Halima Leak Francis
Dr. Halima Leak Francis holds nearly 20 years of experience including work in the non-profit sector, higher education, and philanthropy. An accomplished educator, practitioner, and scholar, her expertise is primarily in the areas of organizational capacity building, strategic planning and sustainability. She has a proven track record of successful relationship building, leadership and program development – all of which have been critical in her work in promoting the strengthening of communities through meaningful collaboration, public service, and philanthropic investment. In her role of Professor of Practice and Public Administration Program Director, she is responsible for the development, implementation, and management of degree and certificate programs in fields related to Public Administration for the School of Professional Advancement at Tulane University.
Brian McNamara joins the School of Professional Advancement after a 21-year active duty military career with the United States Coast Guard. As a judge advocate, he led the Coast Guard’s marine safety law practice group, advising field legal offices and senior leaders on all aspects of foreign-flagged and domestic vessel inspections and casualty investigations and participating in U.S. delegations to the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee. As the deputy regional counsel for the largest field legal office in the Coast Guard, he managed a court-martial prosecution docket and oversaw the delivery of all administrative law, operational law, and agency law services for Coast Guard missions along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri River systems. In addition, he served as a court-martial trial judge. As a Deck Watch Officer for a medium endurance cutter homeported in Boston, Massachusetts, he navigated the ship in support of fisheries enforcement patrols in the North Atlantic and counter-narcotics patrols in the Caribbean Sea. He discovered his passion for teaching as an instructor for the Coast Guard’s Maritime Law Enforcement School and International Maritime Officer School. His career focused on the Gulf Coast and he retired after a tour as the Logistics Department Head for Coast Guard Sector New Orleans.
Wayne Encalarde, Jr., MBA, Certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP), Master Accredited Small Business Consultant (MASBC), Mentor Program Management (MPM) is Principle of Encalarde Consultants a firm that specializes in small business development from both the macro (Systems Level) and micro level (Individual Businesses). He is an economic development professional, experienced consultant, and small business owner with a passion for concept generation, research and development, education, and training.
Carlos Evans is an assistant regional counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 6 (Dallas, TX). Mr. Evans currently litigates cases to enforce the Clean Air Act against oil and gas, chemical manufacturing, rubber manufacturing, pulp and paper mill, and other companies.
Robin Barnes is an economic recovery and resilience expert with nearly four decades of on-the-ground experience helping cities, small businesses, and nonprofits recover from and prepare for economic and climate-based disasters and working closely with nonprofit organizations on strategy, performance measurement & management and resource development. Now at the helm of Resilience Resolutions, Robin partners with public and private sector leaders to rebuild economies, create jobs, and help communities face impending environmental and economic changes with strength and security.
Neil Kleiman has spent 25 years building a career at the intersection of policy, philanthropy, government and academia. He founded an urban issues think tank, established new university degree programs, and developed innovative and practical policy solutions for dozens of cities across the United States. He has also written and edited over thirty policy reports, with his work featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Public Radio.
Tihara Richardson has worked in the public and nonprofit sectors for more than 15 years. Her professional experience in the public sector includes administrative work with the Superior Court of California, the Florida Board of Nursing, and the Fairfax County (VA) Department of Tax Administration. Tihara performed investigative work with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and Consumer Services Unit in the Florida Department of Health. She also has experience in the non-profit sector through her work in residential therapeutic group homes.