John F. Ring is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice of Morgan Lewis, where he serves as the office practice group leader for the Labor and Employment Practice and the hiring partner for the Washington, D.C. office.
Mr. Ring's practice focuses on advising clients in connection with strategic business planning with a particular emphasis on the negotiation and administration of labor contracts, multiemployer benefit funds, and corporate restructurings. He represents management interests in collective bargaining, employee benefits, litigation, counseling, and litigation avoidance strategies.
Mr. Ring has extensive experience in the negotiation and administration of numerous collective bargaining agreements, most notably the multiemployer agreement in the trucking industry. He has been involved in a number of other negotiations in a variety of industries, including airfreight, utilities, maritime, health care, manufacturing, the defense industry, and professional sports. He has represented clients in numerous proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, both in union representation and unfair labor practice cases.
Mr. Ring serves as counsel to a number of multiemployer benefit funds and has handled matters in pension and health & welfare fund administration. He advises multiemployer funds on all aspects of ERISA, including fiduciary issues, withdrawal liability, and benefits eligibility. Mr. Ring's background also extends to labor and employment litigation, in both federal state courts and in arbitrations under collective bargaining agreements and private ADR. Mr. Ring also has advised a number of clients on large-scale workforce restructuring and consolidations and has had extensive dealings with reduction-in-force issues.
Mr. Ring earned his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the Catholic University of America.
Pete Smith is the President of Smith Compensation Consulting, a firm that specializes in nonprofit executive compensation issues.
Previously, Mr. Smith was the President and CEO of Watson Wyatt Worldwide (now Towers Watson), a multinational human resources consulting firm. Mr. Smith’s 30-year career with Watson Wyatt included various executive management positions and directing their worldwide compensation consulting practice.
Active in civic affairs, Mr. Smith has chaired the Board of Directors of the Association of Management Consulting Firms and the National Rehabilitation Hospital, is past Vice Chair of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and the Washington Performing Arts Society, and served as a Trustee of American University and the Community Foundation of the National Capital Area. He also served on the Independent Review Committee evaluating governance problems at the Smithsonian Institution.
Mr. Smith is a graduate of Harvard College. He and his wife Marcia live in the District of Columbia, close to the Zoo, which they enjoy greatly; they are long-term FONZ advocates.
Bryan Sivak joined the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services as the Chief Technology Officer and Entrepreneur-in-Residence in July 2012. In this role, he is responsible for helping HHS harness the power of data, technology, and innovation to improve the health and welfare of the nation.
Previously, Bryan served as the Chief Innovation Officer to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, where he led Maryland’s efforts to embed concepts of innovation into the DNA of state government. He distinguished himself in this role as someone who can work creatively across a large government organization to identify and implement the best opportunities for improving the way the government works.
Prior to his time with Governor O’Malley, Bryan was appointed by former D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in October 2009 to the Cabinet post of Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the District of Columbia. As CTO, Bryan lead the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), an organization of more than 500 employees which provides technology services and leadership for 86 agencies, 38,000 employees, residents, businesses, and millions of visitors.
Bryan has more than 15 years of international experience in building software and internet technologies and organizations. In 2002, he founded and developed InQuira, Inc., a multi-national technology solutions company, whose products are used at top private and public sector organizations, including Bank of America, UK Ministry of Defence, Nokia, and T-Mobile. During his tenure, he oversaw every aspect of the business from design and development of the product to sales, marketing, and management activities relating to the overall execution of InQuira's business plan and growth of the company. In 2005, he moved to London and opened the European office of the company, which he grew from zero to 30 percent of the company’s revenue in four years.
Prior to his work with InQira, Bryan founded Electric Knowledge LLC, which provided the world’s first Natural Language Search engine available on the web. The company’s customers included Bank of America and Fidelity Investments among others.
Bryan holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Chicago.
Enoh T. Ebong serves as the General Counsel of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). Ms. Ebong joined USTDA in 2004 as an Assistant General Counsel and since that time has served as the agency’s Acting Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and Deputy General Counsel.
Prior to joining USTDA, Ms. Ebong was an associate in the Boston office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. practicing in the area of business and finance. Her practice included the representation of public and private companies, with an emphasis on financing transactions for both start-ups and established companies; mergers and acquisitions; and corporate governance issues.
Having grown up in Nigeria and England, Ms. Ebong came to the United States for her graduate education and now resides in Cleveland Park. As a near neighbor of the National Zoo, she enjoys first-hand all that the Zoo has to offer, and recognizes the importance of the Zoo to the local community. As part of her responsibilities as a member of the FONZ Board, Ms. Ebong chairs the Education Committee and serves on the Finance and Oversight and Nominating Committees. Ms. Ebong is also a past-officer of the Washington Foreign Law Society.
Ms. Ebong received her undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her Master of Arts in Communication from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
David T. Bell, CPA, is a partner with Deloitte and Touche LLP, the Audit and Enterprise Risk Services (ERS) function-specific subsidiary of Deloitte LLP; a leading global professional services firm. Mr. Bell is based in McLean, Virginia, and, with over 20 years of experience as a financial statement auditor, serves a number of clients in the aerospace & defense, technology, and energy industries. Over his career, David has served large public, small private and not-for-profit institutions. Before relocating to Deloitte’s McLean office in late 2011, David worked for 13 years in Chicago, Illinois, and, most recently, six years in Wilton, Connecticut, where he served as chief of staff for Deloitte’s professional practice network in its national office.
David is a graduate of Harding University and holds a B.B.A. in accounting. He is a licensed certified public accountant, with licenses in Illinois and Virginia, and he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. David and his wife, Carmen, live in Vienna, Virginia, with their four daughters.
David and his family are committed to the belief that all people should have access to the wonder of animals, not just in pictures or books, but in real life as the National Zoo offers.
Ann H. Bissell is the owner and principal of Associated Designers. The firm, which she established in 1978, specializes in lighting design and residential construction project management. Projects have included Marriott Hotels and Eastbanc Condominiums, as well as countless residences, churches, schools, and law firms in the Washington, D.C., area and across the country. Prior to founding the firm, Ms. Bissell was the registrar of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, and managed the Fendrick Gallery in Georgetown while completing graduate studies in art history at Yale University.
A native Washingtonian, Ms. Bissell attended Sidwell Friends School. She has served on the Alumni Board of Sidwell Friends, and was display chairman of the Sidwell Auction for 20 years. She received a B.A. in history and government from St. Lawrence University. She is currently on the finance and property committees of St. Albans Parish, where she has been a parishioner since childhood.
Ms. Bissell expresses her interest in the National Zoo and animal conservation by volunteering in the Elephant House three days a week and by traveling to Asia to work on projects involving both Asian elephants and clouded leopards. In addition, she serves on the planning committee of the ZooFari auction. Other interests include cycling, hiking, art, music, and photography.
Michael Caplin is an attorney specializing in social entrepreneurship and nonprofit management. He is the president of the Tysons Partnership, an association of business and community leaders working together to develop Tysons, VA into a great American City. He also serves on the Global Advisory Board of the George Mason University Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and is a Member of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Commission, appointed by the President in 2010.
Mr. Caplin previously served as founding Director of East Coast Operations for Childhelp USA, a $20 million national nonprofit dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. For his work on behalf of children in crisis he received the Northern Virginia Leadership Award, the Governor’s Commendation for Outstanding Service to the Commonwealth, and a Certificate of Excellence from the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Mr. Caplin is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the University of Virginia School of Law, Georgetown University Law School, and Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. His career includes service as a public defender; a clinical instructor at Georgetown University Law School; Special Trial Attorney in the Criminal Section of the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice; entertainment law counsel to jazz and pop artists, classical musicians, dancers and variety artists; founding Executive Director of the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C.; and manager of the lectures and seminars division of the Smithsonian Institution Resident Associates Program. He is a member of the bar associations and admitted to practice law in New York, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He is also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, a husband and the father of three great children who all love the Zoo!
