Advisory Board

Advisory Board 2020-2021

The College of Letters & Science seeks the insight and counsel of leaders in industry, government, and academia. The College Advisory Board is a volunteer group of such leaders who are deeply committed to the mission of the College to provide a world-class liberal arts undergraduate education at UC Berkeley and to be a global leader in basic research and training within each of its represented disciplines.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Kneisel.


Judy L. Wade, ’85 Economics

San Francisco, California

Managing Director
CPP Investments

Judy Wade is Managing Director and head of CPP Investments San Francisco Office.  Previously she led Fuel, the McKinsey Company that helps startups and their investors accelerate their performance and get to the future faster. Earlier in her career, she was a partner at McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, and before returning, she spent 10 years as a senior executive for hire, working with Kapor Capital, Bessemer, Venrock, and DFJ. Ms. Wade is an active member in her community with a passion for education. In her spare time, she usually can be found chasing after her teenager and/or her two rescue beagles, obsessively watching Cal football (or any sport for that matter), drinking wine, cooking, or trying to work off the effects of the previous two. She is a former trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation.

H. Michael Williams, ’82 Economics

Berkeley, California

Former Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
University of California, Berkeley

Mike Williams was Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Berkeley from 2014 to 2018, overseeing 30 intercollegiate sports and the 1,200 members of the Cal Athletics community that includes coaches, staff, and student athletes. During his tenure as director, Cal won 11 team national championships and 21 Olympic medals. Mr. Williams began his career at Data Resources, Inc. and also worked at Bank of America. He joined Barclays Global Investors in 1993 and left the company in 2009 as Vice Chair of Capital Markets. He was a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation from 2007 to 2018 and Vice Chair of the UC Berkeley Foundation from 2013 to 2015. He is on the boards of the Spencer Foundation, Health Career Connection, and Stiles Hall. Mr. Williams also serves on the advisory boards of Bronze Investments and the UCLA Anderson Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment, and Sports. He chaired the Pac-12 Athletic Director’s Council from 2015 to 2016, and on Berkeley’s Executive Board of the College of Letters and Science from 2004 to 2007. He, his wife Jeanne, and their three children live in Lafayette. He is a Builder of Berkeley.


Gregg H. Alton, ’89 Legal Studies

Atherton, California

Former Chief Patient Officer
Gilead Sciences

Gregg Alton is former chief patient officer at Gilead Sciences, where he led patient outreach and engagement initiatives and efforts to facilitate access to medicines around the world. Mr. Alton joined Gilead in 1999 and held positions including general counsel, chief compliance officer, and secretary. He oversaw the company’s corporate and medical affairs functions, developing world access programs and commercial operations in emerging markets. Mr. Alton also served as interim chief executive officer. Prior to joining Gilead, Mr. Alton was an attorney at the law firm of Cooley Godward, LLP. Mr. Alton is a member of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/Aids, and serves on the boards of The AIDS Institute, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oakland, and Partners in Health. He also serves on the advisory boards for UCSF Global Health Group and USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. He is a member of the board of directors of Enochiam Biosciences and Collidion, Inc.

Laura Baxter-Simons, ’89 Economics and German, M.A. '94 German Literature

Berkeley, California

General Counsel/Chief Compliance Officer
Meritage Group LP

Laura Baxter-Simons is general counsel and chief compliance officer at Meritage Group LP, a U.S.-based investment management firm. Prior to Meritage, Ms. Baxter- Simons worked at Renaissance Technologies as Legal Counsel from 1996 to 2011. She and her husband, Nat Simons, serve as co-directors of Sea Change Foundation, a private family foundation formed in 2007 and currently dedicated to addressing global climate change, and they are also the co-founders of Prelude Ventures, a family-held cleantech investment fund. Ms. Baxter-Simons served on the Board of Trustees of Head-Royce School in Oakland for ten years. Ms. Baxter-Simons and Mr. Simons are Builders of Berkeley.

