Board of Trustees

Cindy McCain
Cindy McCain

Chairman Emeritus

Cindy McCain
Cindy McCain

Chairman Emeritus

Ambassador Cindy Hensley McCain was sworn in by the Biden Administration to serve as Permanent Representative of the U.S. Mission to the UN Agencies in Rome on November 5, 2021. She has dedicated her life to improving the lives of those less fortunate both in the United States and around the world.

She is the former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, where she oversaw the organization’s focus on advancing character-driven global leadership based on security, economic opportunity, freedom, and human dignity as well as chairing the Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council.

In addition to her work at the McCain Institute, she served on the Board of Directors of Project C.U.R.E, CARE, Operation Smile, HaloTrust and the Advisory Boards of Too Small To Fail and Warriors and Quiet Waters.

McCain holds an undergraduate degree in Education and a Master’s in Special Education from the University of Southern California.

She was the Chairman of her family’s business, Hensley Beverage Company, which is one of the largest Anheuser-Busch distributors in the nation. Ambassador McCain is the wife of the late U.S. Senator John McCain. Together, they have four children.

Senator Kelly Ayotte

Former Senator
New Hampshire

Senator Kelly Ayotte

Former Senator
New Hampshire

Kelly Ayotte was elected to the United States Senate in 2010, where she was ranked as one of the most bipartisan senators working across party lines to find solutions to our nation’s biggest challenges. Most recently, Senator Ayotte served as “Sherpa” for Judge Neil Gorsuch, leading the effort for the Trump Administration to secure his confirmation as an Associate Justice to the United States Supreme Court. During her tenure in the Senate (2011-2016), Senator Ayotte chaired the Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and the Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation Operations. Senator Ayotte is a leading voice on national security and was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the top 50 Republicans on national security affairs in the country. She is a strong advocate for our nation’s military readiness and our service men and women.

Having seen the effects of heroin and opiate addiction in New Hampshire and across the country, Senator Ayotte took a lead role in passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, a national response to improve prevention, treatment and recovery efforts to stem the tide of addiction. She also worked to address gaps in our nation’s mental health system by passing legislation to improve mental health first aid training, suicide prevention programs and treatment of eating disorders.

Prior to serving in the United States Senate, Senator Ayotte served as New Hampshire’s first female Attorney General from 2004-2009.  First appointed to that position by a Republican governor, she was twice reappointed by a Democratic governor. Senator Ayotte also served as the deputy attorney general, chief of the homicide prosecution unit, and as legal counsel to Governor Craig Benson. She began her career as a law clerk to the New Hampshire Supreme Court and as an associate at McLane Middleton.

Senator Ayotte currently serves on the board of News Corp, the advisory boards of Blink Health and Revision Military and on the boards of the International Republican Institute, the McCain Institute and NH Veteran’s Count.

Senator Ayotte is married to Joseph Daley, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, who flew combat missions in Iraq. They live in Nashua, New Hampshire with their two children, Katherine and Jacob.

David Berry

Vice President
Swift Transportations

David Berry

Vice President
Swift Transportations

Dave Berry, a 22-year executive with Swift Transportation, led the company’s technology transformation in the early 1990s. He pioneered Swift’s and the industry’s onboard technology and logistics systems and currently leads the Independent Contractor Division. A leader in the trucking industry, Berry has chaired national trucking associations, been instrumental in the EPA’s Clean Air Policy, and NAFTA surface transportation policies. He was the founder and President of Kaibab Transportation until it was sold to Swift in 1990.

  • Founding member of the EPA’s SmartWay program and recognized national leader in sustainability; 2011 recipient of the SmartWay Champion Award for individuals who have made a strong and lasting contribution to the SmartWay program.
  • Board and Executive Committee member of the American Trucking Association and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.
  • Chairman of the Arizona Highway Users Association.
  • Past Chairman of the Truckload Carriers Association.
  • Active member of the Arizona Climate Change Advisory Group and the Governor’s CANAMEX trade corridor task force.
  • Officer or director of American Trucking Association, Arizona Trucking Association, California Trucking Association, Utah Trucking Association, ATA Litigation Center, Transportation Research Institute.
  • Commissions and Boards: Arizona NAFTA Commission, Arizona Toll Road Commission, Green House Gas, Mexico Trade and Transportation, TRB Truck Wight Limits Study, Maricopa County Association of Government Transportation Policy Committee, Transplace Logistics, Inc Board of Directors, Estrella Planning Commission, Arizona Motor Carrier Advisory Board.
  • Graduate of the University of Arizona with Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. Served on the U of A Alumni board of directors and received the Outstanding Alumni Award.
Don Brandt

Former Chairman, President and CEO
Pinnacle West and Arizona Public Service

Don Brandt

Former Chairman, President and CEO
Pinnacle West and Arizona Public Service

Don Brandt is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pinnacle West and Arizona Public Service (APS).

In 2009, Brandt was elected to Pinnacle West’s board of directors and promoted to Chairman, President and CEO of Pinnacle West and Chairman and CEO of APS. Before assuming these responsibilities, Brandt held several leadership positions with the company, including APS president, executive vice president and chief financial officer. He again added the title of president of APS in 2013.

Prior to joining Pinnacle West in 2002, Brandt gained 20 years of power industry experience. He served as senior vice president and chief financial officer at Ameren Corporation, a St. Louis-based energy company. Prior to Ameren, he was at Price Waterhouse & Co., where he provided accounting, audit and consulting services to Fortune 500 public companies.

