Mission and History


Publication: 2012-06-27



Name:Owen Ambur


Name:American Council of Trustees and Alumni


The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities. Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives a philosophically rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.


  • America's Colleges

  • America's Universities

  • Donors

  • Trustees

  • Education Leaders

  • Anne D. NealPresident -- Ms. Neal co-founded the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and has been president since 2003.

  • Michael B. PoliakoffVice President of Policy -- Dr. Poliakoff became part of the ACTA team in March 2010. He oversees ACTA's programming and publications and works directly with our constituents on behalf of higher education reform.

  • Lauri KempsonVice President of Operations -- Ms. Kempson has been with ACTA for over a decade and oversees all administrative aspects of our day-to-day operations. She also designs and oversees production of ACTA's publications.

  • Brianna J. EstradaDirector of Development -- Ms. Estrada joined ACTA in 2010 and is responsible for development, fundraising, and assisting the president. She directs ACTA's foundation grant proposals, donor relations, and direct mail program.

  • Andrew J. GillenSenior Researcher -- Dr. Gillen is the Senior Researcher at ACTA.

  • Daniel BurnettPress Secretary

  • Armand AlacbayProgram Officer -- Mr. Alacbay is responsible for trustee and government relations related projects.

  • Tom BakoProgram Officer -- Mr. Bako is responsible for research and the upkeep of our college-guide website,, and coordinates our internship and summer fellowship programs.

  • Jasmine WolfeOffice Manager and Program Associate for Trustee Affairs

  • William GonchProgram Officer -- Mr. Gonch works on ACTA's college-guide website,; he also contributes to ACTA's quarterly newsletter, Inside Academe, and performs additional research and writing at the direction of the policy director and the president.

  • Erin O'ConnorResearch Fellow -- Dr. O'Connor writes and researches for ACTA.

  • Maurice BlackResearch Fellow -- Dr. Black contributes writing and research to ACTA.

  • Charles MitchellResearch Fellow -- Mr. Mitchell, who has been involved with ACTA since 2006, contributes research and writing and provides counsel on state policy and other matters.