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The LEAD Fund Board is composed of outstanding experts in the fields of corporate diversity, diversity and inclusion in higher education and government, social science research, human and civil rights advocacy and government relations.  

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LEAD Fund Board of Directors

Christopher Metzler, Chair

Dr. Christopher Metzler is Senior Vice President, DEI and ESG, National Urban League. He is also an expert in navigating uncertainty, as well as the reasons why unlikely people can often be the source of our greatest new ideas.

 

Dr. Metzler created the first certification in DEI the nation at Cornell University where he was a faculty member in DEI, Law and related disciplines. He also launched the Master’s degree in H.R. and Diversity, Systems Engineering, Sports Industry Management, Emergency and Disaster Management, Technology Management, Urban and Regional Planning and The Executive Diversity Management Certificate at Georgetown. He has served on the faculties of Cornell, Georgetown, Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine, Bellarmine University, Kings College and others.  He was a Senior Fellow at The Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine. He served on the faculty of The Jossor Institute in Qatar and an educational advisor for The World Cup 2022.

 

He frequently advises organizations on Board Governance and Compliance, and has served as an expert witness is discrimination cases in State and Federal Courts. He is an expert on ESG and advises global organizations on implementation and rankings in ESG and other governance related efforts . In conjunction with Moth & Flame and National Urban League, he is redefining education and learning using VR technology.

 

Dr. Metzler provides strategic, policy and SEM support for global sustainability strategy, ESG

reporting and ESG stakeholder engagement. He is a graduate of Columbia University in New York  in International Human Rights and The University of Oxford in England in Human Rights Law. He is a member of The University of Oxford and Kellogg College at Oxford. His doctorates are from Aberdeen.

Edna B. Chun, Vice Chair

Edna Chun is an educational leader and award-winning author with more than two decades of strategic human resource and diversity leadership experience in public higher education. Dr. Chun holds the Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees with High Distinction from the Indiana University School of Music, the Master of Arts degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Oberlin College. Dr. Chun currently serves as Chief Learning Officer for HigherEd Talent, a national human resource and diversity consulting firm that specializes in talent management.

Dr. Chun’s award-winning books include Are the Walls Really Down? Behavioral and Organizational Barriers to Faculty and Staff Diversity, coauthored with Alvin Evans (Jossey-Bass, 2007), and Bridging the Diversity Divide: Globalization and Reciprocal Empowerment in Higher Education (Jossey-Bass, 2009). Both books received the prestigious Kathryn G. Hansen Publication Award by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) for their contribution to the human resource profession. Chun and Evans’ co-authored book, The New Talent Acquisition Frontier: Integrating HR and Diversity Strategy in the Private and Public Sectors and Higher Education (Stylus, 2014), received a silver medal in the 2014 Axiom Business Book Awards and is the first book to provide a concrete road map to the integration of HR and diversity strategy.

Recent publications include Diverse Administrators in Peril: The New Indentured Class in Higher Education (Paradigm, 2012), the first in-depth examination of the work experiences of minority, female, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender administrators in higher education, and Creating a Tipping Point: Strategic Human Resources in Higher Education (Jossey Bass, 2012), a research-based approach to the development of strategic HR talent management practices in higher education. Dr. Chun’s new book, Department Chairs as Transformative Diversity Leaders: Building Inclusive Learning Environments in Higher Education (Stylus, 2015) is the first research-based resource on the academic department

chair’s role in diversity transformation. Other publications include, Affirmative Action at a Crossroads: Fisher and Forward (Jossey-Boss, 2015), a practical guide that provides strategies and recommendations for campuses seeking to build a campus ecosystem that supports diversity in the wake of the landmark Supreme Court decision. Just published is Rethinking Cultural Competence in Higher Education: An Ecological Framework for Student Development(Jossey-Bass, 2016). This research-based study draws on the findings of a survey of recent college graduates now working as professionals to offer leading-edge, integrative models that offer the potential for the attainment of diversity competence for undergraduate students.

Dr. Chun is author and co-author of numerous articles on talent management, diversity, and inclusion in leading professional journals and newsletters including The Academic Leader, The Department Chair Newsletter, Diverse Magazine, Hispanic Outlook, INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine, and The Higher Education Workplace. She is a sought-after speaker on diversity, human resources, and talent management strategies at national and regional conferences such as the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity (AAED), and the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR). Dr. Chun was awarded the 2010 Excellence in Human Resources Award by the South Florida Business Journal for her accomplishments in recruitment, retention, and teambuilding. She was also the recipient of the 2010 Multi-cultural Achievers Award by InFOCUS Magazine.

