Our Board of Directors

Leadership makes all the difference.

The MSU Foundation’s Board of Directors represents decades of executive-level leadership. Comprised of a team of visionary innovators, successful entrepreneurs, and longtime strategic financial advisors, our Board offers guidance and direction to our management team, preserving and growing our investments for generations of Spartans to come.

Serving Michigan State University’s strategic vision requires sterling integrity, commitment to excellence, and the ability to see the big picture, which is why our Board of Directors serve for an extended period of time. This provides continuity and the building of institutional knowledge.

Officers of the MSU Foundation

Randy Cowen, Chair

Randy was Chief Information Officer and its Co-Chief Administrative Officer at Goldman Sachs. He was also a Director at EMC Corporation until it was acquired by Dell in 2015 for $67B in what was, at the time, the largest deal in tech history. He served in a variety of for-profit and non-profit board positions including Pivotal Software, Data Domain, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation and NYU Child Study Center. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in History with a minor in Mathematics from Michigan State University.

Scott Eston, Vice Chair

Scott was Chief Operating Officer of Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC. Additionally, he was Chief Executive Officer of Evergreen Equity Trust – Evergreen Large Cap Value Fund. He was a Senior Partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (formerly Coopers & Lybrand LLP).  He has been a Trustee at Eaton Vance Funds.  He serves as a Member of Michigan State University’s Financial Management Institute Advisory Board and holds a degree in accounting from the Michigan State University.

John Phillips, Secretary

John served as Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Solutions Group at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (Formerly Lasalle Partners). Mr. Phillips served as Chairman of Corporate Solutions Group at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (Formerly known as Lasalle Partners Inc. and LaSalle Partners Limited) since July 29, 2007. Mr. Phillips serves as a Director at Ohio National Financial Services, Inc., The Ohio National Life Insurance Company and Ohio National Mutual Holdings, Inc.

Bruce Leech, Treasurer

Bruce Founded CrossCom National in 1981 and served as Chairman of the Board before selling the company.  He is a Director of Pearson Packaging Systems Inc.  He is currently the Executive Director of Coleman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Driehaus College of Business at DePaul University in Chicago.  Bruce earned his certification from the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, an MBA from DePaul University, and a degree in Finance from Michigan State University.

Dave Washburn, Executive Director

Dave is Executive Director of the Michigan State University Foundation.  In the role, he leads the Foundation and its wholly owned subsidiary companies Spartan Innovations, Red Cedar Ventures and the University Corporate Research Park.  Dave served as President and CEO of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and also spent 10 years at the University of Illinois where he led the software commercialization practice.  Dave held management and directorship roles in venture-backed software companies from 1988-2000 including Wolfram Research, Kuck & Associates (acquired by Intel), IntallShield Software Corporation (acquired by Macrovision), and Argus Systems Group (acquired by General Dynamics).  He holds a BA and MBA from the University of Illinois and began his career as a data analyst with Information Resources in Chicago.


Jeff deGraaf

Jeff is Founder and Head of Technical Research at Renaissance Macro Research, LLC. Previously, Jeff served ISI Group Inc. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Jeff is one of Wall Street’s most influential macro based analysts over the last decade, ranked by Institutional Investor Magazine for the last twelve years and ranked number one Technical Analyst for the last eleven years. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Chartered Market Technician. He received a degree in Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business.

Alec McAree

Alec was Managing Director of Highbridge Capital Management.  He has also held managing director roles at Citadel, Ardsley Partners, and Soros Funds.  He was instrumental in founding the Financial Markets Institute at the Broad College at MSU.  He currently leads Red Cedar Management, a long/short fund and graduated with a degree in Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business.

John McLane

John was President of Citicorp Global Insurance Division and also served as Managing Director of Citicorp POS.  After he began his career with Inland Steel, he also spent time in executive roles with AT&T and CompuServe. He holds a BS and MBA from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. At MSU, he was also a member of the varsity wrestling and soccer teams.

