A letter from the Board Chair

January 25, 2011

Dear Alumni and Friends,

Happy New Year! I am pleased to write to you with updates from the Ford School Alumni Board and provide some of the details of what you already know: Ford School graduates continue to be recognized as leaders in both the public sphere and the private sector.

In the last year our graduates have worked as a White House Fellow, been selected as two of Detroit's "Forty Under Forty" rising leaders, run for public office, served the US Ambassador to the United Nations, led a start-up educational policy group, helped stabilize the global economy at the New York Federal Reserve, participated in international climate change negotiations, been named president and CEO of a major Midwestern energy company, and been the campaign manager for Michigan's new governor. Be sure to check out your recent edition of State & Hill focused on health care policy for even more evidence of the impressive work your Ford School colleagues do around the world.

As your representative body, the Ford School Alumni board has also had a busy year. The proposed bylaw changes from this past summer were overwhelmingly approved and included revisions to integrate the growing ranks of the Bachelors of Arts graduates by providing for their representation on the Board. The undergraduates in this new program bring a new level of energy to the Ford School, and we are pleased to welcome this group of young alumni. The Board is also working on several new initiatives to aid the Ford School in student recruiting, job and internship searching, fundraising, alumni connections, and promoting the school broadly.

The participation in the recent Board elections demonstrated typical Ford School enthusiasm for giving back, with nine highly qualified nominees for just six seats. The new members are Kate Brady-Medley (MPP '01), Pete Fritz (MPP/MBA '10), Catherine Lomax (MPP '01), Laurence Telson (MPP '89), Jomo Thorne (MPP/MBA '08), and Paul Weech (MPP '81). Thanks to all who voted and a special thanks to the outgoing members Elisabeth Wright Burak (MPP/MSW '01), Louie Cornelius (MPP '76), Kelly Dunham (MPP '01), Julie Granof (MPP/MBA '05), and Susan McLaughlin (MPP/MBA '93), all of whom served for at least three years and exemplify the Ford School's long tradition of dedication and service. I am also happy to announce that the Ford School has hired two new staff to work with alumni, including a revised Alumni Relations Manager position, which is further confirmation of a commitment to engaging alumni in new and innovative ways.

Looking ahead, on February 3, 2011, the annual Washington, DC Student-Alumni Networking Reception will once again coincide with the annual student trip. The Ford School is pleased to host the Honorable Rebecca Blank, former Ford School Dean and current Acting Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce, as the keynote speaker. I hope you will attend this or other Ford School events and help with student recruitment and career services, donate to the Annual Fund, or aid in any way to raise the visibility of the Ford School in your workplace and throughout the policy world.

Best wishes and we look forward to hearing from you,

Norman D. Bishara
Ford School Alumni Board Chairperson

P.S.: One simple and quick way to get connected to other alums is to join the Ford School LinkedIn group right now before you log off! (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?mostPopular=&gid=66464 )