A Global Advisory Board comprised of public, private, nonprofit and academic leaders helps to guide our work. The Board connects us to global opportunities for program building, networking, and development.
Michael Caplin is president of Turtle Island Consulting, specializing in strategic planning for non-profit organizations. Mr. Caplin has worked in the social sector for twenty-five years as director and manager of an array of arts, education and social service agencies, including the Lincoln Theater Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and Childhelp USA. For his work on behalf of children in crisis he received the Northern Virginia Leadership Award and the Governor’s Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth. Mr. Caplin has also served as a public defender, a federal prosecutor, legal counselor to performing artists and an educator. He was appointed in 2010 by President Barack Obama to serve on the Commissioner for Presidential Scholars. Michael is a graduate of Swarthmore College, University of Virginia Law School and Georgetown University Law School and holds an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. He is President of the Board of the New York Center for Children and a member of the Advisory Committee of Greenwood/Madera Verde.
Ken Dye is currently the director of government and community affairs for Comcast Metro Richmond, Central Virginia’s leading provider of voice, video and data services. In this role he is responsible for fostering a favorable business climate for Comcast among the appointed and elected officials and community leaders in the over 20 localities, including Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, the City of Richmond and Petersburg. At the time of the merger of Comcast and AT&T Broadband in 2002, Mr. Dye had been the vice president and general manager for that firm’s Richmond area operations. Previously he had been the director of marketing for predecessor companies (first as Continental Cablevision of Richmond; later as MediaOne), with responsibility for consumer marketing and sales, programming, internal and external communications, and advertising sales. Mr. Dye is the former chairman of the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association. He is a graduate of Leadership Metro Richmond and Comcast’s own Executive Leadership Forum, and his community involvement includes board roles on numerous nonprofit organizations in Richmond and statewide. Mr. Dye is a 1979 graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in Communications Studies.
Joan Fenton is owner of Quilts Unlimited/J. Fenton Gallery with five retail stores in Virginia, including Charlottesville, Richmond, Hot Springs and Williamsburg, Virginia. She previously served as chair of the Hillel Jewish Center at the University of Virginia; chair of the Community Mediation Center of Charlottesville; for eight years as chair of the Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review; and founding board member of the Foohills Child Advocacy Center in Charlottesville, where she served as Vice- Chair. Currently she is the Co-Chair of the Charlottesville Downtown Business Association; an active member of the National Association to Protect Children (PROTECT); a founding member and lobbyist for Crime Victims United of Virginia. She is the founder of Blues Week at the Augusta Heritage Workshop in Elkins, West Virginia, where she has served as coordinator and teacher and received a WC Handy award for Keeping the Blues Alive in Education. Ms. Fenton earned her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Suzann Matthews works as an advocate for higher education in the Commonwealth. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Ms. Matthews has served on the College of William and Mary Board of Visitors, the College’s National Campaign Steering Committee; the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts Board of Directors, the Muscarelle Museum of Art Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of the Fund for William and Mary.
Stewart Gamage is responsible for developing a strategic vision for Morven, a more than 750 acre Albemarle property donated to the University of Virginia Foundation by John Kluge. She previously served as Vice President for Public Affairs at the College of William and Mary, where she was responsible for development and coordination of governmental affairs at all levels and oversees the Offices of University Relations, Publications, Government Relations and Economic Development. Her experience draws from a wide range of responsibilities. She was appointed in 1999 by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Commission for Presidential Scholars. She has served as Chief Operating Officer of APCO Associates, one of the largest public affairs firms in Washington, D.C.; Policy Director and Committee Liaison to House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt; Director of the Virginia Liaison Office as Senior Assistant to Governors Charles Robb and Gerald Baliles; and as Associate Deputy of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House during the Carter Administration. Ms. Gamage graduated from William and Mary and earned her MPA from the Washington Public Affairs Center at the University of Southern California. Ms. Gamage was a founding member of Women Executives in State Government and the Democratic Leadership Council. She is a board member of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. At William and Mary, she has served on the Board of Visitors and the Society of the Alumni Board, and she is an Alumni Medallion award recipient.
