Board of Governors
BARBARA L. JOHNSON
Barbara L. Johnson is a nationally known employment law attorney who represents employers in a wide variety of employment matters, including litigation and trials, day-to-day advice and counsel, employment discrimination and wage and hour claims, regulatory compliance, and diversity, equity and inclusion programs and handles investigations, arbitrations and mediations. Ms. Johnson has over 30 years of experience in assisting employers of all sizes in developing innovative approaches to address their workplace challenges. After fourteen years as an employment law Partner in a leading global law firm and handling high-profile class and collective actions, Ms. Johnson left the firm in December 2015 to establish BLJohnsonLaw PLLC. She serves as Counsel to Potter & Murdock PC. Barbara has been a Partner in a litigation boutique in Houston, Texas and in-house counsel for a major chemical company in Michigan.
Ms. Johnson is a graduate of Hampton University and William and Mary Law School. She is Secretary of the Board of Visitors of the College of William and Mary and a former President of the William and Mary Law School Foundation. Barbara is active in a number of professional associations, including the National Employment Law Council (immediate past President), the American Bar Association (Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Law), and the Association of Workplace Investigators.
Robert Raben helps his clients identify and achieve complex public policy objectives. He brings a nuanced understanding of the intersection of law, policy, politics and media to his work.
Robert’s bipartisan approach was honed during a legislative career that began on Congressman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) staff and culminated in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde’s (R-IL) endorsement of his appointment to the Justice Department as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs.
Robert served as counsel to Congressman Frank for seven years, advising Mr. Frank on issues before the Judiciary Committee and on national civil rights policy and politics before serving the Committee itself as Democratic counsel for the Subcommittee on the Constitution. He later held that position on the Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property, advising members on copyright, property and trademark law and policy, as well as the federal judiciary.
In 1999, Robert was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and, subsequently, Assistant Attorney General. After a unanimous confirmation vote, Robert was charged with overseeing Attorney General Janet Reno’s legislative initiatives and handling extensive congressional oversight of the Department. He dealt with both chambers of Congress and both sides of the aisle as chief lobbyist and strategist on a range of issues, including intellectual property, federalism, tort reform and cybercrime.
After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law, Robert was an associate with the law firm Arnold & Porter, specializing in international trade, federal lobbying and white-collar criminal defense. Soon after, he joined the faculty of Georgetown University Law School as an adjunct professor - a position he held until his confirmation as Assistant Attorney General.
He is a past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of DC and currently heads the organization’s judicial endorsements committee. He serves on the boards of the American Constitution Society and Alliance for Justice.
Spencer Overton is the President of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which was founded in 1970 and is America’s Black think tank. Spencer and the Joint Center team restructured the organization, and today its research shapes national discussions on the future of work in Black communities and congressional staff diversity. In addition to research, the Joint Center is focused on building systems, scaling, and strategically expanding into other areas that will shape the future of Black communities.
Spencer is also a tenured professor at GW Law School in Washington, DC, and is the author of a book and several academic articles, think tank reports, and popular commentaries on race and public policy. Spencer’s work on election commissions shaped the modern voter ID debate, resulted in Iowa restoring voting rights to 98,000 returning citizens, and moved more diverse states like South Carolina and Nevada to the beginning of the modern Democratic presidential primary process.
Spencer held policy leadership roles on the 2007-2008 Obama presidential campaign and the Obama transition team. During the Obama Administration he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy (the “think tank” of the Department of Justice), and as a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans.
Spencer has also practiced law at the firm Debevoise & Plimpton, clerked for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon J. Keith, and graduated with honors from both Hampton University and Harvard Law School.
A. SCOTT BOLDEN
A. Scott Bolden is the current Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C., office and former At-Large Member on the Executive Committee of the firm. As a prominent trial and white collar defense lawyer to whom companies and individuals turn for representation in their most significant concerns, Scott has handled some of the most high-profile matters in and outside the nation’s capital and is very comfortable handling matters on the national stage. He is particularly adept at assisting clients in navigating crises that present significant legal, business and reputational risks.
As part of his multifaceted litigation practice, Scott has defended clients in local and federal courts in connection with civil RICO claims; fraud, including health care fraud, and breach of contract; False Claims Act violations; education matters; government contract claims and disputes; tort claims; and other commercial and regulatory litigation issues.
With respect to his white collar criminal defense practice, Scott has defended individuals and corporate clients in state and federal trials and grand jury proceedings in connection with money laundering, federal and state tax fraud, bank fraud, financial structuring, and other white collar criminal issues; conducted internal investigations for major public and private corporations; conducted SEC investigations and prosecutions, as well as corporate compliance with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; and defended witnesses in depositions before House and Senate investigation committees.
