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Staff + Board


The Leadership Alliance's Executive Office is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.


Medeva Ghee, Ph.D.

Executive Director, The Leadership Alliance
Assistant Professor of the Practice of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University

Dr. Medeva Ghee is the Executive Director of the Leadership Alliance and a faculty member in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University.  As Director of the Leadership Alliance, she is responsible for leading the 36-member consortium dedicated to increasing the participation of underrepresented students in competitive graduate and doctoral training programs and ultimately developing leaders and role models in academia, the public and private sectors.  She is the Director and Principal Investigator on a number of programs to prepare students for Ph.D. training and to consider careers in the professoriate and broader research workforce.  Dr. Ghee previously worked with the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative as a Laboratory Systems Specialist. In this capacity, she provided technical assistance and strategic advice on the development of laboratory plans and systems to support national HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs in the Initiative's partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Informed by these experiences, she developed a course on multidisciplinary approaches to support HIV/AIDS care and treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa that is offered to Brown undergraduates and Master’s degree students. A graduate of North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in zoology, she earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in microbiology from New York University School of Medicine. Her postdoctoral research was conducted with a team of CNRS researchers in Paris, France, where she employed biochemical and gene therapy technologies to investigate the impact of protein aggregation in Parkinson's disease. At Brown, Dr. Ghee is actively engaged in mentoring and has served as a faculty advisor for Brown undergraduate independent thesis projects and mentor for graduate students. She was honored by the Samuel M. Nabrit Black Graduate Student Association with the Ruth J. Simmons Award for Leadership.



William Wittels, Ph.D.

Manager of Undergraduate & Graduate Programs

Dr. William Wittels is the Manager of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs for the Leadership Alliance. In that capacity, he helps to manage the Leadership Alliance's Summer Research Early Identification Program, and Leadership Alliance Mellon Initiative. He also assists in program evaluation and strategic planning across the organization.

Prior to joining The Leadership Alliance, he was a member of the Tobin Project, where he fostered multi-year research initiatives on the role of the media in preventing (or abetting) special interest influence in democracies and on the practice and theory of strategic threat assessment. He also managed their Graduate Student Fellowship and created their Prospectus Development Workshop.

He has held teaching fellowships at Duke University as well as Humboldt University in Berlin. He received his Ph.D. and Certification for Teaching Politics from the Department of Political Science at Duke. While there, he was also affiliated with the Kenan Institute of Ethics.

His doctoral research turns to the thought of Niccolò Machiavelli to explore the link between political violence and regime type and articulates what democratic citizens can learn from Machiavelli’s understanding of the different ways political regimes address central political problems of violence.



Maria DoVale

Conference & Events Specialist

Maria DoVale is the Conference & Events Specialist for the Leadership Alliance. It is Ms. DoVale’s primary responsibility to plan, organize, coordinate and develop sessions that promote networking, mentoring and professional development for undergraduate students, graduate students, and our doctoral scholars. As the Ex-Officio of the Leadership Alliance Symposium Planning Committee, she works alongside colleagues from various member institutions who provide suggestions on different aspects of program planning for the Symposium. Ms. DoVale comes to us with a wealth of experience in administration, event planning and management augmented with exemplary technical, organizational and customer service skills. Prior to her appointment with the Leadership Alliance, Ms. DoVale worked for 5½ years at the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau helping to promote the state of Rhode Island as well as the city of Providence as a convention destination. Prior to this appointment, she worked for American Express corporate travel for eight years. Ms. DoVale holds a B.A. in Travel & Tourism Management from Johnson & Wales University.




External Advisory Board

The Mission of the External Advisory Board is to advise, promote and actively support The Leadership Alliance in realizing its vision of developing underrepresented students into outstanding leaders and role models in academia, business and the public sector.

Peter J. Bruns, Ph.D.

Former Vice President for Grants and Special Programs, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

George C. Hill, Ph.D.

Chief Diversity Officer and Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Vanderbilt University

Caryl McFarlane, Ph.D.

Executive Consultant, University Alliance

Carlos Ramos Bellido, Ph.D.

Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras