Barbara N. Lucas, Board Chair
Ms. Lucas is a founding partner in Luness Partners, a New York-based firm providing consulting and litigation support services to major U.S. and international financial services companies and institutional investors. In the course of her consulting career, she has advised numerous hedge funds, funds of funds, asset management companies, banks, broker-dealers, derivatives companies, public pension funds, and other market participants on a wide variety of risk management, governance, and compliance-related issues.
In addition to her consulting work, Ms. Lucas is a well-known securities and banking lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in law, business and government. Prior to joining CMRA, she was a partner and chairperson of the banking department at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. Before joining Cadwalader, she was General Counsel to what was then known as Citicorp’s Investment Bank. She also served as Chief Counsel to the CFTC’s Division of Enforcement and Director of its Office of Policy Review, as well as Special Counsel to the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.
Ms. Lucas received her undergraduate degree in English from Cornell University and her J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University.
Marlis Branaka, Vice Chair
An accomplished marketing and client service professional with more than 20 years experience, Ms. Branaka is a global leader in the field of finance having directed teams in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Co-founder of a start-up business that grew from zero assets under management to $10 billion in less than five years, she is results-oriented and has an excellent track record in servicing clients. An exceptional mentor and coach, she has a proven success rate in building new businesses and securing customer loyalty.
Founding Partner and Managing Director of Global Marketing, Ms. Branaka directed sales, business development and client service functions and coordinating the activities of the company’s offices in Orinda, Tokyo, London and Singapore from 1985 – 2002. Before starting her own business, she worked as a marketing associate for Forstmann-Leff Associates, in New York City and held middle management positions in the life insurance industry.
Ms. Branaka holds a degree in biology from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and has sat on several boards and trusts including East Bay Agency for Children, Oakland, CA, of which she is currently president; AXA Rosenberg Series Trust (previously known as Barr Rosenberg Series Trust), Orinda, CA; World Team Sports; and the Association of Investment Management Sales Executives, Washington, DC.
Founder and Managing Partner of GlobeFlex Capital, L.P., Ms. Marrelli serves as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Client Service and Marketing. GlobeFlex is a privately owned firm serving institutional clients.
Prior to founding GlobeFlex in 1994, Ms. Marrelli served as Vice President and Head of International Marketing for Nicholas Applegate Capital Management in San Diego. In this capacity she marketed investment management services to domestic and international investors and built and directed client service activities in Europe, South America, and Asia, including the launching and ongoing support of all offshore funds. From 1984 to 1986, she served as managing editor for a team of editors in the books and journals division of Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San Diego and Orlando.
A founding member of the WomensTrust Board of Directors, Ms. Marrelli sits on several other non-profit boards including Voices for Children, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, and High Tech High Foundation. Previously she volunteered for the San Diego Museum of Art and Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties.
Ms. Marrelli holds a M.Sc. degree in literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland; a B.A. degree in philosophy and literature from the University of California, San Diego; and she has attended Dartmouth College and Loyola University of Rome.
Mr. Wang is an Investment Associate at Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based investment firm that manages approximately $130 billion in global investments for institutional clients, including foreign governments and central banks, corporate and public pension funds, university endowments, and charitable foundations.
Before joining Bridgewater, Mr. Wang founded SEEDS Consulting Group, which provided advisory services to a wide variety of nonprofits, including sustainability groups, low-income housing NGOs, health organizations, and microfinance institutions (MFIs). He has spoken on microfinance panels, and helped organize Dartmouth College's participation in an international microfinance simulcast that featured discussions with prominent organizations in the field such as Grameen and ACCION. He also served as a Paganucci Fellow at the Tuck School of Business, working with ACCION's Center for Financial Inclusion and a major consulting firm to expand a financial inclusion research initiative as part of Financial Inclusion 2020.
Mr. Wang graduated with honors from Dartmouth College, majoring in philosophy and economics and with recognition as a James O. Freedman Scholar.
Jeanie M. Barnett
Joining the US board of WomensTrust in October 2011, Ms. Barnett brings to the organization an extensive knowledge of Ghana, small-business development and communications for non-profits.
Ms. Barnett first went to Ghana in the 1980s as a general science teacher with the US Peace Corps. She later wrote human-interest and travel articles about the country for newspapers and magazines in the US and UK, and authored a textbook for US high school students on Ghana’s history and culture.
She served for 12 years as editor-in-chief of MBE, a national magazine focused on minority and women small businesses, and co-founded the first subscriber-based newsletter covering procurement programs and policies benefiting women-owned businesses.
Ms. Barnett holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School. She has served as press officer for the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, one of the country’s top research centers in national security and environmental policy; and more recently as the director of communications for the CancerCare, which provides free, professional support services to individuals and families affected by cancer.
Returning to Ghana in 2007 and again in early 2012, Ms. Barnett most recently conducted field interviews and documented the progress of WomensTrust loan clients and scholarship recipients in Pokuase. She is blogging about WomensTrust and her experiences in Ghana at http://jeaniesnotesfromghana.blogspot.com/