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Advisory Board

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s board members provide advice, fundraising assistance, and promote the institute’s conservation activities around the world. 

James Dinegar


James Dinegar joined the Greater Washington Board of Trade as president and chief executive officer in July 2006. As president and CEO, Dinegar oversees an organization that represents major business interests throughout northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland. The Board of Trade puts its focus on the critical issues facing the greater Washington, D.C., region: transportation; emergency preparedness and business continuity; green as a competitive advantage; and the workforce in regards to recruiting and retaining highly qualified people. For more than 120 years, the Board of Trade has been instrumental in creating and protecting the environs of the Washington region for the population and business.

Before coming to the Board of Trade, Dinegar served as chief operating officer of the American Institute for Architects (AIA) where he was responsible for the overall operation of a 77,000-member organization and directed strategic efforts in the areas of education, technology, international collaboration, organizational alliances, and government advocacy. Mr. Dinegar lives in Arlington, Virginia and has called the Washington, D.C., region home for more than 30 years. He is a graduate of the Catholic University of America. 

Susan A. Mars


Susan A. Mars, of McLean, Virginia, lived in Singapore and in Belgium before moving to the Washington area. A nurse by training, Mars' passion revolves around providing opportunity for disadvantaged children to lead both a productive life and to learn to appreciate and respect their local environment.

While residing in Singapore, she was an active board member of Caring for Cambodia, a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of children through education and outreach. Mars served on the board of Insulated Shipping Containers, Inc. from 1990 to 2001 and currently serves on the board of Demios, LLC, a private venture capital firm based in Southern California, whose primary mission is to identify and support early start-up businesses in the areas of health and environmental sciences.

Dawn Arnell

Dawn Arnall is a private investor, businesswoman and philanthropist. She currently serves as chair of SBP Capital Corporation. A seasoned executive with more than two decades of professional experience in the financial services and real estate industries, Dawn is an active investor in the energy, insurance and technology sectors. She is a supporter of animal rescue and conservation organizations, cancer research and therapeutic education for mentally and physically challenged children. She is a member of the board of directors of Conservation International and former chair of National Geographic's International Council of Advisors. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and is a member of the George W. Bush Women's Advisory Board.

Dawn obtained her B.A. and M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She lives in Aspen, Colorado.

Hal Brierley

Hal Brierley serves as executive chairman and chief loyalty architect of Brierley+Partners, Inc., one of the world's leading specialists in the design and implementation of customer loyalty programs, having founded the company in 1985. B+P's clients include Allstate, American Eagle Outfitters, Express, Fandango, GameStop, Hard Rock Café, Hertz, Hilton, Levi's and 7 Eleven.

Brierley has provided loyalty program design counsel to some 200 major global brands over the past twenty five years, including the design for American Express, Continental Airlines' OnePass, Hertz #1Gold and Hilton Honors, as well as a decade of support for United's Mileage Plus.

Brierley founded and served as CEO of e-Rewards, Inc., the world's largest online market research panel, with some six million panelists in 36 countries, with annual sales of over $300 million.

He began his entrepreneurial career in 1969 as co-founder of Epsilon Data Management, one of the pioneers in database marketing, serving as its president and CEO for eleven years. Epsilon's early clients included some 400 not-for-profit organizations, including the San Diego Zoo and the National Zoo.

In 1980, Brierley served as the only consultant for the launch of American Airlines' AAdvantage program, the nation's first frequent traveler program. In 1982, Brierley was elected vice president of sales and advertising for Pan American World Airways, where he launched Worldpass, the first global frequent traveler program. In 1983, he was named senior vice president of marketing for Continental Airlines.

He graduated with highest honors in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in 1965 and as a Baker Scholar with high honors from Harvard Business School in 1968.

Brierley is involved in a variety of activities, including: the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation as a member of the board of directors and its executive and finance committees since 2000; Dallas Symphony Association; member of the board of Marketing Edge; member of the International Board of Advisors of the National Geographic Society; member of board of directors of Baylor Health Care System Foundation, Dallas Opera, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Foundation, University of Maryland College Park Foundation; member of Harvard Business School's board of dean’s advisors; member of the Mayor's Business/Arts Initiative Action Team; and a member of World Presidents Organization.

Stephanie Cutter

Stephanie Cutter is a founding partner at Precision Strategies, a communications, digital and data targeting consulting firm in Washington D.C. and New York City. Her political and communications experience spans two decades in public service and the private sector; crafting communications and crisis-management strategies for the White House, US Senate, and the nation's leading political campaigns and corporations. After helping to elect the president in 2008 and serving in the White House, Cutter was President Obama’s 2012 deputy campaign manager in charge of communications, media, policy, and research as well as being a member of the senior strategy team.

Cutter sits on the boards of Organizing for Action, the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, and in 2013, she was appointed to the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities.

A Massachusetts native, Cutter lives in Washington, DC, and is a graduate of Smith College and Georgetown University Law Center.

Jeffrey D. DeBoer

Jeffrey D. DeBoer is the founding president and chief executive officer of the Real Estate Roundtable. The Real Estate Roundtable represents the leadership of the nation's top 100 privately owned and publicly held real estate ownership development, lending and management firms as well as the elected leaders of the 16 major national real estate industry trade associations. Collectively, Roundtable members' portfolios contain over 5 billion square feet of office, retail and industrial properties valued at more than $1 trillion; over 1.5 million apartment units; and in excess of 1.3 million hotel rooms. DeBoer has served as president and CEO of the Real Estate Roundtable since 1997, and through a variety of positions has been at the forefront of every major piece of legislation affecting the real estate industry during the last 25 years.

In addition to his position at the Roundtable, DeBoer serves as chairman of the Real Estate Industry Information Sharing and Analysis Center (RE-ISAC), an organization dedicated to enhancing the two-way communication between the industry and federal policymakers on matters relating to building security, terrorist threats, and incident reporting. He also serves as co-chairman of the advisory board of the RAND Corporation's Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy and is chairman of the National Real Estate Organizations, a coalition of real estate trade associations working together to enhance the coordination of the industry's overall Washington advocacy efforts. He is also a founding member of the steering committee of the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism (CIAT). DeBoer has discussed real estate and economic policy issues on FOX News, Bloomberg Television and CNBC, and his editorials have been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association and the American Bar Association.

A native of Rapid City, South Dakota, DeBoer earned a law degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia and an undergraduate degree from Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota. DeBoer and his wife, Joan, and son, Mitchell, live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Joan Donner


Joan Donner of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is president of Twende, LTD, a Colorado- and Nairobi-based company that leads and coordinates safaris in Africa. She has been active on a number of boards and committees in the Washington area, including the Smithsonian national board, National Museum of the American Indian, and the James Smithson Society.

Elliott Ferguson

Elliott Ferguson serves as president and CEO of Destination DC, the official convention and tourism corporation for Washington, DC.

A veteran of more than 25 years in the travel and hospitality industry, Ferguson leads Destination DC's efforts to generate economic opportunity for the District through meetings and tourism, overseeing the organization's convention and tourism sales, marketing, finance and business development operations. Ferguson began his tenure with Destination DC in 2001 as senior vice president of convention sales and services and has served as president and CEO of Destination DC since 2009. Prior to working at Destination DC he served as vice president of sales at the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. He has also served as director of sales for both the Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

Ferguson received a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and business administration from Savannah State University. His many memberships in the industry include the American Society of Association Executives, Professional Conference Management Association, International Association of Exhibition Executives and Destination Marketing Association International.

Ferguson currently serves on the board of directors for the following organizations: the U.S. Department of Commerce's Travel and Tourism Advisory Board; U.S. Travel Association; Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID); the District of Columbia's Taxicab Commission; DC Jazz Festival; Capital Partners for Education; and the Ryan Kerrigan "Blitz for the Better" Foundation. Ferguson also serves on Brand USA's Marketing Advisory Group; DC Business Coalition and Hospitality Alliance of Washington, DC.

Ferguson is a longtime resident of Capitol Hill, a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and is an active mentor with Capital Partners for Education.

Charles Francis

Charles Francis, is a public affairs consultant with an interest in environmental and natural history issues and stewardship. Francis is senior counselor and founder of the DCI Group, a public affairs consulting firm in Washington, D.C. representing such clients as AT&T and ExxonMobil Corporation worldwide. Francis began his career in public affairs and corporate communications more than 30 years ago at the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. At Chase, Francis served as a speechwriter and media relations officer for the Bank and its then chairman David Rockefeller.

Francis is a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. Francis serves on the Advisory Board of the Draper Museum of Natural History at the Buffalo Bill. A part-time resident of Homer, Alaska, Francis was appointed in 2010 by the State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game to the Community Council of the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve (KBRR). The KBRR is the most remote and largest estuarine region in the United States with some 370,000 acres of bay and watershed under protection.

