Meet FRED Leadership’s Board of Directors
Alejandro Reyes is the Chief People Officer at Houghton Mifflin...
Bernard (Bernie) Banks is a noted expert on the subjects...
Karen Kocher is a foresight oriented, business-astute executive who solves...
Tom Kolditz is the founding Director of the Ann &...
Dr. David Dotlich is the president of Pivot, a strategic...
Michelle is currently FRED Leadership’s Board Chair. Her previous role...
Julie holds the role of Vice President, Global Learning and...
Mark is the Principal of City Lit, Britain’s largest specialised...
Al Adams received his B.A. in history from the University...
A recognized human resources thought leader, David brings significant experience...
Alejandro Reyes is the Chief People Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt since Nov 2017.
Prior to HMH, Alejandro worked at several global companies in leading positions in Human Resources. This includes working as Chief Talent Officer at Laureate International Universities, Chief Learning Officer at Dell Inc, Director of Executive Development at Motorola.
Originally from Mexico City, now a US citizen, Alejandro’s career started as industrial engineer for Dana Corporation Mexico. He also holds a master’s degree in Robotics Automation and Manufacturing, from Monterrey Tech, in Mexico.
Alejandro spent eight years at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, as Dean of Development for their Virtual University, Director of Quality and Dean of Distance Learning. He initiated the expansion of the Virtual University into South America. He is author of several articles on quality in education, the book “Quality techniques in the Classroom” and delivery models for alternative technologies for education.
Bernard (Bernie) Banks
Bernard (Bernie) Banks is a noted expert on the subjects of leadership and organizational change. Currently, he is the Associate Dean for Leadership Development and a Clinical Professor of Management at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. As an Associate Dean, Bernie possesses responsibility for leader development integration across the school’s global portfolio of programs.
Bernie retired from the Army as a Brigadier General in 2016 after having successfully led West Point’s Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership from 2012-2016. In addition to having studied leadership extensively, he has led multiple military units ranging in size from 10 to 500 people. In 1995, Bernie was selected from over 40,000 officers to receive the Army’s top award for entry-level managers (General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award). In 2006, the Apache Helicopter unit he was leading in South Korea was designated as the top Apache Helicopter unit globally in the U.S. Army’s annual best aviation unit competition.
A West Point graduate, Bernie is broadly educated. He holds graduate degrees from Northwestern, Columbia, and Harvard Universities. Additionally, he earned his Ph.D. in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University. Bernie’s work has been published in a variety of outlets (e.g., Harvard Business Review, Military Psychology, New York Times). Furthermore, he has worked extensively with organizations across all sectors concerning their leader development efforts (e.g., Procter and Gamble, Mercedes Benz, General Electric, IBM, 7-Eleven, The US Forest Service, International Chiefs of Police).
An active member of several civic and professional organizations (e.g., The Chicago Club, Harvard Club of NYC, Community Solutions of NYC, USO of Illinois, West Point Society of Chicago), Bernie is deeply invested in his community.
Areas of Expertise: Leader Development, Organizational Change, Organizational Culture
Karen Kocher is a foresight oriented, business-astute executive who solves complex issues, manages polarities, and leverages deep expertise as an influencer, thought leader, and change agent. She brings an exceptional business partner approach with demonstrated leadership credibility across business units and functions in large, global organizations. Karen has held senior human resources, healthcare, and sales leadership roles in insurance, information technology, consulting, and business outsourcing across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
Karen has spearheaded innovative solutions that dovetail with organizational objectives and metric goals including a social/collaborative global portal resulting in greater change agility, and the redesign of a performance management model that increased growth and retention. She has led successful enterprise-wide initiatives linking business strategy with human resources planning while building and developing key capabilities, enhancing organizational culture, and designing and deploying strong leadership development frameworks.
Currently, Karen is the Global General Manager of 21st Century Jobs, Skills and Employability for Microsoft. The emphasis of this role is powering the planet through sustainable individual employability and organizational strategic talent pipelines. Emphasis is on a repeatable, systemic experience used by individuals across the globe resulting in demonstrated and applied future-ready skills and jobs.
