Leadership Council

Convergence’s Leadership Council is an advisory body consisting of a diverse group of professionals from the fields of policy, business, mediation, non-profits, and more. The group meets three times a year (once in San Francisco and twice in DC) to learn the latest news from Convergence’s projects, inform organizational strategy, and engage with one another.

Leadership Council Members (click on a name to see their bio below):


Aakif Ahmad

Aakif Ahmad is co-founder of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution where he supported organizational strategy, project development, operations and finance, fund and network development, staff recruitment and external communications. He helped to guide the Convergence Project on Nutrition and Wellness and to launch the Convergence Project on Federal Budget Process Reform. From 2009-2015, Aakif also lead the Convergence Project on U.S.-Pakistan relations in partnership with the Consensus Building Institute. This effort recruited 22 US Senators and Members of Congress, 13 senior Pakistani legislators and 200 prominent stakeholders to participate in a 5-year, high level, dialogue process, generating new understanding and new partnerships in areas such as: education, media, entrepreneurship and civil society. Aakif has spoken at TEDx Washington, D.C., Brookings, U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy and the Association for Conflict Resolution. He has interviewed on the Central Florida PBS program “Global Perspectives” on Wisconsin and Iowa Public Radio, and co-authored articles in the Boston Globe and CNN.com.

From 1996 to 2008, Mr. Ahmad worked at the Corporate Executive Board, a VA-based consulting and executive education firm with 2,000+ employees providing peer-driven best practices solutions to the world’s largest corporations. As Managing Director, he led sales & marketing organizations across Europe and North America that generated more than 4,000 client relationships and more than $100 million in revenue across his tenure. In 2002 he was one of the youngest leaders elected to the firm’s internal partner track. Mr. Ahmad earned a B.A. from Yale University in ethics, politics and economics, and M.B.A from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sami Ahmad

Sami Ahmad

Sami Ahmad is CFO of Trecora Resources, a NYSE-listed (TREC) leading specialty petrochemicals company based in Houston, Texas.

Mr. Ahmad has over thirty years of experience in a variety of roles in the Energy and Chemicals industries. He has deep and extensive experience in capital markets, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and strategic planning as well as engineering and manufacturing.

Previously, Mr. Ahmad was CFO of Armada Water Assets, Inc., a private company focused on water and wastewater solutions for the oil and gas industry. Mr. Ahmad has also been active in Private Equity most recently as CFO at Southwest Water Company, a water and wastewater utility owned by JPMorgan Asset Management. He has also held senior finance and business roles at Exterran, LyondellBasell Industries and ARCO.

Mr. Ahmad holds a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Mr. Ahmad lives in Houston. He is married to his wonderful wife, Neelo and has two amazing kids.

Richard S. Alper

Richard S. Alper

Mr. Alper earned his law degree with a concentration in real estate and state and local government from the Georgetown University Law Center. He did post-graduate work in environmental law at the George Washington University Law School. He is co-founder and past chair of the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County and served as co-chair of the community and public affairs section of the Maryland State Dispute Resolution Commission. Currently he serves as a board member on the Poudre River Library Trust, the Environmental Science Advisory Board of Larimer County, the Executive Committee of the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University and the Board of the Colorado Education Initiative-STEM. Mr. Alper is a past, elected member of the (i) Board of Trustees of Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio. (ii) Leadership Council of the Environment and Public Policy Section of the Association for Conflict Resolution, (iii) the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section Council for the Maryland State Bar Association (iv) the American Bar Association Committee on Use of Collaborative Processes by Federal Agencies to Improve Citizen Participation, (v) the Fort Collins Symphony Guild and (vi) the Legacy Land Trust. Since 1993, Mr Alper has mediated, facilitated and arbitrated approximately 200 cases in federal and state courts, for public agencies, non-profits and for private clients. He has designed and taught more than 1,000 hours of conflict resolution, arbitration, negotiation, commercial real estate, land use and environmental law courses. He currently serves on the facilitator roster of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution in Tucson, AZ.

Mr. Alper has served as adjunct faculty in the (i) Haub School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Wyoming, (ii) University College at the University of Northern Colorado and (iii) the Carey School of Business of the Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. He has served as a member of the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance at the University of Maryland. He has previously taught at the University of Maryland Law School, the University of Baltimore Graduate School in Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies and the College of Southern Maryland’s Center for Environmental Training. He has guest lectured at Colorado State University, Warner College of Natural Resources, and its School of Agriculture and Resource Economics, the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, the Catholic University of America Law School and the George Washington University Law School.

Frieda Arenos

Frieda Arenos

Frieda Arenos is a Program Director at the National Democratic Institute (NDI), where she leads global programs for the Institute’s Democratic Governance team. Specifically, Frieda oversees NDI’s work with the House Democracy Partnership, a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House that engages global parliamentary peers on issues of legislative development. Frieda also developed and oversees the Institute’s programming on executive transitions, which works to facilitate smooth leadership transitions in developing and fragile democracies. Additionally, Frieda serves as one of the Institute’s leading legislative strengthening and global governance advisors to all seven regional teams and NDI’s 55 global offices. Before joining NDI in 2017, Frieda worked for eight years under U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, including as a constituent services advisor and legislative assistant. Frieda received her Master’s degree in Intercultural and International Communications from American University’s School of International Service, and her Bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of Vermont. Over the course of her career, Frieda has worked and traveled extensively overseas, and supported democracy and governance good practices in Armenia, Cameroon, Georgia, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, The Gambia, Sudan, and the Western Balkans. She is passionate about intercultural bridge-building and strengthening U.S. bipartisan relations and policy solutions and is currently working towards becoming a certified mediator. Originally from upstate New York, Frieda also lived and worked in Vermont for several years, and currently resides near Washington, D.C.

Bill Belding

Bill Belding

Bill Belding is a professorial lecturer at the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy. He was President and CEO of the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, an international humanitarian organization that co-founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, the winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize. He also served as chief of staff of Common Cause. Bill is an attorney and practiced real estate law in California before becoming fully engaged in the non-profit and academic worlds. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale and a J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law, and served as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam.

Bill Bolling 1

Jamie Bernard

James Bernard is a Partner at the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. He focuses on financial services and general commercial litigation, including securities and consumer class actions, audit malpractice and related issues and representing clients before the New York State Attorney General’s Office. He also works on commodities and derivatives matters and represents defendants in a variety of white-collar criminal law matters.

Bill Bolling 1

Bill Bolling

Bill Bolling is the founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) and has served as its executive director since 1979. In this capacity he oversees the distribution of millions of pounds of good but unmarketable food and grocery products each year through a network of more than 600 nonprofit partner organizations that feed the hungry, as well as other food banks throughout the southeast.
He is a frequent speaker on topics related to hunger, poverty, regionalism, affordable housing and public policy reform. His skills in bridging various public sectors have made him a leader in strengthening the community to serve those most in need. Prior to his association with the Food Bank, he served as director of community ministries for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta.

Born and raised in Lexington, North Carolina, Mr. Bolling holds degrees from Central Piedmont College and Appalachian State University in Business and Education. He received his Master of Arts degree in Psychology and Counseling from West Georgia College in 1976. In July of 2003, he attended Harvard Business School, completing a course on Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management. He has served as an adjunct professor in the School of Management at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and has taught classes at Georgia State, Emory and Oglethorpe Universities.

Mr. Bolling is a charter member of the Board of Directors of Feeding America, the national network of food banks. He currently serves on the Atlanta Falcons Advisory Board, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Commission on Homelessness, and the Nonprofit Advisory Committee of the Andrew Young School at Georgia State University. He is founder of the Atlanta Housing Forum, begun in 1988, and continues to serve as moderator of the Regional Housing Forum. He is past chair of the Board of the Regional Leadership Forum (now the Regional Civic League) and the State of Georgia Housing Trust Fund Commission.

In January of 2012, Georgia Trend Magazine named Mr. Bolling their 2012 Georgian of the Year, and the magazine has consistently named him among their 100 Most Influential Georgians. Awards include the 2009 Shining Light Award presented by Atlanta Gas Light and News/Talk 750 WSB, the 2009 Beacon of Light Award presented by BoardWalk Consulting, the 2005 Ethics Advocate Award presented by the Southern Institute for Business and Professional Ethics, Atlanta Regional Commission’s Golden Glasses Award for Visionary Leadership, the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award, the Sidney Marcus Public Service Award of the Atlanta Fulton County League of Women Voters, UNICEF’s Child Survival Award, Georgia Department of Community Affairs Housing Champion Award, Atlanta Urban League Distinguished Community Service Award, and the John Van Hengel Hunger Fellow Award presented by Feeding America.

Rick Callahan

Rick Callahan

Rick Callahan is presently the Owner of R R Callahan Co, which develops, owns and manages rental property in Chicago, Florida and Wisconsin. In the past, he wandered around Europe, Africa and the Middle East before settling in Greece for several years. He worked as a high school teacher, plumber, photographer, clown, filmmaker and journalist before realizing that real estate afforded the opportunity to be paid while sleeping, traveling or reading.
Non profit activities involved funding high school robotics and chess clubs, teaching basic economics to 5th graders, and serving on boards of charter schools and mental health associations. He has a BA in English from the University of Illinois. Most importantly, he has been extraordinarily happily married to his wife, Bic Wirtz, for 32 years. They have three grown boys, Tim, Kit and Peter.

Claudia Carasso

Claudia Carasso

Claudia Carasso is a communications management consultant, creative director and marketing leader with more than 20 years’ experience in developing major global brand platforms, growing dynamic startup companies and advising NGOs on communications policy, issues and challenges. She is currently founder and managing partner of Elastic Minds, LLC, a consulting group based in Los Angeles with presence in San Francisco and New York City.

Ms. Carasso’s communications strategy, brand development and creative implementation have been instrumental in building brand awareness, customer acquisition and driving adoption of new business, medical and consumer technologies. She is valued as a creative collaborator that makes vital connections between customer desire and client services & products, developing differentiated intellectual capital that transforms the brands of private, public and nonprofit organizations. She is also a sought-after strategist and content collaborator, working closely with artists, activists and celebrities to define and develop their brands.

Ms. Carasso’s industry expertise spans the healthcare, technology, public affairs, media, entertainment and financial services. Her functional expertise includes global communications program development, mission and vision facilitation, physician and clinical communications, integration of social platforms into global communications programs, powerful brand, messaging and content development for advocacy and issues management, strategic communications counsel to senior business leaders, and media and presentation coaching for C-level executives, as well as senior scientists, physicians, technologists, engineers, philanthropists and artists.

Prior to the launch of Elastic Minds, Ms. Carasso was EVP and global technology practice leader and U.S. Western Region healthcare practice lead at Cohn & Wolfe, a subsidiary of the WPP, the global public relations and advertising company. She has also held senior leadership positions at global leader Fleishman-Hillard, as well as leading boutique firms specializing in technology and healthcare. Key client experience includes: Abbott Laboratories, Genentech, McKesson Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Oracle Corporation, American Express among others.

Ms. Carasso is a global activist serving as a brand and communications advisor to the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, WeAdvance, GroundSeven Entertainment, The Women’s Initiative and has advised organizations such as the Taproot Foundation, Hands-On Gulf Coast and the Bay Citizen, a hyper local media company founded by the late Warren Hellman. She is an aspiring polyglot who speaks French and enjoys muddling through Italian and Spanish.

KellieSpecterKellie Castruita Specter

Kellie Specter is Chief Marketing and Engagement Officer for WNET, New York Public Media. Since joining WNET, the flagship PBS station, in 1998, Specter has led the corporate communications effort and also helped to launch such acclaimed public television series as African-American Lives and Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; international documentary series Wide Angle; documentary films by legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman including Domestic Violence, Idaho State Legislature and The Paris Opera Ballet; and critics’ favorite Egg: The Arts Show. Specter currently leads marketing, audience and community engagement, research, branding and corporate communications for WNET and its three affiliates THIRTEEN/New York, WLIW21/Long Island and NJTV/New Jersey.

Bob Chase

Robert Chase

In September 2007, the Rev. Robert Chase was called to be the Founding Director of Intersections, a new global initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York, the oldest corporation in North America, dating back to 1628. Intersections is an interfaith venture that brings people together in innovative ways who have divergent perspectives or life experiences in order to forge common ground and build outcomes-oriented strategies that address peace, justice and reconciliation in the world. In 2017, Bob retired from Intersections. He is currently a freelance writer and consultant based in Rockland County, NY. His book, Beyond the Comma; Life at the Intersection, launches this month.

From 1999-2007, Bob served as Director of Communication for the 1.2 million member United Church of Christ. He is an award-winning video producer with more than 100 productions to his credit. For 15 years, from 1982-1997, Chase was founder and President of Creative Connections in Media, a full-service communications company based in Rhinebeck, N.Y. His work took him from the northern slope of Alaska to the black townships of South Africa, from rural Chinese villages to the urban favellas of Brazil.

Bob is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He earned a Master of Divinity Magna cum Laude from New Brunswick (N.J.) Theological Seminary, and a B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

Toni Clark

Toni Clark

Toni is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the iBuildBridges Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses music and storytelling to inspire individuals to actively build relationships with people of different backgrounds. iBuildBridges supports a diverse group of young musical artists who are committed to bridging our racial, cultural and religious divides. She also serves as a Director on the Board and Executive Committee of Interfaith Youth Core, Chicago, and is active in philanthropy with the College of Wooster (Ohio) and the Alexandria (VA) Seaport Foundation.

Since 2004, Toni has practiced as a Career and Life Coach (Toni Clark Coaching) in the metro DC area, working with a variety of adult clients around issues of career development and career and life transition. She is certified as a coach through the International Coaching Federation. Previously, Toni worked as a professional facilitator, as the Director of Continuing Education for the American Public Power Association, and as a research psychologist at the Institute for Law and Social Research (DC), and at the University of Washington-Adolescent Clinic (Seattle). She has a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Washington, an MA from Southern Illinois University and a BA from Seattle University.

Toni was born in the Pacific Northwest, and lives with her husband, Richard J. Bell, in Alexandria, Virginia. They have four children and seven (amazing) grandchildren. She enjoys writing and her personal essays have been published in the Washington Post, online in the SNR Review, and in print in three anthologies, This Is the Way We Say Goodbye, Dolls Remembered, and Serendipity. She has a passionate interest in the outdoors, particularly hiking, kayaking and snow skiing.

Rehan Dawer

Rehan Dawer

Rehan is an advocate for change and growth.  He founded Ethica with a mission for ‘promoting and developing socially conscious leadership’ to create a focus on making a meaningful contribution to societies through thought leadership in education and social entrepreneurship.  He also founded Novastar Prep; dedicated to delivering a higher standard of supplemental educational services to K-12 students.

As an active member of the philanthropic and entrepreneurship community he has spoken at wide array of forums across North America and South and Central Asia.  He serves on the boards of Buxton Initiative and Communities in School (CIS).  During his 20 years of professional career, he has held numerous executive positions with Guidance Financial, Morgan Stanley, American Express, and Bank of America.

Rehan built his academic foundation at University of Maryland and Georgetown University and holds degrees in Finance, Marketing, International Business Management, and Senior Executive Leadership.

Jessica Dibb

Jessica Dibb is the Founder and Director of Inspiration Community, an ecumenical school that promotes individual and societal spiritual awareness and growth. For over twenty- five years, she has designed and facilitated programs in which people learn and are inspired to actualize their full potential and contribute to transformation in their families and communities, including international projects. Participants in these programs experience “unity in diversity” by strengthening their understanding, their compassion and their embracing of all people from any political or spiritual orientation. She is also the Founding Director of Silent Peacewalks, the Liason officer of the United Nations Emergency Peace Service Project, and the Co-director of the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance. Ms. Dibb served for many years on the board of directors of Convergence. She was also on the board of The National Commons and the U.S. Consensus Council for Search for Common Ground-USA.

Will Draper

Bio coming soon…

Maggie DunneMaggie Dunne

Maggie Dunne is President and Founder of Lakota Children’s Enrichment, Inc. (LCE), a nonprofit that empowers youth in the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota through opportunities in the arts, education, sports, leadership and mentorship. Maggie is a 2013 magna cum laude graduate from Colgate University, where she concentrated in Native American Studies and Religion and received the University’s top award, the Alumni Corporation’s 1819 Award.

Maggie is an advocate for indigenous communities globally and is a frequent public speaker. Maggie has received awards for her service including: 2014 President’s Call to Service Award from President Barack Obama; 2014 Opportunity Collaboration Cordes Fellowship; the 2012 Grand Prize in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women; a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. In addition, Maggie was named a 2013 Next Generation Leader by the Women in the World Foundation and was twice awarded Critical Language Scholarships from the U.S. Department of State to study Bengali.

Maggie is a contributing author to the Daily Beast and a Business Mentor for Colgate University’s Thought into Action Entrepreneurship Institute. Previously, Maggie worked as a grant writer for Pueblo de Cochiti Tribal Council, and as an international research intern in the office of Muhammad Yunus at Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Tom Dunne

For over forty years Tom has been a teacher, coach and program developer in cooperative problem-solving. He has worked with the U.S. Department of State, the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, as well as with UNESCO and organizations in Northern Ireland and Vietnam. As a member of Search for Common Ground he worked to improve relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

After studying for the Catholic priesthood he received his B.A. in philosophy and sociology from De Paul University, and his M.A. in the history of political thought and international relations from Georgetown University. A former U.S. Navy officer, Tom commanded the Underwater Demolition Team detachment in Vietnam and the Western Pacific area. He later served with a reserve Navy SEAL team.

