VisitorsThomas M. Davis, Rector
The Honorable Thomas M. Davis was first elected to office in 1979, winning a hard-fought campaign to represent Mason District on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. This would be the first of 12 straight victories, a winning streak spanning three decades.
In 1991, after spending 12 years as the Mason District supervisor, Mr. Davis defeated the incumbent chairman of the county board, taking the top elected office in Fairfax County, Virginia. Despite a severe economic downturn and a county budget deep in the red, he was able to implement a number of reforms that resulted in Fairfax being named the best-managed county in the country by Governing Magazine.
In 1994, Mr. Davis successfully took on another incumbent, this time winning a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to represent the 11th Congressional District of Virginia. He was the first freshman in 50 years to be given a subcommittee chairmanship, taking the gavel of the Subcommittee on the District of Columbia.
Mr. Davis also served as Sr. Vice President and General Counsel of PRC, Inc. and Advanced Technology, Inc.
He earned national recognition as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee in 2000-02, when was instrumental in maintaining his party’s majority in the House of Representatives. He is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of political minutia, often teaching members of Congress on the electoral history of their own districts. He has also twice won the Political Trivial Pursuit challenge sponsored by the Hotline and National Journal.
After the 2002 election, he was named chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform, gaining national prominence once again by chairing hearings on the use of performance enhancing substances in professional sports. Other notable accomplishments include his hard-hitting but objective report on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina; his sponsorship of legislation giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate tobacco; and passage of the National Capital Transportation Amendments Act, which authorizes needed capital reinvestment in the Washington Metro system.
Mr. Davis now serves as a Director for Deloitte & Touche in which he continues his effort to bring effective, common sense solutions to government.
Mr. Davis is a cum laude graduate of Amherst College and earned a JD degree at the University of Virginia Law School. He is married to Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and has two step daughters, Nicole, and Ashley who are George Mason Graduates.
Jon M. Peterson, Vice Rector
Jon M. Peterson has worked in the family’s real estate development business, previously known as Hazel/Peterson Companies, since 1986. The Peterson Companies has been a regionally recognized leader in the community development industry, providing 24,000 residential lots, approximately 3 million square feet of retail and approximately over 3.5 million square feet of quality office space. TPC provides management services for its own portfolio of office buildings and retail centers.
Mr. Peterson’s role as Senior Vice President of Commercial and Business Development has allowed him to develop close ties to the entire metropolitan real estate community. He has been involved on a day-to-day basis in all aspects of build-to-suit, purchase and acquisition, sale, leasing and financing of commercial properties as well as ground up development of approximately 3 million square feet of commercial office product in the Washington Metropolitan area.
His strength and expertise include Class A office leasing and mixed use development from the acquisition of the land to stabilized cash flow.
Mr. Peterson graduated from Middlebury College with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
- Board of Visitors, George Mason University
- George Mason University, Chairman, BOV Finance and Land Use Committee
- Board Member, Washington First Bank
- Member, Board of Directors; Northern Virginia Chapter of NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties)
- Member Executive Committee, NAIOP Northern Virginia Chapter
- Chairman NAIOP Northern Virginia Chapter in 2000, 2001 and 2005
- Board Member & Treasurer, NAIOP National; Member
- Member, The 123 Club
- Member, The 2030 Group
- Past President & Board Member, Virginia Association for Commercial Real Estate (VACRE)
- Board Member, Greater Washington Board of Trade
- Member, George Mason University, Patriot Club Advisory Board.
- Member, Prince William 66 Partnership
- Member, Alexandria Chamber of Commerce
- Member, DATA (Dulles Area Transportation Authority)
- Member, Board of Trustees, Member Investment Advisory & Pension Committee, INOVA Health Care Systems
- Past President & Current Board Member, Mason Housing Inc. (MHI)
- Member of the Board, George Mason Center For Real Estate Entrepreneurship (CREE)
- Member of the Board, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce
- Member of the Board, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA)
- Joe Gibb’s Youth for Tomorrow, Past President & Member of the Board of Directors, Board of Trustees & Executive Committee
- Chairman of the Youth For Tomorrow Golf Tournament
- Chairman of YFT Commercial Land Development Committee
- Inova Hospital-Life With Cancer Volunteer
Shawn Purvis, Secretary
Shawn Purvis is vice president and chief information officer for Northrop Grumman Corporation. In this role, she leads and executes all aspects of Northrop Grumman’s internal IT strategy and related responsibilities, and provides direction as the IT organization partners with customers and suppliers on innovative solutions that contribute to value delivery, user experience, and risk management.
Ms. Purvis has more than 20 years of experience in the intelligence, information systems and defense industries. Prior to her current position she served as sector vice president and general manager for Northrop Grumman’s former Cyber division, and was responsible for delivering full-spectrum cyber and security solutions to intelligence, defense and civilian customers globally.
