Liberty Fellowship staff and moderators share the undertaking of recruiting, building and working with a radical cross section of leaders. They know the timeless readings, lively debate and intense bonding will generate leaders who can tear down stereotypes and forge unlikely partnerships to create solutions to issues facing South Carolina. Moderators are experienced in working with top leaders on nearly every continent, and they play a critical role in launching and facilitating lively discussions and debate regarding readings.
Ann Marie Stieritz
President & CEO
An experienced strategist in building cross-sector collaborations and mission-based organizations, Ms. Stieritz serves as President & CEO of Liberty Fellowship, the only US state-focused leadership initiative within the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN). She joined Liberty Fellowship as its inaugural Chief Impact Officer after serving as President & CEO of the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness. Among her other professional roles, she served as Deputy Executive Director of the University of South Carolina Office of Economic Engagement, Vice President for Economic and Workforce Competitiveness of the South Carolina Technical College System, and was Founding Director of the nationally-recognized Apprenticeship Carolina™ initiative. Long committed to global engagement, Ms. Stieritz worked in the Federated States of Micronesia and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in addition to serving as a Political Analyst for the Consulate General of Japan in New York and an International Trade Associate for the State of New Jersey. She is member of the Tiffany Circle of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and has been recognized as a Guatemala Literacy Fellow by Rotary International. She is also a Founding Member of SC Women In Leadership (WIL), a multi-partisan organization that promotes democracy by encouraging women to become informed about public issues and active in the public debate. Ms. Stieritz received her M. Phil. (A.B.D.) in Politics and her M.A. in French Studies from New York University, a Diplôme d’études from the l’Université de Paris-la Sorbonne, and her B.A. in History and French summa cum laude from Xavier University. She is Liberty Fellow from the class of 2016, and an Aspen Institute-certified moderator.
Strategic Communications Director
Summer Dickson is a communications strategist who specializes in building collaborative initiatives for the betterment of South Carolina. She comes to Liberty Fellowship from The Riley Institute at Furman University where she led marketing for the organization. She previously served as the Director of Communications for the South Carolina Council on Competitiveness where she guided the organization through rebranding and helped launch the state’s aerospace and logistics industry clusters and a statewide education initiative. She has also worked as a consultant in the private sector managing media relations and developing strategic communications plans for her clients.
Summer is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and serves on the organization’s Nonprofit Section Executive Committee.
While working as a family law paralegal, Summer received her associate’s degree in public service from Central Carolina Technical College, her bachelor’s degree in political science and philosophy from the University of South Carolina, and her master’s degree in political management from George Washington University. She is a native of Manning, and she currently resides in Greenville.
Janice M. Wilkins
Janice came to the Fellowship from the Biology Department at Wofford College where she served as their Faculty Administrative Assistant. Her prior experience includes various positions as bookkeeper, administrative assistant and parochial school secretary. An active member of the arts community in Spartanburg, Janice has served multiple terms on the board of directors for the Spartanburg Little Theatre. In addition to performing in local and regional musical theatre venues, she serves as a cantor for Saint Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. She attended Converse College and lives in Spartanburg.
Before joining Liberty Fellowship, Kay was an Account Manager at C.H. Robinson, Inc., where she provided transportation logistics solutions for customers throughout the Southeastern United States. Her prior experience includes various positions in the hospitality and golf tourism industry, working for Wild Dunes Resort, Kiawah Island Golf Resort, and the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Kay is a member of the Palmetto Curling Club and serves on the Mitchell Road Elementary School PTA Board. Kay grew up in Virginia and graduated from James Madison University. She has lived in South Carolina for over 20 years and currently resides in Greenville.
