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SPA Alumni Resources


SPA: Development & Alumni Relations
(202) 885-2660

Dan Mackeben
Director of Development

SPA: Development & Alumni Relations
4200 Wisconsin Avenue, 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20016-8143

SPA Dean's Council

The purpose of the School of Public Affairs Dean's Council is to help the School of Public Affairs achieve its central mission of providing the highest quality public affairs education in both undergraduate and graduate programs. To achieve this purpose, the Dean's Council will 

  1. Advise and counsel the dean regarding SPA's objectives, strategies, goals, problems and opportunities; 
  2. Participate in and contribute to the academic life of the School through interaction with students and faculty;
  3. Assist the School in seeking public and private philanthropic support that will enable SPA to achieve its mission;
  4. Serve as an advocate for the School, publicly and privately, to enhance the reputation of its programs, faculty and graduates, and to increase public awareness of its accomplishments and needs.

The Dean's Council serves as a forum for exchange of facts and perspectives among its members, the Dean, faculty and the administrative staff of the School.

Current SPA Dean's Council members are:

Chip Griffin, SPA/BA '94 (Chair)

Chip Griffin believes in the power of words and the value of technology in communications. He currently serves as Editor of Primary Digest, a newsletter focused on the New Hampshire primary and presidential politics. He also provides executive writing and corporate content creation services through Harbor Light Writers Group and digital communications consulting through Franeo.

He was the Chairman & CEO of CustomScoop, a media monitoring and measurement service he co-founded in 2000 and sold in 2015.

As a serial entrepreneur, Chip takes a no-nonsense approach that challenges conventional wisdom and identifies emerging trends. His companies help organizations create, promote, and analyze effective content in traditional and digital media. In recognition of his expertise, publications and event organizers frequently call on him to share his insight. A longtime innovator, Chip was recruited from his job on Capitol Hill to serve as CEO of an online media company when he was just 23 years old. He also has the distinction of being one of the first individuals to hold the title of Chief Digital Officer of a major public relations firm. A graduate of American University, he serves as Immediate Past President of the AU Alumni Association and a member of the School of Public Affairs Advisory Council.


Gina F. Adams

Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, FedEx Corporation

Gina F. Adams is the Senior Vice President for Government Affairs at FedEx Corporation. She is responsible for protecting and promoting the legislative interests of all FedEx Corporation operating companies, including FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight and FedEx Kinko's in Washington, DC FedEx, a $35.2 billion company, serves more than 220 countries and territories with operations that include 672 aircraft and over 75,000 vehicles. More than 290,000 employees and contractors worldwide handle more than 7.5 million shipments each business day.

As a lawyer and the company's top lobbyist, Ms. Adams oversees the second largest corporate PAC in the United States and is the face of FedEx in Washington. She works with the White House, Administration officials, members of Congress, policy makers, the diplomatic community and industry associations on a wide array of business issues.

Ms. Adams is also extremely active in the Washington, DC community. She sits on a number of boards including the American University, the Town Hall Education Arts & Recreational Campus (THEARC), the Meridian International Center, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Beauvoir School (National Cathedral's Elementary School), the Washington Performing Arts Society, and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce. She is a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross. She has been instrumental in countless fundraisers in Washington, helping to raise money and support for a variety of projects focused on youth, health and education issues.

Ms. Adams has been honored by Girls Inc., a 140-year old philanthropic organization, for her commitment to promoting education and opportunities for young women of all socio-economic backgrounds. She was also awarded a lifetime achievement award from the National Women of Color and received honors from the Black Women's Agenda and the Jack and Jill Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting education, literary and scientific projects benefiting minority children. Most recently, Ms. Adams was named by The Network Journal as one of its "25 Influential Black Women in Business." The Minority Enterprise Executive Council also honored her as one of its 2008 "25 Powerful Minority Women in Business."

Ms. Adams joined the company in 1992 as the Managing Attorney of the International Regulatory Affairs Office. She's held a number of positions since that time, including Staff Director and Staff Vice President for International Regulatory Affairs. She was promoted to her current position in 2001. Ms. Adams is a two time recipient of the FedEx Five Star Award, which is the highest employee achievement award at FedEx. She began her career as a lawyer in the Attorney Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Transportation and spent nine years in the Office of the General Counsel.

She received a master's in international and comparative law from Georgetown University Law Center, her law degree from Howard University School of Law and a bachelor of science degree from American University. She currently serves as President of the Capital City Chapter of the Links, Inc.


John Boyer

Chairman of the Board of Directors, MAXIMUS Federal Services

John Boyer currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of MAXIMUS Federal Services, a company headquartered in Virginia and operating with a mission of "Helping Government Serve the People." John has more than 35 years of experience in health care delivery, in both clinical and administrative settings. He has worked at MAXIMUS for the past 16 years, establishing and growing their health services business. For more than 35 years, the firm has assisted federal, state, and local government agencies in serving citizens who are eligible to receive publicly funded health and human services benefits via programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance.

John also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MAXIMUS Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization that awards cash grants to qualified charities throughout the United States. The focus of the MAXIMUS Foundation is primarily on youth-oriented programs that help the disadvantaged achieve self sufficiency and personal growth. Additionally, he serves on the Leadership Council of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights where he is also the Vice Chair of the Board of Advisors of Health eVillages. Health eVillages is a non-profit consortium of leading international healthcare advocacy organizations, mobile healthcare solutions providers, health information technology companies and public health foundations—all dedicated to providing the latest clinical decision support technology to medical professionals who are treating patients in poor, remote, and underserved areas around the world.

Prior to joining MAXIMUS, Dr. Boyer served as Director of Health Services Financing Policy at The Pentagon; as Director of the Health Manpower Division of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery; and in a host of clinical and academic positions over a 24-year career as a U.S. Navy Nurse. He completed his Ph.D. in Public Administration at The American University in 1989. Additionally, he holds master's degrees in both management and nursing, and a bachelor of science degree in mathematics education.


Larry Ceisler, BA/SPA ’80

Principal, Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy

Larry Ceisler has over 25 years of experience executing strategic public affairs, grassroots and issue management programs on behalf of corporate, nonprofit clients and political coalitions. As a principal of Ceisler Media, he works with clients such as Comcast Corporation, Independence Blue Cross, Walmart, AmeriHealth Caritas and The Philadelphia Children’s Alliance.

Ceisler began his professional communications career as a television news producer for KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh. In 1983, he was transferred to KYW-TV in Philadelphia where he worked until 1985. In 1986, he was recruited to join the re-election campaign of Mayor W. Wilson Goode as Deputy Campaign Manager. After the completion of a successful campaign, he served the Administration as Special Assistant for Governmental Relations and later joined the City Commerce Department as Special Counsel.

From 1999-2005, Ceisler served as political analyst for FOX Philadelphia (Channel 29and appeared regularly as a political commentator on CBS 3. He is frequently quoted on political issues in publications and/or on TV and radio throughout Pennsylvania and the U.S. Ceisler serves as a Board Member of MANNA and fulfills the same role at the Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research at the University of Pennsylvania; and is a Board member for the Public Radio Station WXPN in Philadelphia.

Ceisler is originally from Washington, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of The American University and Duquesne University School of Law. He also attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.


Stephen M. Daoust, Esq.

Vice President, Legal & Compliance, Iridium Communications, Inc.

Stephen Daoust currently is the Vice President Legal, Contracts and Compliance, Iridium Satellite LLC. In that capacity he is responsible for managing a team of 11 lawyers and contract professionals and providing daily legal, contracts and risk management advice to the company's executive management team. Mr. Daoust is also the Iridium’s Chief Compliance Officer and manages Iridium's Security Department. Iridium is a publicly traded company that operates a satellite communication system consisting of 66 low earth orbit cross-linked satellites and offers its products and services to both commercial and government customers through thousands of satellite communication service providers (SP) value added manufacturers (VAM), valued added distributors (VAD) and value added resellers (VAR). Although predominantly a commercial service provider, Iridium's single largest customer is the Defense Information Systems Administration.