A recognized industry and community leader, Brandt currently serves on the boards of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Edison Electric Institute and Nuclear Electric Insurance limited. In addition, he sits on the boards of the Nature Conservancy in Arizona and the Phoenix Symphony.

Brandt earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from St. Louis University.

Michael Crow
Dr. Michael Crow

President
Arizona State University

Michael Crow
Dr. Michael Crow

President
Arizona State University

Arizona State University President, Foundation Leadership Chair, Professor of Science & Technology Policy

Michael M. Crow is an academic leader and educator, designer of knowledge enterprises, and science and technology scholar. He has been the sixteenth president of Arizona State University since July, 2002. He is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact—a model he designed known as the “New American University.” Under his leadership ASU has established major interdisciplinary research initiatives and witnessed an unprecedented academic infrastructure expansion, quadrupling of research expenditures and attainment of record levels of diversity in the student body.

He was previously professor of science and technology policy and executive vice provost of Columbia University, where he served as chief strategist of Columbia’s research enterprise and technology transfer operations. He has been an advisor to the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Energy, as well as defense and intelligence agencies and a number of nation states on matters of science and technology policy and knowledge enterprise design. An elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and National Academy of Public Administration, he is the author of books and articles analyzing knowledge enterprises, science and technology policy and the design of higher education institutions and systems.

Jeff Cunningham

Professor of Practice in Global Leadership
Thunderbird School of Global Management

Jeff Cunningham

Professor of Practice in Global Leadership
Thunderbird School of Global Management

Jeff Cunningham is a professor of practice in global leadership at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Previously, Cunningham was a professor of practice at the Cronkite School. Cunningham serves as a faculty advisor in the areas of business journalism and digital media. Cunningham also holds an appointment at the W. P. Carey School of Business in corporate governance and entrepreneurship.

Cunningham is creator/host of Iconic Voices (iconicvoices.org), a YouTube series of interviews with global leaders such as Warren Buffett, Michael Milken, Freeport McMoRan CEO Richard Adkerson, former NSA chief General James Jones, former Joint Chiefs Chair, General Hugh Shelton, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman and IBM CEO Sam Palmisano.

Cunningham previously served as publisher of Forbes magazine, and was also publisher of American Heritage magazine, founder of Directorship Magazine, and also was a senior executive with BusinessWeek. Lord William Rees-Mogg, editor of The Times of London, described him as “one of the top media professionals in America.”

Cunningham has managed large global media organizations and has been a venture capital partner for several technology funds including Schroder Ventures Internet Finance Fund, and technology incubator CMGI. He has also been a CEO at Zip2.com, Myway.com and Michael Milken’s Knowledge Universe portfolio company, CareerTrack.com.

Cunningham has served as a board director of 10 public companies, including Data General, Schindlerof Switzerland, Genuity/Verizon, Countrywide, Premiere Global, PageNet, Bankrate and Jim Cramer’s TheStreet.com.

Cunningham currently serves on the board of ASU’s McCain Institute, a geopolitical think tank. Cunningham is a senior adviser to the National Association of Corporate Directors. Cunningham is also a professor of practice in global leadership Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Cunningham graduated from SUNY Binghamton with honors in English.

Jeff and his wife, Kristin, live in Scottsdale.

Rick Davis

Partner
Stone Court Capital

Rick Davis

Partner
Stone Court Capital

Rick Davis is a partner at Stone Court Capital, a private equity investor located in New York City. He has a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sector.

Having served on President Ronald Reagan’s political team and served in three Reagan Administration Cabinet Agencies before becoming the White House special assistant to the president for the Domestic Policy Council. President George H.W. Bush appointed him as deputy executive director for the White House Conference on Science and Economic Research Related to Global Climate Change. While in the private sector, Davis built one of the most influential and successful public affairs companies in the United States. In 1988, Davis worked for the George H.W. Bush presidential campaign and also in 1996 for Robert Dole’s presidential campaign. In 2000 and 2008, Davis served as Senator John McCain’s national campaign manager, leading all aspects of the campaign activity.

Davis currently serves on the board of the Environmental Defense Action Fund. He lives in Alexandria, Virg., and is married to Dr. Karen Davis.

Dr. Mark T. Esper
Dr. Mark T. Esper

John S. McCain Distinguished Fellow

Dr. Mark T. Esper
Dr. Mark T. Esper

John S. McCain Distinguished Fellow

Dr. Mark T. Esper became the 27th Secretary of Defense in July 2019 when he was confirmed 90-8 by the U.S. Senate. As Defense Secretary, Esper was responsible for ensuring the United States’ national security, protecting the American people at home and abroad, and advancing the country’s interests globally. In this capacity, he led one of the largest, most complex organizations in the world given its nearly 3 million service members and defense civilians, $740 billion annual budget, and trillions of dollars of weapons, equipment, and infrastructure located at 4,800 sites in over 160 countries. Esper’s broad scope of responsibilities ranged from organizing, manning, training and equipping the joint force, to the research and development of future weapons, concepts, and equipment; and from defense trade, diplomacy, and cybersecurity, to healthcare, hospitals, housing, and schools. During his tenure, Esper developed key relationships with senior officials throughout the Executive Branch, Members of Congress, major business and philanthropic leaders, and a wide range of international partners.