Shawn Dunning

Shawn Dunning

In 2017, Shawn Dunning resigned as the COO of the organizational and leadership development company, Adventure Associates, Inc. (AAI), in order to pursue his passion for collaborative problem-solving more broadly. During his tenure with AAI, Shawn developed and facilitated leadership, team development, and conflict resolution programs for corporate, government, and non-profit groups throughout the United States. Prior to AAI, he founded and directed the Leadership & Training division for the international conflict transformation organization Search for Common Ground. Initially based in Washington DC, and eventually moving to Jerusalem, Shawn led projects throughout the world, including the United States, Middle East, Balkans, Africa, and Southeast Asia that developed the capacity of emerging and elite political and civil society leaders to lead from a basis of collaborative principles. A seasoned trainer, facilitator, mediator, leadership coach, and public speaker, Shawn has served thousands of people around the world to develop their collaborative leadership skills. His clients have included gifted youth, young international scholars, senior government officials and leaders, senior executive leaders of fortune 500 companies, and business leaders from many industries. He is an expert in workshop design and experiential learning processes. Some of Shawn’s work has included training for emerging leaders in West and East Africa, leadership training and coaching for Palestinian and Israeli social entrepreneurs, political, business, and religious leaders, crisis-management communication skills for political leaders in Lebanon, “common ground talk” skills for television journalists in Kenya, and racial reconciliation work with members of the United States Congress. Since 2015, Shawn has served as the Winterover Team Trainer for the United States Antarctic Program, where he facilitates cutting edge team and leadership development initiatives for the South Pole Team, the most isolated crew of human beings on the planet. Shawn studied Speech Communication and Psychology at California Polytechnic State University and holds an M.S. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University, where he developed foundational theory and practice for “Adventure-Based Conflict Resolution.” He has presented at a variety of conferences across several disciplines on topics related to leadership, conflict resolution, and collaboration, and he has served on the roster of certified mediators for the Supreme Court of Virginia. Shawn is a qualified administrator of several leadership and personality assessment instruments including Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, DISC, and Emotional Intelligence. He lives with his wife and two daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area and travels frequently.

The Honorable Mickey Edwards

Mickey Edwards is Vice President of the Aspen Institute and serves as Director of the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership. Mr. Edwards was a Republican member of Congress for 16 years, serving as a member of the House Republican Leadership and as a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees. After leaving the Congress, he taught for 11 years at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and for five years as a lecturer at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Maryland Law School and at Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute and a visiting lecturer at Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Constitution Project, has co-chaired task forces on judicial independence and the war power, and served on the American Bar Association Task Force on Presidential Signing Statements and the American Society of International Law Task Force on the International Criminal Court. He has been a regular political commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and a weekly political columnist for the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, as well as other major newspapers. His articles have appeared in magazines ranging from The Atlantic to The Public Interest. Mr. Edwards is a frequent public speaker and has been a guest on many of the nation’s leading radio and television news and opinion broadcasts. Edwards’ latest book, The Parties Versus the People, has just been published by Yale University Press.

Bruce EdwardsBruce Edwards

Bruce Edwards was an industry pioneer in the field of alternative dispute resolution. Since 1986 he has mediated over 6,000 disputes throughout the United States involving complex, multiparty lawsuits and specializing in matters of high emotion. Mr. Edwards has consistently received recognition for his work as a mediator including awards for “San Francisco Mediation Lawyer of the Year”, “Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category”, and “California Top Neutral” to name a few.

Since 1993 Mr. Edwards has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law where he teaches courses in advanced mediation. In addition to his teaching in the United States, Mr. Edwards has personally taught mediation skills to hundreds of attorneys, judges, business leaders and aspiring mediators throughout Europe, Africa, India and Asia.
As a founding Partner of JAMS, the largest provider of ADR services in the United States, Mr. Edwards has worked at the epicenter of the emerging ADR industry over the past two decades, recently serving as the Chairman of the JAMS Board of Directors.

Most recently, Mr. Edwards has cofounded the Edwards Mediation Academy, an online education platform for teaching practical mediation skills to a global audience.

Susan EdwardsSusan Edwards

Susan is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Edwards Mediation Academy, including production of online mediation education & training courses, product marketing and customer relations.

Susan worked in the U.S. Senate as a professional staff member for the Subcommittee on Education and Labor. She worked for Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs, developing and managing social marketing and public health campaigns for public & non-profit entities. Since graduating from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford, Susan has been involved in business and consulting roles in the areas of health care and real estate. She co-founded Edwards Mediation Academy with Bruce Edwards in 2014 in an effort to deliver the highest quality mediation training to a worldwide audience.

David FairmanDavid Fairman

David Fairman is Managing Director of the Consensus Building Institute and Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program. He leads CBI as a whole, and directs CBI’s International Development practice. Over the past twenty years, he has facilitated policy dialogue and regulatory negotiations on US national security, public education, energy and environment, criminal justice, and public housing. Internationally, he has facilitated national transition planning in post-conflict countries; mediated negotiations between major oil companies and communities impacted by their operations on benefit sharing and impact mitigation; and built national capacity for collaboration on natural resource management in more than twenty countries.

David serves on the Board of the Sustainability Challenge Foundation. He was a founding Board member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. He is a Senior Mediator on the roster of the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from MIT and a B.A. from Harvard College.

Rachel FershRachel Fersh

Rachel Fersh is an attorney and freelance consultant in the D.C. area, working with a variety of clients on legal, business, communications, and human resources issues. From 2011-2013 she was an associate at the D.C. office of Goodwin Procter LLP.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Rachel spent two years working at the Committee on States, an organization that worked with donors, political leaders, and grassroots activists on the state level to create lasting progressive change.  She also served as a freelance writer, editor, and designer for multiple progressive organizations, and spent eight months as a fellow at the Partnership for Public Service.  Rachel received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2011, and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006, where she served as student body president.  She lives in Washington, D.C.

Lance GilliamLance Gilliam

Lance is a partner at Waterman Steele Real Estate Advisors, a Houston-based advisory and consulting firm providing market analysis, site identification and transactional support to firms and institutions wanting to serve clients, customers, and residents throughout the State of Texas. The firm’s scope of services includes a strong focus on community reinvestment including community engagement and governmental affairs. The firm and its principals also have a strong history of connecting its clients — public, private, and governmental entities — to achieve strong public – private partnerships.

Simon Glinsky

Simon founded The Glinsky Group, Management Consultants over 25 years ago to lead clients through strategic transformation, business improvement and leader and ownership development. He counsels CEOs and C-level executives, boards and investors. Clients value Simon’s ability to structure decision-making and activate executive talent with empathic listening, strategic exploration and leadership coaching. These skills, combined with his mission to improve results and executive effectiveness, lead to high trust, high integrity and high value change for clients.

Simon was an early Internet entrepreneur starting in 1993, co-founding Match.com. He co-founded Clean Power Finance/Spruce, the Kaiser Permanente Care Management Institute and other ventures.

From time to time, Simon trains some of the world’s leading MBAs in the Interpersonal Dynamics Program at Stanford University, where he is a Senior Facilitator. Simon served on the President’s Leadership Council at Menlo College in Atherton, California and as Chair of the Finance Advisory Board. Simon is a Trustee and Founding Chair of the Philomathean Endowment Trust at the University of Pennsylvania. He developed long-range planning for the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and served as Board Vice President of the STOP AIDS Project in San Francisco. Simon’s avocations include musicology and violin, and he holds a Bay Skippers License.

Simon held positions with McKinsey & Co., IBM, General Electric, Radius, and Wharton. He attended Georgia Tech during high school and graduated Magna cum Laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. He holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Simon is a first-generation Cuban-American.

Tom Hadlock

Tom Hadlock

Tom Hadlock is a Senior Advertising/Marketing executive working at well recognized Madison Ave agencies for many years. Focusing on strategy, branding, multi vehicle communications and digital enhancement. With a research component.

Betsy Wright Hawkings

Betsy Wright Hawkings

Betsy Wright Hawkings served as chief of staff to four Republican House members over 25 years, including Congressman Christopher Shays, helping to develop coalitions to pass cross-partisan legislation like the Congressional Accountability Act, the 9-11 Commission and legislation to implement its recommendations. The founding Managing Director of Democracy Fund’s Governance Program, she now heads Article One Advisors, providing support to entrepreneurial organizations seeking to foster dialogue across the ideological spectrum; promote more effective congressional systems, processes and procedures; develop innovative programs to deepen leadership development for members of Congress and staff; and reduce incentives for hyper-partisanship and gridlock in government.


Chris Hayes

Christopher Hayes has 25 years of experience in market entry, communications, quantitative research, cross-cultural training and coaching, foreign policy, politics, and marketing. Much of his experience has been focused on helping companies and organizations research, communicate, strategize, advocate, sell and enter new markets by building trust and reducing risk. After 15 years focused on international and market-entry work with Edelman, Chris is now a consultant and founder of a mental model research company.

