Brown & Brown Distinguished Speaker Series Past Speakers
Lara Sweet, BS Accounting '96
Chief People Officer
As Chief People Officer at Snap Inc., Lara Sweet is responsible for managing talent and supporting a strong company culture by overseeing recruiting, talent management, benefits and compensation, diversity and inclusion, council and workplace services teams.
Ms. Sweet also served as interim Chief Financial Officer from January 2019 to May 2019. She served as Chief Accounting Officer from October 2017 till September 2019, responsible for leading the global accounting, financial reporting, shared service and financial operations processes. Previous to that role, she served as Controller since June 2016, joining Snap to build out their accounting function and
prepare for the IPO.
From November 2014 to June 2016, Ms. Sweet served as Controller and Chief Accounting Officer at AOL, Inc., and previously served as Vice President, Internal Audit from April 2014 to November 2014, and Vice President, Assistant Controller from August 2011 to April 2014.
Prior to her time at AOL, Ms. Sweet led internal audit, accounting, and external reporting functions in the financial services, travel and hospitality industries. She graduated from George Mason University in 1996 with a B.S. in accounting and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.
Molly Catalano, MBA '08
Vice President, Marketing and Communications
Five Guys Enterprises
Molly Catalano is a communications specialist with over 16 years of experience in the restaurant industry. She has since spent the past 15 years leading the marketing and communications efforts for Five Guys including branding, internal and external communications, marketing, customer service, and social media.
During Catalano’s time with Five Guys, the company has grown from 30 restaurants on the East Coast of the United States to over 1,600 locations in 19 countries. Molly earned her Bachelor’s Degree from James Madison University with a Public Relations focus, and then earned her MBA from George Mason University School of Business. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband Chris (also a Mason alumnus!) and three daughters.
Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability
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Andy Pharoah joined the Mars Leadership Team in 2016 and serves as the Vice President, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability.
In his role, Pharoah leads the company’s communications, government relations, stakeholder engagement and corporate brand. His responsibilities include management team and Board of Directors effectiveness. Pharoah also stewards Mars, Incorporated’s ambitious sustainability objectives and the programs in place to make the company’s operations Sustainable in a Generation.
Prior to his current role, Pharoah served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Sustainability & Strategy for Wrigley, a segment of Mars, Incorporated. His responsibilities encompassed all aspects of Corporate Affairs, leadership of Global Sustainability, and leadership of the development and deployment of Wrigley’s business strategy.
A native Londoner, Pharoah began his career in U.K. politics. He then spent 13 years with the international communications consultancy Hill & Knowlton, where he worked with a wide range of companies, governments and NGOs as Head of the Corporate Practice for Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Pharoah holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Leicester. He has been living in the US for a decade and has finally begun to understand and enjoy baseball. He is an Executive Committee Member of the Washington National Opera. He also serves on the Council of the Asia Society Policy Institute.
Ford Motor Company
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Sheryl Connelly is responsible for identifying global consumer trends that inform functions across the entire company including design, product development and corporate strategy. Fast Company magazine named her the 24th Most Creative Person in Business in 2013. At the request of the World Economic Forum, she sat on its Global Advisory Committee on transportation in 2015 and 2016. Sheryl has been a featured speaker at TED2018.
Senior Executive & Cyber Security Expert
Department of Defense
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Eric Rosenbach is a senior executive with two decades of experience leading complex organizations in both the private sector and government. He is a technologist with deep expertise in cybersecurity, fintech and big data, built on a genuine understanding of the underlying technology, policy and legal issues. Rosenbach led the Department of Defense on cyber issues for the past six years, including during high-profile attacks on the US and allies by nation-state actors.
As the Chief of Staff to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Eric Rosenbach was one of the senior-most leaders of an organization with 2.8 million personnel, a $585 billion annual budget and ongoing military operations in multiple locations around the world.
Rosenbach was charged with managing some of the Department’s most complex decisions and crises, and ensuring implementation of transformative changes in the Department’s technology and talent management. He served as the Secretary’s closest strategic advisor on key foreign policy issues, including the war strategy to defeat ISIS, the “rebalance” to Asia and the effort to check Russian aggression. Rosenbach also led the Department’s efforts to improve innovation by forging and managing key initiatives such as the Defense Digital Service, the Silicon Valley-based Defense Innovation Unit and the Defense Innovation Board.
Before serving as Chief of Staff, Rosenbach was the Assistant Secretary of Defense, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, responsible for leading all aspects of the Department’s cyber strategy, policy and operations. His diverse portfolio as Assistant Secretary also included countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, space operations, antiterrorism, continuity of government and defense support to civil authorities. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Cyber Policy, Rosenbach led the Department’s efforts to counter cyberattacks by Iran and North Korea on US critical infrastructure and deter Chinese theft of American firms’ intellectual property.
Ambassador Tim Roemer
Executive Director and Strategic Counselor, APCO Worldwide
Former U.S. Ambassador to India
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Tim Roemer served as U.S. Ambassador to India during Ambassador Obama’s first term. As leader of one of America’s largest diplomatic missions, he was responsible for broadening and strengthening the U.S.-India partnership. He oversaw the implementation of several key policies and initiatives, including increasing cooperation, technology transfer and commercial sales in the defense and space industries; signing the Counterterrorism Cooperation Initiative to further expand collaboration in areas such as intelligence and homeland security, border security, money laundering and terrorist financing; working with the United States to assist India on its Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership; and emphasizing commerce and exports, moving India from America’s 25th-largest trading partner to 12th.
He is a former six-term U.S. representative for Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District and was deeply engaged in efforts to improve access, standards and achievement for American education. He successfully worked on a balanced budget initiative, government reforms, and national security issues. Roemer served on the House Intelligence Committee.
Ambassador Roemer is currently Executive Director and Strategic Counselor at APCO Worldwide where he provides insight, value and guidance to key clients worldwide.
He was a member of the 9/11 Commission and advocated for a less bureaucratic and more dynamic Department of Homeland Security, creation of the National Counterterrorism Center, and strategic efforts to combat radicalization. He has served on several National Commissions and advisory panels, including on the role of the FBI in the 21st Century. In 2007, he served on the Washington Institute’s Presidential Task Force on Combating the Ideology of Radical Extremism.
Susan E. Dudley
Director, The George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center
Distinguished Professor of Practice at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Administration
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Susan Dudley is Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, which she established in 2009 to raise awareness of regulations’ effects and improve regulatory policy through research, education, and outreach. She is also a distinguished professor of practice in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. She is president of the Society for Benefit Cost Analysis, a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a National Academy of Public Administration Fellow, on the board and the National Federation of Independent Businesses Legal Center, and on the executive committee of the Federalist Society Administrative Law Group. Her book, Regulation: A Primer, with Jerry Brito, is available on Amazon.com.
From April 2007 through January 2009, Professor Dudley served as the Presidentially-appointed Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and was responsible for the review of draft executive branch regulations under Executive Order 12866, the collection of federal-government-wide information under the Paperwork Reduction Act, the development and implementation of government-wide policies in the areas of information policy, privacy, and statistical policy, and international regulatory cooperation efforts.
Prior to OIRA, she directed the Regulatory Studies Program at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and taught courses on regulation at the George Mason University School of Law. Earlier in her career, Professor Dudley served as an economist at OIRA, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She was also a consultant to government and private clients at Economists Incorporated. She holds a Master of Science degree from the Sloan School of Management at MIT and a Bachelor of Science degree (summa cum laude) in Resource Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Katherine E. Armstrong
Counsel, Drinker Biddle
Former Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
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Katherine E. Armstrong has more than 30 years of consumer protection experience from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While at the FTC, Katherine was deeply involved in the analysis of data broker and big data issues and was part of the team responsible for the May 2014 Commission Report, “Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability” and the workshop, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” Katherine also led numerous Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) initiatives, including law enforcement investigations, consent negotiations, rulemakings, and other interpretive policy work. During her tenure at the FTC she served as an attorney to former Chairman Janet Steiger and Commissioner Sheila Anthony where she provided advice on the full range of consumer protection issues including those involving unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
Due to her knowledge and experience, Katherine’s clients call on her to assist in a wide array of data privacy issues, analysis of big data information practices, and other consumer protection issues.