Mallory Johnson, President of the Phoenix Project Alumni Association, is a graduate of the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in Government, her studies concentrating on community and political engagement. She has served as a Governor’s Fellow, interned for two U.S. Senators, the U.S. Trade & Development Agency, and numerous state and local campaigns. As a part of the William & Mary in Richmond program, Mallory has worked in both the House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia, and is an alumna of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. She has done extensive community development work in the city of Petersburg through the Social Innovation Program and as a Fellow for the Phoenix Project, as well as with the College of William & Mary’s Office of Community Engagement and Scholarship. She serves on the board of Students Serve and is the recipient of William & Mary’s Walk the Talk Service Award, Sarah O’Rourke LeCates Alumni Humanitarian Award and President’s Award for Service to the Community. Ms. Johnson is continuing her commitment to civic engagement through the pursuit of her J.D. with a Certificate in Public Policy, graduating in 2013.
Christopher Lewis is Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) where he advises the FCC Chairman on legislative and political strategy. He has served at the FCC since January 2009 and worked a variety of communications and technology issues including the national digital television transition, the National Broadband Plan, network neutrality, privacy, and spectrum policy. Chris also serves as staff for the FCC’s Technological Advisory Council. Prior to joining the FCC, Chris was the North Carolina Field Director for Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign and worked for the campaign in several primary states. He has worked in politics and community organizing for 11 years with experience in the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, civic engagement non-profit GenerationEngage, and several political campaigns at the local, state, and national levels. Chris graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Government.
Chris is a resident of Alexandria, Virginia where he is an active member of Alfred Street Baptist Church. He serves on the Executive Board of the Alexandria Democratic Committee, the board of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology Alumni Association, and the steering committee of ACTion Alexandria, an initiative to build an online community for Alexandria nonprofits and engaged citizens.
Molly Lynch is the owner of I 95 Business Parks Management, LLC and a dedicated member of her community. Ms. Lynch has served on several Fairfax County Advisory Boards, including the Human Services Council, Office of Partnerships Computer Learning Centers Advisory Board, Consolidated Community Funding Pool Advisory Council, and the Fairfax County Housing Authority Council. She served on the board of the Lorton Community Action Center, a private nonprofit agency serving the Lorton Community with emergency services and community outreach programs, for thirteen years, including nine as President. She currently serves on the University Life Advisory Board of George Mason University. Ms. Lynch holds a B.A. in Psychology from Occidental College.
Mr. Middleditch received a Bachelor of Arts degree (1951) and a Bachelor of Laws degree (1957) from the University of Virginia. He is a Vice President with McGuireWoods Consulting and Of Counsel in the Charlottesville office of McGuireWoods LLP, where his practice is now concentrated in the Non-Governmental and Exempt Organizations fields. Mr. Middleditch has previously served on the Board of Visitors and as the Legal Advisor to the University of Virginia and was a founder of the University’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. He also held the position of University Lecturer in the Law and Darden Graduate Business Schools and is co-author of Virginia Civil Procedure. Mr. Middleditch has been Chair of the University’s Health Services Foundation; the Virginia Health Care Foundation; the Charlottesville-Albemarle Chamber of Commerce; the Virginia Chamber of Commerce; the Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association; and a member of the ABA Board of Governors. He has also served as a Director of the United States Chamber of Commerce; a Trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello); and as President of the University of Virginia Alumni and Law Associations. He currently chairs the University’s White Burkett Miller Foundation for the Study of the Presidency and serves on the board of the public television station WVPT and Virginia’s Secure Commonwealth Panel. Mr. Middleditch served on active duty with the United States Navy from 1951-1954 and retired as a Captain USNR.
Sara is the Founder and Managing Partner at Tessera Global, a strategy advisory firm in global development, strategic philanthropy and impact investing. Sara also serving as Senior Consultant and Strategist for Of Counsel Philanthropy. She brings diverse experience working with the public and private sectors in innovation, entrepreneurship and sustainability in emerging markets, corporate social responsibility; global philanthropy and non-profit advancement. Sara’s expertise include strategic and growth planning, start-ups and turnarounds, partnership development, fundraising, financing, communications and advocacy, market analysis and research; Diaspora engagement, program design and implementation; and organizational development. Sara has advised a number of global organizations including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dubai Cares, Qatar Foundation, Case Foundation, United States Agency of International Development (USAID), US Department of State, World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO), Inter-American Development Bank, Grameen Bank, National Peace Corp Association, Ms. Universe, United Way Worldwide, Aga Khan Foundation, PlayPumps International, Cordoba Initiative, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität Munich Entrepreneurship Center, University of Munich, Government of Pakistan, Competitiveness Support Fund, Sabin Vaccine Institute, National Fisheries Institute, Produce Marketing Association Education Foundation, DC Coalition for the Homeless, and Shanghai World Expo 2010.
Most recently Sara was Senior Director at Changing Our World (CW), an international philanthropy and corporate social responsibility consultancy where she spearheaded their global practice. During her tenure at CW, Sara worked in international development, education, social services, and global health. Prior to CW, Sara worked in education policy and development at EduCap, DCVOICE, and the Council for Opportunity in Education and non-profit consulting at Orr Associates, Inc. She has founded two social enterprises in South Asia focused on enterprise development for women and community reconstruction. She started her career in financial services with O’Donohue Fund Management and E*TRADE. Sara earned a BA in comparative politics and political science from George Mason University and a MA in International Affairs from Georgetown University with her research focused on global movements and cosmopolitan identity. Sara serves on the board of Buxton Initiative that encourages dialogue among religions and recently served as a judge for the Williams James Foundation Socially Responsible Business Plan Competition.
Ron Seward has forty years of management experience in technical, government relations, and business development positions in the federal information technology market. As president of RLS Consulting, LLC, Mr. Seward specializes in telecommunications, solutions integration, and information assurance procurements and issues. He has played a key role in helping his clients win over $8B worth of federal government contracts. He has served as the Chair of the Government Solutions Center and the e.gov Pioneer Awards selection committee for three years and is active in the Industry Advisory Council. He is a recipient of the Industry Advisory Council’s (IAC) IAC Star and in 2003 received the IAC Chairman’s award for distinguished service. Mr. Seward is a member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Capitol Chapter and served as Chair of the Major Gifts, Committee, and as Board President. In his six-year tenure at JDRF, Mr. Seward oversaw and participated in raising more than $38 million for the cause. In November, 2008, Governor Kaine appointed him to the Commonwealth’s Small Business Advisory Board. He received a B.A. in Communications with minors in Psychology and Special Education from Michigan State University and his Masters Certificate in Telecommunications Management from George Washington University. Father of two, Mr. Seward and his wife of 42 years, Paula, reside in Burke, Virginia.
Ray Warner is a partner at Smith Dawson & Andrews, Inc., a prominent government relations firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. that represents a diverse group of companies and local governments and authorities at the state and federal levels. He specializes in aviation, aerospace, railroad, transit and automotive transportation issues. Ray has held numerous leadership roles in his community including president of his civic association, vestryman at this church, chairman of Central Fairfax Services and president of the International Aviation Club. He was a political appointee at the Department of Transportation serving three Presidents and five Secretaries of Transportation from both political parties. At his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, Ray has served on the National Campaign Committee, the Greater Washington D. C. Alumni Chapter Board and the Washington Office Council. He chaired his 40th Reunion Gift Committee. Ray graduated in 1963 with a degree in Economics.
Susannah Washburn has worked on national and community service policy for 16 years in the non-profit and government sectors and has held appointments in both the Bush and Obama administrations. Since 2008, Susannah has promoted the Obama Administration’s national service and social innovation agenda which includes a focus on funding what works and supporting community led solutions to social problems. Susannah’s work includes: promoting the passage of the Serve America Act, helping to launch the Social Innovation Fund, standing up the new White House Council for Community Solutions and serving as its first Executive Director. Susannah currently works in the strategy office at CNCS and continues to advise on policy and implementation for the Social Innovation Fund. In addition to co-authoring the 2009 Standard Social Innovation Review cover story, “The New Volunteer Workforce,” Susannah speaks on volunteer trends and the Obama Administration’s commitment to expanding opportunities to serve. A recipient of a CNCS Excellence Award, an Executive Policy Fellowship from the California Office of the Governor and an academic fellowship from Georgetown University, Susannah holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MPP from Georgetown University. Susannah is a resident of Alexandria Virginia, has served on Alexandria’s Social Services Advisory Board, and is a regular volunteer in both the DC and Fairfax County public schools.