Previously, Karen was Chief Learning Officer and a talent executive for Cigna Corporation, a Fortune 90, $39B global organization where she led leadership effectiveness, learning, organizational development, strategic talent planning, employee insights/engagement, and performance management for 40,000 employees worldwide. Here she conceptualized and took charge of outsourcing human resource activities, successfully enabling Cigna to spend two to three times less than similarly sized organizations and resulting in winning four ATD BEST awards.
Previously, Karen worked for IBM, as Global Content Executive, Software Division, designing and implementing IBM’s social learning product strategy, and as Global Offering Executive, Global Services Division providing general management to IBM’s Advanced and Emerging Technologies Learning Services Segment.
Earlier, Karen was Vice President/P&L Leader, New England Learning Services Business for IKON Office Solutions. She started her career with Aetna as a Medical Containment Specialist, promoted four times into risk management, information technology and sales roles.
Tom Kolditz is the founding Director of the Ann & John Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University—the most comprehensive, evidence-based, university-wide leader development program in the world. Serving all 6200 graduate and undergraduate students across all seven schools at Rice, the Doerr Institute is among the largest leader development and coaching enterprises in Texas.
Prior to founding the Doerr Institute, Tom designed the core Leader Development Program at the Yale School of Management and served as the chairman of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point. Tom was the founding director of the West Point Leadership Center, co-founded the Thayer Leader Development Group, and currently manages his own leader development consultancy, Saxon Castle LLC. A highly experienced leader, Brigadier General Kolditz has more than 28 years in leadership positions, serving on four continents in his 34 years of military service. He received the Distinguished Service Medal, the Army’s highest award for service, is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, and is a member of the Academy of Management. His book, titled In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended on It, was based on more than 175 interviews taken on the ground in Iraq during combat operations. Dr. Kolditz has published more than 60 articles and book chapters to date, including in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the proceedings of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions.
An accomplished speaker, Tom has delivered more than 300 invited speeches and keynotes to audiences world-wide. Named as a leadership Thought Leader by the Leader to Leader Institute and as a Top Leader Development Professional by Leadership Excellence, in 2017, he received the prestigious Warren Bennis Award for Excellence in Leadership, a distinction shared by noteworthy leaders including Howard Schultz, Doris Kearns Goodwin, AG Lafley, and Bill George.
In addition to serving on the FRED Board, Tom is listed as an Advisor to Boardbench Companies LLC, and is on the board of Linkage, Inc. He holds a BA from Vanderbilt University, three master’s degrees, and a PhD in social psychology from the University of Missouri.
Dr. David Dotlich is the president of Pivot, a strategic leadership boutique that develops corporate strategy and executive development programs for Fortune 500 companies such as Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, Nike, Microsoft, KKR, Aetna, Best Buy, DPDHL, AbbVie, Ericsson, and many others. A successful entrepreneur who has founded, run, and sold two large companies, he advises CEOs and boards on issues of talent, leadership, and strategy.
Named one of the Top 50 Coaches in the United States, Dr. Dotlich is former executive vice president of Honeywell International, founder and former president of CDR International and Delta Executive Learning Center, and former president of Mercer Delta Consulting.
Dr. Dotlich is the co-author of 12 best-selling books, including his latest, Transitions at the Top: What Organizations Must Do to Make Sure New Leaders Succeed; The Unfinished Leader: Balancing Contradictory Answers to Unsolvable Problems; Head, Heart, and Guts: How the World’s Best Companies Develop Complete Leaders; Why CEOs Fail; Action Coaching; Unnatural Leadership; Action Learning: How the World’s Top Companies Are Re-Creating Their Leaders and Themselves; Leadership Passages: The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make or Break a Leader; and Leading in Times of Crisis: How to Navigate Complexity, Diversity, and Uncertainty to Save Your Company, which has been translated into ten languages. He is the co-editor of the Pfeiffer Leadership Development Annual, a yearly compilation of the research findings and practices of the foremost thinkers and practitioners in the field of leadership development throughout the world.
