The scoop on Vassar’s Trustees

[Nov. 6 Editor’s note: Following the publication of this article, a few of the Trustees chose to submit their own bios to The Miscellany News with further details that they would like readers to know. Since there were not enough for a full article, these bios have been added below The Miscellany News’ versions, distinguished by the heading, “Trustee name, in his/her own words.”]

Vassar’s Board of Trustees holds more power than anyone at this college, but to many students, it can feel like there’s an air of mystery around who this group really is. The Trustees only visit campus for three weekends each year, and most students never catch sight of them.

The only student invited to these meetings—the next of which takes place this weekend—is the student observer, VSA President Anish Kanoria ’18. “My primary responsibility is to make sure that student voices are heard and listened to,” said Kanoria.

So just who are the Trustees? The Miscellany News set out to demystify the people who have the power to impact so much about our College and our lives here, from financial aid policy to the appointment of administrators to decisions about building renovations.

[Editor’s note: The Miscellany News is indebted to the Vassar Transparency Coalition for the inspiration for this article. In this piece, we seek to update and keep relevant the excellent information it compiled on the Board in 2015.]

William A. Plapinger ’74, P’10, Chair

William Plapinger has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2006.1 He graduated cum laude from Vassar with a history degree in 1974 before obtaining a law degree from New York University four years later.2 Plapinger has been employed as an attorney for Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP for several decades, during which time he’s worked on a number of merger and acquisition cases for prominent mining, gas and oil companies such as BHP, BP and E.ON UK.3 Formerly residing in London, Plapinger now lives in Manhattan’s Upper East Side neighborhood.4 Since 2000, Plapinger has donated nearly $90,000 to Democratic candidates and political action committees (PACs).5

William A. Plapinger ’74, P’10, Chair, In His Own Words

William Plapinger was elected a Trustee in 1996, and has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2006. He graduated cum laude from Vassar with departmental honors in history in 1974 and obtained a J.D. from New York University in 1978. Plapinger was a Fellow in 2013 and 2014 at Harvard University in the Advanced Leadership Initiative, a unique joint program of five graduate schools that prepares its members to address challenging social problems. Plapinger practiced corporate law for some 36 years (27 as a partner) at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, and was the managing partner of the firm’s London office (where he was based from 1987 through 2012) and oversaw its European operations. His clients included non-U.S. and U.S. corporations, financial institutions and investment banks, and governments and governmental entities on transactions in more than 30 countries.  He became Of Counsel to the firm in 2014, and since 2012 has devoted almost all of his time to activities in the not-for-profit sector.  He served two three-year terms as a Commissioner on the US-UK Fulbright Commission, is a member of the National Board of The Posse Foundation, a Director of the American School in London Foundation, a member of the Board of Directors of the Conference of Board Chairs of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges, and a Director of Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, the largest private land trust on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. He is currently working with partners to establish an innovative student loan organization to support African students at the world’s leading universities.  Plapinger splits his time between New York City and Martha’s Vineyard, MA. His daughter Lizzy was a member of the Vassar Class of 2010.

Elizabeth H. Bradley, ex officio; President of Vassar College

Elizabeth Bradley started as President of Vassar College on July 1. Bradley is one of only two members of the Board who is not a graduate of Vassar. She studied economics and art history at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1984. Bradley also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in health policy and health economics from Yale University.6 After earning her doctorate, Bradley stayed on at Yale until this past spring, serving as Director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy, Faculty Director of the Yale Global Health Leadership Institute and Head of Branford College.7 Bradley and her husband John live on the Vassar campus in the President’s House.

