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, 2024

Headshot of Ed Chu

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Edward Chu (MPP ‘88)

Edward H. Chu is the deputy regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 7 in Lenexa, Kansas. He has over 30 years of environmental and energy policy experience, passion for public service and sustainability, and commitment to protecting public health and the environment. Chu has served in senior executive positions with EPA in Washington DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Kansas City, Philadelphia, and Seattle implementing over 20 environmental statutes with 27 states and over 300 federally-recognized tribes. During the Obama-Biden Administration, Chu served as the Deputy Associate Director for Green Jobs, Community Protection, and Climate Solutions at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where he led an interagency task force to develop strategies and actions to accelerate the pace of energy efficiency improvements in homes and create green jobs for the Vice President and the Middle Class Task Force. At EPA, Chu created the Re-Powering America’s Land Program to encourage generation of renewable energy on brownfield properties. Harvard University recognized this program as one of the Top 25 Innovations in American Government in 2013. Chu was also a founding member of EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection, where he developed the first Federal Asthma Strategy for the President’s Task Force on Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks to Children. He has hiked in all 50 states and in 15 countries since leaving the Ford School and has run 11 marathons since 2016 (including the Boston Marathon). This is Chu’s second time on the Alumni Board - he last served in 1996.
Tosha Downey portrait

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Tosha Downey (MPP ‘96)

Tosha Downey is a senior program officer for state and local government relations for Tennessee at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to joining the foundation, she was vice president of advocacy for the Memphis Education Fund (MEF), a partner organization in Memphis’ effort to transform chronically underperforming schools. A native Memphian, Downey has spent more than 25 years leading work in charter school management, college access and recruitment, community engagement, and talent acquisition. She has also served as director of government affairs at the Noble Network of Charter Schools in Chicago, IL, and worked for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, Comer Science & Education Foundation, and the Ryan Family Foundation. She is a graduate of Leadership Memphis, the New Memphis Institute’s Leadership Development Intensive, and Leadership Tennessee. She sits on the Board of Utmost U and the South City Development Corporation. In addition to her MPP from the Ford School, Downey earned her BA in Education at Clark Atlanta University and a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Sam Geller (MPP '17)

City of Detroit

Sam Geller (MPP '17)

Sam Geller is a senior analyst for electric regulatory strategy at Consumers Energy where he provides communications, strategic planning, and regulatory support for the company's electric generation and distribution divisions. Prior to this role, Geller was the budget analyst with the City of Detroit Mayor's Office. He has also 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 a senior executive at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), serving as a director of International Affairs and Trade (IAT). She has over nineteen years of experience leading performance and forensic audits in a wide range of federal program and policy areas, on behalf of Congress. She currently oversees a portfolio examining international policy issues, such as international cybersecurity issues, terrorism and corruption in security assistance, and trade barriers, among others. Prior to IAT, Ms. Love-Grayer spent several years overseeing audits of domestic policy issues, such as consumer financial protection, Medicare, immigration, regulatory policies, and governmentwide efforts to improve the efficiency and fraud risk management of agencies. Her work has led to identifying millions of dollars in savings to federal programs as well as a range of changes to federal programs, policies, and legislation that have improved their performance, operations, and risk management. Her commitment to GAO has also included leading or contributing to internal initiatives to enhance the performance, accountability, diversity, culture, processes, and staff development within GAO. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Virginia State University and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, where she was also a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow.
Headshot of Kevin Sweitzer

Guidehouse

Kevin Sweitzer (BA ‘19)

Kevin Sweitzer is a state and local government consultant with Guidehouse, where he supports clients with the administration of large-scale government programs and strategy development that focuses on government effectiveness and service delivery. Sweitzer is passionate about transportation and urban policy. He previously interned with the U.S. Department of Transportation. While he was at the Ford School, Sweitzer was involved with several student organizations and groups and is eager to support BA students as they navigate the program and transition into the professional world. Sweitzer is originally from Lansing, MI and currently resides in Washington, DC.
Headshot of Jackson Voss

Louisiana Budget Project

Jackson Voss (MPP/STPP ‘18)

Jackson Voss is a senior policy analyst for the Louisiana Budget Project, where he researches and advocates for policies supporting low- and moderate-income families. Born in New Orleans and raised in the south, Jackson has also worked on political campaigns, for a regional economic development organization, in the United States Senate, and for a university-based public policy research center. Voss first came to the Ford School as a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow (JSI'13) while completing his degree in Political Science at Louisiana State University. He returned to the Ford School for his Masters of Public Policy and Certificate in Science, Technology, and Public Policy, and served as the 2018 Riecker Michigan Delegation Fellow with U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI).

