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News : Education Dec 5, 2011 - 2:42 PM

Malloy announces remaining appointments to education board

By Governor Dannel P. Malloy's office

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HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced the names of his three remaining appointments to the Board of Regents for Higher Education, the newly reconstructed system that oversees the four regional state universities, the community college system and Charter Oak State College, which officially launches on January 1.

“The launch of the Board of Regents represents an unbelievably exciting moment for our higher education institutions, especially when it comes to strengthening their focus even more towards actively participating in the economic development efforts of our state,” Governor Malloy said. “Ultimately, the new governance structure of this system will result in a savings benefit while also improving higher education by focusing its resources on students and their classroom instruction, so that we can ensure they learn the skill sets prospective employers in this state are looking for.”

The Board of Regents is comprised of 19 appointments; nine by Governor Malloy (including selection of one of his appointees as the Chair); four ex-officio, non-voting members (Commissioners of the Departments of Economic & Community Development, Public Health, Education and Labor); two student representatives; and four legislative appointments. In July, the Governor announced his first six appointments to the Board, which included Lewis J. Robinson, Jr. as Chairman; Merle W. Harris; Gary Holloway; René Lerer; Yvette Meléndez; and Zac Zeitlin.

Governor Malloy’s three remaining appointments announced today:

Naomi K. Cohen (Bloomfield) represented Bloomfield in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1983-1993 and was House chairman of the General Assembly’s Education Committee from 1987-1991. In addition to her elected experience, Ms. Cohen was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education to the National Assessment Governing Board to develop a national policy on student testing and standards. She was also a board member and vice chair of the Education Commission of the States and represented Connecticut on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges on its Executive Committee. Currently, Ms. Cohen is the chair of the Bloomfield Elementary School Building and Renovations Committee, co-founder of the Hartford Jewish Coalition for Literacy, and chair of the Board of Visitors of the Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Hartford. She graduated from Charter Oak State College and has a master’s degree from the University of Hartford.

Nicholas M. Donofrio (Ridgefield) led IBM’s technology and innovation strategies from 1997 until his retirement in October 2008. He also was vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation and chairman of the Board of Governors for the IBM Research, Governmental Programs, Technical Support & Quality, Corporate Community Relations, as well as Environmental Health & Product Safety. Mr. Donofrio first joined IBM as a college co-op student in 1964 and was hired as a full-time employee in 1967, where he subsequently held a number of technical management and executive positions until his retirement. He is a member of a number of professional, technical and honor societies and is the recipient of a number of honorary degrees from colleges and universities throughout the world. Mr. Donofrio also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree in the same discipline from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Michael E. Pollard (Stamford) is a senior partner and co-founder of Optul Global Services, a small business enterprise delivering business development support and budget management technology to private and public sector clients. Mr. Pollard has extensive experience at helping transform business operations in a broad range of industries, including consumer goods, retail, manufacturing, financial services and government. Previously, he served as chairman of the Board of Finance for the City of Stamford. He is a member of the Stamford Public Education Foundation and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Tennessee State University.

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