- Young Professionals Summit
YPS Speaker Bios 2017
Kristine Berzina, Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Kristine Berzina is a transatlantic fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where she focuses on transatlantic relations, security policy, and leads energy programming. Berzina has authored several publications on U.S.-EU relations, foreign policy in Central and Eastern Europe, energy security, the Arctic, and international affairs more broadly. Prior to joining GMF, Berzina was an analyst on energy security and transatlantic economic cooperation, assessing prospects for transatlantic liquefied natural gas trade for the American Clean Skies Foundation in Washington, DC, and writing about EU energy regulation and Germany’s Energiewende for the Ecologic Institute in Berlin, Germany. She has also worked on climate change and international development issues in Washington, DC. Berzina received her master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Cambridge and her Bachelor of Arts in political science and history from Yale University. She is a native Latvian and English speaker, works in German, and has a basic knowledge of Russian and French.
Sophia Besch is a research fellow at the Centre for European Reform, where she works on foreign policy issues, with a focus on EU defence, NATO, and German foreign policy.
Rachel Bonfante, Head, EU Affairs, Policy, Government, and Public Affairs, Chevron
Rachel joined Chevron in 2014 as EU Affairs manager before becoming head of EU Affairs in May 2015. As part of the corporate global government affairs department at Chevron she is responsible for overseeing relations with the EU institutions and coordinating advocacy with colleagues in business units across Europe. Rachel began her career in government relations with internships in Washington, DC before working as a consultant on EU energy and climate change issues with Fleishman-Hillard (Brussels and Jakarta). She then moved to the EU Affairs office of Norsk Hydro (now Statoil) to focus on oil, gas and renewable energy issues. Previously, she was deputy director with the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) managing gas from shale globally for the organization. Other areas of work with IOGP included gas advocacy, energy policy, and issues relating to transparency and CSR. Rachel holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and American Studies from the University of Wales, Swansea, and an MPhil in International Relations from Trinity Hall, Cambridge.
Reinhard Bütikofer, Member, European Parliament
Reinhard Bütikofer is a member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA) and the co-chair of the European Green Party (EGP). He sits on the Committee of Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE), is the vice chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the People’s Republic of China, a member of the delegation to the United States, as well as a substitute member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET). Since October 2016 he is a board member of the Green European Foundation (GEF).
Jonathan Capehart, Editorial Board Member, The Washington Post
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jonathan Capehart is a member of The Washington Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog. He is an MSNBC contributor and has served as a substitute anchor on The Cycle, Martin Bashir, and Way Too Early. He also has been a member of the Reporters Roundtable on ABC News’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, and substitute host on The Brian Lehrer Show and The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. Capehart was the deputy editorial page editor of New York Daily News from 2002 to 2004, and served on that newspaper’s editorial board from 1993 to 2000. In 1999, his 16-month editorial campaign to save the famed Apollo Theatre in Harlem earned him and the board the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.
Elisabeth Denison, Chief Strategy and Talent Officer Germany, EMEA Talent Leader, Deloitte
Elisabeth Denison is chief strategy and talent officer of Deloitte Germany, and the talent leader for the EMEA Region at Deloitte. She is a member of the Global Executive Talent Council and Chief Strategy Officer Council and leads the EMEA Talent Agenda with particular focus on innovation and diversity against the background of globalization and digitalization. Denison has gained wide-ranging global experience in finance and professional services over the past 20 years, living for several years in Hong Kong, Singapore, and New York. Denison is a trained software engineer with master degrees in Business Administration and Economics from Austria and London and holds a PhD in Economics.
Karen Donfried, President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Dr. Karen Donfried is president of The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). Before assuming this role in April 2014, Donfried was the special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the National Security Council at the White House. In that capacity, she was the president’s principal advisor on Europe and led the interagency process on the development and implementation of the president’s European policies. Prior to the White House, Donfried served as the national intelligence officer (NIO) for Europe on the National Intelligence Council, the intelligence community’s center for strategic thinking. As NIO, she directed and drafted strategic analysis to advance senior policymakers’ understanding of Europe. Donfried first joined GMF in 2001 after having served for ten years as a European specialist at the Congressional Research Service. From 2003-05, she was responsible for the Europe portfolio on the U.S. Department of State's Policy Planning Staff. Her second term of service at GMF was 2005-10, first as senior director of policy programs and then as executive vice president. Donfried serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University. She is a member of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Foreign Affairs Advisory Board, as well as of the Council on Foreign Relations. From 2014-16, Donfried served as vice chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the United States; in 2016, she became a member of WEF’s Global Future Council on Regional Governance.
