About

Staff

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PRESIDENT AND CEO

Jamie Merisotis

Jamie Merisotis is president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all.

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EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AND GENERAL COUNSEL

Holiday Hart McKiernan

Holiday Hart McKiernan is executive vice president, chief operating officer and general counsel for Lumina Foundation. She oversees operations, legal affairs, and board governance. Part of her work has included exploring the Bologna Process and the implications that reform effort might have for American higher education.

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SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER

Danette Howard, Ph.D.

Danette Gerald Howard, Ph.D. is Lumina's senior vice president and chief strategy officer. Howard oversees several of Lumina’s key strategies including work in both state and federal policy and the Foundation’s growing national convening function. She also leads the Foundation’s efforts to mobilize and engage employers, metropolitan areas, higher education institutions and other key actors with a stake in postsecondary attainment.

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VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D.

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D. leads the Foundation's stakeholder engagement and strategic communications work while also providing direction for Lumina's thought leadership efforts as well as the substantive work on postsecondary education quality.

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VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC IMPACT

Courtney Brown, Ph.D.

Courtney Brown, Ph.D, is the vice president of strategic impact at Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused specifically on increasing Americans’ postsecondary success. In this role she oversees the Foundation’s efforts in the areas of strategic planning, impact, and learning. She also leads Lumina’s international engagement efforts. Brown works to ensure Lumina uses data and research to inform and continuously apply lessons to work across the Foundation and stays focused on the impact of its work on Goal 2025.

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VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

Brad Kelsheimer

Brad Kelsheimer is Lumina Foundation’s vice president for finance and investments and chief financial officer. In his role at Lumina, Kelsheimer oversees the Foundation’s $1+ billion investment portfolio and all financial functions of the organization. Prior to joining Lumina in June of 2017, Kelsheimer served for over twenty years in executive financial roles in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, most recently as senior vice president for finance and administration at DePauw University.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Kevin Corcoran

Kevin Corcoran leads Lumina Foundation's strategic communications team. Prior to assuming this role in late 2016, he spent eight years directing design and policy work that promoted development of new higher education business and finance models aimed at helping the United States achieve a goal of 60 percent of working-age Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates, or other postsecondary credentials by 2025. His areas of expertise include competency-based education and outcomes-based funding. He also manages a portfolio of grants related to Lumina's work with nonprofit and public media partners. Corcoran serves on the board of The Communications Network, the leading organization nationally helping foundations and nonprofits improve lives through smart communications.

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DIRECTOR OF INVESTMENTS

Eileen Scott

Eileen joined the Foundation on March 1, 2008 as a Senior Investment Officer and now serves as Lumina's Director of Investments.

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DIRECTOR OF MEDIA RELATIONS

Lucia Anderson Weathers

Lucia Anderson Weathers is the director of media relations for Lumina Foundation. Lucia joined the foundation in May 2010 and deals with all aspects of national and local media on behalf of the foundation. She co-manages the foundation’s strategic media partners portfolio, including: Hechinger Institute, Education Writer’s Association, American Public Media and The Washington Monthly.

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DIRECTOR OF ACCOUNTING AND CONTROLLER

Julie K. Shewmaker

Julie K. Shewmaker, Lumina's director of accounting & controller, is responsible for accounting, especially investment, financial analysis, and budgeting to ensure the Foundation assets are safeguarded.

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SENIOR ACCOUNTING OFFICER

Monique Crowell

As senior accounting officer, Monique oversees the data entry, reconciliation, and maintenance of all financial activity at the Foundation. From the general ledger to the annual audit, she ensures the resources are available for staff and grantees to do their work as we get closer to reaching Goal 2025.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR

Indira Anand

With over 30 years of experience in the IT profession, Indira Anand currently is the director of information technology at Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis where she is responsible for strategic and tactical aspects of technology acquisition. She has been instrumental in developing and embedding the vision of becoming a learning organization, a collaborative environment, practices to improve grants processing, and a range of technologies and tools to help Lumina evolve its grants, contacts management, evaluation functions and collaboration within and external to the foundation. Recent initiatives include the development of a digital enterprise and cloud and mobile technologies at Lumina.

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SENIOR EDITOR AND WRITER

David S. Powell

Dave Powell plans, supervises, edits and produces all of Lumina Foundation's publications, collateral and other printed material; he assists in creating content for Lumina's electronic publications, and serves as the main speechwriter for the Foundation's president and CEO. In addition, he works jointly with all members of the Communications staff, and with numerous outside contractors, to plan and implement Lumina’s strategic communications efforts.

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DIRECTOR OF GRANTS MANAGEMENT

Timothy P. Robinson, J.D.

Tim Robinson is the director of grants management at Lumina Foundation, where he brings 25 years of legal and investment management experience. Prior to joining, Tim was with PNC Wealth Management for 6 years, most recently as investment director for Indiana where he was responsible for implementing investment strategies for high net worth clients.

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GRANTS MANAGEMENT OFFICER

Candace Brandt

Candace Brandt is the grants management officer for Lumina Foundation and supports the grant and contract process for the program staff. Candace joined Lumina in 2002 after working at Eli Lilly in the scientific library and the distance learning department. When she is not in the office Candace enjoys country life and spending time with family.

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ACCOUNTING OFFICER

Beverly W. Hudson

Beverly is responsible for the completion of financial closing procedures. This includes overseeing accounts payable, personnel expenses, the financial reporting process and the implementation and maintenance of accounting controls. These processes are essential to Lumina in maintaining accurate financial records. She is also responsible for administering payroll, in addition to the reporting/auditing of tax payments through electronic capabilities.

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HUMAN RESOURCES AND ADMINISTRATION DIRECTOR

Shelley Lloyd, CBP

Shelley Lloyd leads Lumina's human resources and facilities team. Her expertise includes talent acquisition, staff development, compensation, performance, employee relations and benefits. She also oversees the management of Lumina's physical facilities, business operations and capital improvements.

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CORPORATE COUNSEL

Thomas Major Jr., J.D.

Thomas Major, Jr. serves as Lumina's corporate counsel. He provides legal support to all of Lumina's strategic, financial and administrative operations, including matters involving state and federal policy, grant and contract review, risk management and intellectual property. Thomas’ program work focuses on supporting efforts that engage higher education systems and institutions to increase completion rates and close attainment gaps of underrepresented and low-income students.

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HUMAN RESOURCES AND FACILITIES ASSOCIATE

Micky Clymore

Micky serves as the human resources and facilities associate assisting in the administration of assigned benefit programs, maintenance of personnel data files and staffing activities. She also manages a number of facility related functions for the Foundation.

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MANAGING DIRECTOR, LUMINA IMPACT VENTURES

John Duong

John Duong is the Foundation's managing director of Lumina Impact Ventures. John sources, structures, underwrites and negotiates social investments to support Lumina’s strategic priorities.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Haley Glover

Haley leads Lumina's mobilization strategies, focusing on communities and institutions of higher education, and on work to define and expand student pathways to success.

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INVESTMENT OFFICER

Cody Coppotelli

Cody Coppotelli serves as investment officer for Lumina Foundation. In this capacity, he helps to invest and monitor the Foundation’s $1 billion endowment portfolio across a variety of investment strategies and asset classes.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Amber Garrison Duncan, Ph.D.

Amber Garrison Duncan is a strategy director at Lumina Foundation where she leads a portfolio of work that supports the creation of a system where all learning can be validated and valued regardless of where it happens, and efficiently contribute to high-quality credentials. Lumina’s work in this area includes competency-based education, learning frameworks, assessment, credential recognition and learner records, as well as quality assurance.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR FOR FINANCE AND FEDERAL POLICY

Zakiya Smith

Zakiya Smith is as a strategy director for finance and federal policy at Lumina Foundation, where she leads the work of the Foundation to develop new models of student financial support for higher education. Most recently, Smith served as a senior advisor for education at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where she focused on developing the President’s higher education policy. Ms. Smith also served in the Obama administration as a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Education where she developed programmatic, policy and budget solutions to respond to pressing challenges in college access, affordability, and completion.

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GRANTS MANAGEMENT ASSISTANT

Amie Michael

Amie Michael is Lumina's grants management assistant responsible for executing grantee payments, processing matching gifts, length of service awards and assisting in the grant and contract process.

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STRATEGY OFFICER

Chad Ahren, Ph.D.

Chad Ahren is a strategy officer at Lumina Foundation where he contributes to work focused on building and sustaining learning infrastructure for learning pathways that increase the attainment of high quality postsecondary credentials. Lumina’s work in this area includes competency-based education, learning frameworks, assessment, credential recognition and learner records, as well as quality assurance.

