Trustees

trustees

First row left to right: James D. Semans, Jon Zeljo (chair), Mary T. Jones (retired 2014). Second row left to right: Thomas S. Kenan, III, C. Russell Bryan, John G. Mebane, Jr.

C. Russell Bryan graduated from Duke University in 1983 with a double major in economics and French. He earned an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, and studied economics and art history in Paris with Columbia University. Bryan has more than twenty years of experience advising senior management teams, boards of directors, and business owners in a variety of strategic and financial transactions. He is managing director and partner at Brookwood Associates, an investment banking firm in Charlotte.

HarrisChristopher M. Harris, great-grandson of Mary Duke Biddle, joined the Biddle Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2015. Mr. Harris, a native of Charlotte, NC, has extensive experience in the nonprofit and education fields as both a professional and volunteer. Since 2007, he has worked for Blackbaud, an industry leader in nonprofit software for fundraising, website management, analytics, and financial management. He earned his B.A. and M.B.A from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education.

Thomas S. Kenan III was born in Durham and received his bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a vice chairman and director of Flagler System Inc. In addition to his extensive business operations, Kenan is active with a number of civic, philanthropic, and arts organizations, including The Duke Endowment, UNC-CH’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

John G. Mebane, Jr., earned his bachelor’s and M.B.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A chartered financial analyst, Mebane is the retired manager of the southeast office of Greycourt & Co., Inc., which provides financial advisory services to wealthy families and select endowments. Prior to joining Greycourt, Mebane was the CIO of The Duke Endowment. He has served as a trust investment officer at Wachovia and Mellon Banks.

James D.B.T. Semans was born in Durham in 1957. He graduated from the Hill School in Pennsylvania, and oversees the restoration and maintenance of historic properties in New York and North Carolina. A grandson of Mary Duke Biddle, he is a member emeritus of the Sarah P. Duke Gardens advisory board, and lives in Chapel Hill.

Jonathan E. Zeljo was born in 1972 and received his bachelor's degree in history from Duke University and his master's degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Virginia. After nearly a decade at Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., as director of Chinese Studies and Global Initiatives and chair of the history department, he is now assistant director of the Program for Teaching East Asia at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the son of Mary Duke Trent Jones and a great-grandson of Mary Duke Biddle.

 

Trustee Emerita

Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans (1920-2012), a lifelong philanthropist, civic leader, humanitarian, and great-granddaughter of university namesake Washington Duke, served on the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation throughout her life. The daughter of Mary Lillian Duke and Anthony J. Drexel Biddle Jr., Mary D.B.T. Semans was a tireless advocate for arts, education, and social justice. Read more.

 

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