CLIFFORD HUDSON | Chair
J. Clifford Hudson is Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Union Theological Seminary. He was for 23 years the CEO of publicly-held Sonic Corp., until it was acquired by an affiliate of Roark Capital in 2018. He also served as chairman of the board of directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a presidential appointment, from 1994-2001. He previously served as a trustee of the Ford Foundation, and chairman of the board of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Hudson graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where he was honored in 2011 with an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters, and Georgetown University Law Center. In 2014, he received Georgetown’s John Carroll award, its highest Award for University alumni.
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian (PCUSA)
RHONDA JOY MCLEAN | Vice-Chair
Rhonda Joy McLean is the President and CEO of RJMLEADS LLC, a leadership consulting company based in New York City. She is the former Deputy General Counsel of Time Inc., a global media company, where she managed one-third of the legal department for nearly 20 years and provided legal counsel to over 200 clients, including the print, digital and social media marketing personnel for Time, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Money, Entertainment Weekly and ESSENCE, among other top brands. Prior to her work at Time Inc., she was the Deputy Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s New York Regional Office, specializing in consumer protection fraud and antitrust violations. A co-author of popular books on leadership development for women, entitled “The Little Black Book of Success” series, Ms. McLean regularly works with Fortune 500 companies, global corporations, law firms, law schools, churches, universities and colleges.
A graduate of Yale Law School, Ms. McLean has served as Chair of the Yale Law School Executive Committee and a director of the Yale Law School Fund Board. She is the immediate past president of the Greater New York Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, an international organization of professional women of African descent with 16,000 members in the United States, the Caribbean and Great Britain. The Links are dedicated to public service and provide over one million hours of community service to traditionally underserved communities each year. Ms. McLean is also an active alumna of the New York Women’s Foundation Board of Directors and a past Board Chair. In December 2020, she received the Constance Baker Motley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Black Women Attorneys.
Religious Affiliation: Christian Non-Denominational
Caroline Laguerre-Brown is a seasoned lawyer and higher education executive with deep expertise in diversity, inclusion, and institutional compliance. She has an extensive background leading the design and implementation of policies, educational programs, and risk management activities for global organizations related to a broad range of anti-discrimination laws. Caroline specializes in sexual harassment policy, prevention and compliance management. She is an experienced facilitator/trainer on a wide variety of workplace discrimination and diversity training topics, including unconscious bias and anti-racism training. Ms. Laguerre-Brown engages university Board of Trustee members multiple times a year through board presentations on institutional diversity and compliance activities. Caroline also plays a central role helping senior leaders develop strategic communications to manage crises and mitigate reputational harm.
Caroline currently serves as the Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She oversees multiple departments serving 26,000 students including the Title IX/Sexual Assault Prevention office, the Multicultural Student Services Center, GW’s Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, and the Office of Disability Support Services. She joined the GW Community in August of 2016 and has since led an external review and overhaul of the university’s sexual harassment/assault policy, established its first-ever required diversity & inclusion training program for incoming students, and implemented the university’s first bias incident reporting protocol. Caroline is a member of the University Leadership Council and regularly provides reports to trustees at key committee meetings, namely Audit and Compliance and Academic Affairs.
Prior to joining GW, Caroline served as the Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer at Johns Hopkins University where she developed their first university-wide sexual harassment prevention training initiative, spearheaded unconscious bias training for faculty search committees, launched a Race in America speaker series, and co-developed a comprehensive faculty diversity initiative.
Caroline currently serves as a charter committee member of the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity, a multi-million-dollar fellowship program aimed at developing clinicians and researchers leading efforts to tackle health inequities. She is also an advisory board member for the George Washington University Online High School. In the past, she served on the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center Pediatric Oncology Advisory Board.
She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton and the University of Virginia School of Law. Caroline is admitted to practice in New York, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. She is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys where she has repeatedly served as a panelist on compliance and diversity-related topics. She is also a member of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.