Marc J. Bensadoun, Ph.D. ’91 Physics

Berkeley, California

Seed-Stage Investor and Advisor
Founder and Former CEO of Newfield Wireless

A physicist by training, Marc Bensadoun splits his time between seed-stage investing with his wife Cristina Hawkes-Bensadoun, board and advisory roles, and developing technology ideas. During his Ph.D. and post-doctoral study at Berkeley he worked in experimental astrophysics for eight years at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with Nobel Laureate George Smoot. Mr. Bensadoun then founded Newfield Wireless, initially to help mobile network operators model, plan, and optimize their radio networks. He later developed an enterprise big data platform to provide mobile network operators with geoanalytics and radio access network insights. During this decade-long product development phase, he grew Newfield by 40 percent per year with no outside capital. He sold Newfield in 2013. The Bensadouns homeschooled their daughter through middle school, and Mr. Bensadoun concentrated on teaching her math and science. He continues to be interested in science, education, and the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Bay Area, and he holds advisory roles at the UC Berkeley SkyDeck Accelerator and the Lawrence Hall of Science. Mr. Bensadoun and Ms. Hawkes-Bensadoun are Builders of Berkeley.

Ellen Dale, ’66 Psychology

Orinda, California

Former General Manager
Khadra International Folk Ballet

Ellen Dale serves as vice president on the board of the California Shakespeare Theater, where she focuses on development. Prior to her retirement, Mrs. Dale was general manager of Khadra, a San Francisco dance company, and an arts management consultant. She met her husband and fellow Berkeley alumnus, Joffa Dale, as an undergraduate. Mrs. Dale served on the 50th reunion committee for the class of ’66, and Mr. Dale is an emeritus member of the UC Berkeley Foundation and chairs its audit committee. He also serves on the Cal Golf Committee, which has funded the Cal Men’s Golf Team for 40 years. The Dales are a true blue and gold family — Mrs. Dale’s mother was class of ’41, the Dales’ son is class of ’91, and their granddaughter Audrey is class of ’20. Mr. and Mrs. Dale are Builders of Berkeley.

David L. desJardins, Ph.D. ’02 Mathematics

Burlingame, California

Former Software Engineer

David desJardins has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in the field of information theory. Dr. desJardins has worked as a research staff member at the Center for Communications Research in Princeton, N.J., a think tank for the U.S. government, then as a software engineer at Google, where he was among the first 20 employees. Since leaving Google, he has been engaged in angel investing, consulting, research, and philanthropy. He is a member of the Democracy Alliance, a progressive political group, and has supported research at MIT and UC Berkeley. He is a top-ranking player of the fantasy board game “Titan.” He is currently a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation.

William C. Dudley, M.A. ’80 Economics, Ph.D. ’82 Economics

Cranford, New Jersey

Former President and CEO
Federal Reserve Bank of New York

William C. Dudley was the 10th president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2009-2018. In that capacity, he served as the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the group responsible for formulating the nation’s monetary policy. Prior to joining the Bank in 2007, Mr. Dudley was a partner and managing director at Goldman, Sachs & Company and was the firm’s chief U.S. economist for a decade. Mr. Dudley was an economist at the Federal Reserve Board from 1981 to 1983. In 2012, Mr. Dudley was appointed chairman of the Committee on the Global Financial System of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Previously, Mr. Dudley served as chairman of the former Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems of the BIS from 2009 to 2012. He was a member of the board of directors of the BIS.

Charles Huang, ’93 Asian Studies & Economics

Los Altos, California

Indigo 7

Charles Huang is a co-founder of RedOctane and the co-creator of the Guitar Hero video game franchise. In 2005, the company published Guitar Hero, which became the best-selling video game globally for 2007-2008 and the fastest video game to reach $1 billion in sales. In 2006, Mr. Huang, along with his brother Kai, was elected as one of the top 50 producers in new media by the Producers Guild of American New Media Council, whose membership includes notable movie directors such as Jerry Bruckheimer and Brian Grazer. Mr. Huang currently acts as an advisor to several venture capital funds and sits on the board of many startup companies. His lab is Indigo 7, where he works on music, fashion, and health tech projects. Mr. Huang is a trustee on the UC Berkeley Foundation and he and his wife, Lillian, are Builders of Berkeley.

Matt D. Jacobson, ’79 Geography

Richmond, California

Managing Member
Jacobs & Co., LLC

Matt Jacobson is a managing member of Jacobs & Co., LLC, a San Francisco registered investment advisor, where he has worked since graduating from Berkeley in 1979. Jacobs & Co., LLC provides investment management and financial planning services to high-net-worth individuals, company retirement plans, and multi-employer pension plans. Prior to joining Jacobs & Co., Mr. Jacobson worked from 1971 to 1979 for the Berkeley Gazette and Richmond Independent newspapers as a copy boy and sports writer. While working at the newspapers, he covered a number of Cal sports, including track and field, baseball, women’s basketball, gymnastics and soccer. Mr. Jacobson maintains a particularly close relationship with UC Berkeley through his commitment to the Professor Norman Jacobson Memorial Teaching Award, which was established in memory of his father through the UC Berkeley Townsend Center for the Humanities. He has also served two terms on the board of the Richmond Art Center, where he continues to serve on several board committees.

Professor Catherine Koshland

Berkeley, California

Vice Chancellor, Undergraduate Education
University of California, Berkeley

Catherine P. Koshland is the vice chancellor for undergraduate education at the University of California, Berkeley, the Wood-Calvert Professor in Engineering, professor of environmental health sciences in the School of Public Health, and a professor in the Energy and Resources Group. In addition to completing her undergraduate degree in fine arts and her graduate degrees in mechanical engineering, she studied painting at the New York School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. She is a former chair and member of the Haverford College Board of Managers. She is a past Cal Parent with 3 Golden Bears: Sarah ’99, Maggie ’02, and Jacob, M.B.A. ’19. At Berkeley, Dr. Koshland’s reporting units include Summer Sessions, Study Abroad and Lifelong Learning (SSALL); the Athletic Study Center; the Student Learning Center; Research, Teaching, and Learning; Berkeley Connect; Berkeley Collegium; American Cultures Center; and Arts + Design. Her office also advises on enrollment planning and management, and serves as liaison for academic units to fulfill the priorities of the strategic plan to enhance the undergraduate experience. She is a Builder of Berkeley.

Kathy Kwan, ’87 Microbiology & Immunology, M.B.A./M.P.H. ’93

Menlo Park, California

Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation

Ms. Kwan is a local philanthropist who directs charitable giving for the Eustace-Kwan Family Foundation. Since the foundation’s establishment in 2005, Ms. Kwan has sought out and supported high-impact, highly leveraged programs and organizations in the education, equity and inclusion, job training, and safety net sectors. During her time at Berkeley, Ms. Kwan has launched or supported a broad range of student- focused programs and initiatives in the School of Public Health, Equity and Inclusion, the College of Engineering, Data Sciences, and Student Affairs. She retired from Kaiser Permanente in 2004, where she held a variety of project management, consulting, and finance roles. Ms. Kwan is a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation and she and her husband, Robert Eustace, are Builders of Berkeley.

Georgia Lee, ’76 Business

Palo Alto, California

Former Chief Financial Officer
Hellman Friedman LLC

Georgia Lee is a former senior advisor, managing director, and CFO of Hellman & Friedman, LLC, a private equity firm, where she worked for 20 years prior to her recent retirement. Before joining Hellman & Friedman, she was a partner in the New York office of Deloitte, LLP, specializing in accounting for mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and financial instruments. Ms. Lee’s son also graduated from Berkeley, where he rowed on Cal Crew, leading her to become involved with fundraising for the team. Ms. Lee and her husband, George Shenk, were members of the Cal Parents Board and served as Cal Parents Ambassadors. Ms. Lee is an emeritus trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation and was chair of the Foundation’s Audit Committee from 2011-2018. She was awarded a Trustees’ Citation in 2009. Ms. Lee is a Builder of Berkeley.

Akiko Mikumo, '78 Asian Studies

New York, New York

Former Partner
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Akiko Mikumo’s undergraduate degree from Berkeley was awarded with highest honors and great distinction. Ms. Mikumo spent 35 years with Weil, Gotshal & Manges, a leading international law firm headquartered in New York. There, she served on the firm’s management committee for 12 years, as Asia managing partner for 10 years, and as senior mergers and acquisitions partner in their New York, London, and Hong Kong offices. In addition, she was founding partner of the Hong Kong office. She is recognized as one of the leading mergers and acquisitions lawyers by various publications. After retiring at the end of 2017, Ms. Mikumo was a fellow at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard, where she focused on social impact projects. She is currently a director of Cambridge Science Corporation, a biotech startup in Cambridge, and Entertainment AI, a media technology company based in Los Angeles. She is also an advisor to, a youth-led non-profit that seeks to eliminate menstruation poverty and stigma, and a member of the Women’s Forum of New York.

Na'ilah Suad Nasir, ’93 Psychology & Social Welfare

Chicago, Illinois

Spencer Foundation

Na’ilah Suad Nasir is the sixth President of the Spencer Foundation, which supports research on education. She was a faculty member at UC Berkeley from 2008 to 2017, and served as Vice Chancellor of Equity and Inclusion from 2015 to 2017. Ms. Nasir earned her Ph.D. in educational psychology at UCLA, and was previously a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Stanford University. Her work focuses on issues of race, culture, learning, and identity. She is the author of Racialized Identities: Race and Achievement for African-American Youth, as well as several other books and numerous scholarly articles. Ms. Nasir is a member of the National Academy of Education and a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). In 2016 she received the AERA Division G Mentoring Award.

George Ng, ’03 Economics

Burlingame, CA

Chief Data Officer
Guidewire Software

George Ng is the chief technology officer for Guidewire Software. Prior to its acquisition by Guidewire, Mr. Ng was a founder and chief technology officer at Cyence, where he developed a cyber risk assessment platform that combines internet-scale data collection, machine learning, and financial modeling to assess technology-driven risks. Before founding Cyence, Mr. Ng was the chief data scientist at YarcData (a Cray company) where he built analytic solutions in vertical domains including financial services, professional sports, and health care. Previously, Mr. Ng spent time at various government agencies, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, where he worked on national security issues. Mr. Ng has taught classes in game theory and mathematics at American University, and he ran an experimental economics lab at Chapman University. At Chapman, he focused on spectrum auctions with applications for the Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Ng also teaches a course at Berkeley’s College of Engineering and advises tech startups.

Maureen Orth, ’64 Political Science

Washington D.C.

Special Correspondent
Vanity Fair Magazine

Maureen Orth is a special correspondent for Vanity Fair. Her best-selling book, Vulgar Favors, was the basis of the Emmy and Golden Globe winning “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” She began her career as one of the first woman writers at Newsweek. Her profiles for Vanity Fair include Angela Merkel, Madonna, Vladimir Putin, and Karl Lagerfeld. Her acclaimed investigations of the charges of pedophilia against Michael Jackson and Woody Allen went viral on the internet. In 2015, her story on the Virgin Mary, “The Most Powerful Woman in the World,” was a best-selling cover for National Geographic. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Ms. Orth founded the Marina Orth Foundation in Medellin, Colombia to facilitate the teaching of STEM areas, English, and leadership in 21 public schools. The foundation’s work has helped create champion robotics teams that compete and win against the best private schools in Colombia and internationally. Ms. Orth serves as a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation. In 2016, she was named the Distinguished Alumnus of the Cal Alumni Club of Washington D.C.

Chip Robertson, ’94 History

Pacific Palisades, California

Co-Managing Director
Warland Investments Ltd

Carl W. “Chip” Robertson is co-managing director at Warland Investments Company. Mr. Robertson serves as a member of the board of visitors for the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, and the board of advisors for both the UCLA Lab School and the UC/CSU Collaborative for Neurodiversity and Learning. He is vice chair of the board of directors of the UC Hastings College of Law. In addition, Robertson is a member of the board of directors of Jewish Vocational Services, and is a member of the management committee at Dax LLC. He previously served as a trustee of the Westmark School and the California Coalition.

