Global Volunteer Service Leadership Forum Speaker Bios



Professor William P. Alford '74 MA, '75 MA, Professor, Harvard Law School

Bill Alford is Henry L. Stimson Professor at Harvard Law School where he is Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, Director of East Asian Legal Studies; and Chair of the HLS Project on Disability. He is Chair of the Research and Policy Committee and a member of the Executive Committee of the board of directors of Special Olympics, which in 2008 honored him for his volunteer work in the field of disability.

Professor Alford has also long been involved with issues of legal and institutional development in China and other nations. He was a founder of the Committee on Legal Education Exchange with China which in the 1980s established the first academic program on American law in China and also brought hundreds of Chinese scholars to the US for further legal education.

He has worked with the World Bank, the Ford Foundation, the US government, foreign government and NGOs on issues of law and rights.

Professor Alford holds graduate degrees (in Chinese and in History) from Yale and is also a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Cambridge and Harvard Law School. He is an honorary professor at several Chinese institutions and the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of Geneva.



Michael Bierut, Partner, Pentagram

Michael Bierut is a graphic designer, writer, teacher and a partner in the New York office of the international design consultancy Pentagram. His clients have included Saks Fifth Avenue, the New York Times, Teach for America, the Atlantic Monthly, and the March of Dimes. He was elected to the Alliance Graphique Internationale in 1989, to the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 2003, and was awarded the profession’s highest honor, the AIGA Medal, in 2006. In 2008, he was named winner in the Design Mind category of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards. Michael is a Senior Critic in Graphic Design at the Yale School of Art, and a Senior Faculty Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He is the co-editor of the five-volume series Looking Closer: Critical Writings on Graphic and a co-founder of the world’s largest online design publication, His book 79 Short Essays on Design was published in 2007 by Princeton Architectural Press. His appearance in the documentary Helvetica is considered by some people the film's funniest moment.



Professor Paul Bracken '82 PhD, Professor, Yale School of Management

Professor Bracken is a leading expert in global competition and the strategic application of technology in business and defense. He has devoted his research and teaching to developing solutions for senior management as it deals with rapidly changing business environments and intense uncertainty.
He designed the Yale MBA core course on Problem Framing, which has received global recognition. The course helps students understand how to use scenario techniques and alternative futures to navigate and create new value in a turbulent business environment. A unique feature of Problem Framing is the “scenario design studio” module, which leads students through actually building alternative futures for particular industries.

Professor Bracken also teaches Business, Government, and Globalization, which examines the multinational corporation's strategy under global competition; and Strategy, Technology, and War which develops technology and innovation landscapes for business and defense. He is rated as the best teacher in Yale's executive education programs and has taught in corporate programs in the United States and around the world. He is a consultant to private equity funds, accounting, and insurance companies as well as several arms of the U.S. Government and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He serves on the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel, and the Transformation Advisory Group of the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

Barbara Bush '04, CEO and Co-Founder, Global Health Corps

Barbara Bush is CEO and co-founder of Global Health Corps, an organization that aims to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. Over the past two years, Global Health Corps has sent 126 fellows from eight countries to work with non-profit and government health organizations like Partners In Health and the Clinton Health Access Initiative in Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, and the United States. Before joining GHC, Barbara worked for two-years in Educational Programming at the Smithsonian Institution’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, where she supported design thinking programs for high school students and faculty in Louisiana, Texas Minnesota, and New York. After graduating college, she worked for Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Capetown, South Africa and interned for UNICEF in Botswana. She has traveled regularly with the UN World Food Programme, focusing on the importance of nutrition in ARV treatment. Barbara is a member of UNICEF’s Next Generation Steering Committee and is on the Board of Directors of Covenant House International and PSI. She is a Draper Richards Foundation Social Entrepreneur and a fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation, which selected Global Health Corps as one of the 14 most innovative social start-ups worldwide out of 1500 applicants. Barbara Bush graduated from Yale University with a degree in Humanities in 2004.



Richard Celeste '59, Former Director, Peace Corps

Richard Celeste has recently retired as the 12th president of Colorado College. Prior to joining Colorado College, he served as the US ambassador to India from 1997 to 2001. His public service experience also includes serving two terms as governor of Ohio and as director of the United States Peace Corps in Washington, DC. Celeste was also a managing partner of Celeste and Sabety Ltd., an economic development consultancy in Columbus, Ohio. He taught urban economics at John Carroll University and has served as a visiting fellow in public policy at Case Western University. He currently is chair of the board of trustees of the Health Effects Institute in Boston, an advisory board member of Stonebridge International, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a lifetime national associate of the National Academies.



