Board of Directors

Ambassador James A. Joseph is Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Leader in residence for the Hart Leadership Program for many years, he was founder of the United States – Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke and the University of Cape Town.

Ambassador Joseph has served in senior executive or advisory positions for four U.S. presidents, including appointments by President Jimmy Carter as Under Secretary of the Interior and President William Clinton as U.S. Ambassador to South Africa.

In 1999, the Republic of South Africa awarded Ambassador Joseph the Order of Good Hope, the highest honor bestowed on a citizen of another country. In 2008, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame and in 2010 he was honored by the United States Peace Corps for his life-long contributions to voluntarism and civil society.

After graduating from Southern University and Yale, Ambassador Joseph began his career at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1963, where he was founding co-chair of the local civil rights movement. A frequent speaker to academic, civic and religious audiences, he is the author of three books, The Charitable Impulse, Remaking America and Leadership as a Way of Being. His fourth book, Saved for a Purpose: A Journey from Private Virtues to Public Values, was published by Duke University Press in 2015. He is the recipient of nineteen honorary degrees and his undergraduate alma mater, Southern University, has named an endowed chair in his honor. The Board of Directors of the Council on Foundations appointed him President Emeritus and the Association of Black Foundation Executives established the James A. Joseph Lecture on Philanthropy. He is also chairman emeritus of the NHP Foundation.

The entire MDC community mourns the passing of our friend and long-serving board member, Dr. William Spriggs. Bill was an effective and powerful voice who brilliantly championed the causes of equity, racial justice, and worker’s rights. He used economics as a dynamic tool to highlight systemic injustices and push back against the field’s basic assumptions about discrimination. Our work at MDC and the communities we serve are immeasurably better because of Bill’s insight, generosity, and wisdom.

Dr. William Spriggs was a professor in, and former chair of, the Department of Economics at Howard University and served as chief economist to the AFL-CIO. In his capacity with the AFL-CIO, he served as chair of the Economic Policy Working Group of the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD, and on the board of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He also served on the Advisory Board to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute and was on the editorial board for the Public Administration Review.

From 2009 to 2012, he served as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the Department of Labor, having been appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. At the time of his appointment, he also served as chairman of the Health Care Trust for UAW Retirees of the Ford Motor Co.; chairman of the UAW Retirees of the Dana Corporation Health and Welfare Trust; vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute; on the joint National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Public Administration’s Committee on the Fiscal Future for the United States; senior fellow of the Community Service Society of New York; and served on the boards of the National Employment Law Project.

He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts and earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“Bill was a public intellectual with a common touch, capable of translating the effects of complex economic systems and conditions on the lives of everyday Americans,” said MDC President John Simpkins. “MDC was lucky to have the benefit of his wisdom and, along with all whom Bill touched, now shares the responsibility of carrying on his work.”

As a member and vice-chair of MDC’s board of directors, Bill not only was a valuable resource to our staff and programs, he also shared funny, compelling, and relevant stories about the real-world impact of economic policies. Bill contributed to MDC’s research and analysis, helping to frame and ground our economic mobility work. He also frequently participated in MDC panel discussions and webinars, including a recent discussion about labor and economic systems following a performance of Rhiannon Giddens’ Pulitzer prize-winning opera, Omar.

We can’t begin to express our gratitude for Bill’s service to MDC and the many lives he touched and the careers he inspired in our community and beyond. We will honor Bill’s life and legacy as we look to live the values he espoused and the commitment to true equality and genuine possibility for which he tirelessly advocated with a keen mind and caring heart.

Jamila Abston Mayfield, CPA, CFE, CFF is the founder and CEO of The Jamila Mayfield Group, LLC. The Jamila Mayfield Group provides consulting services on compliance, risk, and regulatory matters to financial services clients. She is a former Partner at Ernst & Young LLP in the FSO Consulting Financial Services Risk Management practice, where she led 100+ professionals advising top-tier clients in wealth and asset management, private equity, hedge funds, capital markets, banking, and insurance. Given her expertise, Jamila is also a sought-after public speaker, and she shares risk, compliance, and executive leadership insights through many professional speaking engagements each year.

Jamila also served as Assistant Regional Director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), serving as an expert adviser and senior leadership official for SEC Division of Examinations. In earlier SEC roles as Senior Strategic Risk Coordinator and Securities Compliance Examiner at SEC, she planned and performed complex examinations of investment advisers, mutual funds, broker-dealers, private equity advisers, hedge fund advisers, transfer agents, and other industry participants to maintain the integrity of national securities markets.

Jamila holds a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Asset Management from Yale University, a Master of Accountancy from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Florida A&M University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with active licenses in the States of New York, North Carolina, and Georgia, as well as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).

Juan currently serves as Trinity University’s President’s Special Advisor for Inclusive Excellence responsible for the administration, management, coordination and implementation of campus-wide programming and policy to support inclusive excellence.

He also is the Ron Calgaard Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Political Science Department where he teaches urban and presidential politics, state and federal elections and campaigns, urban education, community building, and leadership. He is helping Trinity develop national leadership and community building initiatives.

Juan recently received a presidential appointment by President Joe Biden to serve on the Commission on Presidential Scholars.He also served on the Biden-Harris Transition Team as a member of the Arts & Humanities Agency Review Team where he led the Public Media portion of the team.

