Board of Directors
GORDON M. AAMOTH, MD
A personal friend and physician of James H. Binger, founder of the Robina Foundation, Dr. Aamoth has served as a Director and Officer since the Foundation’s inception in June 2004.
Dr. Aamoth grew up in North Dakota and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado College. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota and his MD from Northwestern University. His residency was completed at the University of California, San Francisco. Gordon practiced orthopedic surgery and taught at the University of Minnesota for thirty-four years. During that period he served on the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery Board of Directors and the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, holding the position of President in 2001 and 2002. He also served on the Abbott Northwestern Hospital Board, and was President of its medical staff.
Dr. Aamoth has held volunteer positions with numerous other nonprofit boards prior to joining the Robina Foundation.
SUSAN V. BERRESFORD, Secretary
Susan V. Berresford is the former President of the Ford Foundation.
Ms. Berresford joined the Ford Foundation in 1970. In her 38 years at the Ford Foundation she had numerous jobs including Project Assistant and Program Officer in the Division of National Affairs, Officer in Charge of the Foundation’s Women’s Programs, Vice President, U.S. and International Affairs Programs and Vice President of the Program Division.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Berresford served as a Program Officer for the Neighborhood Youth Corps from 1965 until 1967. In 1967-68, she worked for the Manpower Career Development Agency, where she was responsible for evaluation of training, education, and work programs.
Ms. Berresford attended Vassar College and then studied American history at Radcliffe College, where she graduated cum laude in 1965.
Ms. Berresford is a board member and chair of United States Artists and is a board member of the Independent Sector, The California Endowment, and The Kaiser Family Foundation. She also serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Trinidad Trust Fund (California) and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Berresford is the convener of the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin.
She currently works at The New York Community Trust, consulting on philanthropy, and leading several projects for the Ford Foundation.
KATHLEEN BLATZ, Chair
Kathleen Blatz is an attorney in private practice, specializing in arbitration and mediation. Prior to re-entering private practice, Kathleen was Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1998 to 2006 and served as Associate Justice from 1996 to 1998. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, she served as a Fourth Judicial District Court Judge, chambered in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Kathleen began her legal career in private practice at a large Minneapolis law firm before serving as an Assistant County Attorney in Hennepin County. In 2007, she was recognized by Minnesota Law & Politics as one of the “100 Most Influential Attorneys in State History.”
Beginning in 1979, Kathleen Blatz served eight terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives, which included five years as an Assistant Minority Leader. She also has an extensive record of service on national and regional boards, including serving as a Trustee of St. Thomas University, a board member of the Minneapolis Big Brothers Big Sisters, and as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Federal-State Jurisdiction.
Presently, Kathleen serves as a Director of the RiverSource Funds and as a Trustee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota.
Kathleen Blatz has received numerous national and regional honors, awards, and honorary degrees. She holds a B.A., summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, and an M.S.W. and J.D. with honors from the University of Minnesota.
H. PETER KAROFF
H. Peter Karoff is chairman and founder of The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), a nonprofit organization founded in 1989 that promotes philanthropy. TPI designs, manages, and evaluates philanthropic programs for individuals, families, corporations, and foundations. TPI’s goal is to help donors to invest in their own values, communities and societies for maximum impact.
Mr. Karoff was President of TPI from 1989 to 2002. For 25 years, prior to founding TPI, Peter was in the insurance and real estate businesses. He has been on the board of more than 30 nonprofit organizations, including Blackside Productions, producer of the PBS series, The Eyes on the Prize, Massachusetts Association of Mental Health, Roxbury Development Corporation, New England Foundation for the Arts, and Business Executives for National Security, The Synergos Institute, Mediators Foundation, St. Botolph Foundation, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Massachusetts Business Roundtable, WGBH Educational Foundation. Current board affiliations in addition to TPI include: Management Sciences for Health, Gerald and Henrietta Rauenhorst Foundation, the National Leadership Council of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University where he also has served as a Senior Fellow.
Peter teaches in Global and International Studies Program at the University of California Santa Barbara, and at Fielding University. He frequently speaks and writes on philanthropic and social issues and is the author of The World We Want – new dimensions in philanthropy and social change, (AltaMira Press - 2007) and editor of Just Money – A Critique of Contemporary American Philanthropy, (TPI Editions - 2004.) Peter’s poetry has been published and anthologized. A graduate of Brandeis University, Peter earned an MFA from Columbia University, and received an Honorary Degree Doctor of Humane Letters from Lesley University (2002). He was made a Fellow of the McDowell Colony in 1989 and in 2006 became a Purpose Prize Fellow.
STEPHEN R. LEWIS, JR., Treasurer
Stephen R. Lewis, Jr. is President Emeritus and Professor of Economics Emeritus at Carleton College, where he served as president from 1987 to 2002. He began senior administrative experience at Williams College, where he twice served as Provost of the College (1968-71 and 1973-77). In January 2007 he was elected Chairman of the Boards of Columbia Funds, the mutual fund group formerly IDS and American Express Funds.
