J. Brian Atwood
Former Under Secretary of State, USAID Administrator, and Dean of the Humphrey School, University of Minnesota
J. Brian Atwood is a Senior Fellow for International Studies and Public Affairs at Brown University’s Thomas Watson Institute for International Studies, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He served as Chair of Global Policy Studies and Professor of Public Policy at the Humphrey School from 2012 to 2015. He was dean of the Humphrey School from 2002 to 2010, and was elected President of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs in 2009. He was also the Chair of the University of Minnesota’s Deans’ council and a recipient of the University’s Distinguished Service Award. From 2010 to 2012, Atwood was the member-elected Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Atwood led the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) during the Administration of President William Clinton. He earlier led the Clinton-Gore transition team at the State Department in 1992, and was Under Secretary of State for Management prior to his appointment as head of USAID. He received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1999. During the Carter Administration Atwood was Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations. In 2001, Atwood served on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Panel on Peace Operations. He was legislative advisor for foreign and defense policy to Senator Thomas F. Eagleton (D–Mo) (1972 to 1977). Atwood was the first President of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) (1986 to 1993). He was a career diplomat before joining Senator Eagleton and later became Dean of Professional Studies and Academic Affairs at the Foreign Service Institute (1981-82). He is currently Chair of the Population Services International board, Vice Chair of the AFS Intercultural Programs board and a member of the board of the National Democratic Institute and of the Watson Institute Board of Overseers.
Mr. Atwood writes and speaks frequently on international development, post-conflict reconstruction, foreign policy, the role of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations in international affairs, and the United States’ role in the world order. He holds a bachelor’s degree in government and history from Boston University and received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from American University.
Professor, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, and former Under Secretary of Agriculture (41) and Executive Director, World Food Program.
An accomplished leader in international organization reform, Catherine Bertini has a distinguished career improving the efficiency and operations of organizations serving poor and hungry people in the United States and around the world. She was named the 2003 World Food Prize Laureate for her transformational leadership at the World Food Programme (WFP), which she led for ten years, and for the positive impact she had on the lives of women. While in the US government, she expanded the electronic benefit transfer options for food stamp beneficiaries, created the food package for breast feeding mothers, presented the first effort to picture healthy diets, and expanded education and training opportunities for poor women.
More recently, she co-chaired a successful effort to impact American policy supporting poor farmers in the developing world. As a United Nations Under Secretary General, she initiated efforts to reform the global system for security of staff and for the recognition of all staff marriages. She interacted with all UN agencies and their leadership through a variety of UN bodies in humanitarian, development, nutrition, security and management roles, and led UN humanitarian missions to the Horn of Africa and to Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. With her World Food Prize, she created the Catherine Bertini Trust Fund for Girls’ Education to support programs to increase opportunities for girls and women to attend school. Bertini’s career includes over twenty years in the private sector; thirteen years as a university professor; three major foundations and a think tank; service in local, state and national governments; board membership in a variety of organizations.
At the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, she taught graduate courses in humanitarian action, post conflict reconstruction, girls’ education, UN management, food security, international organizations, and leadership. She has been honored by twelve universities in four countries with honorary degrees and by the Republics of Italy and Ireland. She has received multiple awards for her work to improve the lives of children, for her management of internal reform processes, and for her advocacy for women and girls. She was appointed to senior positions by three UN secretaries general and five US presidents.
Bertini now is a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. Concurrently, she is Distinguished Fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. She is a professor emeritus at Syracuse University. She serves as a board member of the Tupperware Brands Corporation, the Stuart Family Foundation, and the Global FoodBanking Network. She is an affiliated expert at the Lugar Center, a patron of Gender in Agricultural Partnership (GAP), an honorary advisor to the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, and a member of the Leadership Council of Compact 2025 of the International Food Policy Research Institute. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Public Administration, and the International Union of Food Science and Technology. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
Former Chief of Staff (43) and Secretary of Transportation (41)
Andrew Card has enjoyed a distinguished career that began in the mid-70s, when he was elected to the Massachusetts State Legislature. A few years later, he was tapped by President Ronald Reagan to serve as deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs. Mr. Card later served in President George H. W. Bush’s administration as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff, where he managed the daily operations of the White House. He went on to be the 11th US secretary of transportation before being selected by then President-elect George W. Bush to be White House Chief of Staff, a position he held for nearly six years, making him the second longest serving chief of staff in modern history. Most recently, Mr. Card was acting dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, a position he held for several years. He was also executive director in the Office of the Provost. In 2018, Mr. Card was elected as the new chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
A native of Holbrook, Massachusetts, he is very familiar with Franklin Pierce University. He previously served on the Franklin Pierce Board of Trustees, helping to develop the university’s program in mass communication, named after fellow Franklin Pierce trustee, Marlin Fitzwater. Card graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering. He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and has received numerous honorary degrees and awards, including one from Franklin Pierce University in 2002.