Geraldine Ide Gardner, Director, Urban and Regional Policy (URP) program, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Geraldine Ide Gardner is the director of GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy (URP) program, where she leads the program’s transatlantic initiatives to convene policymakers and practitioners from U.S. and European cities to explore key issues in the transatlantic urban agenda. Gardner’s expertise lies in the integrated policies and cross-sector partnerships needed to build sustainable and inclusive cities, while increasing the economic competitiveness of city-regions in the global arena. Under her leadership, the five-member URP team actively stewards an transatlantic network of urban leaders in over 25 cities and manages signature initiatives including BUILD, Dialogues for Change, Transatlantic Cities Network, and the URP Policy Fellowship. Through a recognized model of peer-to-peer learning, Gardner facilitates the exploration of key urban policy issues and thoughtful transfer of new ideas to the unique context of each city.
Justin Gest, Assistant Professor, George Mason University
Justin Gest is an assistant professor of public policy at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His teaching and research interests include minority political behavior, immigration policy, and demographic change. He is the author of Apart: Alienated and Engaged Muslims in the West (Oxford University Press 2010), The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality (Oxford University Press 2016), and will soon publish Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in Times of Demographic Change (Cambridge University Press 2017). He is the editor of Silent Citizenship: The Politics of Marginality in Unequal Democracies (Routledge 2016), and has authored a dozen peer-reviewed articles. He has also provided commentaries for BBC, CNN, The Guardian, NPR, Politico, Reuters, and Vox. In 2007, Gest co-founded the Migration Studies Unit at the London School of Economics (LSE).
Silvio Gonzato, Director for Strategic Communication, Parliamentary Affairs, Inspection, Audit, Mediator, and Legal Affairs, European External Action Service
Silvio Gonzato was appointed director for Strategic Communication, Parliamentary Affairs, Inspection, Audit, Mediator and Legal Affairs at the European External Action Service (EEAS) on September 15, 2015. He was previously director for Human Rights and Democracyat EEAS. His responsibilities cover the strategic communication for the HRVP, relations with the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee, and the Committee of the Regions, the inspection of EU delegations around the world (139 delegations and offices), internal audit and the provision of legal advice to the HRVP. In his previous capacity he was responsible for the organization and contents of all HR-related dialogues and consultations between the EU and partner countries (over 40 of them), the development of policy guidelines, and guidance to EU bilateral and multilateral delegations in matters pertaining to HR and democracy support. He was also responsible for election observation activities carried out by the EU, cooperation with international and regional organizations in matters pertaining to electoral observation and democracy support.
Maryam Jamshid, Social Council Elected Member, City of Hasselt, Belgium
From a very young age Maryam Jamshid liked to join several advisory councils such as the youth parliament of her city or the school council. She always had the ambition to join politics but never thought it would be at such a young age. During her last year of high school the CD&V (Christian-Democratic & Flemish) approached her and she became a member. Now she is a member of the Social Council of her city Hasselt and the president of the youth of CD&V for the Provence of Limburg. She recently started working as an advisor for the Minister of Justice Koen Geens.
Paulette Jordan, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives, Idaho
Paulette Jordan is an Idaho House Representative and Member of the Idaho Legislative Council. Jordan holds a seat on the State Affairs Committee, Resources and Conservation Committee, and Energy, Environment and Technology Committee. Jordan has been involved in Tribal and State political matters for over 15 years. Prior to her election in to the Idaho House, she completed her third year as an elected member of the Coeur d'Alene Tribal Council. Jordan is a graduate of the University of Washington and holds a Certificate of Study in Conflict Resolution and Strategic Negotiations from the Washington Center in Washington DC. She also carries an Executive Certificate in energy policy development from the University of Idaho College of Business and Economics, and an Executive Certificate in State and Local Governance from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Adnan Kifayat, Senior Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Adnan Kifayat is a senior resident fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where he advises on GMF programs to strengthen leadership development and strategies for engagement in the transatlantic region, as well as GMF’s Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative. He is also Head of Global Security Ventures for the Gen Next Foundation. Kifayat joined GMF following a 15 year public service career at the White House, State Department, and Treasury Department. Kifayat served as Secretary of State John Kerry’s acting special representative to Muslim communities, creating initiatives to broaden and deepen U.S. diplomatic engagement with Muslim communities worldwide. As senior advisor to the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and inaugural director of the Global Strategic Engagement Center (GSEC), he led initiatives to help advance to use of social media tools by the State Department.
Cornelia Kutterer, Head of Digital Policy Strategy for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, Microsoft
Cornelia Kutterer leads Microsoft's digital policy strategy for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, focusing on issues related to the digital economy, the single market, and connectivity, as well as media and consumer laws. Prior to this, she represented Microsoft on privacy and security matters at an EU institutional level. She has long-standing experience in information society and internet policies, and represents Microsoft in various trade organizations. Kutterer was previously head of the Legal Department and senior legal advisor at BEUC, the European consumer organization. She began her career in 1997, as political advisor to an MEP in the European Parliament. Kutterer is a qualified lawyer in Germany, and holds a master's degree in information technology and telecommunication laws. She studied law at the Universities of Passau (Germany), Porto (Portugal), Hamburg (Germany) and Strathclyde (U.K.).
Mark Lange, Director of EU Institutional Relations, Microsoft
Mark Lange is director of EU Institutional Relations. He joined Microsoft in 1998 and currently works on policy issues relating to cloud computing, privacy, security, and data governance in the European Union, as well as interoperability and intellectual property across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. He previously worked for the law firm Covington & Burling in Washington, DC and Brussels, from 1989-98. His practice included general litigation, international trade, and intellectual property. Lange graduated from the University of Virginia in 1981 and from Northwestern University Law School in 1989.
Ian Lesser, Vice President, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Ian Lesser is vice president for foreign policy at The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) and a member of GMF’s executive team, managing programs across the organization. He also serves as executive director of the Transatlantic Center, the Brussels office of GMF, and leads GMF’s work on the Mediterranean, Turkey, and the wider Atlantic. Prior to joining GMF, Dr. Lesser was a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and vice president and director of studies at the Pacific Council on International Policy. He came to the Pacific Council from RAND, where he spent over a decade as a senior analyst and research manager specializing in strategic studies. From 1994-1995, he was a member of the secretary’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State, responsible for Turkey, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the multilateral track of the Middle East peace process.
Richard Lui, News Anchor, MSNBC
Richard Lui has more than 30 years in television, technology, and business — often addressing Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley firms as a thought leader in media, marketing, and storytelling. Currently, Lui is news anchor for MSNBC and NBC News, reporting on the ground for stories from terror attacks in France to slavery in Africa. Previously, he was at CNN Worldwide, where he became the first Asian male in U.S. history to anchor a daily national cable news program. With over 20 years in the tech industry, Lui co-patented and founded a global bank-centric payments carve-out with Citibank. He currently helps a Silicon Valley artificial intelligence firm, and sits on four boards of directors and advisors. Business Insider named him one of 21 careers to watch and Twitter Counter ranks him top 1 percent. Lui has received civil rights awards from the National Education Association, Advancing Justice, and Asian American Journalists Association.
Martin Quencez, Fellow for Security and Defense, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Martin Quencez currently serves as a fellow at GMF’s Paris Office. His work includes research on transatlantic security and defense cooperation, French foreign policy, and South Asian affairs. Prior to joining GMF, he worked for the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi, where he focused on French and Indian strategic thinking. He holds a bachelor’s from the French Institute of Political Studies, and a master’s from the Paris School of International Affairs – Sciences Po.
Martin Mata, Financial Advisor
Martin Mata is currently self employed advisor for private companies in finance, investment. He is a member of the Ústí nad labem city council in Czech Republic, and a member of the supervisory board of one of the biggest comapanies in the region. He is also chairman of the local Vaše Ústí government club. Prior to this he was economic deputy mayor, responsible for the city budget and european questions. In the private sector, he has worked for international companies as production supervisor and logistic manager (industrial and food manufacturing). Mata completed his Engineering degree in 2017, and an MBA in 2014. Mata supports Roma education, and has had political training in the United States as IVLP member.
Taylor Moore, Free Expression Fellow, Center for Democracy and Technology
Taylor Moore is the Center for Democracy and Technology’s Free Expression Fellow. Her work focuses on preserving the Internet as a global platform for speech and association, democratic accountability, the free exchange of information and ideas, and the freedom of thought. She previously served as the Google Policy Fellow for Public Knowledge, where she was involved in advocacy work related to net neutrality, intellectual property, and internet governance. Moore also served as the fellow for the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, an accredited Non-governmental Organization Member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Before graduating from Howard University School of Law, she worked as a law clerk for Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at the Federal Communications Commission and the American Civil Liberties Union. She holds B.A. degrees Psychology and Criminal Justice.
Teri Schultz, Journalist, National Public Radio and Deutsche Welle
Teri Schultz has been covering the European Union, NATO, and the BeNeLux region since 2007, reporting regularly for National Public Radio, CBS Radio News, and Germany's public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. She has a particular interest in in Afghanistan, having made six reporting trips there, and has held journalism fellowships in Russia and Pakistan. Schultz covered the U.S. State Department for FOX News Channel from 2000-2006. She has a master's of science in international relations from the University of Helsinki and an undergraduate degree in journalism from New Mexico State University.
Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO
Jamie Shea is deputy assistant secretary general for NATO Emerging Security Challenges. He has been working with NATO since 1980. Positions include director of policy planning in the Private Office of the Secretary General, deputy assistant secretary general for external relations, Public Diplomacy Division, director of information and press, spokesman of NATO and deputy director of information and press, deputy head and senior planning officer in the Policy Planning and Multilateral Affairs Section of the Political Directorate, as well as assistant to the Secretary General of NATO for Special Projects. He is professor at the Collège d’Europe, Bruges, visiting lecturer in the practice of diplomacy, University of Sussex and an associate professor of international relations at the American University, Washington DC. He is a recipient of the Golden Eagle medal of the Republic of Albania and the Linden medal of the Czech Republic.
Danielle Piatkiewicz, Program Coordinator, Asia, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Danielle Piatkiewicz is a program coordinator for GMF’s Asia program. In this role, she is responsible for managing and coordinating GMF’s Asia program in managing ongoing conferences in Europe and Asia. Her range of expertise includes transatlantic relations, emerging economies, security, defence, international affairs, and leadership development. Previously, she worked as a program assistant in GMF’s Wider Atlantic program in Brussels and worked for the European Institute of Peace in Brussels (EIP) where she assisted with the logistical and operational set up of EIP as well as provided research and analysis on future peace mediation actors and regions.
Claire Roumet, Director, Energy Cities
Claire Roumet is director of Energy Cities, the European association of local authorities in energy transition. Energy Cities initiated a process aimed at making and debating proposals for accelerating the energy transition of European cities, with the example of its pioneer 1,000 members located in 30 countries. She joined the Energy Cities team two years ago after 12 years as secretary general of Housing Europe, the Federation of social, public, and cooperative housing providers. She is French and graduated in economics and has done a post-graduate in European policies in Strasbourg after a year of econometrics in Mainz, Germany. She has been member of the board of the EU coalition for energy savings, as well as Vice-President of the Social Platform.
Amy Studdart, Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Amy Studdart is a fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) where she leads GMF’s work on technology policy. Prior to her position with GMF, she was deputy director and fellow of the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC, where she established a series of programs focused on 21st century economic statecraft. She worked in Brussels from 2008-14, first at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she helped to establish their Europe office, and then at the German Marshall Fund, where she managed GMF’s Asia program. She has written and spoken extensively on European foreign policy and political economy, politics and economics in the digital age, and transatlantic trade issues.
Mischa Thompson, United States Commissioner, Security and Cooperation in Europe
Dr. Mischa Thompson is a distinguished National Science Foundation Fellow, fellow for The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), and Fulbright Scholar, whose doctoral research focused on both solos/tokenism, and international racism. As a prestigious AAAS/APA Congressional Fellow, Dr. Thompson led appropriations, foreign policy, defense, trade, and global rights efforts in the U.S. Congress that fostered a career as a professional staff member in the U.S. House and Senate. Dr. Thompson currently advises the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance, and Members of Congress and U.S. government officials on anti-discrimination and inclusion issues for Europe and North America at the U.S. Helsinki Commission. Some of Dr. Thompson’s seminal work includes Brussels-based annual events such as the Transatlantic Conferences on Minority Political Leadership, and Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network that have resulted in a pipeline of over 100 diverse leaders committed to inclusive governance and societies.
Kamili A. Wilson, Vice President, Enterprise Initiative, AARP
Kamili Wilson has 20 years of demonstrated experience devising and implementing highly effective brand awareness and social marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and leading nonprofit organizations. Informed by her extensive work on behalf of underserved populations, Wilson is driven by a personal and professional commitment to fostering clear, effective communication, and meaningful human connections. As Vice President of Enterprise Initiatives, Wilson serves as AARP’s strategic lead for Disrupt Aging — an initiative designed to fight ageism and change the paradigm on culture and aging in the United States. Wilson is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where she earned a BA in English literature. She currently serves as a member of DoSomething.org’s Corporate Advisory Board, and is a member-at-large of the National Board of Medical Examiners.
Guillaume Xavier-Bender, Non-Resident Transatlantic Fellow, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Guillaume Xavier-Bender is a non-resident transatlantic fellow at The German Marshall Fund of the United States in Brussels, where he works on issues related to political economy, economic security, and the transatlantic economy. Xavier-Bender joined GMF in 2010 as a program associate for economic policy, before becoming a program officer and later a Transatlantic Fellow coordinating GMF’s activities related to trade, development, and the transatlantic economy in Brussels. Prior to joining GMF, he worked for the French Prime Minister’s Services in Paris. He holds a master’s degree in international economic policy from Sciences Po in Paris, a master’s degree in diplomacy and strategic negotiations from the Université Paris-Sud XI, and a bachelor’s in international law from the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. A native of France, Xavier-Bender has also lived in the United States, Austria, and the Czech Republic.