Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of Convergence is made up of the following individuals (Click on each person’s name to see their bio):

Stuart Butler

Stuart Butler

Stuart Butler is a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC. Prior to joining Brookings, he spent 35 years at The Heritage Foundation as Director of the Center for Policy Innovation and earlier as Vice-President for Domestic and Economic Policy Studies. Dr. Butler is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown’s McCourt School of Public Policy and a Visiting Fellow at Convergence.

He is a member of the editorial board of Health Affairs, serves on the panel of health advisers for the Congressional Budget Office, and is a member of the Board on Health Care Services of the Institute of Medicine. He also serves on advisory councils for the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the Kaiser Institute for Health Policy, and the March of Dimes. In 2002 he was an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard University. In 1990 he served as a member of Housing Secretary Jack Kemp’s Advisory Commission on Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing.

Dr. Butler has played a prominent role in the debate over federal spending, Medicare, health care for working Americans, and Social Security reform, arguing for solutions based on limited government and market competition. But he is also widely recognized as an individual who is willing to work with people across the ideological spectrum to find solutions to the nation’s problems. He has testified frequently before Congress on a broad range of issues.

He was born in Shrewsbury, England, emigrated to the United States in 1975, and became an American citizen in 1995. He was educated at St. Andrews University in Scotland, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and mathematics, a master’s degree in economics and history, and a Ph.D. in American economic history. He is married with two daughters and resides in Washington, DC.

LisaDavisNeil Bradley

Neil Bradley, executive vice president and chief policy officer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has spent two decades working directly with congressional committee chairpersons and other high-ranking policymakers to achieve solutions. At the Chamber, Bradley is responsible for aligning the organization’s overall policy priorities and advocacy efforts. He oversees several major policy divisions within the Chamber: Economic Policy; Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs; Labor, Immigration & Employee Benefits; National Security and Emergency Preparedness; and Small Business Policy. Health Care Policy and Transportation Infrastructure Policy are also under his leadership.

Before joining the Chamber, Bradley was president of Chartwell Policy Solutions,
LLC, a research, analysis, and advisory firm focused on public policy issues. In
addition to his work at Chartwell, he served as chief strategy officer for the
nonprofit Conservative Reform Network (CRN), the leading organization supporting the Conservative Reform Movement. There he produced, incubated, and promoted ideas, policies, and efforts to grow the American economy, expand the middle class, and create opportunities for all Americans. Prior to founding Chartwell and joining CRN in 2015, Bradley spent nearly 20 years working in the House of Representatives, including 11 years working for the House Republican leadership. He served as deputy chief of staff for Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) where he developed the legislative agenda for House Republicans, oversaw policy formulation in the leader’s office, and coordinated committee activity in the House. Bradley held the same position for Eric Cantor (VA) during his tenure as majority leader. Previously, he was policy director for House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (MO). Earlier in his career, Bradley served for four-and-a-half years as executive director of the Republican Study Committee. He also held numerous positions in the office of then-Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK). While working on Capitol Hill, Bradley was regularly named to Roll Call’s list of 50 top congressional staffers. Bradley, a graduate of Georgetown University, resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Kiki, and their son, Peter. He is a native of Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

LisaDavisLisa Davis

Lisa Davis serves as Senior Director of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. In this capacity, she is responsible for developing and implementing results-driven strategies and local campaigns that leverage partnerships, programmatic expertise, advocacy and communications to increase participation in federal nutrition programs and build momentum toward ending childhood hunger.

Prior to joining Share Our Strength in 2016, Lisa directed government relations and advocacy at Feeding America. Under her leadership, the team achieved a number of regulatory and legislative victories, increased member food bank engagement in advocacy by more than 40 percent and doubled Feeding America’s online advocacy program.

Her other experience includes leading AARP’s member education strategies on major issues and directing issue advocacy campaigns on financial security and health care reform and working on the hill for former Congressman Pat Williams of Montana. Lisa serves on the boards of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and the Alliance to End Hunger.

A native Montanan, Lisa received her J.D. from the Washington College of Law at American University and her B.A. in English Literature and French from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. She lives with her husband, four children, dog and a very curmudgeonly cat in Maryland.

Robert_FershRobert Fersh

Rob Fersh is the President and Founder of Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to promote consensus solutions to issues of domestic and international importance. Immediately prior, Rob served as the United States country director for Search for Common Ground, an international conflict resolution organization. While at SFCG, he directed national policy consensus projects on health care coverage for the uninsured and U.S.-Muslim relations.

In the 1986-98 period, Rob served as president of the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a leading NGO working to alleviate hunger in the United States. Rob also served on the staffs of three Congressional committees, working for U.S. Representative Leon Panetta and for Senators Patrick Leahy and Edmund Muskie. While a Congressional staff member and at FRAC, he was deeply involved in shepherding passage of bipartisan legislation to reduce hunger in the United States.

Rob has held additional positions in the federal executive branch and non-profit sector. He was a 1994 recipient of the Prudential Foundation Prize for Non-Profit Leadership. Rob holds a law degree from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, where he has served as a guest lecturer and co-instructor of a course on collaborative decision making and public policy. He is married, has four children, and one grandchild.

