College Possible’s Board of Directors has retained Korn Ferry to conduct a nationwide search for the organization’s next CEO. Interested candidates can view the job description and review the organization’s DEI Overview.
Nominations and applications (inclusive of a current resume and cover letter) may be sent directly to the Korn Ferry team via email at CollegePossibleCEO@KornFerry.com.
About College Possible
We envision a day when a student’s future is determined solely by their talent, motivation and effort.
College Possible is making college admission and success possible for students from low-income backgrounds through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support.
As one of the largest and most successful college access and success programs in the country, since 2000 College Possible has helped more than 80,000 students from under-represented communities get into and through college through an intensive curriculum of coaching and support. Its pioneering model matches students with a near-peer coach and an evidence-based curriculum designed to help students overcome the most common barriers to getting into college and completing their degree – all at no cost to students or their families. Nationwide, College Possible students are three times more likely to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years than their peers from similar backgrounds. Headquartered in Saint Paul, MN, College Possible operates: regional sites in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee, WI; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA; College Forward in Austin, TX; and Catalyze partnerships in California, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, and Tennessee.
National Board of Directors
Managing Director, Monitor Institute by Deloitte
Joanna Burleson is a Managing Director with the Monitor Institute, a fully integrated unit of Deloitte Consulting, LLP. Her work is focused on social change with innovative leaders at nonprofits and foundations nationwide to advance social impact across a diverse range of issues. She works closely with social entrepreneurs, leaders and their organizations to deepen and scale their impact on some of society’s most complex social challenges. Her work is driven both by her passion for deep strategic insight and a fascination with the human system at the heart of every organization.
Joanna’s work builds on over a decade of experience across the for-profit and non-profit world, both in the United States and abroad. She began her life as a strategist with The Monitor Group, working with organizations as they wrestled with some of their most pressing strategic problems in the midst of rapidly changing environments. She brings this experience to the Institute, where she helps to tackle some of the most meaningful and important strategic problems facing society today.
Joanna obtained her B.A. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley and her MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles. She presently lives in Boston with her husband and three children.
Daniel Lugo, JD
President, Queens University of Charlotte
Daniel G. Lugo, J.D., began his service as president of Queens University of Charlotte on July 1, 2019. He was named president after serving in key leadership positions at three top-ranked liberal arts institutions. These roles included vice president of college advancement at Colby College, vice president and dean of admission and financial aid at Franklin and Marshall College, and associate dean of admissions at Carleton College.
As vice president for college advancement at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, Lugo orchestrated the strategy, launch and execution of a $750 million fundraising campaign, the largest of its kind for any liberal arts college in history. In the first two years of the campaign, Colby secured $415 million in philanthropic commitments including 40 gifts that exceeded $1 million. Colby will use these funds to:
- Establish an institute for the study of American art
- Create multidisciplinary initiatives in biosciences and data science
- Develop new facilities and programs in partnership with the town of Waterville
- Provide financial aid to global students
- Guarantee that all students have access to a funded research opportunity, internship and global experience
In addition to overseeing Colby’s fundraising, Lugo worked to strengthen the campus and alumni communities, both individually and collectively. He co-chaired the diversity, equity and inclusion task force, partnering with faculty members on Colby’s inclusivity efforts. Lugo also initiated innovative technology and programmatic solutions for alumni to mentor current students and impact the student experience through philanthropy. These efforts led to Colby’s top 10 national ranking in alumni participation.
At Franklin & Marshall, Lugo collaboratively developed a global talent strategy that led to a 45 percent increase in applications and yielded a more academically talented and diverse — socioeconomically, ethnically and geographically— incoming class. Earlier in his career, Lugo supervised the admissions process and enrollment marketing strategy, as well as helped to develop cultivation and solicitation strategies for leadership donors at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn.
A first-generation college graduate, Lugo strongly believes in the transformative power of education. He earned his bachelor of arts in political science from Carleton College, and his juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota School of Law, where he was an editor of The Journal of Law & Inequality. Prior to his career in higher education, Lugo was an intellectual property and entertainment attorney, representing national music artists.
A University of Washington graduate, Norm worked in the finance and investment community for 20 years: at Deloitte & Touche, Quellos Group, and most recently as the Chief Operating Officer of BlackRock’s multi-manager alternative investment group.