Term Ending December 31, 2023

Bill Dorotinsky

World Bank

Bill Dorotinsky (MPP ’86)

Bill Dorotinsky is a lead advisor in the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice, working on governance and development issues in East and Southern Africa. He played a lead role in creating the Governance Global Practice to integrate governance and institutional development work. Bill also led the World Bank’s global expert team on public sector performance, and managed public sector engagement with Europe and Central Asia and the EU where he diversified governance support beyond traditional lending to include trust fund and fee-based service modalities. He has also held positions as the International Monetary Fund deputy division chief, U.S. Department of Treasury resident public finance advisor in Hungary, Argentina and Croatia, and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In addition to his MPP, Bill also received his BA (’84) in economics and political science from U-M.
Julia Friedman

Meta

Julia Friedman (BA ‘10)

Julia Friedman is part of Meta's global economic public policy team where she covers trade and e-commerce policy. Prior to this role, she served as trade counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means in the U.S. House of Representatives, focusing on Asia, intellectual property, digital trade, and the environment. Before 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, Chair (MPP '08)

Naomi Goldberg is the deputy director and LGBTQ program director 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.
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.
 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.
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, Vice-Chair (MPP ‘16)

Grace Evans is the assistant director of community innovation & strategy at ONE Neighborhood Builders, a community development organization in Providence, RI. With nearly ten years of experience working in and in service to communities, she has led strategy and special projects across the philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors. She has served as a Government Performance Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab and is an alum of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership’s Public Affairs Fellowship. In addition to her Master of Public Policy from the Ford School, Evans 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.

Ex-Officio

Headshot of Kristen Bolster

Kristen Bolster (BA ‘22)

Kristen Bolster is a senior at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy where she has been an active member of the U-M and Ford School community. Her coursework focuses on examining American political institutions. She is currently a student ambassador for the Comprehensive Studies Program, a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Office of Enrollment Management, and an academic success partner for the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. Bolster also serves as resident advisor for the Research and Discovery Scholars Learning Community. She spent the summer 2020 interning at the Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and she spent summer 2021 (virtually) interning in D.C. for the Pro Bono Institute.
Headshot of J'Taime Lyons

J’Taime Lyons (MPP/MBA ‘22)

J'Taime Lyons is finishing her third year as a dual Master of Public Policy/Master of Business Administration student focusing on U.S. social policy. Currently, she consults with Harlem Children's Zone's William Julius Wilson Institute as they work to lift 1 million young people out of poverty by 2030. Prior to coming to the Ford School, Lyons supported a Title I elementary school in its transition off the low-performing schools' list and move to implement trauma-informed care. During her time there, she also secured grants to open a school garden that supports healthy eating habits in a food desert and serves as a project-based learning outdoor classroom. Before her role as a student support specialist, J'Taime taught elementary schools in New Orleans, LA, and Burlington, NC.

Committees

Alumni Engagement/Visibility
Grace Evans (co-chair)
Cortney Sanders (co-chair)
Veronica Gonzales Stuva
Trevis Harrold 
Sylvia Herzog
Portia Hemphill 
Jackson Voss

Fundraising
Sam Geller (chair)
David Leapheart
Mellie Torres 
Ivy Tran

Nominations/Elections
Grace Evans (chair)
Julia Friedman

Student Engagement
Bill Dorotinsky (co-chair)
Omair Khan (co-chair)
Naomi Goldberg
Latesha Love-Grayer
Jackson Voss

Staebler Award
Bill Dorotinsky
Sam Geller
Trevis Harrold
Portia Hemphill
Omair Khan
Cortney Sanders
Kevin Sweitzer
Jackson Voss

Have any questions?

Contact