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Dartmouth Engineering Welcomes Five New Board Members
Aug 09, 2021 | by Julie Bonette
On July 1, Dartmouth Engineering welcomed five new members to its Board of Advisors for three-year terms: Vijay Kumar, Jian Lu Th'93, Christopher J. McKenna '88 P'20 '23, Tracey Pettengill Turner '93, and Katherine Osborne Valdez '94 Th'95.
Kumar, who is the Nemirovsky Family Dean at Penn Engineering, also has appointments in the departments of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics, computer and information science, and electrical and systems engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor of technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and his PhD from Ohio State University. He has been a member of the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania since 1987.
In addition to holding many administrative positions at Penn, Kumar has also served as the assistant director of robotics and cyber physical systems at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2012 to 2013. His lab has founded many startups in robotics, and he is a co-founder of Exyn Technologies. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2013 and the American Philosophical Society in 2018.
Lu is Corporate Vice President at LinkedIn and President of LinkedIn China, overseeing LinkedIn’s research and development, as well as entire business in China. He started his career in the high-tech industry as a technologist at Apple in 1996, and now has over 25 years of experience in leading technology and business innovations in Silicon Valley and China. His invention in video fingerprinting and identification has become a key technology for anti-piracy as well as monetization and has been widely adopted by Hollywood studios and the entertainment content industry.
Lu serves on the Board of Governors at American Chamber of Commerce in China, an American business community with nearly 1,000 corporate members, and spends time mentoring students, professionals, and entrepreneurs. He holds his bachelor's in mechanical engineering from Zhejiang University, his master's in electrical engineering from China Academy of Railway Sciences, and his PhD in engineering sciences from Thayer.
McKenna is co-founder and Managing Partner at Carleton McKenna & Co, a boutique investment bank serving lower-middle market, specialty manufacturing, service and technology companies. He previously acquired a Cleveland manufacturing business where he was President and CEO From 2000 to 2005. From 1995 to 2000, McKenna was Director of Financial Analysis with MacLean-Fogg Company in Chicago, where he helped execute financial transactions and acquisitions and managed a business unit.
McKenna received his bachelor's in economics from Dartmouth and his MBA with High Distinction from the Ross School of Business at University of Michigan. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for The Center for Health Affairs and as Board Chair for their for-profit subsidiary CHAMPS, as well as being Board Chair for the Holimont Ski Resort.
Turner is a successful serial entrepreneur and seasoned business executive who has held leadership roles in social businesses and emerging markets for more than 25 years. Currently, she serves as Founder and Executive Chairman of Copia Global, which is bringing mobile commerce to the Base of the Pyramid starting in East Africa. In 2005, she founded and served as CEO of MicroPlace, a web-based brokerage service for everyday people to make social investments around the world, which was acquired by eBay. Prior to that, she was part of the founding team and served as CFO of KickStart International, an organization that designs and sells products to low-income people in Africa.
Her numerous leadership awards include Top 25 Women of the Web Award, San Francisco Business Times Leadership Award, and a Working Woman Magazine Entrepreneurship Award. She holds an AB degree in engineering sciences and economics from Dartmouth and an MBA from Stanford Business School.
Valdez is Board President of The Powell Foundation in Houston, Tex., which focuses on K-12 public education grantmaking in three counties in Texas. She previously served as a Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development, as a water resources engineer, and as a Peace Corps Volunteer; she continues to consult in these spaces.
Valdez has been an admissions ambassador, most recently serving as the Admissions District Enrollment Director for Brazil. She received her AB and BE degrees from Dartmouth and Thayer. She earned master's degrees in both public policy (MPAff) and environmental and water resources engineering (MSE) from the University of Texas at Austin.
In addition, after 12 years of supportive and devoted service to Thayer, S. David Wu and Scott Sandell '86 P'23 have completed their terms with the Board. Wu has been named an emeritus member, and Thayer is deeply grateful to both Sandell and Wu for their outstanding service.
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