Board of Directors



Deborah Wince-Smith

Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the President & CEO of the Council on Competitiveness (Council). Founded in 1986, this unique coalition of leading CEO’s, university presidents and labor union leaders puts forth actionable public policy solutions to make America more competitive in the global marketplace.

An internationally renowned, leading voice on competitiveness, innovation strategy, science and technology, and international economic policy, Ms. Wince-Smith has been credited with recharging the national debate on competitiveness, innovation and resilience. Ms. Wince-Smith is frequently called upon to testify in front of the U.S. Congress and appears regularly on global television news networks including Bloomberg, BBC, CNBC, CNN and Fox News.

Ms. Wince-Smith serves as a Corporate Director and Board Member of National and International organizations, U.S. Government policy Advisory Committees, Charitable Organizations, and as a University Trustee. Currently, she is a member of The Smithsonian National Board, the Secretary of States’ Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy, the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Board, also serving as Vice-Chairman of Women Corporate Directors. She is a member of the Advisory Board of The Journal of Science Policy & Governance and she is also a member of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, co-chaired by former Governor Jon Huntsman and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, and serves on the Board of Directors of The American Associates of Japan’s prestigious Science and Technology in Society Forum, the Qatar Foundation’s R&D Advisory Board, and Ms. Wince-Smith currently serves as Vice Chair and former Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness. She also serves on the Purdue Strategic Research Advisory Council (SRAC).

An expert in technology commercialization, Ms. Wince-Smith is a Director of NanoMech, Inc., a leading innovator in industrial nanomaterials, and Aerolase, a company at the forefront of portable laser medical devices. Ms. Wince-Smith also serves on the Advisory Board of Delos Living, LLC.

As a long-standing leader in the national laboratory system, Ms. Wince-Smith currently serves as a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
She previously served on the University of California President’s Council overseeing Los Alamos Lawrence Berkeley and Livermore National Laboratories. She recently concluded two terms of service on the University of Chicago’s Board of Governors for Argonne National Laboratory and as a Trustee of Lehigh University. On behalf of Secretary of Commerce, Carlos Gutierrez, she chaired the Secretary’s National Advisory Committee on Strengthening America’s Communities producing the first comprehensive assessment of U.S. Government Economic Development Strategy and Program.

Ms. Wince-Smith served from 2005-2012 as a public Director of NASDAQ-OMX where she was a member of the Compensation, Audit and Finance Committees. Ms. Wince-Smith served as a Senate-confirmed member of the Oversight Board of the Internal Revenue Service for six years.

In 2004, Ms. Wince-Smith spearheaded the groundbreaking National Innovation Initiative (NII) that played a pivotal role in creating a reinvigorated U.S. competitiveness movement. The NII shaped the bipartisan America COMPETES Act, created state and regional innovation initiatives, and brought a global focus to innovation. Ms. Wince-Smith led the Council’s 2009 National Energy Summit & International Dialogue. She leads a widely acknowledged and highly successful bilateral dialogue between the United States and Brazil on competitiveness and innovation strategy, including leading the 2007, 2010 and 2013 US-Brazil Innovation Summits. As the Council’s President, Ms. Wince-Smith leads a coalition of over 60 CEOs, university presidents, labor union leaders and national laboratory directors to accelerate advanced manufacturing transformation and energy productivity to ignite an “American Manufacturing Movement.” This movement, underpinning the Council on Competitiveness’ flagship U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative, will modernize America’s manufacturing base; create high-skilled, living-wage, American jobs; and, keep America competitive in the global marketplace.

Since 2009, Ms. Wince-Smith has served as president of the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils (GFCC), whose creation she led with leaders and stakeholders from over 30 Competitiveness Councils from around the world. The GFCC is the first global network devoted exclusively to the exchange of knowledge and practice related to competitiveness policies and strategies; and, it is the first international, public-private mechanism to promote global economic growth through collaboration in innovation.

During her 17-year tenure in the federal government, Ms. Wince-Smith held leading positions in the areas of science, technology policy and international economic affairs. She began her career as a program director for the National Science Foundation, where she managed U.S. research programs with Eastern European countries and U.S. universities. Most notably, she served as the nation’s first Senate confirmed Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, overseeing federal technology transfer policy, implementation of the Bayh-Dole Act, and the White House National Technology Initiative. During the Reagan Administration, Ms. Wince-Smith was appointed as the first Assistant Director of International Affairs and Competitiveness in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Ms. Wince-Smith was the architect of the landmark 1988 Head of Government Science and Technology Agreement with Japan, and developed ministerial bilateral collaborations with China, India and Latin America.

Ms. Wince-Smith developed President Reagan’s 1988 Competitiveness Initiative, and led the implementation of executive orders and new laws that transformed federal technology transfer policy for U.S. industries, national laboratories and universities. Following her government tenure, Ms. Wince-Smith became active in the governance of various national scientific laboratories and provided strategic counsel to several FORTUNE 100 companies.

Ms. Wince-Smith, a valedictorian from Old Trail School in Akron, Ohio, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was one of the first female students to enter King’s College at the University of Cambridge, where she read for a Master’s degree in classical archaeology. She received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Michigan State University, an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Toledo and an Honorary Doctorate of Law honoris causa from The Queens University of Belfast.

Ms. Wince-Smith is married to former Deputy United States Trade Representative Ambassador Michael B. Smith and resides in McLean, Virginia. Her two sons are graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and are currently serving as officers in the U.S. Navy and Marines Corp.

Mike Easterly

Mike is a veteran of the investment banking business and co-founder and organizer of the Legacy companies and most recently served as the Chairman of Legacy Securities Corp. and Legacy Investment Group, Inc. Mike was Chief Manager of Legacy Lodging II, LLC and a Principal of Legacy Capital Partners, LLC (the firm’s venture affiliate). Mike is CEO of Legacy Media Holdings, LLC, which operates radio stations in Memphis, Tennessee and south Atlanta, Georgia.

Currently Mike is CEO of Brookwood Hill Group, Inc., a 20 year old family investment company with interests in multiple areas. Through Brookwood Hill Group, Inc. Mike continues to provide a broad array of corporate financial advisory services, including buying and selling businesses and raising capital.

Previously, Mike was Head of Investment and Merchant Banking at Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of Morgan Keegan Merchant Banking Fund, Ltd., which he organized, Chairman of the Corporate Commitment Committee and a member of the firm’s Management Committee. Prior to that, Mike held Partner or Managing Director positions with several prominent regional and national investment firms including Prudential Securities, Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc., William Blair & Company, and The Robinson-Humphrey Company, Inc.

Mike has been active in many professional, civic, and charitable organizations. He was previously Vice Chairman of the Georgia State University Robinson College Advisory Board, as well as Chairman of its Facilities Task Force, and is past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia State University Foundation. Mike is Past President and Director of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. Mike has previously served as President of the Georgia State University Alumni Association, the Georgia Economic Development Association and Chairman of both the Red Carpet and Green Carpet Tours of Georgia.

Christopher Galvin

Christopher Galvin is Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Harrison Street Capital, LLC; Co-Founder and Chairman of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital LLC; Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of UniqueSoft Inc. a real-time software authoring services company; and Chairman of Cleversafe Inc., a digital storage company.

Mr. Galvin is member of the board of MCR-Aerodyne Inc., a Harrison Street Capital LLC financed roll-up in US Department of Defense services; a member the Executive Committee of Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees; the American Enterprise Institute Board, the Legion D’honneur, Tsinghua University School of Management and Economics (Beijing); Business Council (U.S.), the American Society of Corporate Executives; the Board of the Chicago Council of Global Affairs and Chair of the Rhodes Scholars selection committee for Illinois-Michigan.

Mr. Galvin’s former relationships include: Chairman of NAVTEQ, the leading supplier of global digital mapping databases; Chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc.; member of the Bechtel Corporation’s Board of Counselors; chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council; director of the Rand Corporation; member of the U.S. Department of Defense Board; member of the U.S. Department of Defense Science Board; advisor to the City of Tianjin, China; advisor to the CEO of Hong Kong; and advisor to the Searle Family Trusts.

Mr. Galvin co-founded The Galvin Projects in 2004, a virtual global think tank that published three books (2008-09); Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, LLC in 2005, a private equity real estate company that focuses on investments in medical office buildings, storage, student housing, and senior housing; and Gore Creek Asset Management LLC in 2005, a large capital investment company utilizing 90-100 global investment managers diversified across most major asset classes.

In 2010 Mr. Galvin was featured in the Andrea Redmond book “Comebacks: Powerful Lessons from Leaders Who Endured Setbacks and Recaptured Success on Their Terms” which details his unplanned departure from Motorola, and how he responded.

