Five new trustees appointed to McCarter Theatre Center board

(Back row, l-r): McCarter Managing Director Timothy Shields, Board Chair Leslie Kuenne, Artistic Director Emily Mann.
(Front row, l-r): Incoming board members Douglas Palmer, Debora Haines, and Wilma Nurse. Photo: Tom Miller.

Former Trenton mayor Douglas Palmer is one if five new trustees who have been appointed to the McCarter Theatre Center’s board.

Palmer was the mayor of Trenton from 1990 to 2010. He previously served as a Mercer County freeholder.
After he left public office, he started Douglas H. Palmer and Associates, LLC, a company that specializes in inter-governmental and corporate consulting.  He is also a partner in DSW Solutions, a government relations firm. Palmer serves on the board of directors of Children’s Futures, a non-profit organizationfor parents of children aged 0-3, is chairman of the board of trustees for the Trenton Literacy Movement, and is co-chairman of the Mercer County Community College Capital Campaign. Palmer and his wife are residents of Princeton.

The other four new members of the McCarter board are Douglas Chia, Debora Haines, Rhonda Medina, and Wilma Nurse.

Chia is executive director of The Conference Board Governance Center.  He previously served as assistant general counsel and corporate secretary of Johnson & Johnson. Before joining Johnson & Johnson, he served as assistant general counsel, Corporate of Tyco International, and practiced law at the global firms Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Clifford Chance, both in New York and Hong Kong.  Chia has also served as president of the Stockholder Relations Society of New York, and as a member of the New York Stock Exchange Corporate Governance Commission. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Historical Society of Princeton and a graduate of Dartmouth College. Chia lives in Princeton with his wife and four children.

Haines was general counsel and chief of staff to the managing director for the City of Philadelphia.  She also served on the board of governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association and The Homeless Advocacy Project, and was vice-chancellor of the Justinian Society for many years. After more than 25 years of active practice, she and her family moved to Princeton, where she currently serves on the boards of the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s executive committee and the Princeton Historical Society. She is a former trustee of Stuart Country Day School.

Medina is a vice president at NBC Universal, where she is responsible for overseeing all business and legal affairs for their kids and family channel. She joined NBCU in October of 2016 after an 18-year career at Nickelodeon television, where she served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel working on such programs as “iCarly,” “The Kids Choice Awards,” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.” She started her career in entertainment in the development department of Spike Lee’s 40 Acres & a Mule Filmworks after graduating from Harvard Law School. In addition to her legal and entertainment work, she has written articles that have appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek and the New York Law Journal. She serves on the United Nations’ Girl Up Campaign, Princeton University’s Department of African American Studies, the Princeton Healthcare System’s Foundation, and Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice.

Nurse is a community volunteer and former executive at AT&T.  She holds graduate degrees in atomic and nuclear physics, and achieved advanced studies certificates from the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies via grants from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the National Science Foundation.  She is a full time community volunteer with extensive board experience, including having served on the board of trustees of the United Way of Somerset County, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, The Integrity House, Somerset County Vocational Technical Foundation, the United Nations Foundation fund development committee, the Somerset County Food Bank, the New Jersey State Martin Luther Commission, the Community Emergency Response Team, and the Midland School and the Printmaking Center of NJ.She is a resident of Neshanic Station.

“I am very proud to welcome this new class of trustees to the McCarter Board.  Their fresh perspectives, educational backgrounds and professional skills will further strengthen our board,” McCarter Theatre Center Board Chair Leslie Kuenne said. “Each and every one of these new trustees is an enthusiastic supporter of McCarter and an advocate for the power of live performance to transform lives. Together, this incoming class and the current Board will work together to ensure that McCarter remains one of the top producing and presenting theaters in the nation.”