Board of Directors

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Dr. Nazar Al Baharna

Dr. Al Baharna is the former Bahrain Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and member of the Ministerial Cabinet. In 2008, Al Baharna led Bahrain’s foreign policy team that presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the country’s first action plan presented at a global level, setting the norm for the Universal Periodic Review. He was then elected Deputy Vice Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Dr. Al Baharna obtained his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Wales and served as Dean of Engineering and Vice President for Academic Programs and Research at the University of Bahrain.

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Donald Girskis

Don Girskis is the former head of Boost Mobile. Girskis had previously been Senior Vice President of World Wide Sales at ShoreTel, a publicly traded global telecommunications company. During his four year tenure at ShoreTel, Girskis also served as interim CEO. Prior to ShoreTel, he spent 5 years at Boost Mobile, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nextel Communications. He joined Boost Mobile as Chief Operating Officer when it was just forming. He was promoted to run the entire operation as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Boost Mobile after one year, and developed the business from an idea to $1.8B in revenue in just 5 years.

Jennifer Houston
Jennifer Houston

With over 20 years of marketing and communications experience, Houston utilizes web strategies and public awareness campaigns to bring business to global companies like Microsoft, Boeing, Fran’s Chocolates and Homegrocer.com. As the former President of WE Studio D at Waggener Edstrom, she led the public relations team responsible for Microsoft Windows’ global communications and managed Microsoft Corporate Giving’s donation announcement to the Boy & Girls Club of America. Houston holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from George Washington University.

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Kip Knight

Knight is the President of H&R Block International and the former Vice President of Marketing for eBay. Knight is also a partner with Thomvest Ventures and serves on several corporate boards, including Quiznos and Netbase. Knight has worked in over 65 countries, with roles at P&G, PepsiCo, and headed the marketing teams at KFC International and Taco Bell. He serves as Dean of the U.S. State Department’s Marketing Communication College, and is a graduate of LSU with an MBA from the University of Cincinnati.

Rep. Dave Reichert
Congressman Dave Reichert

Prior to being elected to Congress, Reichert was recognized for his role as the lead detective on the Green River Task Force and bringing to justice one of the most notorious serial killers in U.S. history. Reichert, a two-time Medal of Valor recipient, was elected to the position of King County Sheriff in 1997. In 2004, he was honored as “Sheriff of the Year” by the National Sheriffs’ Association for his efforts to reduce crime and advocate for victims of domestic violence. In late 2004, Reichert was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and became only the 6th Freshman Member of Congress in U.S. history to chair a House subcommittee. Now serving his fifth term, Reichert is a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Human Resources and a member of the President’s Export Council.


Congressman Adam Smith

First elected to public office at the age of 25, Smith serves as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and represents Washington’s 9th district. With previous posts on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Intelligence Committee, Smith traveled throughout Africa, and visited Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. In 2007, Representative Smith introduced the Global Poverty Act to the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill required that the United States create a plan to reduce global poverty and increase humanitarian aid to developing nations and was passed in the House and later adopted by President Obama as part of his foreign policy strategy.

Christian Thwaites
Christian Thwaites

Thwaites serves as President and CEO of Sentinel Investments, a $26 billion investment management company headquartered in Vermont and is a regular guest expert on CNBC and Bloomberg. Raised in the United Kingdom, Thwaites later received his MBA from Harvard where he earned distinction as a Baker Scholar before serving as CEO of Skandia Global Funds in London.

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Ava Hahn

Ava Hahn is the Chief Legal Officer of Aruba Networks, Inc. where she leads a global team of legal experts. Hahn previously served as the Chief Legal Officer of Shortel. and spent five years as Legal Counsel for Genesis Microchip. Hahn holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.