Advisory Board

John Hendricks

John HendricksJohn Hendricks is the founder and former Chairman of Discovery Communications, the world’s leading nonfiction media company. Hendricks created Discovery Channel in 1985 as the first cable network in the United States designed to deliver high-quality documentary programming to television viewers. He was the driving force behind Discovery’s dramatic growth, including the expansion of Discovery Communications from its core property, Discovery Channel, to current global operations in over 220 countries and territories representing 26 entertainment brands including Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery with more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers worldwide. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to K-12 schools. Hendricks’s memoir about founding the company, A Curious Discovery: An Entrepreneur’s Story, was published by Harper Collins in 2013. Hendricks retired as Executive Chairman of Discovery in May 2014.

Hendricks also is the Founder of Curiosity Project, a multi-platform initiative delivering to lifelong learners the highest quality deep-dive content on topics in science, technology, civilization and the human spirit. Curiosity Project is comprised of Curiosity Retreats, annual five-day gatherings of leading-edge thinkers presenting to and engaging with enrolled guests at the five-star Gateway Canyons Resort in Colorado; and Curiosity Club, a digital subscription service launching in first quarter 2015 at, featuring the highest quality deep-dive factual content captured at Curiosity Retreats and Curiosity Studios.

A visionary in the media industry, Hendricks has been honored with a Primetime Emmy Award and with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences highest honor, the Governors Award, for conceiving the TLC series, Great Books. The Ark Trust named him a recipient of the Genesis Award for lifetime achievement for his efforts in raising awareness around the globe about animal issues. Hendricks also has been recognized as the first corporate leader to receive the National Education Association’s Friend of Education award for “innovations in education and technology and greatly expanding educational opportunity for America’s schoolchildren.”

Bran Ferren

Bran FerrenOne of Fast Company’s “100 Most Creative People in Business,” Bran Ferren is a master of the arts and sciences. Equal parts artist/designer and scientist/engineer, he is an expert on leveraging curiosity and creativity to inspire innovation. His 2014 TED Talk entitled “To create for the ages, let’s combine art and engineering” has been translated into 24 languages and viewed nearly 1,000,000 times.

Bran is co-founder, co-chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, a company that for the last 15 years has provided advanced technology, creative design, and consulting services to government and commercial clients. Previous to Applied Minds, Bran held various leadership positions, including president of R&D for the Walt Disney Company, and president of Creative Technology for Walt Disney Imagineering R&D, Disney’s
creative design and engineering division. In his role as president, he advised the CEO and senior leadership on emerging creative and technology opportunities and led the development of key enabling innovations for divisions such as ABC Television. Prior to that, Bran was president of and Creative Lead for Associates & Ferren, a company acquired by Disney.

Applied Minds past and current clients include Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Motors, Sony, Herman Miller, Intel Corporation, United States European Command, Air Force Research Lab, Smithsonian, Genworth, L-3 Communications, the Department of Defense (all services), and the Library of Congress. Bran has been a senior advisory board member or consultant for science, advanced technology, and innovation to over a dozen U.S. government and military agencies and the U.S. Senate.

Bran is a prolific inventor with over 500 awarded and pending patents. He developed numerous successful designs, technologies, experiences, and innovations for theme parks, arena concerts, film and television productions, building architecture, command centers, exhibits, and special-purpose vehicles. His creative design and art work has been widely shown, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. His photography is part of the contemporary art collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.

His latest vehicle project, the KiraVan, has appeared in Wired Magazine and hundreds of international publications and websites. It will be featured in a one hour special on the Travel Channel this fall and at the SEMA convention in Las Vegas in November. He recently led the design team that successfully won the design competition for the new 5-year exhibit for the Renwick Galleries of the Smithsonian, opposite the White House Old Office Building.

Bran is an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Technical Achievement and Science and Engineering Award winner, whose work has appeared in films such as Altered States, Little Shop of Horrors, The Manhattan Project, Star Trek V, and Places in the Heart.

Major theater credits include award-winning special effects, lighting, and sound design for Broadway shows including Evita, Cats, Frankenstein, and the Lion King. Bran has pioneered technologies for music legends ranging from Emerson Lake & Palmer, R.E.M. and Depeche Mode to Pink Floyd, David Bowie and Paul McCartney.

He has received numerous awards and nominations for his projects and career accomplishments including the New York Drama Desk award, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle award, Maharam Foundation Award, the Wally Russell Lifetime achievement award for lighting design, the Kilby International Award for extraordinary contributions to society, and the Intelligence Community Seal Medallion in 2014.

A popular public speaker, Bran has given keynote speeches or major presentations to over 150 conferences and organizations, including four TED conferences (starting with TED-2), the Aspen Ideas Festival, the e.g. Conference, Live Design International, Royal Academy of Engineering, UCLA, REALCOMM, and CableLabs, as well as commencement speeches at The University of Redlands and University of California, Irvine.

Despite his wide and varied successes across industries, Bran’s daughter Kira is his most important accomplishment and, by far, his best work to date.

John White Jr.

John White Jr.A native Arkansan, John A. White, Jr., is a 1962 BSIE graduate of the University of Arkansas. After a brief period of employment at Tennessee Eastman Company, he embarked on an academic career in March of 1963 as a tenure-track instructor at Virginia Tech, where he taught full-time from 1963 to 1966. Upon completing his MSIE degree, for the next 3.5 years, he taught at The Ohio State University while pursuing his doctorate. After completing the PhD requirements in December of 1969, he returned to Virginia Tech’s faculty, where he remained until December of 1974, at which time he joined the Georgia Tech faculty. He remained on the Georgia Tech faculty until 1997, when he returned to his undergraduate alma mater to be its chancellor. Except for a 3-year period (1988 to 1991) when he was “on loan” by Georgia Tech to the National Science Foundation to lead the Engineering Directorate, White has continued to teach engineering students. To date, his teaching career includes 3.5 years at Ohio State, 8.5 years at Virginia Tech, 22.5 years at Georgia Tech, and 19 years at Arkansas. In total, he has taught more than 4.000 engineering students. While serving 6 years as Georgia Tech’s Dean of Engineering and 11 years as Chancellor of the University of Arkansas, he continued to teach undergraduate classes. In addition to his BSIE, MSIE, and PhD degrees, he has received honorary doctorates from the Katholieke Universitiet of Leuven in Belgium and George Washington University.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, White served two six-year terms on the National Science Board. In addition, he served as: president and director of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; president of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE); chairman of the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES); and president of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc. (GEM). Listed in numerous Who’s Who publications, he was elected to membership in Alpha Pi Mu, Golden Key, Omega Rho, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, and Tau Beta Pi.

White’s awards include: NSF’s Distinguished Service Award; ASEE’s National Engineering Economy Teaching Excellence Award, Donald E. Marlowe Distinguished Education Administration Award, and its John L. Imhoff Global Excellence Award; the Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award from the Society of Women Engineers; AAES’s Kenneth Andrew Roe Award; IIE’s highest award, the Frank and Lillian Gilbreth Industrial Engineering Award; IIE’s David F. Baker Distinguished Research Award; IIE’s Albert G. Holzman Distinguished Educator Award; IIE’s Outstanding Publication Award; IIE’s Book of the Year Award (three times); IIE’s Wellington Award; Virginia Tech’s Academy of Engineering Excellence; University of Florida’s Gator Engineer Award; Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Arkansas; and Georgia Tech’s Teacher of the Year, among others.

White is co-author of six texts: Facility Layout and Location: An Analytical Approach, Prentice-Hall (2 editions); Analysis of Queueing Systems, Academic Press; Principles of Engineering Economic Analysis, John Wiley & Sons (6 editions); Capital Investment Decision Analysis for Management and Engineering, Prentice-Hall (3 editions); Facilities Planning, John Wiley & Sons (4 editions), and Fundamentals of Engineering Economic Analysis, John Wiley & Sons. Editor of the Production Handbook and contributor to 6 handbooks, 2 encyclopedias, and 3 books, he has authored or co-authored hundreds of papers in journals, trade magazines, and conference proceedings. A popular speaker, he has given hundreds of addresses at national and international meetings and conferences.

White served on several boards of directors for publicly traded corporations, including Eastman Chemical Company (1994-2004); J. B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. (1998-2016); Logility, Inc. (1997-2009); Motorola, Inc. (1995-2011); Motorola Solutions, Inc. (2011-2014), and Russell Corporation (1992-2006). His industrial experience includes employment with Eastman Chemical Company, Ethyl Corporation, and Rockwell, Inc. He has served as a consultant to AT&T, Briggs & Stratton, Burlington, Coca-Cola, Corning, duPont, Federal Reserve Bank, Ford, IBM, L. L. Bean, Tektronix, Texas Instruments, U.S. Navy, Westinghouse, and Xerox, among others. In 1977, he founded a logistics consulting firm, SysteCon, Inc., and served as its chairman until its acquisition by Coopers & Lybrand in 1984; he served as an Executive Consultant for Coopers & Lybrand until 1993.