As Secretary of Defense, Dr. Esper made major strides in shaping and implementing the National Defense Strategy, which called for a return to preparing for high intensity conflict in a new era of great power competition. Esper established the Space Force and Space Command, proposed a dramatic change in the size and composition of the U.S. Navy, enhanced the resourcing and operations of Cyber Command, and led a major reform effort that reorganized the department and freed up billions of dollars for higher priorities. He worked hard to strengthen alliances and grow new partners, especially in the Indo-Pacific, and helped drive a major increase in the readiness of NATO members, all while advancing new warfighting, operational, and readiness concepts in the U.S. military.

Esper oversaw the largest R&D budget in the department’s history, drove spending on cutting-edge technologies such as AI, directed energy, advanced networking, robotics, and hypersonics, and launched the biggest initiative in decades to improve diversity and inclusion in the armed forces. Finally, Dr. Esper successfully led the department through one of the most challenging times in the nation’s history: from conflict with Iran, an ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan, and counter-terrorist operations in the Middle East; to open competition with China and Russia amidst a fundamental shift in the weapons and character of war; and from the greatest civil unrest and political turmoil America has seen in decades, to the spread of a global pandemic the world hasn’t experienced in over 100 years.

Prior to becoming Defense Secretary, Dr. Esper served as the 23d Secretary of the Army from November 2017 through June 2019. In this capacity, he was responsible for over 1.5 million active, Guard, and reserve Soldiers and Army civilians, a budget of $180 billion annually, and all aspects of leading the world’s most capable ground combat force. During his tenure, Esper launched a renaissance in how the Service organized, manned, trained, and equipped the force as it shifted its focus back toward large-scale combat operations against great power competitors. Dr. Esper was a reformer who spearheaded an extensive review process that reduced organizational inefficiencies and eliminated scores of programs to free up funding for critical modernization initiatives. He also established a new U.S. Army Futures Command designed to improve the Army’s acquisition process and bolster its broader effort to field a modernized force capable of fighting in all domains. Finally, he directed an overhaul of Army recruiting standards and processes, the lengthening and toughening of Infantry Basic Combat Training, and the development of a new Talent Management system for the Service, all while advancing important initiatives for Army spouses and families.

Dr. Esper graduated from West Point with distinction in 1986 and received his commission in the Infantry. During 10 years on active duty, he served in the 101st Airborne Division and participated in the Gulf War with the “Screaming Eagles,” and later commanded an airborne rifle company in Europe. He then served another 11 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve. From 1996 to 1998, Dr. Esper was chief of staff at The Heritage Foundation, and later served in senior staff positions for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senate Government Affairs Committee, and House Armed Services Committee. Esper was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Negotiations Policy from 2002 to 2004 and National Security Advisor for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist from 2004 to 2006.

From 2006 to 2007, Dr. Esper was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Defense and International Affairs at Aerospace Industries Association. He then worked as the National Policy Director on the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator Fred Thompson and as a Senate-appointed commissioner on the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. From 2008 to 2010, he served concurrently as the Executive Vice President for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center and as Vice President for Europe and Eurasian Affairs. He was Vice President for Government Relations at the Raytheon Company from 2010 to 2017. And from 2006 to 2010 he was an Associate Professor at the Missouri State University Graduate Studies program in northern Virginia.

Esper holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, a Master of Public Administration degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a doctorate in Public Policy from George Washington University. He is a two-time recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, and received numerous awards during his military career, including the Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

Dr. Esper is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion. He is also the Distinguished Chair of the Modern War Institute at West Point.

He and his wife, Leah, have been married since 1989 and have three adult children.

F Phillip Handy
Phil Handy

Trustee Emeritus
McCain Institute for International Leadership

F Phillip Handy
Phil Handy

Trustee Emeritus
McCain Institute for International Leadership

Since October, 2001, F. Philip Handy has served as the chief executive officer of Strategic Industries, a portfolio of 15 companies in the diversified service and manufacturing businesses. All of the companies have been significantly restructured and taken globally, 13 have been sold.

Until January, 2007, he served for six years as chairman of the Florida State Board of Education, a seven person board appointed by Governor Jeb Bush, which has constitutional responsibility for Florida’s public educational system (over 4 million students). Handy has been appointed twice by President George W. Bush to the National Board of Education Sciences (confirmed by the U.S. Senate), where he has served as vice chairman.

Handy currently serves on the public Board of Directors of Anixter International, Inc., the world’s leading distributor of wire and cable; Rewards Network, Inc., the only national dining rewards company; Owens Corning, a world leader in building materials systems and composite solutions. He also sits on the private Boards of Directors for Study Group International, leaders in international education and training and WRS Infrastructure and Environment, Inc., a national environmental and remediation company.

He is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and an advisor to the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He also co-chaired Senator John McCain’s Florida Presidential Campaign and served as chairman of Senator McCain’s National Policy Council on Education.

He is a member of the Chief Executives Organization, and is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization. He has been a member of the Florida Governor’s Council of 100 since 1987.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics, and graduated cum laude from Princeton University and later earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. He completed the sixth forum at The Rugby School and graduated from Northfield Mount Hermon School and received the doctorate of laws “h.c.” from Flagler College. He also served six years in the U.S. Army Reserve and was honorably discharged in 1973.

Handy has owned and operated many businesses. They include Maryland Club Foods, a nationally branded coffee/beverage company (purchased from Coca Cola), Majik Markets, a 1000 store food/gasoline retailer, and Equality Specialties, a package decoration wholesaler. He has also served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of two public companies, Chart House Restaurant Group and Rewards Networks. From 1996 through 1999, Handy was managing director of Equity Group Corporate Investments, a private investment firm controlled by Sam Zell. Handy was a securities analyst at Fidelity Management and Research from 1968 to 1970. He then joined Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette where he served as Vice President from 1970 to 1976. In 1976, he became the CEO of Combanks, a multiple bank holding company based in Orlando, Florida. In 1980 he commenced his career in the private equity business.

