The Cuba Consortium is guided by an Advisory Board consisting of former officials, subject matter experts, and international business leaders. The Board is co-chaired by Senators Nancy Kassebaum Baker and Tom Daschle and includes Dr. Michael Adams, Richard Blum, Sheila Burke, Rodney Ferguson, Senator Bill Frist, Dr. Helene Gayle, Maurice Greenberg, Senator Bob Kerrey, Linda Klein, Fred Malek, Janet Napolitano, Thomas Ross, Senator Olympia Snowe, The Honorable Ellen Tauscher, Bill Weldon, and Rob Wilder, among others.
Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum
Nancy Landon Kassebaum (wife of Howard Henry Baker, Jr., now Nancy Kassebaum Baker), a Senator from Kansas; born in Topeka, Shawnee County, Kans., July 29, 1932; attended the public schools of Topeka, Kans.; graduated, University of Kansas 1954; received a graduate degree from the University of Michigan 1956; radio station executive, Wichita, Kans.; member, Kansas governmental ethics commission 1975-1976; member, Kansas committee for the humanities 1975-1979; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate, November 7, 1978, for the six-year term commencing January 3, 1979; subsequently appointed by the Governor, December 23, 1978, to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of James B. Pearson, for the term ending January 3, 1979; reelected in 1984 and again in 1990 and served from December 23, 1978, to January 3, 1997; not a candidate for reelection in 1996; chairman, Committee on Labor and Human Resources (One Hundred Fourth Congress).
Senator Tom Daschle
Founder & CEO
The Daschle Group
Senator Daschle is the Founder and CEO of The Daschle Group, A Public Policy Advisory of Baker Donelson. The Daschle Group is a full-service strategic advisory firm that advises clients on a broad array of economic, policy and political issues.
Senator Daschle has participated in the development and debate of almost every major public policy issue of the last three decades. In 1978, he was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he served for eight years. In 1986, he was elected to the US Senate and was chosen as Senate Democratic Leader in 1994. Senator Daschle is one of the longest serving Senate Democratic leaders in history and one of only two to serve twice as both Majority and Minority Leader.
During his tenure, Senator Daschle navigated the Senate through some of its most historic economic and national security challenges. In 2003, he chronicled some of these experiences in his book, Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever. In the 2013 release of The US Senate: Fundamentals of American Government, Senator Daschle explores the inner workings of this important part of the legislative branch.
Since leaving the Senate, Senator Daschle has remained an active and learned voice among policy-makers. As a well-known expert on health policy reform, he has written two books: Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis and Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform.
Michael F. Adams
Michael F. Adams, who served as president of the University of Georgia from 1997 to 2013, is now chancellor of Pepperdine University. Adams is an award-winning educator, political communication specialist, and former vice president for university affairs at Pepperdine University (1982-1988).
Adams most recently held the titles President Emeritus and Regents’ Professor at the University of Georgia. Under his leadership, from 1997 to 2013, the university was recognized as one of the nation’s top 20 public research universities for eight out of 10 years by U.S. News & World Report. During his tenure, the university also attained its highest rankings ever, became the most selective in its history, and grew from an estimated 29,000 students to almost 35,000 students today. Prior to his term at the University of Georgia, he served as president of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, one of America’s top 40 liberal arts colleges, from 1989 to 1997.
A widely respected figure in higher education, Adams has been elected by his peers to lead a number of national organizations, including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the American Council on Education (ACE), and the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Executive Committee.
Adams has received more than 50 awards in higher education, including the Knight Foundation Award for Presidential Leadership, the Pioneer Award for Leadership in Civil Rights, and the James T. Rogers Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He is also the recipient of the Governor’s Award in the Humanities from the Georgia Endowment for the Humanities.
Mr. Augustenborg just completed a 35-year career in the CIA’s Clandestine Service which included nine field assignments on four continents. His principal focus had been in Russia, Southeast Asia and Latin America. He has developed an especially good network of contacts and current, first-hand expertise on Cuba. Throughout his CIA career, Mr. Augustenborg worked closely with numerous foreign partners providing training, assistance, and leadership of joint programs. He still maintains many of these valuable international contacts and has maintained close working relationships with a wide-range of US-based companies.
During his exceptional CIA career, Mr. Augustenborg developed additional expertise on such subjects as counterintelligence (protecting one’s security), the global cyber threat, international terrorism, and risk mitigation best-practices in those disciplines. Prior to entering the CIA, Mr. Augustenborg was a Los Angeles Police Officer with assignments in the LAPD’s Intelligence Division, Public Affairs, and multiple uniform divisions working felony crimes
Richard C. Blum
Chairman of Management Committee
Blum Capital Partners, L.P.
Mr. Blum is the Chairman and a member of the Management Committee of Blum Capital Partners, L.P., a long-term strategic equity investment management firm founded in 1975 that acts as general partner for various investment partnerships and provides investment advisory services. He served as the Independent Chair of our Board from September 2001 through May 2014.
