Board of Directors
The Honorable B. Robert Okun
Chairman & CEO
In 2011, Bob founded, The O Team, a Washington, DC based government relations and content development company. With more than 30 years of experience in Washington, Bob is a seasoned professional that assists clients in developing policy positions and navigating Congress, the White House, and Federal Agencies.
Prior to founding The O Team, Bob was with NBC as Vice President, Washington, DC for nearly 17 years. As head of NBC's Washington office, his responsibilities included coordinating the development of NBC's policy positions on legislative and regulatory issues and representing NBC's positions to the Congress, the Administration and the FCC.
Bob has served as Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U. S. Department of Education (1991-1992) and was Floor Assistant to former House Republican Leader, Robert Michel. In this position, he served as principal liaison to the Senate, as well as to governors, mayors and other leaders and groups involved in the legislative process.
In the House of Representatives, he has long experience as Executive Director of the Republican Conference (1989-1991), Executive Director of the Republican Policy Committee (1987-1988), and Executive Director of the House Republican Research Committee (1983-1986). He also served in the House as Staff Director for the Task Force on Regulatory Reform (1981-1983) that focused on telecommunications regulation reform.
Bob is a summa cum laude graduate of Duke University with an honors degree in economics. He studied economic history at New College, Oxford, England. He serves on the Boards of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation and ThanksUSA which he founded in 2005. Bob is married to Deanna Okun, has two daughters, Rachel and Kelsi, and resides in Virginia.
Carolyn is the eldest daughter of four children. Her parents met while her father was stationed in the Air Force in England. She and her brother were both born in England; later another brother and sister were born in Florida. Her father served twenty years in the Air Force and her energetic mother maintained the family. During this period she moved with her family to such locations as Florida, Alaska, Washington DC and then back to England.
Carolyn completed high school at an American Air Force base in England and then moved to Florida where she worked her way through college at the University of West Florida, earning a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in 1978. More recently she received her Master's degree from George Mason University in Initiatives in Educational Transformation.
She has been teaching for approximately fifteen years, with a break to raise her own two children. During those early childrearing years she became involved in the environment and worked for the Washington State Energy Office and specifically with an outreach program to teach conservation topics. When she moved to the east coast with her family, she resumed her teaching career. She currently teaches third grade at Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean Virginia. She has been involved in many school activities including the Student Council Association, the ESOL program, and environmental issues and currently, in the school renovation committee.
She lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband of twenty years, Ron. She is extremely proud of her two boys, Peter and Mark who are students at Virginia Tech majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She enjoys exercising, knitting, reading, racquetball and gardening when she has free time, and traveling to warm climates with sugary white sand beaches.
Patricia St. George
Patricia St. George, CPA, is a partner in KPMG’s Federal practice with 20 years of experience, and has managed complex projects to help organizations become auditable, as well as business process outsourcing and business transformation projects. She has experience in developing policies and procedures, assessing regulatory compliance, performing financial and operational audits, managing accounting system implementations, defining system and functional requirements, managing large programs, developing organization-wide transition strategies/plans, and implementing transition plans. Ms. St. George provides support to Federal organization centered around management and financial reporting and analysis, and advises organizations on operational issues that affect process, internal control, business risk, organizational alignment, and technology. She applies her broad financial background to developing programs and managing large-scaled programs within the Department of Defense (DoD) and other Federal civilian agencies. Patty currently serves as the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) lead partner where she oversees multiple teams delivering services across all DLA Headquarters and every Field Command.
Stephen E. Baskin
As Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Fred Cannon is responsible for coordinating and overseeing BMI's legislative efforts in conjunction with all departments, as well as with the company's lobbying firms in Washington, DC and in states across the country. He is the Vice Chair of BMI's political action committee, the BMI Legislative Fund for Authors, Composers and Publishers. A lobbyist, hit songwriter and record producer, Cannon is based in BMI's New York office.