In the political and eleemosynary area, Handy served as the state chairman of Jeb Bush’s gubernatorial campaigns in Florida in 1993-94 and 1997-98; and as co-chairman of Jeb Bush’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign. In 1991 and 1992, he was chairman of Limited Political Terms, a political committee, which led the most successful petition drive in Florida’s history, which resulted in a 77 percent affirmative vote. Handy has chaired nine statewide political races (won 5, lost 4).

Handy served as a Trustee of the Northfield Mount Hermon School (his alma mater), where he has served as Treasurer and as a member of the Executive Committee. He was a member of the Board of Overseers of Rollins College Crummer Graduate School of Business. For ten years he was a member, and the president for three years, of the Board of Trustees of the Orlando Museum of Art. In 1980, Handy was appointed by Governor Bob Graham to serve on the Investment Advisory Board for the State Board of Administration (the State’s pension fund manager). He served as chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee from 1982 to 1986.

In 1989 and 1990, he served on the Governor’s Commission on the Future of Florida’s Environment, which helped create Preservation 2000. In September 1989, he was appointed by the Governor to the Board of Directors of PRIDE of Florida (Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises, Inc.) and served as Chairman of the Board until December 1992.

Handy was a long distance runner who successfully completed the New York, London and Sydney marathons. He is now a passionate bicyclist – both mountain and road.

Sharon Harper

President, CEO and Co-Founder
Plaza Companies

Sharon Harper

President, CEO and Co-Founder
Plaza Companies

As president, CEO and co-founder of Plaza Companies, Sharon Harper, CRE, oversees all facets of company operations, including the ownership, development, leasing or management of more than five million square feet of Arizona’s medical office properties, senior living facilities and leading bioscience and biotechnology centers.

Her forward-thinking commitment to commercial real estate has helped Plaza Companies emerge as one of the premier real estate firms in the Southwest, earning numerous awards and designations under her leadership like AZ Business magazine’s Most Admired Companies Award, 2013, the International Development Council’s International Leadership Award, 2013, Large Developer of the Year by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and Medical Office Building of the Year in 2001, 2004 and 2008. Additionally, Plaza Companies was deemed an “Economic Engine” by Arizona Business Magazine in 2007, listed among the Phoenix Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” that same year, and listed among “Arizona’s Most Admired Companies, 2011” by Arizona Business Magazine.

With Harper at the helm, Plaza Companies has emerged as an industry leader in healthcare, biotechnology and biosciences and senior housing, with the company proving instrumental in setting a national standard of excellence in the ownership, development, management and leasing of award-winning facilities across all three sectors.

Harper’s hard work and tireless dedication have also helped make Plaza Companies an integral component of the local and national medical office communities. Its properties and projects have seen considerable successes, with the Plaza team playing an instrumental role in the development and management of numerous on and off-campus projects. Notable projects include the Banner Estrella Medical Center of Phoenix, a 147,000 square-foot medical facility considered the epicenter of cutting-edge healthcare in the West Valley, an upcoming second building on the Banner Estrella medical campus, Paradise Valley Medical Plaza and innumerable on and off campus projects.

Harper was also heavily influential in the widespread success of SkySong, The ASU Scottsdale Innovation Center, of which Plaza Companies is master developer. The metro area landmark has received considerable national acclaim and has proved instrumental in attracting cutting-edge technology and innovation companies to the area as well as more than 1,500 jobs, and is considered among the premier economic engines in the Southwest. SkySong buildings 1 and 2 of the world-renowned, 42-acre mixed-use development offer a combined 300,000 square feet of leasable office space and are near full occupancy, while SkySong 3, the future home of ASU SkySong, boasts 450,000 square feet of leasable space in one of the region’s largest and most notable healthcare research and office facilities. SkySong 4, currently in the pre-leasing stage, will add another 145,000 square feet of office space to the facility, when complete, SkySong in its entirety will include 1.2 million square feet of mixed-use space for offices, retail facilities and amenities, and apartment residences.

One of the region’s most recognizable icons, SkySong has received considerable recognition for its efforts in green building and sustainability. SkySong’s buildings have received LEED Silver Certifications from the U.S. Green Building Council and an Energy Star Designation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the project was also named “Best of NAIOP” by the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties-Arizona Chapter, in addition to receiving an Award of Merit from Valley Forward.

Harper and Plaza Companies have also played a key role in developing and managing many of Arizona’s premier senior living facilities, including Scottsdale’s Vi at Silverstone, the Gold Medal recipient at 2010’s Building of America (BOMA) Awards, its sister property, Vi at Grayhawk, which was listed among U.S. News and World Reports’ “America’s Best Nursing Homes” in 2011, and Tucson’s Splendido at Rancho Vistoso, which earned Gold, Silver and Innovation Awards from the National Society of Homebuilders in 2012.Plaza Companies is also the developer of Paradise Retirement Hawaii in Honolulu, a resort-style retirement community offering luxurious accommodations and plentiful amenities for seniors, and the company continues to assist with the development and management of numerous other senior living projects in and around Arizona’s Maricopa County.