An economist with a specialty in developing countries, Lewis received his BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from Williams in 1960, and his PhD in Economics from Stanford in 1963. He taught Economics at Stanford (1962-63), Harvard (1965-66), the University of Nairobi (1971-72) and Williams (1966-87), where he held the Herbert H. Lehman Professorship.
As Research Advisor to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in Karachi (1963-65), Lewis headed a research section on fiscal policy; his work resulted in two books, including Pakistan: Industrialization and Trade Policy (1970). He also lived in Nairobi (1971-73) where he served as an Economic Advisor to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development of the Government of Kenya.
In 1975, Lewis began a long association with Botswana, serving as Economic Consultant to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on a resident basis in 1977-78 and 1980-82, on short term assignments from 1975 to 1988, and occasionally until 1998. With Charles Harvey he coauthored Policy Choice and Development Performance in Botswana (1990). Lewis edited Q.K.J. Masire’s Very Brave or Very Foolish? Memoirs of an African Democrat (Macmillan, 2006). Masire served as Botswana’s Vice President and Minister of Finance from Independence in 1966 until 1980, and as its second President from 1980 to 1998. Lewis was awarded the Presidential Order of Meritorious Service by the Botswana Government in 1983.
As a result of his work in Southern Africa, Lewis was asked by the Council on Foreign Relations to analyze the South African economy, which resulting in his 1990 book The Economics of Apartheid.
Lewis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, a trustee of William Mitchell College of Law and of Wallin Education Partners, and Vice Chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is a Director of Columbia Funds and from 2002-13 of Valmont Industries, Inc. He chairs the Visiting Committee of the Center for Development Economics at Williams, and also serves as a consultant to colleges and their presidents. Among his awards are honorary degrees from Williams, Carleton, Macalester College, Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, and Lingnan University in Hong Kong.
In 1996 Lewis married the former Judith Frost Flinn. They each have three grown children and several grandchildren.
STEVEN A. SCHROEDER, MD, Vice Chair
Dr. Schroeder is Distinguished Professor of Health and Health Care, Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, UCSF, where he also heads the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center. The Center, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Legacy Foundation, works with leaders of more than 50 American health professional organizations and health care institutions to increase the cessation rate for smokers. It has expanded the types of clinician groups that support cessation, developed an alternative cessation message (Ask, Advise, Refer), created new ways to market toll-free telephone quit lines, and engaged the mental health treatment community for the first time. Between 1990 and 2002 he was President and CEO, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. During that time the Foundation made grant expenditures of almost $4 billion in pursuit of its mission of improving the health and health care of all Americans. It developed new programs in substance abuse prevention and treatment, care at the end of life, and health insurance expansion for children, among others.
Dr. Schroeder graduated with honors from Stanford University and Harvard Medical School, and trained in internal medicine at the Harvard Medical Service of Boston City Hospital and in epidemiology as an EIS Officer of the CDC. He held faculty appointments at Harvard, George Washington, and UCSF. At both George Washington and UCSF he was the founding medical director of a university-sponsored HMO, and at UCSF he founded its division of general internal medicine.
He has published extensively in the fields of clinical medicine, health care financing and organization, prevention, public health, the work force, and tobacco control. He currently is a member of the editorial board of the New England Journal of Medicine, and in addition to the Robina Foundation he is a director of the James Irvine Foundation, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Mathematica Policy Research. He formerly chaired the American Legacy Foundation, was a Council member of the Institute of Medicine, an Overseer of Harvard, and President, the Harvard Medical Alumni Association. He has six honorary doctoral degrees and numerous awards. Schroeder lives in Tiburon, California with his wife Sally, a retired schoolteacher. Their two sons are physicians, one a cardiologist and one a pediatrician. Steve and Sally have four grandchildren.
MARIANNE D. SHORT
Marianne D. Short joined UnitedHealth Group as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer in January 2013. She is responsible for overseeing legal, regulatory and compliance matters across the enterprise. UnitedHealth Group is the most diversified health care company in the United States and a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, serving more than 80 million individuals worldwide with operations in all fifty states and 20 other nations.
In addition, Ms. Short is the internal lead director of UnitedHealth Foundation, which is devoted to improving access to quality, cost-effective medical care and enhancing community well-being. She is also chairperson of the Charitable Giving Committee, helping to raise funds for the communities where the people of UnitedHealth Group live and work.
Prior to joining the company, Ms. Short had over 35 years of courtroom and management experiences. From 2007-2012, she was the Managing Partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP with responsibility for over 600 attorneys in 19 offices world-wide. In addition to her management responsibilities, Ms. Short was an active litigation partner, co-chair of the firm’s Appellate and Health Litigation practice groups, and is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Civil Trial Specialist, and ranked among America’s leading business lawyers by Chambers USA.
From 1988-2000, Ms. Short served as a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals and authored more than 900 opinions in virtually every area of civil and criminal law. Prior to 1988, Ms. Short was an attorney at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Dorsey firm. She is a native of Minnesota, serves on numerous non-profit boards, including Boston College Board of Trustees, University of St. Thomas Board of Trustees, the Board of Trustees of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and the Cargill Foundation. Ms. Short earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Newton College of the Sacred Heart in 1973, and her law degree from Boston College Law School in 1976.