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Homeland Security Academic Partnership Council Membership List

The following individuals are members of the Homeland Security Academic Partnership Council. 

In 2013, Elisa Villanueva Beard was named co-CEO of Teach For America (TFA) alongside Matthew Kramer. In 2015, Mr. Kramer stepped down, and Ms. Beard became the sole CEO. Under her leadership, TFA impacts hundreds of thousands of students each year across 250 rural and urban communities.

Ms. Villanueva Beard’s passion for educational equity comes from personal experience.  Ms. Villanueva Beard grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and developed a deep commitment to TFA’s mission as a student at DePauw University, where she was one of just a few Mexican American students.  Her journey with TFA started in Phoenix, where she taught first and second grade bilingual education as a 1998 corps member.  She joined TFA’s staff in 2001 to lead the organization’s work in her hometown in the position of executive director.  Ms. Villanueva Beard was inspired to take on this role when she saw her community beginning to have a different conversation, which TFA corps members and alumni were helping to advance. Four years later, she stepped into the role of chief operating officer, leading TFA’s field operations.  In this role for eight years, she led TFA’s dramatic expansion as it grew from 22 regions to 48 while improving student outcomes each year.

Ms. Villanueva Beard sits on the boards of the Holdsworth Center, City Fund, GoGuardian, and Leadership for Educational Equity, and on the advisory board for the AT&T Aspire Accelerator program.  She serves as a JOURNEY to Lead Champion and a Founding Partner of Starts With Us.  She is recognized as one of the Top 20 Voices in Social Impact by LinkedIn and one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas by ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America). 

Dr. Walter G. Bumphus is President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He previously served as a professor in the Community College Leadership Program, as chair of the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin, as president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, and as chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College.

Dr. Bumphus holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Murray State University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin.  In 1992, Dr. Bumphus was recognized as a distinguished graduate from both Murray State University and The University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Bumphus holds the distinction of being one of the few leaders in the field of education to receive the ACCT Marie Y. Martin CEO of the Year Award, to chair the AACC Board of Directors, and to receive the AACC Leadership Award.

Alberto M. Carvalho has served as Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest school district, since February 2022.  He was selected by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education in a unanimous vote following a comprehensive community engagement process and a nationwide search.

During his 14-year tenure as Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), Superintendent Carvalho garnered local, state, national and international recognition.  His honors include Florida’s 2014 Superintendent of the Year; the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year; the 2016 winner of the Harold W. McGraw Prize in Education; the 2018 National Urban Superintendent of the Year; the 2019 National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) Superintendent of the Year Award; making him the most accomplished Superintendent in America’s history.

Superintendent Carvalho currently serves on the National Assessment Governing Board, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education.  He also serves as a committee member for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and as an Advisory Committee Member to the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance.  Superintendent Carvalho is a dedicated member of the National Board of Directors for Common Threads and the Posse Foundation.

Superintendent Carvalho has been awarded many honorary degrees.  He has been honored by the President of Portugal with the “Ordem de Mérito Civil,” by Mexico with the “Ohtli Award” and was awarded the Official Cross of the Orden de Isabel la Católica (Order of Isabella the Catholic) on behalf of King Felipe VI of Spain.

Dr. Adela de la Torre is the first woman and first Latina to serve as a permanently appointed president of San Diego State University (SDSU). Dr. de la Torre joined SDSU in June 2018 after a distinguished career within the California State University (CSU) system, the University of Arizona (UA) and the University of California (UC) Davis.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, President de la Torre is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants and daughter of a single mother who taught in public schools for 40 years. She holds a deep appreciation for cultural traditions, the importance of family and hard work, and for the transformative power of education.

President de la Torre was vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity at the University of California, Davis, where she previously served as Director for the UC Davis Center for Transnational Health, chair of the UC Davis Chicana/Chicano Studies Department, and director of the Hispanic Center of Excellence in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, where she was also director of the Mexican American Studies and Research Center.  In addition, President de la Torre was a professor at CSU, Long Beach, UA, and UC Davis, where she was the first Latina to earn the title of Distinguished Professor.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in the political economy of natural resources from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also earned a master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Miriam Feldblum is the co-founder and executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a nonpartisan, nonprofit alliance of over 550 leaders of public and private higher education institutions, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.  She has over 30 years of experience in higher education administration, student engagement, research, and teaching.  Dr. Feldblum previously served as vice president for student affairs/dean of students and professor of politics at Pomona College, and as special assistant to the president, senior research associate, and senior director for academic support and planning at the California Institute of Technology.

A national expert on the intersection of higher education and immigration, Feldblum has published numerous articles and reports on undocumented, immigrant-origin, international, and refugee students, immigration policy, citizenship, higher education, comparisons between the United States and Europe, and highly skilled labor.  She has delivered presentations and led workshops on supporting undocumented students and engaging higher education institutions in immigration policy.  She is a non-resident fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, and the author of Reconstructing Citizenship: The Politics of Nationality Reform and Immigration in Contemporary France (SUNY Press, 1999).  She received a BA in political science from Barnard College, and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University.

Antonio R. Flores is the president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), which was founded in 1986 and serves as the leading voice for Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and Latino higher education.  Dr. Flores became HACU’s third president/CEO on February 26, 1996.  Under his tenure HACU has tripled membership, budget, and programs, advocated for HSI legislation and funding, and secured new private funding for HSIs and member institutions.

Dr. Flores has served as chair and member of various national higher education associations and coalitions. He has received numerous honors and recognition for his contributions to higher education, including honorary doctorates from universities across the country.  Dr. Flores earned a doctorate from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, a master’s degree from Western Michigan University, and bachelor’s degrees from Universidad de Guadalajara and Centro Normal Regional, Mexico.

Farnam Jahanian is the 10th president of Carnegie Mellon University.  He joined CMU in 2014 and previously served as the university’s provost as well as its vice president for research.

An internationally recognized computer scientist, entrepreneur, and higher education leader, Dr. Jahanian brings to CMU extensive leadership and administrative expertise, not only in advancing research and education within and across disciplines, but also in translating research into technologies and practices that benefit society.  He is leading important conversations and initiatives aimed at helping higher education adapt to the future of work in the age of automation and artificial intelligence and elevating the role of universities in expanding the footprint of U.S. innovation.

Prior to CMU, Dr. Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering from 2011 to 2014.  Previously, he was the Edward S. Davidson Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, where he served as chair for Computer Science and Engineering from 2007-2011.  A widely published expert in cybersecurity and networks, his research formed the basis for the internet security company Arbor Networks, which he co-founded in 2001 and where he served as chair until its acquisition in 2010.

Dr. Jahanian is a member of the board of directors for Highmark Health, the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, among others.  In 2023, President Joseph Biden appointed Dr. Jahanian to the President’s Export Council.  He served as chair of the National Research Council’s Computer Science and Telecommunications Board (CSTB) from 2015 to 2021 and has been a board member of the Computing Research Association (CRA).  He sits on the executive committee of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, is a trustee of the Dietrich Foundation and a co-chair of the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative.  Dr. Jahanian is active with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and as a member of the Global Network Advisory Board for WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR).

Dr. Jahanian holds a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin.  He is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Mark Everett Keenum became Mississippi State University's (MSU) 19th president in 2009, following a distinguished public service career. Dr. Keenum began his career at MSU as a faculty member with the Extension Service and the Department of Agricultural Economics.  He went on to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Senator Thad Cochran in Washington, D.C. and was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prior to returning home to Mississippi State.

Dr. Keenum 's interest in international food security has strengthened the university's contributions to global economic sustainability.  In 2014, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and now serves as chairman. That same year along with other university presidents, he signed the Presidents' Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security at the United Nations in New York City.  This marked the first time that universities around the world began to share a collective focus on ending food insecurity.  In 2014 and again in 2016, he was invited to speak in New York at the UN about the crucial roles public research universities play as the global community works to address critical challenges.  In 2018, he was elected to serve a six-year term on the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Dr. Keenum earned his B.S., M.A., and Ph.D. in agricultural economics from MSU.

Dr. Cynthia Kelley has served as the president of Madisonville Community College since July 1, 2016.  Dr. Kelley began her career as a public school teacher in West Virginia and has worked in higher education for 32 years.  In 1991, she became a community college instructor at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.  While at Parkersburg she assisted in the development of the first bachelor’s degree program to be offered in a community college in West Virginia.  She is a tenured professor of education and has served in a variety of leadership position s including chair, dean, and vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Services.  Dr. Kelley has served in these roles at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College, and Motlow State Community College.

