The Leadership Council of Convergence is made up of the following individuals (Click on each person’s name to see their bio):
- Aakif Ahmad
- Richard S. Alper
- Bill Belding
- Bill Bolling
- The Honorable William E. Brock
- Claudia Carasso
- Robert Chase
- Stephen Covey (1932-2012)
- Rehan Dawer
- Jessica Dibb
- The Honorable Michael Dukakis
- Maggie Dunne
- Tom Dunne
- The Honorable Mickey Edwards
- David Fairman
- The Honorable Victor H. Fazio
- Rachel Fersh
- Jonathan Gruber
- The Honorable Scott Harshbarger
- Chris Hayes
- Stephen B. Heintz
- Roxana Bahar Hewertson
- Marvin Johnson
- Kimberly Johnston
- Alan Jones
- Steven Kayman
- The Honorable Bob Kerrey
- Maja Kristin
- Dr. Richard Land
- Carol Ann Langford
- Lt. Gen. (ret.) “Fig” Leaf
- Gay Legg
- Dave Lipsky
- Susan Magee
- Bradley McMillan
- David Meadvin
- Chu Chu Onwuachi-Saunders
- Dennis Passis
- Faith Roessel
- Louise Phipps Senft
- Qaisar Shareef
- Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.
- Rob Stein
- John Steiner
- William Ury
- Rita Walters
- Allen Waxman
- The Honorable Harris Wofford
- Daniel Yankelovich
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.
Richard S. Alper
Richard S. Alper is an attorney with more than thirty years legal experience in commercial transactions and real estate. His practice includes representing lenders, developers and investors in financing, developing and conveying income-producing properties in the Washington metropolitan area. Mr. Alper earned his law degree with a concentration in real estate and local government law from the Georgetown University Law Center and did post graduate work in environmental law at the George Washington University Law School.
He has served as chair of four local non-profit boards, including the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County, Vice chair of the ADR Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County and is a member of the equivalent section of the American Bar Association.
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 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.
William E. Brock served four terms as a member of Congress from Tennessee’s Third District and then subsequently in the U.S. Senate. Senator Brock chaired the Republican National Committee (1977–1980) and served in the cabinet of President Reagan as the U.S. trade representative (1981–1985) and as U.S. secretary of labor (1985–1987). Senator Brock was one of the founders of the National Endowment for Democracy. The Wall Street Journal recognized then Ambassador Brock as one of the principal fathers of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 1993, the National Academy of Human Resources awarded Senator Brock its highest tribute for outstanding life achievement in advancing human development. Senator Brock received a B.S. in commerce degree from Washington and Lee University, served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, and later became vice president of the Brock Candy Company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He is counselor and trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. and is founder and chairman of The Brock Offices, a firm specializing in international trade, investment, and human resources.
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.
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.
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.
Stephen Covey (1932-2012)
Recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, Dr. Stephen R. Covey dedicated his life to demonstrating how every person can truly control their destiny with profound, yet straightforward guidance. His “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was named the #1 most influential business book of the twentieth century.
As an international respected leadership authority, family expert, teacher, organizational consultant, and author, his advice has given insight to millions. Covey held an MBA from Harvard University and a PhD from Brigham Young University. His was the co-founder and vice chairman of FranklinCovey, the leading global professional services firm with offices in 123 countries.
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 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.
The Honorable Michael Dukakis
Governor Dukakis served for two years in the United States Army, sixteen months of which he spent with the Support Group to the UN Delegation to the Military Armistice commission in Munsan, Korea. He was later elected chairman of his town’s Democratic organization in 1960 and won a seat in the Massachusetts legislature in 1962. He served four terms as a legislator. In 1974 he was elected Governor. He inherited a record deficit and record high unemployment and is generally credited with digging Massachusetts out of one of its worst financial and economic crises in history.
He was re-elected to a third four-year term in 1986 and his colleagues in the National Governors Association voted him the most effective governor in the Nation. Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 1988 but was defeated by George H.W. Bush. Governor Dukakis has been a visiting professor at Northeastern University’s political science department and has also taught in the senior executive program for State and Local managers at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
He taught for three years at Florida Atlantic University. His research has focused on national health care policy reform and the lessons that national policy makers can learn from state reform efforts. He continues to reside in Brookline, Massachusetts, but lives in Lost Angeles during the winter while he teaches at UCLA. Dukakis graduated from Swarthmore College (1955), and Harvard Law School (1960).
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Honorable Victor H. Fazio
Vic Fazio was named senior advisor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in May 2005. He served as a Member of Congress for 20 years representing California’s third congressional district. During that time, he served as a member of the Armed Services, Budget and Ethics Committees and was a member of the House Appropriations Committee for 19 years where he served as Subcommittee Chair or ranking member for 18 years.
Fazio was a member of the elected Democratic Leadership in the House from 1991-1998 including four years as chair of the Democratic Caucus, the third ranking position in the party, and four years as Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. From 1975 to 1978 Fazio served in the California Assembly and was a member of the staff of the California Assembly Speaker from 1971 to 1975.
Fazio serves on numerous boards, including Northrop Grumman, National Parks Conservation Association, the Campaign Finance Institute, Energy Future Coalition, the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Center for Strategic Budgetary Assessments, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Congressional Management Foundation, The United States Association of Former Members of Congress, and UC Davis Medical School Advisory Board.
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.
Jon leads the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust’s campus and community portfolio, supporting a diverse set of partners and exploring opportunities to expand EFCT’s work in these areas.
Before joining the Trust, Jon was a Principal at the management consulting firm Booz & Company, advising clients across sectors on strategy and organizational performance. Jon also worked as a consultant at Katzenbach Partners and as a philanthropic advisor at Impact for Education. He started his career teaching politics and history at the Stowe School in England and serving as Director of Education at The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous. Jon earned an undergraduate degree in Government from Harvard University and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. Jon and his wife Lara live in Brooklyn.
Scott Harshbarger is a Senior Counsel in the Boston office of Proskauer Rose LLP. His practice focuses on strategic counsel and litigation, corporate investigations and defense, corporate and not-for-profit governance and government regulation. Scott’s distinguished career has included major public office, not-for-profit executive management, numerous board directorships and private legal counsel.
During his two terms as Massachusetts Attorney General (1991–1999), Scott was the first Attorney General in the nation to engage the health care community in developing hospital and HMO benefit guidelines. In leading Massachusetts’ efforts against Big Tobacco, Scott was among the first AGs nationally to recover the costs of health care associated with tobacco use, resulting in payments by the tobacco companies to the Commonwealth totaling $300 million per year over the next 25 years.
During his tenure as AG, Scott was elected President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). As the leading law enforcement officer of Massachusetts, he led major initiatives against white collar crime, public corruption, insurance and Medicaid fraud, environmental abuses and high-tech crime. Scott built the first Family and Community Crimes Bureau, a department focused on domestic violence, elder and child abuse prosecution and prevention, and his Conflict Resolution/Violence Prevention Project (SCORE) earned a Ford Foundation Excellence in Government Award. Scott received national praise for his Safe Neighborhoods Initiative to reduce urban crime and violence, and sponsored unprecedented Brownfields legislation to help stimulate economic growth in formerly depressed neighborhoods. In conjunction with the Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, Scott was the first AG to use consumer protection and safety regulations to combat handgun availability.
Scott served as President and CEO of Common Cause (1999-2002) in Washington, D.C., the national not-for-profit citizens’ lobby and government watchdog group founded by John Gardner. His term marked a major reform and renewal for the organization and thrust Common Cause into the public interest mainstream. Common Cause led the coalition of national business and public interest advocacy groups, including grassroots organizations. Scott helped organize the push to pass the “McCain-Feingold” campaign finance reform bill in 2002. He also launched Common Cause’s corporate governance project and dramatically expanded the organization’s national agenda to include election reform and executive agency monitoring.
Scott taught professional responsibility and legal ethics at Boston University School of Law for 20 years and was a Visiting Professor (government lawyer and public policy) at Harvard Law School for three years. He was a Hadley Distinguished Professor at Northeastern Law School and College of Criminal Justice. Scott also has authored numerous articles on topics in the field of corporate and not-for-profit governance and regulatory strategies
Christopher Hayes is executive vice president and head of the International Affairs group in Edelman’s Washington, D.C. office. In 2008, Chris won Edelman’s Chairman Award for the second time for his Panama Canal Authority expansion work, which was chosen among 120 entries. He has twice received the top communications industry award, the Silver Anvil.
Chris has been with Edelman for more than 10 years. Current and past clients include the governments of Panama, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Morocco, Georgia, Egypt, Israel, Puerto Rico and Chile. He is a veteran of several integrated communications programs for Fortune 50 companies, associations and NGOs.
An accomplished speechwriter, Chris has written and placed op-eds in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. Chris worked for six years at The Rendon Group, implementing communications campaigns for corporations and governments in the Middle East. As the vice president of marketing for Primeshot.com, Chris managed a seven-person team executing the company’s public affairs, branding, advertising and communications. He has worked on several national and state political campaigns.
As an undergraduate, Chris studied international relations and political science at George Mason University and the legislative process as a graduate student at The George Washington University.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
As a courageous public servant, decorated Vietnam veteran, member of the 9/11 Commission and education leader, the Honorable Bob Kerrey represents the contributory spirit that distinguishes our city, and our nation.
Today Bob Kerrey is executive chairman of the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship, supporting The Minerva Project, an exceptional liberal arts and sciences education with a redefined student body, reinvented curriculum, rigorous academic standards, cutting-edge technology, and an immersive global experience.
On January 1, 2011, Bob Kerrey completed his tenure as seventh President of The New School, a university founded on strong democratic ideals and daring educational practices, an environment that was well suited for his leadership. He also served as New School’s President Emeritus from January 1, 2011, to January 31, 2013.
Prior to coming to The New School, Bob Kerrey represented Nebraska in the United States Senate. For two terms, Senator Kerrey emphasized the direct connection between citizens and their laws, and made a concerted effort to allow Nebraskans to participate in writing laws that defined the quality and inclusiveness of their health care system, their schools, and the safety of their communities. He served on the Senate’s Agriculture and Forestry Committee, the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, the Senate’s Finance Committee, and last but not least on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, where he worked to restructure our intelligence agencies to improve their capacity to meet the threats faced by our country. Prior to serving in the U.S. Senate, Bob Kerrey served a single, four-year term as Nebraska’s Governor, distinguishing himself in the political arena as a Democrat in a heavily Republican state. He established a reputation as a fiscal conservative who regularly crossed political party lines for the good of Nebraska and the Country.
Bob Kerrey served three years in the United States Navy. While in Vietnam, he was wounded, permanently disabled from the injury, and from this injury received a great gift: sympathy for those who are suffering and an appreciation for the capacity of government to save your life. Before his time in the Navy, Bob Kerrey attended the University of Nebraska, graduating in January 1966 with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. He was born in Lincoln and attended public schools there. In 2002 he published a memoir entitled “When I Was A Young Man.”
Bob Kerrey is married to Sarah Paley and lives in New York. The couple has a 12-year-old son, Henry, and Mr. Kerrey has two children from his previous marriage, Ben and Lindsey Kerrey, and four grandchildren.
Maja Kristin makes a difference for people and communities worldwide. Her lifework under-scores a passion for bridging differences, engaging in creative problem solving, and inspiring philanthropy to support worthwhile causes.
Nourishing organizations that collaborate and braid, and that are socially responsible and of service, Maja has a hawk-like vision for implementation—knowing what resources are needed and where they will be most effectively used. This level of discernment guides both her investments for financial return and her charitable contributions.
To read more about Maja, visit her website: 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 Ann Langford has over ten years of experience in philanthropy and facilitation. She is Senior Facilitator and Coach at Global Novations and Executive Director of the Sutherland Family Foundation. She also serves on the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, on the Values and Leadership Council at Intersections International, as a Madison Avenue Council Member at the Collegiate Corporation, as a Stewardship Circle Member of the Pachamama Alliance, and as a Member of the Board at Developing Partners Radio.
Prior to her career in philanthropy and facilitation, Carol spent eight years as an Assistant Professor in the Humanities Department at City University New York.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Meadvin, executive communications director for Bloomberg LP, has provided strategic communications expertise for leaders at the highest levels of U.S. government and business.
