Since joining MDC in 1987, Mr. Dodson directed major projects to increase student success in public schools and community colleges, address regional economic decline, strengthen community philanthropy, and build multiracial leadership across the South and the nation.
As president of MDC since 1999, he frequently speaks around the country on the imperative of advancing equity and opportunity for low-wealth and marginalized communities and has advised major philanthropic foundations on strategies to address poverty and reduce social disparities, based on the premise that society benefits when everyone succeeds.
He is coauthor of numerous MDC publications on issues of regional economic competitiveness, educational attainment, youth and young adult employment, and strategic philanthropy. He is a member of the boards of the Public Welfare Foundation, Center for Law and Social Policy, and Durham Technical Community College.
Prior to joining MDC, he served as executive director of the Cummins Foundation and director of corporate responsibility for Cummins, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of diesel power systems based in Columbus, Ind., that is widely recognized for its ethical performance.
Mr. Dodson received a bachelor’s degree in architecture and urban policy from Yale University, master’s degree in ethics and theology from Yale Divinity School, and master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Organization and Management.
Director of the Corporate Council, CARE USA
Amir Farokhi is Director of the Corporate Council at CARE USA and serves on the Atlanta City Council. He has served as a Director of Strategy at Boston Consulting Group's BrightHouse division; Chief Operating Officer of College Advising Corps, an education non-profit; Founder and Executive Director of GeorgiaForward; and, as an attorney with an international law firm.
A graduate of Duke University and Duke University School of Law, he was a 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellow and Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, their dog, and two cats.
Director, Atlantic Civic Site of the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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.
Darrin Goss Sr.
Chair, MDC Board of Directors
President and CEO, Coastal Community Foundation
Veteran nonprofit leader Darrin Goss Sr. serves as president and CEO of Coastal Community Foundation since 2015. The foundation empowers individuals, families and organizations to make a lasting impact through permanent, endowed funds for charitable giving. It serves the low-country of South Carolina counties of Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry and Jasper.
Mr. Goss brings years of professional experience in higher education, government, and industry to this work. He previously served as head of the Capital Area United Way in Baton Rouge, La., led community impact at the United Way of Greenville County and directed multicultural affairs at Wofford College. Prior to that, he implemented training programs for Sunoco Inc.
Raised on James Island, S.C., Mr. Goss is a graduate of Wofford College and North Greenville University, and a United States Army veteran. He is also a graduate of The Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative and Clemson University at the Falls Leadership Summit.
Cammie R. Hauptfuhrer
Chair, Cornerstone Children's Initiative
Ms. Hauptfuhrer is a community volunteer from Charlotte, N.C. She is chair of Cornerstone Children's Initiative, a nonprofit partnering with the Charlotte Housing Authority, Thompson Child Development Center, Nurse Family Partnership, YMCA, and Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools to build a cradle-to-career continuum of education and human services in a redeveloping housing project.
She also serves on the boards of Mecklenburg Ministries, Duke Divinity School, and North Carolina Humanities Council.
Christopher King, Ph.D.
Senior Researcher, Ray Marshall Center, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin
Labor economist Dr. Christopher King served as lecturer at The University of Texas at Austin’s Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and senior research scientist at the School’s Ray Marshall Center, which he directed from 1991 to 2014, until his retirement in June 2017. He currently serves as a senior researcher on several center projects on workforce development and 2-generation antipoverty policy.
In 2012, Dr. King was selected as one of 20 leaders in the Aspen Institute’s inaugural class of Ascend Fellows. In 2009, he co-led a team that designed and implemented CareerAdvance®, Tulsa’s award-winning 2-generation program and, since 2011, has been part of the team evaluating the program with colleagues at Northwestern, New York and Columbia universities. He initiated and co-chairs Austin’s 2-Generation Advisory Committee. He serves on the boards of MDC, as well as the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce and The Austin Project.
Dr. King was assistant professor of economics at the University of Utah (1973-1976), an economist with the U.S. Secretary of Labor (1976-1980), and director of research and evaluation for job training programs in the Texas Governor’s Office (1983-1985).
Former President & CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham
Ms. Nielsen was president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham from 2000 to 2013 after becoming its first development officer in 1995. She was also active in the community foundation field, serving on the National Community Foundation Leadership Team and Alabama Giving.
In Birmingham, Ms. Nielsen has served on a number of boards, including the Rotary Club of Birmingham, Eyesight Foundation of Alabama, Alabama Association of Nonprofits, and Birmingham Museum of Art. She was named Fundraising Executive of the Year by the Alabama Association of Fundraising Executives.
She serves on the board of Create Birmingham and as a regent of the University of the South, and she actively supports the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Railroad Park, and Cathedral Church of the Advent.
