New trustees set to join Cornell board

At its May 26 meeting, the Cornell Board of Trustees elected three new trustees to four-year terms: Jennifer L. Davis ’99; Paul D. Rubacha ’72, MBA ’73; and K. Lisa Yang ’74.

They join recent alumni-elected trustees Valisha Graves ’85 and John R. Toohey-Morales ’84, who will serve four-year terms, and undergraduate student-elected trustee J.P. Swenson ’25, who was elected to a two-year term.

Jennifer L. Davis

Paul D. Rubacha

K. Lisa Yang

Valisha Graves

John R. Toohey-Morales

J.P. Swenson

All the newly elected trustees’ terms begin July 1.

Also at the May 26 meeting, seven current trustees were reelected to four-year terms: Peter R. Call ’79; Mary Armstrong Meduski ’80; Howard L. Morgan, Ph.D. ’68; Beckie Robertson ’82; Stephen C. Robinson ’81, J.D. ’84; Susan C. Schnabel ’83; and Enrique J. Vila-Biaggi ’94, M.Eng. ’95.

Davis is a partner in Bain Capital’s North American Private Equity team, where she helps lead the firm’s investments in the consumer and retail sectors. Prior to joining Bain Capital in 2022, she spent 19 years at Goldman Sachs in various positions; she also served as Goldman Sachs’ co-head of recruiting for Cornell, and regularly mentored students entering careers in finance.

Davis currently co-chairs the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business Campaign Committee (2022-25). She has sat on the SC Johnson College Leadership Council since 2017, and will serve as a full member for one more year before becoming an ex-officio member. A year ago, she served as leader in residence at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, spending a week on campus speaking to classes, mentoring students and providing a keynote fireside chat.

Rubacha is principal and CEO of Ashley Capital, Inc., one of the largest privately held industrial real estate investment companies in the United States. Rubacha directs the firm’s investment activities and oversees the management of a professional staff located in six cities. He has more than 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in real estate, holding senior positions at the real estate departments of Goldman Sachs, Citibank and Prudential Insurance Company.

Rubacha served two terms on the Cornell University Council in the late 1990s and early 2000s and was a member of the CU Council Committee on the Arts. He serves on the College of Architecture, Art and Planning Campaign Committee and Ad Hoc Campaign Planning Committee, as well as the Baker Real Estate Advisory Board.

A gift to his alma mater last year established the Paul Rubacha Department of Real Estate.

Yang is a former investment banker in New York and Singapore who devotes much of her time to philanthropy and investment management. She retired in 2001 after a career in investment banking, starting with The First Boston Corporation and then Lehman Brothers.

Long recognized for her philanthropic investments in biomedical research related to autism and brain disorders, Yang was the lead donor to establish the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell. She is also co-founder of the Hock E. Tan and K. Lisa Yang Center for Autism Research at Harvard University, launched in 2019.

Yang is a life member of the Cornell University Council and holds memberships in the ILR School Dean’s Advisory Council, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Administrative Board, and the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics Advisory Council.

Graves is an executive director in consumer and community banking at JPMorgan Chase & Co., serving as the senior digital product lead on the API Marketplace team within digital and connected commerce.

Before joining JPMorgan Chase in September 2021, Graves spent 16 years at Morgan Stanley, starting as a product manager on the ModelWare innovation team. She also served as the business technology officer for investment banking and global capital markets; she also helped launch Enhancing Diversity in Technology at Morgan Stanley, the first Wall Street forum aimed at Black and Latino technologists.

Graves serves as the chair of the President’s Council of Cornell Women. She is a member of the Cornell University Council; the W.E. Cornell Advisory Board; the Arts and Sciences Career Connections Committee; the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network; the Cornell Black Alumni Association; and the Cornell Alumni Association of New York.

Toohey-Morales is an atmospheric and environmental scientist with a long tenure as a widely respected broadcast meteorologist. In 1991, he founded ClimaData Corporation, a boutique firm specializing in forensic meteorology and weather consulting, where he is the lead certified consulting meteorologist.

Since 2009, Toohey-Morales has served as chief meteorologist and hurricane specialist for NBC affiliate WTVJ in Miami. Toohey-Morales was elected fellow of the American Meteorological Society and was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle for exceptional and exemplary contributions in broadcasting for more than 25 years.

Toohey-Morales received the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award in 2022. He serves on the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability’s external advisory board, the CALS Advisory Board and the Cornell University Council, and is Class of ’84 president.

Swenson, a rising junior in the ILR School, is currently an undesignated at-large representative on the Student Assembly. He is involved in Pi Sigma Epsilon Business Fraternity, and writes for the Cornell Workplace Review. Swenson ran for trustee on a platform of greater access to health care, increasing communication between students and the administration, and expanding the inclusion of marginalized groups.

His goals include implementing a bike share program on campus, increasing funding for club sports and professional clubs, and strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion programming. He enjoys playing basketball, soccer and golf.

Media Contact

Rebecca Valli