Prior to working at Iridium, Mr. Daoust worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where at various times he acted as the chief counsel, Director of Contracts and Chief Compliance Officer for the Firm's Washington Federal Practice and assisted them in the formation, negotiation and administration of all of the Firm's contracts with federal, state, and local governments as well as international organizations such as the United Nations and the World Bank. Mr. Daoust's primary activities included counseling PwC's executive management on government contract in issues involving the formation and administration of GSA MAS contracts, advisory and assistance contracts, commercial item contracts, subcontracts (including mentor/protégé programs), intellectual property and data rights, FOIA, organizational conflicts of interest, performance based service contracting, government contractor ethics and compliance, and mergers and acquisition.

Before joining PwC, Mr. Daoust was a Vice President, Group General Counsel for Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. -- a large public company specializing in information technology systems integration and business process outsourcing -- where he specialized in commercial contracts, federal procurement, software licensing, mergers & acquisitions, employment law and related litigation. Mr. Daoust also served as the Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer for ACS' federal services subsidiary - ACS Government Services, Inc. - during his seven-year tenure with ACS.

Before joining ACS, Mr. Daoust practiced law for seven years in the Washington, D.C. office of McKenna & Cuneo in the areas of government procurement, compliance and complex litigation. Mr. Daoust represented the firm's Fortune 50 clientele in litigation before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, Army Corps of Engineers Board of Contract Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Mr. Daoust also performed internal civil and criminal false claims investigations and defended clients from government prosecution of white collar criminal and civil charges.

While attending George Washington University Law School, Mr. Daoust began his government contracts career by having the privilege of working in the Pentagon with lawyers in the Army Judge Advocate General's Office assigned to assist the Defense Supply Service - Washington.

Mr. Daoust has written and has provided extensive training materials to corporate audiences on topics involving, marketing and selling services to the Federal Government, federal outsourcing, ethics and compliance, business management, commercial contracting practices, mergers and acquisitions of federal contractors, GSA multiple award schedule contracts, TINA, contract claims, insider trading, anti-trust, organizational conflicts of interest, teaming agreements, effective review of government solicitations, drafting effective solicitation questions, and sexual harassment/discrimination. Mr. Daoust is a certified Zenger Miller business management facilitator , has authored an article for the National Contract Management Association entitled "Partnering with the Federal Government - A Contractor's Perspective", and currently hosts a 52 week training course entitled “Fun with the FAR” for the Public Contracting Institute.

Mr. Daoust is an active member of the American Bar Association's Public Contract Law Section. He is also actively involved in the National Contract Management Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel of America. Mr. Daoust received his BS degree cum laude in the field of political science at American University and earned his Juris Doctorate at The George Washington University National Law Center. Mr. Daoust is admitted before the Bars of the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Virginia (corporate counsel), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.


Pamela Deese

Partner, Arent Fox, PLLC

Pamela Deese is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Arent Fox, PLLC, a Washington, D.C., based law firm with offices in D.C. and New York. She has practiced law in the areas of international trade and litigation, both civil and administrative. Her intellectual property practice has combined several specialties to create a practice in advertising and licensing of trademarked and copyrighted materials.

Ms. Deese has uniquely blended her international trade experience with advertising and licensing expertise to offer clients a full complement of legal services including strategic planning for positioning and protection of intellectual property, evaluating merchandise and licensed property, drafting and negotiating license and related agreements including celebrity endorsements, advertising review as well as sweepstakes and promotions, advising on federal regulatory compliance including privacy issues related to the Internet, assisting in customs classification, importation, and related litigation.

Ms. Deese is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. She is also admitted to practice before the U. S. Supreme Court and a number of federal courts including the Court of International Trade and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. She is a member of both the Litigation and Intellectual Property law sections of the American Bar Association, the International Trade Commission's Trial Lawyers Association, the Licensing Executives Society, the American Intellectual Property Lawyers Association, and the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association. She spent nearly six years in the United States Trade Representative's Office as the Assistant Director of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences.

Ms. Deese is the author of numerous articles in the area of international trade and licensing and is a frequent participant in business and law conferences. She received her undergraduate degree from the School of Public Affairs at American University and her law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University. At American University, she is a member of the Board of Trustees, chair of the School of Public Affairs Advisory Council, a Past President of the Alumni Association, and past Chairman of the University's Annual Fund. Ms. Deese also serves on the Kennedy Center Circles Board, and is an Elder at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church.


