Introducing the 2014 Alumni Service Award Recipients

Seven alumni, who advance the mission of university through volunteer efforts — ensuring the university’s impact on our community and future generations of students — will be honored on Thursday, April 3, at the 53rd Annual Alumni Outstanding Service Awards.  All alumni are invited to attend the event, hosted by the George Washington Alumni Association (GWAA).

Learn more about the 2014 honorees:

Will Alexander, SEAS BS ’04, GWSB MBA ’06, is a 2000 graduate of The School Without Walls, where he served as class president and was captain of the track team, among other activities. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship to attend GW and pursue studies in mechanical engineering. As a student, Alexander joined the GW Cheer Team, was active in the National Society of Black Engineers and joined the brotherhood of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., among other extracurricular activities. In 2004, he was awarded a Presidential Administrative Fellowship to continue graduate studies at GW; he pursued an MBA with a concentration in small business and entrepreneurship. After graduating in 2006, Alexander began a career in construction management, joining Turner Construction as an engineer in their special projects/interiors division. He has since earned distinctions as a LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) and Project Management Professional (PMP), and can be found back on GW’s campus regularly auditing courses to continue his education. Alexander joined the staff of Foulger-Pratt Contracting, LLC in the fall of 2012; presently he works as both superintendent and project manager on his assigned projects. He and his wife, a GW alumna, reside in Ft. Washington, MD.

Bret Caldwell, CCAS BA ’92, GSPM MA ’96, is director of communications and chief spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing more than 1.4 million workers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Caldwell served as assistant director of constituent outreach and deputy political director for NARAL – Pro-Choice America. He also worked as a grassroots and media coordinator for political campaigns such as Michael Dukakis for President, Ann Richards for Governor in Texas, David Price for Congress in North Carolina and independent expenditure campaigns such as the Clean Up Congress campaign against Oliver North for the U.S. Senate in Virginia. Bret also worked for Speaker of the House Jim Wright and two other members of Congress. As director of communications, Caldwell serves as a senior advisor to Hoffa and oversees the internal and external communications efforts of the union – ensuring a coordinated public relations program. Caldwell also serves as the co-chair of the Teamsters Labor History Research Center at GW. He was instrumental in securing more than $7 million to establish the Teamster archives in 2008, the Teamsters Labor History Research Center in 2010 and the James R. Hoffa Chair in Modern Labor History in 2014.

Harjinder Gill, MVC BBA ’99, is a senior financial analyst at the Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In her role, she directs financial services for the establishment of health insurance marketplaces. In 2013, Gill received the CMS Administrator’s Special Citation Award for her exceptional achievements and work with states. Gill’s professional background includes work in both the private and public sectors, including experience at GMMB and McKinsey & Company.  Gill also serves as an independent financial consultant, advising clients on financial management and tax preparation. She has a bachelor’s in business administration from Mount Vernon College and masters in business administration from Marymount University. Gill was the last senior class president of Mount Vernon College, and she has been engaged with the Mount Vernon Alumni Association and the Mount Vernon National Advisory Council since graduation. With the Council’s support, she helped to spearhead a mentoring program for Elizabeth J. Somers Women’s Leadership Program students. Gill is also a member of the GWAA. In addition, she serves as the president of the Arlington Montessori House (AMH) and chair of the Fundraising Committee at AMH.

Dr. David Nadler, ESIA BA ’70, is a principal and co-founder of Nadler Advisory Services, a firm that consults with boards of directors, CEOs, and executive teams on issues of leadership, governance and team effectiveness.  Prior to that, Dr. Nadler spent seven years as vice chairman of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services firm with annual revenues of approximately $12 billion. He was the founder and CEO of the Delta Consulting Group–which in 2000 joined Marsh & McLennan Companies–and he was CEO of Mercer Delta Consulting from 2000-2005. Dr. Nadler is widely recognized as a thought leader and respected advisor to CEOs and boards in the areas of corporate governance, executive leadership, organization design and executive team development. He is well known for his research and writing on organizational change, corporate governance, organization design and executive teams.  He has written numerous articles and book chapters and has authored and/or edited 16 books. Dr. Nadler has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and an MA and PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan. He has served for 20 years on the board of Prep for Prep, a program for the education of gifted minority children, and is on the board of directors of the New York City Ballet.  At GW, he is a member of the Board of Trustees, and is chairman emeritus of the Board of Advisors at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

Dr. Lara Oboler, SMHS MD ’95, is an interventional cardiologist at the Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute in New York City, where she founded The Women and Heart Disease Program at Lenox Hill Hospital.  She also serves as cardiology attending for Community Outreach, a program that provides medical services to the underprivileged in lower Manhattan. Dr. Oboler graduated from Tufts University with a BS in mathematics.  She then received her MD at GW’s School of Medicine in 1995. She completed an internal medicine residency at Mount Sinai Hospital, and then went on to cardiology and interventional cardiology fellowships at Beth Israel Hospital in New York. Dr. Oboler serves on the Dean’s Council of the GW School of Medicine.  She has been instrumental in establishing the GW Women’s Physician Network in both New York and Washington DC.  Dr. Oboler has also hosted numerous Manhattan based events for GW School of Medicine alumni and incoming medical students. Dr. Oboler resides in Manhattan with her husband, Louis Jaffe, and their three children. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Allen Stevenson School.

Robert Snyder, GWSB BBA ’95, is the executive director of planning and outreach in the division of student affairs at GW. In this role, he leads project and change management for cross-divisional enhancement initiatives for his division, including assessment and continuous improvement, communications and outreach, development and alumni relations and student services on the Mount Vernon and Virginia Science and Technology campuses. He also directs the university’s Presidential Administrative Fellowship program and has worked on university-wide career services enhancements. A GW staff member since 2004, Snyder previously held positions in the Office of the President, Mount Vernon Campus Life and the Office of the Dean of Freshmen. He also serves on the Board of Directors for GW Hillel, where he chairs the governance committee. Snyder earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and sociology from GW, as well as master’s degrees in education and business administration from the University of Delaware. There, he worked in the offices of admissions and university relations for nine years before returning to GW. He is currently a doctoral candidate in higher education administration at GW.

William Ziegler, GWSB BBA ’81, is entering his second year as co-chair of GW’s Luther Rice Society Real Estate and Finance Alliance (REFA) Board. During his tenure on the REFA Board, he has spearheaded the development of a successful mentorship program that places GW students in competitive jobs with top-tier global financial and real estate firms. He also serves on the GW School of Business board of advisors. He is currently a managing partner at Talengin in New York and has previously held global leadership roles at UBS and Accenture. Ziegler has more than 25 years of experience in human capital and talent development and management. In senior roles at UBS, Deloitte and Accenture, he advised executive leadership on emerging strategies to attract and retain top talent at both the experienced and campus hire levels. Most recently, as a UBS managing director, he served on the Zurich-based HR Executive Committee and oversaw recruiting across four divisions globally. Prior to his corporate experience, Ziegler’s tenure as a legislative assistant for a U.S. Congressional representative gave him a comprehensive understanding in a range of federal and state issues, including economic development and foreign policy, which still informs his work today.

–Congratulations the 2014 Alumni Outstanding Service Award honorees! To learn more about the Service Awards, visit alumni.gwu.edu.

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2 Comments

  1. Joseph Henchman said:

    I don’t have too much against the Teamsters or NARAL Pro-Choice America but I wouldn’t characterize being on their paid staffs as “advancing the mission of [GWU] through volunteer efforts.”

    Joseph Henchman
    GW Law ’07

    • GW Alumni Staff said:

      Thank you for your feedback, Joseph. The Alumni Service Award recipients are recognized for their contributions to the GW community, and the 2014 awards ceremony will highlight those contributions in more detail.

      These biographies are posted in advance of the event so that fellow alumni can learn about the awards and get to know this year’s recipients. We did not mean to imply that they were being honored for their career achievements, as the focus of the Service Awards is the recipients’ volunteer efforts with GW.

      Please stay tuned for more information about the 2014 awards ceremony, and thank you, again, for reading!

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