Council Members


Barbara Cottam, Chair, Board of Education

Barbara Cottam is executive vice president, Rhode Island market executive and head of Corporate Affairs at Citizens Bank. She has corporate -wide responsibility for directing government affairs, public affairs, corporate giving and marketing sponsorships throughout the company's commercial and retail banking footprint. In addition, she serves as chairman of the Citizens Charitable Foundation.

Cottam joined Citizens in 1994 as Rhode Island director of Public Affairs after 12 years in senior policy and communications positions in state and municipal government.  She was responsible for directing media, social media and public relations; government affairs; public affairs; corporate giving and marketing sponsorships.  Previously, she had been director of communications and press secretary to Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun from 1991 to 1994.

Cottam is chairman of the Rhode Island Board of Education and is a member of the Rhode Island Commodores, a group of business and civic leaders appointed by the governor.  She serves on the Providence College President's Council as a member of the strategic planning committee of the college's board of trustees.  Cottam is a member of the board of directors of Crossroads Rhode Island and serves on the La Salle Academy board of trustees.  She is a former vice chairman and present executive member of the board of directors of Home and Hospice Care of Rhode Island and an executive member of the board of directors of the Rhode Island Zoological Society.  She was a founding member of the board of directors of Rhode Island Kids Count and served in that capacity for 10 years, the last three as chairman.

Cottam received her B.S. in business marketing and business management from Providence College and has completed executive development programs at Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Wharton's Aresty Institute.

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: January 2015

Term Expires: Serves at the Pleasure of Governor  


William Foulkes, Chair, Council on Postsecondary Education 

Bill Foulkes is a strategic planning and marketing consultant, entrepreneur and currently a faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design. The course he created, Design and Entrepreneurial Thinking, introduces artists and designers to business concepts and enhances their abilities to bring their ideas to reality.

This curriculum originated during Foulkes’s tenure as the Executive Director of the Center for Design and Business at RISD (2006-2008). The Center helped business, educational institutions and government entities set up and manage collaborative design research projects with RISD students, faculty and alumni.

Foulkes has over twenty years of experience in strategic planning, people development, marketing and finance in both high-tech and consumer companies where he has successfully identified, communicated and implemented new business concepts and initiatives, led organizational change, built strategic partner relationships and led creative processes.

Foulkes has been on the executive team of several small start-ups, including MTI Group Holdings and Context Media. Prior to joining these firms, he was a strategy consultant at Telesis, a division of Towers Perrin. Foulkes's experience also includes consumer product marketing at Gillette and investment banking at Morgan Stanley.

Foulkes holds an A.B. in History from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Appointed Chair of the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2015

Term Expires: January 31, 2018

Serves on: Personnel Committee


Michael Bernstein

Michael Bernstein worked as a member of senior staff and the Administrator of Long Term Care Field Services (LTC) for the Rhode Island Department of Human Services from 1995 to 2007.  He also served as the Administrator of the Rhode Island General Public Assistance Program from 1992 to 2006.  Prior to these roles in the department, he worked as a Caseworker and Senior Planner from 1968 to 1990.

Bernstein holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Miami and a master's degree from Arizona State University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Student Assistance Program, which places professionals in schools around the state who provide invaluable services such as counseling, mental health, and suicide prevention to students and their families. In addition, he currently serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Coastline Employee Assistance Program.  Bernstein has served as a member of the RI Coastal Management Resources Council and also as a commissioner on the East Providence Economic Development Commission.

Bernstein is an active Rhode Island area volunteer representative for his alma mater, the University of Miami, assisting with recruiting, managing college fairs, and contacting local students who have been accepted to the University.

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: 2013

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2017

Serves on: Finance/Facilities Committee


Maria Chavez Blanco

Maria Chavez Blanco is pursuing an associate degree in general studies at the Community College of Rhode Island. She is enrolled in the Joint Admissions Agreement (JAA) program with URI for a bachelor's degree in human development and family studies, and her long-term goal is to earn a doctorate in that field.

