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Board of Trustees

The Baker Board of Trustees oversees the strategic, long-term direction of the school and establishes goals and plans consistent with Baker’s mission and vision. There are up to 18 trustees who serve three-year terms, and contribute to both standing and ad hoc committees to address fulfillment of strategic goals. Our trustees are current and former parents, alumni and friends from the local community.

The day-to-day operations of the school are overseen by the Head of School and her administrative team. If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Board of Trustees via email.

Board of Trustees, 2019-2020

Stacey Empson, President
Alexa Starr, Vice President
Eric Liu, Treasurer
Shana Bernstein, Secretary

Bill Brewster
Christine DiBartolo
Peter Kaplan
Dimitri Karcazes
Katie Keyvanshad
Mariette Lindt
John Llanes

Mohamed Nur
Peter Poulos
Kim Ptak
Amanda Reid
Mason Rocca
Don Sweeney
Alvin Tillery, Jr.

Shana Bernstein, PhD
Board Member Since 2018, External Relations Committee

Shana is a Clinical Associate Professor of Legal Studies and American Studies at Northwestern University. She specializes in U.S. History, particularly comparative race and ethnicity and social reform movements. Before joining Northwestern University’s faculty, she was Associate Professor of History at Southwestern University in Texas. She is a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and has won fellowships from the Mellon Foundation and the Huntington Library, among other institutions. Her first book, Bridges of Reform: Interracial Civil Rights Activism in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Oxford University Press, 2011), reinterprets U.S. civil rights activism by revealing its roots in the interracial efforts of Mexican, Jewish, African, and Japanese Americans in mid-century Los Angeles. Shana received her B.A. from UC Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Bill Brewster
Board Member Since 2019 

Bill is the owner / operator of Sullimar Capital Group, where he focuses on financial research and analysis. He is also a committed father of three young boys, ages 5, 3 and 19 months. Bill excels at “racing” against the clock on his way to morning drop offs at Baker Demonstration School and at buttering noodles. Previously, Bill worked as an associate at BMO Harris Bank in the commercial bank. Bill holds both a JD and a CFA designation. He received a B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Auburn University and a JD from Loyola University of Chicago Law School. 

Christine DiBartolo
Board Member Since 2018, External Relations Committee Chair, Executive Committee

Christine is Senior Managing Director and Americas Head, Corporate Reputation Practice of FTI Consulting Strategic Communications. Her professional experience includes public education campaigns, corporate social responsibility, and government relations. Earlier in her career, Christine served as an aide to former Attorney General Janet Reno. During this time, Christine also served as the spokesperson for the Civil Rights Division, addressing all media inquiries related to civil rights issues. Christine received a B.A. in Communications and International Studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Stacey Empson, JD
Board Member Since 2010, President

Stacey is a partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and serves as PwC’s Health Industries Management Consulting Leader. She also previously served as PwC’s Health Industries Diversity and Inclusion Leader. Trained as an attorney, Stacey brings legal experience to the board, in addition to expertise in strategic planning, marketing and fundraising. She has served on many non-profit and professional boards. Stacey chaired Baker’s Search Committee that selected Carly Andrews as Head of School in 2017. Stacey earned her Juris Doctorate, Masters in Healthcare Administration, and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kansas.

Peter Kaplan
Board Member Since 2019

Peter leads Deloitte’s Risk Advisory global methodology program, consulting with Partners and engagement and pursuit leaders on tools and technologies that promote scalability, quality and consistency – while fostering faster on-boarding and greater confidence that our practitioners have access to our “gold standard" tools and artifacts. Prior to joining Deloitte, Peter served as a Business Analyst with American Management Systems (since acquired by CGI) providing implementation and consulting services to public sector clients. Peter holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. 

Dimitri Karcazes
Board Member Since 2019

Dimitri is a principal at the Goldberg Kohn law firm in Chicago. He specializes in corporate restructuring and has represented lenders in the protection and enforcement of creditors' rights for over 20 years. He specializes in distressed debt, intercreditor and subordinated debt matters and has handled transactions and cases throughout the United States and in Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Dimitri received his B.A. from the University of Chicago where his concentration was Law, Letters and Society and his J.D. from the University of Chicago. He also studied for a year at the London School of Economics. Dimitri grew up in the Chicago area and went to high school at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. 

Katie Keyvanshad
Board Member Since 2019

Katie Keyvanshad is an Associate Director with Accenture, LLP, a leading service provider in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Katie is an expert in talent supply chain who has over 20 years of experience leading teams in process, technology and organizational design strategy and transformation. In her current role, she leads Accenture’s global Demand and Talent Fulfillment function, focusing on the technology, process and organization that supports matching our internal people to client work. Previously, Katie was a consultant working with Government and Insurance companies. Katie received a B.A. from DePaul University. 

