Cosette Serabjit-Singh, a biomedical research scientist and former pharmaceutical company executive, is a 40-year veteran of the Research Triangle Park, NC whose growth and complexity was in concert with the development of her career and thriving family. While committed to her adopted state of North Carolina, her professional experience in academia, as a federal research scientist and a leader in the private sector, has enhanced her international perspective that has roots in her primary and secondary education overseas. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and has lived in Florida, India, Jamaica and New York. She completed her graduate degree in North Carolina and has travelled extensively for business and recreation. She has a strong interest in progressive, globally significant and sustainable development that will position North Carolina well for the benefit of all our children and grandchildren.
Jean Davis is president and CEO of MCNC, the technology nonprofit that builds, owns, and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). Her love for technology and passion for economic development helps ensure MCNC provides the highest level of broadband connectivity and network services for North Carolina’s research, education, non-profit health care, and other community institutions. Jean’s background includes experience in government, corporate and entrepreneurial worlds with leadership experience in entrepreneurial ventures, executive management, global sales, and technology operations with over 25 years successful leadership experience. Her areas of expertise include global operations management, strategic planning, start-ups, and technology-led economic development. She joined MCNC from the N.C. Department of Commerce where served as COO and Executive Director of Business, Industry and Trade, directing efforts toward the creation and retention of high-quality jobs by attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones all over the state. Prior to joining Commerce, Jean was a partner at Empire Properties, and the co-founder/owner of Serentec, Inc., a regulatory compliance firm which was sold to Lloyds Registry, UK in 2003. Jean also held progressive international positions at IBM, Computer Digest Magazine and McGraw Hill. Jean spent eight years living and working in Europe and has extensive experience in building business operations in Asia, Europe and South America. Jean is a 2005 Eisenhower Fellow and 2009 Henry Toll Fellow. She received her undergraduate honors degree in Political Science and Business Administration at New England College in Arundel, England and her Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.
Dr. Moise Khayrallah has been involved in drug development for over 25 years in both executive and R&D positions. He is presently CEO of Aerial BioPharma, his third biopharmaceutical holding company focused on developing drugs for CNS disorders. Prior to that, he held leadership positions in pharmaceutical and contract research companies including Lineberry Research Associates (later Constella Group) and Burroughs Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline). Khayrallah is also actively involved in the entrepreneurial networks in RTP. He is a board member of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and works actively with Center members as well as the NC Biotechnology Center to enhance the entrepreneurial climate in NC. He is also the founder of the Khayrallah Center for Lebanese-American Studies at NC State University, a joint venture with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences that seeks to research, document, and present the history of Lebanese-Americans in North Carolina. Through a fund at Triangle Community Foundation, Khayrallah also seeks to assist multicultural and global programs. He holds a Ph.D. degree in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Anita R. Brown-Graham rejoined UNC’s School of Government in September 2016 to lead the public launch of a special initiative that seeks to expand the School’s capacity to work with public officials on policy issues that affect North Carolina communities. Brown-Graham’s first tour as a faculty member was from 1994–2006, when she covered the areas of civil liability and community and economic development aimed at revitalizing communities. From 2007-2016 Brown-Graham served as director of the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) at NC State University. There, she led IEI’s work to build North Carolina’s capacity for economic development and prosperity. She is a William C. Friday Fellow, American Marshall Fellow, and Eisenhower Fellow. In 2013, the White House named her a Champion of Change for her work at IEI, and the Triangle Business Journal named her a 2014 Woman in Business for her policy leadership in the state. She serves as a Trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and is active on boards of several not-for-profit organizations. She participated in Go Global NC’s Latino Initiative for Foundation and Corporate Leaders in 2003.
Peter S. Brunstetter is the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Novant Health, Inc. Prior to joining Novant, he was a Partner in the law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1984 and was awarded Order of the Coif. He received his B.A. degree from Tulane University in 1977. Mr. Brunstetter previously served as a member of the North Carolina State Senate serving the 31st District of Forsyth and Yadkin Counties, serving as Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Judiciary I Committee and Vice Chair of the Rules Committee. Mr. Brunstetter was a member of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners from 1991-2004, serving as Chairman of the Board from 1994 to 2004. Mr. Brunstetter is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Novant Health, Inc., and former Chairman of the Board of the YMCAs of Northwest North Carolina. Mr. Brunstetter is a former member of the Boards of Visitors of UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State University and UNC-Wilmington. He is a former Adjunct Professor at Elon University School of Law. Mr. Brunstetter is a recipient of the Dr. I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award presented by the North Carolina Bar Association. Mr. Brunstetter served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1977 to 1981, including service on the commissioning crew of the USS BRISCOE (DD 977). Mr. Brunstetter resigned his commission from the Naval Reserve in 1990, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Mr. Brunstetter and his wife, Jodie, have four children, three of whom have served or are currently on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a licensed pilot and avid motorcyclist.
Cris (Mulder) Charbonneau serves as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for KnowledgeWorks, an education social enterprise focused graduating college and career ready students. More recently, Charbonneau served as the Deputy Secretary of Communications for the North Carolina Department of Transportation where she led all communication efforts for the second largest transportation network in the U.S., and was responsible for the strategic development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of public relations activities and integrated print and online communications; media relations; marketing; and public awareness and education programs. Prior to joining NCDOT, she was appointed to transform communication and outreach for the Wake County Public School System, the 16th largest school system in the nation, as their Chief Communications Officer. Cris launched the Office of Family and Community Engagement, implementing new and innovative ways for the school district to strengthen school-based parental engagement and community partnerships to increase student learning and development. Cris led large-scale, integrated marketing communication efforts across media relations, crisis management, website development, design and social media; launched parent academies; and orchestrated community outreach efforts. Cris was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the repositioning of a 20+ year old brand and corporate marketing initiatives at VIF International Education as their Director of Marketing. There, she most notably created the communications and brand strategy for the Global School Network. Her 20 year career also includes corporate brand and marketing communications roles for companies like Microsoft, Sony Ericsson, and AT&T Wireless. Cris is a native of Portland, Oregon and a proud University of Oregon Duck where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Cris lives in Cary, North Carolina. She currently serves on the District 7 Board Advisory Council for the Wake County Board of Education and as a member of the marketing committee for the Wake Education Partnership.
Jim Fain is a principal with Reid Street Consulting and former President and CEO of the N. C. Global TransPark, a 2,500 acre industrial and logistics park in Kinston, N.C. Before joining the TransPark, he was a business consultant at KDI Capital Partners, LLC, where he assisted with marketing and client relationship activities. Jim has the distinction of being North Carolina’s longest serving Secretary of Commerce (2001-2008). Prior to his career in public service, Jim enjoyed a 24 year career with First Union National Bank. His banking assignments included positions in the International Division and Corporate Banking in Charlotte, as Corporate Banking Manager and City Executive in High Point and Triangle Region Executive in Raleigh.. Fain earned a B.A. and M.B.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma while at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.
Edward B. Fiske, former Education Editor of the New York Times and editor of the Fiske Guide to Colleges, is known around the world for his writing on K-12 education policy and access to higher education. In 1982, he established the Fiske Guide, which is the country’s best-selling college guide. He has also co-authored several other books about college admissions. Fiske left the Times in 1991 to devote more time to writing about education in developing countries and subsequently wrote frequently for UNESCO, USAID, the World Bank and other international organizations on issues such as gender equity in education. He and his wife, Helen F. Ladd, a professor of public policy at Duke, co-authored When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale (2010), a book on parental choice in New Zealand, and Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2004), a study of South Africa’s struggle to create a democratic state education system. In 2010 they lived in Amsterdam and carried out research on the Dutch system of weighted student funding for low-income pupils. In 2015 they lived in London and did a study of the success that Inner London boroughs have had in educating clusters of disadvantaged pupils. Fiske has previously served three terms on the Council’s board of Directors, including a stint as Chair, and currently serves as Chair of the Program Committee.
Wayne McDevitt has served on the North Carolina State Board of Education since 2001, including serving as the Board’s Vice Chairman since June 2007. He is currently engaged in several business and entrepreneurial ventures that he began in 2006 after his retirement from state government, where he served as Senior Vice President for University Affairs for the University of North Carolina system, Senior Vice Chancellor at the UNC-Asheville, Chief of Staff to former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. He participated in CIU’s Learning from China Program in 2004, its NC in the World Task Force in 2008, and went to China in 2010, representing CIU’s Confucius Classrooms.
Nicole Murphey focuses her practice at BridgehouseLaw on U.S. and European corporate issues and has represented a wide variety of multinational companies, national and local businesses, and individuals. She is fluent in German and advises clients in litigation avoidance strategies on a range of business matters, including employment, hiring and terminations, confidentiality and non-competition agreements. Nicole routinely assists global clients with cross-border and domestic transactional matters such as supply agreements, sales and distribution contracts, general terms and conditions, warranties and limitations of liability. She also represents employers and management in litigation of contractual claims and corporate defense before federal and state courts.
As an alumni of the first Sister Cities student exchange between her hometown of Gastonia, NC and Gotha, Germany, she has continued to support the successful cultural exchange program for over 20 years. While majoring in German at Wake Forest University, Nicole also studied abroad in Vienna, Austria. Her
experiences in Germany and Austria throughout her academic career developed her appreciation of crosscultural differences, and ability to provide solutions for clients’ needs in foreign settings.
Justice Orr began his career in Asheville in 1975. In 1986, he was appointed as a Judge to the North Carolina Court of Appeals and elected statewide in 1988. Bob was re-elected to the Court of Appeals in 1992 and then ran successfully for the North Carolina Supreme Court in 1994 and re-elected in 2002. He retired from the Supreme Court in July 2004. After leaving the bench, he became head of the NC Institute for Constitutional Law for 7 years before returning to private practice. He served Of Counsel for Poyner Spruill and Campbell Shatley Attorneys at Law.