Mr. Blum has experience in the capital markets and securities business, and broad knowledge of our business through his many years of experience on our Board. He has experience serving as a director of other companies and he currently serves on the board of directors of Pacific Alliance Group Holdings Ltd., Egyptian Direct Investment Fund, Coral Growth Investments Limited, Astar USA, LLC and FilmYard Holdings, LLC. He previously served on the boards of directors of Fairmont Raffles Holdings International Ltd. and Current Media, L.L.C. Mr. Blum holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sheila P. Burke
Sheila P. Burke is a strategic advisor in Baker Donelson's Washington, D.C., office and serves as chair of the Firm's Government Relations and Public Policy Group. In addition to her role at the Firm, Ms. Burke continues as a faculty member at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she teaches a number of health policy courses and co-directs a public policy simulation exercise. From 1996 to 2000, she was executive dean and a lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School. She also serves as Distinguished Visitor at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.
Ms. Burke served for 19 years on Capitol Hill. Early in her career, she was a member of the staff of the Senate Finance Committee responsible for legislation relating to Medicare, Medicaid and other health programs. She ultimately became deputy staff director of the Finance Committee. She went on to serve as deputy chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, and later as his Chief of Staff. In these roles, she was involved with numerous legislative issues including those related to Medicare, Medicaid and the Maternal and Child Health programs, welfare reform, budget reconciliation and the previous legislative efforts to reform health care. In 1995, she was elected as secretary of the Senate, which is the chief administrative officer of the United States Senate.
In addition to her government and academic experience, Ms. Burke served as the deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum and research complex. As the chief operating officer, she had responsibility for the overall operations of the 19 individual museums and galleries, the National Zoo and nine research facilities located in Washington, D.C., five states and 150 foreign countries with revenues of approximately $1 billion and an endowment of $1 billion. During her seven-year tenure at the Smithsonian, she oversaw the completion of the National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Museum of the American Indian and the renovation of the Smithsonian's Reynolds Center for Art and Portraiture. She was also involved in the initial planning for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She began her Smithsonian tenure in 2000 as the undersecretary for American Museums and National Programs, becoming deputy secretary and chief operating officer in 2004.
President & CEO
In his role as President and CEO, Rodney Ferguson is responsible for the strategic, programmatic, financial and management operations of Winrock International in its mission to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Before coming to Winrock, Ferguson worked for 20 years as one of the country’s leading consultants on communications and strategy for the nonprofit sector — most recently with Lipman Hearne, Inc., the largest marketing and communications firm in the U.S. that exclusively serves nonprofits. There he worked closely with the MacArthur Foundation to increase awareness of the MacArthur Fellows — aka “genius” — awards.
Ferguson has worked with other major foundations, service providers and philanthropic organizations, including the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Children's Medical Center. He has worked with dozens of colleges and universities, including the State University of New York (SUNY), Seton Hall University and the American Council on Education (ACE), as well as assisting with international aid and development projects, including projects in Iraq, Slovenia and Qatar. Born and raised in Alabama, Ferguson graduated summa cum laude from Birmingham Southern College. He also attended the University of St Andrews in Scotland as a Rotary Foundation International Scholar, and graduated from Harvard Kennedy School with a master’s in public policy. Ferguson has served on a number of boards, including the D.C. Advisory Board for Teach for America, as well as the Education Writers Association, the membership association for education journalists and broadcasters.
Senator William Frist
Senator William Frist, M.D. is a nationally-acclaimed heart and lung transplant surgeon, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, and chairman of the Executive Board of the health service private equity firm Cressey & Company. He is actively engaged in the business as well as the medical, humanitarian, and philanthropic communities. He is chairman of both Hope Through Healing Hands, which focuses on maternal and child health and global poverty, and SCORE, a statewide collaborative education reform organization that has helped propel Tennessee to prominence as a K12 education reform state.
As a U.S. Senator representing Tennessee from 1994 -2006 (the first practicing physician elected to the Senate since 1928), Dr. Frist served on both the Health (HELP) and the Finance Committees responsible for writing all health legislation. He was elected Majority Leader of the Senate, having served fewer total years in Congress than any person chosen to lead that body in history. His leadership was instrumental in the passage of the 2003 Medicare Modernization Act and the historic PEPFAR legislation that provided life-saving treatment globally to over 12 million people and reversed the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide. He also held seats on the Foreign Relations Committee where he chaired the Subcommittee on Africa, the Commerce Committee, and the Banking Committee.