He is the only four-time recipient of Edelman’s Global Chairman’s Award for Excellence (given once per year since 2003 among 6000 employees in 70 offices), a certified cross-cultural trainer, coach and strategist (Lewis Model) – with a particular focus on risk reduction and trust building. Chris has led five successful global-advocacy campaigns for Americans unlawfully detained in Algeria, Iran and Morocco and spent ten years consulting for the Panama Canal Authority, traveling to Panama nearly every four months. For the work in Panama, he and his team received perfect ten ratings for seven of the ten years of the contract.
Chris worked for six years at The Rendon Group, implementing communications campaigns for corporations and governments in the Middle East and Asia. During the crisis in Kosovo, he developed and managed a six-language (Albanian, English, Greek, French, Russian, Serbian) news and information website, to counter Milosevic’s propaganda war.

As vice president of marketing for Primeshot.com, Chris managed a seven-person team executing the company’s public affairs, branding, advertising, and communications. He worked on several national and state political campaigns as issues director, press secretary or campaign manager.

As an undergraduate, Chris studied international relations and political science at George Mason University and legislative affairs as a graduate student at The George Washington University. An avid squash, chess player and New York Yankee fan, he is married with three children.

Stephen B. Heintz

Stephen Heintz joined the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in February 2001 as its sixth president. Before joining the RBF, Mr. Heintz held top leadership positions in both the nonprofit and public sectors. Most recently, Mr. Heintz was founding president of Dēmos: A Network for Ideas & Action, a public policy research and advocacy organization working to enhance the vitality of American democracy and promote more broadly shared prosperity. Prior to founding Dēmos, Mr. Heintz served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the EastWest Institute (EWI), where he worked on issues of economic reform, civil society development, and international security. Based in Prague, Czech Republic, from 1990 through 1997, Mr. Heintz worked extensively throughout Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States. Mr. Heintz devoted the first 15 years of his career to politics and government service in the State of Connecticut, where he served as commissioner of economic development (1988–1990) and commissioner of social welfare (1983–1988). In 1988, he helped draft and secure passage by Congress of “The Family Support Act,” the first major effort to reform the nation’s welfare system. He has published articles in The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal Europe, and several books and journals. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University.

Mr. Heintz currently serves on the boards of Dēmos, the EastWest Institute, the Asian Cultural Council, and the Rockefeller Archives Center. He also chairs the Independent Sector board of directors and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 the Nonprofit Times named Mr. Heintz one of the 50 most influential leaders of the nonprofit sector.

Roxi HewertsonRoxana Bahar Hewertson

Roxana Bahar Hewertson is the Founder and President of Highland Consulting Group, Inc. a leadership and organizational change consultant firm in upstate New York. Roxi has many decades of experience in both the profit and not for profit environments, including 27 years as a leader at Cornell University. She is an entrepreneur, teacher, coach, administrator, and private consultant with a passion for creating business and learning experiences that make a positive and lasting difference in people’s lives, in their business results, and in the quality of the workplace. How To Build A Space Station (Xlibris, 2002), her first published book, is a parable about the impact of workplace values on business results. Her on-line leadership learning community, AskRoxi.com,  and on-line leadership course, “Leading with Impact: Your Ripple Effect” were launched in the summer of 2013.

Roxi received her graduate degree from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and served five years as adjunct faculty teaching Organizational Consulting – Process and Results.

Marvin JohnsonMarvin Johnson

Marvin Johnson is a nationally recognized mediator, arbitrator, and trainer with more than 27 years of dispute resolution experience. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, the first dispute resolution center founded at a historically black university.

Mr. Johnson provides dispute resolution and diversity workshops and lectures extensively on the subject of conflict management. He has arbitrated and mediated thousands of cases in the fields of employment, labor-management, consumer, business and community relations and has trained over 10,000 people in various forms of dispute resolution processes. Two Presidents of the United States (Clinton and Obama), a Secretary of the United States Department of State (Rice), a Governor of Maryland (Glendening), a Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals (Bell), and the County Executive for Prince George’s County (Baker), have recognized Mr. Johnson’s dispute resolution expertise by appointing him to the Federal Service Impasses Panel, the Foreign Service Grievance Board, the Maryland State Labor Relations Board, the Maryland Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission (now the Maryland Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office or MACRO), and the Prince George’s County Public Employee Relations Board, respectively. Mr. Johnson serves on numerous national and regional dispute resolution panels, including the American Arbitration Association National Roster of Neutrals, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, JAMS the Resolution Experts, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution Employment and Fair Housing Panels.

Mr. Johnson received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Catholic University. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Kent State University and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin. Mr. Johnson has worked for the Department of Labor, the Federal Labor Relations Authority, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, the National Treasury Employees Union, the National Football League Players’ Association, the National Academy of Conciliators, and was Professor of Labor Relations, Law, and Dispute Resolution at Bowie State University for 16 years. He is Immediate Past President of the International Academy of Mediators (IAM) and has served on the Boards of the ABA’s Section of Dispute Resolution, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and IAM.

Kimberly JohnstonKimberly Johnston

Kimberly has twenty years of Fortune 500 tax experience in the areas of tax reporting, audit negotiations, regulatory proceedings, advocacy, risk mitigation, mergers and acquisitions, tax planning strategies, SEC investigations, and reorganizations.

Kimberly is the Vice President of Tax for CenterPoint Energy, a Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility headquartered in Houston, Texas with assets totaling $21 billion and 7,400 employees. She was instrumental in the formation of an $11B publicly traded partnership with a $575M IPO, negotiating favorable settlements with Texas energy deregulation proceedings, and the passage of Texas rate making legislation.

Prior to joining CenterPoint Energy in 2011, Kimberly held leadership positions with Spectra Energy, AIG, Ernst and Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the U.S. Treasury. Corporate Executive Board recognized Kimberly for her operational excellence at Spectra Energy and PwC awarded her the global silver award for client service.

Kimberly has performed speaking engagements at national conferences on risk mitigation, legislative developments, MLPs, and reorganizations. Kimberly has led advocacy efforts resulting in carve out provisions to the House Ways and Means Committee tax reform proposals and testified for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Texas Railroad Commission, and various state governing bodies.
Kimberly has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from University of Utah and is a certified public accountant. She is a graduate of Northwestern Women Directorship Program, Southern Methodist University COX School of Business Executive Program, and the American Leadership Forum.

Kimberly is the founder of Good Works Houston, member of National Association of Corporate Directors, Budget Chair of the Texas Taxpayers Research Association, member of the Greater Houston Partnership Executive Women’s Partnership, and board member of the Houston Area Women’s Center. She is also a former board member of the Tax Executive Institute.

Kimberly and her husband, Michael, have four children and are active community leaders in Houston.

Alan JonesAlan Jones

Alan W. Jones was the Dean of the Episcopalian Grace Cathedral in San Francisco from 1985 until January, 2009. Previously, he served as the Stephen F. Bayne Professor of Ascetical Theology at the General Theological Seminary in New York City from 1972 – 1985. During his tenure, he founded and was the first director of the Center Christian Spirituality at General. Now a U.S. citizen, he was born in England and received his Ph.D. from the University of Nottingham. He is a prominent lecturer in Episcopalian and academic circles both nationally and internationally. He is a prolific writer as well of books, articles, and editorial opinions. Jones was also the moderator of The Forum at Grace Cathedral.

He is married to Virginia (Cricket) Jones and has three children and five grandchildren.

David KatzDavid Katz

David Katz leads Quid’s efforts with the government and political sector, working with a variety of entities including the intelligence, technology and R&D divisions of federal agencies and Fortune 500 companies and strategic communication firms with policy and political priorities. Quid is a platform that searches, analyzes and visualizes the world’s collective intelligence to help answer strategic questions.

Before joining Quid, David served in the Obama Administration in the White House on the National Economic Council and at the Energy Department where he focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency policy. David is also a veteran of multiple political campaigns, including President Obama’s 2008 campaign. David’s private sector experience includes merchant banking in the energy industry with Bridgeway Capital Advisors.

David earned a BA in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Steve KaymanSteven Kayman

Steve Kayman is a New York-based Partner in Proskauer’s Litigation Department. Steve focuses on intellectual property litigation but, in his 35 years of legal practice, all with Proskauer, he has had extensive experience litigating disputes involving securities, bankruptcy and workouts, real estate, employment and many other commercial matters, in courts and arbitral tribunals throughout the world. Steve’s practice also includes a significant counseling component aimed at risk management and dispute resolution.

Steve founded Proskauer’s Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Practice Group and has served as a head of the group since its inception more than 20 years ago. He has written and lectured extensively about trade secrets and non-competes and serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, where he teaches an advanced class on trade secrets. Steve also chaired Proskauer’s firmwide Technology Committee for many years, with oversight responsibility for all of the firm’s information services, technology, knowledge management and practice support operations.

Steve has been active in professional and civic affairs. He has served on a number of committees of the New York City Bar Association and recently concluded a three year term as Chairman of the Council on Judicial Administration. Steve has also served as a Small Claims Court Arbitrator, as Lead Sponsor of the NYC SBA Adopt-A-Company Program, on the Brooklyn Law Trade Secret Institute Advisory Board, as Founder and past Chair of the NYC Bar Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosures and on the Trinity College Board of Fellows. He has frequently undertaken pro bono representations to assist charitable institutions and disadvantaged individuals in need.

Rich_Korn_Headshot1aRich Korn

Rich Korn is Founder of Richard Korn Consulting, LLC. Rich has consulted to over 300 companies and 50 non-profits on implementing organization change, enhancing organizational performance, developing executive teams, and coaching individual leaders. He has served as a consultant to organizations in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Prior to founding the firm, Rich served as Vice President-Personnel for two divisions of General Mills, Vice President-Organization Planning and Development for Chemical Bank, and Vice President-Human Resources for a division of PaineWebber. He was also a faculty member of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University and the Business School at York University in Toronto.

Rich served as Program Director for The Conference Board’s National, European, and Asia/Pacific Human Resources Conferences. He is a past President of the New York Human Resource Planners. He served for four years as Chairperson of the Dean’s Council of NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, and B.S. from Cornell.

Maja Kristin

Maja Kristin

Maja Kristin’s lifework underscores a passion for bridging differences, engaging in creative problem solving, and inspiring philanthropy to support worthwhile causes. She currently serves on the Leadership Council of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution (www.convergencepolicy.org) as well as the Leadership Council of Facing History and Ourselves (www.facinghistory.org) She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of World Affairs Council (www.worldaffairs.org).

A retired partner in the firm of Ramsey and Durrell, LLP*, Maja specialized in civil litigation, pioneering sexual abuse cases against the Catholic Church. She was selected by TIME magazine as one of America’s Top Ten Women Lawyers.

To read more about Maja, please visit her website: www.majakristin.com

Dr. Richard Land

Dr. Richard Land is president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, a non-denominational seminary based in Charlotte, NC which offers first rate educational programs in evangelism and classic apologetics. In addition to his presidency, Dr. Land also teaches courses at the Seminary. Prior to becoming President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, Dr. Land served for over twenty-five years as the President of The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families and their faith. Dr. Land served as The Criswell College’s Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 1980 to 1988. He had taught as Professor of Theology and Church History at that institution since 1975.

Dr. Land was appointed to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2001, and was subsequently reappointed to four additional terms of service through 2012. In 2007, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary established The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement. Dr. Land also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. In 2012 Dr. Land received The Champions of Justice Award, presented by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association).

Dr. Richard Land is a well-respected commentator on issues related to religion, politics, history and culture, and has appeared in thousands of media interviews in most major media outlets over the course of his career.

Carol Ann Langford

Carol has enjoyed a passion in the Organizational Development space for 18 years specializing in Leadership Communication with Korn Ferry following seven years as Associate Professor in the Humanities Department for the City University of New York. She carries a Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) with the International Coach Federation, a Masters of Fine Arts from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, a certificate in ‘Conflict Transformation’ from Baltimore Mediation, and is an ordained minister. Carol values lifelong learning and is currently achieving a certification for ‘brain based approaches to leadership’ from the Neuroscience Leadership Institute.

As a Coach and Facilitator, Carol’s work has occurred in various industries including Consulting, Accounting, Banking, High Tech, Supply Chain Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical, Retail, Advertising, Publishing, and others.

A parallel career path for Carol occurs in the non-profit sector where she serves as the executive director of a small family foundation and oversees disbursements made domestically and internationally. This work has taken Carol on service trips to Sierra Leone, West Africa for conflict transformation; Nicaragua for micro-lending to small business owners; the Amazon Rainforest for environmental sustainability; and Honduras for local community empowerment.

In her early career path, Carol taught high school English, co-founded a highly successful retail company, and acted and wrote for the professional theatre. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn where her hobbies include film, theatre, the fine arts, international cultures and cuisine, and all of the fulfillment which comes with living in the richly diverse environs of New York City.

Senate Head Shot

Lt. Gen. (ret.) “Fig” Leaf

Dan “Fig” Leaf the President of Phase Minus 1, LLC and works an independent consultant on Indo-Asia Pacific security matters. He has lived in the region over 16 years and traveled extensively throughout, working with leaders of every regional nation except North Korea. His key focus areas include conflict resolution, effective governance, strategic leadership, and Women, Peace & Security (UNSCR 1325).

Fig served as the Director, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (DKI APCSS) from January 2012 through October 2016. DKI APCSS is a Department of Defense academic institute that promotes cooperation on regional and global security issues through executive education courses and workshops.

Prior to DKI APCSS, he worked in the defense industry as vice president of full spectrum initiatives at Northrop Grumman Information Systems from 2008-2012. Formerly the Deputy Commander of U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), Lt. Gen. Leaf retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2008 after more than 33 years of service. Other assignments during his Air Force career included Vice Commander of Air Force Space Command, Air Force Director of Operational Requirements, and multiple commands at squadron, group and wing levels. He was a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 2009 through 2011. Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Leaf was a command pilot with more than 3,600 flight hours, including F-15 and F-16 combat missions. His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal.

Fig’s Indo-Asia-Pacific experience includes his time at U. S. Pacific Command, a previous tour of duty at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces, four years of duty assignments in both Korea and Japan, and temporary military duty across the region. As a civilian, he worked as a national exercise senior observer for USPACOM, and at Northrop Grumman gained industry experience with several Asia-Pacific customers.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor and the Leadership Council of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution.

Gay LeggGay Legg

Gay Legg is the Director of Marketing and Strategic Planning at Ashton Design. Prior to this, she was a Consultant for Marketing, Business Development at Market+Intersect and Marketing Director for Mixed-Use, Global Building Division at Jacobs Engineering.

She has also been the Vice President of Marketing at Manekin, LLC and the Marketing Director at Baltimore Development Corporation. She studied at Kenyon College and received a B.A. in English.

Mariah LevisonMariah Levison

Mariah Levison runs the Minnesota State Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution where she builds consensus on contentious public issues and builds the public sector’s capacity build consensus and resolve disputes. She has worked for dispute resolution centers in Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis. Her work in consensus building includes mediation, facilitation, assessment, collaborative processes, dialogue, restorative justice, and program design. Ms. Levison has been teaching conflict resolution education and social and emotional literacy skills for twenty years in settings ranging from community trainings to teaching the mediation clinic at the University of Minnesota Law School. She has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis and completed a Humphrey Policy Fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Mariah brings her knowledge of human relations to all her work in ways that provide her with unique insight into problems, deep understanding of the needs of individuals and organizations, and an ability to build strong partnerships.

John Lindsay

John Lindsay

John Lindsay is currently the Executive for Corporate Partnerships at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, where he leads corporate relations and fundraising for the School. He also independently advises multinational corporations on trade opportunities in the United States, regulatory reform, and congressional advocacy. Previously John served as a foreign policy adviser to the Buttigieg and Biden presidential campaigns, as well as a consultant for Nathan Associates supporting U.S. trade activities in the Asia-Pacific region. John leads trainings for young progressives in foreign policy as a member of the Foreign Policy for America NextGen Initiative, and is proud to have started his career in Washington as an intern with Convergence. When not organizing Democrats living overseas as a Spokesman and Executive Committee Member of Democrats Abroad, he also actively fundraises for progressive candidates up and down the ballot. John holds a B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and divides his time between Oxford and Washington, D.C.

David B. Lipsky

David B. Lipsky

David B. Lipsky is the Anne Evans Estabrook Professor of Dispute Resolution in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and Director of the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University. He served as the national president of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (formerly the Industrial Relations Research Association) in 2006. In his research and teaching activities he primarily focuses on negotiation, conflict resolution, and collective bargaining. Lipsky served as dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell from 1988 until 1997 and has been a member of the Cornell faculty since 1969. He received his B.S. in 1961 from the ILR School at Cornell and his Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. in 1967.

Lipsky is the author of over seventy articles and chapters in books, and the author or editor of seventeen books and monographs. He is the co-author (with Ronald L. Seeber and Richard D. Fincher) of Emerging Systems for Managing Workplace Conflict, published by Jossey-Bass in April 2003. He is also the co-editor (with Thomas A. Kochan) of Negotiations and Change: From the Workplace to Society, which was published by the Cornell University Press in February 2003. He is also the co-editor (with Ariel C. Avgar and J. Ryan Lamare) of Managing and Resolving Workplace Conflict, which will be published by Emerald Publishing Company in 2016.

Susan MageeSusan Magee

For the past three decades, Susan Beilby Magee has practiced the healing arts as a hypnotherapist, energy healer and meditation teacher. She has led meditation circles, guiding participants into quiet realms to access their inner wisdom, heal themselves and find peace.
She founded the Washington Circle of Master Healers in 2002 and currently leads the Circle of Prayer and Meditation at the Washington National Cathedral. She practices various forms of meditation, guided visualization, hypnotherapy, and energy healing. One chapter in Susan’s spiritual journey culminated with the 2012 publication of her book, Into the Light: The Healing Art of Kalman Aron, a profound story of hope, courage, and transformation of an artist and Holocaust survivor she met at age six.