Karen Herskovitz Ackman ’88

Karen Herskovitz Ackman studied art at Vassar and earned a Master of Liberal Arts degree from Harvard in landscape architecture in 1993.8 In addition to Vassar’s Board of Trustees, Herskovitz Ackman also serves on the boards of Friends of the High Line and Human Rights Watch and formerly The Dalton School.9 Late last year, Herskovitz Ackman separated from her billionaire hedge fund manager husband, Bill Ackman, and reportedly stands to get half of his $1.4 billion fortune in the event of a divorce. The two own four homes in the New York area, worth $90 million, $35 million, $23.5 million and $22 million, respectively.10 Over the years, Herskovitz has donated tens of thousands of dollars to various campaigns and PACs, primarily—though not exclusively—Democratic.11

Karen Herskovitz Ackman ’88, In Her Own Words

Karen Herskovitz Ackman is a landscape architect and artist who has focused her career on public work as a designer for the Central Park Conservancy, Robert A.M. Stern Architects, and Judith Heintz Landscape Architecture.  Karen received her M.L.A. from Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a B.A. from Vassar College.  She is a co-founder and director of the Pershing Square Foundation and serves on the boards of Friends of the High Line, Human Rights Watch and Vassar College.

Eric H. Beringause ’80

Eric Beringause, a sociology and anthropology double-major at Vassar, also holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in commercial banking from Cornell University.12 Beringause is currently CEO of Gehl Foods, a dairy company with annual sales of $250 million.13 14 15 Prior to working at Gehl Foods, Beringause was CEO or President of Private Equity Advisor; Advanced Refreshment LLC; Sturm Foods, Inc.; and Alcoa Consumer Products.16 He lives in Milwaukee, WI, where Gehl Foods is based.

Eric H. Beringause ’80, In His Own Words

Eric Beringause graduated from Vassar College in 1980 with a double major in Anthropology and Sociology and received Departmental and General Honors.   He also holds an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.  He has over thirty five years of experience in the Food, Beverage and Packaging industries, including at such well-known companies as Nestle, Nabisco and Alcoa.  Most recently Eric has been the CEO of Gehl Foods, LLC a leading manufacturer of dairy based sauces and beverages, headquartered in Wisconsin.   He serves on the Board of CP Kelco, LLC.  For the past ten years Eric has supported Vassar’s Exploring Transfer program, with a focus on Native American participants.  He has also funded a scholarship at Cornell University, targeting Vassar College graduates seeking graduate management degrees.  Eric also is major supporter of the Student Conservation Association, having set up the first program for Native American participants.  Eric has a daughter, Mary, currently attending Hamilton College, as well as two younger boys, Nine and Dane.

Jamshed J. Bharucha ’78

Jamshed Bharucha, who was an international student at Vassar from Mumbai, India, graduated with a degree in biopsychology and went on to receive an M.A. in Philosophy from Yale and a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Harvard.17 From 2011 to 2015, Bharucha served as President of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. During his tenure, Cooper Union began charging tuition for the first time since its establishment in 1859, despite fervent student protests.18 Bharucha is currently a Distinguished Fellow at Dartmouth College.19

Jason Blum ’91

Jason Blum, one of the youngest members of the Board of Trustees, graduated from Vassar in 1991 with degrees in economics and film. In 2000, he founded Blumhouse Productions and has since become known for producing low-budget horror film franchises such as “Insidious,” “The Purge” and “Paranormal Activity.” [20] Some of his more recent projects include “Whiplash,” “Get Out” and an upcoming HBO adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Sharp Objects.”21 Estimates of Blum’s net worth range from $10 to 50 million.22 23

Beth Burnam ’77, P’10

Beth Burnam studied Science, Technology and Society at Vassar before earning an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. According to campaign donation records—since 2004, Burnam has donated about $235,000 to Democratic causes such as EMILY’s List and ActBlue—Burnam works as a self-employed investor.24 Burnam’s mother, Marcia Garbus Burnam ’49, and her son, Michael Burnam-Fink ’10, also attended Vassar.25 Along with her mother, she established the Burnam Summer Fellowships for Juniors, which provides grants for summer projects involving work with nonprofits or community-based agencies.26 Burnam resides in Topanga, CA.27

Mark Burstein ’84

Mark Burstein graduated from Vassar with degrees in history and independent studies and also holds an M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Since 2013, he has served as President of Lawrence University in Appleton, WI and has previously worked at Princeton University and Columbia University.28 On Vassar’s Board of Trustees, Burstein chairs the Personnel and Compensation Committee, and he also serves on the Board of ThedaCare, a Wisconsin health care provider.29

Camilla Campbell P’17, P’19, P’22

The only Trustee aside from Bradley who didn’t attend Vassar, Camilla Campbell holds a B.A. from Boston University’s College of Communications.30 Campbell is married to actor Oliver Platt31, and their three children all either have or will attend Vassar. She is currently the Director of Admissions for the High School Division of Grace Church School, a Manhattan private school.32 Campbell resides in New York City.

Sharon Davidson Chang ’84, P’19

Sharon Davidson Chang studied English at Vassar and currently works as Vice President of Non-Scripted Television at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC (WME), a talent agency. Since graduating from Vassar, Davidson Chang has also held numerous positions at CBS Sports and IMG Worldwide, Inc., which is owned by WME.33 Davidson Chang also serves as Alumnae and Alumni of Vassar College Alumnae/i Recognition Committee Chair.34

Leslie Jackson Chihuly ’83

Leslie Jackson Chihuly holds a B.A. from Vassar in English and an M.A. from the University of Washington in Russian Studies.35 She is married to glass sculptor Dale Chihuly and is CEO and President of Chihuly Studios. Jackson Chihuly is also the chair of the Seattle Symphony Board of Trustees and serves on the Board of the Pilchuck Glass School.36 Since 2000, Jackson Chihuly has donated almost $70,000 to Democratic PACs and candidates.37

Barbara Danz ’66

Barbara Danz graduated from Vassar in 1966 with a degree in mathematics and in 1992 earned a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Southern California. She worked as an associate attorney for Paul Hastings, LLC but is now retired and resides in Incline Village, NV.38

Linda Fairstein ’69

Linda Fairstein is a New York-based author and attorney. Former head prosecutor for the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, (the unit which purportedly inspired the popular “Law and Order: SVU”), Fairstein is the author of over 15 crime novels.39 Fairstein graduated from Vassar in 1969 and subsequently attended the University of Virginia’s School of Law, graduating with her J.D. in 1972. While working for the Manhattan DA, Fairstein oversaw the infamous 1990 “Central Park Jogger” case, which resulted in the false conviction and imprisonment of five young men, dubbed the “Central Park Five.”40 Fairstein has been accused of rushing the prosecution. During the investigation, Fairstein reportedly barred one of the defendants from seeing or speaking with friends and family members.41 The defendant’s convictions were vacated in 2002. Fairstein left the District Attorney’s office the same year.

Richard Feitler ’85

Richard Feitler is the President and Chief Operating Officer of TPN, a marketing and advertising firm.42 TPN has done marketing for companies such as 7 Eleven, Tropicana, Hershey and Bank of America.43 Feitler attended Vassar College, where he studied political science, and received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1990.44Feilter has made small financial contributions to Democratic candidates over the years and also contributed to the LAZIO Political Action Committee in 2000,45 which is affiliated with the Republican party.46 LAZIO was a political action committee that was the principal campaign committee for Rick Lazio’s 2000 Senatorial Campaign in New York against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Lazio is a member of Vassar’s Class of 1980.

Robyn Field ’86

Robyn Field is a member of the Vassar Class of 1986. While at Vassar, Field studied history and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Field received her M.A. in architectural history and criticism in 1999 from the University of California, Los Angeles.47 Currently, Field serves as the Director of Field Family Real Estate in Beverly Hills. She served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Buckley School, a secondary school in Sherman Oaks, CA, from 2010 to 2015.48 Field has made several small financial contributions to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign.49

Anthony J. Friscia ’78, P’15

Anthony Friscia is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Advanced Market Research, Inc. (AMR), and the Independent Director of Forrester Research, Inc. Friscia founded AMR in 1986. Friscia has previously served as the Director of Product Management at Concord Data Systems, Inc.; the President and Chief Executive Officer of Eduventures; the Director of the Integrated Manufacturing Research Service at Yankee Group, Inc.; and a Systems Developer at IBM.50 While at Vassar, Friscia studied English.51 Friscia has contributed to political campaigns in the past, including Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and the LAZIO 2000 PAC.52

Jeffrey A. Goldstein ’77, P’12

Jeffrey Goldstein is currently the Managing Director at Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm with offices in New York, San Francisco and London.53 He also serves on the Board of Directors of Bank of New York Mellon Corporation and Westfield Corporation. Goldstein temporarily left Hellman & Friedman from 2009 to 2011 to serve as Undersecretary of Domestic Finance for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Goldstein has also served as the Chief Financial Officer at World Bank.54 He received his B.A. in economics from Vassar and his M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University.55

Lorna Bade Goodman ’63, P’88

Lorna Bade Goodman is a New York-based attorney. She studied English at Vassar College and graduated with her J.D. from Hofstra University.56 Bade Goodman has had a solo mediation practice since 2010 and is a member of the New York Supreme Court’s Corporate Mediation Panel and the Southern District of New York’s Federal Mediation Panel. In 2010, Bade Goodman served as the Executive Director of the New York City Charter Revision Commission. Prior to her work with the Commission, Bade Goodman was the Nassau County Attorney from 2002 to 2010.57 Bade Goodman has financially contributed to Democratic candidates during many of the last several major election cycles.58

Heather Sturt Haaga ’72

Heather Sturt Haaga is a California-based oil painter and philanthropist. While at Vassar, Sturt Hagga studied political science, and she has been on Vassar’s Board of Trustees since 2011.59 She is also the current chair of the Board of Directors of The Salzburg Global Seminar, a member of the Princeton Art Museum Advisory Council and a trustee of the African Wildlife Foundation, the Princeton Theological Seminary and the Descanso Gardens.60 Sturt Haaga was also closely involved in the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.61 Sturt Haaga has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and the Republican National Committee during many election cycles.62

Stephen Hankins ’85, P’13, P’17

Stephen Hankins is a trial attorney practicing law in the Bay Area, CA.63 Hankins studied English and art history while at Vassar and earned his J.D. from the University of California, Davis in 1991. Hankins has been admitted to eleven bar associations, including the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.64 He is a founding partner of the Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila, LLP (RSHC) national law firm, which mainly represents corporations in matters such as regulatory, employment and intellectual property disputes.65 Hankins is an adjunct professor at the University of California, Hastings Law School.66

Maryellen Cattani Herringer ’65

Maryellen Cattani Herringer graduated from Vassar with a degree in economics in 1965. She subsequently studied law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her J.D.67 Herringer is a member of the California State Bar Association.68 She served as the Non-Executive Chairman of ABM Industries, Inc. from 2006 until March 2017.69 She is also the retired former Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of APL Limited70 and the Interim Independent Lead Director of Pacific Gas and Electric Company.71 Cattani Herrington serves on the Board of Trustees of Vassar College, Mills College and the University of California at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.72

Huang Hung ’84

Huang Hung is an Beijing-based fashion mogul, television host, publisher and media figure. Huang was listed in Time Magazine’s annual “TIME 100” list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2011.73 Hung is the publisher and editor of iLook, a Chinese fashion magazine.74 Hung has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the China Interactive Media Group. She opened a Chinese designer boutique in Beijing in 2010. Before entering publishing, Hung was a socialist activist in China.75

Philip N. Jefferson ’83

Philip Jefferson is an economist and professor of economics at Swarthmore College. He has previously taught at Columbia University and the University of Virginia. Jefferson studied economics at Vassar, earning a B.A. in 1983. He subsequently earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Virginia. His research focuses on macroeconomics, poverty and applied econometrics.76 Jefferson served as the President of the National Economic Association in 2005.77 He is also a former research economist at the Federal Reserve Board, the main governing body of the United States’s Federal Reserve system.78

Henry P. Johnson ’88

Henry Johnson is the President of Wealth Manangement at the Northern Trust Corporation’s East Division. Prior to his his time at Northern Trust, Johnson served as the president and CEO of Fiduciary Trust International from 1994 to 2016. After receiving his B.A. from Vassar in 1988, Johnson went on to receive his MBA from the Yale School of Management.79 In addition to serving on Vassar’s Board of Trustees, where he oversees the College’s endowment, Johnson serves on the boards of the New York Botanical Garden, American Ballet Theatre, The Garden Conservancy, the Josiah H. Macy Jr. Foundation and Greenwood Gardens.80