Former Deputy Secretary of Defense
Gordon R. England is chair of the board of both PFP Cybersecurity and V1 Analytical Solutions, and a partner of Dyno-Tech, LLC. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Defense (2005–2009), Secretary of the Navy (2001–2006), and the first Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (2003). His business career spanned over 40 years as an engineer and senior executive, including the following series of positions at General Dynamics: executive vice president, Information Systems & Technology Sector (1997–2001); president, Fort Worth Aircraft Company (later Lockheed) (1991–1995), where he was responsible for all domestic and international aircraft programs, including the F-16 fighter; president (1990–1991) and vice president of engineering (1986–1990), Land Systems Company; and director of avionics, Fort Worth Company (1980–1986). He began his career at Honeywell, where he was an engineer on the Project Gemini space program.
Mr. England was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2012 for advances in digital avionics for aircraft, land, and naval platforms. He serves on the Academies’ Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (co-chair) and Committee on Talent: Assessing and Meeting National Workforce Needs. Previously, he was a member of the Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy and an ad hoc committee to organize the Workshop on Trends in the Innovation Ecosystem: Can Past Successes Help Inform Future Strategies?
In addition to serving as a city councilman, Mr. England has been active in numerous civic, charitable, and government organizations. He is vice president of the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science, chair of the board of the US Naval Institute Foundation, and a member of the boards of the Community Learning Center and Glilot Capital Partners, the Advisory Council of Business Executives for National Security, and the University of Maryland Trustees Board. He previously served on the USO board of governors, the War of the Pacific Museum, the DOD Defense Science Board; MERRA—Michigan R&D Cooperative (chair); Michigan Chapter, ADPA (president); Defense Manufacturing Board on Concurrent Engineering; Engineering Board of Advisors of the universities of Texas, Michigan, and Oakland; Board of Goodwill (vice chair); and CACI board of directors. He has been recognized for his professional and service contributions, with many awards and honors. He received his BS degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1961, and an MBA from Texas Christian University in 1975.
Andrew C. von Eschenbach
President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Inc. and as an Adjunct Professor at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. currently serves as President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Inc. and as an Adjunct Professor at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. From September of 2005 to January 2009 he served as Commissioner of Food and Drugs where he championed an agenda to modernize the FDA by process improvement of the regulatory pathway for drugs and medical devices and by fostering creative projects, including FDA’s Critical Path Initiative (designed to bring modern tools of science to the product development process); work plans like the FDA’s Food Protection Plan; and most especially the nurturing of the workforce through initiatives, such as an Agency-wide fellowship program and development of a new integrated campus for the Agency in White Oak, Maryland. Under his leadership, the FDA experienced dramatic increases in resources enabling implementation of many new programs designed to strengthen the FDA in its mission to protect and promote public health. He has emphasized FDA’s role in working with external partners to assure quality throughout the entire life cycle of the products it regulates.
Dr. von Eschenbach joined FDA after serving for four years as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health where he set an ambitious goal to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discovery-development-delivery continuum. While at NCI, he committed resources to ensure the application to oncology of nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and other emerging technologies. At the time of his appointment by President Bush to serve as Director of NCI, he was President-Elect of the American Cancer Society. Dr. von Eschenbach entered government service after an outstanding career over three decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist and executive that included numerous leadership roles from Chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to Executive Vice President and Chief Academic at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, an institution world renowned for the magnitude and excellence of its clinical and research cancer programs. An internationally renowned cancer specialist and author of more than 300 scientific articles and studies, Dr. von Eschenbach has served in numerous leadership roles, including serving as one of the founding members of the National Dialogue on Cancer. He has received numerous professional awards and honors. In 2006, Dr. von Eschenbach was named one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people to shape the world,” and in both 2007 and 2008, he was selected as one of the Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare.”
Dr. von Eschenbach earned a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University in his native Philadelphia and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. After completing a residency in urologic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he was an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a Fellowship in Urologic Oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Preston (Pete) Geren
President and CEO, Sid Richardson Foundation, former member of Congress, and Secretary of the Army
Preston “Pete” Geren is president of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, a foundation that provides grants to educational, health, human service, and cultural nonprofit organizations in Texas. He assumed the position in July 2011, after serving as senior advisor and president-elect of the Foundation since March 2010. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Geren served in the Department of Defense from 2001 to 2009 as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, Under Secretary of the Army, and Secretary of the Army. He served four terms as a United States congressman from the 12th District of Texas from 1989 to 1997, and was formerly an assistant to US Senator Lloyd Bentsen.
Mr. Geren is a director of Texas Capital Bank and a member of the oversight board of the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). A lawyer and former business executive, he has held leadership positions in numerous civic, educational, business, and philanthropic organizations in Texas. In 1997, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of Union Pacific Resources Group, Inc. (UPR), where he served until Anadarko acquired UPR in 2000. Mr. Geren then served as a director of Anadarko from July 2000 until his resignation in July 2005 to accept an appointment as Acting Secretary of the U.S. Air Force. Mr. Geren has been a director of Anadarko since October 2009. He earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence at the University of Texas Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in history at the University of Texas. He studied architecture at Georgia Tech before transferring to the University of Texas.
