Pomona Welcomes New Academic Dean
Pomona’s new vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, Audrey Bilger, took up her duties on July 1. She came to Pomona from the nearby campus of Claremont McKenna College, where she had been professor of literature and founding faculty director of the Center for Writing & Public Discourse.
“I am thrilled to welcome Audrey to Pomona, where her experience in college governance, knowledge of faculty challenges and aspirations, passion for liberal arts education and her familiarity with The Claremont Colleges will be strong assets,” said Pomona College President David Oxtoby.
In her new position, Bilger will serve as the chief academic officer and play a leading role in shaping and sustaining the intellectual life of the Pomona community.
“As a longtime member of the Claremont Consortium, I am familiar with Pomona’s strengths and history,” said Bilger. “I look forward to becoming even better acquainted with the community and to working with faculty, students, staff and other stakeholders to continue to foster the ideals of a liberal arts education in an inclusive environment.”
At Claremont McKenna, Bilger served as chair of the Department of Literature and as coordinator of gender studies. She also served on major committees, including the Board of Trustees Academic Affairs Committee, President’s Advisory Committee on Diversity, curriculum committee, WASC reaccreditation and the appointments, promotion and tenure committee. Among other significant contributions, she chaired of the working group on academic resources for international, first-generation, low-income and underrepresented minority students.
In 2014–15 she held an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellowship at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), with a placement in the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, where she worked closely with UCR’s leadership team. She was involved in major projects during her fellowship, including budget redesign, organizational excellence and a master planning study. She also participated in a working group charged with establishing a collaborative leadership model for faculty, staff and students.
Bilger has authored numerous scholarly articles and books, including Here Come the Brides! Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage, which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and Laughing Feminism: Subversive Comedy in Frances Burney, Maria Edgeworth, and Jane Austen.
She is a member of the Ms. Magazine Committee of Scholars and serves on the editorial boards of Pickering and Chatto’s Gender and Genre series and the Frances Burney Journal. Her work has appeared in Ms., the Paris Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books.
She received her doctoral and master of arts degrees in English at the University of Virginia and her undergraduate degree in philosophy at Oklahoma State University.
Bilger is married to Cheryl Pawelski, a Grammy Award–winning producer and cofounder of the Omnivore Entertainment Group, who serves on the National Board of Trustees for the Recording Academy.
New Faces on the Board
Three new faces and two familiar ones joined the ranks of Pomona’s Board of Trustees this summer. Elected for the first time were Kiki Ramos Gindler ’83, Osman Kibar ’92 and Jeff Parks ’02. Jennifer Doudna ’85 rejoined the Board after a four-year hiatus, and ex-officio member Christina Wire ’87 was elected to the Board in her own right.
Jennifer Doudna ’85 is a professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, where she holds the Li Ka Shing Chancellor’s Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences and is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. As a co-inventor of CRISPR-Cas9, a process that revolutionized gene editing, she has received numerous honors, including the 2014 Breakthrough Prize and both the Gairdner Award and election to the Royal Society in 2016. A chemistry major, she earned her Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Kiki Ramos Gindler ’83 earned her juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School and specialized in corporate and entertainment law. Today she devotes time to writing, civic affairs and support for the arts. The first Latina president of the Board of Directors for Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, she serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Opera and the Music Center and is a member of the Blue Ribbon and the National Council for the American Theatre. A philosophy major, she has chaired Pomona reunion committees and hosted several alumni events.
Osman Kibar ’92 is founder/CEO of Samumed, LLC, a firm developing drugs for degenerative diseases, regenerative medicine and oncology. Featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine’s “Global Game Changers” issue, Kibar is an entrepreneur and inventor, has founded or co-founded numerous successful companies, and has authored or coauthored many publications and patents. An economics major, he pursued a 3-2 program that also earned him a B.S. in electrical engineering from Caltech. His M.S and Ph.D. in optoelectronics and biophotonics are from UC San Diego.
Jeff Parks ’02 is a founding partner of Riverwood Capital Management, a globally focused private equity firm that invests in high-growth businesses in the technology and services industries, across a variety of geographic regions and company organizations. He serves on the board of directors of several prominent technology companies, including Nutanix, Spredfast and LogRhythm. A double major in mathematics and economics at Pomona, he completed his studies in three years, so he identifies with both the Class of 2002 and the Class of 2003.
Since joining Google in 2007, Christina Wire ’87 has led a variety of groups across sales, marketing, operations, and corporate philanthropy. Today, she is the director of sales and business operations for Google Fiber. She has also held leadership roles at Intel, Stanford University, and the U.S. Department of State, where she began her career. She holds master’s degrees from Columbia University and Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. As National Chair of the Annual Fund, she was an ex-officio member of the Board from 2014 to 2016.