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Mount St. Mary’s University Welcomes New Trustees

Donna Klinger

The Mount St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees voted into office at its October meeting seven new trustees for initial three-year terms, three of whom are alumni of the university and one a graduate of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. The trustees, all of whom are deeply committed to service, will attend their first Board meeting this month.


Thomas M. Beck

Thomas M. Beck is the chief financial officer of the Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise in St. Louis, Missouri. He possesses extensive experience in financial management, corporate development, communications, operations, general management, and organizational planning.

As a senior financial executive for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, Beck has served as chief financial officer, executive vice president and vice president of planning and development. He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is a certified public accountant and chartered global management accountant. He has served as chair of the Congregation of the Mission Curia Finance Committee and member of the Congregation’s investment committee in Rome as well as president of Queen of All Saints School Board of Education in St. Louis. He and his wife Karen raised three children.


Meredith Pirone Cordisco, Esq., C’03

Meredith Pirone Cordisco, Esq., C’03, is associate general counsel at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, where she provides legal guidance on regulatory policy initiatives and rule changes affecting the financial industry. Previously, she served as vice president, leading FINRA’s Office of Member Supervision’s strategic engagement with the Authority’s broker-dealer members and advising Member Supervision on its regulatory oversight functions. Before joining FINRA, she was counsel in the securities litigation and enforcement group at WilmerHale LLP.

After earning her undergraduate degree in international business and French at the Mount, Cordisco secured Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration degrees from Villanova University. Cordisco teaches securities regulation as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She has served on Mount’s Pre-Law Advisory Board and the board of a public radio station in Washington, D.C. She and her husband, Michael Cordisco, C’03, live in Alexandria, Virginia, with their children Sebastian and Francis.


Sister Ellen Dauwer, SC, Ph.D.

Sister Ellen Dauwer, SC, Ph.D., is a Sister of Charity of Saint Elizabeth of Convent Station, New Jersey, who currently lives in Chicago. She spent 20 years in higher education, teaching educational technology and serving in administration. Most recently, Dauwer served from 2016 to 2022 as executive director of the Religious Formation Conference, overseeing an organization with 250 congregational members with a focus on the formation and professional preparation of formators.

Before that, she spent eight years in congregational leadership, served as associate dean of the Graduate School of Religion at Fordham University and was associate technology officer for academic technology at the College of Saint Elizabeth, where she earned her undergraduate degree. She holds master's and doctorate degrees from New York University. Dauwer serves on the boards of CommonSpirit Health and St. Joseph University Medical Center (Paterson New Jersey) as well as a member of the Steering Committee for Sponsorship Formation Program of the Catholic Health Association. Previously, she served on the boards of several other hospitals and a health system as well as higher education and women's religious organizations.

sister melanie di pietro

Sister Melanie DiPietro, SC, JD

Sister Melanie DiPietro, SC, JD, is coordinator of regulatory compliance at the Laurel Highlands Work and Opportunity Center, a postsecondary licensed school for adults in transition. She enjoyed a career in the practice of law and higher education as a shareholder at Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney, in Pittsburgh, and as a professor and distinguished practitioner in residence at Seton Hall Law School, in New Jersey.

Her corporate law practice focused primarily on the negotiation and design of Catholic regional and national healthcare systems and joint ventures between Catholic and non-Catholic facilities as well as constitutional litigation involving Catholic Charities. At Seton Hall Law School, in addition to teaching, she founded the Center for Religiously Affiliated Organizations. Di Pietro attended Seton Hill University for her undergraduate education, Occidental College for a master’s degree, Duquesne University for a law degree and University of St. Thomas in Italy for a doctorate in canon law.

DiPietro has served as the director of public policy for SSM Health Care and special counsel for Catholic Charities USA. As a member of the Legal Commission of Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organization in Rome for Catholic Charities all over the world, she worked with the Cabrini Sisters serving children suffering from malnutrition in Dubbo, Ethiopia and assisting Catholic Charities San Diego in processing asylum seekers at the border. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and has served on state and local human rights commissions as well as numerous higher education, health, housing, legal and social service community boards. She lives in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.


Bishop Juan Esposito-Garcia, JCD, S’08

Bishop Juan Esposito-Garcia, JCD, S’08, serves as the vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Archdiocese of Washington. After obtaining a law degree at the Catholic University of Cuyo in San Luis, Argentina, he came to the United States, where he completed his ecclesiastical studies and earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Arts in Moral Theology from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington on June 14, 2008. He holds both a licentiate and a doctorate in canon law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Esposito’s assignments in the Archdiocese of Washington have included positions as parochial vicar at the Shrine of St. Jude in Rockville, Maryland, at St. Mark the Evangelist in Hyattsville, Maryland, and at the Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, Maryland, and as pro tem parish administrator at Ascension Catholic Church in Bowie, Maryland. He also was adjunct professor of canon law and assistant spiritual director at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.

Bishop Esposito also served in Archdiocesan roles in the Metropolitan Tribunal, on the Seminary Admission Committee, as an instructor for the Marriage Preparation Program and as a member of the Committee for the Archdiocesan Synod. He has served since 2018 as an official in the Vatican’s Dicastery for Bishops. He speaks English, Spanish and Italian. He is thought to be the first native of Argentina named to be a bishop in the United States. He was named a Chaplain of His Holiness, with the title of monsignor, in 2020.

Thomas J. Harrington III

Thomas J. Harrington III, C’78

Thomas J. Harrington III, C’78, is a senior advisor at McKinsey & Co., where he assists both commercial and government clients on cyber and risk challenges. He retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after 30 years of serving in a series of senior leadership positions including national security, counterterrorism, criminal, cyber, intelligence operations and field office operations. His last position was as associate deputy director and chief operating officer. Harrington’s leadership and organizational transformation success were recognized in 2012 with the award of the FBI’s Medal for Meritorious Achievement. He was also recognized with two Presidential Rank Awards from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Following his retirement from the FBI, Harrington served over six years as a managing director and the chief information security officer at Citigroup, Inc. He led the creation of a network of Cyber Security Fusion Centers in New York, Budapest and Singapore as well as the expansion and operationalization of crisis management playbooks and development of teams and business leaders capable of responding to world challenges.

Harrington majored in accounting at the Mount and later earned a master’s degree at the University of Delaware. He also earned a certificate from Harvard University’s Kennedy School Government Executive Program. Harrington sits on the board of advisors of several startup organizations, including Securonix, Inc., Cyware Labs, Inc., and Modern Executive Solutions, Inc. He is a senior fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’s Zicklin Center for Business Ethics and Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber & Critical Infrastructure Security. Before becoming a trustee, he was a member of the Mount’s President’s Council. Harrington and his wife Marla live in Sterling, Virginia, and raised three children.

Msgr. Rick Hilgartner

Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, ABD, C’90

Msgr. Rick Hilgartner, ABD, C’90, serves as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Cockeysville, Maryland. He also is an adjunct professor of theology at St. Mary’s Seminary & University. Previously he had been associate director and then executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He returned to the Mount for several years to serve as director of campus ministry and chaplain as well as teach theology. In addition, Hilgartner has led the National Association of Pastoral Musicians as president and CEO and served three other parishes in the Archdiocese of Currently he is on the board of the Catholic Community Foundation for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center and National Association of Pastoral Musicians.

Hilgartner graduated from the Mount in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in business and finance. He immediately entered Saint Mary’s Seminary and University, where he earned a Master of Divinity. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology from Pontificio Ateneo Sant’Anselmo in Rome, where he also conducted doctoral work as well as at the Catholic University of America.

Donna Klinger