Board of Trustees

The Excelsior College Board of Trustees is the governing body for the College. The board comprises individuals from across the United States who are prominent in the fields of business, education, government, and the professions.

  • Helen Benjamin (Chair) is the chair of Excelsior College’s Board of Trustees. She was chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District from 2005 until her retirement in December 2016. She began her career at the District in 1990 when she joined Los Medanos College as dean of language arts and humanistic studies and related occupations.


  • Pamela J. Tate (Vice Chair) is the vice chair of Excelsior’s Board of Trustees. As the chief national partnerships officer for the Strada Education Network, Pam Tate works with non-profits to identify funding sources and business opportunities, and to establish national partnerships designed to help adults in the U.S. who either have no college at all or some college but no degree.


  • Don Dea (Treasurer), is the treasurer of Excelsior’s Board of Trustees. A recognized authority on the Internet, association and nonprofit organizations, online education, mobile, and technology deployment, Don Dea is the cofounder of Fusion Productions.


  • Rose Wang (Secretary) is the secretary of Excelsior’s Board of Trustees. A serial entrepreneur, Rose Wang is the founder of Binary Group, an IT consulting firm providing enterprise solutions.


  • David Baime is the senior vice president for government relations and policy analysis for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). He previously served as director of education funding for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and as assistant director of government relations for the Association of American Medical Colleges.


  • Debbie Hatmaker is the chief nursing officer of the American Nurses Association (ANA) Enterprise, which consists of the ANA membership organization representing the nation’s 4 million registered nurses; the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which promotes excellence in nursing and health care globally through credentialing programs; and the American Nurses Foundation, ANA’s charitable arm.


  • Matt Loeb, CGEIT, CAE, FASAE, is the CEO of ISACA, a nonprofit, global association focused on governance of enterprise technology.


  • Michael J. Loughran is president of the Healthcare Division of Aon’s Affinity Insurance Services Inc., where he is responsible for all client segments, including medical doctors, dentists, allied health care professionals, health care facilities, and firms.


  • KH Maman has more than 25 years of experience in the field of information systems security, telecommunications, systems design and integration, network consulting, PCI credit card security, breach investigation, business continuity planning and disaster recovery, and more.


  • A. Frank Mayadas spent 29 years at IBM during which he headed IBM’s West Coast research operation and served a term as secretary of the IBM Corporation Management Board, working directly with the chairman, CFO, and president on matters of corporate strategy and management.


  • Jeanne Meister is a founding partner of Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm, and is the best-selling author of four books—two on the launch and expansion of corporate universities and two on the future of work.


  • Karim Merchant is the director of development and volunteer engagement at the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF), U.S.A., a private, not-for-profit international development organization.


  • Jerry Neff (ARNGUS, Ret.) enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard in May 1960, at the age of 18, and soon after also set off on a banking career.


  • Mary O’Connor is an associate professor of nursing at Notre Dame of Maryland University where she teaches RN to BSN and MSN courses.


  • Clar Rosso is executive vice president of engagement and learning innovation for the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (AICPA). She previously served as COO of the California Society of CPAs (CalCPA) and the CalCPA Education Foundation.


  • Khori Whittaker is the president and CEO of Lighthouse Academies, a network of K–12 charter academies serving students in under-resourced communities in several states.


  • Alec Whitters is the CEO and co-founder of Higher Learning Technologies (HLT), an organization that develops high-rated, engaging study apps for students.

Ex-Officio Trustees

  • Dr Wesley (Scott) Benton joined Excelsior College’s teaching faculty in the School of Health Sciences in 2013. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in distance higher education.


  • Dwayn M. Hanford retired from the U.S. Army as an all-source intelligence technician, and is a team chief and senior intelligence officer for the Department of the Army Civilian in the 1st Information Operations Command, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Chair Emeriti

  • Arthur Gregg has more than 44 years of professional experience, having held senior-level management and command positions in the military and industry.


  • Joshua L. Smith, a prominent leader in higher education, was a professor and director of the Program in Higher Education and Center for Urban Community College Leadership, School of Education, New York University until 2000.


  • Richard Yep is executive director and CEO of the American Counseling Association (ACA), a post he has held since 1998. ACA is composed of more than 45,000 professional counselors and counselor educators.

Trustee Emeriti

  • William Cox is president and cofounder of Cox, Matthews and Associates Inc., a Fairfax, Virginia, firm specializing in publishing, satellite television production, training, education, and consulting.


  • William G. Harris serves as the CEO of the Association of Test Publishers (ATP), the leading international organization for publishers of assessment programs.


  • Jean Smith, former vice president of Chase Community Development Corporation, has worked in the banking and financial industry since 1978.


  • Lawrence Vertucci previously held the position of executive vice president and regional president of the Capital Region for HSBC Bank.


  • John R. Wetsch is responsible for supporting the complete application portfolio of the North Carolina Department of Revenue.