Board & Advisors
We are grateful for the guidance and support of our distinguished Board of Directors, our team of advisors, and the following former ambassadors: Colleen Bell (former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary), Timothy Broas (former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands), Dwight Bush (former U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, and John Phillips (former U.S. Ambassador to Italy).
Mary Louise Cohen
Mary Louise is a founding partner of Phillips & Cohen LLP and has represented whistleblowers for more than 25 years in lawsuits brought to remedy fraud against the United States. Her firm has recovered more than $11 billion for state and federal governments in cases filed under the False Claims Act. In 2007, Mary Louise and singer Angelique Kidjo created the Batonga Foundation to support secondary education for girls in Africa. In 2010, together with Dr. Aziza Shad, she founded the Aslan Project to improve survival rates for children with cancer in the developing world. She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Board for UNICEF-USA. Mary Louise graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Bruce served as a top lawyer in the Senate for almost two decades working for Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. As Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the Senate Judiciary Committee, he coordinated the Democratic staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee and worked with his Republican counterparts, Senate leadership, the House, and the administrations of Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama. Matters within the jurisdiction of the Committee included nominations of Supreme Court justices and other Federal judicial and top-ranking executive branch nominees; national security matters, including the USA PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, civil rights matters including the Voting Rights Act and hate crimes legislation, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act; intellectual property laws, including patent law reform, privacy protection, antitrust, business competition and consumer protection laws; federal law enforcement and assistance to state and local law enforcement; and oversight of various federal government activities. Bruce graduated from Stanford University, and from the University of California Berkeley, school of law where he was editor-in-chief of The California Law Review.
John is one of the pioneers of electronic trading. He was a member of the team that wrote one of the world's first fully automated trading systems (SEATS) for the Australian Stock Exchange, which ran for almost 20 years. He led the team that wrote one of the world's first fully automated options trading systems (OATS) for ASX. In 1997, John saw his product CameronFIX become the world's number one FIX solution - the technology underlying electronic trading. He sold his company, Cameron Systems, to Orc Software in 2006, and served as CTO for three years. John was elected to the board of FIX Trading in 2010 by members of the international FIX community where he served until 2013. He joined the board of international software company IRESS in 2010 where he still serves. He is founder and director of Cameron Foundation which supports initiatives in the areas of health, education, human rights and disaster relief. In 2016 he started the Refugee Jobs Marketplace initiative and shortly after launched Talent Beyond Boundaries in Australia, funded by Cameron Foundation. He is a member of the Settlement Services Advisory Council which advises the Australian Government on migrant settlement and social cohesion, including humanitarian settlement. He works with Talent Beyond Boundaries on a pro bono basis.
Erika Kelton has substantial experience and success representing US and international whistleblowers in cases brought under US whistleblower reward programs. She has won three SEC whistleblower awards for clients, including the largest SEC whistleblower award — more than $32 million awarded to an international whistleblower in a case involving massive securities fraud. She also secured for a separate client an SEC whistleblower award of more than $3 million. The SEC whistleblower awards to her clients total more than one-third of the whistleblower reward amounts the SEC has made. As an expert in whistleblower enforcement approaches, Ms. Kelton has consulted with the U.S. Congress, the Securities Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Internal Revenue Service on the establishment and workings of the agencies’ whistleblower programs. Both the SEC and the IRS have featured her as an invited speaker at internal conferences for their attorneys and investigators to discuss more effective ways to work with whistleblowers in enforcement matters.
John Phillips, recently retired as the United States Ambassador to Italy where he served from 2013-2017. From 2009-2013, he served as Chairman of the White House Fellows Commission. Before he retired from the firm in 2013 to accept President Obama’s appointment as the US ambassador to Italy, the Wall Street Journal and the National Law Journal called him “the nation’s premier whistleblower attorney.” The National Law Journal included Mr. Phillips in its “100 most influential lawyers in America” lists, comprised of attorneys who “have the power to shape public affairs, launch industries, shake things up and get things done.” Mr. Phillips worked closely with Congress to revise and strengthen the False Claims Act based on his research that showed the Civil War law held great potential for fighting fraud against the government. After the law was enacted in 1986, he devoted his professional career to representing whistleblowers in qui tam lawsuits until his appointment as ambassador. Mr. Phillips has a long history of involvement in public interest law. He earned his law degree from Berkeley Law (formerly Boalt Hall) at the University of California School of Law, where he was an editor of the California Law Review. He then joined the Los Angeles law firm of O’Melveny & Meyers as an associate.
