The Georgetown University Black Alumni Summit is a biennial gathering planned by and for the Black undergraduate alumni of Georgetown University. From October 20–21, 2017, we welcome Black alumni of all classes, schools, eras, professions, and walks of life from across the globe back to the Hilltop to reconnect with each other and the university.
Through topical programming (panel discussions, networking, and social activities), we will channel the vast and underutilized energy of Black alumni toward a heightened level of community and university stewardship.
Born a slave in 1834, Patrick F. Healy, S.J. served as president from 1873 to 1882 and is referred to as Georgetown's "second founder."
- Friday, Oct. 20 [ Expand ]
- Saturday, Oct. 21 [ Expand ]
Welcome and Weekend Overview
Tammee Thompson (C'91) and Eric Woods (B'91)
Breakfast Conversation with Judge Ricardo Urbina
Race and Politics in the Post-Obama Era
Moderated by Yamiche Alcindor (C'09)
Voting rights, health care, criminal justice, and economic empowerment are legislative issues that affect the Black community, regardless of socio-economic status. This panel assembles political practitioners and journalists for a robust discussion on the future of these all-important issues, given the current political climate. The Institute of Politics and Public Service at the McCourt School of Public Policy will co-sponsor this discussion.
Telling Our Stories—Hoya Authors
Moderated by Ginger McKnight-Chavers (F'85)
This panel brings together alumni authors and film/tv professionals who use diverse creative vehicles to bring their stories to a broader audience. The panelists will discuss career paths for individuals interested in launching or transitioning into a creative career, challenges faced by creatives of color, and strategies to successfully develop, distribute/publish, market, and promote one's work.
Walking Tours of Campus
Lloyd Campbell (B'79), Traci L. Higgins (C'86), Alton McKenzie (B'93), and Caleb Pitters (F'97)
While all philanthropy serves to meet a need, some of the most passionate donors give because of a deeply-felt personal connection. Philanthropy of this kind not only allows the giver to have a unique impact, but can also be personally transformative. This panel will feature several alumni whose connected philanthropy has resulted in unique collaborations with Georgetown University, and will encourage attendees to think about how their own giving can change both themselves and the world for the better.
Broken down by career field, these networking meetings are open to alumni interested in building community and making connections within their professional field. Come ready with business cards.
Tammee Thompson (C'91) and Eric Woods (B'91)
Breakfast Conversation with Tawan Davis
Facilitated by President John J. DeGioia
Moderated by Melissa Bradley (B'89)
We are living in a period of increased social awareness and activism. Individuals who are dissatisfied with a lack of social progress, and no longer content to depend on philanthropic and governmental efforts, are pursuing entrepreneurial approaches to driving improvements in various social areas: environment, affordable housing, health care, economic development, education, and others. Join us for a discussion about the meaning of social entrepreneurship and how social impact can live at the center of business and innovation. We will engage our panelists on the various challenges and solutions that social entrepreneurs encounter when making strategic, fundraising, organizational structure, and product/service design decisions. We will explore current trends in social entrepreneurship.
Health and Wellness
Moderated by Carl W. Johnson, M.D. (C'92)
This panel, composed of Georgetown alumni in the medical and mental health fields, will explore current health and wellness issues in the Black community. Discussion topics will include: sexuality and sexual health; health disparities; the negative consequences of unconscious bias in the health field; lifestyle tips and wellness trends; how the current political climate may be affecting our health; and a call for present and future Black providers to care for and advocate for our community.
Networking Activity with Undergraduate Students
Georgetown University and Slavery
Moderated by Marcia Chatelain
Georgetown's connection to America's original sin has been fodder for headlines for the past 18 months, but many people in the Georgetown community are still unfamiliar with this history. Historians—along with members of Georgetown's Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation—will discuss Georgetown's role in slavery, the working group's recommendations and actions, and present-day responsibilities that come with this work.
Rhonda Graves Acholonu, M.D. (C'97)
Rhonda Graves Acholonu, M.D., is the vice chair for education in the Department of Pediatrics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center. She is also an attending physician in the Division of Pediatric Hospital Medicine at Children's Hospital at Montefiore. A native of Philadelphia, she earned her medical degree from the MCP Hahnemann School of Medicine. She subsequently completed her residency and chief residency at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She joined Einstein College of Medicine and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore in June 2017. Prior to this role, she had previously served on faculty at the NYU Langone Medical Center since June 2005.
When she joined the NYU faculty in July 2005, Acholonu served as the director of inpatient services for the general pediatric unit at Bellevue Hospital Center. She was subsequently recruited to be pediatrics residency program director, a position she held for seven years. In June 2013, she joined the dean's office as the associate dean for diversity & academic affairs. During her time in that role, she was committed to educating about diversity and fostering a climate of inclusion via curriculum and leadership development; recruitment and retention; faculty, resident, and student engagement; and community building. She greatly enjoyed collaborating with stakeholders to emphasize the importance of diversity as a driver of excellence for patient care and education in the 21st century.
While holding a position in the dean's office, she also served in the School of Medicine's Office of Medical Education as the director of medical education in the clinical sciences. Her main academic interests focused on the development of innovative tools and curriculum to successfully educate and evaluate students as they progress along the UME to GME continuum. She worked closely with core clerkship directors to ensure adherence to LCME standards. In addition, she enjoyed the opportunity to integrate her passion for diversity and education via cultural competency curriculum building and teaching about unconscious bias.
