The Research Triangle Park

Research Triangle Foundation Welcomes New Board Members

By Author Jan 09, 2018

The Research Foundation of NC (RTF) has added three new members to its Board of Directors: Dr. Johnson Akinleye, Hugh Allen, and Fran O’Sullivan. These three newcomers will join 22 other Directors in guiding the organization that manages and promotes The Research Triangle Park.

“We are excited to add such strong, accomplished leaders to our Board,” says Board Chairman Smedes York. “I look forward to working with them and believe they will bring unique experiences and perspectives that will help us move RTP forward.”

Dr. Johnson Akinleye is North Carolina Central University’s 12th chancellor. He previously served at NCCU as Provost & Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and holds a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and a master’s degree in media technology from Alabama A&M University, as well as a doctorate in human communications studies from Howard University.

Outside of his academic career, Dr. Akinleye is a motivational speaker, consultant, writer, editor, and documentarian who has produced works for independent and government agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He is active in civic, cultural, and church-related organizations, business advisory groups, and serves on the board Made in Durham and other community organizations.

Hugh Allen is the regional director of commercial real estate for TD Bank in the Carolinas. Based in Charlotte, he leads a team of lenders focusing on the financial needs of developers, managers, and owners of investment real estate. Allen has over 28 years of experience in the industry and has worked with businesses and communities across the state. He served 3 years as a Regional President at First Union, based in Raleigh, NC where he was responsible for the Triangle and Eastern North Carolina region. He also has had leadership roles at Wells Fargo, Coldwell Banker, PNC Bank, and Wachovia. Allen earned a BBA from The University of Texas and an MBA in finance from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Fran O’Sullivan is the General Manager of IBM China Cloud Platform, where she oversees IBM’s partnership to deliver cloud services in China. She is also the IBM Senior State Executive for North Carolina as well as the Senior Location Executive for IBM at Research Triangle Park, NC, one of the largest IBM sites in the world. She previously was General Manager of IBM’s Integrated Supply Chain and before that SVP of Think Product Group for Lenovo.  
O’Sullivan is known for being passionate about driving client experience, transformation, leadership and technical development. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in Electrical Engineering and serves as president elect of the University of Virginia’s Engineering Board of Trustees. Fran also serves on the board of the North Carolina Coastal Pines Girls Scouts.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors is made up of 25 members. Smedes York serves as Chairman of Board. Dr. Phail Wynn Jr. is the Vice Chair. Virginia “Ginny” Bowman is the Board Secretary.

Other Directors include:

  • Jud Bowman
  • John Brantley (emeritus)
  • Jack Cecil
  • Dick Daugherty (emeritus)
  • Charles Francis
  • Dr. Carol Folt
  • Wayne Holden
  • Olivia Holding
  • Bob Ingram (emeritus)
  • Dr. Kimberly Jenkins
  • Stephen R. Martin
  • Walter McDowell III
  • Barbara Mulkey
  • Keith Pigues
  • Dr. Vincent Price
  • Margaret Spellings
  • Dr. Tallman Trask, III
  • David L. Ward, Jr.
  • Jordan “Jordy” Whichard, III
  • Robert W. Winston
  • Michael G. Winters
  • Dr. William “Randy” Woodson


About The Research Triangle Park

The Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina serves the Research Triangle Park, a bellwether institution that was once referred to by Governor Luther Hodges as the “heart and hope of North Carolina.” Situated centrally among Duke University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, RTP contains 7,000 acres, 48,000+ employees, and over 250 companies, including Biogen, Cisco Systems, Credit Suisse, Fidelity Investments, IBM, and RTI International. RTP is also home to The Frontier, a community convening destination at Park Center; and The Lab, an affordable option for wet lab and office space.


Media Contact

Michael Pittman
VP Marketing & Communications
Research Triangle Foundation of NC