Board of Directors
Character.org's Board of Directors sets strategic direction for the organization, to include vision, mission and strategic goals; oversees and evaluates the executive director’s leadership and management; ensures compliance with all financial and legal requirements; and supports fundraising activities and other broad policy matters relating to the organization’s purpose. They are a diverse and dedicated group of leaders with great passion for Character.org's fundamental mission.

Officers

Linda McKay_webBoard Chair
Linda McKay, National Advocate Character Education in America’s Schools
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Linda McKay advocates for federal and state policies that support social, emotional and character development in schools. She has been a leader in the character education field for over 20 years, working with schools, parents, students, businesses, and foundations across the country. She was a Presidential-appointee in the US Department of Education, where she served as senior advisor for character education. Prior to her federal service, Linda directed CHARACTERplus in St. Louis, Missouri. She has also served as a member of several national boards and commissions dedicated to promoting civic participation, service learning, ethics, and moral education. She was a founding member of Character.org and has co-authored numerous publications about character education and ethical decision-making.
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bio-Frank-KeatingVice Chair
Frank A. Keating, Partner, Holland and Knight
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Prior to his current position, he worked in the U.S. Treasury, Justice and Housing departments under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. In 1993, Frank was elected Governor of Oklahoma. He earned national acclaim for his efforts in the aftermath of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma City. Frank was re-elected to a second term, becoming only the second governor in Oklahoma history to serve two consecutive terms. The recipient of six honorary degrees, Governor Keating received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his law degree from the University of Oklahoma.
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Patrick NiemannTreasurer
Patrick J. Niemann, Office Managing Partner – Greater Los Angeles, Ernst & Young
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Patrick Niemann is Ernst & Young’s Office Managing Partner for Greater Los Angeles. Pat also is a client serving partner, working with companies in the consumer product, manufacturing, technology, and aerospace sectors. He has worked with public and private companies of various sizes, from start-up businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Pat also sits on Ernst & Young’s Americas Advisory Council, which advises the Firm’s Chairman and other senior management in strategy, policy, and governance matters. Pat is a graduate of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. He currently is a member of the Board of Advisors for USC Marshall School’s Leventhal School of Accounting, and is the Past President of the USC Accounting Circle Board. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award presented by the USC Leventhal School of Accounting. Pat and his wife, Rebecca, have two young sons, and reside in Palos Verdes Estates.
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Members

Dr. Michele BorbaMichele Borba, Educational Psychologist and Author
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Michele Borba is an educator and award-winning author who has worked with over one million parents, educators, and children over the span of her career. She has become nationally and internationally renowned for her practical, research-based strategies to help develop healthy children and families. A sought-after motivational speaker, she has presented workshops and keynote addresses throughout the US and world. Michele is a regular guest/expert adviser on The Today Show, and she has authored 23 books. She earned her Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Counseling from the University of San Francisco.
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anne_bryantAnne Bryant, Executive Director (Ret.), National School Boards Association
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Anne Bryant heads the National Schools Boards Association, a federation of organizations dedicated to advancing education through citizen governance of public schools. NSBA reaches over 14,890 schools through a network of 95,000 school board members. She directs a 140-person staff in Alexandria, Virginia, establishing and implementing policies to help state associations and local school boards provide effective leadership. Anne is an experienced executive who has written widely on K-12 education, volunteer-staff leadership issues, and the role of the federal government in education. She regularly testifies before Congress, carrying the message that the education of our public school students must be the nation’s top priority. In addition to serving on the CEP Board, she chairs the organization’s Education Advisory Council.
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Joan Cole DuffellJoan Cole Duffell,  Executive Director, Committee for Children
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Following her years teaching in a therapeutic program for abused children, she led Committee for Children’s US marketing and outreach efforts from 1983 to 2002. During this time she developed partnerships with organizations across Europe, Asia, and Latin America, in order to bring culturally adapted editions of the Second Step program to children and families across the globe. She also advised numerous Catholic dioceses and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in their efforts to implement research-based sexual abuse prevention programs in order to establish safe environments for children in their care. She accepted the position of Executive Director in 2007. In this role she has led the organization to place an emphasis on integrating program offerings, collaboration among colleagues, and higher-level issue advocacy in order to advance commonly shared goals. She serves on the board of directors of several nonprofits focused on education, early learning, and child well-being, and was co-chair of the Collaborative for Academic, Social & Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) Program Provider Council.
