Board of Trustees Biographies
Charlotte F. Beason, Ed.D., Chair
Dr. Beason is the chairwoman of the board of trustees. She has served as a member of the board of trustees since 1996. She has extensive experience in education, distance learning and the accreditation of education programs. Dr. Beason is a consultant in education and healthcare administration. She was executive director of the Kentucky Board of Nursing from 2005 to 2012. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Beason was chair and vice chair of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (an autonomous agency accrediting baccalaureate and graduate programs in nursing). She is an evaluator for the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. From 1988 to 2004, Dr. Beason was with the Department of Veterans Affairs, first as director of Health Professions Education Service and the Health Professional Scholarship Program, and then as program director, Office of Nursing Services. Dr. Beason holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Berea College, a master’s degree in psychiatric nursing from Boston University and a doctorate in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University.
Jonathan Gueverra, Ed.D.
Dr. Gueverra was elected to the board of trustees in 2012. He now serves as the president and chief executive officer of Florida Keys Community College. Prior to this appointment, he was the founding chief executive officer of the Community College of the District of Columbia, the first community college in Washington, DC. With over 25 years of higher education experience, Dr. Gueverra has served in a variety of administrative and faculty positions in two-year and four-year colleges and universities along the nation’s east coast. In 2015, he was elected to the board of trustees for the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Colleges. Prior to this, he served as a member of the board of the American Association for Community Colleges and co-chaired the Commission on Workforce Development. In addition, Dr. Gueverra serves on the steering committee and the communications committee for the Council of Presidents for the Florida College System. Dr. Gueverra holds an associate degree from Newbury College, a bachelor’s degree from Providence College, a master’s degree in business administration and a doctorate in education both from the University of Massachusetts.
Leslie Hitch, Ed.D.
Dr. Hitch was elected to the board of trustees in 2018. She is currently teaching faculty at William James College and has been associate teaching professor, Northeastern University and visiting fellow at Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. She has designed curriculum and taught in master's and doctoral programs in Leadership, Global Studies, and Higher Education Administration and for the FBI. In addition to her faculty position in Australia, she has extensive teaching experience internationally in Hong Kong and Vietnam. Her higher education administrative experience includes director of academic technology services at Northeastern University; vice president, Harcourt, Inc.; program director at Simmons College; and director of executive education at Babson College. She, and her co-author Shreshthi Mehta, received second prize in the Ivey-Publishing/Indian Business School Global Case Writing competition in 2015 and honorable mention in 2017. She is a member of the board for the Center for Independent Documentary and a trustee of the Newton Cultural Alliance. She holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Simmons College, certificate in management and leadership in education from Harvard School of Education, and an Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Brian W. Jones, J.D., Ex officio
Mr. Brian W. Jones is the university president. Mr. Jones joined the Strayer University in 2012 as the general counsel. Prior to joining Strayer University, he co-founded and served as president of Latimer Education, Inc., a venture-backed company partnering with a historically black college to provide online postsecondary education solutions to African American working adults. He previously served for four years as the U.S. Department of Education general counsel, a Senate-confirmed presidential appointment, under former Secretary of Education Rod Paige among other senior, higher-education roles. Jones currently chairs the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. He previously served as chair of the D.C. Public Charter School Board, having been twice nominated by the secretary of education and appointed by the mayor of the District of Columbia. Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgetown University and a juris doctor degree from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law.
William C. Reha, M.D.
Dr. Reha has served as a member of the board of trustees since 2007 and is chair of its Alumni and Student Affairs Committee. He is a board certified urologic surgeon in Woodbridge, Virginia. Dr. Reha is active in Strayer University alumni affairs and is the 2005 Outstanding Alumni Award winner. Dr. Reha has served as president of the Prince William County Medical Society, the Potomac Hospital Medical Staff, and the Virginia Urological Society. He was also speaker and is the immediate former president of the Medical Society of Virginia. He serves on the Virginia Delegation to the American Medical Association and is a State Society Network Representative for the American Association of Clinical Urologists. Dr. Reha is a fellow of the Claude Moore Physician Leadership Institute and he holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Binghamton University, an M.D. from New York Medical College, and a master’s in business administration from Strayer University. He completed his residency in surgery/urology at Georgetown University.
Peter D. Salins, Ph.D.
Dr. Salins has served as a member of the board of trustees since 2002 and is chair of its Curriculum and Assessment Committee. Having served as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs of the State University of New York (SUNY) system from 1997 to 2006, he is currently university professor of political science at SUNY, Stony Brook University and director of its graduate program in public policy. Dr. Salins is a fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a director of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council of New York. Dr. Salins holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture, a master’s degree in regional planning and a doctorate in metropolitan studies and regional planning, all from Syracuse University.
Mr. Joe Schaefer, M.B.A.
Mr. Schaefer has served as a member of the board of trustees since 2018. He is currently the chief transformation officer of Strategic Education, Inc. Prior to that, for over 10 years, he held multiple senior leadership positions at Strayer University, including chief technology and innovation officer, senior vice president of academic operations and chief information officer. Prior to joining Strayer University, Mr. Schaefer held various technology leadership positions at Accenture, one of the world’s leading consulting companies. Mr. Schaefer holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
Dr. Carol Shapiro, M.D.
Dr. Shapiro was elected to the board of trustees in 2015. Dr. Shapiro, a plastic surgeon, is the medical director of the Wound Healing Center of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. She has served as president of the medical staff of the two hospitals in the county in which she practices. She has also served as president of the Prince William County Medical Society and was the first woman to be elected president of the Medical Society of Virginia. She chaired the Virginia Delegation of the American Medical Society. Dr. Shapiro served as president of the National Capital Society of Plastic Surgeons, and was appointed to serve on the Ethics and Judicial Committees of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Additionally, she has served on the Board of Trustees of the Prince William Hospital and Potomac Hospital. Currently, she is the vice chair of the Potomac Health Foundation and chair of the Grants Committee, and serves on the Board of Trustees of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center. Dr. Shapiro did her undergraduate work at the University of Pittsburgh and earned her M.D. at the Woman’s Medical College in Philadelphia. After completing a residency in general surgery and plastic surgery at Georgetown University, she started a solo practice in Woodbridge, Virginia. For several years, Dr. Shapiro was a clinical instructor at Georgetown University Department of Plastic Surgery. In 1996, she earned a M.B.A. from George Mason University
J. Chris Toe, Ph.D.
Dr. Toe has served as a member of the board of trustees since 2003. He served as president of Strayer University from 2003 to April 2006 and as minister of agriculture of the Republic of Liberia from 2006 to 2009. Dr. Toe now serves as executive chairman of Agrifore Advisory & Investment Services (AAIS), Incorporated in Liberia and senior advisory for Country Strategic Planning for the World Food Programme in Rome, Italy. Dr. Toe holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Liberia, a master’s degree in agricultural economics and a doctorate in economics, both from Texas Tech University.
Mr. Andrew Watt
Mr. Andrew E. Watt is chief operating officer of Strategic Education, Inc. (SEI). Mr. Watt previously served as senior vice president of postsecondary education to SEI, and previously under the same title to Capella Education Company. Prior to service as senior vice president, Mr. Watt served as vice president of colleges and university operations and Capella University’s chief operations officer from 2014 to 2019. He has held a variety of leadership positions across Capella University, including roles in operations, finance, analytics and its markets and products team. Before joining Capella, he worked in transaction advisory services at both Deloitte & Touche LLP and Arthur Andersen LLP. Mr. Watt graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting.