Skip to main content

Duke University Names Eight New Trustees

New trustees include Apple CEO Tim Cook and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

new duke trustees

New Duke trustees, clockwise from top left: Lisa Borders, Jack Boyd, Tim Cook, Anna Knight, Jeff Ubben, Adam Silver, Ben Shellhorn and Patricia Morton.

Eight new members joined the Duke University Board of Trustees on July 1, the school announced Tuesday.The new trustees are The Coca-Cola Foundation Chairwoman Lisa Borders, Apple CEO Tim Cook, PRM Advisors founder Patricia Morton, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and ValueAct Capital CEO Jeff Ubben. They will each serve six-year terms.Additionally, three observing members also joined the board -- Jack Boyd, Trinity ’85; recent Duke graduate Anna Knight and Ben Shellhorn, a JD/MBA candidate at Duke. As the university's governing body, the Board of Trustees is responsible for the school's educational mission and fiscal policies. There are 37 members on the board.Borders is also vice president of global community affairs at The Coca-Cola Company. She is a former president of the city council and vice mayor of Atlanta and a former president of the Grady Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of Grady Health System, Georgia’s largest public hospital.She previously served as CEO of LMB LLC, a consulting company advising clients on community reinvestment, external affairs, marketing and communications, and as senior vice president of marketing and external affairs with Cousins Properties Inc., an Atlanta-based real estate investment trust.She earned a bachelor’s degree in French from Duke and a master’s degree in health administration from the University of Colorado at Denver.As Apple’s CEO, Cook has overseen the introduction of innovative new products and services including Apple Watch, Apple Pay and the new MacBook. He is leading a companywide effort to use 100 percent renewable energy at all Apple facilities, has encouraged his co-workers to give to charitable organizations in their community and started a generous program at Apple to match employee donations. Cook was recently ranked No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s 2015 list of the World’s Greatest Leaders, and in 2014 he was named “Person of the Year” by the Financial Times. Before being named CEO in 2011, Cook was Apple’s chief operating officer, responsible for the company’s worldwide sales and operations. He was a Fuqua Scholar at Duke, where he earned an MBA, and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University.Morton, a philanthropist and financial services veteran, last year was elected chair of the National Humanities Center, a nonprofit based at Research Triangle Park that provides fellowships for scholars from the U.S. and abroad. Prior to founding PRM Advisors in Charlotte in 2010, Morton worked for 30 years at JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown in New York, London and Asia.Morton, who earned her bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Duke, is a trustee of Johnson C. Smith University, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, and the Morgan Library & Museum. She is chair of Carolina Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of the national advisory board for the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke.The NBA Board of Governors unanimously elected Silver as commissioner in 2014. He was instrumental in the NBA's new nine-year media rights agreements with Turner Broadcasting and the Walt Disney Co., which run through the 2024-25 season.  Silver previously worked as NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer for eight years, playing key roles in the negotiation of the NBA's last three collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association and in the development of the WNBA and NBA Development League.Prior to that position Silver spent more than eight years as president and COO of NBA Entertainment. He earned a bachelor's degree from Duke and a law degree from the University of Chicago.In addition to being CEO, Ubben is also chief investment officer of ValueAct Capital, which he founded in 2000. Today ValueAct Capital manages more than $19 billion on behalf of institutional and individual investors. A Bloomberg profile described Ubben as "a quiet instigator behind some of the world’s highest-profile corporate overhauls," including the management shake-up at Microsoft Corp. Ubben previously worked as a managing partner at Blum Capital Partners, as chairman and director of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc., and as director of Acxiom Corp., Catalina Marketing Corp. and Gartner Group, Inc.He is on the board of trustees of Northwestern University and the American Conservatory Theater.Ubben earned a bachelor's degree from Duke and an MBA from Northwestern.Boyd is the executive vice president of marketing and product development at Elastic Fabrics of America (EFA), a textile company based in Greensboro, N.C.  Prior to working for EFA, he worked for Milliken & Company in sales and management roles.Since graduating from Duke in 1985, Boyd has volunteered for Duke in a number of capacities. He served as co-chair for his 20th, 25th and 30th reunions; has served as co-chair of Duke Alums Engage NYC since its inception in 2009, and has been a member of the DukeNY Board since 2011. Boyd has served on the Duke Alumni Association Board of Directors for the past five years, and is currently its president-elect. He will serve a four-year term on the board, two years as an observer and two years as a voting member.Selected by her fellow undergraduates as a young trustee, Knight will serve one year as a non-voting member and two years as a voting member.Knight, from Arlington, Va., is a fourth-generation Duke student who received her bachelor of science in engineering degree in May. She has served as president of the Engineering Student Government and the Biomedical Engineering Society; worked as a Pratt Fellows Undergraduate researcher in the Duke Injury Biomechanics Lab; and dances for two separate dance teams, among other activities. In the fall, she will attend Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering in pursuit of a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. Her research focuses on using acoustic emission sensing of bone fracture to detect cervical and lumbar spinal injuries.Selected by the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) as a young trustee, Shellhorn will serve one year on the Duke board as a non-voting member and one year as a voting member.Prior to Duke, Shellhorn completed a master’s degree in media studies, focusing on strategy and management, and a bachelor’s degree in theater from Colorado College. He has operated a successful group of Mexican restaurants as part of one of New York City’s largest hospitality groups, and spent recent summers working with Bain & Company; the Fair Housing Project, Legal Aid of North Carolina; and Ropes & Gray’s private equity and hedge fund groups.At Duke, Shellhorn has been president of the GPSC and of OutLaw, the LGBT/Q affinity organization at the School of Law.