Center for International Understanding Board Members

  • Dr. Moise Khayrallah, Chair


    Dr. Moise Khayrallah has been involved in drug development for over 25 years in both executive and R&D positions. He is presently CEO of Aerial BioPharma, his third biopharmaceutical holding company focused on developing drugs for CNS disorders. Prior to that, he held leadership positions in pharmaceutical and contract research companies including Lineberry Research Associates (later Constella Group) and Burroughs Wellcome (now GlaxoSmithKline).  Khayrallah is also actively involved in the entrepreneurial networks in RTP. He is a Board member of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and works actively with Center members as well as the NC Biotechnology Center to enhance the entrepreneurial climate in NC. He is also the founder of the Khayrallah Program for Lebanese-American Studies at NC State University, a joint venture with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences that seeks to research, document, and present the history of Lebanese-Americans in North Carolina.  Through a fund at Triangle Community Foundation, Khayrallah and his wife, Vera, also seek to assist multicultural and global programs.  He holds a Ph.D. degree in psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill.

  • Jim Fain, Vice-Chair


    Jim Fain is a principal with Reid Street Consulting and immediate past President and CEO of the N. C. Global TransPark, a 2,500 acre industrial and logistics park in Kinston, N.C. Before joining the TransPark, he was a business consultant at KDI Capital Partners, LLC, where he assisted with marketing and client relationship activities. Jim has the distinction of being North Carolina’s longest serving Secretary of Commerce (2001-2008). Prior to his career in public service, Jim enjoyed a 24 year career with First Union National Bank.  His banking assignments included positions in the International Division and Corporate Banking in Charlotte, as Corporate Banking Manager and City Executive in High Point and a Triangle Regional Executive in Raleigh. Fain earned a B.A. and M.B.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma while at the Kenan-Flagler Business School.

  • Marc Schaefer, Treasurer


    Marcus Schaefer has served as President and CEO of Truliant Federal Credit Union since 1995. Truliant, a member-owned financial cooperative, was chartered in 1952 to serve the employees of Western Electric. Today, Truliant provides affordable financial services to over 180,000 member-owners in the Piedmont Triad, surrounding communities and, to more than 850 employers and their employees. Schaefer currently serves as chair of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC) Advisory Board for the Triad Region that provides management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses throughout North Carolina. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Downtown Winston Salem Partnership (DWSP), the DWSP Foundation Board, and the Committee pursuing the Business Improvement District initiative for the DWSP. Mr. Schaefer received a master’s degree in international business from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

  • Anita Brown-Graham, Secretary


    Anita Brown-Graham, J.D., joined the Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) as director in January 2007.  Anita leads IEI’s programs of work around public policy initiatives that include healthcare, economic development, tax and finance modernization, energy and the environment, and higher education.  Before joining IEI, she served as a Professor of Law and Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Government, where for 12 years she provided significant training for state and local officials, and wrote books and articles focused on developing the economic base of distressed communities.  She serves as a Trustee of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and is active on boards of several not-for-profit organizations.  She participated in CIU’s Latino Initiative for Foundation and Corporate Leaders in 2003.

  • Leslie Boney


    Leslie Boney serves as the UNC System’s Vice President for International, Economic and Community Engagement. His duties include serving as key staff support to the President on economic development issues. Prior to joining UNC, Mr. Boney was a senior associate with MDC, Inc., a nonprofit research firm specializing in economic and workforce development. In earlier positions, he was executive director of Policy, Research and Strategic Planning for the North Carolina Department of Commerce and staff director for the 25-member North Carolina Rural Prosperity Task Force. He currently serves as the University’s representative on the N.C. Economic Development Board and the board of the NC Biotechnology Center and on the North Carolina Food Bank Advisory Council. He received his B.A. in English and psychology from Amherst College.   Mr. Boney participated in CIU’s Global Leaders program to Mexico in 2008 and moderated CIU’s Global Engagement Summit in 2009.

