Byrne’s decades of accomplishments as a media executive, entrepreneur and community leader are highlighted by a long run as publisher of Variety where he dramatically transformed that business into a powerful, diversified, global media brand. The start-up publisher of both Electronic Media and Crain’s New York Business, Byrne also successfully created The Quill Awards for NBC before he led a division of Nielsen that included The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard. Adweek and Backstage. Additionally, Byrne serves as Executive Chairman Washington Life Magazine. Mr. Byrne is on the boards of numerous not-for-profits including Military Adaptive Sports Inc. (The 2016 Invictus Games), Fisher House, The Intrepid Museum, Veterans Advantage (Advisory Board), The Bob Woodruff Foundation, The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research, Friends of the Vietnam Veterans Plaza, The Creative Coalition, The Hamptons International Film Festival (Advisory Board), The IFP – Independent Filmmaker Project, The John A. Reisenbach Foundation (Chairman), The Armory Foundation and The New York City Police Museum.
Former Special Assistant to the President, Leadership Development Team Lead at The White House
Pam Coleman is an Executive Coach / Leadership Development and Small Business Strategic Consultant. She was most recently Special Assistant to the President (Obama), Leadership Development Team Lead in the White House Presidential Personnel Office. She previously served as the Energy & Environment Team Lead in the same office. Before that, she was the White House Liaison at the Department of Homeland Security, and before that Director on the Outreach and Recruitment Team within the Presidential Personnel Office. Prior to joining the White House, Ms. Coleman served in various capacities for Organizing for America New Mexico from 2009 through 2012, most notably as the State Director for the President's re-election in 2012. She also managed an Obama Campaign Field Office as a full-time volunteer in Orlando, Florida during the 2008 campaign. Ms. Coleman has served as a small business and management consultant, and the Vice President of Gordon's Pies in New Hampshire. Previous experience also includes teaching writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, and practicing law with the law firm Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn in New York City. Ms. Coleman has lived and worked abroad in Italy. She received her B.A. at New York University and J.D. from New York Law School.
Chief Operating Officer of The Hill
Sheila Casey is the Chief Operating Officer of The Hill, a top U.S. political publication available in print and online with a focus on The White House, Congress, policy, campaigns, lobbying, business and international news. It is widely recognized as the leading source of congressional news. Prior to joining The Hill in 1997, she was the Director of Finance at the Texas Council on Family Violence in Austin, Texas. Additionally, Sheila spent 7 years at Grant Thornton, a national CPA firm, where she was an audit manager. She graduated with honors in accounting from the University of Colorado. Sheila was a military spouse for over 41 years. She has lived throughout the United States, Europe and Egypt and had been an active member of military spouse organizations throughout her husband’s military career and since his retirement. Sheila is the Chair of the Board of Governors of Blue Star Families, a member of the board of The National Domestic Violence Hotline, and the Washington Press Club Foundation. Additionally she is a member of the Board of Advisors for ThanksUSA, the National Military Families Association, The Bob Woodruff Foundation, The Military Child Education Coalition, and the GI Film Festival. She is published in several national news outlets and speaks to audiences on military spouse and family issues. She and her husband have two sons, Sean, and Ryan, two wonderful daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.
Co-Founder and Managing Director at ClearlyNext
Mr. Russ Finkelstein has worked in an advisory capacity on talent development issues with Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, New Organizing Institute, City Hall Fellows and Emerging Leaders in Science & Society, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Philanthropic Network and the Point Foundation. Russ was awarded fellowships with the Social Innovation Incubator, New Organizing Institute and Selah. He currently serves on the national board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. His free time is spent advising people in career transition & social entrepreneurs attempting to realize their next big idea and writing career articles for LinkedIn and Forbes. He holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in Literature and Government from Connecticut College.
President of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)
Richard served as a Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at CNAS from 2009-2012 and previously as foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain for more than five years. He has also worked at the State Department, the National Security Council and on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Fontaine served as foreign policy advisor to the McCain 2008 presidential campaign and, following the election, as the minority deputy staff director on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Prior to this, he served as associate director for Near Eastern affairs at the National Security Council (NSC) from 2003-04. He also worked in the NSC’s Asian Affairs directorate, where he covered Southeast Asian issues. During his time at the State Department, Mr. Fontaine worked in the office of former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and in the department’s South Asia bureau, working on issues related to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Mr. Fontaine began his foreign policy career as a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, focusing on the Middle East and South Asia. He also spent a year teaching English in Japan.
J FORD HUFFMAN
Independent news-media strategist
Former deputy managing editor at USA TODAY and current Board Member of Student Veterans for America. He has participated in military-media panels at the U.S. Marine Corps Expeditionary Warfare School and War College and at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade. He has led discussions in more than 70 newsrooms including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Times and has written more than 220 book reviews for the Times publications. He co-edited an anthology published by Marine Corps University Press that Library Journal calls a “notable” book of 2012
Chief Operating Officer at Leap Motion
Jonathan S. Lachman is a public sector executive specializing in strategic planning, budgeting, and management. From 2009-2017, he held a number of senior roles in the Obama administration, including Associate Director for National Security Programs at the Office of Management and Budget (2014-17); Acting Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretaries of Defense Bob Work and Christine Fox (2013-14); and Special Assistant to Ash Carter, both in his capacity as Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics (2009-13). Previously, Jonathan staffed Dr. Carter on the Perry-Schlesinger Strategic Posture Review Commission, was a member of Public Financial Management's strategic consulting group, and was a research assistant at the Preventive Defense Project. Jonathan is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a member term on the Council on Foreign Relations and is a 2016 recipient of the Defense Department’s Distinguished Public Service Award. Jonathan’s wife, Sherry, is the founder and executive director of Foster America, a non-profit designed to strengthen the pipeline of child welfare leaders nationwide. They live in Washington, D.C.
President Emeritus John Sexton
15th President of (NYU) New York University
John Sexton served as the 15th President of NYU from 2002 to 2015. In January 2016, he was succeeded by Andrew Hamilton and became President Emeritus. During his presidency, NYU was noted for the single largest expansion of tenured and tenure-track arts and science faculty in its history; creating an unrivaled global academic network, including the opening of successful degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai; restoring engineering after a 40 year absence; the advancement of NYU’s medical center; record gains in student admission; record fundraising; the creation of important new academic, programs; an unprecedented period of faculty and student honors; and key capital investments and long-range planning.
CEO and founder of ScoutComms
Fred Wellman is the CEO and founder of ScoutComms, Inc. a Certified B Corp and the nation’s premier communications, research, advocacy and philanthropic strategy firm focused entirely on supporting veterans, military families and the organizations that empower them. Mr. Wellman spent over twenty years in the U.S. Army as an aviator and public affairs officer including four combat tours in Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom before retiring in 2010. He founded ScoutComms in November 2010. Mr. Wellman holds a Bachelor’s of Science in International Relations from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where he attended as a Center for Public Leadership Fellow and Presidential Scholar before graduating with honors as a Lucius N. Littauer Fellow.Mr. Wellman supports a number of veteran oriented causes and lives near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Advisor at Amida Technology Solutions
Chantale is an expert in open data, public policy, and program management. She was most recently the presidentially appointed vice president for administration and finance, and CFO, at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which under her leadership was the named the most transparent aid agency in the world. Prior to her work at MCC she was budget director at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, acting budget director at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the chief of staff to the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Chantale was appointed by President Clinton to represent the United States on the board of directors of the Asian Development Bank. She is passionate about using data to tackle global issues like sustainable international development.