Harper’s personal business achievements have earned considerable accolades as well. Named one of 2014’s “Most Influential Women in Commercial Real Estate” by AZRE magazine, she was also the recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award for Most Admired Leader” by the Phoenix Business Journal in 2013, and recently became a member of the Counselors of Real Estate. Harper was also listed among the “50 Most Influential Women in Arizona Real Estate” in 2012 by AZRE magazine and the “50 Most Influential Women, 2012” by Arizona Business Magazine, and appeared in the Phoenix Business Journal’s “Who’s Who of the Decade” in 2010, one year after earning its “Most Admired CEO” designation in 2009.

Harper’s commitments and appointments extend across Arizona and nationally. She sits on the Board of Directors for BioAccel, is a Trustee for the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, and was a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Brophy College Preparatory School. She also serves as Vice Chair of Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL) to the Board of Directors for the Arizona Community Foundation, the Scottsdale Executive and Business Forums and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), where she presently serves as Co-Chairman of the International Leadership Council.

Harper has also been named Honorary Commander of Luke Air Force Base, and was the recipient of the “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2013, the Building New Futures Good Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America in 2008 and the Sandra Day and John O’Connor Award for Outstanding Community Service in 2007. She earned the Creighton University Alumni Achievement Citation in 2006. She was a Community Honoree for the Catholic Community Foundation in 2012, is a member of Charter 100 and the Governor’s Arizona Film and Television Commission, and a board member for the Maricopa County Arts Cultural Task Force and the Creighton University National Alumni Board. Harper also served as National Finance Chairman for Arizona Senator John McCain during both his 2000 and 2008 presidential runs, and is an accomplished public speaker with many national public speaking appearances to her credit.

Senator Heidi Heitkamp

Former Senator
North Dakota

Senator Heidi Heitkamp

Former Senator
North Dakota

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp served as the first female senator elected from North Dakota from 2013-2019.

Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, ND. Alongside her six brothers and sisters, she learned the value of hard work and responsibility, leading her to choose a life of public service.

During her six years in the U.S. Senate, Senator Heitkamp quickly became a proven senator who worked across the aisle to fight for North Dakotans. Senator Heitkamp personally showed that if senators work together, it can lead to real solutions.

Throughout her time in public service, Senator Heitkamp has stood up for tribal communities and worked to improve outcomes for Native American children, women, and families. The first bill she introduced in the Senate, which became law in 2016, created a Commission on Native Children. Her bill with former Senator John McCain became law to create Amber Alerts in Indian Country. She introduced Savanna’s Act to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women. And she worked to help address the detrimental impact exposure to trauma can have on children and families – particularly those in Native communities.

On the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to provide training and resources for first responders and also worked to combat human trafficking in North Dakota, across the country, and around the world. She helped write legislation, which was signed into law, to crack down on trafficking online, which led to the closure of Backpage.com.

Senator Heitkamp has a long record with energy development in North Dakota. She continued those efforts in the Senate, working to responsibly harness North Dakota’s energy resources, and successfully pushed to lift the 40-year old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil while expanding support for renewable energies, like wind and solar energy development.

Senator Heitkamp sat on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, where she  helped write, negotiate, and pass two long-term, comprehensive Farm Bills which Congress passed.

Through her leadership on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Senator Heitkamp pushed to reform the nation’s housing finance system, make housing more affordable, and provide relief to small financial institutions.

Senator Heitkamp previously served as North Dakota’s Attorney General, battling drug dealers, protecting senior citizens from scams, and working to keep sexual predators off streets and away from kids, even after their prison terms were up. She helped broker an agreement between 46 states and the tobacco industry, which forced the tobacco industry to tell the truth about smoking and health. It was one of the largest civil settlements in U.S. history.

Prior to her time as Attorney General, Senator Heitkamp served as North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner. Senator Heitkamp received a B.A. from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. She currently serves as a contributor to CNBC, She lives in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two children, Ali and Nathan.

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

Senior Counsel
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman

Senior Counsel
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP

Now Senior Counsel at the law firm of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP in New York, Joseph I. Lieberman was for 24 years a member of the U.S. Senate from Connecticut. At the end of his service in January 2013, he was Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and a senior member of the Armed Services Committee. Through both Committee positions, he became a leader in protecting the security of the American people and supporting American international leadership. Senator Lieberman is known as a national leader who works across party lines to get things done and who speaks his conscience regardless of the political consequences. Before his election to the Senate in 1988, Senator Lieberman served 10 years in the Connecticut State Senate and 6 years as Connecticut’s Attorney General. In 2000 he was the Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States.

Senator Lieberman is married to Hadassah Freilich Lieberman. Together they have four children and 12 grandchildren.

Elisa Massimino
Elisa Massimino

Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Elisa Massimino
Elisa Massimino

Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Elisa Massimino directs the Human Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center and is a senior fellow on National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress. She spent 27 years—the last decade as President and CEO—at Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations.

From 2019-2021 Massimino was the Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights at Georgetown. She also recently served as a senior fellow with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and as a practitioner-in-residence at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy in Washington. She has testified before Congress dozens of times, writes frequently for mainstream publications and specialized journals, appears regularly in major media outlets, and speaks to audiences around the country. During her leadership at Human Rights First, the influential Washington newspaper The Hill consistently named her one of the most effective public advocates in the country.

The daughter of a nuclear submarine commander, Massimino was instrumental in Human Rights First’s effort to assemble a group of retired generals and admirals to speak publicly against policies authorizing the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody. This coalition of military leaders played a pivotal role in restoring compliance with the Geneva Conventions.

