Six new members have been elected to the Northwestern University Board of Trustees.

They are:

  • Leslie Donavan, president and CEO of SAI
  • Melih Keyman, president and CEO of Keytrade AG
  • Bhadrashyam H. Kothari, chairman and managing director of the H.C. Kothari Group of Companies
  • Robin Neustein, senior director of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
  • David Sachs, co-founder and senior advisor in the Ares Capital Markets Group, Ares Management LLC
  • W. Rockwell Wirtz, chairman of the Wirtz Corporation

Donavan, Neustein, Sachs and Wirtz earned degrees at Northwestern.

Leslie Donavan

Donavan is president and CEO of SAI, an international aquatic training and safety services organization. An alumna of the Northwestern University School of Law, she served as the president of the Northwestern Alumni Association from 2008 to 2010.

She has been active with the Alumni Association since 1985 and served on the recent Northwestern Presidential Search Committee. Prior to her current role, Donavan practiced law at Schiff Hardin and at Martin, Craig, Chester & Sonnenschein, and she served as Volunteer Brand Protection Manager for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. 

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and lives in Illinois.

Melih Keyman

Keyman is the president, CEO and founder of Keytrade AG, a company that trades globally  in fertilizers and grain meals and proteins. He has been a generous supporter of Northwestern’s developing programs in Turkish Studies, a crucial element of former President Henry Bienen’s efforts to expand Middle East studies.

Prior to founding Keytrade AG, he held leadership positions in ENKA Marketing of Turkey and Transammonia. Keyman is a member of the board of directors of The Fertilizer Institute and a council member of International Fertilizer Association. He has a B.A. degree from the University of New Hampshire and lives in Zurich.

Bhadrashyam H. Kothari

Kothari currently serves as chairman and managing director of the H.C. Kotari Group, a group of companies founded by his family in the early 20th century.

He has more than 22 years of experience in administration and management in the petrochemical, sugar and financial services industries and is focusing on environmental preservation and numerous socio-economic development activities specifically for the rural sector.

Kothari is the Honorary Consul for Austria in Chennai, a member of the Board of Governors of Institute for Financial Management & Research (IFMR), board member of Sankara Nethralaya hospital and the president of Loyola Alumni Association. 

Kothari recently hosted President Schapiro at an event in India. He graduated from the University of Madras’ Loyola College with a bachelor’s degree in commerce and lives in Chennai, India.

Robin Neustein

Neustein is a senior director of Goldman Sachs. She joined the firm in 1982 and became a general partner in 1990 and a senior director in 2002. She was a member of the firm’s Management, Operating and Partnership Committees, the three key governance bodies, held line positions in multiple operating divisions and was the firm’s chief of staff.

Neustein is the managing member of her family office, Rosh Holdings LLC, and a founding partner of Circle Financial Group, a peer-to-peer wealth management organization founded by and for women.

She has served as a member of the NU Technology Transfer Committee and is a member of the Kellogg School of Management Pete Henderson Society, which honors those who have helped make Kellogg a leader in management education.

Neustein is founder and trustee of Lightfigher Trust, which supports basic and clinical research on combat traumas. She attended Mount Holyoke College, received an A.B. from Brown University and earned a J.D. and an M.M. from Northwestern. She divides her time between New York City and Jerusalem. 

David Sachs

Sachs is a co-founder of Ares Management LLC, a global alternative asset manager and SEC-registered investment adviser with approximately $40 billion of committed capital under management.

He graduated from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management science and is currently a member of the McCormick Advisory Council as well as a member of the school’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation advisory board.

Sachs is a director of Terex Corporation (NYSE TEX) and the lead director of F & W Media, Inc. He lives in California. 

W. Rockwell Wirtz

Rocky Wirtz is president of Wirtz Corporation, one of the largest family-owned businesses in the United States, chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks and president of Wirtz Beverage Group, a leading national distributor of the world’s top luxury and premium wine, spirits and beer brands.

He oversees commercial and residential real estate companies, an insurance company, banks in Illinois and Florida, and he is co-chairman of the executive committee of Chicago’s United Center.

Under Wirtz’s direction, the Blackhawks won their first championship in 49 years, bringing home the 2010 Stanley Cup. He was honored for achievements with the Chicago Blackhawks and the Wirtz Beverage Group as a recipient of the “Vision Award” at the 2010 Chicago Innovation Awards.

Wirtz also serves as a trustee for The Field Museum and was recently appointed to the executive committee of the National Hockey League. He is a 1975 graduate of Northwestern University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Wirtz served from 1982 to 1984 as an alumni trustee, and he established the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Endowment for Visiting Artists at Northwestern in honor of his grandmother. He has served on the School of Communication National Advisory Council since 1986 and was a member of the John Evans Club board of directors. He lives in Chicago’s northern suburbs. 

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