Strategic Advisory Board

Lincoln School’s Strategic Advisory Board is comprised of national and international thought leaders, experts, and innovators from business, academia, and government who provide advice and counsel to school leadership. This small, diverse group of professionals lend their deep experience, unique perspective, and skills to the Lincoln School community, strengthening and furthering our mission as a bold leader in girls’ education.

This board allows Lincoln’s leadership to benefit from a global network of advisors on an informal, flexible, and as-needed basis.

The advisory board aims to:

• Offer advice and counsel on matters related to mission, curriculum, and strategic plan

• Identify and engage potential partnerships or opportunities for the school

• Assist in cementing Lincoln School’s reputation as a top all-girls’ independent school founded on Quaker values

Meet the Strategic Advisory Board

Kenneth Duberstein, CEO of The Duberstein Group

Kenneth M. Duberstein is chairman and CEO of The Duberstein Group, an independent strategic planning and consulting company advising leading corporations and a select group of trade associations.

Duberstein served as a key member of the Reagan Administration during his various assignments as White House Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.  He was a principal architect of the winning Reagan congressional coalition during the historic first term and returned to the White House for the last two years of the Administration to help lead and guide the rebuild of the Reagan Presidency after the so-called Iran-Contra scandal. Reagan left office at 68% job approval; the highest of any two term president since polling began.

Among the Board of Directors on which Duberstein serves are:  The Boeing Company, The Travelers Companies, Inc. (chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee), and Mack-Cali Realty Corporation.  He previously was the presiding director at Conoco-Phillips and a member of the board at Dell, Inc.

He is a Lifetime Trustee of Franklin & Marshall College and The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.  He is chairman of the Harvard University Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School, and serves as well on a wide range of commissions, task forces, and cultural, educational and volunteer boards, including the board of directors of the Brookings Institution, and the Colin L. Powell School of Civic and Global Leadership.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, having served on its board for 10 years.

From 2003 to 2006, Duberstein was a consultant for storyline and accuracy for the Emmy award winning TV series West Wing. He also appears as a commentator on network cable and Sunday morning news programs.

He was awarded the President's Citizens Medal by President Reagan in January 1989. Duberstein graduated from Franklin and Marshall College (A.B., 1965) and American University (M.A., 1966). He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Franklin and Marshall in 1989.

He is married to the former Jacquelyn Fain.

Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code

Reshma Saujani is the Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does.

With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and a 13-book New York Times best-selling series, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

By the end of the 2018 academic year, Girls Who Code will have reached over 50 thousand girls in all 50 states and several US territories. The results speak for themselves: 88% of alumni have declared a CS major/minor or are more interested in CS because of Girls Who Code.

Reshma began her career as an attorney and activist. In 2010, she surged onto the political scene as the first Indian American woman to run for U.S. Congress. During the race, Reshma visited local schools and saw the gender gap in computing classes firsthand, which led her to start Girls Who Code. She has also served as Deputy Public Advocate for New York City and ran a spirited campaign for Public Advocate in 2013.

Reshma’s TED talk, “Teach girls, bravery not perfection,” has more than three million views and has sparked a national conversation about how we’re raising our girls. She is the author of two books, Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World, the first in a 13-book series about girls and coding which debuted as a New York Times bestseller, and Women Who Don’t Wait In Line, in which she advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship, and boldly charting your own course — personally and professionally.

Reshma is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Yale Law School. She’s been named one of Fortune’s World’s Greatest Leaders, Fortune’s 40 Under 40, a WSJ Magazine Innovator of the Year, one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in New York by the New York Daily News, CNBC’s Next List, Forbes’s Most Powerful Women Changing the World, Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People, Crain’s New York 40 Under 40, Ad Age’s Creativity 50, Business Insider’s 50 Women Who Are Changing the World, City & State’s Rising Stars, and an AOL / PBS Next MAKER.

