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Emory University board appoints trustees to executive committee

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The Emory University Board of Trustees has appointed three trustees to its Executive Committee: Shan Carr Cooper, Teresa M. Rivero and Leah Ward Sears.

Cooper, vice president of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company and general manager of the company’s Marietta, Georgia, facility, will serve as vice chair of the board's Audit and Compliance Committee.

Rivero, lead senior program officer with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will chair the Campus Life Committee.

Sears, retired chief justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia and a partner at Schiff Hardin, will serve as vice chair of the Governance, Trusteeship and Nominations Committee.


Cooper, general manager of Lockheed Martin's Marietta facility, is responsible for the more than 5,500-employee operation, as well as the company’s subassembly sites in Meridian, Mississippi, and Clarksburg, West Virginia. She also serves as the company’s vice president of business ethics.

Cooper holds an MBA from Emory's Roberto C. Goizueta Business School and is a graduate of the Rutgers Global Executive Master's in Human Resource Leadership Program. Cooper was elected an Emory alumni trustee in 2013.


Rivero, as part of the Gates Foundation's College-Ready team, focuses on systems grant making that advances the foundation’s mission of raising the national high school graduation rate and helping all students—regardless of race or family income—graduate prepared for college.

She is a graduate of Emory University, where she earned a BBA in finance and an MPH. Rivero also holds an MBA from Georgia State University. Rivero was elected an Emory alumni trustee in 2007 and a term trustee in 2012.


Sears was the youngest person and first woman to serve as a superior court judge in Fulton County, Georgia, and when appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia by then Gov. Zell Miller, became the first woman and youngest person ever to serve on that court. In 2005, Sears became the first woman to serve as chief justice, and retired in 2009 after 27 years of service in the judiciary.

Sears received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University, her JD from Emory University School of Law, and an LLM in appellate judicial process from the University of Virginia. She holds several honorary degrees, and is the recipient of the Emory Medal, the university's highest honor. Sears was elected an Emory alumni trustee in 2010.


The 43-member Board of Trustees oversees the governance and long-range fiduciary health of the university. Between meetings of the board, the Executive Committee has general charge of the affairs of the university and carries out any directions or resolutions of the board until the board's next meeting.

Term trustee nominees are selected by the board's Governance, Trusteeship and Nominations committee; nominees for alumni trustees are recommended by the Emory Alumni Board. Both are submitted to the Board of Trustees for consideration and approval. Final approval rests with the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church.

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