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NU appoints 5 new members to Board of Trustees

Published: Friday, June 25, 2010

Updated: Friday, June 25, 2010

The Northwestern Board of Trustees has elected five new members, according to a University press release.

The Board will add to its ranks Mary Baglivo (Medill MSJ ’81), Adam Karr (WCAS ’93), Virginia Rometty (McCormick ’79), Mary Lou Song (Medill ’91) and Charles Tribbett.

Nominees for Board positions are submitted to a vote of the full Board after a vetting process, said Marilyn McCoy, vice president for administration and planning. The nominations are taken from suggestions of current board members, alumni and other members of the NU community and are reviewed by the Board’s trustee committee before a full vote takes place.

When selecting new members, the Board’s primary concern is that a nominee has demonstrated a “relationship and attachment to the University,” said McCoy, whose office oversees and supports the Board.

The five appointees will bring diversity to the Board in terms of their experiences and backgrounds, McCoy said.

“What the Board tries to do is to provide a diverse portfolio of members,” said University Spokesman Al Cubbage. The five new members come from different professional fields, and three are women, the other two African American.

The Board functions on both its collective and individual strength, Cubbage said. “The Board operates to a great extent on committees,” Cubbage said. Additionally, many of the powers of the Board reside in its decisions as a voting body, as McCoy noted.

The Board’s new members must be capable of addressing not only the issues the University faces today, but also must be able to serve it well into the future, Cubbage said.

Specific expertise in a particular area may make a trustee a “valued advisor” when University decisions relate to an individual trustee’s field, but the University looks for trustees who can provide input about any issue the Board tackles, Cubbage said.

McCoy also noted that trustees will be able to contribute their expertise in a particular area. The University Strategic Plan is set to add a task force on branding the school, in which Baglivo has agreed to play a part, McCoy said.

The five new appointees will become part of a 76-member board whose first meeting will take place in the fall.

Mary Baglivo — Advertising

Mary Baglivo (Medill, MSJ ’81) is chairman and CEO for the Americas of the global advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.  In her tenure at the firm she has worked with major brands such as Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, JCPenney, and MillerCoors.

In addition to serving on the Worldwide Executive Board for Saatchi & Saatchi, she has served on the Board of Trustees for The Kids Corporation of Newark, which provides services and programs for more than 4,500 kids in Newark, New Jersey.

Baglivo received a master’s degree in journalism from Medill.

Adam Karr — Investment management

Adam Karr (WCAS ’93) is managing director of Orbis Investment Management.  He has also worked as a partner at a private equity firm and as a financial analyst.

Karr serves on several boards, including for Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, which according to its website “provides superior educational and career programs to young people from underserved communities, addressing inequities in education and opportunity that often limit their success.”

He graduated with honors with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Weinberg.

Virginia Rometty — Technology, sales

Virginia Rometty (McCormick ‘79) is senior vice president of IBM Global Sales and Distribution, where she is responsible for revenue, profit, and client satisfaction.

She has previously held posts in the various business, consulting, and financial sectors of IBM.

Rometty has been involved with the Women in Technology Council and the Women’s Leadership Council as well as the Women’s Executive Council at IBM.

She graduated with high honors with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and electrical engineering from McCormick, and was the speaker at the school’s June 19 convocation ceremony.

Mary Lou Song — Social media, technology

Mary Lou Song (Medill ’91) is the founder and vice president of Tokoni, a social media site that provides a platform in which users can share stories with one another.
According to Tokoni’s website, the site will be closing to the public on June 30.

Song began her technology career as the third employee of eBay and was instrumental in growing its user base from 15,000 to more than 20 million.

She is on the Board of Advisers for Medill, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

Charles Tribbett — Executive headhunting

Charles Tribbett is a consultant for Russell Reynolds, where he aids corporations looking for new CEOs, Presidents, and other top management.

Tribbett holds positions on several boards and is a member of the dean’s advisory board for Kellogg.

Unlike the other four newly elected members, Tribbett does not hold a degree from Northwestern. He received his bachelor’s degree from Marquette University in 1976 and graduated from the University of Virginia Law School in 1980.

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