Leadership. Governance. Vision.
The Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at USC is led by trustees who are leaders in the worlds of business, tech, philanthropy, arts, academia and religion. IACS trustees provide governance and oversight while working collaboratively to further our mission of advancing the exploration of Catholic thought, imagination and experience. IACS trustees also serve as ambassadors, helping communicate the Institute’s initiatives, programs and goals within their networks and among the public.
KYLE BALLARTA is a philanthropist, entrepreneur and artist who joined the IACS Board of Trustees in December 2022. A native of Texas and a first-generation Filipino-American, Ballarta is the founder and CEO of Falkon Ventures, an investment fund focused on supporting new technology addressing global challenges. As a serial entrepreneur, he has founded and co-founded a number of corporations in the tech industry, including LifeProof, a California-based consumer electronics company acquired by Otterbox in 2013, and Citadel Drone Defense, which was acquired by BlueHalo in 2021. Ballarta is a member of the board of directors of the Laudato sì Challenge Foundation, a global initiative from Pope Francis supporting sustainable development through philanthropy. A Knight of Magistral Grace of the Order of Malta, he is a member of the founding patron council for the Humanity 2.0 Initiative, which works to promote human flourishing and collaborates with the Vatican. He is also a member of the “Finance and Humanity Village” for Pope Francis’ Economy of Francesco in Italy, coordinating the sustainable finance group.
Ballarta earned a bachelor’s degree in music and social sciences from the California Institute of the Arts. A trained professional musician and accomplished trumpeter, he has played the instrument in public performances across the U.S. and globe.
Ballarta lives in Austin with his wife, Veronica, and two young children, Sebastian and Gabriel.
JOHN BESSOLO (Vice Chair of the Board) founded Bessolo Haworth & Vogel LLP. His clients draw on his more than 30 years of experience in financial planning, estate planning and taxation, income taxation and wealth management services. In August 2007, he was recognized by The San Fernando Valley Business Journal as one of the TOP 25 CPA’s in the San Fernando Valley. Mr. Bessolo received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Southern California and his Master’s degree in Taxation from Golden Gate University.
THOMAS J. CONDON worked in the securities industry for 42 years before his retirement in 2003. The last 24 years were spent at Provident Investment Counsel as Managing Director. Tom is presently active in several philanthropic organizations and serves on a number of boards. He is a member of the Order of Malta, Western Association, where he has served as Executive Vice President of the Southwest region and as President of the Los Angeles area. Tom earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 1963 from California State University at Los Angeles.
DOMINIC F. DOYLE is an associate professor of theology at Boston College’s School of Theology and Ministry. A graduate of the University of Cambridge and Harvard Divinity School, he received his doctorate in systematic theology from Boston College. His writing has appeared in Theological Studies, Gregorianum, Irish Theological Quarterly, and Studies in Spirituality. His theological interests include theology of culture, doctrine of God, and theological anthropology. Dominic has received a number of awards, including the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise, the Catholic Theological Society of America’s Catherine LaCugna Award to New Scholars, and an Analytic Theology Course Award from the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Philosophy and Religion. He has also participated in the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies’ Generation in Dialogue Program with Bernard McGinn and in a Wabash Center Workshop on Teaching and Learning.
REV. MICHAEL ENGH is a Jesuit with both an academic and pastoral background. He was the president of Santa Clara University starting in 2009, and as a result brings the wisdom of both administration and teaching in higher education, as well as much experience in fundraising and institution-building. While at Santa Clara, he nearly doubled the University’s endowment, formed the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, and built connections with the local community. Rev. Engh also serves on a number of boards, including the Board of Directors of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and is a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and the US. Catholic Bishops’ Conference Working Group on Catholic Higher Education. Rev. Engh retired from the presidency of Santa Clara University at the end of June 2019, and will spend a year at the Jesuit Community in Culver City—just down the freeway from USC.
DANIEL FINN is Professor of Theology and Clemens Professor of Economics at St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict. He is a former president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Association for Social Economics, and the Society of Christian Ethics. His books include Consumer Ethics in a Global Economy: How Buying Here Causes Injustice There, Christian Economic Ethics: History and Implications, and The Moral Ecology of Markets: A Framework for Assessing Justice in Economic Life. He is the director of the Institute’s True Wealth of Nations research project.
RICH GRIMES is Managing Principal of Tournament Wireless Strategies LLC, a wireless and digital infrastructure strategy and execution consulting firm. He has over 25 years of industry experience in C-Level and national leadership positions including AT&T Wireless, Capital Tower Group LLC, and for InSite Wireless Group, amongst other enterprises, leading some of the largest wireless infrastructure projects in the U.S. Rich earned his B.A. in English from Santa Clara University, a J.D. from Western State University, College of Law, and is a Stanford University Certified Project Manager. Rich is a Knight of the Order of Malta where he leads its Prison Ministry for the Western Association, and is a recipient of Homeboy Industries’ Lo Maximo Award and, along with his wife Marie, the Santa Claran of the Year Award.
BRYAN HEHIR is the Parker Gilbert Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also the Secretary for Social Services in the Archdiocese of Boston. Publications include: The Moral Measurement of War: A Tradition of Continuity and Change; Military Intervention and National Sovereignty; Catholicism and Democracy; Social Values and Public Policy: A Contribution from a Religious Tradition; and The Moral Dimension in the Use of Force. Rev. Hehir previously served as President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, the national network of Charities in the United States. Rev. Hehir earned his A.B. and Master of Divinity degrees at St. John’s Seminary and his Doctor of Theology at Harvard Divinity School.
REV. DENNIS H. HOLTSCHNEIDER, C.M., is the former Chairman of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. He is also the former president of DePaul University, the nation’s largest Catholic university and the largest private university in the Midwest, and the former executive vice president and COO of Ascension, the nation’s largest Catholic and non-profit health system. He is currently the president of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities. He also serves on the boards of the American Council on Education (ACE), the Chicago History Museum and the steering committee of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition.
JULIE MCANDREWS MORK is Managing Director of the ECA Foundation, a private, corporate foundation based in Denver with a focus on youth and education. She has been a Director of Energy Corporation of America since 1993. Mrs. Mork served as a founder and Secretary/Treasurer of Pacific States Gas & Oil, Inc., and Eastern American Energy Corporation. From 1989 to 1991, she was Eastern’s Community Relations and Human Resources Director. Mrs. Mork has volunteered her time to several organizations including the Anchor Center for Blind Children. Mrs. Mork received a B. A. in History from the University of California in Los Angeles in 1972. She also holds a Certificate in Real Estate Paralegal Training. In October 2004, Mrs. Mork was elected to the National Board of College Summit, an organization dedicated to increasing the college enrollment rate of low-income students in America.
MICHAEL MORELAND (Chair of the Board) was appointed University Professor of Law and Religion and Director of the Eleanor H. McCullen Center for Law, Religion and Public Policy at Villanova University in 2017. Dr. Moreland joined the Villanova faculty in 2006 and served as Vice Dean from 2012 to 2015. He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame, his MA and PhD in theological ethics from Boston College, and his JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Following law school, Professor Moreland clerked for the Honorable Paul J. Kelly, Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and was an associate at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, DC, where he represented clients in First Amendment, professional liability, and products liability matters. Before coming to Villanova, he served as Associate Director for Domestic Policy at the White House under President George W. Bush, where he worked on a range of legal policy issues, including criminal justice, immigration, civil rights, and liability reform.
PETER MULLIN † (January 14, 1941 – September 18, 2023) was Chairman of MullinTBG, the nation’s largest independent executive benefits services and solutions provider. Prior to the formation of MullinTBG in 2006, Peter served as Chairman of Mullin Consulting, Inc., a leading nonqualified benefits firm he founded in Los Angeles in 1969. He was also co-founder and Chairman of the Board of M Financial Holding Company, whose M Financial Group network of independent firms serves the financial and life insurance needs of corporations, executives and affluent individuals. MullinTBG is the largest member of M Financial Group. Peter consulted on executive compensation and benefit issues for more than 30 years for public and privately held firms across a variety of industries, including many Fortune 500 companies. He wrote numerous articles on executive compensation and benefit planning.
PATRICK PASCAL is president of Chelsea Management Co. in Los Angeles, California. In addition to serving on the Institute’s board, Mr. Pascal also serves on the Advisory Board for the USC Caruso Catholic Center, and serves as chairman for St. Anne’s, the only social service agency in Los Angeles that specializes in serving the needs of at-risk pregnant and parenting young women and children. He sits on the board of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Born in Ireland, Mr. Pascal moved to Los Angeles as a child. He earned a bachelor’s of arts from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences and he remains keenly interested in 20th century California history and architectural preservation.