Drinker Biddle is a national, full-service law firm providing litigation, regulatory and business solutions to public and private corporations, multinational Fortune 100 companies and start-ups. Building on a rich 167-year history, our more than 600 lawyers across 11 offices today uphold the firm’s reputation for outstanding legal results and bring a sophisticated, forward-thinking approach to every client engagement.
Drinker Biddle combines a comprehensive range of legal services with significant national roles in industries, including—but not limited to—health care, financial services, insurance, energy, retail, education, and pharma and life sciences. Through deep industry knowledge and a commitment to excellence, clients can rely on them to deliver the counsel and insight needed to win complex class actions, close billion-dollar transactions and stay ahead of ever-changing regulations.
From the Basketball Court to the Boardroom
Brad Edwards, Mark McGetterick, Nyla Milleson, John Niehoff, Susan Otim-Neal, Duane Simpkins
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Panelists from George Mason University's Intercollegiate Athletics, former players, and business alumni shared significant insight about leadership and teamwork from their experience on and off the basketball court.
Ronald D. Paul
Chairman, President, and CEO of Eagle Bancorp, Inc.
Chairman and CEO of EagleBank
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Ronald D. Paul is chairman, president, and CEO of Eagle Bancorp, Inc. and chairman and CEO of EagleBank, a community bank established in 1998 in Bethesda, MD. With over $6 billion in assets and over 25 offices, EagleBank is the largest community bank organized in the Washington, D.C. area. Rated A- by Kroll Bond Rating Agency, EagleBank has consistently been cited for its excellent overall financial performance by recognized bank rating services such as IDC Financial Publishing, Veribanc, and BauerFinancial. For 2014, EagleBank was one of 40 banks named to the Honor Roll of Banks by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, and was also named a 2013, 2014, and 2015 Sm-All Star Bank by Sandler O’Neill & Partners. EagleBank is a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America, the Maryland Bankers Association, and the Virginia Bankers Association.
Paul is the founder of Ronald D. Paul Companies and RDP Management, Inc., along with his position as chairman for Bethesda Investments, Inc. Paul has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career and was recently inducted into the “Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame.” He was named “Community Banker of the Year” in 2014 for the Eastern Region by the Independent Community Bankers of America, named by the Washington Business Journal as a member of the Washington, D.C. area “Power 100” in 2014 and 2015, and was inducted into the “Washington Business Hall of Fame” in 2012.
As chairman of Eagle Bancorp, Inc., in 2005, Paul founded the EagleBank Foundation, which annually raises funds for breast cancer research, patient services, and education. To date, the Foundation has raised in excess of $2.5 million. In 2015, EagleBank entered into a multi-faceted support agreement benefitting George Mason University, including athletic department support, scholarships, internships, and classroom participation. As a result, the Patriot Center was renamed the EagleBank Arena.
Eagle Bancorp, Inc. is a public company and its shares are traded on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the symbol EGBN.
Dr. Jack London
Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, CACI International Inc.
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Dr. J. Phillip “Jack” London is Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of CACI International Inc (NYSE: CAI), a $3.3 billion information solutions and services company. He previously served as CACI’s President and Chief Executive Officer (1984-2007). A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and George Washington University, London also served 24 years in active and reserve duty with the U.S. Navy. London serves on the boards of the Navy Memorial Foundation, the Naval Historical Foundation, the Friends of the National World War II Memorial, and CAUSE, a wounded warrior support program. He is the author of Character: The Ultimate Success Factor and Our Good Name: A Company's Fight to Defend Its Honor and Get the Truth Told About Abu Ghraib.
London has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, most recently being named one of the Most Influential People in Business Ethics by the Ethisphere Institute (2014). Other recognition includes the John W. Dixon Award from the Association of the United States Army (2003); the Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz Award from the U.S. Navy League (2007); induction into the Washington Business Hall of Fame (2010), the Naval Postgraduate School Hall of Fame (2011), and the Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards Hall of Fame (2012); the Nathan Hale Award from the Reserve Officers Association (2013); the Admiral of the Navy George Dewey Award from the Naval Order of the U.S. (2013); and the Semper Fidelis Award from the U.S. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (2014).
Enron Whistleblower, Former Vice President of Enron Corporation
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Sherron Watkins is the former Vice President of Enron Corporation who alerted then-CEO Ken Lay in August 2001 to accounting irregularities within the company, warning him that Enron 'might implode in a wave of accounting scandals.' She has testified before Congressional Committees from the U.S. House and Senate investigating Enron's demise. TIME magazine named Sherron, along with two others, Coleen Rowley of the FBI and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom, as their 2002 Persons of the Year, for being "people who did right just by doing their jobs rightly." In recognition of her outstanding demonstration of ethics in the work place, Ms. Watkins has received numerous honors, including the Court TV Scales of Justice Award, the National Academy of Management's Distinguished Executive Award, and the Rolfe Award for Educating the Public about Business and Finance. Glamour Magazine named her one of its 2002 Women of the Year, and Barbara Walters included her as one of the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2002.
Ms. Watkins is co-author, along with prize-winning journalist, Mimi Swartz, of Power Failure, the Inside Story of the Collapse of Enron. Currently, Ms. Watkins lectures and consults on leadership and organizational behavior. Prior to joining Enron in 1993, Ms. Watkins worked for 3 years as the portfolio manager of MG Trade Finance Corp., a commodity lending boutique in New York and for 8 years in the auditing and litigation services group of both the New York and Houston offices of Arthur Andersen. Ms. Watkins is a Certified Public Accountant. She holds a Masters in Professional Accounting as well as a B.B.A. in accounting and business honors from the University of Texas at Austin.Ms. Watkins is married with one child and resides in Houston, Texas. www.sherronwatkins.com
Former U.S. Chief Technology Officer
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Aneesh Chopra is the Former (and first) U.S. Chief Technology Officer. As an Assistant to the President, he designed the National Wireless Initiative, helped launch Startup America, and executed an "open innovation" strategy across the government built on private sector collaboration- opening up data, convening on standards and staffing "lean government startups." He is the author of the book, "Innovative State: How New Technologies can Transform Government," focused on how we can tap entrepreneurial problem solvers to address challenges in health, energy and education markets among other public and regulated sectors.
Chopra is currently the co-founder and executive vice president of Hunch Analytics, a technology firm focused on improving the productivity of public and regulated sectors of the economy through data analytics. He serves as a Member of the Council on Virginia's Future. In 2011, Chopra was named to Modern Healthcare's list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (#39) and in 2008, to Government Technology magazine's Top 25 in their Doers, Dreamers, and Drivers issue. Chopra earned his master's degree in public policy from Harvard University in 1997 and his bachelor's degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1994.
Chief Financial Officer, Travel Channel
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Kellie Goldstein is the chief financial officer and senior vice president for Travel Channel, the world's leading travel media brand, available in nearly 96 million US homes and over 130 countries. In her role, Goldstein serves as the primary financial advisor and business partner responsible for finance, accounting, strategic partnerships, mobile programming, budgeting, and business planning.
Previously, over a 13 year career at Thomson Reuters, her roles included: chief financial officer of the emerging markets and chief financial officer of Asia based in Hong Kong (two of the highest growth and strategic divisions), global controller, and senior vice president of financial planning and analysis. She also has experience raising venture capital, in global mergers and acquisitions and with an initial public offering.
She is a CPA and has worked as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Virginia, Hagler Bailly, and CACI. Goldstein is a graduate of the George Mason University School of Business with a MS in Accounting and of Virginia Tech with a BS in Finance. She has also attended the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth for their Executive Education - Strategic Financial Leadership program.
Vice President Global Public Sector, Amazon Web Services
Currently the head of global public sector, Teresa Carlson is responsible for strategy, operations, sales, and business development for Amazon's Web Services and Cloud Computing business. She is charged with driving both revenue and partnership strategy across public sector in all geographies. Carlson also serves as the lead public policy advisor to the business for global public sector.Carlson has more than 20 years of experience as a business executive driving innovation and change and producing successful business results. A highly respected leader in the information technology field, Carlson's customer focus has delivered exceptional value to her client while consistently exceeding her organization's business goals.