Over the course of nearly a decade in Washington, DC, David served in several high-profile communications roles. He was chief speechwriter for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, where he was also a senior member of the Democratic caucus communications “war room” and primary author of the weekly national radio address. After the 2008 presidential election, David joined the Obama administration as director of speechwriting at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he led speechwriting for Attorney General Eric Holder and was instrumental in developing department-wide messaging on civil rights. He also wrote for Solicitor General (and current Supreme Court Justice) Elena Kagan.
After leaving government service, David launched Inkwell Strategies, a Washington, DC-based consulting firm specializing in strategic communications for corporate and government executives. Prior to joining Bloomberg, David was executive speechwriter for Facebook, where he played a central role in building the company’s global communications strategy for sales and marketing. At Bloomberg, David directs all external and internal communications for the company’s CEO, chairman and other senior leaders. David lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Hayley, a vice president at Edelman.
Chu Chu Onwuachi-Saunders
Chu Chu Onwuachi-Saunders, MD, MPH is a mother, pediatrician, public health consultant and former medical epidemiologist with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where for over 10 years she was involved with issues related to children’s health and violence as a public health problem. She was also a program officer at the Ford Foundation, Senior Deputy Director of Public Health in Washington DC and Philadelphia’s Deputy Heath Commissioner. She has served as Senior Deployment/Operations Manager for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Katrina Assistance Project, a federal response that offered mental health services to both first line responders and the community in order to reduce trauma-related stress in the disaster-affected areas of Hurricane Katrina.
Dr. Saunders is currently a public health consultant and the author of a book for girl’s entitled OOOPS! “The book every girl must have”. During her free time you can find Dr. Saunders in a spinning class at the gym, wandering through a local farmer’s market or going to see a movie at a neighborhood theater. But she is most proud of the fact that she is a single mother of two, Ayana and Shakir.
Dennis Passis is currently a mediator facilitating the resolution of commercial disputes and conflicts between family business owners. 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.
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.
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.
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 Shareef concluded a nearly 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 currently providing consulting services on business strategy projects to various clients. He has also recently joined as adjunct faculty in the MBA program, George Washington University, Department of International Business.
In 1991, Qaisar launched the Procter & Gamble subsidiary in Pakistan and served as Country Manager for 5 years, following which he was transferred to Ukraine as the head of P&G start up operations there. Both of these assignments have been significant experiences in starting up new businesses.
In 2006 he was once again assigned to head up P&G operations in Pakistan. He has headed up P&G’s business in international markets for over 12 years – in Asia, Middle East and Eastern Europe. The P&G businesses in Pakistan and Ukraine today have a combined sales turnover of well over three-quarters of a billion dollars. During his tenure at P&G Pakistan, the company made significant investments in local manufacturing plants. In 2012 Procter & Gamble Pakistan received the Award for Corporate Excellence from Department of State in Washington DC, recognizing the company’s contributions in corporate social and environmental responsibility, and it’s excellence in community engagement.
During his assignment in Pakistan he was twice elected to the Management Committee of the Overseas Chamber of Commerce in Karachi. He served as chair of the the taxation and CSR subcommittees of this chamber. He was also twice elected to the Executive Committee of the American Business Council in Pakistan.
During his time at P&G Pakistan, Qaisar worked closely with several non profit organizations engaged in providing education to the under privileged and in disaster relief. He continues to serve on the boards of some of these organizations. He is presently serving on the board of HOPE USA, and Executive Committee of US Pakistan Foundation. He is also on the Board of OPEN DC, organization of Pakistani entrepreneurs. He is serving as an advisor to Transparent Hands, a crowd funding platform that assists the underprivileged in covering health care costs. He was recently elected as President, Montgomery County Muslim Council, in the Greater DC area.
Qaisar is originally from Pakistan and first moved to Cincinnati in 1977. He has a bachelor of science degree in management from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio.
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.
Mr. Stein’s original research about the structure, management, institutional relationships and financing of the conservative-right movement over the past 40 years led to the formation of the Democracy Alliance. An attorney, Mr. Stein served as chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Commerce and chief of staff at the Washington office of the Clinton-Gore Transition. He was also a senior strategic advisor to Ron Brown, chairman of the Democratic National Committee (1989-1992), and has founded and led several non-profit organizations. Mr. Stein is founder, and an ex officio board member, of the Democracy Alliance. He served as co-chair of the board of The National Commons. Mr. Stein currently is spearheading the development of St. Clair Commons, a rural health and quality of life campus is southeast Ohio.
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.
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 is the Vice President for Advancement at the Maryland Institute College of Art. With over 25 years of notable achievements in fundraising and finance, Ms. Walters served as Chief Development Officer for the Washington National Cathedral (WNC) where she had been responsible for providing direction and strategic vision for all aspects of the Cathedral’s advancement activities. Rita led a team of development professionals raising millions to support both operations and capital projects. As a member of the Dean’s senior cabinet, she maintained active relationships with the governing board, as well as internal and external constituencies, in advancing the Cathedral’s mission as a spiritual home for the nation. Under her leadership, she introduced sound fundraising principles utilizing proven methodologies leading to increased funding in all areas of support.
Prior to WNC, Rita served at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) as a Senior Associate Director of Development for the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, where she secured many high dollar endowment and capital gifts and bequests, and alumni came to view her as an especially thoughtful bridge builder. She also played an integral and creative role in the development of The Center for Africana Studies’ Artist in Residence program, which has attracted artists like Renee Stout and Hank Willis Thomas. In addition, Rita has worked for several Baltimore area nonprofits.
Rita received her Master of Liberal Arts degree from JHU, where she also earned a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Studies through the Institute of Policy Studies Center for Civil Society. She completed her undergraduate studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University with a major in Accounting. Her passion for the arts started early in life; she majored in theatre at Arts High School in Newark, NJ, and continued to perform locally for many years thereafter.
Allen Waxman serves as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at Eisai Inc. In this position, he leads Law and Government Affairs, where he is responsible for all legal matters within the United States. He also is a member of the company’s Executive Committee and provides leadership for a number of global legal matters for Eisai.
Mr. Waxman joined Eisai from Kaye Scholer, LLP, where he was a partner and 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 Equal Justice Works, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing the next generation of lawyers working in the public interest, and also serves 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. He also acts as an advisory board member to the BNA Pharmaceutical Law and Industry Report.
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 Harris Wofford
Harris Wofford served as a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1995. He began his public service career as an attorney for the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, serving from 1954 to 1958. He was an early supporter of the Civil Rights movement and became a friend and unofficial advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. He also served as an advisor to the presidential campaign of John F. Kennedy and was appointed special assistant to the President on civil rights. He was instrumental in the formation of the Peace Corps, was appointed Associate Director of the Peace Corps in 1962 and held that position until 1966.
After his time in the Senate, Mr. Wofford served as chief executive officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that runs AmeriCorps and other domestic volunteer programs, from 1995 to 2001. Since his retirement, he has taught at the University of Maryland-College Park and served on the boards of several charities and service organizations, including America’s Promise, Youth Service America and the Points of Light Foundation. He served for many years on the U.S. Consensus Council of Search for Common Ground-USA.
Named by PR Week as one of the ten most influential people of the past century in the arena of public affairs, communications and public relations, Daniel Yankelovich has spent half a century monitoring social change and public opinion in America. In the 1970s and 1980s he initiated the New York Times/Yankelovich poll, founded (with Cyrus Vance) Public Agenda– a non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy research organization–and established DYG Inc., a firm that tracks social and market trends. After moving to California in the 1990s, he founded his newest firm, Viewpoint Learning, which specializes in dialogue-based learning.
He is director emeritus of CBS, US West, the Meredith Corporation, Diversified Energies, Loral Space and Communications and ARKLA, and trustee emeritus of Brown University, the Kettering Foundation, the Fund for the City of New York and the Educational Testing Service (ETS), where he served as Chairman of the Board. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations, where he served on the membership Committee and contributed articles on Foreign Affairs. He is the author of eleven books, including Profit With Honor: The New Stage of Market Capitalism, Coming to Public Judgment: Making Democracy Work in a Complex World, and The Magic of Dialogue: Transforming Conflict into Cooperation.