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Contact:  Kathleen Kincheloe
(804) 786-2323

For Immediate Release

July 17, 2009
Photos Available

Christine Milliken

SCHEV Elects New Leadership

RICHMOND -- Members of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) elected new leadership during their July business meeting, selecting Christine T. Milliken of Arlington County as Council Chair, Susan A. Magill of Alexandria as Vice Chair, and Gilbert T. Bland of Virginia Beach as Secretary. They will lead the Council as it carries out its ongoing responsibilities as the coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education.

“I am looking forward to serving the Council in this capacity,” says Christine Milliken, the newly elected Chair. “It is an important time for higher education, with 90% of the fastest growing jobs requiring some postsecondary education. The economic growth we need, especially in tough financial times, requires making funding for higher education a first priority.”

Christine Milliken brings experience in law, education, and public policy to her leadership role as Chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. She was initially appointed by Governor Warner to the Council in July 2002 and was reappointed by Governor Kaine in 2006. Ms. Milliken served as Executive Director and General Counsel at the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) from 1986 until her retirement in 2001. She also spent more than a decade engaged in higher education issues, working for Harvard University, the Consortium for Higher Education, and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. Ms. Milliken is a graduate of the Columbus School of Law at Catholic University of America and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the George Washington University. She is a member of the Bar in the District of Columbia and of the US Supreme Court, and she currently serves as President of the Arlington Community Foundation.

Susan Magill is the Managing Director for Philanthropic Services and Government Affairs for the Pew Charitable Trusts, a non-profit that serves the public interest by advancing policy solutions and supporting civic life. Before being appointed to the Council by Governor Kaine in July 2006, Ms. Magill spent most of her career working with the Congress, including 22 years as U.S. Sen. John Warner’s Chief of Staff. She has served as the executive director of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies for the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton, as the director of the Washington Office of the Governor of Virginia under Gov. John Dalton, and on the staffs of Rep. M. Caldwell Butler and the House Select Committee on Aging. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Ms. Magill served on the College’s Board of Visitors from 1997 to 2006, chairing a presidential search committee and serving as Board Secretary, Vice Rector, and Rector. She currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board at Mount Vernon.

Gilbert Bland is Chairman of Tymark Enterprises, Inc. and has purchased or constructed over 65 restaurants in Virginia and elsewhere. He was appointed to the Council in 2007 to fill an unfinished term and was reappointed in July 2008. Mr. Bland is a charter member of the Burger King Diversity Action Council and has served on the Board of Directors for the Burger King National Franchise Association and the Southeast Pizza Hut Franchise Association. Mr. Bland was elected to two consecutive terms as President of the Minority Franchise Association for Burger King Corp., and he also served four 2-year terms on the Burger King Marketing Advisory Council. In acknowledgement of Mr. Bland's exemplary service, Burger King has endowed a $50,000 scholarship in his name at James Madison University, his alma mater. Over the years, he has served on the Board of Visitors at Old Dominion University, as well as the Board of Trustees for the James Madison University Foundation and the Virginia Small Business Financing Authority.

“The unique skills and diversity of experience these individuals possess will be a great asset as the Council strives to address important higher education issues during these difficult economic times,” says Daniel J. LaVista, SCHEV Executive Director. “I am looking forward to working with our new Council leaders, whom I personally know to be committed to the Council’s goal of postsecondary access and affordability for all Virginians.”

SCHEV is the Commonwealth’s coordinating body for Virginia’s system of higher education. The agency provides policy guidance and budget recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly, and is a resource for information on Virginia colleges and universities on higher education issues.
For more information, contact Kathleen Kincheloe, Assistant Director of Communications, at or 804-786-2323.