Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam appoints two members to Board of Visitors

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COURTESY PHOTO / WM.EDU

Friday, June 7, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced his appointment of two new members to the College of William and Mary’s Board of Visitors, which governs the College’s administrative functioning.

The new additions to the 17-member board include Mari Carmen Aponte, a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador as well as Charles E. Poston J.D. ‘74, a retired Norfolk circuit judge, according to a press release from the College.

“William & Mary warmly welcomes Ambassador Aponte and Judge Poston and the wealth of experience both bring to the Board of Visitors,” College President Katherine Rowe said the press release.

“William & Mary warmly welcomes Ambassador Aponte and Judge Poston and the wealth of experience both bring to the Board of Visitors,” College President Katherine Rowe said the press release. “I look forward to working with them.”

The new members will fill vacancies left by Todd A. Stottlemyer ‘84 and Thomas R. Frantz ‘70, whose terms expire June 30. Stottlemyer was succeeded as rector by John E. little last year after leading the board as its rector from the July of 2013 to 2018.

“We also appreciate all that Todd Stottlemyer and Tom Frantz added to the university over two terms on the board,” Rowe said in the press release.

Aponte’s academic roots began in Rosemont, Pennsylvania, where she received her undergraduate degree in political science from Rosemont College. She then pursued a master’s degree in theatre from Villanova University and a law degree from Temple University School of Law. Her professional career includes stints as a White House fellow, assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, executive director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Commission as well a member of the board of directors for the Oriental Financial Group.

Furthermore, Aponte’s tenure as the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador from 2010 to 2016 necessitated the management of all American affairs within the country, including economic development, law enforcement and foreign aid. Following her time in El Salvador, Aponte became an acting assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of State, where she served as the primary diplomat on Latin American affairs.

She has also been involved in local boards and organizations, including the Latino Advisory Council for the Smithsonian National Museum and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health.

Alongside Aponte, Poston joins the board with varied academic and professional experiences. Poston served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, remained in the Army Reserve afterwards, and eventually achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel. Following his service, he practiced law in Hampton Roads.

Poston has also been involved with the Norfolk Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, serving as chair of its Citizens Advisory Council before serving as a judge for the court for the past decade. He went on to serve on the Norfolk Circuit Court for two decades, spending three years as its chief judge.

In addition to his current job as a mediator and arbitrator with the McCammon Group, Poston has served as an adjunct faculty member for the College’s law school, Averett University, St. Leo College and Tidewater Community College.

Two of the board’s current members, James A. Hixon J.D. ’79, M.L.T. ’80 and Karen Kennedy Shultz ’75, will also be reappointed to four-year terms.

“I am delighted to learn of the appointments of Mari Aponte and Charles Poston and am also pleased that Karen and Jim will serve second terms on the board,” Littel said in the press release. “It’s an honor and pleasure to count them as colleagues on the board.”