Cannon has led the company's efforts in protecting the rights of BMI's songwriters, composers and music publishers at all levels of government. Combining his experience and insight into the creative process with his knowledge of government relations, Cannon has been one of the industry's most effective lobbyists on copyright, creative freedoms, censorship, and the threat posed by unauthorized download of music over the Internet. He works with key congressional staff as an experienced music industry advisor in drafting legislation on music on the Internet. He has played a similar role as an advisor to state legislators dealing with local public policy issues including creative freedom for songwriters, intellectual property rights and public performance of music.
His wide scope of professional relationships among government relations professionals and fellow lobbyists has afforded him the opportunity to spread awareness of the threat to American culture and the economy posed by the unrestricted misappropriation of copyrights in music and filmed entertainment by companies and individuals. His international experience has helped him graphically illustrate the global impact of theft of intellectual property. His close working relationships with world-class artists have made it possible to dramatize and humanize often hard-to-understand intellectual property issues by escorting stars on personal visits to legislators both in the nation's capital and in state governments.
Cannon joined BMI as a consultant in 1994, serving as Event Coordinator of the CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) 39th World Congress in Washington, DC. Later that year, he was named Legislative Liaison. He was then promoted to Vice President, Government Relations in 1996 and to his current position as Senior Vice President in 2002.
Prior to joining BMI, Cannon held senior management positions with EMI Records in Italy and England, where he worked with such superstars as Paul McCartney, Queen, Elton John and Michael Jackson. He was Managing Director of The Voice of the Daily American where he was also a popular radio personality in Rome, Italy. From 1979 to 1988, he was Managing Director and CEO of Carrere Records in the UK, signing such international acts as the Buggles and Rose Tattoo, and assisting with the production of many hit records. From 1988 to 1992, he was International Director of British record and music publishing company, PWL, which charted over 100 top 40 hits and 16 number ones. In addition, Cannon served as Supervising Producer of the World Music Awards in Monte Carlo from 1989 to 2001.
Cannon served as a member of the British Institute of Marketing from 1977 to 1988, and was named a Fellow of the British Institute of Directors in 1985.
From 2006 to 2008, Cannon served as President of the Recording Academy's Washington, DC Chapter. He is a board member of the Copyright Alliance and the Songwriters Guild of America Foundation. He sits on the board of directors for both the Songwriters Association of Washington and the Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Center. He is on the advisory boards of the National Music Museum in Washington, DC, the Institute of Human Virology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and the George Washington University Creative and Innovative Economy Center. In 1997, Cannon was appointed Honorary State Representative of the State of Louisiana. Under the Clinton Administration, he served on the "America Goes Back to School" task force for the Department of Education. He sat on the board of directors for the State Government Affairs Council from 1998 to 2002. He also served as a member of the Council's Public Relations/Communications Committee. He a member of the Public Affairs Council, the Country Music Association and the Washington Area Music Association.
Cannon received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Whittier College in California.
General George W. Casey, Jr.
General George W. Casey, Jr. is one of the most accomplished soldiers in US history and an authority on strategic leadership.
As the 36th Chief of Staff of the US Army from April 2007 to 2011, General Casey led what is arguably the world’s largest and most complex organization — 1.1 million people strong, with a $200+ billion annual budget — during one of the most extraordinary periods in military and global political history. He is widely credited with restoring balance to the war-weary US Army, modernizing and leading the transformation necessary to defend our nation in the 21 st Century, and ensuring the current force deployed in the war on terror was the best this country has ever fielded.
Prior to this, from July 2004 to February 2007, he commanded the Multi-National Force – Iraq, a coalition of more than 30 countries. General Casey guided the Iraq mission through its toughest days. He led cultural change in the US Armed Forces and built the Iraqi security institutions to set the conditions for our longterm success. On the homefront, General Casey has been a stalwart advocate for military families, expanding programs for the wounded, addressing the tough issues of substance abuse and suicide, reducing the stigma of combat stress and trauma, and providing long term support for survivors of the fallen.
The son of George William Casey, the decorated Major General who commanded the 1 st Cavalry Division during the Vietnam War — and himself a father of a son who served — General George W. Casey, Jr. has enjoyed a long career of exemplary service as an American soldier.
