Mork Family Department Advisory Board

Daniel E. Boss

Daniel E. Boss, Ph.D.
SVP, Research & Development


Dr. Boss is responsible for all R&D at the AZEK Company, a leading outdoor living, and sustainable building products company with a mission to use 1 billion pounds of recycled plastics in its PVC- and PE-based composite decking, siding, and trim products. Prior to the AZEK Company, he led R&D for GAF, the largest roofing company in North America. This includes all products for residential and commercial roofing: solar roofing, shingles, underlayments, membranes, roof coatings/liquid applied roofing, poly ISO insulation, adhesives, ventilation products, and process technology. Earlier in his career, Dr. Boss worked at two other building products companies: Serious Materials, where he developed sustainable drywall and high performance windows, and USG, where he led the Discovery Group, Acoustical Ceiling, and Gypsum Board Support laboratories. Before entering building materials, his career encompassed defense, high-temperature materials, contract R&D, automotive, and electronics enclosures.

Throughout his career, Dr. Boss has been able to provide key insight into identifying opportunities that created value and guiding product development teams by asking the right questions to capture the value.

Boss received his B.S. in ChE from the University of Southern California, his M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from UCLA, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science Engineering from Northwestern University.

Jo Ann Boss

JoAnn Boss


JoAnn retired as an Exxon Mobil Executive, working as an advisor in business planning and analysis. She worked predominantly in development planning for oil and gas fields covering the north slope of Alaska, Norway, and GOM. Over time, these roles evolved from traditional engineering to a focus on commercial issues, such as unitization, gas sales and processing, and dispute resolution. JoAnn worked on several strategic initiatives to best position Exxon as an early leader and market shaper, including the unbundling of the interstate gas pipelines services. More recently with the significant increases in unconventional oil, natural gas and NGL volumes, JoAnn’s contributions helped in identifying how different plays build up and where the likely regional dispositions can be located.

JoAnn earned her B.S. is in chemical engineering from the Viterbi School in 1980. She serves on the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Advisory Board, she is a longtime student mentor and supporter of the School of Engineering and is a Viterbi Lifetime V.I.P. Dean’s Circle member.

Kaveh Dehghani

Kaveh Dehghani


Kaveh Dehghani is an Emeritus Chevron Fellow who has 37 years of experience in Oil and Gas Industry as well as academia.  He served as the Reservoir Simulation and Consulting Team Leader at Chevron Energy Technology Company before retirement.  Previously, he worked as a Reservoir Engineering Advisor with TengizChevroil in Kazakhstan, Petroleum Engineering Manager of Chevron Middle East /North Africa, and Staff Research Scientist at Chevron Petroleum Technology Company.  Before joining Chevron, he was an Associate Professor in Petroleum Engineering Department at University of Alaska. Dehghani’ s interests include probabilistic forecasting and modeling, laboratory and field application studies of oil recovery processes in fractured and heterogeneous reservoirs and subsurface quality assurance of major capital projects.  He holds a BS degree from Abadan Institute of Technology and MS and PhD from University of Southern California all in petroleum engineering. Kaveh has also served in numerous Society of Petroleum Engineering Committees and Journal editorial activities.

