies' change of control in 2017. She is also a former board member of several privately owned companies, including Tempel Steel and Kreher Steel, and is a former advisory board member of The HAVI Group as well as former board member of not for profit organizations including Winning Workplaces.
Ms. Forbes Lieberman holds an MBA from Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a BS in Accountancy from the University of Illinois and is a CPA.
Charisse Ranielle Lillie is a businesswoman, attorney, lecturer and consultant to law firms, corporations and non-profits on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance. She has served as the CEO of CRLCONSULTING LLC since retiring from Comcast Corporation in January of 2017. She joined Comcast after thirteen years (1992-2005) at Ballard Spahr, LLP, where she was a partner in the Litigation Department and served as Chair of The Litigation Department from 2002 to 2005. During her years at Comcast, she served in several roles, including Senior Vice President of Human Resources of Comcast Cable and Vice President of Human Resources of Comcast Corporation, and President of the Comcast Foundation and Vice President of Community Investment of Comcast Corporation. She was also actively involved in the diversity initiatives at Comcast.
Ms. Lillie has extensive legal experience as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the E.D. PA. She is a former City Solicitor (City Attorney) of the City of Philadelphia and has served on many civic commissions. She is a former Professor of Law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, where she taught Ethics, Civil Rights Legislation and Constitutional Law. She is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, The Pennsylvania Women's Forum, The Forum of Executive Women and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, and a member of The American Law Institute.
Ms. Lillie is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company, PECO, an Exelon Company, and Independence Health Group, Inc., parent company of Independence Blue Cross and AmeriHealth Caritas. She also serves on the Regional Advisory Board of PNC Bank, PA/SNJ/DE and the corporate Advisory Board of KnectIQ, Inc. She also serves on the board of The Franklin Institute Science Museum, the Advisory Board of the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law and the Philadelphia Chapter of NACD. She is a former Board Member and Board Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and a former board member of The United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. She currently serves on the President’s Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. She served on the Howard University Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2016.
The Houston, Texas native received her BA, cum laude, from Wesleyan University. She holds a JD from the Temple Beasley School of Law and an LLM from Yale Law School.
Don McGrath is a communications and public relations executive with a 40-year professional management career that included communications leadership positions in government, agency and corporate sectors.
McGrath recently retired from Eaton Corporation where he served as a corporate officer and senior vice president of global communications. At Eaton, a $22 billion global diversified manufacturing company, he led Eaton’s global internal employee communications, public and media relations, digital and marketing communications. During his years at Eaton, Don led all stakeholder communications in the company’s $11 billion acquisition of Cooper Industries, the largest in Eaton’s 100-year history.
Earlier, McGrath was vice president of corporate communications for BASF Corporation, the $12 billion Americas subsidiary of BASF AG., vice president, global communications for Rockwell Automation and as director, corporate communications for Textron.
McGrath’s professional career began upon graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point. As an Infantry officer, he served in a number of tactical units in Korea, Germany and across the United States. As a senior officer, he served in a number of communications positions in the United States and Europe. These included director of communications for the 7th Army Training Command in Germany, press secretary and spokesman for the Army Chief of Staff at the Pentagon during the First Gulf War and in the Army’s post-war restructuring. Also, as director of communications for the United States Military Academy at West Point.
McGrath holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from West Point and a master’s degree in communications from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He is a former member of the Civilian Public Affairs Advisory Committee at West Point, an elected member of the Arthur W. Page Society, and is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. He is the recipient of the 2015 PRSA Lighthouse Award for career accomplishments in public relations.
McGrath has served on the board of directors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, College Now Greater Cleveland, and the MetroHealth Hospital System in Cleveland. Previously, he served on the board of directors of the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, the Woman’s Shelter of Rhode Island, AIDS Care Ocean State and on the University of Rhode Island President’s Advisory Committee.
Judge Marjorie Rendell received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor degree from the Villanova University School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, she joined the law firm of Duane, Morris & Heckscher, where she subsequently became the firm’s second woman partner.