Dr. Chun serves as a member of a number of influential national and local boards including the Advisory Board of the Department Chair Newsletter (Jossey Bass); Editorial Board of INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine; Board of Directors of Kendal-at-Home; and the Board of Directors, Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access, and Diversity, American Association for Access, Equity, and Diversity. She was elected for two successive three-year terms to the Editorial Advisory Board for the Higher Education Report Series of the Association for the Study of Higher Education.

Jennifer Tucker, Board Treasurer

Jennifer Tucker, M.A., has worked to promote human rights for women and vulnerable populations her entire career. Until recently, she served as the Vice President at the Center for Women Policy Studies, a Washington-based national policy and advocacy organization. Ms. Tucker was instrumental in developing a Foreign Policy Institute for State Legislators and played a key role in developing and implementing its international GlobalPOWER® (Partnership of Women Elected/Appointed Representatives) program.

Over the years, Ms. Tucker provided leadership and direction to several Center initiatives, including the programs that examine the connections among women's educational opportunities, employment options, economic status and family roles. She also directed the National Program on Girls and Violence which examines girls’ participation in violent acts as perpetrators and explores the underlying causes of their behavior.

Prior to coming to the Center in 1990, Ms. Tucker was the Director of the Effective Management of Technology Project at the Council of the Great City Schools where she assisted urban educators in implementing equitable technology-based management and instructional programs. Ms. Tucker was a senior program associate with the Project on Equal Education Rights (PEER) of the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, where she was part of the team that conducted the first study ever on the federal government’s enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The findings were published in a report entitled, Stalled at the Start.

Jacqueline Johnson, Board Secretary

Jacqueline “Jacquie” Johnson is Director of Professional Development at the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities (VCIC), an organization that works with schools, businesses, and communities to achieve success through inclusion. In her role, she designs, delivers, and evaluates diversity, equity, and inclusion programs conducted for VCIC’s workplace clients across Virginia. Jacquie also provides DEI coaching and mentoring services, as an independent consultant, for cultural and place-based organizations (e.g., historic preservation, architecture, museums, real estate). 

 

Jacquie has a diverse background that includes workplace diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI) strategy, instructional design, project management, and underrepresented community engagement. A social scientist and avid lifelong learner, Jacquie is especially interested in how DEI practices, adult learning, and inner self-work help organizations create and enhance communities for everyone to thrive. 

 

Before joining VCIC, she managed special projects and training programs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, American Association for Access, Equity and Diversity, and Morgan Lewis, a global law firm. Jacquie received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University and her Master’s degree in Anthropology/International Development from George Washington University.

Joan Kuriansky

Ms. Kuriansky, MA, JD has been an advocate on behalf of women’s rights throughout her career. She has led several national and local non-government organizations in the United States and has consulted on an international level in Russia, the NIS, the European Union and Southeast Asia.

 

Ms. Kuriansky served as Executive Director of Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) between 2001 and 2011. Established in 1964, WOW works nationally, on a state level and in its home community of Washington, DC to achieve economic independence for women and girls throughout their lifetime. Between 1987 and 1994, Ms. Kuriansky was Executive Director of the Older Women’s League (OWL), a national advocacy and membership organization, with chapters throughout the country that addressed economic and social issues facing women as they age. She was the co-founder and chair of the Campaign for Women’s Health between 1991 and 1994 that provided a woman’s voice in national health reform.

 

Ms. Kuriansky has worked in the field of violence against women since 1978. She was the first President of My Sister’s Place in Washington DC, served as the Executive Director of Women Against Abuse (WAA) in Philadelphia between 1981 and 1987. During her tenure, Philadelphia established the first civil and criminal courts solely addressing domestic violence and the first program working with battered women in prison in the United States. In 1995, she directed technical assistance office established by the US Justice Dept. to implement the landmark Violence Against Women Act in all 50 states and the territories.

 

Ms. Kuriansky has testified before administrative hearings and Congress, made numerous television and radio appearances and been a resource to the written and electric media, federal agencies and the White House. Between 2008 and 2011, she served as a frequent resource to the White House Council on Women and Girls, the Middle Class Task Force, and the Domestic Policy Council.

 

Ms. Kuriansky has worked on an international level throughout most of her career with her primary focus in Russia beginning in 1994 through today. Ms. Kuriansky is an active volunteer of Advocates for Human Rights where she is a member of its annual delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. As a past board member of Project Kesher, she continues to participate in and speak in programs in Israel, Russia and the NIS to advance the lives of women and girls through a Jewish and gender lens.

