Conference Speakers

Monday, June 17

President’s Dinner

Christina Paxson

Christina Paxson is the 19th president of Brown University and professor of economics and public policy. She assumed the role of president on July 1, 2012.

As an early initiative of her presidency, President Paxson worked with students, faculty and staff to develop Building on Distinction, a 10-year strategic plan launched in 2014 that is shaping the growth and progress of a University committed to addressing the defining challenges of the 21st century. She is leading innovation across Brown’s interdisciplinary teaching, research and scholarship in emerging fields like bioengineering, environmental security, data sciences and addressing societal issues through humanistic inquiry.

Key priorities of her presidency include empowering collaboration and cultivating entrepreneurship among teacher-scholars and students; expanding Brown’s rich research environment being developed in Providence’s Jewelry District; and creating engaged learning programs that integrate teaching with community-based research and real-world experiences.

Advancing Brown’s academic excellence and preparing students to thrive in today’s complex and changing environment are central objectives of President Paxson’s presidency. Under her leadership, Brown opened a new School of Public Health, launched the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society and inspired a renaissance in social sciences in connection with the Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs.

To ensure that the excellent education Brown provides is both accessible and affordable, President Paxson has expanded financial aid through initiatives like The Brown Promise, which eliminates University-packaged loans from all undergraduate financial aid packages and accelerates support for middle-income families, while also improving support for graduate students. Her commitment to working with students to identify new approaches that meet emerging needs has resulted in pioneering initiatives like the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center.

Under President Paxson’s leadership, Brown gained national attention for a campus-wide effort to create an ambitious plan to achieve the highest level of academic excellence by building a fully diverse and inclusive campus. Brown released Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University in February 2016.
President Paxson has been an outspoken advocate for academic freedom. In fall 2016, she partnered with Brown’s provost to launch “Reaffirming University Values: Campus Dialogue and Discourse,” a series of events and conversations aimed at encouraging campus-wide discourse on difficult topics, often among community members with conflicting views.

Prior to her appointment at Brown, President Paxson was dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Affairs and the Hughes Rogers Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University.

While at Princeton, President Paxson also served as associate chair and chair of the Department of Economics and was the founding director of a National Institute on Aging Center for the Economics and Demography of Aging. In 2000, she founded the Center for Health and Wellbeing, an interdisciplinary research center in the Woodrow Wilson School, for which served as the director until 2009.

A nationally recognized higher education leader, respected economist and public health expert, President Paxson has been the principal investigator on several research projects supported by the National Institutes of Health and authored or co-authored numerous journal articles. She served as vice president of the American Economic Association in 2012 and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of the Association of American Universities. In January 2016, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston named President Paxson to its board of directors and, in 2019, named her deputy chair. In 2017, she was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

President Paxson is a 1982 honors graduate of Swarthmore College, Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her graduate degrees in economics at Columbia University (M.A., 1985; Ph.D., 1987).

Tuesday, June 18


Catalyzing Economic Development as a Path to Closer Town-Gown Relations

Russell C. Carey

Russell C. Carey is executive vice president for planning and policy at Brown University. In this role he works closely with President Christina H. Paxson, the provost, the executive vice president for finance and administration, the Corporation and members of the community to ensure effective University-wide efforts in planning and policy, in keeping with the University’s overall mission.

Carey serves as the senior officer responsible for coordinating Brown’s strategic planning processes and providing leadership on a broad range of University strategy, policy and governance matters. His major responsibilities include: establishing measures to assess planning priorities and progress towards Brown’s strategic planning goals; conducting ongoing data gathering, analysis and outcome assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of the University’s plans, initiatives and policies; and assisting senior officers, divisions and departments in defining strategies and developing plans to ensure continued growth and prosperity. He works closely with other senior officers and oversees the University’s plans and initiatives in the area of city and state economic development, including strategic growth initiatives and oversight of government and community relations, and is responsible for campus safety, including oversight of the Department of Public Safety and serving as chair of the Core Crisis Committee. He serves as a member of the University Resources Committee and the Capital Planning Committee and represent Brown on external boards and committees, including the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Providence Foundation (currently chair)Carey is an adjunct lecturer in public policy at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions, where he teaches a seminar on University Governance.

Immediately prior to his current role, Carey served as senior vice president for corporation affairs and governance at Brown, since July 2008. He had primary responsibility for leading and coordinating the University’s policies, structures and functioning in the areas of Corporation affairs, University governance and risk management to assure well-integrated, coherent and effective oversight of these areas. His major responsibilities included, among others: providing leadership and strategic direction in Corporation affairs and University governance; overseeing the leadership and effectiveness of several areas within the administration; working with the senior officers to address issues of risk avoidance; clarifying and integrating the University’s overall approach to managing risk; assuring the University’s compliance with the highest standards of national and international practices in the areas of governance and risk management, and leading Brown University’s participation in shaping the national agenda in these important areas.

Previously, Carey served as interim vice president for campus life and student services at Brown for two years, ending June 2008. In that role he had primary responsibility for planning and setting policies that improved the campus environment for Brown’s undergraduate, graduate and medical students and responsibility and oversight for 12 departments at Brown.

Carey is a 1991 graduate of Brown and received his juris doctor from Suffolk University in 1995. He is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Carey has served in several administrative positions at Brown. From 1991-95 he was student life officer and then assistant dean of student life, responsible for administering the nonacademic disciplinary procedures among other responsibilities. In 1995-96 he served as an assistant district attorney in Northampton, Massachusetts, and returned to Brown in 1996 to serve as assistant to the provost. He subsequently was appointed assistant to the president in 1997 and assumed additional responsibilities as secretary of the University in 1998. Named vice president and secretary in July 2003, Carey managed the Brown Corporation Office, served as liaison to the chancellor and other Corporation leaders, oversaw the Advisory Council program and the President’s Leadership Council and carried out other duties and responsibilities related to the governance of the University until his appointment as interim vice president for campus life and student services in July 2006.

John Arzoomanian

As building operations manager, John Arzoomanian is responsible for the operations of over 250,000 square feet of Brown’s occupied area in South Street Landing, accommodating 11 administrative departments at the University. He oversees other Brown owned and leased buildings, working closely with their respective management teams to ensure that the operational standards of Brown are met.

He also cultivates and supports all third-party vendor relationships. He came to Brown with over 15 years of experience in commercial property management and a solid history of success, including oversight of multimillion-dollar properties. A retired police commander for the North Providence Police Department, Arzoomanian has a bachelor’s degree from Roger Williams University as well as a Massachusetts real estate license. An active member of the Building Owners and Managers Association, he began the role of building operations manager in September 2017.

The Intersection of Reputation and Research Integrity

Brian E. Clark

Brian E. Clark is a former journalist with a decade of higher education experience as a strategic communicator, editor/writer and media spokesperson. Clark joined Brown’s Office of University Communications as director of news and editorial development in February 2016. In that role, Clark serves as executive editor for Brown’s news operation, oversees strategic content development for a wide range of communications projects and serves as the University’s spokesperson and primary news media contact.

 Prior to arriving at Brown, Clark was director of public affairs at Roger Williams University, where he managed a team of strategic communicators and storytellers, directed news and media relations efforts, served as the university’s chief spokesperson and led RWU Magazine and other major publications as editor-in-chief. Previously, he worked as a magazine journalist in San Diego and Morristown, New Jersey. From 2001 to 2006, he managed editorial operations for a 70,000-circulation newsstand magazine for experimental aircraft enthusiasts, earning his private pilot license along the way.

 Clark earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from New York University and a master of arts in integrated marketing communications from Emerson College.

Jill Pipher

Brown’s Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor of Mathematics and a Brown faculty member since 1989, Jill Pipher is Brown’s vice president for research. Pipher is the president of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), an organization of more than 28,000 members worldwide dedicated to furthering mathematics research, scholarship and education. Her two-year term as president began in January 2019. In addition, Pipher is the founding director of ICERM, one of eight National Science Foundation mathematics institutes in the nation.

