Presidential Search

Search Advisory Committee

The Southwestern Board of Trustees has appointed these fifteen members of the Southwestern community to serve on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee to assist in identifying Southwestern’s 16th President:

  • Amanda M. McMillian ’95
    Southwestern University Trustee and Committee Chair
    Location: Houston

    Amanda McMillian was the executive vice president and general counsel of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation until Anadarko’s acquisition by Occidental Petroleum Corporation in August 2019. Upon joining Anadarko in 2004, she held a number of other executive positions, including vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary of Western Gas Holdings, LLC, an Anadarko subsidiary and general partner of Western Gas Partners, LP, a publicly traded midstream master limited partnership. Prior to her employment at Anadarko, Ms. McMillian practiced corporate and securities law at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

    Ms. McMillian has been active in a number of civic and professional organizations. She is a past president of the board of the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center and a member of the advisory board of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. She also has been active in the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the National Association of Corporate Directors, and the Ethics and Compliance Officer Association.

    Amanda received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwestern in 1995, having been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and both master’s and law degrees from Duke University in 1998. While at Southwestern, she was a member of Alpha Chi and Student Foundation. At the time she became a Southwestern trustee, she was serving as the chair of Southwestern’s board of visitors.

  • Miguel J. Zorrilla ’92
    Southwestern University Trustee and Committee Vice-Chair
    Location: Austin

    Miguel Zorrilla is a managing director in Morgan Stanley’s Austin office. An experienced financial professional licensed both as a broker and as an investment advisor, Mr. Zorrilla joined Morgan Stanley in 2007 as an executive director in the firm’s Geneva, Switzerland office. Prior to his employment at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Zorrilla was employed by Goldman Sachs in Houston, Zurich, and Geneva for nine years.

    Miguel graduated from Southwestern with a bachelor’s degree in communications in 1992. He earned a master’s degree in education, magna cum laude, from Trinity University in 1994 and a master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University in 1997. While at Southwestern, he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and of Student Foundation. Prior to his election as a trustee, he served on Southwestern’s development committee and on its board of visitors. Currently Miguel is the President-Elect of the Southwestern University Alumni Association.

  • Bob Bednar ’89
    Associate Professor of Communication Studies
    Location: Austin

    Bob Bednar is an associate professor of communication studies at Southwestern University. His research focuses on visual culture, visual communication, cultural studies of mass media and everyday life, public memory, trauma studies, automobility, affect theory, materials culture, tourism, landscape and built environment, design and culture, film theory/practice, environmental studies, American studies, and contemporary U.S. cultural history.

    Dr. Bednar received his bachelor of arts degree in American studies from Southwestern University in 1989, his master’s degree in American studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 1991, and his doctorate in American studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 1997.

  • Christopher E. Cragg ’83, P’11, P’14
    Southwestern University Trustee
    Location: Houston

    Chris Cragg is Executive Vice President of Operations for Oil States International, Inc., a leading oilfield services company, having previously served as the president of one of Oil States’ predecessor companies. Previously, Mr. Cragg served in various executive and managerial roles with Ocean Energy, an independent exploration and production company, Cooper Industries, a diversified products manufacturer, and Price Waterhouse, a public accounting firm. He currently sits on the board of Powell Industries, a supplier of distribution and control systems for electrical energy and other critical processes, where he chairs the compensation committee and is a member of the audit committee.  Mr. Cragg is a certified public accountant. 

    Active in the oil and gas business throughout his career, Mr. Cragg has served as chairman in various other offices of the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association, a major trade association representing 200 companies with a combined diverse global workforce of one million people.  

    Chris graduated with honors from Southwestern in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree majoring in accounting. While at Southwestern, he held leadership roles in Pi Kappa Alpha and was a member of Student Foundation and the residence staff. He was a member of Southwestern’s Alumni Council. From 1983-85, Chris served a two-year term on the board of trustees as a recent-graduate trustee nominated by his classmates. Two of Chris’ children have attended Southwestern.

  • Alisa Gaunder
    Dean of the Faculty
    Location: Georgetown

    Alisa Gaunder received her doctorate in political science, specializing in comparative politics and Japan, from the University of California, Berkeley in 2001. Her research interests include comparative political leadership, campaign finance reform in Japan and the United States and women in politics. She is the author of Political Reform in Japan: Leadership Looming Large (Routledge 2007) and the editor of The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics (Routledge 2011). Her current research focuses on the obstacles that face women running for national office in Japan.

    Gaunder’s goal as a professor of political science is to motivate students to think critically – to teach students to have opinions, to ground these opinions with evidence, to express these opinions, and thereby to take an active role as responsible citizens. This goal has guided her as she has developed my courses at Southwestern. All her courses emphasize critical thinking through writing, class discussion, and creative activities.

  • Laura Hinson ’83
    Southwestern University Trustee
    Location: Dallas

    Laura Hinson is a retired insurance executive who has been a director of Columbia Insurance Group since September 2012, chairing its audit committee and serving on its compensation committee. From 2007 through her retirement at the end of 2011, she held several executive positions with the QBE Group, one of the world’s largest property and casualty insurance companies. She served as president and CEO of QBE U.S. Agencies and CFO of QBE of the Americas. From 1988 through 2007 Ms. Hinson was an executive with another major property and casualty company, Winterthur Swiss Insurance Company (now AXA), spending seven years as CFO for its North and South American operations. A CPA, she began her career as an accountant and audit manager at KPMG Peat Marwick. 

    Ms. Hinson has been involved with various non-profit projects through Highland Park United Methodist Church, including microfinance efforts and mentoring at-risk high school students.

    Laura graduated from Southwestern in 1983, magna cum laude, with a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting and economics. While at Southwestern, she was a member of Delta Delta Delta and Student Foundation. Prior to her election as a trustee, Laura was a member of Southwestern’s board of visitors.

  • Kent Huntsman
    Associate Vice President for Development
    Location: Georgetown

    Kent Huntsman began his work at Southwestern University in March 2001. His focus has since been on assisting alumni, parents and friends of the University interested in making gifts to support students, faculty and the mission of the institution. He previously served in a similar position at Bradley University (Peoria, Ill.), where he provided leadership during the university’s successful $100 million campaign. Mr. Huntsman’s development career began at Boston University in 1988.

    Kent is a Certified Public Accountant and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in accounting from Brigham Young University. He and wife, Linde, reside in Georgetown. They have four children, Chelsie, Mitch, Austin and Brad, and several grandchildren. Kent enjoys spending time with his family.

  • Brian T. Jackson ’95
    Southwestern University Trustee
    Location: San Francisco, California

    Brian Jackson is Head of Commerce Partnerships at Google, responsible for business development and strategic partnerships in the company’s global advertising technology business. He joined Google in 2010 and has held various leadership roles across the company, including ad sales strategy for YouTube. Mr. Jackson joined Google after a 10-year career at NBC Universal in New York, where he led international sales for CNBC and sales strategy for the NBC and MSNBC news divisions. He has held marketing and communications positions for The World Bank in Washington, D.C., and was a researcher in internet and telecommunications policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University.

    Brian graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Southwestern in 1995 with University Honors in international studies. He was a member of the Alpha Chi honor society and the Alpha Phi Omega service organization. He holds a master’s degree in international relations and business from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He is also a member of the Southwestern University Alumni Association, a class agent, and a member of Southwestern’s LGBTA alumni connection group.

  • Scott McLean
    Professor of Kinesiology
    Location: Georgetown

    Scott McLean is a professor of kinesiology at Southwestern University. He joined the faculty in 2001. Dr. McLean’s research focuses on exercise and sport biomechanics, with the underlying goal of understanding what factors influence performance in competitive swimming. He also has an interest in neuromuscular aspects of movement centers on the performance of bilateral and unilateral tasks under maximal and submaximal conditions.

    Scott received his bachelor of arts degree from the College of Wooster in 1987 and his doctorate from Arizona State University in 1994. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine, the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports and the Texas Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine.

  • Lynn Parr Mock ’83
    Southwestern University Trustee
    Location: Dallas

    Lynn Parr Mock is an arts patron and civic leader. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Dallas Opera since 2006 serving as chair of its education committee and vice president for development and is currently secretary. Ms. Mock chaired the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition in 2004, and in 2013 chaired First Sight/First Night, the Opera’s two-day season opening celebration. In addition to her commitments to the Dallas Opera, Ms. Mock is past president and chairman of the board of directors of The Friends of WRR, the 24-hour commercial classical radio station owned by the city of Dallas. She also served on the boards of the Helios Ensemble, a performing arts organization, the Dallas County Medical Society Alliance, and the Agape Clinic, which provides quality community health services to the medically underserved. Dedicated to the future of the performing arts, Ms. Mock is the co-founder of Lone Spring Arts, a production company committed to preserving the best works of art from the past and creating and promoting the finest works of art for the future. A professional singer, Ms. Mock has performed with The Opera Project, Helios Ensemble, Highland Park United Methodist Church, Spring Valley United Methodist Church, Georgetown Festival of the Arts, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and more.  

