Karen Donfried is president of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), a nonprofit focused on strengthening transatlantic relations and headquartered in Washington, D.C., with seven oces across Europe. Before assuming this role in April 2014, she was special assistant to the President and senior director for European aˆairs on the National Security Council at the White House. Her government service spans positions in Congress and the Executive Branch, including the State Department and National Intelligence Council. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Munich and a PhD from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. She serves as a senior fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A government and German double major at Wesleyan, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, received the Prentice Prize for excellence in German, and was a Keeney Scholar, earning her degree with high honors. She was named a Distinguished Alumna in 2014.


John Rhea is president, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets, of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC, a full-service investment banking company founded in 1996. Previously , he was a senior advisor to The Boston Consulting Group and is a founder and managing partner of RHEAL Capital Management, LLC, a real estate development and investment firm based in New York. From 2009 to 2014, he was chairman and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority, appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in the financial services industry. His current nonprofit aliations include service as a director of Red Cross Greater New York, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. Rhea was twice named to 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate and 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street. A College of Social Studies major at Wesleyan, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School.


Shana Simmons is a corporate counsel at Google Inc., where she manages a team that supports Google’s growing Cloud business. Previously, she was an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Stein and Hamilton LLP in its New York and London oces. She earned her law degree from University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as the diversity editor of the California Law Review; development editor of the Berkeley Journal of African American Law & Policy; and co-president of the Law Students of African Descent. While in law school, she interned at the East Bay Community Law Center, focusing on projects to empower lowincome communities of color. A College of Social Studies major and a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow at Wesleyan, she was an active contributor to the student of color community, serving in leadership positions with Ujamaa and the Student of Color Council, as well as coordinating the Student of Color Pre-Frosh Weekend. For her academic excellence and contributions to maintaining Wesleyan’s racial diversity, she was awarded the Vanguard Prize, established by black alumni.


Franklin Sirmans is the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Previously, he was the department head and curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) from 2010 until fall 2015. There, he organized Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada. He also organized a number of FIVE JOIN WESLEYAN BOARD other exhibitions and co-organized Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection. From 2006 to 2010, he was curator of modern and contemporary Art at The Menil Collection in Houston, where he organized several exhibitions including NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith. He is the 2007 David C. Driskell Prize Winner and he was the artistic director of Prospect.3 New Orleans from 2012–2014. An English and art history major, Sirmans wrote his honors thesis on Jean-Michel Basquiat, working with Professor Peter Mark. Shortly after graduating, Sirmans’s thesis became the chronology for the 1992 Whitney Museum show and catalogue on the artist. He received a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2016.


Kiki Kennedy is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University, where she leads an advocacy training initiative for the Department of Psychiatry and supervises psychiatry residents in psychotherapy for the Connecticut Mental Health Center and the Yale Long-Term Psychotherapy Clinic. She is also in private practice in New Haven, Conn. Her professional aliations currently include membership on the Council on Advocacy and Government Relations for the American Psychiatric Association, membership on the Committee on Psychotherapy for the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, and service on the executive committee for the Austen Riggs Center, a nonprofit psychiatric hospital in Stockbridge, Mass. She holds a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor of science from Brown University. She also serves on the boards of several environmental and arts organizations in Connecticut. Volunteer service for Wesleyan includes speaking on a parent panel during WesFest 2015 and hosting a This is Why campaign event in Hyannis Port, Mass. She is the mother of Kiley ’16 and Teddy ’20.