Board of Directors

Elizabeth Cunningham

​Education Policy Consultant, North Carolina

Elizabeth Kolb Cunningham is an education policy consultant. As a strategist with The Innovation Project (TIP), she currently works with TIP’s twenty-six member school districts to design, implement, and evaluate innovative education initiatives. As an analyst with the Governor’s Education Policy office, she works with the Governor’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education and teacher pathway initiatives.

Elizabeth previously served as Assistant Vice President, Division of Academic and University Programs at the University of North Carolina System with responsibility for P-12 partnerships and initiatives addressing educator quality, supply, and distribution. At the UNC System, she also served as Founder and Director of the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program to develop, support, and retain high quality teachers.

 

Prior to her work at the UNC System, Elizabeth served as Race to the Top Coordinator and Policy Advisor to the North Carolina State Board of Education and earlier as a Research Associate with the NC Education Research Council, providing support to the Governor’s Education Cabinet.

 

Elizabeth earned a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and JD from Wake Forest University School of Law. She returned to the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill for a master’s program in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently pursuing her doctorate in Leadership and Learning Organizations in the Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.

 

Professionally, Elizabeth is proud of work to develop the NC New Teacher Support Program and to support the development of the new UNC laboratory schools. But Elizabeth is most proud of her family – her husband Cal, daughter Caroline, and son Will. She enjoys distance running and travel.

Rich Cohn, Ph.D

Group Vice President, Health Sciences Research, Social & Scientific Systems, Inc.

Dr. Rich Cohn brings more than 25 years of experience as a statistical consultant to government, industry and academia to his role as Group Vice President of Health Sciences Research at Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. (SSS). He oversees a center that includes leading health scientists and statisticians who conduct research and address critical needs in such fields as environmental health, respiratory health, and children's health. Dr. Cohn was also instrumental in establishing the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative, a nonprofit established to leverage the combined capabilities of the regions government, commercial, and academic environmental health institutions, and to apply that expertise toward high-impact, cross-cutting issues in environmental health. He continues to serve on the Collaboratives Executive Committee. Previously, Dr. Cohn served a five-year term at the University of North Carolina's Collaborative Studies Coordinating Center within the School of Public Health. Scientifically, Dr. Cohn has been recognized for important statistical and methodological contributions and has published articles on environmental allergen exposures and asthma, air quality modeling methods, and laboratory performance assessment techniques. He has extensive experience in designing studies, designing and executing specialized data analyses, and disseminating results to the scientific community.  Dr. Cohn holds an undergraduate degree in mathematics from the University of Virginia, a master's in statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and a doctorate in statistics from North Carolina State University.

Tsegga Seyoum Medhin

Executive Director, The Pearl Leadership Instittue

Tsegga Seyoum Medhin is the executive director of The Pearl Leadership Institute, an organization focused on transforming women/girls and economies forward faster. She hosts workshops and summer camps to help girls/women identify and strengthen their leadership and personal brand.
 

In 2015 she was invited to address the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goal strategy plan on poverty eradication for women and girls through STEM and innovation. She is the current President of the UN US Women NC chapter.
 

Tsegga is retired from IBM with over 19 years of experience in various roles, operations, marketing, Human Capital. Most recently she led the development of emerging global leaders for Africa’s skills gap initiative, and represented IBM at the Obama YALI summit 2014, (Young Africa Leadership Initiatives) in DC.

 

Throughout her career, Tsegga recognized the importance of increasing the impact of women and is an engaged mentor to advance individual careers and improve corporate culture for women. With her creativity and leadership as the IBM charitable campaign manager she raised over $9M for local NC charities. As an IBM Corporate Service Corps Alumna, a top global talent development initiative for emerging markets; she created economic development marketing strategies for local NGO’s and Universities in Tanzania and Ethiopia.

 

Tsegga is a recipient of US presidential volunteer gold award of President Obama and President Bush. Tsegga serves on the board of the NC State University Science House STEM youth outreach programs, and Boundless Impact. Mrs. Medhin achieves her goals by partnering with US State Department Diaspora programs, Women in technology, Duke University, Raleigh Police Department, Girls Scouts, and Habitat for Humanity.

 

Tsegga has an MBA from Stayer University, she is a mother of two girls and lives in Raleigh with her spouse.

