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Aetna Foundation President Joins CCER Board of Directors

New Haven, Connecticut – Today, September 8, 2014, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) has appointed to its Board of Directors Garth Graham, President of the Aetna Foundation.

Dr. Graham is responsible for the Foundation’s philanthropic work, including its grant-making strategies to improve the health of people from underserved communities and increase their access to high-quality health care.

Previously, Graham served as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he also led the Office of Minority Health. He holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from Yale School of Public Health, and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University in Miami.

CCER Board Chair Steve Simmons said, “We are honored to welcome Garth Graham to the Board. He has shown a strong commitment to supporting underserved communities, and we are grateful that he has joined our mission to narrow Connecticut’s achievement gap while raising academic outcomes for all students.”

In addition to its newest member, CCER Board Members include:

  • Steve Simmons, Chairman, Chairman & CEO of Simmons/Patriot Media & Communication
  • Ramani Ayer, Vice Chairman, Retired Chairman & CEO of The Hartford
  • Ned Lamont, Secretary and Treasurer, Founder & Chairman of Campus TeleVideo
  • Marna Borgstrom, President & CEO of Yale New Haven Hospital System
  • Roxanne Coady, President & Founder of RJ Julia Booksellers
  • John Crawford, President of Strategem, LLC, and Lead Director of Board of Directors, Webster Bank
  • Mitchell Etess, CEO of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority
  • William Ginsberg, President & CEO of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
  • Kim Jeffery, Retired Chairman & CEO of Nestle Waters North America
  • David McCormick, Co-President of Bridgewater Associates
  • John Rathgeber, President & CEO of Connecticut Business & Industry Association
  • David Ring, Managing Director of Enterprise Banking, First Niagara
  • Peter Salovey, President of Yale University
  • Alan Schnitzer, Vice Chairman & CEO of Business and International Insurance, The Travelers Companies
  • Dudley Williams, Director of Corporate Citizenship & Diversity at GE Asset Management, Inc.


About the Connecticut Council for Education Reform

The Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER)–a statewide, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) not- for-profit organization–works to close the achievement gap and raise academic outcomes for all students in Connecticut. The achievement gap is the disparity in academic achievement between children from low-income families and children of color, and their peers. We advocate for state policies and local practices that research shows have the best chance of raising achievement for high-need student populations.

For more information on CCER, go to