Board of Directors

Mark Howard, UCL Affiliate Social Studies 1983 – President
Mark Howard is a Managing Director at BNP Paribas in New York where he provides strategic and portfolio advice related to the US Capital Markets. Previously, Mark spent five years at Barclays Capital where he was a Managing Director and held the roles of Co-Head of Global Research and Head of Credit Analysis. He has a particular interest in education and women’s health philanthropy, manifested in his volunteer efforts with UCL, Colby College, Village Community School and Girl Rising.

Nicole McKnight, UCL PhD Biological Sciences 2011 – Vice-President
Nicole is Managing Director of BioLabs New York and runs the premier biotech co-working space BioLabs@NYULangone. Nicole is co-founder of Keystone for Incubating Innovation in Life sciences Network (KiiLN), a non-profit accelerator for entrepreneurial scientists. A former molecular and cell biologist, Nicole performed her postdoc research at Mount Sinai and PhD work at Cancer Research UK in the London Research Institute. She is a dual US/UK citizen, grew up in Massachusetts, and attended the University of Chicago.

Mark Cleary, UCL BA Scandinavian Studies 1978 – Treasurer
Mark Cleary is Deputy General Manager, Svenska Handelsbanken AB New York Branch, his latest in a number of roles for the company, including Head of Operations, Head of Credit, Head of Corporate Banking and Deputy Head of Corporate Banking, since 1987.

Gad Berdugo, UCL MSc Biochemical Engineering 1989
Since 2017, Gad has been the CEO & Co-Founder of EpiVax Oncology, Inc., a precision cancer immunotherapy company, developing customized and personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines based on each patient’s tumors genetic profiling and in silico predictive algorithms. He brings over 27 years of biotechnology operational, strategic partnering and financial experience mainly gained at Abbott, Baxter, Lazard and privately held and publicly traded emerging biotechnology companies. He spent the majority of his career in immunology and oncology fields.

Simon Harris, UCL BSc Economics & Geography 2007
Simon Harris is a Vice President at W Capital Partners a private equity firm focused on making minority secondary investments in growth and late-stage companies. Simon joined W Capital in 2008 and was previously in the Communications and Media Investment Banking groups of Lehman Brothers and Barclays Capital. At Lehman and Barclays, Simon worked on M&A and corporate finance transactions for a range of global telecom clients. He is also a member of the UCL New York Alumni Club which organizes social, networking and educational events for alumni in the Tri-State area.

Kira Elvey, UCL BA French & History of Art 1993
Kira Elvey is a real estate professional based in Alexandria, Virginia.  Having grown up in New York City, Kira went on to graduate from University College London with a degree in French and Art History.  Fluent in French, Kira worked for the financial services firm Societe Generale; in Mortgage Backed securities at Bear Sterns; as a shoe designer in Asia; and as an art gallery director.

John Kelly, UCL Affiliate Economics 1982
John Kelly is the Chief Executive Officer for the Reformation Group which provides finance for large asset managers and international reinsurers on specialized credit related opportunities worldwide. He is also a senior adviser to Blackrock’s Alternative Assets Division. Previously John worked for Citigroup and Schroder Salomon Smith Barney managing their derivatives divisions. Until autumn 2016, John acted as Treasurer of UCLFAA.

John Manville, UCL BSc Engineering 1980
John Manville is Senior Vice President of the IT Global Infrastructure Services team at Cisco. In his role, John leads and directs strategy and operations for the worldwide IT infrastructure supporting Cisco’s workforce of 150,000 people. As the world’s largest supplier of IT equipment and services, Cisco provides a rich environment for John and his team to co-create the products of tomorrow and provide feedback on the products of today. Prior to Cisco, John held senior positions in IT with several Wall Street financial companies.

Fran Moore, UCL BSc Psychology 1977 and UCL Fellow 2015
Fran Moore recently retired from Verizon where she was a Strategic Business Development Executive in information technology for 5 years. Prior to that, Fran held numerous management and sales roles at IBM for over 30 years. Fran has been deeply involved in many UCL alumni events in New York over many years helping organise alumni receptions and host dinners, in addition to her work for UCL Friends & Alumni Association Inc. She won the Murie Robertson award in 2006 for her contributions to alumni activity and was named a Fellow in 2015. Until autumn 2016, Fran was President of UCLFAA.

John Olympitis, UCL BA History 2002
John Olympitis works in the Corporate Finance and Investments Group at Welltower, the world’s largest owner of Health Care Real Estate. John’s previous roles include Chief Investment Strategist at alternative investment manager MacroVest Strategies and Portfolio Manager at Fisco Funds, as well as wealth management and portfolio analysis at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

Claudia Pace, UCL LLM Law 1990
Claudia Pace is an Attorney and International Educator and provides UCLFAA with governance advice and oversight. She has previously worked for Youth for Understanding USA and Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, Inc.