The Board of Visitors is an independent, self-governing body of advisors to the School of Public and International Affairs.
Acting individually and collectively, its members promote the best interests of the school, sharing high-level counsel and expertise with the Dean and with one another in a spirit of mutual respect, collaboration, and consultation. In its work, the Board takes into account the interests of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni. It is focused on a strategic level, advocating for the school within the University community and the public sphere.
Board of Visitors members are alumni, parents, or friends of the School with a history of significant engagement. By joining the Board, they commit to supporting the school and to staying informed, just as the school commits to helping them stay informed. They agree to provide perspective in advising the Dean on how to identify and address both immediate challenges as they arise and long-term opportunities. They serve as ambassadors furthering the objectives of the Board of Visitors on behalf of the School of Public and International Affairs.
Ms. M. Elaine Bunn (AB ‘74)
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy
Office of the Secretary of Defense
United States Department of Defense
M. Elaine Bunn is a Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Future Strategic Concepts Program at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University. Before joining INSS, she held a number of policy management and analysis positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), served as Principal Director, Nuclear Forces and Missile Defense Policy, in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Threat Reduction, and was a Presidential Management Intern. Ms. Bunn earned her B.A. from the University of Georgia in 1974 and M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1980. She was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Neuchâtel 1974-5 and a member of the Class of 1988 at the National War College. Her awards include the Defense Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service and the Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service. She currently resides in Washington, DC.
The Honorable Valerie Caproni (JD ‘79)
Federal Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
New York, NY
The Honorable Valerie Caproni is a United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York. Judge Caproni was appointed by President Obama and took the bench in January 2014. She had a varied legal career prior to taking the bench, including serving as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Litigation and Investigations at Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company, General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Regional Director of the Pacific Regional Office of the Security and Exchange Commission, and as chief of the Criminal Division in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. She previously was in private practice at Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett and at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, two New York law firms. Judge Caproni earned in B.A. from the H. Sophie Newcomb College (merged with Tulane in 2006) and her J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. In 2009, she gave the inaugural Susette M. Talarico Lecture at the UGA Chapel in Athens. She currently resides in New York, NY.
Mr. Lee Culpepper (AB ‘84)
Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, Wal-Mart Inc.
Lee Culpepper is the Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Corporate Affairs for Walmart. He was named Vice President of Corporate Affairs, in March 2007. Prior to this role, he served as Vice President for Federal Government Affairs since joining the company in July, 2005. In his present role, Lee oversees corporate reputation research and advertising as well as issue management and strategy. He also oversees digital communications. In addition, Lee supervises WAL-PAC − Wal-Mart’s Political Action Committee – and federal grassroots program. He also leads Walmart’s efforts with external stakeholder and constituent groups and is charged with the development and execution of strategy with key organizations. Prior to joining Walmart, Lee worked for the National Restaurant Association for 12 years, including six years as their Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy. In his years as a lobbyist, Lee was recognized several times in publications as being one of DC’s top lobbyists. Lee also spent more than eight years on Capitol Hill, handling legislative issues in jobs with both U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and Representative Richard Ray. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with an A.B. degree majoring in both Political Science and Economics. Lee currently serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs. In January 2015, he was elected to the National Retail Federation Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Corporate Board of Advisors. He has previously served on the Board of the National Immigration Forum where he served a term as Chair.
The Honorable Wyche Fowler, Jr.
Former U.S. Senator, Georgia
Former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
The Honorable Wyche Fowler previously served in several prominent positions including service in the United States Army, attorney, Atlanta City Councilman, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Georgia, United States Senator from Georgia, and United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Governors for the Middle East Institute. He graduated with his BA from Davidson College and his JD from Emory University. He is the recipient of the Jefferson Cup from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and recently taught at UGA’s Oxford Program. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
General (RET) Eugene E. Habiger (BS ‘63)
Distinguished Fellow and Policy Advisor,
Center for International Trade & Security
Former Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command
San Antonio, TX
Eugene Habiger is a retired United States four-star General and the Chairman of the Board of Earthwater Resources. He is on the Board of Directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Fisher House Inc of San Antonio, and a Senior Fellow at the Gorbachev Foundation of North America. In addition to serving in several prominent positions in the United States Air Force, he also previously served as the Commander in Chief of the United States Strategic Command, the United States Department of Energy Director of Security and Emergency Operations, President/CEO of the San Antonio Water System, and currently serves as a Distinguished Fellow and Policy Advisor for the University of Georgia’s Center for International Trade and Security. Ret. Gen. Habiger received his BS from the University of Georgia and his MS from George Washington University. He is the recipient of several honors including the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters. He currently resides in San Antonio, TX.