Religious Affiliation: Catholic
Geoff Brown is the senior director of government relations for The Pew Charitable Trusts. He directs government relations activities for Pew’s domestic and international environmental campaigns, which have ranged from addressing establishing marine protected areas around the world to promoting clean energy policies, and improving the ability of communities to cope with flooding and sea level rise. Geoff joined Pew in 2008. Previously, he was the legislative director for the National Environmental Trust and spent 10 years working in the U.S. Senate on a range of environment, energy, and economic development issues.
Geoff holds a master’s degree in resource policy and behavior from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Yale University. He lives with his wife Suzanne in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC and can often be found sculling on the Anacostia River.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
BLAKE FRANKLIN ’88
Blake T. Franklin is a lawyer and was a partner based in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP for 25 years. His other board service includes Feeding Santa Fe, Andean Resources, S.A, and he serves as President of the National Law Center in Tucson. Blake earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and an A.B. degree from Dartmouth College.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
REV. AMY GOPP ’05
The Reverand Amy Gopp is the Vice President of External Relations for IMA World Health, a global and ecumenical public health organization. Gopp is an ordained minister of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with two decades of experience in faith-based relief and development. Amy is a graduate of the American University School of International Service, Antioch University and Union Theological Seminary.
Religious Affiliation: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
REV. NANCY STEEGER JENNINGS ’95, ’99
Nancy Jennings is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and an Honorably Retired member of the Presbytery of Long Island. She has served that body as chair of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry and on the Committee on Ministry. As an interim minister with a focus on congregations experiencing conflict, transition or demographic change, she has served churches in East Hampton, Amagansett, Merrick, Sweet Hollow in Melville and currently Remsenburg, all on Long Island.
She was trained at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Direction and Oasis Ministries and has offered a ministry of spiritual guidance for individuals and groups for 25 years. She practices traditional sacred circle dance and movement meditation internationally and teaches in the US.
Nancy has served on a number of non-profit and educational boards, including the National Urban League, the Spence School and Auburn Seminary. She received the MDiv ’95 and STM ’99 degrees from UTS and a BA from Smith College n 1967.
A lifelong New Yorker, she was married for over 46 years to the late Richard B. Jennings, president of Realty Capital International, a commercial real estate investment banking firm.
She is blessed with 3 daughters and 4 beautiful grandchildren.
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
REV. DR. SERENE JONES
The Reverend Doctor Serene Jones is the 16th president of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 183-year-old nondenominational seminary, which is in Manhattan and neighbors with Columbia University, Dr. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She was co-principal investigator on the “Women, Religion, and Globalization Grant” for the Henry T. Luce Initiative on Religion and International Affairs at Yale. Dr. Jones is a prolific and popular scholar in the fields of theology, religion, globalization, and gender studies. In addition to publishing five books, and 37 articles and book chapters since 1991, she has delivered a long list of professional papers and public lectures across the United States and around the world. In November 2016 she completed her term as the President of the American Academy of Religion. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School and Yale University. Jones is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
Religious Affiliation: Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ
DAVID A. KLASSEN ’03
David Klassen is the Chief Investment Officer for the Pensions Board of the United Church of Christ. David has significant experience in the fields of investment and finance. His Wall Street credentials include working as V.P. and portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Managing Director and Head of Equities at JPMorgan Chase. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with an M.Div., he also holds a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College.
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian (PCUSA)
DR. TIMOTHY LIGHT ’65
Dr. Timothy Light began his career at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he held several teaching and administrative positions from 1960 to 1971. He was a faculty member and director of the East Asia Study Center at the University of Arizona between 1974 and 1980. He was a professor and chairperson of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature at Ohio State University from 1980 to 1986 when he was named provost and professor of linguistics and Asian studies at Kalamazoo College. He went on to serve as acting president at Kalamazoo College in 1989-90 and then served for a year as president of Middlebury College before coming to Western Michigan University to serve as provost. He stepped down from that post in 2000 to pursue his academic work. He is currently a Professor Emeritus of Chinese Religion at Western Michigan University. He holds a BA from Yale College, an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary an M.A. from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Religious affiliation: Presbyterian (PCUSA)
SISTER JOAN MAGNETTI ’72, RSCJ
Sister Joan Magnetti is currently the Executive Director of the Catholic Academy of Bridgeport, one inner-city Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic elementary school with four campuses: St. Andrew, St. Ann, St. Augustine and St. Raphael. These schools serve 950 children, many of whom are from the poorest families in the State of Connecticut. Previously, Sr. Magnetti was headmistress for 19 years at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich and prior to that served 13 years as Headmistress at Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart in Princeton, NJ.
