Our Board of Governors and Global Advisory Council
Board of Governors
Kate Thompson (chair) is a Partner with Deloitte Consulting responsible for leading a global portfolio of foreign assistance programs in governance, statebuilding and private-sector development. She is a specialist in fragile states with a sound working knowledge of how multi-disciplinary assistance programs can leverage the interdependencies between governance, the private sector and civil society to spur growth, stability and development in transitional and conflict-affected economies. In Ms. Thompson's first career, she was a senior executive and consultant to several of the world's largest airlines and luxury hotels in Asia, Europe, and North America. She holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.
Niloo Razi Howe
Niloo Razi Howe (vice chair) has been Chief Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President at RSA since November 2015. Ms. Howe leads the overall RSA corporate strategy, corporate development, and planning. She also serves as an Operating Partner at Paladin Capital Group. She has more than 25 years of experience working and investing in the technology industry, with a particular focus on the security industry over the past decade. Previously she served as the Chief Strategy Officer of Endgame, Inc. where she was responsible for driving market and product strategy, as well as leading marketing, product management, corporate development and planning. Prior to Endgame, Ms. Howe was Managing Director and led the investment teams at Paladin Capital Group, a $1 billion private equity fund focused on investing in next generation security companies. Her previous experience includes as an entrepreneur and operator at early stage companies, Principal at Zone Ventures, an early-stage VC firm in Los Angeles, as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. (focused on technology, retail and healthcare), and as a lawyer with O'Melveny & Myers.
Her nonprofit work includes serving on the Board of Sibley Memorial Hospital (a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine) as co-chair of its Investment Committee and Executive Committee of Sibley Memorial Hospital Foundation. Previously, she served on the Board and as Board Chair of Global Rights, an international human rights organization.
Ms. Howe graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and holds a bachelor's degree from Columbia College.
Vipul Amin is a Managing Director at The Carlyle Group in the U.S. Buyout division, focusing on buyouts, privatizations and strategic minority investments throughout the United States in the industrial and transportation sector. Mr. Amin joined Carlyle in 2000 and is based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Amin was with Bowles Hollowell Connor and Co. in Charlotte, NC.
Mr. Amin received an M.B.A. from Harvard University and an A.B. in philosophy from Duke University. Mr. Amin is on the Board of Directors of Signode Industrial Group and Accudyne Industries and was previously of a member of the Board of Directors of HD Supply, Inc. and Potters, Inc.
Tim Bitsberger, a recognized leader in the financial services industry, has 30 years of capital markets and public policy experience. During his time in the public and private sectors he has developed a unique understanding of the intersection between markets, regulation and policy. This allows him to deliver credible and valuable business solutions, advice and perspectives to his strong global client network. Mr. Bitsberger serves as an influential public voice on global market, economic and political events. Since 2008, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
Based in New York, Mr. Bitsberger worked at BNP Paribas for December 2010 to November 2015. Utilizing his global relationships, he created and led the Official Institutions Coverage team for the Americas. Prior to BNP Paribas, Mr. Bitsberger worked as a consultant Booz Allen Hamilton focusing on financial services for government clients including, the US Treasury, FDIC and Federal Reserve. He served at Freddie Mac as senior vice president and treasurer from 2006 until 2008. In 2004, Mr. Bitsberger was appointed the Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets at the U.S. Treasury. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Federal Finance at Treasury from 2001-2003. In addition, he worked on Wall Street for more than 15 years, primarily as a trading manager and fixed-income and derivatives trader.
Jay Byrne is the president of v-Fluence Interactive, an online marketing and public relations company headquartered in St. Louis, MO. His career spans 20 years with experience in public relations, campaign communications and government affairs. He has held senior communications positions at the White House, U.S. State Department, USAID, Monsanto Company and for the City of Boston. Mr. Byrne has directed communications and media relations for various U.S. political campaigns, global activist campaign responses and other international public relations initiatives.
His media relations and interactive campaigns have won numerous awards and recognitions including: B2B Magazine's top ten corporate web sites, Best Corporate Web Site from the Creativity in Public Relations Awards, and Reputation Management Magazine's "Netty" award for Best Public Affairs Web Site. An alumnus of Tufts University, Mr. Byrne has also completed post-graduate studies at George Washington and Iowa State Universities.
Ann Mei Chang
Ann Mei Chang is an executive leader at the intersection of innovation, technology, and global development. She served as Chief Innovation Officer and the first Executive Director of the US Global Development Lab at USAID in the Obama administration. The Lab is the newest bureau at USAID and leverages 21st-century advances in technology and innovation to accelerate the impact and scale of global development. Previously, Ann Mei was the Chief Innovation Officer at Mercy Corps and served as the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State.
Prior to her pivot to the public sector, Ann Mei had over 20 years of experience at leading Silicon Valley companies including Google, Apple, Intuit, and some startups. Most recently, she was a Senior Engineering Director at Google, where she led worldwide engineering for mobile applications and services, delivering 20x growth to $1 billion in annual revenues in just three years. At Google, she also led the product development team for Emerging Markets.
Ann Mei holds a BS degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. She is a member of the 2011 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute and was recognized as one of the Women in the World: 125 Women of Impact for 2013 by Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
Ambassador David Gross co-chairs the Telecom, Media & Technology Practice at Wiley Rein LLP. He is one of the world’s foremost experts on international telecommunications and internet policies, having addressed the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and led more US delegations to major international telecommunication conferences than anyone else in modern history. Amb. Gross draws on more than 30 years of experience as a lawyer, global policymaker, and corporate executive to assist US companies seeking to enter or expand international businesses. He also advises non-US companies, and industry organizations seeking to invest in, monitor, and understand the US and international markets, as well as national governments. He advises companies and others on international and domestic telecoms, Internet, and high-tech strategy focusing on both specific markets and international organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), as well as many regional organizations.
He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the US coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the US Department of State from 2001 to 2009. In 2002 and 2006, he chaired both US delegations to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference and the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conferences. In 2003 and 2005, Amb. Gross served as head US government negotiator and for both phases of the United Nations Heads of State World Summit on the Information Society, and co-led the US delegation to the formal Summits in Geneva and Tunis.
Susan King, former vice president for external affairs for Carnegie Corporation of New York, became dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication on January 1, 2012. She is also the school's John Thomas Kerr Distinguished Professor.
Prior to Carnegie, Ms. King worked nearly five years in the U.S. Department of Labor as the assistant secretary for public affairs and as the executive director of the Family and Medical Leave Commission. Her journalism career included stints with ABC, CBS and NBC News. She was also an independent journalist reporting for CNN and ABC Radio News. She was a local television news anchor at stations in Buffalo, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. and has hosted the "Diane Rehm Show" and "Talk of the Nation" for National Public Radio.
Ms. King has a bachelor's degree in English from Marymount College in Tarrytown, N.Y., and she earned her master's degree in communications from Fairfield University in Fairfield, C.T.
Beverly Lindsey is a senior public relations and communications specialist with extensive experience with for-profit, nonprofit, political, state and federal government organizations. From 2001 to 2005, she was a Vice President at Fleishman Hillard. In this capacity, she directed public relations events and campaigns for Library of Congress, including National Book Festival, Veterans History Project and Kluge Center for the Humanities. Prior to that, she worked as the Communications Director at USAID from 2000 to 2001 and was appointed by the White House as the Staff Director for the Fulbright Scholarship Board at USIA (1998-2000), managing operations of the reviewing board for the Fulbright Scholarships. From 1993 to 1998 she served as a member of the National Council on the Humanities at the National Endowment for Humanity. Most recently, she was an election monitor with National Democratic Institute for the Bangladesh parliamentary elections in 2009.
During the 1992, 1996 and 2004 presidential campaigns, Ms. Lindsey represented the Democratic Party as coordinator for debate operations.
Ms. Lindsey had also been involved with a number of cultural and civic associations. She was the Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage (1993-1996), the Director of the Arkansas Arts Council (1987-1990), a member of the Delta Cultural Center Advisory Board, and a member of the Mid America Arts Alliance. She received an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School in 1998.
Joseph L. Manson III
Joseph L. Manson III received a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce from the University of Virginia in 1970 and a JD degree from Emory University in 1974. Mr. Manson was a partner and co-chairman of the Executive Committee of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, a Washington D.C. law firm, which merged with DLA Piper in 2002. Mr. Manson was a partner with DLA Piper until 2005, when he became a partner in Baker Hostetler LLC. Mr. Manson's practice included representing foreign governments and companies in the United States and other countries, as well as representing U.S. companies in foreign countries.
