Advisory Council

Sumir Chadha ’93 has more than 15 years of investing experience in India, spanning public companies, private equity and venture capital. Chadha began his career working at Goldman Sachs Principal Investments, based in New York and Singapore, before co-founding WestBridge Capital and Sequoia Capital India. He has served as the chairman of the Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and currently serves on the India Advisory Board of Harvard Business School where he earned his MBA.

Alain Dieckhoff is the head of the Centre for International Studies and Research, Sciences Po Paris, where he is a senior researcher studying the various aspects of contemporary Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is currently working on a major comparative project on nationalism in the Western world. Additionally, he has authored six books, edited nine others and published more than 50 articles in journals and edited volumes. Among his books published in English: The Invention of a Nation: Zionist Thought and the Making of Modern Israel and The Politics of Belonging: Nationalism, Liberalism, and Pluralism.

Jason M. Fish ’80 is currently a private investor and a co-founder and member of the management committee and the board of directors of Alliance Partners, an asset management firm based in Chevy Chase, Md. He also serves on the board of Congressional Bank, Bethesda, Md. From 2000 through 2008, Fish served in various management and board roles including president, vice chairman and chief investment officer for CapitalSource, Inc., a NYSE traded commercial finance company which he co-founded (recently merged into PacWest Bancorp, “PACW”). Prior to founding CapitalSource, Fish was a managing member of Farallon Capital Management, a San Francisco-based private investment firm, which he joined in 1990. Before joining Farallon, he was a senior vice president at Lehman Brothers. Fish has served as chairman of the advisory board of Teach for America in the Bay Area for the past eight years and is a member of the board of trustees of the San Francisco Ballet and a former trustee of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco University High School and Schools of the Sacred Heart. He lives in San Francisco, is married and has three children.

John N. Irwin III '76 is the president of the Brookside Group, which he co-founded in 1977. He and his partners were innovators in the field of leveraged buyouts. He initially focused on the acquisition of public company divestitures and later a variety of control and co-investments in private companies. He has managed portfolio companies with significant global operations, helped develop one of the leading semiconductor encapsulates businesses in the early 1980s and led an early privatization in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. He also helped start two mid-market private equity firms: the Wicks Group and Clearview Capital, LLC. He co-founded and continues to support Brookside Mezzanine Partners, Brookside Equity Partners and Soundview Real Estate Partners. He is a vice chairman of Kokino LLC and a director of Media Predict. Irwin is also the chairman of the Achelis and Bodman Foundation, president of the Watson Foundation and serves as trustee of the Fresh Air Fund, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Whiting Foundation. He is also a director of ConnCAN and a member and former chair of the advisory board of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies. 

Michèle Lamont is a professor of sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. She will serve as the 108th president of the American Sociological Association in 2016-2017. A cultural sociologist, Lamont is the co-author of Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel (Princeton University Press, 2016). She is also the author of a dozen books and edited volumes and has published close to 100 articles and chapters on a range of topics including culture and inequality, race, racism and stigma, social change and social resilience, academia and knowledge, and qualitative social science research. She is currently working on a monograph titled Being Worthy and is completing a co-edited Special Issue of Social Science and Medicine on “Mutuality, Health Promotion and Collective Cultural Change.”  She serves as the director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and the co-director of the Successful Societies program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

James Leitner serves as president of Falcon Management Corporation, a family office. Previously, he worked as a foreign exchange trader at Morgan Guaranty, as chief dealer at Bank of America International, as vice president for proprietary trading at Shearson Lehman and as managing director in the Global Trading Department at Bankers Trust. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale in economics with an emphasis on Russia and Eastern Europe. He also holds a master’s degree from Columbia University specializing in international finance and Russian studies and a JD from Fordham University Law School. Leitner serves on the Dean’s Planning Council and the advisory board of the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham University Law School.  He is also a fellow of Yale’s Pierson College and member of the Dean’s Council of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He also serves on Columbia University’s Global Leadership Council. In 2009, he received the Columbia University Alumni Medal for his distinguished service on behalf of SIPA and during the 2010 Fordham Law Diploma Ceremony he was honored with the Eugene J. Keefe Award, which is given for the most important contribution to the Fordham Law community. In 2010, he also received the Yale Medal which is the highest award presented by the Association of Yale Alumni, conferred solely to honor outstanding individual service to the university.

Jeffrey Lewis-Oakes '75 is senior counsel in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, resident in the London office. He is head of the firm’s European Financial Institutions Group. Lewis-Oakes represents European companies and investment banks in securities offerings and other financings in the international public and private markets. He has extensive experience in advising non-U.S. companies on initial public offerings of equity and high-yield debt securities and offerings of investment-grade debt securities. Oakes also advises clients on various aspects of mergers and acquisitions and all aspects of compliance with U.S. securities regulation. He concentrates in securities offerings by financial institutions.