Prior to Trinity, he was Senior Vice President of Station Services at PBS, where he collaborated with more than 160 PBS stations across the country to strengthen their connections to their local communities and to each other as a national public media network.

In the Obama Administration, Juan served as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where he designed and led the first-ever White House Hispanic Policy Conference along with a series of White House Hispanic Community Action Summits.

Juan was the third Latino awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. He graduated from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government. He also holds a Master of Arts in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from The Queen’s College, Oxford University, a Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School, and has been admitted to the Texas Bar.

Kweku Forstall has been the director of the Atlanta Civic Site of the Annie E. Casey Foundation since 2014. The Annie E. Casey Foundation is devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social, and health outcomes. Its work focuses on strengthening families, building stronger communities, and ensuring access to opportunity, because children need all three to succeed.

Since 2001, the Atlanta Civic Site is a place where the foundation has a long-term commitment to improving the futures of at-risk children and their families in five neighborhoods just south of downtown Atlanta—Summerhill, Capitol Gateway, Peoplestown, Adair Park, Pittsburgh, and Mechanicsville.

Prior to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Mr. Forstall served as the startup Executive Director of Year Up Atlanta from 2008 to 2013. From 2000 to 2008 he was the founding Executive Director of Project GRAD Atlanta, Inc., a public-school reform initiative operating in partnership with the Atlanta Public School system. He has also served as a Vice President for Community Investments for the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, and Director of the Emma and Joe Adams Public Service Institute at Morehouse College. Forstall began his career in 1985 as a staff and managing attorney with Atlanta Legal Aid Society.

In addition to serving on the MDC board, he is on the Executive Committee and Board of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance. He also is a Foundation Center South Advisory Board member, an Atlanta CareerRise Leadership Council member, and a Friend of the A-Lab/Center for Civic Engagement at Oglethorpe University, all in Atlanta.

Mr. Forstall and his wife, Adrienne, live in Tucker, Ga., and have three adult daughters.

Monica Dongre is a Senior Employment Counsel with RTI International, a nonprofit research institute in the Research Triangle dedicated to improving the human condition by turning knowledge into practice. A graduate of Furman University and the University of North Carolina School of Law, she has dedicated most of her career to the practice of labor and employment law. Though she started her career as a litigator with small, well-regarded law firms in Northern Virginia, Monica has spent most of her career as an in-house attorney.

Outside of work, Monica serves on the Furman Alumni Board and volunteers with her local PTA. Monica is also a graduate of The Riley Institute at Furman University’s Diversity Leadership Initiative, where she is now a Riley Fellow. She enjoys spending her free time with her family exploring the parks, museums, and nature trails in and around Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives.

Richard Ammons has retired as a Senior Consultant and Principal at Marts & Lundy, a strategic fundraising consulting firm.  Marts & Lundy pairs its client-focused and collaborative approach with a comprehensive suite of strategic consulting, analytical, and communications services to help mission-driven organizations build the capacity needed to achieve their highest potential through the delivery of customized sustainable philanthropic solutions.

Richard has more than 30 years of experience as a higher education advancement professional.  Before joining Marts & Lundy, he was Associate Dean for the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Prior to his work at Duke, Richard served for seven years as vice president for development at Colby College, managing the College’s $370 million comprehensive campaign. Richard also held leadership posts at Macalester College, Morehouse College and the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University.

Richard is currently a member of the board of trustees of the University of the South (Sewanee), the Episcopal Parish Network and a member of the vestry at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Durham.

Raised in Atlanta and New York City, Richard completed his undergraduate degree at Amherst College and earned an MBA at Stanford University. He resides with his wife, Noel James, in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Stephanie Kang most recently served in the executive leadership of Nashville’s Metro Public Health Department launching the first Bureau of Health Equity. Previously, she served as the Health Policy Director for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. Her professional background also includes founding and scaling several health equity-centered organizations, conducting quality improvement in health care settings, and working in community-based global health projects. She received her Doctor of Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, MS in Global Health at Northwestern University, and her BS in Neuroscience at Northeastern University.

Susan T. Gooden, Ph.D., is dean and professor of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an internationally recognized expert on social equity. Gooden is an elected fellow of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration and is past president of the American Society for Public Administration and she is past president of the Network of Associated Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Her books include Teaching Social Equity in Public Administration (2024); Racial Equity, COVID-19, and Public Policy: The Triple Pandemic (2023); Global Equity in Administration (2020); Why Research Methods Matter (2018); Race and Social Equity: A Nervous Area of Government (2014); and Cultural Competency for Public Administrators (2012). Her research has been funded by several organizations including the Russell Sage Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, MDRC, and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Gooden has received several awards and honors including the Herbert Simon Best Book Award, American Political Science Association, VCU University Distinguished Faculty Service Award and Best Academic Paper Award, Northeast Conference on Public Administration, and the Jewel Prestage Pioneer Award from the Conference of Minority Public Administrators. She received a Fulbright Specialist Award to Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Gooden was appointed to the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation, the accrediting arm of the Network of Associated Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration. She has previously served as an elected member to the national policy council of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She was appointed to the Virginia Community College System board and served as board chair. She currently serves on the board of the Virginia Retirement System, MDRC, the Virginia Home, and MDC. A native of Martinsville & Henry County, Virginia, Gooden earned an A.S. in Natural Science from Patrick Henry Community College, a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech, and an M.A. in Political Science from Virginia Tech. She received her doctorate from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.