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.
Board of Trustees, 2020-2021
Alexa Starr, President
Shana Bernstein, Secretary
Cathy Grimsted, Treasurer
Alvin Tillery, Jr.
Committee Chairs and Committee Members
Mason Rocca – Chair
Christine DeBartolo – Chair
Dimitri Karcazes– Chair
Shana Bernstein, PhD
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.
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.
Cathy provides management consulting services to non-profit organizations with a focus on strategy, financial planning, change management, and information technology. She served as Associate Dean of Finance & Administration for the Kellogg School of Management and, separately, in this role for the Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences of Northwestern University. Catherine received an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA from Stanford University. Her other board service has included Three Crowns Park, Girl Scouts of Chicago, and the Night Ministry. Her two daughters are both Baker alumni.
Stephanie is the Director of Special Education at Niles West High School, District 219. In this role, her work focuses on meeting the needs of diverse learners, with a particular interest in decreasing the racial and disability predictors of educational achievement. Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and began her career as a School Social Worker. She earned her B.A. from Northwestern University, her Masters in Social Work from the Jane Addams College at University of Illinois Chicago, and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago.
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 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 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.
Eric Liu, MBA
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.
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 is Finance Director at Wolters Kluwer and spent 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
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
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.
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.
Lisa is President and CEO of Corix Infrastructure, Inc., a multi-utility company with operations in 20 US states and 3 Canadian provinces. She has over 30 years of experience in infrastructure, energy and manufacturing companies. Her prior roles include President and CEO of Utilities, Inc. and numerous engineering and management positions at BP and General Motors. She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University and a Masters in Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
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 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
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.