Dr. Kelley is an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow with the class of 2008-2009, and during that time represented her class on the Council of Fellows.  Dr. Kelley was also a member of the 2017 Leadership Kentucky class.  She is a board member for the Southern Association of Colleges with Associate Degrees.  She also serves as a board member for the United Way of the Coal Field, Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation, Madisonville Regional Chamber of Commerce, and West Kentucky Workforce Investment Board.  In addition, she has served on the board for the ACE Council of Fellows and is a peer evaluator for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  In the past, she has been a peer evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission; member of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Commission on Academic, Student and Community Development; president of the National Association for Community College Teacher Education Programs; member of the West Virginia Program Review Board; chair of the West Virginia Teacher Education Advisory Board; and board member for the Appalachian Education Laboratory.

Dr. Kelley earned her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at Ohio University.  She has a master’s degree from West Virginia University and a bachelor’s degree in education from Glenville State College.

Dr. Alex Marrero is the superintendent of Denver Public Schools (DPS).  He has an extensive background working amongst education institutions, both in higher education and lower education.  Dr. Marrero has worked in higher education as a Learning Facilitator at Harvard University Graduate School of Education where he incorporated the Leading Learning module to encourage leaders to focus on the learning of adults and children.  Prior to serving as DPS superintendent, he served as the interim superintendent and assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for the New Rochelle school district.  Additionally, Dr. Marrero has served as adjunct professor at the Manhattan College Graduate School of Education and the Sage Colleges.

In 2022, Dr. Marrero received the inaugural “Dr. Dwight Jones Courageous Superintendent Award” from the Institute for Education Innovation.  He has also been honored as an outstanding administrator by the Latino Caucus of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators and inducted into the New York Academy of Public Education.  He received a Leadership and Excellence in Education Award from the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators and was recognized as the national Administrator of the Year by the Association for Latino Administrators and Superintendents, where he currently serves as President Elect. Dr. Marrero has also served as a panelist at the White House at a summit on Air Quality in Schools. The National Schools Public Relations Association and K12dive.com have named Dr. Marrero a Superintendent to Watch in 2023.

He earned his certificate of Advanced Educational Leadership at Harvard University and his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) at Sage Graduate School.

Chief John Ojeisekhoba is currently serving as the Immediate Past-President after serving one year, June 2022-2023, as the 64th president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). Chief Ojeisekhoba also serves as an Associate Vice President and Chief of Campus Safety at Biola University.  Through his role as president of IACLEA, Chief Ojeisekhoba was transformative and developed strong foundations that continue to bring much-needed enhancements to campus public safety and law enforcement nationwide and globally. Since commencing his career at Biola University in 1998, Chief Ojeisekhoba has continuously developed proactive strategies and promoted excellence in campus safety.  A notable accomplishment is his Campus Safety Model, which identifies critical areas that accomplish the department’s goals and mission to achieve the highest standards to serve students.  As Associate Vice President, he leads the university’s emergency and disaster resilience efforts.  He has participated in and led task forces for the university, the county of Los Angeles, and the state of California.

Since 2020, Chief Ojeisekhoba has served as a Commissioner for the City of La Mirada Public Safety Commission.  Additionally, Chief Ojeisekhoba has garnered several awards and recognition for his work, such as the 2023 National Medal of Peace from the National Stop the Violence Alliance, the 2023 Award of Distinction from the California College and University Police Chiefs Association, the 2021 Achievers Award from NOBLE, the Campus Safety Magazine’s Director of the Year Award, the City of La Mirada Mayor’s Award, the Reserve Police Officer of the Year Award, the Merit Award from IACLEA, the Hoffman Award from Biola University, Special Recognition and Achievement awards from the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and a Special Recognition from the United States Senate.

Chief Ojeisekhoba has been part of the adjunct faculty at Biola University for 19 years and serves on both the Biola President’s Cabinet and the President’s Advisory Council for about 16 years.  He graduated from Biola University with master’s degrees in International Business, Intercultural Studies, and Organizational Leadership.  Chief Ojeisekhoba and his wife, Heidi, are blessed with five beautiful children.

