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Alumni Board

The American University Alumni Board serves more than 145,000 alumni worldwide.

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Alumni Relations 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Alumni Board members play a key role in guiding the efforts and initiatives of the Office of Alumni Relations, and serve as regional, national, and international ambassadors for American University.

The American University Alumni Board celebrated the 90th anniversary of the alumni association in 2017. The Alumni Board represents the AU Alumni Association, providing strategic insight and professional expertise to assist the university's outreach effort to alumni. This dedicated group of volunteers serve as ambassadors for and to the university and work to engage all alumni in the life of the institution.

The Alumni Board also oversees the administration of AU's alumni awards, the highest honors presented by the Alumni Association on an annual basis.

The mission of the American University Alumni Association is to serve the diverse population of AU alumni worldwide, maintaining their connection to American University through active engagement designed to catalyze participation as volunteers, philanthropists, and ambassadors to and for American University.  

The vision of the American University Alumni Association is to engender a culture of excellence and collaboration across generations by illuminating pathways to support the student experience, enhance alumni connection with AU and one another, encourage philanthropy, and maximize our impact on the American University community.
 
We will accomplish this vision through an active commitment to our shared values of diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and the continuous centering of the voices of students, faculty, staff, and alumni, solidifying AU’s legacy to empower lives of purpose, service, and leadership .  

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: VALUES

●   Integrity
●   Excellence
●   Human dignity
●   Community
●   Diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusive excellence
●   Free inquiry and seeking truth
●   Impact

Officers

LaTanya Sothern, SOC/BA '92, is president of the Alumni Board. LaTanya is a principal with Prince George’s County Public Schools and owner/CEO of Sothern Education Solutions.

Patty Caballero, SOC/BA ’91, Kogod/MBA ’00, founder and CEO, PSC Consulting, LLC, is vice president of operations.

Brett Zongker, SOC/BA ’03, SOC/MA ’04, chief of media relations for the Library of Congress, is vice president of external relations for the Alumni Board.

Bradley White, SPA/BA ’99, WCL/JD ’07, Senior Director, Privacy Policy and Oversight for the US Department of Homeland Security, is secretary of the board and chair of its Nominations and Governance Committee.

Members at Large

John Antokas, Kogod/BSBA ’12 
Founder, President/CEO, Metro Transportation Management & Design, Inc. 

Chad Appel, SPA/BA ’03
Director, Center for Professional Advocacy & Associate Director, Health Policy and Practice, American Podiatric Medical Association

Corey Atkins, SPA/BA ’05
Government Relations Manager, Mission Health/HCA Healthcare 

Alycia Bennett, CAS/BA ’14
Senior Policy Strategist, Google

Andrew Clary, SPA/BA ’14
Associate, QinetiQ US

Yasmine Djellal, SIS/BA ’09
Director of Communications, Nathan Associates, Inc.

Steve Dresner, SOC/BA ’86
Senior Producer, NFL Network; The Weather Channel

Hina Gir, SPA/BA ’12, SPA/MA ’14
Project Director for Foreign Policy, Special Competitive Studies Project  

Pamela Higgins Harris, CAS/BA ’72, CAS/MEd ’73
Senior Consultant, Center for Education Equity

Brandi Howard, CAS/BA ’09
Partner, Brown Rudnick LLP 

Nile Johnson, SIS/MA ’11
Regulatory Transparency for Content Moderation, U.S. – Trust & Safety, Google Inc. 

Chris Kalna, Kogod / BSBA ’08, Kogod/ MBA ’19
Director-Information Management & Technology, MorganFranklin Consulting 

Daniel Alejandro Leon-Davis, SIS/BA ’13
Senior Media Fellow, USC Annenberg 

Meghann McLouth, Kogod/BSBA ’00
Senior Professional Relations Manager, Medtronic

Don Mike Mendoza, SOC/BA '10, SOC/MA '17
Executive Artistic Director, La Ti Do Productions

Andrea Moore, CAS/BA ’88 
Management Analyst, Social Security Administration 

Cheryl Parker, SOC-CAS/BA ’05
President and Founder, Spotlight Media Booking

Ashley Poletto, Kogod/BSBA ’14, Kogod/ MBA ’21 
Acquisitions Analyst, Sylvan Road Capital 

Darlene Slaughter, SPA/MS ’93
Vice President, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

Rachel Tabakman-Plancher, SPA/BA ’03
Board Affairs Manager, Girl Scouts of the USA 

Emily Tillett, SOC/BA ’12 
Director of Broadcast Media, Subject Matter 

Kelly Wilson, Kogod/BSBA ’84
Head of Personal Banking Strategy, HSBC

JOIN THE ALUMNI BOARD

Applications to join the AU Alumni Board are generally accepted in summer and fall. Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations with any questions.

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Interested in Joining the Alumni Board?

At-large board members serve a two-year term, following which they may reapply for a second term. Considering applying to the Alumni Board? Along with the application for membership, a full resume, a professional bio, and at least one letter of recommendation are required. Applications are accepted each year in summer or fall for service beginning the following calendar year.

Responsibilities of an At-Large AUAB Member:

  • Attending and actively participating in all AUAB meetings (four per calendar year, typically hosted during business hours).
  • Active participation as a member of an AUAB committee or task force.
  • Being a knowledgeable ambassador for AU and the Alumni Association.
  • Strengthen the relationship between the AUAB and the broader Alumni Association through service as an ally or champion liaison to one or more of our affinity groups
  • Attend at least four Alumni Association-sponsored and university events when possible (in-person and virtual)
  • Initiating outreach to and seeking engagement with fellow alumni through programs and events.
  • Make a gift of at least $2,000 during each two-year term (Contributions and matching gifts may be designated to any university fund or program and can be fulfilled monthly, quarterly, or annual installments.) 

Participation Guidelines (detailed below) include a variety of ways AUAB members support the work of AU. Please note that alumni residing outside the DC metro area support AU through regional community participation, alumni admissions work, and virtual opportunities. Applications from alumni in diverse geographic regions are strongly encouraged.

  • Along with the application form, please submit a full resumé́, professional bio, headshot, and one letter of recommendation by September 13.
  • The Alumni Board Nominations Committee will review applications in October. Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • prior involvement and philanthropic support.
    • answers to essay questions.
    • ability to contribute to the board’s geographic, ethnic, gender, and occupational diversity; and diversity of school/college within AU.
  • At the Nominations Committee’s discretion, candidates may be asked to participate in phone interviews.
  • The Nominations Committee will present prospective new members to the AUAB in early December for approval.
  • All new at-large members will be notified of their selection by mid-December and are expected to attend and participate in the AUAB winter meeting.
  • We will send a confirmation email once your application materials are submitted. If you don’t receive it, please contact Carlita Pitts at cpitts@american.edu.  

Thank you for your interest in the American University Alumni Board! Questions? Contact Bradley White or Rachel Tabakman, co-chairs of the Nominations and Governance Committee, or Carlita Pitts, director of alumni engagement.

ALUMNI AWARDS

The American University Alumni Awards are the highest honors presented by the AU Alumni Association. Selected through a highly competitive process, each recipient has made a lasting impact on society and on AU through outstanding professional, philanthropic, or volunteer accomplishments.

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ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HISTORY

In 1927, the same year that the first electronic TV image was transmitted and Charles Lindbergh completed his first solo flight across the Atlantic, the Alumni Association of American University was created.

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