Clinically, she has always enjoyed her role as a pediatric hospitalist. She is an active member of the NYS chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is married and has three children.
Yamiche Alcindor (C'09)
Yamiche Alcindor is a national political reporter for The New York Times and a political contributor for NBC News. She was recently named #13 on The Root 100 2017, an annual list of the most influential African-Americans, ages 25 to 45. At The Times, she covers Congress and writes about the impact of President Donald Trump's policies on working class people and people of color. She also often writes about the intersection of race and politics as well as fatal police encounters.
Since joining The Times in 2015, Alcindor has traveled extensively to closely cover the presidential campaigns of Senator Bernie Sanders and Mr. Trump. Previously, she was a national breaking news reporter for USA TODAY and traveled across the country to cover stories, including the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., and the police-related protests in Ferguson, Mo. and Baltimore, Md. She also spends time producing videos and documentaries about societal concerns such as wrongful convictions and gun violence. Alcindor was the 2013 National Association of Black Journalists Emerging Journalist of the Year.
Alcindor earned a master's degree in broadcast news and documentary filmmaking from New York University and a bachelor's in government and African American studies from Georgetown University. She is a George F. Baker Scholar and a Patrick Healy Fellows board member.
Brandon Anderson (C'15)
Brandon Anderson is the Founder & CEO of Raheem.ai, a tech-nonprofit sponsored by President Obama's White House initiative, My Brother's Keeper that collects and publishes data that local organizations, police departments, and lawmakers can use to better support their communities.
Brandon is motivated by a desire to improve the quality of life for black & brown families and other victims of systemic discrimination. It was during his service in the U.S. Army as a satellite engineer that he began using technology as a problem-solving tool. Following the loss of his partner to police violence and realizing his own risk of victimization as a black man, Brandon recognized an opportunity to integrate his skills with his commitment to the pursuit of justice.
Anderson is a 2017 Halcyon Fellow, holds a B.A. in Sociology and Philosophy from Georgetown University, is a Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award Nominee, and was named one of 100 Black LGBTQ Leaders to Watch by the National Black Justice Coalition.
Ayo Aruleba (C'17)
A recent graduate, Ayo Aruleba is a proud member of the Georgetown College Class of 2017. At Georgetown, he served as co-chair of the Achieve professional development program housed under the Georgetown Scholarship Program (GSP) and trip leader for the Alternative Breaks Program on Racial and Economic Justice in Baltimore. Arulebawas one of 17 Hoyas to travel to Missouri to participate in #FergusonOctober demonstrations. He was a founding member of the Magis Row Community, URBAN (Under Represented Brothers from Across the Nation), and most notably, he was appointed by President John J. DeGioia to serve as a student member of the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. He was awarded the Junior Impact Award and Senior Leadership Award by the Black Student Alliance, and was a recipient of the The Corp's Homecoming Humanitarian Award.
In addition to campus involvement, he has published research in the Inquiries Journal entitled "Obama and the Economic Recovery: Keynesian Policies, Gridlock, and the New Global Economy," and was inducted into Omicron Delta Epsilon, the premier international economics honor society. He received his Bachelors of Arts in Government with minors in Economics and African American Studies and is currently a business analyst in the federal human capital practice at Deloitte Consulting in Rosslyn, Virginia.
Dr. Rochelle Johnson Benning, Ph.D. (F'88)
Rochelle Johnson Benning, Ph.D., is a mental health professional, lecturer, and coach, currently serving as a consultant, facilitator/trainer, and adjunct faculty member for the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute.
Johnson Benning conducts individual and small group psychoeducational programs for development, diplomatic, and security employees in high-stress postings. She has written manuals and articles and has designed workshops and presentations on stress management, personal wellness, team building, resilience, maintaining long-distance relationships, and family and parenting issues when away from home. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., she worked as a therapist and lecturer in London and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Johnson Benning also holds a faculty appointment as lecturer and research supervisor for Middlesex University/New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London. Her academic interests and expertise are PTSD and trauma, cultural and social issues, health and wellness, and developmental psychology and neuropsychology.
After receiving her B.S. in foreign service with a concentration in international politics from Georgetown University, she earned a M.A. in media studies from the New School of Social Research in New York. Prior to working in mental health and wellness, Johnson Benning had an extensive career as a journalist and TV producer and executive for Home Box Office, Discovery Communications, and PBS. She received her doctorate in psychotherapy from Middlesex and completed her residency at the Montgomery County Crisis Center in Rockville, Maryland. Johnson Benning is also a certified crisis team specialist and behavioral sleep expert.
Additionally, Johnson Benning is a trained mediator and currently volunteers for the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County.
Alana Blaylock (C'11)
Multimedia producer Alana Blaylock tells impactful stories that drive culture forward. Network television series, documentaries, news broadcasts, and web series all feature in Blaylock's repertoire. Her credits include television shows for HBO, Nat Geo, the ID Channel, HBO, MTV, and BET. Aside from her TV endeavors, Blaylock freelances for film and digital companies.
While at Georgetown, Blaylock pursued a bachelor's degree in English and minored in Spanish and sociology. For her Spanish minor, Alana studied abroad at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Over the years, she tutored for DC Reads, sang in the a cappella group the Georgetown Saxatones, and was publicity chair for Georgetown University Women of Color.