Mr. Manson has litigated cases in arbitrations, state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, and in international forums. Mr. Manson specializes in labor law, and was an editor of the definitive treatise on the Railway Labor Act. Mr. Manson serves as a director and is President of BM Group, Inc., a privately held investment company whose partners include leaders in government and business in Asia. He also serves on the board of advisors of Emory University School of Law.
Mr. Manson served for eleven years on the board of directors of a public airline company, and at various times was a member of the Governance, Compensation, and Audit Committees. Mr. Manson is the founder and Chairman of the board of directors of the Alexandria Youth Sports Foundation, and formerly served as a member and the Vice Chairman of the board of governors of St. Stephens and St. Agnes School in Alexandria, Virginia. Mr. Manson continues to practice law as a sole practitioner, with a practice that includes clients with international commercial interests.
Charles Prow is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vectrus, Inc. He is also a member of the Vectrus Board of Directors. He was appointed to both positions in December 2016.
Vectrus is a leading, global government services company with a history in the services market that dates back more than 70 years. The company provides facility and logistics services, as well as information technology and network communication services to US government customers around the world.
Mr. Prow has more than 30 years of information technology and federal services experience, including leadership positions at IBM Corporation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Coopers & Lybrand. During his career, he has run large global government services organizations, delivering solutions to a wide array of Department of Defense and other government customers.
Prior to arriving at Vectrus, Mr. Prow served as President of CPS Professional Services, a Virginia-based professional services company, where he provided management consulting to US government clients.
He also served in multiple roles with IBM Corporation including General Manager, Global Government Industry, IBM’s technology and services competencies, where he had responsibility for global revenues exceeding $9 billion. During his tenure at IBM, Mr. Prow was successful in creating market differentiation through the integration of IBM’s technology and service competencies. He established strategies that focused on delivering complex solutions to critical government missions for national security, federal civilian agencies, and state and local entities. These efforts resulted in market share expansion, revenue growth, and margin improvement.
Mr. Prow has a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Data Processing from Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Mo. He currently serves on the board of directors for the World Affairs Council-DC and the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
Annette Richardson is Managing Partner of Decade Citizen, a strategic advisory company which assists clients, executives, and corporations on their sustainability, legacy, philanthropic, and pro-social initiatives.
Ms. Richardson is a versatile strategic advisor and producer with a unique blend of corporate strategy and public affairs expertise. Adept at positioning senior leadership for building long-lasting partnerships within complex social and sustainability issues, she is an experienced “execution expert” who successfully conceptualize the big picture. She revels in assimilating ideas, writing plans, developing programs, creating cohesive messages, framing issues, building partnerships, devising outreach campaigns that raise awareness, realize brand/reputation benefit and promote a position to key stakeholders. Ms. Richardson also counsels corporate clients on sustainable partnerships, cause-marketing campaigns and resource mobilization.
Ms. Richardson is a former Special Advisor to the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General for the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and the Executive Office of the Under Secretary-General for UN Women. She is also a former Senior Policy Advisor to the United Nations Office for Partnerships (UNOP).
Ms. Richardson remains focused on building strategic activities and facilitating the establishment of linkages and development of long-term relationships with private sector partners, high net-worth individuals, social investors and foundations. Ms. Richardson implemented global multi-stakeholder policy, advocacy and outreach programs and campaigns in support of the UN Secretary-General global development priorities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ms. Richardson has launched, curated and produced many high-level international humanitarian campaigns and global development conferences such as the United Nations Millennium Campaign’s Stand UP Against Poverty, the World Health Organization’s Deliver Now for Women and Children, the UN Partnership Forum, the UN Climate Summit, the World Innovation Summit, NEXUS Global, the World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Social Innovation Summit, the Media Summit for Impact, the Forbes Philanthropy Summit at the UN, the Sustainable Energy for All Forum, UN Women’s Public Commemoration of the Beijing+20 Action Platform, the first UN World Data Forum (January 2017) and many more. Ms. Richardson is currently coordinating the first UN Women US Road Show.
Prior to launching her consulting venture, Ms. Richardson was Director of International Relations for the New York City 2012 Olympic Bid Committee. She also served as Chief of Staff to the Chairman and CEO of Vivendi Universal.
