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Advisory Board

David Agranovich is Facebook's Director for Global Threat Disruption, where he coordinates the identification and disruption of influence operations networks across the Facebook family of apps and develops policies to deter misuse of the platform.

David Agranovich

Prior to joining Facebook, David served as Director for Intelligence at the National Security Council (NSC) in the White House, where he led the United States Government's efforts to address foreign interference in democratic systems and elections. While at the White House, he also oversaw efforts to improve U.S. government cybersecurity and coordinated international response to Russia's targeting of dissidents in Europe.

In addition to his time at the White House, he has served in a variety of senior roles at the Department of Defense focused on Russian organized crime and corruption and contributed to the bestselling expose on Russian government corruption, "Putin's Kleptocracy." He speaks English, Russian, Spanish, and some Mandarin Chinese.

Andrea Blinkhorn is currently a member of FIS’ Government Relations team leading U.S. federal relations and financial inclusion work. Prior to this role, she was a Project Manager with REDI Cincinnati, a leading economic development organization, where she regularly supported companies interested in relocating to southwest Ohio.

Andrea Blinkhorn

Additionally, she previously worked as a consultant in Deloitte’s Public Sector practice where she supported with a number of civilian and defense clients on strategy development and crisis management. She has experience in Democratic politics, including speech-writing in the Obama administration and constituent support for Senators Gillibrand and Brown. 

Andrea earned her Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where she concentrated in International and Global Affairs and earned a Certificate in Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Political Science and International Studies from The Ohio State University. She currently lives in Washington, DC where she enjoys running, playing piano and urban gardening.

Miriam “Mimi” Browning, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, is a retired senior information technology executive.  Education: BA Political Science, Ohio State, 1965; MSA Information Systems, George Washington University, 1976; graduate of the US Army War College and the National Security Studies Program at the JFK School, Harvard University.

Miriam F. Browning

A former member of the federal Senior Executive Service, Mimi served in influential IT positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army.  In corporate life, she was a Principal with Booz Allen and Hamilton and President of the Browning Consulting Group.  She pioneered programs in network security, knowledge analytics, and IT career management. While at the Pentagon, Mimi received the Presidential Rank Award and the DoD Distinguished Civilian Service Medal.

Mimi and her husband Ben live in Alexandria, Virginia where she is a Trustee for the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra and its endowment, the Concerto Foundation.  Mimi’s Ohio connections are her grandfather who was an Assistant Attorney General under Governor Rhodes, her two uncles who graduated from Ohio State, and her beloved Ohio State roommates.

J. Michael Cavanaugh is an energy and international transportation industry lawyer and lobbyist.  He is a member of Holland & Knight's Energy and Natural Resources Leadership Team in Washington D.C.  Mike represents clients in the electric utilities, ocean freight, logistics, passenger cruise and telecommunications industries.  He also assists clients, including several universities, with international commercial transactions, joint ventures, trade regulation and overseas branch operations. 

Michael Cavanaugh

Mike teaches international contracts at the American University Washington College of Law as an adjunct professor.  He has previously taught international law and privatization policy at the Institute for Legal Practice Development in Rwanda, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Akilah Institute, a women’s college in Rwanda.  Mike is active in several sustainable agricultural and renewable energy start-ups in the U.S. and Africa. 

Mike was awarded a BA in Political Science at The Ohio State University in 1971 and a Juris Doctor at Stanford Law School in 1974.  He serves on the Advisory Board of the Ohio State Political Science Department.  He and his wife Susan, who have 4 sons, 3 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, live in Arlington, Virginia.


Christopher Gilkerson is President of RiAdvantage Consulting LLC and Principal of Gilkerson Law, serving FinTechs and asset managers with unique business models. Prior to starting his own firms, he was Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Charles Schwab & Co. in San Francisco where he headed the Institutional and Retail Legal Group responsible for multiple enterprises including retail, advisory, investment products, brokerage operations, digital, retirement, and international. He also served as Assistant General Counsel for Market Regulation at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C., and was an adjunct faculty member at American University, Washington College of Law. Christopher received his B.A. in political science, summa cum laude from The Ohio State University in 1987.  He earned his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1991. He and his wife Susan established the Mathews and Gilkerson Buckeyes Care Scholarship Fund and the Mathews and Gilkerson Fund for American Political Transformation at Ohio State. They have three adult children, live in Northern California, and spend much of their time outdoors.