A certified psychologist in career development, life planning, and numerous psychological inventories, Dr. Dotlich was a founding partner of CDR International, which was acquired by Marsh McLennan. Previously he was an executive vice president of Groupe Bull S.A., a global computer manufacturer headquartered in Paris with 45,000 employees worldwide.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Dotlich was a professor at the University of Minnesota, teaching at the business school and in the Speech Communication Department. Additionally, he was the executive director of the Michigan Business School Human Resource Partnership.
David’s interest in people development began early, with a position as a social worker in the Cincinnati inner city through an Edmund James Fellowship from the University of Illinois. He pursued this interest while working on his MA degree in race relations at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. There, he conducted survey research on racial attitudes in the African townships and began an overland tour company, driving throughout Africa between Johannesburg and London and back. He completed his MA and PhD at the University of Minnesota, where he was selected Outstanding Graduate Student of the University. He has also completed the INSEAD Executive Program.
He has served on the Board of Directors for Schmitt Industries, a public company, and the Boards of Directors for Voyageurs Outward Bound and the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis.
Michelle is currently FRED Leadership’s Board Chair. Her previous role was at Time Warner as Senior Vice President, Talent Management and Corporate Human Resources. This role includes responsibility for Executive Development, Talent Management and Succession Planning and starting up a Change Management capability. Michelle joined TW in February of 2012.
Formerly, Michelle was the Global Leadership and Talent Development Officer, and Head of the Business University for the Americas at UBS. She created a full range of leadership, management, and talent development strategies and initiatives for UBS globally from 2004-2011. Offerings ranged from graduate hire programs through to senior leadership experiences and external client education. Many of these programs were recognized with external awards.
Before joining UBS, Michelle was head of Human Resources and Community Relations for Moody’s KMV. Responsibilities included building a worldwide Human Resource function and directing Moody’s Foundation in San Francisco.
Prior roles in organizations include Charles Schwab & Co., Smith Barney Shearson (which became Travelers and ultimately Citi) and JP Morgan. Michelle brings a strong background in human resource business partner consulting, employee engagement, talent management and large scale change efforts.
In 2007, Michelle was featured on the cover of the CLO MAGAZINE November Issue.
Michelle is married with 3 children and a Maltese dog. She resides in Old Greenwich, Connecticut with her husband Jon. She is an active volunteer at Greenwich schools.
Julie holds the role of Vice President, Global Learning and Development at Pfizer, with responsibility for developing and executing Pfizer’s global leadership development and learning strategy. Global TM&D directly connects to Pfizer’s strategic imperatives to forecast future talent needs and develop leadership at every level, including individual contributors, managers, and senior leaders.
Prior to joining Pfizer, Julie held executive level human resource positions at Boehringer Ingelheim, American Express, Sony, and TD Ameritrade. In these positions, she led initiatives in executive and leadership development, succession planning and talent management, corporate learning and development, talent acquisition, resource planning and organizational development. Earlier in her career, Julie was a partner with Executive Development Associates (EDA), a boutique consulting firm focusing on strategic executive development.
Julie has a Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Wayne State University and a BA in Psychology and Sociology from South Dakota State University. She makes her home in New York City, with her husband Rick, and extended family spread across Manhattan. Her favorite way of getting away from it all is by jumping from a perfectly good airplane, at her home drop zone, Skydive the Ranch.
Mark is the Principal of City Lit, Britain’s largest specialised adult education college based in Covent Garden in London. Until recently, Mark was Director of Executive Education at London Business School. Previously, Mark has been President of the New York Institute of Finance and Managing Director of DC Gardner Training. Mark has trained, facilitated and coached in London, New York, Amsterdam, Moscow, Vienna, Singapore, Melbourne, Mexico City and Beijing for clients including: Bank of England, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, ING and Pearson.
Albert M. Adams, Ed.D.