Mariette Lindt, JD
Board Member Since 2019

Mariette is an Administrative Law Judge for the State of Illinois where she adjudicates claims of unlawful discrimination falling under the jurisdiction of the Illinois Human Rights Act. Her cases involve allegations of civil rights violations in employment, public accommodations and housing primarily based on race, national origin, age, religion, gender, sexual harassment, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender- related identity, and physical and mental disability. Prior to her appointment as a judge, Mariette served as Assistant General Counsel to the Illinois Human Rights Commission where she advised thirteen Governor-appointed commissioners on civil rights litigation matters brought before them on appeal. Mariette is a graduate of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada and has served as Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Civil Rights Committee. She has also served as Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Administrative Law Judges’ Educational Subcommittee. Mariette received her Bachelor of Science in Commerce with High Honor from DePaul University and earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. 

Eric Liu, MBA
Board Member Since 2018, Internal Operations Committee

Eric is a partner at Harris Associates, an investment management firm in Chicago and advisor to the Oakmark family of funds. He serves as Portfolio Manager and Research Analyst on their international team. Eric has spent the last 17 years in the investment and finance industry. Eric holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and BA from UCLA.

John Llanes

Highly motivated and energetic leader with over 14 years of practical hands-on and executive experience. Dedicated, with proven ability to build dynamic IT teams that successfully deliver business initiatives by leveraging advanced technologies. Collaborative in nature, love to roll up my sleeves with the team to resolve issues or to provide solutions that expand the firms capacity. John received his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership from Northwestern University 

Mohamed Nur

Mohamed is Finance Director at Wolters Kluwer and spent for the last 18 years working in finance with diverse companies. During his finance leadership, he led various global projects from financial strategy, business integration to organizational transformation. Mohamed received a B.B.A in Finance and Economics in from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis. 

Peter Poulos, JD
Board Member Since 2018, Governance Committee

Peter is a managing director in Tax Practice Policy and Quality at Grant Thornton LLP. Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Peter was a law firm tax partner and had 20 years of experience in representing public companies, significant privately held entities, and other clients in complex federal and state tax controversy, planning and compliance matters. His prior roles included tax partner at both Locke Lord LLP and Winston & Strawn LLP, and senior tax consultant at Arthur Andersen. Peter received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley — Boalt Hall School of Law; and a B.S., Accountancy from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kim Ptak, EdD
Board Member Since 2016, Internal Operations Committee

Kim currently serves as the Director of Operations for Glenbrook High School District 225. In this role, Kim leads all financial and facilities efforts, including budgeting, bidding, risk management, strategic planning, construction, accounts payable, and food and transportation services. Prior to employment at Glenbrook, Kim worked at Arthur Andersen as the Director of Finance and Operations. Kim has her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Northern Illinois University.

Amanda Reid, PhD
Board Member Since 2018, Internal Operations Committee

Amanda has nearly 20 years of experience designing and implementing social science research projects in humanitarian, academic and private sectors. She specializes in work with underserved communities and survivors of trauma – locally and globally. Amanda currently serves as Senior Research and Evaluation Partner at Rotary International where she has led research and training activities in East Africa, West Africa and India. Amanda earned a BA in psychology at Spelman College and a Ph.D. in clinical and community psychology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Mason Rocca
Board Member Since 2017, Internal Operations Committee

Mason is a math teacher at Evanston Township High School. He recently completed his Masters in Education from Northwestern University and received a Fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation. Mason is a Baker alumni, class of 1992, and former professional basketball player who spent most of his 15-year career in Italy. Mason graduated with a B.S.E. in electrical engineering from Princeton University.

Alexa Starr
Board Member Since 2016, Internal Operations Committee Chair, Executive Committee

Alexa is the Managing Director of Finance for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She has spent more than 10 years working in finance for higher education, helping drive strategic financial planning, leading teams responsible for accounting operations, financial reporting and analytics, and project management. She participates on school initiatives, including the Diversity and Inclusion staff council for Kellogg and the Finance/IT prioritization planning committee for Northwestern. In previous years she worked for SunTrust Bank and taught Microeconomics to undergraduate business students at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Alexa graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a M.A. in Economics and from Salem College with a B.A. in Economics.

Don Sweeney
Board Member Since 2018,  Governance Committee

Don is the co-founder and CEO of Ashling Partners, a professional services firm that drives efficiency gains and process improvement through automation and targeted Artificial Intelligence. He has worked in professional services for more than 20 years. Don currently sits on the local board for Positive Coaching Alliance, a non-profit focusing on character development of youth through sports, and sits on the advisory board for The University of Michigan Department of Economics. Don is an acting advisor to various technology startups, as well as an investor through his participation in Hyde Park Angels. Don received his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Alvin Tillery, Jr., PhD
Board Member Since 2018, Governance Committee

Al is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of American politics and political theory and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Al’s research in American politics focuses on American political development, racial and ethnic politics and media and politics. His research in political theory focuses on American political thought and critical race theory. His book Between Homeland and Motherland: Africa, U.S. Foreign Policy and Black Leadership in America (Cornell University Press, 2011) won the W.E.B. Du Bois Distinguished Book Award from the National Conference of Black Political Scientists. Al received a B.A. from Morehouse College and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.