NEC Welcomes New Board Members: A Community Message | New England College

NEC Welcomes New Board Members: A Community Message

May 14, 2024
Simon Center in the spring with cherry blossoms

Dear New England College Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of two new members of the New England College Board of Trustees. We are thrilled to have them joining us. Together, we will navigate new horizons and achieve remarkable success for the College.

Karen Backus, Principal and Co-Founder of U3 Advisors’ New York office, is a seasoned consultant specializing in real estate development and strategy. With extensive experience in advising universities and nonprofits, Karen excels at guiding clients towards their institutional goals. She played a pivotal role in the planning and development of projects like Cornell Tech and Columbia University’s Manhattanville campus. Prior to co-founding U3 Advisors, Karen established her own successful consulting practice and held leadership roles at Forest City Ratner Companies and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Karen holds a BA from Wesleyan University, magna cum laude, and an MBA from Yale University and is a licensed real estate broker in New York State. Karen also serves on the Board of Directors of the Corbin Hill Food Project and as Vice Chair for the Urban Land Institute’s University Development & Innovation Council.

Emmanuel Balogun, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Skidmore College, specializing in African politics and international relations. With a focus on African agency in multilateralism and global governance, his research explores topics such as international organizations, peace and security, and global health governance. He authored Region-Building in West Africa: Convergence and Agency in ECOWAS, shedding light on how regional organizations like ECOWAS shape governance in West Africa. As a scholar-practitioner, Emmanuel bridges academia and policy, having advised the Department of State on U.S.-African relations and served as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion fellow for Bridging the Gap. He’s recognized for his contributions, receiving the Skidmore College President’s Award for Excellence in 2021. Emmanuel, a first-generation Nigerian-American, holds a PhD from the University of Delaware and is affiliated with Georgetown University. He shares his expertise internationally through publications and presentations, occasionally contributing to “The Monkey Cage” at The Washington Post. Dr. Balogun is an alumnus of New England College and a member of the class of 2010, having earned his degree in political science.

Let’s extend a warm welcome to our new board members as they bring fresh perspectives and valuable insights to our team. Here’s to a successful and collaborative future ahead!

Go ‘Grims!

Dr. Wayne F. Lesperance Jr.
New England College

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