Board of Directors

Dr. Margaret B. Wilkerson

Dr. Margaret B. Wilkerson is Professor Emerita at UC Berkeley, where at various times she chaired the Department of African American Studies, the Department of Dramatic Art and Dance, and established the Ph.D. program in African Diaspora Studies. She was Director of the Center for the Study, Education, and Advancement of Women, and led the Black Theatre Workshop, whose successful productions reflected on the history and experience of African Americans. From 1998 to 2007, Dr. Wilkerson worked at the Ford Foundation, as a Program Officer in Higher Education, then as Director of Media, Arts and Culture.
She is a Trustee of Mills College and a former Trustee of the University of Redlands. Her honors include: the Lilly Endowment for the Liberal Arts, induction into the Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center; Exemplary Educational Leader from the American Association of Higher Education; Winona Lee Fletcher Award from the Black Theatre Network; and Outstanding Achievement Award from the Association of Theatre in Higher Education.
She is the author of 9 Plays by Black Women, and a biography of Lorraine Hansberry. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley, and an honorary degree from her undergraduate alma mater, the University of Redlands.

Charles M. Collins

Charles M. Collins is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the YMCA of San Francisco. As chairman and president of WDG Ventures he led a consortium of private, public, and non-profit organizations in developing and implementing a strategy for community reconstruction and economic development bringing billions of dollars in projects including the Yerba Buena arts district in San Francisco. He was a founding director of the statewide youth advocacy organization Children Now and served as Executive Director of the Family Service Agency of San Francisco. He is chair of the San Francisco Art Institute and a trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, The San Francisco Development Fund, The San Francisco State University Foundation, and Presidio Hill School, and founded the Fillmore Renaissance Community Foundation.
Nationally he served as Senior Vice Chair of The National Urban League and on the boards of the Clark Art Institute and of Williams College, his alma mater. Mr. Collins practiced law with the firms of Piper Rudnick and Berkeley & Rhodes. He received his Bachelor of Arts with honors from Williams College, his Master of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his Juris Doctor from the Harvard Law School. He edited the publications, of “The African Americans” and “A Day in the Life of Africa” with forward by Desmond Mpilo Tutu. Each year, The National Urban League awards the Charles M. Collins Award for outstanding service to the African American Community in his honor.

Frank Sesno

Frank Sesno is an Emmy-award winning journalist, commentator and documentary filmmaker. He is currently the Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, where he also teaches documentary filmmaking and journalism ethics. He is the host and creator of Planet Forward, a groundbreaking web-to-television show on PBS. Sesno appears regularly on National Public Radio and on PBS television, where he headlined Sesno Reports, produced a series called Avoiding Armageddon, and a series about global perspectives called worldtalk. In 2002, Sesno reported and produced Ronald Reagan: A Legacy Remembered, a two-hour documentary special for the History Channel.
Mr. Sesno spent 21 years at CNN, serving as a news anchor, analyst, reporter and producer. He hosted Late Edition with Frank Sesno, the network’s flagship weekend interview program, served as CNN’s White House Correspondent, and Washington bureau chief and produced several headlining documentaries. Before joining CNN he worked with Associated Press Radio as a White House, national and overseas correspondent based in London. He has won several prestigious journalistic awards, including an Emmy, several Cable ACE awards, The National Press Club Award, a Cine Award and an Overseas Press Club Award. He Chairs the DC Advisory Board of Posse Foundation (a college access program for inner city youth), serves on the CINE Educational Advisory Board, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a former trustee at Middlebury College, from which he graduated.

Mara-Michelle Batlin

Mara-Michelle Batlin has worked for over 2 decades as an executive and advisor in communications and advocacy for policy research institutes and non-governmental organizations in developing countries, helping to frame issues, develop strategies, and interface with important constituencies for policy reform. She was the Director of Strategic Training for the International Center for Economic Growth, a global network of think tanks, where she worked with national and regional Policy Reform Projects to increase the capacity of indigenous institutions to propose, advocate for and implement economic policy reforms. She previously served as the Executive Director of Hernando deSoto’s Institute for Liberty and Democracy in Lima, Peru, and extensively as an advisor to the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies in Cairo. She co-produced, “The Business of Think Tanks”, with the World Bank Institute, and edited the Handbook, “Policies and Programs for Social and Human Development” for the UN Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen.
She is co-founder and president of NGOAlliance, whose mission is to create the tools and incentives for transparency and accountability in international NGOs. She spent 10 years as an executive in the financial services industry. She has a B.A. in Economics from Mills College (on whose board she serves), an M.A. in International Policy/Economic Development from The Monterey Institute for International Studies, and a certificate in Development Project Management from the Development Project Management Institute.

David B. Deniger

David B. Deniger is a retired private equity investor and an accomplished photographer. Since 1994 he has served as one of the partners in the buyout firm, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and was the Managing Partner of The Olympus Real Estate Funds. He and his partners have invested an excess of $25 billion in private equity. He is a former minority owner of the Dallas Stars (National Hockey League franchise and 1999 Stanley Cup Champion) and the Texas Rangers (Major League Baseball franchise). He is on the Board of Directors of the Naval Postgraduate School Foundation and is an adjunct professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. His photography has featured landscapes, wildlife and documentary stills including work in China, Peru, Bolivia, India, Turkey and the U.S..

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