Dr. Kenneth Schweller ’68, professor of computer science and psychology at Buena Vista University in Iowa has been appointed chair of the board of the Great Ape Trust. The trust is a scientific research facility in Des Moines, dedicated to understanding the origins and future of culture, language, tools and intelligence, and to the preservation of endangered great apes in their natural habitats. Great Ape Trust, announced in 2002 and receiving its first ape residents in 2004, is home to a colony of seven bonobos, including Kanzi, “the world’s undisputed ape-language superstar, was the first of his species to acquire language as children do: by being exposed to it,” according to the trust. Scientists at the trust are involved with the apes in noninvasive interdisciplinary studies of their cognitive and communicative capabilities
Schweller, who majored in English at Wesleyan, received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Illinois. He teaches courses in artificial intelligence, software engineering, compiler theory and programming languages at Buena Vista.
As chair of the Great Ape Trust, he will be integral in a new partnership formed this year, between Great Ape Trust and Bonobo Hope, located in Des Moines. The collaboration will be an international fund-raising effort to support bonobos around the world.
In a press release on the partnership, Schweller said: “It is an honor and a privilege to work with two such dedicated organizations. I feel confident that by working together we will raise the money we need to ensure our bonobo friends a brighter tomorrow.”
RBC Capital Markets, the investment-banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada, hired Judith Fishlow Minter ’82 to co-head U.S. loan capital markets.
Fishlow Minter, who will lead the New York-based business with Miguel Roman, joined RBC from North Sea Partners LLC, where she was a managing partner. Previously, she ran Citigroup Inc.’s loan syndicate for North America.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, RBC has climbed to 11th most-active underwriter of leveraged loans in the U.S. this year, from 15th in 2010.
Fishlow-Minter was an economics major at Wesleyan. She also holds an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania.
Joy Anderson ’89, the founder and president of Criterion Ventures, was selected for Fast Company’s 2011 list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Criterion Ventures is a hybrid for-profit/non-profit firm consisting of Criterion Ventures and Criterion Institute. It identifies large-scale social and environmental problems and designs and implements collaborative ventures and projects that generate solutions to the problems.
A political science major at Wesleyan, Anderson was an teacher and administrator in Brooklyn, with professional leadership roles at the national level. She completed her her Ph.D. in American History from New York University in 2001. Since founding Criterion Ventures in 2002, she has led the firm to built a network of relationships; launch a series of companies; and accumulate significant knowledge around the intersection of business and social change. In 2006, with Tim Freundlich ’90 and Kevin Jones, she founded Good Capital, an asset management firm “seeking to move capital to good,” she explains.
Currently, Criterion’s work is focused on large field building initiatives that look at how to change the way markets function to bring about social and environmental change. Their major initiatives include “Women Effect Investments” — focused on directing investment dollars to benefit women and girls around the world, and “Church as an Economic Being,” which is looking at how the Christian church, in all of its expressions, is both an actor and implicated in the economy.
Award-winning TV news producer and documentarian Paul Mason ’77 was appointed president and CEO of Link TV, the U.S.-based global-affairs independent broadcaster. Mason, a 28-year veteran of ABC News, says his plan for Link TV includes digital news platforms in combination with independent global journalism.
In a video interview, Mason explains: “In some ways global news is covered like a sporting event, as opposed to actual lives that are lived…And I also ask: Since the earthquake in Japan, how often has an American news audience actually seen follow-up coverage about what has happened in Japan, and about of how lives are being lived…and about what people are doing to mitigate that disaster. Since the Arab Spring, how much have we seen about the nascent democracy in Egypt and hiccups that are coming along the way. The truth is, we actually don’t see that much of it. When something goes wrong, that coverage will pick up. That’s not good enough in our world. That’s not good enough information to help us make decisions in our own lives..Because the world has gotten smaller, news, information, little ripples that may happen far, far away—they have impact on our world.
“LinkTV provides a platform for voices around the world to actually explain their world in their own voice. In mainstream media, those voices are filtered.”
Rebecca Sender ’85 was appointed deputy director for finance and administration for The Yale Center for British Art. She comes to the Center from the Princeton University Art Museum, where she served as associate director for the last decade; she was also its acting director from January 2008 to June 2010.
At Yale, she will manage the operating budget for the Center for British Art, as well as oversee the institution’s security, facilities and operations, human resources, Information Technology and the Museum Shop. She also will manage the institution’s emergency plan and will work with the center’s partner institution, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London.
Prior to her time at Princeton, Sender worked for several prominent arts organizations, including the American Federation of Arts, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Carnegie Institute and Carnegie Library, and the Brooklyn Museum.
Director of the Yale Center for British Art, Amy Meyers, praised Sender as “a stellar professional on all fronts,” and adds, “She will be a magnificent addition to the Center and to the extended Yale community.”
A theater major at Wesleyan, Sender earned her M.B.A from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh in 1992. She earned her M.A. in art history and archaeology from Columbia University in 1999.
Paul Bennett ’75 was appointed vice president and treasurer of Chevron Corporation in May 2011.
He joined Chevron in 1980 as a financial analyst in the comptroller’s department. Over the course of his career, Bennett earned positions of increasing responsibility in the finance department. Previously, he served as vice president of finance, downstream and chemicals, from 2009 to 2011
A cum laude graduate of Wesleyan, he majored in history. He earned his master’s degree in finance at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980.
Jerry M. Melillo ’65, Distinguished Scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), was named chair of a joint public-private sector committee that will produce the next National Climate Assessment report for the United States.
The National Climate Assessment analyzes the latest science and information about the current and projected effects of climate variability and change across the United States. The committee is an advisory body to the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
His appointment to lead the National Climate Assessment committee was announced by Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The committee includes individuals from academia, the private sector, local and state government, and the nonprofit sector from 22 states.
Mellio brings a wealth of experience to the position: He is co-author of the landmark report to Congress, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States,” issued by the USGCRP. He was also a lead author on both the 1990 and 1995 Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and he served in President Clinton’s Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1996 to 1997.
He has been on the scientific staff at MBL since 1976, and is also a professor of biology at Brown University. At Wesleyan, he majored in biology and then earned his MAT in 1968. Followed by his doctorate from Yale. he His research focuses on the impacts of human activities on the biogeochemistry of terrestrial ecosystems, and modeling analysis of the feedbacks and impacts of climate change.
K. C. Chan ’79, Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the treasury, has been raising awareness Hong Kong’s role in the global financial marketplace. Chan was recently featured in an article in China Daily, where he talked about Hong Kong as a financial center and a good offshore market for Chinese and international investors, assuming a central role in the internationalization of the yuan.
Chan said, “For me, Hong Kong’s strength is definitely international connectivity. We must make sure we build on that strength. … These days I think Hong Kong is still trailing behind New York and London, but in 10 years, our vision is that ‘Kong’ should be equal with ‘Ny’ and ‘Lon’ thanks to China’s rise, because we serve the world’s second largest economy.”
“We are not only doing business in offshore yuan. That is not what we are after. What we are after is to improve Hong Kong and make Hong Kong more competitive, so that we can serve what we see China in 10 years,” Chan added.
K. C. Chan has been the secretary for financial services and the treasury since 2007. Prior to assuming the post, he was dean of business and management of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Wesleyan and both his MBA and Ph.D. in finance from the University of Chicago.
Eric M. Wetlaufer ’84 was named senior vice president, heading CPP Investment Board’s public market investments division.
Prior to joining CPPIB this June, he was the group chief investment officer of the international division at Fidelity Management and Research in Boston. Previously, he was a chief investment officer at Putnam Investments, and a managing director at Cadence Capital Management.
At Wesleyan, he earned his bachelor’s degree with a major in earth science. He is a chartered financial analyst.
The Hon. Rachel A. Ruane ’97 was appointed Immigration Judge, Los Angeles Immigration Court, by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in December 2010.
Previously, she was affiliated with the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in the Office of the Chief Counsel in Los Angeles, Calif. serving in a number of different roles, most recently as deputy chief counsel.
At Wesleyan, she double-majored in government and American studies, with Professor of Government John Finn and Professor of American Studies Claire Potter as her advisors. She earned her juris doctorate from Emory University and was a judicial law clerk for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, first in Boston and then in Los Angeles.
Judge Ruane is a member of the Bar of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Kathy Prager Conrad ’81 was named the principal deputy associate administrator of the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. Honored as a Federal 100 award winner by Federal Computer Week in March, she was previously senior vice president of Jefferson Consulting Group. In an interview with Federal Computer Week, Conrad noted that she was honored to have the opportunity to advance the Administration’s open government and innovation initiatives.
Her new responsibilities include fostering adoption of innovative technologies such as cloud services and mobile computing and enhancing use of government data to improve government and citizen engagement.
“This job and office represent an amalgam of the issues I have been committed to – including promoting government IT as an enabler, not as an end in itself,” she says.
Jonathan Smith ’92 will be one of 14 delegates selected to participate in the U.S. State Department’s Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) Mission to Indonesia in July. The delegation, made up of U.S. investors, entrepreneurs and academics, will offer individualized mentoring to Indonesian early-stage and growth-stage companies. Additionally Indonesian start-ups will have an opportunity to present their ideas to the delegation with the hopes of obtaining investors.
Smith, who earned his Wesleyan bachelor’s degree with a College of Social Studies degree, also holds a master’s degree in accounting, as well as a certificate in Homeland Securities Studies from Michigan State University. He is the president and chief operating Officer of Wave Dispersion Technologies (www.whisprwave.com). Under his leadership, the company was ranked in Inc, Magazine’s 500 List.