Currently Dr. Frist serves as an adjunct professor of Cardiac Surgery at Vanderbilt University and clinical professor of Surgery at Meharry Medical College. As a leading authority on healthcare, Senator Frist speaks nationally on health reform, government policy, global health, education reform, and volunteerism. His current board service includes the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Kaiser Family Foundation, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Bipartisan Policy Center, and Nashville Health Care Council. In the private sector, he serves on the boards of Select Medical, Teladoc, AECOM, Theranos, and others.
Helene D. Gayle
McKinsey Social Initiative
Helene D. Gayle is CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit organization that implements programs that bring together varied stakeholders to address complex global and social challenges. As the inaugural CEO, Dr. Gayle is setting direction and building the organization. McKinsey Social Initiative's first program, Generation, addresses the problem of youth unemployment, with programs in five countries--India, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and the United States--and a goal of connecting one million young people with skills and jobs in five years.
She was previously president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization with approximately 10,000 staff whose poverty-fighting programs have reached 82 million people in 87 countries. After joining CARE USA in 2006, Gayle led efforts to reinforce CARE’s commitment to empowering girls and women to bring lasting change to poor communities. Under her leadership, CARE USA strengthened its focus on long-term impact, increased policy and advocacy efforts and deepened connections between poverty and the environment. Gayle leveraged the power of CARE’s corporate and NGO partners to significantly expand CARE’s reach across the globe.
An expert on health, global development and humanitarian issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS. She was appointed as the first director of the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, and achieved the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General in the U.S. Public Health Service. Gayle also served as the AIDS coordinator and chief of the HIV/AIDS division for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Gayle then directed the HIV, TB and Reproductive Health Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Gayle serves on several boards, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Rockefeller Foundation, Colgate-Palmolive Company, ONE and Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Public Health Association. Gayle also chaired the Obama Administration's Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS, and currently serves on the President's Commission on White House Fellowships.
Gayle has been named one of Foreign Policy magazine's "Top 100 Global Thinkers,", Newsweek's top 10 "Women in Leadership," and the Wall Street Journal's "50 Women to Watch," as well as one of the "100 Most Influential Atlantans" and the "100 Most Influential Georgians."
Tomás Díaz de la Rubia
Tomás Díaz de la Rubia is Purdue University’s chief scientist and executive director of Discovery Park. In this position, his responsibilities include building upon Discovery Park’s foundation of excellence which has enabled high-impact research that crosses traditional academic boundaries. He works closely with the faculty and deans to help catalyze Purdue’s many strengths and build on its legacy of interdisciplinary research with global impact and public‐private partnerships. He is also a professor of Strategic Management (by Courtesy) in the Krannert School of Management.
Before coming to Purdue, Díaz de la Rubia served as innovation leader and a director in Deloitte's energy and resources industry practice in Washington, D.C., working with Fortune 500 energy and manufacturing companies to identify and capitalize on business opportunities arising from potentially disruptive, innovative new technologies.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Tomás was the chief research officer and deputy laboratory director for science and technology at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California, where he was responsible for the long-term health of the science and technology foundations of the laboratory’s $1.6 billion research program. In this capacity, he oversaw a $300M program of basic and applied research, and was responsible for the Laboratory’s industrial partnerships and technology commercialization. From 2002-2009, he was an associate director at LLNL, leading its chemistry, materials science, life sciences, and energy and environmental sciences organizations, as well as its $60 million basic materials science, chemistry and biology programs with the Department of Energy's Office of Science.
Tomas serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF Global), a non profit organization dedicated to promoting peace and prosperity through international scientific collaboration, and among his hobbies, he is a member of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, an worldwide group dedicated to promoting the virtues of the wines and foods of Burgundy.
Díaz de la Rubia has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and has co-edited several books and conference proceedings. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and served as an elected member of the board of directors of the Materials Research Society, and vice-chair of the division of computational physics of the American Physical Society. He holds a bachelor's degree (summa cum laude) and a doctorate in physics from The State University of New York, Albany.
Senator Byron L. Dorgan
Senator Byron L. Dorgan retired from the United States Senate in 2011 after a thirty year career representing the State of North Dakota. He served twelve years in the House of Representatives and eighteen years in the Senate.
During his time in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Dorgan served in the Senate Leadership for sixteen years, first as Assistant Democratic Floor Leader and then as Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. He was Chairman of Senate Committees and Subcommittees on the issues of Energy, Aviation, Appropriations, Water Policy and Indian Affairs.
Today, Sen. Dorgan is active in his post Senate life. He is a visiting Professor at Georgetown University, a Senior Policy Advisor at a Washington D.C. Law Firm, a Senior Fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and active on several Boards of Directors.
He is a New York Times Bestselling author having authored two books about economic issues and co-authored two novels. He has been described as an engaging public speaker who both entertains and informs the audience.
Dr. Victor Dzau
National Academy of Medicine
Dr. Victor Dzau is President of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. His six-year term began on July 1, 2014.
