7 selected for Rice alumni board; president-elect and alumni trustee announced


Seven alumni have been selected to serve on Rice University’s Association of Rice Alumni (ARA) Board of Directors: Sacha Abinader, Paula Desel, Tawfik Jarjour, Wayne Hale, June Marshall, Wanda Pan and John Sneider. They begin their three-year terms July 1, when David Leal becomes president-elect of the ARA and Cathryn Rodd Selman becomes an alumni trustee.

David Leal

David Leal ’03 is a co-founder and the CEO-in-residence at Gulmohar Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in tech and tech-enabled service companies. Previously, Leal was a banker at Bank of America Securities’ Global Corporate and Investment Bank, where he advised clients in the technology, media and telecom industries. Prior to his career in finance, Leal worked in the semiconductor and software industries in various leadership roles. At Rice, Leal has served on reunion committees, including as co-chair of his 15- and 20-year reunions. He also is a volunteer with the Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission and is a member of the Society of Latino Alumni at Rice. A native of South Texas, Leal holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Rice and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Cathryn Rodd Selman

Cathryn Rodd Selman ’78 earned her bachelor’s degree from Rice in economics and history and an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business. She was appointed to the Rice Board of Trustees earlier this month. Rodd Selman’s professional career included 16 years in domestic and international finance assignments with Exxon Corporation, including five years in Belgium and Hong Kong. She later assumed the position of treasurer and then controller of Houston-based Exxon Exploration Company. Her last Exxon role was as treasurer of Exxon Ventures CIS, Inc., before assuming the position of executive director at Russell Reynolds Associates. She served on the Friends of Fondren Library Board and the advisory boards of the Chao Center for Asian Studies and Rice Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality. Currently, Rodd Selman is a member of the advisory board of the School of Social Sciences and of the Center for Career Development at Rice. She is a previous recipient of the Meritorious Service Award.

Sacha Abinader

Sacha Abinader ’05 graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Rice in electrical and computer engineering and is a managing director in Accenture’s North America Energy practice based in Houston. He has 19 years of experience serving clients in exploration and production across several upstream independents. Abinader currently serves as the account leader for a super major’s upstream sector and leads Accenture’s efforts for methane management. He also serves as the engagement lead for Accenture’s Houston office of more than 2,500 people and aids in the recruitment of Rice students for Accenture.

Paula Desel

Paula Desel ’81 is a retired lawyer living in Richmond, Virginia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Rice and a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas School of Law. Prior to her retirement, Paula practiced law at Baker Botts in Houston and Arnold & Porter in New York and was an in-house attorney at Altria in New York and Richmond. Paula has served on the Laureates Committee, on the Class of 1981 Annual Giving committee, including as co-chair for her 40th reunion, and as a Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission interviewer in New York and Richmond.

Tawfik Jarjour

Tawfik Jarjour ’12 earned dual bachelor’s degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology and cognitive sciences from Rice. He leads Accenture’s Consumer Technology Group across North America, bringing over 12 years of experience in strategy consulting. As a student, he helped lead the Rice Centennial House project and was active in student government and student organizations like Cru and Navigators. He was the recipient of the Rice Sallyport Award, which recognizes a standout senior for their deep commitment to the university. This commitment continued in his post-graduation roles, including as a board member with the Center for Career Development, an alumni member of the Faculty Senate Committee on Teaching and a key adviser on special projects to the university president, earning the prestigious Rice Builders Award for his efforts. His work includes impactful pro-bono consulting for Rice.

Wayne Hale

Wayne Hale ’76 earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree from Purdue University in mechanical engineering. He recently retired from his post as director of human spaceflight at Special Aerospace Services, LLP, of Boulder, Colorado. Prior to that, he accepted a civil service position with NASA Johnson Space Center, where he spent 32 years that covered every aspect of U.S. human

June Marshall

June Marshall ’00 received a bachelor’s degree in economics and policy studies and also successfully completed the Rice Teacher Education Certification Program. She also earned a Juris Doctor from George Washington University School of Law. Marshall is a real estate attorney in Holland & Knight LLP’s Washington, D.C., office. She has volunteered with the Rice Alumni Volunteers for Admission, the D.C. Rice Alumni Planning Committee and is a member of the Association of Rice University Black Alumni.

Wanda Pan

Wanda Pan ’77 ’09 graduated from Rice with a bachelor’s degree in geology and psychology. When the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies launched the Master of Liberal Studies program in 2005, she was accepted into the founding class. After working as a geophysicist at various oil companies, she retired to raise three daughters. She was on the founding board of the Graduate Liberal Studies Alumni Association, served as president and is now an emeritus member. She currently serves on the external advisory board of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, the advisory board of the Glasscock School as well as the Friends of Fondren Library Board. In 2017, she and her father Poh-Hsi Pan, who earned a Ph.D. in geophysics at Rice in 1969, established the Pan Family Fellowship for graduate or postdoctoral students in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences.

John Sneider

John Sneider ’94 received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A&M University and a doctoral degree in geology and geophysics from Rice. He is president of Sneider Exploration, Inc., a global energy consulting service. Sneider Exploration specializes in the optimization of complex development projects for a range of clients from small independents to international and national energy companies. In addition, Sneider provides professional training and mentoring and serves as a lecturer in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences.

The ARA Board of Directors consists of 28 members who represent the alumni body to the university, advise the Office of Alumni Relations operations and programs and represent the ARA to its constituents—Rice alumni. For more information about the board, visit alumni.rice.edu/board.