Board of Trustee Bios

Learn more about our distinguished board of trustees below. 

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.
Development Committee, Co-Chair

Karen Altfest is Executive Vice President of Altfest Personal Wealth Management where she advises women and widows. She has been named a Top Woman Wealth Advisor by Forbes and the Financial Times, a Notable Woman on Wall Street by Crain’s New York Business, and one of the Most Influential Women to Watch by Investment News. She is founding Chair of the New York Common Pantry where she received the Founder’s Award created for her. She has led many nonprofit and financial boards, including the Financial Planning Association of NY and NAPFA Northeast.

Dr. Altfest holds a Ph.D. in History from The Graduate Center, an M.A. and B.A. from Hunter College, is a graduate of McGill University (Montreal, Canada), and is a CFP® certificant. She is author of many books, articles, chapters and courses about personal finance. Her husband, Lewis Altfest, is also an alumnus of The Graduate Center and holds a Ph.D. in Finance.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation

Hugo Barreca is an independent consultant and Chief Financial Officer and Member of Management Committee at National Standard Finance, Inc. He is a consultant on management, finance, and legal affairs to several companies in the philanthropic, public and private sectors.  He has wide-ranging experience in large and small organizations and has held senior positions with large corporations as well as entrepreneurial enterprises and non-profit organizations.  Responsibilities include developing and managing organizational structure, capital raises, investment strategies, investor relations, contracts, business plans, financial forecasting, financial process management, board-level reporting and strategic planning, and management of legal services.

MBA, New York University School of Business
JD, Fordham University School of Law
Ph.D., Public Policy, City University of New York Graduate Center.

Non-profit service: 

Dean’s Advisory Council, New York University Libraries
Board of Advisors, Fordham University Radio WFUV
Director, Touro University Forum on Life, Culture and Society
Director, Film Forum, NY, NY
President, Double-R Foundation, Inc.

Vice Chair, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Lin Bildner is Director, President and CEO of the Philippine Communications Satellite Corporation; Director and Vice Chair of Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation; Director, CFO and Treasurer of Philcomsat Holdings Corporation; and Director and Executive Vice President of the Montemar Beach Club and the Baguio Country Club.

Mrs. Bildner holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University. Her late husband, Albert Bildner, was a long-time member of The Graduate Center Foundation Board.

Investment & Finance Committee, Chair 

James Blanco is a senior managing director at Guggenheim Securities where he specializes in financial services. He is based in New York. James has advised on some of the largest transactions in financial services including the $1.4 billion acquisition of a controlling interest in OneMain Financial, the $9.0 billion purchase of ING Direct by Capital One, the formation of the U.S. automotive financing business Chrysler Capital, the national mortgage alliance between State Farm and Rocket Mortgage, the $1 billion sale of Ally Bank's mortgage servicing business, and the $1.2 billion sale of HomEq Servicing Corporation to Ocwen Financial. In addition, James has structured and executed more than $5 billion of equity issuance as well as convertible debt, high yield and preferred equity for various clients since 2010.

Prior to joining Guggenheim, James was executive vice president and head of corporate development of OneMain Financial (NYSE: OMF) a national consumer finance business with over 9,000 employees in 44 states serving 2.2 million Americans. He was a member of the executive committee of the firm. In this role, he was responsible for identifying, evaluating and executing strategic opportunities to broaden OneMain's products, services and digital capabilities.

For over ten years, James was a managing director in the Financial Institutions Group of Barclays Investment Bank where he was a senior advisor to banks, consumer finance companies, mortgage insurers and real estate investment trusts. He held a series of roles of increasing responsibility in U.S. asset securitization, warehouse financing and structured credit trading.

Early in his career, he worked in the Office of the Governor of New Jersey and in the public affairs practice at the global communications firm Burson Marsteller.

James received a BS from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. He received an M.S. in systems and management from New York University and an M.B.A. from the Columbia Business School. He is a member of ILR Dean's Advisory Council at Cornell University and the Cornell Annual Fund Leadership Committee. He is board secretary of the Graduate Center Foundation at the City University of New York, the vice chairman of the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center in the Bronx and a member of the Economic Club of New York.

He is married to Dr. Fiona Blanco and they have three children.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Helen Bodian is a photographer based in New York City. Her photographs have appeared in both English and Russian language publications, and she has exhibited in New York and Washington, DC.

Formerly as an attorney, Ms. Bodian specialized in civil and human rights law. She assisted in founding the Prisoners Legal Services of New York. She is Board President of HELP (Haitian Education & Leadership Program).

Ms. Bodian holds a J.D. from New York University and a B.A. in Art History from New York University.

Chair, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Peter Darrow is Senior Counsel at the New York based international law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. Previously, he was a partner in the European-based private equity firm HMD Partners, and an advisor to the women’s fashion company Escada, Inc.

