Board of Directors

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Ruth Bettandorff

Asst. Vice President Academic Affairs Emeritus, University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus

Ruth Bettandorff recently retired as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of the University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus in Lawrenceville, GA. She was with UGA for 9 years and has held administrative positions at several other universities in Georgia, Kentucky, and Mississippi. She has a Ph.D. in Student Personnel and Higher Education Administration from University of Mississippi and a B.A. in English from Calif. State University-Chico. Her faculty appointment is with the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration and Policy and she has an appointment as Senior Public Service Faculty. She lives in Athens with her husband.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Michele Ozumba

President, Women's College Coalition

Michele Ozumba became the president of the Women's College Coalition on March 16, 2015. A history and political science graduate of Douglass College, with a Master's degree in city and regional planning from Rutgers, Michele has over twenty years of successful leadership experience with organizations focused on the empowerment and well-being of women and girls. She was recently recognized as one of FAST Company's Extraordinary Women of 2013. 

For the past three years, she headed up the San Francisco-based membership organization Women's Funding Network, a global network of women's foundations with a membership of 166 women's foundations in 27 countries. Before that, she served for over a decade as President and CEO of the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and helped build G-CAPP into the nation's largest state level teenage pregnancy prevention organization. Prior to that, Michele served as a Program Director of the Division of Public Health for the GA Department of Human Resources and as a research associate for the Georgia School-Age Care Association. 

Michele has extensive global experience and contacts.  She spent over a decade as a Senior Lecturer on the Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Nigeria and has been a presenter and moderator at numerous international conferences, from the UN Commission on the Status of Women in NYC to the African Women's Organization for Millennium Initiatives in Senegal to the Association of Women in Development in Istanbul. 

Elizabeth Kiss, president of Agnes Scott College and chair of the Women's College Coalition Board of Directors, describes Michele as "passionate about the value of a woman's college education" and uniquely suited to "bring fresh ideas and energy to our work developing strategies to reshape public understanding of women's colleges."

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Courtney Davis

Attorney, Harris & Liken LLP

Courtney Davis is an Attorney with Harris & Liken, LLP. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology, her M.P.A., and her J.D. from the University of Georgia. Prior to becoming an attorney, Courtney spent more than ten years in nonprofit management, most recently as the Executive Director of the Athens Area Homeless Shelter. She has chaired several successful Jeannette Rankin Fund events. Courtney is also a member of the Rotary Club of the Classic City of Athens and serves on the board of Extra Special People.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Laura Bierema

Associate Dean and Professor, University of Georgia

Laura Bierema (on left at JRF's annual High Hat Party) is associate dean and professor at the University of Georgia where she currently serves as Associate Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Education. Laura has also worked at Michigan State University in the School of Labor and Industrial Relations. Her research interests include adult learning, workplace learning, career development, women's development and organization development.

Laura has written several books and published over 40 articles that have appeared in both research and professional publications. She is the editor of Women’s Career Development across the Lifespan: Insights and Strategies for Women, Organizations, and Adult Educators; co-author of Philosophy and Practice of Organizational Learning, Performance and Change; co-editor of Critical Issues in Human Resource Development; author of Implementing a Critical Approach to Organization Development; and co-author of Adult Learning: Linking Research and Practice.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Rob Larsen

Senior Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch

Robert McClatchey Larsen serves as the team’s retirement and planning specialist – working directly with individuals and organizations to determine their retirement situations and aspirations, then implementing customized investment strategies to reach them. Rob currently holds a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation.

Rob joined Merrill Lynch in 2006 as an intern in the Private Banking and Investment Group, after graduating cum laude from the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Honors Program with a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Finance. Active in his community, Rob served as an officer of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, and a donor of his time and resources to his local Ducks Unlimited Chapter and LifeSouth Chapter. Born and raised in Atlanta by a family that is active in the Buckhead community, Rob, his wife, Kate Welch Larsen, and their dog live in Brookhaven.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Steve Hollis

Chairman of the Board & EVP Development, PPI

Steve is the co-owner and chairman of PPI, a diversified company that provides more than 600 jobs in Georgia and North Carolina.  The company produces a variety of products and services, earning many awards for its sustainable product designs, worker friendliness, community involvement, and contributions to the sustainability of the environment and economy. Steve is an expert on lean manufacturing and work culture.  His focus is on creating a collaborative culture that brings together people, process and technology to sustain a high level of innovation.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Michelle Cook

Vice President
Associate Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, University of Georgia

Michelle has launched several projects at the Office of Institutional Diversity, including a certificate program in diversity and inclusion for faculty and staff, a seed grant to stimulate diversity related research, and more. She’s served as co-principal investigator for the Peach State Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, a National Science Foundation program that aims to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minorities pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. She previously served as associate dean of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and she has taught in the history department and the Institute for African-American Studies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton, a master’s in African-American Studies from Yale and a doctorate in history from Duke.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Maureen Byrnes

Lead Research Scientist, George Washington University

For over 30 years, Maureen has served in leadership positions in the federal government, philanthropy and the non-profit sector. From 1997-2005, Maureen was the Director of the Health and Human Services program at The Pew Charitable Trusts where she designed and implemented a wide variety of initiatives to address challenges in the fields of public health, foster care and science policy. After leaving The Pew Charitable Trusts, she served as Executive Director of Human Rights First. She worked as Vice President of the Association of American Universities advising presidents and chancellors of 62 public and private research universities. Maureen earned her Master of Public Administration degree at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Bachelor of Arts degree at LeMoyne College, magna cum laude.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Libby Pollock

Vice President of Transformational Change, Assurant

Libby’s expertise is in leading change management efforts for strategic business transformation – developing and implementing strategies and plans including internal change capabilities throughout organizations. Highlights of her experience include leading Coca-Cola through organizational redesign impacting 60,000 associates, creating an IT Center of Excellence at Coca-Cola, and facilitating the integration of acquired companies into the larger company. She also led Cox Enterprises through change management planning and implementation. Libby has earned the Prosci Change Management Certification and Oriel, Inc., Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Liberal Arts and Management Program at Indiana University, magna cum laude.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Angela Roffle

Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Human Services, St. Louis Community College

In 1997, Angela received a Jeannette Rankin Fund scholarship that helped her earn her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. After graduating in 1999, she went on to receive her MSW and now teaches future social workers as an assistant professor and department chair of human services at St. Louis Community College.

Previously, Angela served as interim executive director of ROWEL, a Missouri welfare reform organization of low-income people and their allies, and as director of programs for Echo Emergency Children’s Home. She also served as a member of Empower Missouri and currently sits on the personnel and public relations board committees of the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County Inc. Angela is actively involved with the National Organization of Human Services, National Association of University Women, American Association of University Women in Community Colleges, Missouri Community College Association, National Black Child Development Corp. and the National Association of Social Workers. Recently, she was presented with the Courageous Educator Award by Educators for Social Justice.

Jeanette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund

Danine Knowles Hodge


Danine Knowles Hodge has more than 15 years of financial experience working exclusively with non-profit organizations with budgets ranging from $3M-$150M to improve finance and personnel internal controls, fundraising and identifying and implementing innovative programs to meet the needs of the clients and the communities served. Danine changed careers from the for-profit financial sector to work in the non-profit sector and effect a change in the world after becoming a single mother of one son. Through her personal struggles she gained an affinity for organizations that champion education, the arts, advocacy, and community development. Danine holds a BS in Business Management from University of Maryland and a MS in Organizational Management from St. Joseph’s College in New York. She is also a graduate of Columbia University’s Non-Profit Executive Management Program. Danine served as a member of the Board of Directors Cypress Hills Collegiate Prep and is currently an Advisory Policy Council Member for GuideStar, Inc.