The George Mason University Board of Visitors last week officially welcomed four new members, including two alumni and a member returning to the board after two decades. The board also elected new officers.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced the new appointees in late June. They are Armand Alacbay, JD ’04; Dorothy “Deecy” Gray; Jeffrey Rosen; and Charles “Cully” Stimson, JD ‘92.
Appointees to the 16-member BOV serve four-year terms.
Horace Blackman, returning as rector, will be joined by Jon Peterson as vice rector and Michael Meese as secretary. Peterson and Meese were elected to one-year terms to complete the two-year terms of former vice rector Simmi Bhuller and former secretary Peterson.
Peterson, who served as vice rector from 2016 to 2018 and was reappointed to the board in 2020, is chief executive officer of Peterson Companies, a real estate company. Peterson Family Health Sciences Hall on the Fairfax Campus is named for his family.
Meese, a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General, is president of the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association, a nonprofit supporting the military and veterans. The 2022 appointee to the board has two daughters who are Mason graduates. Meese’s father, former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III, served two terms on the BOV and was Mason rector from 1998 to 2004.
Reginald Brown and Wendy Marquez will serve as at-large executive committee members. Marquez returns in that role.
The BOV also announced chairs for its standing committees—Lindsey Burke (Academic Programs, Diversity, and University Community), Dolly Oberoi (Audit, Risk, and Compliance), Anjan Chimaladinne (Development), Robert Pence (Finance and Land Use), and Nancy Gibson Prowitt (Research). Prowitt and Chimaladinne are returning chairs of their committees.
The four new members bring a vast amount of government, corporate, and legal expertise to the board.
Alacbay, chief of staff and senior vice president of strategy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, has conducted higher education policy research that has been widely featured in the media. ACTA, a nonprofit organization, supports academic excellence, academic freedom and accountability in higher education. A former trial attorney, Alacbay also managed an educational services startup company. While he was a law student at Mason, he was editor-in-chief of the Civil Rights Law Journal.
Gray, ambassador designate and delegate to the 74th General Assembly at the United Nations, first served on the BOV in the early 2000s. She has been CEO of her own insurance brokerage and public relations firm, a community college and secondary school educator, a syndicated newspaper columnist, and a Capitol Hill staff member working on both sides of the aisle, as well as a producer of documentaries on the importance of civics education.
Rosen, who from 2019 to 2021 served as acting U.S. attorney general and U.S. deputy attorney general, is of counsel at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. He previously served as the U.S. deputy secretary of transportation, and as general counsel and senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Since 2021, Rosen has been a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the C. Boyden Gray Center in the Antonin Scalia Law School.
Stimson is senior legal fellow and deputy director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, where he also is senior advisor to the president and manager of the foundation’s National Security Law Program. He previously served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs. Stimson, a former Mason adjunct, retired from the Navy JAG Corps as a captain in 2022 and is chairman of the board of his family’s commercial real estate company in Seattle.