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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ACTING CEO, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER AND GENERAL COUNSEL

Holiday Hart McKiernan, J.D.

Holiday Hart McKiernan is the acting CEO, 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 senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Lumina Foundation, the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on increasing student access and success in postsecondary education. Howard oversees several of Lumina’s key strategies to increase Americans’ attainment of high-quality postsecondary degrees and credentials.

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VICE PRESIDENT OF STRATEGIC ENGAGEMENT

Debra Humphreys, Ph.D.

Debra Humphreys leads the Foundation's stakeholder engagement and strategic communications work while also providing direction for Lumina's 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 toward the 60% attainment goal.

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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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VICE PRESIDENT FOR THE FUTURE OF LEARNING AND WORK

Chauncy Lennon, Ph.D.

Workforce expert and New York-based leader in corporate philanthropy, Chauncy Lennon joined Lumina Foundation in the newly created role of vice president for the future of learning and work in 2018, helping build out new ideas to advance the foundation's attainment agenda.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Kevin Corcoran

Kevin Corcoran leads Lumina Foundation's strategic communications team. Before assuming this role in late 2016, he spent eight years overseeing design and policy work that promoted development of new higher education business and finance models. His areas of expertise include competency-based learning, state authorization of online degree programs, and outcomes-based funding.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR FOR THE FUTURE OF LEARNING AND WORK

Holly Zanville, Ph.D.

Holly Zanville is strategy director for the future of learning and work 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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ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT FOR FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING

Julie K. Shewmaker

Julie K. Shewmaker, Lumina's assistant vice president for finance and accounting, oversees the Foundation’s accounting systems, especially investment, financial analysis, and budgeting to ensure that Foundation assets are safeguarded.

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ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS AND GRANTS ADMINISTRATION

Timothy P. Robinson, J.D.

Tim Robinson is the assistant vice president of operations and grants administration 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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ASSOCIATE GENERAL COUNSEL

Thomas Major Jr., J.D.

Thomas Major Jr. serves as Lumina's legal lead on strategic and programmatic matters, private foundation tax issues, and matters involving employee benefits, employment, intellectual property, reputational risk and a broad array of general corporate matters.

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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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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 impact investments to support Lumina’s strategic priorities towards the Foundation's 2025 goal.

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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. This also includes Lumina's efforts to support incarcerated and re-entering learners, and the Foundation's work with major employers to leverage investments in employee talent development.

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DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PHILANTHROPIC PRACTICE

Susan D. Johnson, Ph.D.

Susan D. Johnson, Ph.D., is director of organizational development and philanthropic practice where she guides data-informed decisions in Lumina's efforts to achieve the 60% attainment goal.

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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

Dominique Raymond

Dominique (Domy) Raymond leads stakeholder engagement for Lumina Foundation and its office of the president. She is responsible for amplifying Lumina’s thought leadership capacity, developing new partnerships and identifying influencers through the foundation’s national convening function and coalition building to increase postsecondary attainment. She is the president’s principal advisor on thought leadership opportunities and, at his request, directs strategic projects and emerging initiatives for his office.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR

Jesse O’Connell

Jesse O’Connell is the strategy director for federal policy at Lumina Foundation, based out of their Washington, D.C. office. He leads the development and advancement of the foundation’s federal policy priorities, with the goal of increasing the attainment of high-quality credentials and promoting affordable pathways through postsecondary education.

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DIRECTOR OF MEDIA STRATEGY

Tracy Chen

Tracy Chen is Lumina's director of media strategy. She comes to Lumina from Grow INdiana Media Ventures, where she was vice president of broadcast operations and executive producer of the Emmy-winning weekly TV show InsideINdiana Business.

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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 high-quality learning can be validated and valued regardless of where it happens, and efficiently contribute to 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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SENIOR EDITOR AND WRITER

David S. Powell

Dave Powell plans, edits and supervises the production of all Lumina Foundation publications, collateral, and other printed material; he helps create content for Lumina's electronic publications and aids in the creation of speeches and presentations for the Foundation's executives.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR FOR POSTSECONDARY FINANCE

Terri Taylor, J.D.

Terri Taylor is the strategy director for postsecondary finance, based in Lumina’s Washington, D.C., office. Under her leadership, Lumina’s postsecondary finance work aims to illuminate and address the many facets of financial need, especially for adult learners and students of color, through innovative approaches through work with states, postsecondary providers, students, advocates, and other experts.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION

Dakota Pawlicki

Dakota leads Lumina's community mobilization work, which focuses on leveraging cross-sector partnerships to make major gains in postsecondary attainment.

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STRATEGY DIRECTOR FOR RESEARCH AND DATA

Wendy Sedlak, Ph.D.

Wendy oversees the strategic direction and implementation of Lumina's research and data portfolio. This includes establishing and synthesizing the evidence and data necessary to advise Lumina’s strategic direction, documenting effective practices to inform Lumina and the field, and measuring progress and success against key metrics

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INVESTMENT DIRECTOR

Cody Coppotelli

Cody Coppotelli serves as Lumina's investment director leading internal diligence efforts in documentation and approval facilitation, and investment reporting. Cody also directs the Foundation's portfolio management and leads the evaluation of investment strategies around equity.