Ms. Purvis joined Northrop Grumman in 2012 serving as vice president of the Integrated Intelligence Systems (IIS) business unit in the company’s former Intelligence Systems division. In this role, Ms. Purvis was responsible for all aspects of the IIS business, including strategy, growth, customer relationships and program execution. The division had broad capabilities centered on delivering information technology solutions to solve key customer processing, exploitation and dissemination requirements.
Prior to joining Northrop Grumman, Ms. Purvis held positions of increasing scope and responsibility with SAIC. She served as senior vice president of SAIC’s Processing Exploitation and Dissemination Operation in the Intelligence Systems business unit, where she was responsible for managing all aspects of the business, including software and systems programs, and network operations.
Ms. Purvis maintains strong involvement in the community as evidenced by two years of service as a board member on the Northern Virginia Family Services Council and two years as a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Prince William County, Virginia. Additionally, Ms. Purvis is Northrop Grumman’s executive sponsor of Howard University in Washington, D.C. She was appointed to the George Mason University Board of Visitors in 2015 and is an active member of the Executive Leadership Council and the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, Cyber Council. In 2014, Ms. Purvis received the Managerial Leadership award at the 19th annual Women of Color STEM Conference.
Ms. Purvis earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from Hampton University and a master’s degree in information systems from George Mason University. She also earned a program management certification and graduated from the Executive Program at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.
Mahfuz Ahmed is the principal founder of DISYS. He is currently the CEO, and serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors. From 1994 to present, Mr. Ahmed’s focus has been on strategic planning, new business development, financial management, operations, and overseeing DISYS services.
Mr. Ahmed is an alumni of Harvard University. In addition to a degree in Computer and Electrical Engineering, he has more than 15 years of Information Technology experience. Mr. Ahmed’s previous career experience at several companies, including ExxonMobil, gave him the foresight to create a company that could provide its clients with highly skilled consultants to complement their technology staff without the burden of long-term costs associated with hiring and training. He decided to use his project management knowledge, industry experience, and technical skills to provide resources that would embody his clients’ mission to expeditiously, and successfully, complete their IT projects and achieve cost savings. His savvy business sense has allowed him to build DISYS’ internal recruiting, management, and reporting processes, which have contributed to the success of DISYS and our clients. Mr. Ahmed has a unique ability to motivate the spirit of individuals to share his focus on quality and integrity. DISYS has grown 68% annually over the last eight years – a testament to Mr. Ahmed’s knowledge, persistence, and focus on the right industry and technology solutions for their clients.
Karen Alcalde is a sole practitioner providing legal consultant services in Arlington, VA. She is also co-owner and counsel for Takaro Farm, a breeding and farming operation in Middleburg, VA.
Ms. Alcalde serves on the boards of Life With Cancer-Inova Health System, the Galapagos Foundation, Museum of the Americas Foundation, Hispanic Designer Foundation, Ivy Inter-American Foundation, and Evening in Old Saratoga Foundation. She also provides pro bono legal services and volunteer work for these organizations.
As a member, Ms. Alcalde provides pro bono and legal services to National Center for Therapeutic Riding, the Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Research Center, the National Cancer Society, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, the Wolf Trap Foundation, and the Capital Speakers Club.
She previously worked as a marketing manager for Savin Corporation and as a sales and marketing analyst for American Can Corporation.
Ms. Alcalde is an alumnus, having received both her undergraduate degree and her juris doctorate from George Mason University.
Horace Blackman is senior vice president of the Veterans Health Organization within Leidos’ Health Group. Mr. Blackman joined Leidos with the merger of Leidos and Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solution business and leads a team of 2600 employees in delivering mission critical services to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Mr. Blackman joined Lockheed Martin in 2014 and served as the vice president of the Health & Life Sciences organization within Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions. Mr. Blackman led a team that supported the important missions of customers such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; the Department of Health and Human Services; the Social Security Administration; the Food and Drug Administration; and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Blackman served as the VA Central Office (VACO) chief information officer (CIO) and director of VACO Information Technology (IT) Support Service, as well as a senior advisor to the VA Assistant Secretary for IT and the Undersecretary for Benefits. In this role, he managed the delivery of customer-facing IT services across the National Capital Region. He also supported the Deputy CIO for Service Delivery and Engineering on matters pertaining to capital planning, program management and infrastructure analysis.
Before joining the VA in 2008, Mr. Blackman spent 15 years in IT strategy planning in the private sector. Positions previously held by Mr. Blackman include serving as a director of Healthcare Services for High Performance Technologies Inc.; management consultant in the Communications Media and Technologies Practice at Booz Allen Hamilton; and program manager for Interactive Marketing at America Online.
Federal Computer Week named Mr. Blackman a 2014 Federal 100 Award winner, which honors government, industry and academic leaders in information technology for the federal government. Other recognitions include ComputerWorld magazine’s 100 IT leaders in 2013, and FEDHealthIT magazine 2017 FedHealthIT 100 Honors.
Mr. Blackman earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Mason University, double majoring in American studies and English. He also earned a Master of Business Administration in management from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Anjan Chimaladinne is the Vice President of Consulting Services for UDYOGA LLC (DBA ANSHULTECH), which is an Economically Disadvantaged Women-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB) started by Mrs. Shri Chimaladinne. Anjan has more than 20 years of experience in providing management consulting services to the government and private sectors through organizations like Booz Allen Hamilton, CGI, SAIC, and others.
Anjan came to the US from India 26 years ago to attend graduate school with the dream of building a better life. After graduating from University of Oklahoma with a master’s degree in environmental engineering, Anjan moved to the Washington, DC metro area in 1993. Anjan earned his second master’s degree in Technology Management from George Mason University in June, 2010. Anjan attended the Political Leadership Program at Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, University of Virginia and also earned several professional certifications.
In his continued commitment and dedication towards public service, Anjan served as the Director of the Technology Committee in Governor-elect McAuliffe’s transition team, managing a team of 40 industry experts to make key policy recommendations. Anjan served as a Board Member on Governor McAuliffe’s Information Technology Advisory Council (ITAC), advising the Secretary of Technology and Chief Information Officer on planning, budgeting, acquiring, managing, and administering IT in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Anjan ran for local office in Loudoun County for the School Board and the Board of Supervisors.
Anjan lives in South Riding, VA with his wife, Shri and son, Sudhish.
Stephen M. Cumbie
Mr. Cumbie is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal of NVCommercial Incorporated, NVRetail and Metro Realty Group, commercial real estate investment, development and service companies which projects exceed $1 billion completed or in-process in the Washington, D.C., Richmond, Virginia and Denver, Colorado metropolitan areas. NVCommercial and NVRetail projects include office, retail, hotel and mixed-use properties. Metro Realty Group provides asset management, property management and development management services for NVCommercial and NVRetail, along with third-party clients.
Mr. Cumbie also serves as the President of NVCapital Advisors, which manages the NVCommercial Real Estate Fund I, a $30 million opportunistic real estate investment fund focused on the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Since its initial closing in November, 2011, the Fund has made nine investments totaling over $33 million.
From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Cumbie served as the Executive Director of the Center for Real Estate Development at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and also as an adjunct professor. He co-taught the real estate development course in the MBA Program.
Prior to founding NVCommercial, NVRetail and Metro Realty Group, Mr. Cumbie was President, from 1977 to 1983, of Elm Street Development (formerly NVLand Incorporated), a residential land development company. He is a founder of all of the
NV companies, including NVR, a publicly-traded home building company that operates through the Ryan Homes and NVHomes trade names (2013 revenues of $4.2 billion). From 1973 through 1977, Mr. Cumbie was Vice President and Project Manager for Venture Management Incorporated, a resort development firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina, in 1970, and received a Masters in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1973.
Mr. Cumbie serves in leadership roles in numerous community, business and charitable organizations in the Washington. D.C. area, including the immediate past board Chair and a current board member of INOVA Health System. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School Foundation, Tysons Partnership, SonoMedica, Inc. and the Unity School of Christianity.
Mr. Cumbie previously served on the Board of Directors for NVR, Inc., NVR Savings Bank, Potomac Bank of Virginia and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. He was President of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (
NAIOP) in 1991 and served as a member of the national NAIOP Board from 1999-2004. Mr. Cumbie was appointed to the Virginia Public Buildings Board by Governor Mark Warner and the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners by Governor Tim Kaine.
Claire Dwoskin is a child health advocate, philanthropist and leader of an international effort to address the increasing incidence of chronic illness and disability, including autoimmunity, and age related neurological diseases. The Dwoskin Family Foundation is supporting research in the area of adjuvant induced autoimmune diseases, including grants for basic research on factors involved in induction of autoimmune diseases in animal models.
Ms. Dwoskin pursues autoimmune disease research as part of her family foundation’s charitable work in the area of vaccine safety and advocacy. She is the founder of Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, a medical and scientific collaborative established to provide research funding for independent methodologically sound controlled scientific research on vaccines and their ingredients. Prominent peer-reviewed journals including Annals of Medicine, Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Lupus, Autoimmunity, and Vaccine have published research and articles funded by her family foundation. Ms. Dwoskin is an active volunteer board member of the National Vaccine Information Center. She is the co-founder of the Vaccine Safety Conference, which was organized in part to address the acknowledged significant increases in autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases in children and adults. She co-chaired the 2nd and 3rd International Symposia on Vaccines at the 8th and 9th International Autoimmunity Congresses in Granada, Spain and Nice, France. She was chosen to receive the “AESKU Award for a Lifetime Contribution to Autoimmunity” in 2014. This award is presented every two years at the Autoimmunity Congress to recognize individuals who have contributed in a significant way to the field of autoimmunology.
Ms. Dwoskin has been active in charitable, community, state and national political efforts. She has served on numerous boards including those for higher education, public libraries, public broadcasting, performing arts and historic preservation. These past and current boards include Marymount University Board of Trustees, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Board of Visitors, The Mount Vernon Life Guard, Wolf Trap for the Performing Arts, Woodlawn Plantation, WETA Board of Directors, Washington Performing Arts Society, and Fairfax County Public Library Foundation.
