The Foundation for Louisiana Board of Directors have strong ties to every part of the state. They bring leadership skills, business expertise, and philanthropic experience, which has been recognized nationally and throughout the world. This powerful combination of local investment and talent makes the Board one of Foundation for Louisiana's strongest assets.
Pamela Jenkins, Ph.D., Chair
Pamela Jenkins is a Research Professor of Sociology and faculty in the Women's Studies Program at the University of New Orleans. She is a founding faculty member of UNO's Center for Hazard Assessment, Response and Technology (CHART).
Before Katrina, her research interests were diverse but focused on how communities respond to a variety of problems. Her research interests post-Katrina include documenting the response to Katrina as part of a national research team on Hurricane Katrina evacuees. She has published on first responders, faith-based communities' response to the storm, and the experiences of elderly during and after Katrina. Throughout her career, she has evaluated a number of national and local efforts focused on community sustainability. At a community level, she is involved in several projects that work directly with best practice for violence prevention, including domestic and community violence. In her work with FFL, she currently serves on our advisory committee for our coastal work.
Linetta J. Gilbert, Chair Emeritus
Linetta J. Gilbert serves as Managing Partner of Gilbert & Associates. A respected leader in the philanthropic community, she offers consulting, coaching, and network-building support to foundations, large and small non-profits, and emerging thought leaders.
Her areas of practice include strategy development/planning and technical assistance for advancing organizational and community wide racial equity outcomes; board development; strategic planning; leadership development; and group facilitation. Some of her current and recent clients include:
- Greater Milwaukee Foundation
- The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
- Casey Family Programs
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- The WK Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network
- BoysTown Louisiana
Linetta has held leadership positions with a number of notable foundations. She served as Senior Program Officer for Social Justice Philanthropy with The Ford Foundation, where, over nearly a decade, she invested, monitored and leveraged $1 billion in resources dedicated to transforming and strengthening community-based philanthropic organizations worldwide. In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Linetta helped guide decisions on philanthropic investments that would help to rebuild infrastructure and increase capacity in government, resident leadership, non-profit organizations and the business community and transition the region from recovery to transformation. She served as a place-based consultant in New Orleans to the Annie E. Casey Foundation for its Neighborhood Transformation Initiative.
As the former Vice President of Programs for the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Linetta designed and implemented grant-making and programs for this regional foundation, expanding its programmatic reach to include critical issues such as housing and community development; work force development; violence prevention; neighborhood resident engagement; faith-based economic development; and rural development initiatives. She has also served as a national consultant on public policies in the fields of early learning/education, health, housing and child welfare services.
Linetta actively uses her years of development experience to help improve her community and currently serves on the boards of Agenda for Children, the Amistad Research Center and the Old Algiers Main Street Corporation. She is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Louisiana, a statewide public charity that invests in people and practices working to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities. Additionally, she is a past board member of Good Work Network and served as a founding board member with Agenda for Children and the Louisiana Children’s Museum. Linetta is a member of Christian Unity Baptist Church and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She and her family consider New Orleans home.
Ambassador James A. Joseph, Chair Emeritus (In memoriam)
James A. Joseph served in senior executive or advisory positions for four U.S. presidents, including as ambassador to South Africa — the only American ambassador to present his credentials to President Nelson Mandela.
He served as professor emeritus of public policy at Duke University and founder of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values. An ordained minister, Joseph taught at Yale Divinity School and the Claremont Colleges and authored three books.
Lieutenant Gen. Russel Honore (Retired), Board Member
Lieutenant General Honore is a native of Lakeland, La. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971.
He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College, an Honorary Doctorate in Laws from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University, Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Stillman College, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Loyola University, an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Virginia State University & an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Meharry Medical College.
Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina -- leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana -- General Honore served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honoré’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense. For four of the past six hurricane seasons, he supported the Department of Defense planning and response for Hurricanes Floyd in 1999; Lilli and Isidore in 2002 (both hit the Gulf Coast); Isabel in 2003; and Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne in 2004.
General Honore also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Department's planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honoré participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.
Among his assignments are Commanding General, First Army; Commanding General, SJFHQ-HLS, U.S. Northern Command; Commanding General, 2d Infantry Division, Korea; Deputy Commanding General/Assistant Commandant, United States Army Infantry Center and School, Fort Benning, Ga.; and the Assistant Division Commander, Maneuver/Support, 1st Calvary Division, Fort Hood, Texas. He has also served as the Brigade Commander, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Mechanized Observer/Controller, "Scorpion 07," National Training Center (25 rotations); and Commander, 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Germany.
