Two appointed, two reappointed to the William & Mary Visitors Council
New members of the board of directors:
Ardine Williams (left) is vice president of workforce development at Amazon 2 headquarters and John Rathbone (right) – the father of two W&M alumni – is a former Norfolk CFO Southern Corporation. They will begin their four-year term on July 1. Mirza Baig and H. Thomas Watkins III ’74 will be stepping down from the board after completing their terms on June 30th.
by the staff
June 11, 2021
New members bring business and workforce development expertise
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam today appointed two new members to the William & Mary Visitors Council: John Rathbone and Ardine Williams. The Governor also reappointed Barbara L. Johnson JD ’84, currently Secretary to the Board of Directors, and JE Lincoln Saunders ’06 for a second term.
Williams is the vice president of workforce development at Amazon headquarters, and Rathbone – the father of two W&M alumni – is a former CFO of Norfolk Southern Corporation. They will begin their four-year term on July 1. Mirza Baig and H. Thomas Watkins III ’74 will be leaving the board after completing their tenure on June 30.
“We thank Governor Northam for his continued support. These appointments reflect the Governor’s strong commitment to advancing higher education in the Commonwealth and here at William & Mary, ”said President Katherine A. Rowe. “We welcome Ardine and John to the Board of Directors. Each brings important insight into the opportunities higher education faces today as we prepare our students to thrive in a rapidly changing workforce.
“We are delighted that Barbara and Lincoln continue as colleagues on the Board of Directors. The university board and management will benefit from their valuable perspective and experience. At the same time, we are eternally grateful to Mirza and Tom. Their dedicated service has helped us through an unprecedented era in our history, and their leadership and support have been essential to our success.
The Visitors’ Council, which is chaired by Rector John E. Littel P ’22, has 17 members and serves as the main governing body of the university.
“We are delighted to continue the work of the Board of Directors over the past four years with Barbara and Lincoln,” said Littel. “Both will play an important role in the future. As we look to the future, we also look forward to engaging our new board members, Ardine and John. I know the university will benefit greatly from their unique experiences and expertise.
“We thank Mirza and Tom for their guidance and impact as board members,” Littel said. “Tom was pivotal in setting the course for the future of the university by leading the research committee that selected President Rowe. Mirza was a committed colleague, and his contributions were particularly helpful as we tackled the financial challenges of the past two years. “
Rathbone joined Norfolk Southern’s predecessor, Norfolk & Western Railway Co., in 1981. He held several audit positions for the company before being appointed Vice President and Controller in 1992. He became Senior Vice President in 2003 and executive vice-president of administration in 2004.
In 2012, the company appointed Rathbone executive vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He retired in 2013 after 32 years with Norfolk Southern and continued as an independent consultant for the company until 2015.
Prior to working with Norfolk Southern, he worked as a Senior Auditor for KPMG, formerly Peat Marwick Mitchell.
Rathbone is originally from Alexandria, Virginia, and graduated from Virginia Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and English. After graduating from Virginia Tech, he took accounting courses at William & Mary.
Jay Rathbone ’02 father, M.Acc. ’03, and David Rathbone ’05, MBA ’11, he chaired the Parent and Family Council and is a director emeritus of the William & Mary Foundation. He is also a former member of the board of directors of the W&M foundation. Inspired by his two sons, Rathbone made a $ 1 million commitment to William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business in 2015 in support of his Masters of Accounting and MBA programs.
Williams has been with Amazon since 2014, starting as vice president of Amazon Web Services Talent Acquisition. She became Vice President of Human Operations in 2017, and two years later took on her current role as Vice President of Workforce Development.
In this role, she is responsible for advising Amazon companies on talent attraction and development and focused on accelerating the company’s initiative to retrain 100,000 employees by 2025. for careers in high demand fields. She also works closely with community and state leaders and sits on the Washington Education Investment Oversight and Accountability Advisory Board and the Collaborative of Leaders in Academia and Business (CoLAB) Partnership Advisory Board. Greater Washington, DC.
Prior to Amazon, Williams held several positions at Intel Corporation from 1997 to 2014. Most recently, she served as vice president of corporate services for human resources. Prior to joining Intel, Williams worked in the NetServer division of Hewlett Packard and held various positions for Behring Company.
Williams is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University and completed the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Executive Program.
A US Army veteran, Williams became known for his work in recruiting military veterans and their spouses. She was the executive sponsor of American Veterans at Intel and represented the company at meetings on veterans issues and immigration with several government agencies. Williams was also a member of the White House Industry Joining Forces Initiative Task Force and the President’s Job Council Task Force. Among his many accolades, there is a Seven Seals Award from the US Secretary of Defense.
Returning council members
Johnson, who received his law degree from William & Mary and founded BLJohnsonLaw PLLC, is secretary of the Board of Visitors. She is also a past member of the board of directors of the William & Mary Law School Foundation and previously served as president and vice-president (2012-2014). Appointed to the Visitors’ Council in 2017, she was a member of the Administration, Buildings and Land Commission; vice-president of the Richard Bland College committee; and co-chair of the Organizational Sustainability and Innovation Committee.
Saunders, who received a Bachelor of Administration degree from William & Mary and began his government career as a college student, is Chief of Staff to the City of Richmond and Acting Executive Director. He was appointed to the Visitors’ Council in 2017 and served on the Audit, Risks and Compliance Committee and the Institutional Promotion Committee. He was also vice-chairman of the administration, buildings and land committee.
Outgoing Board Members
Baig, partner and co-founder of Aldrich Capital Partners, was appointed to the Board of Visitors in 2017 and served on the Academic Affairs Committee. He has served as Vice Chairman of the Financial Affairs Committee, Chairman of the Investment Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Organizational Sustainability and Innovation Committee. He is also the father of a member of the 2024 class.
Watkins, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from William & Mary, most recently served as president and CEO of Human Genome Sciences. He was appointed to the Visitors’ Council in 2013 and reappointed in 2017. During his tenure on the Board, he served on the Financial Affairs Committee and as Co-Chair of the Organizational Sustainability and Innovation Committee. In addition to being vice-rector, he was also vice-president of the investment subcommittee. Watkins also previously chaired the William & Mary Foundation and served as Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee for the 28th President of William & Mary. He is the father of two W&M alumni and the son of former rector William & Mary Hays Watkins.