Bill Budinger

Founding Director, Rodel Foundation

Bill Budinger is a Founding Director of the Rodel Foundation and serves on the boards of Rodel Delaware and the Rodel Institute. His other board service includes that of the Public Policy Institute, the Aspen Institute (Executive Committee), Third Way, The Breakthrough Institute, the Democracy Journal, and the Brookings Institute Governance Studies. Bill served for many years on the board of the Grand Canyon Trust and was a Founding Trustee for the Democratic Leadership Council and the Democracy Alliance. His work on patent law reform in the 1990s was signed into law by President Clinton.

Bill is the Founder of Rodel, Inc. where he served for over 30 years as its Chair and CEO. He is an inventor and holder of more than three-dozen patents including key processing technologies that enabled the return of semiconductor manufacturing to the U.S. in the 1990s. Bill was inducted as a hero of chemistry by the American Chemical Society. Rodel Inc. is now part of the Semiconductor Materials division of the restructured DuPont Company.

Don Budinger

Founding Director, Rodel Foundation

Don Budinger is a Founding Director and the Chair of the Rodel Foundation and serves on the boards of Rodel Delaware and the Rodel Institute. He also serves on the boards of Arizona State University, YMCA Youth and Government, Save Democracy Arizona, and Basis Charter Schools. He is Founding Director and former Chair of Science Foundation Arizona, Founding Chair of College Success Arizona, a Founding Board Member of Tucson Values Teachers and a Lifetime Member of ASU President’s Club.

In the early 1970s, Don joined forces with his brother, Bill Budinger, and they together built Rodel, Inc., which became a supplier of materials critical to the manufacture of semiconductors globally. Don’s awards include being named one of the Morrison Institute for Public Policy’s Distinguished Associates, the 2010 O’Connor House Community Leadership Award, an Honorary Doctorate degree in Humane Letters from Northern Arizona University, the “Outstanding Achievement in Higher Education” award from the Arizona Board of Regents, and the “Distinguished Service” award from the University of Arizona College of Engineering.

Susan Budinger

Founding Director, Rodel Foundation

Susan Budinger is a Founding Director and CEO of the Rodel Foundation and serves as Chair of the boards of Rodel Delaware and the Rodel Institute. She is a passionate advocate for education and the emotional health and well-being of children and adults. She serves on the board of the Hoffman Institute (Governance Committee Chair), and previous board service includes that of Authentic Connections Groups, the Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Early Education Funds, Arizona P-20 Council (gubernatorial appointment), and Phoenix Country Day School.

Susan’s business experience includes high-tech sales, marketing, human resources, and general management. Trained as a research scientist, she holds a master’s in developmental psychology from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s in mathematics and economics from Hamilton College.

Corliss Diazcadena

Chief Financial Officer, Rodel Foundation

Corliss Diazcadena is the Chief Financial Officer of the Rodel Foundation. She manages the accounting and finance functions, including compliance requirements and regulations, for the Rodel Foundation and Rodel Institute. Corliss began her career with Rodel as International Finance Director for Rodel, Inc. She earned an accounting degree from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She is a member of AICPA and Arizona Society of CPA’s.

Paul Herdman

President and CEO, Rodel Delaware

Paul Herdman has been President and CEO of Rodel of Delaware since 2004. His team has leveraged over $300M toward improving the First State’s public schools. His team’s collective impact spans from statewide expansion of high-quality early learning to helping lead the growth of the state’s nationally recognized career pathway initiative. Paul was appointed by Governor Carney to serve as chair of strategic planning for Delaware’s Workforce Development Board and is engaged in several other local boards, including the Vision Coalition, the Teen Warehouse, and the Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee.

Paul is a frequent speaker and writer on the national stage. He is a Pahara Fellow, and a recipient of numerous national awards, including from Harvard’s Strategic Data Project, NewSchools Venture Fund (Change Agent of the Year), and the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network. He is on the board of Grantmakers for Education and co-chaired the Education Funder Strategy Group’s International Working Group.