Assistant Chief Rudy Perez was sworn in as president of the National Association of Schools Resource Officers (NASRO) in July 2022, after serving as NASRO’s Vice President.  Through his role as president, Assistant Chief Perez is dedicated to uplifting NASRO’s mission of dedication to making schools and children safer by providing the highest quality training to school-based law enforcement officers.  Additionally, Assistant Chief Perez has served at the Los Angeles School Police Department for the last twenty-three years as a Lieutenant as the Adjutant to the Chief of Police.  Recently, he was selected to be Assistant Chief of Police at Golden Valley Police Department (suburb city in Minneapolis, Minnesota), in May 2023.

AC Perez continuously shows his dedication to school safety through his leadership in both the California Coalition of Law Enforcement Association and the Friends of Safe Schools USA.  AC Perez has served as Vice President for the California Coalition of Law Enforcement Association, which represents over forty law enforcement associations throughout the State of California since 2017.  He also co-founded the Friends of Safe Schools USA, a non-profit seeking to provide needed resources and education to schools, police departments, teachers, administrators, parents, and students on information on child and school safety.  AC Perez has held various leadership roles for school safety since 2011, mostly in the Los Angeles area.  He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of investigation National Academy session 280 and holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice Management from the Union Institute and University.

Dr. Tamarah Pfeiffer is the president of the Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI).  Dr. Pfeiffer has both secondary and postsecondary education experience and is a proven leader with the ability to identify, support, and maximize employee strengths, motivate departments, inspire teams, and implement a sound vision to support educational success.  She previously served as acting president of Haskell Indian Nations University, Chief Academic Officer (CAO) at the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), and associate deputy director for Navajo Schools.  Before joining BIE, Pfeiffer held positions at Arizona State University, Penn State, Dine College, and Northern Arizona State University.

Pfeiffer received a doctorate in educational leadership from Penn State University and a master’s degree in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education with an emphasis on teaching English as a second language from the University of New Mexico.

Michael H. Schill took office as Northwestern’s 17th president on September 12, 2022.  He also serves as a professor of law in Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, and a professor of finance and real estate in the Kellogg School of Management.  He previously spent seven years as president of the University of Oregon (UO), where he raised the university’s profile in teaching, research, innovation, student access and diversity.

Schill is a nationally recognized expert in property, real estate and housing law and policy.  He is the author or co-author of three books and more than 40 scholarly articles.  His work includes studies of the determinants of value in condominium and cooperative housing, the impacts of housing programs on property values, the enforcement of Fair Housing laws, mortgage securitization and the effects of housing market regulation.  His casebook, “Property,” co-authored with James Krier and Greg Alexander, is one of the most widely adopted casebooks in American law schools.

He served as dean and professor at the law schools of the University of Chicago and UCLA and held tenured faculty positions at New York University (NYU) and the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2004, Schill founded NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, which has become one of the nation’s leading research centers on housing and the built environment.  He has served on several nonprofit boards and civic bodies, including Argonne National Laboratory, ITHAKA, the Chicago Innovation Exchange, and the Housing Preservation Compact of Chicago.

Before beginning his career as a professor, Schill served as law clerk to the Honorable Marvin Katz of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and was a real estate attorney at the New York City law firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Jacobson. Mr. Schill graduated with an A.B. in Public Policy from Princeton University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Cynthia D. Shapira is the chairwoman of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education’s (PSSHE) Board of Governors.  She initiated system redesign to achieve student access and affordability, close attainment gaps, ensure financial sustainability, and ensure excellence in public higher education system governance.  Dr. Shapira also is a vice-chair of the Brandeis University board of trustees and a former trustee of Point Park University. Shapira is a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges’ (AGB) board of directors.  She also sits on the AGB’s Council of Board Chairs, the Commission on Higher Education as a Strategic Asset, and is a member of the Wellesley College President’s Advisory Council.

In Pittsburgh, Dr. Shapira serves on the board of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.  She has chaired the Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University and served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Promise, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and WQED Pittsburgh. Dr. Shapira was the founder and chairwoman of the Southwestern PA United Way’s 21 & Able Initiative to address the needs of youth with varying abilities aging out of special education and to promote a right and entrée to work agenda.  She was Honorary Chair of Allegheny County 365, a project to dramatically increase inclusion and access for individuals of varying abilities in Allegheny County.

Dr. Shapira served on Pennsylvania Governor Wolf’s transition advisory committee on higher education.  She was a vice-chair of Governor Tom Wolf's transition team and worked on the Governor's Advisory Board on Education and Workforce Development.  Prior Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett appointed her to the Pennsylvania Commission on Women.  She was an Elector in the 2012 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Electoral College and on the 2014 Federal Judiciary Selection Panel for the Western Pennsylvania District.

Dr. Shapira holds a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. from Wellesley College.

Barbara R. Snyder is president of the Association of American Universities.  Prior to that, she served as president of Case Western Reserve University from 2007 to 2020, where she encouraged interdisciplinary excellence, catalyzed institutional collaboration, and reinvigorated alumni engagement and fundraising.

Barbara began her academic career as an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve’s School of Law, then joined the faculty of Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University.  After serving in several leadership positions at Moritz and within the central university, Barbara became OSU’s interim executive vice president and provost in 2003 before securing that position on a permanent basis the following year.  She graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law, where she served as executive editor of the law review.  She earned her bachelor’s degree from OSU.

Barbara is a director of KeyCorp and Progressive Corporation.  She is an elected member of the American Law Institute.  Previously, she has served as chair of the board of directors of the American Council on Education, chair of the board of directors at the Business-Higher Education Forum, vice chair of the board of trustees of Internet2, a member of the board of directors of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, a member of the board of directors of Jobs Ohio, a trustee of University Circle Inc., and a member of the Ohio Business Roundtable.

Suzanne Elise Walsh became the nineteenth president of Bennett College on August 1, 2019.  She was most recently deputy director of postsecondary success for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading and developing a team and a portfolio of over $70 million in postsecondary investments in institutional transformation in the United States.  She previously served in leadership roles with the Lumina Foundation for Education and The Heinz Endowments.

Ms. Walsh has received national recognition for her portfolio of work with organizations at the intersection of innovation, technology, and learning.  Education leaders with whom she has consulted praise her ability to create and work with cross-functional teams as a key driver in affecting flexible, personalized, and affordable approaches to higher education, and other leaders have expressed their appreciation for her work on several viability and sustainability initiatives at HBCUs, analyzing complex situations, developing innovative action plans to address challenges and motivating teams.

Ms. Walsh has been a frequent speaker and workshop leader at conferences such as the SXSW EDU, Black Futures Summit, ASU GSV, Council for Independent Colleges, Salesforce Education Conference, and Global Learning Council, of which she is an active member. Other nonprofit board service includes Trellis Foundation, Achieving the Dream, Women’s College Coalition, the Harwood Institute, Global Learning Council and Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.  She has published or edited several books and journal articles on the topic of educational transformation, and is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships.

Ms. Walsh has honorary doctorates from Case Western Reserve University and Johnson C. Smith University.  She was elected to the prestigious Society of Benchers of Case Western University School of Law.  She earned a juris doctorate and master’s in social work from Case Western Reserve University, a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, and an Associate’s degree in applied science from Hudson Valley Community College.

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which represents teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel, higher education faculty and staff, nurses and other healthcare professionals, local, state, and federal government employees, and early childhood educators.

Prior to her election as AFT president in 2008, Weingarten served for 11 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 2, representing approximately 200,000 educators in the New York City public school system, as well as home childcare providers and other workers in health, law, and education.  From 2012-2013, Weingarten served on a New York state education reform commission, which made a series of recommendations to improve teaching and learning.  She was also appointed to the Equity and Excellence Commission, a federal advisory committee chartered by Congress to examine and make recommendations concerning the disparities in educational opportunities that give rise to the achievement gap.  She taught history to high school students in Brooklyn, NY from 1991-1997.

Weingarten is the recipient of many commendations; she was included in Washingtonian’s 2021 Washington’s Most Influential People, City & State New York’s 2021 New York City Labor Power 100, and Washington Life’s 2018 Power 100 list of prominent leaders.  In 2017, she received the Roosevelt Institute’s FDR Distinguished Public Service Award.

Weingarten holds degrees from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Cardozo School of Law.

Last Updated: 01/02/2024
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