Board of Trustees
Dr. Lance Askildson
Dr. Lance R. Askildson serves as Vice-Provost and Chief International Officer at Kennesaw State University where he also leads the Division of Global Affairs and holds a tenured faculty appointment as Associate Professor of English Language & Linguistics.
Dr. Askildson has been an active member and leader of many academic and professional organizations throughout his career. He is the former Executive Secretary of the International Association for Language Learning Technology as well as a current trustee and board member of the Center for the Advanced Study of International Education, and an advisory board member of the federally funded Title VI National Foreign Language Resource Center on Language Assessment & Evaluation based at Georgetown University.
Advisory Board Members
Mr. Craig Lesser
Pendleton Consulting Group, LLC
Former Economic Development Commissioner for the State of Georgia
Mr. Lesser is the former commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. He is now in the private sector providing advice and strategy in the areas of economic development and government affairs through various entities including the Pendleton Consulting Group, the JEL Consulting Group and the Saffron Group.
Mr. Lesser served the Department of Economic Development from 2004-2007. As chief marketing officer for the state, he led efforts to recruit new business to Georgia and expand trade and tourism on a global stage. During his tenure, there were almost 500 new investment and expansion announcements, totaling more than $8 billion, creating more than 40,000 new jobs. Mr. Lesser also oversaw expansion of Georgia’s international presence with the opening of state representation in Chile, Brazil, China and France, in addition to the already existing international offices. During this period, he also served as president of Hemisphere, Inc., a public private partnership that led efforts to bring the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas Secretariat to Atlanta.
Previously, Mr. Lesser served as managing director of McKenna Long & Aldridge, where he headed international affairs consulting. He served as vice president of government and regulatory affairs for Georgia Power Company; president and CEO of Mirant, New York; and senior vice president of external affairs for Mirant Americas.
He is chairman of the board of the World Trade Center, Atlanta, chairman of the board of the World Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the international committee of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, secretary of the Georgia China Alliance and trustee of CIFAL , a UN based initiative to train elected officials in the western hemisphere. He recently agreed to join the board of the Council for Quality Growth.
Mr. Lesser has been recognized numerous times by Georgia Trend, James Magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of Georgia’s most influential people and has been honored for his work in the international sector and the arts by a number of organizations. He has been asked to speak on international business at universities and seminars around the world.
He received his B.A. from the State University of New York College at Oneonta and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Leadership Georgia and the Regional Leadership Institute.
Ms. Nadia Theodore
Consulate General of Canada
Southeastern United States
1175 Peachtree St NE Colony Square Suite 1700, Atlanta, GA 30361
Nadia Theodore, Consul General of Canada, was appointed and began her tenure in September 2017. While based in Atlanta, as Canada’s Consul General she is responsible for strengthening and deepening the Canada-U.S. relationship across six states of the Southeast – Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
As a career trade negotiator and trade-policy professional for the Canadian government, Consul General Theodore has held executive leadership positions in several of Canada’s trade negotiations, including serving as one of the two Deputy Chief Negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) and as the Executive Director of Canada’s Secretariat for the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.
Consul General Theodore previously served at Canada's Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization and at Canada's Permanent Mission to the United Nations, in Geneva Switzerland. Consul General Theodore has a passion for community engagement, especially around youth and education, and currently volunteers with EverbodyWins! Atlanta and Usher’s New Look.
Kathy Schwaig, PhD
Michael J. Coles College of Business
Kennesaw State University
560 Parliament Garden Way NW, Kennesaw, GA 30144
Kathy Schwaig is Dean of the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University, where she is also Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Entrepreneurial Management and a Professor of Information Systems. Dr. Schwaig joined the faculty at KSU in 2002, bringing with her more than 20 years of teaching and professional experience.
Dr. Schwaig is an authority on the subjects of information privacy and policy formulation. Her research in these areas has been published in some of the leading journals in the information systems field, including Information Systems Research, Communications of the ACM and Journal of Management Information Systems. She has also served in several administrative roles at the departmental and collegiate levels.
A native of central Texas, Dr. Schwaig earned a BBA in Accounting and an MBA in Information Systems from Baylor University, a Masters of Liberal Arts from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD in Management Information Systems from the University of South Carolina.
Dr. Schwaig supports charitable and education causes across Georgia. She currently serves on the boards of Junior Achievement of Georgia, Mount Paran Christian School, and the Cobb Community Foundation, and is a former board member of the Atlanta Care Center, the Alliance for Children Everywhere, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Cobb Community Board. In addition to her research, teaching, and administrative responsibilities, Dr. Schwaig serves as a consultant and board member for an Atlanta-based IT staffing firm.
Dr. Schwaig has earned many awards recognizing her work inside and outside the classroom. She has received the Oscar Burnett Award for Distinguished Achievement in Business from the Morris Brown College Foundation, the Cobb Executive Women’s Glass Ceiling Award, and Atlanta Magazine’s Women Making a Mark Award.
Kathy and her husband, Mike, live in Kennesaw, Georgia and have one daughter, Emma Grace.
Mrs. Julie Kimball
Chair, Student Financial Success Committee
Kennesaw State University Foundation
3391 Town Point Drive
Suite 4530/Mail Drop 9101
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Julie is the Chair of the Student Financial Success Committee with the Kennesaw State University Foundation. She has been a member of the KSU Foundation since 2014 and prior to that was Vice-Chair of the Southern Polytechnic Foundation (member since 2003). Julie also serves on the Finance and Compensation Committee as well as the Investment Committee, and she is an advisor to the Honors College at KSU.
Outside of her passion for education and volunteering for Foundation activities, Julie works part time as an investment trader. She is the retired CEO of Summit Financial Solutions, an income tax and financial planning firm in Woodstock, Ga. Happily married to Jim Kimball since college, they have two children. Jordan is an RN, and Jason is an Architect (SPSU 2008). They love to travel, share good wine with good friends and spend time with their two grandchildren, Alaina and Zach.
Mr. Javier Díaz de León
Consul General of Mexico in Atlanta
1700 Chantilly Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30324