Massimino is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. She holds a law degree from the University of Michigan, a Master’s in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Trinity University where she has been recognized with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

General David H. Petraeus

Partner, KKR
Chairman, KKR Global Institute

General David H. Petraeus

Partner, KKR
Chairman, KKR Global Institute

GEN David H. Petraeus, USA (Ret.) is a partner with the global financial investment firm KKR and the Chairman of the KKR Global Institute. He is also a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College, a Judge Widney Professor at the University of Southern California, a non-resident Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Honorary Visiting Professor of the Strategy and Security Institute at the University of Exeter, and a member of the advisory boards of several veterans organizations. GEN Petraeus previously served over 37 years in the U.S. military and then as the director of the CIA.

GEN Petraeus was born and raised in Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York. He was commissioned an infantry officer following graduation with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy in 1974. Later in his career, he was the General George C. Marshall Award Winner as the top graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College class of 1983, and he subsequently earned master’s and Ph.D. degrees in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He later taught international relations and economics as an assistant professor at the U.S. Military Academy and completed a fellowship at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

During his military career, GEN Petraeus served in Cold War Europe, the United States, Central America, Haiti, Bosnia, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the decade that followed the 9/11 attacks, he was deployed for some 6-1/2 years, culminating his career with six straight commands, five of which were in combat.

GEN Petraeus commanded the 101st Airborne Division during the fight to Baghdad in 2003 and throughout the first year in Iraq, during which the Division was noted for having achieved a unique degree of success through a comprehensive counterinsurgency approach.

He returned to Iraq in June 2004, having left only a few months earlier, to establish and lead both the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission-Iraq, completing that tour in September 2005 after initiating substantial programs to train and equip Iraqi forces.

GEN Petraeus is most widely known for his roles in the subsequent several years. On returning to the United States following his second tour in Iraq, he oversaw significant improvements in the U.S. Army’s preparation of leaders and units for deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan, including guiding the development of the Army/Marine Corps field manual on counterinsurgency. He then returned to Iraq to command the Surge and guide the implementation of the counterinsurgency manual’s concepts. During his 19-1/2-months at the helm of the Multi-National Force-Iraq, violence was reduced by some 90%, Iraqi forces were reformed and expanded, and transition of tasks to Iraqi forces was advanced considerably.

After returning from Iraq in the fall of 2008, GEN Petraeus took command of the U.S. Central Command, overseeing the operations of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central and South Asia, including in Yemen and Pakistan, as well as in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In early July 2010, GEN Petraeus deployed again, this time to command the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces in Afghanistan. During the subsequent year, the momentum of the Taliban was halted, development of the Afghan Security Forces was accelerated, and transition of tasks to Afghan forces was begun, all while preventing the reestablishment of the Al Qaeda sanctuaries in Afghanistan that existed when the 9/11 attacks were planned there.

Following retirement from the military, GEN Petraeus served as the Director of the CIA, leading the Agency during a period that saw significant achievements in the global counter-terrorism effort, initiation of a comprehensive strategic plan to guide the Agency, conduct of an effort to increase worldwide human intelligence coverage, establishment of the Agency’s Economic Security Center, and commencement of a number of initiatives to increase the Agency’s investments in its human capital.

GEN Petraeus has received numerous U.S. military, State Department, NATO and United Nations awards and decorations. He also has been decorated by 13 foreign countries.

Lynn Forester de Rothschild
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild

Chief Executive Officer, E.L. Rothschild
Chairman and Co-Founder, Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism

Lynn Forester de Rothschild
Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild

Chief Executive Officer, E.L. Rothschild
Chairman and Co-Founder, Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism

Since June 2002, Lady de Rothschild has been the Chief Executive of E.L. Rothschild LLC, a private investment company with investments in media, asset management, information technology, agriculture and real estate worldwide. Holdings include The Economist Group (UK), Bronfman/E.L.Rothschild, real estate and financial instruments. Lady de Rothschild has been a director of The Estee Lauder Companies since December 2000 and The Economist Newspaper Limited (member of the Audit Committee) since October 2002.

From 2004-2007, she was also co-chair of FieldFresh Pvt. Ltd, a 50-50 joint venture with Bharti Enterprises, established to develop the Indian agricultural sector in India. From 1989 to 2002, she was president and chief executive officer of FirstMark Holdings, Inc., which owned various telecommunications companies worldwide. She was executive vice president for development at Metromedia Telecommunications, Inc. from 1984 to 1989. She began her career in 1980 as an associate at the law firm of Simpson, Thacher and Bartlett LLP in New York City where she practiced corporate law until 1984.

She is co-host of the Conference on Inclusive Capitalism and Founder of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism. She is a member of the Board and the Executive Committee of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and a board member of the Alfred Herrhausen Society of International Dialogue of Deutsche Bank, the Elumelu Foundation (Africa),the International Advisory Board of Columbia University School of Law, FAI (Fondo per L’Ambiente Italiano) and the ERANDA Foundation (de Rothschild family foundation).

In addition to being a keynote speaker at various launch events (CNBC, Bloomberg) for the Henry Jackson Initiative on Inclusive Capitalism, Lady de Rothschild has been a featured speaker for the Economist World In 2013 conference, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, Tsinghua and Peking University, Royal Society of the United Services, London and the OECD Workshop on Inclusive Growth. Her opinion pieces have been published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Beast.

Lady de Rothschild is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (USA), Chatham House (UK), the International Advisory Council of Asia House (UK), the International Institute of Strategic Studies (UK) and the Foreign Policy Association (USA). In 2000, she was ranked number four on the European Fortune Most Powerful Woman in Business. In October 2007, Lady de Rothschild was awarded the Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.