George McCabe '97 is the managing director of Portolan Capital Management. McCabe was formerly a research analyst at the Lynch Foundation where he performed research and analysis on numerous public and private companies across broad industry groups and made portfolio allocation decisions and recommendations. He served in that role from July 2001 to December 2004 when he launched Portolan Capital Management, LLC. Prior to joining the Lynch Foundation, McCabe spent four years as a research analyst at Pilot Capital Corporation, a New York-based investment manager. While at Pilot Capital, he performed research and analysis on both public and private companies in the healthcare, retail, technology, consumer and financial services industries and made portfolio allocation decision for companies under his coverage. McCabe has an AB from Princeton University.

Kathleen Morrison is the Neukom Family Professor of Anthropology and of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. She also directs its Center for International Studies. Morrison's research focuses on the archaeology and historical anthropology of South Asia with a particular emphasis on precolonial and early colonial South India. Her recent book, Oceans of Dharma: Landscapes of Power in Southern India, is forthcoming from the University of Washington Press. Morrison has been honored with an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship and numerous other professional awards, including a fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Arka Mukherjee *95 is the founder and CEO of Global IDs, Inc., New York. The company provides information integration solutions for major corporations at a global level. Mukherjee gained prior management experience from companies such as IBM, Accenture, and KPMG, with expertise in sales, consulting, finance and technology.

Aliya Kanji Nedungadi ’97 graduated from Princeton University cum laude with a degree in economics and received certificates in Political Economy, Latin American Studies and Spanish. She worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company for several years before joining the management team of Saks Fifth Avenue to launch their electronic commerce business, Once the business was up and running, Nedungadi went to Harvard Business School and graduated with an MBA in 2002. She then moved to London with her husband Ajit (Yale ’92) where she pursued her interest in luxury retail as the head of marketing for DeBeers Diamond Jewellers. In 2009, Nedungadi left DeBeers to start her own real estate development business. She currently lives in London with her husband Ajit, who runs a private equity firm, TA Associates, and their four children, Anya, Arman, Aden and Ayan.

Henry Posner III '77 is chair of Railroad Development Corporation, Pittsburgh. He also serves as chair of Iowa Interstate Railroad, RegioRail (France), and Hamburg-Koln Express (Germany), and serves as vice chair of the Hawthorne Group. Posner serves on the boards of the Independent School Chairpersons’ Association and the Winchester Thurston School, where he formerly served as board chair. He has been active in welfare programs for the Jewish community in the Former Soviet Union and in civic work in Guatemala.

Stephen M. Scherr '86, a partner at Goldman Sachs, is the global head of the firm's financing group. Scherr has held positions in various divisions since joining Goldman in 1993 including currency and commodities; media, entertainment, and technology; and investment banking. He serves on the firm's public policy, diverse business engagement, and client and business standards committees, and co-chairs the firmwide capital committee. He is also a member of the Pine Street Board of Directors.

Sanjay Swani ’87 has been a general partner at the private equity firm of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, New York, since 2001, and a member of the firm’s management committee since 2007. He focuses on investments in the information and business services industries. Further, he serves on the board of trustees of the American Red Cross in New York and is also a member of the Rockefeller University Council.

Debra Valentine '76 is group executive, legal, external, and regulatory affairs at Rio Tinto, the global mining and metals company. She joined the company in 2008 as head of its legal department. She previously was vice president, deputy general counsel, and corporate secretary at United Technology Corporation, and was a partner at the law firm O'Melveny & Meyers in Washington D.C. Valentine served as general counsel at the US Federal Trade Commission from 1997-2001.

Jennifer Wythes Vettel ’86 has committed her career to education which is underscored by her passion for global issues. Her experience includes teaching, curriculum development, foundation development and community outreach in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. After receiving her master’s in education from Stanford University, she taught at the secondary level. More recently, she manages the Ravenswood Education Foundation located in East Palo Alto, Calif., which serves six schools. She is also a founding member of Eastside Ambassadors, an adjunct board at Eastside College Prep, an independent school of first-generation college bound students.

Peter M. Yu '83 is a managing partner of Cartesian Capital Group, a global private equity firm he founded in 2005. Prior to forming Cartesian, Yu founded and served as president and chief executive officer of AIG Capital Partners. Before that, he was director of the National Economic Council, the White House office responsible for developing and coordinating economic policy, during the Clinton administration. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Yu was president of the Harvard Law Review and served as a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.