Today Norm oversees his personal family office, serves as the Board Chair of College Possible Washington, and is an active participant in the both the Seattle Impact Investment Group as well as Social Venture Partners.
Norm and his wife of 24 years, Lisa, are active in the local philanthropic community. Their focus is on supporting organizations that enhance the lives of young people who are underserved or somehow marginalized. Norm is slowly getting better at tennis and golf, skis in the winter and wake surfs in the summer. His favorite Peloton instructor is Cody Rigsby. He and Lisa have been “empty nesters” for five weeks.
Dr. Donnell Butler
Founder and President, Opportunity College
Dr. Donnell Butler is the founder and president of Opportunity College. Opportunity College designs and builds career-connected postsecondary pathways to accelerate youth (ages 16-24) from lower-income households into careers in tech that lead to upward mobility.
Donnell has over 15 years of research and practice experience in identifying and enhancing individual capabilities and institutional actions that improve college student access and success. Most recently, he co-led the Next Generation Initiative, as the senior associate dean for planning and analysis of student outcomes at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M). He is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Before F&M, he directed research and development of background survey questionnaires for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Educational Testing Service (ETS). Previously, he served as a joint American Education Research Association (AERA) and ETS postdoctoral fellow working primarily on the NSF-ITEST funded College Ambition Program at Michigan State University, project director in Princeton University’s Office of Population Research for the Ford Foundation-supported Campus Life in America Student Survey, evaluation specialist for the Princeton University Preparatory Program, coordinator of the Goldman Sachs Foundation-supported Opening Doors and Paving the Way Forum for increasing college access and success for talented low-income students, senior policy research analyst at APPRISE Incorporated, senior business advisory services professional at Ernst & Young, and intern with the White House's Office of Communications Research.
He earned his B.A. in business administration and sociology from F&M and his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
Interim CEO, College Possible
Mr. Fan recently stepped down from his role as National Board Chair for College Possible to assume the role of Interim CEO for College Possible in May 2022. Prior to this role, Mr. Fan was the Founder/Executive Director for MN Comeback, a funder collaborative with a goal of ensuring all children in Minneapolis are enrolled by 2025 in rigorous and relevant schools that prepare them to thrive in college, career and community. Mr. Fan was also the founding Executive Director for Charter School Partners in Minneapolis and led the nonprofit for six years in its work to support the startup, growth and expansion of high-quality schools. In 2013 Mr. Fan was named by the Walton Family Foundation as one of the national “Ed Reformers to Watch.”
Mr. Fan worked for 16 years at General Mills, a global food manufacturer based in Minneapolis, in various marketing and sales positions in the areas of Brand Management, Category Management, Consumer Research and Strategic Planning. Prior to General Mills, Mr. Fan was at Accenture, a global strategic consulting firm, and worked with numerous organizations in the areas of technology, systems development and strategic planning.
Mr. Fan currently serves on the board of directors for Great MN Schools. He has also previously served on the board of trustees for The Minneapolis Foundation, the Cookie Cart in north Minneapolis, Social Venture Partners/MN, Hiawatha Leadership Academy, and was the founding board chair for KIPP Minnesota. Mr. Fan has been a volunteer for Best Prep, Junior Achievement, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters.
Mr. Fan has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He has been married for 34 years and is the proud father of three adult daughters who have officially left the nest.
Vice President, Community Relations, Travelers and President & CEO, Travelers Foundation
Vice President, Community Relations, Travelers and President & CEO, Travelers Foundation
As a key leader of Travelers’ corporate citizenship strategies, Marlene manages charitable giving and is responsible for community-related employee involvement activities. Marlene has developed a strategic approach for the company’s philanthropy, designed to align business interests with community needs and assets, and helping to generate academic & career success, thriving neighborhoods and culturally enriched communities.
Under her direction, the Travelers Foundation and Travelers have successfully implemented signature programs. The first to launch was Travelers EDGE® (Empowering Dreams for Graduation & Employment), a nationally recognized, comprehensive, career pipeline program intended to increase the number of historically underrepresented individuals who complete bachelor’s degrees and are prepared for a career in the insurance and financial services industry.
