Channon Lucas is the Chief Administrative Officer of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation (MCHF). MCHF is a $4 billion private foundation dedicated to serving the unmet health care and health related needs of low-income New Yorkers across the State. MCHF was founded in 2018 and is the largest health-focused private foundation in the state and one of the largest health-focused foundations in the country. Channon was one of the first hired employees and in her capacity as CAO, she skillfully managed the start-up and launch of the foundation which was able to successfully issue over $132 million in grants in its inaugural year. She manages all daily operations of the foundation including information technology, human capital, communications, community relations, administration and corporate governance.
Center for Global Affairs Advisory Board
Advisory Board members 2021-2022
co-chair, CGA Advisory Board
Vice Chancellor, Archdiocese of New York
Prior to MCHF, Channon spent 12 years at the Archdiocese of New York with increasing responsibilities during her tenure. Starting at the Archdiocese just prior to beginning studies at CGA, she served as regional director responsible for fundraising for an average of 60 individual parishes for the annual fund and a $200 million Bicentennial Capital Campaign. In 2009 when she began MSGA studies, she was appointed Director of Operations for the annual fund and then ultimately the Director. As Director of the Cardinal's Annual Appeal from 2011 to 2015 she was the driving force behind the vision and direction of a multi-million-dollar annual fund; designed and executed a strategic plan that yielded fundraising 20% over target despite diminishing attendance of Catholics to Mass; she oversaw a major gifts portfolio for the Executive Director of Development and the Archbishop of New York; curated and hosted a series of fundraising and donor cultivation events with the Archbishop of New York.
In recognition of her accomplishments, in 2015 she was asked by His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan to serve as Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York and her portfolio increased substantially. As a senior member of the Cardinal’s cabinet, Channon provided strategic direction and thought partnership to the archbishop, chancellor, and vicar general. She oversaw 14 administrative and pastoral departments. In addition to her day-to-day work with these departments, she served as a senior staff member to the archbishop for all high-level events including the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Pope Francis' historic visit to New York City in 2015.
She completed her undergraduate studies at Ithaca College where she earned a B.A. in Politics. Channon entered NYU’s Center for Global Affairs as a part-time student attending classes at night in 2009 and completed her M.S. in Global Affairs in 2011.
ROBERT PIETRZAK, ESQ.
co-chair, CGA Advisory Board
Partner, Sidley Austin LLP retired
Mr. Pietrzak was a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, co-head of Litigation in the firm’s New York office, and global co-head of the firm’s Securities and Shareholder Litigation Practice. His practice primarily involved the litigation in US courts of civil and governmental disputes for domestic and overseas financial institutions, including the defense of securities class actions and large contract actions. He has represented defendants in some of the largest litigations in the US and has represented major Chinese corporations and institutions.
Mr. Pietrzak received his B.A. from Fordham University and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, and is a member of the New York and federal bars and a life member of the American Law Institute. He has been appointed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to its Financial Products Advisory Committee and by the Bond Market Association to its Litigation Advisory Committee. He was a member of the Advisory Boards of the New York Legal Aid Society, The Review of Securities and Commodities Regulation and of the Fordham International Law Journal. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been a Director of the National Committee on US-China Relations.
Mr. Pietrzak has lectured extensively and written articles on litigation, securities and derivatives issues for CNN, Court TV, ALI/ABA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, the Futures Industry Association, the American Arbitration Association, and many others. He has been named as a leading New York securities litigator by all the major legal rating services, including by Chambers USA.
EY Global Public Policy Vice Chair
Ruchi Bhowmik leads the EY Global Public Policy team and engages with global stakeholders on critical issues challenging business today.
At a time of increasing distrust in business and government, Ruchi helps EY address the pressing issues of the day to build a better working world.
Ruchi partners with the assurance team to drive EY’s ongoing commitment to audit quality and serving the public interest and is at the forefront of efforts around inclusive capitalism.
Having served in the highest levels of business and government, Ruchi brings a keen insight and acumen in dealing with the common challenges stakeholders face today.
Ruchi is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, and received her BA from Yale University and her JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.
In this capacity, Ruchi will oversee EY public policy in more than 150 countries.
Ruchi joined EY from PepsiCo where, as Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy and Government Affairs, she led the company’s efforts to protect and promote its product portfolio and innovation initiatives.
Between 2013 and 2017, Ruchi was at EY, serving as Director of Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Global Chairman. In this role, she worked closely with EY Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger in developing global policy initiatives and positions. Ruchi supported EY’s involvement with the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism to develop the Embankment Project for Inclusive Capitalism.
