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FONZ Board of Directors

The Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) volunteer Board of Directors plays an essential role in FONZ leadership, and its members bring skills, experience and talents to further our mission of helping Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute save species through educational and fun experiences, the power of our members, and funding for critical work. Much of the FONZ Board’s work is accomplished by three standing committees (Executive; Finance, Audit, and Investment; and Governance and Nominating) and two strategic committees (Membership, Marketing, & Communications and Partnerships & Engagement). 

Members of the FONZ Board of Directors are nominated by and consist of FONZ Members. The Board elects new Board Members and sets the slate of officers each year. Friends of the National Zoo is currently soliciting nominations from members for its 2019 FONZ Board. The Board plays an essential role in shaping FONZ’s work to help the Zoo and SCBI save species. Our priorities for Board recruitment change annually based on our Board make-up and organizational goals. For 2019, we are looking for individuals with experience in the local business community to advise on business-to-business engagement strategies and enhance our corporate fundraising capabilities. Nominations are due by June 15, 2018. 

Learn more about the nomination process.

Pete Smith

Chair

Pete Smith is the current Chair of the FONZ Board of Directors. He is the Founding Partner of SmithPilot, Inc., a firm that specializes in nonprofit executive compensation issues.

Previously, Smith 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 holding various executive management positions and directing its worldwide compensation consulting practice.

Active in civic affairs, Smith has served on many 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.

Smith is a graduate of Harvard College. He and his wife Marcia live in Washington, D.C., close to the Zoo, which they enjoy greatly. They are longtime FONZ advocates.

David Mork

Immediate Past Chair

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 Rep. 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. Due to 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, Ill., 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 with their son, Bobby.

David T. Bell

Vice-Chair

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, Va., and, with more than 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, and, most recently, six years in Wilton, Conn., 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 BBA. 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, Va., 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 Smithsonian’s National Zoo offers.

Larry Hanauer

Treasurer

Larry Hanauer is the Vice President for Policy at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA), a nonprofit association that promotes effectiveness and efficiency in the U.S. intelligence community through robust public-private partnerships. Previously, he spent six years as a Senior International Policy Analyst at the RAND Corporation, where his research focused 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, 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.

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 for the past 20 years.

Cindy Lewin

Secretary

Cindy Lewin is a seasoned nonprofit executive and lawyer with deep experience in helping both membership organizations and environmental and wildlife conservation organizations advance their missions. Currently, she is a partner at Venable LLP, specializing in representing nonprofit organizations. From 2010-2017, she served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel at AARP, one of the largest membership organizations in the world. Before joining AARP, 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 in-house 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 serves on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit National Human Services Assembly, where she chaired the CEO Search Committee, and also served as Chair of the National Adjudicatory Council for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2015. 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 four grandchildren, and have enjoyed many trips to the Smithsonian's National Zoo. 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.

Maya Garcia

Maya M. Garcia serves as the Director of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics for the District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education, where she leads implementation efforts around the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Mathematics, and the District’s plan for advancing Pre-K- 12 STEM Education. Maya also leads OSSE's partnership with the Carnegie Academy for Science Education (CASE) in support of the DC STEM Network. An award-winning science educator and master teacher, Maya brings more than 8 years of classroom experience to her work in STEM education. She has a degree in neuroscience and behavior from Mount Holyoke College and a master’s in science education from American University, where she serves as adjunct faculty in the School of Education. Maya has served on various national committees, most recently as a member of the NRC Science Education Board Committee on Out of School STEM Learning and as a delegate for the District of Columbia to the 2017 Ashoka Global Education Changemakers Conference.

Nora Gardner

Nora Gardner leads McKinsey, Washington, D.C., Inc., the office that serves U.S. government clients of McKinsey & Company.  Nora Gardner combines technical expertise with a passion for people as a client leader and sought-after mentor within McKinsey. Her PhD in biochemistry brings analytical rigor to her organization work with clients. Nora focuses on human capital across private, public, and social sectors, including health care, pharma, scientific agencies, and defense and security clients.  She also leads the office’s social impact group, which connects consultants to pro bono work at local non-profits.

Nora holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University and a B.S. in Biochemistry from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining McKinsey, she held post-doctoral fellowships from the American Cancer Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

She is married, has two daughters, and in 2015 was named, "Working Mother of the Year" by Working Mother Magazine.

Eric Koefoot

Eric is an experienced software executive and an internet pioneer, having either founded or served as a senior executive for early-stage internet companies since 1996. He was the founding CEO and Publisher of U.S. News Ventures, a branded internet publishing company funded in part by U.S. News & World Report. Prior to that role, he was co-founder and CEO of Five Star Alliance, a successful e-commerce startup in Alexandria, Va., which became the largest independent booker of luxury hotels worldwide and was sold in 2007 for a more than 20 times return to investors, fewer than 3 years after it was founded.

For almost 7 years before that, Eric served in various executive roles at Washingtonpost Newsweek Interactive (WPNI), including CFO, VP of Business Development, VP of Strategy, VP of Operations and Technology, and then quite successfully as the VP of Sales for the division. Prior to WPNI, he worked for 9 years as a financial executive in product development at Ford Motor Company, consulted at Deloitte Consulting, and founded a startup company, PrimeSource, which provided financial and strategic consulting services to Fortune 500 clients. Eric has an engineering degree from M.I.T. and an MBA from the Sloan School at M.I.T.

An accomplished Ironman and Olympic-distance triathlete, Eric is a co-founder and the CEO at PublicRelay, a market-leading enterprise software company providing advanced media intelligence solutions to large corporations, trade associations, and government agencies.

Barbara Lang

Barbara Lang is managing principal and CEO of Lang Strategies. Barbara manages the overall brand of the organization and oversees each of its practice areas: Business Development, Political Strategy Management, Executive Leadership and Business Tactical Planning, Assessment and Problem Solving. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lang was president and CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, where she was responsible for the operations and overall strategic direction of the organization, as well as advancing the chamber's interests through advocacy, education, information, and business development. She also worked diligently on education (Pre-K-12) and workforce development issues and projects, as well as small business/entrepreneurial development initiatives.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Barbara was the Vice President of Corporate Services and Chief Procurement Officer for Fannie Mae, where she managed all of the company's procurement, real estate, and facility operations. She also had a long career with IBM, where she served in several management positions in finance, administration and product forecasting.

Barbara was appointed to the board of Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:PDM) in 2015, and was also on the board at Cardinal Financial Corporation. In addition, she serves on the board of the Sibley Hospital Foundation. Barbara is the former chair of the Workforce Investment Council and the former co-chair of the DC Business Coalition. In 2012, she was appointed by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray to the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and was confirmed unanimously by the City Council.

Barbara is renowned in the community for her business acumen, leadership, and community engagement. She holds numerous awards for her distinguished leadership in the greater Washington community, including Washingtonian magazine's 150 Most Powerful People in the Washington region (twice), the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Cardinal Bank, and the Lifetime Legacy Award from the Washington Business Journal. She lives in Washington.

John Lettieri

John Lettieri is co-founder of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) and serves as its Senior Director for Policy and Strategy. He leads EIG's policy development, economic research, and legislative affairs efforts.

John's career in public policy has included time in both the public and private sectors working with a diverse set of policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors, and global business leaders. His work and commentary have been cited in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, NPR, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Time, Vox, Daily Beast, The Hill, Fox News, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Milwaukee Sentinel, Fast Company, and others.

John is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he studied political science and global commerce. He serves on the Board of Regents at The Fund for American Studies and the Board of Directors for Lincoln Network. He lives with his wife and children in Washington.

Laura Liswood

In 1996, Laura Liswood co-founded the Council of Women World Leaders with President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir of Iceland. Ms. Liswood is the Secretary General of the Council, composed of women presidents and prime ministers.

From 1992 to 1996, she interviewed 15 current and former women presidents and prime ministers, chronicled in her book and documentary, Women World Leaders.

From 2001 to 2015, Liswood was Managing Director, Global Leadership and Diversity for Goldman Sachs, and became a Senior Advisor.

Liswood’s professional experience includes line management in Fortune 500 companies. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001, Liswood became a reserve police officer in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. She recently retired as a sergeant.

She earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, a B.A. from California State University, San Diego and a J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law. She is admitted to the California and Massachusetts State Bars.

Her latest book, The Loudest Duck, challenges traditional workplace diversity efforts and provides strategies to create inclusive organizations. She is a long-term supporter of animal sanctuaries in the United States and frequently visits zoos when she travels globally. Other interests include Southwest art, and she has biked across Siberia and the ancient Silk Route. Liswood resides in Bethesda, Md.

Cynthia McCabe

Cynthia McCabe is the Communications Director for Pepco Holdings, a member of the Exelon family of utilities. She directs integrated communications across Pepco Holdings, providing strategic oversight, planning, and stewardship, with a focus on digital communications, marketing and advertising, and internal communications. Pepco Holdings serves more than 1.9 million electric and gas customers across Washington, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey, joining the approximately 10 million Exelon customers nationwide.

Throughout her career, Cynthia has leveraged communications expertise on behalf of a wide variety of communities and groups. Prior to coming aboard at Pepco Holdings in 2017, she worked for more than a decade in the American labor movement, leading communications teams at the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), where she was the associate director of communications, and as a member of the interactive media team at the National Education Association (NEA). While at AFSCME, she represented the organization with the White House and U.S. Department of Labor, as well as serving as the organization’s communications lead to Secretary Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Cynthia’s career began in print media, and she worked as a reporter at The Palm Beach Post in West Palm Beach, Fla., several papers in North Carolina, and at Harper’s Bazaar magazine in New York.

