John Balkcom


Balkcom has been a longtime adviser to management and boards. He retired in 2000 after 25 years as a management consultant and since then has served as a corporate director and advisory board member for a number of public and private enterprises. He served on the Bulletin’s Governing Board from 2012 - 2013 and from 2016 - present; previous leadership roles have included president of St. John’s College and chairman of a NYSE company. He has also served as a member of the advisory board of the Federation of American Scientists since 2014 and board observer and investor in Microbiome Therapeutics since 2012.


Marjorie Craig Benton


Benton served on the Bulletin’s board from November 2005 through March 2010. She has been a U.S. Commissioner, International Year of the Child, U.S. Ambassador to U.N.I.C.E.F., Board Chair of Save the Children Federation, White House Fellows Commission, and the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago. She has served as a Trustee of the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the Van Leer Group Foundation in Holland. She is the Co-Founder of the Chicago Foundation for Women. She served as Board Chair of the Council on Foundations. She was the Public Delegate to the United Nations, a Delegate to the Special Session on Disarmament, a Co-Chair of Americans for SALT, and Special Advisor to the United Nations Disarmament Commission. She was also Co-Founder of the Peace Museum in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulletin honored Marjorie at its 2015 annual dinner, in recognition of her sustained commitment to the Bulletin, and determination in advancing its mission.


Edmund G. Brown Jr.

(Executive Chair)

Brown completed his fourth term as Governor of the State of California in 2019. He began his career in public service in 1969 as a trustee for the LA Community College District and became California Secretary of State in 1970 and Governor of California in 1974 and 1978. After his governorship, Brown lectured and traveled widely, practiced law, served as chairman of the state Democratic Party, and ran for president. Brown was elected Mayor of Oakland in 1998 and California Attorney General in 2006; he was elected to a third gubernatorial term in 2010 and a fourth term in 2014. During this time, Brown helped eliminate the state's multi-billion budget deficit, spearheaded successful campaigns to provide new funding for California's schools, and established a robust Rainy Day Fund to prepare for the next economic downturn. His administration established nation-leading targets to protect the environment and fight climate change. Brown attended the University of California, Berkeley, and earned a JD at Yale Law School.

Misho Ceko

Misho Ceko

Ceko is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Senior Associate Dean of Business Operations at the University of Chicago's Haris School of Public Policy. Prior to Harris, Ceko was the COO for the Chicago Children’s Choir (CCC). He also worked for the United Nations in Mozambique on the Delivering as One initiative under former Secretary General Kofi Annan and as a senior strategy consultant in Accenture’s public sector practice in Washington, DC. Prior to business school, Misho worked as an engineer for St. Jude Medical. In addition, he served as a mayoral fellow in the office of Mayor Richard M. Daley and was a fellow at the National Institutes of Health. He holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BS in bioengineering from the University of Illinois. 


Cyndi Conn

Conn is a curator of art, ideas, people, experiences. She is currently the Executive Director of Creative Santa Fe, a nonprofit organization dedicated to using collaboration and the power of the arts to reframe critical issues and drive positive change. She serves on the Advisory Boards of The Black Mountain Institute, the National Parks Arts Foundation, and the N Square Innovators Network. In 2018 she co-chaired Mayor Alan Webber’s task force to catalyze job creation. She previously chaired Mayor Javier Gonzales’ housing and community development transition team and was honored by Albuquerque Business First as one of 40 Under Forty awardees statewide. Conn held the position of Visual Arts Director and Curator of the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe before founding gallery and art advisory firm LAUNCHPROJECTS in 2008. Prior to that she was the Director of EVO Gallery. Cyndi holds a master's degree in Curatorial Studies and Arts Administration from Skidmore College in conjunction with the Tang Museum, a BA in Latin American studies from Tulane University and studied at the Universidad Ibero Americana in Mexico City. She has lived in Paris, Mexico City, Austin, and New Orleans.


Steven Fadem

Fadem is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Steven Fadem & Associates, bringing experience building start-ups, executing turnarounds and helping grow established companies through multiple stages of their evolution. The firm helps effect transformative change with experience in management, operations, marketing, technology and law. He is a founder of Global Data Sentinel, a cybersecurity firm. Previously, Fadem ran several private equity-backed companies in the media, energy, and financial services areas; the business side of a top-five AmLaw firm, Kirkland & Ellis; and a major financial services firm, Geller & Co. which, among other things, possesses a major multifamily office servicing the ultra-high net worth community and is the outsourced CFO for Bloomberg L.P.


Lee Francis


An internist and the CEO of Erie Family Health Center, Francis is assistant clinical professor of internal medicine at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. He is a past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a national organization dedicated to the prevention of violence and nuclear war, and continues to serve on its Board of Directors.

Austin Hirsch

Austin Hirsch


Hirsch is a partner at Reed Smith’s Global Corporate Group. Hirsch has been an Executive Committee member of Reed Smith and former Managing Partner of Reed Smith Chicago’s legacy firm, Sachnoff and Weaver. His practice encompasses all aspects of business law. Hirsch has served as a director of various companies and as an advisor for family offices. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award by the Chicago Bar Foundation and a Co-Chair of Lawyer Lend-A-Hand to Youth.

Hirsch is Chair of the Board and Trustee of the Benton Foundation. He is Chair and President of The Selfhelp Foundation and recipient of the Selfhelp Special Service Award. Hirsch is also a member of the Board of Managers of the Chicago Bar Foundation and Chair of the Investment Committee, as well as a member of the Finance Committee of the Chicago Bar Association. He received a BS in accounting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1970 (CPA certificate) and went on to complete his JD at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law in 1973. 

Kuhlman Headshot

David Kuhlman

Kuhlman is managing partner of Axiom Consulting Partners, a consulting firm that helps clients identify pathways to profitable growth and align their organizations for long-term success. For over 30 years, he has worked with people-intensive/asset-light businesses including accounting and law firms to establish and realize transformative strategies. Previously, Kuhlman was managing partner of Sibson Consulting, a leading HR consultancy and global head of Human Resources for Russell Reynolds Associates, a premier executive recruiting firm.


Steve Ramsey

Ramsey is the former Vice President of Corporate Environmental Programs at General Electric, where he managed GE’s environmental strategy. He was previously the head of environmental practice at Sidley Austin in DC and was the first Chief of Environmental Enforcement Section at the US Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. Ramsey has served as a Visiting Fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment, the Chair of the Board of the Institute for Sustainable Communities, and as a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. He is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Texas School of Law.


Mark Ratner

Ratner is a materials chemist, whose work focuses on the interplay between molecular structure and molecular properties. This includes such aspects as molecular electronics, molecular optoelectronics, molecular systems design and biomolecular behavior, as well as quantum and classical methodologies for understanding and predicting molecular structure and responses. The major focus of his research for the last three decades has been the understanding of charge transfer and charge transport processes based on molecular structures, ranging from nonadiabatic intramolecular behavior to aspects of molecular devices, including photovoltaics, conductive polymers, molecular transport junctions and molecular switches.

Lowell Sachnoff

Lowell Sachnoff

Sachnoff is senior counsel based in the Chicago office of Reed Smith LLP and is a founding member of Reed Smith Chicago’s legacy firm, Sachnoff & Weaver. He focuses his practice on mediation and arbitration, mentoring young lawyers and a wide range of pro bono work including the successful representation of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison and their relocation to safe countries abroad and protecting the civil rights of patients confined in state mental hospitals.

Sachnoff’s dedication to civil rights and social justice has earned him numerous awards: the American Lawyer 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, the American Constitution Society 2010 Legal Legend Award, and the 2007 Edwin A. Rothschild Lifetime Achievement Award for Civil Rights from the Chicago Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He has served as a visiting lecturer on complex litigation and mental health law at the University of Chicago Law School, Northwestern University School of Law, and Chicago-Kent College of Law. Sachnoff is a board member of the Business and Professional People for the Public Interest and The National Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and has served on the board of the Lawyers Alliance for Nuclear Arms Control. Sachnoff is a graduate of Harvard College in 1952 and the Harvard Law School in 1957.


Stephanie Woodson

Woodson has worked in and for higher education for nearly 20 years as consultant, strategist, entrepreneur, new product designer, and general manager. She was an executive at one of the earliest online learning ventures, Most recently she launched and served as the Executive Director of Integrated Education Solutions (IES), Adtalem Global Education’s external facing division. Before its sale in 2018, IES provided online learning expertise and services to a broad portfolio of colleges and universities. Prior to that she headed Adtalem’s corporate strategy organization. Woodson has a background in management consulting.