He was commissioned a second lieutenant of Infantry from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1970. Throughout his career, he served in operational assignments in Germany, Italy, Egypt, Bosnia, Iraq and the United States. He has extensive command experience. General Casey holds a Masters Degree in International Relations from Denver University and has served as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States.
Known for his vision, candor, integrity and humor. General Casey’s story is one of personal courage and commitment to excellence.
His great love of country and his life of service and sacrifice form the basis of his viewpoints on leadership, vision, organizational culture and leading transformational change.
Maj. Gen. Jack Catton
Jack Catton is the Vice President for Precision Engagement Systems for Boeing. He reports to the Vice President for Air Force Programs, IDS Business Development. Jack is responsible for sustaining and improving Air Force customer relationships and shaping both DoD and Air Force decisions on Boeing Precision Engagement Systems. He leads Air Force business development efforts and strategies to keep programs sold, capture new programs, and grow IDS businesses in Precision Engagement and Advanced Systems. Jack coordinates program, congressional, and public policy interaction to ensure full funding for Air Force programs. He is also responsible for synchronization of customer engagement by field offices and senior advisors for all Air Force Precision Engagement campaigns.
Prior to joining Boeing in February 2008, Jack served over 31 years in the USAF, retiring in the rank of Major General. A command pilot and instructor, Jack logged over 2,650 flying hours in single seat fighter aircraft. He commanded at the squadron, group and wing level with tours in the CONUS, Europe and Pacific. In addition to his operational assignments, he served on the Air Staff, NATO Staff, Joint Staff, and as Inspector General of Pacific Air Forces. Jack culminated his Air Force career at Air Combat Command as the Director of Requirements, where he was responsible for the definition of operational requirements for the Combat Air Forces, and the oversight of 260 modernization programs.
Jack and his wife, Jan, reside in Springfield, Virginia.
Thomas E. Cooper
Tom graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering. From 1970-1971 he was Assistant Professor of M.E. at UC Berkeley and from 1971 - 1976 he was Associate Professor of M.E. at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. Chosen to be a Congressional Science Fellow in 1976, he worked with the House Armed Services Committee, becoming a permanent member of the Committee Staff in 1977. In 1982, he became the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Research, Development and Logistics. He joined GE in his present position in 1987.
Jill A. Dyal
Jill A. Dyal worked for the National Football League as a Director of Financial Planning and Analysis in 2009. Jill was a senior Vice-President for Goldman Sachs & Co in the Investment Banking Division in New York and London where she worked from 1998 to 2009. Her responsibilities included advising companies in a broad range of industries in mergers and acquisitions and financings, as well as working in the division's strategy area.
Jill received a B.A. from U.C.L.A in 1998 where she graduated Summa Cum Laude and received a golf scholarship. Jill and her husband Gordon Dyal reside in New York as well at their ranch, Diamond 4D, in Choteau, Montana. Jill currently manages the operations at Diamond 4D.
Alex Ehrlich is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, and is globally responsible for the firm's Prime Brokerage business. He is also a member of the firm's Equity Operating Committee.
Alex joined Morgan Stanley in August 2009 following six years as Global Head of Prime Services at UBS. He spent the prior 22 years at Goldman Sachs, where he served as global co-head of that firm's Prime Brokerage business from 1998-2003.
Alex is married with three children, and lives in Chappaqua, New York.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., is president and CEO of the American Gaming Association (AGA). In his role as the chief executive of the AGA, Fahrenkopf is the national advocate for the commercial casino industry and is responsible for positioning the association to address regulatory, political and educational issues affecting the industry.
A lawyer by profession, Fahrenkopf gained national prominence during the 1980s when he served as chairman of the Republican Party for six of President Ronald Reagan's eight years in the White House (1983 to 1989). When Fahrenkopf retired in January 1989, he had served as chairman of the Republican National Committee longer than any person in the 20th century (and second-longest in the history of the party) and led the party through two successful presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988.
He has been a frequent commentator on political and gaming issues on such network television programs as Crossfire, Inside Politics, Meet The Press, Hardball, Face the Nation, The Today Show, This Week and Good Morning America.
Fahrenkopf continues to serve in a variety of political capacities. He presently is co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which conducts the general election presidential and vice presidential debates in presidential election years. He co-founded the commission in 1986 with Democratic National Committee chairman Paul Kirk. He also was a founder of the National Endowment for Democracy, where he served as vice chairman and a board member from 1983 to 1993. Additionally, he serves as a board member of the International Republican Institute (IRI), which he founded in 1984. He served for many years as chairman of the Pacific Democrat Union and vice chairman of the International Democrat Union, a worldwide association of conservative political parties from the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia and 20 other nations.
Prior to becoming the AGA's first chief executive on June 1, 1995, Fahrenkopf was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Hogan & Hartson, where he chaired the International Trade Practice Group. Fahrenkopf specialized in regulatory, legislative and corporate matters for multi-national, foreign and domestic clients. His early legal career included 17 years of practice as a trial and gaming lawyer in Nevada, his home state. In that capacity, he represented clients before Nevada gaming regulatory authorities. Fahrenkopf served as the first chairman of the American Bar Association (ABA) Committee on Gaming Law and was a founding trustee and president of the International Association of Gaming Attorneys, a worldwide organization of government gaming regulators and private attorneys acting on behalf of licensed gaming enterprises.
Fahrenkopf has held various positions relating to his legal background. For many years he was a member of the board of trustees of the National Judicial College, the ABA-sponsored judicial education center for federal and state judges; chairman of the Coalition for Justice, a group coordinating the ABA's initiatives to improve the American justice system; and chairman of the Legal Policy Advisory Board of The Washington Legal Foundation. He was a member of the Nevada State Board of Bar Examiners, president of the Washoe County Bar Association and vice president of the Nevada Trial Lawyers Association.
Fahrenkopf also sits on the board of directors of five New York Stock Exchange public companies: First Republic Bank, Gabelli Equity Trust, Inc., Gabelli Utility Trust, Gabelli Global Multimedia Trust, and Gabelli Dividend and Income Trust.
His civic involvement includes service as chairman of the board of governors of the City Club of Washington, a member of the board of trustees of the E.L. Wiegand Foundation, and a member of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, The Economic Club of Washington and the Federal City Council. Fahrenkopf also served as a co-chairman of the Rivlin Commission, which investigated and reported on the government of the District of Columbia. He has been honored for his contributions, receiving the Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award in 1973, the Nevada Lung Association "Man of the Year" Award in 1983 and the National Humanitarian of the Year Award from the National Conference on Christians and Jews in 1985. He is a member of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He also serves as a trustee of the Culinary Institute of America.
Fahrenkopf is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno (1962) and the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley (1965).
He and his wife, the former Mary Bandoni, have three daughters: Allison, a Washington, D.C., attorney; Leslie, associate counsel to President George W. Bush; and Amy, a medical resident at Boston Children's Hospital. He is an avid golfer, tennis player and sports enthusiast. Fahrenkopf is a member of the Burning Tree Club, the Washington Golf and Country Club, the George Town Club, the City Club of Washington and the Prospectors' Club in Reno, Nev.
Timothy H. Gillis
Timothy H. Gillis serves as national partner-in-charge of KPMG LLP's State & Local Tax practice. Prior to joining KPMG in the summer of 1998, Tim represented clients in federal and multi-state tax planning, controversy, and litigation with the law firm of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan LLP. In the mid-1980s, prior to attending law school, Tim also practiced as a certified public accountant and auditor in the Atlanta office of Arthur Young & Company.
Tim graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Accounting from Pensacola Christian College in 1985 and magna cum laude with a JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 1991. At Georgetown, Tim was a member of the Order of the Coif, served on the Georgetown Law Journal, and received the Tamm Memorial Award for his article entitled "Collecting the Use Tax on Mail-Order Sales."