Media Highlights

Our Voices Matter: Lorelle Media 
Finding Common Ground in the Belly of the Beast The Peace Building Podcast

Convergence’s Values and Approach

Michael FriedlandMichael Friedland

Michael Friedland joined KKR in 2011 and is a member of the Real Estate industry team in New York. Prior to joining KKR, he was with Eton Park Capital Management where he analyzed public and private real estate opportunities. Before that, Mr. Friedland spent a total of four years analyzing, executing, and managing private real estate transactions at The Blackstone Group and Square Mile Capital Management. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cherie_S_HarderCherie S. Harder

Cherie Harder serves as president of The Trinity Forum, a nonprofit organization that provides space and resources for leaders to engage life’s greatest questions in the context of faith. Ms. Harder joined The Trinity Forum in March 2008 after serving in the White House as special assistant to the President and director of policy and projects for First Lady Laura Bush.

Earlier in her career, she served as policy advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, as senior counselor to the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and policy director for Senator Sam Brownback. Ms. Harder has contributed articles to publications such as Policy Review, Human Events, the Harvard Political Review and various newspapers. She holds an Honors B.A. (magna cum laude) in government from Harvard University and a post-graduate diploma in literature from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Ms. Harder served on the board of The National Commons.

John R. JacobJohn R. Jacob

John R. Jacob represents multihospital health care systems, major academic medical centers, device manufacturers, and health technology companies. He has extensive experience in counseling, compliance, reimbursement and litigation regarding Medicare and Medicaid regulatory and policy matters. He advises health industry entities on a wide range of reimbursement and compliance issues; legislative and regulatory policy analysis and advocacy; potential fraud and abuse and overpayment matters and disclosures; federal investigations;
and due diligence and strategic analysis associated with health care business arrangements. With a particular focus on complex Medicare reimbursement compliance and coverage disputes, Mr. Jacob has practiced extensively before federal and state courts and administrative tribunals, including the Department of Health and Human Services’ Provider Reimbursement Review Board (PRRB).

Mr. Jacob is the leader of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s health practice and a member of the regulatory practice steering committee. He served as the hiring partner for the firm’s Washington, D.C. office from 2008-16 and is a member of the firm’s and the Washington office’s pro bono committees, as well as the Washington office practice management, associates, and diversity committees.

Mr. Jacob was nationally ranked as a top healthcare lawyer in the 2008-2016 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. Nightingale’s Healthcare News named him as one of the Outstanding Healthcare Litigators for 2008; in 2005, the same publication also named him as one of the Outstanding Young Healthcare Lawyers of the year. He was named as a Washington, D.C. “Super Lawyer” in 2012-16.

Mr. Jacob is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, American University, Washington College of Law and is the President of the Board of Directors of the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

Rich_Korn_Headshot1aRich Korn

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

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

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

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

Susan MageeLinda Lorelle

Linda Lorelle is an Emmy Award winning anchor whose reports have not only touched lives, but saved them, as well. Just ask the Houston area women who credit her series “Buddy Check 2: Beating the Breast Cancer Odds” for helping them detect early breast cancer. From her most recent Emmy for “Beyond Brown vs. Board: The Journey Continues”, a documentary on how Houston desegregated its schools, to her Emmy Award-winning, first person account of another local news anchor’s battle with cancer, Linda’s stories continually garner critical acclaim while making a significant impact on the lives of Houston viewers.

Linda takes pride in the variety of stories and events she has covered through the years as a reporter and anchor, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration; President George W. Bush’s first inauguration; the shuttle flight of Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space; John Glenn’s return to space; the shuttle Columbia tragedy; Super Bowl XXXVIII; numerous NBA and WNBA Finals; the World Series; the Houston Rockets in China, and President George H.W. Bush’s 80th birthday, complete with a first person account of what it’s like to sky dive with the Golden Knights of the U.S. Army. For the record, it was a blast! Linda is honored that her documentary on the former President now has two permanent homes: at the Bush Presidential Library in College Station and in the Peabody Collection of the Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago, Illinois. The Brown vs. Board documentary also rests in the Museum.

Linda Lorelle made her move to broadcast journalism in 1987 after a successful career as a professional dancer and actress. At that point, Linda had already attained a B.A. in Developmental Psychology and a B.A. in Italian Language from Stanford University when she set her sights on a new career in journalism. She went back to school to attain an M.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While in graduate school, she became weekend anchor at KOMU-TV, the top-rated NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri. From there it was on to reporting at KMOV-TV, the CBS affiliate in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1989, Linda signed on with KPRC-TV in Houston as a weekend anchor, but was quickly promoted to anchoring the weekday 6 and 10 pm newscasts, a position she held for 14 years. In the last two and a half years of her employment at KPRC, Linda moved to a more family-friendly schedule, anchoring the 5 and 6 pm newscasts as well as the mid-day and 4pm newscasts. Throughout her years at KPRC, she anchored Dateline Houston, spearheaded the station’s documentary projects and hosted several special programs, including the Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon and the College Fund (UNCF) Telethon. Linda is excited to have recently launched Lorelle Media, LLC, a full-service production and consulting company. Lorelle Media produces original content for broadcast and services the needs of its corporate clients through marketing, strategic connection building and video production.

