Board of Trustees: Member Biographies
Freedom House's non-partisan Board of Trustees is comprised of prominent business and labor leaders, former diplomats and senior government officials, scholars, and journalists. They all share a steadfast commitment to the mission of Freedom House and to the belief that the promotion of democracy and human rights is essential for international peace.
Michael Chertoff, Chair
Michael Chertoff is the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of The Chertoff Group, a global advisory firm that provides business strategy, risk management, and mergers and acquisition (M&A) advisory services to clients seeking to secure and grow their enterprises. From 2005 to 2009, Mr. Chertoff served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, where he led the federal government’s efforts to protect our nation from a wide range of security threats, including blocking would-be terrorists from crossing our borders or implementing their plans if they were already in the country. Earlier in his career, Mr. Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and head of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
Goli Ameri, Vice Chair
Goli Ameri is the Co-Founder and CEO of StartItUp. She is the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and Under Secretary for Humanitarian Diplomacy at the International Federation of Red Cross. Ms. Ameri was a Representative to the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and served as a Public Delegate to the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.
Peter Bass, Vice Chair
Peter Bass is Chairman & CEO of Quberu, a global trade and payments platform for businesses. Previously, he worked for more than 10 years in senior positions at the State Department and the White House, including as Executive Assistant to the national security adviser. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, Sanctions, and Commodities. He was later a Managing Director of Promontory Financial Group, where he advised global financial institutions on governance and compliance matters. Immediately prior to joining Promontory, Mr. Bass was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs, where he was chief of staff to the firm’s President and co-Chief Operating Officer.
Robert Keane, Treasurer
Robert Keane is the CEO of Cimpress, a global company with over 11,000 employees and approximately $2.5 billion of annual revenue. Cimpress’ proprietary internet-based mass customization technology enables the company to produce branded apparel, signage, promotional products and printing in very small individual orders. The company produces approximately 50 million custom product orders annually. Robert founded Cimpress in 1995 in Paris, France.
Monde Muyangwa, Secretary
Dr. Monde Muyangwa is the Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center where she leads the Center’s work to address the most critical issues facing Africa and U.S.-Africa relations in the areas of conflict prevention and peacebuilding; good governance; trade, investment and sustainable development, and Africa’s evolving role in the global arena. Prior to this, she served as Academic Dean at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies where she oversaw all curriculum and programs including in the areas of Security Studies, Transnational Threats, and Conflict Management. She also served as Vice President for Research and Policy at the National Summit on Africa and served on the Advisory Council of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, a project of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Carol C. Adelman
Dr. Carol C. Adelman is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute where she lectures and consults on economic growth, foreign aid, global philanthropy, and international healthcare issues. She developed the annual Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances and the Index of Philanthropic Freedom, comprehensive guides to the sources and amounts of global private giving and comparative rankings of countries' incentives and barriers to philanthropic freedom throughout the world. Dr. Adelman is also a visiting professor at Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She previously served as a career foreign service officer and presidential appointee with USAID in charge of aid to Asia, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe when the Wall fell. As President of an executive leadership training company, she teaches at corporate conferences and universities, including the Wharton Business School and Arizona State University. Her non-profit boards include UNICEF, Capital Partners for Education, American Shakespeare Center, Atlantic Council, and membership in the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Reuben E. Brigety II
Ambassador (ret.) Reuben E. Brigety II, PhD, is the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South (2020-2021) and Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University (2015-2020). From 2013-2015, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the African Union and U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Prior to his ambassadorship, Reuben had a long career in the State Department, serving as deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs and as deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Reuben also served as director of the Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress and at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as special assistant in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance. Reuben began his career in public service as an active-duty US naval officer and in multiple positions at the Pentagon. He earned a BS in political science from the US Naval Academy and holds an MPhil and a PhD in international relations from the University of Cambridge.
Sewell Chan joined The Texas Tribune as editor in chief in October 2021. Previously he was a deputy managing editor and then the editorial page editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he oversaw coverage that was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2021. Chan worked at the New York Times from 2004 to 2018, as a metro reporter, Washington correspondent, deputy Op-Ed editor and international news editor. He began his career as a local reporter at the Washington Post in 2000. A child of immigrants, Chan was the first in his family to graduate from college. He has a degree in social studies from Harvard and a master's in political science from Oxford, where he studied on a British Marshall scholarship. He is a member of PEN America, the Council on Foreign Relations and numerous journalism organizations.
Jørgen Ejbøl is Chairman of the Jyllands-Posten Foundation and Jyllands-Posten Holding. His distinguished journalism career includes his former position as Chairman of the Board of JP/Politiken Newspapers Ltd., as well as serving as editor-in-chief and managing director of various leading newspapers in Denmark. He previously served as a member of UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Prize and was a co-founder of the prestigious European Press Prize.