And finally, Governor McCrory appointed Justice Orr as acting District Attorney for the 24th Judicial District, where he served until June 2014.
Bob and his wife split their time between Raleigh and Yancey County. Bob serves on the UNC-TV Board of Trustees, the Southeastern Conference on Genetics in the Courtroom, the Governor’s Crime Commission, the Triangle YMCA Board of Directors, and the Clemson Institute for Parks Board of Advisors.
Jennifer Godfrieda Parser is an experienced immigration attorney at Poyner Spruill, LLP. She developed an immigration practice, bringing multilingual (fluent French and English, conversational German) capabilities in successful preparation of employment-based visas, green cards and family-based immigration needs. Her pro bono work encompasses both political and religious asylum cases as well as immigration needs of the local community. Formerly, Parser was at Ward and Smith, based in Raleigh, and also practiced in New York City. Additionally, Parser has served as Vice Chairman, board member and full-time paid Regional Director of the American Australian Association’s office in Sydney, where she was responsible for overseeing bilateral educational post-doctoral fellowship programs, specifically Sir Keith Murdoch Foundation’s exchange in life sciences and biotechnology between United States and Australia, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund for performing artists, Douglas Wiser Scholarships for New Zealand exchange in viticulture. Currently, she serves as an Executive Committee Member, Counsel and Corporate Secretary, at the Triangle Chapter of the British American Business Council of North Carolina, and Vice President, Government Liaison and co-Chair Speakers’ Committee of the North Carolina Chinese Business Association, and is a Co-Founder and Executive Committee member of the Organization of Women in International Trade’s Greater Triangle Chapter. Parser received her law degree from Wake Forest University and B.A. from Dartmouth College and holds certificates from the International Courts of Justice in the Hague, the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, and London University’s summer program on E.U. law.
José A. Pérez, a native of Guatemala, has been exposed to different cultures and countries during his professional career. He has lived and worked in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the USA. These experiences have enhanced the way he views the world and international opportunities. He is involved in several local and international organizations. José is the Director for Global Markets of iConsulting, an international management consulting company. He works with companies to expand into other markets and provide solutions to their global challenges. He has worked for several multinationals across industries in the areas of international business development and strategic marketing: at Novartis he worked in Product Management and developed the Marketing Intelligence Department; at Alberto Culver he re-structured the Marketing Department; at I.H.S. Group he was Country Manager of Spain, Portugal and Israel; and at Henry Schein he was responsible for International Corporate Accounts. José holds an MBA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Millie Ravenel is a global educator and was the founder and Executive Director of Center for International Understanding (now Go Global NC) for 32 years, retiring in 2011. During that time, she helped establish programs for education and policy leaders to build economic and educational bridges between North Carolina and countries around the world. During Millie’s tenure, more than 8,000 citizens, teachers, and leaders traveled to 48 different countries, bringing international perspectives back to their classrooms and communities.
Since her retirement, Millie has started a non-profit organization working with Go Global NC’s long-time Mexican partner. She also serves on various boards, travels, and spends as much time as possible with her grandchildren.
Liz Tracy is a mission-focused leader with experience in building collaborative communities. She has a deep understanding of how to build initiatives from the ground up with a focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. She is the director at HQ Raleigh, an award winning space that is also the first certified B Corps co-working space in North Carolina. At HQ she works on partnership development, strategic planning, space design, and how businesses can align with social impact. She has experience as an instructor, working with international students every January and July and also facilitating the Innovator’s Program Startup Accelerator every fall. Originally born and raised in California, she has lived in Spain, Panama and now calls North Carolina home. She has a passion for the outdoors and has a strong interest in helping to build a community with an emphasis on solutions that can create lasting social, economic, and environmental value.
Dr. Joe B. Whitehead, Jr., is a tenured professor of physics at North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T). Previously he served as the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at NCA&T. Dr. Whitehead served as a key member of the Chancellor’s cabinet. He provided leadership and direction for all academic programs and worked closely with internal and external constituents to promote the quality achievement of strategic outcomes. The Division of Academic Affairs is composed of nine (9) schools/colleges. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs have direct supervision of deans of all academic schools/colleges, namely the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering; the Schools of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Nursing and Technology; The Graduate School and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is also responsible for direct supervision of the Dean of Library Services, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Programs, the Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, and the Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Programs and Extended Learning. Additionally, the Provost has oversight of the Division of Information Technology and the Division of Research and Economic Development. Dr. Whitehead received his B.S. degree in Physics from Delta State University (1983) and his M.A. (1985) and Ph.D. (1989) in Physics from Kent State University where he performed his doctoral research at the Liquid Crystal Institute. After graduation from Kent State University in 1989, he was a research scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute for one year prior to an appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Whitehead’s administrative appointments include Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Associate Dean and Dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the recipient of the Kent State University’s 2001 Institutional Diversity New Millennium Alumni Award and a member of Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame. Dr. Whitehead is a native of Picayune, Mississippi and is married with two children.