She is a graduate, magna cum laude, of Marymount University, where she co-chaired the University Center Capital Campaign. Her family foundation provided seed funding and guidance for the award-winning documentary The Greater Good (2011). Research funded by her foundation was profiled in the film, The Age of Aluminum (2013). Her goal is to contribute to understanding the causes of chronic illness and disability so that prevention, treatment and cures will more quickly follow. She and her husband have two children and live in Virginia.
James W. Hazel
Jimmy Hazel, named Board of Visitors development committee chair in 2016, is a 1984 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law. Upon graduation, he clerked for United States District Court Judge, Albert V. Bryan, Jr. and then joined the Hazel/Peterson Companies. In 1989 he moved to Richmond to help start a new lobbying firm in the state capitol, The Vectre Corporation. He was later recognized by the Richmond Times Dispatch as one of the top ten lobbyists in Virginia. He joined Williams Mullen Government Affairs as its CEO and had an office in Tyson’s Corner where he represented many Northern Virginia interests with a focus on technology issues. In 2002, he joined the administration of Governor Mark R. Warner as an advisor on economic development and technology and served as the Governor’s lobbyist. After his time with the Governor’s office he left his lobbying career behind and helped to start several family businesses.
Mr. Hazel has been actively involved at George Mason University since his graduation from law school. He previously served on the Board of Visitors from 1994 to 2002 and is a past president of the Mason Alumni Association. Mr. Hazel established the Hazel History and New Media Endowment in 2001, the Virginia E. Hazel and Art History Junior Faculty Award in 2004, and the Hazel Scholars Endowment in 2011. He served on the George Mason Foundation Board of Trustees for 12 years and is the immediate past Chair of the Foundation. He continues to serve as the chair of the Faster Farther Campaign, Mason’s comprehensive $500 million campaign to support students, faculty, and research, and to continue building the Mason community.
Mr. Hazel has served on many statewide boards and chaired several of them. These include the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries where he served for 10 years and chaired the Agency for three years. Other boards include the Virginia Information Technologies Agency, The Virginia Historical Society, The Virginia Public Safety Foundation, Virginia Free, The Wildlife Foundation of Virginia, Virginia 21 and the Potomac Science Center.
Described by the Washington Business Journal as “dedicated and powerful,” Ms. Marquez is the President Emeritus of EVS Communications. For nearly 12 years, Ms. Marquez was Vice President of ZGS Broadcast Holdings, a minority-owned communications company where she supervised the daily operations and advertising sales of eleven Telemundo network affiliates as well as three radio stations.
In October 1997, she began her career with ZGS in the nation’s capital at the Telemundo Washington affiliate as a Sales Account Executive. As a result of her success in Washington, Ms. Marquez was promoted to Vice President of Operations at ZGS, assuming responsibility for Telemundo affiliates that included stations in Boston, Providence, El Paso, Hartford, Raleigh, Orlando, Tampa, and Ft. Myers. Her commitment to the Latino community has been recognized by a number of organizations, including the Hispanic Democratic Club of Montgomery County, which awarded her the 1999 Poder con Ganas Award for Business Excellence. In 2004, she was also honored by the National Conference for Community and Justice with the Media and Community Service Award.
Dave Petersen was a senior executive in Accenture’s Washington, DC Metro office. Mr. Petersen started with the company in 1985 out of Chicago. However, one of his first assignments was with a project for the IRS in Washington, DC and he moved to the DC area in 1987. Over his 26+ year career with Accenture, Mr. Petersen held several different leadership positions within Accenture. Since his retirement, Mr. Petersen has been a committee and/or board member at several non-profit organizations including the American Heart Association, the Joey Pizzano Memorial Fund, Grinnell College and his country club.
Mr. Petersen’s last leadership role at Accenture before retiring was as the Marriott Global Account Lead for Accenture. In this role Mr. Petersen was responsible for all work performed by Accenture for Marriott and for Marriott’s overall client satisfaction. Mr. Petersen’s responsibilities also included managing the overall account economics, the engagement and satisfaction of the Accenture employees supporting the various Marriott projects, and identifying potential new opportunities where Accenture could assist Marriott in improving its overall efficiency and growing its business. The range of projects that Accenture performed for Marriott included maintaining Marriott’s web site, maintaining Marriott’s financial applications and actually performing financial transactions, and identifying potential business process improvements in such areas as revenue management and property management. In his role, Mr. Petersen had monthly meetings with various Marriott executives including the Marriott CEO, COO, CFO and CIO.
Before moving over to the Marriott account, Mr. Petersen led the sales team for Accenture’s North America Public Service practice. In this role, Mr. Petersen had ultimate responsibility for the sales growth within Accenture’s US Federal, State and Local, and Canada government practices. Mr. Petersen and his team helped deliver sales totaling over $1.6B and helped the practice achieve a 9% growth in year-on-year sales. In this role Mr. Petersen also worked with the Accenture client account teams on responding to various project support requests ranging from long-term strategy task orders to multi-year, $300M+ outsourcing programs.
Prior to his Public Service Sales team role, Mr. Petersen was the lead for Accenture’s US Federal – Civilian agencies practice. Mr. Petersen was responsible for the client satisfaction and implementation projects Accenture completed at various Civilian agencies ranging from the Department of Commerce, to USDA, to the Department of Justice. During this time Mr. Petersen was also the client account lead at one of the largest accounts within Accenture – the Department of the Treasury. While serving as the client account lead, Mr. Petersen was responsible for several different projects Accenture was performing simultaneously at the US Mint, the IRS, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and DC Pensions. During this time the Treasury account had over 250 Accenture personnel working on these various projects and generated approximately $100M in net revenue in a given year.
In 2002, Mr. Petersen was selected as the Managing Director for Accenture’s Washington, DC Metro office and led an office-wide
city council which consisted of DC-based senior executives from various operating practices. Mr. Petersen held this position for three years until he decided it was time to allow someone else to lead and bring new ideas to the office city council. His primary responsibilities were helping to grow Accenture’s business within the DC metro area, increase employee satisfaction through civic and office-wide events, and serve as Accenture’s external voice to the Washington business community. As the office Managing Director, Mr. Petersen served on several local business and charity boards including the Greater Washington DC Board of Trade, Federal City Council and the Kidney Foundation. During his tenure as the Managing Director, the Washington, DC Metro office grew to over 3,000 professionals, employee satisfaction increased, and the office was either first or second every year in terms of annual sales. Mr. Petersen continued to serve as a member of the office City Council once he stepped down as Managing Director until his retirement.
Dave obtained his B.A. in political science in 1985 from Grinnell College. He enjoys spending time with his wife and three children and watching his children’s athletic teams. He also enjoys tennis, golf and skiing.
Nancy Gibson Prowitt
In January 2015 Nancy became President and Chief Operating Officer of Alcalde & Fay, located in Arlington, Virginia after serving as the firm’s Managing Partner since 1995. Alcalde & Fay is one of the oldest and largest government and public affairs firms in Virginia.
During the course of her 32 years at the firm she has had the opportunity to lead or work on every type of client — private and public sector. Education issues have been of particular interest, and Nancy leads the firm’s higher education practice focusing especially on community college workforce development programs. Nancy’s network of contacts on Capitol Hill and throughout the Executive Branch is extensive. She has been especially involved throughout her career in Virginia interests having represented the City of Virginia Beach and Fairfax County in Washington for 25, and 9 years respectively. Nancy’s advocacy on behalf of clients has afforded her opportunities to serve as a media spokesperson in grassroots campaigns around the country. While originally from Chicago, Virginia has been Nancy’s home for 34 years. She started her career in Washington as a legislative aide for a Virginia Congressman spending 4 years handling his appropriations committee work. Following this, she spent two years in Chicago serving as the Midwest Regional Communications Manager for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with a B.A. in Psychology.
Nancy has been actively involved in volunteer activities her entire adult life. While raising 2 sons in Arlington Nancy was very involved in the PTA, and as the manager of both boys’ youth basketball teams. Her older son Peter graduated from, and played basketball for Stanford University, and her younger son Tim graduated from, and played basketball for Amherst College. She has been actively involved in the Arlington Women’s Civic Alliance, a community service organization for 20 years, and recently served a 2 year term as President. She also served on the Board of the Congressional Award Foundation in the 90s. In her spare time she enjoys practicing yoga, reading, and travel in her spare time.
Tracy Schar is the Vice President of Marketing and Brand Management at Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. and Comstock Partners, LC. She has worked in the real estate development industry for more than 30 years, playing key roles in the founding and management of Comstock Holding Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHCI) and Comstock Partners, LC.
Throughout her tenure with the Comstock organization, Ms. Schar focused on the management of design, marketing and brand management. She is also responsible for guiding the Comstock organization’s civic engagements and charitable initiatives. Ms. Schar is also a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCAI) in Washington, DC.
Ms. Schar began her career in real estate with the NVR organization where she held positions in mortgage banking and marketing. Ms. Schar earned a bachelor’s degree in business from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia in 1984.
Ms. Schar lives in Great Falls, Virginia, with her husband and their children. They have five sons and two daughters. Their three youngest children were adopted from Korea, Ethiopia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Ms. Schar and her husband are advocates for adoption and the belief that every child deserves a loving family.
Bob Witeck is President of Washington, DC-based Witeck Communications, Inc., for over 25 years a pioneering communications expert helping design strategies that respect and reach lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities around the world. He is a seasoned communicator, counselor, public affairs professional, speechwriter and crisis communications expert. In this role, he consults with corporations, nonprofits, associations and leaders.
On their 25th anniversary, American Demographics magazine selected Bob Witeck as one of 25 global leaders ’who have made significant contributions to the worlds of demographics, market research, media and trend spotting for his early work on America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. In 2006, he authored the first book on LGBT marketing, Business Inside Out. He was the first LGBT consultant retained by the U.S. Census to help inspire participation in the 2010 Census.
