Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Executive Committee Members

Cornelius M. Kerwin

Council Co-chair and President of American University

Dr. Cornelius M. Kerwin became American University’s 14th president in September 2007. He leads an institution of about 13,000 students, 1,300 teaching and administrative faculty, and 2,500 staff in the nation’s capital; oversees a $548 million operating budget and $434 million endowment; and in 2010, led the $200 million capital campaign to a successful conclusion of more than $213 million raised.

Dr. Kerwin joined AU in 1975 and holds a faculty appointment in the School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Administration. He was dean of the School of Public Affairs from 1988 to 1997; provost from 1997 to 2005; and acting—then interim—president of American University from 2005 to 2007. He founded AU’s Center for the Study of Rulemaking and is the author of Rulemaking: How Government Agencies Write Law and Make Policy and co-author of How Washington Works: The Executive’s Guide to Government.

Dr. Kerwin is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration; a former president of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration; and founding chair of the Section on Public Law and Administration of the American Society for Public Administration. He received degrees from American University (BA), the University of Rhode Island (MA in political science), and Johns Hopkins University (PhD in political science).

He was named a 2009 Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian magazine in its January 2010 issue. He was also named to the inaugural Irish Education 100 List, compiled by the Irish Voice and comprised of the 100 most influential Irish educators at colleges and universities throughout the United States and Canada.

Ambassador Catherine Russell

Council Co-chair and Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues

Cathrine Russell GWI

Cathy Russell currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. Prior to assuming this position in August 2013, she served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden focusing on military families and higher education. During her tenure at the White House, Ambassador Russell coordinated the development of the Administration’s strategy to prevent and respond to gender-based violence globally. She previously served as a Senior Advisor to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on international women’s issues. During the Clinton Administration, Ambassador Russell served as Associate Deputy Attorney General. She has also served as Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senior Counsel to Senator Patrick J. Leahy. She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Boston College and a J.D. from George Washington University.

James Goldgeier

Dean of School of International Service, American University

James Goldgeier

James Goldgeier is Dean of the School of International Service. Prior to joining American University, he was a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. He taught previously at Cornell University, and has held appointments at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, the State Department, the National Security Council staff, the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Library of Congress, the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Hoover Institution, and the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Academy. From 2001-2005, he directed GWU’s Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies. His books include: America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11 (co-authored with Derek Chollet), Power and Purpose: U.S. Policy toward Russia after the Cold War (co-authored with Michael McFaul); and Not Whether But When: The U.S. Decision to Enlarge NATO. He is the recipient of the Edgar S. Furniss book award in national and international security and the Georgetown University Lepgold Book Prize in international relations.

Among his current projects, Dean Goldgeier and collaborators at Duke University and the University of California, Berkeley, lead the Bridging the Gap initiative, which encourages and trains scholars and doctoral students to produce research oriented policy-relevant scholarship and/or theoretically informed policy work.

Dean Goldgeier’s areas of expertise include contemporary international relations, American foreign policy, U.S.-Russia relations, the European Union, transatlantic security and NATO.

Saqib Rizavi

OPEN Representative

USPWC_Dr. Saqib

Saqib Rizavi most recently worked as President of SZABIST (Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology), one of the top institutions of higher education with four campuses in Pakistan and one in Dubai. In this capacity, he provided leadership in all areas of the institution's life, strategy, policy, management, financial sustainability, institutional development, and outreach. During his tenure, Higher Education Commission of the Government of Pakistan ranked SZABIST as one of the best business institutions in Pakistan.

He has extensive professional experience having worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Planning Commission of the Government of Pakistan, a private sector financial institution in Pakistan, and as a consultant for USAID.  

While at IMF, he worked as Mission Chief, Senior Economist, and IMF Resident Representative in Guyana. His professional career gave him a unique opportunity to work on a variety of public policy and development in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.  

He has authored and co-authored a number of papers and contributed to reports on a variety of issues related to growth, development, macroeconomic stabilization, debt, and policies to harness and mitigate the impact of globalization.

Currently, Saqib serves is an Executive Committee member and on Advisory Board for the US-Pakistan Women's Council. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington DC Dhapter of the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs (OPEN), a partner organziation of the US-Pakistan Women's Council, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of International Monetary Fund Retirees Association (IMFRA).  

Saqib has a PhD in Economics from Northeastern University, a Masters in Development Economics from Vanderbilt University, and a Masters in Economics from the University of Punjab, Pakistan.

Esperanza Jelalian

U.S. Pakistan Business Council

Espie Jalalian

Esperanza Gomez Jelalian has served as the head of the U.S. Pakistan Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce since 2003. As USPBC President, she provides leadership and direction to the council and oversees strategic planning, policy, and advocacy. As senior director of South Asia, she develops and executes Chamber programs and policy activities relating to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

While advancing U.S. commercial interests in this region, she works closely with Chamber member companies, business and government leaders, and American Chambers of Commerce abroad.

In her previous work, she worked with the late Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-TX) in the government relations firm, Wilson Associates and Hooper Owen & Winburn, where she represented the government of Pakistan and a number of companies before the U.S. Congress and the executive branch on a wide range of issues. These included foreign policy, defense appropriations, U.S. foreign assistance, sanctions, and international trade.

Currently, Esperanza serves as a member on the US-Pakistan Women's Council's Executive Committee Board, where she fills the corporate seat and represents the U.S.-Pakistan Business Council.

Esperanza has an M.A. in International Commerce and Policy and a B.A. in International Studies from George Mason University in Virginia. She also has a certificate in Executive Leadership from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.