ABOUT US: Board of Directors
The Board of Directors facilitates and supervises the development and use of research funds. A number of outstanding individuals serve on this board. They bring a wealth of business, scientific and academic expertise as well as personal knowledge of CLL.
B.M. (Mack) Rankin, Jr.
Mr. Rankin serves as chairman of the Board. He is vice chairman of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold and McMoRan Exploration Company; Mr. Rankin is a co-founder of Freeport-McMoRan. He is currently a private investor and consultant. Mr. Rankin serves on numerous boards including the Board of Visitors of the University Cancer Foundation at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Mr. Rankin is an avid supporter of the University of Texas at Austin.
Michael Keating, M.B., B.S.
Dr. Keating serves as president and CEO of CLL Global. He is an internationally renowned CLL clinical scientist and a Professor of Medicine in Hematology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has been a member of the faculty of MD Anderson Cancer Center since 1977 and works as a physician in the Leukemia Department. His major pursuits are developing new potentially curative therapies for CLL and developing rational combinations of new agents in the treatment of leukemia in general.
Phyllis Gordon Cohen
Ms. Cohen has served on various boards including the University of Chicago Visiting Committee for the Visual Arts and the Film Commission of Greater Kansas City. She was born in York, PA, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, B.A. with Honors, Summa Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she received the Nathan Burkan Award. She practiced law in Los Angeles with Kadison, Pfaelzer, Woodard, Quinn & Rossi, a prior iteration of the Los Angeles office of Arnold & Porter. Her practice focused on commercial litigation with an emphasis on antitrust defense and copyright infringement action. She currently resides in Kansas City with her husband, who is a native of Kansas City.
Ted Collins Jr.
Ted Collins has enjoyed a long career in the oil and gas business. He presently operates as an independent oil and gas producer. Prior to that, Mr. Collins served as President of Collins & Ware, Inc., an independent oil and gas exploration company, which sold the majority of its assets to Apache Corp. Mr. Collins is a past President of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, the Permian Basin Landmen’s Association, the Petroleum Club of Midland and has served as Chairman of the Midland Wildcat Committee since 1984. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a B. S. in Geological Engineering. Professionally he serves on the Board of Directors of Encore Acquisition Co. and Energy Transfer Partners L. P.
Emil J Freireich, M.D.
Dr. Freireich has been on the MD Anderson Faculty since 1965, where he is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Adult Leukemia Research Program. Freireich holds the Ruth Harriet Ainsworth Chair in Developmental Therapeutics. Prior to joining MD Anderson, Dr. Freireich worked for ten years at the National Cancer Institute. During that time, he was the first physician-scientist to conduct randomized clinical trials for cancer patients. Dr. Freireich is considered a founding father of modern clinical research; Freireich has had tremendous impact on the management of many malignant diseases, particularly in the use of combination therapies for acute leukemia.
Richard M. Jaffee
Mr. Jaffee is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Oil-Dri Corporation of America. He has been with Oil-Dri for more than 50 years and has extensive experience in all aspects of the sorbent minerals industries. He was Chief Executive Officer of the company at the time of its initial public offering in 1971. He held that position until 1996. He has extensive experience in securities law compliance and corporate governance. He has served on advisory committees to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Mr. Jaffee is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Rush University Medical Center. He serves ex officio on the eleven Rush board committees and is involved in all aspects of governance and oversight of this major academic medical center. He is also Chairman of Rush’s $300 million capital campaign.
Mr. Jaffee is a trustee of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. He is a life trustee of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the Chicago History Museum. He previously served as a director of Harris Financial Corporation, a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal. He is a member of the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer.
Mr. Jaffee is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He earned a CPA in the State of Illinois. He holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Mr. Katopodis is currently the President of Fiesta Mart, Inc., a grocery chain with 60 locations in Austin, Dallas and Houston. In addition, Mr. Katopodis is a board member of the Food Marketing Institute and has served on the Boards of Houston's East End Red Cross and as Chairman of the Skyline District of the Boy Scouts.
David Kesterson, Ph.D.
Dr. Kesterson is Emeritus Professor of English and former Provost and Special Assistant to the President for the Humanities at the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton. He served at UNT for 36 years as assistant, associate, and full professor. He also held many administrative posts at UNT: Chairman, Department of English; Associate Dean and Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences; Vice Provost; and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. In his professorial role, he is a specialist in Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, and American Humor, and has published seven books and numerous articles related to these and other authors and subjects. He is a member of the Fulbright Association (having been a Fulbright Professor in Germany in 1985), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society, and Golden Key Honor Society.
Susan Berry Kohlhas
Ms. Kohlhas serves as Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of Baldwin Investment Management, LLC. She has over 25 years of individual and institutional investment and risk management experience. Susan attended the College of William and Mary and the University of Delaware, earning a B.A. in Economics and History, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She and her family live in Middleburg, Virginia.
Robert Nichols has served as the President of The Nichols Companies since 1972. Nichols is a dealership network of construction machinery, representing multiple manufacturers in seven stores throughout Texas. Their most popular product is the Bobcat.
Mr. Nichols graduated from the Colorado School of Mines in 1966 and received his MBA from Southern Methodist University in 1969. He has served on the boards of the Boys Clubs of Dallas and Preston Trail Golf Club. Mr. Nichols is an active director of Hilltop Holdings as well as MD Anderson Cancer Center, where he has served on the Membership Committee, on the Development Committee of the Board of Visitors, as co-chair of the South Campus initiative, and currently as a member of the Campaign Executive Committee. Mr. Nichols was the co-founder and past chairman of the MD Anderson Dallas Living Legends Luncheon and co-founder and host of the MD Anderson Aspen Summer Symposium.
Mr. Nichols has served the Young Presidents Organization as Chairman of the Dallas Membership Committee, as Program Chairman, and has led numerous educational trips for YPO. His outdoor interests include golf and hiking. He has four grown children and nine grandchildren. Robert and his wife, Beverly, live in Dallas.
Martin Raber, M.D.
Dr. Raber has been a Professor of Medicine at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for over 25 years. Born in New York, educated in Europe, Canada and the United States, his career has included work as a clinician, teacher, investigator and executive. Throughout his career, Dr. Raber has maintained a clinical practice in oncology focusing on the problem of patients with unknown primary tumors, an area of expertise for which he is well known, and on which he has written and lectured extensively. As a cancer patient himself, Dr. Raber has experienced the treatments as well as the complications of the illness. He continues to work at the cancer center at a reduced level, and focuses on patient care and education. He continues to see patients at MD Anderson and, with fellows, sees patients regularly for the Harris County Hospital District at the LBJ Hospital.