Voinovich Fellows


Beverly Jones

Beverly Jones consults on leadership matters and coaches executives and professionals to address strategic challenges, navigate transitions, and create more productive work lives. Her broad client base includes federal agencies, including the Federal Reserve Board and the Smithsonian Institution, and organizations like the Inter-American Development Bank and the NAS Institute of Medicine, as well as trade associations and universities. She also works with attorneys, media executives, wealth managers and other professionals. Jones is an attorney who for 13 years led external affairs and policy matters for Consolidated Natural Gas Company, a Fortune 300 energy and utility company. In addition to her law degree and leadership coaching certificate from Georgetown University, Jones holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism and a master's degree in Business Administration from Ohio University, as well as a certificate on senior management in government from Harvard's Kennedy School. Jones began her legal career at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Before law school she established the first Affirmative Action program at Ohio University.

Watch Beverly Jones on the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism YouTube Channel as she reflects on Ohio University's role on her life and career, click here.  And enjoy listening to Beverly on WOUB as she discussing career consulting, click here.


Channing-Tenenbaum_Gayle_for web

Gayle Channing Tenenbaum

Gayle Channing Tenenbaum served as Executive Assistant of Human Services for Governor Richard Celeste, coordinating the cabinet departments of human services, mental health, mental retardation, youth services, health, and education. With a master’s degree in social work from the Ohio State University, she has previously directed several human services organizations in Cuyahoga County and served as a member of the Strickland Transition Team focusing on health and human services policy.

Tenenbaum was honored with the Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner’s Award, given to one individual in each state in recognition of exceptional contributions for prevention of child abuse. In 2009,  Tenenbaum served on President Barack Obama's Health and Human Services Transition team.

In 2015, Tenenbaum stepped down from her longtime role as director of policy and governmental affairs for Public Children's Services Association of Ohio, where she worked for more than 30 years.  She is turning her attention to the establishment of a Center for Medicaid Policy, for which she is serving as a consultant to guide the center’s work related to children and behavioral health.



Jeff Finkle

Appalachian New Economy Partnership Fellow

Jeff Finkle serves as the Voinovich School's Appalachian New Economy Partnership Fellow. A recognized leader and international authority on economic development, Jeff is President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world's largest economic development membership organization. He contributes his expertise on community revitalization, business development and job creation to projects nationwide. Addressing significant financial and organizational challenges, Jeff has grown IEDC to a $5 million annual operation with 30 employees. Jeff has established multi-lateral partnerships with regional and national economic development organizations around the world.  He now serves on the Board of Directors for Climate Prosperity, Inc., a non profit organization based on creating important regional economic outcomes -- green savings, green opportunity, and green talent -- while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A former Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Jeff also organized 250 economic development volunteers to work in Gulf Coast communities endeavoring to recover from Hurricane Katrina. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in communications in 1976 from Ohio University and pursued graduate studies in business administration at Ohio State University.


Dr. Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson

American Electric Power Watershed Research and Reclamation Professor

Dr. Kelly Johnson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and is appointed as faculty fellow and AEP Watershed Professor at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. She maintains an active research program in the environmental physiology and toxicology of insects, with a particular focus on understanding the responses of aquatic macroinvertebrates to environmental stressors and improving metrics for biological assessments.

At Ohio University, Johnson teaches advanced courses in Animal Physiology, Entomology, Physiological Ecology, Limnology and Freshwater Bioassessment as well as a course designed to introduce non-biologists to science called “Insects, Science and Society”. She also conducts training workshops in bioassessment methods for Ohio EPA and the Department of Natural Resources. A recent contributions has been the development of a more economical family-level bioassessment tool that can be used by trained volunteers for rapid assessment of stream quality in southeastern Ohio.

Johnson is author of over 25 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters, a member of the Entomological Society of America, the North American Benthological Society and Sigma Xi, a science honor society. She served as an associate editor for Environmental Entomology from 2003-2007, and as a guest editor for two special issues of Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology on insect nutrition, as well as reviewer for numerous journals. She has served as ad hoc reviewer for the National Science Foundation and as a panel member for several national competitive grants programs for the USDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



Merry Foresta

Scholar in Residence

Merry A. Foresta is a consultant to universities, museums and other institutions advising on collections and ways to foster innovation in the midst of challenging times. Her clients include the University of Virginia, the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. From 2000-2010 she served as the founding Director of the Smithsonian Photography Initiative, a program dedicated to greater public access and use of the Smithsonian's vast collections of photographic media, and the Smithsonian's first virtual platform of interactive programs devoted to photography. She joined the Smithsonian Institution in 1977 and was named the museum's first Curator of Photography in 1983. She later became the Senior Curator of Photography for the Smithsonian's International Art Museums Division. At the Smithsonian Foresta built one of the world's premier collections of American photography. She is the author of numerous catalog essays and articles. Foresta authored At First Sight: Photography and the Smithsonian (2002) which featured a broad sampling of photographs from Smithsonian collections. Her most recent publication, "Photography Changes Everything," co-edited with Marvin Heiferman, was published by Aperture in June 2012.


Andrew Alexander

Andrew Alexander

Former Washington Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander is an award-winning journalist and news industry leader who has been a reporter, editor and Washington bureau chief during a career that spans four decades. As a strong open government advocate, he has written and spoken extensively about the public’s right to know. He helped launch the national Sunshine Week initiative, which each year focuses public attention on freedom of information and the dangers of excessive government secrecy.

In 1997, he was named bureau chief, overseeing a Washington staff and foreign bureaus in London, Jerusalem, Beijing, Moscow, Mexico City, Baghdad and the Caribbean, as well as domestic bureaus in New York and on the West Coast. During his time as chief, the Cox Washington bureau shared in the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting. Mr. Alexander serves on numerous boards related to journalism. He is a board member of the American Society of News Editors Foundation. After a decade on its board, he is now a Senior Advisor to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, helping foreign journalists who have been subjected to attacks, arrests and harassment by repressive regimes. 

He is a member of the advisory council for the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, which has awarded him its Medal of Merit as a distinguished alumnus. In 2011, he was inducted into the Scripps College of Communication Hall of Fame. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate of communication from Ohio University and was its undergraduate commencement speaker. For his work on behalf of open government, Mr. Alexander in 2006 was inducted into the First Amendment Center’s National Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame. 

Mr. Alexander currently is a Visiting Professional at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where he is playing a leading role in fostering media innovation and entrepreneurship. He also is an Executive in Residence at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. He graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism.


Jo Ann Davidson Website

Jo Ann Davidson

Jo Ann Davidson is the President of JAD and Associates LLC, a consulting firm founded in 2001 that provides strategic planning, public policy and public affairs advice to a broad client base. 

Davidson held a career in public service for over 30 years before serving as Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives from 1995-2000.  During her time in the legislature, she served as Minority Leader, a member of the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislators and Chairman of the Midwestern Council of State Governments. Davidson has since served as Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Co-Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Chairman of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2008 Republican National Convention and Chairman of the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Davidson was named Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine, Legislator of the Year by the National Republican Legislator’s Association, received Good Housekeeping’s Award for Women in Government, and was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, as well as being recognized by the YWCA as a Woman of Achievement.

She is a member the Board of Trustees of the University of Findlay and Franklin University and a former member of The Ohio State University Board of Trustees.  She holds honorary degrees from Ohio University, The Ohio State University, Franklin University, Capital University and the University of Findlay.



R. Gregory Browning

Executive in Residence

Greg Browning is the President of Capital Partners, a Columbus, Ohio-based consulting firm specializing in public policy and management strategy. In conjunction with his Executive in Residence position, Greg is a current member of the Voinovich School Strategic Partners Group at the Voinovich School and served as an Ohio University Board of Trustee from 1999-2007. His expertise stems from his tenure as Director of the Ohio Office of Budget and Managementand Senior Policy Advisor to the governor in the 1990s where he provided advice on health care, education, tax and fiscal policy and major systems reforms. Browning was a gubernatorial appointee to the Governor's Commission on Student Success, the Ohio Commission to Reform Medicaid, and the State Medical Board of Ohio. 

Browning holds a bachelor's degree from Ohio University, where he studied history and philosophy, and a doctorate in education from The Ohio State University.



DeLysa Burnier

George V. Voinovich Faculty Fellow

DeLysa Burnier is Professor of Political Science.  She received her Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Her B.A. also is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with highest distinction in political science.  Her current research interests are gender and public administration, gender and leadership, teaching pedagogy, interpretive approaches to policy analysis, and political autobiography.  Specifically, Dr. Burnier’s work is focused on the development of a care-centered public administration.

Dr. Burnier’s current research appears in Administration & Society, Public Administration Review, Administration Theory & Praxis, Journal of Public Affairs Education, and Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.  Earlier work appears in Economic Development Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Feminist Teacher, and Journal of Urban Affairs.  She currently serves on the editorial boards for Administrative Theory & Praxis and the Journal of Public Affairs Education.  Her chapter on gender and public administration is in the Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy.  Her most recent publication is, “Developing Gender Competent Public Administrators,” which appears in Cultural Competency for Public Administrators (M. E. Sharpe, 2012).  Additionally, she is the author of several other book chapters, and was the recipient of two national grants in the areas of campaign financing and political advertising.