Martin Etchevers is the Head of Communications of Argentinian media firm, Grupo Clarin, where he began his career in 1993, first as a journalist and later in Institutional Relations. In his current role, he oversees all institutional communication strategy for domestic and international institutions and is in charge of the Noble Foundation, named after the founders and major shareholders of Grupo Clarin. Mr. Etchevers holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA. He is an active member of the board of several institutions related to freedom of expression, transparency, and accountability in Argentina and Latin America.
Mathea Falco, a leading expert on drug abuse and drug policy, is President of Drug Strategies, a nonprofit research institute she founded in 1993 with the support of major foundations. The first U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters, appointed by President Jimmy Carter, she held earlier positions as Chief Counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, and Special Assistant to the President of the Drug Abuse Council. She was also a Fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Associate Professor at the Weill Cornell Medical College Department of Public Health. A graduate of Radcliffe College and Yale Law School, Ms. Falco served on the Board of Overseers of Harvard University and the Board of Trustees of Radcliffe College. She has served on the national boards of Girl Scouts, USA; Big Brothers of America; the International Women’s Health Coalition; the International Center for Research on Women; the Ploughshares Fund; the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the Treatment Research Institute, and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Francis Fukuyama is Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment, was published in Sept. 2018. (FSI), Mosbacher Director of FSI's (CDDRL), and Director of Stanford's . He is also professor (by courtesy) of Political Science. Dr. Fukuyama has written widely on issues in development and international politics. His 1992 book, The End of History and the Last Man, has appeared in over twenty foreign editions. His most recent book,
Jonathan Ginns is a Founder and Managing Partner of ACON Investments. Prior to co-founding ACON in 1996, Mr. Ginns was a Senior Investment Officer at the GEF Funds group. Previously, Mr. Ginns was a Management Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. Mr. Ginns often serves on the board of ACON fund/investment vehicle portfolio companies. Among his current positions, Mr. Ginns serves on the board of Sequitur Energy Resources. Mr. Ginns has also previously served on the Board of Directors of several public companies including Mariner Energy (NYSE:ME) and Northern Tier Energy (NYSE:NTI), each realized ACON fund portfolio companies, and Optimal Group (NASDAQ:OPMR).
Dr. Dionisio Gutiérrez is a Guatemalan businessman, activist, and communications specialist and is currently president of Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo. He began working in his family business at age 17, ultimately helping transform it into the multinational corporation, Corporación Multi Inversiones. In 2006, Gutiérrez created the Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo, an independent think tank dedicated to the study and analysis of social, economic, and political issues to promote values and principles of a free society. Its goal is to develop long-term policy proposals for Central America. In addition to his business leadership, Gutiérrez has hosted numerous television shows since 1990. He currently hosts the talk show Razón de Estado, which is broadcast in Guatemala and parts of Central America and the United States and encourages thoughtful debate among civil society leaders in the region. He serves on the Georgetown University Latin American Council, the Johns Hopkins University Latin American Initiative, and the boards of the Harvard Kennedy School, Fundación International para la Libertad, Atlantic Institute of Government, and Escuela de Gobierno in Guatemala.
Nina Jacobson founded the independent production company Color Force in 2007. Color Force’s feature credits include The Hunger Games franchise, Crazy Rich Asians, and the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Color Force has also produced television shows ranging from the groundbreaking Pose to The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story and the Emmy Award– and Golden Globe Award–winning The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. Color Force also produced the recently premiered Impeachment: American Crime Story and Y: The Last Man. Prior to Color Force, Jacobson built an impressive career as a senior film executive at three major motion picture studios, rising to president of the Walt Disney Motion Picture Group. Nina is a graduate of Brown University.
Tom Kahn is a distinguished faculty fellow at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University and a senior consultant at the Cormac Group, a Washington, DC public affairs firm. He is also a consultant to the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute. A leading scholar of congressional and presidential studies, Tom brings a wealth of knowledge from serving on Capitol Hill for over 30 years, including 20 years as staff director and chief counsel of the House Budget Committee. Prior to working on Capitol Hill, Tom practiced law at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York. In addition to Freedom House, Tom serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the National Budgeting Roundtable and is on the boards of the Jewish Electorate Institute, the American Jewish Committee, the Israel Policy Forum, and the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry. Tom graduated magna cum laude from both Georgetown Law School and Tufts University.