Dr. Dzau was the Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chairman of Medicine at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women's Hospital, as well as Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Stanford University. He then served as the Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University and President and CEO of the Duke University Medical Center. Dzau is the James B. Duke Professor of Medicine. He was then elected President of the Institute of Medicine.
Dr. Dzau is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts. He was the previous Chairman of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Cardiovascular Disease Advisory Committee, and he served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH. Dr. Dzau has made a significant impact on medicine through his seminal research in cardiovascular medicine and genetics, his pioneering of the discipline of vascular medicine, and his leadership in health care innovation.
He was born in Shanghai and raised in Hong Kong. He received his M.D. from the medical school at McGill University.
Maurice R. Greenberg
Chairman and CEO
C.V. Starr & Co. Inc.
Mr. Greenberg retired as Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG) in March 2005. AIG was created by C.V. Starr & Co., Inc. Under his leadership, AIG became the largest insurance and financial services company in the world.
He serves on the President’s Council on International Activities of Yale University, Honorary Vice Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations and Vice Chairman of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. He is the past Chairman and Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He is active on the boards of many other civic and charitable organizations working in the United States and Asia.
In 1990, Mr. Greenberg was appointed by Mr. Zhu Rongji, then Mayor of Shanghai, to be the first Chairman of the International Business Leaders’ Advisory Council for the Mayor of Shanghai. In 1994, Mr. Greenberg was appointed Senior Economic Advisor to the Beijing Municipal Government. He was awarded “Honorary Citizen of Shanghai” in 1997. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Tsinghua School of Economics and Management, the International Advisory Council of the China Development Research Foundation, and the China Development Bank.
On June 6th, 2014, at the 70th Anniversary celebration of D-Day at the Statue of Liberty in New York, Mr. Greenberg was awarded the French Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur for his service during World War II. He is also the recipient of The Bronze Star Medal from the United States.
In addition, on November 9th, 2015, Mr. Greenberg received the insignia of Commandeur de l’Ordre National de la Legion d’Honneur recognizing his leadership and contributions as Chairman of AIG.
Mr. Greenberg received his pre-law certificate from the University of Miami and an LL.B from New York Law School in 1950 and has been granted honorary degrees from a number of universities.
Mr. Greenberg is married and has four children.
Senator Bob Kerrey
Senator Joseph Robert “Bob” Kerrey helps clients achieve superior value by creating dynamic partnerships that elevate and realize projects of significant merit. He provides strategic insight and campaign leadership in practice areas including Defense, International, Finance, Education and Energy. Senator Kerrey uniquely combines the leadership skills and process understanding of a senator and a governor with the energy and ambition of a private sector president and entrepreneur.
Senator Kerrey served as President of the New School from 2001 to 2010. He more than doubled the university’s endowment and also secured substantial federal funding. He led the New School to major academic growth and expansion including numerous new academic programs and several joint degree programs. Enrollment increased 44%, online course enrollment doubled, and full-time, tenure track faculty was increased.
Senator Kerrey served on National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, commonly known as the 9/11 Commission. The bi-partisan commission of five Democrats and five Republicans issued its final report in July of 2004.
Senator Kerrey served as Democratic Senator from Nebraska from 1989 to 2001, acquiring a reputation as someone willing to take a stand on issues, even in the face of public opposition. He was a member of the Agriculture Committee, the Finance Committee and the Appropriations Committee. He served as vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee from 1995 to 1999. He was chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 104th Congress.
Prior to coming to the Senate, he served as Governor of the State of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987. In 1982, despite having no political experience, he defeated an incumbent Republican governor in heavily Republican Nebraska. Governor Kerrey inherited a three percent deficit and was faced with severe federal cutbacks during the greatest economic depression since the 1930’s. By making tough budget cuts, he brought the deficit under control and actually balanced Nebraska’s budget in each of his four years, ultimately turning the deficit he inherited into a seven percent surplus. Governor Kerrey’s programs on welfare reform, education, job training, and the environment became models for the nation.
Senator Kerrey is a former member of the elite Navy SEAL Team and is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Senator Kerrey attended Lincoln Public Schools and graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is a self-made businessman who, upon returning from the war and starting from scratch in 1972, built a chain of highly successful restaurants and health clubs that employ people across four states. He is married to Sarah Paley and has three children, Henry, Ben and Lindsey.
As a young person, Linda Klein was very close to her parents and grandparents. These relationships sparked in her an interest in elder law and in 1980, upon graduating cum laude from Union College in Schenectady, New York, she enrolled in Washington & Lee Law School in Virginia. As a law student, she volunteered to assist underprivileged Appalachians prepare their income tax returns.
After graduating from law school in 1983, instead of accepting the highest offer, she instead chose a lower paying position that would allow her to gain the most trial practice experience. In 1993, Ms. Klein joined Gambrell & Stolz, LLP in Atlanta where she currently serves as Managing Partner. Her practice includes business dispute resolution, including contract law, construction law, fidelity and surety law, employment law and professional responsibility.
