The Miller Center is an integral part of the University of Virginia but with maximum autonomy within the University system. Under the bylaws of the Miller Center, the Governing Council exercises oversight of the Center's work and mission.
Read about The Holton Society, a society created to recognize long-standing friends and supporters who have dedicated their time, talent, and treasure to support the work of the Center.
Review the membership of the Miller Center Foundation Board of Directors.
Stephen M. Burns
Stephen M. Burns, Chair, is a managing partner at Quad-C Management, a middle-market private equity firm headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia. Since joining Quad-C in 1994, Burns has invested in the building products, business services, specialty chemicals, packaging, transportation/logistics, and food sectors. Prior to joining Quad-C, Burns worked in the Risk Arbitrage Group and Leveraged Capital Group at Paribas and the corporate development group at W.R. Grace. He graduated from Boston College with a BS degree and earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas Becherer has more than 30 years of experience in the private and public sectors. He is currently the founder, president, and CEO of Delta Bridge, a global communication services firm with operations in nearly 40 countries. In government, he led two public-private partnerships: the National Technology Alliance and the Global Technology Corps. He served in the Clinton administration and for Senators David Pryor of Arkansas and Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York. He has served as chairman of the University of Colorado-Boulder Chancellor’s Parent Leadership Society board and is currently chairman of the political science department advisory board at his alma mater, the University of Mississippi.
David Burke is the co-founder, managing director, and former CEO of Makena Capital Management. He is also a member of the firm’s board of directors and management and investment committees. Prior to forming Makena in 2005, Burke was a managing director of the Stanford Management Company, overseeing the Stanford University endowment's investments in private equity and venture capital. Burke currently serves on the boards of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, University of Virginia Law School Foundation, and Sacred Heart Schools, Atherton. Burke received a BS degree in finance, a JD, and an MA in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, and is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia and guest lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Knight-Hennessey Scholars Program.
Adib Choudhury is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia, where he received a BS degree in commerce with a concentration in finance from the McIntire School of Commerce. Choudhury currently works as an investment analyst at Investure, an outsourced investment office for colleges and foundations, where he supports investment diligence and portfolio management. Prior to Investure, he interned at Salesforce in their finance & strategy group and for Ernst & Young’s advisory group. While a student at UVA, he served on class council, as a tour guide for the University Guide Service, and as an intern for the Jefferson Trust.
Mary Vee Connell
Mary Vee Connell comes from a distinguished career in the intelligence community, most of which was at the Central Intelligence Agency. She also served as deputy undersecretary of intelligence in the Department of Homeland Security. Connell received the National Intelligence Medal, the Secretary of Homeland Security Medal, and the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal. Previously, she was an assistant professor of history at Southern Methodist University. She earned her BA at Cornell University and PhD in U.S. diplomatic history at the University of Virginia. Connell has served on several boards in Charlottesville, including the Charlottesville Symphony Society, Committee on Foreign Relations, and the Miller Center Foundation.
David Crowe owns and operates several farms in the Piedmont region of Virginia, where he is active in preserving farmland and open space. He moved to the Piedmont from London, where he worked for 13 years in the investment banking industry. Before that, he was a partner at Caplin and Drysdale in Washington, DC, and served as associate international tax counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department. He has served on the boards of the College Foundation at the University of Virginia, the Virginia League of Conservation Voters, and the Piedmont Environmental Council, where he was a vice chairman.
Richard K. DeScherer
Richard K. DeScherer is the chief legal and compliance officer of Bloomberg and serves on the company's board of directors. He joined the company in 2012, before which he served as the company's outside counsel and as a member of its board since its inception in 1982. Prior to joining Bloomberg, DeScherer was a law partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher in the corporate and financial services department, where he served as a co-chair of the firm. DeScherer is co-chair of the board of directors of the Lupus Research Alliance; a vice chairman of the board of directors and executive committee of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; a director of the Baryshnikov Arts Center; a director and former chairman of the National Dance Institute; and an emeritus member of the college board of trustees of arts & sciences of the University of Virginia. He earned a BA degree from the University of Virginia and received a JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds an LLM degree in taxation from New York University Law School.
