Ambassador Earl N. “Phil” Phillips, Jr., Chair
High Point and Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Phil Phillips is president and chief executive officer of World Link, headquartered in High Point. He served as Ambassador of the United States to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean in 2002 and 2003.
Born in High Point, Phil is a graduate of Woodberry Forest School in Orange, Virginia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Harvard Business School. In 1972, he co-founded and was president and chief executive officer of First Factors Corporation, a financial services company, which was acquired by GE Capital in 1998. He also was a partner in Showplace, Hamilton Properties, and Phillips Interests, all real estate development and management companies specializing in home furnishing showrooms and offices.
Phil served two terms as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and served as a member of the UNC Endowment Board for 17 years. He was appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly to a four-year term on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors overseeing the 16 campuses of the UNC system and also served four years as a trustee of the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand.
Kimberly Glenn Phillips
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Kim Phillips co-founded the Phillips Ambassadors Program in 2007. Her interest in student engagement has shaped her career commitment to help build collaborative learning experiences and innovative curriculum initiatives at both secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. A graduate of Duke University, where she received her B.A., M.A. and was a Ph.D. candidate in History, she has worked for the last fifteen years with The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, on campus internationalization efforts. Kim has focused primarily on undergraduate opportunities abroad, specifically addressing issues of access and affordability, experiential learning and strategic global program expansion. As co-founder of the Phillips Ambassadors Program, she has had the opportunity and privilege to work closely with university administration, faculty and students across campus. Additionally, Kim has enjoyed serving on a variety of advisory boards including the UNC Board of Visitors, Playmakers Repertory Company, UNC Press, The Ronald McDonald House, Kidzu Museum and Full Frame Film Festival.
New York, New York
Wyatt Bruton is the Associate Director of Global Admissions, where he helps lead the strategy and execution of a highly competitive selection process designed to recruit and select next-generation leaders who will serve to deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world. Prior to joining Schwarzman Scholars, Wyatt served as Associate Director of Admissions at NYU Shanghai, where he oversaw marketing, recruitment, evaluation and selection for the first Sino-American university. He also helped lead the inaugural admissions team at Duke Kunshan University and served as a Teach For China fellow. Wyatt was one of the first Phillips Ambassadors (China ‘09) who went on to earn his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his MA from New York University.
Courtney Phillips Hyder
Charlotte, North Carolina
Courtney Phillips Hyder graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a political science degree in 1996. She resides in Charlotte, with her spouse and three children. As an undergraduate, Courtney studied abroad in London and on the Semester at Sea program. She served on the UNC Board of Visitors from 2004 -2008, and currently is a member of the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council, a nationwide network of women committed to supporting the University and students’ educational experiences.
Noreen McDonald, Ph.D.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Noreen McDonald is Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.
As senior associate dean, McDonald oversees the departments/curricula and other units in the social sciences: aerospace studies; African, African American and diaspora studies; anthropology; archaeology; Asian and Middle Eastern studies; city and regional planning; economics; geography; history; military science; naval science; peace, war and defense; political science; public policy; sociology; and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies.
She also oversees the global programs of the College that are housed in the FedEx Global Education Center: the curriculum in global studies, the Office of Study Abroad, African Studies Center, Carolina Asia Center, Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies, Center for European Studies, Institute for the Study of the Americas, and the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies.
McDonald has been a member of the UNC faculty since 2007. Since 2016, she has served as chair of the department of city and regional planning, where she holds the Thomas Willis Lambeth Distinguished Professorship. She is also the associate director of both the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety and the Southeastern Transportation Research, Innovation, Education and Development Center.
McDonald’s scholarship is at the intersection of city planning and public health. Her current projects focus on how transport technology, policy and COVID-19 impact road safety, goods movement and access to healthcare. She is an internationally recognized expert on the travel behavior of youth and young adults. Her work has demonstrated the road safety and physical activity impacts of transport and school infrastructure. Her most recent work explores disruptions associated with shared mobility, e.g., Uber/Lyft and autonomous vehicles.
She received her undergraduate degree in engineering and chemistry from Harvard University and her Ph.D. in city planning from UC Berkeley. Prior to her work in academia, she was a consultant for Cambridge Systematics and Mercer Management Consulting (now Oliver Wyman).
Shimul Melwani, Ph.D.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Shimul Melwani is the associate dean of the Undergraduate Business Program at Kenan-Flagler Business School and an associate professor of organizational behavior.
The research interests of Shimul meet at the intersection of emotions and interpersonal processes in organizations. She is conducting groundbreaking research on the influence of gossip – the negative and positive consequences of initiating and participating in it – for individuals, dyads, and groups in the workplace. She also is examining the interpersonal influence of discrete emotions on organizationally relevant outcomes. By studying the interpersonal effects of discrete emotions, such as contempt, compassion, and anger in a series of different work contexts, her research provides a richer picture of how emotions influence attributions, relationships, and performance of both those expressing emotions as well as perceiving them. In related research, Shimul is exploring the role of implicit processes that occur outside of people’s conscious awareness on critical workplace outcomes such as creativity and performance. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology and Psychological Science.
Shimul teaches courses on global leadership and organizational behavior to undergraduate and graduate students. She is an award-winning teacher. She received the 2021 Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching in the PhD Program, the 2018 Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Undergraduate Business Program, and Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, a university award.
Shimul received her PhD and master’s degree in management and organizational behavior from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Mumbai.
Charleston, South Carolina
Jordan Phillips is a founding partner of South Street Partners, a Charlotte and Charleston based real estate investment, management and development company focused on opportunistic and value added real estate investments throughout the United States. Prior to founding South Street Partners, Jordan was an analyst with Discovery Land Company, a high-end master planned community developer focused on second home properties all over North America. Prior to joining Discovery, he spent two years in Hong Kong as an analyst with Inter-Asia Venture Management, Asia’s oldest VC fund. Inter-Asia focused on providing seed capital for companies in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Jordan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in economics and a minor in Spanish.
Heather H. Ward
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Heather H. Ward is the associate provost for global affairs. Ward helps manage the Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs as well as spearheads key initiatives. As lead for 7.2 of Carolina Next — “Guarantee that a global education is available to all students” by offering “all Carolina students the best menu of global opportunities possible under challenging and changing times” — she plays an instrumental role in delivering the Global Guarantee, Carolina’s promise to provide all students access to a global education.
In her previous role leading the Study Abroad Office (SAO), Ward was responsible for a dynamic portfolio of 360 study abroad programs and exchanges in 70 countries. In 2018-19, an estimated 43% of students studied abroad before graduation, making Carolina one of the top-20 U.S. institutions for study abroad participation each year. Under Ward’s leadership, the SAO has increased study abroad scholarship funding and introduced new programs to fit the changing needs of UNC-Chapel Hill’s diverse students. Ward was also responsible for the SAO’s professional staff, budget and operations.
Prior to joining UNC-Chapel Hill in January 2019, Ward served as associate director for internationalization and global engagement at the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, D.C., where she developed programs and resources to support the internationalization of colleges and universities, as well as increased collaboration among global higher education institutions and systems. Ward also led ACE’s efforts to promote the use of technology to deliver global learning and strengthen international partnerships. Ward previously served as associate director for internationalization and outreach at George Mason University (VA) and Director of International Programs at Mary Baldwin University (VA). Her previous experience in international affairs focused on human rights, criminal justice reform and immigration, and she has held positions with the Vera Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Americas Society and U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Ward holds a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and Spanish from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. Her passion for global education began with an undergraduate semester in Madrid, Spain, followed by a summer internship and field studies in Guatemala.
James W.C. White, Ph.D.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
James W.C. White is the inaugural Craver Family Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty member in the department of earth, marine and environmental sciences. He came to UNC-Chapel Hill in July 2022 from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he had served as acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for five years and had been a faculty member in the department of geological sciences since 1988.
An internationally recognized expert in climate science, White has published some 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, is a highly cited researcher in the field and regularly gives public talks on climate change and sustainability. He was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2014.
White is a passionate and tireless supporter of the enduring value of a broad-based liberal arts education. He also believes that excellent teaching is the cornerstone of a great university. As a researcher himself, White knows that University-led research benefits the state, nation and world and contributes to the common good. He also believes that diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental tenets of the arts and sciences. At CU-Boulder, he created the first associate dean of inclusive practice in the college and made fundraising a priority for units that served students from underrepresented groups and first-generation students. He also bolstered the college’s representation of a diverse faculty. During his tenure, 50% of senior academic leaders in the college identified as women and more than half identified as being from underrepresented groups.
While at CU-Boulder, White oversaw an administrative reorganization of the college to better serve its nearly 17,000 undergraduate students. He also launched a partnership between CU-Boulder and leading Native American degree-granting institutions in Colorado to enhance undergraduate experiences and establish a supportive community.
Prior to serving as acting dean at CU-Boulder, White was director of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research and was also the founding director of the Environmental Studies Program. His research has focused on past behaviors of the Earth’s climate system, the evidence for rapid climate change in the past, and the dynamics of the modern carbon cycle.
White earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Florida State University and master’s and doctoral degrees in geological sciences from Columbia University.
Caldwell Zimmerman is a Vice President with Kian Capital Partners in Atlanta. Kian Capital is a private investment firm focused on making equity and debt investments in companies in the lower middle market. He began his career in New York City where he was an investment professional at Arsenal Capital Partners and later Harvest Partners. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina where he majored in Business Administration. Caldwell serves as the alumni member on the Phillips Ambassadors Advisory Board, having been a recipient of the scholarship when he studied abroad in Hong Kong in 2009.