Lisa Kudrow ’85

Lisa Kudrow graduated from Vassar College with a biology degree in 1985 and began a career as an actress, scriptwriter and film producer.81 82 Her performance on the American television sitcom “Friends” won the Primetime Emmy Award in 1998 and the Screen Actors Guild Award in 1996 and 2000.83 Kudrow ranks among the highest paid television stars, as she was paid $1 million per “Friends” episode during several seasons of the show.84

Geraldine Bond Laybourne ’69, P’93

Geraldine Bond Laybourne completed an art concentration at Vassar College before receiving her M.S. in Elementary Education at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971.85 She currently serves on the Board of Symantec and acts as board chairperson for Alloy Inc. and Katapult. Symantec regularly contracts for data security projects with Euro-Atlantic gas and oil firms.86 In the past, Bond Laybourne led Nickelodeon under Viacom Media Networks from 1980 to 1996, the Disney-ABC Cable Networks from 1996 to 1998 and Oxygen Media from 1998 to 2007. During her time at Nickelodeon, the company developed an $8 billion business with 40 percent annual profit margins on selling advertisements targeted to children.87

Susan Zadek Mandel ’78

Susan Zadek Mandel studied mathematics at Vassar College, graduated in 1978 and went on to earn an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School in 1982.88 She is also a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund, which seeks to use economic incentives to drive down global carbon emissions and represents environmental concerns to state and federal governments.89 90 Zadek Mandel co-produced the Showtime and National Geographic Channel television miniseries “The Years of Living Dangerously,”91 which provided extensive reports on biodiversity loss, deforestation and desertification, droughts, flooding and rising sea levels in various parts of the world impacted by climate change. The first episode had 290,000 live viewers and received glowing reviews by Time Magazine, The Guardian and the Yale Forum on Climate Change.92

Susan Zadek Mandel ’78, In Her Own Words

Susan Zadek Mandel joined the Vassar board in 2011.  Following her graduation from Vassar, with a major in mathematics, Sue earned an MBA from Harvard University in 1982.  She is a trustee of Environmental Defense Fund and a co-founder of Moms Clean Air Force, a national movement of over 1,000,000 moms (and dads) who are protecting children’s right to clean air.

Tanya M. Odom ’92

Tanya Odom holds a M.Ed. from Harvard University and graduated from Vassar College with a dual concentration in anthropology and sociology.93 Odom is Director of Innovation and Executive Coach at The Futurework Institute.94 The organization consults with companies in finance and retail on sustainable growth and workplace diversity. Some of her work has been in the European Union with the European Peer Training Organization, and she was a delegate to the World Conference against Racism in South Africa. Odom coauthored a book on education in relation to human rights and democracy. Diversity Best Practices and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia have cited Odom as a leading advocate for diversity in the workplace.95

Carol S. Ostrow ’77, P ’09, P ’15

Carol Ostrow studied drama at Vassar College and continued to earn a theatre arts M.F.A. at Yale University in 1980.96 Ostrow’s productions include “Berlin to Broadway,” “After-Play,” “Beau Jest” and “Elektra.”97 Since 2001, Ostrow has been a producing director at The Flea Theater in Tribeca, with season performances focused on new and experimental drama in off-Broadway stage settings.98 99 Over the years, Ostrow has also returned as an adjunct professor at Vassar College, as well as Chatman College and McGill University.100 In 1985, Ostrow helped found the Powerhouse Summer Theater Program with Leslie Urdang, Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Evert Sprinchom,101 which today continues to welcome theatre students to campus with a six-week program fee of $5,000.102

Tamar Smith Pichette ’86

Tamar Smith Pichette continued from Vassar to study law at Oxford University and Osgoode Hall in Toronto.103 She also acts as the Board chairperson to JobTrain, an educational organization that trains and places unemployed individuals in Silicon Valley. In 2017, the program worked with 7,393 people at a job placement rate of 81 percent.104 105 Smith Pichette regularly donates to Engineers Without Borders Canada,106 a non-profit organization that seeks to foster social enterprise and sustainable growth.107 108 Before moving to California with her husband, Senior Vice President of Google Patrick Pichette, Tamar Smith Pichette practiced commercial litigation and contracts in Toronto.109