Carlson has earned a number of awards for her leadership, most recently receiving the 2013 FCW Federal 100 Eagle Award for her service to the federal government customer. She has received numerous other awards for her leadership, including being named to Washingtonian Magazine's "100 Most Powerful Women" and honored as one of the "2013 Tech Titans" for contributing prominently to the growth of the Washington, D.C. tech market.
Chief Economist, The Heritage Foundation
Stephen Moore, who formerly wrote on the economy and public policy for The Wall Street Journal, is chief economist at The Heritage Foundation. Moore, who also was a member of The Journal's editorial board, returned to Heritage in January 2014 -- about 25 years after his tenure as the leading conservative think tank's Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Budgetary Affairs from 1984 to 1987.
As chief economist at Heritage, Moore focuses on advancing public policies that increase the rate of economic growth to help the United States retain its position as the global economic superpower. He also works on budget, fiscal and monetary policy and showcases states that get fiscal houses in order.
Dr. John Hillen
Former President & CEO, Sotera Defense Solutions, Inc.
Executive in Residence and Professor of Practice, George Mason University | School of Business
Dr. John Hillen is a highly accomplished CEO in the government contracting space and a former high-ranking U.S. government official. A decorated combat veteran and noted national security scholar, he has led four defense and intelligence technology firms in Northern Virginia, most recently as President and CEO of Sotera Defense Solutions. Hillen took the company public in 2009 and the company's IPO won the ACG National Chapter "Deal of the Year" award. Sotera was named Contractor of the Year in the large company category at the 2012 GovCon Awards. Hillen remains the Vice Chair of Sotera's advisory board and was appointed the Executive in Residence and Professor of Practice at George Mason University's School of Business in December 2013.
Throughout his presentation, Hillen examined the rise of the local government and technology sector over the past four decades and posit that the industry is just now maturing into a true sector in terms of competition, governance, capitalization, and management. He looked into the future of the industry and propose that the biggest obstacle to its continued maturation, growth, and contribution to Northern Virginia's economy is the ability of its principal customer to keep pace.
Jim C. Dinegar, CAE
President & CEO, Greater Washington Board of Trade
As president and CEO, Jim oversees the leading regional organization representing the business interests for major companies throughout Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Suburban Maryland working alongside a top-performing team of professionals guided by the elected leadership of the region's top company executives. This collaboration extends to partnerships with many of the leading Chambers and organizations representing business concerns in the various jurisdictions throughout Greater Washington.
Celebrating its 125th year of existence, the Board of Trade puts its focus on the critical issues and opportunities here, including transportation, emergency preparedness and business continuity, green as a competitive advantage, and the workforce challenges of recruiting and retaining highly qualified people. Special emphasis is paid to economic development strategies that will advance the growth of this region and additional focus is provided on the important issues of stability in this challenging economic climate.
Former Chairman, Network Solutions, Inc.
Mike Daniels rose to industry prominence with SAIC where he served as Senior VP and Sector VP from 1986 to 2004. He helped build SAIC to $10 billion in annual revenues with 45,000 employees. While at SAIC, Daniels purchased Network Solutions for $4.7 million in March 1995. As Chairman and CEO, he led Network Solutions through a successful IPO in 1997 and a second offering in 1999. In 2000, Daniels led a follow-on offering of $2.3 billion, one of the largest technology equity offerings in history. He was instrumental in the sale of Network Solutions on SAIC's behalf for $19.6 billion.
Daniels currently serves on the board of directors of Sybase, Global Logic, Initiate Systems, the Logistics Management Institute, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Washington Board of Trade. To add to his accomplishments, Mike is now co-author of a book with Dr. Beyster titled "Names, Numbers, and Network Solutions: The Monetization of the Internet".
Co-Founder, Cisco Systems
A trailblazer and true Renaissance woman, Sandy Lerner is a global revolutionary who has made an impact in diverse industries, from technology and cosmetics, to the preservation of English literature and heritage breeds of livestock. With an astute pioneering instinct for innovative and successful business models, Lerner has shifted her focus to the development of humane, sustainable and profitable farming practices at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Virginia.