Mr. John Frank Halper (MPA ‘77)
First Vice President-Investments,
John Halper is a First Vice President and Financial Advisor for Morgan Stanley. He is on the Board of Directors of the UGA Touchdown Club. He also formerly served as the co-president of the Friends of the Museum at the Georgia Museum of Art, President of the American Heart Association, President of Jennings Mill Country Club, board member of Southern Heritage Bank, and board member of the Coliseum Club of Georgia. He is a graduate of Leadership Athens and Former Chairman of the President’s Club Smith Barney Inc. Community Oriented Policing, Athens, GA. He previously served in several prominent positions including as a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, communications consultant for Illinois Bell, branch manager for Robinson Humphrey/Smith Barney, and in the United States Army. He was a top graduate of Combat Leadership School Chu Lai. He received his BS from Loyola University, his MPA from the University of Georgia, and completed post-graduate work at the University of Georgia. He is the recipient of the Bonze Star Medal and the Purple Heart Medal commendations for his service in the Army. He currently resides in Athens, GA.
Ms. Eleni Pryles Kalisch (ABJ ‘83)
Vice-President, Federal Relations
Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd.
Eleni Pryles Kalisch currently serves as Vice President, Government Relations at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. After serving 12 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington, DC, Ms. Kalisch joined Royal Caribbean in 2007 as Vice President of Federal Relations where she is responsible for the development, planning and execution of Royal Caribbean’s policies and objectives involving federal legislative and regulatory matters. In 2014, Ms. Kalisch’s responsibilities were expanded to include government relations for all European nations, as well as for state governments in the U.S. Her title is now Vice President of Government Relations. Ms. Kalisch began her FBI career in 1995 as Assistant General Counsel at FBI Headquarters. In 2003, she was appointed Assistant Director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs to lead the FBI’s Congressional liaison program and ensure that the FBI’s national security and law enforcement missions, accomplishments, and operations were appropriately communicated to Congress. In November 2004, Ms. Kalisch was recognized by President George W. Bush with the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive. Prior to joining the FBI, Ms. Kalisch served as Counsel to the United States Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, under the Chairmanship of Senator Sam Nunn of Georgia. Prior to moving to the Washington, DC area, Ms. Kalisch served as an Assistant District Attorney in DeKalb County, Georgia and as a news writer at Cable News Network in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Kalisch earned her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and her law degree from Georgia State University. She serves on the Board of Visitors of the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs and on the Miami Advisory Board of The Posse Foundation.
Mr. Terry A. Mathews (AB ‘82)
Founder, Mathews & Maxwell
Terry represents the legislative and regulatory interests of major corporations from healthcare and pharmaceutical interests to mining regulations and transportation strategies and regional planning issues. Terry has been particularly successful in helping clients navigate the annual budget process and agency regulatory activities. In a poll of state legislators and political leaders published by James Magazine, Mathews & Maxwell has been named twice as Georgia's most effective governmental affairs firm and has ranked in the top ten of most effective firms since the polls inception. Terry was also named to the Georgia Lobbyist Hall of Fame by James Magazine in the 2103 November/December edition. Before Mathews & Maxwell, Inc. was founded in 1997, Terry worked as a senior advisor to U.S. Senator Sam Nunn. He is widely known in Georgia for his many years of service to Senator Nunn having served as State Director traveling Georgia extensively monitoring public opinion and maintaining contacts with business, community and political leaders. He organized Senator Nunn's last re-election campaign and was his key advisor on all political activities. Prior to his work for Senator Nunn, Terry served as an assistant to the Secretary of the Georgia State Senate. Terry was selected by the University of Georgia for the inaugural class of the Bulldog 100: Fastest Growing Bulldog Businesses an award to businesses that are owned and operated by UGA Alumni. He is a member of the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs Board of Visitors, the UGA Presidentâ€™s Club, the Georgia Professional Lobbyist Association and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee. Terry, and his wife Margaret Park Mathews, live in Atlanta
Ms. Harriet J. Melvin (ABJ ’86)
President, The Capitol Group
Harriet Melvin is a partner at Thorn Run Partners, a government affairs firm. She previously served in several prominent positions including founder of The Capitol Group, partner at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Congressional staff member, Director of Federal Government Affairs for Circuit City, Legislative Representative for the National Federation of Independent Business, and member of the Presidential Review Board. She has served as an executive committee member of Women Impacting the Nation and the Value in Electing Women PAC. She graduated with an ABJ from The University of Georgia. She currently resides in Alexandria, VA.
The Honorable Powell A. Moore (ABJ ‘59)
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense
Mr. C. Randall Nuckolls (BSA ‘74, JD ‘77)
Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP
C. Randall Nuckolls is a partner at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. He serves on the Board of the Georgia Agribusiness Council and the Georgia 4-H Foundation as well as the Board of Governors of the Wesley Theological Seminary and is the Historian and former President of the Georgia State Society of Washington, DC. He has previously served in several prominent positions including Legislative Counsel for Senator Herman Talmadge and Chief Counsel and Legislative Director for Senator Sam Nunn. For more than 25 years, Randy has served as lobbyist and Washington Counsel for the University of Georgia. He is former President of the UGA Law School Council and Board member of the UGA Honors Program. He graduated with a BS from the University of Georgia and a JD from the University of Georgia School of Law. He has received multiple awards including the Association of Public and Land-Grant University’s Outstanding Achievement Award, the Friend of the Extension Award from National Epsilon Sigma Phi, and the Distinguished Alumni Award for the College of Agriculture. He currently resides in Arlington, VA.