Dr. Rachel Kleinfeld is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She spent a decade as the founding CEO of the Truman National Security Project, which worked with campaigns, political, and policy leaders to advance security policies that supported democracy and human dignity. In 2010, Time named her one of the top 40 political leaders under 40. In 2011, Hillary Clinton appointed Rachel to the Foreign Affairs Policy Board, which advised the Secretary of State quarterly, a role she served through 2014. She is the author of three books on democracy, development, and the rule of law, and appears frequently in the media; her TED talk on violence in polarized democracies has been translated into 17 languages and watched over one million times.
Jim Kolbe is a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund. He is also an adjunct Instructor at the University of Arizona and a part-time strategic consultant with McClarty Associates. In September 2010, Mr. Kolbe was appointed by President Obama to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Previously, Mr. Kolbe served 11 terms as Congressman representing Arizona’s 8th congressional district. While in Congress, he served on the Budget committee and the Appropriations Committee. For six years, he was chair of the Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs.
Howard Konar is president of Konar Properties, a family-owned real estate development business in his hometown of Rochester, New York. Before joining Konar Properties, he worked as a lawyer specializing in the use of Employee Stock Ownership Plans to help employees buy companies from their owners. Howard has served as a trustee of the George Eastman Museum and Monroe Community College, and as a council member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In 2017 he founded Civic Genius (formerly Common Ground Solutions) to highlight areas where American voters agree on policy issues and to connect them with their elected leaders.
Cater Lee is a seasoned media and communications executive with over 25 years of experience. Most recently, Cater launched—and is vice president of news and content for—the Southern California operations of Spectrum News 1, which operates several 24-hour local news networks. Prior to joining Spectrum News 1, she served for seven years as vice president of programing and senior director of television program development at the EW Scripps Company, and for 14 years as executive producer and development executive for Turning Point Productions. In addition to her distinguished work in the media industry, Cater was an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism. Cater earned a BA in marketing from the University of Virginia and an MA in journalism from USC.
Faith Morningstar is a developmental psychologist with a primary interest in respect. Her work has been around the creation and implementation of educational programs designed to increase children’s positive regard for both themselves and others. She spent two years in Azerbaijan, where, as the spouse of the U.S. Ambassador, she initiated the establishment of two networks: one in support of women entrepreneurs and the other in support of the empowerment of women and girls. Ms. Morningstar, along with her family, established the Morningstar Award for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a supporter of the Eli J. Segal Citizen Leadership Program which encourages young people to engage in citizen leadership and promotes service as a strategy central to the health of democracies.
Dr. Sushma Palmer is the Chair and Director of CECHE, the Center for Communications, Health and the Environment, a non-profit she founded with her late husband, Ambassador Mark Palmer. Formerly, Dr. Palmer served as the Director of the US National Academy of Sciences’ Food and Nutrition Board, as Director of nutrition at the Georgetown University Child Development Center, and as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. She has over forty years of international experience in nutrition, public health policy, programs and research in the United States, India, Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, and Ukraine.
Vivek Paul is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Medicine at Stanford University. Mr. Paul has served as CEO of Wipro, a public technology services company, where he was recognized as among the top 30 global CEO’s by Barron’s. Mr. Paul has served as an executive at GE’s medical device business, as a Partner in TPG, a private equity firm, as a consultant at Bain & Co., and founded and sold, KineticGlue, a technology startup. He has served on several Boards, including the California Chamber of Commerce, Electronic Arts, and on the advisory council of the Federal Reserve of San Francisco. Mr. Paul currently serves on the Board of Taylor Fresh Farms. Mr. Paul has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from BITS, Pilani and MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Maurice A. Perkins
Maurice A. Perkins is the Senior Vice President & Global Head of Government Affairs and Policy at the Transamerica Corporation. Prior to joining Transamerica (part of the Aegon Group), he served as the Head of Federal Government Relations at the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). Mr. Perkins served as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs as well as the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. He worked closely with senior officials from the U.S. Department of Treasury and U.S. Department of State and was responsible for legislation related to national security issues, foreign aid, and international financial institutions. His undergraduate degree is from Ithaca College and has a Masters Degree from Columbia University.
Andrew Prozes is the former Global CEO of LexisNexis Group, a position from which he retired in 2010. Since then, he has served as a director of for-profit companies, primarily those serving the legal, risk mitigation, and financial sectors. He is currently on the board of Ethoca, Synaptive, Corporate Risk Holdings, Cott Corporation, Transunion, Asset International, and Scribestar, Ltd. He has also served on non-profit boards including Atlantic Council, NESC, and Atlanta’s Carlos Museum’s Visiting Board.
Ian Simmons is Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, where he oversees a portfolio focused on investments that generate competitive financial returns and address social and environmental challenges. A champion and practitioner of impact investing for two decades, Ian advances Blue Haven's investment, research and policy strategies. He is particularly passionate about pursuing solutions to complex challenges, such as clean energy and affordable housing. Ian also advocates for policies that facilitate long-term investing and promote corporate and political transparency and accountability. Committed to initiatives and corporations that advance investing and strengthen democracy, Ian is the President of the Foundation for Civic Leadership and Chair of the Youth Engagement Fund. Ian serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, Social Finance, Issue One, Organizing for Action, the National Advisory Board for Public Service at Harvard College, and Karibu Homes, an affordable-housing company in Kenya.
Over the course of the past 25 years, Thomas P. Staudt has been associated with leading private equity firms in varying capacities from Chief Executive Officer for various portfolio companies to Executive Chairman. His experience has spanned the healthcare, financial and insurance services sectors with a focus on technology and B2B commerce. His executive role responsibilities have included companies and business units in the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. Tom is currently the Managing Partner and Founder of Island Peak Capital Partners. He also serves as an Operating Partner with the Intermediate Capital Group - Private Equity Solutions, a firm focused on the private equity secondary market. Thomas P. Staudt holds a Bachelor of Science in International Security Affairs from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California. Staudt was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999.
Dr. Reed V. Tuckson
Reed V. Tuckson, MD, FACP, is Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections, LLC, a vehicle to advance initiatives that support optimal health and wellbeing through the intersection of health promotion and disease prevention; applied data and analytics; enhanced quality and efficiency in care delivery; and the application of telehealth and biotech innovations. Currently, Dr. Tuckson’s focus is on advancing his work as a co-founder of the Black Coalition Against COVID, a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary effort working to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic in Washington, D.C. and nationally. Previously, he enjoyed a long tenure as Executive Vice President and Chief of Medical Affairs for UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 20 Health and wellbeing company. A recognized leader in his field, Dr. Tuckson is honored to have been appointed to leadership roles at the National Institutes of Health; National Academy of Medicine; numerous Federal Advisory Committees; and corporate, non-profit and academic boards. He has been recognized several times by Modern Healthcare Magazine’s listing of the “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives” in healthcare. He is a graduate of Howard University, Georgetown University School of Medicine, and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s General Internal Medicine Residency and Fellowship Programs, where he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar studying at the Wharton School of Business.
Robert H. Tuttle
A businessman and public servant with extensive experience in both the private and public sectors, Robert H. Tuttle is co-managing partner of Tuttle-Click Automotive Group, a large retail automotive company. He was nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom by President George W. Bush and served as U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James’s from 2005 to 2009. Previously he worked in the White House during the Reagan administration (1982-1989) as an Assistant to the President in 1982, and Director of Presidential Personnel from 1985-1989. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Council on International Policy (co-chair from 2010-2017), is a member of the Board of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, the USC Annenberg School for Communication, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Endowment for Democracy. He was recently selected to become a fellow of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2018) and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a former Trustee of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress in Washington, D.C. (until 2019), and formerly the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, where he was Chairman from 2001-2004.
General (ret.) Joseph L. Votel
Joseph L. Votel is a former US Army four-star officer and, since January 2020, president and chief executive of Business Executives for National Security. His last military post was as commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for US and coalition military operations in the Middle East, the Levant, and Central and South Asia. During his 39 years of military service, he commanded special operations and conventional military forces at every level, including combat in Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Prior to his assignment at CENTCOM, Votel served as commander of US Special Operations Command and the Joint Special Operations Command. His service has been recognized by the Atlantic Council, the National Medal of Honor Society, the Lead the Way Foundation, and the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum. He serves in various capacities at the CFR, the Middle East Institute, the Sierra Nevada Corporation, Noblis Corporation, Service to School, Minnesota Wire, and Digital Force Technologies, among others. Votel also lectures and advises at some of the nation’s leading academic institutions, including the Belfer Center of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. Votel is a 1980 graduate of the US Military Academy and earned master’s degrees from the US Army Command and Staff College and the Army War College.
Norman Willox is Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Bluewater International, a leading information risk investment advisory firm. Mr. Willox founded Bluewater International in 2009 to provide societally needed and disruptive high growth risk advisory services. Prior, Mr. Willox co-founded Lexis Nexis Risk Solutions group in 2001; one of the fastest growing Portfolio Companies for Reed Elsevier during that decade. Mr. Willox also started several government initiatives, post 9/11 to immediately deal with rapidly needed information risk analytics platforms required by the emerging threat of global terrorism and cybercrime. Mr. Willox is an experienced board member and serves as director and investor to a number of risk analytics technology companies. He remains active in many professional expert organizations. Mr. Willox possesses a Top Secret Clearance.