Michael Eckhardt

Vice President of Legal and Risk Management and Secretary, WaWa, Inc.

Michael Eckhardt is the Vice President of Legal and Risk Management, General Counsel and Secretary for Wawa, Inc. Michael has responsibility for the Company’s Internal Audit, Legal, Loss Prevention, Quality Assurance, Risk Management and Safety teams. Michael joined Wawa in 2005 and became General Counsel in 2011. He previously held the position of Associate General Counsel at Wawa. Before joining Wawa, Michael worked for Dechert LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP in the Corporate and Securities groups. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from American University and his law degree from Temple University.

Michael is a member of the Board of Directors of Philabundance, the Philadelphia region’s largest food bank and hunger relief organization, the Board of Trustees of the Russell Byers Charter School and the Board of Directors for the Greater Philadelphia Delaware Valley chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors and is the immediate past President of the Wawa Associates In Need Fund, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to assisting Wawa associates suffering from catastrophic events in their lives.


Robert Engel, SPA/BS '82, CAS/MA '04

Vice President for Domestic Policy, American Automobile Council

Rob Engel is Vice President Domestic Policy for the trade association representing the policy interests of American-based automakers Chrysler Group, LLC, Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company. For the past 30 years, he has worked for and with several members of Congress. His experience includes serving as a U.S. Senate staffer for Senators Adlai E. Stevenson III and Alan J. Dixon of Illinois and as a campaign aide to then Senators Joe Biden of Delaware and Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut. Engel also has impressive experience within the Democratic Party, having served as Political Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and as Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee.

Engel has also spent considerable time working in academia at two elite universities. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at American University's Center for the Study of Congress and the Presidency, teaching Congress and Legislative Behavior, and at George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management, teaching Strategic Planning and Management.

The AAPC represents the common interests of the three member companies, most prominently on international trade and economic policy, both in the United States and around the world.

Mr. Engel graduated from American University in 1982 with a bachelor of science in political science and urban affairs. He also received his master's in public affairs at American University.


Marina Fanning

Executive Vice President for Operations, Management Systems International

Marina Fanning is Executive Vice President for Operations at Management Systems International, a 700-person international development consulting firm she helped to establish and where she has served as Chief Operating Officer for more than 3 decades. She is the co-developer and the principal force behind the development and popularization of MSI’s Entrepreneurship Development Program which has been provided to more than 500,000 people in 7 languages, and she directed for 7 years MSI’s highly regarded Career Management for Women program. In 2007, Ms. Fanning was recognized by Smart CEO as recipient of its annual award recognizing successful women executives in the Greater Washington Area. Prior to her long tenure at MSI, Ms. Fanning worked with TransCentury and with USAID and served as Executive Director of the Inter-American Literacy Foundation where she was responsible for designing and implementing innovative community development and non-formal education projects in 18 countries in Latin America. A native of Mexico, Ms. Fanning is fluent in Spanish, French and Portuguese and holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Development from American University, where she is a member of the Dean’s Council of the School of Public Affairs.


Betsy Fischer Martin

Betsy Fischer Martin, an Emmy award-winning journalist and former television news executive, is the President of Fischer Martin Media, an Executive-in-Residence at American University’s School of Public Affairs and the Contributing Editor for Washington of MORE Magazine. She also co-hosts a regular podcast about politics and the presidential election called “Trail Talk.”

Fischer Martin’s career in television news spanned 23 years at NBC News. Most recently, she served as the Senior Executive Producer and Managing Editor of NBC News Political Programming, where she was responsible for the development and execution of political coverage. She provided the editorial direction of coverage across all of the network’s shows and digital teams, as well as long-range major political and special events. Additionally, she created and executed reporting and analysis for NBC News-branded polls and research data.

Before being promoted to the executive role at NBC News in July of 2013, Fischer Martin was at the helm of NBC’s top-rated Sunday morning public affairs program and the longest running television program in the world, “Meet the Press,” for 11 years. During this time, she oversaw all editorial content, guest-selection, strategic planning, production, marketing, special online programming, and financial decision-making for the program.

In her long tenure as Executive Producer, she produced in-depth and revealing interviews with top newsmakers, including U.S. presidents, first ladies, cabinet officials, heads of state and presidential candidates. Fischer Martin also created and produced an award winning series of election year “Meet the Press” debates featuring the candidates in key U.S. Senate races. And in 2012, live from New Hampshire, she produced the program’s first presidential primary debate which included all of the Republican candidates for president.

Additionally, she served as Tom Brokaw’s producer for NBC News’ coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election, including the party conventions, debates, and election night. In this capacity she also served as Brokaw’s producer when he moderated one of the three general election debates between Barack Obama and John McCain.

Fischer Martin worked closely for 17 years with the late Tim Russert producing his headline making interviews for “Meet the Press” and also serving as his producer for NBC’s coverage of special events and four presidential elections, including the historic 2000 presidential election night and subsequent recount.

Overall, Fischer Martin’s tenure with “Meet the Press” extended over 22 years during which time she held the positions of Executive Producer and Sr. Producer of “Meet the Press” and the NBC Political Unit. Her career in television began with an internship at “Meet the Press” while in college and then, upon graduation, she became the political researcher for the program in 1992. She was promoted to Assoc. Producer in 1995, and Producer in 1997.

A native of New Orleans, Fischer Martin did her undergraduate and graduate work at American University in Washington, DC. She is a cum laude graduate of their School of Public Affairs and earned a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the AU School of Communications. She currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Public Affairs at American University.

Fischer Martin has been honored with several awards for her work with NBC, including three News and Documentary Emmys, the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Journalism, and a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television. She has been featured in several publications including profiles in Television Week, The New Orleans Times Picayune, Marie Claire Magazine, Washington Business Journal, Washingtonian’s 50 Best & Most Influential Journalists, Washington Life’s Power 100, and GQ’s Powerful People in Washington.

She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the National Press Club and the International Women’s Forum. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband, Jonathan Martin, National Political Correspondent for the New York Times, and her daughter Ella, a 7th grader.


Erin Fuller, SPA/BA '93, SPA/MPA '94

President, Coulter & Managing Director, Association Management & Consulting, MCI Group-USA

Erin Fuller serves as the president of Coulter as well as the managing director for the MCI Group's US-based nonprofit management and consulting via a 2015 corporate merger. Fuller leads a team of more than 100 professionals in the US, and is part of the global leadership team overseeing 1800 talents located in 61 offices in 32 countries. Since joining Coulter in 2002, Fuller has served as the chief staff executive for a number of client organizations, including the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Tysons Tomorrow and the Alliance for Women in Media. Fuller oversees the full-service management of 22 national and global nonprofit organizations, as well as consultative projects for an additional 10-20 each year.

Fuller is a noted expert on women's economic participation and nonprofit management, and has appeared on programs including NBC Nightly News, CBS's MarketWatch, ABC News, Fox News, NPR's Marketplace, and BBC's America. She has been quoted in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek. She has been published extensively, on topics ranging from fundraising strategy to membership engagement, and is a frequent speaker and panelist.

Fuller received both her undergraduate and master of public administration degrees from American University in Washington, D.C. An active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Fuller was named an ASAE Fellow in 2011 – a distinction earned by less than one percent of its membership. Fuller received the 2011 Alice Paul Award from American University's Women and Politics Institute for her work advancing women's causes. She currently serves on the board of directors for American Forests, the nation's oldest conservation organization.  She served as the president of the American University Alumni Association Board, and previously served on the board of directors of the ASAE Foundation from 2003-2006, as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Association Leadership.

Fuller and her two sons reside in Arlington, Virginia.