For his work in defending his clients, Scott was recognized by his alma mater, Howard University, with the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award in the Field of Law. Scott has also been inducted into the Washington Bar Association Hall of Fame, been named one of the 100 most influential lawyers in law and business by Savoy magazine and the American Business Journals, and Rainmaker of Year by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association - all in 2018. He is also a former recipient of the Washington Business Journal's Top Lawyer in the White Collar Crime category, while The Washington Post, following a significant court victory, declared Scott, Washington's newest "super lawyer" and the "go to lawyer" for individuals and corporations with issues against and before the federal and local governments.
Paula H. Boyd is currently Director of Government and Regulatory Affairs for Microsoft Corporation, where she partners with colleagues to develop Microsoft’s communications policy positions and advocates those positions before the Federal Communications Commission, Congress and the Administration. At Microsoft, Paula manages a variety of communications issues including those related to spectrum and Internet protocol services such as accessibility and next generation 911 as well as issues surrounding Internet governance and ICANN.
Prior to joining Microsoft in 2002, Paula was Senior Counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Communications. She joined the Subcommittee in April of 1997 and while there, she drafted legislation, developed legislative strategy, organized hearings and briefings, managed consideration of bills on the Senate Floor, and advocated the Senate position in House and Senate Conferences. She handled issues such as broadband deployment, spectrum management, digital television transition, and competition in the local telecommunications marketplace.
Paula joined the Office of the General Counsel of the Federal Communications Commission in February of 1994 where she reviewed draft orders involving, broadcast issues and worked on issues involving tax certificates and preferences for designated entities in PCS. In September of 1994, Paula began working with the International Bureau on satellite policy issues. Paula began her legal career at Verner, Liipfert, McPherson and Hand in 1997 where she worked on a variety of litigation and transportation issues.
Chanelle Hardy is an attorney and public policy expert dedicated to advancing policies that promote economic growth, opportunity and justice. She is a member of the Public Policy team at Google, focusing on Strategic Outreach and External Partnerships. Most recently, she had the honor to serve as Chief of Staff to Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, the first woman to serve as Commission Chair and the only African American currently on the dais. Before that she led the Washington Bureau of the National Urban League - the nation's oldest civil rights and urban advocacy organization; was Counsel and Chief of Staff to former US Congressman Artur Davis; and served as an FTC staff attorney, Fellow and Counsel at Consumers Union, and fifth grade teacher. She is a member of the boards of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the Black Women’s Health Imperative.
Prior to joining the MacArthur Foundation, Ken was the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In this role, he oversaw the Finance, Grants Management, Business Technology and Facilities & Operations functions as well as the disaster recovery & relief process for the Foundation. He traveled extensively in African and Southeast Asia as CFO for Danya International, a public health and education organization and Jhpiego, a nonprofit international health affiliate of Johns Hopkins University. He also previously held corporate finance positions at Ford Motor Company, Pfizer Corporation, and the Prudential.
Ken received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, a master’s degree in economics from the University at Buffalo and a bachelor’s degree from Boston University.
Ken serves on the boards of the Council of Foundations, ABFE, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the National Prevention Science Coalition, the Mission Investors Exchange, the Thurgood Marshall Academy, Think of Us, the Public Justice Center, the Southern Education Foundation, the Center for Urban Families, the Steve Fund and Lutheran World Relief. He is a Who’s Who Black Baltimore recipient, Arthur Vining Davis Fellow for the Aspen Ideas Festival, Presidential Scholar at Concordia College – New York, Smart CEO Magazine Executive Management Award recipient as well as a DCA Live Star CFO awardee. Ken was in the 2nd Cohort of the Council of Foundations’ Career Pathways Program.
DR. DIANNE M. PINDERHUGHES
Dr. Dianne Pinderhughes is a professor of Africana Studies and political science at the University of Notre Dame. Before Notre Dame, Pinderhughes taught at Dartmouth College and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her teaching focuses on racial and ethnic politics in the U.S., voting rights policy, and American urban politics. Pinderhughes’ research addresses issues of inequality with a focus on racial and ethnic politics and public policy, explores the creation of American civil society institutions in the twentieth century, and analyzes their influence on the formation of voting rights policy.
Her publications include her book, Race and Ethnicity in Chicago Politics: A Reexamination of Pluralist Theory. In a current study, Pinderhughes also examines the intersection of race and gender in American electoral representation, the Gender and Multicultural Leadership Project.
Pinderhughes recently served as the president of the American Political Science Association from 2007 to 2008. She holds a B.A. from Albertus Magnus College along with an M.A. and a Ph.D., both in political science, from the University of Chicago.
CARLA THOMPSON PAYTON
Carla Thompson Payton is Vice President for Program Strategy for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In this role, she supports the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s efforts to promote thriving children, working families, and equitable communities. As a member of the executive team, she provides leadership and management for the creative and strategic direction of programming from design through implementation, evaluation, and dissemination.
Prior to joining the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2012, Carla was Deputy Director of the Office of Child Care at the Administration for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. She was the Assistant Superintendent for Early Childhood Education for the District of Columbia, where she initiated the first publicly funded pre-kindergarten program. Prior to this, she has held positions with the Department of Education and Department of Public Welfare for the state of Pennsylvania; United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Philadelphia; and the U.S. Department of Education.
Carla received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. She holds a master’s degree in social work and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
PAUL N.D. THORNELL
Paul Thornell serves as Managing Director, Federal Government Affairs in the Global Government Affairs office of Citigroup. In this role, he represents the company’s interests before Congress and the Administration, focusing on a range of policy issues related to capital markets, derivatives regulation, and consumer lending. Working with various trade associations in these duties, Mr. Thornell is past Chairman of the American Banker Association’s (ABA) Legislative Liaison Advocacy Council and serves as an appointed member on the ABA’s Government Relations Council.
Prior to joining Citigroup, he served as Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Field Leadership at United Way of America, the nation’s largest charity. In this position from 2002 to January 2007, Mr. Thornell developed and advocated on behalf of United Way’s public policy agenda before Congress and the Administration; led the organization’s relationship management work with the nearly 1,400 local United Ways; and oversaw United Way of America’s work in Disaster Preparedness and Response.
Prior to his joining United Way of America, Mr. Thornell was Managing Director for Public Affairs in Hill and Knowlton’s Washington office managing a variety of clients, for whom he provided strategic counsel, directed government relations and developed strategies on media relations and third party engagement.
Mr. Thornell served from 1998 to 2001 at the White House as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs for Vice President Al Gore. In that capacity, he was a senior liaison for Vice President Gore with Members of Congress, promoting the Clinton/Gore Administration’s policies before Congress and directing the Vice President’s activities and communication with U.S. Senators and U.S. Representatives.
Before joining the Office of the Vice President at the White House, Mr. Thornell served from 1996 to 1998 on Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle’s leadership staff. In his position, he was the Senate Democratic Leadership’s chief liaison to education, children’s, social service, civil rights and religious organizations, as well as directing intergovernmental affairs for the Senate Democratic Leadership. From 1994 to 1996, Mr. Thornell was Senior Legislative Representative at the advocacy group People For the American Way. In this role, he represented the organization’s interests before Congress and the Executive Branch on various First Amendment, civil rights and public education issues.
Mr. Thornell was raised in the Washington, DC area and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He has done extensive research on his family history, publishing an award-winning article on his great, great grandfather in the Journal of Negro History and delivering remarks at various public engagements on his research.
Mr. Thornell serves on the Board of United Way of the National Capital Area. He was also a board member of Generations United for 11 years; DC Habitat for Humanity for 10 years; and The Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest (CLPI) for 8 years. Mr. Thornell resides in Washington, DC with his wife Emily, son Nolan, and daughter Lena.
Antonio “Tony” Williams serves as Senior Director of External Affairs and Governmental Affairs for Comcast NBCUniversal. In this role, Tony develops and executes outreach campaigns in support of the company's policy priorities, as well as builds and maintains relationships with external policy stakeholders which include think tanks, advocacy organizations, activists, trade associations, thought leaders, and interest groups. Prior to joining the External Affairs team, Tony led strategic partnerships as part of a cross-functional team that created the Comcast Internet Essentials program which today is the largest broadband adoption program in the world having connected more than six million low-income Americans to the internet. Before joining Comcast, Tony served as the Speechwriter for U.S. Senator Norm Coleman and Communications Director for the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. In these roles, Tony crafted speeches, op-eds, and communications materials, as well as creating and directing high impact public communications campaigns. Tony currently serves as board chair of Black Tech Mecca and Democracy Prep Congress Heights Public Charter School. As well, he serves on the boards of the March on Washington Film Festival, Call for Action, and the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators. Tony is a 2017 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a 2016 graduate of the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and has received a Master’s in Communications and Journalism from American University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations from Macalester College.
Dr. William B. Boyd
The Johnson Foundation
Eddie N. Williams
President and CEO
Eddie Williams and Associates, LLC
John D. Wolfensohn
President and CEO
Wolfensohn and Company
Dr. Kenneth B. Clark
Served from 1970 to 2005
Louis E. Martin
Served from 1970 to 1997