Mr. Witeck is a graduate with distinction of the University of Virginia, named an Echols Scholar with major studies in Economics and Philosophy. Following his undergraduate degree, he served in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. On Capitol Hill for over a decade, Witeck also served as communications director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as well as a Senate press secretary and legislative assistant. Before opening his firm in 1993, he was senior vice president for Hill & Knowlton Public Affairs.
A frequent speaker and writer, in addition to his book, “Business Inside Out” (Kaplan 2006) he has contributed a diverse range of opinion columns, professional articles and contributing chapters to journals. He has served on a variety of voluntary and professional boards including the NEA Foundation, and currently serves on the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Council. In 2015, he was named to Virginia Governor McAuliffe’s first-ever LGBT Tourism Task Force.
Bob Witeck is a lifelong Virginian, and lives in Arlington, Virginia with his spouse, Bob Connelly, Jr.
Lisa Zuccari, an Alumna of George Mason University, is a philanthropist focused on women in film and education.
Ms. Zuccari has produced short films, served on film advisory boards, and committees including Chesapeake Film Festival and George Mason University Film School Advisory Board (FAVS 2012- 2016).
She has served on the West Virginia University Student Affair Capital Campaign Committee. She is currently serving on the Development Committee of Women of West Virginia University Leadership council, a program that supports women programs in education.
Zuccari’s personal philanthropic focus has been children with learning disabilities. She has served on the committee for the Blind & Dyslexic (2010). Having earned a degree in designing programs for children, she has gravitated to programs that enrich children’s lives in education and positive outlook.
Ms. Zuccari currently lives in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Alan. They have three grown children.
Faculty RepresentativeKeith D. Renshaw
Keith D. Renshaw is an Associate Professor of Psychology at George Mason University. Dr. Renshaw’s research focuses on anxiety, stress, trauma, and relationships, with an emphasis on how adults’ response to trauma interacts with their interpersonal relationships. In particular, he has conducted several studies of military service members/veterans and their spouses. Dr. Renshaw has authored over 50 publications and given 100 conference presentations. His recent research on the experiences of service members who were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, and their spouses/partners has been supported by two federal grants from the Department of Defense.
Dr. Renshaw also focuses heavily on teaching and student mentorship. Three of his students have served as PI on their own federally-funded grants under his supervision, and his students have published and presented their research extensively. He also devotes significant efforts to teaching in the classroom. In Spring 2015, his dedication to teaching was recognized last year with the George Mason University Teaching Excellence Award.
Dr. Renshaw has engaged in significant service in his time at George Mason University. He has served as the Associate Director of the clinical psychology program since 2014, and he has served on the Faculty Senate since 2013. In Spring 2015, he began serving on the Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate. In Fall 2015, he joined the University’s Online Partner Negotiation Advisory Team, and he also began in his role as co-chair of the Faculty Engagement Committee for the Campaign for George Mason University. Dr. Renshaw received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 2003 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied under the mentorship of Dr. Dianne Chambless. He was an adjunct faculty member at University of North Carolina for 2 years and an Assistant Professor at the University of Utah from 2005-2009, before joining the faculty at George Mason University in the fall of 2009.
Student RepresentativesDavid Kanos
David Emmanuel Kanos is a Senior Government and International Politics major with a Minor in Legal Studies from Jos, Nigeria. He is currently the Student Body President at Mason and is the first international Student Body President. He has a passion for international affairs and someday hopes to be an ambassador from Nigeria to the United Nations or China. David is also very much involved at Mason and has held a plethora of leadership positions in various student organizations such as the African Student Association, Black Leadership Roundtable, and Student Government. He is interested in advocating for minority groups on campus in an effort to improve diversity and inclusion.
Andrew J. Quillen is a current Masters student of Public Administration, concentrating in State and Local Governance; he is also pursuing a graduate certificate in National Security and Public Policy. Mr. Quillen was born and raised near Charlottesville, VA. He graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Affairs, concentrating in International Development. While completing his Bachelor, he studied for a year in France and Spain at Sciences Po, Paris and Carlos III de Madrid respectively. Andrew has a passion for political and community engagement and has worked for Virginia Senator Mark R. Warner and Congresswoman Dina Titus of Las Vegas, Nevada. He is a proud Eagle Scout and member of Phi Beta Kappa. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys volunteering, hiking, fencing, soccer and international travel.
