Board of Directors
View the biographies of the individuals on the MCNC Board of Directors by clicking their name.
CHAIR: Tom Rabon
Chairman and Partner, New Kind
VICE CHAIR: Anthony M. Copeland
Partner, Williams Mullen
General Manager, Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corporation
Executive Vice President of Products and Customer Success, Extreme Network
Dr. Barbara Entwisle
Vice Chancellor for Research, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Duke University
Donald A. Haile
Venture Partner, Fidelity Ventures
Dr. Sally Kornbluth
Provost, Duke University
Vice President for Information Resources and CIO
Dr. Joan Lorden
Provost, University of North Carolina Charlotte
Chief Information Officer, NC Department of Public Instruction
Robert Pompey Jr.
Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, North Carolina A&T State University
R. Scott Ralls
President, NC Community College System
A. Hope Williams
President, North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities
Tom Rabon became Chairman of the MCNC Board of Directors in June 2012. Tom brings more than 25 years of experience working in government and the private sector. He has worked extensively with governments around the world to create market opportunities in emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil. Rabon served as vice president of Global Public Affairs at Lucent Technologies for six years. In that capacity, he led a team of public affairs professionals in the US and the rest of the world who were responsible for representation of Lucent with all local, state, federal, and international governments.
Prior to that, he spent 13 years as a state vice president of Law and Government Affairs at AT&T where he was responsible for all industry, regulatory and legislative affairs in North Carolina. For the past eight years he served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Red Hat and in that capacity led the company’s government relations and corporate citizenship activities around the world. He retired from Red Hat in October 2010. He currently serves as Chairman and Partner of New Kind.
Among his many awards and honors, he received the Razor Walker Award for Outstanding Public Service to North Carolina and co-founded Open Source for America. Rabon also served three terms as a member of the North Carolina General Assembly. He received a BA in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has completed various executive management programs including the Program for Senior Executives of State and Local Government at Harvard University. He has served on various Boards of Directors including the NC Technology Association and University of North Carolina at Wilmington. He is married to Susan Warren Rabon and they have a 14 year old son, John Robert.
Anthony (Tony) Copeland
Anthony (Tony) Copeland, an attorney, leads A.M. Copeland Associates which specializes in strategic business development, tax and regulatory issues, and site selection. Before founding A.M. Copeland Associates, he served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for the State of North Carolina for Business Industry and International Trade leading the recruitment of nearly $12 billion in investment and the creation of 100,000 jobs. In this capacity, he worked with numerous international companies in China, Japan, Europe, South Korea and Israel, as well as a variety of domestic companies.
From 1992 to 2003, he served as executive vice president and general counsel of BTI, a competitive telecommunications company, where he led the company's growth from $38 million in revenues to more than $250 million. He led the senior executive team that grew the company's growth from $38 million in annual revenues to more the $ 250 million and secured more the $500 million in debt and equity financing and planned, financed and installed more than 5,000 miles of fiber optic cable in the Carolinas and along the eastern seaboard. He is a graduate of Duke University, T. Cooley Law School and has completed studies at Magdalen College, Oxford University and Harvard University's J.F Kennedy School of Government.
Mitzie Branon became Chief Executive Officer of Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Cooperative (Yadtel) in 2010. Prior to her current role at Yadtel, Branon held the positions of General Manager, Controller, and Accountant. She worked at Partners National Health Plans as Accountant before Yadtel.
Branon grew up in the Yadkin Valley area and attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in accounting. She has over twenty years of experience with Yadtel and is on the Board of Directors of several industry organizations.
She currently lives in East Bend with her husband Mitchell. They have a son, Mason, currently a student at NC State University, and a daughter, Sydney, a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Mitzie and her family are members of Union Grove Baptist Church in Yadkinville.
Edward T. (Ed) Carney held Senior management roles at Cisco Systems for 15 years before retiring in May 2012. Ed’s Cisco career was highlighted by the building and leadership of several high performance engineering teams. His Cisco career ended as he launched the Enhanced Customer Aligned Testing Services (eCATS) organization in Customer Advocacy from which he retired. eCATS unifies test engineering and architecture experts into a single team focused on working in tandem with Cisco and Enterprise Customer organizations to design validated Cisco solutions. These solutions improve the deployment success of Cisco products, services and architectures for the Company's most strategic global Enterprise Customers through a joint Cisco-Customer model that is foundational to the Company's next generation Enterprise Customer relationship.
