Curry Foundation Board Welcomes Three New Directors This Year
The Curry School of Education Foundation has welcomed three new members to its board of directors in 2016, each of whom brings professional stature, a rich network of contacts and a passion for education to the Foundation’s mission of supporting the Curry School.
Kristin Merlo and David Foster joined the board last spring. Merlo is chief marketing, information, and sales officer of Delta Dental of Washington. She is responsible for Delta Dental’s information technology strategy and delivery, new sales and client retention, broker management, advertising and marketing communications, product management, digital strategy, and government relations.
A UVA alumna, Merlo earned her bachelor’s degree in history in 1985 and her master’s in business administration from the UVA Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 1990. She and her family live in Mercer Island, Washington.
“Due in large part to its exceptional leadership, Curry is educating among the most well-prepared educators in the country,” Merlo said. “I can think of no more worthy endeavor to support.”
David Foster has been a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP since 1990. He is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States and numerous federal circuit and district courts. Foster was appointed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to the Virginia Board of Education in 2010, and the board elected him to a two-year term as president in 2012. In 2013 the Curry School awarded him its Distinguished Service to the Commonwealth Award.
“After twelve years’ service on our local school board and the state board of education, I know the importance of educators to our schools—and indeed to our democracy,” Foster said. “Promoting the mission of Curry is promoting the mission of enlightened self-government.”
He and his wife Martha reside in Arlington, Va. Martha is an alumna of the Curry School (currently working on her third Curry degree) and is a past member of the Curry Foundation Engagement Committee.
The most-recent addition to the board is Douglas Dunnan. Dunnan founded The Grosvenor Funds in 1994 and has made over 60 venture capital investments with his partners in the past ten years. Prior to co-founding the firm, he spent ten years at Salomon Brothers—in his final two years heading the private placement of equity.
Dunnan graduated from Cornell University, Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago Business School. He lives in Rye, N.Y., with his wife Calvine. Their daughter Calvine Harvey is a 2008 graduate of Curry’s dual-degree bachelor of arts/master of teaching program, and their son Morgan is currently a student in the Darden-Curry MBA/MED program.
“After having a daughter receive her Master’s in Education from Curry and a son currently in the joint Darden-Curry program, I welcome the chance to invest my time in and ensure progress at Curry.” Dunnan said. “I have enjoyed watching the efforts of Dean [Robert C.] Pianta over the years and now can become directly involved.”
Foundation executive director Gerry Starsia said, “I met with each of these outstanding new members this past summer and am thrilled by their willingness to join the Curry Foundation board. As we prepare for the upcoming capital campaign, the guidance of our work by what is an extraordinarily talented board of directors is both humbling and exciting. I look forward to working with the board, the faculty and staff to put the finishing touches on what looks to be a very exciting, collaborative and impactful campaign.”