Michael C. Ruger, Chair
1985 Political Science and Psychology
1988 Georgetown University Law Center
Michael Ruger graduated from Penn State in 1985 with degrees in political science and psychology. After graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1988, he joined the Federal Communications Commission as an attorney-advisor. He worked with the FCC for six years, specializing in radio, television and cable regulation. From 1994 through 1998, Michael was an associate with Baker & Hostetler in Washington, DC, where he represented clients before the FCC and on Capitol Hill. In 1998 Michael returned to the Philadelphia area where he was a consultant to clients in the communications and Internet industries, which provided him with the flexibility to work at home while caring for his young son. Michael joined Comcast in 2003, where he is currently Vice President of Government Affairs at the company’s headquarters in Philadelphia. Michael lives in Hopewell Township, New Jersey, with his wife and three sons. In 2017 Michael was elected to the Hopewell Township Committee (NJ) and in 2023 was elected as mayor. Michael is a member of the the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Mercer County, New Jersey. He previously served as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Law Center.
Christopher O. Adeloye
2003 Political Science
2006 George Washington University Law School
Chris is a staff attorney in the Office of General Counsel for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, DC. His experience includes litigating cases in federal court, providing advice to internal agency clients, preparing officials to testify before the United States Congress, and conducting background investigations of individuals who wish to represent VA benefits claimants. Prior to this work, Chris clerked at the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the District of Columbia, where he investigated complaints against DC-barred attorneys and assisted in prosecuting ethics violations. While at Penn State, he served as a student member of the University Hearing Board and was a student advisor for Undergraduate Student Government Legal Affairs. While attending law school, he interned at the United States Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, VA. Chris leads the Board’s career readiness task force.
William D. DeGrandis
1977 Political Science
1980 J.D., UCLA
Bill is a partner with Paul Hastings LLP, an international law firm, and has over thirty years of experience in the energy regulatory and transactions area. He concentrates in the development, financing and acquisition/sale of energy infrastructure projects, including renewable energy and other power generation projects, as well as electric transmission and gas pipeline facilities. He has been named an outstanding energy lawyer by Chambers USA, SuperLawyers, Law 500 and the International Project Finance Review. He is a former member of the Energy Bar Association Board of Directors and former Chairman of the Board’s Pro Bono Committee.
He and his wife Monica support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship and established a program fund in the Department of Political Science for an Early Career Professorship and student scholarship. He was named the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus by Phi Sigma Kappa—Kappa Chapter, and Bill served as Chairman of the fraternity chapter’s $ 1.4 million Capital Campaign.
Michael J. DeMarco
1982 Political Science
1984 Economics, Temple University
1991 M.B.A., Columbia University
Michael joined ExxonMobil in 1991 and has served in many capacities including financial planning, marketing and now customer service. He currently serves as the Global Customer Service Strategic Alignment Manager, leading a team of strategy advisors responsible for linking the customer service offer, organizational structure and resources with the company’s strategy and the internal and external business environment. Prior to joining ExxonMobil,
Michael was a commercial lender at the Philadelphia National Bank, now Wells Fargo. He was an elected member of the Fairfax City Council from 2012-2020. He is now owner of a music venue, bar and restaurant.
Michael is a Liberal Arts mentor. In 2012, he and his wife, Joanne, established a director’s fund in the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State.
Michael J. Gilotti
1969 Political Science
Mike is a retired consultant to firms in the financial services industry specializing in distribution and business development issues.
He was formerly the Senior Business Development Professional with New England Asset Management (NEAM), a Berkshire Hathaway company, and had responsibility for new business development and marketing strategy for the firm’s insurance company investment and capital management capabilities. He has over 40 years of insurance and investment experience. Prior to joining NEAM, Mike was CEO of Advisors Financial Solutions, Inc., and Executive Vice President, wholesale distribution & marketing for the Phoenix Companies, Inc. Prior to joining the Phoenix Companies, he was in charge of bank and broker-dealer operations at Aetna Financial Services, a senior executive and partner at Eden Financial Group, and a Group Vice President at Security First Group. Mike began his career as an agent for Northwestern Mutual. He is a past Chairman of the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI), a past member of the Board of Directors and has been inducted into the IRI Hall of Fame. Mike has a B.A. in Political Science from Penn State University and also serves on its Board of Visitors.
Mike and his wife established the Mike and Angela Gilotti Faculty Excellence Fund in the Department of Political Science in the College of the Liberal Arts, which provides financial support to renowned faculty and to help sustain faculty research. They have also established the Gilotti Family Trustee Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts, which provides financial support to undergraduate students. They currently reside in Pennsylvania and Florida (primarily).
Steven B. Kelmar
1979 Public Administration
Steve is retired Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs of Aetna, Inc., a Fortune 100 health care benefits company. Previously, Steve held senior leadership roles at Merck & Co., Novartis AG, and Medtronics. He has served on the board of several health care companies.
In addition, Steve had an accomplished career in public service. He served under President George Bush as Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was the Chief of Staff for two members of Congress.
Steve was honored with the 2011 Outstanding Political Science Alumnus Award from the College of the Liberal Arts.
Spencer D. Klein
1986 Political Science
1989 J.D., Hofstra University
Spencer is a partner with the law firm, Morrison & Foerster LLP, and serves as Co-Chair of its global Mergers and Acquisitions group. In addition, he is a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra University and a member of the Hofstra Law School Dean’s Advisory Board.
He is a past chair of the Board of Visitors. Spencer and his wife, Andrea, established a Trustee Scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts, in memory of his father, a Holocaust survivor.
David M. Kleppinger
1977 Political Science
1980 J.D., Temple University
David is Chairman Emeritus of McNees Wallace & Nurick, after serving as Chairman of the Firm for 12 years. He now serves as Chair of the McNees PAC and Co-Chairs the McNees Strategic Solutions Group.
David is also a member of the Energy & Environmental and Government Relations Practice Groups. He represents large commercial and industrial consumers of fixed utility services including electricity, natural gas, water/wastewater, and communications, as well as providers of these services. David led legislative and regulatory initiatives to restructure these industries for customer benefit. He has appeared before over 15 state public utility commissions, the FERC, and numerous state and federal appellate courts. David is a registered lobbyist for the Firm and several of the Firm’s Clients. He is also vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Pennsylvania State University.
He and his wife, Joanne, support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. They also support a family program support fund for baseball in Intercollegiate Athletics.
Frank V. McNamara
1987 Political Science
1990 J.D., University of Pittsburgh
Frank McNamara is a senior attorney with 30 years of experience, both internationally and domestically. After working in law firms for many years, he then spent over ten years in the pharmaceutical industry and now leads the legal team for the automotive sector of a FTSE 50 specialty chemicals company. Mr. McNamara’s strengths include complex contract drafting and negotiation, collaboration, business partnering and business/legal analysis. He has a proven track-record of closing a wide variety of transactions in a collaborative and team-oriented fashion.
Frank and his wife, Catherine, established a program fund in the Department of Political Science in addition to a scholarship fund at Penn State Law.
Currently, he is the EVP, Chief Legal Officer of PrimePay, LLC. PrimePay is headquartered in West Chester, PA. With over 500 employees and offices across the US, PrimePay provides small and medium-sized businesses with payroll and tax processing services, employee benefit plans and a host of related human capital management software solutions. Mr. McNamara is a member of the company’s Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for all of PrimePay’s legal issues.
Frank is a rabid fan of Penn State athletics, attending games throughout the year. He enjoys golfing and traveling. He and his family have traveled extensively throughout Asia and have experienced The Great Wall of China, Angkor Wat, The Sydney Opera House and Great Barrier Reef, and the cherry blossoms in Kyoto, Japan.
Thomas C. Merchant
J.D., New York University School of Law
As Deputy General Counsel, Head of Compliance at Franklin Templeton, Tom is responsible for overseeing the company’s Global Regulatory Compliance, Internal Audit, Internal Controls Review and Legal Contracts Review departments for Franklin Templeton. These departments include almost 200 employees located around the world. Tom joined Franklin Templeton in August 2020 when it acquired Tom’s prior employer Legg Mason, Inc. At Legg Mason, Tom was General Counsel, responsible for overseeing the company’s legal and compliance departments, which included over 100 employees worldwide. Since joining Legg Mason in 1998, he was responsible for the company’s corporate legal activities, including acquisitions, financings and public company reporting. During this time, Tom has led all legal aspects of over 25 acquisitions and dispositions, including the $3.7 billion transaction in which Legg Mason exchanged its retail broker-dealer business for Citigroup’s global asset management business, resulting in Legg Mason focusing on the asset management business and Citigroup exiting the retail mutual fund business. Prior to joining Legg Mason, from 1993 to 1998, he served as a Corporate Associate at the law firm Shearman & Sterling in New York.
Tom’s wife, Jill, is a 1990 Penn State graduate in Business, and former actuarial assistant in the reinsurance industry. Tom is a proud father of three. He is an active mentor to Penn State Liberal Arts undergraduate students and supports the Paterno Fellows Program.
James D. Newell, Immediate Past Chair
1984 Political Science
1987 J.D., Georgetown University
Jim is a Shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, a leading law firm, with expertise in bankruptcy and corporate reorganizations. He regularly lectures on the topics of bankruptcy law and bankruptcy legislation for the American Bankruptcy Institute and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
He and his wife, Deborah, support the Hyde/Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professorship. They also established a program fund in Political Science and a director’s fund in the Penn State Democracy Institute.
