Tom James, new HVA Board President

Thomas James, Ph.D., has been elected president of the Hawthorne Valley Association Board of Trustees. Dr. James will replace outgoing president Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Ph.D., who has completed her second three-year term on the Board. Tom has been serving as treasurer for the Board since December 2014.

Tom became Provost, Dean of the College, and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University on July 1, 2007, and is also Professor of History and Education in TC’s Department of Arts and Humanities. Tom was formerly Dean of the School of Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Previously, Tom was Vice Dean and Professor of Educational History at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education, and prior to that, a tenured professor at Brown University. He received his bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and his master’s and doctorate from Stanford University. A historian by training, he is the author of Exile Within: The Schooling of Japanese Americans 1942–45. He also has written on law and the history of education, educational governance and control, and experiential education. As a child, Tom attended the Laboratory School at the University of Chicago, founded by John Dewey.

In 2016, Tom received the Kurt Hahn Award, given by the wilderness adventure organization Outward Bound. Named in honor of Outward Bound’s founder, the Kurt Hahn Award is presented annually to a person who exemplifies outstanding service to Outward Bound’s mission to change lives through challenge and discovery and create a more resilient and compassionate world, and who has made a contribution through his or her life’s work on behalf of others while demonstrating Hahn’s ideals and values. Invoking the words of Hahn, the Award Committee called James “a person of great dignity and decency, who in his own quiet way consistently exhibits ‘… an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, sensible self-denial, and, above all, compassion.’”

Ellen Condliff Lagemann

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann

“It is with enthusiasm that we welcome Tom as president, and we thank him for his willingness to serve in this leadership role,” said Martin Ping, Hawthorne Valley Executive Director. “We also extend our deepest and most sincere appreciation to Ellen for her six years of selfless service and inspiring leadership. Hawthorne Valley has been incredibly fortunate and has benefitted in countless ways through Ellen’s clarity of thought, wisdom, and generosity of spirit. Ellen will continue her teaching as the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College, a Senior Scholar at the Levy Institute, and as a Distinguished Fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative. She remains a positive force for good in the world, and we thank her for all she does and wish her all the best!”

Matthew Stinchcomb, the founder of the Good Work Institute, has been elected to replace Tom as treasurer. Prior to initiating GWI, Matt was the longest-serving employee and the VP, Values, and Impact at In that role, he oversaw the stewardship of the company’s vision, mission, and values, and worked to give all employees the means and the desire to maximize the benefit their work has on people and the planet. In 2013, he was named a GOOD Magazine ‘Figure of Progress’. The next year he was named as one of the Purpose Economy 100. In 2016, he became a BALLE Local Economy Fellow. Matt also serves on the Board of Directors for the Schumacher Center for New Economics (Chair) and Naropa University. He is a graduate of Oberlin College and lives in Rhinebeck, NY with his wife, Benedikta, and their sons, Francis and Lewie.

Bob Fox was elected to serve as secretary for the Board. Bob is one of New York’s most respected architects and sustainability leaders and is a foremost authority on green buildings. Bob’s distinguished career includes numerous honors for leadership and sustainable design, establishing him as an influential voice in the architectural profession, in the business community, and in service to the public sector. Having completed 4 Times Square, which set new standards for energy efficient high-rise buildings, Bob joined with Richard Cook in 2003 to form COOKFOX Architects and led the design of the LEED Platinum Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, a 2.2 million-square-foot building. COOKFOX has received many honors, including AIA-NY Housing Design awards for Historic Front Street and The Hegeman, a supportive housing development. Bob Fox is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard University. He and his wife Gloria live in the Hudson River Valley.