Among the ancillary responsibilities Ed held within Cisco is his role on the Architecture Board of the Company's Enterprise Business Council – one of eleven corporate councils tasked with leading successful business change in line with the Company's key global strategies. He was also a Cisco Fellow with MCNC – an independent, nationally recognized U.S. non-profit that uses advanced technologies and systems to improve learning and collaboration throughout the state's research and education communities.
Ed joined Cisco in 1997, moving to Customer Advocacy in March 2008. Through February 2008 he served as Vice President and General Manager of the Company's Government Systems division, customizing commercial products, services and service delivery for global Government Customers' land, maritime, aviation and space requirements. Ed has also evolved engineering organizations, building Cisco's premier Systems and Test Engineering organization, policies and processes.
Prior to joining Cisco, Ed held a number of management roles during a 15-year career with IBM. Among these were his role in Europe as Director of Engineering and Operations of the Global Network division and a number of key engineering management positions in the U.S. for the Network Hardware division.
Currently, Carney serves or has served on the boards of several organizations throughout the North Carolina community, including: Immediate Past Chairman, Board of Directors for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina; Industrial Advisory Board for NC State University's College of Engineering; Board of Directors for the NC Chamber; Board of Directors for the NC Defense and Security Technology Accelerator; the Board of the National Veterans Freedom Park; and the Advisory Board of the Eisenhower Fellowship.
Ed holds a BS in Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He is married and has a son and a daughter.
Barbara Entwisle, Ph.D.
Barbara Entwisle, PhD, is a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As vice chancellor, Dr. Entwisle leads a campus-wide research program that attracted $767 million in contract and grant funding in fiscal 2012. She oversees the research support, compliance, communication, and technology transfer offices as well as a portfolio of 16 pan-university interdisciplinary research centers and institutes, including the Carolina Population Center, which she directed from 2002 to 2010. As a faculty member, Dr. Entwisle is currently Principal Investigator of the North Carolina components of the National Children’s Study, a longitudinal cohort study focusing on environment and children’s health. She is also leading an interdisciplinary study of migration and population-environment interactions in Northeast Thailand.
Dr. Entwisle was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2003 and named Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham Distinguished Professor in 2007. She is Chair of the Expert Group on Social Science Data Infrastructure for the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) Global Science Forum and a member of the National Research Council’s Board on Research Data and Infrastructure. Dr. Entwisle is past President of the Population Association of America and a former editor of Demography.
Tracy Futhey, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer is responsible for effective management and use of information technology resources. As Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Duke University since 2002, Tracy Futhey has presided over Duke's rise as a national leader in higher education information technology. Through programs such as the Duke Digital Initiative and its inventive use of iPods and iTunes in higher education, she has become a recognized leader in enlisting commercial technologies to create and disseminate digital course materials.
Futhey also has been the engine behind a new generation of computing capabilities across campus as well as regionally and nationally. She led the creation of the nation's first national research and education optical network, as founding chair of the National LambdaRail from 2003 to 2007. In 2008, she championed deployment of the most extensive campus-wide installation of next-generation, 802.11n wireless technologies.
Futhey has also proved innovative in technology collaboration and leadership, from devising new approaches for supporting shared computing research facilities on campus to designing a new global IT infrastructure supporting Duke's international expansion.
Before Duke, Futhey spent 17 years at Carnegie Mellon, where her career spanned the range of IT, from computer consultant to CIO. As CIO, she gained a reputation as a well-rounded leader, having overseen major projects in wireless, mobile, and location-based computing.
Futhey is a past board member of Internet2 and an active member of numerous regional and national higher education organizations. She also serves on various industry advisory councils for Fortune 100 technology companies. She holds a B.S. in mathematics with a computer science concentration and a M.S. in industrial administration, both from Carnegie Mellon.
Donald A. Haile
Don Haile is the retired Senior Vice President and Site General Manager for the North Carolina facilities of Fidelity Investments, the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No.1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans and a leading online brokerage firm.