Kathy Zillweger Putnam ’75

Kathy Zillweger Putnam graduated from Vassar College with an art concentration in 1975. She went on to found the manufacturing firm Kathy Zillweger Associates and has now entered retirement.110 Her father-in-law George Putnam Sr. founded the financial company Putnam Investments in 1937.111 Zillweger Putnam donates to the Winchester Thurston School in Pennsylvania, where she graduated from high school in 1971.112

Kathy Zillweger Putnam ’75, In Her Own Words

Kathy Zillweger Putnam graduated from Vassar College with an art history concentration in 1975. She became an entrepreneur, founding Kathy Zillweger Associates, a firm that represented companies in the sale of gourmet housewares, both imported and domestically made. She ran the company for fourteen years and is now retired. Ms. Putnam was a member of Vassar President’s advisory council from 2007 – 2016, and was co-chair for the last three years of her tenure.  She was also a member of the Capital Campaign committee. Ms. Putnam has supported financial aid through scholarship support, innovation for faculty, academic buildings and the Vassar Fund. Ms. Putnam is a member of the Leadership Council of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts and a member of the council of Emmanuel Church in Manchester, MA.

Eve E. Slater ’67

Eve Slater became an M.D. in allopathic medicine from Columbia University after receiving a B.A. in chemistry from Vassar College.113 Slater graduated from Vassar magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. Slater is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University and holds a certification in internal medicine and cardiology.114 In 2001, President George Bush appointed Slater as the Assistant Secretary of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the first woman to hold this position.115 116

Karen Strain Smythe ’82

Karen Strain Smythe graduated in 1982 from Vassar College with a B.A. in drama and later acquired an M.B.A. in 1987 from the University of Virginia.117 Strain Smythe is also President of the Board to the Bardavon Opera House118 and Executive Director at the Beatrix Farrand Garden Association.119 120 Beatrix Farrand was a landscape designer who worked on blueprints for Hyde Park, Morgan Library, the National Cathedral, the White House and Dumbarton Oaks. In the past, Strain Smythe served as Vice President and later President of mechanical contractor group C.B. Strain & Son and has worked for the real estate agency De Lisle Company, as well as food manufacturers such as Frito-Lay and the Dannon Company.121

Milbrey “Missie” Rennie Taylor ’68

Missie Rennie Taylor graduated from Vassar College in 1968 with a B.A. in political science.122 She has been a media consultant for the CBS News Group since 2000 and was a CBS Executive Producer from 1990 to 2000.123 In 2011, Rennie Taylor received the AAVC 2011 Outstanding Service to Vassar award. Her contributions have been through office and fundraising work in the Vassar Club of New York, Vassar 150, President’s Advisory Council and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.124 Her work at CBS was recognized by eight Emmy Awards and the George Foster Peabody Award. She is currently AAVC President.125

Debra Fagel Treyz ’74

Debra Fagel Treyz earned her J.D. in 1977 from the Albany Law School after studying political science at Vassar College.126 127 128 Fagel Treyz retired in 2013 from J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where she had served as a vice chairman and CEO of the European, Mid-East and Africa division.129

Christianna A. Wood ’81

Christianna Wood graduated with an economics degree from Vassar College in 1981 and later acquired an M.B.A. from New York University.130 131 Wood has served as chairman of the board of the Global Reporting Initiative, as CEO of Capital Z Asset Management and as senior investment officer to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.132 133 Her work was recognized for business ethics by the Ethisphere Institute and for corporate governance by the National Association of Corporate Directors.134 135 Her areas of expertise include risk management, portfolio construction and seeding investment.136



1 Sullivan and Cromwell, LLP “William A. Plapinger”

2 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “William A. Plapinger ’74”

3 Sullivan and Cromwell, LLP “William A. Plapinger”

4 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “William A. Plapinger ’74”

5 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: William Plapinger”

6 Vassar Stories, “Elizabeth Howe Bradley,” 01.017.2017

7 Vassar Stories, “Elizabeth Howe Bradley,” 01.017.2017

8 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Karen Herskovitz Ackman ‘88”