Founding Partner, Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter PLLC
A founding partner of Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter PLLC, Bill Purcell has spent more than 30 years in law, public service, and higher education. During his eight-year tenure as mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tenn. (1999-2007), the city saw unprecedented economic expansion, an increase in Metro school funding of more than 50 percent, and the development and preservation of more than 26,000 affordable housing units. He was elected to his second term as mayor by a record-setting 84.8 percent of the vote. Mr. Purcell’s accomplishments as a civic leader earned him Public Official of the Year honors in 2006 by Governing magazine. During his term, Nashville was ranked as the number one city for corporate headquarters and twice ranked as the hottest city in America for expansion and relocation of business.
Following his service as mayor, Mr. Purcell was named a Harvard University Institute of Politics Fellow in 2007. He then served as founding and interim dean of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University before returning to the Harvard Institute of Politics as Director (2008–2010), and a Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Purcell served as founder and director of the Child and Family Policy Center at Vanderbilt University (1996-99), a nationally recognized center building a bridge between academic research, politics, and best practices to benefit children and their families.
Mr. Purcell was elected to five terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives (1986-96), serving as Majority Leader (1990-96). During his decade in the General Assembly, he sponsored and passed legislation undertaking major reforms in Tennessee’s schools, courtrooms, industrial plants and boardrooms, criminal and juvenile justice, hospitals, and voting booths. He served as Chair of the House Rules Committee, Committee on Open Records, and the Select Joint Committee on Children and Youth, and as a member of the Judiciary, General Welfare, Finance Ways and Means, and Ethics Committees. During his service Tennessee was twice ranked the best managed state in America.
Purcell earned his bachelor’s degree at Hamilton College and his law degree at Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was honored as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus.
Wendy D. Puriefoy
Former President, Public Education Network
Wendy D. Puriefoy is a nationally recognized expert on issues of school reform and civil society. Ms. Puriefoy is well known for her passionate advocacy of education equity for poor and disadvantaged children and has written and spoken extensively on the issues.
She was the president of Public Education Network (PEN) from 1991-2012. PEN is the nation’s largest network of community-based school reform organizations, founded in 1991. Under her visionary leadership, PEN grew into a national network of local education funds reaching more than 11 million children in 1,220 school districts and 18,000 schools nationwide.
Ms. Puriefoy has been deeply involved in school reform since the 1970s, when she served as a special monitor of the court-ordered desegregation plan for Boston’s public schools. As president of PEN, Ms. Puriefoy was been the leading force behind systemic reform initiatives in school finance and governance, curriculum and assessment, parent involvement, school libraries, and school health. With support from national foundations, PEN launched multi-million dollar public engagement initiatives focused on teacher quality, standards and accountability, and schools and community services.
Ms. Puriefoy is also a noted leader in the philanthropic world. Prior to being recruited as president of PEN, Ms. Puriefoy was executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Boston Foundation, a community foundation with an endowment of over $750 million supporting public health/welfare, educational, cultural, environmental, and housing programs in Boston, Mass.
Ms. Puriefoy serves on the boards of numerous high-profile national organizations including DEMOS, Hasbro Children’s Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and National Center for Family Philanthropy. In the past, Ms. Puriefoy served on the boards of FairTest, Jobs for the Future, Milton Hershey School, Ms. Foundation for Women, The PEW Forum on Standards-Based Reform, Women and Philanthropy, National Charities Information Bureau, Council on Foundations, Teach for America, Children’s Express, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Boston Annenberg Challenge.
Ms. Puriefoy received a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Smith College and holds three Master of Arts degrees—in African American Studies, American Studies, and American Colonial History—from Boston University.
Secretary, MDC Board of Directors
Senior Vice President for Station Services, Public Broadcasting Service
Mr. Sepúlveda is the senior vice president for station services at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He represents the perspective of PBS’ independent member stations in the ongoing management and strategic direction of PBS to ensure that PBS programs, products, and services support each station’s connection to its community and audience.
Prior to joining PBS, Mr. Sepúlveda served as the senior advisor for Hispanic affairs at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He led the DNC portion of the Latino Obama 2012 team that helped re-elect President Barack Obama with a record-level of Hispanic support. Prior to joining the DNC, Mr. Sepúlveda led the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where he built a national education network of Latino leaders and key community stakeholders.
Before joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Sepúlveda was a senior executive, strategist, and advocate for more than 20 years in the nonprofit and philanthropic communities, with a focus in community development, capacity building, and transformational management. He was president of The Common Enterprise, which he founded in 1995 as an outgrowth of a national Rockefeller Foundation initiative to help build stronger communities across America by making nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, governments, businesses, and communities more effective as they tackled significant critical social issues nationally and in more than 35 states.
Dr. William Spriggs
Professor of Economics, Howard University
Chief Economist, AFL-CIO
Dr. William Spriggs is a professor in, and former chair of, the Department of Economics at Howard University and serves as chief economist to the AFL-CIO. In his capacity with the AFL-CIO he serves 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 serves on the Advisory Board to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute and is 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 and very briefly for the Eastern Economic Association. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the National Academy of Public Administration.
He graduated from Williams College in Massachusetts and holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Treasurer, MDC Board of Directors
Former Financial Services Executive
Marie Washington over a 30-year professional career has held senior financial leadership positions within the corporate and nonprofit sectors in New York City and San Francisco.
Following extended tenures at JP Morgan in corporate financial services and Pacific Telesis in corporate financial planning and strategy, she led treasury organizations for technology startups in Silicon Valley. Subsequently she held CFO positions at the KIPP Foundation and Stuart Foundation.
While residing in San Francisco and later in Los Angeles, Mrs. Washington also served on the boards of several educational nonprofit organizations, the California Community Foundation and Engender Health, an NGO working in some of the poorest countries in the world.
Since relocating to Durham, Mrs. Washington volunteers on the boards of the Center for Documentary Studies and Friends of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and serves on the board of MDC Inc.
She completed her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College and earned an MBA from Stanford University.
Leslie J. Winner
Vice-Chair, MDC Board of Directors
Former Executive Director, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
Leslie J. Winner is a lawyer with a 40-year career of public service, primarily in North Carolina. She works as a consultant to nonprofit organizations on strategic planning and issues related to bridging divides. Previously, she served as executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and as a member of the North Carolina Senate.
Ms. Winner is currently engaged in many civic leadership roles, serving as the co-chair of the North Carolina Leadership Forum, an effort to increase bi-partisan dialogue and cooperation. She leads a local interfaith scriptural reasoning group. She serves on the boards of the North Carolina Justice Center and MDC, organizations that promote equity and reduce poverty in North Carolina and the U.S. South. She also serves on the Executive Committee and as chair of the Interfaith Working Group of Beth El Congregation.
Ms. Winner served three terms in the North Carolina Senate during the 1990s, representing a portion of Mecklenburg County. During this time, she served as Majority Whip, Education/Higher Education Committee co-chair, Appropriations--Education Subcommittee co-chair, and Judiciary Committee vice-chair. She served for seven years as vice president and general counsel to the University of North Carolina and three years as general counsel for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.
She worked for 16 years as a public interest trial lawyer. As a partner at Chambers, Ferguson, Watt, Wallas, Adkins & Gresham, P.A. she served as lead attorney on cases involving voting rights and other civil rights issues.
Ms. Winner received an A.B. from Brown University and J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. She is a native of Asheville, N.C.
Ambassador James A. Joseph
Chair Emeritus, MDC Board of Directors
Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Public Policy, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University
Ambassador James A. Joseph is Emeritus Professor of the Practice of Public Policy at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. Leader n 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.
In the fall of 2013, he received the Lux et Veritas Yale Divinity School Alumni Award and the Citizen of the World Award from the North Carolina International Affairs Council. The founding chair of the Commission on National and Community Service that established AmeriCorps, he serves presently as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Louisiana (formerly the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation), and as a member of the board of directors of the Heron Foundation in New York City.
Ambassador Joseph has had a distinguished career in business, education, and civil society. From 1982-1995, he was president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. He served as a vice president of Cummins Engine Company and president of the Cummins Foundation. An ordained minister, he has taught at Yale Divinity School and the Claremont Colleges, where he was also University Chaplain. In 1985, he was a Distinguished Visitor at Nuffield College at Oxford University and serves presently as an Honorary Professor and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town.
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.
Governor William F. Winter
Chair Emeritus, MDC Board of Directors
Former Governor, State of Mississippi
The Honorable William F. Winter is special counsel in the Jones Walker law firm's Government Relations Practice Group. He focuses his practice in state and local government finance, legislative, and governmental relations.
Governor Winter served Mississippi in numerous official capacities, including Governor 1980–1984, Lieutenant Governor 1972–1976, State Treasurer 1964–1968, State Tax Collector 1956–1964, and Representative in the House of Representatives 1948–1956.
In June 1997, Governor Winter was appointed by President Clinton to the National Advisory Board on Race Relations. He is past president of the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and past chair of the National Civic League, Kettering Foundation, and Foundation for the Mid-South, an organization of leaders from Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana dedicated to improving the economic and social conditions of the three-state area.
Governor Winter received the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and is a Fellow of The Mississippi Bar Foundation. In 1998, he was the recipient of The Mississippi Bar’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
He is a graduate of The University of Mississippi School of Law, where he received a juris doctor degree, and served as editor-in-chief of the Mississippi Law Journal.