Board of Governors
John F. Williams, MD, EdD, MS, MPH, FCCM Chairman
John F. Williams, MD, Ed D, MPH, FCCM, was the 16th President of SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, a position he held from 2012- 2016. He was also Professor of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, and Public Health at Downstate.
As president of Downstate, Williams promoted collaboration and a multidisciplinary focus across the academic and clinical disciplines as he has guided the University through a period of significant financial challenges; developed an innovative health care delivery system model for Brooklyn; transformed the clinical operation to align with population health management and federal and state reform initiatives; advanced Downstate’s role as Brooklyn’s hub of health education, biomedical research, and clinical care; engaged Downstate in long-term planning to develop new models of integrated, value based, and patient-centered care; established programs and policies to improve infrastructure and drive sustainability; and launched forward-looking initiatives to ensure responsible stewardship of Downstate’s resources.
Previously, Williams was Provost and Vice President for Health Affairs at The George Washington University. He also served as Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice President for Graduate Medical Education at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Assistant Dean for Admissions for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He was a member of the faculty for 28 years and is Professor Emeritus at George Washington University.
President George W. Bush, and three subsequent Secretaries of Homeland Security, appointed Williams to the Homeland Security Advisory Council of the United States. He was appointed by Thomas Ridge, former Secretary of Homeland Security, to the Emergency Response Senior Advisory Committee of the Department of Homeland Security, and he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Emergency Services, Law Enforcement, and Public Health and Hospitals Senior Advisory Committee. He was also appointed, by the Mayor of the District of Columbia to the Domestic Preparedness Task Force for the metropolitan Washington area, and he was a member of the Health and Medical Subcommittees of this Task Force. He has also served as a Director of Universal Health Services Inc.as a member of the Advisory Board at Atlas Research LLC, the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, the American Public Health Association, the American Medical Association, the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. William is a member of the board and active volunteer for Washington, DC based Food & Friends.
His honors include the Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa from the Republic of Panama for his efforts to create the International Center for Tropical Disease and Genomic Studies, a commendation from The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Officers Foundation for his lifelong commitment to health in the United States, a commendation from the students of George Washington University for his dedication the students, a medal from the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine for his contributions to the health of the people of China, a Certificate of Appreciation and Plaque from the Shanghai Second Medical University for his dedication and support, a flag of the United States of America from Congressman Edward J. Markey for his outstanding contributions to the improvement of the health of the nation, a distinguished alumni award from Boston University for his outstanding contributions to his community and profession, the People’s Medal from the People’s Republic of China for his medical contributions to the people of China, the Outstanding Clinical Teacher of the Year award from the American Medical Student Association, and a Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Yale Alumni in Public Health. In 2006 the American Diabetes Association honored him as Father of the Year.
Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University in 1970, a Master of Science from The London School of Economics and Political Science in 1973, a Master’s of Public Health from Yale University in 1975, and Doctorates of Medicine (1970) and Education (1996) from George Washington University.
Linda Bowden, MA, MBA, MSW
Linda Bowden, MA, MBA, MSW, retired as New Jersey regional president of PNC Bank in July 2021. Bowden was responsible for providing executive leadership and supporting client relationship and business development initiatives across the firm’s lines of business in the region and greater New York City.
Bowden was named among the “25 Women to Watch” by U.S. Banker magazine and was recognized as one of the “Best 50 Women in Business” and “Power 100” by N.J. business news publication, NJBiz. She is also a member of the N.J. Hall of Fame in the Enterprise category
Prior to joining PNC in 2009, she was the managing director of Wachovia Wealth Management. Bowden began her career as a teacher for seven years in Wyckoff, N.J.
Bowden is active in a range of community programs and is a member of the executive committee of the N.J. Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Bowden is a member of the board of Jersey Central Power & Light, a founding board member and executive committee member of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, a board of trustee and executive committee member at Fairleigh Dickinson University and recently joined Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation Board. She received the Fairleigh Dickinson University PINNACLE award, the highest alumni honor. Bowden is also the former chair of the Board of Directors of the N.J. State Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of the Drumthwacket Foundation. Bowden is a past board and executive committee member at Choose New Jersey, as well as a board of trustees member of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and a past member at Newark Alliance.
Bowden earned an M.S.W. from Columbia University, an M.A in institutional counseling from William Paterson University, an M.B.A. with a concentration in finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and a B.A in education from Rowan University. Bowden completed the National Trust School at Northwestern University and earned a Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation.
Raymond G. Chambers, MBA
Raymond G. Chambers, MBA, is a philanthropist and humanitarian who has directed most of his efforts towards helping children. He is the Chairman of Wesray Social Investments LP, Ambassador to the World Health Organization for Global Strategy and Health Financing, and Chairman of the MCJ Amelior Foundation. Most previously, Chambers served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Health in Agenda 2030 and for Malaria.
He is the founding Chairman of the Points of Light Foundation and co-founder, with Colin Powell, of America’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth. He also co-founded the National Mentoring Partnership.
Chambers is the co-founder of Malaria No More. He is the Founding Chairman of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is the former Chairman of Wesray Capital Corporation, which he co-founded with William E. Simon. He is also the co-founder of the YES Network.
Mary Ann Christopher, MSN, RN, FAAN
Mary Ann Christopher, MSN, RN, FAAN, is a strategic health care executive and board director with an exceptional record of innovation and market expansion at leading payor, provider, and technology companies. Christopher was the CEO of a community based health care system in the US with $2B in revenue and over 18,000 interprofessional team members. She served as an Officer of a $13B health plan. She has led mergers, integrations and turnarounds at multibillion-dollar organizations, launched far-reaching community health initiatives and driven aggressive growth and diversification strategies. Christopher has provided crucial leadership on dozens of boards and commissions, including the boards of private equity backed companies, driving top line revenue growth with successful exits and profitability. She has served on Finance, Audit, Compensation, and Executive Committees of Boards.
Christopher has written extensively and addressed international audiences on health care equity, access, and financing. Christopher has been named among the NJBIZ’s list of the Best 50 Women in Business (2017), the Top 50 Most Powerful Health Care Leaders in New Jersey and received the prestigious American Nurses Association Honorary Human Rights Award.
Christopher is a Board Director of private equity backed RestorixHealth, Health Recovery Solutions, Hazel Health and Legacy Hospice, Unitek, and True Learn. She is a Senior Operating Adviser for the private equity company, LLR Partners.
Christopher was President and Chief Executive Officer of Visiting Nurse Service of New York (2012-2014) and Visiting Nurse Association Health Group of New Jersey (2001-2011), the largest community- based nonprofit home care and hospice organizations in the nation.
She was a founding member of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and formerly served as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, facilitating its merger with Rutgers University. She served as a congressional appointee to the National Advisory Council on Nursing Education and Practice for the US Department of Health and Human Services. She served as a past member of Health Research and Educational Trust of New Jersey (HRET) of the New Jersey Hospital Association. Christopher serves on the boards of the New Jersey Healthcare Quality Institute and Christian Brothers Academy.
Christopher has a Master of Science in Nursing from Seton Hall University and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (summa cum laude) from Fairfield University. She has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Fairfield University and Monmouth University.
Amy Cradic, MA
Recently appointed Vice President of Government Affairs and Policy for NJ Resources (NJR). Before joining NJR, Cradic served as Chief of Staff in Governor Christie’s administration and performed the role of Chief Operating Officer for the State of New Jersey, managed the Governor’s agenda, provided strategic direction for budgetary Matters, policy and planning, communications as well as legislative and constituent relations. Prior, Cradic served in the Governor’s office as Deputy Chief of Staff and senior policy advisor.
A veteran of state government for nearly 25 years, Cradic has worked in both Republican and Democratic Administrations. She served as an Assistant Commissioner in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), taught as an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey, and worked in the communications departments at the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education and the NJDEP.
Additionally, she served as a delegate for the Center for U.S. Global Leadership, a gubernatorial appointee to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Regional Planning Body and the Drumthwacket Foundation, and as a member of the Natural Areas Council, Garden State Preservation Trust, and Aquaculture Advisory Council.
Cradic received her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Arts degree in mass communication from New York University.
Ulises Diaz is the Senior Vice President of Government and Community Affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
Prior to joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Diaz served as Director of Government Affairs at Verizon in New Jersey, responsible for NJ State Legislative and Regulatory functions.
Diaz previously served as Vice President of External Affairs at United Water in New Jersey where he was responsible for government and public affairs, communications, and business development. At United Water, he was successful in privatizing the water and wastewater concessions of Puerto Rico ─ the largest privatization of its kind valued at $5 billion.
Diaz is a former Chairman of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation where he continues to serve as a trustee. He was also appointed by Governor Corzine as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Diaz is a member of the Hispanic Institute and the Meadowlands Chamber of Commerce and Commerce and Industry Association.
He holds a B.A. in business administration from Rutgers University.
Frank Fekete, CPA
Frank Fekete, CPA, is managing partner with Mandel, Fekete & Bloom, CPAs, a certified public accounting firm based in Jersey City, NJ. He has been with the firm for more than 40 years.
Fekete serves as Chairman of the Hackensack Meridian Health System Board of Trustees and is a member of the Executive Committee. He chairs the Executive Compensation Committee.
He joined the Hackensack University Health Network Board of Trustees in 2011 and served as vice chair and treasurer. He also chaired the Executive and Physician Compensation Committee and served on the Board Development Committee. In addition, he chaired the Strategic Planning Committee and participated in the merger of Hackensack and Meridian Health. Fekete also chairs the Hackensack University Medical Center Mountainside Joint Venture Board.
Fekete is also Chairman of the Board of St. Peter’s University and serves on the boards of Provident Financial Services and John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. He previously served as a member and chair of the board of Christ Hospital and as past chair of the Christ Hospital Foundation.
Fekete earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting at St. Peter’s University (Jersey City, NJ) and he received his CPA license in 1978.
Robert S. Hekemian, Jr., MSc
Robert S. Hekemian, Jr., MSc, has been involved in a variety of real estate activities for over 40 years, including property management, leasing, mortgage financing, construction, and acquisitions of multifamily, residential, and commercial properties located throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He has served as Chief Executive Officer of Hekemian & Co. since 2021. From 2004 to 2020, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Hekemian & Co. From 1983 to 2003, Hekemian served as Executive Vice President of Hekemian & Co. He is principally responsible for identifying real estate acquisitions and evaluating the performance of the real estate properties managed by Hekemian & Co. with a view toward strategic decision making.
Hekemian has served as a director of FREIT Maryland since 2007 and was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of FREIT Maryland in April.
Hekemian formerly served on the Board of Oritani Bank and was Chair of the Loan Committee. Hekemian is a member of the Board of Governors of Hackensack University Medical Center and a former director of the Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. He formerly served on the Board of the New York Philharmonic and was the former Chairman of the Bergen County Community College Foundation. Hekemian is a Board Member of the Oritani Charitable Foundation, he was appointed Condemnation Commissioner by the State of New Jersey, and he has served on various corporate and charitable committees. He is a current Board Member of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and chairs the Student Affairs Committee.
Hekemian majored in Finance and Real Estate and minored in Justice at the American University. He earned a Masters of Science in Management from the MIT Sloan School of Management, having also been named an MIT Sloan Fellow in 1994.
Vaughn L. McKoy, JD, MBA
Vaughn L. McKoy, JD, MBA, provides strategic business and legal advice to a diverse group of clients, often serving in the role of outside general counsel, on matters relating to regulatory, corporate governance, ethics and compliance, government affairs, and commercial litigation. In addition to serving in private practice at prominent law firms, McKoy worked directly for private corporations as well as public entities at all levels of government.
As the COO of the City of Paterson, NJ, McKoy was appointed by the mayor to help lead the city’s transformation and new policy implementation. He led several economic development projects, including the restoration of the Hinchliffe Stadium, one of two remaining Negro League baseball stadiums in the country.
McKoy held successive leadership roles for more than a decade with a major regional utility company. Initially assistant general counsel, he served as president of a related foundation before assuming the role of managing director/vice president of legal for a newly established subsidiary.
As an Assistant Attorney General and Director of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, McKoy directed the overall legal and business operations of the 1,000 employee, $60M division. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney.
Recently, McKoy was selected as a member of the prestigious Merit Selection Committee of the U.S. District Court, which helps to select federal magistrate court judges, and was appointed to the Boards of Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine and Middlesex Water Company where he is a member of the Audit Committees. McKoy is also the New Jersey Chair for Tiger 21. Deeply committed to supporting local communities, McKoy is a long-time leader of nonprofits, serving as a board member for regional organizations, including, UNCF, The Dfree Global Foundation, Inc., The Boys and Girls Clubs of New Jersey, and Mentor New York.
William J. Montgoris
William Montgoris retired as Chief Operating Officer of The Bear Stearns Companies, Inc. in 1999, a position he held since August 1993 after spending 20 years with the company. While at Bear Stearns, Montgoris also served as the company’s Chief Financial Officer from April 1987 until October 1996.
Montgoris serves as the Lead Independent Director of Carter’s, Inc., and the board of Hackensack University Medical Center. He is a trustee emeritus of St. John’s University and Colby College. Montgoris was previously on the board of Stage Stores Inc, as its Non-Executive Board chair and was a member of the board of directors of OfficeMax, Inc. from July 2007 until November 2013.
Joseph Nyre, Ph.D.
Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D., is the 21st president of Seton Hall. He is a US Naval veteran and a first-generation college graduate. Since taking the helm on August 1, 2019, Nyre has guided the University through the pandemic while advancing a vision to elevate Seton Hall among the nation’s foremost Catholic universities. He assumed the presidency of Seton Hall after leading Iona College for eight years.
Prior to leading multiple institutions, Nyre practiced as a psychologist in academic, clinical and private practice settings while serving in a faculty capacity at several institutions, including Baylor University, the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine, and Harvard Medical School. He is highly regarded in developmental psychopathology, system innovation and public policy reform, having garnered more than $40 million in extramural funding.
Nyre received a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; an M.A. from the University of Missouri; an Ed.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas; and completed pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard Medical School and the University of Kansas.
Robert O’Hara is a retired partner of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. A member of the Hackensack University Medical Center Board of Trustees and currently serving on the Finance Committee, he is also a founding governor of the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine. O’Hara serves as chairman of the Adaptive Sports Foundation, is the Founder of the Hudson Farm Club, recently named one of the nation’s top ten sporting Clubs, and a member of its Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, he is currently the president of Career Guidance, a nonprofit company serving the New York metropolitan area. O’Hara was past Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Jersey and received Honoree of the Year awards from the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Adaptive Sports Foundation.
Richard Park, M.D.
Richard Park, M.D., is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Ascend Capital Partners and Chief Executive Officer of Rendr Care Physicians. He was the Founder CEO and Board CHairman of CityMD – Summit Medical Group.
Previously he served as the Associate Director of the Nassau University Medical Center Emergency Department. He was chief resident in emergency medicine at LIJ/Albert Einstein College of Medicine from 2002-2003. He has received numerous teaching awards, including: Teaching the Teacher Fellowship for the NS-LIJ Medical System, NS-LIJ Medical System Teaching Award, Osler Dispensary Teaching Attending of the Year Award, and Graduating Resident Teaching Award. He is co-founder and co-director of The Manhattan Written Board Review Course and co-editor of the text, Intensive Review for the Emergency Medicine Qualifying Examination.
Park holds an M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Jennifer Velez, JD
Jennifer Velez, JD, is the Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ). Prior to joining Horizon BCBSNJ, Velez served as the Chief Impact Officer of Shatterproof – a national not for profit organization that is dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis. Her work focused on transforming the way addiction treatment is accessed and delivered in the United States.
Velez joined RWJBarnabas Health in March 2015, as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning, after serving for eight years as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services under both Governors Chris Christie and Jon Corzine. She has the distinction of being the State’s longest-serving Human Services Commissioner where she managed the largest State agency with budget, personnel and operational responsibility for nearly $11 billion, approximately 16,000 employees, eight operational divisions, including Medicaid, five developmental centers and four psychiatric hospitals. She previously served three Governors in the Office of Governor’s Counsel (Whitman, DiFrancesco and McGreevey).
As an Executive Vice President of RWJBarnabas Health, where Velez led the health system’s interdisciplinary response to the opioid epidemic, she advanced her continuing improvements to the societal and economic issues that impact vulnerable communities.
Velez was included among the list of ROI Influencers: Women in Business 2022, named Top 25 Innovators in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare in 2019, and Number 1 on the 2014 NJBIZ Power 50 Healthcare list, where she had been listed for six consecutive years. She serves on the board of Drew University, where she is a member of the Executive Committee and chairs the Committee on Trustees, and is a Visiting Associate of the Eagleton Institute of Politics. Among a number of special awards, she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Rutgers Law School in 2017, was the recipient of the 2015 Codey Award from Carrier Clinic, and received the 2015 Spirit of the Arc award from Arc of New Jersey. In 2013, the Women Lawyers Association of New Jersey presented Velez with the Women’s Initiative and Leaders in Law Award.
Velez received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Drew University and holds a Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law, Newark.
Board of Governors Chairman
John F. Williams, MD, EdD, MS, MPH, FCCM
Board of Governors Members
Linda Bowden, MA, MBA, MSW
Raymond G. Chambers, MBA
Mary Ann Christopher, MSN, RN, FAAN
Amy Cradic, MA
Frank Fekete, CPA
Robert S. Hekemian, Jr., MSc
Vaughn L. McKoy, JD, MBA
William J. Montgoris
Richard Park, M.D.
Jennifer Velez, JD