BROTHER BERNARD PLOEGER, S.M., Ph.D., is the Assistant Provincial for the Marianist Province of the United States. He was named to this position in 2018 after serving nine years as the President of Chaminade University of Honolulu. With his predecessor, President Wesselkamper, they collaborated in formulating and implementing the University’s strategic plan, The Second Founding of Chaminade, that included successfully conducting two comprehensive campaigns that resulted in securing over $150 million in all forms of external support during the period 2000 – 2018. Previously, Ploeger served at the University of Dayton as its Vice President for Administration/ Senior Vice President for Administration. A Marianist, Brother Ploeger made first vows in the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1967.
MAUREEN SHEA As CEO and Co-founder of Right Management — Florida/Caribbean Region, Maureen Shea drives Right’s growth in diverse talent management and career management services for privately and publicly owned companies throughout Florida and the Caribbean Region. Previously, she served as Chief Financial Officer. Maureen has received many honors for her work, including the Enterprising Women of the Year Award, Leadership Broward’s Profiles in Leadership Award, Florida Diversity Council’s Glass Ceiling Award, and has received South Florida Business Journal’s CFO of the Year award. Recognizing her community leadership, the National Conference of Community and Justice presented her with its Silver Medallion Award, and she was inducted into Junior Achievement’s South Florida’s Business Hall of Fame.
MARTIN J. SKRIP Marty is a retired KPMG LLP senior corporate tax partner, having served multinational companies in the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. He also served as an accounting firm executive at 2 other international accounting firms. Marty has extensive Board experience in higher education. He is a member of the Audit Committee of the University of San Francisco Board of Trustees and is also the former Board Chair and long serving member of the Board at the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University. He was also a long serving member of the Board of the Orfalea College of Business at Cal Poly, SLO. Marty is a graduate of Bentley University in Waltham, MA, the SUNY-Buffalo Graduate Tax Program and is a Certified Public Accountant (CA and NY).
REV. MARTIN SOLMA, SM, has gone from Kalamazoo to Kenya. He began his career teaching Religious Education and English at Msgr. John Hackett High School in Kalamazoo, Mich. (1971-1975) and Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati (1979-1982). In 1982, Rev. Martin began more than 25 years of ministry in Eastern Africa. He first served as assistant novice director at the Marianist novitiate in Ekpoma, Nigeria, and became director of the Marianist novitiate in Nairobi, Kenya, in 1985. In 2010, he began serving as provincial of the Marianist Province of the United States. He is now serving as chaplain at Chaminade University in Honolulu. He received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English in 1971 from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree in religious education in 1975 from Boston College. In 1979, Rev. Martin received a master of divinity degree from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto.
PETER STEINFELS has been an author, religion columnist for The New York Times, University Professor at Fordham University in New York City, and Co-Director of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture. His best-selling book, A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America (Simon & Schuster, 2003) is now in paperback. In 2003, he and his wife, Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, were the recipients of the Laetare Medal for service to the church and society from the University of Notre Dame. A graduate of Loyola University in Chicago with a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, he has been a visiting professor of history (1997-2001) at Georgetown University, of American studies (1994-95) at the University of Notre Dame, and of religious studies (2005) at the University of Dayton. He has written on topics ranging from international affairs to church history and medical ethics; has contributed essays to twenty books; and published “The Neoconservatives,” a pioneering analysis of a major political current, in 1979.
JASON ZENK is a veteran corporate executive with nearly three decades of experience in investment management. A native of Tacoma, Wash., Zenk is a senior managing director at EnTrustGlobal, an alternative investment firm based in New York City. Previously, he was CEO of Marco Consulting Group, an investment advisory firm based in Chicago, where he specialized in asset allocation, manager selection and trustee education for multibillion-dollar institutional clients. Zenk was appointed by Gov. Gary Locke in 2005 as an advisor to the Washington State Employee Retirement Benefits Board. He also served on the City of Tacoma’s Urban Policy Committee. He currently serves on the Santa Clara University Board of Regents and previously served as a member of the university’s Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education Advisory Board.