The foundation is currently managed by a board comprised of 11 directors. Seven directors are members of the board by virtue of their responsibilities at the university and four remaining directors are elected annually, as follows: one dean, elected annually by the Dean’s Group of Georgia State University; two members of the Georgia State University Senate Research Committee, elected annually by that committee; and a member of the university’s faculty, elected annually by the Georgia State University Senate Research Committee. Other members of the foundation board may be elected at any time by the affirmative vote of a majority of board members, or as authorized by resolution of the board. The directors serve on the board for unlimited terms as long as they are in good standing at the university.
Vice President for Research and Economic Development
James Weyhenmeyer is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Georgia State University. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Georgia State University Research Foundation. Prior to Georgia State, Dr. Weyhenmeyer served as the Senior Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development in the Office of the Provost of the State University of New York. In addition, he served as the Managing Director of the Technology Accelerator Fund and Vice President for Research of the Research Foundation of the State University of New York. He was also a tenured professor of biological sciences at the University of Albany/State University of New York, as well as a member of the Institute of RNA Science and Technology at the University of Albany; he also served as a professor of Cell and Developmental/Structural Biology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2007, Dr. Weyhenmeyer was named as a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and has garnered several honors from the American Heart Association. He is a member of the American Heart Association’s Stroke and Cardiology councils, as well as the International Biotechnology Industry Organization.
Jerry Rackliffe, CPA, MBA, JD
Financial Vice Chair and Treasurer
Sr. Vice President for Finance, Georgia State
Jerry Rackliffe has been at Georgia State University 25 years and has held several positions including Director of Budget and Financial Systems, Associate Director of Grants and Contracts and Acting Vice President for Finance. He received his undergraduate degree in accounting and earned his MBA and JD from Georgia State University. He holds a Certified Public Accounting license in Georgia.
Kerry L. Heyward, JD
University Attorney, Georgia State
Kerry Heyward is the Chief University Attorney for Georgia State where she provides legal advice to all University administrators. She also serves as advisor to the President and Provost on legal and administrative matters. Ms. Heyward serves on the University Senate, Senate Athletics Committee, Institutional Review Board, and is a member and secretary of the Georgia State University Research Foundation, Inc. She is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Florida and her JD from Stetson University College of Law. She is licensed to practice law in both Georgia and Florida.
Mark P. Becker, Ph.D.
President, Georgia State
Mark Becker, the seventh president of Georgia State University, begain his tenure on Jan. 1, 2009. A biostatistician, public health researcher and academic leader, Becker had served as executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina before assuming Georgia State’s presidency. Prior to that appointment, Becker spent three years at the University of Minnesota as a biostatistics professor, dean of the School of Public Health and assistant vice president of Public Health, Preparedness and Emergency Response. From 1989 to 2000, Becker was a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. He also has held academic posts at the University of Washington, the University of Florida and Cornell University. Becker earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Towson State University and his doctorate in statistics from the Pennsylvania State University. Internationally recognized as a researcher in biostatistics and public health sciences, Becker has published more than 40 articles and has been principal investigator on research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation and co-investigator on numerous research grants from the Centers for Disease Control, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and other granting agencies. During his career, Becker has been involved in several professional associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International Biometric Society and the American Statistical Association, where he is a fellow.
Risa Palm, Ph.D.
Provost, Georgia State
Risa Palm assumed the role of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, beginning Sept. 1, 2009. Prior to that she served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at Louisiana State University; and from 1997–2003, she was Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Palm received both a B.A. degree in history, with a minor in French, and a B.S. degree in social studies education from the University of Minnesota. She subsequently received an M.A. degree in geography from the same institution. In 1972, she was awarded a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. From 1972 to 1981, she was a faculty member, beginning her career as an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
William Long, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences, Georgia State
William Long is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. His fields of interest include health diplomacy and transnational governance, international cooperation and conflict resolution, international political economy, and international trade and technology transfer. He has received multiple research and teaching awards from the United States Institute of Peace, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Hewlett, Pew, Sloan, and MacArthur Foundations, the Fulbright Commission, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Commission of the European Union. Dr. Long is the former chair of the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dean Long has served as principal investigator on several high-profile grants, including a MacArthur Foundation sponsored program on Science, Technology and International Security..
Leslie Wolf, J.D.
Professor, Law, Georgia State
Leslie E. Wolf is Professor of Law at Georgia State University’s College of Law. She conducts research in a variety of areas in health and public health law and ethics, with a particular focus on research ethics. She has conducted empirical research on conflicts of interest, research with stored biological materials, Certificates of Confidentiality, IRB web guidance, and HIV-related laws and policies. Prior to joining the law school, Professor Wolf taught medical ethics and research ethics at the University of California, San Francisco, where she also served on the UCSF institutional review board and advisory committee regarding stem cell research. She also previously was selected as a Greenwall Fellow in Bioethics and Health Policy and as a Greenwall Faculty Scholar. Professor Wolf teaches courses on human subjects research, public health law, and HIV and the law.
Rose Sevcik, Ph.D.
Professor, Psychology, Georgia State
Dr. Rose A. Sevcik is Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Developmental Psychology doctoral program. She is the founding Co-director of the Georgia State area of focus on Research on the Challenges of Acquiring Language and Literacy and a founding member of the Center for Research on Atypical Development and Learning (CRADL). Her research interests center on the development of symbolic processes, specifically oral and written language development. Dr. Sevcik’s work has focused on children and youth with, or at risk for, developmental and learning disabilities and on language and reading interventions designed and implemented for these populations.Her work has been funded by a series of federally supported grants (e.g., NIH, IES). Several of these grants have been large-scale, multi-site studies that are placed within school districts here in Atlanta and at collaborative sites across the US and in Canada. She is also the PI on an IES post-doctoral training grant on Language and Literacy Interventions for Special Populations.
A Fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and an Associate Editor for its journal, she is also a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Dr. Sevcik is a member of the National Joint Committee on the Communication Needs of Individuals with Severe Disabilities and serves on the Board of Directors for the United States chapter of the International Society of Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
Paul Katz, Ph.D
Distinguished University Professor, Neuroscience Institute, Georgia State University
Paul Katz is a Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State University. He is also the Director of the Center for Neuromics, which promotes the study of the nervous system using informatics and computational approaches. Dr. Katz is interested in understanding how neuronal circuits operate using sea slugs because they have simple brains and simple behaviors. His lab determines the neural mechanisms for these behaviors at the cellular level. Dr. Katz has recently been awarded grants from the National Science Foundation and the March of Dimes Foundation. Dr. Katz currently serves on the Editorial Boards of Neuroscience: Oxford University Encyclopedias, Journal of Neurophysiology, Invertebrate Neuroscience and Brain, Behavior, and Evolution. Dr. Katz received his doctorate in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. He holds both a M.S. and B.A. from Northwestern University.
A.G. Unil Perera, Ph.D
Regents’ Professor, Department of Physics, Georgia State University
Unil Perera is a Regents’ Professor of Physics at Georgia State University. His research focus is on developing novel multi-band, bias and polarization selectable photon detectors spanning the Ultraviolet to Far Infrared. An important aspect of his research is to develop detector technologies which use any semiconductor material to detect a wide wavelength range. He has won almost all departmental, college and university research awards at Georgia State including the, “Alumni Distinguished Professor Award,” in 2010. Dr. Perera has had more than 160 technical articles published and has five patents to his credit. His work has been featured in Laser Focus World, Photonics Spectra and Reviews of Modern Physics. He is a Life Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Society of Photo-Instrumentation Engineers, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Dr. Perera graduated from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka with a B.S. (first class Honors) in Physics. He holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.