Board of Directors
Aleksandar Jokic is a Professor of Philosophy at Portland State University. He served as the founding Director of the Center for Philosophical Education in Santa Barbara, and is co-founder of the International Law and Ethics Conference Series (ILECS). His main research interests are in philosophy of time, applied ethics, and political philosophy, particularly the ethics of international affairs. He was a fellow of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, as a recipient of a grant in the Program on Global Security and Sustainability for 1999-2002.
Aleksandar Jokic attended French immersion elementary school (Slobodan Princip Seljo) and French immersion high school (VIII Belgrade Gymnasium) in Belgrade, Yugoslavia 1967-79, before entering Belgrade University to study Philosophy. He graduated in 1984, and received a Ralph Church stipend to attend the graduate program in philosophy at University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his Ph.D. in 1991. Aleksandar’s experience with French education and curriculum in the entire pre-higher education period in a non-Francophone country gives him both the appreciation of what this learning environment can offer to young learners and a commitment to helping ILA grow as an institution that can successfully offer such a program. He is also the stepfather of a francophone child and lives in an often trilingual environment.
Nick Blankl is the Founder of Black Oak Investment Management and the Managing Director ofConsilium Wealth Advisory with 25 years of finance, investment and advisory experience working withinstitutional investors, multi-generational families and business owners.Nick is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and holds an MBA in finance from the Marshall School ofBusiness at the University of Southern California and BBA in marketing from Loyola MarymountUniversity.Nick and his wife Jennifer live in West Linn with their two boys. They enjoy volunteering at the boy’sschools and experiencing the outdoors. He enjoys travel, reading, skiing, mountain biking, golfing andfollowing his college and professional sports teams.
Jennifer has two beautiful children that attend ILA, with one who graduated last year! Jennifer just had a new baby boy, named Orion.Jennifer is very excited to be a part of ILA and looks forward to helping the school grow and be as wonderful for others as it has been for her children. Jennifer is a Midwife with a practice in Portland called Portland Natural Childbirth. She started her career with a degree in Psychology from DePaul University and then became a nurse. She has worked in the private sector as a mental health provider, the public sector as a mental health provider and a nurse and has also helped start and work with non-profits as a midwife.
Don Wayne is a retired professor who served as Provost of Revelle College at the University of California San Diego, and prior to that as Chair of the UCSD Literature Department. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Huntington Library, and the William Andrews Clark Library. He has a background of teaching in a variety of higher educational environments, including an academic enrichment program for students from underserved K-12 schools (the SEEK Program, Herbert Lehman College CUNY), an experimental college for high achieving students (Bensalem, Fordham University), an undergraduate program in Comparative Literature at Ohio State University, and 38 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at UC San Diego.
Don comes from a family of five generations of K-12 teachers and school administrators. The current adult generation includes three teachers in California: one of his sons is a public middle school teacher; one daughter-in-law is a public middle school principal, another daughter-in-law teaches in a private school that has an educational philosophy very similar to that of ILA.
Don was born in New York City where he attended public primary and secondary schools. He did undergraduate work at Queens College and Cal State Los Angeles. He has a PhD in Literature at UC San Diego (1975). His graduate work included a year of study in France, at the École Pratique des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris (1971-1972), where he studied with Roland Barthes and Louis Marin.
Mike Schafir has been associated with ILA for over seven years. He is the proud father of his twin girls, Abby and Zoey. Mike has over 25 years of experience in high-tech engineering and marketing working for both small startup and large companies including Netscaler, Inc., Resonate, Inc., Axil Computer and Sun Microsystems. He has a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley and an MBA from the University of Chicago. In addition to his board activities, Mike helps ILA maintain it’s website, technology and fundraising efforts.
Kerri Leathers Izunabara
Kerri Leathers Izunagbara has been a member of ILA's Board since 2022 and a parent at ILA since 2017. Kerri has volunteered as a Classroom Parent Rep, Vice President of the PTO, and playground Mom during her daughter's attendance.
Kerri has over 15 years of experience in Finance, Accounting, and Strategic Operations in technology companies. She is currently the CFO of a MedTech and a representative of an Oregon-based venture capital fund. Kerri is serving on the Board of Rivermark Credit Union, International Leadership Academy, and One Nine BeStrong Foundation. Kerri was the VP of Finance for Tyfone, a venture-capital-backed Portland-based Fintech, where she was responsible for Investor Relations, Strategic Planning, and all financial operations. Prior to Tyfone, Kerri worked with Amnis Biotechnologies, Saber Corp, Konami, MGM Resorts International, and Sam Villa.
Kerri is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she graduated from Louisiana State University before moving to the Pacific Northwest. Kerri and her husband chose ILA for their daughter for the French language immersion, individualized education, community engagement, and rigorous academic curriculum