 

Today, Ms. Kuriansky serves on various local, national and international boards. She is a trustee and formerly chaired (7/17-6/19) the Tikkun Olam Women’s Foundation that promotes social change on behalf of women and girls in the DC Metro Area and Israel. She chaired the Board of the Battered Women’s Project, a national resource center that provides technical assistance to civil and criminal justice systems throughout the United States. As Chair of Circles, USA, Ms. Kuriansky leads their civic participation efforts to engage low-income families in advocating for social change in over 20 states. Ms. Kuriansky serves on the board of LEAD Fund (Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity, a national organization that promotes inclusivity in higher education

 

Ms. Kuriansky has been recognized for her leadership and has received awards including a Gloria Steinem award where she was named “A Woman of Vision” by the Ms. Foundation. She received her most recent award in 2020, by the Advocates for Human Rights for her work as a volunteer. Ms. Kuriansky was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women (1994-2001). 

 

Ms. Kuriansky holds a J.D. (University of Virginia) and a Master’s Degree in Urban Affairs (Occidental College) in conjunction with a CORO Fellowship in Public Affairs. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society (Washington University in St. Louis where she received her BA).

Margo Foreman (AAAED Liaison)

Margo R. Foreman is dedicated to the development of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies to build and sustain a more inclusive and welcoming University engagement. She strives to accomplish this work through supporting excellence in teaching and learning, through the recruitment and retention of professionals who excel at advancing equity and social justice, and by promoting programs and culture shifts that lead to the development of student’s readiness to address global challenges. Margo has overseen all aspects of diversity and inclusion at the enterprise level. She is also a content expert relative to higher education equal opportunity compliance, affirmative action, discrimination and harassment, and Title IX programs. She has also developed numerous approaches to resolving diversity and inclusion programming and identity-based conflict resolution practices. Creating a welcoming environment for all students, staff, and faculty is her priority.

 

Margo Foreman recently joined Clark University in Worcester, MA, as Vice President and Chief Officer of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Previously, in November 2017, Ms. Foreman was appointed as the Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity at Iowa State University (ISU). Margo was instrumental in the growth and development of the administration’s efforts to build and sustain a more inclusive Iowa State. She oversaw all aspects of equal opportunity, affirmative action, discrimination, harassment and sexual misconduct programs and served as the university's Title IX coordinator. The scope of her work included supporting excellence in teaching and learning through the recruitment, development and retention of a diverse workforce. In addition, she engaged in developing career exploration programs designed to recruit diverse faculty and staff.

 

Ms. Foreman has been a proud member of the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity since 2007 and has presented at the organization’s national conferences. Margo received a bachelor’s degree in general studies from Indiana University; and obtained her masters of public health from the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis.

Shirley J. Wilcher, President and CEO (Ex Officio)

Shirley J. Wilcher is a leading authority on equal opportunity and diversity policy. After graduating from Mount Holyoke cum laude with a degree in Philosophy and French, she went on to receive her MA in Urban Affairs and Policy Analysis from the New School for Social Research and her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. While a student at Mount Holyoke she received a certificat pratique de langue Francaise from the Université de Paris. While a student at Harvard, Wilcher began a career in civil rights as clerk for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

After earning her law degree, she became staff attorney for the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. She later moved to Capitol Hill as Associate Counsel for Civil Rights for the House Committee on Education and Labor. There, she was responsible for legislation and oversight of the federal agencies charged with enforcement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and other laws relating to equal employment opportunity and labor standards. She served as principal staff person on major investigations of the civil rights enforcement activities of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, U.S. Department of Labor, and the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education. Wilcher left Capitol Hill to serve as the Director for State Relations and General Counsel for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

During the Clinton Administration, Wilcher served a near seven-year term as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs in the Labor Department. There she directed a federal program that emphasized the elimination of systemic barriers to equal employment opportunity, the glass ceiling, and inequities in corporate compensation systems, testifying before both House and Senate Labor Committees. Following her service in the Clinton Administration, Wilcher established her consulting firm, Wilcher Global LLC, and served as Executive Director of Americans for a Fair Chance, a consortium of six civil rights legal organizations formed to serve as an educational resource on affirmative action. Wilcher also taught as adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Washington College of Law of American University and worked as Attorney Advisor for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Currently, Wilcher is the Executive Director of the American Association for Access Equity and Diversity (AAAED), formerly the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), founded in 1974. AAAED is an organization of equal opportunity, diversity and affirmative action professionals working for academic institutions, the private sector and government. Wilcher is also President and CEO of the Fund for Leadership, Equity, Access and Diversity (LEAD Fund), the nonprofit affiliate of AAAED.

Shirley is the recipient of the NAACP’s Keeper of the Flame Award, AAAED’s Rosa Parks Award and the special Drum Major for Justice and President’s Awards for AAAA/AAAED. Wilcher also served as the first Recording Secretary of the National Political Congress of Black Women, founded in 1984 by former U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm, and was on the board of Wider Opportunities for Women. Wilcher is an Advisory Board Member, Oxford Women’s Leadership Program, Oxford, UK. In 2018, Shirley Wilcher received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from her alma mater, Mount Holyoke College. Wilcher currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Mount Holyoke College.

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