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 and was established to advance and support the human resource profession by funding original research, innovative educational products and scholarships.
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).
Pete Smith is the Founding Partner of SmithPilot, Inc., a firm that specializes in nonprofit executive compensation issues.
Previously, Pete was the President and CEO of Watson Wyatt Worldwide (now Willis Towers Watson), a multinational human resources consulting firm. His 30-year career with Watson Wyatt included various executive management positions and directing their worldwide compensation consulting practice.
Active in civic affairs, Pete currently serves on the Board of Compass and has served on many other civic boards including the National Rehabilitation Hospital, the Washington Performing Arts Society, 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.
Pete 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.
Most recently, Bryan served as the Chief Technology Officer and Entrepreneur—in—Residence at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the nearly three years in this role, he was responsible for helping HHS leadership 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, 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.
Carin Rosenberg Levine was the co-creator and owner of Hitched and Hitched Maids, D.C.'s "go to" bridal spot for all things weddings. At the end of 2014, after a ten year run, she sold the bustling business and she is in the process of preparing to launch a new B to B business that is still under wraps.
Before Hitched, Carine ran her own firm which consulted with foundations, academia, 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 creating revenue generating businesses.
Prior to consulting, Carine 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.
Carine earned her MBA from Yale University and her BS from Northwestern University. A D.C. native, she lives with her husband (Jason), eight year old daughter (Leia) and five year old son (Gabriel) in Bethesda, MD. The Levines are frequent zoogoers, and especially look forward to all of the fabulous Zoo events.
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. David 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, Ann 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, Ann 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.
Ann 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. As President of the Tysons Partnership, he coordinates the efforts of civic and business leaders working with County government to redevelop Tysons, VA – that largest and most important place-making experiment in America. Michael is a member of the Global Advisory Board of the George Mason University Center for Social Entrepreneurship, and a Member of the U.S. Presidential Scholars Commission, appointed by the President in 2010.
Michael previously served as founding Director of East Coast Operations for Childhelp USA, a 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.
Michael 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!
Enoh T. Ebong serves as Deputy Director and chief operating officer of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, an agency of the U.S. government that helps U.S. businesses create jobs through the export of their goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. Enoh oversees the operations of the Agency and manages staff responsible for developing and executing USTDA's program activities.
Since joining USTDA as an attorney-advisor in 2004, Enoh has served in several capacities, including acting Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa, Deputy General Counsel and General Counsel. As the chief legal officer of the agency, Enoh provided authoritative legal advice and direction on all USTDA program and operation activities; represented USTDA in connection with matters affecting the agency and provided legal advice and guidance to the Director on broad issues related to the mission, strategic direction and effectiveness of the agency.
Prior to joining USTDA, Enoh practiced law at the Boston office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. in the area of business and finance. Her practice included the representation of public and private companies, with an emphasis on financing transactions; mergers and acquisitions; and corporate governance issues.
Enoh received her undergraduate degree from The University of Edinburgh, 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.
Larry Hanauer is a Senior International Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation, where his research focuses on foreign policy and national security, principally regarding Africa and the Middle East. Before joining RAND in 2010, he spent five years as a senior staff member of the U.S. House of Representatives' Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, one of two congressional committees charged with overseeing the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Earlier in his career, he worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where over the course of a nine-year tenure he managed U.S. defense policy vis-a-vis Israel, Iran, Iraq, and countries in Eastern Europe and West Africa. Larry has also served as a foreign policy advisor to a congressman from New York City, as a management consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, and as an environmental public relations consultant at Burson-Marsteller.
Larry and his family live near the Zoo and believe that it is both a national treasure and a valued local resource. In addition to visiting the Zoo frequently, they regularly participate in a range of FONZ activities, including Snore & Roar, Boo at the Zoo, ZooFari, ZooLights, and FONZ adult education classes. Larry's wife, Julie Breslow, is a longtime FONZ volunteer who has served as a behavior watch monitor for the Golden Lion Tamarin free range program, a panda pregnancy watch monitor, and an interpreter on Asia Trail. Their son, who loves the outdoors, is eagerly looking forward to being old enough to attend FONZ Nature Camp at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
Larry received his M.A.L.D. from Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and his B.A. in English,magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. A native New Yorker who frequently visited the Central Park Zoo as a child, Larry has lived in Washington, D.C., for the past 20 years.
Cindy Lewin is a seasoned nonprofit executive with deep experience in helping both membership organizations and environmental and wildlife conservation organizations advance their missions, experience that she hopes to bring to bear as a member of the FONZ board. Currently, she serves as executive vice president and general counsel at AARP, one of the largest membership organizations in the world. Before joining AARP in June 2010, Cindy was senior vice president and general counsel at the National Wildlife Federation, where she was able to act on her passion for the environment.
Prior to her work at the National Wildlife Federation, Cindy served as executive vice president and general counsel at Volunteers of America, and before that, she was in private practice specializing in representing nonprofit organizations, including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Save America's Forests, and other environmental organizations. In addition to heading the legal department at her positions, she has also had responsibility at various times for information technology, ethics and compliance, human resources, facilities, internal audit, enterprise risk management, and the board secretary function.
Cindy served on the Ethics and Accountability Advisory Group for Independent Sector, which revised the Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice for charities nationwide (the new version was released in 2015). She is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the nonprofit National Human Services Assembly, where she recently chaired the CEO Search Committee, and serves as Chair of the National Adjudicatory Council for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Cindy has received numerous awards, including being named one of "Washington's Most Influential In-House Counsels" by Legal Times in 2011 and one of "DC's Top Corporate Counsel" by the Association of Corporate Counsel—National Capital Region and Legal Bisnow in 2015. Cindy is a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School.
