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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, The Leadership Alliance
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University

Dr. Medeva Ghee is the Executive Director of the Leadership Alliance and a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University.  As Director of the Leadership Alliance, she is responsible for leading the 36-member consortium dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented students in competitive graduate and doctoral training programs and ultimately developing leaders and role models in academia, the public and private sectors.  She is the Director and Principal Investigator on a number of programs to prepare students for Ph.D. training and to consider careers in the professoriate and broader research workforce.  Dr. Ghee previously worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative as a Laboratory Systems Specialist. 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. Informed by these experiences, she developed a course on multidisciplinary approaches to support HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa that is offered to Brown undergraduates and Master’s degree students. A graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in zoology, she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology 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. At Brown, Dr. Ghee is actively engaged in mentoring and has served as a faculty advisor for Brown undergraduate independent thesis projects and mentor for graduate students. She was honored by the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association with the Ruth J. Simmons Award for Leadership.


Taiese Bingham-Hickman​, M.S., M.BA., Ph.D.

Associate Director

Taiese Bingham-Hickman, M.S., M.BA., Ph.D., is the associate director for the Leadership Alliance.

Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP), embodies this mission. After participating in the SR-EIP at Harvard Medical School, she earned both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from New York University School of Medicine and completed her M.B.A at Northeastern University. Dr. Bingham is a member of the American Society of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and a published author in her field.

Informed by an impressive multi-sectoral professional trajectory, Dr. Bingham-Hickman brings a wealth of experience to this position. In the past three years, she served as the Assistant Director of Biomedical Informatics Research and Operations at Brown University, where she supported the operational functions of the Brown Center for Biomedical Informatics (BCBI) with major statewide initiatives. In this capacity, she also served as the technical liaison for assigned projects with BCBI collaborators across Brown and its affiliated hospitals, as well as regional/national/international partners. Prior to coming to Brown, Dr. Bingham-Hickman worked in the private industry at Beacon Health Options as the Vice President of Data Analytics where she oversaw Beacon’s Analytics Innovation Center that provided thought leadership and analytic capabilities to ensure optimal behavioral health solutions for regional and specialty health plans; employers and labor organizations; and federal, state and local governments. She managed a team that leveraged advanced analytic concepts to drive actionable, insight driven and outcome-oriented decision making to deliver the best in class service for its members, providers and clients. Dr. Bingham-Hickman also worked as the Manager of Analytics for Beacon’s Pharmacy Intervention Program and was key in the development of evidence-based algorithms to help identify medication related problems specific to behavioral health conditions.


William Wittels, Ph.D.

Manager of Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

Dr. William Wittels is the Manager of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs for the Leadership Alliance. In that capacity, he helps to manage the Leadership Alliance's Summer Research Early Identification Program, and Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative. He also assists in program evaluation and strategic planning across the organization.

Prior to joining The Leadership Alliance, he was a member of the Tobin Project, where he fostered multi-year research initiatives on the role of the media in preventing (or abetting) special interest influence in democracies and on the practice and theory of strategic threat assessment. He also managed their Graduate Student Fellowship and created their Prospectus Development Workshop.

He has held teaching fellowships at Duke University as well as Humboldt University in Berlin. He received his Ph.D. and Certification for Teaching Politics from the Department of Political Science at Duke. While there, he was also affiliated with the Kenan Institute of Ethics.

His doctoral research turns to the thought of Niccolò Machiavelli to explore the link between political violence and regime type and articulates what democratic citizens can learn from Machiavelli’s understanding of the different ways political regimes address central political problems of violence.



Maria DoVale

Conference & Events Specialist

Maria DoVale is the Conference & Events Specialist 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-Officio 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.


Samantha Andersen

Coordinator of Undergraduate Programs

Samantha Andersen is the Undergraduate Coordinator for the Leadership Alliance. In this capacity, she coordinates the combined application process for the undergraduate summer research sites and supervises the Alliance’s Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP) at Brown University. Ms. Andersen cultivated a passion for connecting diverse populations of students with research opportunities when she began her career in higher education at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). At UCSB Ms. Andersen coordinated the Internships in Nanosystems Science, Engineering and Technology (INSET) program which gave community college students from across California the opportunity to engage in research at USCB labs under the guidance and supervision of university mentors during an 8-week summer research program. Holding a master’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from New York University, she has also coordinated after-school programs in science, technology, engineering, art and math at UCSB and at Teachers College, Columbia University. These programs bring university students and resources to public elementary, middle, and high schools in Santa Barbara and New York City, and they bring K-12 students to the university. The after-school programs are designed to expose young students to university life and opportunities early in their educational career and to give university students and faculty the chance to engage with local communities and practice communicating their research and work with varied populations in a setting that is very different from the lab. Since moving to Rhode Island in 2012 Ms. Andersen has worked with United Way of Rhode Island on initiatives focusing on out-of-school time and expanded learning opportunities for Rhode Island youth and with the Community College of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Education to establish a youth apprenticeship program which allows students to begin a career while they are still in high school.


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.

  • Carlos Ramos Bellido, Ph.D., Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras​
  • Peter J. Bruns, Ph.D., Former Vice President for Grants and Special Programs, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Liza Cariaga-Lo, Ph.D., CEO & Founder, The LCLO Group
  • 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