Advisory Council

Dr. M. Badr Aboul-Ela is Director for the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA), in the United Arab Emirates since 2007. He has served as a member of the Commission since it was established in 2000. He had a leading role in developing the UAE Standards for Licensure and Accreditation for post secondary education.

Dr Aboul-Ela is a highly regarded expert in Middle East accreditation and institutional review. He participated in numerous institutional and program accreditation review teams in Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, as well as the United Arab Emirates.

As a researcher, he published a total of 103 articles in refereed journals. He won several research prizes and awards including the Egypt National Prize for Research, Abdel-Hamid Showman’s Prize, and Presidential Distinction Medal, for Excellence in Research.

Dr. Badr is joining the advisory council as a member of Edu Alliance (USA).  Edu Alliance will benefit from his advisory services in all regions except for the UAE.  Edu Alliance will particularly benefit from his expertise in quality assurance and accreditation issues, challenges and opportunities in the MENA region.”

  • International Accreditation for Post Secondary Education
  • Institution Review
  • Strategic Planning Higher Education
  • International Relations
  • Bachelor of Science, Cairo University
  • Masters in Science, Cairo University
  • Ph.D Animal Physiology, University of Aberdeen

Dr. Roger G. Brown is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC).  During his 7-year tenure enrollment increased over 20%, and Dr. Brown was integral in fundraising that generated $81.2 million for scholarships, professorships, and academic programs. He was the key ambassador for government and community relations.

His academic career in political science included faculty positions at Iowa State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His administrative career included the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke as Provost, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga as Chancellor.

Dr. Brown has authored numerous publications in his field. For six years, he was a member of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.  Currently, Dr. Brown is involved in leadership roles at several community nonprofit organizations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

  • University Leadership
  • Community Engagement
  • Strategic Planning Higher Education
  • Fundraising
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Tennessee
  • Masters in Science, University of Tennessee
  • Ph.D Political Science, Johns Hopkins University

Julien Carter is the Vice President for Human Resources.  In this role he collaborates with the university community  to ensure that human resource practices, policies, and systems at Tufts are aligned with institutional priorities, attuned to changing workplace demographics and supportive of individual employees.

Prior to Tufts, Mr. Carter served as the founding Vice President for Human Resources at Khalifa University, Chief Human Resource Officer at both the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Louisville. In addition, he was the Commissioner of Employee Relations for the State of Minnesota in the cabinet of Governor Jesse Ventura.

His key skill is the assessment of organizational and employee priorities and development of thoughtful human capital, technology, and operational strategies to make the human resource function more effective and efficient. Throughout his career he effectively collaborates with a variety of stakeholders in the development and advancement of human capital initiatives. Julien’s interactions often required a blending of his experience as a lawyer, teacher, mediator, consultant, and communicator.

  • Human Resources
  • University Leadership
  • Mediation
  • Community Engagement
  • Strategic Planning Higher Education
  • Bachelor of Science, Missouri State University
  • Masters of Arts, Truman State University
  • Juris Doctor Law, University of Missouri-Columbia

Dr. Dell Felder is the former provost and vice president for academic affairs at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. Zayed University operates campuses in Abu Dhabi and Dubai providing baccalaureate and graduate degree programs to more than 3,000 students. Dr. Felder worked with Oklahoma State University to successfully develop and implement an executive Master of Business Administration program for Zayed University. She has made large advances in developing programs for women in the Middle East including working with the RAND Corporation to create a post secondary education project in Qatar.

Dr. Felder has more than thirty years of experience in higher education administration experience. She served as senior vice chancellor of the University of Houston System. She was senior vice president and provost of Eastern Washington University, and was then named its president. At Arizona State University-West, Dr. Felder was dean of the faculty.

While at the University of Houston, she took leave to serve as program director of the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory and was associate superintendent in the Houston Independent School District. Dr. Felder earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Texas.

  • University Leadership
  • Secondary Education
  • International Partnerships
  • Diversity
  • Program Development
  • Bachelor Degree, University of Texas
  • Masters Degree, University of Texas
  • Doctorate, University of Texas

Dr. Denise Gifford has recently returned to the UAE in August 2018, appointed as Associate Provost for Academic and Student Affairs for American University of Ras Al Khaimah. She had been serving in a similar position  at Widener University in Pennsylvania from 2010-18. She was in the UAE from 2005-10 as the first woman Dean of Students at Zayed University dedicated to the higher education of Emirati women located in Dubai & Abu Dhabi. She was responsible for oversight of all student services & supervised a 46 member staff from 10 different countries. Her passion for International Service Learning led her to create and manage the 1st International hands-on service projects for female students of the university to Thailand, Cambodia, and India.

