The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has announced the appointments of Graham Grady, Rhonda Powell and Julia Taylor to its Museum Advisory Council.
The Museum Advisory Council provides guidance on issues related to the strategic direction of the museum, including recommendations relating to collections, exhibitions and public education. Its members help enhance the profile and the public’s understanding of the museum’s activities locally, nationally and internationally. The council also aids the museum in strengthening its financial resources by providing leadership, guidance and assistance in the museum’s efforts to raise funds to support the museum’s activities and core operations.
Graham Grady is a partner in the law firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister LLP where he specializes in real estate development, government relations and corporate governance. He is vice chair, trustee and treasurer of the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation and a founding member of the African American Legacy of the Chicago Community Trust. Grady serves as a director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, WTTW/WFMT public broadcast stations, the Shriver National Poverty Law Center and the Civic Consulting Alliance. He is a former member of the Visiting Committee of Northwestern University School of Law and a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a past president of the Realty Club of Chicago and the Lawyers Club of Chicago, and a long-standing member of the Economic Club of Chicago.
In 2018, Grady founded Chicago African-Americans in Commercial Real Estate, which promotes the full participation of African Americans in all aspects of commercial real estate. He is a founding principal of Chicago Emerging Minority Development Initiative, which seeks to create opportunities for Black and Latinx real estate developers. Past honors include Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, Crain’s Chicago Business 40-Under-40, Ebony magazine’s “30 Leaders Under Age 30,” and the Doris B. and Marshall M. Holleb Community Service Award by Lambda Alpha International, Ely Chapter. Grady has served on corporate boards including the American Bar Retirement Association Retirement Funds, which is an employer-sponsored retirement plan pension fund, and the Housing Authority Risk Retention Group, which is a member-owned risk-retention fund composed of public housing authorities.
Grady is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was elected the student member of the board of trustees of the university. He earned his law degree at Northwestern University School of Law where he was voted by his graduating class to receive the Wigmore Key for service. The father of adult twin daughters, Grady lives in Chicago and enjoys biking, music and movies.
As chief legal officer and corporate secretary for Buzzfeed Inc., Rhonda Powell leads a team of professional and administrative staff that supports all areas of the company’s rapidly growing digital media business. In her role, Rhonda provides strategic and legal guidance to the organization on corporate and commercial transactional matters, compliance, employment and labor relations, risk management, and intellectual property use and protection.
Powell joined Buzzfeed in September 2018 from Complex Networks, where she served as chief legal officer and corporate secretary. Before joining Complex Networks, she held various roles over 12 years with Scripps Networks (now part of Discovery Communications). Powell’s legal career began with law firm practice, including practice in the corporate departments of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae and Proskauer Rose LLP, where she gained significant experience working on transactions in the communications, media, biotechnology and e-commerce areas, many of which involved the transfer and valuation of significant intellectual property assets.
She is a graduate of Harvard University (magna cum laude with summa honors in major) and The University of Michigan School of Law, where she was named a Clarence Darrow Merit Scholar.
Julia Taylor serves as general counsel of Eventbrite where she oversees the legal function, including product and privacy compliance, commercial operations, litigation, employment and corporate matters. She began her legal career as an associate at Latham & Watkins LLP focusing on technology transactions. Before law school, she served as the deputy campaign manager for Gov. Jerry Brown’s campaign for California attorney general and was a staffer in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Other Members of the Museum Advisory Council
Bert Berkley, chairman of the board, Tension
Sam Bright, chief product and experience officer, Upwork
Michael Critelli, former CEO, Pitney Bowes (council co-chair)
Sylvia Cyrus, executive director, Association for the Study of African American Life & History
Hamilton Davison, president and executive director, American Catalog Mailers Association
Jason Dies, executive vice president and president of SMB Solutions, Pitney Bowes
Karen McCormick, government relations manager, USPS Office of Inspector General
Tim Nicholls, senior vice president and CFO, International Paper
John Nolan, former deputy postmaster general, U.S. Postal Service (council co-chair)
Joel Quadracci, chairman and CEO, Quad Graphics
David Sable, non-executive chairman, VMLY&R
Chris Thompson, senior manager Wholesale Partner, Shutterfly
Thomas Underkoffler, senior director of logistics and packaging, CVS Health
About the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum
The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed December 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, call (202) 633-1000 or visit the museum website at postalmuseum.si.edu.
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