Board of Directors

General Email 

Officers of the Board 

President:  Deborah Epstein

Vice President:  Julie Peterson

Treasurer:  Julie Getzels

Secretary:  Kenneth Warren

Board of Directors (current term)

Erin Adams (2018-2020) is the Joseph Regenstein Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Committees on Immunology and Cancer Biology at the University of Chicago.  Her research seeks to understand how events at the molecular level (i.e. protein-protein or protein-ligand interactions) allow the immune system to differentiate between self and non-self.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001 and joined the University of Chicago faculty in 2005.

Carolyn Alessio (2016-2019) teaches at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Pilsen.  A contributor to the American Authors Series, her novel in manuscript was recently a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize.

Deborah Epstein (2015-2018) is a consultant to not-for-profit organizations and foundations and is immediate past chair of the Illinois Humanities Council.  She is co-founder and former executive director of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance. She is also on the boards of the Invisible Institute and Reading Between the Lines.

Stuart Flack (2016-2019) is a Senior Fellow at the Environmental Law and Policy Center. He is also a nationally produced playwright and the former CEO of Bestmatch, an ed-tech start up,  and of The Chicago Humanities Festival. 

Theaster Gates (2016-2019) was born in 1973 in Chicago He received a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and ceramics from Iowa State University (1996), a master’s degree in fine arts and religious studies at the University of Cape Town (1998), and a master’s degree in urban planning, ceramics, and religious studies from Iowa State University (2006). His practice includes sculpture, installation, performance, and urban interventions that aim to bridge the gap between art and life. Gates works as an artist, curator, urbanist, and facilitator, and his projects attempt to instigate the creation of cultural communities by acting as catalysts for social engagement that leads to political and spatial change. He is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Rebuild Foundation and professor in the department of visual arts at the University of Chicago. 

Julie Getzels (2015-2018) is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Art Institute of Chicago

John Mark Hansen (2015-2018) is the Charles L. Hutchinson Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago.

Elizabeth Kirby (2018-2020) is the Chief of School Strategy and Planning in the Chicago Public Schools.  After studies at Harvard and the University of Chicago, she began her career as an educator in Chicago’s public schools in 1999, teaching History at Kenwood Academy High School.  From 2005 to 2011, she was the Principal at Kenwood. 

Natalie Moore’s (2017-2019) long career in journalism has taken her to Detroit, St Paul, Jerusalem, and now here to Chicago, where she is the South Side reporter for WBEZ.  She is the author or co-author of three books, including The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation (2016).  She is a graduate of Howard University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern. 

Mark Pattis (2017-2018) is CEO of Next Chapter Holdings, a family investments company.  From 1978 to 2000, he was an executive in the National Textbook Co., later NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, rising to be president.  Under his leadership, NTC/Contemporary became one of the country’s ten largest supplementary educational publishers and one of the nation's top 20 publishers of consumer trade books.  He is a graduate of Swarthmore College. 

Nicholas Pearce (2017-2019) is a clinical professor of management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and the assistant pastor of the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn.  He has been widely recognized as a scholar, lecturer, and strategic adviser on values-driven leadership, collaboration, and change in organizations.  He holds an S.B. from MIT (with a concentration in religious studies through the Harvard Divinity School) and a Ph.D. from the Kellogg School. 

Julie A. Peterson (2015-18) is co-founder and partner of Peterson Rudgers Group, a consulting firm focused on strategic planning, vision and goal setting, communications, and leadership and organizational development for colleges, universities, and related organizations that advance the world’s knowledge.

Prior to launching her consulting practice in 2015, Peterson spent more than 30 years in higher education leadership roles, as well as teaching and presenting on strategy, leadership, communications, and issues management. 

Martha T. Roth (2017-2019)  Martha Roth is the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor in the Oriental Institute, the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the College.  As Editor in Chief of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (CAD), she brought to completion in 2011 a project begun in 1921.  She served as Dean of the Humanities Division (2007-16) and as Deputy Provost (2004-07).  She joined the University in 1979 as a research associate with the CAD and joined the faculty – and the Co-op – in 1980. 

William Sewell Jr (2015-18) is the Frank P. Hixon Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in the Departments of Political Science and History and in the College at the University of Chicago.

Connie Spreen (2017-2019)  is the co-founder and executive director of the Experimental Station, a not-for-profit incubator of innovative cultural, educational, and environmental projects and small-scale enterprises on the South Side.  Its activities include the 61st Street Farmers Market, the Blackstone Bicycle Works, and many ongoing workshops, lectures, performances, and community gatherings. She holds a Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of Chicago. 

Kenneth Warren (2016-2019) is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English and the College at the University of Chicago.

Hal Wilde (2017-2018) was the ninth president of North Central College, serving from 1991 to 2012.  During his presidency, the College experienced a sevenfold increase in endowment; the largest gifts and bequests in its history; adoption of its first comprehensive new curriculum in 25 years; and a broadening of its international programming, service-learning, and interdisciplinary studies. He earned a B.A. from Amherst College and a doctorate in government from Harvard University.