Al Adams received his B.A. in history from the University of Pennsylvania (1969), M.A.T from The Colorado College (1980) and Ed.D. in administration, planning and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1985). He retired as Head of Lick-Wilmerding High School (LW) in San Francisco in 2011, after twenty-three years in that capacity. From 1970–1980 Al was a teacher, coach and administrator at The Colorado Springs School (CSS), when he was also a founder of the k-6 Children’s School and co-founder/head of the nationally-acclaimed CSS Middle School Model. Following his doctoral studies, Al was Head of The Cambridge School of Weston (MA) from 1983-1988, during which time he led the founding of the national Network of Progressive Educators.
In the 1990’s Al also served on the board of the national Multicultural Alliance and was a founding faculty member of the NAIS Leaders of Color Workshop. He is currently an active trustee of Aim High, a summer enrichment program that serves 1,700 low-income Bay Area (and Lake Tahoe) middle schoolers, was founder and board chair of the Oakland Academic Stars Scholarship Program, benefiting African-American high school students in the Oakland Unified School District, created the Bay Area Teachers Center, a teacher credentialing program designed for full-time working teachers, that is housed at LW, co-chaired the steering committee that created the City Fields Foundation that has brought $45 million of renovations to San Francisco play fields, ensuring greater access for girls and low-income children, and was a founding board member of the Geneva Car Barn, a neighborhood project devoted to engaging under-served young people in job training through the arts. Along with Jim Scott, President of Honolulu’s Punahou Schools, Al was the recipient of NAIS’ 2011 Diversity Leadership Award.
Al is best known throughout the independent school world for his articles, presentations and workshops on educational leadership, strategic planning, LW’s Flexible Tuition model as well as its innovative diversity/inclusion initiatives and for advancing an institutional commitment to public outreach. Under Al’s leadership Lick-Wilmerding became recognized as an independent school leader in the realms of (1) access, inclusion and student success (2) its Head, Heart, Hands educational program and (3) modeling what it is to be a private school with public purpose.
A recognized human resources thought leader, David brings significant experience in proactively assessing trends and best practices in the areas of leadership development, talent management and HR strategy. As Vice President, Global Talent Management & Jim Skinner Institute of Leadership at McDonald’s, he is credited with successfully developing and delivering best-in-class high potential accelerated leadership development programs for directors and officers. David has conceptualized and deployed highly innovative talent management initiatives that have been rolled out globally, dramatically increasing employee engagement, improving succession planning, and bolstering financial results.
Known as a connector who fosters strong relationships across organizational, geographic, internal and external boundaries, David identifies creative approaches to leverage talent across those boundaries to solve complex business issues. One of his most significant achievements was architecting and implementing the groundbreaking McDonald’s Leadership Institute, which transformed the company’s brand and reputation as an employer of choice both internally and externally.
David created the Leadership at McDonald’s Program (LAMP), significantly accelerating the development of over 400 global high potential directors identified as candidates for key leadership positions. Over 65% of McDonald’s top 220 officers are graduates of McDonald’s accelerated development programs.
As a talent management visionary, David combined systems, research and strategy to drive actionable insights and transformational initiatives. One of his flagship programs involved the development of the McDonald’s State of Talent report, which was designed to provide annual analysis and commentary on key talent data, trends and metrics. This report informs key global leaders of progress against global talent metrics, creating greater transparency, accountability, and a call to action and contributes to driving a talent mindset across the enterprise. The program has been recognized externally as a best practice in talent management.
David’s many contributions around talent optimization have collectively helped to separate McDonald’s from others in the restaurant and retail industry. David is recognized both within and outside of McDonald’s as a consigliere and leadership coach to many senior executives and their teams. Under David’s leadership of the talent management and leadership development function, McDonald’s was consistently recognized over the past eight years as one of the Top Companies for Leaders by Fortune Magazine and AON/Hewitt.
David’s career includes HR leadership roles at both SBC/Ameritech and Qwest/US West, where he successfully managed continuity and succession planning processes for the top 200 senior-level executives. In addition, he ran and optimized the infrastructure for hiring and performance management.
David earned his BS Psychology degree from Colorado State University and attained his Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Colorado. Recently, he has had chapters published in key industry books. Currently, David is a Board member of Future of Executive Development (Fred Forum) and a Member of the Human Resources Planning Society (HRPS).