The Pittsburgh Promise Board of Directors has approved the appointments of three new members who will begin to serve three-year terms effective at their first board meeting on June 14, 2018. New members of The Pittsburgh Promise Board are: Laurie R. Barkman, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Burns White LLC; Joshua Devine, Promise Alumnus and Consultant at Fourth Economy Consulting; and Vanessa Thompson, Promise Alumna and Grant and Community Outreach Manager at Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania.

Ms. Barkman is a graduate of Cornell University with an MBA from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. She is an accomplished executive with experience ranging from startup to Fortune 500 companies. Ms. Barkman was a member of the Executive Management team and steering committee at GENCO during its transition to FedEx Corporation ownership. She was previously the President of the Tepper School of Business Alumni Board and currently serves as a startup mentor for AlphaLab Startup Accelerator.

Mr. Devine received a Bachelor of Science degree in community, environment and development from the Pennsylvania State University. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s Leadership Development Initiative, class of XXV; co-founder and president of Promise Legacy, the alumni association of The Pittsburgh Promise; and serves as youth pastor at his local church.

Ms. Thompson received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Chatham University. She is a board member at the Women and Girls Foundation; co-founder and vice-president of Promise Legacy, the alumni association of The Pittsburgh Promise; and has been featured as young philanthropist in Pittsburgh Magazine – Give Pittsburgh issue.

Commenting on the board additions, Promise Board Chair Franco Harris stated: “We are grateful to add high-level marketing and business expertise to our Board of Directors in Laurie Barkman, as well as two Promise Alumni who are emerging professional leaders and bring a welcomed perspective.”

The Pittsburgh Promise is in its tenth year of serving students and the region. Joining board members will provide valuable perspective on The Promise, its impact, and continued and growing importance to regional employers.

“We are so fortunate to have the caliber of leaders who believe in the cause of improving life outcomes for our young people while adding diversity and talent to the region’s workforce,” said Saleem Ghubril, Executive Director of The Pittsburgh Promise. “I am overjoyed to welcome Laurie Barkman to our team. I am equally excited to welcome Josh Devine and Vanessa Thompson; it is very significant, and personally gratifying, to have two Promise Alumni from our first class of Promise Scholars join our board and shape our mission.  Josh and Vanessa are young professional leaders with deep commitment to our community who have bright and radiant futures in front of them,” added Ghubril.

About The Pittsburgh Promise

The Pittsburgh Promise promotes high educational aspirations among urban youth, funds scholarships for post-secondary access, and fuels a prepared and diverse regional workforce. To date, The Promise has invested more than $119 million in scholarships to send over 8,000 urban youth to a post-secondary institution. More than 2,400 Promise Scholars have graduated and many are now working, and giving back, in the Pittsburgh region. Pittsburgh has the largest Promise program in the United States. For more information visit