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.
James (Jim) F. Bednar has over 40 years of development experience, including serving as Resident Country Director for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) in Accra, Ghana. In this capacity, he managed a five-year, $547 million integrated agriculture program. The program included infrastructure, agriculture, education and rural development components.
Prior to retiring in 2013, Mr. Bednar directed development programs in four countries for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). He has served as USAID Mission Director to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Zambia, Morocco and the Czech Republic. In these roles, he managed the overall strategic direction of multi-million dollar portfolios, implementing programs in a diverse range of areas, including economic growth, water, health, HIV/AIDS, basic education, and democracy and governance. Since his retirement to New Hampshire, Mr. Bednar has taken on several short term assignments to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Jordan.
Mr. Bednar holds a Master of Arts in International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, both from George Washington University
Margaret A. Herrick
Ms. Herrick is a Principal at North Star Consultancy who brings over two decades of fundraising experience, focused on working with individual donors and directing capital campaigns. She has led philanthropic activities for a range of mission-based organizations including Girls Inc. of Lynn, Massachusetts; the Cincinnati Art Museum; Peabody Essex Museum; Union of Concerned Scientists; and Harvard Divinity School.
Having also served as Vice President for Individual Philanthropy at Accion International, a leading microfinance organization, Ms. Herrick has a deep appreciation for the impact small loans can make in the lives of poor women entrepreneurs and their families.
In addition to her philanthropic development work, Ms. Herrick is a Certified Focusing Trainer and Spiritual Director. Using the methods of tapping into inner knowledge pioneered by Gene Gendlin, she offers seminars on a variety of issues such as unleashing creativity, overcoming action blocks, and bio-spirituality.
Ms. Herrick has a B.S. from Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland; and a Master’s in Health Administration from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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.