She is a product of public and private schools, and graduated from Manhattanville College. Upon graduation she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart, an international group of 3,000 religious women who seek to reveal the love of God through the work of education.
She holds a Masters from Union Theological Seminary, an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Manhattanville College, and has served on many Network of Sacred Heart school boards: New York 91st St., Bloomfield Hills, Newton and college boards of trustees, including Manhattanville College, Union Theological Seminary, and Horizon Program at Sacred Heart University.
Religious Affiliation: Roman Catholic
DAVID M. MCALPIN
David M. McAlpin has practiced architecture in New York City since 1979, and has led his own practice as principal since 1984. He is well-known for his ability to adapt and update structures to modern uses. David’s interest in design, education, and nature is the foundation of his professional practice and his public service efforts. He served New York Trinity School as a board member from 2001-2007, chairing its diversity committee. From 1997 to 2002 and from 2007 to 2015, David chaired the board at Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center, the house, studio and woodland garden of iconic mid-century industrial designer He also contributes to The Wild Center in the Adirondacks and New York City’s Broadway Mall Association as an advisory board member. David has taught and continues to be a visiting critic for Architectural design studios. David earned his Masters in Architecture and his B.A. cum laude from Princeton University. He and his wife, a book critic, have lived in New York City since 1980.
Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian
CRAIG J. MILLER
Craig Miller is currently serving on several boards and providing consulting and advisory services to several companies, specializing in growth strategies and operational efficiency,. Mr. Miller brings more than 35 years of experience in building industry-leading technology systems and innovative customer facing products across a wide range of industries and prominent consumer companies.
Mr. Miller has served as Chief Digital & Information Officer of Planet Fitness, where he led the vision, strategy, and execution of the Company’s digital, data, and technology innovation to drive member growth, retention, and brand expansion.
Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Technology Officer at Sonic Drive-In, where he was responsible for developing and executing the technology transformation growth strategies, including the implementation of new digital experiences and restaurant systems.
Prior to joining Sonic, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Movie Gallery/Hollywood Video where he led strategic planning and development for the implementation of a new retail technology and analytics portfolio.
Mr. Miller previously held several senior technology executive roles at Bank of America, PepsiCo, Chyron, and Eaton Aeronautic Systems, which included leadership assignments on transformational business strategies, acquisitions, divestitures, and mergers.
He was also a co-founder of a software development/consulting firm that specialized in emerging technologies, advanced business solutions, large-scale implementations, and consumer products. Mr. Miller received his Bachelor’s degree from SUNY Stony Brook and Master’s from New York University. He is Six Sigma certified, and currently serves on several boards.
REV. EDWARD D. PARDOE III '05
The Reverend Edward (Ted) D. Pardoe III ’05 currently serves on the board of the Interfaith Center of New York, the Isaac H. Tuttle Fund, The Provident Loan Society, the Sawtooth Society, Building One Community, and The Stanley Meditation Chapel. Prior to his retirement, the Rev. Pardoe served as the Rector of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Greenwich CT.
Rev. Pardoe completed a Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in 2005. Before pursuing ministry, the Rev. Pardoe worked in finance at Brown Brothers Harriman from 1979 to 1996, where he had held various management roles over the years. His undergraduate degree is from Trinity College in Hartford and he also holds a Master of Sacred Theology from General Theological Seminary in 2009.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
REV. SUSAN SGARLAT '07
The Reverend Susan Sgarlat ’07 is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary and an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. Until she retired in 2021 she served as a hospice chaplain. A graduate of Barnard College and Vanderbilt Law School, she practiced law on Wall Street and, for more than 25 years, was Associate General Counsel at Columbia University. She has been active in her denomination and in community service, including the Board of the Collegiate School, the Advisory Board of the Clarence Brown Theatre and the Community Board of Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi.
Susan lives in Knoxville, Tennessee with her husband Charles Fels, also ordained clergy and a recovering lawyer. They have a blended family of four children and three granddaughters.