  • Peter S. Brunstetter


    Peter S. Brunstetter is the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Novant Health, Inc. Prior to joining Novant, he was a Partner in the law firm of Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. He received his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1984 and was awarded Order of the Coif. He received his B.A. degree from Tulane University in 1977. Mr. Brunstetter previously served as a member of the North Carolina State Senate serving the 31st District of Forsyth and Yadkin Counties, serving as Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee, Chair of the Judiciary I Committee and Vice Chair of the Rules Committee. Mr. Brunstetter was a member of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners from 1991-2004, serving as Chairman of the Board from 1994 to 2004. Mr. Brunstetter is the former Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Novant Health, Inc., and former Chairman of the Board of the YMCAs of Northwest North Carolina. Mr. Brunstetter is a former member of the Boards of Visitors of UNC Chapel Hill, NC State University and UNC Wilmington. He is a former Adjunct Professor at Elon University School of Law. Mr. Brunstetter is a recipient of the Dr. I. Beverly Lake Public Service Award presented by the North Carolina Bar Association. Mr. Brunstetter served on active duty in the United States Navy from 1977 to 1981, including service on the commissioning crew of the USS BRISCOE (DD 977). Mr. Brunstetter resigned his commission from the Naval Reserve in 1990, with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Mr. Brunstetter and his wife, Jodie, have four children, three of whom have served or are currently on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a licensed pilot and avid motorcyclist.

  • Tony Caravano


    Tony Caravano grew up in a military family, spending most of his youth in Florida.  He graduated from NC State University in 2004 and had the privilege to serve as Student Body President for two terms and was a Caldwell Fellow.  After graduation, Tony worked for the President Pro Tem of the North Carolina Senate, followed by a role with the University of North Carolina System on a strategic planning process called UNC Tomorrow.  He was Deputy State Director with US Senator Kay Hagan in Raleigh before becoming National Sales Director for Higher Education with Compass Group USA, one of the nation’s leaders in food service management.  He was an ex-officio member of the Center’s board representing President Erskine Bowles during his work at UNC-GA.

  • Swadesh Chatterjee


    Swadesh Chatterjee is CEO, Swadesh Chatterjee & Associates, Inc.  A businessman and entrepreneur who founded and operated an industrial instrumentation company in North Carolina, he is one of the co-founders and past-presidents of TiE Carolinas, a group of business people whose primary goal is to develop and assist fledgling entrepreneurs. He is on the Advisory Board for International and Area studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a member of the Board of Directors for TCG Life Sciences, a group of professional advisors and “implementers” who specialize in business and market development for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and other life science companies worldwide.  In January 2009 Mr. Chatterjee was inducted as a member of the Prime Minister’s Global Advisory Council of People of Indian Origin. Mr. Chatterjee was conferred the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards, by the president of India in 2001, in the public affairs category in the US for building bridges between US and India.   He has a B.S. in physics from Calcutta University and a B.S. in instrumentation and electronic engineering from Jadavpur University. He received his MBA Degree from North Carolina State University.  He served on CIU’s Innovation Task Force in 2008.

  • Chia Chi

    Wake Forest

    Chia Chi is a Market Development Executive at IBM Corporation.  She is responsible for developing B2B marketplace with a focus on businesses owned or operated by Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Women in the U.S. and women-owned business in Asia.  Mrs. Chi started her career with IBM as a computer programmer in 1987.  She moved up to global project management role after 3 years.  With a passion for marketing, Mrs. Chi transitioned to marketing roles in 1996.  She held various marketing strategy, product marketing and market development positions at IBM and is part of the IBM Global Diversity Business Leadership initiative council.  Mrs. Chi represents IBM at various Chambers of Commerce and non-profit technology organizations around the country.  She sits on the board of advisor at the Silicon Valley – China Wireless Technology Association and a committee member on the BrainTrust Committee for the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.  She also represents IBM the Technology Board for the Council for Entrepreneur Development’s 2013 Technology Conference. Mrs. Chi received her master degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University.

