Alliance Leadership and Governance

The structure of Alliance leadership is shaped by its present status as a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project. As an NSF funded project, responsibility for Alliance leadership falls on the Principal Investigator (PI) and the three co-PIs as named in the grant which funds the Alliance.  The PI serves as Alliance Director, while the co-PIs serve as three of the four members of the Alliance Advisory Board.  As the Alliance evolves into a non-profit, it will become self-governing and will need to develop appropriate governance structures.  The Director and the Advisory Board will be consulting with the Alliance community as to how to move forward in this area.

As a step in this direction and in recognition of the increasingly important role played by the Alliance regions, the Advisory Board has created the position of Regional Director for each of these regions.  The Regional Directors serve on the Alliance Regional Board, which, together with the Alliance Director and the Alliance Advisory Board, constitutes the Alliance governance structure at present.

It should be noted here that Dr. Carlos Castillo Chavez, while not a formal part of the Alliance governance structure, plays a central role in Alliance leadership.  Alliance leadership has benefited greatly from his advice and wisdom and the entire Alliance community has benefited from the support that he, his staff and his colleagues at Arizona State University have provided for the Field of Dreams Conference, which has been held in the Phoenix area in each of the past three years and will be held there again this fall.

Here is the Alliance Directorship at present.

Alliance Director:


Phil Kutzko, Professor of Mathematics and Collegiate Fellow at the University of Iowa. Dr. Kutzko was a co-founder of the Alliance for the Production of African American Ph.D.s in the Mathematical Sciences and he wrote the successful proposals to NSF which presently fund the National Alliance. He also, along with his colleagues in the University of Iowa Department of Mathematics, has played a key role in the University of Iowa Graduate Minority Initiative in Mathematics.  Dr. Kutzko is a 2010 PAESMEM awardee.


Alliance Advisory Board:

Donald Cole

Donald Cole, Assistant Provost and Assistant to the Chancellor Concerning Minority Affairs and Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Mississippi.   Dr. Cole was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi and enrolled at the University of Mississippi in 1968, becoming one a handful of African Americans at the school.  He was expelled two years later for protesting the racial discrimination then prevalent at Ole Miss but returned as a graduate student and earned his doctoral degree there.  He has been a leader in the drive to increase the number of African American students awarded doctoral degrees in mathematics at Ole Miss, an effort which earned the department the 2009 Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference award from the American Mathematical Society.


William Yslas Vele

William Yslas Velez, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at the University of Arizona.  Dr. Velez was one of the founders of Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS.)  As Director of the Math Center at the University of Arizona, he has overseen a remarkable increase in the number of math majors at the U of A, an achievement which earned the Center the 2011 AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department.  Dr.Velez is a 1997 PAESMEM awardee.



M. Helena Noronha, Professor of Mathematics at California State University- Northridge. Dr. Noronha earned her Ph.D. degree from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil in 1983. She came to the U.S. in 1986 and subsequently was a Visiting Researcher at UCSB, UCSD, and UCLA before joining the California State University-Northridge (CSUN) faculty in 1990. She served as Program Director for Topology and Geometric Analysis program at the NSF from 2000 through 2002 and from 2009 through 2011. During this time she also worked with Workforce programs such as VIGRE, MCTP, and MSPRF.  She is currently the PI of two NSF grants to increase diversity in mathematical sciences, PUMP, a program to prepare undergraduates to succeed in PhD programs and RE-C^2, a program to take mathematical research to Community Colleges.



Leslie Ain McClure, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Drexel University. Dr. McClure was a math major as an undergraduate, but felt that she wanted to use her quantitative skills in a very applied fashion, and thus found that Biostatistics was the perfect field for her! Dr. McClure has an active research profile, with applied interests in stroke and cardiovascular diseases, and methodological interests in clinical trials methodology, and environmental studies. Dr. McClure has a passion for teaching, and has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to both teaching and mentoring.