Former CFO, Capital One Bank
Gary Perlin joined Capital One, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in McLean, Virginia, from the World Bank in July 2003. As CFO of Capital One, Mr. Perlin plays a key role in the company's leadership both externally with investors and internally with business operations. In playing this role, he draws on 13 years of experience at the World Bank, where he served four years as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that, Mr. Perlin spent more than 11 years at the Washington-based Federal National Mortgage Association, Fannie Mae, including eight as Senior Vice President - Finance and Treasurer. Mr. Perlin has been named "CFO of the Year" for finance companies by Institutional Investor magazine for five straight years, from 2007 – 2011.
Enterprise Risk Services Director, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Scott Raso is an Enterprise Risk Services Director for Deloitte & Touche LLP, and is currently based in Deloitte's Arlington, Virginia office. From March 2010 through January 2013, Scott was the Asia Pacific Regional Leader for Deloitte Analytics, based in Beijing. For over 13 years, he has provided dedicated leadership and direction to the Deloitte Analytics practice, building capability in providing unique, risk-focused solutions to business challenges in finance, operations and controls transformations, data quality, business intelligence and knowledge discovery, privacy and security, financial model risk, and forensic investigations. Scott is an active member of our Financial Service Industry (FSI) Group, and our Telecommunications, Media & Technology (TMT) Group, and focuses on structuring leading-edge solutions and driving change for his public sector clients.
Michael J. Saylor
Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of MicroStrategy
Michael J. Saylor has served as chief executive officer and chairman of the Board of Directors since founding MicroStrategy in November 1989 and as president from November 1989 to November 2000 and since January 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Saylor was employed by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company as a Venture Manager from 1988 to 1989 and by Federal Group, Inc. as a consultant from 1987 to 1988. Mr. Saylor received an S.B. in Aeronautics and Astronautics and an S.B. in Science, Technology and Society from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Political Columnist
George F. Will is today's most widely read columnist. His newspaper column has been syndicated by The Washington Post since 1974. Today it appears twice weekly in approximately 400 newspapers in the United States and in Europe. In 1976, he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, for which he provided a bimonthly essay until 2011.
In 1977, he won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary for his newspaper columns. Altogether eight collections of Will's Newsweek and Washington Post columns have been published, the most recent being One Man's America. In 1990, Will published Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball, which topped The New York Times best-seller list for two months and was most recently reissued on April 13, 2010 as a 20th Anniversary special edition with a new introduction (paperback). In 1998, Scribner published Bunts: Curt Flood, Camden Yards, Pete Rose and Other Reflections on Baseball, a best-selling collection of new and previously published writings by Will on baseball. Will was a member of Major League Baseball's Blue Ribbon Panel, examining baseball economics.
Robinson Professor, George Mason University
Steven Pearlstein, a Pulitzer-prize winning business and economics columnist for the Washington Post, is the newest Robinson Professor, joining the GMU faculty in the fall of 2011. Professor Pearlstein grew up in Brookline, Mass. and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn. in 1973 with a B.A. in American Studies. After several years as a reporter for small newspapers in New Hampshire, he moved to Washington to serve as administrative assistant to members of the House and Senate. He was a TV reporter for public television in Boston, senior editor at Inc. magazine, and founding editor and publisher of The Boston Observer, a monthly political magazine. He returned to Washington in 1988 as deputy business editor and, over the next 23 years, also served as the Post's defense industry reporter, economics writer and Canadian correspondent. He became an opinion columnist in 2003, with a wide-ranging interest in business and economic topics of local, national and international interest.
Co-Founder and Former CEO, AOL
Steve Case co-founded America Online (AOL) in 1985, when the Internet was in its infancy. Under his leadership as Chairman and CEO, AOL became the world's largest and most valuable Internet company. AOL helped drive the worldwide adoption of a medium that has transformed business and society. AOL's early focus on ease of use and social media set the stage for its rapid growth, and at its peak, nearly half of Internet users in the United States used AOL. In 1992, AOL became the first Internet company to go public and was the best performing stock of the 1990s, with a 11,616% return. At the peak of the Internet boom, Case negotiated what remains the largest merger in business history, bringing together AOL and Time Warner in a transaction that gave AOL shareholders a majority stake in the combined company. To facilitate the merger, Case agreed to step down as CEO when the merger closed in 2001. He served as Chairman of the Board of the combined company (then known as AOL Time Warner) until 2003.