Mr. Haile served as Fidelity Investments’ Chief Information Officer, responsible for computer operations, the global communications networks, and enterprise-wide applications support and development. In that position he reported to Fidelity’s Chairman, Edward C. Johnson from 2001 to October 2005. Haile joined Fidelity in 1998 as executive vice president of Enterprise Solutions responsible for the worldwide development and maintenance of infrastructure and application products that support the processing needs of Fidelity.
Prior to joining Fidelity, Haile spent 34 years with IBM where he held various executive positions in hardware and software development, with responsibilities for telecommunications, systems management, and IBM operating systems.
Dr. Sally Kornbluth
Sally Kornbluth, Ph.D. was appointed Duke University Provost on July 1, 2014. Kornbluth served as Vice Dean for Basic Science at Duke University School of Medicine from 2006-2014. In this role, she served as a liaison between the Dean’s office and the Basic Science Department Chairs and faculty, including oversight of the biomedical graduate programs in the School of Medicine, implementation of programs to support the research mission of the basic science faculty, and oversight of new and existing core laboratories.
Kornbluth received a B.A. in Political Science from Williams College in 1982 and a B.S. in Genetics from Cambridge University, England in 1984 where she was a Herchel Smith Scholar at Emmanuel College. She received her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in 1989 in Molecular Oncology and went on to postdoctoral training at the University of California, San Diego. She joined the Duke faculty in 1994 and is currently a James B. Duke Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology.
Kornbluth’s research interests include the study of cell proliferation and programmed cell death, areas of central importance for understanding both carcinogenesis and degenerative disorders. She has published extensively in these areas, studying these problems in a variety of model organisms.
John Leydon assumed the position of Vice President, Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the University of North Carolina system on August 1, 2008. Prior to joining UNC, John held the position of Executive Director, Information Technology and CIO at the University System of New Hampshire (USNH). His duties and responsibilities at USNH were quite similar to those he now has but the challenge of coordinating the information technology services for one of this country’s premier university systems was an attractive inducement to join UNC.
In addition to several years of experience at USNH, John has held a variety of CIO positions in higher education. He served as a consultant to higher education for over 20 years and performed interim CIO roles for the Massachusetts State College System, the University of New Hampshire (Durham), Mount Holyoke College, Bowdoin College, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Saint Leo University. His first higher education CIO position was as an Assistant Vice President of the University System of Massachusetts.
He was a senior information technology executive in private industry as the Vice President, Management Systems and Services for Monarch Life Insurance Company. John holds both a BA in Economics and an MBA in Executive Management from American International College in his hometown of Springfield, MA. He now lives in Durham NC with Betty, his wife of 15 years who recently retired as the Vice President of Information Technology and CIO of Princeton University.
Dr. Joan F. Lorden
Dr. Joan Lorden serves as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UNC Charlotte where she is responsible for research, teaching, and public engagement in seven colleges and the Graduate School. At UNC Charlotte, she led the development of University College, the College of Arts and Architecture, and the Institute for Social Capital. She currently serves as the chair of the APLU Council on Academic Affairs, is a member of the Education Committee of the American Institute for Biological Sciences, and is a trustee of Discovery Place, a Charlotte science museum.
Prior to joining UNC Charlotte, Lorden served as Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where she was Professor of Psychology. She has published extensively in the area of brain-behavior relationships and specialized in the study of animal models of human neurological disease. In 1991, she was awarded the Ireland Prize for Scholarly Distinction. At UAB she organized the doctoral program in behavioral neuroscience and directed the university-wide interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Neuroscience. In addition to her work in research and graduate education, Dr. Lorden founded an Office of Postdoctoral Education, programs for professional development of graduate students, an undergraduate honors program, and several programs designed to improve the recruitment of women and minorities into doctoral programs in science and engineering. At UNC Charlotte, she led the NSF-funded ADVANCE Program for Institutional Transformation, a multi-year project designed to increase the representation and career advancement of women faculty in science and engineering.
Dr. Lorden has served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools, the President of the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools, and the Dean in Residence in the Division of Graduate Education at NSF. She has chaired the Board of Directors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, was a Trustee of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, and chaired the executive committee of the NASULGC Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education. She was a member of the National Research Council's Committee for a Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs. Throughout her career, Lorden has served on peer review panels and scientific advisory boards at NIH, NSF, and private agencies.