Prior to that, Ruchi served in multiple senior roles at the United States White House during Barack Obama’s presidency, including Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Special Assistant to the President for Policy in the Office of the Chief of Staff. She also served as a judiciary and education counsel to a US Senator, advising on issues like privacy, civil liberties and cybersecurity. Ruchi also practiced as an attorney for two organizations, advising on international trade and the prevention of gun violence respectively.
SARAH KATE ELLIS
President and CEO, GLAAD
Sarah Kate Ellis was named President and CEO of GLAAD in early 2014 after a successful career as a media executive.
In short order, Ellis refocused GLAAD’s crucial advocacy to accelerate acceptance of the LGBTQ community through a variety of compelling and effective initiatives, campaigns, and programs.
A powerful communicator, Ellis has used GLAAD’s position as the world’s leading media advocacy organization to demand fair and accurate coverage of the LGBTQ community. Ellis also commissioned GLAAD's annual Accelerating Acceptance report, providing a window into national sentiment towards the LGBTQ community. As more states have introduced discriminatory bills Ellis has fought against them, notably getting prominent figures from the music industry in Nashville to speak out against a pair of Tennessee bills and calling on Hollywood studios to speak out about against a similar bill in Georgia.
She ensured that national and local media would be held accountable when reporting on Caitlyn Jenner, while GLAAD also provided resources to journalists and media organizations following Jenner's prominent Diane Sawyer interview. Ahead of Pope Francis' visit to the United States, Ellis used GLAAD's position to ask the Pope to meet with and welcome LGBT Catholics during his visit.
Ellis also understands the importance of being on the ground where it matters most. Under her leadership, GLAAD has traveled to many states in the U.S. South to meet with LGBTQ leaders and community members, as part of Southern Stories. Ellis also launched GLAAD's first international operation in London as a springboard to increase GLAAD's international work.
Most recently, Ellis traveled to Orlando to be on the ground after the massacre at Pulse nightclub, assisting victims' families and holding media accountable.
A forceful spokesperson for LGBTQ acceptance, Ellis’ commentary and statements have appeared in influential media including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, TIME, Vanity Fair and hundreds of other outlets. A thought leader in the space, Ellis has spoken about the crucial impact of GLAAD at Princeton, University of California Berkeley, the Public Relations Society of America, and more.
Ellis was included on Variety’s 2016 New Power of New York List, a collection of 50 movers and shakers who are upending the entertainment business in Manhattan and beyond. Named one of OUT Magazine’s OUT100 in 2015, Ellis was also one of Family Circles’ 20 most influential moms in 2015, ranked 20th on the Guardian’s World Power Pride list in 2014, and was named an Agent of Change by Washington D.C. 's largest LGBT publication, Metro Weekly.
Ellis co-authored a memoir with her wife, Kristen Ellis-Henderson, titled “Times Two, Two Women in Love and the Happy Family They Made," released by Simon & Schuster. The autobiography chronicled their simultaneous pregnancies and road to motherhood. The two were featured on the groundbreaking “Gay Marriage Already Won” cover of TIME Magazine. They were the first same-sex couple to have their marriage ceremony performed in the Episcopal Church of New York State.
Prior to joining GLAAD, Sarah Kate Ellis led national media brands, notably growing Real Simple into one of Time Inc.’s most respected and successful magazines. Her vision also transformed and energized leading media outlets including Vogue, InStyle, New York, and House & Garden. She served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Martini Media, a digital firm specializing in online branding, public relations and marketing.
She earned seven MIN Awards for marketing innovation, two President’s Awards, and MIN’s Sales Executive Team of the Year award in 2012.
As co-chair of OUT at Time Inc., she led programming to spotlight the diversity of the LGBTQ community and educated the organization’s straight allies on a wide range of LGBTQ issues.
Ellis earned her B.A. from Russell Sage College and also attended the Tuck Executive Education program at Dartmouth.
Ellis and her wife Kristen are the proud mothers of two adorable children.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Overseas Military Sales Corporation
Mr. Goldring is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Overseas Military Sales Corporation (OMSC), the world’s leading marketer of automobiles to the U.S. Military, Diplomatic, Foreign Service, and international business communities outside the United States. He has served as Chairman of OMSC’s Advisory Board since 2008 and as CEO since 2011. He has held management positions at OMSC for the last 30 years, including Executive Vice President of its non-military division and Vice President of Marketing.