From 1995-2005 Dr. Gifford served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Louisville. She was responsible for the provision of efficient student services to 22,000 students, as well as the planning, management, leadership, supervision, and evaluation of a staff of 170 & oversight of an operating budget of  $22 million. Her legacy there includes a robust award winning International Service Learning program that currently takes over 100 students and 20 faculty annually to 10 different International locations for service learning . 

  • Student Services
  • International Student Engagement
  • Retention
  • Diversity
  • Student Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science, Ohio University
  • Masters in Education, Ohio University
  • Ed.D Political Higher Education Policy & Evaluation, University of Kentucky

Jeff Gunningham is Managing Director of Jeff Gunningham & Associates. has a wealth of leadership experience in vocational education and training and higher education both in Australia and internationally. He is the former Chief Executive of TAFE South Australia and was responsible for TAFE activities across the State.

He has also seerved as Principal and Chief Executive of Swansea College, one of the largest further and higher education colleges in Wales, United Kingdom. Prior to this he was the inaugural Managing Director of Education and Training International, responsible for international student recruitment and offshore project work for all government schools and TAFE colleges in Western Australia. He has been the CEO of three other TAFE colleges in Australia as well as the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates.

Before moving to Adelaide, Jeff was a Ministerial appointment to the Training Accreditation Council in Western Australia and a Board member for the Australian Vocational Training and Employment Group. He has extensive experience in developing innovative learning systems, often in partnership with industry, and particularly the resources sector.

  • International Business Development
  • Training Partnerships
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership Development
  • Bach. Sci Honors, Mechanical Engineering, University of South Wales
  • Graduate Diploma Management , University of Western Australia
  • Masters in Business Administration, University of New England

Dr. Stephen Jones  is currently Interim President of Fairmont State University  in West Virginia.  He is also President/CEO of Great Blue Heron in Madison, Alabama, which is a consulting firm dedicated to applying nature’s wisdom to living, learning, serving, and leading. Steve is also well known as a university administrator and has worked in senior higher education positions for over 30 years.

He has been a President and Chancellor at three institutions, The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) (Chancellor), Urbana University in Ohio (President) and Antioch University New England (President). He began his academic career as an instructor at SUNY and an Associate & Assistant Professor with the School of Forest Resources at Pennsylvania State University. In 2001 he became Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement for North Carolina State University in Raleigh and then became Chancellor of University of Alaska Fairbanks.

He is a published author and written in a number of academic publications and journals.

  • University Leadership
  • Community Engagement
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic Planning
  • Enrollment Growth
  • Associate of Science, Allegany Community College, PA
  • Bachelor of Science, State University of New York Syracuse
  • Ph.D Environmental Science & Forestry, , State University of New York Syracuse

Dr. Dan King is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of University Administrators. He has worked as a provost, academic vice president, dean, and education faculty member in a variety of institutional types, from community college through land-grant research university.

Dr. King is an effective administrative fund-raiser and during his career successfully secured numerous grants from government, foundations and individuals.He has been principal/co-principal investigator on nine funded grant projects totaling over $5 million. Dr. King also presented and published numerous articles on educational leadership.  He has served as editor for National Forum of Applied Educational Research Journal, and Journal of Higher Education Management. In 1999, King was awarded the prestigious distinction of ACE Fellow by the American Council on Education.

He has functioned as a strategic planning and organizational change consultant to colleges & universities, public schools, and governmental & civic groups.

  • University Leadership
  • Community Engagement
  • Fundraising
  • Strategic Planning
  • Academic Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts. Madonna University
  • Master of Arts. Education Research University of Detroit Mercy
  • Ed.D. Education Administration Wayne State University
  • ACE Fellows Program, American Council on Education

Dr. Allen Meadors is an American higher education professor and administrator. He has worked in international higher education as President/CEO of St. John International University in Torino, Italy and served as Executive Director for Higher Education for the Ministry of Higher Education in the United Arab Emirates. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the journals “Frontiers in Public Health” and “Frontiers in Education”.

His previous US career included serving as President/Chancellor of three US state universities including Penn State Altoona (February 1994 to June 1999); University of North Carolina-Pembroke (July 1999 to June 2009); and University of Central Arkansas (July 2009 to September 2011).  Prior positions held include Dean of Health, Social and Public Services, Eastern Washington University; Dean of Public Health, University of Oklahoma, Executive Director of the Northwest Arkansas Radiation Therapy Institute; and an executive at Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas.

Dr. Meadors has been successful in attracting quality staff and generating new funding for buildings and endowed faculty positions.

  • University Leadership
  • Enrollment Management
  • International Education
  • Strategic Planning
  • Health Sciences
  • Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Central Arkansas
  • Masters in Public Administration, University of Kansas
  • Ph.D Administration & Education, Southern Illinois University

Jay Noren M.D. is the Founding Director and Professor-Clinician Executive Master of Healthcare Administration Program, University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine and School of Public Health.

His 40-year career includes President of Wayne State University, Founding Provost of Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, the founding Dean College of Public Health The University of Nebraska Medical Center, as well as the Executive Vice President and Provost for the University of Nebraska. Noren has also served as Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at Texas A&M University, Interim Chancellor for Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and Vice Chancellor at the University of Wisconsin.

He has secured numerous grants for his institutions. Dr. Noren has published numerous papers and books over the years in health and workforce partnerships. Noren was the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences and U.S. Congress, and a Churchill Fellow in the United Kingdom.

  • University Leadership
  • Faculty Development
  • Medical Schools
  • Strategic Planning
  • Grants
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Minnesota
  • Masters in Public Health, Harvard University
  • M.D  University of Minnesota

Marci Powell is President/CEO of Marci Powell & Associates. She is an expert in the field of educational technology, with extensive experience in applications related to lifelong learning and innovation. Marci serves as senior educational researcher to Drexel University Online and is co-anchor of Virtually Inspired: Showcasing innovations in Online Learning, a website designed to inspire administrators and faculty. She serves on the board of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) as Chair of Global Partnerships, and is Past President of the Association. Ms. Powell also writes and speaks on digital learning, video for learning, and innovative education for numerous national and international media sites.

Before assuming her current position Powell was the Global Director for Education at Polycom. She has also served as Director of Educational Advocacy for AT&T. Powell began her career as a classroom teacher and quickly moved on to serve as an administrator at various educational institutions across Texas.

Marci was inducted into the USDLA Hall of Fame, named Higher Ed Tech Decisions Top 10 Leaders in Higher Education as well as an EDEN fellow for the European Distance and ELearning Network for her distinguish contributions to the European learning field.

  • Educational Technology
  • Distance Learning
  • Global Education and Partnerships
  • Learning & Innovation
  • Bachelor of Education, Lamar University
  • Attended Texas A&M University
  • Attended Nova Southeastern University

Dr. Natasha Ridge is the Executive Director of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research. Prior this she was the Acting Director of Research at the Dubai School of Government.

Her research focuses on secondary education in the GCC and examines topics such as boys’ education, teacher quality, curriculum and shadow education. Her publications include a chapter in the 2012 World Yearbook of Education entitled ‘In the Shadow of Global Discourses: Gender, Education and Modernity in the Arabian Peninsula’; a working paper entitled ‘Teacher Quality, Gender and Nationality: A Crisis for Boys’ at the Dubai School of Government and a paper for UNESCO on the gender gap in education and its implications for the UAE. She has presented at numerous conferences in the USA, Turkey, Egypt, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and the UAE.

Dr. Ridge has consulted on curriculum, assessment, training and other aspects of educational policy for the World Bank, UNICEF and USAID, in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Prior to this she worked as Faculty Head of English and ESL in schools in the UAE, Singapore and Australia helping to implement standards based curricula and assessment.

  • Higher Education Policy
  • Secondary Education in the GCC
  • Teacher Quality
  • Assessment
  • Gender Gap
  • Bachelor of Economics, Australian National University
  • Masters International Development, Deakin University
  • Doctorate of Education, Columbia University

Ken Salomon is chair of the Thompson Coburn Lobbying & Policy Group. Over the course of his career, he has provided clients with government relations and public policy services in a broad range of issues, including higher education, intellectual property, telecommunications, e-commerce, financial services, and international trade.

Ken was Deputy Chief Counsel at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which is the presidential advisor on communications and information policy. He also served as senior legal counsel at the Federal Communications Commission. He has conducted numerous lobbying campaigns, e-commerce, higher education, and telecommunications projects.

In 2015, Mr. Salomon was appointed to the Ethics Committee of the United States Olympic Committee. He is also a member of the Industry Advisory Board of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

  • Higher Education Law
  • Education Lobbying
  • Law
  • Telecommunications
  • E-commerce
  • Bachelor of Arts, Tufts University
  • Juris Doctorate, George Washington University Law School

Judyth Wier is a 26-year fundraising professional working with not-for-profits and institutions of higher learning. Nineteen of those years were spent in leadership roles that included planned giving, marketing, fundraising, management, external communications, and strategic planning. She has lived and worked on two occasions in Central and Latin America.

Her higher education career includes serving as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Cottey College in Missouri, Chief Fundraising Officer for the University of New Orleans, Louisiana, Executive Director of the Advancement Louisiana State University of Veterinary Medicine, and Associate Vice Chancellor University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She has raised over $500 million including extensive success with major donors and planned giving fundraising and major funding from foundations such as Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Bernard Osher Foundation, Liz Claiborne, Art Ortenberg Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation of Alaska, and the Mellon Foundation.

  • Institutional Advancement
  • Capital Campaigns
  • Strategic Planning
  • Annual Support
  • Corporate Giving
  • Bachelor of Science Auburn University
  • Masters in Sociology Tulane University
  • Certified Fund Raining Executive