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Search Committee

John E. Page  John E. Page

Chair, Presidential Search Committee and Chairman of the Board of Trustees

John Page is Senior Corporate Vice President, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility and Legal Officer of Golden State Foods Corp. (GSF).  Joining GSF in 2004, John is responsible for all legal, governance and compliance matters for the company. Additionally, John provides executive leadership for GSF’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts, which include environmental initiatives, diversity efforts, and community involvement.  John has been honored for his leadership a number of times and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Tuskegee University. He has also served as 2014/2015 Chairman of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Board of Directors, and as President of the National Bar Association. The Orange County Business Journal named him their inaugural General Counsel of the Year; and in 2010, John received the National Bar Association’s highest award, the C. Francis Stradford Award, for his service to the NBA and to the legal profession. In 2011, the African American Managing Partner Network honored John with the Corporate Counsel Pathfinder Award. 

Norma B. Clayton  Norma B. Clayton

Vice Chair, Presidential Search Committee and First Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Norma Clayton is the retired vice president for Learning, Training and Development at The Boeing Company. Prior to this role, she led a number of important assignments, including a Global Sourcing Initiative to increase growth and productivity. She has also held leadership roles within Boeing Defense, Space & Security, including vice president of Supplier Management and Procurement, and vice president and general manager of the Maintenance and Modification Centers. Clayton has held leadership roles throughout her career at Fortune 500 companies including Lockheed Martin, General Electric, RCA and General Motors.  Among many community activities, Clayton serves as First Vice Chair of Tuskegee University’s Board of Trustees, Boeing executive focal for Michigan State University, and is a member of Leadership America, the American Society of Industrial Engineers and the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources.

Bernard E. Anderson  Bernard E. Anderson, PH.D.


Bernard E. Anderson, a nationally respected economist, is the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Professor Emeritus, the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA., and Senior Fellow, Center for Human Resources. In 1993 he was appointed by President William Jefferson Clinton as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment Standards Administration, with responsibility for the Wage and Hour Division, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of Workers Compensation and the Office of Labor Management Cooperation.  He was the second African American ever appointed to the Wharton School faculty, following his professor and mentor, the late Dr. Andrew F. Brimmer. He helped merge the Urban Affairs Partnership and the Philadelphia Urban Coalition to create the Urban Affairs Coalition. Deeply engaged in higher education, he was Chairman of the board of trustees, Lincoln University (PA), and has served as Vice Chairman, of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees.

Solomon L. Banks Jr.  Solomon L. Banks, Jr.

Chair, Eminent Presidential Associates

Solomon Banks is the retired Director of Housing for the City of Los Angeles Housing Department.  Throughout his almost thirty-year career with the Housing Department, he served in other positions that focused on housing development and rehabilitation.  Prior to this role, he worked on housing and urban renewal projects as a project manager for the Community Redevelopment Agency in Los Angeles.  Solomon currently serves as the Chairman of the Eminent Presidential Associates at Tuskegee University.  He also served as a member of the Tuskegee University Board of Trustees from 2007 – 2013 and president of the Tuskegee National Alumni Association (2000 – 2004).  He member of the Los Angeles Tuskegee Alumni Club, a life member of both Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Kevin Green  Kevin Green


Kevin Green is a senior business executive with more than forty years of government and private sector experience in operational planning and execution, delivering professional services and advanced technology to achieve demanding missions. He is focused on bringing best practices and tools to solve complex challenges and enable enterprise success with high performance under resource constraints. A retired IBM vice president, he now leads Robertson Blodgett Consulting in Virginia.  Prior to joining IBM in 2004 Vice Admiral Green served more than thirty years as a naval officer, completing his Navy career as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Operations, Plans, and Policy. As DCNO, he coordinated global naval operations, strategic planning, information operations, and naval policy development; and managed naval service relationships with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the National Security Council staff, the US military services, other federal agencies, and allied navies. As a flag officer he commanded Naval Forces Southern Command, the Abraham Lincoln Aircraft Carrier Strike Group, and Naval Training Center Great Lakes, Illinois. He served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Atlantic Fleet Headquarters, the Bureau of Naval Personnel, and commanded Destroyer Squadron 23 and the guided missile frigate USS Taylor. 

Floyd Griffin  Floyd Griffin

Trustee and Secretary of the Board of Trustees

The Honorable Floyd L. Griffin, Jr. is the former Mayor, City of Milledgeville, former Georgia State Senator and Colonel. U.S. Army (Ret.).  Griffin is also the former owner of Slater’s Funeral Home, INC in Milledgeville, Georgia.  Griffin was inducted into the Winston-Salem State University’s “Big-House Gaines” Athletic Hall of Fame and Tuskegee University’s ROTC Hall of Fame.  The Honorable Floyd Griffin served as Senator of Georgia’s 25th District for two terms.  In the Georgia Senate, Griffin was Chairman of the Interstate Cooperation Committee and served on the Defense and Veteran’s Affairs, Health and Human Services, Higher Education, Local and State Government Operations and the powerful Rules Committees.  Griffin was elected Mayor of the city of Milledgeville for the term 2002-2006. He was the sixty-seventh Mayor to serve.  Griffin is a member of a number of organizations, which include Sigma Pi Phi, the American Legion, Prince Hall of Free and Accepted Masons, Nations War College Association, Life Member of the Omega Psi Phi, and 100 Black Men Organization of Milledgeville and Baldwin County.  He has served as a member of the board of trustees of several community organizations, to include Georgia College and State University Foundation’s Board of Trustees, Georgia Military College Board of Trustees, The National Conference of Black Mayors’ Board of Directors, and the President of the Georgia Conference of Black Mayors.

Erick W. Harris  Erick W. Harris

Trustee and Second Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Erick W. Harris is an associate with the law firm Dyer, Coatney & Schroeder in Edmond, Oklahoma where he focuses on oil and gas law, energy law, civil and business litigation and transactions. Before venturing into private practice, Erick was an Assistant Attorney General for the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office. As an Assistant Attorney General, Erick was assigned to the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit prosecuting criminal fraud by Medicaid providers and abuse or neglect by caretakers. In addition to his service as a prosecutor, Erick represented the State of Oklahoma before the Oklahoma Corporation Commission by protecting the interests of the state’s utility customers in rate-related proceedings. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Central Oklahoma.  Erick is licensed to practice law in all state courts and federal district courts in Oklahoma and is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and the Oklahoma County Bar Association. A very community-oriented individual, he is also a member of the Oklahoma City Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City, and a member of Fairview Missionary Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon and Trustee. Erick is also a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma. Among his many honors and awards, Erick is a recipient of the “NextGen Under 30 Award,” which recognizes the next generation of leaders in the State of Oklahoma.

E. Christopher Johnson  E. Christopher Johnson


E. Christopher Johnson, Jr. is the CEO and Co-Founder, Center for Justice, Rights & Dignity and retired GM North America Vice President and General Counsel.   Following his graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1973, Johnson served as an Army officer in Alaska and New Jersey and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his leadership and accomplishments in arctic logistics in the northernmost infantry battalion in the United States Army.  Johnson started his legal career in 1981 with a prominent New York law firm. In 1985, he left the practice of law to become a headhunter. It was with his last client, General Motors, that he made his last placement—himself—as an attorney in 1988. Accepting the role as GM’s sole attorney handling computer law matters, as well as one of GM’s purchasing lawyers, he rose through the ranks to Practice Area Manager of General Commercial and Government Contracts, Assistant General Counsel and ultimately, GM North America Vice President and General Counsel. In this position, which he held for the last seven years in a twenty-year GM Career, Johnson was responsible for all GM legal matters in the US, Canada and Mexico, supervising a staff of 250 and over 400 outside law firms.  His community involvement includes serving in the teaching ministry at One Community Church in Plano, Texas and formerly serving as the General Counsel and an Elder of NorthRidge Church in Plymouth Michigan; chair of the yearly Detroit West Point Leadership and Ethics (LEADS) Workshops from 2011-2014 and advisor of LEADS Workshops in Dallas, Texas in 2015 and 2017; current member of the Board of the West Point Society of North Dallas and past member of the Board of the West Point Society of Michigan, past chair of the Michigan United Negro College Fund Leadership Council, and a former member of the Board of the Great Lakes Division of the American Cancer Society. 