In the late 1980s, Ms. Klein became active in the State Bar of Georgia. She ran for a seat on the Board of Governors in 1990 and prevailed despite strong opposition. Following that victory, she was elected by the 134-member board to serve on its Executive Committee. This fueled her next campaign for Secretary, which was an overwhelming victory and paved the way to her becoming the first female President of the State Bar of Georgia.
As President-elect, she was concerned that the federal cuts in legal services would disproportionately affect women and children, specifically victims of domestic violence. She worked with legal service providers and community organizations to lobby the Georgia legislature for the first-ever appropriation. In addition to collecting money, food, furniture and other necessities, the coalition gained 100% support in both houses for the appropriation. This effort resulted in continuous assistance for 6,000 needy families annually.
As President of the State Bar of Georgia, Ms. Klein served on the traditionally male Judicial Nominating Commission. She encouraged qualified women to apply for judicial appointments, which enabled the Governor to appoint more women to the bench than all other previous governors combined. A tireless supporter of women candidates, Ms. Klein chaired campaign committees, raised money, and gave advice on political strategy.
Linda Klein has inspired not only younger and older lawyers, but other young women and girls. She spoke to school classes and took Daisy Scouts (underprivileged kindergarten students) to a State Bar of Georgia Annual Meeting to expose them to the legal system and encourage their interest in the law. She always finds time to cultivate younger lawyers. According to members at her firm, "she excites them about the practice of law, about their cases, and about giving back to the community. Every candidate for employment wants to meet her. Young women attorneys, even those who know her only by reputation, often speak of how she has inspired them." Several women attorneys attribute their positions to Ms. Klein's zealous advocacy.
At the American Bar Association (ABA), she worked her way up the leadership track in the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section, now serving as its Chair. In addition to Ms. Klein's numerous ABA activities and women's advocacy groups such as Leadership America, she is a member and participant in many minority and local bar associations and is a founding member of the Georgia Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. She was an early member of the Board of Directors Network (BDN), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase the number of women and minorities on corporate boards and general counsel positions in Georgia.
In 2000, as President of BDN, she brought attention and funding to the organization. When BDN published its annual study of women on boards and corporate leadership positions in Georgia public companies, with Ms. Klein's guidance, the results reached many media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal. Needless to say, all but one of Georgia's 16 Fortune 500 companies now have at least one woman on their boards.
Linda Klein truly epitomizes the Margaret Brent Award. She serves as Chair of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section (TIPS), litigator, law firm managing partner, fundraiser, motivational and Continuing Legal Education (CLE) speaker, and a genuinely giving person. She maintains a strong marriage with an equally talented and supportive husband, Michael Neuren, a native Georgian.
Dr. William LeoGrande
Professor of Government
Dr. William LeoGrande is a Professor of Government and a specialist in Latin American politics and U.S. foreign policy toward Latin America, Professor LeoGrande has been a frequent adviser to government and private sector agencies. He has written five books, including Our Own Backyard: The United States in Central America, 1977 – 1992. Most recently, he is coauthor of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. Previously, he served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate, and the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Central America of the United States House of Representatives. Professor LeoGrande has been a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, and a Pew Faculty Fellow in International Affairs. His articles have appeared in various international and national journals, magazines and newspapers.
University of California
Janet Napolitano was named the 20th president of the University of California on July 18, 2013, and took office on Sept. 30, 2013. She leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.
As UC president, she has launched initiatives to stabilize in-state tuition and achieve financial stability for the University; improve the community college transfer process; achieve carbon neutrality across the UC system by 2025; accelerate the translation of UC research into products and services; focus UC resources on local and global food issues; and strengthen the University’s engagement with its Mexican peer institutions of higher education. She has also implemented the Fair Wage/Fair Work plan, which established a $15 minimum wage at UC for employees and contract workers – the first for a public university – and implemented a series of reforms to ensure that all UC contractors are complying with wage and workplace condition laws and policies. In 2014, she was appointed a tenured faculty member of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.
Napolitano is a distinguished public servant with a record of leading large, complex organizations. She served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-13, as Governor of Arizona from 2003-09, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998-2003, and as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-97.
Napolitano earned a B.S. degree (summa cum laude in Political Science) in 1979 from Santa Clara University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, a Truman Scholar, and the university’s first female valedictorian. She received her law degree in 1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law), the University of Virginia’s highest external honor. In 2015, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Frederic V. Malek
Thayer Lodging Group, a Brookfield Company
Frederic V. Malek was Founder and Chairman of Thayer Lodging Group Inc., which was sold to Brookfield Asset Management in May of 2014. He now serves as Chairman, Thayer Lodging Group, a Brookfield Company. Thayer Lodging, Brookfield Hotel Properties is a private equity firm that has acquired over $2.7 billion of hotel assets and has consistently earned top returns for investors. Thayer acquired the largest independent hotel management company in the world, Interstate Hotels, and in addition to its U.S. interests, IHR has interests in 10 different countries. Malek is also the Founder and Former Chairman of Thayer Capital Partners, a Washington D.C. based corporate buyout firm that has been merged into a new entity.
