SMU names new members to Board of Trustees


The SMU Board of Trustees elected six new members during the board’s spring meeting May 8, 2020. The newly elected board members are:

  • Jennifer Burr Altabef ’78, J.D. ’81, civic and philanthropic leader, Dallas
  • Tom Burish, provost of the University of Notre Dame, Granger, Indiana
  • Martin Flanagan ’82, president and chief executive officer of Invesco Ltd, Atlanta, Georgia
  • David Haley, J.D. ’86, president of HBK Capital Management, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Bruce Robson ’74, managing partner of Robvest, Dallas
  • Christa Brown-Sanford, J.D. ’04, partner and deputy department chair of Intellectual Property at Baker Botts LLP, Dallas

The new board members began serving their four-year terms effective upon the adjournment of the May 8, 2020 board meeting.

In addition, new ex officio members named to the board are Aurélie Thiele, president of the SMU Faculty Senate, and SMU student Chris Earles, SMU student representative, both of whom will serve one-year terms. SMU Alumni Board President George Killebrew will serve the second year of his two-year term.

“We are pleased to welcome these new members, grateful for the service of our outgoing trustees and appreciative of the continued hard work of our current board,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “SMU greatly benefits from the experience and collective wisdom of this important governing body charged with overseeing the mission of this University.”

SMU also benefits from the continuing interest and perspectives of former board members, including Gene C. Jones, who was named trustee emerita at the February board meeting. Only 12 individuals in the University’s history have earned this distinction recognizing former board members who have given extraordinary service and leadership.

Completing their Board of Trustees terms are Antoine L. V. Dijkstra; Juan Gonzalez; Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey ’99; The Reverend Dr. Sheron Covington Patterson ’83, ’89, ’96; Royce E. (Ed) Wilson, Sr.; and ex officio members Timothy Rosendale, president of the SMU Faculty Senate; and Corinne E. Gibson ’20, SMU student representative.

The 42-member board sets policies governing the operation of SMU. 

SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas.  SMU’s alumni, faculty and nearly 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead change in their professions, communities and the world.