9 Human Rights Watch, “Karen Herskovitz Ackman”

10 Vanity Fair, “Billionaire Bill Ackman Reportedly Ends 2016 with a 9-Figure Divorce,” 12.23.2016

11 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Karen Ackman”

12 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Eric H. Beringause ‘80”

13 LinkedIn, “Eric Beringause”

14 Gehl Foods, “Gehl Foods Acquired by Wind Point Partners and Announces New CEO,” 03.27.2015

15 Leveraged Loan, “Gehl Foods nets $161.5M from SSLP for Wind Point buyout,” 05.11.2015

16 LinkedIn, “Eric Beringause”

17 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Jamshed J. Bharucha ‘78”

18 The New York Times, “College Ends Free Tuition, and an Era,” 04.23.2017

19 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Jamshed J. Bharucha ‘78”

20 The New York Times Magazine, “The Scarily Profitable Hits of Jason Blum,” 05.11.2017

21 Vassar Stories, “Get Out’s Jason Blum ’91,” 03.23.2017

22 Top Celebrity Net Worths, “Jason Blum Net Worth”

23 Celebrity Net Worth, “Jason Blum Net Worth”

24 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Beth Burnam”

25 Vassar Quarterly, “The College’s history of multidisciplinary programs now encompasses two generations of Vassar students,” 03.01.2009

26 Vassar College, “Burnam Summer Fellowships for Juniors”

27 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Beth Burnam ’77”

28 Lawrence University, “President Mark Burstein, Biography”

29 Lawrence University, “President Mark Burstein, Biography”

30 Grace Church School News, “Senior Administration Named,” 06.13.2011

31 The New York Times, “Weddings; Camilla Campbell, Oliver Platt,” 09.13.1992

32 Grace Church School News, “Senior Administration Named,” 06.13.2011

33 LinkedIn, “Sharon Chang”

34 Vassar Alumnae/i, “AAVC Trustee and Alumnae/i Recognition Committee Chair”

35 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Leslie Jackson Chihuly ‘83”

36 Seattle Symphony, “Leslie Jackson Chihuly Names President & CEO Position with $2.5M Gift to Seattle Symphony” 03.05.2015

37 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Leslie Chihuly”

38 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Barbara Ludlam Danz ‘66”

39 Linda Fairstein, “Novels”

40 The Village Voice, “A Journey Through the Tangled Case of the Central Park Jogger,” 11.19.2002

41 The Village Voice, “Ash-Blond Ambition,” 11.19.2002

42 LinkedIn, “Rich Feilter”

43 TPN Retail, “Clients”

44 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Richard Feilter ’85”

45 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Richard Feilter”

46 Federal Election Commission, “LAZIO 2000 INC”

47 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Robyn Field ’86”

48 LinkedIn, “Robyn Field”

49 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Robyn Field”

50 Bloomberg, “Company Overview of AMR Research, Inc.”

51 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Anthony J. Friscia ‘78”

52 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Anthony Friscia”

53 Hellman & Friedman, “About”

54 Hellman & Friedman, “Jeffrey Goldstein”

55 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Jeffrey Goldstein”

56 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Lorna Bade Goodman ‘63”

57 Mediation, “Lorna B. Goodman”

58 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Lorna Goodman”

59 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Heather Sturt Haaga ‘72”

60 LinkedIn, “Heather Sturt Haaga”

61 Association of Fundraising Professionals, “2014 Outstanding Philanthropists – Paul and Heather Haaga,” 2014

62 Campaign Money, “Political Campaign Contributors by Last Name: Heather Haaga”

63 LinkedIn, “Stephen Hankins”

64 Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila, “Stephen M. Hankins”

65 Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila, “About RSHC”

66 LinkedIn, “Stephen Hankins”

67 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Maryellen Cattani Herringer ‘65”

