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Gallaudet University announced on February 12 it has selected Heather Harker as Chair and Duane Halliburton as Vice-Chair of its Board of Trustees effective October 1, 2014.

On September 30, 2014, the current Board of Trustees Chair Ben Soukup will retire, and Vice-Chair Harvey Goodstein will conclude his term.

“Since joining the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees, Ms. Harker and Mr. Halliburton have given the board a fresh perspective to the challenges and opportunities that the university is facing,” said Soukup. “I have every confidence that they will serve the university well and with integrity and distinction.”

Harker has served on the Gallaudet Board of Trustees since 2009. Harker is director of consulting and executive transitions at Third Sector New England (TSNE), which focuses on building power, knowledge, and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations. Before joining TSNE, Harker was a teaching fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and received an award for teaching excellence.

Her previous positions include serving as assistant director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, focusing on policy development, advocacy, and program development, during which she participated in the three-year Kellogg International Leadership Program which brought together 60 leaders and community change-makers from the United States, southern Africa, and Latin America. She has also served as a consultant for Northern Essex Community College and the University of Massachusetts Center for Social Policy and McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies.

Harker has also held an Echoing Green fellowship for social entrepreneurship, which took her to Malaysia to work with the deaf community to establish a public health workshop series, English as a Second Language program, a summer youth leadership camp, and allowed her to teach in schools for deaf students. She currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, Mass. Harker has a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University and an M.P.A. from Harvard University.

Halliburton has served on the Board of Trustees since 2010 and currently serves as its secretary. He is a senior IT network operations manager contractor for the Department of Defense which provides secure and reliable communications and computing support that enables our military forces to communicate globally through voice, video, and data transmission. He is a senior marketing director for Allianz and National Life Group and other financial firms where he is a distribution agent responsible for guiding clients in managing their life insurance and retirement plans. Halliburton is also co-founder of Thompson and Halliburton, LLC, a commercial and residential property management firm, and a board member of Deafinite Possibilities Foundation, which provides charitable outreach programs to underserved deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States and around the world. He is active in several organizations serving deaf and hard of hearing adults and families. He has a B.S. from Gallaudet University and an M.S. in Telecommunications and Computers from George Washington University.

The Board of Trustees also announced that it has extended the contract for President T. Alan Hurwitz by six months to December 31, 2015. Hurwitz became the 10th president of Gallaudet on January 1, 2010. Before Gallaudet, Hurwitz served for six years as president of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of eight colleges within the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, N.Y. Hurwitz also served as dean of NTID from 1998 to 2009 and as vice president and dean of RIT from 2003 to 2009. Hurwitz began his career in the engineering field before transitioning to higher education. Hurwitz holds a B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.S. from St. Louis University, and an Ed.D. from the University of Rochester.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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