Linking brilliant minds
State Department Diplomat in Residence
The University of Michigan is one of a very small group of U.S. colleges selected by the U.S. Department of State to host a Diplomat in Residence (DIR)—a career Foreign Service officer who provides guidance and advice to students and professionals who are interested in exploring careers, internships, or fellowships with the U.S. Foreign and Civil Services.
Louis (Lou) Fintor, is a U.S. State Department Diplomat in Residence at the Ford School. He returns to the United States, having most recently served as spokesperson at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Fintor joined the State Department in 2002 as a press officer in the Bureau of Public Affairs’ Office of Press Relations. He subsequently served as embassy spokesperson in Kabul (2005-06), Baghdad (2006-07), Islamabad (2007-08), and Sana’a, Yemen (2012-14). He also completed press officer assignments at Embassy Paris (2011); Consulate-General Istanbul (2011); Embassy Dhaka, Bangladesh (2008); the former U.S. Office Pristina, Kosovo (2008); U.S. Mission to NATO (2007); and U.S. Embassy Budapest (2003 and 2004). Fintor holds degrees in journalism from both the University of Michigan and American University.
Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence
The Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence Program was established at the Ford School in 2002 to bring individuals with significant national and international policymaking experience to campus to interact with students and faculty. The program enhances our curriculum and strengthens our ties to the policy community.
Adrienne Harris is a professor of practice at the Ford School, with support from the Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence program. The former chief business development officer and general counsel at States Title, Inc., she brings deep experience in financial reform, financial technology, cybersecurity, consumer protection, and housing finance reform. She previously served as special assistant for economic policy to President Obama at the White House National Economic Council, focusing on issues including financial reform, financial technology, and housing finance reform. Harris also served as senior advisor to the Deputy Secretary in the U.S. Department of Treasury, and represented financial institutions and other corporations as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. She also sits on the Board of Directors of the Financial Health Network and of Homie, a prop-tech company. She is an advisor to several fintech and prop-tech companies. Harris earned her JD from Columbia Law School, her MBA with specializations in economics and management from New York University, and her BA from Georgetown University.
The Honorable Sander “Sandy” Levin is a Distinguished Policymaker in Residence and professor of practice at the Ford School, with support from the Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence program. In fall 2019, he co-taught “Policy Design, Strategy, and Practice” with Susan Collins. For 36 years, Levin represented residents of Southeast Michigan in Congress. In that time, Levin was actively involved in the major debates confronting our nation including welfare reform, the auto industry rescue, China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and every critical economic policy issue. He chaired the House Ways and Means Committee including during passage of the Affordable Care Act, drafted the language to add enforceable labor and environmental standards in trade agreements for the first time, and successfully fought the privatization of Social Security. Born in Detroit, Levin earned a BA from the University of Chicago, an MA in international relations from Columbia University, and a JD from Harvard University. He developed a private law practice, served two terms in the Michigan State Senate, ran for governor, and served as an assistant administrator at the Agency for International Development before his election to Congress.
Phyllis Meadows is a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School in winter 2020, teaching "Public Management: Leadership Within the Third Sector." Meadows is a senior fellow in The Kresge Foundation’s health program and, since joining the foundation in 2009, has advised on her team’s strategic direction, provided leadership in the design and implementation of grantmaking initiatives and projects at all levels, and linked national organizations with experts in the health field. In addition, she has led the foundation’s Emerging Leaders and Public Health Program and advises and supports a variety of cross-team programming. A former public health officer for the City of Detroit, Meadows’ 30-year career has included serving as associate dean for practice at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, as adjunct faculty at the Wayne State University and Oakland University schools of nursing, and as a program director with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Broderick Johnson is a Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School for the fall 2020 semester and a partner in the Washington office of Bryan Cave. With over three decades of leadership at the highest levels of government, he served most recently as assistant to the president and cabinet secretary under President Obama. There, Johnson also was appointed chair of the White House's My Brother's Keeper Task Force. Earlier, he was deputy assistant for legislative affairs in the Clinton White House and previously held senior positions on Capitol Hill, during which time he drafted landmark legislation including the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross and his JD from the University of Michigan Law School.
Javed Ali is a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School for fall 2020, teaching "National Security Council and Counterterrorism" and co-teaching "Cybersecurity for Future Leaders." A former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, Ali has over 20 years of professional experience in national security and intelligence issues in Washington, D.C., serving in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While at the FBI, he also held senior positions on joint duty assignments at the National Intelligence Council, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the National Security Council under the Trump Administration. Ali holds a BA in political science from the University of Michigan, a JD from the University of Detroit School of Law, and an MA in international relations from American University.
Past Towsley Foundation Policymakers in Residence
The Ford School has previously welcomed:
- Gail Wilensky (2019), economist and senior fellow at Project HOPE
- Phyllis Meadows (2019), senior fellow at the Kresge Foundation
- Adrienne Harris (2019), former special assistant to the President for economic policy, National Economic Council
- Javed Ali (2018-2019), former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council
- Hardy Vieux (2018-2019), vice president of legal at Human Rights First
- Dudley Benoit (2017-2018), former director of community development finance at Santander Bank
- Harold Ford, Jr. (2015), former Member of Congress from Tennessee
- Margo Picken (2014), former director of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia at the United Nations
- Richard Boucher (2014, 2016), former Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and former Deputy Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
- Douglas Brook (2009), former Acting Undersecretary of Defense
- Alberto Trejos (2008), former Minister of Foreign Trade for Costa Rica
- Martin Palous (2008), permanent representative of the Czech Republic to the United Nations
- Yazier Henry (2007) former director of Direct Action Centre for Peace and Memory
- Cecilia Muñoz (2007), former senior vice president of the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza and former director of the Domestic Policy Council in the Obama White House
- Charles M. Vest (2005), former president of MIT and former provest of the University of Michigan
- Barbara Freese (2004), environmental protection division of the Minnesota Attorney General's office
- Namanga Ngongi (2003), former UN Secretary General's special representative to the Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Catherine Bertini (2002), former executive director of the World Food Program