Judge Rendell was inducted as a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in March of 1994 and was elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in November of 1997. Judge Rendell took Senior Status on July 1, 2015.
In 2004, Judge Rendell was awarded the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Sandra Day O’Connor Award, given annually to a woman attorney whose career in the legal profession has demonstrated her superior legal talent and significant achievements within the legal community, and her support for women in the profession.
As First Lady of Pennsylvania from January of 2003 through January 2011, Judge Rendell’s primary initiative focused on imparting civic responsibility to Pennsylvania’s children through civic learning. In 2014 she co-founded the Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement, a nonprofit corporation that focuses on educating students, especially at the elementary level, regarding the principles and disciplines of democracy. Judge Rendell has served her community as Chairman of the Board of the Avenue of the Arts, Inc., a member of the Board of Directors of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.
Jim Schwartzman is the Chairman of the Ethics and Professional Responsibility Group. He has extensive experience representing and counseling lawyers, law firms and judges on ethics-related issues. He has trial experience in civil and criminal matters in most of the courts in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Mr. Schwartzman is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and was a law clerk for the Honorable J. William Ditter, Jr., U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He has taught courses at the Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute and Temple University School of Law. In 2018, he was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to be a Judge on the Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline. He previously served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board. He is a former Chairman of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s Disciplinary Board, Continuing Legal Education Board and the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board.
As published in Philadelphia magazine, Mr. Schwartzman has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer from 2004 through 2020 by being selected by his peers as among the top 5 percent of lawyers in the Commonwealth. He was named one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Pennsylvania in 2009, 2010 and 2012, and one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Philadelphia in 2010 and 2012.
In addition, Mr. Schwartzman has been selected by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Plaintiffs and Defendants Legal Malpractice Law and Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, and was named 2015 Philadelphia Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year.
Mr. Schwartzman also received the Villanova Law Alumni Association Award for Public Service in 2019.
The Center is grateful to its former Advisory Board members who have given their time and efforts on behalf of the Center.
Anne Bingaman’s 40-year career included law, teaching, government and public service, and business. After graduating from Stanford University and Stanford Law School, Mrs. Bingaman moved to New Mexico and became the first woman in the state to be hired by a major law firm. From 1972-1977, she was an associate professor of law at the University of New Mexico School of Law with tenure, the first woman to hold such a position. She was a leader in the successful efforts to pass a state equal rights amendment, ratify the federal ERA, re-write New Mexico laws to conform to both and require the New Mexico Military Institute to accept women as cadets.
In 1977, Mrs. Bingaman started her own law firm in Santa Fe, where she developed an expertise representing plaintiffs in cartel antitrust litigation. In 1983, she moved to Washington, D.C. and continued her antitrust law practice there. In 1993, Mrs. Bingaman was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the Senate as assistant attorney general for antitrust in the Department of Justice, a post she held for more than three years. She began the Microsoft series of cases and served as the administration’s spokesperson in Congress on the Telecom Act. She successfully sued 24 market makers on NASDAQ, saving consumers $1 billion a year in trading costs, and she issued Guidelines in Health Care and Intellectual Property for businesses and their counsel.
After practicing law for almost 28 years, Mrs. Bingaman decided to start a business career. She joined LCI International as president of LCI’s local-service division, competing against the Bell Companies. She then founded and became the first chairman and CEO of Valor Telecom, a 500,000 line rural telecommunications company in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. After Valor went public on the NYSE, Mrs. Bingaman founded Soundpath Conferencing, which became the market leader for audio conferencing for the 100 largest law firms in the U.S. She sold Soundpath in 2008.
Mrs. Bingaman has served as a board member at Stanford University and Lear Corporation and currently serves on the boards of The Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.
Floyd Clarke is currently an advisor for compliance, regulatory and security matters for MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc., a New York company with diversified public and private holdings that include entertainment, gaming, biotechnology, cosmetics and military equipment. Mr. Clarke joined MacAndrews & Forbes in 1994 as vice president of Corporate Compliance and was responsible for overseeing the compliance and regulatory programs for all the MacAndrews & Forbes companies.
