As leaders of the administrative divisions for Roger Williams University, members of the President’s Cabinet serve as his senior-level advisors and work collaboratively with him and the Board of Trustees to guide all major strategic and operational decision-making at the university.
Updated: Oct.13, 2022
Ioannis Miaoulis, Ph.D. :: President
A visionary leader in experiential learning and champion of STEM education, Ioannis N. Miaoulis is the 11th president of Roger Williams University, guiding our mission and commitment to providing an outstanding education through community-engaged learning and civic scholarship.
An esteemed administrator and innovative educator, Dr. Miaoulis began his distinguished career in higher education. At Tufts University, he served as Dean of the College of Engineering, Associate Provost, Interim Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and a professor of mechanical engineering. During his leadership at the College of Engineering, he helped raise $100 million for the engineering school and worked closely with students and faculty to more than double its research initiatives, introduce new programs, form professional partnerships within the industry, and significantly increase the number of female students and faculty members. In 2001, he spearheaded an initiative to make Massachusetts the first state in the nation to bring engineering and technology curriculum into its K-12 public school system.
Dr. Miaoulis holds a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering, a master of arts in economics and a bachelor of science in engineering from Tufts University, as well as master of science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York. He has published numerous research papers, several educational textbooks, and holds two engineering patents.
Stephanie Akunvabey joined RWU in 2021 following a long career in diversity and equity work in higher education. As Vice President for Equity & Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Akunvabey will provide strategic leadership and champion programs, policies and practices that support an anti-racist, diverse and equitable community across the university’s Bristol and Providence campuses.
An equity and institutional change leader, Dr. Akunvabey previously worked in various leadership roles at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y., since 2009. As interim assistant dean of academic affairs, she helped to develop the college’s equity plan and classroom equity efforts, enabling Kingsborough to participate in Achieving the Dream and USC Race and Equity Center’s Racial Equity Leadership Academy. She led campus dialogues and workshops to address social justice, civic engagement and equity issues. She also spearheaded efforts to celebrate the college’s first-generation students with the “Proud to be First” campaign and an initiative to support students who are single-parent mothers through improvements to institutional policies and practices.
Dr. Akunvabey has an Ed.D. in higher and postsecondary education and M.A. in higher education and student personnel administration from New York University and a B.A. in sociology/anthropology and Africana studies from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She is a sought-after equity and learning consultant and has conducted research on college access for Black and Latino youth in America, on access and inclusion issues in higher education in India and Israel, and on educational equity for young girls in South Africa.
As Dean of University College, Gena Bianco is responsible for providing strategic guidance, direction, and management for all efforts related to UC’s academic programs, dual enrollment, and non-credit education and training, as well as UC's internal and external partnerships. Dean Bianco has been with Roger Williams University since 2013, serving as the Director of Paralegal Studies and Criminal Justice, and Associate Dean, prior to being promoted to Dean in 2018. In addition to her responsibilities as Dean, she continues to serve as the Director of Paralegal Studies.
Prior to joining Roger Williams University, Dean Bianco worked in the legal field for large corporations. She was the Director of Anchor of Hope & FACE of Rhode Island and Assistant Director of Catholic Schools at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. She also held various legal and compliance positions at CVS Caremark and Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy.
Dean Bianco is very active in the community and has been a member of the Town Committee and School Committee for the Town of Johnston. She is also a member of various civic organizations, including but not limited to the Cranston High School West Parent Advisory Council and the Governor’s Workforce Board for Career Pathways Advisory Committee. She is also an active participant on the RWU Paramedic Advisory Council and the RWU Paralegal Advisory Committee.
Dean Bianco holds a Juris Doctorate from Southern New England School of Law, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island. She also holds a certification in mediation from the Center for Mediation and Collaboration RI. Dean Bianco holds institutional memberships with the following organizations- American Association for Paralegal Education, the Rhode Island Paralegal Association, the American Bar Association and the Rhode Island Bar Association.
Gregory W. Bowman has served as dean of the Roger Williams University School of Law faculty since July 2020. Prior to joining the Roger Williams Law faculty, he was a member of the faculty at the West Virginia University College of Law, where he served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and as Dean. Bowman began his law teaching career at the Mississippi College School of Law, where he founded that school’s International Law Center and study abroad program. Prior to his career in higher education, Bowman practiced international trade and corporate compliance law in Chicago and Washington, DC with the international law firm Baker McKenzie.
Bowman received his Juris Doctorate from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, his Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Exeter in England, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and International Studies from West Virginia University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Mortar Board National Senior Honor Society.
Bowman is a member of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) Board of Trustees, and he is a member of the Deans Steering Committee, Deans Section Executive Committee, and Membership Review Committee for the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Bowman is a past president and past Board of Trustees member of the Southeastern Association of Law Schools (SEALS) and co-chairs that organization’s International Committee.
In recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and education, Bowman is an American Bar Foundation Fellow, AALS Fellow, and West Virginia Bar Foundation Fellow. He also received the West Virginia University Foundation’s Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2014, was named Professor of the Year at WVU Law in 2011, and received the West Virginia Law Review’s Outstanding Faculty Contribution Award in 2011 and 2014.
As Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Margaret Everett leads undergraduate and graduate teaching, research, scholarship, and service for the university. With more than 25 years as a distinguished administrator and educator in higher education, she has extensive experience in leading faculty and developing innovative, interdisciplinary programs.
At Roger Williams University, Dr. Everett serves as a strategic leader across RWU’s six schools of study and University College, collaborating with faculty and staff on the design of new academic models and programs that enhance the university’s mission to strengthen society through engaged teaching and learning.
Before RWU, Dr. Everett served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Cambridge’s Lesley University, where she helped launch a continuing education campus in New Bedford, Mass., and expanded community college partnerships that enable degree completion for first-generation, low-income and diverse students. During her tenure, she developed an open educational resources initiative that innovated curriculum and reduced costs to students, and launched new bachelors and masters in social work programs that incorporated interdisciplinary offerings in neurodiversity.
Prior to Lesley University, Dr. Everett spent 22 years teaching and working in key leadership roles at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. As Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice Provost for International Affairs, she led many initiatives that align with RWU strategic priorities such as redesigning graduate admissions services and creating international partnerships in Asia, Latin America and Europe, while also serving as a professor of anthropology, sociology and international studies.
Dr. Everett holds a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in anthropology from Yale University and Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from Smith College. She has contributed to several books and authored articles on public health and urbanization in Latin America through an anthropological and sociological lens, and on questions surrounding morality and privacy in bioethics and genetic ethics. During her tenure at PSU, she received the Excellence in Community-University Partnerships Award and the John Eliot Outstanding Teaching Award. She on the board of trustees for the World Affairs Council of Oregon, as well as on the steering committee for GlobalPDX, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Advisory Committee for the Oregon Department of Human Services, and several genetics research and genetics privacy advisory committees appointed by the Oregon state legislature.
John King came to Roger Williams in 2004 after 12 years at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., and six years at The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass. Most recently, he served as associate vice president and dean of student affairs at Stonehill, where he coordinated the development and implementation of a first-year seminar. That program was designed to better integrate the curricular and cocurricular experiences of students, both on and off campus. As RWU's Vice President for Student Affairs, Mr. King has instituted a similar program at Roger Williams.
Mr. King holds two bachelor's degrees from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a master's degree from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, N.H. In 2007, he earned his Ed.D. in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Marc Leonetti joined Roger Williams University with more than 25 years of experience in financial management, where he has held senior leadership positions across a number of industries, including experience in financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, planning and analysis, treasury, and internal controls.
In the ten years prior to joining RWU, he served as the State Controller for Rhode Island and previous to that, Chief Finance Officer for the R.I. Department of Transportation.
Mr. Leonetti arrived at RWU in 2016 as the Vice President for Accounting and Treasury Management. Since 2021, he has served as Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, a role in which he aims to balance the University’s fiscal needs with the expectations of students, families, alumni and employees, while ensuring the University remains an efficient, effective institution.
Mr. Leonetti is a certified public accountant, and earned his M.B.A. in finance and bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Bryant University.
Thomas J. McDonough joined RWU in 2016 as Assistant Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Human Resources Officer, leading the university’s efforts in creating an excellent employee experience and a thriving community at Roger Williams University. He has been a human resources leader in higher education, media and manufacturing industries, with expertise in employee and labor relations, talent acquisition and performance management.
Prior to RWU, Mr. McDonough worked at the Providence Journal for nearly 35 years. At the Journal, he rose in the ranks from human resources director to the senior leadership position of Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations, where he led the human resources function for 400+ employees and served as a member of the senior management team and the chief labor negotiator.
Mr. McDonough has an M.B.A. and a B.S. in business administration from Providence College. He is a member of the Northeast HR Association (NEHRA), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Rhode Island Human Resources Association (RIHRM), and a founding member of Rhode Island Business Leadership Network (RIBLN).
Rachel Nuzzo joined the Office of General Counsel at Roger Williams University in 2014 after sixteen years in private practice. She provides legal counsel and support to the University’s leadership and administrators in a broad range of areas including corporate and financial transactions, regulatory compliance, student affairs, litigation, intellectual property, immigration and risk management. She routinely represents the University in contractual negotiations and in judicial and administrative proceedings. She also supervises and manages the work of outside counsel on general liability and property claims and on financial, real estate, regulatory and other legal matters.
Prior to joining the Office of General Counsel, her practice included representation of commercial entities and licensed professionals in judicial and administrative proceedings at law firms Winston & Strawn, Adler, Pollock & Sheehan and Nuzzo & Roberts as well as management of operational, transactional, intellectual property, corporate governance and risk management matters as in-house counsel for active sports company Real Watersports.
Ms. Nuzzo earned a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1998 and a B.A. in English from Middlebury College in 1995. She is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
Joseph Sassi joined Roger Williams University’s Office of General Counsel in 2011. In his current role, Mr. Sassi provides strategic advice and proactive counseling to the University’s executive management team and administration on a broad spectrum of higher education legal issues including litigation avoidance and management, regulatory compliance, ethics, risk management, and faculty affairs, with a particular emphasis on labor and employment law. He represents the University in negotiations, arbitration, mediation, and other administrative and judicial proceedings and is deeply involved in the day-to-day administration of the University’s collective bargaining agreements with its five recognized labor organizations. He also supervises and manages the work of outside counsel on insured employment and educator liability claims, as well as other litigation matters that may arise.