White is married to Mary Elizabeth Quarles White; they have a daughter, a son, three granddaughters, and a grandson.

Ruth Whitney

Ruth WhitneyRuth H. Whitney is the founder and CEO of inVeritas. Ruth serves as a strategic advisor to clients based on over 25 years of expertise in law, government, politics and public opinion. She has been privileged to advise Global 500 companies, prominent professional services firms, state and federal governments, law firms, nonprofit corporations and industry associations.

Ruth earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She is a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Arkansas and the U.S. District Courts in Arkansas. Ruth has also been admitted pro hac vice in various jurisdictions in the course of her service as a national jury consultant.

Before founding inVeritas, Ruth built and managed the Arkansas office of Global Strategy Group where she specialized in executing winning campaigns in the public and private sectors. Prior to joining GSG, Ruth served as counsel and chief of staff to Attorney General Mike Beebe and developed professional relationships with attorneys general across the country. Ruth has extensive legal and management experience, including over 10 years as a healthcare and administrative lawyer with the Arkansas Department of Human Services and as Counsel to Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard.

Ruth has served as a guest writer to Talk Business and currently serves on a number of boards of directors including the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce; the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance; the New Design School; and the Little Red River Foundation. Ruth serves on the advisory board of NanoMech Inc., a nanomanufacturing innovation and product development firm. She also serves her state and community as a member of Leadership Arkansas, Accelerate Arkansas and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

John Steuri

Mr. Steuri retired as Chairman and CEO of ALLTEL Information Services, Inc. (formerly Systematics Information Services, Inc.), Little Rock. Before joining Systematics, Mr. Steuri was with IBM Corporation for 24 years, where he held a number of senior executive and general management positions until his retirement from IBM in 1988. Prior to joining IBM, Mr. Steuri was an information systems manager with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company from 1961-1964.

Mr. Steuri is a director of the Central Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute, Inc. (CARTI) and Safe Foods Corporation, both in Little Rock, Arkansas. He is also a director of Heartland Agri Partners’ Insta-Pro International, Ltd. in Des Moines, Iowa. He retired in May 2009 after serving for fifteen years as a Trustee on the Board of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee. Mr. Steuri was a director of both Superior Financial Corporation (Holding Company) and Superior Bank, F.S.B., Little Rock, from 1999 until the two banking companies were acquired by Arvest Bank in August 2003.

He was also a director of National Computer Systems, Minneapolis, for nine years. Mr. Steuri was a director of the ALLTEL Corporation from 1990 until his retirement from ALLTEL in 1996.

Mr. Steuri is currently serving on the Arkansas BioVentures Advisory Board at the Biomedical Biotechnology Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the Arkansas Community Foundation Finance Committee and as an Advisory Trustee on the Baptist Health Foundation.

Mr. Steuri was named the Outstanding Citizen in 1995 as part of KARK — TV’s annual Arkansas Community Service Awards and in 1999 he received the Lugean L Chilcote Award for extraordinary service to Arkansas by the Arkansas Community Foundation. In 2004, Mr. Steuri and his wife, Grace, were named Arkansas Citizens of the Year by the Arkansas Chapter of the March of Dimes and in 2006 they were given the Emily Bissell Award for Philanthropy by the American Lung Association. In 2010, the Arkansas Association of Fundraising Professionals named them Philanthropists of the year.

As a private investor, Mr. Steuri works with several small, developing businesses, in Arkansas, to provide financing assistance as well as management advice and counsel as needed. He is a founder and managing member of Venture Capital Investors, LLC and also it’s successor, the Fund for Arkansas Future, LLC, which provides early stage angel funding to small, developing Arkansas businesses to enhance job creation and economic development in the State.



Jim Phillips

Jim Phillips

Chairman of the Board, CEO

Ajay P. Malshe

Founder, EVP, CTO, Board Member

Deborah Wince-Smith

Board Member

Michael Easterly

Board Member

Christopher Galvin

Board Member

John Hendricks

Advisory Board Member

Bran Ferren

Advisory Board Member

John White Jr.

Advisory Board Member

Ruth Whitney

Advisory Board Member

John Steuri

Advisory Board Member