At its annual meeting on May 13, Carnegie Mellon University’s Board of Trustees unanimously elected six alumni as new voting trustees: Gloria Chen, Ted Decker, Charles Evans, Thomas Healy, Jewell Parker Rhodes and Shalini Ray. Healy and Ray will be the university’s first recent graduate trustees, a new category of trustee. The trustees’ terms will begin on July 1, 2023.
“Carnegie Mellon is thrilled to welcome these accomplished visionaries, thought leaders and change-makers to the Board of Trustees,” said Farnam Jahanian(opens in new window), president of Carnegie Mellon. “Their exceptional leadership and commitment to excellence are invaluable additions to the CMU community. We look forward to the many ways in which they will help accelerate the pursuit of our institutional mission to impact society through scholarship, innovation and creativity.”
Gloria Chen is Adobe’s chief people officer and executive vice president, employee experience. She received her master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering(opens in new window) from Carnegie Mellon in 1989. In her role, she oversees the employee experience of over 22,000 Adobe employees in 75 locations worldwide. Chen has worked at Adobe for over 20 years, holding various senior leadership positions. She also serves on CMU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Council(opens in new window).
Ted Decker(opens in new window), the chairman and president of The Home Depot, earned a master’s degree in business administration(opens in new window) from the Tepper School of Business(opens in new window) in 1993. Decker is responsible for global store operations, supply chain, merchandising, marketing and strategy for more than 2,300 stores across North America. Over his 20 years at The Home Depot, Decker has risen from director of business valuation; to vice president of business development; to senior vice president of retail finance, pricing analytics and assortment planning; and was named president and CEO in 2022.
Charles Evans,(opens in new window) the retired president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, received his master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from the Tepper School in 1985 and 1989, respectively. At the Federal Reserve, he oversaw approximately 1,400 employees conducting economic research, supervising financial institutions, and providing payment services to commercial banks and the U.S. government. Evans led the Chicago Fed through the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and has published research in peer-review journals on the effects of monetary policy on U.S. economic activity, inflation and financial market prices.
Jewell Parker Rhodes(opens in new window), the Piper Endowed Chair and founding artistic director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University, received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in English from the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences(opens in new window) in 1975, 1976 and 1979, respectively. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters(opens in new window) from Carnegie Mellon in 2021. She is the award-winning author of two writing guides, a memoir, and novels for both adults and middle-grade readers — inspiring diverse readers around the world. Rhodes also serves on the University Libraries Advisory Board.
The appointment of two recent graduate trustees reflects the value the Board of Trustees places in having participation in its discussions from alumni whose voices reflect their own campus experiences. The board approved an amendment to the university’s bylaws designating that two of its voting trustees shall be recent graduate trustees — defined as someone who earned their CMU degree between 5-15 years ago — to serve one term of four years.
Thomas Healy(opens in new window) graduated with degrees in mechanical engineering and engineering and public policy from the College of Engineering(opens in new window) in 2014. He is the founder and CEO of Hyliion, which aims “to be the leading provider of electrified powertrain solutions for the commercial transportation industry.” Hyliion’s powertrains for semitrucks reduce pollution from gas emissions, reduce reliance on carbon-intensive fuels and make shipping goods cheaper on a global scale. At Carnegie Mellon, Healy was a varsity football player(opens in new window), and in 2014 won a senior leadership award. In 2017, Healy was named to Forbes 30 Under 30(opens in new window), and was named as one of CMU’s 2022 Tartans on the Rise(opens in new window).
Shalini Ray, the manager and head of the product training, user engagement and change management team at the medical startup Olive, earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the Mellon College of Science(opens in new window) and a master’s degree in health care policy and management from the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy(opens in new window) in 2015 and 2016, respectively. At CMU, Ray served in the Undergraduate Student Senate and as student body vice president from 2014-2015. She won an Outstanding Student Organization Leader Award and spoke as a distinguished panelist at the Carnegie Mellon Leadership Summit. Ray is a member of the Alumni Association Board(opens in new window).
The board also welcomed Laurie Weingart(opens in new window), the incoming chair of the Faculty Senate, as an ex-officio trustee. Ex-officio trustees are appointed as voting members of the board of trustees by virtue of their office in accordance with board bylaws
Laurie Weingart is the Richard M. and Margaret S. Cyert Professor of Organizational Behavior and Theory in the Tepper School of Business. She has previously served as interim provost and chief academic officer; and as senior associate dean — education, and director of the Accelerate Leadership Center within the Tepper School. Weingart is coauthor of “The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women’s Dead-End Work(opens in new window).” Her research examines collaboration, conflict and negotiation, with a focus on how differences can both help and hinder effective problem-solving and innovation. Weingart is replacing Neil Donahue(opens in new window), Thomas Lord University Professor in Chemistry, who has served as Faculty Senate chair since 2021.
The board elected six trustees to emeriti status: Torrence Hunt(opens in new window), Tod Johnson(opens in new window), Raymond Lane(opens in new window), David Porges(opens in new window), Lea Simonds(opens in new window) and Paula Wagner(opens in new window). Collectively, they have given 155 years of service to the board. Emeriti trustee status is bestowed by the board on members who have made distinguished contributions to the university over their terms.
“The Board of Trustees is grateful for the dedicated service of our emeriti members, whose impact on the university will be felt for generations to come,” said David Coulter(opens in new window), chair of the board. “I join the Tartan community in expressing great appreciation for their contributions to Carnegie Mellon.”