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Press Releases

Governor Malloy Press Release Masthead
July 21, 2011
(HARTFORD, CT) - Governor Dannel P. Malloy today named six of his nine appointments to the Board of Regents for Higher Education, which oversees the four regional state universities, the community college system and Charter Oak State College. The Board of Regents is comprised of 19 appointments; nine by Governor Malloy (including the selection of one of his appointees as the Chair); four ex-officio, non-voting members (Commissioners of the Departments of Economic and Community Development, Public Health, Education and Labor); two student representatives; and four legislative appointments. The Governor will complete his remaining appointments in the near future.

"This is a new chapter in higher education in the State of Connecticut, one that streamlines administration and focuses more attention on student achievement and learning," said Governor Malloy. "And while the board itself and its members are new, these appointments represent a connection to, and an institutional memory of, the systems that will be governed jointly under this new board. In addition, the strong presence of members of the business community on the board will help tie this system and its work to the jobs of the future, and important economic sectors in our state. I'm looking forward to working with these and other board members as we move forward."
"While the missions of the Connecticut state universities, the Connecticut community colleges and Charter Oak State College are distinct, we need to do a better job of ensuring that our state's students who increasingly choose to move across these institutions can do so easily, affordably and with an eye toward graduating on time with real world skills and abilities," said Board of Regents Interim President Michael Meotti. "Working with the board, we will ensure that more resources are devoted to classroom learning and preparing students for the challenges that lie ahead."
Governor Malloy's appointments include:
CHAIRMAN - Lewis J. Robinson, Jr. (Hartford) is a seasoned attorney with a comprehensive background in business, law and government affairs, as well as charitable organizations. Since his retirement as General Counsel of Travelers Property Casualty (Personal Lines), he has served in a volunteer capacity with a variety of non-profit organizations. Most recently, Mr. Robinson was Chairman of the Board of The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and a board member of the Capital Community College Foundation. Before joining Travelers, Mr. Robinson was the law clerk to Justice Louis Shapiro of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and also served as an officer in the United States Army. He is a graduate of Rutgers Law School, and holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Howard University.
Merle W. Harris (West Hartford) has 45 years of educational experience, serving in several positions at institutions of higher education, high schools, grade schools and the State Department of Education. She most recently served as an adjunct professor in undergraduate and graduate programs in public policy and higher education policy, law and foundations at Charter Oak State College and the University of Hartford. Ms. Harris also works as a consultant in planning, policy development and accreditation in education and higher education. Previously, she served as Executive Director of the Board for State Academic Awards and President of Charter Oak State College, and as Interim President of Central Connecticut State University. Ms. Harris served in various roles at the Connecticut Department of Higher Education, including as Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner.
Gary Holloway (New Canaan) is a founder of Five Mile Capital Partners LLC, an alternative investment and asset management company. Prior to his time at Five Mile, he spent 15 years at Greenwich Capital Markets/Greenwich NatWest Securities, retiring in 2001 as Chairman of Greenwich Capital. Mr. Holloway is currently a board member of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, CT; Kenyon College, Gambier, OH; and Curry School of Education Foundation, Charlottesville, VA. He was also an investor and a board member of Wireless Generation, and is currently an investor and Chairman of the Board of CaseNEX-Datacation LLC. Mr. Holloway holds a masters of business administration degree from the Colgate Darden School of the University of Virginia and a bachelor's degree from Washington and Lee University.
René Lerer (Avon) is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magellan Health Services. With more than 30 years of experience in the healthcare field, Dr. Lerer was co-founder and president of Internet HealthCare Group, a healthcare technology venture fund, and also served as Chief Operating Officer of Prudential Healthcare and as President of the Travelers Health Network. An active member of the community, Dr. Lerer has served as the corporate executive sponsor for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (now the National Alliance on Mental Illness), and as the corporate walk chair for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He holds a doctor of medicine degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a bachelor's degree in psychobiology from Oberlin College.
Yvette Meléndez (South Glastonbury) is Vice President of Government and Community Alliances for Hartford Healthcare and Hartford Hospital. She has over 30 years of experience developing public policy in education, human services, and public health at the state level. Prior to her current position, Ms. Meléndez served in the roles of Chief of Staff and Chief Administrative Officer for the Connecticut State University System. Her experience also includes roles at the State Department of Education, where she led Connecticut's entry into the charter school movement; as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services (now the Department of Public Health); and as Chief of Staff for the Department of Income Maintenance (now the Department of Social Services), where she was part of the state's initial efforts to desegregate Connecticut schools. Ms. Meléndez holds a master's degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York.
Zac Zeitlin (Westport) is a former partner of Silver Point Capital, where he ran the firm's Principal Finance business. He previously worked at Goldman, Sachs & Co. and TPG Capital. Since retiring from Silver Point last year, Mr. Zeitlin has advised, invested in, or served as a board member of several education-focused companies and non-profits, including Domus, a Stamford-based charter school and community outreach organization, and QuestBridge, a college recruitment platform for high-achieving, low-income students. He received a bachelor of business administration and bachelor of arts from the University of Texas at Austin.
For Immediate Release: July 21, 2011
Contact: David Bednarz
860-524-7315 (office)
860-770-9792 (cell)
Twitter: @GovMalloyOffice
Facebook: Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy