Board Chair Ernie Chow is the father of a CAIS student in the Class of 2019 and a student in the Class of 2023. 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.
Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees 2018-2019
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 demonstrated a commitment to the school’s long term success. Every effort is made to ensure 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 eight 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 chairs, 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.
Chair, Board of Trustees
A 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 two students, one in the Class of 2019 and one in the Class of 2021. 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.
Chris 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 Facilities Committee and is also as vice chair of the National Center for International Schools Committee.
Emily He is the SVP of Human Capital Management of Oracle Corporation. Most recently, she was the Chief Marketing Officer of DoubleDutch, the leader in Live Engagement Marketing solutions for events, conferences, and tradeshows. She has had 18 years of experience in enterprise software, playing various marketing, corporate strategy and business development leadership roles in companies such as DoubleDutch, Saba Software, E2Open, Siebel Systems and Oracle Corporation.
Emily is known for supporting business growth with highly differentiated branding and messaging as well as innovative digital marketing, demand gen and customer experience programs. She is a well recognized thought leader on the topics of authentic leadership, category design, and engagement marketing. You can find per perspective across a broad spectrum of business publications, including the Economist, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., and The Huffington Post.
Emily has a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business. She lives in San Francisco with her entrepreneurial husband, master inventor son, and daughter who’s a naturally fierce leader. She’s an avid traveler who has visited 60+ countries and enjoys continuously discovering the world with her family in tow.
Emily chairs the Assets Committee and serves on the Committee on Trustees.
Paul 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 Facilities Committee.
Born in Hong Kong, Alicia Chang moved to the Bay Area at the age of 10. She graduated from Castilleja School in Palo Alto and from Brown University with B.A. degrees in International Relations and East Asian Studies. Alicia started her career in a boutique Investment Banking firm (Robertson Stephens) in San Francisco, then moved to Hong Kong to work in a real estate direct investment firm (Asia Pacific Land), focusing on distressed properties in East Asia. She then worked in Marketing Communications at a technology startup (Infolio, Inc) in Silicon Valley and graduated from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University with an MBA.
She has been involved in the CAIS community for 8 years, including being Head Room Parent, Treasurer, and Annual Fund Class Captain. Additionally she is involved with fundraising for a local elderly program catered to serving low income Chinese community (Self Help for the Elderly), co-chairing their annual gala for 2 years. Alicia is mother of three boys, Class of 2020, 2023, and 2025 at CAIS.
Alicia serves on the Advancement Committee and the Assets Committee.
A 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, a CAIS alumna in the Class of 2018 and CAIS alumnus Class of 2016 who are both attending Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, CT, and a CAIS alumna Class of 2013 who attended The Ethel Walker School (where he serves on the finance committee) in Simsbury, CT and is now at Elon University. 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 Staff Housing working group.
Maile is the mother of two girls currently attending CAIS in the Classes of 2021 and 2023 respectively, and is married to William Choy, who is also active in the CAIS community. Born and raised in Hawaii, Maile attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she received her bachelor’s degree in communication. She continued her education at New York University School of Law for her JD and then moved to the West Coast working at the law firms of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Morrison & Foerster on corporate transactions and public filings. Maile has been working as senior counsel at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. for over a decade, and has advised multiple lines of business on international finance, trade services and regulatory matters related to Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Act. Maile and William have a large extended family in the Bay Area and in addition to family time, enjoy farmer’s markets, cooking, eating and, by necessity, being active.
Maile serves on the Facilities Committee and on the NCIS Sub-Committee.
Bryant Jenkins is the father of a student in the CAIS Class of 2024 and a toddler. Bryant attended high school in the New Orleans metropolitan area and moved to the SF Bay Area with his wife Liyun Li in 2011. Bryant is a Principal at Sperry Capital, an infrastructure financial advisory firm. Prior to that he was a project finance consultant and public finance banker for KPMG, UBS and Stone & Youngberg. Bryant has a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University and a M.B.A. from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
He previously served as Treasurer for Foundation for a College Education, an East Palo Alto nonprofit dedicated to increasing the number of students of color who graduate from four-year colleges. He is a committed member of the CAIS community and an adherent to the school’s mission. Bryant and Liyun strongly believe in the invaluable intrinsic benefits that accrue from bilingual education. Bryant is a member of the Facilities Committee and the NCIS Sub-Committee.
Dr. Youjeong Kim, M.D. studied Neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by medical school at the University of Texas in Houston, Orthopaedic Surgery residency at UCSF and Spinal Surgery fellowship at Emory University. She founded Golden Gate Spine, a private practice specializing in minimally invasive spinal surgery for herniated discs and spinal stenosis. She is affiliated with CPMC, Pacific Heights Surgery Center, and San Francisco Surgery Center. She was a Clinical Instructor at UCSF in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both taking care of veterans as well as teaching UCSF residents and medical students. She serves on the Abbott Society board of directors for the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF. She has authored many peer reviewed scientific research papers and book chapters in Orthopaedics and Spinal surgery. She volunteers with Orthopaedics Overseas and has travelled to Umtata, South Africa and Yanji, China to provide care in underserved areas. She is an active fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, North American Spine Society, and Korean American Spine Society. She is one of less than twenty female Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons in the United States, and the first female Orthopaedic Spine Surgeon of Korean heritage.
In her spare time, Youjeong enjoys spending time with her family (husband Ben Ellis who she met while at MIT together, and children Emmy in class of 2025 and Ethan in class of 2027, and their dog Oscar). At CAIS, she has been a dedicated room parent every year since 2014, and co-head room parent of Pre-K during the 2015-16 school year. She was co-chair of the Gingerbread House Decorating at the Holiday Faire in 2016 and 2017. She is very grateful to be a part of the CAIS community.
Youjeong serves on the Advancement Committee and the Audit Committee.
Ron 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 one child having graduated in the Class of 2017 and another in the Class of 2019, 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 NCIS Audit Committee.
A 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!
Born and raised in Ohio, Dina moved to California after graduating from college and then later to San Francisco with her husband Michael. Dina has a lifelong passion for education. She holds a B.A. in elementary education and an M.A. in educational technology. She taught 1st and 3rd grade for many years prior to becoming a mom to Cesare, CAIS Class of 2022. For the past three years, she has volunteered in the pediatric department at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Since Cesare began attending CAIS Pre-K in 2012, Dina has been an active and enthusiastic member of the CAIS community, volunteering in numerous capacities from room parent to ShowCAIS chair. As co-chair of ShowCAIS for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, Dina helped set new fundraising records. Additionally, she plays the role of team mom for Cesare’s baseball and rugby teams. When not volunteering, you can find Dina traveling, reading, cooking, and rooting on the San Francisco Giants with her family.
Dina serves on the Advancement Committee.
Mr. 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.
Sara 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, Class of 2024, who began at CAIS in his first year of Pre-K.
Sara serves on the Committee on Trustees and the Advancement Committee.
Darren is the father of Claire (Class of 2024) and Willy (Class of 2026). He grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the Bay Area to attend UC Berkeley where he received a B.S. in environmental economics. He obtained a M.P.P. degree from Harvard, an M.D. from Stanford, and he did residency training in internal medicine at UCSF. While at UCSF, he met his wife, Stefani Wedl, who is now a Hospitalist physician at CPMC. Darren is currently the CEO of Apixio, a healthcare technology start-up that uses artificial intelligence to mine medical records to improve care quality. During his career, he has held executive roles in managed care and healthcare technology companies. In his free time, Darren continues to pursue his rock star dreams as a drummer in a local band. He is honored to serve on the Board and support CAIS and its parent community. Darren currently serves on the Assets Committee.
Originally 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, Classes of 2019, 2021, and 2025 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 Audit Committee.
Chris, a San Francisco native, muddled his way through Cantonese and Mandarin before embracing and studying Chinese, Chinese history and philosophy, and Asian-American studies as an undergraduate at Brown University. After college, Chris grappled with the challenges of urban redevelopment, civic engagement, and municipal governance as a legislative aide to members of the Oakland City Council before obtaining a Master in Public Affairs degree (Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School) and a Juris Doctor (Columbia Law School). After law school, Chris practiced land use and environmental law at an international law firm, where he specialized in mixed-use development projects and served as CAIS’ legal counsel for the 888 Campus project. Impressed by CAIS’ vision and community, Chris and Joyce were delighted to join the CAIS family when their son began Pre-K at CAIS. Joyce is a former room parent and Chris previously served on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force. As a Deputy City Attorney to San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Chris drafts legislation, litigates on the City’s behalf, and advises a myriad of City officials and departments. Chris and Joyce are the joyful parents of Theo (Class of 2025) and Ezra (pre-CAIS).
Chris serves on the Committee on Trustees, the Facilities Committee, and the NCIS Committee.
John Wang has two children, a son in the Class of 2026 and a younger daughter. His wife Jennifer is a very active member of the CAIS community. John grew up on the East Coast and moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA where he received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics. He continued his education in Los Angeles, attending Southwestern Law School for his J.D. John is currently a partner at the law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, where he chairs the higher education financing group and is a member of the public finance department. He also enjoys working on financings with cultural institutions, solid waste disposal companies and developers, energy developers and public utilities. While John is a resident in the San Francisco office, he also works with clients in Hawaii, Guam, Nevada and Texas. John enjoys spending time mentoring more junior attorneys at the firm. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his family and rooting for the UCLA Bruins, the New York Yankees and the Oakland Raiders. John is thrilled and honored to serve on the Board and currently serves on the Assets Committee.
Having 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 Audit Committee.
Charlie Wyman is the father of a student in the Class of 2019 and in the Class of 2023 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 as chair of the Audit Committee and serves on the Staff Housing work group.