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Staff + Board


The Leadership Alliance's Executive Office is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.


Medeva Ghee, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Medeva Ghee, a graduate of North Carolina State University in 1991 with a bachelor's degree in zoology, earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology in 1997 from New York University School of Medicine. Her postdoctoral research was conducted with a team of CNRS researchers in Paris, France, where she employed biochemical and gene therapy technologies to investigate the impact of protein aggregation in Parkinson's disease. In 2005, Dr. Ghee worked with the William J. Clinton Foundation as a Laboratory Systems Specialist for the HIV/AIDS Initiative. In this capacity, she provided technical assistance and strategic advice on the development of laboratory plans and systems to support national HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs in the Initiative's partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Ghee joined the Leadership Alliance as the Assistant Director in 2006 and since July 2008, has been Associate Director of the Leadership Alliance, and manager of the executive office staff. In July 2011, Dr. Ghee was appointed as Executive Director of the Leadership Alliance.



Deborah Collins, Ph.D.

Associate Director

Dr. Deborah Collins received her Ph.D. in educational research and policy analysis from Virginia Tech in 1984. While at Virginia Tech, she was Co-Director of the Vocational Education Evaluation in Virginia program, as well as the development and funding of two national research projects through the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at UC Berkley/Virginia Tech. As Co-Project Director, her research focused on longitudinal assessment of vocational enrollment patterns and their relationship to academic program achievement and postsecondary enrollments. At the same time, she co-directed a research project exploring the linkages between educational evaluation utilization and planning in vocational education. Dr. Collins taught research methods courses in both education and sociology, collaborating with colleagues in the sociology department to create and administer Virginia Tech's Center for Survey Research. As Center Co-Director, she worked with researchers and policy analysts across multiple disciplines to pursue and support funded research and regional public policy initiatives. In 1997, she came to Brown University as the Director of Research and Evaluation, leading two cycles of research activities for the Regional Educational Laboratory at Brown University (LAB). During her tenure at The Education Alliance, the Research and Evaluation division annually fielded up to 20 contract and grant initiatives, including multi-year national research awards through NSF, NIH and the U.S. Department of Education.



Barbara Kahn

Coordinator for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs

Barbara Kahn is the Coordinator for Graduate and Undergraduate Programs for the Leadership Alliance. In this capacity, she coordinates the combined application process for the 21 undergraduate summer research sites and supervises the Alliance summer research program at Brown University. Prior to her appointment with the Leadership Alliance, Ms. Kahn was part of the professional development team at Brown University's Annenberg Institute for School Reform, a center promoting quality education for disadvantaged children, especially in urban communities. She came to Brown University from Chaffee & Partners, a public relations and advertising firm in Providence, R.I. Ms. Kahn holds a B.S. in Education from Boston University.



Maria DoVale

Coordinator for Professional Development and Networking

Maria DoVale is the Coordinator for Professional Development & Networking for the Leadership Alliance. It is Ms. DoVale’s primary responsibility to plan, organize, coordinate and develop sessions that promote networking, mentoring and professional development for undergraduate students, graduate students and our doctoral scholars. As the Ex-Oficio of the Leadership Alliance Symposium Planning Committee, she works alongside colleagues from various member institutions who provide suggestions on different aspects of program planning for the Symposium. Ms. DoVale comes to us with a wealth of experience in administration, event planning and management augmented with exemplary technical, organizational and customer service skills. Prior to her appointment with the Leadership Alliance, Ms. DoVale worked for 5½ years at the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau helping to promote the state of Rhode Island as well as the city of Providence as a convention destination. Prior to this appointment, she worked for American Express corporate travel for eight years. Ms. DoVale holds a B.A. in Travel & Tourism Management from Johnson & Wales University.

External Advisory Board

The Mission of the External Advisory Board is to advise, promote and actively support The Leadership Alliance in realizing its vision of developing underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business and the public sector.

Susan K. Avery, Ph.D.

President Emeritus of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Peter J. Bruns, Ph.D.

Former Vice President for Grants and Special Programs, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

George C. Hill, Ph.D.

Chief Diversity Officer and Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Vanderbilt University

Caryl McFarlane, Ph.D.

Executive Consultant, University Alliance

Amri B. Johnson, M.P.H.

Global Head, Diversity and Inclusion, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Carlos Ramos Bellido, Ph.D.

Retired Director of Honors College, University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras