National leaders in aerospace, investment among those appointed to Northwestern Board of Trustees

David Fishman, Assistant Summer Editor

The world’s 76th most powerful woman, the former CEO of a major American conglomerate and the president of a Chinese-based auto-parts behemoth are among six new members of the Northwestern University Board of Trustees, the University announced last week.

The appointees, four of whom are also NU alumni, cover a wide swath of industry, from aerospace travel to investment management. University spokesman Al Cubbage told The Daily in an email the list had been drafted by a “nominating committee” and subsequently approved by the full board.

Carol Bernick, Paula Pretlow (Weinberg ’77, Kellogg ’78), Ellen Kullman (Kellogg ’83), Samir Mayekar (Weinberg ’06, Kellogg ’13), Pin Ni and Gwynne Shotwell (McCormick ’86, ’88) join 61 others already serving on the board.

Bernick and Pretlow both bring expertise from the world of investment management. The former serves as CEO of Polished Nickel Management, a privately held investment management company. The latter is a former senior vice president of Capital Group, a $1.4 trillion privately held investment management firm.

Bernick has also spent more than 18 years on the board of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and serves as the vice chair of the Board of Tulane University, her alma mater.

Shotwell is the president and COO of SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company run by the well-known entrepreneur, Elon Musk. She has received the World Technology Award for Individual Achievement in Space and has been inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame.

This year, Forbes ranked Shotwell No. 76 on its list of the World’s Most Powerful Women.

Mayekar, who graduated summa cum laude, is the co-founder and CEO of SiNode Systems, a venture-backed company developing materials for lithium-ion batteries. In 2008, he worked as the budget manager for Obama for America and went on to serve President Barack Obama as director of National Security Personnel.

Next month, Mayekar will become president-elect for the board of directors of the Northwestern Alumni Association.

Kullman is the former CEO of DuPont, a major American conglomerate, and serves on the board of trustees of her alma mater, Tufts University. Previously, she worked for Westinghouse and General Electric.

Ni is the president of auto parts behemoth Wanxiang America Corporation, a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of Wanxiang Group Company, based in Hangzhou, China.

“Criteria for selection as a trustee include their connection to Northwestern; willingness to engage as a trustee, including serving on committees; and their skills, experience and background,” Cubbage told The Daily in an email.

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