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Clay Hamlin webClay W. Hamlin, III CEO, LBCW Investments
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Clay is a founder, former CEO and member of the Board of Trustees and of Corporate Office Properties Trust, Inc., a public real estate investment trust (NYSE: OFC).  A resident of Philadelphia for over 40 years, Clay has over 30 years of experience as an owner and developer of commercial real estate.  He is currently founder and Managing Partner of Alliance Partners, a private owner-operator of commercial real estate.  He is also founder and President of LBCW Holdings, a privately held family investment company investing primarily in private equity, structured debt, and special opportunities. In the late 1960’s, Clay served as a Lieutenant J.G. in the U.S. Navy on the aircraft carrier the USS WASP. Clay received his undergraduate degree and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  A former All-Ivy League tennis player, Clay received the Class of 1915 Award for the Ideal Scholar/Athlete in his Penn Undergraduate Class of 1967.  He is a Certified Public Accountant, a graduate of Temple University of Law School and practiced law for 10 years in Philadelphia. The Hamlin Family Foundation co-founded CITRS, Inc. (citrs.org), a non-profit, non-sectarian education company which works with public and private schools and youth education organizations to develop comprehensive character, education and leadership programs.
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bio-Charles-HaynesCharles C. Haynes, Director, Religious Freedom Education Project, Newseum
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Charles Haynes chairs the Character.org Board of Directors. He is a scholar, widely recognized for his leadership and work regarding First Amendment issues in public education. Over the past decade, he has been the principal organizer and drafter of a series of consensus guidelines on the First Amendment in public schools that have been endorsed by a broad range of national organizations. Dr. Haynes is also the author or co-author of seven books, including Finding Common Ground: A Guide to Religious Liberty in Public Schools, and First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America. He serves on the Public Education Advisory Committee of the American Bar Association and the Steering Committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools. Charles holds a master’s degree in religion and education from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate in theological studies from Emory University.
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Samuel MurphySamuel Murphy , Foreign Affairs Student, Hampden-Sydney College
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As a high school sophomore I held the position as secretary of my class. In my senior year I was the class president of a class of five hundred students in a school of twenty-five hundred students. I expanded my interest in physics by entering an international NASA Competition, and led my team to winning the first place grand prize. I also went on mission trips to Guatemala and Germany. My passion for missions, youth, and the German language led me to take a yearlong job offer as youth director at a camp in the former East Germany. During my time in Germany along with my near death electrical accident, I began to realize my interest in foreign field of government.  I am currently studying Foreign Affairs at Hampden-Sydney, and I am also involved with the Wilson Center and it’s leadership program and with Young Life. I plan to graduate from Hampden-Sydney in 2018 and then pursue a career in government and foreign affairs.
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Janelle RouseJanelle Naomi Rouse, Student, Widener University
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Janelle Rouse is a student at Widener University pursuing a dual degree in Special Education and Early Childhood Education in the School of Education, Innovation, and Continuing Studies. She is currently working on a project in the Oskin Leadership Institute, under the direction of Dr. Arthur Schwartz, to bring character education into the curriculum of the schools in the Chester Upland School District of Chester, Pennsylvania. She is also a part of the Presidential Scholars Corps at Widener, serving 300 hours of community service every school year in the Chester community. She is a native Washingtonian and City Year/ AmeriCorps Alumni who served 1700 hours of service during the 2011-2012 school years. Janelle hopes to gain knowledge and offer real life experiences to Character.org to move the program in a progressive direction.
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bio-Eileen-SantiagoEileen Santiago, Principal (ret.), The Thomas A. Edison School
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Eileen Santiago was Principal of Thomas Edison, a K-5 elementary school in the high-needs, low-SES district of Port Chester NY, a community comprised mainly of immigrants. Under her leadership, the school staged an impressive turnaround, raising its ELA and mathematics test scores beyond the 80% passing mark. Dr. Santiago’s emphasis on teaching conflict resolution as part of the curriculum and her active outreach to the community played large roles in the school’s remarkable transformation. She began her teaching career as a bilingual/ESL teacher in New York City. She earned her doctorate in curriculum and teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University and completed the program in elementary education at Barnard College.
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Dr. Arthur SchwartzDr. Arthur J. Schwartz,  Founding Executive Director of the Oskin Leadership Institute, Widener University
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In addition to serving as the Oskin Leadership Institute’s Founding Executive Director, Dr. Schwartz is also a professor of education at the university. He previously served as the Senior Scholar for Character and Leadership Development at the United States Air Force Academy. Dr. Schwartz served fourteen years as a senior executive with the John Templeton Foundation. He is widely-known for collaborating with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman at the University of Pennsylvania in catalyzing the field of positive psychology and he has worked closely with Dr. William Damon at Stanford University on a landmark research project aimed at understanding how young people develop “noble purpose.” He also helped to conceive the idea for the National Schools of Character program, administered by the Character Education Partnership. Dr. Schwartz received his doctorate in moral education from Harvard University. He is married with two children, enjoys musical theatre, and is an avid reader of abolition history.
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bio-Susan-SclafaniSusan Sclafani, Vice President of Program Management, Pearson Foundation
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Prior to joining Pearson Foundation, Susan Sclafani held several key staff and leadership posts during a long and distinguished career in education. Susan is the former Coordinator/Principal of a magnet school in Houston; former Executive Director of Curriculum Development, Associate Superintendent and Chief of Staff for Houston’s Independent School District; former counselor to the US Secretary of Education; former Assistant Secretary of Education for Vocational and Adult Education; and former Director of State Services at the National Center on Education and the Economy. With each position held, she worked tirelessly to improve K-12 education systems at the local, state and national levels. Susan holds an AB in German and Mathematics from Vassar College, an MA in German and Mathematics from the University of Chicago, and M.Ed. and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.
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Scott SillersScott Sillers,  Former Partner, Levensohn Venture Partners
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Currently, Scott Sillers is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Health Professions Education Foundation in Sacramento, CA.  The Foundation provides scholarships and loan repayments to aspiring and practicing health professionals who agree to practice in a medically underserved area. Previously, Scott was a General Partner at Levensohn Venture Partners in San Francisco, CA.  He has also worked for the Rev. Jesse Jackson at Rainbow/PUSH and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, which focused on economic development in Harlem.  Scott began his career at IBM where he worked in marketing and sales.
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bio-Rich-TeerlinkRichard F. Teerlink, President & CEO (ret.), Harley-Davidson
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Richard Teerlink is the former Chairman and CEO of Milwaukee-based and internationally renowned Harley-Davidson Motor Company. During his 18 years with H-D, he served as chief financial officer, president, chief executive officer, and chairman of the board. He serves on the boards of a number of businesses and has been honored by many organizations for his leadership and humanitarian accomplishments. His professional career and personal life are marked by a love for the accomplishments of others, a deep and abiding humility in the face of success, great success in transforming challenges it into opportunities, and a lifelong commitment to leadership excellence, as explored in his book, More Than a Motorcycle: The Leadership Journey at Harley-Davidson. Rich graduated from Bradley University with a BS in Accounting and received his MBA from the University of Chicago.
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LAV picLorelei A. Vargas, MPP, MA
Deputy Commissioner for Early Care and Education, Administration for Children’s Services
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Lorelei Vargas is responsible for administering all aspects of one of the largest publicly-funded early care and education systems in the country, serving the needs of close to 100,000 children. Lorelei has close to two decades of professional experience working in the non-profit sector with a strong focus on improving education and helping to strengthen the lives of children and families. Prior to joining ACS, she worked the last twelve years for ANDRUS, a private, non-profit human service agency that is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in trauma-informed care for children and families. Most recently, she served as the organization’s Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. Lorelei has spent the last nine years of her career focusing on the impact of trauma and toxic stress on children, families, communities and systems.  Lorelei’s focus on addressing the needs of vulnerable children and families spans over two decades. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Bryn Mawr College and holds two Master degrees, one in Public Policy and one in Education Administration and Policy, both from the University of Michigan, where she was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow.
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bio-Glenn-WilkeGlenn Wilke, Executive Director, Midtown Education Foundation
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Glenn Wilke began his tenure with MEF in 1976 as a volunteer. He continued to volunteer at Midtown during his twenty-year career with ConAgra Foods, where he served in management in the business and marketing divisions. In 2001, Glenn was appointed Director of External Affairs and Annual Giving at the Midtown Education Foundation. In 2004, he accepted the position of Executive Director, where he oversees two separate centers to support Chicago’s youth. Their after-school and summer programs focus on academic achievement in schools and virtuous living.