Todd Breyfogle joined the Aspen Institute as Director of Seminars in January 2008 and oversees the Institute’s open-enrollment executive leadership seminars. He previously was a Fellow and Program Officer at Liberty Fund and directed the University Honors Program at the University of Denver. He has lectured at universities in the U.S. and abroad and in 2012 was elected to the Senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Todd serves on several non-profit boards and is editor emeritus of The American Oxonian, the quarterly publication of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars. A Colorado native, he was a Boettcher Scholar at Colorado College, where he earned his B.A. in Classics-History-Politics. He attended Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and earned his Ph.D. as a Century Fellow and Javits Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. Breyfogle is editor of Literary Imagination, Ancient and Modern: Essays in Honor of David Grene (University of Chicago Press, 1999) and has authored a number of articles ranging from Augustine to J. S. Bach to contemporary political theory. He lives in Denver, Colorado.
John E. Deasy
Dr. John E. Deasy became superintendent of Stockton Unified School District on June 1, 2018. He is a former superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland and Coventry Schools, Rhode Island. John is widely published and has won numerous awards for innovation and leadership and has been named, over the course of his career, Superintendent of the Year, High School Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year. Active on a number of boards, including UnboundED, College Summit and Cambriar, John coaches current and emerging national education leaders. He is Board Chair of Reset: New Day, New Year, an alternative prison for young men, and he is editor-in-chief of The Line, a magazine dedicated to civil discourse on pressing social issues, including education and social justice. John earned his Doctorate from the University of Louisville in Kentucky and received Master and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Providence College, Rhode Island. He has taught at universities and is a speaker at national education conferences addressing low income communities. At Los Angeles he was credited for his Youth First agenda and with raising student achievement and college readiness. John and his wife Patricia live in Stockton California.
Benjamin Bernard Dunlap
Benjamin Bernard Dunlap, former President and the Chapman Family Professor in the Humanities at Wofford College, was instrumental in the establishment of Liberty Fellowship and has moderated its seminars since its inception. Bernie attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1967. He has held academic appointments at Harvard, the University of South Carolina and Wofford College and in 2006 received an honorary degree from his alma mater, the University of the South (Sewanee). He serves as a frequent moderator for the Aspen Institute and for its Global Leadership Network in this country and abroad. A prominent lecturer, Bernie has taught and lectured widely in Europe, India, Thailand and Japan, serving twice as Senior Fulbright Lecturer. He has published numerous poems, essays, anthologies, guides and opera libretti and written and produced award-winning programs for public television. He lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
John Cannon Few
John Cannon Few is a Justice with the Supreme Court of South Carolina. He was Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals from 2010 to February 2016 and a trial court judge from 2000 to 2010. Before that, he worked in private practice in Greenville, South Carolina, and was a judicial law clerk for The Honorable G. Ross Anderson, Jr., United States District Judge. John earned a B.A. from Duke University and a J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where he served as an editor on the South Carolina Law Review. John teaches law at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He is a former member of the faculty of the National Judicial College, in Reno, Nevada, and a former Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Charleston School of Law. John is a Fellow of the third class of Liberty Fellowship and lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Fleming
Betsy Fleming was President of Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, from October 2005 to June 2016. Prior to this role she was Executive Director of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina. Betsy holds a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London, and a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University. Betsy is on the Board of Directors for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, on the Board of Advisors of CTE, one of North Carolina’s largest privately held companies, and is a Trustee to The Lachaise Foundation. She has previously served on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Charlotte Branch, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council of Presidents for the Association of Governing Boards, and the Council of Independent Colleges Steering Committee on the Future of Higher Education. Betsy is a Fellow of the inaugural class of Liberty Fellowship and lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Adria Goodson is the Chief Program Officer for The Pahara Institute, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify, strengthen, and sustain diverse high potential leaders who are reimagining public education so that every child in America has access to an excellent public school. Adria serves on the faculty of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education teaching personal mastery courses. She has spent over 15 years coaching and supporting the learning and development of national nonprofit and education leaders. From 2005 to 2015, she was the founding director of Hunt Alternatives' Prime Movers fellowship program. Adria earned her degree from Boston College in sociology, specializing in social movement theory, public policy, and philanthropy. She has authored several pieces on movement leadership and has been a featured speaker at TedXBeaconStreet. Adria worked for the Leo Burnett Company in Chicago developing marketing strategies for clients. Residents of Woburn, Massachusetts, Adria and Max Vohlken are the proud parents of a spectacular growing girl.
