Inverness Associates
Supporting schools in sustainability, strategic planning, governance, and leadership mentoring.

Why I Serve

While I continue the mission of Inverness  Associates, especially to support green, environmentally sustainable schools, I have also broadened my civic engagement by working with a number of organizations whose causes I support.  This effort stems from my long-held belief that we all should contribute to helping make our society and the world a better place.  Now, more than ever, it seems we should all do our best to be good citizens.

Today I continue my service on a number of boards.  Inspired by the courage of Gabby Giffords, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence our legal experts research, write, and defend the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence ( The mission of the Chabot Space and Science Center is to educate and inspire students of all ages about planet earth and the universe, and serving on its board enables me to advance the cause of my childhood hero John Glenn (

Berkeley Community Scholars supports first-generation, low-income students of color on their path to gain a college degree ( avid reader since my youth, I love serving on the University of California Library Board,and especially helping transform the undergraduate Moffitt library into a Center for Connected Learning ( And volunteer work for several environmental organizations and my alma maters Stanford and Yale gives me a sense of fulfillment.  

When I began college, at our class commencement that September, I heard our president, Kingman Brewster, remind us that we were not there simply to get an excellent education.  “The fullness or emptiness of life will be measured,” he told our all male class, “by the extent to which a man feels he has had an impact on the lives of others.”  He urged us to become citizen leaders, and to give back to the society that had supported us well in our youth.  Our minister, William Sloane Coffin, a leader of the movement to stop the Vietnam War, challenged collegiate complacency and urged us to find a calling.

Over the years, I have tried to heed the call to service.  As the principal of Head-Royce School, I rewrote our mission to “to encourage active and responsible global citizenship.”  Years later we refined a special civic purpose mission: “Our goal is to prepare citizen leaders who demonstrate social responsibility, an ethic of service, a deep appreciation of diversity, and a passion for democratic ideals.  Our School has a significant role to play in helping to make our community a better place, by forging connections with our local, national and global community.”  To model citizenship, I took part in many of our service programs, from Rebuilding Together to Habitat for Humanity.  I am proud of the contributions the thousands of Head-Royce alumni have made through their service, as teachers and doctors, community organizers and journalists, as non-profit leaders and humanitarian volunteers.   And I served on many volunteer boards over the years to help strengthen our educational community.

I am grateful to be of service and hope I have fulfilled my college president’s invocation to have an “impact of the lives of others.”