Dr. Burnier was named the first ever Presidential Teacher at Ohio University in 2001.  Her other teaching awards include the student-selected University Professor Award, the College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Jeanette Grasselli Outstanding Teaching Award.

In 2006 she received the distinguished mentor award from the Honors College at Ohio University.

Dr. Burnier teaches classes in Public Administration and American Politics.  They include: Organization Theory, Interest Group Politics, the graduate seminar in American Politics, and the introductory course in American Politics.  She has directed many master’s and honors theses.   Her students work around the state and region in government and non-profits, as well as teach in universities and community colleges.  Dr. Burnier is the former director of the Public Administration Program, and she just completed a term as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Political Science.

Currently she is a Voinovich Faculty Fellow with the George Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.  In this capacity she encourages and helps coordinate faculty use of Senator Voinovich’s archives, which are located at Ohio University.  Dr. Burnier also is a teaching fellow with the Ohio Fellows.  This program is an undergraduate leadership program, which was reactivated in 2012.


Benjamin Cross

Benjamin Cross

Executive in Residence

Dr. Benjamin Cross serves as an Executive in Residence for Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, providing support to the School’s efforts to repurpose the Department of Energy (DOE) Portsmouth Site in Piketon, Ohio. Cross has been involved in a broad range of energy related work and is the founder of NuSynergy Energy, LLC, a company focused on the synergistic integration of energy systems and energy collaborations. Previously, Cross worked with the DOE Savannah River Site and Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) for 25 years. His last assignment at SRNL was as a senior advisor for the Clean Energy Directorate providing strategic and technical support to renewable, alternative, and nuclear energy programs and projects. Additionally, Cross provided strategic and technical support to DOE-Portsmouth Site’s repurposing efforts and to the Federal Southeast Regional Group for Energy Security/Sustainability (SERGES), a collaboration of regional federal executives with a view to better implement federal energy requirements and energy related matters in the southeastern United States. From 2010 to 2011, Ben was a senior advisor to DOE-Headquarters Asset Revitalization Initiative and member of its core team. This special assignment included defining the “Energy Park” concept for revitalizing DOE sites and developing the framework for its implementation.

Cross holds a Bachelor Science of Mechanical Engineering (BSME), a Master Business Administration (MBA) and a Doctorate of International Business Administration (DIBA).



Michael J. Zimmer

Michael J. Zimmer has been an Executive in Residence at the Voinovich School and Russ College of Engineering since 2007 and is currently working with Ohio University on food, energy and water development issues; energy efficiency, technology and finance; and project management and public-private partnership development issues in the Appalachian region. Zimmer led the American Bar Association's (ABA) Renewables and Distributed Energy Committee from 2008 to 2010, and led the ABA Energy and Environmental Markets and Finance Committee from 2010 to 2012. A national expert on energy policy, corporate sustainability, clean tech transactions and finance, Zimmer has been at the forefront of public policy changes since serving as Vice President and Assistant General Counsel of the American Gas Association to the National Energy Plan and advanced natural gas technologies and liquefied natural gas in the late 1970s. In the early 1980's, he led seminal efforts to establish the cogeneration and renewable energy industry nationwide under PURPA. In the late 1980's, he helped form the Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition, promoting the use of natural gas in motor vehicles. By the early 1990's success with cogeneration merged into formation of the national independent power production ("IPP") sector, and increased recognition of district heating and waste heat recovery. In 2002, he was invited to join the strategic advisory group that led to the formation of the American Council on Renewable Energy ("ACORE"), the national association of the renewables industry sectors. Since 2013, he has led national efforts to integrate renewables and increase energy efficiency with microgrids and energy storage. He has served on the advisory board or Board of Directors of several energy and clean tech companies and national trade groups, including the U.S. Green Building Council, ACORE, and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). His recent work and assignments focused on energy and environmental issues in Canada, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, California, New York, Connecticut, District of Columbia and Maryland for the manufacturing, buildings, utilities and commercial sectors.  Zimmer has also worked in law firm management for over fifteen years, including a Wall Street and global multinational law firm.  He retired from Thompson Hine LLP and private law practice at the end of 2013. He has been educated at Providence College and University of Baltimore School of Law, and attended courses at Brown University and the Northwestern Kellogg School of Business.

Click here to read a recent publication published by the Washington Legal
Foundation by Mr. Zimmer titled: "Shale Drilling in
Ohio: A Case Study in Balancing Public and Private