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GRANTS MANAGEMENT OFFICER

Candace Brandt

Candace Brandt is the grants management officer for Lumina Foundation. She provides support to the staff, grantees, and consultants for Lumina's grant and contract process. Candace joined Lumina in 2002 after working at Eli Lilly in the scientific library and the distance learning department. When not in the office, Candace enjoys living in the country, cooking and spending time with her large family. She is interested in issues surrounding low-income rural families and volunteers with a food pantry that focuses on that population.

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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 the goal.

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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 Lumina's goal.

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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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STRATEGY OFFICER

Chad Ahren, Ph.D.

Chad Ahren is a strategy officer at Lumina Foundation where he leads work to deploy new institutional strategies for improving postsecondary attainment, especially for African-American, Hispanic, and American Indian learners.

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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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DIGITAL AUDIENCE GROWTH EDITOR

John C. Strauss

John helps tell the story of Lumina through blogs, multimedia, and other content, helping manage the foundation's social media channels and digital storytelling.

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DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY INTEGRATION

Gretchen Syverud

As director of strategy integration, Gretchen works closely with the senior vice president and chief strategy officer to develop, lead, and support strategic initiatives and departmental planning.

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STRATEGIC IMPACT AND LEARNING OFFICER

Jasmine Haywood, Ph.D.

Jasmine Haywood leads Lumina's work around the metrics, learning, and evaluation of Lumina's direct work and the outcomes of that work on making progress toward the goal. She also works on quality assurance and faculty engagement in postsecondary education. 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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INVESTMENT OFFICER, LUMINA IMPACT VENTURES

Elizabeth Garlow

Elizabeth Garlow is Lumina's impact investment officer. She most recently served as a community solutions fellow and domestic policy advisor at The White House during the Obama Administration, where she managed the President's Promise Zones initiative, working closely with local leaders to create jobs, improve educational outcomes, reduce crime and support overall economic growth.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR FINANCE AND FEDERAL POLICY

Katherine Wheatle, Ph.D.

Katherine Wheatle is Lumina's strategy officer for finance and federal policy.  Wheatle previously served as a research analyst at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and as a research associate at the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR FINANCE AND FEDERAL POLICY

Wayne Taliaferro

Wayne Taliaferro is Lumina's strategy officer for finance and federal policy. He previously worked at the Center for Law and Social Policy's (CLASP) Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success, where he was a senior policy analyst.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR MILITARY-BASED LEARNING

Lauren Runco

Lauren Runco is Lumina's strategy officer for military-based learning. She joins us from the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University where she served as the director of education and employment. Lauren spent the last 10 years working on issues related to the nation’s military workforce and their transitions to the civilian education and work, by working with employers, workforce agencies, and higher education institutions.

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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR RESEARCH

Frank Swanzy Essien Jr.

Frank Swanzy Essien Jr. is responsible for Lumina’s work around identifying and synthesizing existing research and evidence as well as commissioning new research to inform Lumina and the broader field.

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STRATEGIC IMPACT ANALYST

Steven Williamson

Steven Williamson is Lumina's strategic impact analyst.  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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STRATEGY OFFICER FOR STATE POLICY

Paola Santana

Paola Santana is Lumina's Strategy Officer for State Policy. Santana comes to us from UNITE-LA and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce where she served as senior director leading the development of UNITE-LA’s college access and success portfolio.

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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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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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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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INVESTMENT ASSOCIATE

Apra Arnold

Investment Associate Apra Arnold administers Lumina's investment database and auditing interface tool. She also maintains operational and administrative investment functions to create strategic capacity for the investment director and CFO.

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GRANTS MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE

Amie Michael

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

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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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HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

Amber Shelton

Amber Shelton is Lumina's human resources manager. She provides strategic, operational, and administrative support in all functional areas of human resources including recruitment, benefits, compensation, and employee relations, and helps with daily administration activities. Amber earned her B.A. in public relations from Butler University.

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EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Sharon Shickel

Sharon Shickel provides organizational and administrative support to Lumina's executive vice president, chief operating officer, and general counsel in the office of the president. With professional experience in legal, risk and process management, Sharon works closely with the operations team, including legal, grants management, human resources, and IT.

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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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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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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Barbara Rodriguez

With 16 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.

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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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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Wendy Lopez

Wendy Lopez is the administrative assistant for Lumina's Future of Learning and Work team. 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 FOR FINANCE AND INVESTMENTS

Julie Peters Dillman

Julie is the administrative assistant supporting Lumina's finance and investments team. She also manages the workflow and scheduling for Lumina Impact Ventures. Julie brings over 20 years of experience in project management and graphic design.

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FRONT DESK AND FACILITIES ASSISTANT

Shyvon Lacy

Shyvon Lacy is Lumina's front desk and facilities assistant. Shyvon brings experience in the areas of customer service, and project and financial management from her previous roles at Liberty Mutual Insurance, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Verizon Wireless.

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Celine Pierre-Louis

Celine Pierre-Louis is the administrative assistant supporting Lumina's office in Washington, D.C.

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