Bill Seifert

Bill was General Partner at Prism VentureWorks. He was also CTO of Avaya Technologies.  Previously, he was Founder and CEO at Agile Networks Inc. which was acquired by Lucent.  He was also a co-founder and CTO of Wellfleet Communications which later became part of Bay Networks and ultimately Nortel.  He received an M.S. from Michigan State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and was a member of the Spartan Marching Band.

Stan Sokolowski

Stan is Deputy Chief Investment Officer at CIFC Asset Management where he is lead portfolio manager for CIFC’s total return products. He serves on the firm’s Investment Committee and Operating Committee. Prior to CIFC, Stan was a portfolio manager and trader with Lucidus Capital. He also spent time at JPMorgan and Manufacturers Hanover and holds a degree in Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business.

Samuel Stanley, Ex-Officio

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D., is the 21st President of Michigan State University.

Teresa Sullivan, Interim Provost

Teresa A. Sullivan is Michigan State University’s interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Janice Stipp

Janice was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Rogers Corporation (NYSE:  ROG).  Prior to Rogers, she was CFO and Treasurer at Tecumseh Products Company. She also served as CFO of Acument Global Technologies, and GDX Automotive Inc.  She was a member of the Board of Directors Ply Gem Industries before they were taken private in the spring of 2018.  She serves on Board of Directors of ArcBest Corporation (NASDAQGS:  ARCB). She earned a degree in Accounting from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MBA from Wayne State University.

Sue Unger

Sue was Senior VP and CIO of Daimler Chrysler. She was also a member of the Research Board, the Kleiner Perkins CIO Strategy Exchange Forum and the Automotive Women’s Alliance.  She was named 2002 CIO of the Year by Salomon Smith Barney and named one of Detroit’s Most Influential Women by Crains in 2002.  She currently services on the Board of Directors, Munson Medical Center in Traverse City.  She has a BA in Economics from Michigan State and an MBA in Finance from Wayne State University.

Joel Wittenberg

Joel is the Chief Investment Officer and Vice President at W.K. Kellogg Foundation.  Previously, he served as Vice President and Treasurer and Executive Officer of Investor Relations at Kellogg Co. Prior to Kellogg, he was a finance executive with Armstrong Holdings, Dow Chemical and Triangle Pacific. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business and an MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

Michigan State University Leadership on the Board

Steve Hsu, PhD

Steve serves at Senior Vice President of Research at Michigan State University. Steve previously was the director of the Institute for Theoretical Science and professor of physics at the University of Oregon. He also serves as scientific adviser to BGI and is a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab.  He was the founder of two Silicon Valley companies—SafeWeb and Robot Genius Inc.  Hsu graduated from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Junior Fellow of the Harvard Society of Fellows, he was on the faculty at Yale University.

Michigan State University Board of Trustees Directors

Melanie Foster

Trustee Foster serves as a member of the Michigan State University Board of Trustees where she is chair of the Finance Committee and the Investment Advisory Subcommittee.  For 15 years she served as president and CEO of a commercial landscape company she built into a nationally acclaimed firm. For 10 years Foster was president and CEO of a commercial landscape firm in Orlando, Florida, that specialized in theme park projects. She earned a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture from Michigan State University.

Emeritus Board Members


Craig Brown

Owner, Greenville Drive Baseball Team; former CEO of Bcom3 Group

Bob Burgess

Retired President and CEO of Pulte Homes.

Joan Garety

VP Finance & Treasurer, Meijer Inc. (retired); 2005 inductee to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame

Ron Goldsberry

VP, Deloitte Consulting (retired); VP Global Services Business Strategy, Ford Motor Company (retired)

John Gorman

Partner, The Jorman Group

Phil Hickey

Former CEO, RARE Hospitality; Chair, Red Lobster

Edward James

Chair emeritus, ER James Homebuilder, Urban Land Institute, Past President Western Golf Association, National Trustee, Boys and Girls Club of America, Economic Club of Chicago

Glenn Schafer

Chairman, Janus Capital Group; Pacific Life Insurance Company, Genesis HealthCare, GeoOptics

Gary Seevers

Goldman Sachs Presidents Council of Economic Advisers, Commodity Futures Trading Commission