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Board Members 


Steven Beckett


Chicago, IL
Director of Trial Advocacy
University of Illinois, College of Law

He is the director of Trial Advocacy at the UIUC College of Law. He teaches skills training courses in trial advocacy and client counseling, fact investigation and interviewing (CFI), and teaches substantive law courses in evidence and white collar crime. He has been on the faculty of the College of Law since 1987. Professor Beckett is a native of Urbana and is currently of counsel to the Urbana firm, Beckett & Webber, P.C. that he founded in 1988. He appeared in the United States Supreme Court on two occasions, in 1977 (argued) and 1987, with both cases focusing on First Amendment issues.


Leigh Buchanan Bienen


Chicago, IL
Senior Lecturer
Northwestern University School of Law

Leigh B. Bienen is a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law and a criminal defense attorney. She has taught law at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Law and the University of California (Berkeley) School of Law.


Dr. Charles Russell Branham


Chicago, IL
University of Chicago Laboratory School
History Department

History professor Charles Russell Branham earned his Ph.D. in history in 1980 from The University of Chicago where he was a Ford Foundation Fellow. Branham has been a professor of history at various colleges in Chicago, including Chicago State University and Roosevelt University. He is the author of many publications on African American history and politics.


Donna M. Carroll


River Forest, IL
Dominican University

She has served as president of Dominican University since 1994. Over the past 16 years, the university’s enrollment has doubled and its operating budget has tripled. During her tenure, she negotiated the change in the university’s name from Rosary College; managed the purchase of a second campus; successfully completed a $50+ million capital campaign that included the construction of a state-of-the-art academic building; and oversaw the addition of the university’s first doctoral program in library and information science.


Dr. Ranjan Karri


Springfield, IL
Associate Professor of Management
College of Business & Management, University of Illinois at Springfield

He is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business and Management at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. Karri teaches Strategic Management and Leadership and Organization Theory. He received his Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the Washington State University in 2001. Prior to joining the faculty of UIS, Dr. Karri was a faculty member at Bryant University.


Dr. Richard J. Meister


Oak Park, IL

He is the retired Executive Vice-President of Academic Affairs from DePaul University. He received his B.A. from St. Joseph’s College and his M.A. and PhD. from the University of Notre Dame. He has worked at Indiana University, Xavier University and University of Michigan-Flint. Dr. Meister has a scholarship named in his honor through the Irwin W. Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning at DePaul University. The Richard J. Meister scholarship is awarded to students based on their commitment to issues of social justice, community service and responsibility, and academic excellence.


Patrick T. Reardon


Chicago, IL

A lifelong Chicagoan, Patrick T. Reardon was the urban affairs writer and a feature writer at the Chicago Tribune during a 32-year career at the newspaper. Reardon was one of a team of Tribune writers and reporters who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for a series of stories about the nation's over-crowded skies. Reardon is the author of three books, he has lectured on Chicago history at the Chicago History Museum and on journalism at Northwestern University, DePaul University and Roosevelt University. His poems have appeared in many periodicals.


Richard Craig Sautter


Chicago, IL
DePaul University

He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including Inside the Wigwam: Chicago Presidential Conventions 1860-1996. Since 1981, Sautter has taught courses in philosophy, politics, history, literature, and creative writing at DePaul University's School for New Learning, and has been presented with several teaching awards. During the civil rights movement in the early 1970s, he traveled across the country as a field-coordinator for the National Urban League's Voter Registration/Political Education Project. He also has appeared on radio and television as a political commentator.


Sean Vinck


Chicago, IL
Chief Information Officer, State of Illinois
Office of Management and Budget

As Chief Information Officer for the State of Illinois, he oversees the state’s information technology policies, focusing on improving and updating IT infrastructure. Additionally, he oversees Information Technology Officers throughout state government. Previously, he served as Governor Quinn’s Chief Legislative Counsel and Chief of Intergovernmental Affairs. He holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Notre Dame. His work as the State's CIO will enable him to accelerate the effort to digitize Illinois’ trove of historical documents.




Eileen Mackevich


Springfield, IL
Executive Director
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum


Kathryn Harris


Springfield, IL
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library