Advisors & Consultants
Joel R. Charny
Joel is Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council USA. Before joining NRC to lead their fundraising and humanitarian advocacy work in the U.S., he was the Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice at InterAction. He was responsible for leading InterAction’s work on humanitarian response, which involved engaging with the U.S. government, the United Nations, and member non-governmental organizations on both practical and policy matters, including funding availability, impact and effectiveness, and reform efforts in the sector. Prior to joining InterAction, Mr. Charny held senior positions with Refugees International, the UN Development Program, and Oxfam America.
Alexandra is a child protection and mental health specialist working with refugees in conflict and post-conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa. Alexandra graduated from Harvard University (A.B., A.M.), and has worked on child protection and trauma therapy projects in Israel-Palestine, Jordan, Ethiopia and Somalia, education and peace building in Lebanon and Iraq, and Islamic legal reform in Egypt. Most recently, she served as mental health and psychosocial advisor to the UN on the Syria crisis. Alexandra is pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, studying the impact of refugee trauma on children's brain architecture and cognitive functioning. Alexandra speaks 10 languages, including Chinese, Arabic, and French.
Lisa Braden-Harder is the founder, CEO and board member of Appen, a Natural Language Processing (NLP) company focused on speech and search technologies. She guided the company through the early stage, merger, private equity investment and IPO transitions to a public entity by focusing on growth and innovation. She is based in Connecticut.
George Khalaf is the Executive Director of Empatico and brings 20 years of international development and private sector experience. George was responsible for launching Synergos’ Middle East and North Africa regional social entrepreneurship programs. As a consultant with Accenture and Dalberg, George has advised Fortune 500 companies, foundations, donor agencies, governments, and NGOs. He is a BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Fellow and on the Advisory Committee of Seeds of Peace. George holds a Master’s degree from Georgetown University and a BA in Political Science from Swarthmore College.
Katy is a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and also teaches for the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. Since completing her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 2009, she has held faculty positions at the University of Oxford, the London School of Economics, and the University of Edinburgh. Her first book, The Point of No Return: Refugees, Rights and Repatriation was published in 2013 by Oxford University Press. Katy is also the co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. She has worked extensively with policy-makers including the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Migration Policy Institute, with a focus on labour mobility for refugees. She is engaged in furthering public understanding and engagement on migration issues, having published The Huddled Masses: Immigration and Inequality and speaking and writing for a number of media outlets including the BBC World Service, ITV Tonight, The Conversation, and openDemocracy.
Taylor Henry Meyer
Advisor to Strategic Partnerships
Taylor is a vice president at PIMCO in the institutional client group. She is responsible for the strategic relationship with 20+ Fortune 500 corporations, overseeing investment strategy for $12 billion in assets under management. Previously, she was vice president of business development for a startup social media software company and worked in the economic and valuation services group at KPMG. She holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business where she was the recipient of the Frederick S. Morton Leadership Award and received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She serves on the Advisory Board of Talent Beyond Boundaries, Class Agent for the Darden School of Business and holds leadership roles in her church community.
Nazar recently joined Deloitte Canada as a consultant within the strategy and operations consulting practice with a focus on public sector transformation and holds a B.B.A. in communications. Nazar’s main interests lie in analyzing new partnerships and outsourcing models local governments can engage with, and the use of blockchain and dark analytics in public affairs context.
In addition to his track record of exceptional client management skills in banking, creative, and non-profit industries, Nazar has been involved in various social enterprises in Canada and the Middle East as a co-founder, outreach advisor, and public speaker-sharing his integration stories as a refugee newcomer to Canada.
Gillian serves on the Board of the International Rescue Committee working on refugee issues. During a long United Nations career she was Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser for Public Policy. Earlier served as the New York City Commissioner for the United Nations and Consular Corps. She was also the United Nations Foundation's National Advocate. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Women's Forum and the Women's Foreign Policy Group. Gillian is a graduate of Smith College, studied at the Sorbonne and has twice been a Fellow at Harvard.
Waide is an international transactional attorney who focuses on infrastructure projects in countries around the globe, including Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Chile, Qatar, Tunisia, Poland, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Thailand and Indonesia. Waide was a 2014 Fellow with the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative.
Advisor for Innovation and Technology
Bonnie is a vice president of global networks at Citi and works as part of the bank’s global digital payments team. Bonnie started her career in public finance at Siebert Brandford Shank, where she supported bond issuance and debt management for public issuers such as the City of New York and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since 2013, she has worked with the MIT Global Startup Workshop to foster economic growth abroad, building skills-based programs and mentorship networks to support youth entrepreneurs and startups in Estonia, Morocco, and Bilbao. Bonnie graduated magna cum laude from Brown University, where she was a recipient of the Eva A. Mooar Prize for academic excellence in International Relations, and from MIT Sloan School of Management, where she was a recipient of the Sloan Social Impact Fellowship.