Faculty Committee RepresentativesAlan J. Abramson
Alan J. Abramson is a Professor of Government and Politics in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University, and Founding Director of Mason’s Center on Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy, and Policy. Alan is also a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute, and an Affiliated Scholar at the Urban Institute. In these several positions, he teaches, conducts research, and works with leaders on a broad range of nonprofit and philanthropic issues. For more than a decade, Alan directed the Aspen Institute’s nonprofit and philanthropy program, overseeing initiatives that helped strengthen nonprofit and foundation leaders, deepen the understanding of policymakers about nonprofit activities, and build the nonprofit research field in the U.S. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Alan Abramson was on the research staff of the Urban Institute, where he worked on a variety of domestic public policy issues. Alan has served on many national and local nonprofit boards and advisory committees. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities. Alan Abramson received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and his B.A. from Wesleyan University. He is the author and co-author of numerous books and papers, and his work has twice won awards from the American Political Science Association. Alan has also been named among the 50 most influential leaders in the U.S. nonprofit sector. In 2015-2016, Alan is serving as President of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the nation’s leading association for nonprofit researchers. Knowledgeable about a broad range of nonprofit issues, Alan’s major, current interests are: nonprofit-government relations; foundation policy and practice; social enterprise and social entrepreneurship; and shared governance, the engagement of all three sectors—nonprofit, government, and business—in addressing social problems.
David R. Gallay
David R. Gallay has more than 35 years of experience as an engineering manager and engineering economist. Currently, he is a term assistant professor of finance in the business school at George Mason University, where he teaches courses in managerial economics and finance. Before joining George Mason University, he was the vice president of infrastructure analytics at the Logistics Management Institute (LMI), where he led a management consulting practice that advised and assisted clients involved in public works policy and management. He was also a professorial lecturer in engineering at George Washington University, where he taught various courses in engineering economics, finance, and decision analysis. Before his management consulting career at LMI and teaching experience at George Washington University, he was a career Army officer who served in military engineer and operations research positions.
Dr. Houser is an expert in local to global land surface-atmospheric remote sensing, in-situ observation and numerical simulation, development and application of data assimilation methods, and global water and energy cycling. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Arizona in 1992 and 1996 respectively. His dissertation research, titled “Remote Sensing Soil Moisture using Four-Dimensional Data Assimilation” introduced data assimilation into hydrological models, and demonstrated the benefit of including information from soil moisture observations in land-surface energy and water balance simulations. Dr. Houser joined the NASA-GSFC Hydrological Sciences Branch and the Data Assimilation Office in 1997, and served as manager of NASA’s Land Surface Hydrology Program from 1999-2000, and served as chief of the Hydrological Science Branch from 2000-2005. In 2005, he joined the George Mason University Climate Dynamics Program as the Professor of Global Hydrology. During 2011-2012, Dr. Houser took a leave of absence from GMU to serve as the Bureau of Reclamation Science Advisor, Scientific Integrity Officer, and interagency sustainable energy leader. Dr. Houser has led numerous scientific contributions, including the development of Land Data Assimilation Systems (LDAS), the Hydrospheric States Mission (Hydros), the Land Information System (LIS), the NASA Energy and Water cycle Study (NEWS), and the Water Cycle Solutions Network (WaterNet). As co-director of the Center on Energy Science and Policy, Dr. Houser’s focuses on integrating energy and water research across traditional disciplines (e.g. nexuses) that transitions theoretical research to academic/public education and real-world application.
Bijan Jabbari is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA, and an affiliated faculty with ENST- Paris, France. He has held industrial positions with major communications service providers and networking equipment organizations developing data communications products. He has founded innovative laboratories for Internet and wireless communications research and is conducting research through funding provided by National Science Foundation and other funding organizations. Dr. Jabbari was an International Division Editor for Journal of Communications and Networks (JCN), an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Communications and was on the editorial board of Proceedings of the IEEE and several other journals. He is a coeditor of recent books on Multiaccess, Mobility and Teletraffic (Kluwer Publishing, Volume I and IV-VI) and continues research on multiaccess and wireless communications, mobility and traffic theory, and packet networks. He is the past chairman of the IEEE Communications Society technical committee on Communications Switching and Routing. He is a Fellow of IEEE and IEE, is a recipient of the IEEE Millennium Medal in 2000 and the Washington Metropolitan Area Engineer of the Year Award, in 2003. Dr. Jabbari has been a technical advisor to the industry and government on issues ranging from transport to switching and routing. He helped industry adoption of MPLS by service providers and large corporations in their networks. He received the Ph.D. degree from Stanford University, Stanford, California, in electrical engineering.
Jill Nelson is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University. She earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a BA in Economics from Rice University in 1998. She attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for graduate study, earning an MS and PhD in Electrical Engineering in 2001 and 2005, respectively. Dr. Nelson’s research focus is in statistical signal processing, specifically detection and estimation for applications in target tracking and physical layer communications. Her work on target detection and tracking is funded by the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Nelson is a 2010 recipient of the NSF CAREER Award. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and the IEEE Signal Processing, Communications, and Education Societies.
Dr. Christianne Esposito-Smythers received a B.A. from Lafayette College in 1995 where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double major in Psychology and English. She received her M.S. in 1997 and her Ph.D. in 2000 in Clinical Psychology (Child Track) from Virginia Tech. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Clinical Child Psychology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University from 2000-2001. She completed a T32 NIAAA funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in alcohol intervention research at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies from 2001-2003. After completing this fellowship, she joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She left Brown Medical School to join the Clinical Psychology faculty at George Mason University in 2008. Dr. Esposito-Smythers is currently an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at George Mason University as well as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University. She is also a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.
Dr. Esposito-Smythers’ research interests include the study of social cognitive processes associated with the development of adolescent suicidality, depression, and substance abuse. She is also interested in the design and application of cognitive behavioral treatment and prevention protocols for adolescent mental health problems and high risk behaviors. Dr. Esposito-Smythers’ research has been funded by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS. Her papers have appeared in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Journal of Traumatic Stress, Suicide and Life Threatening Behavior, American Journal on Addictions, Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, and others. Dr. Esposito-Smythers is on the editorial board for Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology and the Journal of Clinical Psychology.
Peter Pober is a professor in the Department of Communication at George Mason University where he also directs the university’s nationally ranked forensics team. He is the only forensics director in history to orchestrate a top-10 team national placement for 22 consecutive years.
Mr. Pober is honored to continue Mason’s 40-year tradition in forensics, one that has garnered 31 national top-ten placements. Before arriving in Fairfax in fall 2003, he directed the University of Texas at Austin’s forensics team to 32 individual, team, and program national championships. He has been honored as the keynote speaker for more than 20 state conventions, and myriad corporate gatherings.
He is Chair of the American Forensic Association National Individual Events Tournament Committee; is a former president of the Texas Speech Communication Association; directed the 6-state region of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas region for 13 years for the American Forensic Association, and was honored by that district and the national association with the Distinguished Service Award in 1998.
Mr. Pober was given the Texas Intercollegiate Forensic Association Educator of the Year Award in 1994, and the Texas College and University Educator of the Year by the Texas Speech Communication Association in 2002. He served as scholar-analyst for numerous U.S. and Canadian publications for the 2008 presidential and vice presidential debates. He is also the Faculty Senate Chair at Mason.
Mr. Pober is the first U.S. professor to be invited by the Chinese government to oversee their national English-language public speaking competition. He directs the George Mason Institute of Forensics, the largest and demographically most diverse comprehensive high school forensics workshop in the nation. He has written numerous articles on the marked communication that takes place within and between marginalized groups and is thrilled to call George Mason University home.
June Tangney is Professor of Psychology and University Professor at George Mason University. Since arriving at Mason in 1988, Dr. Tangney has conducted research on the development and implications of moral emotions, with funding from NIDA, NICHD, NSF, and the John Templeton Foundation. Currently, her work focuses on moral emotions among incarcerated offenders.
Dr. Tangney is author of over 100 articles, books, and book chapters. She is co-author of Shame and Guilt, co-editor of The Self-Conscious Emotions: Theory and Research, and co-editor of the Handbook of Self and Identity. She has served as Associate Editor for Self and Identity, Consulting Editor for Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Assessment, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Personality, and is currently Associate Editor of American Psychologist. She is Fellow of American Psychological Association’s Division of Personality and Social Psychology and the American Psychological Society.
Dr. Tangney has been active in university service for the past 24 years. She has been elected to multiple terms on the Faculty Senate (1997-98, 2003-present), in the past serving on the Senate’s Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Budget and Resources Committee, the Committee on External Relations, the Committee on Organization and Operations, and the Committee on Salaries. She is also past president of Mason’s AAUP chapter. Last year, she served on the Presidential Search Committee. Dr. Tangney has also sought to strengthen the research and teaching missions of the university in her many years of service on Human Subjects Review Board, as past member of the Learning Subcommittee as part of Mason’s Accreditation Self-Study, and in developing and initially administrating the Provost’s Faculty-Student Research Apprenticeship Program for Undergraduates. She enjoys contributing to graduate and commencement each year as a Faculty Marshall.
Professor Tangney received a master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA. After teaching for two years at Bryn Mawr College, she joined the Psychology Department at George Mason University in 1988. A recipient of Mason’s Teaching Excellence Award, she strives to integrate service, teaching and clinically relevant research in both the classroom and her lab.
Dr. Tangney is Faculty Senate Chair of the Board of Visitors.
Faculty Committee LiaisonDr. Edward B. Douthett, Jr.
Dr. Edward B. Douthett, Jr. is an Associate Professor in the School of Management and is the Northern Chapter Virginia Society CPA Professor of Public Accounting. He currently teaches managerial and cost accounting in the Executive MBA and Undergraduate Accounting Programs. Prior to joining the faculty at George Mason University he worked as an Assistant Professor for Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.
Dr. Douthett also worked at Exxon Corporation in various staff and managerial positions, overseeing financial analysis and reporting for operating units in oil and gas production and chemical manufacturing. He is currently a Certified Public Accountant in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and consults to various firms on the subjects of cost analysis and operational control.
Dr. Douthett’s research interests focus on the economics of accounting in U.S. and international capital markets. He sits on editorial review boards for several academic journals and has written articles that have appeared in refereed journals such as: Contemporary Accounting Research, The International Journal of Accounting, Journal of International Financial Management & Accounting, and the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy.
Dr. Douthett earned a BS from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA and PhD from the University of Georgia.