In Washington, D.C., Francis founded the Kameny Papers Project in 2005, which purchased, conserved and donated the archive and artifacts of gay civil rights pioneer Dr. Franklin E. Kameny to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Francis worked closely with NMAH Director/curator Harry Rubenstein to donate twelve historic picket signs to the Smithsonian. Francis was appointed by President George W. Bush to the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV/AIDS. Francis founded and chaired the Republican Unity Coalition, with honorary chairman former Senator Alan K. Simpson, and with both David Rockefeller and President Gerald R. Ford serving on the RUC Advisory Board.

Born in Dallas, Francis is a member of the Board of Trustees of the W.H. Francis Foundation in Dallas. His grandfather W.H. Francis was the general counsel of the Magnolia Oil Company in Dallas in 1925. Francis' great uncle Charles I. Francis (Houston) served as counsel to then Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson and founded the University of Texas Law School Foundation. His uncle W.H. Francis, Jr. was a founder of the Texas state Republican Party. Francis, an Eagle Scout, resides in Washington, D.C. and Homer, Alaska with his partner, Stephen Bottum.

Won-kyong Kim

Won-kyong Kim is executive vice president of Samsung Electronics North America. He leads government relations in the United States and Canada and oversees all Samsung operations in Washington D.C.. Previously, he led Samsung's European sales team for mobile communications and worked at the global marketing operations. He joined Samsung in 2012 after 22 years of service as a diplomat and a trade negotiator for the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. During that period, he successfully led the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) negotiations and served as the assistant secretary to the president of Korea for international economic policy.

He holds an LL.M from Georgetown University Law Center, an M.I.P.P. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a B.A. in law from Korea University. He is a member of the New York Bar.

David C. Leavy

A 16-year Discovery veteran, David C. Leavy manages the company’s creative and corporate marketing functions; government relations and public policy; standards and practices; global corporate communications; talent relations; global technology and operations, including broadcast operations, technology strategy and architecture, IT infrastructure, systems and data solutions, and information security; as well as business operations, including administration, security, travel and real estate functions. Additionally, Leavy leads Discovery’s in-house media agency – The Discovery Agency – which offers a 360° suite of services including creative strategy and design, media planning and marketing partnerships, and brand activation.

Since joining Discovery, Leavy has overseen communications and strategy for some of the company’s most significant initiatives, including the 2008 debut as a publicly traded company, the $1.7B acquisition of SBS Nordic, the announcement of the company’s joint venture with Oprah Winfrey, Discovery’s agreement to acquire full ownership of Eurosport, and in 2015, Discovery and Eurosport’s agreement for the exclusive TV and multimedia rights to the Olympic Games across Europe from 2018-2024. In addition, he spearheaded the development of the company’s "Discovery Impact" corporate social responsibility programs, which leverage the power of Discovery’s brands, businesses and employees to give back to the world through global volunteerism.

Under Leavy’s leadership, Discovery’s Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs teams have been recognized with a number of awards, including PR Week’s "Large Corporate Communications Team of the Year" and PR News’ "CSR Volunteer Initiative of the Year." Additionally, The Discovery Agency has won more than 10 In-house Agency Forum awards including, "Best in Show."

Prior to joining Discovery, Leavy served as chief spokesman and senior director of public affairs for the National Security Council and deputy White House press secretary for Foreign Affairs. In that position, Leavy handled all press issues relating to foreign policy and chaired the Interagency Public Affairs Working Group that coordinated the Clinton Administration’s long range strategic messaging on international policy. Leavy developed the communications strategies for NATO’s military action in Kosovo, the State Visit of Chinese President Jiang Zemin, U.S. military action in Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan, as well as the Senate’s ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Leavy previously served as assistant press secretary at the State Department and the White House Press Office. He is a graduate of Colby College and the Salisbury School, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees.

Kenneth "Ken" Lore

Kenneth "Ken" Lore is an attorney and partner at Kattan Muchin Rosenman LLP. He joined the firm in February 2014, where he serves as head of the real estate practice – East Coast. Lore has written extensively on all aspects of real estate law, and his articles have been published in Legal Times, New York Law Journal and American University Law Review. He also lectures on real estate finance at industry forums and seminars, such as the Columbia University real estate development program and meetings of the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association. Lore is frequently interviewed by the real estate and general press for commentary on industry developments and has been a featured speaker on regional and national news broadcasts.

Previously, he was co-chair of Bingham McCutchen LLP's Real Estate Practice Group. He is on the board of the Foundation for the National Archives and was board Chairman and President. He also sits on the Dean's Advisory Council of the Washington College of Law at American University. Additionally, he sits on the board of the National Housing Conference (formerly vice chairman) the advisory board of the Center for Housing Policy, and the editorial advisory board of "Tax Credit Advisor." He was chairman of Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies National Advisory Board from 2004–2010.

Thomas E. Lovejoy

Thomas E. Lovejoy is a university professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason University, a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, and the former biodiversity chair of the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment. Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in 1980. From 2009-2013, Lovejoy served as chair of the Scientific Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) for the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the multibillion dollar funding mechanism for developing countries in support of their obligations under international environmental conventions and currently serves as a senior advisor. Lovejoy has been assistant secretary and counselor to the secretary at the Smithsonian Institution, science advisor to the secretary of the interior, and executive vice president of the World Wildlife Fund–U.S. He conceived the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project, a joint project between the Smithsonian and Brazil's INPA, originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. In 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and in 2012 received the Blue Planet Prize, which recognizes outstanding efforts in scientific research or applications of science that contribute to solving global environmental problems. Lovejoy served on science and environmental councils or committees under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in biology, from Yale University.

Angela "Angie" Marriott

Angela Marriott is a member of the Marriott Family, long-time supporters of Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. With the Marriott Family's dedication and support, the Zoo has achieved much-needed momentum for its continuing efforts to raise awareness and funding for its work and to maintain its global leadership among zoos. The Marriott's have also introduced the Zoo's work and important initiatives to other animal lovers, conservationists, and local philanthropic leaders. The Marriott Family played a leading role in securing the funding necessary to bring the Giant Pandas back to the Zoo in 2000 with a gift of $1.6 million, as well as a generous $3 million gift to the Elephant Trails exhibit in 2007, allowing critically endangered Asian elephants to flourish in a state-of-the-art habitat.

Marriott currently serves as a board member of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Mid-Atlantic chapter; the American Heart Association's Women's Board; and is a former board member of Best Friends Foundation and Washington Performing Arts Society.

John W. Marriott III


John W. Marriott III is chief executive officer of Thomas Point Ventures, L.P. and JWM Family Enterprises, L.P. He developed and owns 11 hotels managed by Marriott International, and is vice chairman of the board of Marriott International.

Over the past 30 years, Marriott has served in a number of positions within Marriott International. Most recently, he served as president of North American Lodging, and executive vice president of sales and marketing, brand management, and operations planning and support. His other positions include senior vice president for Marriott's Mid-Atlantic region, vice president of development, director of finance, general manager, director of food & beverage, restaurant manager, and cook.

In April 2002, Marriott, who speaks Japanese, was named by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Japanese government to co-chair a special taskforce to promote travel between the United States and Japan. He was also named one of the most influential executives by Business Travel News in January 2004.

Adrienne B. Mars


Adrienne B. Mars of Jackson, Wyoming has been involved with various environmental organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution.

Since 1974, Mars has served on the Board of Trustees of her alma mater. She has been a part of the Board of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, and the Smithsonian's National Board.

For nearly two decades, Mars has been active with the World Wildlife Fund, sitting on the Board and the National Council. She is also involved with the Washington Opera's Board. Born in Quincy, Florida, Mars earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and history from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

Terry D. McCallister

Terry D. McCallister is chairman of the board and chief executive officer of WGL Holdings, Inc., parent company of Washington Gas. He also serves as chairman and CEO of Washington Gas, the natural gas utility serving over 1,000,000 customers in the Washington metropolitan area and surrounding region.

Prior to his election as chairman and CEO on October 1, 2009, McCallister served as president and chief operating officer of WGL Holdings and Washington Gas. He joined Washington Gas in 2000 as vice president of Gas Transportation.

McCallister is active in the natural gas industry and the community. He serves on the board of directors of the American Gas Association. Additionally, he is currently serving as the chairman of the board of directors of the Southern Gas Association and is on the board of the Gas Technology Institute, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Northern Virginia Family Services, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the INOVA Health System Foundation.

McCallister is a graduate of University of Missouri-Rolla where he received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management. He is also a graduate of the Darden Business School Executive Program. He and his wife live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Ziad S. Ojakli

Ziad S. Ojakli is a Ford Motor Company group vice president of government and community relations.

