Meet Our Board Members
Steve Burwell is co-chair of the Board of Trustees. He and his wife Heidie are the parents of Ellis, class of 2023, and Scarlett, class of 2026. They have been involved with the school since Ellis started in the Preschool 3s program. Steve and Heidie were parent co-chairs of the Brooklyn Friends Fund during the 2012-2013 and 2013-14 school years and continue to serve as Brooklyn Friends Fund Committee members. Steve is a Managing Director and Associate General Counsel of Deutsche Bank AG. Prior to that, he was an Associate at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP from 1998 to 2003. He also worked from 1993 to 1995 at City Year in Boston, a youth community service program which was a model for the national AmeriCorps program. Steve received his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 1998 and a B.A. in English from Amherst College in 1993. In his spare time, Steve can be found cooking dinners at home or biking in Prospect Park.
Ed Oliver is co-chair of the Board of Trustees and is the parent of a lower school student. Ed is a Quaker and a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting. Having served as a co-opted member of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Ed is excited to have the opportunity to continue his service to the Brooklyn Friends School community as a member of the board. Ed received his MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College. He is the Director – Finance at Dataminr, a real-time information discovery company, supervising a New York and London based team.
M Salomé Galib is a writer and an attorney. She promotes, and fundraises for, not-for-profit organizations that advance issues close to her heart. Besides serving on the Board of Trustees of Brooklyn Friends School, she is on the Board of Trustees of the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Hostos Community College Foundation Board. She also serves on the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust’s Advisory Council, and the Sila M. Calderón Center for Puerto Rico’s Diaspora Advisory Council. Early in her career, Ms. Galib was a business reporter and the Washington correspondent for El Nuevo Día, the leading daily newspaper in her native Puerto Rico. She was also a Clinton Administration appointee at the US Information Agency, now part of the US State Department. Besides her past work as an associate at two NY law firms, Ms. Galib was the NY Office Director for the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico and Development Director for LatinoJustice-PRLDEF. Until recently, she owned Bebe Sol LLC, a purveyor of children’s apparel. She holds a JD from Columbia Law School, an MIA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BSFS from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. “We moved to Brooklyn on the first week of September 2007. Our oldest daughter moved into Kindergarten at Brooklyn Friends that same week. We cannot imagine our lives outside of either community and are grateful for it.”
Lakisha Grant is the mother of a current lower school student. She is a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting and serves as co-clerk of the Childcare Committee. After graduating from Westtown School, Lakisha received her BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management. She also holds a MS in Human Resources Management and a MFA in Acting. Lakisha has worked for NYC for 10 years and is currently the Deputy Director in Human Resources at the Office of the Mayor. She and her son reside in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Ben Horner is a Middle School Science Teacher at Berkeley Carroll, formerly at Friends Seminary. He was appointed to the Brooklyn Friends Board in 2015. He grew up Quaker, attended a Friends school and is a member of Uwchlan Monthly Meeting. Ben values Friends education and Quaker values and processes. During his time at Friends Seminary, he has grown increasingly interested in the various community roles that comprise a school. “I joined the Brooklyn Friends Board because I want to better understand how a school best supports its community. I am eager to serve the Brooklyn Friends students, families, alumni, faculty and staff as we move forward.”
Macon Jessop is a Partner at 3Walls, a contemporary salon dedicated to exhibiting and promoting significant new work by emerging artists. Macon grew up in Philadelphia and received a BA in Art History from Connecticut College. After she moved to New York, she worked in 19th century American Art Gallery before pursuing her Master’s in Reading from New York University. She is a graduate of Friends’ Central School in Philadelphia and taught at Mary McDowell Friends School for five years. Macon is also a parent at Brooklyn Friends. “I have been involved with Quaker schools throughout much of my life. I always knew that I would want my children to be educated at a Quaker school and am so happy that they are students at Brooklyn Friends. I am honored to serve on the Board of Trustees and hope to use my knowledge of Quaker Schools and my work as the clerk of the Development Committee to help carry out the mission of the school as it expands.”
Kamauru Johnson has been a member of the BFS community since 2011 and has been the Upper School Psychologist since 2015. He also contributes to school life as the Clerk of the All School Guidance Committee and as a Faculty Adviser to the Debate Club. During the summers, Kamauru works as a Reading Specialist with the school’s Horizons program, an organization that partners closely with BFS and other independent schools to reduce summer learning loss by providing out-of-school enrichment programming for elementary and middle school students who may not otherwise have access. As a BFS Board member, Kamauru serves on the School Affairs Committee and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Diversity. “During my time at Brooklyn Friends, I’ve been inspired and energized by the collective passion of the school community to push towards the ideals of its mission. I am proud of our school’s commitment and I’m excited to be a part of that important work as a member of the faculty and as a member of the Board.”
Pam Kiernan is the parent to two children at BFS, Sean, class of 2023, and Emme, class of 2026. Pam became a BFS trustee and treasurer in 2015 and has been a member of the BFS finance committee since 2010 and the Horizons Board of Directors since 2011. Pam is currently the chief administration officer at Two Sigma Investments, where she is responsible for operations, work place services, and corporate platform and initiatives. Prior to Two Sigma, Pam was at Deutsche Bank for 18 years, most recently as a managing director and head of US Equities Prime Brokerage. Previously, she held technology management roles at Morgan Stanley, Applied Business Technology, and Information Management Consultants. Pam was named one of 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds by the Hedgefund Journal in 2013 and received the Future Legends of Securities Services award from Global Custodian in 2013. Pam holds a B.S. in Economics from The Pennsylvania State University.