  • Jean Davis


    Jean Davis is president and CEO of MCNC, the technology nonprofit that builds, owns, and operates the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN). Her love for technology and passion for economic development helps ensure MCNC provides the highest level of broadband connectivity and network services for North Carolina’s research, education, non-profit health care, and other community institutions. Jean’s background includes experience in government, corporate and entrepreneurial worlds with leadership experience in entrepreneurial ventures, executive management, global sales, and technology operations with over 25 years successful leadership experience. Her areas of expertise include global operations management, strategic planning, start-ups, and technology-led economic development. She joined MCNC from the N.C. Department of Commerce where served as COO and Executive Director of Business, Industry and Trade, directing efforts toward the creation and retention of high-quality jobs by attracting new businesses and supporting existing ones all over the state. Prior to joining Commerce, Jean was a partner at Empire Properties, and the co-founder/owner of Serentec, Inc., a regulatory compliance firm which was sold to Lloyds Registry, UK in 2003. Jean also held progressive international positions at IBM, Computer Digest Magazine and McGraw Hill. Jean spent eight years living and working in Europe and has extensive experience in building business operations in Asia, Europe and South America. Jean is a 2005 Eisenhower Fellow and 2009 Henry Toll Fellow. She received her undergraduate honors degree in Political Science and Business Administration at New England College in Arundel, England and her Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston.

  • Edward B. Fiske


    Edward B. Fiske, former Education Editor of the New York Times and editor of the Fiske Guide to Colleges, is known around the world for his writing on education policy and access to higher education. In 1982, while covering education for the Times, he established the Fiske Guide, which is the country’s best-selling college guide. He has also co-authored several other books in the admissions area. Fiske left the Times in 1991 to devote more time to writing about education in developing countries and since then has written frequently for UNESCO, USAID, the World Bank and other international organizations on issues such as gender equity in education. He and his wife, Helen F. Ladd, a professor of public policy at Duke, co-authored When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale (2010), a book on parental choice in New Zealand’s, and Elusive Equity: Education Reform in Post-Apartheid South Africa (2004), a study of  South Africa’s struggle to create a democratic state education system. In 2010 they lived in Amsterdam and carried out research on the Dutch system for financing primary schools serving low-income students. Fiske has previously served three terms on the Council’s board of Directors, including a stint as Chair, and currently serves as Chair of the Program Committee.

  • Ann B. Goodnight


    Ann B. Goodnight is Director of Community Relations at SAS. She also serves as Secretary of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina system. She is a former trustee at North Carolina State University (NCSU), and is a member of the National Advisory Board for the William and Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at NCSU. An advocate for children and education, Mrs. Goodnight is a co-founder and board member of Cary Academy and serves on the boards of the YMCA of the Triangle and the NC Science Festival.  She is a member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) President’s Roundtable, and the NC Public School Forum.  In addition, she serves on the Foundation Board of the NC Museum of Art. Mrs. Goodnight was a member of the North Carolina education policy delegation that traveled to Finland in 2011 as part of the CIU/NC Public School Forum “Learning from” series to examine international best practices in education.

  • Alan Gordon


    Alan S. Gordon is a Board Certified Immigration Specialist in accordance with The State Bar of North Carolina Board of Legal Specialization.  Alan Gordon Immigration Law in Charlotte, North Carolina represents corporate and individual clients worldwide.  In the summer of 2005, Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, now the Governor of North Carolina, selected Mr. Gordon to be the Chairman of the Mayor’s Immigration Study Commission.  Mr. Gordon has served on numerous boards and in numerous international organizations.  In 2007 he was made an honorary member of International Scholars of the Mu Chapter of the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society at UNC-Charlotte.  He was awarded the Citizen Lawyer Award by the North Carolina Bar Association in 2007.  He was recognized as the “Best Immigration Attorney” by Charlotte Magazine (August 1999 – 2003, and 2012) and his peers voted him one of “The Best Lawyers in America” (2001 – 2012).

  • Heather Graham


    Heather Graham is currently a consultant to non-profit and philanthropic organizations.  Her recent projects include advising a major national foundation on its potential investment strategy in six states and providing strategic consulting to, a national on-line charity that promotes citizen philanthropy to improve education.  Until 2009, she served as a program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led advocacy and policy grantmaking in the southeastern United States with a focus on North Carolina.  Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Heather was a vice president with Teach For America.  She also served as a White House Fellow assigned to the Domestic Policy Council, where she focused on domestic and international service.