Pipher’s primary research interests are in areas of mathematics that have broad applications in the physical and life sciences, including harmonic analysis and partial differential equations. Her joint work in the field of cryptography, with Brown faculty members Jeffrey Hoffstein and Joseph Silverman, led to the development of a patented public key encryption system and a startup company called NTRU Cryptosystems, which was acquired by a major security software company in 2009. The NTRU concept is widely used today and is considered one of only a handful of cryptographic systems resistant to attacks from future quantum computers.

From 2011 to 2013, Pipher served as president of the Association for Women in Mathematics. In 2012, she became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society. She is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship and a Presidential Young Investigator Award. In April 2015, she was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. Pipher taught at the University of Chicago prior to her arrival at Brown and holds bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Assessing Public Sentiment Part II (After the Admissions Scandal)

Ken Goldstein

Ken Goldstein is a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and founding director of the USF in DC program. He also serves as a senior fellow at the Association of American Universities, where he focuses on survey research on America’s leading research universities.

Goldstein earned his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. Before joining the University of San Francisco, he was a faculty member in the political science department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at the University of Wisconsin, he won the Kellet Award for his career research accomplishments and the Chancellor’s Award for excellence in teaching.

Goldstein is one of the country’s premier experts on political campaigns, in general, and on the use and impact of political advertising, in particular. He has authored or co-authored over 50 publications — books, refereed journal articles or book chapters. These publications on political advertising, voter turnout, survey methodology, presidential elections and news coverage have appeared in top line political science journals and major university presses as well as in refereed law and medical journals.

Goldstein combines his academic training with an ear for real politics and strategy as well as an impressive set of contacts and extensive professional experience in a variety of media and corporate and political settings. Goldstein is currently a consultant for the ABC News elections unit and a member of its election night decision team. He has worked on network election night coverage in every U.S. federal election since 1988.He is also a polling and political ad analyst for ABC News and served in a similar capacity for Bloomberg Politics during the 2016 election cycle. You can read here about some of what he does on election nights.

More generally, Goldstein’s reputation for unbiased and nonpartisan analysis has made him a favorite source for politicians and the news media alike. He has appeared numerous times on NewsHour, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN and is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. He is also quoted extensively in the country’s top newspapers. Goldstein also hosted a weekly interview show, “Office Hours,” broadcast on the Big Ten Network.

In addition to his work with the news media, Goldstein also has worked in strategic communications. He has conducted large-scale positioning and crisis management surveys for university and corporate clients as well as not-for-profit organizations and foundations. Between 2011 and 2013, he served as president of Kantar Media CMAG, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C.- based political consulting firm that provides media intelligence and is the source of record on political advertising for campaigns, trade associations and the news media. In 2012, Kantar Media CMAG clients included the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns, major media organizations and scores of other candidates, campaigns and interest groups.

Pedro Ribeiro

Pedro Ribeiro has served at the Association of American Universities since March 2017. As vice president for communications, he oversees and coordinates AAU’s public affairs, communications and media relations activities. He also staffs the Public Affairs Network constituent group.

Before joining AAU, Ribeiro served as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In that role, he served as a senior advisor to the department’s senior leadership on media, public and employee engagement strategies. He also helped develop and manage the department’s strategic engagement plans for complex issues in coordination with other departments and the White House. 

Prior to his service as deputy assistant secretary, he served as an assistant director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In that role, he was responsible for managing and overseeing ICE’s external and internal messaging programs. Ribeiro directed the agency’s global communications efforts and a staff of 60 employees responsible for media engagement, strategic communications and internal communications.

Before joining DHS, Ribeiro served as the director of the Office of Communications in the Executive Office of the Mayor in the District of Columbia. In that role he served as the senior on-the-record spokesperson for the Government of the District of Columbia and coordinated all of the district’s public and employee outreach efforts. He also managed the district’s Joint Information Center and was responsible for coordinating the district’s public information response to both the Navy Yard shooting and Hurricane Sandy. 

Previously, Ribeiro served as deputy chief of staff and communications director to Representative Zoe Lofgren of California during her tenure as chair of the House Ethics Committee and chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration. He also served as press secretary to Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas and in the nonprofit community as communications adviser.

Considering Next Steps for Universities

Cass Cliatt

Cass Cliatt is the vice president for communications at Brown University. Reporting directly to Brown President Christina Paxson, Cliatt conceives, implements, evaluates and refines strategic communications to support and advance the institution’s goals and priorities. She stewards the public face of the institution, oversees constituent-based communications and advises the president, senior officers, faculty and other members of the University community on communications strategy and opportunities. She serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet and on the University’s Executive Committee.

Cliatt leads a division that develops multiplatform communications solutions to serve the University, as well as an identity strategy to promote and elevate Brown’s standing as a leading institution. Brown’s Office of University Communications includes teams that manage content strategy and strategic communications, news and media relations, web and digital communications, social media and the full range of creative marketing and production services, including print services (Brown’s Digital Print Facility and Copy Center). Cliatt also oversees the Brown Alumni Magazine. The Office of University Communications prioritizes the active promotion of the University’s mission on and off campus.

Cliatt was formerly vice president for communications at Franklin & Marshall College, reporting to the president and with responsibility for strategic communications, branding and media relations, as well as all print and multimedia communications across the institution. Prior to that, she was director of news and editorial services at Princeton University and served as the institution’s chief spokesperson. Cliatt’s earlier career was in journalism, working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for major newspapers in Nebraska (Washington, D.C., correspondent), Michigan and Illinois. She also worked previously in government, serving as the deputy director of communications/policy for the Cook County Clerk’s Office in Chicago.

Cliatt received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a master of science in journalism from Northwestern University. She is active on various boards, councils and commissions devoted to supporting research, communications and education.

Lightning Round: Sharing Our Playbooks

Colleagues from the following institutions will present on activities and initiatives:

  • Harvard University
  • Cornell University
  • University of Pennsylvania

Wednesday, June 19


Fundraising in Today’s Climate

Sergio M. Gonzalez

Sergio M. Gonzalez serves as senior vice president for advancement at Brown University. In this capacity, he oversees all advancement areas across the institution, including development, alumni relations, corporate and foundation relations, international advancement, the Brown Sports Foundation and the Brown Annual Fund. He reports directly to President Christina Paxson and works closely with other members of the President’s Cabinet, academic leaders and numerous volunteers in implementing engagement and fundraising initiatives that support the University’s strategic plan and the BrownTogether campaign.

Previously, Gonzalez served as senior vice president for university advancement and external affairs at the University of Miami from 2001-17. Prior to joining the University of Miami, Gonzalez served as chief of staff for Miami-Dade County executive mayor, Alex Penelas, from June 1998 to November 2001. He also served as the executive director of the South Florida 1999 Super Bowl Host Committee. Gonzalez was the first executive director of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust, the local government agency responsible for the oversight and administration of homeless issues, including the county’s award-winning homeless plan.

From 1992-93, Gonzalez served as chief of staff and general counsel for then-County Commissioner Alex Penelas. Prior to that time, Gonzalez was a litigation associate with the law firms of Mershon, Sawyer, Johnston, Dunwody and Cole, and Valdes-Fauli, Cobb, Petry and Bischoff in Miami, Florida.

Diversity and Inclusion: Managing the Doubt that “Elite” Institutions Can Hold Themselves Accountable to Equity and Diversity

Shontay Delalue

Shontay Delalue is a higher education administrator and scholar with extensive experience working on issues of diversity, inclusion and international affairs. She is currently vice president for institutional equity and diversity at Brown University, where she was previously assistant provost for global engagement. In her current role she provides strategic direction for a wide range of initiatives to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive environment on campus. She holds an adjunct assistant professorship in American Studies.

Delalue received her bachelor’s degree in communication and a master of education degree from the University of Maine. She attended the Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education and earned a Ph.D. in education through a joint program of the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, where her doctoral work used critical race theory to explore the dichotomy that arises for African and Caribbean students who are racialized in a U.S. context.