Brandeis Board of Trustees welcomes new members

Barbara A. Dortch-Okara and Lewis Brooks

Barbara A. Dortch-Okara ā€™71 and Lewis Brooks ā€™80, Pā€™16.

Lewis Brooks '80, P'16 and Barbara A. Dortch-Okara '71, have joined the Brandeis University Board of Trustees as new members. Their terms will begin May 20, the day after Brandeis’ Commencement exercises.

Lewis Brooks is chief information officer with DDB Worldwide, one of the world’s largest and most-awarded advertising networks. He has served on the Brandeis Alumni Association’s Board of Directors since 2011, first as a member at large, and subsequently as a vice president. He is currently the Alumni Board’s Hiatt Career Center representative. Recently he was elected as president of the Alumni Board, to begin serving July 1, 2019. He joins the Board of Trustees by virtue of his office as Alumni Board president and will serve through Commencement 2021.

An avid photographer, Brooks took many thousands of pictures of his classmates and friends during his time at Brandeis. He produced highly popular slideshows beginning his first year on campus, and he continues to share them at class reunions. He also serves as the correspondent for his class. Brooks received his BA from Brandeis in psychology and is married to fellow alumna Denise Silber Brooks ’84; they have two children, Eddie and Hannah '16.

Barbara Dortch-Okara was the first African American and the first woman to become Chief Justice for Administration and Management of the Massachusetts Trial Court. After graduating from Brandeis with a BA in politics, she received her JD from Boston College Law School in 1974. She was first appointed as a judge to the Boston Municipal Court in 1984, to the Massachusetts Superior Court in 1989, and was named to oversee management of the Trial Court in 1998. Following her retirement from the bench, she was a professor at New England School of Law until 2018 and was appointed to chair Massachusetts’ State Ethics Commission in 2013.

Dortch-Okara was president of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and a founding member of the Massachusetts Black Woman Attorneys. She was honored with Brandeis’ Alumni Achievement Award in 1990. She will serve a four-year term on the Board of Trustees through Commencement 2023.

“Both Barbara and Lewis arrive on the board with a deep commitment to their alma mater,” said President Ron Liebowitz. “Barbara will bring much wisdom from her years on the bench, and Lewis brings the perspective of a Brandeis parent as well as a long-time engaged alumnus. I am pleased and grateful that they are joining the Board of Trustees.”

“Lewis and Barbara embarked on outstanding careers after graduating from Brandeis, and I know the university will benefit greatly from the leadership and guidance they will provide as trustees,” said Meyer Koplow '72, P’02, P’05, chair of the Board of Trustees.

Koplow was reelected as chair of the board through Commencement 2022. Trustees Frances R. Bermanzohn '78, Barbara A. Mandel P'73, and Daniel J. Jick '79, P'09, P'12 were also elected as vice chairs of the board through Commencement 2022.

The board reelected members Lisa R. Kranc '75, Gregory A. Petsko, Adam J. Rifkin '97, Cynthia D. Shapira, Mark Surchin ’78 and Curtis Tearte ’73 to four-year terms through Commencement 2023.

Trustees Allen B. Alter '71 and Joyce G. Krasnow, P'83 are concluding their terms on the board. Susan Curnan P'21, Wendy Cadge and Daniel Bergstresser have completed their terms as faculty representatives. Undergraduate student Christian Nunez '19 and graduate student Dusan Stojicic, Heller MA'19, MS'19 will also conclude their time as student representatives to the board.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Brandeis as a whole, I express our thanks to the outgoing trustees and representatives,” Koplow said. “They have made invaluable contributions to the university and we appreciate the time and talents that they share with the board.”   

Categories: Alumni

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