1991 Political Science
1994 J.D., Oklahoma City University
Annette is a director and Chief Compliance Officer at KKR Asset Management LLC (KAM), a global investment management and advisory firm, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Kholberg Kravis Roberts & Co L.P. (KKR). With KKR since 2009, Annette is responsible for the administration of the KAM compliance and ethics program, and regulatory obligations. Previously, Ms. O’Donnell-Butner was a Senior Vice President and Deputy Director of Compliance for the Private Investment Management division of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. / Barclays PLC. In 2012, Annette joined the Board of Visitors for the Political Science Department of the Pennsylvania State University.
She is a Liberal Arts mentor and was recognized with the 2012 Outstanding Political Science Alumna Award from the College of the Liberal Arts. She and her husband, Chris, established a student enhancement fund in the Paterno Liberal Arts Undergraduate Fellows Program and a Trustee Matching Scholarship to support a Political Science Student. Annette holds a B.A in Political Science from Pennsylvania State University and a Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law. She and her husband Chris live in Orinda with their two sons, Christopher and Anderson.
Scott N. Paul
1989 Foreign Service and International Politics
Scott is President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM), a partnership established in 2007 by some of America’s leading manufacturers and the United Steelworkers union. Scott and AAM have worked to make American manufacturing and “Made in America” top-of-mind concerns for voters and our national leaders through effective advocacy, policy development, and data-driven research.
He is a sought-after expert on trade and manufacturing matters, testifying before numerous congressional committees and penning op-eds for The New York Times and other leading publications. He authored a chapter in the 2013 book ReMaking America and has written extensively about Alexander Hamilton’s role in forming U.S. national economic policy. Scott also hosts the Manufacturing Report podcast.
Scott presently serves as chair of the Board’s awards task force. He also serves as the Board Chair of the National Skills Coalition. He sits on the Leadership Council of the Alliance for Manufacturing Foresight.
Raised in the small town of Rensselaer, Indiana, he currently resides in the Washington, DC area with his family.
Amanda L. Wetzel
2002 International Politics
2003 LL.M. in Human Rights Law, Queen’s University of Belfast School of Law, Northern Ireland
2008 J.D., Columbia Law School
2008 Master’s in French Law and Master’s in International Commercial Law, Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France
Amanda is a litigation associate at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, where she is based in the Philadelphia office. She specializes in commercial litigation and arbitration and white collar criminal defense and brings particular expertise to matters with transatlantic elements. She has worked as a litigation associate at law firms in New York and Paris and has handled commercial and criminal litigation matters in the U.S. and French courts. She also has experience litigating before the European Court of Human Rights and other international human rights forums. Amanda clerked on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, was the Dean Acheson Legal Stage at the European Court of Justice, and served as a legal fellow on the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, where she worked on treaties.
Amanda is a member of the Pennsylvania and New York bars. She is fluent in French and practiced French law as a member of the Paris bar from 2014 through 2016. Amanda holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, a Master 1 in French law and a Master 2 in international commercial law from University of Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, and a LL.M. in human rights law from the Queen’s University of Belfast School of Law in Northern Ireland. Amanda completed her undergraduate education in international politics at Penn State University’s Schreyer Honors College.
James “Jay” Yonamine
2007 Political Science, Middlebury College
2011 M.A., Political Science
2013 Ph.D., Political Science
Jay is the Head of Technology and Data Science for the Legal Org at Google. Recruited to a coveted chief data scientist position at one of the world’s largest and most influential technology companies, he is at the forefront of using big data to make policy decisions and balancing human experience and data to achieve optimal results.
He has helped revolutionize the way Google has approached patent quality using the power of data science across its 60,000-plus patent portfolio. A few of his recent accomplishments at Google, where he supervises the patent data science team and a group of patent engineers, include leveraging cutting-edge artificial Intelligence to build a patent claims breadth tool, a patent similarity tool, and a series of dashboards to track and enhance patent quality.
As part of customizing Google’s new intellectual property management system, he and his team executed a large-scale automated cleanup of all the company’s patent data, resulting in corrections of over 200,000 records. His groundbreaking work was on display as a doctoral student at Penn State, where he used his social science methodology training to build accurate and nuanced forecasts of various outcomes-of-interest, ranging from civil war onset to equity market fluctuations. His research focused on international conflict, particularly what caused conflicts to start, escalate, and stop. Jay made methodological innovations and collected new kinds of data to arrive at more accurate and nuanced conclusions than previous researchers.
Jay established an undergraduate scholarship in the College of the Liberal Arts. He volunteers at Penn State in the Liberal Arts mentor program, helping students explore career paths and develop realistic post-college plans. He also serves on the California Advisory Board for TechBridge Girls, a non-profit that provides STEM training to girls in low-income public schools. He lives in San Francisco, California.