David F. Grimaldi is Chief of Staff to Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn at the Federal Communications Commission. In that role, he advises the commissioner on all aspects of the FCC’s regulatory authority, including wireless, media, enforcement, and wireline issues/rulemakings.
Previously, Mr. Grimaldi was Senior Counsel to U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, serving as an advisor to the Whip on a number of different issue areas, including foreign affairs, financial industry matters, and technology and telecommunications. He also participated in weekly planning and strategy meetings involving the Democratic Congressional Leadership and senior staff.
Mr. Grimaldi has also been a Principal at The Raben Group, a leading Washington lobbying firm, where he advised clients on issues relating to intellectual property, finance, and technology. Prior to that, he served as Legislative Counsel to Representative Ed Towns (NY-10), a senior member of the House Government Reform Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. During his time as a Congressional aide, Mr. Grimaldi participated in delegations to the Middle East, Africa, Cuba, Europe, and China. Additionally, he was a member of the Obama/Biden Congressional Relations team at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, assisting with Congressional Member Services operations. He also served on the voter protection legal team for the Obama/Biden campaign and participated in primary election outreach for Obama/Biden in Delaware, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Grimaldi earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, followed by law school at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. During law school, he worked in the chambers of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and as a law clerk for the Office of the General Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Grimaldi has also taught a course in legislative strategy and was a frequent commentator on a political news program. He is a Washington, D.C., native and currently lives in the city’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood.
Dr. Walter F. Jones is the Executive Director of the Office of Naval Research (ONR). As the senior civilian manager at ONR, he provides executive, technical, and scientific direction for all Navy and Marine Corps science and technology programs. ONR invests over $3 billion each year in a wide variety of disciplines, including oceanography, information, materials, aerospace systems, and human performance.
Dr. Jones has held a wide variety of positions in government and academia. Dr. Jones most recently was Director of Plans and Programs for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), where he was responsible for the processes that defined AFRL’s $3-billion annual technology investment. He has also served as Director, Aerospace and Materials Sciences at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and as Senior Program Analyst with the Office of the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence for Community Management. He has held several other positions with the Air Force, including Deputy for Research Sciences with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition), and Deputy for Science and Technology with the Office of the National Security Space Architect. In addition, Dr. Jones has held faculty positions at the University of Florida, University of Tennessee, and Clemson University.
Active in international programs, Dr. Jones is a member of the NATO Research and Technology Board, which oversees all NATO science and technology programs. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Dr. Jones received his Ph.D. and M.S. in engineering mechanics and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Clemson University. He also has an M.S. in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, and a Certificate in Legislative Studies from the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University.
Maureen Lemire is Vice President of Development with Earth Touch, a wildlife multi-media company. She focuses on television production and bringing the natural world to viewers around the globe. Her most recent work was producing 31 hours on sharks and marine exploration for the National Geographic Channel.
She was an Executive Producer at Discovery Channel for 13 years, where she focused on International Co-Productions and Specials and worked on award-winning projects including “Planet Earth”, “Blue Planet”, and “Wild Discovery.” Ms. Lemire has successfully overseen hundreds of hours of primetime production specializing in the genres of natural history, expeditions and science, and has had the pleasure of working with wildlife filmmakers around the world.
Ms. Lemire began her documentary career with the BBC as a researcher in their Anthropology Unit on a series on the Maasai. She then spent a decade running the gamut of production work including directing, writing and editing. She is a graduate of the National Film and Television School in the UK and has an M.A. in anthropology from San Francisco State University and a B.A. from UC Santa Barbara. She lives in Bethesda with her husband, Bernie, and the wonderful wildlife that frequents their feeders.