James J. Hill

Managing Director, Morgan Stanley

James J. Hill is a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley in the Global Credit Trading Group. James is leading the Global Credit Trading Group’s efforts around the development of central counterparties/clearing houses for over-the-counter derivatives, responding to, and developing business strategies relating to, legislative and regulatory changes affecting the over-the-counter derivatives markets, and developing market infrastructure solutions to reduce operational and systemic risk in the over-the-counter derivatives markets. James has led Morgan Stanley’s efforts with respect to numerous industry initiatives relating to the development, growth and overall improvement of the over-the-counter derivatives and corporate credit default swaps market and is a key member of several important industry working groups, including the European Commission Working Group on Derivatives, and The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Working Group on Buy-Side Access to Central Counterparties, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York OTC Derivatives Market Transparency Working Group and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association Credit Steering Committee. James was a senior member of the team that developed and launched the first credit default swap index transactions and developed the Morgan Stanley's multi-billion dollar basket default swap note issuance program. In addition, in his capacity as a member of Morgan Stanley’s Credit Derivatives Products team, James develops, structures and executes innovative credit and derivative solutions for corporate and institutional clients of Morgan Stanley.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1996, James was an attorney with the Washington DC office of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft. James has a BA in Political Science from American University and a JD from Cornell University. James is a member of the Cornell Law School Dean's Advisory Council and is Co-Chair of the Cornell Law School Dean's Special Leadership Committee.


Gary M. Jacobs, SPA/MPA '76

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, CareCentrix

Gary Jacobs serves as vice president for strategic partnerships at CareCentrix, a leaders in managing care to the home. Joining the firm in 2015, Gary brings more than 25 years of public policy experience to CareCentrix, focused on created more efficient collaborations between health providers and payers to benefit recipients of Medicare and Medicaid

Prior to joining CareCentrix, Gary was a Managing Director in the Health Industries Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), leading the National Government Programs practice. Throughout his career, Gary has been responsible for implementing enterprise-wide planning initiatives, strategic alliances, government affairs, and identification of acquisitions and new business opportunities for clients. He currently serves on the boards of the Visiting Nurse Association of America, Primary Care Development Corporation, the National Hispanic Council on Aging Business Advisory Board, and the Dean's Council at American University School of Public Affairs.


Robert Johnson

Assistant General Counsel, Legal Services, Exxon Mobil Corporation

Rob Johnson is Assistant General Counsel – Legal Services for Exxon Mobil Corporation, located in Houston, Texas. His areas of responsibility include leadership and management of the teams providing legal support on Environmental & Safety, Global Procurement, Real Estate, and Information Technology issues to ExxonMobil’s businesses in the United States, and to ExxonMobil affiliates operating around the world. In addition, he is a member of the ExxonMobil Law Department Management Committee. He is the Law Management Committee Contact for ExxonMobil’s award-winning Pro Bono Committee in addition to other responsibilities.

Rob previously served as ExxonMobil’s Chief Attorney for Environmental & Safety from 2008 to 2012. From the time of the merger of Exxon and Mobil until 2008, he was Assistant Chief Attorney for ExxonMobil Production Company, where he was responsible for legal advice to ExxonMobil production operations and affiliates operating in the United States, West Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

Prior to the merger of Exxon and Mobil, Rob was General Counsel of Mobil Exploration and Producing, U.S., Mobil's domestic upstream affiliate. He also held several litigation and environmental counsel positions at Mobil. Prior to joining Mobil in 1990, Rob was an associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Hunton & Williams.

Rob is a member of the Board and a former President of the Houston Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel. He is active in pro bono and community work, including the Boy Scouts of America, the Alumni Advisory Board and School of Public Affairs Dean’s Council of American University in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Interfaith of The Woodlands and the Interfaith Community Clinic.

Rob earned a Bachelor of Science in political science and economics from the American University and his law degree from the Georgetown University School of Law. He and his wife Christine reside in The Woodlands, Texas. They have two sons, both of whom attend Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, Texas.


Brian F. Keane

President, SmartPower

Brian F. Keane is President of SmartPower and author of Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit From Clean Energy. (Lyons Press, 2012). He is a leading voice on clean energy, energy efficiency and the environment. As President of SmartPower, a Washington, DC-based marketing agency dedicated to promoting clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency, Keane has helped shape the energy debate in the United States and brought clean energy and energy efficiency to the American consumer.

Hailed as Mad Men for an eco-conscious generation, SmartPower’s award-winning marketing campaigns have engaged hundreds of thousands of people across the country drawing credit for inspiring our nation’s renewed interested in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

For their efforts, Keane and SmartPower have been recognized with numerous awards, including being named 2012’s “Most Innovative Campaign” by The Energy Daily, and the 2010 Clean Air Excellence Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing SmartPower’s “America’s Greenest Campus” energy efficiency campaign. Other accolades include the coveted Green Power Pilot Award presented by the EPA and the US Department of Energy; four Gold Awards from the Service Industry Advertising Awards (SIAA); and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Circle Award. In 2005 Keane was recognized as one of Connecticut’s “Outstanding Forty Under 40.”