In 1996, Tim co-authored the Tax Management Portfolio entitled State Taxation of Service Providers, and he presently authors the Georgia Chapter of the ABA Sales and Use Tax Deskbook. He has also authored articles that have appeared in such sources as the Journal of Taxation, the Journal of Multistate Taxation, the Committee on State Taxation's State Tax Report, Tax Management's Multistate Tax Report, and International Legal Strategy. In the Fall of 2003, he co-authored a law review article comparing international and subnational jurisdictional standards, published in the University of Georgia Law Review under the title "It's a Small World After All: The Intersection of Tax Jurisdiction at International, National, and Subnational Levels."
Tim's professional affiliations include the American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, State & Local Tax Committee, and the AICPA. He previously taught Tax Accounting Methods as an adjunct professor the Emory Law School LL.M. program.
Tim and his wife, Linda, have four children (three boys and a girl!), ages 7 through 14. An avid baseball and long-time Atlanta Braves fan, he coaches Little League baseball in the Spring and Fall seasons. In his spare time, he can be found as a spectator at school plays, soccer games, and swim meets. And if any other time remains, he enjoys a relaxing round of golf, preferably when the temperature is warmer than 50 and lower than 90 degrees!
General James L. Jones
Former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States
Former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Combatant Commander USEUCOM
32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps
General James L. Jones has spent his life serving and protecting America and American ideals. He is sought after for his wisdom, guidance, and political endorsement. As the former commander of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, he led all military operations for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and later, as National Security Advisor, he brought clear vision and steady leadership to America’s mission in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and the country’s interests around the world.
A man of letters, a man of honor. Jones excelled at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and was commissioned into the Marine Corps in January 1967. He served in Vietnam, rising from platoon and company commander to first lieutenant. On returning to the U.S., he pursued a career in the Marines, attending the Amphibious Warfare School in 1973 and the National War College in 1985, and serving as Marine Corps liaison officer to the U.S. Senate. He was also commanding officer of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Northern Iraq and Turkey on Operation Provide Comfort; chief of staff, Joint Task Force Provide Promise, for operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia; and commanding general, 2nd Marine Division, Marine Forces Atlantic. He became the 32nd commandant of the United States Marine Corps in July 1999.
Powerful and in command. Upon retirement in February 2007, the revered combat veteran became the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy and later, the National Security Advisor for President Obama. During his NATO assignment from 2003-2006, he advocated energy security and the defense of critical infrastructures as a core part of NATO’s future missions. With the Chamber, Jones worked to unite energy consumers and producers for a common goal—to increase the variety of the U.S. energy supply and associated infrastructures, to advance international cooperation on energy issues, to protect national energy security, and to promote better understanding of changes to the global climate and its effects on the environment.
Upon Jones’ retirement President Obama said, “Jim has always been a steady voice in Situation Room sessions, daily briefings and with meetings with foreign leaders … the American people owe the general a debt for making the nation safer.”
General Jones—sought-after by, and distinguished among, politicians of every stripe—offers a vast wealth of knowledge and speaks with poise and authority about national and international security, energy, and leadership requirements for success in the 21st century.
Gary M. Kittay
Lt. Gen. Normand G. Lezy
Norm Lezy is principal of Lezy Strategies, LLC, a firm focused on providing government and corporate affairs guidance. Norm retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1999, following 34 years of service, at the grade of Lieutenant General. He spent more than a dozen years in senior level assignments at the Pentagon, which gave him broad experience in defense and legislative matters in the Washington, D.C. arena.
Before Norm retired from active duty he was the senior military officer on Secretary of Defense William Cohen’s staff and was the principal advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) on all personnel policies for all branches of the U.S. military. In that capacity he was responsible for policies affecting active duty and retired military personnel, veterans and their dependents. Norm developed and oversaw a wide range of Department of Defense policies and programs governing officer and enlisted accessions, compensation, professional military education, officer and enlisted force management, and the discharge review process. In connection with those policies and programs he was tasked as coordinator and arbitrator with Congress, the Office of Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the military departments, the services, and various other federal agencies.
Norm also served as the Director of the Air Force Legislative Liaison. In that position he was the point man for the Air Force on Capitol Hill. Norm worked closely with the Secretary and Under Secretary of the Air Force and the Air Force Chief of Staff serving as principal advisor on legislative matters relating to weapons systems procurement, personnel, recruiting, congressional travel, member inquiries, foreign military sales, logistics, commissaries and exchanges, and healthcare.
