Our Leadership

FAR’s staff and advisors have the expertise and experience needed to ensure that your gifts meet your philanthropic aspirations.

Ali Eskandarian, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Ali Eskandarian is the executive director for the Fund for Academic Renewal. He has a lifetime of experience initiating, overseeing, and expanding high-quality academic programs. Before joining FAR, he held positions at George Washington University as Dean of the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, Dean of the College of Professional Studies, and co-director of the University’s Center for Quantum Computing, Information, Logic, and Topology, where he implemented the design and development of several innovative degree programs and certificates. He is an accomplished professor, teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses in physics as well as cross-disciplinary courses in science and technology.

During his career as a theoretical physicist, Dr. Eskandarian has held technical and management positions in the aerospace and telecommunications industries, served at the National Research Council, and held the Distinguished Oliver Professorship and Virginia Eminent Scholar position at James Madison University. Dr. Eskandarian’s research interests focus on the foundations of quantum theory, quantum computing/information, and astrophysics. He holds a B.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in theoretical nuclear physics from George Washington University.

Joe DeGraff

Program Manager

Joe DeGraff is the program manager for the Fund for Academic Renewal. As program manager, he oversees the full breadth of FAR’s operations, from communicating with donors to securing top-tier legal advice for philanthropists, ensuring that philanthropists donate with the assurance that their gifts be put to their best use.

Mr. DeGraff previously worked at FedBid, an online auction marketplace, where worked as an account lead, managing PR projects and liaising with partners. Prior, he served as an educator at the Virginia Air and Space Center.

Joseph graduated with a dual degree in political science and history in 2016 from Christopher Newport University, which is regularly recognized by ACTA for the exceptional quality of its educational resources. In 2014, Christopher Newport was the only public university in the country to earn a perfect rating on ACTA’s “What Will They Learn?” report.

Andras Kosaras, Esq.

Legal Advisor

Andras Kosaras, a counsel with Arnold & Porter, is the Fund for Academic Renewal’s legal advisor. In this capacity, Mr. Kosaras counsels donors on properly structuring their charitable gifts to ensure that their intent is honored and protected.

At Arnold & Porter, Mr. Kosaras represents individual and corporate donors on charitable giving matters and has extensive experience representing domestic and international tax-exempt organizations, including public charities, private foundations, medical research organizations, donor advised funds, supporting organizations, community foundations, and fiscal sponsors.

Before joining Arnold & Porter, Mr. Kosaras was an in-house attorney at the Washington, DC-based Council on Foundations and director of a multiyear grant project implementing the Council’s program on governance and accountability practices for grantmakers. He also served for two years as a research assistant at Harvard University’s Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations. Mr. Kosaras earned his J.D. magna cum laude from the New England School of Law and his B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst. He is a board member and governance committee member of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.

“It has probably never been more difficult to donate prudently to higher education than it is today, when so many basic assumptions about the aims of higher education and the norms of scholarship are in dispute. ACTA’s Fund for Academic Renewal is an invaluable asset to any donor who wishes to make informed decisions.”

Truman Anderson

Executive Director, The Stuart Family Foundation

The Fund for Academic Renewal is a program of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions to FAR are fully tax-deductible to the maximum extent provided by law.