Bill Morris is joining the Brooklyn Friends Board of Trustees after a 40-year career in education. This June, Bill retired after 13 years as Head of School at Friends Academy on Long Island. Prior to that, he spent 27 years at the Taft School in Connecticut, a boarding school for grades 9-12. Bill began his career as a teacher, coach, and dorm advisor, and over time undertook a broad range of school leadership roles before becoming a School Head. Bill has served on the New York State Association of Independent Schools Board of Trustees for eight years, and he has chaired the NYSAIS Commission on Accreditation for the last seven years. He is a member of Country Day School Headmasters Association and The Headmasters Association. He now lives near Lake Placid, NY. He and Sue, his wife of 42 years, have 3 adult children and 5 grandchildren. “The opportunity to continue my association with Quaker education, work closely with my long-time friend and colleague Larry Weiss, and offer what I can to advance the service Brooklyn Friends provides for students and families so excites me about joining this vibrant and forward looking community. I have found that the values of a Friends community resonate deeply with me personally and spiritually. I believe that the essence of Friends education is to develop in students a sense of gratitude, patience, and forgiveness. My hope is that the graduates of Brooklyn Friends will appreciate how they owe the world a life rather than the world owing them a living, to paraphrase the words of Amy Willets, a Quaker.”
Brad Mulder, BFS class of 1983, has served on the Board of Trustees for eight years. He is a former co-chair and sits on the Finance Committee and the Head Support and Evaluation Committee. Brad is an alum and attended Brooklyn Friends from fourth grade through graduation. He is an attorney with degrees from Brooklyn Law School and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn. “I serve on the Board because the school gave so much to me and formed me as a person with a strong sense of service, to be an active listener and leader. I am truly amazed at the incredibly gifted students that attend Brooklyn Friends School, and I hope that my service can contribute in some way to their continued success.”
Gustav Peebles is Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Associate Professor at The New School University where he is an anthropologist in the Departments of Global Studies and Liberal Studies. His longstanding interest in education has led to his recent work on experimental undergraduate programs for a project run out of The New School Provost’s Office. He is a Quaker and member of the Brooklyn Monthly Meeting. “In my own daily work, I think endlessly about the powerful role of Quaker pedagogy and tradition, and how it can be harnessed in educational settings, as well as how it might help prepare people for success in college and beyond. I couldn’t be happier with the opportunity to serve on the BFS Board, where I can steep myself in critical educational issues that confront our community, while, I hope, also contributing insights gained from my experience in both higher education and Quaker practice.”
Adam Rashid attended Brooklyn Friends School from 1984-1991 as a member of the class of 1994 and is a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting. Adam also serves on the Board of the Neighborhood Charter School of Harlem — he has been Treasurer of this school since its founding in 2011. He is a former financial analyst in the alternative investment industry. Adam lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with his wife and son. “I have been fortunate to have attended Quaker schools for most of my formal education, and I cherish the time I was at BFS. Many in my family also attended so I have a deep connection to the school. I am impressed at how the school continues to grow and evolve while still staying true to its Quaker roots. Service to the community has always been an important Quaker tradition, and I am honored to be able to serve on the Board of Trustees.”
Jud Reis graduated from Pomfret School where he is currently a trustee, Washington and Lee University, and Harvard Business School.
“I feel fortunate to have had 2 and 1⁄2 careers, 24 years as an investment banker, primarily with Morgan Stanley, 26 years in investment management, and still at it, at Sire Management, a company I founded in 1991 and, for the 1⁄2 career, one full academic year as the Morris Visiting Professor at the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia, followed by several years of teaching a short course at Darden in the spring.”
Jud served as a Director of Pilobolus, a modern dance company, is currently a Trustee of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, where he was President from 1994 to 2008, is a Trustee of the Pomfret School, and is a Trustee of the William T. Grant Foundation, whose mission is to improve the lives of young people. He serves on the investment committee at all three.
Jud co-authored “The Fine Art of Valuation” in The Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook, published by McGraw-Hill in 1987 and “Determining the Value of Restructuring Alternatives” in Corporate Restructuring, A Guide to Creating the Premium-Valued Company, published by McGraw-Hill in 1990.
He resides in Manhattan, is married and has five grown sons and five grandchildren, two of whom are at BFS. Charlie is a member of the class of 2030 and Nick is a member of the class of 2033.
Margaret Trissel joins the Board of Trustees in the 2016-17 academic year. She has been teaching at Brooklyn Friends since 2008. She spent her first eight years at the school teaching Second Grade and this year will move to Middle School as a Fifth Grade Humanities teacher. During her time at Brooklyn Friends, Margaret has served on the School Affairs Committee, the Lower School Curriculum Committee, and as the clerk of the Lower School Overview Committee throughout the BFS NYSAIS accreditation process. Margaret has also facilitated various LGBTQ community events, including the photo exhibit People We Love and the Lower School Affinity group, Rainbow Sprinkles. Margaret is proud of the purposeful learning and critical imagination cultivated at Brooklyn Friends. She hopes that her stewardship on the Board of Trustees will allow her to support those things that are best about the school. Margaret lives in Brooklyn with her family, including her son in the Preschool at Brooklyn Friends. “Like all schools, Brooklyn Friends School represents the dream of a new society. What makes us special is that we are uniquely positioned to educate people who will go make that society. I believe we do!”
Willie Mae Watkins “I am a Brooklyn College graduate with a BA in Economics. I have been self employed since 1988. Prior to self employment, I taught basic accounting and English in the GED program at Royal Business School. When looking for a school with a healthy curriculum, I was fortunate to find BFS. It was love at first visit for both my son and me. I am the parent of a BFS graduate, class of 2005. I am also a member of Brooklyn Monthly Meeting and strongly believe in Quaker principles, values and practices. I am also a member of the Community Engagement Team, a group whose mission is to prevent the closing of the Boys and Girls High School of Brooklyn. I am privileged and honored to be a trustee for the school.”