Alumni Board members

Meet your alumni board

Alumni board members strive to increase the visibility of the Ford School; to strengthen the school's alumni network; and to assist the school with student recruitment, career services, and alumni relations activities. The board is comprised of 18 elected alumni members who serve three-year terms and two student representatives who serve one-year terms.

Term Ending December 31, 2023

Julia Friedman

U.S. House of Representatives

Julia Friedman (BA ‘10)

Julia Friedman serves as trade counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her international trade policy work focuses on Asia, intellectual property, digital trade and the environment. Prior to joining Ways and Means, Friedman was an intellectual property negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). While at USTR, she also served in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, the Office of Congressional Affairs, and the Office of the Ambassador. She first moved to Washington, DC to work for Senator Debbie Stabenow. Inspired by President Obama’s speech at her University of Michigan graduation, she is deeply committed to public service and developing thoughtful, inclusive, and responsible public policy positions. In addition to being a proud Ford School graduate, Friedman is a graduate of Wayne State University Law School.
Naomi Goldberg (MPP '08)

Movement Advancement Project

Naomi Goldberg (MPP '08)

Naomi Goldberg is the director of policy and research at the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an LGBT think tank, leading policy work and work designed to understand and increase the capacity of the LGBT movement. Goldberg’s work at MAP includes co-authoring a series of reports and leading partnerships with progressive and LGBT organizations to increase the visibility of LGBT people and issues within progressive movements and to highlight the need for progressive policy change to advance LGBT equality. Prior to joining MAP, Goldberg completed a public policy fellowship at the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law. In addition to being a proud Ford School graduate, she is also an alumna of Mount Holyoke College. Goldberg lives in Ann Arbor with her son and wife, who is on faculty at the University of Michigan.
 Veronica Gonzales-Stuva (MPP '13)

Founder & Consultant, Stuva Consulting Services LLC

Veronica Gonzales Stuva (MPP '13)

Veronica Gonzales Stuva is an international development practitioner with experience in economic development issues in emerging and developing economies. Her work includes projects related to education with the Universidad del Pacifico, financial access and macroeconomic policy with the Center for Global Development, migration with Innovations for Poverty Action, and supervision of institutional strengthening projects at the Inter-American Development Bank. Most recently, at the Inter-American Development Bank, she focused on designing financial tools to help Latin American countries contend with climate risk. She has published in areas related to financial access, competitiveness, early childhood education, and the "Natural Resource Curse." Her interests include development and international economics, financial markets, and strengthening institutions. She received a BA in economics from the Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru (2008), and a master’s degree in public policy from the Ford School. She has recently started her own consulting firm focused on international development and policy.
Trevis Harrold

U.S. Department of State

Trevis Harrold (MPP ‘17)

Trevis Harrold is a foreign service officer, specializing on political topics for the U.S. Department of State. Previously, Trevis has held diplomatic assignments at U.S. Embassy Kingston, U.S. Embassy Pristina, U.S. Embassy Mexico City, and the Office of Bilateral Trade Affairs. In the private sector, he worked as a government affairs specialist for the Dow Chemical Company, a Fortune 100 company based out of Michigan. He covered tax and health issues for the office. Prior to this, he spent time within the government affairs division at DTE Energy.
Trevis received a Master of Public Policy at the Ford School and a BA in political science, economics, and international business from Eastern Michigan University. He loves CrossFit and playing basketball in his spare time.
Courtney Sanders

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Cortney Sanders (MPP ‘17)

Cortney Sanders is an experienced policy analyst and consultant with deep knowledge of racial equity. Her work focuses on state tax and budget policy, criminal legal fines and fees, youth justice reform and reinvestment, K-12 education, unemployment, wealth, community-informed research, and the intersection of race and equity in public systems. She is a national speaker and consultant on issues related to the intersections of race, gender, and class to advance social justice. She previously worked for the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions and as a William Randolph Hearst Fellow at the Aspen Institute. She currently serves on the Fair Budget Coalition and The Polichic Engagement Fund board and was previously a speaker of Young People For, a program of People for the American Way Foundation. In addition to her MPP, Sanders holds a bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Texas, Austin.
Twitter
Ivy Tran

Fathead LLC

Ivy Tran (MPP/MA ‘18)

Ivy Tran is the chief operating officer at Fathead. She has served multinational companies in the automotive, industrial products, pharmaceutical, software & technology, and consumer goods industries. She has experience providing strategic guidance to turnaround companies, digital transformation, global and domestic compliance documentation, IP planning/migration, domestic and international restructuring, and audit support. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master in Applied Economics focused on financial economics and a Master of Public Policy focused on statistical evaluation and policy analysis.

Term Ending December 31, 2022

Grace Evans

Richard King Mellon Foundation

Grace Evans (MPP ‘16)

Grace Evans is a senior program associate at the Richard King Mellon Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA where she supports strategic initiatives and grantmaking aimed at increasing the quality of life and economic development of southwestern Pennsylvania. Grace previously served as a Government Performance Lab Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School where she supported performance initiatives in Rhode Island’s Department of Corrections. While at the Ford School, she focused on state and local policy, interning in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Policy, Planning, and Strategy in the City of Detroit. Grace has worked in the nonprofit sector in her home city of Pittsburgh and is an alumna of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership’s Public Affairs Fellowship. She holds a BS in mathematics and a BS in nonprofit management from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Portia Hemphill

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Portia Hemphill (PhD ‘15)

For over 20 years, Dr. Portia Rae Hemphill has led multifaceted efforts to strengthen the cradle-to-career pipeline for historically underrepresented youth and young adults. Her areas of expertise lie in U.S. domestic policy, community-centered urban development, behavioral American politics, media psychology, mixed-methods data collection and analysis, marginalized group politics, cultural politics, and Black youth political behavior.

Dr. Hemphill has led the White House, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), PolicyLink, and dozens of city, state, federal, private, and non-profit executives in using evidence-based models to evolve the role that institutions play in creating innovative wraparound support systems. As a Presidential Management Fellow, she was a principal transition team member of the Obama Administration’s My Brother's Keeper Task Force, writing the Administration’s guide for the initiative. Dr. Hemphill’s writings have been published in executive policy white papers and scholarly journals.

Driven by her passion to link academic expertise to practical impact, she recently founded Scientists for Social Progress, an intersectional firm of scientists who develop powerful solutions in the interest of social good. A native Chicagoan, Dr. Hemphill currently resides in Washington DC.
Sylvia Herzog

Women’s Enterprise Development Center

Sylvia Herzog (MPP/MBA '88)

Sylvia joined The Charcoal Project in 2010 because of a strong interest in renewable energy and the desire to combat global warming and deforestation. She has focused on managing TCP's on-the- ground projects and the development of projects such as the Harvest Fuel Initiative. While at the Charcoal Project, Sylvia has used her deep experience helping entrepreneurs to provide assistance to sustainable biomass energy producers.

In addition to her work at the Charcoal Project, Sylvia served as Program Director at the Women's Enterprise Development Center from 2015-2019, where she worked closely with entrepreneurs at all stages. Sylvia has worked in various positions in banking and finance, including private placements and relationship management. She has an MBA, a Master of Public Policy and a BA in Economics, all from the University of Michigan. Sylvia is an Alumni Board Member at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy and she currently resides with her family in Westchester County, New York.
Omair Khan

RAND Corporation

Omair Khan (MPP ‘18)

Omair Khan is an Assistant Policy Researcher at the RAND Corporation and a PhD student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His work at RAND spans a range of topics, including U.S. foreign policy, democracy, and civil conflict. Prior to attending the Ford School, Omair graduated with a B.S. in economics at Georgia State University, and worked at MailChimp as a data analyst. He currently lives in Venice, CA with his wife Carmille Lim, also a graduate of the Ford School.
David Leapheart (BA '10)

Federal Judiciary

David Leapheart (BA ‘10)

David Leapheart currently serves as a law clerk for a federal judge in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He In his legal career, he has worked on Wall Street, served as a Marine Corps judge advocate, provided legal advice to the troops, advised commanders on international humanitarian law, and prosecuted military crimes. David is a 2010 BA alum —the second class of Ford School undergraduates. While at the Ford School he studied social justice and intergroup relations. Upon graduation, David went to Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia, and commissioned as a second lieutenant. Thereafter he went to the New York University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. After law school, he married the love of his life, Lauren Sprott. They have one child (for now), who they hope will be a third-generation Michigan man.
Mellie Torres (MPP '97)

The Graduate Center at City University of New York

Mellie Torres (MPP ‘97)

Dr. Mellie Torres is an experienced STEM educator, program evaluator, and applied researcher. She is passionate about merging theory, practice, and policy to advance racial equity and amplify the voices and talents of historically marginalized communities, schools, and students. Mellie has content expertise in the intersection of racial and gender identity, academic identity, and the school context, out-of-school time programming, and the education of Latino/a/x students and other vulnerable populations. Her publications include: “An exploratory study of the academic engagement and beliefs of Latino male high school students”, published in Race, Ethnicity, and Education (2015), “Social mobility and the complex status of Latino males: Education, employment, and incarceration patterns from 2000 – 2009” in Invisible No More: Understanding the Disenfranchisement of Latino men and boys (2011), and “From the Bricks to the Hall”, published in the Harvard Educational Review (2009). She earned a PhD in Education from New York University, MA in mathematics education from Montclair State University, an MPP from the Ford School at the University of Michigan, and a BA in mathematics from Seton Hall University. Prior to doctoral studies, Mellie taught high school math in her hometown of Newark, NJ and worked in small business lending in the south side of Chicago with South Shore Bank.

Term Ending December 31, 2021

Sam Geller (MPP '17)

City of Detroit

Sam Geller (MPP '17)

Sam Geller is a budget analyst with the City of Detroit Office of Budget. Geller provides fiscal analysis and program evaluation to a wide range of city departments and agencies. Prior to this role, Geller worked for numerous nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts and served as a finance staffer on political campaigns for U.S. congressional, governor and city council races. In 2017, Geller served as the Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellow with U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI).
Latesha Love-Grayer (MPP '02)

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Latesha Love-Grayer (MPP '02)

Latesha Love-Grayer is the assistant director of the Forensic Audit and Investigative Service (FAIS) team for the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). She leads a portfolio of high-quality forensic audits and investigations of fraud, waste, and abuse; other special investigations; and security and vulnerability assessments. With 16 years of experience at GAO, she has led performance audits and forensic audits of a wide range of federal programs and policies, including consumer financial protection, immigration, and regulatory policies. Love-Grayer has also served as assistant director of operations for FAIS, providing advice to the managing director on operational and personnel matters and overseeing the implementation of the quality assurance framework, training, hiring, and strategic planning efforts that support FAIS's work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Virginia State University.
Farah Mandich (MPP '17)

Xcel Energy

Farah Mandich (MPP '17)

Farah Mandich is a resource planning specialist at Xcel Energy in Minneapolis, MN. There, she helps shape and achieve the company’s upper midwest long-range energy generation plans and supports regulatory engagement for proposed plans and projects. Previously, Mandich has worked in regulatory affairs at both Xcel Energy and Southern California Edison, where she drafted and managed regulatory filings for the companies’ integrated resource plans and proposed resource acquisitions. While at the Ford School she focused on economic and energy/sustainability policy, and completed an internship at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Prior to attending the Ford School, Mandich worked for McKinsey & Company, where she primarily served clients interested in North American renewable and distributed energy resource markets. She holds a BS in economics from Texas Christian University (go Frogs!) and is a White House Internship Program alum.
Steven Reich (MPP '85)

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Steven Reich (MPP '85)

Steve Reich is the senior technical advisor to the director of the Division of Analytics and Surveillance in the Office of Enforcement at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). His primary concentration is on identifying and collecting data to identify market anomalies and their effects. Previously, he managed the Division of Energy Market Oversight, both as acting and deputy director, developing the analytic infrastructure to support the Commission's ongoing situational awareness in the markets that it regulates. In this role, Steve worked with staff from the European Commission (EC) to develop the framework oversight rules for the EC's new energy regulator (ACER), and he laid the foundation for ongoing close cooperation between the American and European agencies. Prior to FERC, Steve was the technical director of the International Energy Agency's Centre for Gas Technology Information, an organization devoted to improving the transfer of natural gas-related technologies to developing countries. Steve also directed fundamental and technical analysis of U.S. natural gas markets for PG&E National Energy Group and was a principal at ICF International in its natural gas market consulting practice.
Ingrid Tighe (MPA '13)

Birmingham, MI Shopping District

Ingrid Tighe (MPA '13)

Ingrid Tighe is the director of economic development for Oakland County, Michigan. She oversees business development and international business attraction; community development and planning; and the county’s workforce development and veteran services. Prior to working at Oakland County, Ingrid served as the executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District where she planned, organized, coordinated, and directed programs and activities designed to promote and foster downtown Birmingham as a center for business, social, cultural, and community activity. She previously worked for the State of Michigan, overseeing veteran employment at the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, and as a business development manager at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Ingrid attended Vanderbilt University on a four-year R.O.T.C. scholarship and was commissioned as a U.S. Army Signal Corps officer upon graduation. She served with the 1st Infantry Division in Germany participating in NATO peacekeeping operations in Macedonia and Kosovo. She then served with the 1st Cavalry Division, leading troops in the combat zone of Baghdad, Iraq, working alongside Iraqi National Guard soldiers, and training and mentoring Iraq’s first class of female Army officers.

Ingrid is a Michigan Political Leadership Program Fellow, and a member of the Iraq and Afghanistan’s Veterans of America. Her writing has been published in the book She's Out There: Essays by 35 Young Women Who Aspire to Lead the Nation: The Next Generation of Presidential Candidates, and in the Huffington Post.
Rachel White (BA '10)

Old Dominion University

Rachel White, Chair (BA '10)

Dr. Rachel S. White is an Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University Darden College of Education where she teaches courses in education policy & politics, as well as research methods, in the educational foundations and leadership doctoral program. Previously, Rachel served as a postdoctoral scholar and research associate at the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education. Rachel’s research examines the politics of education policymaking and implementation, with a special focus on the ways in which decisions made by political and educational leaders impact the K-12 educational experiences of marginalized students. Rachel is currently working on a variety of research projects, some of which include exploring the relationship between state education governance structures, public responsiveness, and policy outcomes; understanding the sensitivity of setting thresholds for non-academic measures within school accountability systems; and examining the ways in which local educators interpret and implement English language learner policies.

Ex-Officio

Maggie Barnard

Maggie Barnard (MPP ‘21)

Maggie Barnard is a second-year Master of Public Policy student at the University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy where she studies international development and diplomacy. Currently, she volunteers as Amnesty International USA's Country Specialist for Tanzania and interns at the U.S. Department of State's sub-Saharan Africa office. Prior to coming to the Ford School, Maggie developed a professional level of Swahili while on a Fulbright Fellowship in Arusha, Tanzania, which she applied to her work with newly arrived refugees as at Migration & Refugee Services (MRS) in Cleveland, Ohio. She secured a federal grant to open the first Center for Survivors of Torture in Ohio and was promoted to work as a job developer, where she leveraged community partnerships to help refugees and asylees secure employment. After working in direct service at MRS, Maggie moved to New York City to join Human Rights First as the development operations manager and Refugee Protection Associate.
Julia Cohn

Julia Cohn (BA ‘21)

Julia Cohn is a senior at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Her coursework focuses on the intersection between law, race, and policy. Cohn has been an active member of the U-M and Ford School community. She is a member of Kappa Omega Alpha, a pre-law and public policy fraternity, and served as co-president of the Women in Law club. She was previously a columnist for The Daily, as well as a research assistant with Alice Mishkin at U-M’s Program on Intergroup Relations. Cohn spent two summers as a nonprofit intern at an executive search agency in Columbus, Ohio. She spent summer 2020 (virtually) interning in D.C. as a government relations and strategic communications intern at the Glover Park Group. After graduation, she plans to move to DC to work on the Hill or in political consulting before applying to law school.

Committees

Alumni Engagement/Visibility
Veronica Gonzales Stuva (co-chair)
Sylvia Herzog (co-chair)
Trevis Harrold
Farah Mandich

Fundraising
Sam Geller (chair)
Naomi Goldberg
David Leapheart
Mellie Torres

Nominations/Elections
Naomi Goldberg (chair)
Julia Friedman
Mellie Torres

Student Engagement
Steven Reich (chair)
Naomi Goldberg
Latesha Love-Grayer
Rachel White

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