Douglas Hirn Headshot

Douglas Hirn is a tax counsel and a member of the firm’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group. Mr. Hirn joined Debevoise in 2014. He received a J.D. from Columbia Law School in 2014, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He received an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business in 2007, and a B.A. from The Ohio State University in 1999.

 R. Andrew Holbrook (M.A. 2002, PhD 2005) is a Senior Vice President at Wells Fargo, specializing in translating social scientific insights on consumer behavior into financial service products and services optimally suited to meet the needs of customers.

Andrew Holbrook

Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2013, Andrew started his career in financial services career in 2006 at JPMorgan Chase.

After receiving his PhD in Political Science from Ohio State in 2005, he was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina cut short his academic career. Andrew and his wife, Sarah, are both Ohio natives who now live in San Francisco, CA. When they are not sheltering in place with their cat, Axel, they like to sail and travel internationally. 

Matthew Kaido

Matthew Kaido is from Zanesville, Ohio and is a 2014 graduate of The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Political Science. He has worked as a Staff Assistant to former Congressman Pat Tiberi, a Policy Analyst for the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, and as a Legislative Liaison for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

Matt is currently the Director for Strategic Initiatives at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a community foundation serving Ohio's 32 Appalachian counties. Matt also serves on the Ohio State Department of Political Science Advisory Board.

Donald Klemack

Don Klemack is a Senior strategic Account Director with Cyara, Inc.  Don received his BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University in 1994.  

He has over 25 years in enterprise software sales specializing in the financial and insurance verticals.  When he is not helping his clients deliver flawless customer experiences, Mr. Klemack enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and dog in the Lake Norman, North Carolina.

Susan Mathews picture

Susan Mathews is the Executive Director of School Fuel, the Novato Foundation for Public Education. Susan earned a BA in political science from Ohio State in 1988 and a JD from Yale Law School in 1991. Earlier in her career, Susan practiced international trade law at Sidley, LLP and before that, Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy in Washington DC. Susan and her husband, Christopher Gilkerson live in Novato, California, and have three adult children. She is currently involved with several state and local education advocacy groups and initiatives in California.

Michael Nelson, Vice Chair is Senior Director, Global Tax Audits & Controversies at Pfizer Inc. where he is responsible for income tax controversy matters around the world.  He has law firm, Big Four, and industry experience spanning more than 30 years in tax. Michael has held roles as regional tax counsel, global tax counsel, and as vice president of tax with Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications and healthcare industries.

Michael Nelson

Michael has advised on diverse tax matters, including cross-border transactions, mergers & acquisitions, supply chain planning, transfer pricing, audit defense and tax  controversy. 

Michael received a BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University, a JD from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and an LLM in Tax from the University of Florida Graduate Tax Program.  Michael is the Vice Chair of The Ohio State Political Science Alumni Board.  Residents of Dublin, Ohio, he and his wife, Laura, have three children and two granddaughters.

Paul Perry

Paul Perry, Chair earned his BA in Political Science from Ohio State in 1973 and his JD in 1976.  Paul is a retired attorney.  He lives with his wife Marnette in Naples, Florida and Chautauqua, New York.  Paul was recently elected to the Naples City Council.

Sara Werling-Waldron is a native Ohioan, graduating from Miami University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and German and a minor in Economics. She earned her Master of Arts in Political Science, specializing in International Relations, from The Ohio State University. 

Sara Werling-Waldron

Sara’s work experience includes an internship with Speaker of the House John Boehner (then Chair of the House Republican Conference) in his D.C. office. She also held an internship at The Heritage Foundation, where she conducted international tax research for economist Dan Mitchell. Prior to graduate school, Sara worked in the Communications Department for Auditor of State Jim Petro, assisting in state-wide communications initiatives. After graduate school, Sara worked for several marketing communications firms as she and her husband moved from Columbus to South Bend, IN, and then Louisville, KY. As Account Executive, she partnered with Fortune 100 clients to plan and execute sound marketing plans and grow brand recognition.  Additionally, Sara served as an adjunct instructor of political science for Campbellsville University in Kentucky and Belmont Abbey in North Carolina. 

Sara now focuses most of her time on volunteering in the community and teaching at her children’s school. Sara and her husband John live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their three children, Nathan, Andrew and Eleanor.

Former Board Members' Biographies

Mekka Don

Chukwuemeka Onyejekwe (aka Mekka Don) is the CEO of Mekka Don Enterprises, an international entertainment consulting firm that focuses on client development, marketing and branding and legal advising. The firm boasts an impressive roster of clients and organizations, helping them avoid common pitfalls in legal affairs, business development and public relations. He is also an attorney, entrepreneur, entertainer, and co-host of the acclaimed Pilot Boys podcast, named one of the fastest growing podcasts in the Midwest in 2020. Mekka Don is an active pop culture and social media influencer and uses his significant platform to advocate for social justice, racial and gender equity, youth mentoring, and development opportunities for scholar-athletes, especially African-American men. His novel, Grime and Glory, dispelled many stereotypes about black student athletes.