Reshma also serves on the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee, which provides aid to refugees and those impacted by humanitarian crises, and She Should Run, which seeks to increase the number of women in public leadership. Reshma lives in New York City with her husband, Nihal, their son, Shaan, and their bulldog, Stanley.

Rebecca Ballhaus, White House Reporter at The Wall Street Journal

Rebecca Ballhaus is a White House reporter at The Wall Street Journal.

In addition to covering the Trump administration, she has reported extensively on investigations into the president and his associates by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Congress, and others.

In 2019, she was part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their coverage of the hush-money scheme Michael Cohen arranged at Donald Trump’s behest during the 2016 election.

She hails from Brooklyn, N.Y., and went to Brown University. Ballhaus has worked in the Journal’s Washington bureau since 2013.

Sophie Houser, Author, Tech Phenom, and Brown University Student

Sophie Houser is a teen tech phenom, engaging public speaker and published author. In 2014, at age 16, she created Tampon Run, a video game to combat the menstrual taboo, with Andy Gonzales at a Girls Who Code summer program. Tampon Run went viral thrusting them into the limelight of the press, the public and the tech world. In March 2017 Houser and Gonzales' book Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral and Getting It Done (HarperCollins) debuted. 

Girl Code shares Houser and Gonzales' journey from average teens to powerhouses. Through the success of their video game, they got unprecedented access to some of the biggest start-ups and tech companies, and now they're sharing what they've seen. Their video game and their commitment to inspiring young women have been covered by the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, CNN, Teen Vogue, Jezebel, the Today show, and many more. Girl Code encourages teen girls to find their voice, speak up and learn code. 

In 2015, Houser and Gonzales won a People's Voice Webby Award for best online game, the internet's highest honor, and the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award honoring major breakthroughs occurring at the intersection of technology and culture. Pivotal Labs, one of the world's leading agile development firms, worked pro bono with Houser and Gonzales to create their iOS app. 

Houser enjoys speaking publicly about her joy of coding, the need for more women in tech and all she learned personally through this wild Tampon Run adventure. Currently she attends Brown University, majoring in computer science and writing. 

Rich Verma, Vice Chairman of The Asia Group and Former U.S. Ambassador to India

Rich Verma is Vice Chairman and Partner at The Asia Group, a leading strategic and business advisory firm headquartered in Washington DC.  He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2014 to 2017, where he led one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions and championed historic progress in bilateral cooperation on defense, trade, and clean energy.  Ambassador Verma was previously the Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs, and also served for many years as the Senior National Security Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader.  He is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, and his military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal.

In addition to his role at The Asia Group, Ambassador Verma is a Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Belfer Center, and he co-chairs the Center for American Progress’ U.S.-India Task Force.  Ambassador Verma is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award, the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, the Chief Justice John Marshall Lifetime Achievement Award, and was ranked by India Abroad as one of the 50 most influential Indian Americans. He holds degrees from the Georgetown University Law Center (LLM), American University’s Washington College of Law (JD), and Lehigh University (BS).

Joan Countryman, Chair of the Kendal Corporation Board of Directors

Joan Countryman is the former Head of Lincoln School in Providence, Rhode Island, a position she held for 12 years until her retirement in 2005. From August 2006 until March 2007 Joan Countryman was a consultant and Founding Head of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. From August 2007 until June 2008 Countryman led the Atlanta Girls’ School in Atlanta, Georgia. Previously, Countryman had served as Assistant Head for Academic Planning and Director of Studies at Germantown Friends School in Philadelphia where she taught mathematics from 1970 to 1993.

Joan Countryman is Chair of the Board of the Kendal Corporation, a federation of senior living communities founded on Quaker principles. She recently completed a 12-year term as member of the Board of Managers of Haverford College where she also served as President of the Corporation She has been a member of the Board of Trustees of Sarah Lawrence College, a member of the Board of the Providence Journal Company, and of the Board of Trustees of the Paul Cuffee School, a public charter school in Providence. She has served on the boards of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, Women and Infants Hospital, the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls, and the National Association of Independent Schools. Joan Countryman’s approach to teaching and learning mathematics is described by William Zinsser in a chapter of his book, Writing to Learn. Her own publications include Writing to Learn Mathematics (1992), “Is Gender an Issue in Math?” in Math and Science for Girls (1993) and Black Images in American Literature (1977).

