Board of Directors


Clara I. Adams, Ph.D. 

(’54) serves as Special Assistant to the president of Morgan State University. Dr. Adams joined the university’s faculty in 1959, during the Jenkins administration and has worked with five other presidents since, including President David Wilson. She has also served as Vice President for Academic Affairs and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. In 2010, the Associate Black Charities of Maryland honored Dr. Adams as a Living Legend for her work in Higher Education.


Charles H. Beady, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer of the Mississippi Food Network.  The Mississippi Food Network operates a food bank in Jackson from which it stores and distributes food and household items to member agencies in its service area, including emergency food pantries, day care centers, after-school programs and others.  He served as president of Piney Woods School, one of the country's only historically black boarding schools, for 20 years. The same year he left Piney Woods School, Beady founded the Foundation for Youth International, an organization that emphasizes global learning, leadership training, and the importance of understanding and appreciating other races and cultures. Beady serves as that organization's president.


Davien Burnette

Is driving corporate growth through his industry- recognized experience in delivering end-to-end technology solutions that improves profitability of commercial clients and efficiently meets the goals of public sector customers. Mr. Burnette attended the University of Arizona majoring in Electrical Engineering and received his MBA from the Carl H. Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati. His professional experience includes government service with portfolio responsibility for all military services and government agencies related to the National Security Agency, while he served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has also served as an Air System level program manager on the Joint Strike Fighter Program. Following Mr. Burnette’s government service, he led corporate strategy and business development for the premier business capture and post-award risk mitigation services company SM&A. 


Ernest Gideon Green

Was one of the Little Rock Nine, a group of African-American students who, in 1957, were the first black students ever to attend classes at Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 1965, he received an apprenticeship in building trades from the Adolph Institute, a program designed to help minority women in the South with career development issues. From 1968 to 1976, he served as Director of the A. Philip Randolph Education Fund. From 1977 to 1981, he served as an Assistant Secretary of Labor during Jimmy Carter's administration. From 1981 to 1985 he was a partner in the firm Green and Herman; from 1985 to 1986 he owned E. Green and Associates. Since 1985, he has been with Lehman Brothers, where he was a Managing Director in the fixed income department of the firm. 


Leonard L. Haynes III, Ph.D.

Served as executive director of the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); director of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) in the Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education; acting president of Grambling State University; assistant secretary for postsecondary education; director of academic programs at the United States Information Agency (USIA); senior assistant to the president of American University; executive vice president of the Southern University System; and director of the Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges, which represents the nation's HBCUs that are publicly supported.


Gail M. Johnson

As vice president-leadership development and diversity initiatives at AT&T, Gail M. Johnson manages a team of talent management professionals responsible for the company’s Future Leaders Internship Experience (FLITE), leadership development and business sales leadership programs. Her organization also oversees diversity initiatives that help build AT&T’s diverse talent pipeline. These efforts include relationships with HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities), minority-serving institutions and diverse stakeholders.  Gail also serves as the HR leader for the Flight Ops and Executive Operations organization, which supports the office of the AT&T chairman.


Diana I. Marinez, Ph.D. 

Serves as Professor Emeritus, Biochemistry, Former Dean, College of Science and Technology – Texas A & M University, TX. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi which offers numerous bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in Science and Engineering among other disciplines.  The A&M-Corpus Christi Honors Program offers enriched plans of study to highly motivated students who have the potential to excel academically through participation in specialized extra-and co-curricular activities and working with a faculty mentor to produce a “project of excellence.  The award-winning, nationally recognized model, utilizes small learning groups to encourage students to draw connections across different fields.


Cynthia Overton, Ph.D.

Is a principal researcher with AIR. Dr. Overton currently serves as co-project director for the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, a national center funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, which helps facilitate the knowledge translation process to make research meaningful to those with spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, and burn injury. She also leads dissemination efforts for the Center for Technology Implementation, a national center funded by ED's Office of Special Education Programs, charged with developing, field testing, and disseminating technology implementation resources to improve education outcomes for all students, including those with disabilities.


Orlando L. Taylor, Ph.D.

Is currently Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Research at Fielding Graduate University. He is also the Principal Investigator and Director for an NSF-funded grant at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology to advance women in the STEM fields into leadership positions at the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and at Tribal Colleges. Prior to these appointments, he served in several senior leadership positions at Howard University in Washington, DC. He is one of the architects of AAC&U’s National Science Foundation-funded Preparing Critical Faculty for the Future project. 


James M. Turner, Ph.D.

Is Director of The Percy Julian Institute, at the Daniel Alexander Payne Community Development Corporation is concerned with interesting middle school students, particularly minority students, in pursuing careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. This is done through partnering with STEM institutions/agencies and with professional scientific and educational societies to stage STEM-programs for these students, their parents, and teachers. Through hands-on activities and direct contact with STEM professionals and students can complement their classroom experience with real-life applications of what they learn. Parents, particularly those not in STEM fields, can overcome "STEM-phobia", learn about opportunities for their child, and receive counseling on appropriate academic preparation for college. Teachers are provided with materials to supplement their work in the classroom with interactive and engaging projects and activities which are recommended by STEM education professionals.