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Donaldson Fellows

The Donaldson Fellows Program for Yale SOM Alumni recognizes graduates whose personal and professional accomplishments embody the school's mission to educate leaders for business and society. Donaldson Fellows come from all sectors and across the globe, sharing a dedication to solving complex problems and pursuing positive change in the world. The program is named to honor SOM's founding dean, William H. Donaldson, who also founded an investment bank, served as an undersecretary of state, and led a major insurance corporation, the New York Stock Exchange, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Every two years, nominations for Donaldson Fellows are submitted by the Yale SOM community.  The Donaldson Fellows selection committee includes former Donaldson Fellows, Yale SOM students, faculty, and members of the School’s senior leadership team who review and choose the final honorees. In selecting the Donaldson Fellows, the committee seeks a wide range of experience, and a variety of industries, sectors, and time since graduation. The objective is to select those who live the Yale School of Management’s mission of educating leaders for business and society, meaning they:

  • Demonstrate reputation, leadership, and achievement in one’s chosen field;
  • Demonstrate commitment to Yale SOM’s mission of educating leaders for business and society;
  • Pursue their work with thoughtful integrity;
  • Demonstrate innovation in their chosen field; and
  • Contribute to their communities in a variety of ways

We encourage alumni to nominate themselves or fellow alumni by submitting a 1-2 page essay explaining how the nominee’s personal and professional accomplishments embody the School’s mission. For self-nominations, please note that a 1-page statement of support must also be included. The statement of support can be from a fellow SOM alumnus, SOM professor, or member of the SOM staff or administration

Submission Instructions

  • The deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, November 6, 2023.
  • Please send nominations to Niermala Mohan, Program Coordinator for Alumni Relations, at  

Meet the 2023-2024 Donaldson Fellow Selection Committee

  • Heidi Brooks, Senior Lecturer in Organizational Behavior, Yale School of Management
  • Camino de Paz, Assistant Dean of Global Network Programs, Yale School of Management
  • Cinthya Garibay ’24, Yale SOM Class of 2024, Alumni Relations Student Government Representative
  • Erika Goldstein ’24, MBA for Executives Class of 2024, Alumni Relations Student Government Representative
  • Lori Hotz, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Lobus, 2022 Donaldson Fellow
  • Courtney Lightfoot, Managing Director of Alumni Relations, Yale School of Management
  • Art Swersey, Professor Emeritus of Operations Research, Yale School of Management
  • Josh Wright ’98, Executive Director, ideas42, 2022 Donaldson Fellow

Past Fellows

(affiliations at time of Fellowship)

Class of 20212022

  • Lori Hotz ’94, Cofounder and Co-CEO, Lobus
  • Jane Mendillo ’84, Former President and CEO, Harvard Management Company
  • Amanda Skinner ’08, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
  • Catherine Smith ’83, Board Member, Global Atlantic Financial Group
  • Josh Wright ’98, Executive Director, ideas42

Donaldson Fellows

Class of 20182019

  • Michael Apkon ’02, President and Chief Executive Officer, Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children
  • Curtis Chin ’90, Asia Fellow, Milken Institute
  • Louise Dube ’88, Executive Director, iCivics
  • Katherine Gross ’83, Director, The Charlotte Foundation
  • James Robertson ’99, Independent Consultant and Former Chief Executive Executive, India HIV/AIDS Alliance

Donaldson Fellows

Class of 20162017

  • Danguole Altman ’85, President and CEO, Vapogenix, Inc.
  • Joaquin Avila ’82, Co-founder and Managing Director, EMX Capital
  • Colonel Rich Morales ’99, Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Systems Engineering, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
  • Dr. Ann Olivarius ’86, Chair, McAllister Olivarius
  • Sandra Urie ’85, Chairman Emeritus, Former CEO and COO, Cambridge Associates

Class 0f 2015-2016 Donaldson Fellows

Class of 2014–2015

  • Jaime Gonzalez Aguade ’96, President, Mexican National Banking and Securities Commission
  • Beth Axelrod ’89, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, eBay Inc.
  • Kathie Julian ’84, Country Director for Georgia, Asian Development Bank
  • Chuck Slaughter ’90, Founder and CEO, Living Goods

Donaldson Fellows

Class of 2012–2013

  • Christine Bader ’00, Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University & Human Rights Advisor, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility)
  • Don Gips ’89, U.S. Ambassador to South Africa
  • Nadim Matta ’89, President, Rapid Results Institute & Senior Partner, Schaffer Consulting
  • Liang (Leon) Meng ’97, Co-founder, Ascendent Capital Partners Limited

Donaldson Fellows

Class of 2010–2011

  • Brad Abelow ’89, Chief Operating Officer MF Global Inc
  • Jennie Niles ’98, Founder and Head of School, E.L. Haynes Public Charter School
  • Ken Ofori-Atta ’88, Executive Chairman & Co-Founder Databank Financial Services, Ltd., Ghana
  • Hilary Pennington ’83, Director of Education, Postsecondary Success, and Special Initiatives, U. S. Programs, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Donaldson Fellows

Class of 2008–2009 (Inaugural Class)

  • Adam Blumenthal ’89, Managing General Partner, Blue Wolf Capital Management
  • Laszlo Bock ’99, Vice President, People Operations, Google, Inc.
  • Andrea Levere ’83, President, Corporation for Enterprise Development
  • James Levitt ’80, Director, Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest, Harvard University, and President, Levitt & Company, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Serlemitsos ’93, Chief Advisor, National AIDS Council, Zambia

Donaldson Fellows