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Board of Visitors

One of the great strengths of the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies is its Board of Visitors, made up of many national and international foreign policy leaders and experts. The purpose of the Board is to advise and assist President Boren and Dr. Grillot with the "internationalization" of the University. Members of the Board include:

Mr. Max N. Berry, Esquire

A graduate of OU, Mr. Berry is in private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in international trade. He served under Presidents Carter and Reagan as Chairman and President of the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation and has been particularly active in the arts, serving as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Berry and his late wife Heidi created the Max and Heidi Berry Chair, currently held by the Director of the Department of International and Area Studies, Dr. Mitchell Smith.

Mr. Stephen M. Chazen, President, Unus Foundation

Mr. Chazen attended OU and is a long-time supporter of the University of Oklahoma. He is an active civic leader in Alabama and Oklahoma.

Ms. Nadia E. Comăneci, Olympian, TV Producer

As one of the most decorated gymnasts of all time, ABC News and Ladies Home Journal named Ms. Comăneci one of the 100 Most Important Women of the 20th century.  Ms. Comăneci, along with her husband Bart Conner, owns numerous businesses including the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy in Norman.

Mr. Bart W. Conner, Olympian, Owner, Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy

A graduate from OU’s College of Journalism, Mr. Conner is one of the most decorated gymnasts in U.S. history. Among his many accomplishments are two Olympic gold medals.

Ms. Rebecca Cooper, ABC 7 News Anchor, Washington Business Tonight

Ms. Cooper is a journalist based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining ABC News in Washington, she worked for CNN and NBC News. She also served as the Chief of Staff to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson and as a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator David Boren. A native of Oklahoma City, she is the recipient of several journalism awards, including the Peabody, DuPont, Murrow, Cable Ace and Emmy awards.

Ms. Lee B. Cullum, Syndicated Columnist and Television Commentator

Ms. Cullum contributes columns to the Dallas Morning News. She also is host of CEO, a series of interviews with leaders from the business world, produced by PBS in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Mr. Steve Dolman, Senior Managing Director, Hines

A graduate of OU, Mr. Dolman works as a Senior Managing Director of Hines and a member of the Hines Office of Investments- a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. He worked and lived in São Paulo, Brazil helping to establish Hines’ South America region and manage the development of offices and industrial projects there. Mr. Dolman received the OU Regents Alumni Award and is currently a member of the Board of Advisors for the Price College of Business.

Ms. Tricia L. Everest, Assistant Oklahoma Attorney General

The Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Inasmuch Foundation, Ms. Everest is a graduate of OU Law School and an engaged civic leader and volunteer.

Mr. Jalal Farzaneh, President, Home Creations

Along with his brother, Mr. Farzaneh began residential building in 1981 after graduating from the University of Oklahoma's School of Architecture. Mr. Farzaneh is a leader in Oklahoma’s Iranian community.

Mr. Mohammad Farzaneh, Vice-President, Home Creations

Along with his brother, Mr. Farzaneh is a leader in the Iranian community in Oklahoma. In 1994, Mohammad and his brother, Jalal, combined their construction businesses to form Home Creations, one of the fastest growing businesses in the Oklahoma City metro area.

Mr. Cole Frates, Co-Founder, Renewable Resources Group & EndOil

Mr. Frates is an environmental entrepreneur and business owner. He has experience in the sustainable water and clean energy sectors. He serves on the Boards of Oil Change International, the Washington Foundation for European Studies and the Oklahoma Arts Institute.

Sam T. Hamra, M.D.

An OU alum and Lawton native who received both his B.A. and M.D. from the University, Dr. Hamra went on to become a leader in his field.  Dr. Hamra maintains a thriving practice in Dallas, but finds time to publish, teach and lecture worldwide.  He is also a member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Mr. Rashid Iqbal, Chief Operating Officer, LLC Middle East, Africa & Asia Pacific

An OU graduate, Mr. Iqbal served as President of the International Advisory Committee as an international student at OU.  He has risen through the ranks of several Fortune 500 companies and now serves as a CEO in the telecommunications industry at LCC Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Mr. Stephen A. Janger, Former President, CEO, and Founder, Close Up Foundation

An OU graduate, Mr. Janger founded Close Up, a pioneering educational program that allows America’s youth to better understand and participate in the democratic process.

Ambassador James R. Jones, Esquire

A former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oklahoma, Ambassador Jones also served as Chairman and CEO of the American Stock Exchange. Ambassador Jones is an attorney at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Washington, D.C.

Mrs. Lou C. Kerr, President and Chairman of the Board, Kerr Foundation

Mrs. Kerr is an active supporter of OU, a civic leader and advocate of international education. She serves as an advisor on numerous OU boards and was a recipient of the Regents Alumni Award in 2005.

Mr. Harold J. Newman, Managing Director of Neuberger Berman

A graduate of OU, Mr. Newman has deep interest in Asia and a long involvement with the Asia Society and the East-West Institute. The Newmans created the Harold J. & Ruth Newman Chair in U.S.-China Issues currently held by College of International Studies associate professor Dr. Peter Gries.