Ms. Richardson is an Honorary Ambassador of the University for Peace (UPeace) in Costa Rica. She was awarded the 2010 Global Citizen Award and the 2010 Professional Woman of the Year Award by the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW), the 2014 Ideagen 100 Global Collective Impact Award, the 2015 Ideagen Empowering Women Award and the HIF 2015 Humanitarian Innovation Award for Global Partnerships and Women’s Empowerment. She was selected as one of 200 “Most Powerful Minds” by Forbes Woman in 2013 and 2014. She is a Fellow of the Tribeca Film Festival Disruptor Foundation. Ms. Richardson is a graduate of L’Institut Supérieur d’Anglais - Université Paris VII. Ms. Richardson speaks French, English, and Spanish.
Greg Rigdon serves as Executive Vice President of Content Acquisition for Comcast Cable, responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the company's content portfolio including the negotiation of programming agreements for cable systems.
Before joining Comcast, Mr. Rigdon was Executive Vice President, Programming, Business Development and Strategy at Charter Communications. He also previously held senior roles in programming strategy, business affairs, and commerce at AOL. Mr. Rigdon holds a B.A. with high honors from Oberlin College and an M.A. in Russian Studies from Princeton University.
Eileen Shields-West has served as a correspondent of TIME Magazine and has reported for CBS, CNN and NPR. She has written a book on political campaigns called "The World Almanac of Political Campaigns" (1992), and edited and contributed to "Choosing the Right Educational Path for Your Child" (2008), a book on 21st century schools.
She is currently chair of Refugees International, a leading non-profit organization that advocates for refugees and the internally displaced, traveling to such places as Darfur, South Sudan, Rwanda, the Congo, Thailand, and Cambodia to advocate on refugee issues.
She sits on the board of The SEED Foundation, which is responsible for setting up the first public charter boarding school in the nation. She volunteers as a Bookpal in Washington, DC public schools. She holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) from Georgetown University and sits on the MSFS Advisory Board.
Ann Stock served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) from 2010 to 2013. ECA promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional, youth, and sports exchange programs. From 1997 to 2010, Mrs. Stock was Vice President of Institutional Affairs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she oversaw the center's expansion of its national and international profile. Mrs. Stock was the Chief of Protocol, served on the Kennedy Center Board of Trustees (Assistant Secretary) and ran the Community Advisory Board. In January 1993, Mrs. Stock was appointed Deputy Assistant to President William Jefferson Clinton and Social Secretary at the White House. Prior to working in the White House, Mrs. Stock was Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Bloomingdale's Department Stores nationwide. During the 1980 and 1984 Presidential election campaigns, Stock was Deputy Press Secretary to Vice President Walter Mondale. She started her career as the Press Office Manager for Vice President Mondale at the White House. Mrs. Stock is currently a trustee of: The Women's Foreign Policy Group (Chair), The White House Historical Association (Retail Advisory Chair), Meridian International (Co-Chair Development), and Americans for the Arts (Public Sector Task Force Chair).
Christie Vilsack served the US Agency for International Development as the Senior Advisor for International Education from 2013-2016. In that position, Christie supported USAID’s Education Strategy goals to improve children’s reading skills, strengthen youth workforce skills, and provide equitable access to education in crisis and conflict settings especially for girls.
Christie has committed her life to education and public service. For 25 years, she taught secondary and college English and journalism. Her experience inside the classroom led to a focus on education and advocating for public libraries as Iowa’s First Lady, as a candidate for Congress in Iowa, and now as an education adviser for colleges and universities.
Born and raised in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, Christie is a graduate and charter class member of Kirkland College in Clinton, New York. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Iowa. She and husband Tom Vilsack, former Secretary of Agriculture and now CEO and President of the Dairy Export Council, live in rural Iowa. They have two married sons and four grandchildren. They have enjoyed a lifetime of public service together and continue to support efforts to improve domestic and international education.
Global Advisory Council
Peter Ackerman is the Founding Chair of ICNC, and one of the world’s leading authorities on nonviolent conflict. He holds a Ph.D. from The Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he presently is the Chairman of the Board, and he is co-author of two seminal books on nonviolent resistance.
Dr. Ackerman was the Executive Producer of the PBS-TV documentary, “Bringing Down a Dictator,” on the fall of Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic. It received a 2003 Peabody Award and the 2002 ABC News VideoSource Award of the International Documentary Association. He was also the Series Editor and Principal Content Advisor for the two-part Emmy-nominated PBS-TV series, A Force More Powerful. Dr. Ackerman has spoken often in public, on television and radio, including BBC, CNN, CBC (Canada), Fox News, and National Public Radio. He has published op-eds and articles, in such publications as the Christian Science Monitor, Harvard International Review, International Herald Tribune, Sojourners Magazine, and Le Monde. He has been cited in The Economist, The Nation, The New Republic, New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and US News and World Report.
In addition, Dr. Ackerman serves as co-chair of the International Advisory Committee of the United States Institute of Peace. He also serves on the boards of the Atlantic Council and the Capital Area Food Bank and is a member of the United States Paralympic Advisory Committee. Dr. Ackerman also served on the boards of CARE and the Council of Foreign Relations. He served as chairman of The Fletcher School Board of Overseers for 15 years.
Paige Alexander has served in numerous senior positions in the US government, including Assistant Administrator overseeing USAID Regional Bureaus, USAID missions and development programs in 25 countries, from Europe and Eurasia through North Africa and the Middle East. She draws upon 25 years of experience working in international development, both in the field and in Washington, DC. Paige's other notable positions include senior vice president at IREX, associate director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and as a consultant to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the C.S. Mott Foundation, and the Open Society Institute in Prague.
In August 2017, Paige assumed the role of Executive Director for the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD), a European nonprofit organization bringing market-led solutions to the rural poor by developing an efficient and competitive agri-sector. She works from Brussels and Amsterdam.
Paige has served on a number of Boards including the Basic Education Coalition and Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). She currently sits on the Global Advisory Board for World Learning, as well as volunteer positions with War Child Holland, Free Press Unlimited, and Plan NL.
Ben Andoh is an international compliance, risk, regulation and control professional with 17 years of experience in the banking industry. A British and Ghanaian national, Mr. Andoh currently resides in Lomé, Togo where he serves as Group Head of Internal Control for Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, the parent company of the Ecobank Group present in 40 countries. Mr. Andoh manages a team of over 400 individuals across the Group.
Mr. Andoh commenced his career with Citigroup Asset Management in London in 1999, building and designing effective compliance programs in the United Kingdom, in addition to having principal oversight for the Citi Asset Management offices in Europe. Further assignments included projects in the United States, Hong Kong, and Singapore all of which included extensive regulatory engagement across the various countries and continents. Mr. Andoh moved to join Citi Global Wealth Management as the Head of Regional Investments Compliance across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. In this role, he was also globally responsible for developing its Compliance Partnership Arrangement with the Corporate and Investment Bank. In 2009, Mr. Andoh relocated to South Africa to join Barclays/Absa in South Africa to build and strengthen the Risk and Compliance functions for a number of business units. In 2011, he re-joined Citigroup to establish its Enterprise Risk /Operational Risk Function across 15 countries in Africa. He left Citi to Join Ecobank in July 2016.
Passionate about youth empowerment and development in Africa, Mr. Andoh has been active in the Young African Leaders Initiative, particularly its flagship program, the Mandela Washington Fellowship. In 2015 and 2016, Mr. Andoh served as a Judge on the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) panel, which provides competitive grants to young African leaders who are poised to solving socio-economic problems through entrepreneurial ventures. Mr. Andoh holds an LLB Law Degree and a Masters in Financial & Commercial Regulation both from the London School of Economics.
Paula J. Dobriansky
Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky is a foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs. She is a Senior Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Vice Chair of the National Executive Committee, US Water Partnership.
From 2010 to 2012, Ambassador Dobriansky was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. During this time, she was also appointed the Distinguished National Security Chair at the US Naval Academy. From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. In February 2007, as the President's Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Dobriansky received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her contribution to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. During her more than 25 years in national security affairs, Ambassador Dobriansky has held many Senate-confirmed and senior level positions in the US Government. From 1997- 2001, Ambassador Dobriansky served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies. During this time, she also served on the Presidentially-appointed US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, Ambassador Dobriansky serves on various boards, including the Smith-Richardson Foundation, IRI's International Advisory Council, Freedom House and the Atlantic Council. She is also a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission, on the Board of Visitors of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Chair of the Bush Center's Women's Initiative Policy Advisory Council. She received a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University.
Dalia Dassa Kaye
Dalia Dassa Kaye is the director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. In 2011-2012 she was a visiting professor and fellow at UCLA's International Institute and Burkle Center. Before joining RAND, Kaye served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow at the Dutch Foreign Ministry. She also taught at the University of Amsterdam and was a visiting scholar at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations.
From 1998 to 2003, Kaye was an assistant professor of political science and international affairs at The George Washington University. She is the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including a Brookings Institution research fellowship and The John W. Gardner Fellowship for Public Service. Kaye publishes widely on Middle East regional security issues, including in journals like Survival, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Quarterly, Foreign Policy, and Middle East Policy. She is the author of Talking to the Enemy: Track Two Diplomacy in the Middle East and South Asia (RAND), Beyond the Handshake: Multilateral Cooperation in the Arab-Israeli Peace Process (Columbia University Press) and has co-authored a number of RAND monographs on a range of regional security issues. Kaye received her Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Simon K.C. Li
Simon K.C. Li is an editing and leadership consultant and a former vice chairman of the board of the International Press Institute, the Vienna-based press freedom organization. Before retiring from newspaper journalism, Mr. Li had held a wide variety of editing positions at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Los Angeles Times. At the Times, he edited international news for more than 16 years, almost half of them as foreign editor. He retired from the paper as an assistant managing editor in 2007.
Mr. Li serves on the Board of Visitors of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, where both school and university have honored him with alumni awards. He also is a member of the Board of Overseers at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens; the advisory board for InsideClimate News, the small online news service specializing in energy and environmental issues that won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting; and the Rector's Council of his alma mater, Lincoln College, Oxford University, of which he is a Fleming Fellow.
Mr. Li is a long-time member of the Asian American Journalists Association. The group has twice honored him for his trail-blazing career and continuing support of other Asian Americans in the media, with a special recognition award and an award for leadership in diversity.
Bruce McNamer is the President and CEO of The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, a tax-exempt public charity that is dedicated to improving the Greater Washington region – by connecting caring people to causes that matter. The Foundation, which serves the District of Columbia, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Northern Virginia, currently manages more than 700 donor funds with assets totaling more than $350 million. The Foundation is the largest local funder of nonprofit organizations in the region and is one of the larger foundations of its kind in the United States.
Bruce joined The Community Foundation in June 2015, bringing broad experience in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. From 2013-2014, he was the Head of Global Philanthropy and Chief Executive Officer of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Prior to JP Morgan, he served as the President and CEO of TechnoServe, a nonprofit organization that works with people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries – with operations in 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, and India. Before joining TechnoServe in 2004, Bruce was a senior executive/founder in technology start–ups, an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Bruce was also a White House Fellow at the National Economic Council and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. He has an AB from Harvard and a JD/MBA from Stanford. He is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Montana native.
Pierre-Richard Prosper is a partner at the law firm Arent Fox, LLP headquartered in Washington, DC. Using his high-level diplomatic experience and legal skills, Ambassador Prosper helps clients navigate political, legal and regulatory landscapes of foreign countries and markets, determine and build trade relationships, and minimize risk. He also represents and advises several foreign governments on a range of issues.
Prior to entering the private sector, Ambassador Prosper was the U.S. ambassador-at-large in charge of the Secretary of State's Office of War Crimes Issues from 2001 to 2005. As the president's envoy, he traveled worldwide engaging heads of state and ministers from over 60 countries, and international organizations building support for U.S. policies.
Before his appointment, Ambassador Prosper served as a career official in the U.S. Department of State where he was a special counsel and policy adviser in the Office of War Crimes Issues. He was detailed from the Department of Justice criminal division. From 1996 to late 1998, Ambassador Prosper was a war crimes prosecutor for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Previously, Ambassador Prosper was an assistant United States attorney in Los Angeles assigned to the Drug Enforcement Task Force (1994-1996). He was a deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, California from1989 to 1994.
Ambassador Prosper remains engaged in matters of public interests. He serves on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and as an independent international expert on the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
He graduated from Boston College and received his law degree from Pepperdine University. He speaks French and has a working knowledge of Spanish and Italian.
Witney Schneidman has nearly 40 years of experience working across sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing on his experience in the U.S. Department of State, the World Bank, think tanks and his own consulting practice, Dr. Schneidman, a non-lawyer, has advised energy, technology, consumer and health companies among others, on projects in more than 30 African countries. He has also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and on the Africa advisory committees in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and at the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
Dr. Schneidman provides strategic advice on the varied political, economic, social, and regulatory issues that are critical to companies’ success in Africa. This includes issues related to corporate social responsibility, compliance, market entry, and risk mitigation. He played a leading role in the passage and recent reauthorization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and was a delegate to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by President Obama during his visit to Kenya.
Dr. Schneidman chairs Covington’s Africa Practice Group and is a senior member of the firm’s Public Policy Practice Group, the International Strategy Group, and the International Trade and Finance Group. Dr. Schneidman has written extensively on African economic and political issues and aired his views on CBS News, CNN, National Public Radio, the BBC, and the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation. He is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution.
Toni Verstandig serves as Executive Vice President at the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, whose primary objective focuses on ending the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Previously, Ms. Verstandig served as Chair, Aspen Institute’s Middle East programs where she provided leadership, strategic vision and management of all aspects of the Middle East programs, including a robust public-private partnership covering the Middle East and North Africa, known as the Partners for New Beginning.
Previously, Ms. Verstandig served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and served as a member of the US negotiation team tasked to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Ms. Verstandig has provided leadership and experience in healthcare governance as Chair of the Children’s National Hospital Foundation Board, as well as the Board of Trustees of the Children’s National Medical center. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Global Development, the University of Denver’s Korbel Graduate School for International Affairs, and the U.S. Institute of Peace International Advisory Council. She is a longstanding member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ms. Verstandig is a graduate of Boston University and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Seton Hill University. Ms. Verstandig is married to Hon. Lee L. Verstandig. They have a son, Grant, who is the Founder and CEO of Rally Health.
Kristin Carlucci Weed
Kristin Carlucci Weed is the Vice President of the Marcia and Frank Carlucci Charitable Foundation. The Carlucci Foundation believes in the transformative power of education and seeks to support young people who are committed through their personal development to improve the broader security and stability of our global community. To that end, Kristin established the Carlucci Fellows Program through the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Prior to her work with the Carlucci Foundation, Kristin was with the RAND Corporation as a senior national security analyst, headquartered in both their United States and European offices. She has co-authored a number of publications on European regional security issues. She is also a proud military spouse.
Kristin received her Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and her Master of Arts from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Kurt Wimmer is a partner in the Washington, DC office of Covington & Burling LLP, a global law firm. He served on the IREX board from 2000-2003, and was chair of the board from 2003-2006. He is US chair of the firm’s Privacy and Data Security practice. He advises national and multinational companies on privacy, data security, content and digital technology issues. He is past chair of the Privacy and Information Security Committee of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section.
From 2000-2003, he focused on EU data protection law in Covington’s London office, where he was managing partner. From 2006 to 2009, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Gannett Co., Inc. Mr. Wimmer has worked on media and Internet freedom laws in more than 20 countries and has testified before Congress as well as legislatures in Russia, Bulgaria, Bosnia, and Romania. He has published widely on global Internet law issues, and he represented coalitions of media and technology companies in the landmark Ehrenfeld and Bangoura cases. He is chair of the First Amendment Advisory Council of the Media Institute and the DC Bar Committee on Media Law, and is a member of the board of directors of the Media Law Resource Center and is past chair of its Defense Counsel Section.
Daphna Edwards Ziman
Daphna Edwards Ziman, born in Israel, is the President and Chief Creative Officer of Cinémoi, a television network devoted to vintage to modern films, high fashion, and international lifestyle. She is also the founder of a music label, a writer/director, an award-winning author and a philanthropist, respected internationally and in the Halls of Power in Washington, DC for her work on behalf of at-risk children.
In 2011, Ms. Ziman's first novel, The Gray Zone, was a New York Times Bestseller, and will soon be turned into a major motion picture. Daphna was also honored as Best New Novelist in the country. Additionally, Ziman wrote and directed the movie, Footsteps, which stars Maria Conchita Alonso, for Showtime. Away from the office, her passion is helping women in transition and at-risk and foster youth. She is the founder and emeritus chairperson of Children Uniting Nations, a charity that provides foster children with mentors, and successfully lobbied to amend the Family Preservation Act, ensuring the safety of children returning home after foster care.
Ms. Ziman also serves on the Board of Trustees of Children’s Institute International, is a Chairperson of ABC LOVE (Adoption Brings Children Love), and has been the recipient of many honors, including: The Jacqueline Kennedy Award by JFK University; the Women of Achievement Award by the North American Council for Adoptable Children; the Uniting Children of the World Award by the Child Welfare League of America; the 2011 Community Hero Award by the Dreamland Foundation; the 2010 Soromundi (Sisters of the World Award) by the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles; the 2007 Blue Skies Award by Penny Lane Center; the 2006 Spirit of Life Award by LA's City of Hope; the 2002 Spirit of Compassion Award, presented by Aviva Family and Children Services; and the 1999 Peace & Tolerance Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Advocacy.