Carin Rosenberg Levine is the co-creator and owner of Hitched and Hitched Maids, DC’s “go to” bridal spot for all things weddings. Since opening in 2005, Hitched has received tremendous recognition in the DC area, quickly becoming popular with area brides and bridesmaids, as well as with the vendors in the wedding community. Hitched is regularly featured in media including the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, WJLA-TV (ABC), WTTG-TV (Fox), as well as Martha Stewart Weddings. Hitched has received numerous local awards for best bridal shop and remains dedicated to maintain their strong reputation a customer service leader in the DC market place.
Before Hitched, Ms. Levine ran her own firm which consulted with foundations and non-profit organizations. She worked with a range of organizations, (including Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Embassy Series, and Sarah Lawrence College) developing strategic plans, fundraising through grant writing, and developing ways to self-fund by creating revenue generating businesses.
Prior to consulting, Ms. Levine managed the Revlon Run/Walk for Women in New York City for the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Attracting over 40,000 participants, it is one of the largest fundraisers for women’s cancers in the country.
Ms. Levine earned her MBA from Yale University and her BS from Northwestern University. A DC native, she lives with her husband (Jason), four year old daughter (Leia) and one year old son (Gabriel) in Bethesda, MD. The Levines are frequent zoo goers, and especially look forward to the Guppy Gala and Boo at the Zoo events. Leia enjoys taking classes at the Zoo while Gabriel is still working on getting over his fear of seeing the apes so up close!
Timothy P. Lynch is the Senior Director of the Washington Government Relations and Public Policy practice for the law firm Morgan Lewis. In this position, Mr. Lynch advises firm clients on a wide range of government relations challenges in both the legislative and regulatory arenas. Working with attorneys from all of the Morgan Lewis practice groups, Mr. Lynch helps develop and coordinate strategies that will assist firm clients to anticipate and respond to changes in public policy. Prior to joining Morgan Lewis in 2010, Mr. Lynch was the Senior Vice President for Government Relations for the American Trucking Associations. In that capacity, Mr. Lynch was responsible for directing the Capitol Hill operations of the association, including its lobbying, grassroots and PAC programs.
Mr. Lynch was the former President of the Motor Freight Carriers Association, an organization that represented the interests of trucking companies that were signators to the national freight contract with the Teamsters union. Prior to that, Mr. Lynch spent five years a professional staff member for the U.S. Senate, working for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. His responsibilities included working with the U.S. Olympic Committee on issues affecting amateur sports.
Mr. Lynch is a long-term resident of the Washington, DC metropolitan area and earned his B.A. and M.B.A. degrees at the University of Maryland. He has over ten years of volunteer experience with Montgomery Soccer, Inc. and Bethesda Chevy Chase Baseball Inc. He also is a Board member of the U. S. Capitol Historic Society where he is a member of the 50th Anniversary Committee. He is married with two college-age children. Mr. Lynch is a regular hiker in Rock Creek Park and can be seen most mornings with his three labs exploring new trails.
Laura L. Monica is Vice President, Corporate Communications, for Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI), a regional energy holding company that provides utility service to about 2 million customers located in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey. In this capacity, she is responsible for all corporate communications and is a member of the executive leadership team reporting directly to Joseph M. Rigby, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of PHI.
Prior to joining PHI in 2011, Ms. Monica served as SVP Corporate Communications at American Water, the country’s largest water services company where she led all customer communications, branding, marketing, advertising, internal and external affairs, government affairs and corporate responsibility activities, reaching approximately 16 million people in 35 states and Canada. Ms. Monica also founded High Point Communications, where she served as president for more than 15 years. Under her leadership, High Point was an award-winning communications firm working throughout the U.S. to develop and implement comprehensive marketing, issue-oriented and brand-building programs.