Joan Countryman grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was the first African-American graduate of Germantown Friends School. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, a Master’s from Yale University, and studied at the London School of Economics as a Fulbright Scholar. She and her husband, Edward Jakmauh, an architect and Principal with Ballinger Associates, live in Providence and Philadelphia. They have two children and four grandchildren.

Adrienne Penta, Executive Director of the Center for Women & Wealth at Brown Brothers Harriman

Adrienne Penta is a Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the Brown Brothers Harriman Center for Women & Wealth (CW&W). Penta led the creation of the CW&W, which supports women as they create and manage wealth, and seeks to create a dynamic and inclusive environment where women can engage in conversations about wealth, family and values. Penta provides women with the investment, planning and philanthropic resources they need to navigate transitions, help the next generation thrive and plan for the succession of privately-owned businesses.

Penta serves on several boards, including New America's Better Life Lab Advisory Council, Women’s Philanthropy Institute at the Lilly School of Philanthropy Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Women’s Forum Board of Directors, the Winsor School Board of Trustees, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy Board of Directors, the Boston Foundation Professional Advisors Committee (chair), and the Boys and Girls Club of Boston (BGCB) Board of Trustees. Ms. Penta speaks and writes on a variety of issues related to women and wealth, wealth planning and family communication about wealth and values.

Prior to joining BBH in 2008, Penta practiced at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP in Boston. Penta received her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was the Executive Editor of the Virginia Tax Review, and her BA from Johns Hopkins University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Denise Clark Pope, Author, Co-Founder of Challenge Success, and Senior Lecturer at Stanford University

Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a Senior Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where she specializes in student engagement, curriculum studies, qualitative research methods, and service learning. She is co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that provides schools and families the tools they need to raise healthy, motivated students. Challenge Success is an expanded version of the SOS: Stressed-Out Students project that Dr. Pope founded and directed from 2003–2008.

She is the author of, "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (Yale University Press, 2001), which was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001, and lead author of Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (Jossey-Bass, 2015). She also co-hosts the Stanford University SiriusXM radio show called “School’s In.”

Dr. Pope lectures nationally on parenting techniques and pedagogical strategies to increase student health, engagement with learning, and integrity. She is a 3-time recipient of the Stanford University School of Education Outstanding Teacher and Mentor Award and was honored with the 2012 Education Professor of the Year "Educators' Voice Award" from the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences. Prior to teaching at Stanford, Dr. Pope taught high school English in Fremont, CA and college composition and rhetoric courses at Santa Clara University.

Pradeep Sharma, Director of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nayhan Foundation, Former RISD Provost

Pradeep Sharma is the director of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nayhan Foundation, an organization that develops and supports strategic initiatives in the areas of education; arts, culture, heritage; and health. 

Sharma also served for six years as the Rhode Island School of Design's chief academic leader, bringing his unique lens as a designer, researcher, teacher, and seasoned design strategist to the role.

Previously, Sharma served as dean of the Bath School of Art and Design at Bath Spa University in England, where he led the academic programs and student experience as well as managing the school’s operations, finances, facilities and quality assurance. 

Earlier in his career, Sharma served as head of Art and Design at the University of Glamorgan’s Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Studies in the UK and worked as a research fellow and senior lecturer at Unitec Institute of Technology in New Zealand. In addition to a doctorate in complexity management from the University of Hertfordshire in the UK, he holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design Engineering from Teesside University and both a BA and an MA in Electrical and Information Sciences from Cambridge University. In addition, Sharma ran his own international design management and innovation consultancy practice for more than a decade.