As an institution with a rich history of transformation and impact for more than 150 years, Gallaudet has been driving political, social, and economic impact in the signing and deaf community.
Preparing students to flourish; Deaf and hearing students thrive professionally; the go-to source of knowledge, history, achievement, and inspiration and helping society value and appreciate all that deaf people have to offer.
Its extensive leadership and support network promises a world-class bilingual education, an equitable and welcoming learning experience, and a thriving hub of research and innovation creating an impact for the signing and Deaf community around the world.
Gallaudet is a federally funded and donor-supported university, governed by a Board of Trustees. The majority-deaf board of 18 trustees and three Congressional appointees works closely with the President to establish the vision for Gallaudet University and to chart the way forward.
Strategic partnerships with multiple brands have created a rich signing ecosystem throughout the campus, its neighborhood in Washington, D.C., and the virtual world beyond.
Heather Harker joined Gallaudet University as Chief of Staff in 2016. In this role, she supports the President and the executive leadership team in advancing strategic initiatives.
Ms. Harker was previously director of programs at Third Sector New England (TSNE)/Mission Works, which focuses on building power, knowledge, and effectiveness of nonprofit organizations. Prior to her 15 years with TSNE, she was a teaching fellow at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and served as assistant director of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She participated in a three-year Kellogg International Leadership Program, which brought together 60 leaders and community change-makers from the United States, southern Africa, and Latin America.
Ms. Harker has also been a fellow with Discovering Deaf Worlds (2013-2014) which was focused on cross-cultural learning and capacity building in the Republic of the Philippines. She has served on the boards, including as Chair, of DEAF, Inc (2000-2005), The Learning Center for the Deaf (2005-2012), and Gallaudet University (2009-2016). An Echoing Green fellowship for social entrepreneurship took her to Malaysia to work with the deaf community to establish a public health workshop series, English as a Second Language programs, and a summer youth leadership camp, and gave her the opportunity to teach in schools for deaf students.
Ms. Harker earned her undergraduate degree in international relations from Brown University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard University.
Dominic Lacy became Gallaudet’s first Chief Operating Officer in January 2020. He is responsible for ensuring that there is high-functioning administrative and operational support for the university community, including the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, and providing strategic leadership and direction to assure agile and responsive infrastructure and personnel to fulfill the university’s mission. He is in charge of developing effective teams and operations throughout the university, and strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship as part of the university’s culture. Currently, he is one of the principal leaders of the university’s COVID-10 response team.
Mr. Lacy came to the university from Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), where he was chief innovation officer and director of the organization’s Social Venture Fund. Previously, he worked for 14 years with Accenture plc, first in finance as an analyst, and then as a senior manager. He worked across different business domains, in technology consulting, management consulting, operations, and strategy consulting. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies to help them achieve strategic objectives such as streamlining operations and planning for the intersection of emerging technologies with business. He also has supported and led various types of multi-functional/cross-functional projects across many different industries with budgets upwards of $350 million. Industries served include resources, health care, high technology, consumer packaged goods and financial services. A native of St. Louis, Mr. Lacy received a degree in finance with a minor in political science at Southern Methodist University. He served on the board of the Deaf Action Center in Dallas for ten years, and was its first Deaf board president. In this role, he led a $15 million redevelopment project. He also served as a commissioner for the City of Dallas Community Development Commission.
Lisa Clarke has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since October 2019. In this role, she oversees the university’s internal and forward-facing finance units and its endowment portfolio. She works closely with the President and the Board of Trustees to ensure the university’s fiscal stability and integrity.
Ms. Clarke brings more than 20 years of experience in business development and strategy, finance, and decision support in higher education and health care. She was instrumental in the development of multi-year master facilities plans, providing market analysis, financial modeling, and collaboration services between internal stakeholders and outside business partners. As a principal with rpk GROUP, she has implemented strategic finance and cost accounting models for colleges, universities, and nonprofit organizations. She has also served at client sites as the acting chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and associate vice president for finance to assist with implementation of rpk GROUP recommendations.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Clarke was with a Big Four international accounting firm, providing attestation and consulting services to the State of Maryland, various charitable foundations, and health care institutions. She holds a dual B.B.A. in accounting and management information systems from Loyola University Maryland and a master of science degree in health science from The Johns Hopkins University.
Natalie Sinicrope was named general counsel for the university in September 2019, after having served as interim general counsel since October 2018. In this role, she manages the university’s legal representation in all litigation and administrative proceedings. Ms. Sinicrope provides counsel and advice concerning compliance with federal, state, and local law and regulations affecting institutions of higher education and legal advice, including preventative legal services and legal representation in monitoring and resolving disputes that may lead to litigation. She supports the university’s mission and its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusive excellence; and advises the President, the Executive Team, and senior leadership on a wide range of legal and strategic matters.
Prior to joining Gallaudet, Ms. Sinicrope was a litigator in private practice at Hogan Lovells, and before that an investigator in the Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section, at the United States Department of Justice. She is a graduate of American University and Georgetown University Law Center.