Ojakli leads a team that helps shape policy and legislation that promote the company's core business objectives including areas of energy and the environment, tax, international trade, driver safety, and improvements in the nation's health care systems.

As head of Ford's global government relations, Ojakli oversees interactions with governments in 110 markets around the world where Ford does business. He is also responsible for Ford's federal and state government relations in the U.S.

Ojakli directs the company's philanthropic arm, the Ford Motor Company Fund, which contributes to a broad range of initiatives that support education and assists communities with a variety of needs. He is also chairman of Ford’s Political Action Committee and oversees the grassroots communications effort of Ford employees.

From 2001 – 2004, Ojakli served President George W. Bush as a deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs. In this role, he managed daily interactions for the White House with U.S. Senators, assisted in strategy and policy development, and coordinated legislative strategy with the president's cabinet. From 1995 to 2000, Ojakli served in senior positions in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ojakli is an active board member of numerous organizations, including: the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; the Arab American Museum Advisory Board; Arab American Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS); the Henry Ford Learning Institute; the Jackie Robinson Foundation; the National Civil Rights Museum; the Washington Center for Internships; and serves on the Smithsonian Institution's National Zoological Park advisory board.

In 2006, Ojakli was named a delegate to the World Economic Forum's Young Global Leaders, joining 410 leaders from all regions of the world.

A graduate of Georgetown University with a bachelor's degree in American government, Ojakli, born in June 1967, joined the company in January 2004.

Patricia N. Olson


Patricia N. Olson was president and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation from 2005 to 2010 and was executive director from 2004 to 2005. Previously, she worked for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., as director, training operations, and then as director, canine health and training operations. Her career has also included positions as veterinary advisor for the International Air Transport Association, associate director of the Center to Study Human and Animal Relationships and Environments (CenSHARE) at the University of Minnesota, and congressional science fellow (American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association for the Advancement of Science) for the U.S. Senate. In addition, she worked for American Humane Association from 1995 to 1998 as director, veterinary affairs and studies. Her academic degrees include doctor of veterinary medicine and Master of Science from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in reproductive physiology and endocrinology from Colorado State University.

Terry Prather

Terry Prather is the former corporate senior vice president of operations of SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment. Prior to that, he served as the park president of the three Orlando-based parks: SeaWorld Orlando, Discovery Cove and Aquatica. Before his position at SeaWorld, Prather was vice president of Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia, and oversaw the entire Water Country USA operation, from merchandise and culinary operations to water quality and ride management. Prather focused on developing Water Country USA into a nationally recognized brand, enhancing customer service and offering a memorable experience for guests. Prior to Water Country USA, he served as general manager and vice president of a theme park in New Orleans and president of another park in Maryland. Prather began his career with Busch Entertainment in 1986, managing park operations at Water Country USA's sister park, SeaWorld in San Antonio. His background includes more than 20 years of adventure park experience. He was managing director of the Witte Museum in San Antonio for two years. He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Emanuel "Manny" Rouvelas

Emanuel Rouvelas engages in a wide-ranging federal practice representing leading companies and trade associations in the transportation, telecommunications, high technology, hospitality, and manufacturing industries regarding their Washington, D.C. activities and strategies. He has served as lead government affairs counsel for major companies in transnational acquisitions, mergers, and corporate reorganizations.

He is a recognized authority in maritime law and for more than three decades has traveled globally to advise the CEOs of many of the world's leading shipping companies. His practice has taken him to more than 30 countries, and he often works with the executive branch, Congress, and foreign embassies and governments on international trade and transport matters. He founded the Washington, D.C. office of Preston Gates and guided its growth to more than 140 partners and employees at the time it was merged into K&L Gates in 2007.

He is and has been consistently ranked as one of the country's top lawyers in both maritime law and in government affairs, including Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and similar publications. In its 30th year anniversary edition, the Legal Times recognized him as "one of the greatest Washington Lawyers of the past 30 years," a "legal visionary," who helped turn Washington, D.C.'s legal and lobbying community into an international powerhouse. Ten times, from 2005-2015 he was named one of the 50 "Top Lobbyists" (out of 12,000) by The Hill newspaper based on surveys of members of Congress and staff.

In 2013, he was the recipient of the most prestigious award conveyed on U.S. maritime industry leaders, the Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award, presented by the United Seaman's Service, becoming the only practicing lawyer in its 44-year history to have received this award. Also in 2013, he was the inaugural recipient of the Association of Government Relations Professionals (AGRP) career achievement award for exemplary service to the profession, demonstrated integrity and ethical standards, engagement in civic and pro-bono work and mentoring.

