Ford School welcomes four new Committee members

December 2, 2020

The Ford School is pleased to announce that four distinguished, dynamic leaders have joined our Committee, the school’s external advisory group.

The new members are Dudley Benoit (MPP ‘95), executive vice president for Alliant Capital, Ltd.; Broderick Johnson (JD ‘83), senior of counsel at Covington & Burling, LLP; Annie Maxwell (MPP 02), executive vice president at Omidyar Network; and Hardy Vieux (MPP/JD ‘97), senior vice president for legal matters for Human Rights First.

Committee members—who include Ford School alumni, leaders in the realm of politics and policy, parents of our students, and friends and family of President Gerald R. Ford—serve as school ambassadors, build valuable new connections to policymakers and policymaking arenas, provide leadership in fundraising, and help develop new initiatives that further the school’s education, research, and service objectives.

“I’m thrilled that Dudley, Broderick, Annie, and Hardy have agreed to join our Committee,” said Dean Michael S. Barr. “Each of them brings a wealth of experience, sound judgment, and generosity of spirit to our work together.”

Three of the new members are alumni of the Ford School, all are Michigan alumni, and each has a long-standing commitment to the school.

Dudley Benoit is an expert on community development financial institutions (CDFIs), private financial institutions that offer responsible, affordable loans, investments, and grants to support low-income communities. Benoit also serves on the boards of the Reinvestment Fund, a national mission-driven financial institution, and the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition. He previously served on the boards of New Jersey Community Capital, Primary Care Development Corporation and Newark Public Radio (WBGO-FM). Benoit is a former Towsley Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School (2017-2018), and taught “Community Development Finance: Lessons from the Field.” Also an alum of the PPIA summer institute at Berkeley, Benoit was the featured guest speaker for the Ford School’s 2011 PPIA Junior Summer Institute, as we celebrated the program’s 30th anniversary. 

With over three decades of leadership at the highest levels of government and the private sector, Broderick Johnson served as assistant to the president and cabinet secretary under President Obama. Johnson is chairman of the Obama Foundation’s My Brother’s Keeper Advisory Council, on the board of the Wolf Trap Foundation and the Black Economic Alliance,  and trustee of the College of the Holy Cross. Johnson is a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence at the Ford School, and will teach a Law School course this winter on "Lobbying and Mass Incarceration." In 2016 and 2018 he spoke at the Ford School’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium event. He also taught a three-session module for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute in summer 2018. 

With decades of experience in global philanthropy and government relief, Annie Maxwell leads Omidyar’s worldwide operations and a range of key strategic initiatives. She previously served as the President of the Skoll Global Threats Fund and as a White House Fellow in the Office of Vice President Biden, where she helped with the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In 2017, Maxwell was recognized with the U-M’s Bicentennial Alumni Award for her inspiring professional accomplishments. She was also the Rosenthal lecture speaker in 2016, speaking on “Wicked problems.” In addition to serving on the Ford School Committee, Maxwell is a board member of Muso, a Trustee of the German Marshall Fund, and a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Hardy Vieux oversees the management of Human Rights First’s pro bono legal representation, amicus brief, and legal outreach efforts to leverage American influence to protect human rights and the rule of law. He currently serves as a Towsley Foundation Policymaker in Residence and taught a course in 2019 on "The Role of Courts in International Human Rights.” Over the 2020 winter break, Vieux led a student trip to volunteer with the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, which memorializes disappeared persons, analyzes forensic evidence of rights abuses, and conducts public awareness activities. Vieux was a speaker at the Ford School’s 2020 Worldwide Spirit Day and conversation about racial justice and at the school’s 2016 Commencement ceremony. Vieux also serves on the board of directors of the National Military of Justice and the WISER Girls Secondary School. 

Two longtime friends of the Ford School have finished their service as members of the Committee. Outgoing Committee members include Marty Allen and Joe Schwarz, both of whom have brought their tremendous expertise and passion in service of the school’s mission for the public good.   

“It has been an honor to have Joe and Marty at the table as the Ford School has grown,” said Dean Barr. “We are forever grateful for Marty bringing the right folks together for the naming of our school twenty years ago and for being a faithful liaison between the school and the Ford Presidential Foundation. And we appreciate Joe’s long service to our country, his common sense approach to problems, and his willingness to be a mentor for our students. Both will always have a home here at the Ford School.”


Founded in 1991 to promote and increase private support for the Ford School's students, research, and policy engagement, the Committee for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy comprises leaders from the public and private sectors with an interest in public policy and higher education.


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