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Board of Trustees

As Board of Trustees, we hold the school, its mission and its future “in trust.” We use the school’s mission statement and strategic goals as guideposts for board decisions. Bylaws facilitate our work by serving as a reference point.
Our primary work is future-focused and strategic, creating the school from which our grandchildren will benefit tomorrow. We delegate the day-to-day operations to the head of school, via an annual charge approved by the board. Our major responsibilities include setting the strategic direction; ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations; accounting for both the financial stability and the financial future of the institution; and selecting, supporting and evaluating the head of school.
A significant portion of the board’s work is done through its eight committees: Audit, Buildings and Grounds, Engagement, Executive, Finance, Head’s Evaluation and Support, Employee Retirement Plan and Trustees.

Read a Q&A with Board of Trustees President Lucy Smith Conroy '90 P'24 '25.

Officers of the Board (2019–2020)

List of 4 items.

  • Lucy Smith Conroy '90, president

    Joined the board: 2013
    Serves on the Executive Committee and the Committee on Trustees 

    Lucy Smith Conroy ’90 is an LJCDS lifer and became president in 2019 after holding the role of vice president since 2017. She was a past president of the Alumni Leadership Council and chair of the committee on trustees.
    Conroy is a freelance theater director and member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society whose work has been produced both in New York and at regional theaters across the country. She is the former resident dramaturg at Court Theatre in Chicago.
    She earned a Bachelor of Arts in theater and women’s studies from Trinity College and a Master of Fine Arts in directing from Columbia University.

    Conroy and her husband, Ambrose, have three children: Ben '24, Keira '25 and Sara (future Torrey).
  • Lisa Bicker, vice president

    Joined the board: 2017
    Serves as the chair of the Committee on Trustees 

    Lisa Bicker is a private investor and small-business owner who has spent the past three decades as a leader in both the private and nonprofit sectors and has an established track record in entrepreneurship, energy and sustainability.
    She is the immediate past chair of the San Diego Foundation’s Climate Initiative, a unique collaboration between public and private groups geared toward measuring the impacts of climate change on the San Diego region. She was also the founding president of CleanTECH San Diego and built the organization from a start-up to more than $1 million in annual revenues in four years. She was awarded the San Diego Business Journal “Women Who Mean Business Award” in 2009 in recognition of her work to establish the San Diego region as a worldwide leader in the clean technology sector. Prior to that, Bicker was the founding president of the California Clean Energy Fund, a private, nonprofit $30 million investment fund formed to accelerate investment in California’s clean energy economy.
    Earlier in her career, Bicker was a founder and chief operating officer of NewEnergy Inc., a high-growth retail electricity provider that grew to more than $800 million in revenues prior to its acquisition by the AES Corporation. Today, NewEnergy is the largest retail electricity provider in the United States.
    She has also served as general counsel to the California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance, a nonprofit advocacy group founded by Edmund G. “Pat” Brown. In an earlier role, she also served as senior writer for Governor George Deukmejian.
    Bicker earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis, and a juris doctor degree from the University of San Francisco.
    Bicker and her husband, Jeff Martin, have two children: Roman ’15 and Janey ’25.
  • Hal Dunning, treasurer

    Joined the board: 2017
    Serves as the chair of the Finance Committee 

    Hal Dunning is the president and chief operating officer of Marsh & McLennan Agency – Western Region. Over his 16 years with the company, Dunning has served as a key member of the management team that guided the agency from an $18 million company with 143 associates in one office to a $180 million company with 650 associates in six offices. All but $20 million of this growth has been organic. Barney & Barney was sold to Marsh & McLennan Companies in 2014. During this period of growth, Dunning has been responsible for accounting, HR, organizational learning, IT, communications, facilities, and legal and compliance.
    Dunning also serves on the board with the San Diego Foundation and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    He earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Pomona College and an MBA in accounting from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.
    Dunning and his wife, Hilary, have a daughter, Haley ’20.
  • Karen Deschaine, secretary

    Joined the board: 2014
    Serves on the Executive Committee and has served on the Audit Committee since 2008

    Karen Deschaine is a corporate lawyer in the San Diego office of Cooley LLP. She was one of the founders of the national nonprofit organization Ms. JD and serves on the board of directors of Athena San Diego. She has been recognized with San Diego Metro Magazine’s "40 Under 40" and “Women Who Impact San Diego” and with Athena’s Pinnacle Award.
    Prior to law school, Deschaine served as a captain in the U.S. Army and commanded two companies. She earned a juris doctor degree with a specialization in business law from the UCLA School of Law, an MBA from Auburn University and a Bachelor of Science in economics from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    Deschaine has two children: Dakota ’19 and Jenna ’21.