Mr. Cecil M. Phillips
President, Place Properties
Cecil Phillips is the CEO of Place Properties L.P. He also serves on the Board of Commissioners of the Atlanta Housing Authority and formerly was a member of the Emory University Board of Visitors. He has previously served in prominent positions including partner at Alston and Bird and Special Assistant and Executive Assistant to the Governor of Georgia. He received his BA from the University of Missouri and his JD from the University of Michigan. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumni by the University of Missouri and named a Friend of UGA by the University of Georgia Alumni Association. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Major General Arnold L. Punaro (MA ‘76)
CEO, The Punaro Group
Major General Arnold L. Punaro is Chief Executive Officer of the Punaro Group, LLC, a Washington-based firm supporting fortune 100 companies with a wide-range of business services. He is currently Chairman of the Secretary of Defense’s Reserve Forces Policy Board and Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association. He is consistently named by Defense News as one of the top 100 national security leaders. He also serves on the board of the Atlantic Council and the Georgia Institute of Technology Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. He has held prominent previous positions, including Marine Corps Major General, staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Director of National Security to Senator Sam Nunn and Executive Vice-President of SAIC. Major General Punaro holds a B.S. from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, an M.A. in journalism from the University of Georgia and an M.A. in national security studies from Georgetown University. He has received multiple awards throughout his career, including the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service and the 2014 Reserve Officers Association’s Minuteman of the Year award. He currently resides in McLean, Virginia.
Dr. Ralph E. Reed, Jr. (AB ‘85)
President, Century Strategies
Ralph E Reed, Jr. is the CEO of Century Strategies, a public affairs firm. He is also the founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and an advisory council member of SafeHouse Outreach. He has previously held several prominent positions including advisor to George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns, chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, and executive director of the Christian Coalition of America. He graduated with his BA from the University of Georgia and his Ph.D. from Emory University. He was named by TIME as one of the 50 future leaders of America under 40 and has authored seven books. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Ms. Julie C. Smith (AB ’00)
State Government Affairs & External Affairs, Verizon
Julie Smith is vice president of external affairs for the south area for Verizon. She is responsible for managing Verizon's philanthropic giving in the south as well as government affairs activities. Her territory includes Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Prior to joining Verizon, Julie worked for Fox News in New York. While at Fox, she served as the Audience Producer and helped Fox successfully launch their first nationally syndicated morning show. Before her work in television, Julie spent 4 years working for Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as director of external affairs. In this capacity, Julie served as the Governor's liaison to external groups and organizations throughout the state. She also planned and executed the Governor's public events. Prior to Governor Perdue’s election in 2002, Julie was the deputy finance director for his campaign and helped him achieve the largest upset in gubernatorial politics in the country. Earlier in her career, Julie served in the Washington, D.C. offices of Georgia Congressmen Bob Barr and Nathan Deal. While working as a Legislative Assistant to Congressman Deal, she advised him on public policy issues ranging from energy, environment, education, and immigration. Julie, a native Georgian, was born in Athens and raised in the suburbs of Atlanta. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Georgia and was an officer and member of Delta Delta Delta. Julie serves on the Board of Visitors for UGA's School of Public and International Affairs. She also serves on the Corporate Leadership Council for Fernbank Museum of Natural History. In 2011-2012, Julie served as an honorary commander at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL.
Mr. Robert Stein
Robert L. Stein has served as President of The Regency Group since 2008 and as a Partner at Chartwell Capital since 1994. Mr. Stein has served as a member of the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy since 2012. He was recently appointed to the President's Intelligence Advisory Board, and is a member of the Florida Council of 100, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic growth in Florida. He previously served as a Chairman of the Defense Business Board, which advises the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on effective business practices for application to the Department of Defense. Mr. Stein received a B.A. from the University of South Carolina.
Mr. L Henry Turner III (AB ’79)
Vice President, State Government Affairs,
Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
L. Henry Turner is the Vice President of State and Government Affairs at Altria. He was formerly a member of the board of directors of the Georgia Port Authority. He received his BA from the University of Georgia. He currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Mr. Joe D. Whitley (AB ’72, JD ’75)
Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig LLC
Former General Counsel to the U.S. Department of
Joe D. Whitley is Chair of the Government Enforcement and Investigations Practice at the law firm of Baker Donelson. Joe serves as a Board Member of the Atlanta Police Foundation, the Washington Legal Foundation, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Atlanta Chapter Federal Bar Association. Joe is a frequent speaker and lecturer on white collar, compliance and corporate governance issues. Before joining Baker Donelson, Joe held a number of key government positions to include Acting Associate Attorney General, the third ranking position at Main Justice, General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and presidential appointments to serve as U.S. Attorney in the Middle and Northern Districts of