  • Wayne McDevitt


    Wayne McDevitt has served on the North Carolina State Board of Education since 2001, including serving as the Board’s Vice Chairman since June 2007.  He is currently engaged in several business and entrepreneurial ventures that he began in 2006 after his retirement from state government, where he served as Senior Vice President for University Affairs for the University of North Carolina system, Senior Vice Chancellor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, Chief of Staff to former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt, and Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  He participated in CIU’s Learning from China Program in 2004, its NC in the World Task Force in 2008, and recently went to China in 2010, representing CIU’s Confucius Classrooms.

  • Cris (Mulder) Charbonneau


    Cris (Mulder) Charbonneau serves as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for KnowledgeWorks, an education social enterprise focused graduating college and career ready students. More recently, Charbonneau served as the Deputy Secretary of Communications for the North Carolina Department of Transportation where she led all communication efforts for the second largest transportation network in the U.S., and was responsible for the strategic development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of public relations activities and integrated print and online communications; media relations; marketing; and public awareness and education programs. Prior to joining NCDOT, she was appointed to transform communication and outreach for the Wake County Public School System, the 16th largest school system in the nation, as their Chief Communications Officer. Cris launched the Office of Family and Community Engagement, implementing new and innovative ways for the school district to strengthen school-based parental engagement and community partnerships to increase student learning and development. Cris led large-scale, integrated marketing communication efforts across media relations, crisis management, website development, design and social media; launched parent academies; and orchestrated community outreach efforts. Cris was also instrumental in the development and implementation of the repositioning of a 20+ year old brand and corporate marketing initiatives at VIF International Education as their Director of Marketing. There, she most notably created the communications and brand strategy for the Global School Network. Her 20 year career also includes corporate brand and marketing communications roles for companies like Microsoft, Sony Ericsson, and AT&T Wireless. Cris is a native of Portland, Oregon and a proud University of Oregon Duck where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Cris lives in Cary, North Carolina. She currently serves on the District 7 Board Advisory Council for the Wake County Board of Education and as a member of the marketing committee for the Wake Education Partnership.

  • Wil Neumann


    Wil Neumann was a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, representing the Gaston County area form 2007-2011.  He is a partner in several business ventures in the real estate and construction arena.  Previous to this, he was an account executive and also a sales representative in the health care and information technology marketing industries.  He is a community leader who serves on several boards.  He participated on CIU’s 2009 Global Leaders program to China looking at economic development issues.  As a result, he brought two Confucius Classrooms to Gaston County in 2010.

  • Jennifer Godfrieda Parser


    Jennifer Godfrieda Parser is an immigration attorney at Poyner Spruill, LLP.  She developed a business and family-based immigration practice, bringing experienced, multilingual (fluent French and English, some German) immigration capabilities in successful preparation of employment-based visas. At Governor Perdue’s request, Parser researched and authored a White Paper on EB-5 Regional Centers for Foreign Investment, including analysis of North Carolina’s particular attributes to attract same. Formerly, Parser was at Ward and Smith and also practiced in New York.  Additionally, Parser served as Vice Chairman, board member and full-time paid Regional Director of the American Australian Association where she was responsible for overseeing bilateral educational post-doctoral fellowship programs, specifically Sir Keith Murdoch Foundation’s exchange in life sciences and biotechnology between United States and Australia, Dame Joan Sutherland Fund for performing artists, Douglas Wiser Scholarships for New Zealand exchange in viticulture, preparing all nonimmigrant visa petitions relating thereto.  Currently, she serves as an Executive Committee Member, Counsel and Corporate Secretary, at the Triangle Chapter of the British American Business Council of North Carolina, and Vice President, Government Liaison and co-Chair Speakers’ Committee of the North Carolina Chinese Business Association. She received her law degree from Wake Forest University and B.A. from Dartmouth College.

  • Jose Perez

    Chapel Hill

    José A. Pérez, a native of Guatemala, has been exposed to different cultures and countries during his professional career.  He has lived and worked in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the USA.  These experiences have enhanced the way he views the world and international opportunities.   He is involved in several local and international organizations. José is the Director for Global Markets of iConsulting, an international management consulting company.  He works with companies to expand into other markets and provide solutions to their global challenges.  He has worked for several multinationals across industries in the areas of international business development and strategic marketing: at Novartis he worked in Product Management and developed the Marketing Intelligence Department; at Alberto Culver he re-structured the Marketing Department; at I.H.S. Group he was Country Manager of Spain, Portugal and Israel; and at Henry Schein he was responsible for International Corporate Accounts.  José holds an MBA in International Business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. 

  • Therence Pickett


    Therence Pickett serves as the Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Volvo Group North America, LLC and Mack Trucks, Inc., two affiliated leading manufacturers of heavy trucks, truck parts and transportation solutions. In this role, Therence and his dedicated team of in-house counsel, and other professionals, are responsible for the successful handling of all legal matters impacting the companies, in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Prior to joining the Volvo Group, Therence was in private practice with the law firm of McGuire Woods, in Richmond, Virginia, where he practiced in the area of state and local government law and was a member of the firm’s commercial litigation practice team. Before joining McGuire Woods, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Leroy R. Hassell, Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. In 2013, Therence was elected by the North Carolina State Senate as a member of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. He is also a Board member of the Union Square Campus, Inc., a collaboration of businesses, foundations and higher education institutions in Greensboro, NC that seeks to develop the city’s educational assets into economic success. He is a former board member of the North Carolina Zoological Society and has served, both as a volunteer and board member, for several other community charitable, non-profit organizations. Therence is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where he earned dual degrees in Economics and Business Management, and attended the Duke University School of Law, where he earned his law degree. Therence and his family reside in Greensboro, North Carolina.

  • Cosette Serabjit-Singh


    Cosette Serabjit-Singh, a biomedical research scientist and former pharmaceutical company executive, is a 40-year veteran of the Research Triangle Park, NC whose growth and complexity was in concert with the development of her career and thriving family. While committed to her adopted state of North Carolina, her professional experience in academia, as a federal research scientist and a leader in the private sector, has enhanced her international perspective that has roots in her primary and secondary education overseas. She was born in Chicago, Illinois and has lived in Florida, India, Jamaica and New York. She completed her graduate degree in North Carolina and has travelled extensively for business and recreation. She has a strong interest in progressive, globally significant and sustainable development that will position North Carolina well for the benefit of all our children and grandchildren.

  • Kevin Trapani

    Chapel Hill

    Kevin Trapani is president and CEO of The Redwoods Group, an insurance provider dedicated to protecting YMCAs, Jewish Community Centers and nonprofit resident camps around the nation.  He also is president of The Redwoods Group Foundation.  Prior to forming The Redwoods Group in 1997, Kevin held executive vice president an dother senior leadership positions at various other insurance companies.  He is chair of the Community Advisory Board of North Carolina Public Radio and is a member of the Advisory Committee for Duke’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship in addition to serving on other state and local boards.  Kevin participated in the Latino Initiative for Triangle-area leaders in 2010.

  • Joe B. Whitehead, Jr.


    Dr. Joe B. Whitehead, Jr., is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at North Carolina A&T State University (NCA&T). Dr. Whitehead serves as a key member of the Chancellor’s cabinet. He provides leadership and direction for all academic programs and works closely with internal and external constituents to promote the quality achievement of strategic outcomes. The Division of Academic Affairs is composed of nine (9) schools/colleges. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs have direct supervision of deans of all academic schools/colleges, namely the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering; the Schools of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Nursing and Technology; The Graduate School and the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering. The Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs is also responsible for direct supervision of the Dean of Library Services, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management, the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Programs, the Vice Provost for Strategic Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, and the Vice Provost for Research, Graduate Programs and Extended Learning. Additionally, the Provost has oversight of the Division of Information Technology and the Division of Research and Economic Development. Dr. Whitehead received his B.S. degree in Physics from Delta State University (1983) and his M.A. (1985) and Ph.D. (1989) in Physics from Kent State University where he performed his doctoral research at the Liquid Crystal Institute. After graduation from Kent State University in 1989, he was a research scientist at Georgia Tech Research Institute for one year prior to an appointment as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Whitehead’s administrative appointments include Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Associate Dean and Dean of the College of Science and Technology at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is the recipient of the Kent State University’s 2001 Institutional Diversity New Millennium Alumni Award and a member of Delta State University Alumni Hall of Fame. Dr. Whitehead is a native of Picayune, Mississippi and is married with two children.

The total value of N.C. agricultural exports was $3.75 billion in 2011 N.C. Department of Agriculture