3 Rice University alumni and a former trustee elected to board

Rice University
Office of Public Affairs / News & Media Relations


B.J. Almond

3 Rice University alumni and a former trustee elected to board
Ann Doerr, Robert Ladd, Scott W. Wise and James T. Hackett are Rice trustees

HOUSTON — (May 26, 2016) — Three prominent Rice University alumni from the commercial investment and nonprofit sectors and a former Rice trustee from the energy industry have been elected to the Rice Board of Trustees. Rice alumni Ann Doerr, chairman of Khan Academy; Robert Ladd, managing partner and chief investment officer of Stellus Capital Management; and Scott W. Wise, president and chief investment officer of Covariance Capital Management, and former trustee James T. Hackett, a partner of Riverstone Holdings LLC, will serve four-year terms on the board, starting July 1.

“What a thrill to have Ann, Rob, Scott and Jim back at Rice as our newest trustees,” said Bobby Tudor, board chairman. “All four have invaluable experience and expertise from which the board can benefit, and they have repeatedly demonstrated their dedication to Rice. By coincidence, the three alumni have spouses who also are Rice alumni, which is a bonus.”

“As we approach the start of another academic year in a dynamic time for institutions of higher education, it’s reassuring to know that Ann, Rob, Scott and Jim will be offering guidance and leadership as members of the Rice Board of Trustees,” President David Leebron said. “They are great friends of the university and have already been a joy to work with on a variety of issues at the university.”

cropped photo of Ann Doerr

Ann Doerr

As chairman of Khan Academy, Doerr helps lead a nonprofit organization that has provided more than half a billion free online lessons to people worldwide on subjects ranging from math, physics and computer science to art history, health and medicine.

Doerr is a trustee of the Environmental Defense Fund and an advisory member of NewSchools Venture Fund. She served on the advisory committee for What’s Next California, the state’s first deliberative poll that sought in-depth public opinion on the most pressing governance issues. She has held various engineering and management positions at Intel, Silicon Compilers and Tandem Computers.

Doerr has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Rice. She and her husband, John Doerr, live in California. Their family foundation focuses on reversing global warming and enhancing educational opportunities for all. Rice’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders is named in their honor in appreciation of a $50 million gift to develop an unconventional approach to train students to become effective leaders.

cropped photo of Robert Ladd

Robert Ladd

Ladd is a founding partner of Stellus Capital Management and also serves as chairman and CEO of Stellus Capital Investment Corp., a business development company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Stellus Capital Management is a middle-market investment firm focused on diversified private credit and energy private equity.

Ladd has more than 35 years of experience in investing, finance and restructuring, including leading the D.E. Shaw Group’s Direct Capital entity and serving as president of Duke Energy North America, president and CEO of Duke Capital Partners LLC and as a partner of Arthur Andersen, where he led the firm’s global restructuring practice. He also served in various capacities for First City Bancorporation of Texas Inc. Ladd is a member of the Council of Overseers for Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business and a member of the Rice Initiative for the Study of Economics. He also is a member of the development board for the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the advisory councils for UT’s McGovern Medical School and School of Biomedical Informatics.  In addition to a bachelor’s degree in managerial studies and economics from Rice, Ladd has an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Sord Scholar. He and his wife, Georgiana Bolton Ladd, live in Houston.

cropped photo of Scott W. Wise

Scott W. Wise

Wise was selected by TIAA in 2010 to start Covariance as an independent subsidiary to provide customized endowment management services to nonprofit institutions. Prior to Covariance, Wise worked at Rice for 31 years, during which he served as Rice’s chief investment officer for 21 years and was named founding president of Rice Management Company, which was created by the university to focus exclusively on managing Rice’s investments. Under his leadership, Rice’s endowment grew from $990 million to $3.9 billion, an average annual investment return of 11 percent.

Wise has served on the board of directors for HCC Insurance Holdings and the boards of St. John’s School and Episcopal High School. He currently serves on the investment advisory board for the Texas State Comptroller and the boards of the Catholic Endowment Foundation of Galveston-Houston and the Houston Grand Opera. Wise also serves on the Council of Overseers for Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business and is a past president of the Association of Rice Alumni. As a student-athlete, Wise was co-captain of the Rice baseball team and a four-year letterman.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in economics from Rice, Wise has a master’s in professional accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Geraldina Interiano Wise, reside in Houston.

cropped photo of James T. Hackett

James T. Hackett

Hackett joined Riverstone’s Houston office in 2013. This private investment firm focuses on energy and power and conducts buyout and growth capital investments in the exploration and production, midstream, oil field services, power and renewable sectors of the energy industry.

Prior to Riverstone, Hackett was chairman of the board and CEO of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies. He also served as president and chief operating officer of Devon Energy Corp. after it merged with Ocean Energy, of which he had been chairman, president and CEO. Hackett has held senior positions at Seagull Energy, Duke Energy and Pan Energy as well as positions in engineering, finance and marketing with NGC Corp., Burlington Resources and Amoco Oil Corp.

Hackett has served as chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, chairman of America’s Natural Gas Alliance and chairman of the board of Houston Grand Opera. He is currently a trustee and former board chair of Baylor College of Medicine. He served on the Rice Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2013 and is a former adjunct professor of management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business.

Hackett has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, an MBA from Harvard University and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School. He and his wife, Maureen O’Gara Hackett, live in Houston.

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High-resolution IMAGES are available for download at:

CAPTION: Ann Doerr

CAPTION: James T. Hackett

CAPTION: Robert Ladd

CAPTION: Scott W. Wise

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,910 undergraduates and 2,809 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for best quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

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About B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond is senior director of news and media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.