During her summers in school, Blaylock held public relations positions at respected organizations such as Bloomingdale's Inc., amfAR, Seventeen magazine, and boutique PR firm 42 West. Soon after working in PR, Alana realized that production suited her better, so she attended New York Film Academy, where she received a certificate in broadcast journalism.
Blaylock appeared in Galore magazine, a true #girlboss publication, for their 2016 "Pop" section. In September, the CNN series she produced, "United Shades of America," won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.
Melissa L. Bradley (B'89)
Melissa L. Bradley is a tri-sector leader with more than 20 years of entrepreneurship, investment, and leadership experience. She is co-founder and managing director of Sidecar Social Finance, and founder and curator of Venture DC/Project 500. Bradley was selected to Washingtonian Magazine's "Tech Titans 2017" list and named one of "200 Black Women in Tech to Follow On Twitter."
In 2016, Bradley became a nonresident senior fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, a co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a member of Mayor Muriel Bowser's Innovation and Technology Inclusion Council. Bradley served as a presidential appointee under President Obama from 2012-2015 as chief strategy officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service, at the Department of Education, and as acting director of the Social Innovation Fund.
Bradley serves on many boards, including that for the Georgetown LGBTQ Resource Center. She is a senator with the Georgetown University Alumni Association Board of Governors and a founder and former chair of the Georgetown Entrepreneurship Alliance. She holds a B.S. in finance from Georgetown's McDonough School of Business and a MBA in marketing from American University's Kogod School of Business. Bradley has taught at McDonough since 2012 and earned the Entrepreneurship Faculty Excellence Award, Joseph F. LeMoine Award for Undergraduate and Graduate Teaching Excellence, and the MBA Excellence in Teaching Award.
Lloyd E. Campbell (B'79)
Lloyd Campbell is a consultant in Spencer Stuart's New York office. With 30 years of financial services industry experience, he has deep sector knowledge and functional expertise across the firm's financial services, private equity, industrial, and board practices.
Prior to joining Spencer Stuart, Campbell spent seven years with Rothschild North America as a managing director and global partner. For six years, he led the private finance group, reporting to the CEO of Rothschild NA and overseeing an international team of 18 people. His group focused on raising private equity and mezzanine financing for clients, including both large, private, and mid-cap companies, as well as private equity firms.
Before Rothschild, Campbell spent 16 years with Credit Suisse First Boston, where he started as an associate and rose to managing director of the private finance group. As managing director, Campbell specialized in senior and mezzanine debt for large- and mid-cap companies, and was responsible for initiating and completing transactions on behalf of his clients.
Campbell began his career with Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, where he was a member of the private placement department for five years, responsible for institutional placement investments in corporate entities.
Campbell currently sits on the boards of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and serves as special adviser to Aurora Management Partners. He previously served on the boards of Alderwoods Group, Argyle Security, Spartech Corporation, and Georgetown University. Additionally, he served as a senior adviser to Rothschild's merchant banking activities.
Campbell received a B.S. in business administration from Georgetown University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Marcia Chatelain, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University. A graduate of Catholic schools in Chicago, Chatelain is a historian of African-American life and culture, and the author of the book South Side Girls: Growing up in the Great Migration.
A frequent speaker on race and social justice, she recently served on the Georgetown Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation. You can learn more about Chatelain and the great students she teaches each week on her podcast, "Office Hours: A Podcast." She is the recipient of fellowships from the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, the New America Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2016, The Chronicle of Higher Education named her a "Top Influencer in Higher Education."
Soyica Colbert, Ph.D. (C'01)
Soyica Colbert, Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Performing Arts, director of theater and performance studies, and an associate professor of African American studies and theater and performance studies at Georgetown University.
She is the author of The African American Theatrical Body: Reception, Performance and the Stage (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Black Movements: Performance and Cultural Politics (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming April 2017). Colbert edited the Black Performance special issue of African American Review (2012) and co-edited The Psychic Hold of Slavery (Rutgers University Press, 2016). She is currently working on a new book project, Lorraine Hansberry: Artist/Activist.
Colbert is the recipient of the Schomburg Scholars-in-Residence Fellowship, Woodrow Wilson Foundation Career Enhancement Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship, Mellon Summer Research Grant, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library Fellowship. Her research interests span the 19th-21st centuries, from Harriet Tubman to Beyoncé, and from poetics to performance.
Tawan W. Davis (C'01)
Tawan Davis is the chief executive officer of The Steinbridge Group, a privately held real estate investment and asset management company in New York City that invests on behalf of a group of high-net-worth families, trusts, individuals, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and other institutional investors.
Most recently, Davis was chief investment officer of a national real estate development firm. Previously, he led public private partnerships with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, in the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, where he analyzed, structured, and executed high-profile transactions that brought in nearly $1 billion. Prior to NYCEDC, Davis was an investment manager with Prudential Real Estate Investors, where he managed more than $6 billion dollars of real estate investments, joint ventures, developments, and operating assets throughout the United States and Europe. He was also an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, concentrating on mergers, acquisitions, and financing of publicly traded companies.
Davis has been recently featured in numerous national publications and has been compared to former President Bill Clinton for leadership potential by Newsweek Magazine. He holds a B.A. with honors from Georgetown University, an M.Sc. from Oxford University, and an MBA from Harvard University's Business School.
Brionne Dawson (F'02)
Brionne Dawson is a government affairs and global public policy practitioner in Washington, D.C. with 16 years of experience in sustainable development, program management, and cross-sector partnerships.
At the U.S. Agency for International Development, Dawson earned recognition for outstanding achievement building bipartisan support for sustainable development efforts. As acting director of the National Democratic Institute's regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dawson implemented donor-funded programs to provide political leaders with skills to fight HIV/AIDS throughout Southern Africa, resulting in enactment of a model law. Dawson managed development programs in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia in order to strengthen institutional capacity to address poverty, improve public health, and increase women's political participation. Dawson also led efforts to improve parliamentary accountability in the management of revenues from natural resources in East Africa. She is a founding board member of Grassroots Reconciliation Group and Principal at Full Circle, a social enterprise dedicated to expanding markets for women's cooperatives in Rwanda.
Dawson holds a B.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University, a M.A. in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a certification of French proficiency from the Institut de Touraine.
Mo Elleithee (F'94)
Mo Elleithee is the founding executive director of Georgetown University's Institute of Politics and Public Service, the first institute of its kind in the nation's capital.
Before launching the institute in 2015, Elleithee spent two decades as one of the top communications strategists in the Democratic Party, most recently as communications director and chief spokesman of the Democratic National Committee.
A veteran of four presidential campaigns, Elleithee was senior spokesman and traveling press secretary for Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign. He served as a senior advisor and strategist for Senator Tim Kaine's campaigns for governor and U.S. Senate, and has worked on numerous other statewide and local races in every region of the country.
A frequent political commentator on television and radio, Elleithee was named a Fox News contributor in 2016. He was a founding partner of Hilltop Public Solutions, one of Washington's leading political consulting and public affairs firms. He's been recognized on Washington Life Magazine's "Power 100" list; named a "Top Influencer" by Campaigns & Elections magazine; and featured on Washingtonian magazine's "Guest List."
Elleithee earned his undergraduate degree from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service, and an M.A. in political management from The George Washington University. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children, and can often be found at the Verizon Center (or on Twitter during the offseason) cheering on his beloved Hoya basketball team.
Fred Greene III (B'04)
Fred Greene III is co-founder of The Destined Initiative, a double bottom line investment initiative that focuses on empowering urban youth and investing in urban real estate. Its flagship program, Project Destined, is an applied leadership development and education program focused on providing critical mentorship and leadership training—in addition to early life ownership opportunities—to urban youth ages 14-17, by way of teaching them real estate development and investment. Via its investment arm, Destined Partners, the Destined Initiative also acquires qualified real estate alongside its program scholars, with the scholars receiving stakeholder dividends in the form of grants from the investment return proceeds. The goal of the initiative is to create and house the largest number of minority stakeholders of real estate under the age of 18. In 2017, The Destined Initiative will be expanding from Detroit into Memphis, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
A native Washingtonian, Greene has more than 13 years of diversified real estate development, investment and economic development experience. He is partner and executive vice president of FLGA Real Estate Group and a principal with Greenstone Property Group.
Greene holds his B.S. in business administration from Georgetown University and his MBA from the University of Chicago.
Traci L. Higgins (C'86)
Traci Higgins has been the director of human resources of the Legal Services Corporation since 2012. She began her legal career at King & Spalding before serving as vice president and legal counsel for the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup, and as associate general counsel for Public Broadcasting Service. Following her tour with PBS, Higgins served as the director of Labor Management and Employee Relations for District of Columbia Public Schools as part of the administrations of Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Chancellor Kaya Henderson.
Higgins earned a joint degree—Master of Public Affairs and Juris Doctor—from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and the University of Virginia School of Law. She clerked for Judge Ronald Buckwalter of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Higgins volunteered with the Peace Corps in Ecuador and proudly serves on the boards of the DC Public Education Fund and the Georgetown Scholarship Program.
Marcus Howard (C'08)
Marcus Howard is a best-selling author and founder of CoPocket Inc., a finance firm that helps college students take control of their finances and get a 720 credit score.
He has appeared on the Conan O'Brien Show, and his life-changing tips, served up with plenty of humor and inspiration, are regularly quoted in blogs and newspapers across the country.
Howard's journey of personal growth began in college after he tragically lost his first love and was the victim of identity theft all in the same day. His journey to recovery serves as the basis for his best-selling book, Preparing To Manage Millions: How To Avoid The Biggest Money Mistakes in College And Set Yourself Up For A Life of Prosperity.
Howard has studied under a series of focused and successful mentors—including psychologists, entrepreneurs, and college professors—and spent over 10,000 additional hours independently studying psychology, personal development, leadership, and behavior change.
A true advocate of helping others achieve their own levels of success, Howard reveals the powerful core strategies and beliefs he has discovered that transform lives.
Carl W. Johnson II, M.D., FACS (C'92)
Carl W. Johnson, II, M.D., is a board-certified general surgeon who has been in private practice in the Chicago area since 2002. He received his B.A. in theology at Georgetown University in 1992 before matriculating to Howard University College of Medicine to complete his medical degree in 1996. He completed his residency in general surgery at Howard University Hospital in 2001.