Jean Molino

Jean Molino is the former General Counsel and Partner at McKinsey and Company, Inc. Jean has a long history and relationship with the Firm, where she has served on a number of internal committees covering topics such as conflicts and risk management, compensation, and governance. Before joining McKinsey in 1985, Jean served as General Counsel of Suburban Propane Gas Corporation, a U.S.-based diversified energy company. Jean is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York University School of Law.

Jean has a B.A. in Sociology from New York University, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, and a J.D. from New York University. Jean lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, with her husband (Greg Smith) who is a fine arts dealer and publisher with a gallery in Millburn, New Jersey. They have two sons, Danny and Alex. Jean enjoys traveling, reading, theatre, movies, and art.

Riaz SiddiqiRiaz Siddiqi

Mr. Siddiqi is one of the Founders and Managing Partner Emeritus of Denham Capital. He has around 40 years of experience in the energy and asset management fields. He serves as Chairman, Clovis Point Capital, a PE firm investing in Software and Tecn enabled service companies. and Advisor to Blue Bear Capital, a VC firm focused on energytech investments, He also serves as Chairman of Epochal Technologies, a Big Data Analytics firm focused on developing ethically derived databases of American Consumers.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Energy, a Denham portfolio company that is focused on developing a power portfolio in sub saharan Africa. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Metox, a company focused on making the promise of high temperature superconductivity a reality.
In the early 2000’s, Mr. Siddiqi served as President and CEO of Thermal North America, the largest district heating and cooling company in the US. He also served as President and CEO of Wharton County Power Partners, a Texas company that owned power generation facilities.

Prior to joining Denham in 2004, he was President and CEO of Capstone Global Energy, a company that he founded, and before that he held executive positions at Cinergy Capital and Trading and other Cinergy companies. Previously, he served as Manager, Market Management Research, for the Electric Power Research Institute, and in various professional capacities with Georgia Power Company, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern Company, after spending some time as a project engineer in Pakistan. He was heavily involved in electricity market deregulation and preparing electric companies to successfully participate in deregulated electricity and energy markets both in the US and Europe.

Mr. Siddiqi is Chairman of the Board of the American Pakistan Foundation, He also chairs the Board of Shifa Health and Social Service and is also a member of the Board of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution. He is a member of BENS, Business Executives for National Security, an organization of private sector leaders that offer their expertise probono to the U.S Government on National Security matters. Mr. Siddiqi is also a volunteer pilot for Angelflight, Pilots for Patients and Veterans Airlift Command and is a recipient of the Asia Society Houston Center’s award for leadership in business and philanthropy. He is also a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Interfaith Ministry of Greater Houston. Riaz and his wife Salma are involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic activities.

Mr. Siddiqi received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Pakistan University of Energy & Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate School of Business at Mississippi State University.

Lindsay Torrico

Lindsay Torrico is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at United Way Worldwide. Lindsay fights to improve education, increase job opportunities and empower individuals to be active and engaged members in their communities. She has led grassroots advocacy campaigns to expand quality early learning for children, fight against funding cuts for critical public services and call for an end to human trafficking in our generation.

Lindsay has dedicated her career in the nonprofit and government sectors to advocating for the most vulnerable children and families. As a legislative correspondent and aide for United State Senator John Kerry, she spearheaded legislation to provide stable housing to youth who are aging out of foster care. She also worked on education and social policy at the local level at City Year-Los Angeles, where she developed its five-year government relations strategy, and at the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, she coordinated a county-wide literacy campaign challenging students to read millions of words outside of the classroom.

Lindsay serves on the Board of Advisors of the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Board of Directors of Nonprofit VOTE, which helps nonprofit organizations boost voter participation and active citizenship. She has been featured in NAACP’s The Crisis Magazine’s “People to Watch,” and Oprah Magazine’s “Women Rule! 80 Top Women Leaders.”

Lindsay holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Virginia, and a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in Urban and Social Policy from the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).

Rita Walters

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

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

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

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

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

Jeff WeisglassJeff Weissglass

Jeff Weissglass is an advocate and advisor dedicated to political bridge building and learner-centered education. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution and on the Advisory Board of Convergence’s Education Reimagined initiative and he chairs the National Advisory Council of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Jeff is former President of the Board of Education at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois and served on the board of the Collaboration for Early Childhood in Oak Park. He also served as board chair of the Project on Civic Reflection and of More Than Money. Jeff had prior careers as a corporate lawyer in New York and as a community development consultant with South Shore Bank in Chicago. Jeff has a Masters in Public and Private Management from the Yale School of Organization and Management, a JD from New York University School of Law, and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.

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

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

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