Cindy and her husband have a blended family of three children and three grandchildren, and have enjoyed many trips to the National Zoo. Cindy has fond memories of hosting a birthday party with FONZ and the wonderful baby animals the children saw. After working at the National Wildlife Federation, which publishes Ranger Rick magazine, she is very aware of the need to educate our children about nature and the outdoors, and the challenges of getting them away from their various screens. Cindy is passionate about the role FONZ can play in helping families connect with the natural world and in conserving that world for the future.
Scott Miller is Deputy Under Secretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support, responsible for central planning and development of the Smithsonian's vast collections (137 million objects) and interdisciplinary support operations, including collections management, conservation and preservation, and related functions. He oversees the National Collections Program, Office of Fellowships and Internships, Office of International Relations, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Smithsonian Institution Libraries and Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Also, Scott is a liaison between the Smithsonian and various cultural and scientific organizations in the United States and around the world.
He previously served as Deputy Under Secretary for Science, helping oversee the Smithsonian's science museums and research facilities, major research initiatives, collections management, exhibitions and educational programs. Before joining the Smithsonian central administration, he was associate director for science at the National Zoological Park from 2004 to 2006, spearheading the rehabilitation of the Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Va., and chairman of the departments of entomology and systematic biology at the National Museum of Natural History from 2000 to 2006. He continues lead the Consortium for the Barcode of Life—an international network that develops DNA-based identification tools to make biodiversity information more widely available, which he helped establish in 2003.
Before coming to the Smithsonian in 2000, Scott designed and implemented an international biodiversity and conservation program for the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya.
From 1986 to 1997, Scott was chairman of the departments of entomology and natural science at the Bishop Museum in Hawaii. He reinvigorated research programs throughout the Pacific Basin, renovated science facilities and organized large curatorial and outreach programs. He worked with the state legislature to establish the Hawaii Biological Survey, which made innovative early use of the Internet in delivering biodiversity information to users.
Scott maintains an active research program as a curator of entomology at the National Museum of Natural History. He has published more than 170 publications and co-edited four books. His current research focuses on moths of Papua New Guinea and Africa, especially the integration of systematics, ecology, biogeography and conservation of insects and plants in Papua New Guinea. His collaborative research program in Papua New Guinea has had continuous support from the National Science Foundation since 1994, and it is currently creating a 50-hectare tree plot as part of the Center for Tropical Forest Science/Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatories network.
Scott received a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a doctorate degree in biology from Harvard University. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Entomological Society of London.
John Mina, Managing Partner of Willis of Maryland, Inc., has worked with Willis since 1992. He has overall responsibility for operations within the Washington DC Metro area. The firm, established in 1828, operates on every continent with more than 18,000 employees in over 400 offices. Over his career John has served large public, small private and not-for-profit institutions. Before relocating to Willis' Potomac office, John worked for 19 years in Willis' New York operation where he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
John started his career focused on international risks, a natural outcome having spent part of his childhood growing up in in Europe and the Middle East. John is an avid traveler and outside of work spends much of his time on nature photography. You can frequently find him at the cheetah and panda exhibits at the Zoo. His other interests include hiking, sailing, and scuba diving.
John is a graduate from Dowling College with a BBA in Management. John and his wife, Susan, live in North Potomac, Maryland, with their two children.
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.
David has worked with Representative Roskam since his 2006 campaign. Following the election, David 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, David 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.
David 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. David and his wife currently reside in Washington, D.C., with their son, Bobby.
Melissa Rentz returned to the Washington, DC area in 2010 as Vice President of Marketing for the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics. She oversees marketing, communications and community relations for Washington's NBA and WNBA teams. She has taken a lead role in launching the new red, white and blue look for both the Wizards and Mystics, now under the ownership of Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Prior to her role with the Wizards and Mystics she worked with the NFL's Houston Texans as their Director of Marketing and Executive Director of the Houston Texans Foundation. Her career in sports started with the Washington Capitals in 1999. In 2004 she began to work with the American Dairy Association and the NFL on a nutrition and fitness campaign throughout the NFL teams.
A native of Winchester, Virginia, Melissa has valued the many school and family trips to the Zoo. She graduated from George Mason University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and currently resides in Arlington, VA.
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, Mark 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, Mark worked on several projects pertaining to the company’s growing network management system.
While a contractor at MCI, Mark 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, Mark 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.
Over the next 12 years, Mark was an active member of the area business community, serving on the boards of several private companies. He also worked with numerous philanthropic and nonprofit organizations, including The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the National Zoo, and many others. In 2014, Mark went back into the IT staffing industry, opening up MYTA Technologies – or MYTA 2.0. He is currently working hard to duplicate the original success while bringing up his twin girls, Melissa and Nicole.
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.
In addition, Brian supports national and international business development efforts in the Themed Entertainment sector (encompassing commercial and cultural attractions as well as related uses), and also the growth of the Design, Planning and Economics practice in across North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. He also coordinates global production of the Theme Index and Museum Index – Global Attractions Attendance Report, the industry report produced annually by AECOM and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), and is primarily responsible for the North American and Latin American commercial attraction figures.
Brian 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).
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, Leigh 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.
Leigh 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, Leigh 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. Leigh 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.
Leigh 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.