Ms. Monica is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Greater Washington and was named to the 2013 Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal. She was named NJ’s Best 50 Women in Business in 2010; PR News Award – PR People of the Year, 2009; NH’s Best Small Company to Work For, 2004 and 2005; Small Business Person of the Year in NH awarded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, 2002, and has received more than 100 awards for excellence in marketing, leadership and business ethics.
Ms. Monica earned a Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Hampshire. She has twin daughters and lives with her husband in Alexandria, VA.
David Mork is the Chief of Staff for Congressman Peter Roskam who represents the western and northwestern suburbs of Chicago and sits on the powerful U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means.
Mr. Mork has worked with Representative Roskam since his 2006 campaign. Following the election, Mr. Mork was offered a position on the legislative staff for the Congressional office, and spent the next several years working on a growing portfolio of both domestic and international policy issues with a focus on translating that policy work to coalition building and outreach to serve the constituencies and interests in the Congressional District at home. From his experience working with a Representative from a competitive district who has also served in both the minority and the majority and House leadership, Mr. Mork brings a unique perspective to the inner workings of the House. Today, his responsibilities include managing a team with the twin goals of deepening his Representative's policy expertise and maintaining a robust political operation.
Mr. Mork grew up in Wheaton, Illinois, a constituent of the Congressional District he now serves. While attending the University of Notre Dame, he spent a semester in Washington interning for Speaker Dennis Hastert. After graduating, he returned home to work on the 2006 Congressional campaign. During that time he met his wife, Kirsten. Mr. Mork and his wife currently reside in Washington, D.C., with their son, Bobby.
John Piper is a founding member of the Piper McMillan Group of Wells Fargo Financial Advisors. He is a 401k Professional Plan Consultant (PPC). Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Mr. Piper was an Institutional Fixed Income Trader/Core Cash Management Specialist for UBS Financial Services. He has been a NASD Registered Representative since 1989, obtaining his Series 7, 63, 65, and 3 licenses. Mr. Piper is a 1988 graduate of Lynchburg College with a B.A. in economics. He was recognized as a member of "The Outstanding College Students of America," and served on the College’s Alumni Board from 2002 to 2007. He continued his graduate studies in economics at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Currently, he serves as a Special Advisor to the President of the American Sportscasters Association and is a Director for European Technology International (ETI ).
Mr. Piper is the Deputy Commander of the Good Samaritans Memorial Regiment. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Defense Foundation and the Good Samaritans of the Knights Templar. He coaches youth basketball and flag football in Arlington, Virginia.
From the age of 11, Mr. Piper grew up on the family farm in northern Fauquier County, Virginia, just a few miles from the Zoo’s Conservation and Research Center (CRC), and from a young age he has been fascinated with the CRC’s history and activities. He currently resides in Arlington with his wife and two children.
Missy Rentz enjoys a successful marketing career where she is able to follow her passion for branding and boosting consumer loyalty. She has spent a significant amount of time in the professional sports arena creating impactful campaigns for the likes of the Washington Capitals (NHL), Washington Wizards (NBA), Washington Mystics (WNBA), and Houston Texans (NFL). With a knack for creating memorable experiences that engage fans, Missy provides unique and valuable insight to our board as we continue to educate and entertain the children and adults who visit our zoo.
A native of nearby Winchester, VA, Missy has fond memories of visiting the National Zoo as a child, hopping from one painted animal footprint to another as she made her way around the park. As the favorite aunt, she frequently shares her devotion to the zoo with the special young people in her life.
Until its sale in April 2002, Mark D. Rothman owned and operated The MYTA Corporation, one of the largest IT staffing firms in the Washington, D.C., area. After graduating with an engineering degree from Ohio State University in 1984, Mr. Rothman moved to D.C. to pursue the area’s many technology opportunities. Over the next eight years, he worked as a software engineer for IBM and as a software contractor for MCI. While at IBM, he helped design and implement system upgrades for the FAA’s air traffic control system. At MCI, Mr. Rothman worked on several projects pertaining to the company’s growing network management system.