Vanessa Lee Vanessa Lee

Staff Senate Chair

Vanessa Lee is serving her second year as Staff Senate Chair at Tuskegee University.  Vanessa currently serves as the Executive Secretary to the Dean of the College of Engineering.  Prior to assuming this role, she worked at Xerox Corporation as an account representative for fourteen years.  She also worked at Tuskegee University in Auxiliary Services from 1987 – 1998.

Virda Lester Virda Lester, Ed.D.

Professor of Education

Dr. Virda K. Lester earned the Doctorate Degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Reading from Auburn University in 1983.  She is employed by Tuskegee University and currently holds the rank of Professor in the School of Education in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Some of Dr. Lester’s professional experiences include: (1) the funding of several proposals to aid in the development of the University and its students; (2) making presentations of papers at national, regional, and local conferences; (3) the author of one book and two editions of “Essential College Reading and Study Skills in Practice”; and (4) the reviewer of more than thirty reviews of books that have been published in CHOICE and other journals. Before becoming a college professor, Dr. Lester taught reading in the Macon County Schools; was a 2nd grade teacher in St. Louis, Missouri; and taught reading to 4th-6th graders as well as was a 1st grade teacher in the Garland Independent School System in Garland, Texas.  She is a member of professional, civic, and social organizations…the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education; a “Life” and “twenty-five” year plus member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; The Links Incorporated, Tuskegee Chapter, as well as a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tuskegee, AL.

Mortimer Neufville  Mortimer Neufville, PH.D.

Former President, Coppin State University and University of Maryland – Eastern Shore

Mortimer “Mort” H. Neufville, Ph.D. is the former president of Coppin State University and the University of Maryland – Eastern Shore.  He also served as executive vice president of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC). In this position, he developed a Food System Leadership Institute to train future university, government and industry leaders in change. Funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the Institute has trained three cohorts of leaders. His bachelor’s degree was awarded summa cum laude from Tuskegee University. In 2001 he was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Florida and in that same year, he received an Honorary Doctor of Science from Tuskegee University.  Internationally, he has served on boards of directors and working groups focused on capacity building in Africa, India, Latin America and the Caribbean. With backing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and in cooperation with U.S. universities and international organizations, he has stimulated lifelong learning partnerships resulting in programs such as the Indian Agricultural Knowledge Initiative (AKI), the NASULGC Africa Working Group, and the GOFAU capacity building effort.

 Ruby Perry, DVM

Vice Provost and Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine

Ruby L. Perry, DVM, MS, DACVR, is the Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Perry is also a professor of veterinary radiology.  Prior to this, Dr. Perry served as interim dean and associate dean for academic affairs for the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health. She is an alumna and former president of the Tuskegee Veterinary Medical Alumni Association.  From 1982 to 1988, Dr. Perry was an assistant veterinary radiology professor at Tuskegee. She also served as acting chair of the Department of Small Animal Medicine, Surgery and Radiology. In 1995, Dr. Perry served as section chief of diagnostic imaging at Michigan State University, a post she held for six years. She was also a tenured associate professor of veterinary radiology for more than 17 years before returning to Tuskegee. Dr. Perry received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1977 from the Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. She received a Master of Science degree from Michigan State University in 1991 and is also a board certified radiologist and member of the American College of Veterinary Radiology.

Burt Rowe  Burt Rowe

President, Tuskegee National Alumni Association, Inc.

Burt started his professional career with Western Electric Company as a cooperative education student in 1968. After graduating from Tuskegee University he joined the company full time.  During a distinguished 38-year career Burt rose to the rank of Chief Manufacturing Officer and Director of Global Manufacturing Strategy and Procurement for the wireless division of Alcatel-Lucent. He was recognized for his ability to generate over $20,000,000.00 in product cost avoidance and reduction. He also gained notoriety for putting in place a global high performance work team structure that empowered workers to fix problems that affected their daily work lives and also saved the company millions of dollars.  While at Western Electric / Alcatel-Lucent, Burt served as the chairperson of the Tuskegee University Business and Industry Cluster for twenty years. During his leadership over 30 companies joined the Cluster with the goal of supporting various colleges on campus. The Cluster companies contributed over $23 Million to Tuskegee University in equipment, visiting professors and money during Burt’s tenure. The College of Engineering and Business benefited a great deal from this partnership. Burt also served as the company representative to Elizabeth City State University as well as North Carolina A & T.  Burt currently serves as the President of the Tuskegee National Alumni Association (TNAA).  He is also the immediate past President of the Tuskegee University Engineering Alumni association (TUEAA).