From 1964-1994, Mr. Clarke served as an agent in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in various investigative, supervisory, management and executive positions. He started his career under Director J. Edgar Hoover and was first assigned to the Birmingham, Alabama office where he was responsible for civil rights investigations, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He served in the Boston office with responsibilities for organized crime and white collar crime investigations before being assigned to FBI headquarters where he headed a special detail unit for the U.S. Attorney General. Following that assignment, Mr. Clarke served in Philadelphia and Kansas City before returning to FBI headquarters in 1982 as the deputy assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division with oversight of the FBI’s white collar crime, organized crime and illegal drug investigative programs worldwide. In 1985, he became the assistant director responsible for the FBI’s budget, personnel and procurement matters, and in 1989 he became deputy director with overall responsibility for all FBI operations worldwide. President Bill Clinton appointed Mr. Clarke as acting director of the FBI in 1993.
During his time at the FBI, Mr. Clarke received several awards and recognitions including the President’s Distinguished Executive and Meritorious Executive Awards and the Attorney General’s Edmund J. Randolph Award—the Department of Justice’s highest honor for outstanding service. Mr. Clarke was a member of the Kerr Commission, which reviewed the responsibilities of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, and he was on the National Academy of Public Administration panel that issued a report in 2006 on “Transforming the FBI.” He also served on the FBI director’s advisory board from 2003 to 2013 under Director Robert Mueller.
Mr. Clarke currently serves on the board of directors for LexisNexis Special Services, Inc. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from George Washington University.
Jon Huntsman Jr. is chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of No Labels. The Atlantic Council promotes constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs based on the Atlantic Community’s central role in meeting global challenges. The Council provides an essential forum to help shape policy choices and strategies to create a more secure and prosperous world. The primary goal of No Labels is to start a national movement that will culminate in a Federal government that sees the presidential administration and both houses of Congress working together to achieve mutually agreed-upon goals that will solve the nation’s problems.
Gov. Huntsman began his career in public service as a staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He has served each of the four U.S. presidents since then in critical roles around the world, including as ambassador to Singapore, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia, U.S. trade ambassador and ambassador to China. In all three Senate confirmations, he received unanimous votes. Twice elected governor of Utah, he brought about strong economic reforms, tripled the state’s rainy day fund and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows.
During his tenure as governor, Utah was named the best managed state in America. Recognized by others for his service, Gov. Huntsman was elected as chairman of the Western Governors Association, serving 19 states throughout the region. He ran for the presidency in 2012 where he ultimately placed third in the New Hampshire primary before bowing out.
Gov. Huntsman currently serves on the boards of Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Huntsman Corporation, the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he serves as a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institute, a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a trustee of the Reagan Presidential Foundation and chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Gov. Huntsman has served as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a distinguished lecturer at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. He was recently inducted into the American Academy of Diplomacy.
Gov. Huntsman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has eight honorary doctoral degrees.
Joe Neubauer was chairman of the board of Aramark Corporation, a leading global provider of professional services including food, hospitality, facility and uniform services, from 1984 until his retirement in 2015. Mr. Neubauer joined Aramark in 1979 as executive vice president of finance and development, chief financial officer and a member of the board of directors. He was elected president in 1981, chief executive officer in 1983 and chairman in 1984. During his tenure at the helm of Aramark, the company grew from a $2.5 billion business largely concentrated in the United States to a $13 billion global services provider.
Prior to joining Aramark, Mr. Neubauer held senior positions at PepsiCo, Inc., including senior vice president of PepsiCo’s Wilson Sporting Goods division and vice president and treasurer of the parent company, PepsiCo, Inc. Prior to that, he served in several capacities from assistant treasurer to vice president of commercial lending at the Chase Manhattan Bank. Mr. Neubauer serves on the board of directors of Macy’s, Inc. and Mondelēz International. He is chairman of the University of Chicago’s board of trustees and also chairman of the board of the Barnes Foundation. He was formerly a director of Verizon Communications, Inc. and Tufts University.
Mr. Neubauer has been recognized throughout his career for civic and professional achievements. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and he received the William Penn Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a businessperson in the Greater Philadelphia business community. For his civic involvement, he received the prestigious Philadelphia Award, and he was a Great Immigrants: The Pride of America honoree of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal from the University of Virginia for setting high standards in corporate and civic leadership, and he received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship as well as recognition as a Financial Times Outstanding Director. In 1994, he was inducted into the prestigious Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, currently serving as immediate past chairman.
Mr. Neubauer received his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago. Mr. Neubauer was awarded honorary degrees from Tufts University, Drexel University, Franklin & Marshall College and Widener University.
Tom Ridge is chairman of Ridge Global, leading a team of international experts who provide clients with solutions to cyber security, international security, emergency preparedness and response, and risk management issues. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, then-Governor Ridge became the first assistant to the president for Homeland Security, and in 2003 he became the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The creation of the country’s 15th cabinet department marked the largest reorganization of government since the Truman administration and another call to service for the former soldier, congressman and governor of Pennsylvania.
During his DHS tenure, Secretary Ridge worked with more than 180,000 employees from a combined 22 agencies to create an agency that facilitated the flow of people and goods; instituted layered security at air, land and seaports; developed a unified national response and recovery plan; protected critical infrastructure; integrated new technology; and improved information sharing worldwide. Mr. Ridge served as secretary of this historic and critical endeavor until 2005. Before the events of Sept. 11, Mr. Ridge was twice elected governor of Pennsylvania. He served as the state’s 43rd governor from 1995 to 2001. Gov. Ridge’s aggressive technology strategy helped fuel the state’s advances in economic development, education, health care and the environment.
Gov. Ridge serves on the boards of the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress and other private and public entities. He is currently chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Security Task Force.
Gov. Ridge graduated from Harvard University with honors. After his first year at Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served as an infantry staff sergeant in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star for Valor, the Combat Infantry Badge and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. After returning to Pennsylvania and to Dickinson, Gov. Ridge earned his law degree and later became one of the first Vietnam combat veterans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served six terms. Throughout his public and private sector career, Gov. Ridge has received numerous awards, honors and honorary degrees from both national and international institutions.
Tony Welters is executive chairman of the BlackIvy Group, LLC. Mr. Welters had invested early in oil leases in the Bakken Formation and established his own shale gas exploration and production company. Recognizing the growing need for physical and technical infrastructure outside the U.S., he turned his focus to Sub-Saharan Africa where BlackIvy Group builds and grows infrastructure businesses in Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. Mr. Welters’ globalization of entrepreneurship in these countries creates employment for individuals and new market opportunities for the region.
Mr. Welters had formerly been senior adviser to the Office of the CEO of UnitedHealth Group (UHG), which serves more than 100 million people worldwide through its health and well-being companies. During his tenure at UHG, he had served as executive vice president and a member of the Office of the CEO and had led UHG’s Public and Senior Markets Group. Mr. Welters joined UHG upon its acquisition of AmeriChoice, a health care company he had founded in 1989. Mr. Welters is a member of the boards of Loews Corporation, West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc., and C.R. Bard, Inc. He is trustee emeritus of the Morehouse School of Medicine board of trustees, chairman of the board of New York University (NYU) School of Law as well as vice chairman of the board of NYU and a trustee of NYU Langone Medical Center.
In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Welters to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he serves as chairman of the finance committee. Mr. Welters is a founding member of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award, bestowed on those who have overcome humble beginnings and adversity to achieve success and contribute to society, and he serves on the board of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
Mr. Welters is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest learned societies in the country. He and his wife, Beatrice, are recipients of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service, in recognition of their long-standing commitment to philanthropy.
Mr. Welters was born and raised in the New York City neighborhoods of Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Manhattanville College and a JD degree from New York University School of Law.