While a contractor at MCI, Mr. Rothman saw the need for qualified IT specialists in the D.C. region and decided to start his own consulting company. In 1992, he landed his first contract, a three month assignment at Fannie Mae. Over the next ten years, the MYTA Corporation assisted some of the region’s largest companies, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Verizon, the World Bank, Lockheed Martin, Cable & Wireless, AT&T, and the Discovery Channel. At its sale, MYTA’s revenues were more than $25 million, with a growth rate averaging more than 100 percent per year. MYTA ranked as one of the region’s top ten IT staffing firms by the Washington Business Journal, and in 1998, Mr. Rothman was named a Maryland Small Business All Star, and in 2000, was named Washington, D.C.’s Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young.
Currently, Mr. Rothman remains an active member of the area business community, serving on the boards of several private companies. He also works with numerous philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, including The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and several others. Mark currently chairs the FONZ Membership Committee.
Brian Sands is a Vice President / Principal with the Economics practice at AECOM, and has worked on assignments in the real estate and development industries for 22 years, with particular expertise in the areas of leisure/culture and mixed-use development. He has led hundreds of assignments located throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and the Middle East focused broadly on real estate and business economics and planning (e.g., existing operations analysis, concept and site evaluation, market research, demand potential, preliminary physical planning, earned revenue and financial feasibility analysis, land/lease valuations, economic/fiscal impact), with uses including a wide-range of commercial attractions (e.g., water parks, theme parks, observation wheels and decks, specialty attractions), cultural attractions (e.g., museums, visitor centers, zoos, aquariums, performance venues), hospitality properties (hotels, resorts, amenities), retail-dining-entertainment, and related uses.
Mr. Sands coordinates global production of the TEA/AECOM Theme Index and Museum Index, the definitive annual report on attendance trends at the 175 largest theme parks, water parks, and museums worldwide. He is responsible in AECOM’s South Region for business development in the Leisure and Cultural sector as well as supporting growth in the Latin American and Caribbean markets. Recent or ongoing assignments include the following: $500 mill. resort/attraction in Mexico; Zoo Miami Entertainment Area (20th Century Fox's ~$1 bill. proposal); identifying and evaluating potential attractions at major resort properties operated by a global hotelier; ongoing support for the Observation Deck at One World Trade Center, NYC; business planning for the Philadelphia Zoo’s renovation; business planning for the $700 million National September 11 Memorial Museum; $250 million New York Aquarium expansion; $250+ million new U.S. Navy Museum; $230 million New York Wheel; and High Roller observation wheel in Las Vegas.
Mr. Sands received his Bachelor of Arts in Geography, cum laude, from Arizona State University, and his Master of City Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of numerous industry organizations, including: American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), American Planning Association (APA), International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and World Waterpark Association (WWA). Previous employers include: Economics Research Associates, URS Corporation, GE Capital, and Lahmeyer International.
Karen Silberman is the Executive Director of the Federal Bar Association (FBA). The FBA is a 16,000 member organization dedicated to the advancement of the science of jurisprudence and to promoting the welfare, interests, education and professional development of all attorneys involved in federal law. Prior to her work with the FBA, Karen served for seven years as the Executive Director of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Foundation. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of SHRM, a 260,000-member professional society.
Karen has also served as executive director of the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA), an advocacy organization. NCPPA members include the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, Nike, the American College of Sports Medicine and the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association.
Previous to NCPPA, Karen worked at the Association Management Group where she served as executive director and chief operating officer for several national and local trade and professional associations. Karen has also worked at the Points of Light Foundation and the American Heart Association.
A Washington, D.C., native, Karen earned her undergraduate degree from Oberlin College and a master's degree in public affairs from Indiana University. In 2005, she became a certified association executive (CAE).