Prior to his current role, he served as a senior manager at New American Schools, and consulted with the Center for Reinventing Public Education, the Brookings Institution, and RAND. Paul got his start in public education as a special education paraprofessional in San Francisco, and then went on to teach K-12 in Cambridge and NYC where he co-founded an Outward Bound-based school-within-a-school which informed the creation of Expeditionary Learning, a national model. He assisted the Secretary of Education for two governors in Massachusetts during the wholesale redesign of the state’s policies on standards, choice, and finance. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Delaware, and master’s and doctoral degrees in education policy from Harvard University. He and his wife, Dana Balick, live in Wilmington and have three grown children who had great experiences in Delaware’s public schools. When he’s not running in the woods, he’s fly fishing in rivers wherever he can find them.

John R. Kroger

President and Chief Executive Officer, Rodel Institute

John R. Kroger is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rodel Institute, one of the nation’s premier leadership development organizations for political leaders, judges and public servants.

John has had a distinguished career in higher education and public service, including prior work as a United States Marine, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Attorney General of Oregon, President of Reed College, Vice President of the Aspen Institute, and Chief Learning Officer of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. He has taught throughout his career, with appointments as Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Hauser Leader in Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Visiting Lecturer in Political Science at Yale University, and Visiting Professor at Lewis and Clark Law School. John was a tenured professor at Lewis and Clark Law School from 2002 to 2012, during which time he took leaves of absence to serve as Attorney General of Oregon and Trial Attorney on the U.S. Department of Justice Enron Task Force. Earlier in his career, John served as a legislative aide to Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas Foley and Representative, now Senator, Charles Schumer.

John’s awards include the Harry S. Truman Scholarship; National Endowment of the Humanities Younger Scholar award; Harvard Law School Traphagen Distinguished Alumni award; Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowship; Mark DeWolfe Howe Fellowship in Anglo-American Legal History at Harvard Law School; Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching; Lewis and Clark’s Law School’s Levenson Award for Teaching Excellence (three time award winner); the U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney; ESGR’s Seven Seals Award for protecting veterans; and commendations from the FBI, DEA, and U.S. State Department. John is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former Fellow at Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics.

John received his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Yale University, graduating magna cum laude with Distinction in Philosophy. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. John writes frequently on issues in law, education and national security. His blog, “Leadership in Higher Education,” is featured on Inside Higher Ed. His book Convictions, about his work as a federal prosecutor, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and won the Oregon Book Award in 2008.

Jeff King

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Rodel Institute

Jeff King is the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Rodel Institute. In addition to overseeing Rodel’s operations and assisting with fellow selection and seminar preparations, Jeff serves as the Founding Director of the Rodel Judicial Fellowship.

A native of Independence, Kansas, Jeff spent a decade representing rural Kansas in the state House and Senate. He served as Vice President of the Kansas Senate from 2013-16 during which time he also chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate Subcommittee on Rules, and the Senate Select Kansas Public Employees Retirement System Committee. Jeff’s legislative work focused on rural economic development, pension reform, school finance policy, and innovations in criminal justice and civil law.

Jeff also worked as an attorney for the past two decades, specializing in appeals, complex financial litigation, and school finance law. His national practice included federal and state jury trials, over 50 appeals in eight different jurisdictions, and seven separate appeals as counsel for the state in its multi-billion-dollar school finance litigation. He began his legal career as a law clerk for then-Chief Judge Deanell Reece Tacha on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Jeff graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with degrees in international relations and economics. He attended the University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar, where he received a Masters Degree in Land Economy and a Masters Certificate in European Studies. He also received a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School.

Jeff is a published author on subjects ranging from agricultural trade reform to international antitrust law. As a Truman Scholar, Jeff is active with the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, serving on its scholar selection panel. He is a former member of the Uniform Law Commission and the Kansas Judicial Council.