Mark Robinson, ’88 History & Political Science

Kentfield, California

Centerview Partners

Mark Robinson is a partner at Centerview Partners, an independent investment banking firm with offices in New York, London, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles. He advises a range of global companies across the healthcare industry, primarily those focused on pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical devices. Over his 24-year career, Mr. Robinson has advised many of the most prominent companies in the healthcare industry, including Pharmacyclics, Onyx, and Intermune. Prior to Centerview, Robinson spent 12 years at Merrill Lynch in San Francisco where his roles included serving as global co-head of healthcare investment banking. At the time of his departure from Merrill Lynch, Robinson had been involved in raising more capital for biotechnology companies than anyone in the history of the industry. He is a trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation, where he currently serves as co-chair of the external affairs committee. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the board of trustees at The Thacher School. Mr. Robinson is a Builder of Berkeley.

Nadine Tang, M.S.W. ’75

Berkeley, California

Associate Clinical Professor
University of California, Berkeley

Ms. Tang is a social worker in private practice and an associate professor of clinical psychology at UC Berkeley. She is an instructor at the Ann Martin Center, which provides educational and counseling services to at-risk youth in Alameda County, and has also taught psychology at Tsingha University in Beijing. From 1976 to 1986, Ms. Tang served as a staff social worker at University Health Services on the Berkeley campus. There she founded and directed the immigrant and refugee student program, an initiative designed to ease the transition to Berkeley for students from overseas and to develop targeted services for this population. More recently at Berkeley, she served on the task forces on intercollegiate athletics and alumni engagement, and on the large fundraising projects committee. She is a trustee emeritus of the UC Berkeley Foundation and served as a co-chair of the Campaign for the New Century. Her other campus affiliations include the Order of the Golden Bear and Berkeley Fellows, and she is a Builder of Berkeley.

Judy Chandler Webb, ’60 History

Greenbrae, California

Lothrop Ventures Incorporated

Judy Webb is the president of Lothrop Ventures Incorporated, a real estate development company she started in the late 1980s. Through Lothrop, she built residential spec homes in the Bay Area and self-storage facilities in Solano County, and managed office properties in Marin County. She has served on the boards of cultural institutions in the Bay Area and beyond, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Art Center College of Design, and currently serves as a trustee of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. At Berkeley, she served as co-chair of the L&S Advisory Board from 2016 to 2019, on the Executive Board of the College of Letters & Science from 2003 to 2006, and she is also a former trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation. Ms. Webb is currently a member of the University Library Board. Her philanthropy on campus and elsewhere has supported neuroscience, youth development and leadership, and nature conservation. She is a Builder of Berkeley.

Natasha Wong, ’97 Political Science

La Jolla, California

Director and Secretary
Avery-Tsui Foundation

Natasha Wong holds law licenses in the State of California and the District of Columbia, and is on the Roll of Solicitors for the Supreme Court of England and Wales. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Avery Tsui Foundation. She is a trustee of the Stephen Hawking Professorship at Cambridge University in England and serves on the board of directors of San Diego Balboa Park’s House of China. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Chinese Service Center of San Diego and as the School Principal of the Chinese School of San Diego, the city’s oldest private language school. She is also the co-founder of San Diego’s first fully licensed Chinese bilingual preschool. Her current focus is in philanthropy and childhood education.

Ex-Officio Members

Janet Broughton
Executive Dean, College of Letters & Science
Professor Emerita of Philosophy
Michael Botchan (non-voting member)
Dean of Biological Sciences
Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology
Anthony J. Cascardi (non-voting member)
Dean of Arts & Humanities
Professor of Comparative Literature, Rhetoric, and Spanish
Frances Hellman (non-voting member)
Dean of Mathematical & Physical Sciences
Professor of Physics
Bob Jacobsen (non-voting member)
Dean of Undergraduate Studies
Professor of Physics
Raka Ray (non-voting member)
Dean of Social Sciences
Professor of Sociology