A former advisor to the late Senator Paul Tsongas (D-MA) and congressional aide to Representative Les Aspin (D-WI), Keane has an extensive and cutting edge background in nonprofit management, political organizing and communications. He has used this experience to create organizations that challenge conventional wisdom and help to set the national agenda. To be sure, before there was a “Tea Party”, Keane was one of the architects of The Concord Coalition, a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the federal budget deficit.

Keane combines his passion for major policy issues with a marketer’s commitment to creating compelling messages that resonate with the general public, not just the converted. As such, Keane is a much sought-after interview and presenter on a host of issues – including clean energy and energy efficiency. He has spoken extensively across the nation, internationally and with local and national media.

Keane is a 1989 graduate of The American University in Washington, DC, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. The tenth in a family of eleven children, Keane served as the chairman of his eldest brother’s successful campaign for the Boston City Council and his brother’s subsequent race for the U.S. Congress in Massachusetts’ eighth congressional district in 1998.

Keane is the immediate past-president of the American University Alumni Association and sits on the board of directors of the Vermont-based Clean Energy Group. He is also a member of the Solar Foundation’s board of directors, where he serves as Treasurer.


Betsy Mangone

Before her retirement in 2009 Betsy Mangone was vice president of the Philanthropic Services Group for The Denver Foundation. She was in the major gift and planned giving field for 26 years. During that time she served as vice president of the University of Colorado Foundation and President of Mangone & Co. Betsy was and remains a consultant to philanthropic families, colleges and universities and other nonprofit organizations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. She also served as a consultant to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the formation of several charitable giving vehicles and regulatory issues.

Betsy continues to speak locally and nationally on philanthropic topics and serves in a strategic planning capacity to large and small institutions across the country. She mentors philanthropically inclined families who wish to explore their philanthropic values and make tax-wise charitable gifts. She also advises their professional legal and financial teams and family offices.

She has taught in the graduate school of the College of William & Mary, Regis University, and the University of Denver. She is a founder of the Leadership Institute, a development curriculum in the graduate school at the University of Denver. She is co-author of a book, as well as the author of many published philanthropic articles, chapters and sub-chapters.

Betsy received distinguished service and performance awards from the Mayor of Denver and the City of Denver. She has received recognition from numerous national and local professional associations such as The Denver Foundation’s “Professional Advisor of the Year” award, the first “Betsy Mangone Lifetime Achievement” award from the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable, and the Mile High Girl Scout Council “Women of Distinction” Award.

Betsy currently serves as a Philanthropic Advisor to the Aspen Institute. She serves as a Trustee of American University as well as a member of American University’s School of Public Affairs-Dean’s Advisory Council. She serves as a Director of The University of Colorado Foundation where she sits on its Governance and Compensation Committees. She also is a Trustee of the University of Colorado Foundation and co-chairs the Trustee Engagement Committee. She is the current Chair of the Craig Hospital Foundation Board and a member of The Denver Foundation’s Board of Trustees where she chairs the Philanthropic Services Committee and serves on the Governance and Professional Advisor Committees. She is immediate past chair of The Center for Women’s Health Research Advisory Board and is an Honorary Trustee of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado.


Richard H. Neiman, SPA/BA ’72

Head of Regulatory & Government Affairs, Lending Club Corporation

Richard Neiman serves as Head of Regulatory & Government Affairs for Lending Club, the world’s largest credit marketplace for connecting borrowers and investors. Prior to joining Lending Club in October 2014, Richard served as Vice Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Global Financial Services Regulatory Practice. Richard has over 30 years’ experience in the financial industry having served in a range of executive, regulatory and legal roles during his career.

Prior to joining PwC in June 2011, Richard served as New York State’s Superintendent of Banks (March 2007 to May 2011), where he was responsible for the supervision of all state-chartered depository institutions, including the majority of foreign bank branches and agencies in the United States. While serving as Superintendent, Richard was also appointed by the U.S. Congress to serve on the five-member Congressional Oversight Panel created to oversee the implementation of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, including the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Earlier in his career, Richard served as EVP and General Counsel of TD Waterhouse Securities (now TD Ameritrade). He also served as General Counsel of the Global Equities Division of Citibank, and as a Director in the Regulator Advisory Practice of what was then Price Waterhouse LLP. Richard began his career with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in Washington, DC, serving initially as staff attorney and then as Special Assistant to the Chief Counsel.

On the community front, Richard serves on the Board of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund (HEAF), a mentoring and college preparatory nonprofit, and on the Board of the Henry Street Settlement, one of New York’s oldest social services organizations.

Richard is a graduate of American University, School of Government & Public Affairs and Emory University, School of Law. He lives with his wife Eileen and two daughters, Haley and Heather, in Rye, New York.


Katherine Pringle

Partner, Litigation Department, Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP

Katherine L. Pringle practices in the areas of complex commercial litigation, securities and white-collar crime. Her recent matters have included the representation of 7 World Trade Company, L.P. and Silverstein Properties Inc. in a series of insurance and tort litigations arising out of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, recovery by finance professionals following the failure of representations and warranties in a merger agreement, and the recovery of more than $77 million from major broker-dealers relating to their liquidation of complex derivative securities in the Granite Funds collapse.

Ms. Pringle regularly represents clients in investigations by federal and state prosecutors, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory bodies. She also served as co-counsel to the Kerry for President Campaign in litigation concerning the 2004 Florida election ballot, as well as co-counsel to plaintiffs in Jacobs v. Seminole County, concerning the 2000 Florida presidential election count. In addition, Ms. Pringle has an active pro bono practice, which has included litigation involving a religious organization's First Amendment right to conduct outreach to the homeless, and representation of families before the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Ms. Pringle graduated with honors from American University in 1990 and cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 1993. She served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Law Journal, and was the author of Silencing the Speech of Strangers: Constitutional Values and the First Amendment Rights of Resident Aliens, 81 Geo. L.J. 2073 (1993). Prior to joining Friedman Kaplan, Ms. Pringle clerked for Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr. when he was a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and practiced at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, LLP in Washington, D.C. Ms. Pringle is also admitted in the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania. She is a member of the New York City Bar.

Ms. Pringle has been selected for inclusion by Law & Politics in Super Lawyers® 2010 New York Edition for having attained the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in the multiphase Super Lawyers selection process which includes, among other factors, peer evaluation. She also received this designation in 2009.


David M. Rosenberg

David M. Rosenberg is a full time father and philanthropist. He is utilizing his past business experiences as a Board member assisting a variety of non-profits with a primary focus on children and youth. David currently serves as Chairman of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, a national organization focused on character development in youth and ethical decision making in business. He also is President of the Board of Champions of Caring and additionally serves on the Boards of the following community organizations: Jewish Family and Children’s Services; National Liberty Museum; and of Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Spiezle Architectural Group.

In his business career, David was a Principal and Executive Vice President at Environmental Compliance Services (ECS). ECS was an international provider of environmental risk management services employing 500 people. At ECS, David was responsible for all corporate marketing, public relations and government affairs activities. ECS was sold to XL Capital Inc., a publicly held company in 1999.

Subsequent to the sale of ECS, David was a Principal in Marsh Creek Corporate Services. Businesses acquired, grown and sold over eight years included: transportation, record storage, document shredding and security.


Gwendolyn Sykes

Chief Financial Officer, United States Secret Service

Gwendolyn Sykes is the chief financial officer for the United States Secret Service and an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Government at the School of Public Affairs. She is also a member of the SPA Dean’s Advisory Council. Ms. Sykes began working with the Secret Service in May 2012. She previously served as chief financial officer for Yale University, Moorehouse College, and NASA. Prior to this, Ms. Sykes provided program and financial control support to the under-secretary of defense and also worked with the Defense Contract Audit Agency. She began her public service career as a legislative correspondent for Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), where she coordinated activities related to protecting Alaska’s vital fishery industry during the Valdez oil spill.

Ms. Sykes has been listed among Black Enterprise’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and has been recognized for her achievements by Newsweek, the Today Show and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. In 2003, she was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal for outstanding budgetary and financial management leadership of the NASA financial community.