William Farrell, Vice Presiden for Global Partnerships and Alliances, Mercy Corps

William Farrell serves as Vice President for Global Partnerships and Alliances at Mercy Corps, a leading relief and development organization with operations in 41 countries. From his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he works with academic institutions, corporations, individuals, and U.S. and foreign governmental agencies to develop meaningful partnerships. Prior to this role, Mr. Farrell was Mercy Corps’ Vice President for Program Development, managing the design and support of high impact programming globally.

A graduate of Tufts University and of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Mr. Farrell has worked with international donor agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the United States Government over the past two decades. His experience in transitional countries has given him significant background in confronting the challenges of instability through community-led and market-driven programming. Seconded by the United States Department of State to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Mr. Farrell was substantially involved in the formal peace negotiation processes between Georgians and South Ossetians as well as between Tajiks, during the civil war in Tajikistan.

His work with the United States Agency for International Development throughout the five Central Asian republics helped communities and governments develop stronger partnerships to enhance the lives and well-being of the citizens. Mr. Farrell has worked in support of emergency response in Sudan, as well as assessing large parts of the Sahel for concrete ways in which development assistance can be used to counter extremist activity.



Cory Goodale, Web Developer, grew out of a Bronx high school where teachers experienced first-hand the scarcity of learning materials in our public schools.

Charles Best (Yale '98), then a social studies teacher, sensed that many people would like to help distressed public schools, but were frustrated by a lack of influence over their donations. He created in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need.

Our mission: engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity.

Our vision: We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education


Neal Keny-Guyer '82 MPPM, CEO, Mercy Corps

Neal Keny-Guyer is a social entrepreneur committed to creating a more just and peaceful world. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Religion from Duke University, an M.A. in Public and Private Management from Yale University, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Portland State University, Oregon.

Keny-Guyer joined Mercy Corps in 1994 as Chief Executive Officer. Under his aegis, Mercy Corps has emerged as a leading international humanitarian and development organization with ongoing operations in nearly 40 countries, 3,700 staff, and an annual operating budget of $308 million. He has forged new directions at Mercy Corps, most notably implementing global mergers and strategic alliances, placing human rights, civil society and social entrepreneurship at the forefront of Mercy Corps’ humanitarian mission, and building an organizational reputation for groundbreaking, innovative programming in the world’s toughest environments.

Neal Keny-Guyer is on the Board of Trustees of the Yale Corporation and also serves on the Yale President’s Council on International Affairs and the Board of Advisors of the Yale School of Management (SOM). In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of ImagineNations and the Nike Foundation’s Advisory Board. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Alissa, and their three children.



Robert Todd Lang '45W, '47 LLB, Director, Human Rights First

Robert Todd Lang, through a professional corporation, is a senior partner of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. He received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University. He joined Weil in 1948 and has been with the firm continuously since. He was co-managing partner of the firm and chaired the Corporate Department for many years and has wide experience in matters involving mergers & acquisitions, corporate and securities law.

Mr. Lang is the author of “Shareholder Initiatives: Proposals and Solicitations,” Securities Law Techniques with Robert L. Messineo, David E. Zeltner and Anne-Marie Wood, 4th edition, published by Matthew Bender and “Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance,” Chapter 3, SEC Proxy and Compensation Rules, 2nd edition (with Spencer G. Smul), 2001 supplement with Spencer G. Smul and Howard B. Dicker, published by Aspen Law and Business.

Mr. Lang was chair of the Committee on Corporate Governance of the ABA’s Business Law Section from 1991 to 1995 and continues as a member. He has been extensively involved in the activities of the Section’s Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities and is a member of its Advisory Committee. He formerly chaired its Task Force on Listing Standards of Self-Regulatory Organizations, its Subcommittee on Private Investment Entities, its Special Study on Market Structure, Listing Standards and Corporate Governance and its Subcommittee on Proxy Solicitations and Tender Offers. He co-chairs the Task Force on Shareholder Proposals, is a member of the Subcommittee on Proxy Statements and Business Combinations and the Task Force on Review of the Federal Securities Laws and its Advisory Committee. He formerly chaired the Legal Advisory Board of the National Association of Securities Dealers and served as a member of the Special Committee on Shareholder Voting Rights of the American Stock Exchange. He serves as chair of the Board of Advisors for Yale Law School's Center for the Study of Corporate Law, formerly chair of the Yale Law School Fund and is a member of the Campaign for Yale. He is a fellow of Brandeis University and a director of Human Rights First, chair of its Audit Committee and a member of its Executive Committee and Finance Committee.

Mr. Lang has received the Golden Torch of Hope Award from the City of Hope, the Community Service Award from Brandeis University, the Learned Hand Award from the American Jewish Committee, and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Public Education Association. Mr. Lang received the Simeon E. Baldwin Award from the Yale Law School Center for the Study of Corporate Law for distinguished service in law and business.

Mr. Lang has been active in a wide variety of civic and charitable organizations. He serves as a trustee of the Irma T. Hirschl and Monique Weill-Caulier Trusts, which provide funds for medical research, medical scholarships and charitable organizations.


Michael Morand '87, '93 MDiv, Director, Yale University Office of Public Affairs and Communications

Michael Morand is Director of Metro, State & Alumni Communications for Yale University. Based in the Office of Public Affairs & Communications, he works closely with the AYA to share the stories of alumni volunteer leadership across the U.S. and around the world. Michael previously served with the Yale’s Office of New Haven & State Affairs, helping implement Yale’s partnerships for community development.

Michael has been active in the public and nonprofit sectors, having served on the New Haven Board of Aldermen, Connecticut Judicial Selection Commission, and national Urban Libraries Council. He recently was president of the board of governors of the Elizabethan Club and board chair of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, and serves presently as the board president of STRIVE New Haven and on the boards of the Connecticut Central Coast YMCA, New Haven public library, and Elm City Market food coop.

He looks forward to seeing you at the GVSLF as well as on Facebook ( and Twitter (@mimoct).



Ronald W. O'Connor, MD '61E, Founder, Management Sciences for Health

Ronald O’Connor is the founder of Management Sciences for Health (MSH). He was exposed to the health realities of rural Asia by an inspirational physician/Hiroshima survivor working in rural Nepal as a medical student in the 1960s. He realized that poor health prospects in the developing world emerged largely from basic problems that were resolvable with existing knowledge and local resources—if only well organized and applied. Despite growing international interest and resources for development at that time, existing institutions did not focus on the application of practical public health management knowledge and experience to the health problems of developing country institutions and communities. To fill this gap, he created MSH in 1971 in order to provide a platform for motivated individuals who were committed to helping countries use existing tools and knowledge to address their public health challenges.


MSH is a nonprofit international health organization composed of more than 2,000 people from 73 nations. Our mission is to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Together with our partners, we are helping managers and leaders in developing countries to create stronger management systems that improve health services for the greatest health impact.



Karen Pearl, President & CEO, God's Love We Deliver

Karen joined the organization in September 2006, bringing with her over 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. Since its founding in 1985, God's Love has responded to the urgent need for food and nutrition experienced by people who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves – people living with life-altering illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and advanced diabetes.

During her tenure, Karen has expanded the organization's capacity, increasing meal numbers by 49% and growing its advocacy program to ensure access to services for those most in need.  The number of volunteers has grown to 7,600 and the number of meals cooked and delivered to a new milestone of 1,000,000 in this year alone. God’s Love operates with an annual budget of $9.4 million, of which almost 80% is raised through private philanthropy. In June 2010, God's Love was the winner of a New York Times Nonprofit Excellence Award for Management Excellence.

Prior to joining God's Love, Karen served as the interim President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and as President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Nassau County. Before that, Karen was the Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center. She also served as the Director of Advisement, Health, and Learning Disabilities at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.


Zoe Timms, Founder, Women’s Education Project

In 2002, Zoe Timms founded Women’s Education Project (WEP) to help women in India from the poorest backgrounds succeed in college and careers – careers that would lift their families from poverty forever. With the guidance of the local community in Madurai and Hyderabad, Zoe developed the center’s concept: a comprehensive program in a caring, supportive, environment of gardens, classrooms, libraries, and computers. Students receive scholarships to college and attend training sessions to gain knowledge of health, environment, finance and civic issues. As graduates, WEP students are knowledgeable, capable, community role models – leaders who, with a lively awareness of life’s possibilities, are prepared to make important change in their own lives, families and communities. Today, Women’s Education Project, a New York based 501(C)(3) foundation, operates four centers, Sudar (“light” in Tamil), in Madurai, Tamil Nadu and, Ushassu (“morning light” in Telugu), in Hyderabad , Andhra Pradesh, and as of 2011, a third center in Hyderabad proper and a fourth in Banglore, Karnataka.

Zoe is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.



Janet Tobias '81, Co-Founder and Partner, Ikana Health

At Ikana, Ms, Tobias leads up the strategy and creative groups. Over the last six years she has worked with a variety of clients in the healthcare space on subjects ranging from broad-based delivery of healthcare information to communications efforts around obesity and HIV/Aids. Her focus areas: new business paradigms in healthcare information, social networks and healthcare communication, mobile technology and health outcomes, and creating innovative rich media content focused on health, wellness and medical research. Clients have included: Johnson & Johnson’s corporate communications and pharmaceutical research & development groups, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Tibotec,, AARP, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital, and WGBH. In addition, Ms. Tobias has executive produced a variety of television programs covering medical issues. The subjects of two recent films were innovation in neurosurgery and the need for physical and psychological support for soldiers returning from Iraq.

Under Ikana Media, before it began to focus exclusively on health, wellness and medical research, Ms Tobias also worked on digital content strategy for Cisco Systems and Time Inc.

Prior to founding Ikana, Ms. Tobias worked for Sawyer Media Systems, a Sequoia Ventures funded software and media company, which was an early developer of Internet video portal software. Ms Tobias ran Sawyer Media’s creative and production department and was a member of the executive committee. Her creative group, based both in San Francisco and New York, focused on developing broadband programming and strategy for clients including Autodesk, Cisco Systems, Genentech and Purina.

Besides her work in digital and healthcare strategy/content, Ms. Tobias has had a significant career in television and films. She is currently the CEO of Sierra/Tango Productions. Sierra/Tango has produced over 17 films on a variety of social issues including: the US/Mexican border, the future of warfare, and the lives of 16-year old boys and girls in America.

From December 2000 to May 2002, Ms. Tobias was the executive producer of the Emmy award-winning LIFE 360, a weekly PBS series that combined documentary pieces with dramatic and comic monologues. Prior to serving as the executive producer of LIFE 360, she was the commissioning executive for public affairs programming at Oregon Public Broadcasting. At OPB, she executive produced prime-time hours for Discovery and PBS. She also worked as the senior director/writer on a four-hour joint Nightline-Frontline project on the juvenile justice system that aired on both ABC and PBS and won two American Bar Association awards.

Ms. Tobias started her network news career at 60 Minutes where she was Diane Sawyer's associate producer. She was also one of the original producers on the launch of Prime Time Live, a national producer at Dateline NBC, and the editorial producer of ABC News' Law and Justice unit where she developed, and supervised the production of legal and criminal justice stories for all of ABC News’ programs including: Nightline, 20/20 and World News Tonight.

At the end of 2009, Ms. Tobias was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine to serve on the Drug Forum. From January to September of 2009, Ms. Tobias served as a senior fellow at the Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. At the Centre, she was part of a group looking at new models for development and delivery of drugs for neglected diseases.

Ms. Tobias is a graduate of Yale University. She serves on the boards of Healthright International, Rwanda Works and SochiReporter.


Marsha Wallace, CEO and founder, Dining for Women

Marsha Wallace is founder and president of Dining for Women. A registered nurse and mother of four children, Marsha received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Western Carolina University in 1984. She worked in Obstetrics for twenty years as a Labor and Delivery nurse, community and staff educator, lactation consultant and natural childbirth educator for over 20 years. Marsha also has experience in sales, training, and team leadership as a direct marketing sales representative for five years with a telecommunications company. Always passionate about women, women’s health and women’s rights, and searching for her passion, Marsha was struck with the inspiration to create Dining for Women, an innovative nonprofit giving circle. Dining for Women was launched in Greenville, S.C., in January 2003 and has since grown into an international giving circle transforming lives around the world. Dining for Women has been featured on Good Morning America, the Today Weekend Show, in the New York Times, USA Today and multiple magazine articles and books. Marsha lives in Greenville with her husband, Jim, four children and two grandchildren.


Dining for Women's mission is to empower women and girls living in extreme poverty by funding programs that foster good health, education, and economic self‐sufficiency and to cultivate educational giving circles that inspire individuals to make a positive difference through the power of collective giving.