In his earlier investment activities Malek led the acquisition of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company with Marriott International as a major equity partner, was one of three leaders in the acquisition of Northwest Airlines, led the acquisition of CB Richard Ellis and was a partner with former President George W. Bush in owning the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. Previously in his business career, Malek was President and CEO of Marriott Hotels, President and CEO of Northwest Airlines, and Co-Chairman of CB Richard Ellis. During his eight year tenure as president of Marriott Hotels, profits quintupled and the stock price increased eight fold.
In addition to his business career, Malek has served as an advisor to four U.S. Presidents (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and H.W. Bush). More recently, Malek served as National Finance Chairman for the 2008 McCain Presidential Campaign and on Governor Mitt Romney’s National Finance Committee in 2012.
Malek has been an active philanthropist serving on multiple charity boards and contributing to the building of the Malek Tennis Center at West Point; the O’Meara, Malek, Dawkins Class of 1959 Strength and Development Center at West Point; the Resnick-Malek Health Center in Aspen; and the Marlene and Fred Malek School of Health Professions at Marymount University.
Malek has received a number of awards in his career including the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship, the Harvard Business School’s Business Statesman Award, the American Friends of the Czech Republic’s Civil Society Vision Award, and the Churchill Centre Leadership Award. He was elected to the Washington Business Hall of Fame and inducted into the Horatio Alger Society. He has appeared frequently on television news shows including Fox News, Meet the Press, Fox Sunday, Face the Nation, and on CNBC’s Squawk Box as a guest host.
Additionally, Malek was an Army airborne ranger serving with a special forces (Green Beret) team in Vietnam. He resides with his wife in McLean, Virginia, and is the proud parent of two children and grandfather of five. Besides family, his passions include biking, hiking, and cross country skiing.
Senior Fellow, Latin America Initiative
Ted Piccone is a senior fellow in the Project on International Order and Strategy and Latin America Initiative in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. His research is focused on global democracy and human rights policies; U.S.-Latin American relations, including Cuba; emerging powers; and multilateral affairs. Previously, he served as the acting vice president and director from 2013 to 2014 and deputy director from 2008 to 2013 of the Foreign Policy program. Piccone is the author of "Five Rising Democracies and the Fate of the International Liberal Order" (Brookings Institution Press, 2016).
Piccone served eight years as a senior foreign policy advisor in the Clinton administration, including on the National Security Council staff, at the State Department's Office of Policy Planning and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. From 2001 to 2008, Piccone was the executive director and co-founder of the Democracy Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights globally. He was also the Washington office director for the Club of Madrid, an association of over 100 former heads of state and government engaged in efforts to strengthen democracy around the world, and continues as an advisor. Piccone served as counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission in El Salvador from 1992 to 1993, and as press secretary to U.S. Representative Bob Edgar from 1985 to 1987.
Piccone has authored or edited multiple volumes and articles on foreign policy, Latin America and human rights. His book, "Catalysts for Change: How the UN’s Independent Experts Promote Human Rights" (Brookings Institution Press, 2012), analyzes the effectiveness of this system at the national level and recommends ways to strengthen it. His research currently focuses on the evolving role of five rising democracies in the global democracy and human rights order. He is an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law.
Piccone received a law degree from Columbia University, where he was editor-in-chief of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and The Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, and a bachelor's in history magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas W. Ross
Thomas W. Ross is President Emeritus of the 17-campus University of North Carolina having served as President from 2011-2016. He currently serves as the Sanford Distinguished Fellow in Public Policy at the Duke University Sanford School for Public Policy and as a Professor of Public Law and Government at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government.
Prior to becoming President of the UNC System, Ross served as President of Davidson College, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, director of the North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts, a Superior Court judge, chief of staff to a U. S. Congressman, a member of a Greensboro, NC law firm and as an Assistant Professor of Public Law and Government at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Government.
Active in civic and community activities, Ross currently serves on the Howard Baker Forum Cuba Consortium Advisory Board. He has served recently on the Board of Governors of the Center for Creative Leadership, the Executive Committee of the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, the Board of Directors of the National System Heads Association, the Association of Governing Boards’ Council of Presidents, the Council on Competitiveness, the advisory boards for the NC Humanities Council and the NC State University Institute for Emerging Issues, and on the honorary Board of Directors of the Conservation Trust of North Carolina. He also served on the boards of the National Humanities Center, the David H. Murdock Research Institute, the NC Biotechnology Center, and the UNC Health Care System. A former chairman of the UNC Greensboro Board of Trustees, he has previously served on the Boards of Visitors for UNCG, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Wake Forest University. In addition, he has served on the boards of Davidson College, the North Carolina New Schools Project, the Kenan Institute for the Arts, the Institute of Government Foundation, the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law Alumni Foundation, the Wake Forest Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
Ross has received numerous awards and accolades for his public service and professional achievements. His many contributions to the judicial system have been recognized through the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence (2000), given annually to one state judge in the nation; Governing Magazine’s National Public Official of the Year Award (1994); the Foundation for the Improvement of Justice Award (1995); the NC Academy of Trial Lawyers Trial Judge of the Year Award (1996); the American Society of Criminology President’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Justice (2007); and the NC Bar Association Citizen Lawyer Award (2010). He has also been honored with The Echo Foundation’s Award Against Indifference (2015), Distinguished Alumni Awards from Davidson (2001) and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law (2005), the UNC-Chapel Hill Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award (2015), and an honorary doctorate from UNCG. In addition, he has received the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award (1993), the National Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (1999), and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (1999).
Born and raised in Greensboro, N.C., Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Davidson College (1972) and graduated with honors from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law (1975). He is married to Susan Donaldson Ross, a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education and a former executive director of the Greensboro Bar Association. They have two adult children.
Mr. Ruddy is a seasoned professional in the field of international development, with extensive experience on programs financed by international financial institutions and donors. He has worked in over 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe, covering sectors ranging from infrastructure and agriculture, to private sector development, finance and trade. His assignments have included working as team leader for an Institutional Strengthening Project complementing the $110 million World Bank loan to the Philippines Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (Airport Rehabilitation, Roads, and Bridges); In Jordan, he supported and led conceptual development, feasibility studies, and technical assistance for one of the country's most successful development programs, the Aqaba Special Economic Zone. Has has worked on programs financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency, and directly for emerging market national governments and private clients world-wide. His recent work includes leading the successful development, negotiation, and implementation of a $461 million Compact between the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of El Salvador. This integrated development program included design and construction of trans-national roads, bridges, water & sanitation systems, schools, and rural electrification networks. As part of this assignment, he structured and led execution of MCC's first Public Private Partnership (P3) for infrastructure development ($33 million deal with U.S. energy company AES). At AECOM, Mr. Ruddy recently led an extensive P3 market study and corporate strategy focused on Africa and the Middle East. Within the End Markets Group, he is now working to implement this strategy, and support a number of strategic initiatives focused on expanding AECOM's business, primarily with National Governments in emerging market countries.
Senator Olympia Snowe
Olympia Snowe is a BPC senior fellow and co-chairs its Commission on Political Reform. With her election to the U.S. Senate in 1994, Snowe began an 18-year career in the Senate, serving until January 2, 2013.
Before her election to the Senate, Snowe represented Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years. She was the first woman in U.S. history to serve in both houses of a state legislature and both houses of Congress. When first elected to Congress in 1978, at the age of 31, Snowe was the youngest Republican woman, and the first Greek-American woman, ever elected to Congress. She has won more federal elections in Maine than any other person since World War II, and is the third-longest serving woman in the history of the Congress. While in the House, she co-chaired the Congressional Caucus on Women’s issues for ten years.
Snowe is a former chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, became the first Republican woman ever to secure a full-term seat on the Senate Finance Committee, and was also the first woman senator to chair the Senate Armed Services Committee Subcommittee on Seapower, which oversees the Navy and Marine Corps.
In 2005, Snowe was named the 54th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine. In 2006, Time magazine named her one of the top ten U.S. senators.
In May 2013, Weinstein Books published Senator Snowe’s book, Fighting for Common Ground: How We Can Fix the Stalemate in Congress, that explains how Congress has become so polarized, and what Americans can do to encourage our Senators and Representatives to govern effectively once again.
The Honorable Ellen O'Kane Tauscher
Ellen O'Kane Tauscher is a former Democratic Member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 10th Congressional district.
Using her unique set of skills and experience, Ms. Tauscher provides clients with the strategic advice needed for effective policy-driven decision-making of federal policy and programs in the defense, transportation, energy and health care fields.
Ms. Tauscher was elected on her first run for any elected office in 1996 and served until her resignation to join the Obama Administration in her seventh term on June, 26, 2009. Nominated by President Barack Obama in March 2009 and confirmed by the United State Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs on June 25, 2009, she served in this role until February 6, 2012. Tauscher served as special envoy for Strategic Stability and Missile Defense at the State Department from February 7, 2012 until her resignation from government service on August 31, 2012.
Returning to the private sector in February 2012, Tauscher is the vice chair of the Atlantic Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security and also serves on the Atlantic Council's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Board of Directors of Invacare Corporation (IVC, NYSE), of Elyria, Ohio; a member of the Board of Directors of Ehealth, Inc.(EHTH) of Mountain View, CA; a member of the Board of Directors of Edison International and Southern California Edison; an independent member of the Board of Governors of Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC and Los Alamos National Security LLC; a member of the Board of Directors of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and is chairman of the Board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Foundation. In August 2013, she became independent board chairman of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a 501 (C) 6 coalition of the 26 largest North American retailers and clothing brands Led by Wal-Mart, The Gap, Target and VF Brands, that are working with NGOs, the ILO industry and the government in Bangladesh, the world's second largest garment manufacturing country, to provide sustainable and enforceable garment factory workplace safety.
As under secretary of state, Tauscher was responsible for successfully closing negotiations of the New Start Treaty with the Russian Federation in March 2010 in Geneva, after months of stalemate. The New Start Treaty was signed by President Obama and President Medvedev on April 4, 2010 in Prague and ratified by the United States Senate in December 2010. The New Start Treaty entered into force in February, 2011. Secretary Tauscher also represented the United States at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in May 2010, which produced the first consensus agreement in 10 years. Following her strong support and leadership on missile defense development and deployment while in Congress, Tauscher lead the State Department effort to secure and negotiate the sites and bilateral agreements for the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile defense system to be deployed with NATO allies in Poland, Romania and Turkey well within President Obama's deployment deadline.
While in the Congress, Tauscher was a leading centrist Democrat, and the chairman of the New Democrat Coalition, a caucus of 65 moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives. She also served as vice-chairwoman of the Democratic Leadership Council from 2001 to 2005.
Representing the only Congressional District to be the home of two national nuclear labs, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratory, Tauscher served on the House Armed Services Committee for over 12 years and became the chairman of the Strategic Forces subcommittee when the Democrats achieved the majority in 2006. She also served concurrently on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and was the senior Californian on the Highway and Transit and Aviation subcommittees.
Ellen Tauscher was born in Newark, New Jersey on November 15, 1951. The eldest of four children and the first member of her family to attend college, she graduated in 1974 from Seton Hall University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in early childhood education.
She began her 14-year Wall Street career with Bache & Co. and at age 25, became one of the first women to become a member of the New York Stock Exchange. She also served as an officer of the American Stock Exchange from 1980 to 1983, after which she worked as an investment banker for Bear Stearns and a subsidiary of Drexel Burnham Lambert.
In 1989, Tauscher moved to California and later founded the first national research service to help parents verify the background of childcare workers. She also published The ChildCare Sourcebook and headed the Tauscher Foundation, which provided funds for elementary schools to buy computers and Internet access
The Honorable Wes Ward
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
Wes Ward serves as the Secretary of Agriculture for the State of Arkansas. Wes was appointed to the position in March 2015 by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Wes is from the small town of Lake City in Northeast Arkansas and is a graduate of Riverside High School. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business with an emphasis in Agricultural Finance from Arkansas State University. Wes earned a law degree and completed the LL.M. program (Master of Laws) in Agricultural and Food Law at the University of Arkansas.
Wes has been serving in the United States Marine Corps for nearly 15 years and has completed deployments to Afghanistan and Jordan. He is currently a Captain and a Civil Affairs Officer in the Marine Corps Reserves. Aside from the Marine Corps, Wes has also worked as a Field Coordinator for Congressman Rick Crawford doing agricultural outreach and as an Adjunct Law Professor at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
William C. Weldon is the Former Chairman of the Board and CEO of Johnson & Johnson. He was elected to the Board in February 2001.
Mr. Weldon joined Johnson & Johnson in 1971 in the sales and marketing department of its McNeil Pharmaceutical subsidiary. In 1982, he was named manager, ICOM Regional Development Center in Southeast Asia. Mr. Weldon was appointed executive vice president and managing director of Korea McNeil, Ltd., in 1984 and managing director of Ortho-Cilag Pharmaceutical, Ltd., in the U.K. in 1986. In 1989, he was named vice president of Sales and Marketing at Janssen Pharmaceutica in the U.S., and in 1992 he was appointed president of Ethicon Endo-Surgery.
In 1995, Mr. Weldon was named a company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson and Worldwide Franchise Chairman of Ethicon Endo-Surgery, the Johnson & Johnson affiliate that develops new procedures for minimally-invasive surgery and designs related products. In 1998, Mr. Weldon was promoted to the Executive Committee and named Worldwide Chairman, Pharmaceuticals Group. He was named Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2001.
Among his outside activities, Mr. Weldon is a member of the Board of Directors of JPMorgan Chase & Co, Exxon Mobil Corporation and CVS Caremark. He is a member of various not for profit organizations and also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Quinnipiac University. He previously served as Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
Mr. Weldon was born in Brooklyn, NY, and is a graduate of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. He and his wife have two children and one grandson.