Sheila D. Walcoff, J.D., is a health and science attorney and the founding principal of Goldbug Strategies LLC, a boutique consulting firm offering business strategy, federal legislative and regulatory advocacy, and legal counsel related to genomics and personalized medicine, laboratory developed diagnostic tests, companion diagnostics/therapeutics, medical devices, biologicals and other FDA regulated medical products. Previously, she was a partner in the health law and FDA/personalized medicine practice of international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP. Her senior executive government service includes counselor for science and public health policy to US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and associate commissioner for external affairs at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Ms. Walcoff serves as the Vice Chair of the Food & Drug Law Institute (FDLI) Policy Forum Editorial Advisory Board, is a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Biomedical Innovation (CBI) Strategy and Policy Council, and the Editorial Board of the Journal of Personalized Medicine in Oncology. She is a frequent speaker on FDA regulation, legislation and policy issues related to genomics and personalized medicine, laboratory companion diagnostics, biological/biosimilars and other medical products. She is quoted in trade and national media, has co-authored an article on evidentiary standards for comparative effectiveness research for Health Affairs, authored a book chapter on recent developments in FDA law and policy, and appeared as a guest on the TV morning show, BioCenutry ThisWeek.
Outside of her health law and policy practice, Ms. Walcoff is an entrepreneur and co-owns several veterinary hospitals. She has substantial experience in veterinary hospital development and financing, facility design and construction, hospital operations, management and marketing. Ms. Walcoff earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993 and resides in Maryland with her husband, Dr. Jeff Walcoff, their two young sons and two Labradors.
Leigh Warner is the Founder of InterCHANGE, a strategy and public design initiative. InterCHANGE works with leadership teams to design strategies and programs to achieve change in complex environments. InterCHANGE also explores emerging futures and develops alternative scenarios by integrating design capabilities with systems thinking approaches. An entrepreneur, business executive and strategist, Ms. Warner is a special consultant to senior government officials. In 2014 she was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service. She has served as an appointed member of Defense Science Board and Defense Business Board task forces, including Congressionally-mandated studies, to review the application of science, technology, and management systems in support of national security.
Ms. Warner has extensive experience pioneering new approaches to cross-functional collaboration and strategic engagement that are now widely-used design models for public/commercial and public/private/philanthropic partnerships. Several of these policy initiatives have received White House awards, including the Presidential Design Award and Millennium Legacy Award, as well as other national and international recognition.
Previously, Ms. Warner served as CEO and Managing Partner of an institutional investment management firm specializing in smaller capitalization equity investments and President of a strategy and business development consultancy serving telecommunications and investment management clients. As President of an open innovation consortium of global corporations, she led cross-disciplinary exploration of emerging technologies and trends. Ms. Warner also served in government as Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Special Projects and was a White House Fellow. Earlier she was responsible for strategy, business development, and brand management at Kraft General Foods, including as Director of Marketing and Director of Strategy for some of the world's best-known consumer brands and as M&A team member for the Kraft-General Foods merger that created the largest U.S. food company.
Ms. Warner is a member of the Atlantic Council. She has served on the Board of Directors of the White House Fellows Foundation and on the Board of Directors of the non-partisan Eisenhower Institute where she was also a member of the Executive Committee. She was elected a Principal of the Council for Excellence in Government and was a member of the Executive Committee of The Chicago Council's Committee on Foreign Affairs.
She holds two degrees from Cornell University, a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in All Subjects.
Dennis W. Kelly is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, a 163-acre public zoo in Washington, DC and the 3,200-acre Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute (SCBI), in Front Royal, Virginia. Kelly is responsible for the operations of the zoo and manages its research programs, including groundbreaking work by Zoo scientists in conservation biology. He also oversees the fundraising and education programs coordinated by its nonprofit membership organization, Friends of the National Zoo.
Prior, Kelly was president of Zoo Atlanta, where he is credited with revamping the scientific and animal welfare programs while raising more than $40 million in public and private funds during his six-year tenure.
Kelly has held key executive positions for such renowned companies as Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company and Green Mountain Energy Company. Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.