Joseph Erdman is the owner and president of Albemarle Asset Management Ltd., which is based in both Florida and Virginia. Previously, Erdman was both the partner and chair of the Personal Planning Department for Proskauer Rose LLP, where he was an estate-planning lawyer for 20 years. Erdman also serves as co-trustee for The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation. Erdman is also co-chair of the Arts Trust Board, which encourages arts projects and lifts the arts at UVA to a higher level. He graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA degree and earned his JD from Fordham University.
Barbara J. Fried
Barbara J. Fried, ex officio, is chair emerita and former general counsel and executive vice president of Fried Companies Inc., a real estate development and property management firm based in Ruckersville and Crozet. She is a director of the UVA Foundation, member and immediate past chair of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership State Advisory Board, and a former director of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Fried is a former member of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners and a former trustee of the George Mason University Foundation. Fried is active in many community organizations in and around Crozet. She earned a BA degree and law degree from the University of Chicago and an MA degree in history from UVA.
John Georges serves as CEO of Georges Enterprises, headquartered in New Orleans. In 2013, he and his wife, Dathel, completed the purchase of The Advocate, the largest daily newspaper in Louisiana. In 2018, the Georges added The Gambit, a weekly entertainment publication, and then acquired The Times-Picayune and merged it with the New Orleans edition of The Advocate. Georges is a trustee for the National World War II Museum, past president of the Young Presidents Organization of Louisiana, and former member of the Tulane University President's Council, the University of New Orleans Foundation, the LSU Medical Foundation Board, New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Business Councils, World Trade Center, and the Chamber of Commerce. Georges established the Galatoire Foundation, named after the restaurant he owns, to expand local cultural programs.
Preston “Pete” Geren is president and CEO of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, which provides grants to educational, health, human service, and cultural nonprofit organizations in Texas. Geren is also chair of the board of the Institute for Defense Analyses, a federally funded nonprofit that conducts research and analysis for federal departments and agencies entrusted with national security responsibilities. Geren served in the Department of Defense (2001–09) and four terms as a U.S. congressman for the 12th District of Texas (1989–97). He was formerly an assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. A lawyer and former business executive, Geren has held leadership positions in numerous civic, educational, business, and philanthropic organizations in Texas.
Maya Ghaemmaghami is a retired hematologist and oncologist residing in Charlottesville. She graduated from Youngstown State University with a BS degree in combined sciences and received her medical degree from Northeast Ohio College of Medicine. She completed her residency in internal medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and her fellowship in hematology and oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She served as a hematologist and oncologist for more than 20 years. Ghaemmaghami was an associate professor of medicine at the University of Virginia from 2011 to 2016 in a community-based academic hematology and oncology practice. She has served on the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation Board and on the Hospice of the Piedmont Board.
Alice W. Handy
Alice W. Handy is founder and former president and CEO of Investure, an outsourced investment office for colleges and foundations. She spent 29 years with UVA, beginning as its first investment officer, later becoming treasurer, and finally president of the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO). She was treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 1988 to 1990. Handy is on the boards of the American Friends of the National Gallery, London and New Mountain Capital. She also serves on the investment committees of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, and United Way of Greater Charlottesville.
John Harris is the founder of POLITICO and served as its editor-in-chief until 2019. Harris began his career at The Washington Post, covering politics on the local, state, and national levels. From 1995 to 2001, he covered the Clinton White House. Later, he expanded on his reporting in a history of that presidency, The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House. He is also co-author, with his friend and fellow journalist Mark Halperin, of a book on presidential politics, The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008. After 20 years as a reporter, he became an editor, which led him and Jim VandeHei to launch POLITICO, a publication about politics from the ground up.
Tricia A. Hoefling
Tricia A. Hoefling is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. Prior to Georgetown, Hoefling taught at Washington & Lee School of Law, practiced law for many years at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLC in New York, and worked as a consultant for Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, a national reproductive rights nonprofit. In addition to the Miller Center, Tricia serves on the boards of many Virginia-based and national organizations, including the Board of Regents at Georgetown University, the Emily Couric Leadership Foundation, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, and the Village School of Charlottesville. She received her BS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and her JD from Columbia Law School.
John C. Jeffries Jr.
John C. Jeffries Jr., ex officio, is the David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law and counselor to the UVA president. His primary research and teaching interests are civil rights, federal courts, criminal law, and constitutional law. Jeffries has co-authored casebooks in civil rights, federal courts, and criminal law and has published a variety of articles in those fields. He also wrote a biography of Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. Jeffries served as dean of the UVA Law School from 2001-2008 and accepted an appointment in University administration in 2018.