Case then went back to his entrepreneurial roots, and in recent years has partnered with more than a dozen entrepreneurs as an investor and mentor. Case created Revolution in 2005 to oversee his rapidly expanding investments. Revolution now has four divisions: Revolution Growth, which invests in high-growth consumer companies; Revolution Ventures, which backs early-stage technology companies; Revolution Health, which invests in health and wellness businesses; and Revolution Places, which develops real estate and hospitality businesses. The success of AOL, coupled with Case's post-AOL track record building businesses through Revolution, led CNBC to call Case "one of the nation's greatest entrepreneurs."
Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing, Capital One
Marc Mentry is a senior marketing executive with 20 years of experience in brand management, advertising strategy and development, sports marketing, digital marketing and new product development. Currently, he is the senior vice president of brand marketing at Capital One. In this role, Mentry is responsible for all global advertising, media planning, sponsorships and creative development at Capital One. This includes leading the award-winning "What's in Your Wallet" national advertising campaign, all media planning and buying, Capital One's national sponsorships strategy, digital and social branding and managing an in-house creative shop.
As a 14 year veteran at Capital One, Mentry has been a part of the brand leadership team that oversaw the company's rise from an unknown brand to one of the top brands in financial services.
President and CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Javier Palomarez is the President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the leading advocate for nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses and over 200 local Hispanic chambers throughout the United States. Prior to the USHCC, Palomarez served as Vice President of Multicultural Marketing at ING Financial Services, where he was recruited to lead diversity outreach programs. He was responsible for marketing, sponsorships, public relations and external communications to help position this global leader in the financial services industry.
Palomarez is one of the nation’s pre-eminent multi-cultural sales and marketing executives. He is a sought-after spokesperson, thought-leader and strategist on the issues affecting America’s consumers, particularly those in the Hispanic community.
Women and Leadership
Chief Financial Officer, Fortune Magazine
As an Editor at Large for Fortune magazine, Pattie Sellers has authored some of the magazine's most talked-about cover stories on business leadership including poignant profiles on the successes—and lessons learned—of Martha Stewart, Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey. Sellers has also penned a series of provocative articles on career management including separate focuses on ego, charisma and failure. Since 1999, Sellers has hosted and overseen the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, the world’s premier gathering of women leaders in business, government, philanthropy, education and the arts. Sellers is Fortune's point editorial person on its annual "Most Powerful Women in Business" package, now Fortune's second-largest franchise after the Fortune 500.
From Mason to Wall Street
Chief Financial Officer, CMS Corporation
Thomas Webb, an alumnus of the undergraduate and MBA programs at George Mason University’s School of Business, will discuss his rise to the job of Chief Financial Officer in three of the largest corporations in America. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer of CMS Energy and its principal subsidiary, Consumers Energy.
Before joining CMS Energy, Webb had been executive vice president and chief financial officer for Kellogg Co. At Kellogg, he helped drive the purchase of Keebler Co., the largest acquisition in Kellogg’s history, which included the largest bond offering to that date, $4.6 billion, in the history of the consumer-branded industry.
Webb began his career at Ford Motor Co. in 1977, holding increasingly responsible financial and managerial positions internationally for more than 22 years.
Walmart Comes to Washington
Senior Divisional Vice President, Eastern Seaboard Division, Wal-Mart
Henry Jordan has more than 25 years of service with Walmart, beginning his career with them in 1985 as a part-time associate. He steadily rose through the ranks serving as a department manager, assistant manager, store manager, and district manager before being named Director of Wal-Mart Neighborhood Markets. Jordan currently serves as the senior divisional vice president over the Eastern Seaboard Division, which includes North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware.
Jordan has had the privilege of serving on the board of directors for Big Brother Big Sister of Northwest Arkansas, Northern California Special Olympics, and the Sacramento chapter of the Urban League.
The U.S. Deficit: From Surplus to Deficit
David M. Walker
Former U.S. Comptroller General
With nearly 10 years' service as Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), David M. Walker will provide a wealth of insight on current national debt issues and federal deficit policies and procedures. A renowned free market, supply-side economist, Walker will help you better navigate tomorrow's evolving economic and political terrain.
Walker is currently president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation in which he leads the foundation's efforts to promote federal financial responsibility today in order to create more opportunity tomorrow.
The Political Argument Today
Pulitzer Prize-winning Political Columnist
Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and Newsweek essayist George Will is the country’s most widely read political columnist, as well as its foremost conservative voice. His popular twice-weekly column for The Washington Post syndicate reaches nearly 500 newspapers throughout the United States and Europe and he appears regularly on ABC’s This Week.
Will was educated at Trinity College in Hartford, and Oxford and Princeton universities. Prior to entering journalism, Will taught political philosophy at Michigan State University and the University of Toronto, and served on the staff of U.S. Sen. Gordon Allott. Until becoming a columnist for Newsweek, Will was Washington editor of the National Review, a leading conservative journal of ideas and political commentary.
The U.S. Healthcare System
Chief Executive Officer, Inova Health System
Knox Singleton is president and CEO of Inova Health System, one of the nation’s most integrated and most wired healthcare delivery systems, and one of the largest in the metropolitan Washington region. Through his stewardship for the past 26 years, Inova Health System has pursued its not-for-profit mission of providing health care to all, regardless of ability to pay, while offering state-of-the-art medical care.
In 2000, he received the distinguished Regent’s Award from the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and that year also received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Washington Chapter of the American Jewish Committee. In 2004, he received the distinguished Governor’s Award from Virginia Gov. Mark Warner, recognizing Mr. Singleton’s outstanding leadership in business and education partnerships. In November 2009, he was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame, established in 1988 by Washingtonian magazine, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and Junior Achievement of the National Capital Area.
The U.S. Mortgage Crisis
John A. Koskinen
Chairman of the Board, Freddie Mac
John A. Koskinen served as non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac from September 2008 to March 2009, when he was appointed interim chief executive officer. He served in that capacity until August 2009, when he resumed his position as non-executive chairman. Previously Koskinen was President of the United States Soccer Foundation for four years, deputy mayor and city administrator of Washington, D.C., from 2000 to 2003, assistant to the president and chair of the President’s Council on Year 2000 Conversion from 1998 to 2000 and deputy director for management of the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1997.
Prior to his government service, Koskinen worked as a senior executive of The Palmieri Company, including serving as President and Chief Executive Officer, participating in the restructuring of a range of large, troubled enterprises including the Penn Central, the Teamsters Pension Fund, Levitt and Sons, Inc. and Mutual Benefit. Koskinen also is a director of The AES Corporation and American Capital, Ltd.
The Future of Capitalism
John A. Allison
John A. Allison is the former CEO and current chairman of BB&T. He began his service with BB&T in 1971 and has managed a wide variety of responsibilities throughout the bank. He became president of BB&T in 1987 and was elected chairman and CEO in 1989. During Allison’s tenure as CEO from 1989 to 2008, BB&T grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion in assets. Allison was named “Best CEO of 2008” by Motley Fool.
Allison is a member of the American Bankers Association and The Financial Services Roundtable. He serves on the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center Board of Visitors, the Board of Visitors at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hilll. He also is a member of the boards of directors of The Financial Clearing House, Independent College Fund and the Global TransPark Foundation.
Government Regulations & the Decline of Wall Street
Former Speaker of the House
Newt Gingrich is the architect of the “Contract with America” that led the Republican Party to victory in 1994 by capturing the majority in the U.S. House for the first time in forty years. Under his leadership as Speaker of the House, Congress passed the first balanced budget in a generation, leading to the repayment of over $400 billion in debt.
Time magazine, in naming him Man of the Year for 1995. Gingrich is the author of twenty-three books, including thirteen New York Times bestsellers.