Previously, she served as a member of the National Information Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board under President Clinton, as a member of the United Nations Advisory Committee on Inclusive Financial Services and as an Advisor to the Deutsche Bank Microfinance Consortium. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Pomona College in Claremont, California (1976) with a Juris Doctor with honors from Columbia University in New York City (1980).

Dr. Rick Shangraw

President
Cintana Education

Dr. Rick Shangraw

President
Cintana Education

Dr. Shangraw is the president of Cintana Education, a public benefit corporation headquartered in Tempe, Arizona. He works with universities around the globe to help them achieve scale and excellence. Cintana was founded in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU)

Prior to Cintana, he spent 15 years as a senior executive at ASU, which U.S. News and World Reports ranks as the most innovative university in the country. From 2016 to 2019, Dr. Shangraw served as the founding chief executive officer of ASU Enterprise Partners, leading the movement to evolve higher education through entrepreneurship. He became CEO of the ASU Foundation for a New American University in 2011 and directed its expansion and transformation into ASU Enterprise Partners –reimagining fundraising to create a diversified revenue generation model for ASU.

During his nine-year tenure, ASU Enterprise Partners grew its assets from $500 million to $1.5 billion, spanning five subsidiaries raising resources through philanthropy, real estate, technology transfer, applied research, and spinoff incubation. The organization also generated more than $900 million in new gifts and commitments, earned Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for the last eight years and received recognition for its commitment to transparency by GuideStar USA.

Dr. Shangraw previously served as senior vice president for research and innovation at ASU, establishing ASU as one of the fastest-growing research enterprises in the United States, with research expenditures ranked 7th in 2019 among American universities without medical schools. Under his leadership, nearly 5,000 distinct research projects were awarded over $1.2 billion in funding.

Prior to his tenure at ASU, Dr. Shangraw was the founder and CEO of Project Performance Corporation, a Washington, D.C.-based research and technology consulting firm specializing in environmental, energy and information management challenges. He advised the U.S. Departments of Defense, Transportation, and Energy, as well as Fortune 100 companies. Dr. Shangraw started his career as a tenure-track faculty member at Syracuse University.

Shangraw has a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in political science and a certificate in environmental studies from Dickinson College; a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University; and a doctorate in public administration from the Maxwell School, with a specialization in technology and information policy and organization design.

Josette Sheeran
Ambassador Josette Sheeran

Executive Chairman
McCain Institute for International Leadership

Josette Sheeran
Ambassador Josette Sheeran

Executive Chairman
McCain Institute for International Leadership

Ambassador Josette Sheeran, a founding trustee of the McCain Institute, currently serves as Executive Chairman. In this role, Sheeran is overseeing a strategic evaluation of the Institute’s mission and programs with a goal of ensuring transformational impact in the U.S. and the global community through the vision of its namesake, Sen. John S. McCain.

Sheeran previously served as the seventh president and CEO of Asia Society. In the position, which she assumed in June 2013, she was responsible for leading and advancing the organization’s work throughout the United States and Asia, and across its disciplines of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.

Sheeran is former vice chair of the World Economic Forum, which hosts the annual Davos and Davos in China gathering of world leaders. In this position, she helped advance global initiatives and global, regional and industry agendas such as Grow Africa, which has attracted $4 billion in investment commitments to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa. She recently served at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fisher Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy.

Prior to her tenure at the World Economic Forum, Sheeran was executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006. There she was responsible for managing the world’s largest humanitarian organization, leading a team of 13,000 people in more than 70 countries and managing an annual budget of more than $3 billion — including $1 billion in Asia.

Under Sheeran’s leadership, the WFP increased its donor base to more than 100 nations, and became the first global institution to include the so-called BRIC countries and the Gulf States among its top 10 donors. She put in place historic reforms of food aid, helping cut the cycle of hunger and malnutrition by purchasing nutritious food directly from developing world farmers. She also instituted emergency protocols that helped the WFP improve its ability to save lives and livelihoods in disasters and emergencies, most notably in Pakistan, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Haiti and in the Horn of Africa.

Sheeran has held senior positions in the U.S. government, and in those positions she conducted high-level diplomacy with virtually every nation in Asia. As U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, she led new State Department initiatives which supported economic transformation and reconstruction in Afghanistan and Central Asia and with APEC and ASEAN. Earlier she served for five years as deputy U.S. trade representative, conducting negotiations across Asia, including with China, Australia, Singapore, India, Korea, and Japan.

In 2011, Forbes named Sheeran the world’s 30th most powerful woman; Foreign Policy has listed her among its top 100 women on Twitter; and Sheeran’s TED Talk on ending world hunger has been viewed more than one million times.

Sheeran is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on its Washington Advisory Board. She has received several honors for her leadership in the fight against hunger and malnutrition: she was awarded Japan’s Niigata International Food Award; named Commandeur de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the government of France; and received Brazil’s highest civilian award, the Grand Official Order of the ‘Rio Branco,’ from President Lula Da Silva. Sheeran was also honored by the Huffington Post with its “Game Changer” award in 2011, along with Liberian President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and economist Esther Duflo.

Harry E. Sloan

Chairman and CEO
Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp

Harry E. Sloan

Chairman and CEO
Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp

Harry E. Sloan is a successful international media investor, whose entrepreneurial spirit has been a guiding force throughout his career, helping him identify key investment opportunities with significant returns for his partners. In the past two years alone, he has raised more than $500 million in the public markets to invest into the entertainment industry to create new businesses.