Susan Beilby Magee’s career spans diverse realms of politics, economics and spirituality. A leader of the women’s movement and the Seattle Mayor’s Women’s Rights Director, she moved to Washington, D.C., to serve President Ford as a White House Fellow at the Treasury Department in 1976. Magee held policy and executive positions at the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments and later served as an international business consultant. Having earned an MBA from the Wharton School and a BA from Pomona College, she has served on
numerous boards of directors.

Susan Beilby Magee is writing a second book about the lessons she has learned on her spiritual journey, and she continues to speak at venues nationally and abroad.

Bradley McMillan

Brad McMillan was named the inaugural executive director of the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service. For nearly a decade, Mr. McMillan served as Congressman Ray LaHood’s district chief of staff. Prior to his governmental career, Mr. McMillan practiced law for ten years, including serving as a senior staff attorney for the Illinois Supreme Court and Illinois Appellate Court (3rd District). He has a J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Illinois Wesleyan University.

David MeadvinDavid Meadvin

David is the Managing Director at Laurel Strategies. He is a highly regarded corporate adviser, executive communications strategist and speechwriter, with broad experience in both the public and private sectors. In the private sector, David’s expertise includes technology, finance and media. He has led executive communications functions for Facebook, Bloomberg L.P. and the financial services firm Citadel, and was also president of Inkwell Strategies, a boutique c-suite communications firm that writes and devises strategy for some of America’s most high-profile executives. As chief speechwriter for the U.S. Senate Majority Leader, David was instrumental in developing national communications strategies and was also the lead author for the Senate’s weekly radio address. As director of speechwriting for the U.S. Attorney General, he gave voice to law enforcement policies, with a particular focus on the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. David has been profiled on the Washington Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list and his work has been covered by virtually every major media outlet in America.


Adam Motenko, MBA

Adam is a consultant, coach, facilitator and trainer specializing in relationship management, negotiation, dialogue & effective communication and leadership development. He has worked internationally with Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, academic institutions, communities and individuals. Adam is CEO and founder of Coalescent Leadership, a management consulting firm that helps non-profit organizations improve difficult situations with key stakeholders. Adam is also affiliated with a number of institutions as an adjunct professor and consultant. This includes the dialogue facilitation and capacity building organization, Essential Partners, for whom he served as a member of their Board of Directors.

Adam holds an MBA from Brandeis University focusing on Social Impact Management and Entrepreneurship and a BA from Goucher College in Peace Studies, Philosophy and Religion. He is a certified mediator through the Harvard Mediation Program as well as Harvard trained in negotiation and dispute resolution, advanced mediation and difficult conversations. He is also a certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI®) practitioner. Adam has practiced mindfulness meditation for 20 years and weaves mindfulness theory and practices into client engagements where appropriate. Originally from Boston, MA, Adam received early training in conflict resolution from his identical twin brother.

Craig Obey

Bio coming soon…

Matt Owens

Matt Owens

Matt Owens has served at AAU since April 2002. As Executive Vice President and Vice President for Federal Relations, he provides strategic leadership and management to the association’s priorities. He oversees AAU’s federal relations activities and has primary responsibility for overall federal budget and appropriations advocacy.

He shares responsibility for issues related to research costs and other regulatory and compliance issues. He also staffs the AAU Board of Directors, the Audit and Finance Committee, and the AAU Membership Committee. Mr. Owens also worked for the Association from 1994-1997.

From 1999-2002, Mr. Owens served as the Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations at Stanford University, where he worked on federal research policy and funding issues, as well as university land use policies and local governmental relations.

Mr. Owens earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California at Davis, and an Associate of Arts in English from Santa Rosa Junior College.

Dennis Passis

Dennis Passis is currently a mediator facilitating the resolution of commercial disputes and conflicts between family business owners and is the founder of the Family Wealth Library. Critical to his success is his 40 years of owning and operating a family business that produced trade shows in the United States, England and Europe. His ability to establish trust, generate creative alternatives, and diffuse emotional scenarios in a pressurized environment is invaluable to his success as a mediator.

For the past 25 years he has been on the Chicago Regional Board of the Anti Defamation League (ADL) and has served as Chair of the Development, International Affairs and Legacy committees. For the past 10 years he has served as a National Commissioner of ADL and currently serves on the Development, International Affairs and Marketing committees. He has a bachelor’s degree from Roosevelt University and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.

Perry Pockros

Perry J. Pockros is a Certified Professional FacilitatorTM and the founder and principal of Facilis LLC, a facilitation and management consulting professional services practice focused on enhancing the organizational effectiveness of public and nonprofit entities through data-driven facilitated decision-making, strategic and performance planning, organizational development, and adult instructional training. From 1996 to 2012, he held executive roles with Hagerty Consulting, IBM Global Business Services, and PricewaterhouseCoopers in business development, account management, program management and project delivery addressing complex public sector problems.

In 2012, Mr. Pockros helped stand-up the national Fix the Debt campaign with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Government by organizing a CEO leadership advisory council. He has served on selection panel for the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Awards for Distinguished D.C. Government Employees and currently serves on the board of the Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network.

From 1989-1995, Mr. Pockros served as chief of staff to U.S. Representative Samuel Gejdenson (CT-2) and as a professional staff on the Committee on House Administration. During 1990-1994, he was the Staff Director of the House Task Force on Campaign Finance Reform that developed the first comprehensive Congressional spending limit and public financing legislative proposal.

Mr. Pockros earned a M.A. in public policy studies from the University of Chicago, and B.A. in science in society and government from Wesleyan University.

Ron Pollack

Ron Pollack served for 34 years as the Founding Executive Director (and is now Chair Emeritus) of Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers. He and Families USA worked for decades to expand health coverage for the tens of millions of people who are uninsured and underinsured, culminating in Ron’s key leadership role promoting passage of the historic Affordable Care Act (ACA). Upon passage of the legislation, President Obama inscribed on the top of the voluminous statute: “To Ron and Families USA — You made this happen!” Ron and Families USA also played a leading role in securing passage of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Ron was also the Founder and Board Chair of Enroll America, the national collaborative leader in securing optimal health coverage enrollment of uninsured people across the country pursuant to the ACA. Ron’s other professional leadership roles include: he was appointed by President Clinton as the sole consumer representative on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry; he was the Founding Executive Director for ten years of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the leading national organization focused on eliminating hunger in the U.S.; and he served for three years as the Dean of the Antioch University School of Law.

Oliver QuinnOliver Quinn

Oliver Quinn, Esq. has advised leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors on matters of law, ethics, public affairs, and management for more than 30 years. Before joining Taft Communications, Oliver served as Corporate Vice President and Chief Business Ethics Officer at Prudential Financial where, among other things, he promoted an ethical business environment by creating communications-based solutions on topics such as ethics, conflict of interest, sales practices, employment disputes, and financial reporting. Prior to Prudential, Oliver held a variety of leading legal, policy and administrative positions in the public and private sectors, including Deputy Solicitor, United States Department of Labor; Deputy Commissioner, New Jersey Department of Labor; Administrative Law Judge, State of New Jersey; Assistant Counsel, Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives; and Assistant Dean, Rutgers School of Law. Oliver has served on numerous state and national boards, including the Ethics & Compliance Officer Association; the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey; the New Jersey Public Policy Research Institute at Rutgers; Newark Public Radio, Inc. (WBGO Jazz 88.3 FM); the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School; the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at Cornell University; and the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. As Principal and Senior Counselor at Taft, Oliver directs the Corporate & Public Affairs Group and advises clients on compliance; ethics; dispute resolution; and risk, diversity, and conflict management.


Faith Roessel

Faith Roessel is an attorney and member of the Navajo Tribe of Indians originally from Round Rock, Navajo Nation (Arizona) and has served on the Leadership Council of Convergence – Center for Policy Resolution since its inception. Faith brings to Convergence a varied background with a career in law, policy, education and advocacy focused on communities of color, especially on behalf of American Indian tribes and American Indians and their families, children, and youth. Her work with Convergence is about bridging and building understanding about our country’s first Americans through communication and cross cultural exchange and identifying local community involvement, ownership and empowerment as a means toward just and equitable solutions that take all voices into account.

Faith is President of the Board of Directors of the Association on American Indian Affairs and board member of Americans for Indian Opportunity, two longstanding national Indian advocacy organizations. She is a former board member of the Child Welfare League of America and of the American Bar Association’s Commission for Opportunities for Minorities in the Profession. Faith was appointed to the White House Presidential Advisory Board on Tribal Colleges and Universities and to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the Department of the Interior, which she chaired. She was a member of the U.S. Consensus Council for Search for Common Ground-USA.

Faith directed her tribe’s Navajo Nation Washington Office, the liaison with Congress and the federal government; was a senior staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund; and, was an associate in her tribe’s then-general counsel’s office. She has served in government as deputy assistant secretary of Indian Affairs and special assistant to the Secretary, both within the Department of the Interior and as a legislative assistant to US Senator Jeff Bingaman (ret.).

Faith is married and has three sons. Her family maintains strong ties to their home community of Round Rock, Navajo Nation and she and her sons created and have led every summer a high school community service trip there and to the southwest, involving students from the Washington, DC area.


David Ross

David S. Ross, Esq. is a Senior Mediator with JAMS, the largest provider of private alternative dispute resolution in the world. He has successfully resolved thousands of complex two-party and multi-party cases — including multiple class actions — and regularly handles high profile cases involving celebrities, politicians, royalty and CEOs of large corporations. David focuses on discrimination and sexual harassment disputes as well as a wide array of business-related cases. His mediation career has been featured in The New York Law Journal and The National Law Journal.

David also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University Law School, teaching seminars in Basic Negotiation and Advanced Negotiation Theory and Skills. He sits on the Board of the public education not-for-profit, The Friends of Facing History School, where he founded and now runs a Mentoring Program. David served on the Board of The Rainforest Alliance (2013 – 2019) and is currently a Rainforest Alliance Ambassador. He has served on other not-for-profit Boards including Search for Common Ground (2004 – 2009), the Cathedral School of St. John the Divine (2008 – 2012, Vice-Chair) and the Development Committee of Trinity School.

Prior to joining JAMS, David practiced in the litigation department at Cravath, Swaine and Moore. Among other academic achievements, he received an LL.M. in Alternative Dispute Resolution from Columbia University Law School (1993), a J.D. from NYU Law School where he was a Teaching Assistant in Criminal Law and a member of the Moot Court Board (1986-1989), and a B.A. with honors from the University of Virginia (1986) where he was selected to be a Visiting Scholar at Cambridge University, England (1984-1985). He recently completed The Negotiation Master Class at Harvard Law School (2018).

Tim SchantzTim Schantz

Tim Schantz is a senior executive with broad domestic and international experience in both developed and emerging markets and in a wide range of financial arenas, including asset and wealth management, corporate and structured finance, investment/merchant banking and alternative investing. He has also cultivated a lifelong interest in history, politics and strategy and has served effectively both as a trustee/director and as an executive in the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Mr. Schantz serves on the leadership team of History Factory in Washington, DC as its Chief Administrative Officer/Managing Director of Archives and Content Solutions and as a Vice Chairman of Clear Harbor Asset Management of New York. After a decade of living and working in Europe (the UK, Italy, and Germany) in corporate finance and banking with Bankers Trust, Continental Illinois and Chase Manhattan and then serving as a strategy consultant for Greenwich Associates, he has spent the better part of the past 30 years in executive leadership roles; first, as president of ING Capital, the firm’s US merchant bank, and then, as president of ING Furman Selz Asset Management, its third-party money management platform specializing in alternatives and managed accounts. This was followed by roles as head of ING’s corporate and structured finance business in the Americas (North and South) and Deutsche Bank’s structured finance activities within private wealth management in the US before joining Genworth as head of alternative investing.

Then, after leading the Mountbatten Institute in North America, providing first class professional development and experiential education to post-graduate students from around the world, Mr. Schantz was called to serve the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation in Washington D.C., comprised of the National Cathedral and its three schools, as its Executive Vice President and COO. He has also served as a member of the Compensation and Governance Committees for the Board of Questex Media and has been a Director and Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee for MortgageIT, a NYSE listed company, prior to its acquisition by Deutsche Bank. Mr. Schantz has served as a Trustee and Chairman of the Governance Committee and led a Capital Campaign for the Museum of American Finance, as a Director for University Settlement, one of New York’s oldest charitable organizations, as a Trustee for the Investment Funds of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, as Treasurer for St. Andrew’s Church in Stamford, as President of the Tomac Historic Burying Ground in Old Greenwich, Ct. and on the Chairman’s Advisory Committee of the Greenwich Historical Society. Currently, he also serves as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee and chairs the Investment Committee for the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as Chairman of the Education Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee for the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Libraries. Mr. Schantz holds a B.A. in History from Brown University, studied at the AUFS Institute in Rome and is a recipient of an award in historic preservation from the DAR. He and his wife, Patricia, currently live in Washington and Annapolis after many years in Old Greenwich, Ct. Their three adult children, Adam, Susannah and Bobby, are residents of Philadelphia, Washington and Los Angeles respectively.


Louise Phipps Senft

Louise Phipps Senft is a lawyer and mediation expert who is best known for integrating transformative approaches to conflict into her work as a mediator, executive coach in negotiation and personality dynamics in the workplace, and certified master trainer. She founded the Baltimore Mediation Center in 1993, now Louise Phipps Senft and Associates/Baltimore Mediation, the first transformative mediation firm in Maryland. The firm offers mediation, facilitation for collaborative decision-making, leadership and conflict coaching, and conflict resolution training. She is also the President and CEO of ORANS – The Campaign for Relational Leadership.

With over 20 years of experience, Louise practices, advocates and teaches mediator and negotiator self-awareness, quality interaction and informed decision-making, recognition and empowerment, and is recognized nationally and internationally for her work in the classroom and at the mediation table. Since 1998, Louise has been on faculty at the University of Maryland School of Law, teaching courses in Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution (ADR) for lawyers, Negotiation, and Mediation Theory and Practice. As a member of the faculty of the Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation Insight Initiative, she taught conflict transformation theory and self-awareness practices and has joined Helen Palmer teaching the Enneagram. She is one of the founding members of Mediators Beyond Borders, a nonprofit offering conflict resolution aid and training for initiatives such as the Child Soldier Project in Ghana and the Katrina Mediation Project where she serves as Executive Chair of Training.

As a certified Enneagram teacher in the Narrative Tradition, Louise offers personality awareness and development workshops providing greater productivity and personal satisfaction, emotional intelligence and self-awareness for executives, managers, and professionals in many fields. She has pioneered the reliance on self-awareness and the Enneagram for the conflict resolution and mediation communities as a means of managing personal reactivity and fostering professional excellence. She was voted “Baltimore’s Best” Mediator by Baltimore Magazine 2002 and named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” for the year 2004, 2007, and 2009 by The Daily Record, and inducted into Maryland’s “Circle of Excellence” for outstanding leadership in Maryland. Honored in 2012 by Smart CEO Magazine with a Brava Award as a top CEO in Maryland, Louise is married and the mother of five children.

Qaisar ShareefQaisar Shareef

Qaisar Shareef concluded a 30-year career with Procter & Gamble in 2011. He joined the company in 1981 in Cincinnati, Ohio and served in several roles within the US and in P&G’s international operations in Marketing and in General Management. Most recently, he headed up the P&G operations in Pakistan; a role in which he served until early 2011, before returning back to the US. He is based in the Washington DC area.

He is an advisory partner at Ward Howell International, a global executive recruiting and managment consultancy firm. He has been adjunct faculty teaching International Marketing at School of International Business at the George Washington University. He also serves on the boards of several non profit organizations in the Washingotn DC area. These include Montgomery County Muslim Council, American Muslim Institution and OPEN Washington DC.

Qaisar has just completed writing his memoirs about leading P&G busineses in emerging markets. His book “When Tribesmen Came Calling: Building an Enduring American Business in Pakistan”, will be published by Blue Ear Books in July 2017 (http://www.BlueEarBooks.com/books/when-tribesmen-came-calling/). Qaisar is originally from Pakistan and first moved to Cincinnati in 1977.

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel received his medical degree from Harvard University and completed his postgraduate medical education at UCLA with training in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. An internationally renowned speaker and teacher in the interface of neurobiology, psychiatry and mindful awareness, he is the author and co-author of several books. Dr. Siegel is currently a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine where he is also on the faculty of the Center for Culture, Brain, and Development and the Co-Director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA.

Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization that focuses on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes.


John Steiner

John Steiner is a networker, meshweaver, catalyst, tranpsartisan activist and creative consultant, often with his wife and partner, Margo King. He is one of the national leaders of the current effort to take the transpartisan movement to scale.

For decades he has been passionate about how we can heal across the partisan divides in our country and globally. From 2004-2009 he helped organize Reuniting America, as it brought together conservative, moderate, liberal and progressive leaders of national organizations to engage in constructive dialogues and to prove that leaders with highly divergent views could and were actually eager to work together to find common ground solutions.

He was a founding board member of Search for Common Ground, and with Rob Stein a co-founder of the National Commons, a predecessor organization to the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, where he was a founding advisory board member. He was one of founders of the Social Venture Network, and the Threshold Foundation. He served as board chair of CDR Associates.

He currently works full time helping to build, catalyze and serve this emergent, transpartisan field as a co-founder and board member of the Bridge Alliance — http://www.bridgealliance.us/ — as co-leader of the Citizen Summit, and as a board member of the Mediators Foundation. He works closely in this arena with Mark Gerzon, author of The Reunited States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide.

John is a graduate of Harvard College, class of ’65. He spent a year in Venezuela with Accion en Venezuela (like the Peace Corps). Studying city planning at Berkeley brought him out to California in 1966 and for twenty years thereafter. He has practiced Zen Buddhism at the Zen Mountain Center at Tassajara Hot Springs in California.