Today, Cynthia continues to write and her work has appeared in The Washington Post and Washingtonian, and she has appeared as a guest on NPR, MSNBC, and international radio. Her cover story for The Washington Post Magazine, "A Stranger Emailed," was noted in Jonathan Franzen's The Best American Essays 2016. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, as well as the Association for Women in Media. Cynthia is a graduate of Clemson University with a B.A. in English. A Maryland native, she now lives in College Park, Md., with her husband, Scott, and she enjoys taking her two children to the Zoo, just as she visited often as a child.

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is Deputy Under Secretary for Collections and Interdisciplinary Support. He serves as the principal advisor to the Institution’s senior staff on the central planning and development of collections and interdisciplinary support operations, including collections management, conservation and preservation, and related functions. He oversees the National Collections Program, Office of Fellowships & Internships, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, and Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press.

Dr. Miller is also responsible for science within the Office of the Provost, helping oversee the Institution’s science museums and research facilities, as well as major research initiatives. From 2004 to 2006, he was the associate director for science at the Zoo, spearheading the rehabilitation of what is now the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.. From 2000 to 2006, he was chairman of the departments of entomology and systematic biology at the National Museum of Natural History. He helped establish and lead the Consortium for the Barcode of Life—an international network that uses systematics, genomics, and bioinformatics to develop DNA-based identification tools to make biodiversity information more widely available.

Before coming to the Smithsonian in 2000, Dr. Miller designed and implemented an international biodiversity and conservation program for the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya. He maintains an active research program as a curator of entomology at the National Museum of Natural History. He has published more than 200 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.

Dr. Miller is a co-chair of the Interagency Working Group on Scientific Collections, and a member of several science organizations.

He serves on the board of the Mpala Research Center in Kenya. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Royal Entomological Society of London.

John Mina

John Mina is President for Risk Strategies Company. Based in the Washington metro area, John has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operations of the company. The firm, established in 1977, has 44 offices and more than 1,000 employees throughout the United States.

During his career, John has served large public, small private, and not-for-profit institutions. Prior to joining Risk Strategies, John worked for 25 years with Willis Towers Watson in a number of leadership roles, most recently as Head of Corporate Risk and Broking for the Atlantic South region.

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. He is a graduate of Dowling College with a BBA in Management. John and his wife, Susan, live in North Potomac, Md., with their two children.

Steven Monfort

Ex Officio, Acting Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo; John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Dr. Monfort is the acting director of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and director and chief scientist of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), headquartered on 3,200-acres in Front Royal, Virginia. SCBI provides leadership in the Smithsonian’s global effort to use science-based approaches to conserve species and the habitats they require for survival. SCBI scientists conduct research and train conservation professionals in more than 30 countries worldwide in a wide range of disciplines including wildlife ecology, forest/climate change research, genetics/genomics, reproductive sciences and zoo biology.

Throughout his career Monfort has used multidisciplinary, collaborative science to help save species and habitats and restore animals to the wild. He is an expert in zoo biology, animal health, reproductive biology, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology. He was an early innovator in developing noninvasive endocrine monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well being of wildlife species in zoos and in the wild. Monfort created the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation which provides transformative, hands-on education and professional development in conservation biology and allied fields for undergraduates, graduates and professionals. Monfort helped catalyze and launch a number of significant conservation initiatives, including the Sahara Conservation Fund; Conservation Centers for Species Survival; Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project; and the Global Tiger Initiative. He has served as the chair of the Asian Wild Horse Species Survival Plan and is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's antelope, deer and conservation breeding specialist groups. He joined LEWA as science advisor in 2015.

Joyce Rogers

A native Washingtonian, Joyce Rogers is an experienced advocate with more than 25 years of legal and government affairs experience. Currently, Joyce serves as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at AARP. Joyce leads and manages AARP’s federal and state advocacy. AARP is one of the nation’s largest membership organizations in the world.

Before joining AARP in 2011, Joyce was a partner at Williams & Jensen, a Washington-based law firm. At Williams & Jensen, she represented Fortune 500 clients, trade associations, non-profits, and small businesses on numerous issues including energy, health care, tax, telecommunications, and transportation.

Prior to joining Williams & Jensen, Joyce was an associate at Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson and Hand, a law firm in Washington, where she represented clients on a wide range of issues.

Early in her career, she worked on Capitol Hill for two members of Congress, including House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer. Joyce also served a 2-year elected term as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Washington.

Joyce currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Legal Counsel for the Elderly (LCE). LCE provides free legal and social work services to low-income Washington residents. She also serves on the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange Board of Directors. The Franklin Center is committed to enhancing global understanding of important international issues.

Joyce is a graduate of Williams College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School and is admitted to the bars in Washington and Maryland. Joyce and her husband, George Atuobi, live in Alexandria, Va., and have a blended family of four children.

Brian Sands

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 more than 20 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, with uses including a wide range of commercial attractions, cultural attractions, hospitality properties, retail-dining-entertainment, and related uses. 

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 also serves on the International Board of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and 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), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and World Waterpark Association (WWA).