MARIAN L. HEARD has been president and chief executive officer of Oxen Hill Partners, specialists in leadership development programs and brand enhancements strategies, since August 2004. Prior to this role, Heard served over three decades in various United Way leadership positions, including president and CEO of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and CEO of the United Ways of New England. She served as the founding president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation. Heard is also a founder of the National Mentoring Partnership, and was elected to the Corporate Governance Hall of Fame by the National Association of Corporate Directors. Heard has had the rare privilege of working with six US presidents. She holds the title of Distinguished Trustee of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and she is the author of two books, The Complete Leader and Take Time. The recipient of over 115 local, national, and international awards and citations, she holds twenty-one honorary doctoral degrees. She is active at the Greater Framingham Community Church and is a life member of the NAACP. Heard earned an MA in education from Springfield College and completed the Executive Leadership Program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.