Mekka Don has had an impressive career of engagement and leadership with The Ohio State University and the Big Ten Conference. He was a member of the OSU varsity football team for which he received the prestigious scholar-athlete award, was a member of the OSU 2001 Homecoming Court and was honored with the distinguished alumni William Oxley Thompson award from The Ohio State University Alumni Association in 2014. His hit OSU licensed football anthem, Juice, became not only a mantra for OSU football, but a movement, which became a model for the merger of entertainment and entrepreneurship. In 2013, he released the widely popular Big Ten theme song, Big Ten-Lay it on the Line, which he performed at the annual B1G 5K event for three years in a row. He has mentored countless African-American student-athletes on career diversification, branding, and cultural sensitivity issues. He continues to serve as a member of the OSU Political Science Advisory Board.

After graduating Cum Laude from OSU (Political Science) and then the New York University School of Law, Mekka Don successfully passed the New York Bar and worked as a corporate litigator for one of the top law firms in the nation, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York City. He subsequently left the firm to pursue entrepreneurial and entertainment interests. Throughout his career, Mekka Don has constantly pushed boundaries and sparked conversations about non-conventional ways to approach entrepreneurship, law, mentorship and race relations. As an attorney, he has successfully navigated the business side of the entertainment industry and has signed over a dozen music licensing agreements with OSU, ESPN Networks, the Cleveland Browns, BTN and more. He authored Mekka Don’s Do’s and Dont’s of Crowdfunding, and was featured in Black Enterprise for his success in law, music and business in 2017.

As co-host of “The Pilot Boys Podcast”, Mekka Don and his business partner, Viswant Korrapati, have tackled difficult societal issues, including football, entertainment and athletics controversies, race and gender equity, and other hot button pop culture topics. Guests have included OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith, Van Lathan, a police sergeant discussing the George Floyd murder, CBS’ Jason La Canfora, and many more.

Mekka Don has been featured widely by numerous media, professional and pop culture outlets, such as MTV, VH1, CBS, ESPN, The American Bar Association Journal, Eleven Warriors, The Source, Rock Your Business, The New York Daily News, Sirius Radio and more. He is a successful motivational speaker and believes in investing in youth early in their development.  He is now also a member of the esteemed Big Ten Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition.

Mekka has excelled in academics, athletics, the arts and advocacy, and uses his platform for the betterment of society. He travels all over the country and the world, and spends most of his time between New York and Columbus, OH.

Angela Santos

Angela Klemack Santos is a partner at Duane Morris LLP where she practices law within the Private Client Services group.  Ms. Santos advises U.S. and non-U.S. ultra high net worth individuals, families, business owners and their advisors with respect to the design and implementation of tax minimizing and wealth transfer planning strategies, addressing U.S. income and transfer taxes, domestic and international estate planning, pre-immigration planning, tax compliance, asset protection and business succession planning. She also advises fiduciaries and individuals regarding the tax treatment and reporting obligations of foreign trusts with assets or beneficiaries located in the U.S., and personal representatives/executors and trustees on complex estate and trust administration and postmortem planning.

Ms. Santos is admitted to practice in Florida, New York and Connecticut. She was a 2016 graduate of the inaugural class of the Florida Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”). She was a 2016-2018 Fellow of the Real Property Probate and Trust Law (“RPPTL”) Section of The Florida Bar and currently serves as a Vice-Chair of the Fellows Committee.  She is a 2010 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she earned an LL.M. in Taxation, a 2009 graduate of Syracuse University College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of The Labor Lawyer, an ABA publication, and a 2003 graduate of The Ohio State University, where she was a Morrill Scholar, a Fellow of the John Glenn Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, and a member of the Buckeye Dance Force, now active as the Ohio State Dance Team.  Before law school, she was a Legislative Assistant to former Congressman Patrick J. Tiberi in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Santos lives is Boca Raton, Florida, with her husband and two children.

Julie Fanelli

Julie Vieson Fanelli founded the Fanelli Law Firm, PA, to help her clients advance their goals by providing practical and efficient legal advice to assist in their real estate, financing and corporate transactions and entity organization and formation. Julie received her BA in Political Science in 199