    Lynn graduated cum laude from Southwestern in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in music and was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and the international professional music honors fraternity Delta Omicron. In 1985, Ms. Mock earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from The University of Texas at Austin where she was a member of the honor society of Phi Kappa Phi. She is a former member of Southwestern’s board of visitors. Ms. Mock currently is one of the co-chairs of Southwestern’s “Thinking First” comprehensive campaign.

  • Debika Sihi
    Associate Professor of Economics and Business
    Location: Austin

    Debika Sihi is an associate professor of business at Southwestern University. She earned her PhD in marketing at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas (UT) at Austin. She also holds a BBA and MPA (masters in professional accounting) from the McCombs School. Prior to entering the doctoral program, Debika worked at Public Strategies, Inc. and Deloitte, both multinational professional services and consulting firms.

    Debika’s research explores technological innovations and disruptions in the field of marketing. She has published works in peer reviewed marketing and business journals including the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Debika teaches a variety of business courses including classes on digital marketing and a capstone course with a focus on innovation in business.

    Debika actively participates and assists with different initiatives in the Austin start-up and entrepreneurship communities. She is also an avid supporter of Emancipet, an animal welfare organization.

  • Kimberly Smith
    Professor of Art History
    Location: Austin

    Kimberly Smith serves as professor of art history at Southwestern University. Her research focuses on 20th century German and Austrian art, and the intellectual history of art history. Dr. Smith teaches courses on art in Europe and the United States from the 18th century to the present, feminism and art history, and theory and methods of art history. Smith’s book, Between Ruin and Renewal: Egon Schiele’s Landscapes, was published by Yale University Press in 2004, and she is editor of the critical anthology The Expressionist Turn in Art History, published by Ashgate in 2014. She has published on a range of topics in German and Viennese visual culture, including Franz Marc’s painted postcards, Alois Riegl’s impact on modern art practice, and the Jewish patrons of Wiener Werkstätte fashion. 

    Kim graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with her bachelor of arts from Duke University in 1990. She received her master’s of philosophy degree from Yale University in 1993 and doctorate in the history of art from Yale University in 1998.

  • Stephen G. Tipps
    Southwestern University Trustee
    Location: Houston

    Stephen Tipps is a retired partner at Baker Botts L.L.P., where he was a board-certified civil trial and appellate lawyer. He headed the firm’s multi-office appellate practice group from 1999 through 2007. Mr. Tipps served for many years on the governing boards of the Houston Symphony Society and for eleven years as that organization’s general counsel. He also has served in recent years as a member of the Texas Supreme Court Rules Advisory Committee, as a director of the Texas Cultural Trust, and as a director of Houston Justice For Our Neighbors. 

    Stephen received his bachelor’s degree in economics, with great distinction, in 1971 from Stanford University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1974. He was elected chair of the Southwestern Board of Trustees in 2018. 

  • Ryan Wheeler ’20
    Southwestern University Student
    Location: Flower Mound (Hometown)

    Ryan Wheeler is a senior at Southwestern University majoring in computer science and minoring in philosophy. He has been named to the Dean’s List all semesters at Southwestern. He was a varsity basketball player his first three years at Southwestern, earning All-Conference Honorable Mention two of those years and winning a regular season SCAC championship. Wheeler has been an employee of Southwestern Intramural and Recreational Activities for three years in the position of Intramural Supervisor. In addition, he is president of Alpha Chi academic honor society, Treasurer of Southwestern’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and a member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the computer science honor society.  

  • Elizabeth Yeager P’17
    Southwestern University Trustee
    Location: Wichita Falls

    Elizabeth Yeager is a community and civic leader with particular interest in education and the arts. She is president of the Wichita Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees, secretary of the Perkins-Prothro Foundation, and president of the Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra, where she has served as a director since 1997. She was a founding director of the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture, and a member of the founding council of the Midwestern State University Lifelong Learning Center. From 1986 to 1995, she was a senior manager with Accenture.

    Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude in mathematical physics in 1984 from Sweet Briar College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a master’s degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin in 1986. Prior to being elected a Southwestern trustee, Elizabeth was a member of Southwestern’s board of visitors and the Parent Leadership Council. Her daughter is a 2017 graduate of Southwestern.

Selection Process

Committee members were selected by the board from among those nominated by their respective constituencies. Trustees, faculty, staff, and students were invited to nominate one or more peers from their constituency, or themselves. Faculty nominated peers from any academic area. 

For more information about the Search Advisory Committee select process, please see the official announcement.


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