Tonya Hinch is the managing director of the Henry Crown Fellowship Program. She was previously CEO of Hinch & Associates, a regional insurance agency, and founder of LifePlanning Unlimited, a coaching and seminar business that supports women in areas such as “raising their cash IQ” and “retiring backwards.” Prior to this, Tonya successfully created and enjoyed a career that encompassed Fortune 500 companies, a groundbreaking start-up in a highly politicized category, and leadership in one of the most controversial education reform movements in the United States. Tonya was executive vice president of operations at Edison Schools, responsible for $500 million in business and overseeing more than 100 schools in 23 states and over 7,000 employees. She previously specialized in marketing and sales at consumer-packaged goods companies, including Ultrafem, Neutrogena, Clairol and Procter & Gamble. Tonya received a B.S. in marketing from the University of Tennessee. She is a 2007 Henry Crown Fellow as well as a member of and moderator for the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Jennie M. Johnson
Jennie M. Johnson is former Executive Director of Liberty Fellowship. Having led the program from its inception in 2004 until 2015, she is responsible for establishing the unique mosaic and symphony of voices that is the hallmark of Liberty Fellowship and that which reflects the rich diversity of South Carolina. Jennie previously was president of Liberty Insurance Services and executive vice president of RBC Liberty Insurance. Her prior experience includes the presidency of Pierce National Life Insurance Company; strategic planning for Liberty Corporation and Ashland Oil; and planning for United Way. An active civic leader, Jennie serves on the Board of Directors for The Sophia Institute in Charleston and the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head, and is past chair of the Area Commission for Greenville Technical College. She chaired the South Carolina Research Authority and the Greenville Humane Society and was a member of the Board of Visitors of Wake Forest University’s Graduate Business School. She also has served on the board of the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. A graduate of Miami University with a degree in Political Science, Jennie earned her M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Virginia and her M.B.A. from Wake Forest University. She resides in Hilton Head.
David H. Langstaff
David H. Langstaff is President of Argotyche, Inc. From 2010 to 2013, he was chairman and then president and CEO of TASC, a $1.5 billion company offering advanced enterprise engineering, integration, and decision-support and other technical services across the intelligence community, Department of Defense, and civilian agencies of the federal government. Previously, he was founder, president, CEO, and director of Veridian Corporation. David chairs the advisory board of the Aspen Institute Business and Society Policy Program, is a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development, and is a director of The Hitachi Foundation. He serves on the Defense Business Board, which provides independent advice to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense. David also is a musician, and he is currently putting together a PBS special on the history of recorded music to be aired in late 2015 or early 2016. He is a senior moderator for the Aspen Global Leadership Network and lives in Maryland.
Stace Lindsay is the director of strategic initiatives for the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He was most recently president of Fusion Venture Partners, a firm he started in order to bring together: people of great vision who inspire change, engender trust, and are moved deeply to make a difference; insights that have the power to improve our quality of life, protect that which is in danger, or to fix what is broken in our world; and capital that can be deployed with foresight, patience, and commitment to finding ways to be leveraged for economic and social good. He has been a strategic advisor to senior business, government, and nonprofit leaders throughout the world, having held senior positions at both Monitor Company and the OTF Group. Stace is the co-founder of the Central American Leadership Initiative and is a 2002 Henry Crown Fellow. He earned his degrees in international relations from Georgetown University and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He and his family make their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Leighton Lord is Chairman of Nexsen Pruet, LLC, a NLJ - 250 law firm. He is Managing Director of Nexsen's communications and crisis management affiliate, NP Strategy, LLC, which he founded. Leighton is former Chairman of Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility. He also is Chairman of the Palmetto Economic Development Corporation, a member of the South Carolina Coordination Council for Economic Development and on the boards of Baruch Foundation and Achieve Columbia. Leighton is an executive committee member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the Board of Governors of the Palmetto Club. He previously was a law clerk for the Delaware Chancery Court and staff counsel to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. He was educated at the University of Delaware and Vanderbilt Law School. A Liberty Fellow, Leighton and his family live in Columbia, South Carolina.
