Center News

Four new members join the Bill Lane Center Advisory Council

From left to right, new Bill Lane Center Advisory Council members: David Laney, Suzanne Case, Kathleen Brown and Chuck Farman
The Bill Lane Center Advisory Council is a body providing critical, ongoing guidance and support to the Center in all aspects of its operation. We are proud to announce the addition of four new Advisory Council members this year, each of whom brings unique experiences with and understanding of the American Western region.  
David Laney, ’71, is from Dallas, Texas. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford in Humanities before going on to earn his law degree from Southern Methodist University. In Texas and beyond, David has had a distinguished career in law, business and public service. He chaired the Texas Department of Transportation in the 1990s and served as chair of the Amtrak Board of Directors from 2003-2007. “While he was serving as an alumni-elected member of the Stanford Board of Trustees from 1998-2003, he foresightedly made the generous initial gift for the study of the West that launched us on the path to creating the Bill Lane Center,” recalled founding co-director of the Center, David Kennedy. “He brings extensive knowledge of the West’s fastest-growing state and his long-standing commitment to making Stanford the premier place for teaching and research about the West,” Kennedy continued. We are grateful to David Laney for helping us launch in the first place, and for his continued support of the Center in this new, advisory role.
Kathleen Brown, ’69, was a history major at Stanford and received her law degree from Fordham University Law School in 1985. She has held senior positions at Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, and is currently a partner at Manatt, a Los Angeles-based professional services firm that integrates legal services, advocacy and business strategy. “Kathleen is deeply committed to public service,” said David Kennedy. “She has served on the Los Angeles Board of Education, the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, as California’s Treasurer, and Democratic candidate for Governor in 1994. Her in-depth familiarity with California’s issues, peoples, and governance – and her love for the state whose history she and her family have done so much to shape – will prove invaluable to guiding the Center’s programs.” 
Chair of the Advisory Council, Nelson Ishiyama, noted the strong connection to Hawaii and the Pacific that new member Suzanne Case of Honolulu will bring to the Bill Lane Center. Case is a lifelong resident of Hawaii with experience as both a conservation lawyer and as executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii for 14 years. “Her familiarity with managing land, water and other resources in the Nature Conservancy’s Hawaii and Pacific Region, and her role as Director of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources…will give the Center valuable insights into the issues unique to that region,” Ishiyama added. Though some forget that Hawaii and the Pacific are included in the Lane Center’s definition of the American West, the valuable addition of Suzanne Case to our council will insure that the region continues to receive the attention it deserves.
The fourth new member of our Advisory Council will be Chuck Farman, '81, also a history major during his undergraduate years at Stanford. A retired attorney, avid outdoorsman and lifelong Californian, Farman brings a strong interest in conservation and water resources to the role. “His participation in both the Bill Lane Center and Stanford’s Water in the West program will enhance our understanding of and influence on water policy,” said Ishiyama, highlighting water use as “a preeminent issue in all of the West,” where Farman possesses great expertise. 
Demonstrating a broad range of skills and expertise from across multiple fields and industries, these four new members will undoubtedly help us continue to fulfill the Lane Center mission with the competence and heart we’ve always shown. We welcome them with open arms and look forward to working with them on the Advisory Council as they share their vision and expertise with the entire Bill Lane Center community.

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