Clarence Foster

Clarence Foster, III MD FACS

Dignity Health 
Medical Director, Advisory Services


Dr. Foster was the previous Surgical Director of Kidney Transplantation at HCA TriStar Centennial Medical Center and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Surgery, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee from August 1, 2016 until October 31, 2018. He reopened a failing kidney transplant program by rewriting all the clinical protocols, policies and procedures. Then he reopened the kidney transplant program with excellent graft and patient outcomes, putting patient's safety first.Dr. Foster was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Southern California in Chemical Engineering and his medical degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1990. He received his General Surgery Internship and Residency at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center from 1990 to 1992. He served as a Research Fellow at the University of Maryland Medical center from 1992 to 1993. He was a Surgical Admitting Officer, Senior Resident and Chief Resident in General Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical System from 1993 to 1996. Dr. Foster completed a Fellowship in Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation also at the University of Maryland Medical System in 1997. Upon finishing his postgraduate training, Dr. Foster assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Surgery and the Surgery Director of Kidney Transplantation at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital. While at Temple University Hospital he performed their 1st laparoscopic donor nephrectomy and re-opened their pancreas transplant program. He also assisted in opening their new liver transplant program alongside Dr. Stephen Guy. He returned to the University of Maryland Medical System in 2000 as the Director of Clinical Research in the Division of Transplantation. While there he oversaw numerous clinical trials in novel immunosuppressive agents. In 2005 he assumed the position of Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Surgery at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center. He became the Division Chief of Transplantation from 2006 to 2016. Over an 11 year period he built the kidney and transplant center as the biggest in Orange County, California. He also conducted numerous clinical trials in novel immunosuppression as well as research in islet transplantation. He was a Full Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Dr. Foster has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and 100 peer-reviewed abstracts and posters presented at national and international meetings. He has served on many boards including the USC Mork Family School of Engineering Advisory Board, ESRD Networks and Donor Service Agencies. Dr. Foster has also been the Principle Investigator in numerous Clinical Trials of novel immunosuppressive agents for transplantation. Dr. Foster volunteered for the Maryland Army National Guard in 1987, then served greater than 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserves including deployment with 2 Forward Surgery Teams in Iraq 2008 Operation Iraqi Freedom and in 2011 Afghanistan Operation Enduring Freedom where he has received awards and commendations. His expertise is in Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomies, Kidney Transplantation, Pancreas Transplantation, Vascular Access and Parathyroidectomies. Dr. Foster loves the outdoors and spends weekly sessions on the sporting clays course or hiking. He is also a sabre fencer. Dr. Foster is Board-Certified in General Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He serves on various national boards including the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.

Sandra Hernandez

Sandra Hernandez

Chevron Fellow and Principal Materials/Corrosion Engineer
Chevron Technical Center (CTC)
Materials, Equipment & Quality/ Facilities Designs & Solutions


Sandra has 30 years of experience in materials and corrosion engineering in the oil and gas industry: 12 years at PDVSA (Venezuelan state-owned oil and gas company), eight years at BP and ten at Chevron. Sandra started as a corrosion engineer and since then has devoted herself to the prevention of corrosion failures and advancement of technology to predict and manage corrosion in oil and gas production systems. Her breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise in corrosion is world-class, spanning downhole, subsea, pipeline, offshore topsides, and complex process facilities.

She received her undergraduate degree in Materials Engineering at the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela, and her Ph.D. in Materials Sciences from Rice University. She has served in numerous leading roles in NACE (now AMPP, Association for Materials Protection and Performance), and truly enjoys mentoring and coaching.

Jim Hsieh

Jim Hsieh

PhD Materials Science, 1971
University of Southern California


Dr. J. Jim Hsieh graduated from University of Southern California and conducted research in MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he invented the long wavelength semiconductor lasers for optical fiber communications applications. Dr. Hsieh was the founder of Lasertron Inc., Wuhan Telecommunication Devices Company, and Sheaumann Laser Inc. He is a member of National Academy of Engineering.

Founder and CEO of Sheaumann Laser Inc. Recipient of the IEEE David Sarnoff Award and the LEOS/IEEE Aron Kessel Award.

Kyle Koerner

President and Principal Consultant, Array LLC
University of Southern California M.S. Petroleum Engineering, 1999
University of Texas, B.S. Petroleum Engineering, 1989


Kyle Koerner is President of energy consultancy Array LLC. He started his career in 1989 as a reservoir engineer with Bechtel, operator of the giant Elk Hills oil field in California. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility with small to Fortune 100 firms in engineering, strategic planning, and leadership of multi-disciplined subsurface, acquisition & divestiture and project teams in California, Texas, West Africa and Brazil. He holds a BSPE from the University of Texas, an MSPE from the University of Southern California and is a Certified Petroleum Engineer in California. He currently resides in Houston with his wife Heather and their three children.