George Keith Martin
George K. Martin is managing partner of the McGuire Woods’ Richmond office. He practices construction, commercial real estate, and local government law. He has more than 20 years of experience handling construction-related transactions, including joint ventures, public-private partnerships, and project finance transactions. In 2013, Martin became the first African American rector of the University of Virginia, a position first held by Thomas Jefferson. During his tenure, he helped seat a nonvoting faculty member on the board and met with a group of student leaders before every board meeting. He also helped establish a committee focusing on diversity and inclusion.
Fred McClure is executive director of the Leadership Initiative at Texas A&M University. He was previously the chief executive officer for the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, McClure was the Washington, D.C., managing partner for the international law firm SNR Denton. He has also served as assistant for legislative affairs to President George H. W. Bush and as special assistant for legislative affairs to President Ronald Reagan. His previous U.S. government service includes legislative director to U.S. Senator John Tower, associate deputy U.S. attorney general, and chairman of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1995, Governor George W. Bush appointed McClure to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, where he served as vice-chairman.
Clarence Page, the 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, is a columnist syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services and a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board. Page was also a regular contributor of essays to PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and was a regular on The McLaughlin Group, NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show, ABC’s Nightline, and BET’s Lead Story news panel programs. Page’s accolades include a 1980 Illinois UPI award for community service for an investigative series titled “The Black Tax” and the Edward Scott Beck Award for overseas reporting in 1976. He also received lifetime achievement awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the Chicago Headline Club, and the National Association of Black Journalists. In 1992, he was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame.
L. F. Payne Jr.
L. F. Payne Jr. is a businessman who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1988 until 1997, representing Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District. Highly regarded by both political parties, he was a founder of the Congressional Blue Dogs, a coalition of moderate and conservative Democratic members of Congress. He most recently served as president of McGuireWoods Consulting LLC, where he worked for more than 20 years, and prior to his congressional service was a licensed professional engineer at Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company and builder of the Wintergreen Resort community, where he served as chairman and president of Wintergreen Development Inc. Payne served on the UVA Board of Visitors from 2003 to 2011. He has served on the UVA Foundation Board, the Curry School Foundation Board, the Darden School Foundation Board, and the Governing Board of the UVA Medical Center.
James E. Ryan
James E. Ryan, ex officio, became the ninth president of the University of Virginia on August 1, 2018. Before joining the University, he served as dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education. A first-generation college student, Ryan earned his BA degree in American studies summa cum laude from Yale University and his law degree from UVA. He joined the UVA School of Law faculty after clerking for the chief judge of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and for then-United States Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. In 2009, he founded the Program in Law and Public Service, which gives law students training and mentoring for public service careers.
Frances Fragos Townsend
Frances Fragos Townsend, an on-air national security analyst for CBS News, was President George W. Bush’s homeland security advisor from 2004 to 2008. She served as deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004. Prior to that, she spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice under the administrations of Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Currently, Townsend is EVP of corporate affairs, corporate secretary, and chief compliance officer at Activision Blizzard. She serves on several government advisory and nonprofit boards, including the Atlantic Council; CSIS; the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum; the McCain Institute; and the New York City Police Foundation.
Hatsy Vallar is a graduate of Smith College and NYU’s Stern School of Business, with a degree in finance. She has spent most of her career in banking and then as a hospital executive in charge of the hospital’s foundation and marketing department. Prior to moving to Charlottesville in 2016, she served on multiple boards and co-chaired a $30 million capital campaign. She currently serves as secretary of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank Board and chair of the advancement committee, sits on the Martha Jefferson Medical Affairs Board and Foundation Board of Trustees, and is the co-founder of the Friends of the Miller Center.
Walter F. Walker
Walter F. Walker is the current owner and CIO of Hana Road Capital. From 1994-2006, he was president and CEO of the Seattle Sonics and Seattle Storm basketball teams. The Sonics had the 5th best winning percentage in the NBA during that time and the Seattle Storm won the 2004 WNBA Championship. Walker played in the NBA from 1976-1984 and was a member of two NBA championship teams. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1976 and was named a first team Academic All-American basketball player that year. He graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1987 and joined Goldman, Sachs & Co. He was conferred as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in 1992. Walker was a member of the University of Virginia’s Board of Visitors from 1997-2001.