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STRATEGY OFFICER

Frank Swanzy Essien Jr.

Frank Swanzy Essien Jr. serves as strategy officer. He helps Lumina Foundation in its efforts to achieve Goal 2025 by working to build sustainable learning infrastructure to create flexible learning pathways that increase the attainment of high quality postsecondary credentials.

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DIRECTOR OF IMPACT AND RESEARCH

Susan D. Johnson, Ph.D.

Susan D. Johnson, Ph.D., is director of impact and research where she guides data-informed decisions in Lumina's efforts to achieve Goal 2025.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR FINANCE AND FEDERAL POLICY

Terri Taylor, J.D.

Terri Taylor works on building Lumina's institutional finance portfolio and uses her experience in nonprofit strategy development in the policy space to build capacity among our federal policy partners. She works closely with our federal policy team on innovative models and collaboratively with Lumina's vice president of strategic engagement on quality assurance issues.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Scott Jenkins

Scott Jenkins serves as strategy director for Lumina Foundation. In that role, he leads development and advancement of the Foundation’s State Policy Agenda. Scott has a broad and extensive background in institutional, state, and federal policy development and execution.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Domy Raymond

Dominique (Domy) Raymond is Lumina's strategy director leading stakeholder engagement, coalition building and convenings.

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STRATEGIC IMPACT AND RESEARCH OFFICER

Amia Foston, Ph.D.

Amia Foston is a strategic impact and research officer at Lumina Foundation where he uses state and national data and data systems to help inform our work and the nation’s progress toward Goal 2025.

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EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT AND BOARD RELATIONS OFFICER

Lori B. Drzal

Lori B. Drzal is the executive assistant and board relations officer in the office of the president at Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation committed solely to enrolling and graduating more students from college. She provides administrative support to the President and CEO, chief of staff and the board of directors in operating the Foundation’s $1.3 billion endowment.

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STRATEGY OFFICER

David A. Croom

David A. Croom is a strategy officer in Lumina Foundation's Washington, D.C. office where he focuses on the Foundation's work to advance federal policy and to develop models of postsecondary finance, both toward the goal of increased attainment of high-quality credentials.

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DIGITAL AUDIENCE GROWTH EDITOR

John C. Strauss

John has built a long career in journalism and digital media, including 10 years as an AP manager in Indianapolis, Nashville, and New York City. He is a former public media producer with award-winning shows on Indiana Public Radio and public television. His previous work includes public policy reporting and digital media for the Indianapolis Star, anchoring local news at an NBC affiliate, and instructing in web and multimedia. Most recently he taught journalism at Ball State University. John holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in telecommunications-digital storytelling from Ball State.

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STRATEGY OFFICER

Nicole L. McDonald, Ph.D.

Nicole McDonald, Ph.D. works as a strategy officer at Lumina Foundation and is responsible for developing strategic approaches to increase the educational attainment of college students. Her portfolio includes initiatives to help institutions plan and implement policies, partnerships, and practices increase student success, and the creation of a national multi-sector network of organizations and individuals through a digital platform to exchange and collaborate on strategies to increase attainment.

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DIGITAL CONTENT PRODUCER AND EDITOR

Matthew Jenkins

Matthew creates online content highlighting the work of the Foundation and its partners with a focus on illustrating the reality facing today's students and clarifying policy imperatives for a broad general audience with the goal of promoting a national sense of urgency for increasing postsecondary attainment.

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CONFERENCE AND MEETING PLANNING ASSOCIATE

Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is the conference and meeting planner associate where she provides planning, event management, fiscal and logistical support and assistance for all convenings. She is a former elementary school teacher, with a bachelor of science degree in elementary education.

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SENIOR ADVISOR FOR CREDENTIALING AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Holly Zanville, Ph.D.

Holly Zanville is senior advisor for credentialing and workforce development where she focuses on high-profile, large-scale projects with direct impact on the strategic operations and processes of the Foundation. Her portfolio includes the cultivation of networks and partnerships essential to the emerging new landscape of credentialing; and the development and expansion of collective action initiatives that increase awareness of and solutions related to credentialing, workforce-education alignment, and quality assurance especially with regard to new credentials and learning pathways. She speaks and writes on the meaning and value of credentials and how they can play a role in charting a path forward to increase access to and success in obtaining high-quality credentials.