Ranji H. Nagaswami, CFA
Ranji H. Nagaswami, CFA is a Senior Advisor to Corsair Capital, one of the longest-standing private equity firms focused on investing in the global financial services industry. Through her 25 plus year career, Ranji held executive and portfolio management positions at three world-class asset management firms: Bridgewater Associates, AllianceBernstein L.P and UBS Asset Management. She also served as Chief Investment Advisor to the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for the City of New York’s public employee pension plans. Ranji is a Henry Crown Fellow and launched the Finance Fellows program within the Institute’s Global Leadership Network. She has served on numerous boards and investment committees including serving as a member of the Henry Crown Overseers Board at the Aspen Institute, the Yale University Investments Committee, and the Yale School of Management Advisory Board. Ranji earned a Bachelor of Commerce from Bombay University in India, an M.B.A. from the Yale School of Management and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Luanne L. Runge is Chief Operating Officer at Elliott Davis. Previously she was President & CEO of Liberty Fellowship and a shareholder with the law firm of Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A. Luanne has been involved with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce for many years including service as Chair of the Board and as General Counsel. She serves on the boards of the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Arts Council, Greenville Tech Foundation and Christ Church Episcopal School. She also is a Founding Member of the Greenville County Schools Foundation and moderator for the Aspen Global Leadership Network. A Fellow from the Fourth Class of Liberty Fellowship, Luanne received her undergraduate degree in Politics, cum laude, and her law degree from Wake Forest University. She lives in Greenville.
Windsor Westbrook Sherrill
Windsor Westbrook Sherrill is associate vice president for health research at Clemson University and chief science officer at the Greenville Health System. She is a professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at Clemson and an adjunct professor of the USC School of Medicine Greenville. Windsor's work has been focused on improving health management education as well as health services for underserved populations. She has served as the faculty representative to the Clemson University board of trustees and is an honorary member of the Clemson University Class of 1939, the highest honor bestowed on Clemson University faculty. Windsor earned her doctorate in health policy from the Florence Heller School of Brandeis University where she was a Pew Foundation Health Policy Fellow. She has a masters of health administration and masters of business administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of Liberty Fellowship and lives in Clemson, South Carolina.
John L.S. Simpkins
John L. S. Simpkins is President of MDC, Inc. in Durham, NC. He formerly served as Vice President of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Prior to his position at AGLN he was the Executive Director of Prisma Health System's Transformative Health Institute where he led collaborative, evidence-based efforts to promote health innovation and equity. John was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in the Obama Administration where he served as general counsel for the U.S. Agency for International Development and deputy general counsel for the White House Office of Management and Budget. Before that, he was of counsel with Wyche, P.A., visiting assistant professor of law at the University of Victoria, and a Fellow at Charleston School of Law. He continues to work as a consultant and researcher in comparative constitutional law and constitutional design. John received his B.A. in government from Harvard College and a J.D. and L.L.M. in international and comparative law from Duke University School of Law. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of Liberty Fellowship.
Roger Widmann, an investment banker and moderator of the Aspen Seminar since 1988, was a principal of the New York-based boutique investment bank, Tanner & Co. He was previously Senior Managing Director of Chemical Securities, Inc. (now JP Morgan Chase); founder and CEO of First Reserve Corporation, the largest independent energy investment firm in the U.S.; and Senior Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Roger is a director of Oxfam America and Standard Motor Products and is former president of the March of Dimes of Greater New York. He is chairman of Cedar Realty Trust and Keystone National Group and formerly chaired Lydall Corporation. A cum laude graduate of Brown University, Roger earned his J.D. from Columbia Law School and lives in Larchmont, New York.