Dean's Advisory Board

The Honors College is fortunate to have the guidance and knowledge of a distinguished group of business people and executives who contribute to our advisory board. 

The board's goal is to strengthen the relationships between Mason and the local business community. It provides advisory feedback about the expectations of the business community, employment trends, and demands for workforce development. The board also helps the Honors College forge new partnerships, identify internships, and develop new service-learning opportunities.

Chair, Matthew McQueen

Vice President and Chief Communications Officer

Portrait of Matthew McQueen with his arms crossed

Matt McQueen is vice president and chief communications officer at Peraton. In this role, McQueen serves as the senior communications and public affairs advisor to the chief executive officer and company leadership. He has responsibility for Peraton’s communications strategy and execution, including media relations, employee communications, branding, digital and social media, executive communications, corporate citizenship, and government relations.

Prior to his appointment, he led the integrated communications team for Northrop Grumman’s (NYSE: NOC) Cyber and Intelligence Mission Solutions and Space ISR Systems divisions and had enterprise responsibilities for the company’s cyber branding efforts. Earlier in his career, McQueen held senior roles in Northrop Grumman’s strategic communications, government relations, strategy, and business development functions.

McQueen earned a master’s degree in organizational management and science from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in international relations from The College of Wooster. He serves on the board of directors for several civic and non-profit organizations including the George Mason University Honors College, the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Lead Virginia, and GO Virginia Region 7.

Vice Chair, Loren Rufino

Vice President, Physician Services Division

Portrait of Loren Rufino

Loren Rufino is a Vice President within the Physician Services division of Falls Church, VA-based Inova Health System. Loren has held a number of ambulatory leadership roles during his tenure at Inova with a focus on patient outcomes, improved access, and growth of services offered in the community. Loren has served on local board of directors including Celebrate Fairfax (2011-2017), where he also served as chairman of the board (2013-2015), as well as Leadership Fairfax (2006-2010).

Loren is a graduate of George Mason’s College of Health and Human Services with a B.S. in Health Administration and Policy. Loren is an M.B.A candidate at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business.


Gerald Gordon (Past Chair)

Portrait of Gerald Gordon

Founding Chair
Honors College Advisory Board

Dr. Gerald L. Gordon was the founding chair person of the Honors College advisory board, serving as the chair until early 2019.

Virginia Business Magazine named Dr. Gordon as its “2010 Business Person of the Year.” In 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, the magazine named him one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians.

Dr. Gordon was the President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the largest office markets in the nation. He was with the FCEDA from late 1983 through the end of 2018, during which time office space in the county grew from 32 million square feet to more than 117 million, and jobs in the county grew from 243,000 to about 600,000. As a result, the real estate tax rate has decreased from $1.47 to $1.09. The FCEDA created the Honors College Dr. Gerald Gordon Scholarship in honor of his service to the Northern Virginia community.

Dr. Gordon has also worked for Arlington County, Virginia, and the United States Department of Labor. In 2005, the FCEDA was named by Site Selection Magazine as one of the Top Ten Economic Development organizations in North America. In 2007, Time magazine called Fairfax County “one of the great economic success stories of our time.” In 2011, the Washington Post said that “Fairfax County remains the economic wunderkind of Virginia and in many ways of the Washington area.”

Dr. Gordon has taught at Catholic University, the University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has consulted with city and state governments throughout the United States and around the world, as well as the governments of Poland, the island of Vieques, and Micronesia. He has also served as a consultant to various government agencies, the United States Navy, businesses, non-profit organizations, associations, colleges and universities, and the United Nations.

Dr. Gordon holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The Citadel, a Master’s Degree from George Washington University, and a Doctorate in International Economics from the Catholic University of America. He is the author of 12 books on strategic planning and economic development. His most recent books include The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America (CRC Press, 2009), Reinventing Local and Regional Economies (CRC Press, 2011), The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America (CRC Press, 2013), and The Economic Survival of America’s Isolated Small Towns (CRC Press, 2015).

Dr. Gordon is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Israel Freedom Award of the Israel Bonds organization. In 2006, Dr. Gordon became the first American to address the All-Parliamentary Exports Group in the British House of Commons. In 2007, Dr. Gordon was accepted for inclusion on the roster of Fulbright Senior Scholars. In 2007, Dr. Gordon was named a Fellow of the International Economic Development Council. In 2010, he received the James Rees Award from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; and, in 2011, Leadership Fairfax honored him with the Northern Virginia Regional Leadership Award. In 2012, Dr. Gordon was named the Trendlines Trendsetter of the Year for the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In 2015, he was honored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with the Jeffrey A. Finkle Lifetime Achievement Award.

Armond Alford

Biography to be added soon.

Jamie Argento Rodriguez

Portrait of Jamie Rodriguez

Chief, Community Defender Division
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

For the last twenty years, Jamie Argento Rodriguez has dedicated her career to representing persons from poor communities who would not otherwise have access to attorneys and legal assistance.  As an education attorney and public defender in Washington, DC, she began her career entrenched in the battle against the school to prison pipeline.  She advocated for poor families who were seeking to enforce their children’s rights to a free and appropriate public education.  In addition, she assisted countless children and young adults in school disciplinary proceedings.  For the last decade, she has focused on prisoners’ rights and reentry, seeking to enforce the rights of children and adults following arrest, sentencing, and incarceration. 

Ms. Argento Rodriguez is a graduate of and former presidential scholar at George Mason University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics with high distinction.  She earned her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.  In 2014, she was a Fellow in the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform Juvenile Diversion Certificate Program.  She frequently serves as a presenter or collaborator in publications for training through a variety of local and national legal and advocacy organizations and universities. 

Kara Bue

Portrait of Kara Bue

Founding Partner
Armitage International, L.C.

Kara L. Bue is a founding partner of Armitage International, L.C., a global business advisory firm. Located in Arlington, Virginia, Armitage International provides multinational clients critical support in the areas of international business development, strategic planning, and problem solving. 

Previously, Ms. Bue served as deputy assistant secretary for political-military affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, she managed programs involving government-to-government arms sales, foreign military assistance, and humanitarian mine-action. Her initial position at the Department of State was special assistant for South Asia to then-deputy secretary of state Richard L. Armitage. Before joining the Department of State, Ms. Bue practiced corporate law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, California. Earlier in her career, she also held positions at the Department of Defense and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

In addition to serving as an Advisory Board member of George Mason University Honors College, Ms. Bue serves on the board of directors of Michael Baker International, an engineering and consulting services firm, and Acuity International, a government services provider. She is also past-Chair of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) – America, a non-governmental organization devoted to the demining of war-torn countries. Ms. Bue has authored opinion pieces on foreign policy that have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal – Asia. She is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. 

Ms. Bue earned her Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles.

Julie Coons

Portrait of Julie Coons

President and CEO
Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Julie Coons is a transformative leader who delivers unprecedented revenue and profit growth through innovation, operational excellence, and cultural change. She has a wealth of leadership experience with regional, national, and international organizations.

In September 2018 Ms. Coons was named President & CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. From 2017-2018 Ms. Coons served as Chief Operating Officer of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. From 2008-2016, Ms. Coons served as CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association where she led a significant financial and brand transformation of the association. Prior to joining ERA, Ms. Coons served as president and CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland. Prior to the non-profit world, Ms. Coons led international business development for a number of telecommunications companies.

She has been an active member of numerous boards including Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, Connected DMV, Tysons Community Alliance, and a director of the Advisory Board of Marketsmith, Inc., a direct response marketing agency. She is an active member of the Economic Club of Washington, DC, the US Chamber’s Committee of 100 Chambers, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives and American Society of Association Executives. She holds a CAE (certified association executive) professional credential. She was named one of the 2015 Trending 40 Association Leaders.

Ms. Coons graduated cum laude from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., with a B.A. in economics and Japanese language and literature. 

Deborah G. Gandy

Portrait of Deborah Gandy

Managing Director, Wealth Advisor and Relationship Manager
Chevy Chase Trust

Ms. Gandy is responsible for advising clients in the areas of investment management, financial and estate planning, and trust administration. She oversees the delivery of services to clients and coordinates with their legal, accounting and other advisors.

Prior to joining Chevy Chase Trust, Ms. Gandy was Director and Private Banker at Citi Private Bank. Before that, she was Senior Vice President and Relationship Manager at U.S. Trust Company where she was responsible for business development and client relationship management. Ms. Gandy has also held positions with Wachovia Bank and Trust and the Royal Bank of Scotland in New York City.

Ms. Gandy is actively engaged in the Northern Virginia community. She serves on the board of Signature Theatre in Arlington where she previously served as Board Chair. She also serves as Vice Chair of the board of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the board of the Arlington Community Foundation and was the prior Chair of the Board for Lead Virginia.  

Ms. Gandy graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Donna Hurwitt

Portrait of Donna Hurwitt

Vice President of Operations for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA)

Donna Hurwitt serves as the Vice President of Operations for the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA), where she oversees operational activities including finance, budget, IT, human resources, procurement, and facilities. Ms. Hurwitt serves on the organization’s executive leadership team and holds the distinction of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council.

Previously Ms. Hurwitt was Director of Market Intelligence at the FCEDA, with responsibility for research in support of business attraction and retention, and strategic planning. She managed a team that conducted detailed analyses on industry sectors, market conditions, workforce and Fairfax County businesses.

Her prior experience includes market research roles with the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development and at Booz Allen Hamilton. She has also worked in enterprise software sales and customer support.

Ms. Hurwitt is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Society for Human Resources Management, and the Virginia Association of Governmental Purchasing. She is a graduate of Leadership Fairfax, holds a bachelor’s degree from The College of William and Mary, and a master’s degree in business administration from The George Washington University.

John Mongold

Portrait of John Mongold

Vice President and Senior Wealth Investment Advisor
Wilmington Trust, N.A.

Mr. Mongold is responsible for managing a team of investment specialists in the Greater Washington, DC region with experience in strategic asset allocation and portfolio management. He works with high-net-worth clients and institutions to develop customized investment portfolios based on their unique parameters for risk, return, liquidity, and other factors. After taking the time to listen to his client’s objectives and to understand any tax, legal and personal considerations, Mr. Mongold then structures a diversified portfolio in keeping with the client’s asset allocation plan.

Mr. Mongold joined Wilmington Trust in 2014 and has considerable tenure in the financial services industry. Earlier in his career, he served as managing director and head trader for Group One Trading, a proprietary derivatives trading firm, managing a team of equity and derivatives traders nationwide. In addition, he has held analyst and consulting positions at FolioFn and American Management Systems.

He holds an MBA from Rutgers University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Society Washington, DC. Additionally, he holds his CPA license and is a member of AICPA and the Virginia Society of CPAs. 

He has taught finance as adjunct faculty for the George Mason University School of Business MBA program. 


Chris Preston

Portrait of Chris Preston

Chief Development Officer, United Way of Metro Chicago

Chris Preston, Vice President, Corporate Relations, United Way Worldwide brings a strong commitment to and understanding of United Way’s mission and work as he has been part of the United Way network for 16 years. Mr. Preston oversees the Global Corporate Leadership Program which consists of 91 corporate partners that raised a combined total of $1 billion for United Ways in communities around the globe and provides support to local United Ways in their overall fundraising efforts as part of the $4.8 billion United Way network.