Other signature initiatives include the Travelers Small Business Risk Education program, which provides women-, minority- and veteran-owned small businesses with information related to business continuity and risk safety, and Travelers Fortifies Communities, which focuses on building capacity in the nonprofit building and disaster recovery sector for construction of stronger houses for America’s most vulnerable families.
In addition, Marlene has led the development and implementation of an employee community involvement strategy in support of the company’s talent recruitment, retention, development, and diversity & inclusion initiatives.
Prior to her role in community relations, Marlene served in a variety of public relations and communications management roles at Travelers. Before joining Travelers, Marlene worked as a writer/producer and public relations consultant and has experience working in communications and fundraising for nonprofit organizations.
A first-generation college graduate, she holds a Bachelor of Science degree in radio-TV-film from Texas Christian University and a Master of Science degree in communications management from Syracuse University.
In addition to her commitment to College Possible, Marlene serves on the boards of directors of Hartford Promise and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving in Connecticut. She is also a member of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s Executive Forum and serves on the KABOOM! Leadership Council.
Dr. Doreen James Wise
Nurse Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of College Forward
Doreen Wise was the first college graduate in her family and believes that education can change a family in a generation. Educated as a nurse at Vanderbilt University, she has worked clinically in pediatrics and mental health nursing After earning a master’s degree she served on the faculty at The University of Texas School of Nursing. Because of her passion for education, she later completed a doctorate in that field. She helped to launch College Forward, served several terms on its board of directors and worked on the due diligence team to merge with College Possible.
Doreen founded Medical Research Consultants (MRC), a medical legal consulting company specializing in mass tort medical products litigation. She built the company from one employee to 450 with top line annual revenues of $30 million. She sold the company as an employee stock ownership plan to her employees who sustain it as an industry leader today.
MRC employees and leadership have always been community facing, including offering an “incubator” for promising nonprofit startups including College Forward and Texas Center for the Missing, an Amber Alert partner.
Doreen advises and provides angel investment dollars to promising “for profit” companies including ChartSwap, a force.com based medical records company recently selling for 20+ times initial investment. Doreen and her husband Frank Crapitto have owned and sold Crapitto’s Cucina Italiano and Frank’s Chop House in Houston, Texas. They so loved the artisan bread created by Slow Dough Baking Company that they served it in both restaurants and have invested in the company since its inception. And because they love to fish the Texas coast they bought Mowdy Boats of Texas from its founder, keeping the brand alive and building the company.
Dr. Fayneese Miller
President, Hamline University
Dr. Miller became president of Hamline University in 2015. She is the first African American and second woman to serve as president. Previously, she was a professor and dean at the University of Vermont, and before that was associate professor of psychology at Brown University, where she was the first coordinator of education studies and founding chairman of ethnic studies. She has served with national professional organizations and has extensive experience with local and community boards as well.
Chief Public Affairs Officer, M Health Fairview
Andrea Mokros has spent a career in communications and event production at the local, state and national level. Currently, she serves as Senior Vice President at Weber Shandwick. where she leads Public Affairs in their Minneapolis office. She most recently served as the Vice President of Communications for the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee, one of the world’s pre-eminent sporting events.
Previously, Andrea served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Strategic Planning for the First Lady. In this role, she oversaw the strategic planning process for all aspects of First Lady Michelle Obama’s schedule, managing an active Scheduling and Advance team that takes every event from inception to completion. During her tenure, Andrea led the First Lady’s travel to China, Africa, the 2012 London Olympics, as well as countless other domestic and international trips; created programming for the spouses of world leaders at US-hosted summits, including NATO and the UN General Assembly; and produced major national tours on behalf of the First Lady’s Let’s Move!, Joining Forces, Reach Higher and Let Girls Learn initiatives.
Prior to joining the White House, Andrea served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the office of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. She led communications and outreach efforts; serving as spokesperson, crafting and executing communications strategies in support of the Governor’s initiatives, and leading major events from the State of the State address to bill signings.
As founder and principal of Mokros Strategies, LLC, Andrea worked with local, state, and national clients to develop speeches, op-eds, and events-based communications strategies that used the power of pictures to communicate a message. She regularly served on Advance teams for the White House and the Presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry; traveling the country and the world to execute principal participation in events from the G20 Summit in Toronto, to the Presidential Debates, to the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston.
Andrea began her career in Minnesota politics as scheduler to Attorney General Hubert H. Humphrey, III in his campaign for Governor. She went on to serve as scheduler and later as Director of the Executive Office to former White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty in his international consulting firm, Kissinger McLarty Associates. As Communications Director in the Minnesota State Senate, Andrea worked with Senators to communicate legislative priorities and make them relevant to constituents. As Deputy Chief of Staff to US Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Andrea spearheaded strategic planning and managed the Senator’s communications operation, executing countless press conferences, tours, speeches and interviews.
Andrea is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a proud graduate of the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts, Class of 1999. She currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Joelle A. Murchison
Principal and Founder, ExecMommyGroup LLC
Joelle A. Murchison is the Special Advisor, Diversity and External Partnerships at The University of Connecticut, Hartford campus. Prior to joining UCONN, Joelle served as Vice President, Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion at The Travelers Companies, Inc. (Travelers) where in partnership with management, she developed the framework of the company’s diversity & inclusion focus and led the execution of Travelers’ diversity & inclusion strategy.
Joelle previously served 2 terms on the board of directors of both the Morgan State University Foundation and Leadership Greater Hartford and spent 10 years as a diversity trainer with the Anti Defamation League’s A World of Difference Institute. Joelle is the recipient of numerous awards including most recently, the Trailblazer Award from the Voices of Women of Color and the Living Waters Award from the Connecticut Conference of the UCC.
Currently, Joelle serves as a director/trustee on the boards of the Amistad Center for Art and Culture (Hartford, CT), The Discovery Center, and College Possible, a national nonprofit focused on college access. She is also a Corporator of the Village for Families and Children and a member of the Board of Ambassadors of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
A native of Queens and Long Island, NY, Joelle holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy and educational studies from Brown University, a master’s of education degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and a master’s of science degree in Communication Management from Syracuse University.
Dr. Jenny Rickard
President & CEO, Common App
President & Chief Executive Officer Jenny Rickard joined Common App in August 2016. Her expertise embodies each area of college enrollment management, including admission, technology and financial aid. Her extensive service within the national higher education community includes a wide range of roles with the College Board, Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS), and US Department of Education.
Dr. Suzanne M. Rivera
President, Macalester College
Dr. Suzanne Rivera is the president of Macalester College. She also is a professor of public affairs, and her scholarship focuses on research ethics and science policy. Rivera has written numerous journal articles and book chapters, and she co-edited the book Specimen Science. Her research has been supported by the NIH, the NSF, the DHHS Office of Research Integrity, and the Cleveland Foundation. She is engaged in numerous civic and municipal leadership roles, including chair of the board of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), appointed member of the executive council for Minnesota’s Young Women’s Initiative, board member of the Science Museum of Minnesota, board member of College Possible, and member of the TeenSHARP National Advisory Board. Rivera received a BA in American civilization from Brown University, an MSW from UC-Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in public policy from UT Dallas.
Founder and CEO, AstrumU
Adam Wray is the founder and CEO of AstrumU, a Seattle-based data science startup that translates educational experiences into economic opportunity. Prior to founding AstrumU, he held a variety of senior leadership and founding roles at data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud and machine learning-focused companies. He was one of the founders and CEO of Tier 3, a public sector cloud services provider acquired in 2013 by CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL), one of the largest U.S. enterprise telecommunications companies. As a board director for Observable Networks, he helped lead the cloud-based cybersecurity providers’ Series A investment and exit to Cisco Systems in July 2017.
Active in community and civic life, Adam serves as a member of the national board of directors for the University of Kansas’ Alumni Association and the board of College Possible, a national nonprofit that connects high school and college students with near-peer success coaches. He is also a board director for the Washington Policy Center, an independent, nonprofit think tank that promotes sound public policy in Washington State that focuses on issues ranging from education, environmental conservation, government accountability, health care and small business. Adam is also an advisor to Big Sky Bravery, a civilian-based organization that works to provide active-duty members of U.S. special forces with post-deployment decompression programs, mentorship and support in the restorative outdoor surroundings of Montana.