Today, Sloan is chairman and CEO of Silver Eagle Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: EAGL), a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed to acquire domestic or international media/entertainment businesses with high growth potential. Silver Eagle’s initial public offering generated more than $325 million, the largest IPO investment raised by any U.S. SPAC in more than seven years.

Silver Eagle is the second SPAC sponsored by Sloan and his business partner, former CBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment president Jeff Sagansky. Their first venture, Global Eagle Acquisition Corp., was formed in February 2011 and raised over $190 million of equity to invest in the in-flight entertainment industry, one of the world’s fastest growing business sectors. In January 2013, Global Eagle Acquisition completed a $430 million business combination with Row 44 Inc. and Advanced InFlight Alliance AG. By pairing these two companies, Sloan created the leading full-service platform offering both content and connectivity for the worldwide airline industry, which now operates under the banner of Global Eagle Entertainment (Nasdaq: ENT). Sloan is a director of Global Eagle Entertainment.

Prior to launching Global Eagle Acquisition, Sloan was named the chairman and CEO of MGM in 2005, one year after a $5 billion private equity buyout of the studio. During Sloan’s tenure, he led MGM to revive the James Bond, Rocky and Pink Panther franchises and created a partnership with Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema to produce three Hobbit movies. Sloan also rebuilt MGM’s theatrical, television distribution and marketing units. He launched numerous MGM basic television channels in the US and internationally, including MGM UK, India, Italy, Poland, and Eastern Europe. Sloan also led the MGM effort to successfully launch the Viacom-Lionsgate joint venture, US Pay TV channel EPIX IN 2009.

Under Sloan’s four-year watch, MGM generated approximately $500M/year of library cash flow and was able to service the $3.7 billion of acquisition debt without tapping into its corporate revolver. Sloan stepped down from his position as CEO in August 2009 and, remaining as chairman, recruited a new team to restructure the debt on behalf of MGM’s lenders. In December of 2010, MGM confirmed its plan of reorganization creating a new and financially healthy MGM. Sloan officially left the studio in 2011 to launch Global Eagle Acquisition with Sagansky.

One of his biggest career achievements was Sloan’s founding of SBS Broadcasting in 1990 with a personal investment of $5 million. Over the next decade, he was able to build SBS into the second largest broadcaster in Europe, with 16 television stations, 21 premium pay channels and 11 radio networks, reaching 100 million people in nine countries. He led the company’s initial public offering in 1993 and sold SBS (Nasdaq: SBTV) for $2.6 billion in October 2005 to Permira and KKR. In 2007, SBS consolidated its operations into Prosieben Sat.1 Media AG, Germany’s largest television broadcasting group, creating a European media powerhouse. Sloan served on the Prosieben Sat. 1 Board of Directors until 2009.

Sloan was also one of the founding shareholders of Lionsgate Films in 1999 and served as chairman of Lionsgate’s Board from 2004-2005.

Prior to founding SBS, Sloan served as Chairman of New World Entertainment Ltd., which he purchased for $2 million in 1983. Over the next three years, Sloan expanded the independent movie production company into television production and distribution as New World became the third largest producer of U.S. primetime television. He led New World’s initial public offering in 1985, acquired Marvel Entertainment Group in 1986, and sold the business in 1989 to Ronald Perelman for $270 million. From 1976 to 1983, Sloan was a practicing entertainment lawyer with Sloan, Kuppin and Ament, a law firm which he founded in Los Angeles. Sloan received his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 1973 and J.D. degree from Loyola Law School in 1976.

Throughout his career, Sloan has served as a member of the board for a number of entertainment companies, lending his expertise and knowledge to these business enterprises. In January 2011, Sloan was appointed to serve on the board of Promotora de Informaciones, S.A. or PRISA, Spain’s largest media conglomerate, after its 2010 business combination with Liberty Acquisition Corp. He is also a director of ZeniMax Media Inc., a producer of interactive gaming and web content, since 1999 as well as a board member on Prosieben and Lionsgate.

In 1987, Sloan was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the President’s Advisory Council on Trade and Policy Negotiations (ACTPN). He currently serves on the UCLA Anderson School of Management Board of Visitors and the Executive Board of UCLA Theatre, Film and Television.

Frances Fragos Townsend

EVP, Corporate Affairs, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer
Activision Blizzard

Frances Fragos Townsend

EVP, Corporate Affairs, Corporate Secretary and Chief Compliance Officer
Activision Blizzard

Frances Fragos Townsend is an executive vice president for worldwide government, legal and business affairs at MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings, Inc. She works across MacAndrew’s portfolio companies focusing on international, legal, compliance and business development issues. Prior to that she was a corporate partner with the law firm of Baker Botts, LLP. From 2004 to 2008, Townsend served as Assistant to President George W. Bush for Homeland Security andCounterterrorism and chaired the Homeland Security Council. She also served as Deputy National Security Advisor for Combatting Terrorism from May 2003 to May 2004. Townsend spent 13 years at the U.S. Department of Justice under the administrations of President George H. W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. She has received numerous awards for her public service accomplishments. Townsend is a director on the board of three public companies (NYSE: FCX, NYSE: WU, NASDAQ: SGMS) where she serves on: compliance, audit, compensation and governance committees. She also serves on three private company boards where she chairs all three compensation committees and is the chairwoman of one board. Townsend also serves on several government advisory and nonprofit boards. Townsend is a trustee on the board of the New York City Police Foundation and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. Townsend is an on-air analyst for CNN and has regularly appeared on network and cable television as a foreign policy, counterterrorism, national and homeland security expert.