March 2007

W. Russell Ramsey Named Chairman of Board of Trustees

On Feb. 9, the GW Board of Trustees elected W. Russell Ramsey, B.B.A. ’81, chairman and CEO of Ramsey Asset Management, as its next chairman. Ramsey will serve a three-year term starting July 1, succeeding the Hon. Charles T. Manatt, J.D. ’62, who has served as chairman for the past six years.

Ramsey is a successful entrepreneur, having built multibillion-dollar businesses primarily in the fields of investment banking and money management. He is most widely known for co-founding Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group (FBR), a
top 10 investment bank, in 1989. Ramsey served as president and co-chief executive officer at FBR through 2001 and maintains an ongoing role as a shareholder and member of its board of directors. In 2001, he founded Ramsey Asset Management, a hedge fund manager based in the Washington, D.C., area, of which he is chairman, CEO, and CIO. He also sits on the board of JER Investors Trust and the National Geographic Council of Advisors.

Ramsey joined GW’s Board of Trustees in 1998 and has served as vice chairman of the board and chairman of the investment and the real estate committees. He also has chaired several special committees such as those for the presidential search and Square 54. Over the past three years, he has overseen the creation and staffing of GW’s investment office led by Donald Lindsey. At the end of 2006, the University’s endowment surpassed the $1-billion mark driven in large part by its three-year annualized investment return of 18.33 percent.

In his role as chairman of the presidential search committee, Ramsey oversaw a 14-member working group comprising trustees, faculty, alumni, and students who considered more than 100 candidates for GW’s presidency and unanimously selected Dr. Steven Knapp, provost and senior vice president of Johns Hopkins University.

As chairman of the real estate committee, Ramsey oversaw the development and analysis of alternatives for the redevelopment of Square 54.

“GW has made significant progress under Chairman Chuck Manatt’s leadership.
I would like to thank him for his 27 years of dedicated service to our alma mater,” said Ramsey. “I also want to thank President Trachtenberg for his many important contributions to GW over the last 19 years. I look forward to working with President-Elect Steven Knapp, the board, and administrators to help move GW into the top tier of universities by further capitalizing on its strengths and its location in the heart of D.C.”

Manatt said, “I offer my congratulations to Russ and the next generation of leaders of The George Washington University. Russ should be commended for the critical role he has played in helping the University surpass the $1-billion threshold in our endowment and in the selection of the 16th president of GW, Dr. Steven Knapp. I also commend Russ for his leadership in the investment policies of our University’s endowment. With Russ’ leadership acumen, GW will continue to flourish
and enlarge its strategic goals in the future.”

GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg said, “In the nearly 10 years Russ has served as a trustee, he has consistently and zealously demonstrated his dedication to GW. He has played an important role on many committees in helping define the vision of the University, including our 20-year Campus Plan, which will further transform the Foggy Bottom Campus into a premier urban institution with first-class facilities, faculty, and students. I offer my appreciation to Chairman Manatt and all of the trustees for establishing the foundation upon which the incoming leadership can continue to build the University’s prestige.”

In addition to the chairman, the 2007-2008 board officers are Vice Chairwoman Lydia Thomas, who also served as vice chairwoman of the presidential search committee and is chairwoman of the academic affairs committee and president and CEO of Mitretek Systems; Vice Chairman Nelson A. Carbonell, Jr., B.S. ’85, who also served on the presidential search committee and is chairman of the advancement committee, chairman of the task force on advancement, and president and chairman of Snowbird Capital; Secretary Patricia Gurne, J.D. ’69, partner in Gurne Porter, PLLC; and Assistant Secretary I. Allan From, B.B.A. ’72, who also is chairman of the student affairs committee and shareholder in Howard, Stallings, From & Hutson, P.A. Each member of the executive committee will serve a one-year term starting July 1.

Ramsey attended the GW School of Business on a baseball scholarship and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1981. He was a starter all four years and MVP and captain of the team in his senior year when he broke the GW record for most stolen bases in a season. Ramsey was inducted into GW’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995 and was an honorable-mention member of its All-Century Baseball Team.

Ramsey and his wife Norma have given generously to the GW School of Business’ finance programs and athletic teams. In 2005, the Ramseys donated $1 million to the University endowment to establish the Ramsey Student Investment Fund, an investment portfolio managed by GW M.B.A. students in the Applied Portfolio Management course. In addition to the financial gift, Ramsey and his firm provide research support and investment expertise to students who are selected to manage the fund.

Ramsey is a native Washingtonian. He, Norma, and their four children live in Northern Virginia. The Ramseys are founding investors of Venture Philanthropy Partners, which has invested nearly $70 million in nonprofits in the D.C. area over the last five years by helping community leaders build strong nonprofit institutions. Through the W. Russell and Norma G. Ramsey Foundation, they have funded four-year scholarships for the D.C. Capital Area’s Big Brothers Big Sisters and supported a variety of philanthropic causes dedicated to at-risk families. Ramsey serves on the Virginia Governor’s Advisory Council on Revenue Estimates and has served on the Governor’s Commission on Information Technology, as a trustee for the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, and is a founding member of One Virginia.

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