Johnson specializes in breast, colon, gallbladder, hernia, and vascular access procedures. He is trained in the most advanced surgical techniques and has a special interest in minimally invasive surgery including utilizing robotic technology. He is particularly interested in cancer surgery and has been the featured speaker at community forums on breast cancer.
Johnson is notably involved in various leadership positions at Ingalls Memorial Hospital; is the immediate past chairman of surgery; and is currently the president of the medical staff. He has been a fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 2004.
Margaret Jordan (NHS'64)
Margaret H. Jordan is president and CEO of Dallas Medical Resource, a consortium of leaders from the business and health care community that develops the region and addresses issues affecting the viability of the health care delivery system. Formerly, Jordan was executive vice president for corporate affairs at Texas Health Resources in Arlington, Texas, a not-for-profit multi-hospital health care system. She has held top-level leadership positions across the health care industry, directed several public companies and national organizations, and is the founding director of the National Black Nurses Association.
Jordan currently serves as a director of James Madison's Montpelier Foundation and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. In Texas, she has led many state and community organizations, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the Texas Hospital Association, the Metropolitan United Way, the Women's Museum, and the YWCA. She has received numerous awards for service to her community.
Jordan was awarded Alumni of the Year by the School of Public Health at University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her MPH; and Distinguished Alumna from the Georgetown University's School of Nursing, where she earned her BSN. She is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University School of Business.
Conan N. Louis (C'73, G'78, L'86)
Conan N. Louis, Esq., is the founder of CNL Solutions, a private consulting and legal services firm. He has led organizations through strategic planning and provided guidance in the execution of fundraising campaigns ranging from $3 million to $1 billion.
After six years as an attorney focused on international trade and transactions, Louis gained more than 27 years of experience working in philanthropy, first as an alumni volunteer leader, then as associate vice president for alumni relations, and associate vice president for external relations at Georgetown University. He was vice president for university advancement at Howard University before joining Bentz Whaley Flessner. Louis has held leadership positions in development at Teach For America-D.C. Region, the National Society of Black Engineers, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and The SEED Foundation.
Louis holds a B.S. in applied linguistics, a M.S. in sociolinguistics, and a J.D., all from Georgetown. The Black Law Students Association awarded him the Thurgood Marshall Award for the Class of 1986. Louis has served in leadership positions on the Board of Governors, Hoyas Unlimited, the Alumni Admissions Program, the Law Alumni of Washington, and as a founding member of the African-American Alumni Advisory Board. He is a 2002 recipient of the John Carroll Award.
Marlon Marshall (MPM'20)
Marlon Marshall is a partner at 270 Strategies, which works with campaigns, causes, and companies to engage their audiences. He has been active in Democratic politics for over 12 years, most recently as a senior member of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team. As the director of state campaigns and political engagement, he oversaw all of the campaign's operations in each of the 50 states.
Marshall came to Clinton's campaign after having served as special assistant to President Obama and as principal deputy director in the White House Office of Public Engagement. He was a key player in a number of public engagement initiatives at the White House and helped lead the successful grassroots enrollment effort for the Affordable Care Act. He was also instrumental in launching the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge, a program that focused on making sure young people of color and all youth have a chance to succeed.
Marshall hails from St. Louis, Missouri and is a graduate of the University of Kansas, where he majored in communications studies. He now lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Stacy Berger, and their newborn identical twin daughters, Grace and Camryn.
Tracy Chiles McGhee (C'92)
Tracy Chiles McGhee is an award-winning, multi-genre writer, and the author of the much-acclaimed novel, Melting the Blues. Some of her awards include: the 2017 Independent Publisher Book Awards Bronze Medal for Regional Fiction (South); the 2017 Honor Book at the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Self-Publishing Literary Awards in the category of Fiction; the 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in the category of First Fiction; and the 2016 Honorable Mention in the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards in the category of Mainstream Literary Fiction.
McGhee is the co-founder of the Literacy Empowerment Action Project, a global literacy development non-profit with a focus on Ghana. In addition, she is an ambassador for the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
McGhee graduated from Georgetown University and Catholic University Law School and currently lives in Washington, D.C.
Alton McKenzie (B'93)
Alton McKenzie is associate head coach for the Georgetown University track & field / cross country program. In his first season on the Hilltop, seven of his athletes have ranked among the top 25 all-time at Georgetown. In 2017, his student-athletes earned First Team All-America honors at the NCAA championships, 10 All-Big East honors, and wins on the indoor and outdoor 4x400-meter relay titles at the Big East Championships.
Over six years as head coach of the University of District of Columbia women's program, McKenzie was twice named the ECC Indoor Coach of the Year and coached his athletes to nine NCAA Division II All-America honors. McKenzie also helped achieve a No. 6 ranking in the USTFCCCA Men's Program of the Year standings. He guided the first All-American in the triple jump in program history. McKenzie's teams earned four NCAA All-America honors and two ECC championships. He developed five ECC Athletes of the Year, including the first ECC men's cross country individual champion in program history. McKenzie totaled 173 total All-ECC honors over his final four years. His student-athletes were nationally recognized for academic excellence.
McKenzie was an All-American on the Hilltop as the leadoff leg of the fourth place 4x800 meter relay team at the 1993 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. He served as team captain his senior year and graduated with a B.S. in business administration.
Ginger McKnight-Chavers (F'85)
Ginger McKnight-Chavers is an author and an attorney, whose first novel, In the Heart of Texas, won the 2016 USA Best Book Award in the category of African-American Fiction. McKnight-Chavers contributed to the anthology Oil and Water: And Other Things That Don't Mix; she has published essays, short stories, and articles for Essence and New York Family; she is a consultant/writer for ShareBlue; and she currently blogs for The Huffington Post and The TexPatch. In Fall 2017, she will teach at Sarah Lawrence College's Writing Institute.
Previously, McKnight-Chavers practiced corporate and entertainment/media law in New York City at prominent firms, as an in-house attorney at Black Entertainment Television, Inc., Warner-Lambert Company, and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. She is a member of the Friends of Education of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, serves on the Board of Trustees for Summer on the Hill, and serves on the Advisory Boards of the Ron Brown Scholars Program and Luminous Visions/Latino Playwrights.
McKnight-Chavers earned a B.S. in international economics from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. She was a Kathryn Gurfein Writing Fellow at Sarah Lawrence College and a 2015 resident at Djerassi Resident Artists Program in Woodside, California.
Morris (Will) O'Kelly (B'91)
Morris (Will) O'Kelly is a radio and television commentator specializing in politics and current affairs. On weekends, you can hear him hosting The Mo'Kelly Show on KFI AM640 in Los Angeles and on iHeartRadio. The Mo'Kelly Show was featured on TNT's American Race docu-series, hosted by basketball Hall of Fame member Charles Barkley. O'Kelly also offers weekly commentary on American political affairs for BBC.
O'Kelly has worked in television doing political analysis for CNN and MSNBC, and he serves as a regular commentator for HLN's Across America with Carol Costello. Prior to forging his own media brand, he helped guide the radio careers of personalities Jim Rome, Ryan Seacrest, and Tavis Smiley. His print work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and HuffPost. O'Kelly has been honored by Ebony Magazine and the Los Angeles Press Club.
O'Kelly graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science in business administration, concentrating in marketing and music.
Taj Paxton (B'92)
Taj Paxton is the Head of Logo Documentary Films, which won an Emmy Award in 2016 for the critically acclaimed documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, and in 2017 for Out of Iraq about two gay soldiers fighting to be reunited. She carefully selects films with pressing social causes: Out of Iraq was screened on the floor of the UN; Hungry highlights chefs fighting for gender and equality; and The IF Project, about a Seattle police officer's commitment to prison reform, will tour with the U.S. State Department as a part of its cultural exchange program.
Paxton produced the independent film Green Dragon, starring Forest Whitaker, which the Sundance Film Festival honored with the Humanitas Prize for works that inspire human freedom. She has worked with major studios to develop multi-million dollar films, such as Chasing Papi, Sofia Vergara's American film debut. As an executive at MTV Films, Paxton worked on Election, Varsity Blues, and The Wood.
Paxton was a board member of Outfest Los Angeles, the world's largest LGBT film festival, and a co-chair for Outfest's first multicultural film festival. She is a mentor for Women in Film and a member of Georgetown University's Alumni Entertainment & Media Alliance.
Caleb Pitters (F'97)
Caleb Pitters is an executive vice president and head of the U.S. nonprofit and single-family office practice at Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC (PIMCO), a global investment management firm with $1.6 trillion in assets under management. His previous management responsibilities include serving as the head of the institutional internal sales desk for clients and prospects, a business that he pioneered at the firm. Since joining PIMCO in 2011, Pitters has advised institutional investors while delivering customized investment solutions.
Prior to joining PIMCO, he was a director at Credit Suisse, where he held various portfolio management positions in fixed income and gained experience across the credit markets, working directly with institutional clients. Pitters previously worked at UBS in global fixed income derivatives, and held associate positions at J.P. Morgan in emerging markets fixed income and at Goldman Sachs in currency and commodities. He has 16 years of investment experience, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an undergraduate degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown.
Pitters and his wife, Ericka Sóuter Pitters (C'97), are both co-founders of the Patrick Healy Fellowship. They live in New York City with their two children.
Stacey Plaskett (F'88)
Congresswoman Stacey E. Plaskett represents the United States Virgin Islands' at-large Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives. Stacey currently serves on the House Committee on Agriculture and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, the New Democrat Coalition, and the Congressional Caribbean Caucus.
As a member of the Committee on Agriculture, Stacey works to ensure the Virgin Islands and other rural communities receive adequate funding for necessary programs aimed at rural development and programs that provide needed supplemental assistance to hardworking families.
As a member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Stacey employs her skills as a former prosecutor to ensure accountability and transparency both within government and private sector entities whose operations impact the Virgin Islands community and communities across America.
Plaskett is a staunch advocate for poverty reduction and equal voting rights and is well versed in Caribbean economic development and public-private partnerships for growing the economies of developing areas. She is a graduate of Choate Rosemary Hall, earned her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University, and her Juris Doctorate from American University's Washington College of Law.
Lacey Schwartz (C'98)
Lacey Schwartz and her producing partner, Mehret Mandefro, are co-founders of Truth Aid, a multimedia production company that specializes in fiction and nonfiction stories about telling truths that are difficult to discuss. Lacey is a Harvard-trained lawyer and community outreach specialist who uses her interdisciplinary training as the foundation to approach social issues. As women and people of color, Schwartz and Mandefro's experiences at the so-called margins inform their narratives and aesthetic approach. They aim to create art that engages the public in a deeper conversation about cultural change and challenges audiences to rethink the way we see the world. Integral to their work is the development of public engagement campaigns to build on lessons learned in their films, from inception to impact.
Schwartz directed, produced and co-wrote the critically acclaimed documentary, Little White Lie, which was the top-rated broadcast on PBS's Independent Lens during the 2014-2015 season. She also executive produced the narrative film Difret, the first film to win audience awards at both the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Schwartz has a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Harvard University. She is a member of the New York State bar.
Mélisande Short-Colomb (C'21)
Mélisande Short-Colomb is a first-year student in the College. She is a Georgetown legacy admission, GU272 descendant, and Georgetown Scholarship Program participant. She is a verified descendant of Abraham Mahoney and Mary Ellen Queen, who were sold by the Society of Jesus in 1838.
Born in New Orleans, Short-Colomb attended local schools—including Xavier University and Delgado Community College—and earned an Associate Culinary Arts Degree while raising four children, who are now adults. Her twenty years of experience in the culinary industry have honed a skill set that has taken her through a long and varied career, including chef positions in several Gulf Coast states; a yearlong in residence in Ghana; a corporate chef position with Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas; and the creation of a small catering business, Cajun Moon Catering, that was featured at the VIP Tailgate Party at Super Bowl XLVII in NOLA. Her career highlights came while working as the executive chef for Sand Castle on the Beach in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, and as a culinary instructor in New Orleans. She is currently employed through work-study as a library assistant in the Booth Center for Special Collections at Lauinger Library.
Short-Colomb is a founding member and executive board vice president of the GU272 Descendants Association. As one of many living GU272 descendants, she has been featured in American Public Media Reports, The Washington Post, NPR Code Switch, BBC, and other media outlets in this still-unfolding American family story.
Marguerita Brunson Sims (C'91)
Marguerita Brunson Sims is senior corporate counsel at WellCare Health Plans, Inc., working in its Tampa, Florida headquarters, where she provides legal advice regarding complex healthcare arrangements between the managed care health plan and various health care providers and other organizations. She helps the company navigate its legal and regulatory landscape throughout the country. Sims has practiced health care law for 20 years, and, previously, served as the general counsel, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer for FirstCare Health Plans, a Texas-based health insurance (managed care) company in Austin, Texas.
Additionally, Ms. Sims worked as compliance counsel for Laboratory Corporation of America, a Fortune 500 clinical laboratory company, where she helped monitor both federal and state compliance activity throughout the entire country. She also worked for international law firms in Washington, D.C., North Carolina, and Texas, where she represented pharmaceutical companies, hospital systems, medical device manufacturers, and various other health care entities. After graduating from law school, Sims worked in Washington, D.C., with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a fraud and abuse attorney; and returned to the Washington, D.C., area to work at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a regulatory counsel within the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
Sims obtained a B.A. from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Madeline Y. Sutton, M.D. (C'89)
Madeline Y. Sutton, M.D., is a medical epidemiologist and board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist who is currently serving as the lead for the minority health and health equity research activity in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the CDC, she is also a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service (Commissioned Corps). Captain Sutton's main research areas at the CDC include racial/ethnic disparities in HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections; mentoring historically underrepresented, minority scientists; women's health issues; and adolescent sex health issues. She is currently the senior scientist for the Minority HIV/AIDS Research Initiative, which funds mostly historically underrepresented HIV prevention researchers in disproportionately affected racial/ethnic and sexual minority communities. She has presented at numerous scientific meetings and published more than 110 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. Captain Sutton was the lead editor for a book, Our Communities, Our Sexual Health, which focuses on a better understanding of the social and structural contexts of and suggested solutions for public health issues in some communities of color. For her service during recent public health crises, including CDC responses to Ebola and Zika, Captain Sutton has received several awards, including a Presidential Unit Citation from President Obama. In 2016, she also received the CDC's highest honor for leading workforce diversity and mentoring early-career scientists for future careers in public health.
Captain Sutton also maintains a faculty appointment as an assistant clinical professor at the Morehouse School of Medicine Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, where she teaches residents and medical students and provides clinical care to patients. After receiving her B.S. in psychology/pre-med from Georgetown University, she obtained her M.D. and MPH as dual degrees from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health. She completed her residency training at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-New Jersey Medical School. She currently serves on the Alumni Board of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
Robert Traynham is vice president of communications for Bipartisan Policy Center. He has designed and executed impactful programs for elected leaders, political organizations, and major corporations for nearly two decades.
Traynham previously served as Washington, D.C. bureau chief for Comcast Networks, where he developed news and public affairs content. During his 8-year tenure, he hosted Comcast Newsmakers and the Emmy-nominated Roll Call TV with Robert Traynham.
Traynham served as a senior aide and press secretary for former Senator Rick Santorum, and as deputy chief of staff and communications director for the Senate Republican Conference. In that role, he was the highest-ranking African-American Republican staffer in Congress. He is a frequent political analyst and commentator whom Roll Call and National Journal have regularly ranked as one of the most influential staff members in Congress.