John and Margo have lived in Boulder, CO since 1986. With their two grown children they are trustees of the Steiner King Foundation. They are also members of Impact Partners, which invests in social impact documentary films. Their work and life are animated by a long-term commitment to the timeless wisdom traditions and to planetary awakening.

Duf Sundheim

Duf Sundheim is a Principal at GPS Mediation and has been active at the highest levels of all three branches of government and played a leading role in several bipartisan reform efforts. He has been a senior advisor to governors, legislative leaders and mayor of the 10th largest city in America. Duf is a member of the United States Federal Courts Advanced Mediation Practice Group and serves as a California Superior Court Settlement Judge and Santa Clara County Hearing Officer.

Duf is committed to bringing mediation principles to the political process and has applied these principles to develop bipartisan coalitions including the only recall of a sitting governor in the history of California and groundbreaking redistricting, pension and education reforms. He has been especially active in underserved communities for which he has received the California State Bar Pro Bono Award. Duf and his wife of over 34 years live near Stanford University and have two adult children.

Nicholas O. Suplina

Nick brings 20 years of legal and policy experience in the public and private sectors to the role of Managing Director for Law and Policy of Everytown for Gun Safety, the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization. In this role, he oversees the organization’s approach to federal, state, and local policy, research, and investigations.

Directly prior to joining Everytown, he served as Senior Advisor and Special Counsel to the New York State Attorney General, where he formulated legal strategies in the areas of criminal justice, public safety, technology, and government integrity.

Nick has handled both sides of complex criminal and civil cases as an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Division of the New York Attorney General’s Office and as a litigation attorney at the law firm of Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. Prior to beginning private practice, Nick clerked for the Honorable Richard Conway Casey in the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Nick has appeared on national television news outlets and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Rolling Stone, Vice, Politico, and others. He graduated with high honors from the George Washington University Law School and received his BA from Wesleyan University.

William Ury

William Ury is co-founder of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where he directs the Global Negotiation Project. He is co-author of the international bestseller Getting to Yes and the author of Getting Past No and The Third Side. Over the last twenty-five years, Dr. Ury has mediated between quarreling corporate divisions, battling unions, management and warring ethnic groups around the world. He has also served as a negotiation consultant to governments and dozens of Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Ury is co-founder of the e-Parliament, a problem-solving forum and ideas bank for effective legislation, connecting members of congresses and parliaments around the world. His most recent project is the Abraham Path Initiative, which seeks to create a permanent path of tourism and pilgrimage in the Middle East that retraces the footsteps of Abraham, the unifying figure of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Trained as an anthropologist, Dr. Ury holds a B.A. from Yale and Ph.D. from Harvard.

Rita Walters

Union Theological Seminary President Serene Jones announced the appointment of Rita L. Walters as Vice President of Development, effective July 1, 2019.  Walters brings 20 years of fundraising and advancement experience in non-profit, faith-based and higher education sectors. Most recently, she served as the Chief Development Officer for Catholic Charities of Maryland and Vice President of Advancement for the Maryland Institute College of Art.

“Rita brings a wealth of experience in advancing institutional goals to this position and I’m looking forward to having her join our seminary family,” said Jones. “At a time when Union is continuing to pave the way with innovative programs in theological education, and the weight of student debt is increasing, we need a visionary and strategic leader who can help us grow our resources to meet our needs and aspirations.”

“I am excited to serve as the next Vice President of Development for Union to support the dynamic vision led by President Jones, her leadership team and the board of trustees,” said Walters. “We are at a seminal moment in history, where Union’s vision of expansive love and justice-seeking service is key to forming deeper relationships with alumni, donors and friends, as we harness our collective power to continue to be a light of hope in the world.”

A native of Newark, N.J., Walters began her career in New York City in finance before transitioning to advancement, where she worked as the Director of Development at The Baltimore Presbytery, followed by a position as Senior Associate Director of Development at The Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and then Chief Development Officer at Washington National Cathedral. Walters holds a master’s degree of liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

President Jones added, “I am grateful to Emily Odom for her leadership over the past several months as interim vice president and am pleased that she will continue her diligent work with alums as she returns to her former position as Director of Alumni/ae Relations.

L. Simone Washington

L. Simone Washington serves as Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) at BSR, a mission-driven team of sustainable business experts that works with its global network of more than 250 member companies to build a just and sustainable world. Simone brings more than 15 years of experience in leading equity initiatives with some of the nation’s leading social justice organizations and mission-led corporations. In addition to her work at BSR, Simone co-directs and instructs the University of Vermont’s Breakthrough Leadership in Food Sustainability Program. Simone is a former civil rights attorney and trained conflict resolution practitioner, whose scholarship focuses on social justice and multiculturalism.

Allen WaxmanAllen Waxman

Allen Waxman serves as General Counsel of Roivant Sciences Inc, and innovative health care company. He also is member of the company’s senior management team.

Mr. Waxman joined Roivant from Eisai, where he was Executive Vice President and served as the Company’s General Counsel and then head of its Market Access team. Previously, he was a partner at Kaye Scholer, LLP, where he was chair of the firm’s Life Sciences Group. There he focused on complex litigation and government investigations. Prior to Kaye Scholer, Mr. Waxman held the position of General Counsel at Pfizer, where he had global responsibility for leading the Legal Division and served as a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team. Earlier in his career, Mr. Waxman was a partner at Williams & Connolly, LLP, based in Washington, D.C., where he tried civil and criminal cases and also served as national counsel in pharmaceutical litigation.

Mr. Waxman has been active in many professional and philanthropic organizations. He is currently a member of the board of Leake & Watts, a not-for-profit dedicated to helping families in need in New York. Previously, Mr. Waxman was Chairman of the board of Equal Justice Works, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing the next generation of lawyers working in the public interest, and also served as a board member of the New York lawyers’ chapter of the Anti-Defamation League and of Day One, an organization dedicated to working with youth to end dating violence.

Previously, Mr. Waxman was Vice-Chairman of the Legal Section Executive Committee for PhRMA, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and Chairman of the Board of the Thurgood Marshall Academy Public Charter High School in Washington, D.C. He also has served on the Association of General Counsel, the Civil Justice Reform Group, the Rand Center’s Advisory Group on Corporate Ethics and Governance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Legal Reform, and the Business Council of New York State.

Mr. Waxman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School. Upon graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Thomas Penfield Jackson of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Honorable Vin Weber

Vin is a Partner at Mercury in Washington, D.C. He provides strategic advice to institutions with matters before the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. He has successfully advised numerous clients on matters pertaining to mergers & acquisitions, crisis management, strategic communications and international strategies. From 1981-1983, Vin was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Minnesota.

Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS Mediation, Arbitration & ADR ServicesThe Honorable Rebecca Westerfield

Rebecca is a former judge (Ky. Circuit Court 1987-1992) and founding member of JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services). She has been recognized by SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in the field of ADR. She has consistently been ranked as one of the top 50 Best Neutrals in California, was named Mediator of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, and identified as one of the top three mediators in the Bay Area. Rebecca has been named to the Board of Trustees of the Town School for Boys, the World Affairs Council of No. Ca. and the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law, and to the Advisory Board of the American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Center. In addition, she serves on the Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves and the International Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law. Rebecca has served as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley School of Law and lectures at Stanford University School of Law. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and holds a Master in Liberal Arts from Stanford University.

Edward Wexler-Beron

Edward currently resides in San Francisco, CA. He serves on the board of Minds Matter San Francisco, a non-profit mentorship program that helps students from under-resourced families attend selective universities. He’s worked in tech for most of his career, including at eBay, CommonBond, Square and BetterUp. He has always been interested in public policy and finding the most effective solutions to the problems we face as a country, regardless of the political origins of the policy. He studied economics at Pomona College, International Relations at the London School of Economics, and Entrepreneurial Management at Wharton.

Kelly Young

Kelly Young is the President of Education Reimagined – a nonprofit aiming to deepen and spread the presence of learner-centered education. Previously, she served as the Interim Chief of the Office of Family and Public Engagement for the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). From 1998-2007, Kelly served as the Executive Director of a national political organization. She is the mother of two young children and received her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Virginia.

Mark Zitter

Mark Zitter is founder and chair of the Zetema Project, a diverse panel of national healthcare leaders whose goal is to inform the US healthcare conversation. He is Chairman of Zitter Health Insights, a data and market research firm focused on pharmaceutical market access. Mark was co-founder and CEO of Vital Decisions, a telephone counseling company for patients with life-limiting illnesses, which he sold to a private equity firm in 2012. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Club of California, where he has hosted healthcare programs featuring CMS Administrators Seema Verma, Andy Slavitt, and Gail Wilensky; ACA architect Ezekiel Emanuel; Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; lifestyle doctor Dean Ornish; and many others. Mark serves on the healthcare advisory board of Riverside Partners, a private equity firm, and the behavior change firm Motimatic. He is the former Board chair of SFJAZZ. He has authored four books on health care and has been a guest lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health, Yale Medical School, and Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned his MBA.

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