Arthur Tipton  Art Tipton, PH.D.


Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., assumed the role of president and CEO of Southern Research on July 1, 2013. Previously, he worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries for 25 years, participating in the growth aspects of three start-up companies, one that went public and two acquired by public companies. The company he founded in 2005 as an SR spin-out company – Brookwood Pharmaceuticals – was acquired by SurModics in August 2007, then by Evonik in November 2011. At Evonik, Tipton served as senior vice president of the Birmingham division and also led the company’s global drug delivery program.  From 1993 to 2004, Tipton worked in roles of increasing responsibility at Durect Corporation, including that of senior vice president of biodegradable systems, chief operating officer, vice president of its wholly-owned subsidiary Southern BioSystems, and president of Birmingham Polymers. He was with Atrix Laboratories (now part of QLT Inc.) from 1988 until 1993, as manager of polymer science and senior polymer chemist.  Tipton serves on multiple boards including the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, the Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Board, Innovation Depot and the external advisory Board to both the School of Business and the Biomedical Engineering Department at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His previous Executive Board Roles include President, Treasurer and Board Member of the Controlled Release Society, and Chairman and Board Member of Biotech Association of Alabama (BioAlabama). Board roles include the Society for Biomaterials, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, Southeastern Medical Device Association, TechBirmingham, the Birmingham Venture Club, and the corporate boards of Brookwood Pharmaceuticals and Southern BioSystems.

Tamika Tremaglio  Tamika Tremaglio


Tamika Tremaglio is the East Regional Leader for Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory and serves as the Deloitte Office Managing Principal for the Greater Washington. Tamika’s litigation and business consulting experience, which spans over 20 years, includes leading forensic accounting matters such as breach of contract, franchise disputes, lost profits, business interruption, intellectual property disputes, global corporate investigations and regulatory compliance matters, including claims relating to fraudulent conveyances and insolvency. Her prior work experience includes National Leader with Huron Consulting Group, Greater Washington Market Leader and Managing Director, and Director of KPMG LLP, and Tax Specialist.  She has held various leadership and advisory positions as follows: Greater Washington Office Managing Principal (2017 – Current); Advisory East Regional Leader (2016 – Current); Advisory Partner, Principal, and Managing Director Talent Development Leader (2015 – Current); Talent Development Steering Committee Member (2015 – Current); Women’s Initiative Advisory Board (2015 – Current); Advisory Lead | Engage | Accelerate | Deloitte Host (2015 – 2016); Deloitte Nominating Committee (2015 – 2016); Deloitte Board Council (2014 – 2015); Advisory Greater Washington POC (2013 – 2016), Dean, Next Generation Chief Legal Officer Academy (2013 – 2015); Next Generation of Leaders (2013 – 2015); Partner, Principal, and Managing Director (PPMD) Champion: Greater Washington Black Employee Network (2012 – 2014); In-House Counsel Program Champion Leader (2010 – 2014).

Austin Turk Austin Turk

President, Tuskegee University Student Government Association

Austin Victoria Turk is a senior at Tuskegee University from Mobile, Al. She expects to receive a B.S. degree in Political Science with a minor in History in May 2018. Austin currently serves as the President of the Student Government Association: The Eminent Administration. While at Tuskegee, Austin has held a variety of leadership roles. Austin served as the 2014-2015 Freshman Class Vice President, 2015-2016 Sophomore Class President, 2015-2016 Tuskegee NAACP Political Action/Awareness Committee Co-Chair, 2015-2016 Tiger P.A.W.S. Mentoring Program Coordinator, 2016-2017 Tiger P.A.W.S. Mentoring Program Coordinator, and 2016-2017 Student Government Association Vice President. Austin is a member of the Tuskegee University Honors Program, Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society, and Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society.  Austin has interned with the U.S. Department of Energy and Mobile Gas: A Sempra Company. Austin is a 2014 J.L. Bedsole Scholar and has been selected as a 2017-2018 ambassador for the Transformative Justice Coalition. Austin is very active in her community and has her own mentoring program for young ladies.  Austin is also the owner of her own business, Victorian Vinyl.  After graduation, Austin plans to pursue her Juris Doctorate degree. Austin’s ultimate career goal is to become a political commentator for a major broadcasting network.