A native of suburban Philadelphia, Traynham holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Cheyney University, a master's degree in political communications from George Mason University, and is a Ph.D. candidate studying presidential and Anglo-American history. Traynham was recognized by George Mason University with a Distinguished Alumni of the Year award, and by Cheyney University as an alumnus of distinction.
Judge Ricardo Urbina (C'67, L'70, Parent'94)
Judge Ricardo Urbina (Ret.) currently works for the Judges Arbitration & Mediation Services, which provides expert dispute-resolution services.
Urbina served as a D.C. public defender, then taught at Howard University School of Law while maintaining a private practice specializing in medical malpractice, tort, and criminal defense. He served in this capacity for seven years before being nominated by President Carter and appointed by President Reagan to a position on the D.C. bench. He served as a D.C. Superior Court judge for 13 years, then was appointed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by President Bill Clinton. Judge Urbina was the first Latino ever appointed to a judicial post on any court in the District of Columbia. He served on the federal bench for 18 years before his retirement in 2012. During his 18-year tenure as a federal judge, Judge Urbina issued over 1000 written opinions and mediated hundreds of cases to settlement. He also managed a calendar consisting of Guantanamo cases requiring him to decide issues related to detainees' status as "enemy combatants."
By invitation, Judge Urbina taught sessions in trial advocacy at Harvard Law School (1999-2001), and taught as an adjunct professor at George Washington University School of Law (1993-2013; David Seidilson Chair For Trial Advocacy 2005-2013). He holds an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and a J.D. from Georgetown Law Center. During his collegiate track career at Georgetown, Urbina won eight championships, set a national record for the 1000-yard run, and captured the NCAA title in the 880-yard run in 1966.
Georgetown's first Black undergraduate student was Samuel Halsey Jr. (F'53). After returning from serving in the Army during World War II, he studied accounting at Howard University before applying to Georgetown as a transfer student. The university's annual Samuel A. Halsey Jr. Award honors the outstanding contributions of African-American alumni of Georgetown University.
3800 Reservoir Rd. NW, Washington, DC 20007
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Washington, DC 20037
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Margaret Jordan (NHS'64) was the first African-American graduate of the GU School of Nursing and Health Studies. She also served on the GU Board of Regents. There is a Georgetown scholarship established by the Southern California Edison Company in her honor.
- Q: Where and when is the event?
- A: The Black Alumni Summit will be held from Friday, Oct. 20 to Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 on campus at Georgetown.
- Q: Who should attend the summit?
- A: All Black undergraduate alumni should attend. The summit will include all undergraduate schools and classes.
- Q: Why should I attend the summit?
- A: We tap into the powerful networks of our Black alumni to create a weekend that will forge new connections and energize existing ones, as well as draw inspiration, share information, and impact our community.
- Q: How is the Black Alumni Summit different from other activities previously held for Black alums at Georgetown?
- A: This is the only Georgetown University event specifically designed to connect Black alumni across classes, eras, and schools.
During two days of programming, the summit will:
- Engage attendees through timely and relevant topics during panel discussions with alumni and faculty experts;
- Support alumni outreach and connections through networking and social activities; and
- Celebrate the accomplishments of the many Black alumni who are furthering the Georgetown mission to serve as women and men for others both in their respective communities and worldwide.
- Q: Are graduate alumni of Georgetown able to participate in the summit?
- A: While we do appreciate the support of Black alumni from Georgetown University's graduate school programs, this year's Black Alumni Summit primarily caters to undergraduate alumni. However, we may revisit this question as capacity allows.
- Q: May I bring a guest?
- A: Yes, you may bring one adult guest to the summit.
- Q: With whom should I be in touch if I need special accommodations?
- A: If you require special accommodations, please email GUBlackAlumniSummit@gmail.com.
- Q: What does registration include?
- A: Your registration includes admission to every panel throughout the weekend. Additionally, it includes breakfast, lunch, and heavy hors d'oeuvres on Friday; and breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks, and the celebration dinner on Saturday.
- Q: Should I still attend if I wasn't very connected to the Black community while I was in school, or if I've been disconnected from the university since graduation?
- A: Of course! One of the overarching goals of the summit is to reconnect alumni who may not have seen one another in years. It is also a great opportunity to grow your network and make new Hoya connections worldwide.
- Q: Who is organizing the event?
- A: Tammee Thompson (C'91), Eric Woods (B'91), and a committee of Black alumni are organizing the Black Alumni Summit in partnership with the university.
- Q: Is there parking available on campus?
- A: A limited number of daily parking spaces are available in the Southwest Garage and can be accessed via the Canal Road entrance. The daily rate is $20. All daily passes expire at 6 a.m. the following day, except weekends.
- Q: What is the dress code for the summit?
- A: The dress code is business casual.
- Q: How do I sign up for updates on future events?
- A: Join our mailing list and keep your contact information updated here, and follow us on Twitter at @HoyaBAS and Facebook on the Hoya Black Alumni Summit page.
- Q: What if I have a question that's not listed here?
- A: Please email us at GUBlackAlumniSummit@gmail.com.
The Black Student Alliance started in 1968. According to the club's constitution, it was formed with the purpose of "reinstilling in ourselves pride which has systematically been driven out of our ancestors and of educating both ourselves and members of the Georgetown University community."