Norm was also Director of Air Force Services, where he was responsible for developing the Moral Welfare Recreation/Services model that the Air Force uses today. In this position he had worldwide policy and oversight responsibility for over 2500 activities such as food service, recreation, child care, lodging, clubs, fitness centers, golf courses, and more. While in that position Norm was also the senior Air Force member on the Army and Air Force Exchange Service and Defense Commissary Agency Advisory Boards.
Over the course of his Air Force career Normand held key posts overseas where he was called upon to interface with senior diplomatic and defense officials in Europe, Scandinavia, and the Pacific Rim. As a base commander in Germany he was responsible for all support operations for a Tactical Reconnaissance Wing including air base defense, security, law enforcement, and liaison with the German military and government. Norm also commanded a special unit in Norway where he was responsible for NATO support activities involving the U.S. Embassy and the Norwegian military and government.
Following retirement from the Air Force, Norm was selected to spearhead the opening of Walmart Stores’ first National Government Relations Office in Washington, D.C. He went on to serve as Walmart’s Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, retiring in 2005.
Norm received his B.A. degree in Government and AFROTC Commission from St. Michaels College and his M.A. degree in Management from Webster University. He is a graduate of the Joint Armed Forces Staff College, the Air Force Air War College, the University of New Hampshire-Whittemore School of Business Senior Executive Development Program, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology National Security Executive Development Program. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for ThanksUSA, the Air Force Aid Society, and Kaplan University, the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association Advisory Council, and is a past independent director of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) of America.
Harry I. Martin, Jr.
As founder and President & CEO of Intelligent Decisions, Harry Martin, Jr. has grown the company into a leading solutions provider serving Federal, State and Local governments and Fortune 1000 customers. Over the past 20 years, Mr. Martin has expanded ID's network products and custom manufacturing capabilities to include a vast array of professional services, advanced systems integration, innovative solutions and programs designed to serve the intelligence community. Mr. Martin's long-term vision, partnerships with leading IT vendors and commitment to customer satisfaction have positioned ID as one of the largest value-added resellers and systems integrators in the Washington metropolitan area.
Throughout his career, Mr. Martin has held leadership positions with several information technology firms, and has been instrumental in managing major engineering efforts in the areas of systems integration, encrypted data processing systems, and ECM/ECCM technology directly supporting critical Defense programs. Well-versed in both sales and engineering, Mr. Martin has developed successful mission support programs for clients worldwide.
An active participant in professional, charitable and civic associations, Mr. Martin has been recognized throughout the industry for his entrepreneurial vision. Instilling a strong sense of corporate responsibility is a cornerstone of the culture Mr. Martin has developed at Intelligent Decisions. Under his direction, a Community Outreach program was launched company-wide to support the communities where we live and work, with the primary areas of focus being children, education, veterans affairs and human services.
Mr. Martin holds Bachelor of Science Degrees in Engineering and Mathematics from Howard University.
Laura A. Odell
Laura Odell is the KPMG US Global Department of Defense (DoD) leader. She is a "hands-on," operationally focused leader specializing in integrating the financial and acquisition domains while leveraging new and/or existing interfaces across the enterprise. In this role, she develops and translates complex requirements (people, process, technology, risk) into a set of feasible solutions that are ultimately rendered in an electronic environment.
Ms. Odell's primary focus and responsibilities is Client facing. However, she is responsible for internally driven initiatives that match world-wide industry trends as a member of the Executive Steering group for the Business Performance Services.
She is highly involved in the Department of Defense and the communities of organizations that support military families. She has recently received the Ascendency award for which Industry leaders nominate peers to recognize excellence in mentorship.