Mr. Darrow is Vice Chair of the new World Trade Center Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center. He was chair of the Board of Trustees of WNYC Radio, former president of the Board of Trustees of the Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn, New York, and former vice-chair of the Board of Directors of PRI.

He holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and an A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Miles Gerstein is President of Uppercut Images, a company that licences visual imagery to the creative community.  Prior to that, he founded three companies in the visual media space including Artville and Punchstock, which he sold to Eastman Kodak and Getty Images respectively.  He previously worked in a marketing and sales capacity for AT&T.

Mr. Gerstein is a member of the Board of Visitors, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of History. He established the Davis-Gerstein Research Award for Undergraduate History Majors and is a founding member of SuccessWorks, a career counseling service for Letters & Sciences undergraduates. He formerly served on the Boards of the Wisconsin History Association and the Madison Repertory Theater.

Mr. Gerstein holds an M.B.A. from Baruch College, a M.A. in Comparative History from Brandeis University and a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Samantha Gilbert is an experienced leadership advisor and an expert in talent development and human resources management in international organizations, working at the executive level on human capital and organizational culture strategies.

Prior to forming SH Gilbert Advisors, a leadership coaching and human resources consulting practice, Ms. Gilbert served as Vice President of Talent and Human Resources at the Ford Foundation.  She served as Chief Human Resources Officer at the Rockefeller Foundation and spent 15 years working in the arts sector as a Human Resources professional including a decade at Christie’s International. Ms. Gilbert studied behavioral sciences and holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a master’s degree in public administration from New York University as well as a certification in organizational and executive coaching from New York University.

Ms. Gilbert serves as the Chair of Cool Culture, a non-profit organization that provides underserved NYC families with educational learning programs and free access to NYC’s premier museums and cultural institutions. She also served on Christie’s Education Art World Advisory Board where she advised students and staff administration on career development.

Treasurer, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Myron Glucksman is President of Myron Glucksman Consulting. He was formerly a Managing Director in Citigroup’s Corporate and Investment Bank.

Mr. Glucksman is a member of the Structured Finance Industry Group, and is an Executive Committee member, Director of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

He holds a LL.M. in Corporation Law from New York University, a J.D. from Fordham University, an M.B.A. in Finance with distinction from New York University Stern School of Business and a B.S. in Engineering from Columbia University.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Alice Goh is the Program Director at Gerstner Philanthropies. She leads the foundation’s grantmaking in Helping Hands, an emergency assistance program, and the environment.

Previously, Ms. Goh was Senior Vice President at Sesame Workshop and co-head of the International Social Impact division, where she was responsible for country offices and project management. Before that, Ms. Goh was Director of the Office of the Executive Vice President at the Ford Foundation, where she worked closely with senior leadership to determine and execute the foundation’s strategic priorities and programs globally. Prior to that, Ms. Goh was the Vice President of Strategy and Administration at Teach For All, serving on the founding leadership team and responsible for global finance, technology, and operations. Ms. Goh started her career at Goldman Sachs, where she worked in the New York and Hong Kong offices.

Ms. Goh serves on the Board of Trustees for the CUNY Graduate Center Foundation and is a member of the Board of Directors of LitWorld. She is also a member of the President’s Council for Cornell Women.

Ms. Goh holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an M.B.A. and M.A. in Education from Stanford University.

Secretary, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Robert Goldstein is Vice Chairman of Citi’s North America Financial Institutions Group: Corporate Banking, having responsibility for the corporate banking relationships in the U.S. Banks Industry Group. Rob joined Citibank is 1990.

Mr. Goldstein is a former member of the Lafayette College Northeast Advisory Council and a former member of the Lafayette College Leadership Council.

He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Baltimore and a B.A. degree in Economics from Lafayette College.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Elizabeth Felleman Hammel, Ph.D., is a licensed New York State psychologist in private practice in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to starting her private practice, Dr. Hammel worked as a psychologist treating children and their families at The Roosevelt Children's Center, part of YAI-National Institute for People with Disabilities. She has extensive experience in working with couples and supporting family systems in stress or conflict. 

Dr. Hammel earned a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York and received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. She has intensive training and supervision in family and couples therapy from The Ackerman Institute for the Family as well as clinical training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy from The Beck Institute. Dr. Hammel is an adjunct professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education at Brooklyn College where she teaches undergraduate courses as well as supervises fieldwork placements. 

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation

Brian Jones is the inaugural director of the Center for Educators and Schools at the New York Public Library. He taught elementary grades in New York’s public schools before completing a PhD in Urban Education at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Brian is the former associate director of education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, where he was also a scholar in residence. With libraries, schools, and organizations such as Voices of a People’s History of the United States, he works to bring archives to life for educators and students. Brian writes about Black education history and politics and his first book, The Tuskegee Student Uprising: A History won the Black Caucus of the American Library Association’s 2023 Nonfiction Literary Award.

Chair Emeritus, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.
Audit & Risk Management Committee, Chair

Craig Kaplan is Of Counsel to Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, P.C. where he represents nonprofit organizations and specializes in the area of trusts and estates. Previously, he served as Counsel to the Voter Protection Project of America’s Families United.

Mr. Kaplan is on the board of Project Vote, and was on the boards of Harlem’s Neighborhood Defender Service, Longvue Foundation, Bill of Rights Foundation, and the Board of Governors of the Antioch Law School. He was also appointed by Mayor Dinkins’ to the Mayor’s Committee on the Judiciary.

Mr. Kaplan holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar, a M.S. in Political Science from The New School for Social Research, and a B.A. from Boston University.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Alan Klein has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, as well as in shareholder activism and corporate governance matters. Alan’s recent experience includes representing the Board of Directors of Twitter in connection with the sale of Twitter to Elon Musk. He has also assisted Microsoft in its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, ChemChina in its $43 billion acquisition of Syngenta, Tyco in its $20 billion merger with Johnson Controls, Inc., and The ADT Corporation in its $15 billion sale to Apollo Group Management.

In addition to the Activision Blizzard transaction, Alan has represented Microsoft on many other marquee deals: its $28.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s phone business, its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype and its investment in Barnes & Noble’s Nook business. Other clients have included Best Buy, Chinalco, Royal Ahold, Gas Natural S.A., Portugal Telecom, Gerdau Ameristeel, Bavaria S.A., TE Connectivity and Owens-Illinois. Alan was named a 2017 “M&A Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal. In 2012, The American Lawyer named Alan a “Dealmaker of the Year.”

During his time in the 1990s in our London office, he worked on the merger of Glaxo and Wellcome, at the time one of the largest M&A deals in history. Past Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Corporate and M&A Law Committee, he has chaired the International Bar Association’s Annual Mergers and Acquisitions Conference in New York City for the past seven years. He is a frequent commentator on M&A issues. Alan served as Co-Head of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Practice from 2016 to 2021 and is a former member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.

Secretary, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.
Committee on Trustees, Chair

Dwight Lee is a Partner of Gagnon Securities LLC and Managing Partner of Upland Associates LLP. Previously, he was Managing Partner of Barker, Lee & Co. and a founder of First Arbitrage Management Company.

Mr. Lee serves as Chair of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and has served on the boards of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, Political Economy Research Center, and The Jackson Laboratory. He was a member of the Visiting Committee of the Actors Studio, and was a Director and Treasurer of the New York Nature Conservancy.

He holds degrees from Columbia University School of Business and Columbia College.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc. 

Joanna Migdal is the founder and president of JM Money Matters, Inc., a consulting firm offering asset allocation advice to institutional and individual clients. Previously, Ms. Migdal was a partner at Oppenheimer Capital, Sr. VP at Paine Webber, and EVP at Peter Kimmelman Asset Management.  

Ms. Migdal has served on the board of the Bard Music Festival in New York. She has done graduate work in social work and finance at New York University and holds a B.A. in History from Vassar College. 

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Raymond Quinlan is former chairman and CEO of Sallie Mae, the student loan bank. Previously, he was executive vice president of banking at CIT Group Inc., executive chairman of Coastal South Bancshares, Inc., business manager at Goldman Sachs, and CEO of Citigroup’s Retail Division North America. He has been a board member of Iceland’s Coastal States Bank, Islandsbanki, and Puerto Rico’s Doral Financial Company and Doral Bank.

Dr. Quinlan was an adjunct professor and on the advisory board of Sacred Heart University and Boston’s Citi Performing Arts Center. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from The Graduate Center, M.B.A. degrees from Columbia University and the New York University Stern School of Business, and a B.A. in Philosophy from Fordham University.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Robert Raucci is the Chairman and Founder of Sensoriant and the CEO of FORTH Management, an investment management firm. He is co-founder and managing partner of Newlight Management, LLC, a venture capital firm, and founding general partner of Newlight Associates Venture Funds.

Previously, Mr. Raucci was CEO of Wasabi Systems and Metis Technologies and vice president of Alliance Capital Management Corporation (Alliance Bernstein LP). He is on the Board of Advisors to Scorpion Capital Partners, formerly with videoNEXT Federal and RAMCO Capital, and is a member of IEEE and ACM engineering societies.

Mr. Raucci holds an M.B.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. in Computer Science from New York University.

Trustee, The Graduate Center Foundation, Inc.

Ellen Zentner is Chief US Economist and a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and sits on its Research Diversity and Inclusion Council. Ms. Zentner currently serves on the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, as well as the Economic Advisory Panel for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the American Bankers’ Association. She is a former member of the Academic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, past Chair of SIFMA’s Economic Advisory Roundtable, Director of the National Association for Business Economics as well as the NABE Foundation.

Ms. Zentner is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Colorado.