Mary Duke Biddle Foundation meeting at the Washington Duke Inn, December 2021.
Mary Duke Biddle Foundation meeting at the Washington Duke Inn, December 2021.


Mrs. Biddle valued the input and wisdom of her friends and trusted advisors, and, from the beginning, the foundation’s Board of Trustees has included family and non-family members. The foundation continues her practice of actively engaging members of the community to serve as trustees. Currently, the board is comprised of three family and four non-family members.

Mary Biddle Duke Foundation portraits taken at their office on February 2, 2021.

Abayomi (Yomi) Adigun, Ph.D.

Abayomi (Yomi) Adigun, Ph.D. joined the Biddle Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2021.  Originally from Houston, Texas, he earned his undergraduate degree from Cornell University with honors and his PhD. in Pharmacology and Cancer Biology from Duke University.

Dr. Adigun is an Investment Manager with the Public Securities team at DUMAC (formerly Duke University Management Company).  Previously, he worked at Goldman Sachs in New York as an investment analyst and at Duke University Medical Center and University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Yomi is on the board of directors for the SECU Family House at UNC Hospitals and previously served on the board of Caring House in Durham.


George Biddle

George Biddle joined the Biddle board in January 2022. He is a humanitarian and development expert with over three decades of experience in crisis response, peace-building, and conflict mitigation. He is currently the chairman of World Connect, a nonprofit organization that invests in local leaders and entrepreneurs in the global South who design and implement their own sustainable, scalable community development projects. He previously held executive positions with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the International Crisis Group, and the Institute for Central American Studies.

He currently serves as a board member of the IRC as well as several other institutions, including Duke University’s Sanford School for Public Policy. He received his AB from Harvard and MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is a grandson of Mary Duke Biddle.


C. Russell Bryan

Interim Chair


C. Russell Bryan joined the Biddle board in 2004. He graduated from Duke University in 1983 with a double major in economics and French and earned an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

Mr. Bryan has more than thirty years of experience advising senior management teams, boards of directors, and business owners on mergers and acquisitions transactions. He has worked in the investment banking and capital markets groups of both Bank of America and Lehman Brothers and is currently a Managing Director at Bailey & Co., an investment banking firm in Nashville and Charlotte. 

Mr. Bryan also serves on the board of the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Foundation and is Trustee of the Jenny Lillian Semans Koortbojian Trust. 

E'Vonne Coleman

E’Vonne Coleman joined the MDBF Board of Trustees in 2024. She retired from Discover Durham as Chief Operating Officer. She has held positions with arts councils in multiple cities and worked at the National Endowment for the Arts and Duke University Office of Continuing Studies. She was also on the faculty at Goucher College Arts Administration Graduate Program and continues as lecturer.

An avid community volunteer, she serves on numerous boards including Durham Cultural Advisory Board, Manbites Dog Theater, and Durham County Stadium Authority.  She is a graduate of North Carolina Central University (Theater Major) and The American University Arts Administration Program.  

Ben Jones, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation trustee, Rubenstein Library.

Benjamin P. Jones

Ben Jones joined the Biddle Board in 2018. Mr. Jones is Chief Development Officer and General Counsel of Radiance Holdings in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Duke University in 1991 cum laude with distinction in history and has his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was on the editorial board of the school’s Environmental Law Journal. He is a past member of Duke's Trinity Board of Visitors and served as the board’s chairman of the Emerging Issues Committee. He is also the past president of the board of the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund.

Prior to joining Radiance, Mr. Jones was the Senior Director of Business Development for Qwest Communications, a telecommunications company. Before his time at Qwest, Mr. Jones was the Vice President and Assistant General Counsel for Affordable Residential Communities, a Denver-based real estate investment trust.

He is a great-grandson of Mary Duke Biddle.


Jacqueline Looney

Jacqueline Looney joined the MDBF Board of Trustees in January 2024. She retired after a 30-year career at Duke University, most recently serving as the senior associate dean for graduate programs in the Graduate School and associate vice provost. Dr. Looney spearheaded comprehensive initiatives to provide services that improved the quality of life for all graduate students. Her work in The Graduate School produced measurable changes in the diversity of the graduate student population and helped graduate students be a part of all aspects of university life. She also served as a program officer for The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, before returning to Duke.

She earned a B.A. in psychology and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate in human development from Vanderbilt University.


Joe Lucas

Vice Chair

Joe Lucas joined the Biddle board in 2020. Mr. Lucas is the managing member of Pope Flynn, LLC, a Columbia, SC based law firm specializing in public finance and governmental counsel. He earned a B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill and a J.D. from Duke University School of Law.  Prior to joining Pope Flynn, he was a partner at McGuireWoods LLP, a full-service law firm based in Richmond, VA, and Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, a full service law firm headquartered in Charlotte. 

Mr. Lucas also serves as vice president of the Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans Foundation and the president of the Josiah Charles Trent Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund. He is a great-grandson of Mary Duke Biddle.


Lois Deloatch

Lois Deloatch joined the Biddle board in 2017. She is a Senior Fellow at Self-Help where she served previously as Executive Vice President and Director of Philanthropy (Center for Responsible Lending). Over her 30+ year career, Deloatch held key fundraising positions at Duke University and North Carolina Central University, where she was Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the NCCU Foundation. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC at Chapel Hill and her MA from Duke University.

She holds volunteer leadership roles on several boards and advisory committees.

Ms. Deloatch is also a professional musician specializing in African American music.


Allison Haltom

Allison Haltom joined the Biddle board in 2017.  A Duke University graduate, Ms. Haltom had a distinguished career at her alma mater.  She held several leadership positions there, including Director of the Annual Fund, University Secretary, and Vice President. After retiring from Duke, Ms. Haltom was a Senior Associate with moss + ross, a consulting firm that provides strategic planning, fundraising, and executive search services to nonprofits.

Her volunteer leadership has focused on education, and she has served on the boards of trustees of UNC-Asheville, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Durham Academy, and the Hill Center.