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The Center for Victims of Torture Welcomes New Board Chair and Members

Published January 15, 2019

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today announced the election of four new members to its board of directors. The new members were elected at the December board meeting and will begin their terms in March 2019. In addition, Richard Senese steps into the role of board chair in March. Nancy Feldman has completed her term as chair and will remain on the board.

“I am sincerely grateful to Nancy for her very capable leadership as board chair—not once, but twice!—and I thank her for her ongoing, devoted service to CVT and its mission,” said Curt Goering, CVT executive director. “I also look forward to Dick’s term as he takes the helm as board chair. His wisdom and guidance as vice chair were invaluable—as is his tireless commitment to and steadfast support to advance CVT’s mission. I am confident that his leadership as chair will further strengthen CVT and propel the organization’s work in new directions.”

CVT welcomes the following new members to its board:

Shamila Behal has been an instructor at various universities in San Antonio, Texas, namely UTSA, Trinity and St. Mary’s, in the accounting and finance disciplines. Besides earning an MBA in International Business & Finance, and a BSc Hons in Economics, she is also a licensed member with the Texas Board of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She has extensive financial experience, and besides teaching graduate-level courses, she also manages equity portfolio investments and family foundation/overseas-related projects. Ms. Behal formerly worked in the financial and audit divisions of American Express, Deloitte & Company in London and New York City, and for the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in Nairobi, Kenya.

Frank Kendall is an independent consultant to defense industry firms and non-profit research organizations and a pro bono human rights attorney and activist. Mr. Kendall has served on the board of directors of Amnesty International USA and as the chair of the board of directors of The Tahirih Justice Center. He was an observer to the military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay for Human Rights First. Mr. Kendall also served as the under secretary of defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) in the Obama Administration. Mr. Kendall holds degrees from West Point, the California Institute of Technology, the C.W. Post Center of Long Island University and Georgetown University Law Center.

Dr. Valeriana Moeller served as president for 14 years at Columbus State Community College in Ohio, and before that she was executive vice president and provost of Lansing Community College. Dr. Moeller is also a past president of the board of trustees of the Columbus Medical Association Foundation. Currently, she mentors and coaches in the American Council on Education (ACE) fellows program and also consults on leadership issues in Higher Education. Dr. Moeller holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Lisbon (Portugal), and master’s and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Dr. Mary M. Tjosvold is the founder and CEO of Mary T. Inc., an organization that owns residences designed to meet the specific needs of seniors, people with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities and people with brain injuries in Minnesota, Arizona and Maryland. Dr. Tjosvold both chaired and served as a board member of the American Refugee Committee, and has traveled extensively to war-torn countries and established her own nursery and primary school in Cameroon. She received the Local Legend Award from General Mills and the Outstanding Achievement Award from the University of Minnesota. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota.

“We are both delighted and fortunate to welcome Shamila, Frank, Val and Mary to CVT’s board,” added Goering. “Their distinctive backgrounds and dedication to protecting human rights will fortify our work to rebuild the lives and restore the hope of torture survivors around the globe.”


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org

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