Dr. Lorden received the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the City College of New York and the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology from Yale University.
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Michael A. Nicolaides is the Chief Information Officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Before joining NCDPI in March 2014, he served as Virginia Beach City Public Schools' technology director where for the last decade he led a large team of IT professionals in maintaining, supporting and enhancing the entire IT infrastructure for the school district that served 87,000 users. In addition, he led the implementation of enterprise application systems such as student information, instructional improvement, content and collaboration, and HR-Payroll systems.
Prior to that he was vice president for Information Systems for Orbit Satellite Television and Radio Network in Cyprus and Rome, Italy. Nicolaides is a graduate of Old Dominion University and holds two bachelor of science degrees, one in Computer Science and one in Electrical Engineering, and a master's degree in Electrical Engineering.
Robert Pompey Jr.
Robert Pompey, Jr. has served as the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, North Carolina since October 2007. As Vice Chancellor, he is responsible for the development, administration, and supervision of the fiscal affairs of the University. He also provides leadership concerning the University’s financial and planning operations of the University.
Prior to his appointment as Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, Pompey worked at Wake Forest University from 1998 to 2007. He was also employed by the accounting firm, KPMG, LLP as a Senior Manager.
Mr. Pompey received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 1987. He also holds an MBA from Wake Forest University. Pompey is also a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the National Association of Certified Public Accounts.
R. Scott Ralls, Ph.D.
Scott Ralls is the seventh president of the North Carolina Community College System. With 58 colleges serving more than 850,000 individuals annually, the North Carolina Community College System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States and is internationally recognized for its efforts to foster economic and workforce development.
Dr. Ralls previously served as President of Craven Community College, in New Bern, North Carolina and is only the second former North Carolina community college president to hold the System presidency. He was one of the original champions for early college high schools, and today, North Carolina hosts one-third of all early colleges in the U.S., the vast majority located on the campuses of community colleges.
As President of the North Carolina Community College System, Dr. Ralls has championed workforce development and student success. He led efforts to gain the System’s first weighted funding for technical education; to link career-technical and science and technology pathways with public schools and universities; and to redesign customized training programs to enhance opportunities for existing employers.
In 2009, under Dr. Ralls’ leadership, the North Carolina Community College System initiated a comprehensive set of strategic initiatives focused on student success and program completion entitled SuccessNC. The model was recently recognized by the Brookings Institution and the Rockefeller Foundation as one of “10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch in 2012,” and was noted as one of the most “forward-thinking economy-shifting efforts underway in America’s state and metropolitan areas.”
As part of SuccessNC, the North Carolina Community College System implemented the Code Green Super Curriculum Improvement Project (CIP), the most sweeping curriculum restructuring in the System’s history – consolidating more than 80 curriculums into 32 in areas that are critical to the growth of North Carolina’s economy: energy, building, environment, transportation and engineering technology, in addition to providing students with opportunities to earn industry recognized, stackable credentials, resulting in a more competitive workforce.
Dr. Ralls serves on several national and state boards and commissions and is the Chair of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges. He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland, a Bachelor of Science with highest distinction from the University of North Carolina, and in 2007, was elected the tenth honorary fellow of Warwickshire College in Warwickshire, England.
A. Hope Williams
Dr. A. Hope Williams is president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, NCICU, the statewide advocacy and public policy organization of the 36 independent (private, non-profit) colleges and universities in the state and which raises corporate and foundation funds for student scholarships and programs. She has been president of NCICU since 1992.
Dr. Williams serves on the Governor’s Education Cabinet, is Presiding Officer for State Funds Network of the Council of Independent Colleges and has served as chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives and as a member of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, a master’s degree from North Carolina State University and a doctorate in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was named the 1999 Distinguished Woman of North Carolina in Education, one of the top 25 Women in Business in 2001 by The Business Journal, a Woman Extraordinaire in 2005 by Business Leader Magazine and a Woman of Achievement by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in North Carolina in 2007.
She has served as president of the North Carolina Adult Education Association and of the North Carolina Association of Institutional Researchers. She serves on the boards of the College Foundation, Incorporated; MCNC; and on the National Advisory Board of the Institute for Emerging Issues. She and her husband, Tom Bersuder, are the parents of two sons.