Gerald L. (Jerry) Kohlenberger
President and Managing Director
Ilium Ventures LLC
USC, MBA GSBA, Marshall 1981
USC, BS Civil Eng, Viterbi 1974

California State University, M.S. Civil Engineering


Mr. Gerald L. Kohlenberger, also known as Jerry, serves as a Founding Principal of Blu Venture Investors, LLC. Mr. Kohlenberger was Founding Member at Blu Venture Investors. Mr. Kohlenberger formed Ilium Ventures LLC in early 2008 and serves as its President and Managing Director. He is an investor in more than ten small companies, including Pixelligent, Medipacs, Senscient, and Focus Technologies. He has spent 20 years in various refining and supply positions. Prior to Ilium Ventures, Mr. Kohlenberger retired from ExxonMobil Corporation, after serving nearly 34 years in various senior downstream and corporate capacities including six years as the President of the global lubricants/specialties company, President of Global Services (systems, procurement, and real estate) for XOM, and Vice President of the corporation. From 2002 to 2008, he served as Vice President and President of Lubricants & Petroleum Specialties Company at Exxon Mobil Corporation. In 1997, he served as the Vice President of Technology and was assigned responsibility for Mobil's heavy construction activity globally, overseeing a $5 billion per year program. Mr. Kohlenberger served as Chief Information Officer to head Mobil's global IT department and Y2K activities and served as Vice President of Central Engineering (large capital projects). Since 1999, he served as President of Global Services at ExxonMobil, responsible for global IT, procurement, and real estate for ExxonMobil. He serves as a Director at Biosynthetic Technologies, LLC and Wolftrap Foundation For The Performing Arts. He has been a Director of Lubri-green and Focus Technology Consulting, LLC since October 29, 2010. He is a Board Director of Senscient, Focus, and Tanager group. His areas of industry expertise include energy, consumer marketing, consumer sales, construction, and financial services and for functional expertise it includes finance, operations, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, and general management.


Brian Marcotte

Marymount California College



Brian W.G. Marcotte graduated from the University of Southern California in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering and undertook graduate studies in engineering management at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 1976.  He completed Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School International Advanced Executive Program in Bergenstock, Switzerland in 1988.

Mr. Marcotte began his petroleum career with Unocal Corporation as a summer intern while attending USC. He joined Unocal on a permanent basis in 1971 and worked in technical engineering positions in drilling, production and reservoir engineering in California and Alaska. He was later named President of Unocal subsidiaries in Netherlands, Indonesia and Thailand, Unocal’s largest international operation.

Mr. Marcotte served as a corporate Vice President in several capacities until Unocal was acquired by Chevron in 2005.  Mr. Marcotte also served as chairman of the Unocal Foundation, the corporation’s philanthropic and community assistance foundation.

Mr. Marcotte was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Titan Oil Recovery, a global leader in Microbial Enhanced Oil Recovery. He retired after nine years with Titan but the company continues with successful oil field treatments in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Canada, South America and the United States in partnership with Hunting Services, a global oil services company. He holds several patents in the area of Organic Oil Recovery for Titan.

Mr. Marcotte became the eighth president of Marymount California University (MCU) in early 2018. MCU is a small, private university providing degrees for Associate of Arts and Science, Bachelor of Arts and Science, and Master of Business Administration (MBA)-- attracting students nationally and internationally. He has served as President of the California Pacific Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

Christopher Lee Pederson
President, Specialty Engineered Materials
Avient Corporation
USC, M.B.A. 2009
University of Delaware, M.S. Chemical Engineering
University of Washington, B.S. Chemical Engineering


Mr. Pederson has over 30 years of experience in advanced materials and is currently the President – Specialty Engineered Materials for Avient Corporation a premier provider of specialized polymer materials, solutions, and services.  Prior to this role, he served as Vice President - Strategy for the Hexcel Corporation, the world’s leading supplier of advanced composite materials and carbon fibers to the aerospace and industrial markets, where his role was in leading the development of the company strategic plan and leading the company M&A efforts.   He started his career with global aerospace leader The Boeing Company where he held several roles in engineering supporting emerging and advanced military airplane programs in the selecting, evaluating, and developing new composite material systems for applications on fighter aircraft.  After leaving Boeing, he joined Cytec Industries and held several leadership roles, including Vice President – Global Technology with responsibility for leading the company’s global product development and research and development efforts.  He was eventually promoted to Vice President – Aerospace, where he oversaw with companies business operations of the Aerospace Materials business.  Mr. Pederson earned his MS and BS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and the University of Washington respectively.  He also holds an MBA from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business.

Published on April 14th, 2017

Last updated on November 9th, 2022