General Honore's awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Distinguished Service Medal (one Oak Leaf Cluster), the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (four Oak Leaf Clusters), the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Commendation Medal (three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal (two Bronze Service Stars), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (one Bronze Service Star) the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon (4), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi), the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait) and the Joint Meritorious Unit Award. Qualification badges include the Expert Infantry Badge, the Parachutist Badge, and the Joint Staff Identification Badge.
General Honore retired on Feb. 29, 2008, following 37 years of active service with the United States Army. He continues to speak and consult nationally on Building a Culture of Preparedness.
May Nguyen, Board Member
May Nguyen is the Central Coast Program Director at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, managing the coalition’s $7 million grant administration and water infrastructure development projects in low-income areas of California’s central coast.
May most recently served as the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic’s Community Outreach Director, and, prior to that, she organized the campaign to win recognition and payment for lost subsistence use due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster. May was also Mary Queen of Viet Nam CDC’s inaugural Business Development Director and led the successful fundraising effort to finance redevelopment of small businesses in New Orleans east after Hurricane Katrina. May volunteered on the Louisiana NLG’s Board of Directors and actively supported the community protest against the police killing of Alton Sterling.
Michelle Ramos, Board Member
Dr. Michelle Ramos applies critical race theory and lived experiences to disrupt long standing white supremacist structures and systems.
Her work focuses on shifting power to black, brown people through pushing boundaries, challenging the status quo and reflecting values of equity and justice in her day to day practice. Before leading Alternate ROOTS, she worked as Managing Director for the Vera Institute of Justice New Orleans and Program Officer for the Women’s Foundation of California. She serves on the boards of Dance/USA and Performing Arts Alliance.
A licensed attorney with a PhD in Cultural Psychology, she has significant organizing experience and has committed her career to serving communities and individuals adversely impacted by issues of race, gender, disability, class, socioeconomics, inequitable laws and systemic oppression. She has consulted for over 20 years nationally and internationally.
She is the proud mother of a Broadway choreographer, Ellenore Scott, and since retiring from her own dance career, Ramos has continued to teach dance, has competed as an Ironman triathlete and now enjoys her southern New Orleans lifestyle.
Halima Leak Francis, Ph.D., Board Member
Dr. Halima Leak Francis (she/her) is a nationally accomplished educator, practitioner, and scholar whose career spanning more than 20 years has focused on strengthening capacity, sustainability, and equitable practices within nonprofits, philanthropy, and higher education administration.
She joined Tulane SoPA in 2019 to lead the development of the school’s Public Administration program. As the program’s founding Director and Professor of Practice, she worked with school leadership and advisors to steer curriculum design; recruit a nationally accomplished faculty; and secure Southern Association of Colleges, and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation. Under her leadership, the program exceeded launch expectations by tripling initial enrollment projections, and was later named in honor of the late U.S. Congressman John Lewis – reinforcing its role as a contemporary voice for advancing inclusive public service and community leadership.
Dr. Leak Francis joined Tulane from Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, a multi-sector, ethnically and culturally diverse civic organization specializing in providing culturally specialized social services, and she has a proven track record of strengthening of communities through meaningful collaboration, strategic leadership, and philanthropic investment. Along with her work at Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, she has developed programming and engaged public and private supporters on behalf of institutions such as CUNY School of Professional Studies, New York University, Barnard College, and Communities in Schools of Wake County (North Carolina). Throughout her career, Dr. Leak Francis has also taught diverse populations of students, increasing educational and professional development access in public service related fields through online and blended learning environments.
Leak Francis holds a B.A. in English from Hampton University, as well as an M.A. in Sociology of Education and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from New York University – Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. A dedicated community volunteer, she prioritizes advancing systemic equity and inclusion by supporting organizations and programs that are committed to the same. She serves as a founding co-chair of the HERitage Giving Fund, Tulane History Project co-chair, Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Impact 100 co-chair, and Foundation for Louisiana board member. Additionally, Leak Francis holds the Carnegie Corporation of NY Professorship in Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane’s Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, and is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Born and raised in Winston-Salem, N.C., she has lived and worked in cities throughout Virginia, New York, and Texas. She now enjoys her home in the New Orleans area with husband Eddie, who is an award-winning mass media veteran and New Orleans native. Her favorite times are spent with her husband, her amazing bonus son, other family members, friends, and pets.