68 Justia Lawyers, “Maryellen Cattani Herringer”

69 PG&E Corporation, “Board of Directors, Maryellen C. Herringer”

70 Direct Women, “Maryellen C. Herringer”

71 Bloomberg, “Company Overview of Mills College”

72 Direct Women, “Maryellen C. Herringer”

73 TIME, “The 2011 TIME 100: Hung Huang”

74 WNYC, “Huang Hung”

75 Business of Fashion, “Hung Huang”

76 Swarthmore College, “Profile: Philip Jefferson”

77 American Economic Association, “CSMGEP Profiles: Philip N. Jefferson, Swarthmore College”

78 Swarthmore College, “Profile: Philip Jefferson”

79 LinkedIn, “Henry P. Johnson”

80 Northern Trust, “Henry Johnson”

81 IMDB, “Lisa Kudrow – Biography”

82 Wikipedia, “Lisa Kudrow”

83 Wikipedia, “List of highest paid American television stars”

84 IMDB, “Lisa Kudrow – Biography”

85 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Geraldine Bond Laybourne ‘69”

86 Oil Price, “The U.S. Oil Patch Has A Serious Cybersecurity Problem,” 09.10.2017

87 Wikipedia, “Geraldine Laybourne”

88 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Susan Zadek Mandel ’78”

89 Environmental Defense Fund, “Our impact”

90 Environmental Defense Fund, “What we do”

91 Years of Living Dangerously, “Sue Mandel – Co-Producer”

92 Wikipedia, “Years of Living Dangerously”

93 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Tanya M. Odom ’92”

94 LinkedIn, “Tanya M. Odom”

95 Future Work Institute, “Tanya M. Odom”

96 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Carol S. Ostrow ’77”

97 Broadway World, “Carol Ostrow Broadway and Theatre Credits”

98 Women Around Town, “Carol Ostrow – Many Lives,” 08.16.2010

99 The Flea Theater, “Carol Ostrow”

100 Wikipedia, “The Flea Theater”

101 Vassar Innovators, “The Power Behind Powerhouse,” 2004

102 Powerhouse Theater, “The Powerhouse Theater Training Program”

103 Wise SV, “Board”

104 JobTrain, “History and Mission”

105 JobTrain

106 Relationship Science, “Tamar Smith Pichette”

107 Wikipedia, “Engineers Without Borders (Canada)”

108 Engineers Without Borders Canada

109 The Washington Post, “This retirement letter from Google’s CFO is like few you’ll ever read,” 03.11.2015

110 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Kathy Zillweger Putnam ’75”

111 Wikipedia, “Putnam Investments”

112 Thistle Talk Magazine, “WT Fund Gifts: 07-08 School Year,” 2008

113 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Eve E. Slater ’67”

114 Columbia University, “Eve Slater, MD”

115 Synergy Partners, “Eve E. Slater, MD”

116 NewYork-Presbyterian, “Eve E. Slater, MD”

117 Vassar Alumnae/i Finder, “Karen Strain Smythe ’82”

118 Vassar Transparency Coalition, “Karen Strain Smythe”

119 Beatrix Farrand Garden Association, “Board and Staff”

120 Vassar Alumnae/i, “AAVC Trustee and Career Networking Committee Chair”

121 LinkedIn, “Karen Strain Smythe”

122 Vassar Quarterly, “Milbrey “Missie” Rennie Taylor ’68—Recipient of the AAVC 2011 Outstanding Service to Vassar Award”

123 Vassar Transparency Coalition, “Milbrey Rennie Taylor”

124 Give2Asia, “Missie Rennie, Director Emeritus”

125 Vassar Alumnae/i, “AAVC President and AAVC Trustee”

126 Vassar Alumnae/i, “Debra Fagel Treyz ’74”

127 Albany Law School, “Debra Treyz ‘77”

128 Who’s Who Legal, “Debra Treyz”

129 JPMorgan Chase and Co, “JPMorgan Private Bank names Debra Treyz head of business in Europe, Middle East, and Africa,” 06.30.2002

130 Global Philanthropy Forum, “Christianna Wood”

131 The Michel-Shaked Group, “Christianna Wood”

132 Vassar Info, “Trustee Christianna Wood to discuss institutional investing, Thursday, May 2, 2013,” 05.01.2013

133 Vassar Transparency Coalition, “Christianna A. Wood”

134 Bloomberg, “Company Overview of H&R Block, Inc.”

135 Global Reporting Initiative, “GRI appoints CSR leader Tim Mohin as new Chief Executive,” 12.14.2016

136 H&R Block, “Christianna Wood”


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