Laura identifies the right balance between risk and performance by linking operational process controls to an organization's strategic objectives. She has managed and developed progressively complex projects where business and technology requirements intersect. Her experience working for the Federal government in Civilian Service positions ranges from major Department of Defense weapons systems acquisitions for the F/A-18 aircraft program to MILCON projects in the Pacific Rim. Her first job as a civilian servant was as a flight test engineer at the Strike aircraft directorate for the Navy in Patuxent River, Maryland. More recently she has led and directly participated in designing enterprise architecture artifacts to C4ISR methodology standards (including procure-to-pay, hire-to retire value streams and the Standard Financial Information Structure) for business transformation projects. Ms. Odell is Lean Six Sigma certified.
Laura's combined knowledge of business intelligence, performance metrics and logistics applications, has enabled her to assist public sector agencies to develop independent cost estimates and streamline financial management, procurement, valuation, accounting, and data reporting systems.
Laura's broad background includes direct operational support for the Warfighter aboard aircraft carriers, as an engineer on advanced research and development (R&D) programs, internationally (Japan, Korea, Guam), supporting Aerospace and Defense commercial companies, and as a Partner at a Big Four accounting firm.
Laura resides in Mount Vernon, Virginia with her husband Captain David Graff. They have one daughter, Dr. Danielle Graff and three very spoiled canines.
Deanna Tanner Okun
Deanna Tanner Okun, a Republican of Idaho, was nominated to the ITC by President William J. Clinton on November 10, 1999, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 19, 1999. She was sworn in as a member of the Commission on January 3, 2000, for a term expiring on June 16, 2008. She served as Chairman of the ITC from June 17, 2002, to June 16, 2004. She served two separate terms as Vice Chairman of the ITC, from June 17, 2004, to June 16, 2006, and from June 17, 2000, to June 16, 2002.
Prior to her appointment, Commissioner Okun served as counsel for international affairs to Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) from 1993-1999, where she was responsible for the international trade issues with which the Senator was involved as a member of the Senate Finance Committee. She also handled international energy and foreign relations issues for the Senator in his position as Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Earlier, Commissioner Okun served as a legislative assistant to Senator Murkowski, where she was responsible for his Foreign Relations Committee work, with an emphasis on East Asian affairs. Prior to her work with the Senator, Commissioner Okun was an associate attorney and member of the International Trade Group at the Washington, DC, law firm of Hogan & Hartson. Earlier in her career, she was a research associate specializing in trade at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.
Commissioner Okun holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with honors from Utah State University and received her J.D. with honors from the Duke University School of Law. She is originally from Paul, Idaho. Currently, Commissioner Okun resides in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Bob Okun, and two daughters, Rachel and Kelsi.
Rachel Okun co-founded ThanksUSA with her younger sister, Kelsi, in 2005.Currently, Rachel is a senior at the National Cathedral School where sheserves as the Service Board President.
Russ Owen is President, Americas Commercial Group, a division of Computer Sciences Corp (CSC). Owen's responsibilities include the development and launch of strategic business solutions and the sales and marketing of all commercial consulting and outsourcing services in the Americas.
Previously, he was a group president and managing director of the BAE Systems global account, another division of CSC. Before that, Russ Owen was president of CSC's Global Infrastructure Services group. He has also held positions as president of the Chemical Group and account executive for the DuPont account; vice president, account executive for CNA Insurance; vice president, account executive for Lockheed Martin Tactical Aircraft Systems; vice president of operations for the United Kingdom division and vice president and director of the British Aerospace account; and director of computer services at Technology Management Group's Western center.
Before joining CSC in 1992, he was an engineering director with General Dynamics. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University.
The Honorable Rod Paige, Ed.D.
Former United States Secretary of Education (2001-2005) Dr. Paige has assembled a team of independent, strategic advisors -- individuals with deep rooted academic and business experience and a shared passion for improving the future for children by improving the way they learn -- to co-found the Chartwell Education Group. Together they offer solutions for the 21st Century challenges faced by the public and private sector enterprises, with competency in primary, secondary and higher education, both in the United States and globally. As Secretary of Education, Dr. Paige was an unstinting advocate of student achievement, employing "best of breed" solutions to achieve results towards the Department's goal of raising national standards of educational excellence. He earned his reputation for seeking out and implementing innovative approaches to systemic academic improvement when he served as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University. While there, he established the university's Center for Excellence in Urban Education. Dr. Paige has also shown a knack for inclusive leadership, first as a trustee and then as Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the nation's seventh largest district. In 2001, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. Dr. Paige, who served as a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, brings a global perspective to the Chartwell Education Group. It is his desire to export the best practices and products for education that the United States has to offer and to import those that have been successful in other countries. Dr. Paige believes that the Chartwell Education Group can have a significant impact on the future of nations with education systems undergoing transition.
"No nation, whatever the size of its armed forces or economy can sustain greatness unless it educates all, not just some, of its citizens. Students must be challenged by high standards, teachers must be armed with proper resources, parents must be empowered with information and choices."
Peter L. Thoren
Peter L. Thoren is Executive Vice President of Access Industries, a privately held, U.S.-based industrial group with long-term investments worldwide and offices in New York, London and Moscow. Access’s industrial focus spans three key sectors: natural resources and chemicals; media and telecommunications; and real estate.
Representative companies in the Access portfolio of investments include LyondellBasell Industries (the world’s third largest independent chemical company), TNK-BP (a vertically integrated oil major), UC RUSAL (the world’s largest vertically integrated aluminum producer), and Warner Music Group. Mr. Thoren serves on various corporate boards within Access’s investment portfolio.
Before joining Access in 2001, Mr. Thoren was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Walker Digital Corporation, the founder of Priceline.com. Previously, he served in management positions with Salomon Inc and Citigroup and was a litigation attorney with Rogers & Wells law firm in New York.
Mr. Thoren also serves on the boards of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Center for National Policy, the US-Russia Business Council, CIBAM (at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge), and The Connecticut Appleseed Foundation. He is a member of The Economic Club of New York and a corporate member of both the Council of Foreign Relations and Business Executives for National Security (BENS).
Mr. Thoren graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Phi Beta Kappa) and has degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the N.Y. State Bar.
Mr. Thoren is married and has three children.
Zach Wamp represented Tennessee’s Third District in the United States Congress from 1995-2011. He is presently engaged as a consultant in the energy, transportation, national security, and workforce development sectors for some of the most prominent companies in the world.
In Congress, he served as the ranking member of the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs Subcommittee and prior to that as the ranking member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee on which he served for fourteen years.
Among his notable achievements in Congress, Zach helped establish the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, The Tennessee Valley Technology Corridor and the United States Department of Homeland Security. He wrote and enacted into law legislation to expand the Trail of Tears, establish The Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, to replace the Chickamauga Lock on the Tennessee River, to name Emancipation Hall in the United States Capitol and landmark energy efficiency legislation in The Energy Policy Act.
While in Congress, Zach chaired the National Prayer Breakfast, the weekly bi-partisan Prayer Group, the Renewable Energy Caucus, the Robotics Caucus, the TVA Caucus and founded the Congressional Fitness Caucus. He also served on the Transportation Committee, the Science Committee, the Small Business Committee, the Steering Committee, the Commerce/Justice/State Subcommittee, the Interior Subcommittee and the influential Energy and Water Subcommittee for twelve years.
Zach was a regular panelist for four years on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and appeared on virtually every major news show and in every major publication in the United States over two decades. Prior to Congress, he was the national sales supervisor for Olan Mills Portrait Studios, established the Wamp Alliance architecture/development firm with his late father and his brother where he was engaged in putting together multi-million dollar, multi-family apartment and retirement center deals in Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Later he entered the commercial real estate sector becoming an industry leader and was named Chattanooga Small Business person of the year and served three terms as the Vice President of The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce.
Zach currently serves on the board of directors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, THANKS-USA, a 501(c)(3) organization providing scholarships to children of our nations soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, the International Conversation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) and the board of Genera Energy LLC.
He graduated from The McCallie School, attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and The University of Tennessee. He later received honorary doctorates from Lincoln Memorial University and Carson Newman College.
Zach and his wife Kim have a son Weston, who is in business for himself in Chattanooga, and a daughter Coty, a senior at The University of Tennessee. They actively attend Red Bank Baptist Church.
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