Ex-Officio Members of the Board

List of 2 items.

  • Gary Krahn, Ph.D., head of school

    Head of School since 2015

    Gary Krahn, Ph.D., is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Serving for more than 29 years on active duty, he retired in the grade of Brigadier General. A significant part of his military career was as a mathematician, educator, analyst and, finally, professor and head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at West Point. He earned his doctorate in applied mathematics.

    Krahn has been an invited speaker at the National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation, Mathematics Association of America and universities around the world. In 2004, he deployed to Afghanistan to help establish and build the 18th university in Afghanistan, hiring the initial 51 Afghan faculty members and shaping the curriculum. Before coming to LJCDS, he was head of Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth for eight years. 

    Krahn and his wife, Paula, have two daughters and two granddaughters: Reese ’30 and Avery ’33.
  • John D. Collins, board advisor

    Joined the board: 2012
    Serves on the Audit Committee and the Executive Committee

    John D. Collins has provided legal counsel to LJCDS for more than 25 years. During his career at Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps in San Diego and Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP in Del Mar, he has been named in “Best Lawyers in America,” “San Diego’s Top 25 Lawyers” and “Southern California Super Lawyers.”
    Collins has given more than 25 years of service to Project Concern International as a past chairman of the board and current board member. He also served on the boards of National University and the San Diego Economic Development Corporation.

    He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Stanford University and his juris doctor degree from Stanford Law School. Collins and his wife, Kathy, have been partners in a downtown San Diego art gallery for almost 20 years.

Members of the Board (2019–2020)

List of 13 items.

  • Yuriko Anton

    Joined the board: 2018
    Serves on the Finance Committee 

    Yuriko Anton has worked in New York, London and Tokyo in the financial industry. She has served on the boards of the Maria Mitchell Association, Beacon Hill Nursery School, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the Japan Society of Boston and the American Repertory Theater. In addition to her work as a board member, Anton has been active in several other nonprofits and educational institutions, including Claremont McKenna College, Colorado College and Buckingham Browne & Nichols School.

    She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA.

    Yuriko has five children, including two stepsons with husband Philip: Miles ’28 and Wyatt ’21.
  • Jack Chitayat

    Joined the board: 2017
    Serves on the Committee on Trustees and the Buildings and Grounds Committee

    Jack Chitayat is chairman, managing member and CEO of Atlantic Realty Group. The main activities of the group include principal investments in, syndication and management of U.S. commercial real estate in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Midwest, Texas, Southwest, California and Canada.
    His private family investment arm, Chitayat Holdings LLC, has made investments in private and public technology, biotech and finance-related companies. Chitayat simultaneously serves as chairman and CEO of LLPG Inc., since its formation in June 2003, at which time it acquired a license from Liquidmetal Technologies for the use of the Liquidmetal family of non precious and precious alloys in jewelry and luxury product applications.
    Prior to joining LJCDS, he served as chair and president of the board of trustees of the Gillispie School in La Jolla, as well as vice president of the board of trustees and chair of the investment committee, finance committee, development committee and master planning committee. Chitayat has also done extensive fundraising for both World ORT and American ORT, an organization dedicated to providing education and training to underprivileged Jewish families in more than 50 countries.

    He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's in economics and international relations from Tufts University.
    Chitayat and his wife, Nikoo, have two sons, twins Cyrus and Cameron ’23.
  • Russell Holmes

    Joined the board: 2017
    Serves on the Finance Committee 

    Russel Holmes is the founder and CEO of Projecis Inc., a leading cloud-based content-management and data-visualization software company with clients in North America and Europe. He also cofounded Synteract in 1995, a privately held global contract research organization (CRO) that generates $70 million in revenue annually. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the clinical research industry and helped Synteract become the leading global CRO that it is today.

    Holmes earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics, as well as an MBA from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
  • Bob Kain

    Joined the board: 2015 
    Serves on the Buildings and Grounds Committee 

    Bob Kain is the president and co-owner of Mesa Rim Climbing and Fitness Center, one of the top 10 climbing gyms in the United States. He’s also active as a biotech corporate advisor and previously served on the LJCDS committee on trustees and the engagement committee.

    Prior to founding Mesa Rim Climbing, Kain was at Illumina for 14 years, retiring as the chief engineering officer. Illumina is the market leader in the genomics systems industry and is recognized for its industry-leading strategic decision-making, tactical execution and product engineering. Previous to joining Illumina, Kain was the director of the microarray business unit at Molecular Dynamics from 1989 to 1999. 

    Kain currently serves on the boards of several commercial and community organizations, including Pet Wireless, Orflo, YMCA of La Jolla and San Diego River Parks Foundation. 

    He earned a Bachelor of Science in physics from San Diego State University and an MBA from Saint Mary's College of California. 

    Kain and his wife, Ranelle, have one son, Nathan ’23.
  • James Kelly

    Joined the Board: 2018
    Serves as the chair of the Audit Committee

    James Kelly has been involved in scaling operations for early-stage technology companies for the past decade. Most recently, he was responsible for building the finance and capital teams at Square Inc. He started his career as an auditor at Deloitte and moved on to become a finance manager at Cisco Systems. 

    He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from UCLA.

    Kelly and his wife, Inna, have three children: Caroline ’22, Kate ’25 and Ali ’29.
  • Faisel Khan

    Joined the board: 2019
    Serves on the Finance Committee 

    Faisel Khan is senior vice president of corporate finance and investor relations for Sempra Energy. He is responsible for all communications with Sempra Energy’s shareholders. Khan also supports Sempra North American infrastructure while providing oversight to Sempra Energy’s risk-management and treasury matters. From 2018 to 2019, Khan was vice president of investor relations for Sempra Energy. Prior to that, he was a managing director for Citigroup in New York, covering the energy industry for 14 years. Khan was ranked as one of the top financial analysts in the natural gas sector for 11 consecutive years by the Institutional Investor Survey. Before joining Citigroup in 2005, he worked for six years at Credit Suisse First Boston, first in investment banking and later as an equity research analyst following the power and gas industries. 

    He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. 

    Khan and his wife, Muniba, are the parents of Rayaan ’33 and Emaan (future Torrey).
  • Dana Meiselman

    Joined the board: 2017
    Serves on the Executive Committee and is co-chair of the Engagement Committee

    Dana Meiselman has been involved at LJCDS in many ways. She previously served on the marketing and communications committee, volunteered as a new parent admissions ambassador, and helped produce videos for the Blue Bash.
    Meiselman has nearly two decades of experience as a television news reporter. She worked for KGTV 10 News in San Diego and for various TV stations in North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee and Michigan. Meiselman has also produced videos for nonprofit organizations including Project Concern International.
    She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication, with a concentration in marketing from the Wharton School.

    Meiselman and her husband, Carter, have two children, Ellis ’27 and Avery.
  • Amy Mischler ’91

    Joined the board: 2018
    Serves on the Executive Committee and is co-chair of the Engagement Committee

    Amy Mischler ’91 is a San Diego native and an LJCDS alumna and lifer (along with her two sisters). She is the former chair of the Country Day Fund, program chair of Blue Bash 2014, and has been active within the philanthropy department since she joined LJCDS as a parent in 2013.

    Mischler currently works at Intuit in strategic partnerships. Her background is in marketing, business development and strategic marketing in both technology and finance companies, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. 

    She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of San Diego and a Master of Science in business administration from San Diego State University with a concentration in entrepreneurship. 

    Mischler and her husband, Bob, are the parents of Willa ’27 and Callan ’30. 
  • Jennifer O’Brien

    Joined the board: 2018
    Serves on the Committee on Trustees

    Jennifer O’Brien has been a Country Day Fund ambassador and an active volunteer at LJCDS since the family joined the community in 2007. She is an owner and manager of JELD Properties LLC, a real estate investment and management firm based in San Diego. She previously practiced law at Wegner Law Offices in Cincinnati, worked at Bank of America Securities LLC in San Francisco, and practiced estate planning at Albence & Associates in La Jolla.