A 1999 graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law, Mr. Sassi spent the first nine years of his career practicing as an in-house attorney with legal department of the United States Postal Service (USPS). There, his practice was dedicated exclusively to the law of the workplace, and in that role, he, along with various United States Attorney’s Offices, defended the USPS in labor and employment litigation before various federal district courts around the northeastern United States. Another significant portion of Mr. Sassi’s practice was devoted to defending the agency in litigation before administrative tribunals including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, and the United States Merit Systems Protection Board.
In 2008, Mr. Sassi joined the University of Connecticut, where, for three years, he served in its equal employment opportunity function, first as a neutral attorney-investigator and fact-finder, and later as its director. During his time with UConn, Mr. Sassi served as an advisor, strategist, and subject matter resource to the university administration on a vast range of employment law and EEO compliance matters, and was a central contributor to the university’s development and implementation of related non-discrimination policies and procedures, including those touching upon Title IX, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Act of 1975.
In addition to his law degree, Mr. Sassi holds a BA in government from Clark University, as well as a certification in mediation from the Quinnipiac University School of Law / UConn Labor Education Center. He is admitted to practice law in both Rhode Island and Connecticut, and is also a member of the bar of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
As Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Amy Sullivan Berkeley is responsible for fundraising for both the University and the Law School, including major gifts, corporate and foundation relations, annual giving, and alumni/parent relations. Her department also directs the strategies for the Center for Career and Professional Development, encouraging RWU’s Alumni and Parent communities to mentor current RWU students. She has more than 25 years of experience in program development and advancement at non-profit organizations in educational institutions, higher education and charitable organizations.
Before RWU, Ms. Berkeley was Senior Director of Leadership & Planned Giving at the Boston Museum of Science. As part of the Senior Management team, she led the organization’s largest annual fundraising yield of $71 million. At the Museum, she also launched MOS Women and Girls in STEM, empowering women and girls in STEM learning from middle school to college students, and successfully completing the fundraising campaign to reimagine the Blue Wing, the Museum’s largest exhibit hall.
Before the Museum of Science, Ms. Berkeley spent nine years as Executive Director of Advancement at Brookwood School, and worked in various roles at Emerson College and Boston College. At Emerson, she served as Chief Advancement Officer & Director of Major Gifts, leading fundraising initiatives that contributed to an increase of $80 million to Emerson’s endowment, and as Director of Parents Fund, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions and Manager of Registrar’s Services. Concurrent to these roles, Ms. Berkeley has served as trustee, volunteer and consultant to various non-profits ranging from Boston Children’s Theatre, Desai Foundation in India and the U.S. and Akilah College for Women in Rwanda.
Ms. Berkeley holds a Master of Education from Harvard University and Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Boston College.
Amy Tiberio serves as the Vice President for Enrollment Management, overseeing the offices of undergraduate and graduate admission, and the office of financial aid.
Ms. Tiberio joined RWU in 2015 after working in admission counseling, admission operations, and admission marketing across two other New England higher education institutions. Throughout her work, she has advocated passionately for underrepresented students, and has spearheaded innovations in technology and communications. Ms. Tiberio has also held executive board roles in the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC), and has served as a delegate to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
Ms. Tiberio enjoys presenting and training on various topics related to the college enrollment profession, from understanding how colleges award aid to tips for writing a college essay to personnel management and women’s empowerment in higher education. She is a frequent presenter with Academic Impressions. Ms. Tiberio founded the Women in Senior Management group at RWU in 2018 to create a resource for mentorship and professional development for female-identifying leaders.
Ms. Tiberio earned her both her master’s degree in marketing and her bachelor’s degree in information design and corporate communication from Bentley University.
An avid yoga practitioner and lover of nature, Ms. Tiberio believes strongly in mindfulness, wellness, and life balance.
Brian Williams joined RWU originally as Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing (EMM) in 2017. The EMM division encompasses the offices of undergraduate and graduate admission, the office of financial aid, and university marketing.
During our recent presidential transition, President Miaoulis asked Dr. Williams to serve as Interim Chief of Staff during the 2019-20 academic year. The position became permanent in August 2020. Dr. Williams’ portfolio in the Office of the President includes strategic planning, marketing, organizational communications, and public relations. Since March 2020, Williams has helping lead the COVID-19 testing and tracing efforts for the university.
Since the early ’90s, Mr. Williams has worked across admission, financial aid, student retention, assessment, data analytics and institutional strategic planning at five institutions prior to joining the RWU team.
Dr. Williams earned a doctorate of management degree in 2016 from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. His dissertation focused on the effects of visual analytics on organizational decision making behavior. He presents frequently at the regional and national level on the strategic use of data visualization and analytics in enrollment management.
In addition to his doctoral degree, Williams also earned his master’s degree in higher education administration from Boston College, and a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Hampshire.