Along with her studies, Chavez Blanco works part-time and volunteers at her church. 

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: November 30, 2016

Term Expires: November 30, 2018 


Heather Crosby

Heather Crosby is the founder and owner of Matheys Lane Capital Management (MLCM), located in Providence, RI.  MLCM is an investment adviser that is registered with the SEC.  It has over $850 million of assets under management.  At MLCM, Crosby leads the client coverage and investment management teams.  She oversees all aspects of client service, and directs the investment process from asset allocation to manager selection.

Crosby has spent over 20 years in various areas of the investment business.  Prior to founding MLCM, Crosby was a Partner at another Rhode Island based investment adviser, Rex Capital Advisors (RCA).  At RCA, she focused on investments and client coverage.  Before RCA, Crosby was a Vice President at J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. in its institutional equities area, where she traded financial stocks for the firm.  Prior to J.P. Morgan, she spent several years at Goldman, Sachs & Co.  During her tenure at Goldman, she first worked in investment banking, where she was an analyst in the real estate group.  She later worked in equity capital markets.  After business school, Crosby returned to Goldman as a trader on the risk arbitrage desk.

Crosby earned a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard Business School.  She lives in Barrington, RI with her husband, Chris, and their three young children. 

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2016

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

Serves on: Finance/Facilities Committee (Chair) 


Timothy DelGiudice

In the role of Strategic Initiatives Program Manager at Raytheon, DelGiudice is responsible for coordination and management special projects strategic importance to the stability of the business which often involves leading cross enterprise teams.  DelGiudice also served as the Seapower Staff Executive supporting the growth and execution of a $1B business with locations in several states and countries.  His ‘hands-on’ position and required management and interpersonal skills combined with Profit & Loss exposure to bring together strong cohesive teams to keep the operational aspects of the business running smoothly.

Prior to joining Raytheon in 2007, DelGiudice served as the Deputy District Director for Rep. Jim Langevin (R.I.02) while he was Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, Science and Technology. DelGiudice began his career with Congress in 1997 as a caseworker in the office of former Rep. Bob Weygand (R.I.02).  During this time, DelGiudice also supported the White House Advance Office, occasionally assigned to the traveling staff of President Clinton.

He is the Chairman of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance (SENEDIA), having taken the organization from an all-volunteer group to a fully funded, professionally staffed national model of industry, government and academic collaboration. DelGiudice as Chairman is responsible for setting the strategic vision while managing the Board and Executive Director. 

DelGiudice earned a Bachelor Degree in Leadership from Providence College. He has also completed several Raytheon professional development programs, including the Strategic Development Program, the President’s Cultural Initiative, Game Changer Program, and the Principals of Program Leadership.

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2016

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

Serves on: Personnel Committee


Dennis Duffy, Esq.

Duffy is Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Energy Management, Inc., a Boston based-energy infrastructure development firm and is responsible for the company’s regulatory and legislative affairs, legal strategy and industry trade group relations.

Duffy has more than twenty-five years of experience as a corporate and regulatory attorney in New England. He has also served as special counsel to the Rhode Island Energy Facility Board and was formerly a partner in the law firm of Partridge, Snow & Hahn.                                                   

Duffy is also an adjunct professor at Boston College Law School. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Columbia University Law School.    

Appointed to the RI Board of Education: 2014

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2014

Term Expires: January 31, 2017

Serves on: Finance/Facilities Committee 


Rachelle Green, Esq.

Rachelle Green, Esq., is a partner at Duffy & Sweeney, LTD, specializing in litigation and employment law. She previously worked as an associate attorney at McGovern, Noel & Benik, and then at Holland & Knight, when the firms merged. Green earned her law degree from the Georgia State University College of Law, finishing her last year at Northwestern University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross.

Green is a board member and former president of the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ocean State, and a member of the Executive Leadership Team for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women and the Rhode Island Public Radio Community Advisory Board.

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2016

Term Expires: January 31, 2019

Serves on: Personnel Committee (Chair) 


Hon. Thomas Izzo

In January of 2003, Senator Izzo completed fourteen years of service in the Rhode Island State Senate, having first been elected in 1988. He served as Chair of the Committee on Health, Education and Welfare, and served on both HEW and the Committee on Finance throughout his tenure in the Senate. As Chair, and prior as Vice Chair, of the Permanent Legislative Oversight Commission on the Department of Children, Youth and Families he sponsored significant child welfare reform legislation as well as legislation regarding adoption, termination of parental rights, juvenile justice and the creation of the Children’s Cabinet.  Senator Izzo also was the prime sponsor of successful legislation dealing with youth access to tobacco, Rite Care, childhood lead poisoning, affordable housing, contractor registration, and the creation of charter schools.  Additionally Senator Izzo co-chaired the 2000 Special Commission on Health Care Reform and the Rhode Island System of Care Task Force. 

Senator Izzo served three terms as the Senate representative on the RI Board of Governors for Higher Education, where he chaired the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs. In the past he has served as a board member of Adoption RI, Hope, Alzheimer Center, Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, the Childhood Lead Action Project, and RI Kids Count.  Senator Izzo presently serves on the Board of Directors of Healthcentric Advisors, serves as the Community Chair of the RI Global Waiver Implementation Task Force and is a member of the Coastal Medical ACO Advisory Committee.

Completing an undergraduate degree in education at Rhode Island College and an MA degree from New York University, Senator Izzo retired from the Cranston Public Schools in 1997 after thirty-two years as a junior high and middle school teacher, guidance counselor and as an Assistant Principal for Student Services.

In recognition of his legislative efforts, Senator Izzo has received a number of awards from such diverse groups as the American Cancer Society, United Way of RI, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Rhode Island College Alumni Association, Rhode Island Housing, the American Heart Association, the College Board, the RI Coalition for the Homeless, Childhood Lead Action Project, the RI Department of Health, and Life Span.

Appointed to Council on Postsecondary Education:  June 2014

Term Expires:  January 31, 2017

Serves on: Personnel Committee 


Dr. Jeffery Williams

The Very Reverend Doctor Jeffery A. Williams is a native of Englewood, New Jersey, and a graduate of the famed A Better Chance Program at Simsbury High School (Simsbury, CT). In 1981, Williams attended Brown University (Providence, RI) and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Social Environmental Analysis, a concentration he personally created. In May 2007, Williams received his Doctorate of Ministry degree in Urban Complex Settings from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Hamilton, MA). His completed dissertation, entitled, "Urban Leadership Development Through the Practical Truth University: A Case Study in the International Role and Practice of Metanoia for Personal and Community Transformation," is a manual for much of the work he does today. Dr. Williams graduated in 2010 with a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Williams was consecrated as Overseer of the New England Diocese by His Grace Donald Hilliard II in 2008. He is married to Lelani (Bonner) Williams. Dr. Williams is an enthusiastic father of two daughters in college, Joy Victoria and Grace Noelle Williams.

His commitment to helping others understand the connection between principle and practice led to the founding of the Cathedral of Life Christian Assembly in 1999, which is now called "The King's Cathedral." Under Dr. Williams's leadership, the Cathedral now owns five properties, including a historic church located in the Olneyville Square neighborhood of Providence and has distributed over 70 tons of food and tens of thousands of articles of clothing, household goods and furniture to those in need. As Chief Empowerment Officer, his congregation in Providence has grown from nine members to well over 500 hundred, with 30 different ministries and programs. Internationally, Dr. Williams oversees 43 congregations in six nations and has established the The Well-Life Project, which is the funding arm to create 12 fresh water wells in Kitwe, Zambia.

Dr. Williams has been a regular chapel speaker for the New England Patriots as well as other professional football and soccer teams since 2005.

Appointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: June 2014

Reappointed to the Council on Postsecondary Education: January 2015

Term Expires: January 31, 2018 

Serves on: Finance/Facilities Committee