Religious Affiliation:Reformed Church in America
THE REV. MADISON T. SHOCKLEY II
The Rev. Madison T. Shockley II is the pastor of the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad, CA. He brings to Pilgrim Church a wealth of experience from his work in the religious, political, non-profit, and media environments. Madison was called to Pilgrim United Church of Christ (UCC) in 2004. Along with performing his pastoral duties with Pilgrim, Madison is very active in social justice causes in San Diego and serves on the board of directors of the Americans for Civil Liberties Union of San Diego, Compassion and Choices (compassionandchoices.org) and the Clergy Advocacy Board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
A native of Los Angeles he was educated at Harvard College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He holds the Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and has done post-graduate work at Claremont Graduate University in New Testament Studies.
Religious Affiliation: United Church of Christ
STAN J. SLOAN
The Reverend Stan J. Sloan began serving as Senior Strategist at Auburn Seminary in October of 2020 after having served four years as the CEO of Family Equality. Family Equality is the nation’s organization for LGBTQ families and for those who want to form families, including LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system who need parents. Prior to his work at Family Equality Council, Sloan was the longest-serving CEO in the history of Chicago House. Chicago House was a classic HIV-service organization that evolved into a national leader in LGBTQ poverty during Sloan’s tenure. Sloan and his husband Jan Lopes, a cardiologist from Sao Paulo, Brazil, currently reside in Jersey City.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian and Roman Catholic
THE REV. WINNIE VARGHESE '99
A national leader in the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Winnie Varghese is known for her inspired writing, teaching, and preaching. Before becoming the 23rd rector of St. Luke’s as Rector, she served as Priest for Ministry and Program Coordination at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.
Prior to Trinity, Winnie served as Rector and Priest-in-Charge at St. Mark’s in the Bowery in New York. Winnie was also Chaplain at both Columbia University and University of California Los Angeles. She is a native of Dallas, Texas and is married to Elizabeth Toledo, a public relations executive. They have two grown children.
Winnie serves on the Board of Trustees of Union Theological Seminary, she chaired the General Convention’s Committee on the State of the Church from 2015 to 2018, and she served on the Board of Trustees of the Episcopal Divinity School, 2013-2016. She is also a published author, editor, and podcaster.
Winnie’s parents immigrated to the United States from India, and Winnie spent part of her early childhood years there. She attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA and earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. She then attended Union Theological Seminary and graduated with her Master of Divinity degree in 1999. She was ordained to the deaconate in Los Angeles in 1999 and to the priesthood six months later in 2000. She is a blogger for Patheos; author of Church Meets World; editor of What We Shall Become; and author of numerous articles and chapters on social justice and the church.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
THE HONORABLE REVEREND RAPHAEL G. WARNOCK, PH.D, '94, '06
The Honorable Reverend Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock serves as the Senior Pastor of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the junior United States Senator from Georgia. The son of two Pentecostal pastors, Dr. Warnock responded to the call of ministry at a very early age, and at age 35, became the fifth and the youngest person ever called to the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Baptist Church, founded in 1886. Before coming to EBC, “America’s Freedom Church,” Dr. Warnock was blessed to study and serve within the pastoral ranks of leading congregations also known for their deep spiritual roots and strong public witness. Under Dr. Warnock’s leadership, the church continues its legacy of social activism with both spiritual and numerical growth.
Dr. Warnock graduated from Morehouse College cum laude in 1991, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. He also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, from which he graduated with honors and distinctions. Seeing his pastoral work as tied to the ministry of scholarship and the life of the mind, Dr. Warnock continued his graduate studies at Union, receiving a Master of Philosophy degree and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in the field of systematic theology. He has also received honorary degrees from The Morehouse School of Medicine, Fisk University and the University of the Virgin Islands. Dr. Warnock is an Ascend Fellow at The Aspen Institute, a Senior Fellow at Auburn Theological Seminary and a graduate of the Summer Leadership Institute of Harvard University and Leadership Atlanta.
Dr. Warnock is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc., and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP. While his activism was honored in 2016, as his footprints were placed on the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, his activism did not stop there. Dr. Warnock continues to be a passionate advocate for criminal justice reform, voting rights, ending poverty and climate change.
Among other honors, Dr. Warnock has been recognized as one of “Atlanta’s 55 Most Powerful” by Atlanta magazine, one of “God’s Trombones” by the Rainbow Push Coalition, a “Good Shepherd” by Associated Black Charities, “A Man of Influence” by the Atlanta Business League, one of The Root 100 in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 (TheRoot.com a division of the Washington Post), one of the “20 Top African American Church Leaders” by TheRoot.com. He is a National TRIO Achiever Award recipient and has been honored by induction into Morehouse College’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers. Dr. Warnock is also the recipient of Morehouse College’s prestigious Bennie Trailblazer award and Union Theological Seminary’s distinguished Union Medal. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution has hailed him “a leader among Atlanta and national clergy, a fitting heir to the mantle once worn by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
On January 6, 2021, Dr. Warnock made history by becoming the first African American elected to the United States Senate from the state of Georgia and, on December 6, 2022, he made history again by becoming the first African American elected to a full 6-year term in the United States Senate from the state of Georgia. Only the second African American to represent a southern state in the Senate since Reconstruction, Dr. Warnock is honored to have been appointed to the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Commerce, Science and Transportation committees. He also serves on the bicameral Joint Economic Committee and the U.S.
Senate Special Committee on Aging. Whether preaching in the pulpit or speaking on the Senate floor, Dr. Warnock is committed to working tirelessly on behalf of the nation and all Georgians.
His first book is entitled, The Divided Mind of the Black Church: Theology, Piety & Public Witness (NYU Press, 2014). His memoir, A Way Out of No Way: A Memoir of Truth, Transformation, and the New American Story (Penguin Press) was released in June 2022 and his children’s book, Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready! (Penguin Press) was released in January 2023. Senator Reverend Warnock is the proud father of one daughter, Chloé, and one son, Caleb.
RUTH A. WOODEN
Ruth Wooden retired in 2011 after a 40+ year career as a marketing and public policy communications professional. Early in her career she worked in the private sector at the Ralston Purina Company and NW Ayer Advertising. In 1987 she was elected President of the Advertising Council, the nation’s leading provider of public service advertising campaigns for government agencies (e.g. drunk driving prevention for Dept. of Transportation) and nonprofit organizations (e.g. United Negro College Fund).
She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and has an honorary degree from Northeastern University, Boston Mass. In 1996 She was named Advertising Woman of the Year and was a recipient of Matrix Award in Communications. She is currently consulting with a number of nonprofit organizations and graduated from Union Theological Seminary with an MA in Theology in 2016. She now directs the Encore Transition Program there.
Religious Affiliation: Episcopalian
Jason Wright is president of the Washington Football Team. His responsibilities include leading the organization’s business divisions, including operations, finance, sales, and marketing. He is the first Black team president in the history of the NFL and currently is the youngest team president in the League. He is the fourth former NFL player to become president of a team.
Prior to joining the Washington Football Team, Jason was a partner in McKinsey & Company’s Washington DC office. His work focused on expanding the value of large, complex organizations through operations and culture transformations. Jason has specialized in steering companies through their toughest moments- in crisis and turnaround scenarios. Projects have covered topics from systemic personnel misconduct to financial distress to COVID-19 response. Jason also led McKinsey’s global inclusion strategy and recently spearheaded the rollout of McKinsey’s anti-racism and inclusion strategy. He co-founded the Black Economic Institute, a research entity that analyzes the racial wealth gap, and is a prominent voice in public discussions regarding racial equity in corporate America. Jason is also on the Board of Trustees at Union Theological Seminary where he is helping the institution better equip a changing student body focused on community organizing and social entrepreneurship.
Wright spent seven years as a running back in the NFL and was team captain and NFLPA player representative for the Arizona Cardinals during the 2011 NFL Lockout. He has a B.A. in psychology from Northwestern University, where he was an Academic All-American student-athlete, a two-time All-Big Ten football selection, and the president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He received his M.B.A. in Operations and Finance, with honors, from the University of Chicago- Booth School of Business.
Religious Affiliation: Christian Non-Denominational