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Board Member Profiles

  • Mr. Uriel Iñiguez
    Mr. Uriel Iñiguez
    Chair of the Board

    Uriel Iñiguez holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources from Eastern Washington University, and he has a Master's degree in Public Administration from City University.

    Uriel is a first-generation immigrant from Michoacán, Mexico. He is the oldest of eleven children, and six of his siblings have also graduated from Eastern Washington University.  Uriel's eldest son entered Eastern Washington University in the fall of 2012, beginning the second generation of the Iñiguez family attending EWU. Gabe graduated in 2014 with a BA in Business Administration and is a Lt. in the U.S. Army.  Uriel's youngest son enrolled at EWU in the fall of 2016 and is studying computer science. 

    Appointed by Gov Inslee to the EWU Board of  Trustees in 2014, Uriel is the Director of Community Relations at the Washington State Dept. of Labor & Industries. He also served as the Director of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs from 2005-2016. Prior to his appointment as Executive Director, he worked for the Department of Corrections, where he held various management positions. Uriel was appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire in 2005 and reappointed by Governor Jay Inslee in 2014. 

    In October 2013, four of the Iñiguez alumni from Eastern Washington University began the Iñiguez Family Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will help first-generation Latino students complete their college degrees.

    Trustee Iñiguez looks forward to working with the other trustees and the President to ensure EWU continues to fulfill its mission of expanding opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning and in making EWU one of the leading educational institutions.

    Original Appointment: January 1, 2014
    Term Expires: September 30, 2019
    Hometown: Olympia, WA
    Profession: Administrative Management
    Other Assignment: Diversity Initiative and Audit Committee

  • Ms. Vicki Wilson
    Ms. Vicki Wilson
    Vice Chair of the Board

    Vicki Wilson is a Software Engineering Services manager in the Information Management organization for Mission Support Alliance in Richland, WA.  She earned her BA in business administration from Eastern in 1981.

    Wilson serves as a foundation board member of Columbia Basin College (CBC) in Pasco, Wash., and also serves on the advisory council for CBC's Information Technology Department and is a Class V Leadership Tri-Cities graduate.

    "I am very honored to be appointed to the board of trustees for Eastern Washington University," said Wilson. "EWU's president, faculty, staff and board of trustees have truly made Eastern an outstanding place to receive your college education. EWU was a very important part of my early adult years and has played a significant role in who am I today. I'm excited and look forward in helping to continue the great tradition of EWU."

    Original Appointment: October 16, 2012
    Term Expires: September 30, 2018
    Hometown: Richland, WA
    Profession: Management

  • James Murphy
    James Murphy

    Judge James Murphy earned his BA in Political Science from Eastern before going on to law school, earning a J.D. from Gonzaga in 1973. Murphy served on the bench for 26 years in Spokane County, retiring as a superior court judge in 2003. He currently serves on the International Court of Arbitration for Sport. Murphy is an avid skier, hiker and camper. He is also extensively involved in USA Track and Field, and is a certified official who has officiated the Goodwill Games, the U.S. Olympic Trials and the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a long-time member of the Spokane Sports Commission and the Lands Council. 

    "I am honored and humbled to be appointed by Governor Gregoire to the EWU Board of Trustees," said Murphy. "As a graduate, I have watched an amazing transformation occur at the university since my days as a student. I know this growth was largely made possible by the leadership of an active Board of Trustees and dedicated leadership provided by staff and the Office of the President. I am proud to be part of such a creative group of people and such a dynamic process."

    Original Appointment: October 16, 2012
    Term Expires: September 30, 2018
    Hometown: Spokane, WA
    Profession: Law
    Other Assignment: Investment Committee

  • Mr. Michael Finley
    Mr. Michael Finley

    Michael Finley earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Washington University and is proud to return to serve his alma mater.

    Born and raised in Inchelium, Washington, Finley is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and is a two-time chairman of the Colville Business Council.  He also served as 1st Vice President to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). He earned his BA in American Indian studies and History (2003) and an MA in History (2005) from Eastern Washington University (EWU), and has received numerous awards for his academic and professional achievements.  

    "I am truly honored being bestowed such a distinguished position," said Finley. "It is a responsibility I accept with humility, and I pledge to foster success with the university and the entire student body, in every discipline, and at every corner of the institution. This represents an opportunity to give back to the university that helped me realize my own potential, which in turn led to my prosperity."  

    Finley received the Cecil Dryden Alumni Award from EWU's Department of History in 2011, which is given to a distinguished graduate in that field each year. He has co-authored a book on Native American history and continues to serve on national tribal councils.  

    In 2014-15, Finley launched several businesses, ranging from entertainment to convenience store owner.  His primary business, Feathered Arrow, LLC, is a consulting business that primarily serves Indian tribes in national policy issues and realizing economic development opportunities.   

    His latest venture, Tribal Carbon Partners, which he launched with current and former tribal leaders, has quickly surpassed the competition and stands as the leader in creating and monetizing carbon offsets and is the only American Indian owned and operated company in this field.  His understanding of native values, combined with a firm handle on California's Cap and Trade program, has allowed him a unique platform to work with tribes to create and monetize carbon offsets within Indian Country. Finley understands tribal governments and more importantly, tribal community values respecting tribal lands and sovereignty.  Along with his partners, he has developed partnerships with other prominent firms in this industry, like America's leading developer of carbon offsets, Finite Carbon Corporation, allowing him to deliver the right program at the best value to tribal clients.  

    In recent months, Finley was recruited by leading gaming innovators to develop a new company, NEX7 that will, over time, drastically transform the gaming experience on tribal gaming properties and eventually the entire gaming industry worldwide.  NEX7 has created a powerful platform that supports and achieves the full benefit of true sovereign gaming, giving tribal casinos much needed technology that offers every game in both Class II and Class III form, providing a powerful advantage in tribal/state compacts. This in turn will allow tribal casinos to fully exercise their negotiated regulatory advantages and deepen loyalty with their customer base through personal recognition and socialization. NEX7 will provide tribes with much needed control with the future of this new technology, in hopes of placing tribes on the path to self-determination.   Finley continues to serve on boards through Indian Country and someday plans to return to politics.

    Original Appointment: November 30, 2015
    Term Expires: September 30, 2021
    Hometown: Inchelium, WA
    Profession: Management
    Other Assignment: Early Head Start Board and Diversity Initiative

  • Jay J. Manning
    Jay J. Manning

    Jay J. Manning rejoined Cascadia Law Group in 2011 after more than six years as director of the Washington Department of Ecology and Governor Gregoire's chief of staff.  His practice focuses on environmental and energy matters, providing consulting, legislative, and legal assistance. As chief of staff from 2009 to July of 2011, Jay worked closely with the governor and her cabinet and senior staff to address budgetary and public policy challenges facing state government.  As director at ecology from 2005 to 2009, Jay focused on managing the state's water resources, including creation of the Office of Columbia River, guiding the effort to bring the Puget Sound back to good health by 2020, including the creation of the Puget Sound Partnership and addressing climate change and the daunting threat it poses to Washington's economy and environment. 

    Jay co-chaired the Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification in 2012, which led to an executive order directing the state's implementation of the panel's recommendations for a coordinated, regional response.  Jay is board chair for Washington Environmental Council, vice chair of the Puget Sound Partnership's Leadership Council, a member of the Board of the Ruckelshaus Center, a member of the University of Washington's College of the Environment Board and-most importantly-a proud Eastern Washington University alum. 

    Jay has three grown children and two lovely and brilliant grandchildren.  He enjoys riding his bicycle, traveling, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

    Original Appointment: November 25, 2015
    Term Expires: September 30, 2021
    Hometown: Olympia, WA
    Profession: Law

  • Robert H. Whaley, United States District Judge
    Robert H. Whaley, United States District Judge

    Judge Whaley currently serves as a Senior United States District Judge in the Eastern District of Washington.  He was nominated by President Clinton on May 24, 1995, and confirmed by the United States Senate on June 30, 1995, and appointed by the President on June 30, 1995.  Judge Whaley served as chief judge from August 1, 2005 to July 12, 2009.

    Prior to his federal judicial appointment, Judge Whaley served as a Superior Court Judge in Spokane County from 1992-1995.  Early in his legal career, Judge Whaley was a trial attorney with the Department of Justice in the Land and Natural Resources Division.  He served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Washington for two years in the early 1970's and was in private practice for twenty years before being appointed to the Superior Court bench.

    Judge Whaley went to undergraduate school at Princeton University and earned his A.B. in 1965.  He graduated from Emory University School of Law in 1968, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps. 

    Original Appointment: October 10, 2011
    Term Expires:  September 30, 2023
    Hometown: Spokane, WA
    Profession: Judge
    Other Assignment: Early Head Start Board and EWU Foundation Board Representative

  • Kim Pearman-Gillman
    Kim Pearman-Gillman

    Kim Pearman-Gillman, a partner with McKinstry and longtime leader in Spokane's business and civic communities, has been appointed to Eastern Washington University's Board of Trustees (BOT) by Gov. Jay Inslee, effective immediately for a six-year term.

    Pearman-Gillman, who graduated from the University of Houston after also attending Rutgers University has made Spokane her home with her spouse, raising their three daughters here since 1989.  She currently serves on the University District Development Association Board and the University District Public Development Authority serving on those executive committees as Past Chair.  Previously she served EWU as a member of the CSTEM Board (2010-2014) and chair of the Library Advocacy Board (2007-2009).  She has worked alongside three EWU university presidents as well as many faculty members, administrators and students. "I have seen firsthand the quality, talent and passion of each of these groups and am looking forward to being part of EWU's future," says Pearman-Gillman.

    Pearman-Gillman is a business development executive at McKinstry having joined the company in 2009 and has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience in the private and public sectors, including working at Itron, Avista Development, Avista Utilities and was on loan to the City of Spokane from Avista to start economic development there.   "It is a great honor to be chosen to serve on Eastern Washington University's Board of Trustees," adds Pearman-Gillman. "I'm excited to serve because I believe in EWU and in the importance of its mission as a public university dedicated to top-notch education for all. In particular, I am in support of its focus on first-generation students and the advancements being made in STEM education."

    Original Appointment: February 21, 2018

    Term Expires: September 30, 2023

    Hometown: Spokane, WA

  • Leah Nemeth
    Leah Nemeth
    Student Trustee

    Leah Nemeth is the 19th student trustee at Eastern Washington University (EWU).  

    Original Appointment: July 1, 2017

    Term Expires: June 30, 2018
    Hometown:  Monroe, Wash.
    Profession: Student


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