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DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR FINANCE AND FEDERAL POLICY

Jesse O’Connell

Jesse O’Connell is a deputy director based out of Lumina Foundation's Washington, D.C. office. In this capacity he helps lead work to develop and support models of postsecondary finance as well as advance federal policy to increase the attainment of high-quality credentials.

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STRATEGIC IMPACT AND LEARNING OFFICER

Jasmine Haywood, Ph.D.

Jasmine Haywood leads Lumina's work around the metrics and evaluation of Lumina's direct work and the outcomes of that work on making progress toward Goal 2025. Jasmine earned her master's and Ph.D. in higher education and student affairs from Indiana University. Most recently, she was a faculty member in the Department of Educational Leadership at Indiana State University.

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INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND CYBERSECURITY MANAGER

Ryan Shaffer

Ryan is Lumina's information technology & cybersecurity manager. He has lent his information systems expertise in various capacities to the Foundation since 2002.

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STRATEGIC IMPACT ASSOCIATE

Steven Williamson

Steven Williamson is Lumina's strategic impact associate.  Steven works with the strategic impact team to support the implementation of the Foundation's framework for measuring and reporting progress on Lumina's direct work and the outcomes of that work toward increasing postsecondary attainment.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE

Raymond AlQaisi

Raymond supports the Foundation’s efforts to reach Goal 2025 by assisting in the advancement of federal policy to increase attainment and in the development of postsecondary finance models. Prior to joining Lumina, he served the Office of Student Financial Assistance in City University of New York’s Central Administration.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Apra Arnold

Apra Arnold is an administrative assistant at Lumina Foundation where she provides general and specialized administrative support to the accounting team. Arnold is as an internal and external communication liaison and reinforces the Foundation’s strategic and operational priorities by actively seeking opportunities to streamline office procedures, processes and systems and leverage administrative resources in the interest of enhanced operational effectiveness and efficiency.

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STRATEGY OFFICER

Gretchen Syverud

Gretchen supports state efforts to increase postsecondary attainment through Lumina’s state policy agenda.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Barbara Rodriguez

With 14 years in the non-profit sector, Barbara provides highly-specialized mentoring, training, and guidance personalized to her colleagues needs to help lead them on paths to success. Before coming to Lumina, Barbara worked for 10 years in human resources at The Republic newspaper in Columbus, Ind. She graduated Phi Theta Kappa with a degree in business management from Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana.

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EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Sharon Shickel

Sharon B. Shickel provides administrative and organizational support to Lumina's chief of staff and office of the president. With professional experience in risk management and litigation process management, Sharon works closely with Lumina's general counsel assisting in the coordination of knowledge and process management.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION

Dakota Pawlicki

Dakota focuses on Lumina's Talent Pathways work, which is mobilizing communities and postsecondary institutions to make major gains in attainment.

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CONFERENCE AND MEETING PLANNING OFFICER

Molly Barrick

Molly Barrick is Lumina's conference and meeting planning officer and oversees all off-site convenings.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Tatum Hill

Tatum's work intersects Lumina's Talent Pathways and Learning Infrastructure work. She focuses on adult learners and identifies opportunities for adults with no postsecondary experience to gain access to credentials by leveraging resources from workforce development and other social sector initiatives.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Qiana L. Robinson

Qiana L. Robinson is an administrative assistant for Lumina Foundation currently supporting strategy directors and officers. Prior to joining Lumina, she was a customer solutions facilitator at WorkOne Indy as well as an administrative assistant at PMBC Ministries where she supported a congregation of 1500+ parishioners.

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FACILITIES AND FRONT DESK ASSISTANT

Wendy Lopez

Wendy Lopez is Lumina's facilities and front desk assistant. Wendy brings extensive facilities and administrative experience having worked as an office manager at Veolia North America and real estate services coordinator at CBRE, a commercial real estate services firm.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Lisa Dunham

Lisa Dunham supports the vice president for strategy development and employees of this department. Lisa loves time with family and spends as much time boating as possible.

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EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Terri Steward

Terri L. Steward is an executive assistant for Lumina Foundation where she brings over 30 years of administrative support experience. Terri currently supports the senior vice president and chief strategy officer as well as strategy directors and officers.

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GENERAL ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE

Sandi Semmler

Sandi brings with her over 16 years of accounts payable and administrative experience. She previously worked for the Christian Theological Seminary where she served as the business office manager since 2005.

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