Chatham University elects new Board Chair and Trustees

Chatham University has named a new board chair and welcomed three new members to the University’s Board of Trustees.

David M. Hall, VP of Enterprise Partnerships at Highmark Health, was elected to serve as board chair, succeeding Jennifer T. Potter ‘66 who has been chair since 2014. Mr. Hall has served on Chatham’s Board of Trustees since 2017 and has been with Highmark Health in various leadership roles since 2011.

In addition to approving Mr. Hall as chair, the Board elected three new trustees: Kevin Acklin, Senior VP and General Counsel for the Pittsburgh Penguins; Snehal Desai, Chief Growth Officer at Evoqua Water Technologies; and Ciera Young ’14, Director of Equity & Inclusion at The Ellis School.

“Chatham is committed to maintaining a Board that is made-up of members with a variety of perspectives, voices and experiences that will continue to help guide the University forward,” said Chatham President David Finegold. “The backgrounds and expertise of our new board chair and trustees align with and enhance Chatham’s mission and strategic focus areas in healthcare, sustainability, community engagement and partnerships, and diversity and inclusion.”

David M. Hall graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. degree in economics.  He then earned an M.B.A. from George Washington University.  Mr. Hall began his career as a senior project coordinator for U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, followed by corporate banking for Mellon Bank. His focus then turned to the healthcare and drug discovery/research industry at various corporations, including UPMC Health Ventures, ImPACT Applications, Inc., and Charcot Marie Tooth Association. He joined Highmark in October 2011 as VP of Strategic Investments for Highmark Health Ventures.  He currently serves as VP of Enterprise Strategic Partnering for Highmark, where he leads the selection, engagement, and management of institutional partners for the Highmark Health enterprise. Mr. Hall serves as Treasurer of the Board of Casey’s Clubhouse, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.

Kevin Acklin graduated with a J.D. degree in 2001 from Georgetown University Law Center, after receiving his A.B. degree in Government from Harvard University.  Mr. Acklin began his career in various legal firms, most recently as Partner at Saul Ewing LLP, followed by serving as Chief of Staff to the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh and Chairman of Pittsburgh’s Urban Redevelopment Authority from 2014 to 2018. Currently, he is Senior VP and General Counsel for the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Kevin is currently serving on the Boards for the YMCA and Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh, and previously served on Boards for A+ Schools and Community Human Services Corporation.  

Snehal Desai received bachelor's degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.  He worked for more than 20 years at Dow Chemical, where he held various positions in sales, marketing, business development, and general management.  In January 2018, he was named Chief Growth Officer at Evoqua Water Technologies, where he is responsible for corporate strategy, innovation and development.  Mr. Desai serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Water Alliance. 

Ciera Young graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Chatham University in 2014 with her undergraduate degree in Cultural Studies, Film and Digital Technology, and International Studies-Africa.  She is currently Director of Equity & Inclusion at The Ellis School.  She is also the After School Program Coordinator at Arsenal Middle School, Bloomfield Garfield Corporation.  In 2018, she was awarded the YWCA Racial Justice Award and named to the Pittsburgh Business Times Top 30 Under 30 and the Top 40 Under 40 list. Ms. Young serves as a member of several boards, including Homeless Children’s Education Fund, Prototype PGH, YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh-Young Leaders Advisory Board, and “I am a Black Girl and . . .” Project Advisory Board. 

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