Leadership and Staff
|Milken Scholars Program
Milken Family Foundation
1250 Fourth Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401-1353
Web Site: www.milkenscholars.org
Michael Milken has been at the forefront of successful initiatives in medical research, education, public health and access to capital for more than four decades. Fortune called him “The Man Who Changed Medicine” and Forbes listed him among “Visionaries Reimagining Our Children’s Future.” In 1982 he formalized his philanthropy by co-founding the Milken Family Foundation. The Milken Institute hosts more than 250 events annually, including major conferences in Singapore, London, Abu Dhabi, New York, Los Angeles and Washington. In March 2020, Mike redirected the efforts of his foundations, the Institute’s 10 centers, and the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University to respond to the coronavirus crisis, including developing policy recommendations, expediting treatments and addressing funding issues; he also launched a series of podcasts titled, “Responding to Covid-19: Conversations with Mike Milken.” As a financier, Mike revolutionized modern capital markets by pricing and rewarding risk more efficiently. The thousands of companies he financed created millions of jobs. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Milken earned his M.B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He and his wife Lori have been married since 1968 and are members of the Giving Pledge; they have three children and 10 grandchildren. More information is at www.mikemilken.com.
Lori MilkenLori Milken is a member of the Milken Family Foundation Board of Trustees and has played an active role in establishing relationships between the Foundation and organizations that are doing critical work to advance the Foundation's mission in the areas of education and medical research. Mrs. Milken is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Brentwood School, the Boards of Directors of the Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA and the Milken Community High School. In addition to her work with children, Mrs. Milken serves as a board member for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Besides her philanthropic work, Mrs. Milken is the founder and publisher of Delphinium Books—a company that focuses primarily on emerging writers. Mrs. Milken has played a critical role in the Milken Scholars Program since its inception in 1989. She participates each year in the selection process, provides direction for new initiatives of the Program and maintains relationships with many of the Scholars. Mrs. Milken received a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley and a master's degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Ralph FinermanRalph Finerman is senior vice president and treasurer of the Milken Family Foundation, and has long been an active participant in all Foundation initiatives as a member of its Board of Directors. A certified public accountant and attorney, Mr. Finerman received his bachelor of science degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an LL.B. from Columbia Law School and an LL.M. in taxation from New York University School of Law. Mr. Finerman has been instrumental in the development of the Milken Scholars Program from its inception in 1989. During this time, Mr. Finerman has overseen the growth of the program from a handful of students to well over 200 Milken Scholars. Through his involvement, Mr. Finerman has assisted many scholars in achieving their professional and academic goals.
Jane Foley, a 1994 recipient of the Milken Educator Award, is senior vice president, Milken Educator Awards, at the Milken Family Foundation. She oversees the selection and notification of Milken Educators, and works with state agencies on state events related to the Awards.
She is senior advisor for the Lowell Milken Center, a Kansas-based initiative that supports projects aimed at teaching respect and understanding throughout America and the world. From 2006 to 2010, she was senior advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. William Bennett and led a team of Milken Educators to develop an online curriculum and advance the use of his American History books, America: The Last Best Hope, in schools across the country. Starting in 2002, Dr. Foley led a Foundation project to disseminate an interdisciplinary curriculum guide based on The Children of Willesden Lane, a World War II memoir by Grammy-nominated pianist Mona Golabek that serves as a rich learning resource for schools.
Dr. Foley was a public school educator for 24 years. Before coming to the Foundation in 1998, she was principal of Flint Lake Elementary School in Indiana which, under her leadership, attained state and national recognition in the areas of school restructuring, professional development, technology integration, and student achievement. Dr. Foley received her Ph.D. from Purdue University, and her honors include the 2011 Distinguished Education Alumni Award from Purdue University's College of Education.
As director of the Milken Scholars Program, Dr. Foley provides guidance to the Scholars with respect to their academic and career goals, and oversees the selection and interview process for new Scholars as well as the planning of program events and activities.
A member of the board of trustees for the Milken Family Foundation, Mariano Guzmán has served as a director of the Milken Scholars program since its inception in 1989, and now serves as its director emeritus. He has developed significant relationships with each of the Milken Scholars and has worked diligently to ensure that all Scholars reach their full potential as students and professionals. Mariano received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Manhattan College and several graduate degrees in education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He is currently the senior executive director for the Office of Field Support for the New York City Department of Education.
He has served as chairman of the Hispanic Federation of New York; vice chairman of the Albert Oliver Program; co-chairman of De La Salle Academy; chairman of Hispanics in Philanthropy; trustee of the Inner City Scholarship Fund of the Archdiocese of New York; trustee of Lexington School for the Deaf; and a Governor-appointed member of the Jackie Robinson Commission. In 2005, he was the recipient of Reclaiming Youth International's prestigious Circle of Courage Award for a lifetime of work dedicated to youth.
A member of the Board of Trustees for the Milken Family Foundation, Gregory Milken is actively involved in Foundation initiatives such as the Milken Scholars Program, the Milken Educator Awards and Mike's Math Club. He also serves on the board of the Milken Institute and is active in planning education panels for the annual Global Conference. In his current role as director of strategic planning for Knowledge Learning Corporation, which operates over 850 preschool centers and 550 before- and after-school programs in the U.S., Mr. Milken examines new business opportunities and acts as an advocate for early education in the political arena. Mr. Milken received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in international relations and Asian studies, an M.A. from Stanford in international policy studies and an M.B.A. from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.
As director emeritus of the Milken Scholars Program, Mr. Milken provides guidance to the Scholars with respect to their academic and career goals.
Evelyn joined the Milken Institute in August 2019 and currently serves as the Director of the Milken Scholars Program. For over a decade she has worked in the global education nonprofit sector pursuing her passion of creating access to education and career development opportunities for young leaders. Prior to joining the team, Evelyn provided technical oversight of a multimillion-dollar USAID initiative at FHI 360 in Washington D.C., where she worked with a regional team in Central America and the Caribbean to provide scholarships to youth for college enrollment, mentoring, soft skills training and career services for labor bridging. For 10 years Evelyn worked with the Institute of International Education (IIE) managing scholar outreach, admissions and advising for highly selective scholarship programs including the Schwarzman Scholars Program and New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus. In her role of Deputy Director for Outreach and Scholarship Programs of Latin America and the Caribbean she was based in Mexico City working with scholars from more than 25 countries across five different scholarship programs. Evelyn earned a B.A in International Relations and a double major of Hispanic Literature from Brown University and she has a Master’s degree in International Economic Development and Nonprofit Management from the University of California, San Diego.
Joyce is a Senior Associate working with the Milken Scholars Program and Milken Educator Awards. Previously, Joyce was a Teach For America corps member and a founding teacher at Alliance Alice M. Baxter College-Ready High School where she taught Environmental Science, Biology, and served as Dean of Students. She has engaged in field experiences with Earthwatch Institute and Conservation International and was recognized by the Los Angeles Unified School District as a 2017 Hero in Education. Joyce earned her B.S. in Biology from Boston College and an M.A. in Urban Education from Loyola Marymount University.
Natalie Reyes joined the Milken Scholars Program in 2022. Prior to joining the team, she worked with a nonprofit helping people who are low income or homeless find jobs. Her past experiences also include working with the Los Angeles local government and teaching English at Xibei University in China.
Natalie combines her passion for cross cultural communication, social justice, and education to support students and alumni in the Milken Scholars Program. At the University of Southern California, she earned her Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bachelor’s with a double major in Sociology and Law History, and Culture.
A 2001 Milken Educator from Virginia, Stephanie Bishop now serves as Vice President of the Milken Educator Awards at the Milken Family Foundation. In her role at the Foundation, Stephanie supports the national network of excellence to expand and strengthen strategies that Celebrate, Elevate, and Activate Milken Educators. At the time of the Milken Award, she was a theatre arts teacher and chair of the fine arts department at Prince George High School, where she created an award-winning theatre arts program. Stephanie was a public school educator in Virginia for 25 years, serving as teacher, assistant principal, principal, and director of secondary education. She was co-chair of the inaugural I, Too, Am the Dream Contest for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in 2020. Along with a select group of Milken Educators, the Contest provided a platform for empowering students to be ambassadors for reimagining an American Dream through thought-provoking essays, poetry, spoken word, and short stories.
Having worked at the Milken Family Foundation in several capacities since 1994, Greg Gallagher now serves as a Senior Program Administrator. He leads, supervises, and executes the logistical requirements of the Milken Educator Awards department throughout the various program cycles including selection, notifications, state and national events as well as throughout the program cycles of the Milken Scholars Program, especially regarding the numerous on-site and off-site events. As Alumni Director of the Milken Scholars Program from 2009-2014, Greg interacted, mentored, provided career counseling, led community service activities and professional development with many graduates of the most elite universities in the US. Greg has also been the administrator of the Milken Festival for Youth from 2005 until present. The Festival for Youth helps young people improve the lives of their community members through service including environmental, intergenerational and civic activities. He graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Wesley Wilson joined the Foundation in June of 2019 and is a Program Administrator working with both the Milken Educator Awards and the Milken Scholars Program. Previously, she worked as a site coordinator with a local food pantry, distributing groceries to impoverished residents of Los Angeles County. She also served as liaison between the main food bank and all of its satellite locations. Wesley earned her Bachelor’s degree from North Central College with a major in Broadcast Communication and dual minors in Biology and Environmental Studies. She earned her Master’s degree in Government with an emphasis in Political Communication as well as a Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University. Wesley has lived in Southern California nearly all of her life, and in her free time enjoys hiking, reading, and attending concerts.
Jordan Cohn joined the Milken Family Foundation in 2022 as the Program Coordinator for the Milken Educator Awards. Jordan was a Teach For America corps member and First Grade Special Educator and General Education teacher in New Orleans. She attended Tulane University, double majoring in International Relations and English with a minor in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.