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Mayor Bibb appoints two new members to CMSD Board and reappoints three



Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced on Tuesday, June, 27th, the appointment of two new members and the reappointment of three members to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Board of Education. Each of the appointments is effective July 1st and will run through July 2027.

The new appointees are Robert Briggs and Diana Welch Howell.

Mr. Briggs, a lawyer, currently serves as a Partner and Chairman Emeritus at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs. Formerly CEO of Buckingham Law, Mr. Briggs has been significantly involved with various non-profits, foundations, civic institutions and educational organizations. He co-founded the Fund for Our Economic Future in 2004, chaired the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation from 2010 to 2014, and served as Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education from 2014 to 2016, among other notable civic engagements. Mr. Briggs formerly served in the United States Air Force as a staff judge advocate and currently resides in Bratenahl.

Ms. Welch Howell currently serves as Head of Hospitals Expansion for KeyBank’s Laurel Road Brand. She has over a decade of corporate banking experience, with a focus on business management, corporate strategy and development, and financial analysis. Before joining KeyBank, Ms. Welch Howell, who holds a B.A. in finance from the University of Cincinnati, worked for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati and JPMorgan Chase Bank in Chicago.

Ms. Welch-Howell, a downtown Cleveland resident, has served as a mentor for College Now, Girl Scouts of the USA, and she volunteered on the Young Professionals Board for United Way of Metro Chicago.

Current board members Sara Elaqad, Leah D. Hudnall, and Denise Link were reappointed to four-year terms by Mayor Bibb. As part of the transition, Mayor Bibb also announced that Elaqad will begin serving as Board Chair on July 1st and Hudnall will serve as Vice Chair of the Board, succeeding Chair Anne Bingham and Vice Chair Robert Heard – both of whom will continue serving as Board members.

“CMSD has made historic progress over the last decade-plus in large part due to CEO Eric Gordon and all board members, both current and past,” said Mayor Bibb in announcing the CMSD Board selection.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, we will seek to address the new challenges and capitalize on the opportunities before us. I’m confident that this board’s unique experience, skill set and capabilities will benefit our students, the leadership of our new CEO Dr. Warren Morgan, and our community,” said Mayor Bibb.

In addition to Ms. Bingham and Mr. Heard, existing Board members, Nigamanth Sridhar, Ph.D., and Lisa Thomas, Ph.D., will continue to serve. Both of their terms run through June 2025.