Mr. Rouvelas has served as an advisor to two U.S. presidential transitions, a bipartisan Congressional caucus, an executive branch reorganization, several senators and congressmen, and many political campaigns. Prior to joining K&L Gates, he was counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce and chief counsel to its merchant marine and foreign commerce subcommittees where he had lead staff responsibility for the enactment of 32 public laws. Included was major legislation relating to vessel construction and operation, oil spill prevention, vessel traffic systems, recreational boat safety, Coast Guard and Maritime Administration programs.

Mr. Rouvelas has long been committed to the importance of strong ethical governance in both the public and private sectors and has taught, lectured and counseled clients on governance issues. He completed the advanced management program at Harvard Business School in 1996 and the program on corporate governance for directors at Stanford Business School in 2006.

He has 20 years experience serving on the boards of directors of three U.S. public companies and more than 20 years of service on the boards of directors of nonprofit charitable organizations. He is a director of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the largest regional network of business and nonprofit leaders; a member of the Smithsonian's Advisory Board for the National Zoo; a lifetime trustee and former vice-chairman of the American College of Greece in Athens; and served nine years through 2013 as a regent of the American Architectural Foundation.

Karen Silberman


Karen Silberman, chair of the FONZ board of directors, 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, Silberman 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.

Silberman 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, Silberman 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. Silberman has also worked at the Points of Light Foundation and the American Heart Association.

A Washington, D.C., native, Silberman 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).

David M. Velazquez

David M. Velazquez is responsible for leadership of Pepco Holdings’ overall performance associated with service reliability, customer satisfaction, financial management, and regulatory and external affairs. Based in Washington, D.C., Pepco Holdings employs more than 4,700 people, owns more than $16.1 billion in assets and generates approximately $4.8 billion in annual revenues. Pepco Holdings serves 2 million customers as the parent company of Pepco, an electric utility serving Washington, D.C., and suburban Maryland; Delmarva Power, an electric and gas utility serving Delaware and the rest of the Delmarva Peninsula; and Atlantic City Electric, an electric utility serving southern New Jersey.  Pepco Holdings is a recently acquired subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, one of the nation’s leading energy services companies. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.

Velazquez previously served as executive vice president and leader of the power delivery business for Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI).  He managed over 95 percent of the business and employee base, and was responsible for all utility operations in three states and the District of Columbia including customer care, asset management, operations, smart grid activities, all support services, including IT, and four local unions. Velazquez was also responsible for the development of and now leads the successful enterprise-wide strategic vision to improve reliability and customer service for Pepco Holdings.

From 2006 to 2009, Velazquez served as president and CEO of Conectiv Energy, PHI’s competitive merchant energy subsidiary, leading and directing the commercial and operational activities for the company. He served as vice president of strategic planning and chief risk officer of PHI from 2005 to 2006.

Velazquez serves on the boards of a number of educational and community organizations, such as Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, Trust for the National Mall, Smithsonian's National Zoo Advisory Board, and United Way of the National Capital Area.  He is also a board member of Southeastern Electric Exchange, Association of Edison Illuminating Companies and the Greater Washington Board of Trade.

Velazquez holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Widener University.

Beatrice Busch von Gontard

Beatrice Busch von Gontard is director-at-large for National Wildlife Federation. She exemplifies NWF's goal of connecting people with nature, both at home and in her Virginia community, where she's helping to establish a cross-curriculum program of outdoor education at a local elementary school. Students learn history from colonial farming, mathematical patterns from gardens and genetics from hybrid tulips. The school is also an NWF-certified schoolyard habitat.

Busch von Gontard says she "grew up in a zoo"—her family, the Buschs of Anheuser-Busch, created a wildlife preserve at the ancestral home. Fifteen years ago, she and her husband, Adie, bought a farm on the Shenandoah River and went to work turning much of their 1,400 acres into a haven for local wildlife. That meant planting native flora and following strict rules about where and how they farm.

The von Gontards certified the property as an NWF Backyard Wildlife Habitat™ site and have been rewarded with booming wildlife populations. NWF chief naturalist, Craig Tufts, credits their practice of not mowing nesting pasture until young birds have fledged with helping to reverse the decline of bobolinks in the region. "Their birds," says Tufts, "likely represent the largest breeding population in Virginia—a population that is growing with Beatrice's careful stewardship."