    She earned a bachelor’s degree in German and English at Kansas State University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

    O’Brien and her husband, David Stickney, are the parents of Lydia ’23 and Elinor ’25.
  • Jeff O’Neill

    Joined the board: 2019
    Serves on the Finance Committee

    Jeff O’Neill is a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley and serves as a private wealth advisor, alternative investments director and family wealth director within the firm’s private wealth management division. He was a director in Credit Suisse’s U.S. private banking division from 2010 to 2015. Prior to that, O’Neill was a principal and director at Bernstein Global Wealth Management, a unit of AllianceBernstein L.P., from 1999 to 2009 and served as head of Bernstein’s private client practice in the San Diego region from 2006 to 2009. Earlier in his career, O’Neill was the founder and CEO of the Redstone Group LLC, a real estate investment and advisory firm based in New York City. Within the community, he served as a member of the finance committee for the Sharp Healthcare Foundation from 2011 to 2015. 

    He earned a bachelor’s degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. 

    O’Neill and his wife, Kathryn McCoy, are the parents of Marcelle ’26.
  • Tony Toranto

    Joined the board: 2018
    Serves as the chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee

    Tony Toranto is a partner at Sheppard Mullin in the firm’s real estate, corporate and energy practice groups. He specializes in a diverse range of transaction types across these practice areas with an emphasis on financial transactions. As part of the LJCDS buildings and grounds committee, he was responsible for coordinating the presentation for a potential solar installation project. He is involved in philanthropic work with other organizations, including Jewish Family Service (where he and his wife, Karin, have served as the annual gala co-chairs) and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (where he is a member of the Salkexcellerators and serves on a scientific advisory committee). Toranto is also active in the American Israel public affairs committee, where he is a congressional committee member. 

    He earned a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, MBA and a juris doctor degree, all from Stanford University.

    Toranto and his wife, Karin, are the parents of Maddy ’24 and Nate ’27.
  • Susan Tousi

    Joined the board: 2019 
    Serves on the Buildings and Grounds Committee 

    Susan Tousi is senior vice president of product development at Illumina. Under her leadership, Illumina has launched seven years of industry-leading sequencing platforms and achieved the most innovative and expansive product portfolio in the company’s history. She has been a vital asset to Illumina, navigating the organization through significant scaling and growth—the revenue from the sequencing platforms and consumables from her team was directly responsible for contributing $9 billion to the company’s growth from 2012 to 2018, representing 25 percent CAGR and contributing to a market cap increase from $4 billion at the start of 2012 to more than $40 billion today. Tousi has more than 25 years of R&D and business leadership at Fortune 100 technology companies and within the life sciences industry. Formerly, she was corporate vice president and general manager for Eastman Kodak’s Consumer Inkjet Systems organization. Prior to joining Kodak, Tousi was an R&D program manager for Phogenix Imaging LLC, a joint venture start-up of Hewlett-Packard and Kodak. She previously spent 10 years with Hewlett-Packard in technical and management roles. 

    Tousi was elected to the National Academy of Engineers, one of the nation’s “highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer” and has been appointed to the NAE peer committee. She supports creativity and innovation in the arts, serving as a trustee on the executive committee at La Jolla Playhouse.

    She has an honors Bachelor in Engineering from Penn State University and an MBA from UCLA. 

    Tousi and her husband, Randy Camp, are the parents of Brandon ’16, Spencer ’18 and Cameron ’26.
  • Jing Zeng

    Joined the board: 2018
    Serves on the Engagement Committee 

    Jing Zeng has owned and operated her own insurance agency since 2000 and is also a financial manager. She is actively engaged with the Chinese community both at LJCDS and in the greater San Diego area. Zeng has served on the board of the American Culture and Education Foundation and was the vice president of the San Diego Chinese American Association. 

    At LJCDS, she has served on the Blue Bash committee and has been a liaison between the development office and the Chinese community since 2016. 

    Zeng is the mother of Austin ’20.

La Jolla Country Day School

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