Mr. Preston spent the first 11 years of his United Way career at United Way Worldwide with roles as National Sales Manager of the United Way Store and Corporate Relations Manager for the Global Corporate Leadership team.  In addition to those roles, he was Resource Development liaison for United Way Worldwide’s Africa Region, convener for the Young Leaders Business Resource Group of United Way Worldwide’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, and Project Manager for the Network Engagement and Support Team Committee for United Way’s U.S. Task Force on Economic Model & Growth.

Prior to his return to United Way Worldwide, Mr. Preston served two local United Ways.  First, as the Senior Vice President, Strategic and Regional Management at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey.  In that role, Mr. Preston assumed Chief of Staff duties and was responsible for the management and execution of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s organizational strategies across the region.  Mr. Preston also served as Vice President, Resource Development, at United Way of the National Capital Area in Washington, DC.  In that role he led the development team in managing a $33 million annual fundraising effort.

Mr. Preston is also a committed alumnus of George Mason University where he has served as President of the George Mason Alumni Association.  He is currently on the Past Presidents Roundtable and member of the George Mason Honors College Advisory Board.


Jeffrey Shen

Portrait of Jeffery Shen

Red Team Consulting

Jeffrey Shen is the President at Red Team Consulting and brings over 25 years of proven leadership and expertise in federal contracting, corporate strategy, and business development. Mr. Shen is responsible for overseeing the company’s corporate growth strategy while providing federal contracting expertise to the 200+ clients his company supports every year. 

His career in management and consulting includes working with U.S. corporations, federal integrators, and U.S. government agencies in the areas of strategic growth, capture management, and acquisition planning. 

Prior to Red Team Consulting, Mr. Shen delivered business strategy and technology solutions to the U.S. Federal Government and Fortune 500 companies worldwide on contracts totaling over $50 billion. He previously acted as Vice President of Sales for a small business where he increased company revenue by nearly 300% within two years and drove the recognized revenues of the company to $250M over a three-year period.  

Mr. Shen earned his bachelor’s degree and was a former presidential scholar at George Mason University. In addition to the George Mason University Honors College Advisory Board, Mr. Shen sits on the Dulles Advisory Board for Truist Bank. He has been a featured speaker at various summits and conferences in the past on topics such as Acquisition Strategy, Proposal and Capture Management, and Business Growth.

Matt White

Portrait of Matt White


In his 35-year career in the agency business, Matt White has guided WHITE64 to become one of the largest independent advertising agencies in the Washington DC market.

In 1964, Mr. White's father, Jim White, started the company as Nolan, Duffy and White. In 2004 Mr. White completed a buyout and renamed the agency White+Partners. Today, as Chairman|CEO of WHITE64, he takes tremendous pride in the 55 people they have in their Tysons location and the results-oriented work they produce for clients including: Penfed, Metro, The Washington Nationals, Hilton, Navy Mutual, Visit Fairfax, BIO, and American Chemical Society.

In addition to the George Mason University Honors College Advisory Board, Mr. White serves on the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board and the Fairfax County Public School Foundation Board.


Michael Whitlock

Portrait of Michael Whitlock

Assistant General Counsel of the Americas
Sumitomo Electric USA Holdings, Inc.

Michael L. Whitlock is Assistant General Counsel of the Americas for Sumitomo Electric USA Holdings, Inc. (SEUHO).  Based in Southern California, SEUHO is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-based Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., one of the largest wire and cable manufacturers in the world.  In this role, Mr. Whitlock heads SEUHO’s ethics and compliance programs in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and Paraguay.  Mr. Whitlock also serves a key role on the company’s senior global legal team, based in Tokyo, assessing worldwide compliance and antitrust issues.

Mr. Whitlock has served as in-house counsel for a major media company, as a partner in two large law firms, as well as a federal prosecutor.

Earlier in Mr. Whitlock’s career, he clerked for Judge Ann Claire Williams of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (retired) and for Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (retired).

Mr. Whitlock earned his Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University, of which he is an honorary member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.  Mr. Whitlock also holds a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia.