BU Board of Trustees Welcomes Two New Members
Chair of University Advisory Board also starts as ex officio trustee, two new advisors begin terms
Boston University’s Board of Trustees elected two new members last week, Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry (ENG’85) and Jonathan Priester (COM’10), both of whom serve the University as members of the Black Alumni Leadership Council.
In other changes, Rebecca Norlander (CAS’91) began her position as chair of the University Advisory Board (formerly the Board of Overseers), and in that capacity, is a member of the Board of Trustees. The University Advisory Board, which advises the trustees, also welcomes returning member Gayle Berg (Sargent’74) and new member Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan (ENG’00). Norlander, Berg, and Sivaramakrishnan were elected in April, with terms beginning this September.
“These new members bring a wealth of experience, leadership, and perspective that will greatly enhance the ability of our boards to meet the significant challenges and opportunities facing Boston University,” says Kenneth Feld (Questrom’70), Board of Trustees chair. “We look forward to working with each of them to continue the board’s focused stewardship of the University’s financial and business affairs and to strengthen the University’s global reputation for excellence in scholarship and research.”
Antoinette (Tonie) Leatherberry (ENG’85)
Leatherberry recently retired as a principal in the risk and financial advisory practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, a professional services firm that advises Fortune 500 companies, where her distinguished career spanned nearly 30 years. As the board relations leader for the risk and financial advisory practice, she was responsible for marketplace positioning and opportunities through innovation, thought leadership, and engagement that address the needs of corporate directors and senior executives.
She also served as president of the Deloitte Foundation, Deloitte’s nonprofit arm.
Currently, Leatherberry is the board chair of the Executive Leadership Council, a group working to broaden the pipeline of Black corporate executives. She was named to the National Association of Corporate Directors 2019 and 2020 Directorship 100 lists of corporate movers and shakers. She has also been honored as one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Women in Business, the Network Journal’s annual list of 25 Influential Black Women in Business, Savoy magazine’s 2019 and 2020 Most Influential Women in Corporate America and Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America, Black Enterprise’s Most Powerful Women in Corporate America and Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity, and one of the Top 100 under 50 Leaders by Diversity MBA Magazine.
Leatherberry is a former member of the University Advisory Board.
Jonathan Priester (COM’10)
Priester is the Global Black Community Inclusion Lead at Google, Inc., and a member of the company’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement team. He is responsible for the global advisory of Google’s Black Googler Network, heading internal Black community affairs and managing key related partnerships externally.
Before joining Google, Priester worked at JCPenney Company, Inc., and advertising agencies BBDO, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, and The Godwin Group in digital marketing, merchandising, and account management.
Priester has served as a cochair and member of the advisory board of ADCOLOR, an organization that works on inclusion and diversity in the advertising, technology, and creative industries. He has also been an advisor to the executive board of Operations Crossroads Africa, a US-based nonprofit organization that builds cross-cultural networks through service-based volunteer exchange trips in countries across Africa, as well as in Brazil and the Caribbean. His long-standing advocacy for BU’s diversity and inclusion efforts is reflected by his service on the BU Black Alumni Leadership Council, which supports both Black alumni and current students.
In 2016, Priester was recognized by the American Advertising Federation as the “Alumni Rising Star” of its Most Promising Multicultural Student program.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the College of Communication, Priester holds a master’s degree in emerging media and communications from the University of Texas at Dallas School of Arts and Humanities.
As a student at BU Priester was inducted into the Scarlet Key Honor Society and served as the 2010 Student Commencement speaker.
Rebecca Norlander (CAS’91)
Norlander is global head and vice president of software of the personal systems division of HP, a multinational developer of personal computers, printers, and related equipment, based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Before joining HP, Norlander was founder, chief executive officer, and chief technology officer of Health 123, a technology company that developed a digital platform for tracking personal health and wellness via mobile fitness devices, employers’ and physicians’ groups, and other data sources. Health 123 was acquired by Samepage Health in 2017. She was also executive-in-residence to Illuminate Ventures, a venture capital firm that focuses on North America–based high-tech start-up companies.
Norlander began her career as a software design engineer at Microsoft in 1991, serving in a number of roles at the company, including Windows XP development team leader and chief of staff to the chief software architect. In 2008, she became general manager of Microsoft’s advertising platform technology group, a position she held until joining Illuminate Ventures in 2010.
She is a major supporter of the Women’s Funding Alliance, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides funding and other support for community-based programs related to women’s health, safety, education, and employment. Among her other affiliations, she is a director of the American Association of University Women and a former cochair of the advisory board of the nonprofit AnitaB.org (formerly the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology), which is dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in computing.
Norlander is a 2008 recipient of the College of Arts & Sciences Computer Science Department Distinguished Alumni Award. She was elected to the University’s Board of Overseers in 2014 and became its vice chair in 2019. She is also a member of the University’s William Fairfield Warren Society, established in 2015 to honor those who have given more than $1 million to BU.
Gayle R. Berg (Sargent’74)
Berg, a member of the Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences dean’s advisory board, is a psychologist, mental health advocate and founder of Psychological Solutions, a private practice in Roslyn Heights, N.Y. She began her career as coordinator of client programming and placement at the Vocational Adjustment Center in Boston, an organization that provides training and employment services to people with disabilities. She went on to become assistant clinical program director of the day treatment center in the department of psychiatry at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she helped to develop what was then one of the city’s first recovery-based partial hospitalization programs.
Berg’s commitment to the recovery movement and to improving access to quality mental health-care nationwide includes decades of state and national legislative advocacy. She is a former chair of the New York State PAC for Psychology. She has held several governance positions within the New York State Psychological Association and has served as president of both the Nassau County Psychological Association and the Long Island chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. She currently serves on the board of directors at both the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care and the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York.
Berg, who is also a member of the William Fairfield Warren Society, has provided generous support to Boston University for various initiatives, including for research in psychiatric rehabilitation at Sargent College. In addition to holding a master’s degree in psychiatric rehabilitation from Sargent, Berg received a bachelor’s in science from Syracuse University in 1973 and a PhD in psychology from New York University in 1983.
She has been recognized with the New York State Psychological Association’s highest honor, the Allen V. William, Jr. Memorial Award; the American Psychological Association’s Karl F. Heiser Presidential Award for Advocacy, and the UJA-Federation of New York’s Robert Boaz award.
Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan (ENG’00)
Sivaramakrishnan is the founder of Drawbridge, Inc. a technology company, based in San Mateo, Calif., that provides online identity management, and that was acquired by LinkedIn, a subsidiary of Microsoft, in 2019.
Before founding Drawbridge in 2010, Sivaramakrishnan led algorithmic optimization sciences for AdMob, a mobile advertising firm that was acquired by Google in 2009.
Sivaramakrishnan was named to the Forbes “America’s Top 50 Women in Tech” list in 2018 and was one of the San Francisco Business Times “Most Admired CEOs” of 2016. She received the Women of Vision ABIE Award for Technology Entrepreneurship from AnitaB.org in 2015. She was included on the Ad Age “40 Under 40” list in 2014, and has been listed four times among the “Most Powerful Women in Mobile Advertising” by Business Insider. Among her professional affiliations, she serves as a board member of iHeartMedia.
As well as a master’s degree from the College of Engineering, Sivaramakrishnan earned a PhD in information theory and algorithms from Stanford University. At Stanford, where she was president of the Society of Women Engineers, she developed an algorithm that was used by NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto to track and transmit back to Earth radio wave data.