Leadership and Staff

Milken Scholars Program
Milken Family Foundation
1250 Fourth Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401-1353
Email: milkenscholars@mff.org
Web Site: www.milkenscholars.org

Mike Milken

Michael Milken

Mike Milken's career has mirrored his three main professional passions: education, medical research and finance. In each, he has been uniquely successful in creating value, whether measured in lives saved (Fortune magazine called him "The Man Who Changed Medicine"), students inspired or jobs created. Between 1969 and 1989, he financed more than 3,200 companies that collectively created millions of jobs. His philanthropy began in the 1970s and paralleled his business career. In 1982, he co-founded the Milken Family Foundation. He helped launch the Melanoma Research Alliance, and he heads FasterCures, a Washington-based think tank that works to remove barriers to progress against all life-threatening diseases. He chairs the Milken Institute, an economic think tank whose annual Global Conference brings 3,500 thought leaders from more than 50 nations to Los Angeles each spring. Mike graduated with highest distinction from Berkeley and earned his MBA at the Wharton School. He and his wife of 45 years, Lori, have three children and eight grandchildren. Details are at www.mikemilken.com.


Lori Milken

Lori Milken

Lori 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 Finerman

Ralph Finerman

Ralph 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

Jane Foley

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.


Mariano Guzman

Mariano Guzmán

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.


Gregory Milken

Gregory Milken

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.


Janet Gonzales

Janet Gonzales joined the Milken Scholars Program in November 2014. She serves as the Milken Scholars Senior Associate. Prior to joining, Janet worked as a Programs Coordinator with the Alumni Relations department at California State University, Long Beach for eight years. At Long Beach, she coordinated various events such as Homecoming, Concerts in the Grove and the Alumni Awards Banquet. She worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers Community Affairs Department assisting with pre-game activities and various community programs with the Dodgers Dream Foundation. She received her BA in Management and Marketing as well as her MA in Occupational Studies: Public Administration and is currently pursuing an MA degree in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from California State University, Long Beach. She enjoys reading and watching movies.



Joyce Cheng

Joyce joined the team in October 2018 and 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.Ed. from Loyola Marymount University.


Greg Gallagher

Greg Gallagher

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.

Jenny Lee

Jenny Lee joined the Foundation in May 2016 and is the Program Coordinator for the Milken Educator Awards and Milken Scholars Program. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, with a major in Psychology and minor in Psychology and Law.  While completing her degree, Jenny helped establish the USC chapter of Jumpstart, an early education and reading program for preschoolers in under-resourced communities to help build their language, literacy, and social-emotional skills. Passionate about foster youth advocacy, she is a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA of LA) and is a volunteer college-readiness workshop facilitator for foster youth. Jenny is a San Diego native and enjoys the beach and yoga in her free time.