Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees 2016-2017

The CAIS Board of Trustees is responsible for formulating the long term policy and direction of the school and communicating that to the head of school and his administrative team. The Board is comprised of current and former parents as well as community members. Each member of the Board has evidenced a long term commitment to the school’s success. Every effort is made to see that the Board represents a broad cross section of our school community and includes individuals who bring particular talents to the school.

The Board meets 12 times a year. However, individual committees of the Board meet more frequently on issues such as finance, facilities and development. An executive committee of the Board includes the Board chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary, and meets regularly with the head of school.

The Board gives the head of school and his team broad discretion in the day-to-day running of the school, personnel decisions, curriculum and discipline issues. The Board reviews the head of school’s performance each year to insure that he has clear goals as well as the resources and support to achieve those goals.

Ernie Chow
Chair, Board of Trustees


Ernie Chow, Board Chair

Ernie Chow, ChairBoard Chair Ernie Chow is the father of a CAIS sixth grader and second grader. He grew up in Melbourne, Australia and moved with his wife Gwen Hinze to San Francisco in 1999. Ernie is partner and founder at Sensato Investors. Prior to that, he was managing director and co-head of Active Equity at Barclays Global Investors. Ernie studied at Monash University where he earned the degrees B.Sc.(Hons), LL.B.(Hons) and a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics. He is a CFA Charterholder. He also has an A.Mus.A. diploma in piano and still enjoys playing for fun. He has previously served on the Board of Trustees for the Bay Area Discovery Museum and on the Global Advisory Board for Room to Read. He serves on the CAIS Board believing that active involvement and support of the parent community is essential for CAIS to fully realize the ambitious mission and vision outlined by the school’s leadership and faculty. Ernie chairs the Executive Committee and serves as an ex officio member on a number of other committees. He was the Co-Chair for Becoming Our Best Self: The Campaign for CAIS.

Mary Powell, Vice Chair

Mary Powell, Vice ChairA native of Portland, Oregon, Vice Chair Mary Powell obtained a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, a J.D. from Golden Gate University and an LLM in taxation from Georgetown Law. She is a partner at Trucker Huss, an employee benefits law firm located in San Francisco. Mary is also the mother of a sixth grader and and fourth grader. In her spare time, she loves to hike, swim, attend the theatre and read autobiographies. Mary and her husband fell in love with CAIS even before they had children and they were excited about the idea of their children learning to speak Mandarin. They truly treasure the CAIS community. Mary chairs the Committee on Trustees and serves on the Audit and Risk Management Committee.




Jane Su, Vice Chair

Jane Su, Vice ChairVice Chair Jane Su serves on the CAIS Board of Trustees because of her support for and personal experience in a dual culture immersion program. Growing up in Taiwan, Jane was educated through an English immersion program from preschool through ninth grade even though her family spoke limited English. Subsequently, her proficiency in and exposure to the English language led her to the Thacher School in California for high school, then Dartmouth College for her BA and Stanford University for her MBA. Jane has been an investment professional for over twenty years in both the private equity and public stock markets in the U.S. and in Asia, most recently as a partner with Blum Capital Partners in San Francisco. Previously, Jane served for seven years on the Board of Directors for CBRE Group, a Fortune 500 NYSE listed real estate services company. Jane has one daughter currently at CAIS and a daughter who graduated in 2015. Jane serves on the Campus Planning and Possibilities Task Force as well as the National Center for International Schools Committee.

Stasia A. Obremskey, Secretary

Stasia A. Obremskey, SecretarySecretary Stasia Obremskey joins management teams as an interim Chief Financial Officer on a short term and extended term basis to provide finance, accounting and strategic planning expertise to start ups, fast growing companies and non-profit organizations. Current and past clients include Posit Science, Circlepoint, West Shore Technologies and We Care Solar. Stasia has over twenty-five years of experience providing financial and strategic planning consulting to organizations in the U.S. and Asia. She lived for over eight years in Bangkok, Thailand and Hong Kong, China. She began her consulting career as a management consultant with Bain & Company. Previously, she worked in investment banking for Morgan Stanley & Co. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance, from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. In addition to her consulting work, she has extensive experience as a member of several nonprofit boards where she has held a number of leadership positions. She joined the Board of Trustees of the Chinese American International School in June 2011. She is a parent of graduates from the Classes of 2015 and 2013, and an older son who is a sophomore at Duke University. Stasia is a member of the Executive Committee and the Advancement Commitee.

Marcus Shen, Treasurer

Marcus Shen, TreasurerOriginally from Southern California, Treasurer Marcus Shen came to the Bay Area to attend the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied economics and played varsity tennis. He later went to USC on a fellowship, where he earned his MBA. Marcus began his career as an investment banker, working in M&A and corporate finance in the technology industry. He subsequently moved to the corporate sector, becoming a senior executive at Yahoo! and Philips NV. Currently, Marcus is a private equity consultant and also serves as an advisor to a number of software companies. Marcus and his wife, Jamie, a senior real estate executive and Cal alum, have three children, two of whom attend CAIS in fourth and sixth grade respectively. In their free time, they enjoy being outdoors, playing sports, and spending time at their farm in Yuba City. Marcus joined the board in July in hopes of supporting the school’s mission and the efforts of the CAIS leadership team. Marcus currently serves on the Executive Committee and as Chair of the Assets Committee.

Juliet Bergh

Juliet BerghJuliet Bergh graduated from Nankai University with a BA in Finance & Accounting and joined Procter & Gamble China where she served for over 15 years in various capacities in China, Japan, Singapore, and Boston. In addition to her corporate finance roles, Juliet spearheaded several leadership programs within P&G. She also served in volunteer capacities for Red Cross Shanghai, the Association of Public High Schools and the Community of Minority Leaders where her work focused primarily on strategic planning and fundraising. After moving to San Francisco in 2011, Juliet returned to her love of the arts by serving on the Asian Art Museum’s Annual Family Event committee, later joining its junior board. She also became a full-time mom. She saw her daughter through the CAIS admissions process and served as a volunteer for the PAECE steering team, as a room parent, and as Treasurer of Kindergarten. Together with her co-chairs Juliet successfully completed two rounds of ShowCAIS fundraising for fiscal years 2012-13, 2013-14, and 2015-16 setting records in attendance and monies raised. Juliet was born in Chongqing, China into a family with a deep appreciation for arts and education. Her father is an artist who focuses on teaching traditional Chinese arts and crafts; her mother has worked for over 40 years in the field of education from early childhood through high school. Juliet is married to Chip Bergh, President and CEO of Levi’s.

She serves on the Advancement Committee and the Committee on Trustees.

Susan Cheng

Susan ChengSusan Cheng is the parent of alumna Katharine “Katy” Woo ’12. Susan and her husband, Alex Woo, believe in bilingual education so strongly that they moved to San Francisco from the Peninsula while Katy attended CAIS. Susan has served on the Board of Trustees since 2008 and was Treasurer before she became Chair in 2012. Susan has lived all over the US, starting near New York City, followed by Chicago, Los Alamos, Philadelphia, New York (again!), Tahoe and the Bay Area. She grew up at a time when Chinese language education was not available to students and was thrilled to find CAIS for her daughter. Susan has degrees in mathematics from Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana, an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton and a PhD in finance from Stanford University. She has held academic positions at Columbia University and UC Berkeley where she is currently teaching. Between the academic positions, Susan managed a family office for a tech entrepreneur with a substantial angel investment portfolio and was a founding partner at IDG Ventures in San Francisco in 1997. She retired in 2010 and now devotes her time to CAIS, teaching at UC Berkeley and Stanford, and mentoring robotics teams from elementary school through high school. Susan served as Chair from 2012-2016.

Kevin Chessen

Kevin ChessenA native of Anaheim, Kevin Chessen graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics. He launched his career on Wall Street with S.G. Warburg, during which time he worked in Japan and London. He was also in charge of Asian Trading for Merrill Lynch. In 1997, Kevin moved to San Francisco to take a job with Montgomery Securities, where he oversaw Sales and Trading. Kevin was one of the founders of BITG in 2002 and he oversees their International businesses. Kevin has three children, one currently at CAIS and a CAIS alumnus attending Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT and a CAIS alumna who is in the 12th grade at The Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT, where he serves on the finance committee. In his spare time, Kevin enjoys playing golf and traveling. After 10 years at CAIS and with one child still enrolled, Kevin agreed to serve on the CAIS board to help in the planning and building of the new 888 campus. He serves on the Campus Planning and Possibilities Task Force as well as serving as treasurer on the National Center for International Schools Committee.

Chris Foley

Chris FoleyChris Foley grew up in Indiana, and joined the Navy to run nuclear power plants. The NAS Alameda was his last duty station. Following his discharge in 1987, Chris moved to San Francisco, where he owned and operated the Start to Finish bicycle stores until he sold the company in 1997. He is currently a partner at the real estate brokerage Polaris Pacific, where he specializes in land sales and entitlement. Chris is also the founder and CEO of the Market on Market, a food hall in the Twitter building. When his daughter, now a fourth grader, started at CAIS, Chris told the school he was always available to help. Eventually he was approached to join the board to advise on real estate and development matters. Chris’ hobbies include traveling the world, especially to Asia, eating great food, bicycling, hiking and spending as much time as possible with his daughter. Chris chairs the Campus Planning and Possibilities Task Force and is also as vice chair of the National Center for International Schools Committee.

Paul Kocher

Paul KocherPaul Kocher grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and received a B.S. in biology from Stanford University. Excitement about the technology industry sidetracked his plan of becoming a veterinarian, and he became a cryptographer instead. Paul’s technical work includes co-authoring the SSL 3.0 protocol (which encrypts web connections when the “lock” icon is shown) and many other projects related to Internet and device security. He founded the company Cryptography Research, Inc. in 1995, which became a division of Rambus when it was acquired in 2011. He also co-founded ValiCert, has advised multiple technology start-ups, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009. Paul is honored and excited to serve on the CAIS board for many reasons, including the school’s unique role in fostering bridges between the U.S. and China, which he hopes will be a foundation for global friendships, business relationships, and diplomatic relations in the years ahead. Paul serves on the Committee on Trustees and on the Assets Committee.

Kim Kwok

Kim KwokKim Kwok and her husband, Kevin, moved to the Bay Area in 1997 from New York City and feel very fortunate to have found such a welcoming community at CAIS. Kim has been a passionate member of the parent community since 2001 and has been an active supporter at CAIS, where she has served as president of the Parents Association, hot lunch coordinator, and Annual Fund class rep. Kim has worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years and is currently Director of Client Development within 3M’s Health Information Systems division. Kim received her MBA and MHSA from the University of Michigan and her BA in Public Policy Analysis from UNC-Chapel Hill. Kim has three children, including two CAIS graduates in the Classes of 2010 and 201 as well as a current eighth grader at CAIS. Kim is thankful for the dual language experience her children have received at CAIS, and it warms her heart to hear their confirmation of the impact this has had on their lives: “I can’t remember when I couldn’t speak Chinese, and I can’t imagine not keeping up with it in some way.” She chairs the Audit and Risk Management Committee and serves on the Committee on Trustees.

Christopher M. Livaccari

Christopher M. LivaccariElected this year to the CAIS Board of Trustees, Christopher M. Livaccari is an educator, author, and former U.S. diplomat who held postings in Shanghai and Tokyo. He is Elementary School Principal and Chinese Program Director at International School of the Peninsula in Palo Alto, CA, and the Senior Advisor for China Learning Initiatives at Asia Society, where he was previously Director of Education and Chinese Language Initiatives. During his time at Asia Society, Chris created a collaborative network of 101 schools in 28 states that teach Chinese and their partner schools across 23 provinces in China. He is the author of New Ways of Seeing: How Multilingualism Opens Our Eyes and Trains Our Minds for a Complex World (Asia Society, 2016), and co-author of Structures of Mandarin Chinese for Speakers of English (Peking University Press, 2012-2013), and the Chinese for Tomorrow series (Cheng & Tsui, 2007-2009). Chris was a speaker at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival and the recipient of the US State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award, citing outstanding speeches written for two US Ambassadors to Japan. He was the founding director of the High School for Language and Diplomacy and a founding member of the faculty at the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies. Both schools were members of the Asia Society International Studies Schools Network, a national initiative to create globally focused public schools with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University, Chris holds advanced degrees from the University of Chicago and New York University. He is a lifelong learner of classical and modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, among other languages, and an essayist whose work has appeared in AGNI magazine. 

Ronald Martell

Ronald MartellRon Martell is married to Patricia Martell and is the father of a seventh grader and a fifth grader. He is currently serving as the founding CEO for Sevion Therapeutics. His many years of professional experience include careers at Imclone Systems and Genentech. Growing up in Big Sur, California and Dalton, Ohio, the idea of one day having children attend a bilingual Chinese immersion program was unimaginable. Now, with two children thriving at CAIS, any other path would be unthinkable. Upon returning to San Francisco from NJ/NY, CAIS was the only school they wanted their children to attend. The family has been at CAIS since 2008. They are not only committed to their children’s education at CAIS but also to the CAIS mission, vision and community. Ron serves on the Audit and Risk Management Committee.


Fred Molfino

Fred MolfinoA native San Franciscan, Fred Molfino is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Preparatory. His father, Fred Sr., still resides in his childhood home in Daly City, where the boys visit grandpa for afternoons of baseball and ping-pong tournaments! Upon graduation from Boston College in 1991 with a BA in Economics and Philosophy, Fred returned to the Bay Area and began a career in financial services. Initially, he worked in Capital Markets with boutique investment bank firms Montgomery Securities, Hambrecht & Quist, and then Robertson Stephens. In 2009, Fred became a co-founder of Three Bridge Wealth Advisors, where he and his partners manage a wealth management practice focused on entrepreneurs and their families. Since his eldest son’s enrollment in Kindergarten in 2010, Fred and his wife, Michelle, have been active supporters of CAIS, first as Annual Fund class captain, then as Annual Fund co-chair and now as a board member chairing the Advancement Committee. He also serves on the Assets Committee.

The Molfinos embrace the mission of the school and are committed to having their sons receive a dual language education. Fred, above all else, enjoys time spent with his family. His personal hobby of golf is now being shared with the boys, and Mom, to some degree and that brings him great joy! Perhaps, after graduation, there will be a ‘boys’ golf trip to Asia and the boys will act as guides and translators!

Richard Mueller

Richard MuellerMr. Mueller served as a career diplomat with the U.S. Department of State for 32 years specializing in U.S. relations with China and Asia.  The culmination of his career was as American Consul General to Hong Kong from 1993 to 1996, leading the 400-person Consulate General. These were the formative years leading up to Hong Kong’s reversion to China in 1997.

Following his career with the State Department, Mr. Mueller began a second career in education. In 1998 Mr. Mueller became Head of School of Northfield Mount Hermon School, a college preparatory boarding high school in Massachusetts. During his seven-year tenure he deepened the school’s historic commitment to global education, particularly to China and Asia, and led the strategic planning and decision-making to become a smaller school of 650 students on one campus rather than two. He then served from 2005 to 2010 as Head of School of Hong Kong International School, a pre-K through grade 12 school with a diverse, global student body of over 2500 students. Most recently he served as Head of School of Shanghai American School, a 3,000-student international Pre-K through 12 school on two campuses.

Mr. Mueller’s diplomatic career included assignments to Asia and the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. At the Department he worked at a senior level for Secretary of State George Shultz coordinating the worldwide work of the State Department and subsequently for Secretary James Baker carrying out the President’s national security agenda with Congress. Earlier in his career Mr. Mueller worked for and traveled with Secretary Henry Kissinger. The highlight of that assignment was meeting his future wife, Claire, who was also a career diplomat.

In the early years of his career, after two years of Chinese language training, he and Claire were assigned to the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing from 1976 to 1978. They were there to witness the events surrounding Chairman Mao Zedong’s passing, the end of the Cultural Revolution, and the subsequent launching of economic reform under Deng Xiaoping. Previously he had studied Vietnamese for a year and then served two assignments to the American Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam. 

Mr. Mueller also served at the American Consulate General in Hong Kong in the 1980’s as Chief of the Economic Section and earlier on the team which negotiated the first US-PRC trade agreement. He was also Director of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center from 1996 to 1998, an educational non-profit organization building understanding among the peoples of Asia and the U.S.  He has traveled widely throughout Asia and seen firsthand the transformation of China and other Asian countries. 

Mr. Mueller has served on several non-profit education boards of trustees, including a previous term on the CAIS board and Hong Kong International School. 

Mr. and Mrs. Mueller have two sons.  Jonathan and family live in Colorado, and Eric and family live in San Francisco. The Muellers are proud grandparents of five young grandchildren, Jackson, Katherine, Clara, Allison, and Gillian.

Benjamin Ng

Benjamin NgBenjamin Ng greatly values the multiculturalism and global perspective that CAIS embodies. He and his wife Stacey are parents to a CAIS graduate in the Class of 2014 and a current eighth grader and fifth grader). Ben was born and raised in Hong Kong to working class parents with little education. He emigrated to the US at age eight, and learned to speak English at parochial schools in predominantly Hispanic East LA. Ben went on to receive his BS from UC Berkeley, JD from Stanford Law School and MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Ben began his career as an M&A investment banker at Goldman Sachs in New York. He later became CFO at Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, which he took public, as well as the president of a Chinese family office with vast holdings in Asia, US, Europe and Africa. After his first son was born, Ben retired and moved to San Francisco, choosing the city in part to have his children attend CAIS. Ben most enjoys and values being a full-time father. Beyond that, he currently spends some of his time as a founder/principal investor in diverse businesses, including a mega-yacht marina in the Caribbean, a provider of business services to 350+ charter schools and a FX hedge fund with $3B under management. In addition to CAIS, Ben has served on the board of Stanford Law School and several other companies, including Neebo Inc, a large operator of college bookstores. Ben currently serves as a member of the Advancement Committee.

Sara Roberts

Sara RobertsSara Roberts is currently an Executive Director in the Advisory Services practice of Ernst & Young LLP with a focus in Strategy, Organizational Culture, and Purpose-Led Transformation. Prior to EY, she was Founder and CEO of Roberts Golden, a boutique consultancy, where her team and she advised on organizational strategy and culture transformation efforts for nearly a quarter of the Fortune 100 as well as many other large brands and NGOs. Her deep area of expertise is helping organizations get clear on their purpose and how to align and activate it to drive their most pressing strategic imperatives. She has been known as a “go-to” person when companies are looking to become more customer-centric, innovative, and agile in the way they operate.

Sara is an accomplished author and her latest book, Nimble, Focused, Feisty: Organizational Cultures that Win in the New Era and How to Create Them, was published in August of last year. This book outlines her perspective that in the most successful “new era” companies a customer-centric purpose is what focuses their organization in order to drive results. She is also the co-author of the best-selling book, Light Their Fire: Using Internal Marketing to Ignite Employee Performance and Wow Your Customers. She is a frequent keynote speaker and workshop presenter at top events including Gartner, The Conference Board, and the Association for Corporate Growth on the topics of transformation, purpose, and culture and has been quoted and featured in numerous publications including BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and Forbes.

Sara has extensive board experience having previously been the board chair for Drawbridge, an arts program for homeless children, and Family Builders by Adoption which places hard-to-adopt children in loving homes.

She is mom to Vinn Schumann, who is a 1st grader and began at CAIS in his first year of Pre-K.

Julia Weil ’97

Julia Brown Weil ’97Having entered CAIS at age three, by age five Julia Brown Weil ’97 was assisting her father with translation on business trips to China. After CAIS she attended Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and then on to Whitman College where she majored in Asian Studies. In college she received two Freeman grants, including one to travel to China and help the Beijing Kun-Opera Company rewrite a traditional Chinese Opera. After college, Julia began her career in advertising at TBWA/Media Arts Lab and worked on the Apple account, where she helped produce all the advertising for the launch of the iPhone 3G in 2008 and 3GS in 2009. To combine her professional arc with her passion for China, she started with Ogilvy & Mather in Los Angeles before transferring to its offices in China. Working in Beijing and eventually Shanghai, Julia managed accounts for international companies such as Unilever Dove, Nestle, Moet & Chandon, and Jawbone. Julia has recently moved back to San Francisco with her husband, Bertil, who works in international business development. The couple met while they were both working in Beijing. She is working now as an independent consultant specializing in helping companies determine how to market their consumer goods in China. “Some of my best childhood memories are from CAIS. It opened my mind to possibilities and instilled an exploratory spirit,” says Julia. “I feel most comfortable navigating between two cultures. I need to be a citizen of the world.” Julia serves on the Campus Planning and Possibilities Task Force and the National Center for International Schools Sub-Committee.

Charles Wyman

Charles WymanCharlie Wyman is the father of a fifth grader and first grader at CAIS, and husband of Megan, who is also very active in the CAIS community (notably, Megan served as editor of the 30th anniversary retrospective of CAIS published in 2012). Professionally, Charlie is a principal of Seven Post Investment Office, a multi-family office based in San Francisco dedicated to serving client investment management and financial advisory needs. He has spent his career in finance, initially as an equity research analyst and also as an investment advisor specializing in mergers & acquisitions and capital raising work for consumer, healthcare, and technology growth companies. Charlie grew up in Connecticut, and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, having lived and worked in Hong Kong and mainland China in his professional and academic career. He received a Master of Business Administration degree from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in Mandarin Chinese and economics from Middlebury College. In addition to his responsibilities as a member of the CAIS Board, Charlie currently serves on the San Francisco Bay Area regional board of Reading Partners, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing literacy support and tutoring services to school children who are reading six months to 2.5 years below their grade level. Charlie serves on the Assets Committee and the Audit and Risk Management Committee.