Marc Nuttle, Managing Partner of Oklahoma Sovereign Development, LLC (OSD)

An OU alum, Mr. Nuttle is an attorney living in Norman, Oklahoma. He specializes in international trade, international foreign policy and international political affairs. He has been an advisor to U.S. presidents, the leadership of Congress, and foreign nations. He has represented national business trade associations and states on a variety of political and economic issues.

Mr. Roger P. Parkinson, Chairman, University of Toronto Press

Mr. Parkinson is the former Publisher, CEO and Chairman of the Toronto Globe and Mail. In addition he was President and Publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Buffalo Courier-Press. He was President of the World Association of Newspapers and serves on the Advisory Council of the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at University of Minnesota.

Ms. Susan Stuart Peterson, Vice President, First Stuart Corporation

Mrs. Peterson is the oldest daughter of Jon and Dee Dee Stuart.  She earned both her undergrad and graduate degrees at OU in Norman and was a graduate of the Honors College.

Mr. W. DeVier Pierson, Esquire

Mr. Pierson received his undergraduate and law degrees from OU. A special counsel to President Lyndon Johnson, Mr. Pierson is a lawyer at Hunton and Williams in Washington, D.C. with a practice that focuses on the domestic and international energy fields and on international arbitration and litigation.

Mr. H.E. “Gene” Rainbolt, Chairman of the Board, BancFirst

A Norman native and OU alum, Mr. Rainbolt is one of the leading philanthropists in the state. The Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU is named in honor of his late wife.

The Honorable Rodger A. Randle, Director, Center for Studies in Democracy and Culture

Mr. Randle is a former Mayor of Tulsa and a former President Pro Tempore of Oklahoma State Senate. He also serves as the Honorary British Consul for Oklahoma.

Ms. Erielle Reshef, KOCO 5 News

A native Oklahoman and proud alum of Heritage Hall High School, Ms. Reshef serves as weekend anchor and weekday reporter for KOCO 5 News. She returned home to join the KOCO 5 News team in November 2012, after serving as an anchor and reporter for IBA News - Israel's only nationally televised and internationally syndicated English language newscast where she anchored coverage of global news events and interviewed numerous international news-makers and media personalities.

Mr. John Richels, President, Devon Energy Corporation

Mr. Richels has been a member of the board of directors for Devon since 2007. He previously served as a senior vice president of Devon and president and chief executive officer of Devon’s Canadian subsidiary. He has served as director for a number of publicly traded companies.

Mr. Ambassador Francis Rooney, Chief Executive Officer of Rooney Holdings

From 2005 through 2008 Ambassador Rooney served as the United States Ambassador to the Holy See, appointed by President George W. Bush.

Ambassador Rooney was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, and is a graduate of Georgetown University (A.B. 1975) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. 1978). He is a member of the District of Columbia and Texas Bars, and holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-Ton Masters License (Sailing Endorsement).The Rooney’s have three children. Ambassador Rooney is fluent in Spanish and conversational in Italian.


Ms. Kathleen C. Rooney, Civic Leader and Community Volunteer

Mr. Bob Ross, President and CEO, Inasmuch Foundation and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

The Honorable M. Susan Savage, Oklahoma Secretary of State

Secretary Savage has served in the cabinet of Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry since 2003. She served as Mayor of Tulsa from 1992 to 2002.

Ms. Mary Angus Sherman, Former Director, Pioneer Library System

Ms. Sherman is a long-time civic leader and former Director of the Pioneer Library System. She has served as the President of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, the Norman Rotary Club, and the Women’s Resource Center.

The Honorable Kathy L. Taylor, Former Mayor of Tulsa

Elected the Mayor of Tulsa in 2006, she has also served in Governor Brad Henry’s cabinet as Secretary of Commerce and Tourism. In addition, she has been a member of various boards of directors, including Sonic Industries, Dollar Car Rental, National Car Rental and the Grand River Dam Authority as well as the OU Foundation.

Mr. Reggie Whitten, Partner Whitten Burrage Law Firm

A native of Seminole, Oklahoma, and 1977 graduate from the University of Oklahoma, Reggie Whitten has been practicing law in Oklahoma City since 1980 and is a Partner in the Whitten Burrage Law Firm.  Throughout his diverse philanthropic career Mr. Whitten has worked to educate children about the dangers of substance abuse, provide support for the less fortunate in Africa and create programs that make science more exciting for young people.  Mr. Whitten was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2013.

Honorary Founding Board Members

Dr. David M. Abshire

Mr. James R. Adams

Dr. Michael R. Armacost

The Honorable Hannah D. Atkins

Ambassador John Burns

Dr. W. Hodding Carter, III

Dr. Jorge G. Castañeda

Ambassador Li Daoyu

Mr. James H. Everest

Secretary Robert M. Gates

Mr. David R. Gergen

The Honorable Robert H. Henry

Mr. William R. Howell

Dr. Paul M. Kennedy

Mrs. Lou Kerr

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

Dr. William W. Lewis

Ambassador Jack F. Matlock, Jr.

Dr. Colleen McCullough

General Jack Merritt

Mr. Billy Mickle

Baroness Emma Nicholson

Mr. Michael F. Price

Ambassador Alain Rouquié

Dr. Richard L. Sandor

Dr. Robert A. Scalapino

General Brent Scowcroft

Secretary George P. Shultz

Dr. Paul E. Sigmund

Mr. George J. Tenet

Dr. Nazih Zuhdi