Mr. Goldring is the Director of the Allen and Lola Goldring Foundation, a family philanthropy that supports medical and artistic concerns. He serves on numerous boards, including the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Association. Mr. Goldring is a member of the Business Executives for National Security and the World Presidents’ Organization.
He is the recipient of the U.S. Navy’s 2012 Rear Admiral John J. Bergen Industry Award. Mr. Goldring was named a finalist in Ernst & Young’s 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year New York Program, and is a frequent lecturer on the topics of entrepreneurship and leadership. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University. Mr. Goldring lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children, Olivia, Jason, and Asher.
Market Advocacy and Regulatory Advisory, Shell (Tokyo)
Go Katayama is Market Advocacy and Regulatory Advisor for Shell based in Tokyo. A Japanese native, he previously worked as a LNG and natural gas consultant for Poten & Partners, researcher for Council on Foreign Relations, United Nations Development Programme and the New Yorker Magazine. He holds a Master’s degree in Global Affairs (Energy Concentration) from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He has also completed course work at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.
DLA Piper LLP (US), Senior Counsel
Mr. Kourides brings significant experience in corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and divestitures, as well as cross-border matters, he also has expertise regarding regulatory issues around the world. Former Senior Counsel, DLA Piper LLP Prior to joining DLA Piper, Mr. Kourides served as senior vice president and deputy general counsel for AIG with responsibility as AIG’s head of global regulatory and Federal Reserve supervision and general counsel for mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Kourides received a J.D. from Columbia University.
Managing Director, Ridgewood Private Equity Partners
Sam Lissner is Managing Director of Ridgewood, a real asset private equity investment manager with approximately $6 billion in total capital and commitments. He is a member of the investment committee for Ridgewood Energy, which invests in the production of low-cost, carbon efficient energy resources in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. He is a founding member of Ridgewood Infrastructure, which invests in essential infrastructure in the U.S. lower middle market. Sam's responsibilities span the firm's strategic, investing, marketing, and operating initiatives. He also founded and leads Ridgewood's ESG and Sustainability Program. Prior to joining Ridgewood, Sam was Chief Analyst and Project Director at Kohl Partners, where he focused on investments in renewable energy projects in the U.S. and Middle East. During his master’s studies, Sam worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy.
He has an A.B. from Harvard, an M.S. in Global Affairs from NYU, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
Sam is a member of the Advisory Board for NYU's Center for Global Affairs, as well as the Young Leaders Board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is also a Founding Member of the Technion Angels. Sam currently resides in Washington, D.C. and is the father of two children.
ADMIRAL SAMUEL J LOCKLEAR III
President, SJL Global Insights LLC
Admiral Locklear is President of SJL Global Insights LLC, a global consulting firm specializing in a wide range of security and defense issues and initiatives. Today he serves on the Board of Directors of the Fluor Corporation, the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, is a Senior Advisor to the Center for Climate and Security and New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, and is a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.
In 2015 he retired from the US Navy after serving with distinction for over 39 years, including 15 years of service as a Flag Officer. During his significant tenure Admiral Locklear led at the highest levels serving as Commander U.S. Pacific Command, Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa, and Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command. In 2013 Defense News ranked him eleventh out of the 100 most influential people in global defense issues.
As Commander U.S. Pacific Command, the United States’ oldest and largest geographic unified combatant command, he commanded all U.S. military forces operating across more than half the globe. He accurately assessed the rapidly changing geopolitical environment of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, the most militarized area of the world, made significant advancements in how U.S. forces are postured for crisis or contingency, and was instrumental in addressing the growing global cyber challenges in the region. A key architect of America’s rebalance to the Asia- Pacific, Admiral Locklear provided the vision, strategic framework, and detailed planning that began the rebalance of U.S. military influence to the Asia-Pacific. He skillfully managed the US military relationships with our five Pacific treaty allies, numerous key security partners, and emerging multilateral security forums. Additionally, he maintained a pragmatic but lasting relationship with China’s military and made significant progress in developing a deeper strategic security relationship with India.
As Commander U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, Admiral Locklear managed the U.S. Navy’s relationships with all key navies throughout two continents, developing key partnership capabilities and capacities. To protect U.S. interests abroad and to halt the spread of terrorism in the region he successfully commanded all maritime aspects of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Europe and Africa. In 2011 in Libya, in response to a UN mandate to protect the Libyan people from the Gaddafi regime, Admiral Locklear designed and led the multinational Joint Task Force (Odyssey Dawn), successfully enforcing the mandate, and then commanded the follow on NATO Operation Unified Protector (OUP) until the final collapse of the Gaddafi regime.
As Commander of NATO’s Allied Joint Force Command, he provided operational level command and oversight of NATO’s ongoing stability operations in Kosovo and NATO’s training mission in Iraq, and was a primary architect of NATO’s twenty-first century command structure.
A nuclear qualified surface warfare officer, Admiral Locklear’s numerous commands at sea included the US Navy’s Third Fleet, USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Destroyer Squadron Two, and the Spruance class destroyer USS Leftwich (DD 984). Ashore he served as the Director of the Navy Staff, the 78th Commandant of Midshipmen at the US Naval Academy, and head of the Navy programming and assessment divisions where he oversaw the programming of the annual Navy budget of over 125 billion dollars. Admiral Locklear is a 1977 graduate of the US Naval Academy, a 1992 graduate of the National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from George Washington University. He is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and decorations from South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Australia and France.
Director of Outreach and Partnerships, Council for Inclusive Capitalism
Alexandra Rogan is Director of Outreach and Partnerships at the Council for Inclusive Capitalism where she works with organizations which share the Council’s vision to create more sustainable and collaborative economies. Alexandra brings over a decade’s experience in developing relationships with companies and their executives, working with them to understand and respond to critical social, political and geopolitical trends.
Previously, Alexandra was Managing Director of the Political Risk Advisory practice – a division she helped establish in 2013 – at Teneo, a CEO advisory firm. She oversaw all corporate client engagements and program development, as well as the integration of political risk services across Teneo’s international offices and other advisory services and served on the Teneo Risk Leadership Board. She became a senior member of the global government affairs team, working closely with C-suite, government and external affairs, and sustainability executives. In 2018, she co-led the foundational work that established Teneo’s global ESG Advisory services.
Prior to Teneo, Alexandra was Associate Director of Corporate Advisory Services at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, where she served as the global relationship manager for the firm’s largest account and strategic alliance partner. She also worked in Emerging Markets Equity Research at JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s London office.
Alexandra holds a MS in Global Affairs from NYU and a BA in French and Spanish from University College London. She also studied art history at the British Institute in Paris, and international relations at the Complutense University of Madrid. In addition to her role on the NYU CGA Advisory Board, Alexandra is a Senior Advisor to Santiago Media, a consultancy and media company.
Columnist, The Guardian
Richard Wolffe is a best-selling author, journalist and digital media executive, with extensive experience covering politics and foreign policy across multiple platforms. He currently writes a weekly column for The Guardian, focusing on U.S. politics. He is also writing a book for HarperCollins on the chefs who delivered food relief in Puerto Rico in the weeks after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
An MSNBC political analyst for a decade, Wolffe was previously Vice-President and Executive Editor of MSNBC.com, launching the channel’s website and app in 2013 and its digital video channel in 2014. He grew MSNBC’s digital audience and revenues more than ten-fold in less than two years, winning a series of editorial, design and social impact awards.
Wolffe was previously Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Digital Officer at Global Citizen, a non-profit social action platform built to solve the world’s biggest challenges, and to end extreme poverty in our lifetime. In two years at Global Citizen, Wolffe grew its monthly audience twenty-fold to 40 million, more than doubled its registered users, and drove a ten-fold increase in political actions. He also led the organization’s international launch into India, and its expansion in Germany and Canada.
Wolffe covered the entire length of Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign for Newsweek magazine. His book about the Obama campaign, Renegade: The Making of a President, was first published by Crown in June 2009 and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It was internationally published in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, the Netherlands, and China.
His next book was Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White House, which was published by Crown in November 2010. His latest book about the 2012 presidential campaign, The Message: The Re-Selling of President Obama, was published by Twelve in 2013.
Wolffe has appeared frequently across MSNBC’s dayside and primetime shows, from Morning Joe to The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. On NBC, he has featured as a political commentator on Meet The Press and TODAY.
He was featured prominently in the HBO documentary on the Obama campaign, By the People, and played a leading role in the HBO documentary of the 2000 Bush campaign, Journeys with George.
In April 2009, he joined Public Strategies as Senior Strategist at the communications and business advisory firm. He left the firm in December 2009 to work on Revival.
Wolffe began writing about American politics as a senior journalist at the Financial Times, serving as its deputy bureau chief and U.S. diplomatic correspondent in Washington D.C. In that capacity, he managed coverage of business and political affairs in the nation’s capital, and reported on U.S. foreign policy at the State Department and National Security Council.
He first started reporting on George W. Bush and his Texas team in 1999, at the start of the presidential campaign. He traveled with then-Governor Bush for more than a year, through the extraordinary election of 2000. His earlier work for the Financial Times included extensive coverage of the Microsoft antitrust trial and the Clinton administration’s plans to break up the company.
Wolffe spent eight years with the Financial Times, including four years in the United Kingdom. His journalism there included business reporting on the City of London and the manufacturing sector in the British heartland. In politics, he reported on the tumultuous period leading to Tony Blair’s landslide victory in 1997.
He joined Newsweek magazine in November 2002 as diplomatic correspondent, covering foreign policy and international affairs. In the 2004 presidential election, he covered the chaotic Howard Dean campaign before switching to John Kerry’s campaign.
As Newsweek’s senior White House correspondent, his cover stories included What He Believes (on Obama’s faith), Black & White (about Obama and racial politics), Bush In The Bubble (about the president after Hurricane Katrina), and Weight of the World (the behind-the-scenes story of how Bush handled the Lebanon war).
Wolffe is the co-author of The Victim’s Fortune (HarperCollins, 2002), which reveals the behind-the-scenes deals that led to billions of dollars in compensation to the Nazis’ victims in the late 1990s.
His next book was in an entirely different field. Along with his friend, the award-winning chef José Andrés, Wolffe is the co-author of a Spanish cookbook, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America, published in 2005 in the United States and Spain. Together, they cowrote a follow-up cookbook, Made in Spain, published in 2008, along with a 26-part TV show for PBS television. They have also written together for food magazines such as Food Arts and Food and Wine.
Born in Birmingham, England, Wolffe graduated from Oxford University with first-class honors in English and French.
Principal, Geer Mountain Holdings
Mr. Wright is principal of his own firm, New York-based Geer Mountain Holdings, LLC, providing equity capital and advisory services to several emerging companies in the business services, technology and consumer products industries. He also provides strategic communications support on occasion to large companies and other organizations.
Mr. Wright was senior vice president, communications & public affairs at New York-based Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. from 2003 to 2009. As that company’s senior communications strategist, he held global responsibility for all external and internal communications activities, including media and government relations; employee, business group, executive and shareholder communications, public policy; corporate and business marketing and brand identity, and other related activities.
Mr. Wright previously served as head of worldwide communications at Nabisco Group Holdings Corporation. He joined the corporation's predecessor, RJR Nabisco, in 1990. Before joining Nabisco, Mr. Wright was director of corporate and financial communications of Aetna, Inc., where he worked from 1982 to 1990.
Mr. Wright is a member of the distributions committee of Community Funds, Inc., and a trustee of its affiliated New York Community Trust in New York. He also is a trustee of the International Center for Journalists in Washington, D.C. He is a former trustee of the Museum for African Art in New York, of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and of the James Beard Foundation.
A resident of South Kent, Conn., and New York City, Mr. Wright received a degree in government from Georgetown University.
Executive Chairman, Schools That Can
Michael has enjoyed a successful international business career and has been deeply involved in urban education since 2001. He serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Schools That Can, the largest cross-sector network of urban K-12 schools in the U.S. that was launched in 2006. He is dedicated to building an education to employment pathway for marginalized urban students to close the opportunity and skills gap. Michael has extensive experience in non-profit, international business, academics and urban education. He served as Board Chairman of Trey Whitfield School in East New York, Brooklyn for over a decade. He is a Director of Portal Schools and is a Regent at the Da Vinci Schools in Los Angeles. He holds degrees in European Studies and an MBA from Columbia University, the Social Entrepreneurship Program at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and the Politics in Society Program at Oxford University. Michael resides in New York City with his wife, Nancy.
Chairman, Nitze-Stagen and Co. Inc.
Mr. Nitze is Chairman of Nitze-Stagen and Co. Inc., a private real estate and investment firm. Prior to the formation of Nitze-Stagen, he was a partner in the law firm Shearman & Sterling. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School. His connections with NYU include past membership in the Ruttenberg Seminars and the advisory board of the Lillian Vernon Center for International Affairs. One of his children is a graduate of the Tisch School of Arts and another recently graduated from NYU Law School, where he is editor in chief of the Law Review. His grandson earned a graduate degree from the Center for Global Affairs.
H.R.H. PRINCE ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein assumed his functions as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on 1 September 2014, following the General Assembly’s approval on 16 June 2014 of his appointment by the United Nations Secretary-General. He will be the seventh individual to lead the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the first Asian, Muslim and Arab to do so.
A veteran multilateral diplomat, Mr. Al Hussein was previously Jordan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, a post he held from September 2010 until July 2014, and which he also held from 2000 to 2007. From 2007 to 2010 he was Jordan’s Ambassador to the United States of America. He served as Jordan’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, with the rank of Ambassador, from 1996 to 2000. In January 2014, he was President of the UN Security Council and chaired the Security Council’s 1533 and 1521 committees with regard to two sanctions regimes regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Liberia.
Mr. Al Hussein’s professional experience demonstrates his long familiarity with international criminal justice, international law, UN peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building, international development, and counter- nuclear terrorism. He played a central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court, chairing the complex negotiations regarding the elements of individual offences amounting to genocide; crimes against humanity; and war crimes. Courts around the world now cite as authoritative the definition for ‘crimes against humanity’ refined by the ‘elements’.
In September 2002, Mr. Al Hussein was elected the first President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. At that time, the Court was only a plan on paper, and over the next three years he oversaw the election of the first 18 judges, mediated selection of the Court’s first president, and led efforts to name the Court’s first prosecutor – laying out a functioning institution, despite considerable budgetary pressures and criticism of the Court from several leading nations.
Subsequently, in 2009, he was asked to chair the closing stages of the intricate negotiations over the crime of aggression -- identified by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg as that "supreme international crime" – specifically with respect to its legal definition and the conditions for the court’s exercise of jurisdiction over it. Those negotiations ended successfully and with consensus in Kampala, Uganda, in June 2010.
In 2004, Mr. Al Hussein was appointed by his government as Jordan’s representative, and head of delegation, before the International Court of Justice in the matter relating to the wall being built by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. He also represented Jordan before the International Court of Justice in December 2009 in the advisory proceedings relating to Kosovo's declaration of independence.
Mr. Al Hussein also represented Jordan on Nuclear Security following the Washington Summit on Nuclear Security, convened in April 2010, which kicked off a concerted international effort to blunt the threat of nuclear terrorism. In this context, he spearheaded work on one of the main pillars of the summit: the establishment of counter nuclear-smuggling teams.
Mr. Al Hussein’s knowledge of peacekeeping is extensive. He served as a political affairs officer in UNPROFOR, in the former Yugoslavia, from February 1994 to February 1996. In 2004, following allegations of widespread abuse being committed by UN peacekeepers, he was named Advisor to the Secretary-General on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. His report, produced in 2005, provided, for the first time, a comprehensive strategy for the elimination of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in UN Peacekeeping Operations, and has been called “revolutionary” by experts. In 2012, Mr. Al Hussein was chosen by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as one of five experts to serve on his “Senior Advisory Group” regarding reimbursements to countries contributing peacekeeping troops.
He also chaired the Consultative Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and led an effort to establish greater strategic direction for the Fund (2004-2007).
Mr. Al Hussein holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Johns Hopkins University and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Cambridge University (Christ’s College). On 14 June 2008, he was presented with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the Southern California Institute of Law for his work on international justice. In 1989, he also received his commission as an officer in the Jordanian desert police (the successor to the Arab Legion) and saw service with them until 1994.
Mr. Al Hussein has been a member of the advisory committee to “The Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation” based in The Hague. He further served on the international advisory councils of “The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation”; the “International Peace Institute” and “The Security Council Report”. He has been an honorary member of the advisory board of “The Center for Global Affairs” at NYU School of Professional Studies; a member of the international advisory board of “The International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life” at Brandeis University; and a member of the Advisory Board for the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. He also served as a member of the World Bank's Advisory Council for the World Development Report 2011.
He is married to Princess Sarah Zeid, and they have two daughters and a son.
Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
Ambassador Verveer most recently served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global women’s issues, a position to which she was nominated by President Obama in 2009. She coordinated foreign policy issues and activities relating to the political, economic and social advancement of women, traveling to nearly sixty countries. She worked to ensure that women’s participation and rights are fully integrated into U.S. foreign policy, and she played a leadership role in the Administration’s development of the US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.
President Obama also appointed her to serve as the US Representative to the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
From 2000-2008, she was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that she co-founded to invest in emerging women leaders. During the Clinton administration, she served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She also led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of2000.
Ambassador Verveer has a B.S. and M.S. from Georgetown University. In 2013, she was the Humanitas Visiting professor at Cambridge University. She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the World Bank Advisory Council on Gender and Development. She holds several honorary degrees and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the US Secretary of State’s Award for Distinguished Service.