Tag Archive for alumni business

Postel ’77 Assistant Administrator at International Development Agency

Eric Postel ’77

Nominated by President Obama in January 2011 and confirmed in March, Eric Postel ’77 joins the leadership team at the U.S. Agency for International Development as assistant administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade.

Postel, an experienced economic development expert and financier with a background in emerging markets investments, has worked in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East as an advisor and financial officer. In 2006, he served as commissioner on the bi-partisan Senate Helping to Enhance the Livelihood of People Around the Globe (HELP) Commission.

A mathematics/economics major at Wesleyan, he is also a four-year veteran of the U.S. Navy and a graduate of Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Dr. Block ’65 Named President-Elect of Pediatrics Academy

Robert Block ’65

Robert  Block ’65, M.D., was named president-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics, with his term as president beginning in October 2011.

A biology major at Wesleyan, he earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and served three years in the U.S. Army. He joined the faculty of the University of Oklahoma Medical School in 1975 and has been chair of the pediatrics department for the past 13 years.

He has been particularly active in combating and raising public awareness of child abuse and has been the state’s chief child abuse examiner since 1989.

The position as president of the AAP, he explained in an article for TulsaKids, is largely one of advocacy, with a focus on “’trying to put policy into healthcare reform that would help children.” He noted that, while children are 60 to 70 percent of the Medicaid patients, they only receive 20 percent of the funds. Furthermore, 7 million children in the United States have no health insurance. He also plans to continue his work against child abuse at a national level.

Additionally, Block is active in the American Board of Pediatrics, the testing and certification organization, where he is the founding chair of its newest sub-specialty, child-abuse pediatrics.

Lussier ’98, McCarthy ’01 Join University Faculty

Two Wesleyan alumni who wrote Ph.D dissertations on Russian politics have recently accepted tenure-track jobs in political science departments.

Russian and East European studies major Danielle Lussier ’98, will be an assistant professor at Grinnell College, where she will be replacing Robert Grey ’61. Lussier wrote her B.A. thesis on the women’s movement in contemporary Russia, and her Ph.D at the University of California, Berkeley on a comparison of civil society and political mobilization in Russian and Indonesia.

College of Social Studies major Lauren McCarthy ’01 will be an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She wrote her B.A. thesis on superpower rivalry in the Olympics during the Cold War, and her Ph.D at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on human trafficking in Russia.

Lussier and McCarthy former students of Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European Studies, tutor in the College of Social Studies.

Ibarguen ’66 joins AOL Board of Directors

Alberto Ibarguen '66

Alberto Ibarguen ’66, CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has joined the board of directors of AOL, according to The Associated Press. He will serve on the board’s audit and finance committee. Ibarguen replaces William Hambrecht.

The company is currently realigning itself as an online news source, and Ibarguen, former publisher of The Miami Herald, provides a valuable addition to the board. The Knight Foundation supports journalism training programs and many digital news delivery experiments.

Ibarguen also serves on the board of ProPublica, an independent nonprofit organization that focuses on producing investigative journalism in the public interest.

Griffin ’70 Named EVP of Time, Inc., President of News Group

John Q. Griffin ’70

John Q. Griffin ’70 was named executive vice president of Time, Inc., and president of the Time Inc. News Group, by corporate CEO Jack Griffin on Dec. 22. (The two Griffins are not related.)

This appointment is part of the reorganization of Time Inc., that split the previous news and sports group into its two components.

In his new role, John Q. Griffin will oversee Time, Fortune and Money along with their respective websites, as well as Life.com.

Previously the executive vice president and president of publishing for the National Geographic Society for the past nine years, Griffin was credited with having helped the society revamp its well respected

Devane ’09 Find NYC Ideal for the Life of an Entrepreneur

Tim Devane ’09

Tim Devane ’09 was recently interviewed by the tech blog We Are NY Tech.Devane describes himself as a “British-born NYC-living entrepreneur, wanderer, environmental advocate, hustler, business developer, and most importantly writer.”

In the interview, Devane discusses why he came to New York City:

“New York is where things happen. I was drawn in by the electricity, the excitement, and have been overwhelmed by the shear capacity to create and accomplish that people here exhibit. That goes for tech and for many other areas. It’s like everyone has their noses to the grindstone but they’re looking up winking at you, because they know New York is the only place they could do what they’re doing.”

Devane also talks about his connection with Wesleyan alumni:

“I owe quite a lot to the alums I connected with just before and after graduating from Wesleyan. … Many of these alums are people I count as friends and colleagues today. Wes alums gave me advice on where to go, what to do, and who else to speak to. They introduced me to industries and companies I was unaware of. More than anything, they helped me gain a stronger sense of what I wanted to do, because I really wasn’t sure when I left school.

Devane also recently contributed an op-ed, “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Job Search Today,”to the Huffington Post. In searching for a job, he suggests sending e-mail constantly to contacts, moving to the place where you want to work, and keeping up the hustle in the wake of rejection.

Devane works at Betaworks, a tech incubator and venture firm founded by two Wesleyan graduates, Andrew Weissman ’88 and John Borthwick ’87. The firm starts and invests in promising Web services, and was featured last year in The New York Times.

Devane is the co-founder (along with Eli Bronner ’10) of Birthright Earth, an environmental nonprofit program that funds eye-opening trips for young people to the rain forests of South America. For more information, go to http://birthrightearth.com/.

Glusker ’84 named CEO of Gilt Group Japan



Peter Glusker ’84



In mid-December, Peter Glusker ’84 was named chief executive officer of Gilt Groupe Japan and Gilt City Japan. The two companies are subsidiaries of the online luxury retailers Gilt Groupe, Inc., and Gilt City, Inc., respectively. That same week of Glusker’s appointment, Gilt City Japan launched Gilt City Tokyo, providing its members with access to Tokyo luxury services and experiences.

Glusker, who joined Gilt Groupe in 2009, was previously based in New York City, running the company’s business development and international operations.

“I’ve been deeply involved with Gilt Groupe Japan’s business over the past two years in my prior role based in New York. I’m thrilled to be able to dedicate all of my efforts to leading the growth of the company in Japan,” he said in a company press release.

Rogers ’91 Appointed to First Judicial District Court

Catherine Rob Rogers ’91, a Laramie County, Wyo., Circuit Court Magistrate and a private practice attorney, was appointed to the First Judicial District Court by Gov. Dave Freudenthal.

In a Wyoming Tribune Eagle article, Freudenthal praised her, saying, “Her reputation for honesty and ethics is of the highest order. What makes her uniquely qualified is that the Circuit Court is really the people’s court, and she has a great people sense about her.” A sociology major as an undergraduate, she earned a JD from the University of Wyoming College of Law and was admitted to the Wyoming State Bar in 1998. “I am humbled by the Governor’s confidence in me, and I will do my best to serve the judiciary and the people of Laramie County with fairness, courtesy and a commitment to equal justice,” Rogers said. She is married to Kevin Ohlson ’90.

Time Lists Bennet ’87 among 11 Educational Activists for 2011



Senator Michael Bennet '87



In a recent article in Time magazine, “Shaking Schools Up in an Already Tumultuous Year,” Andrew Rotherham writes: “With budget cuts looming, and with more states considering radical changes to teacher tenure and other important policies, 2011 looks to be a big year for education, for better or for worse.”

Rotherham singles out Michael Bennet ’87, U.S. senator from Colorado and 10 other educational activists for 2011, saying: “These activists are political and apolitical, working to change school systems from within and without, and can be found in the for-profit, nonprofit and governmental sectors.”

The article says “Bennet, who was Denver’s superintendent of schools before being appointed to fill a vacant Senate seat in 2009, beat the odds in November 2010 and won a full term. He’s tight with the President and has credibility with moderates in both parties. For these reasons, he’ll be a powerful force when the debate on teacher effectiveness and school accountability heats up in Congress.”

Spencer ’97 is VP of Worlwide Sales for Skyword





Tim Spencer ’97





Tim Spencer ’97 was named vice president of worldwide sales for Skyword, an innovative venture that has trade-marked the term “search-driven media” (SDM) to describe its service. Spencer will create and oversee the company’s global sales initiatives.

Previously vice president of sales for Gerson Lehrman Group, a market research firm maintaining the world’s largest network of subject-matter experts, Spencer began his career with Good Machine, a leading independent producer and distributor of award-winning films, such as The Ice Storm, In The Bedroom and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In 2002, the company was acquired by NBC Universal and renamed Focus Features. Spencer, who managed the global sales operation until 2008, was involved with several Academy Award-winning films, including Lost In Translation, The Pianist, The Constant Gardener, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Milk, and Brokeback Mountain.

In a press release, Tom Gerace, CEO and founder of Skyword, says, “Tim’s experience in building teams and defining new markets make him a natural fit and the perfect leader for our team.”

At Wesleyan, Spencer was an American studies major.

Kimmell ’82 named Commissioner of Mass. DEP




Kenneth Kimmell ’82




Kenneth Kimmell ’82 was named commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Previously he was general counsel for the executive office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, joining Governor Duval Patrick’s team in 2007.

Energy and Environment secretary-designate Richard Sullivan has described Kimmell as the “legal lead” on all aspects of recent state energy and environmental policy.

Kimmell has been credited with overseeing the state permitting of Cape Wind, the nation’s first off-shore wind project, as well as leading environmental permitting changes and drafting land-based wind energy siting reform legislation.

Additionally, he has focused on the development and early implementation of policy initiatives such as the MEPA Greenhouse Gas policy, a first-in-the-nation policy that requires developers of major projects to identify, avoid, and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Prior to joining the Patrick-Murray Administration, Kimmell was in private practice, where he specialized in environmental and land use law and litigation.

A College of Social Studies major at Wesleyan, Kimmell received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law.

Forrest ’86 Joins U.S. Department of Justice


Katherine Forrest '86


The New York Law Journal reports that “Katherine B. Forrest, a litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore who specializes in antitrust and intellectual property, has left the firm to join the U.S. Department of Justice today as deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division.”

Forrest ’86 will oversee operations for the division’s criminal and civil programs. Her portfolio will also include overseeing international issues and appellate policy for the division. She had been with Cravath since 1990 and made partner in 1998.