Hon. Virginia A. Mulberger
Hon. Virginia Mulberger is a founding Principal and the Managing Director of The Scowcroft Group. Prior to forming The Scowcroft Group, Ms. Mulberger served four years in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Legislative Affairs on the staff of the National Security Council. In that capacity, she was responsible for the integration and implementation of national security legislative strategies for the Executive Branch.
Preceding her White House tour, Ms. Mulberger was a Principal with DGA, International, a Washington-based consulting firm. With DGA, International, she assisted European corporations in strategic planning, marketing, joint ventures and technology transfer. From 1974 to 1983, Ms. Mulberger served as an active duty Air Force Officer in Air Force intelligence and legislative affairs positions. She completed her active duty service as Deputy Director, Air Force Senate Liaison. She fulfilled the remainder of her Air Force career as a Reserve Officer in international security assistance, retiring in 1996. Ms. Mulberger received her Masters degree from Georgetown University in National Security Studies. She is a Vice Chairman of The Atlantic Council of the United States and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Former US Ambassador to Iraq and Deputy Secretary of State
Ambassador Negroponte held government positions abroad and in Washington between 1960 and 1997 and again from 2001 to 2008.
He has been Ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, the United Nations, and Iraq. In Washington he served twice on the National Security Council staff, first as Director for Vietnam in the Nixon Administration and then as Deputy National Security Advisor under President Reagan. He has also held a cabinet level position as the first Director of National Intelligence under President George W. Bush. His most recent position in government was as Deputy Secretary of State, where he served as the State Department’s Chief Operating Officer.
From 2009 to 2016, Mr. Negroponte taught international relations at Yale’s Jackson Institute and from 2016 to 2018 at The Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University. He currently holds the James R. Schlesinger Distinguished Professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.
Ambassador Negroponte is Chairman Emeritus of the Council of the Americas/Americas Society. He is also Co-chairman of the US-Philippines Society and a past member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He has also served as Chairman of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
Former Ambassador to France and the Czech Republic
Craig Stapleton was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His grandfather, Benjamin F. Stapleton served five terms as Mayor of Denver. He received his secondary school education at Phillips Exeter Academy and earned a BA (magna cum laude) from Harvard College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Avadel Pharmaceuticals plc, and is a Senior Advisor to Stone Point Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut and formerly served as a Senior Advisor to Stone Point Capital and on the Board of Directors of Abercrombie & Fitch, Flamel Technologies, Carlile Bancshares, and Winston Partners. He served as president of Marsh and McLennan Real Estate Advisors of New York from 1982 until 2001. From 1989 to 1998, Mr. Stapleton co-owned the Texas Rangers baseball team with George W. Bush. He has served on the Board of Directors for companies including Allegheny Properties, IDS Realty Inc., Investors Savings and Loan, Metro PCS, and TB Woods. In July 2009, he became a co-owner of the St. Louis Cardinals.
During the administration of George H. W. Bush, Mr. Stapleton served on the Board of the Peace Corps. He served as Ambassador to the Czech Republic from 2001 to 2003 and received the Jan Masaryk Medal from the Czech Republic. In June 2005, he was appointed Ambassador to France, served until January 2009, and received the French Legion of Honor as a Commander. He is the Chairman of the Vaclav Havel Foundation and Chairman of the American Friends of Compiegne. He is a Trustee of the George W. Bush Library Foundation and the American University in Paris. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. He has served on the Visiting Committee for Harvard College Athletics and the Committee on University Resources and Athletics.
Former Deputy Secretary of State
Robert B. Zoellick is the non-executive chairman of AllianceBernstein, a leading global investment management firm that offers high-quality research and diversified investment services to institutional investors, individuals, and private wealth clients in major world markets. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition, Zoellick serves on the boards of Temasek, Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, and Laureate International Universities. He also is a member of the board of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, chairs the Global Tiger Initiative, and is a member of the Global Leadership Council of Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency.
Zoellick was the President of the World Bank Group from 2007-12, U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005, and Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006. From 1985 to 1993, Zoellick served as Counselor to the Secretary of the Treasury and Under Secretary of State, as well as the White House Deputy Chief of Staff.
Zoellick is a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award of the Department of the Treasury, and the Medal for Distinguished Public Service of the Department of Defense. The German government awarded him the Knight Commanders Cross for his achievements in the course of German unification. The Mexican and Chilean governments awarded him their highest honors for non-citizens, the Aztec Eagle and the Order of Merit, for recognition of his work on free trade, development, and the environment. Zoellick holds a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School, a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree (Phi Beta Kappa) from Swarthmore College.