Sherida McMullan

Sherida McMullan leads intel’s North America consumer strategy for her Global customer Lenovo. In her role, Sherida is responsible for increasing Intel’s presence, enabling customer experience, sales productivity and business growth for Lenovo through large format, regional retailers and online.  Most recently Sherida served as the North Carolina lead for education, state and local government.  She aligned Intel for success ensuring all aspects of the purchase process contributed to improved customer experience, broadened educational awareness and synergy between school districts and their platform needs.

 

In addition to her responsibilities for Intel’s consumer strategy, Sherida plays an instrumental role in powering Intel’s commitment to women’s diversity and giving. She currently serves as chair of their yearly America’s International Sales and Marketing event. In fact, Sherida has revamped their conference and exteneded the networking portion to executives outside of Intel.  This not only diversifies their Intel perspectives but extends the attendees network beyond Intel’s borders.

 

Sherida also participates in Intel’s Career Development committee where she has provided her perspective on women in leadership and increased their social outreach, exposure and opportunities at each level within Intel.

 

Sherida’s leadership in women’s development extends beyond the walls of Intel into her local community.  She coordinated the inaugural gift giving event at the Durham Rescue Mission which provided gifts to over 120 women and children living in the mission over the 2014 holiday season.   From 2012 through early 2014, Sherida volunteered at the Healing Place, which is a non-profit for women recovering from addictions.  She provided one on one mentoring and transportation to church and other local activities.  Sherida would like to think she is giving back, but in fact, she has gained more from listening and learning from their experiences.   She worked with Dress for Success in the Triangle for two years where on a weekly basis, Sherida provided one on one coaching on attire, interviewing skills and guidance into different career paths. 

 

Sherida believes in work/life balance.  In addition to her roles at Intel and focus on volunteering, she also finds time to be a professional actress.  She has performed on stages throughout the east coast and in schools and universities driving home her true passion for the arts.  Sherida is focused on increasing the STEAM initative within the NC school system and beyond.  She is an avid believer that a child can pursue a career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math but does not have to forsake their gifts and talents.

 

Sherida has more than 15 years of experience in Sales and Marketing at Intel, Lenovo and IBM.  Under her leadership, the Lenovo Consumer business has grown to over $1.5B over the last four years.  She launch a number of key initiatives including the Intel Inside program, revamping small businesses, and launched her customer into a new notebook segment that she helped them maintain the #1 position for over 2 years.  Her responsibilities throughout the years have included revamping the Lenovo.com north America website and building their online and call center presence to include chat.  Her consumer and educational programs have continued to see success and have been replicated in multiple countries including Japan, Mexico and Australia.

 

Sherida received her BS in Electrical Engineering from Howard Unversity. She served on a number of boards including the board of directors for Burning Coal Theatre, Raleigh Little Theater and Christian Faith Center. Sherida lives in Raleigh, NC, with her husband, Chris and her daughter, Isla Jace.

Carmen Mugge - Board Chair

Carmen retired from IBM in 2014 after a more than 32 year career.  Carmen began her career at IBM as a mechanical engineer in IBM’s Personal Computer Division in Boca Raton, Florida. In her early career, Carmen’s positions were in primarily in hardware development and test. Carmen moved to Research Triangle area of North Carolina in the mid 1990’s and held a number of different executive positions in IBM’s Hardware Division ranging from Director of Desktop Development, to Acquisition Integration Executive, to Director of Operations and Portfolio Management.

 

While at IBM, Carmen also led a number of outreach initiatives as the Executive Sponsor of the Hispanic Diversity Network Group and the Executive Sponsor of the Women In Technology Organization. Both of those organizations had a focus on technology outreach to underserved communities.

 

Carmen currently volunteers as a Wake County Guardian ad Litem (GAL) child advocate and trainer as well as a Judge Advisor for FIRST North Carolina’s Robotics Competition.


Carmen was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States as a young child.  Carmen holds a B.S, in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Alex Quigley - Treasurer

Executive Director and Principal, Healthy Start Academy, a Durham charter school

Alex Quigley is Executive Director and Principal of Healthy Start Academy, 807 West Chapel Hill Street.

Mr. Quigley led Durham’s Maureen Joy Charter School for six years. In 2014-15, Maureen Joy posted the highest growth scores of all charter schools in the state. In addition, the school expanded its arts, music, athletics, and community partnerships.

Mr. Quigley is the current Chair of the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board, the state entity that works with the North Carolina State Board of Education to ensure the existence of high quality charter schools. Colby College, B.A. Government; University of Mississippi, Masters in Elementary Education, Ed.S. in School Leadership

Chaya Rao - Secretary

Director, Compliance & Risk Management, Shah Capital Management

Chaya, as the compliance leader and subject matter expert, is responsible for establishing standards and implementing procedures to ensure that the compliance program of Shah Capital is effective and efficient in identifying, detecting, preventing, and correcting noncompliance with applicable securities law and federal rules and regulations. She also oversees all partnership related operations, administration and communication. Prior to joining Shah Capital in June 2007, Chaya was a Paralegal for five years at Advocates for Children’s Services, a statewide unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina.

 

Chaya is passionate about education and children. She served as the President from 2012 to 2014 of a local RTP-Raleigh chapter of one of the largest non-profit organizations in India, Pratham. Pratham serves underprivileged children in India. She is a founding member of the RTP-Raleigh chapter and has served in other capacities for a decade. Presently, she continues to volunteer in local communities with passion and commitment. Chaya holds Bachelors degrees in Arts and Law from Bangalore University, India.

Sondra Rivers

​Director, Credit Suisse, Durham, North Carolina

Sondra Rivers is a Director in the Global Markets Technology Division at Credit Suisse (CS). She began her career with CS in 1987 (NYC), and has held several IT management positions with responsibilities of leading multi-disciplinary teams and managing multi-million dollar global IT programs that delivered technology solutions to business stakeholders in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions, as well as across a diverse group of financial products including, but not limited to, Syndicated Lending, Leverage Finance, Foreign Exchange, and Commodities. Sondra has worked in Switzerland, UK and Singapore, and has traveled extensively to many other countries.  In 2007, she was among the first leaders to relocated Credit Suisse’s Raleigh, where she established and led the Fixed Income Technology division, which included a diverse team of application developers, business analysts, testers and support specialists. After a long and distinguished career, Sondra will be retiring from CS at the end of 2018, but remain in the area and continue working in the community promoting STEM education and careers for girls and under-represented populations. 

 

Beyond her “day job”, Sondra leads and fosters a culture of active employee engagement and responsible corporate citizenship at Credit Suisse, and in the greater Triangle region. Some of her extra-curricular responsibilities include CS Black Professionals Network (senior sponsor); CS IT Women’s Council (co-senior sponsor); Triangle Women In STEM (Steering Committee Member and STEM Pipeline Lead); Citizen Schools (senior sponsor); CS RAVE (Recognizing And Valuing Excellence) Peer-to-Peer Global Recognition Program (Program Creator & Former Lead), Research High School Board Member; UNC-Chapel Hill and NC A&T Campus Recruiting Senior Sponsor.

 

Sondra holds a Bachelor of Science degree from New York University’s Stern School of Business and a Master’s of Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.

Gary Rodgers - Vice Chair

Senior Manager, Lockheed Martin

Mr. Rodgers has over 25 years of program management experience, his more recent experience involving the transition of the Long Island Power Authority into a new support model that will allow for truer efficiencies and an improved customer relationship. He has over twenty years’ experience working energy and environmental programs, managing work forces up to 200 personnel, and overseeing projects in excess of $70M. He has directed, planned, organized, controlled, and managed complex programs ensuring that all contractual obligations were fulfilled in an efficient and timely manner.

Victoria Vojnovich

Talent Management Leader, Cisco

Manager, Technical Services Talent Program Office
- Responsible for Talent Development Vision, Strategy, Creation, Scale and Implementation for a 7500 employee organization. 
- Create a flexible, adaptable, mobile workforce that can meet the demands of a rapidly transforming business strategy. 
- Scale best practices to the larger Cisco Services community, providing opportunities for sharing of resources, human capital, and knowledge to build a collaborative culture.
- Align with Cisco enterprise People Strategy to evolve and support Cisco's People Deal

Co-President, Cisco Connected Women RTP
- Co-lead a 750 member Employee Resource Organization, dedicated to the personal and professional development of women at Cisco.
- Provide opportunities for women's development and community building inside the Cisco walls, outside in the community, and across the educational spectrum, bring STEM and Women's Development to schools, civic organizations and the community at large. Participate in community service that builds up women such as Dress for Success.
- Co-Sponser Cisco's annual Women of Impact Conference, a 22 hour event of programming, keynote speakers and development opportunities for women across the globe.

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