Press release

Freedom House Welcomes New Board Chair Jane Harman, Six Trustees

Freedom House is pleased to announce that following a nationwide search Jane Harman will serve as chair of the Freedom House Board of Trustees. Harman is a former nine-term congresswoman from California and former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, a position she held for four years after 9/11. She recently completed a decade at the nonpartisan Wilson Center as its first female president and CEO, where she is now president emerita and distinguished fellow.

Joining Harman on the board are six leaders in foreign policy, technology, economics, business, and the arts: Carole Corcoran, Rodger Desai, David L. Fogel, Mark Goodman, Lynn Novick, and Collin Roche. Harman will assume the chair’s duties this week from former secretary of homeland security Michael Chertoff, who will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees.

“At this critical moment for democracy, I am thrilled to welcome our new trustees and Jane as our new board chair,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The breadth and depth of Jane’s foreign policy experience, her time in Congress working across the aisle and her deep commitment to democracy make her the perfect fit to lead our board of trustees. Jane’s leadership — and that of our new trustees — will help us better achieve our mission of creating a world where all people live freely.”

Founded in 1941, Freedom House was the first American organization to champion the advancement of freedom globally and work to secure a world where all people are free. Freedom House is regularly lauded by leaders around the world for its work and impact. It is notable for its nonpartisan commitment to democracy, rigorous analysis, and programmatic approaches to addressing the evolving challenges to global freedom.

“I have worked with Jane over many years and know she is an outstanding leader who is uniquely qualified to help guide Freedom House’s difficult and vital work,” said outgoing board chair Michael Chertoff. “She embodies the spirit of Freedom House, with her long history of nonpartisan advocacy for the cause of democracy and her dedication to tackling international security challenges.”

Harman is currently a member of the NASA Advisory Council, the Homeland Security Advisory Council, the Aspen Institute Board of Trustees, the Aspen Strategy Group, the National Council on Election Integrity, the advisory board of the Munich Security Conference, the Eisenhower Fellowships Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee of the Trilateral Commission and co-chairs the Homeland Security Experts Group with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

"Democracy and freedom are at stake in so many places around the world,” said Jane Harman, newly elected chair of the Freedom House Board of Trustees. “Freedom House has long stood as a beacon to protect human rights and promote democratic governance. I look forward to working with the passionate, committed Board of Trustees and professionals at Freedom House to play our part in countering global democratic decline, and supporting activists and organizations defending and expanding freedom.”

Harman is recognized as a national expert at the nexus of security and public policy issues and has received numerous awards for distinguished service. She has served on advisory boards for the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence, and the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State.

In 2022, she was named a presidential scholar-in-residence at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She is also a 2022 Hauser Leader at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School and is author of, “Insanity Defense: Why Our Failure to Confront Hard National Security Problems Makes Us Less Safe.”

New trustees

Rodger Desai is Founder & CEO of Prove Identity, a PE-backed software company that provides identity authentication services to Fortune 500 and Global 1000 enterprises. After beginning his career in engineering management positions at ExxonMobil and General Electric, Rodger served as an executive at Accenture’s telecom practice before becoming CEO of mobile technology pioneers Vettro Corp. and Rave Mobile Safety. Rodger has assisted in numerous non-profit initiatives that leveraged mobile phones to solve societal issues, such as real-time disease surveillance and micro-lending programs in developing countries. Rodger attended the Harvard Business School and graduated from Rensselaer. 

Collin Roche joined GTCR in 1996 and is currently a Co-CEO and Managing Director of the firm. Previously, Collin was an Associate at EVEREN Securities in Chicago and an Analyst with Goldman, Sachs & Company in New York. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in political economy from Williams College. Collin was previously the head of the Financial Services & Technology group at GTCR. Currently, he is a Director of Allspring Global Investments, CAPTRUST, RevSpring and Ultimus Fund Solutions. Collin was previously a Director of GTCR investments including Aligned Asset Managers/The Townsend Group, Callcredit Information Group, Cambridge Protection, Convergex, Dash Financial LLC, Fundtech, HSM Electronic Services, National Processing Company, Optimal Blue, Premium Credit Limited, PrivateBancorp, Protection 1, Skylight Financial, Syniverse, Transaction Network Services, TransFirst and VeriFone. Outside of work, Collin stays involved in the community with various charitable institutions. In addition, Collin is active in supporting the educational missions of Harvard Business School and Williams College.

Carole Corcoran is the former general counsel, director of special projects and corporate secretary of International Crisis Group, an independent not-for-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to prevent deadly conflict. She held these positions from 2001, when she opened Crisis Group’s New York office, through March 2019. Ms. Corcoran is interested in international relations, human rights, eastern philosophy, and the visual arts.

Lynn Novick has been directing and producing documentary films about American life and culture, history, politics, sports, architecture, literature, and music for more than 30 years. The 90 hours of acclaimed PBS programming she has created in collaboration with Ken Burns includes, most recently, their 2022 series (directed with Sarah Botstein), The US and the Holocaust, as well as The Vietnam War, Hemingway, Baseball, Jazz, Frank Lloyd Wright, The War, and Prohibition, landmark films that have garnered 19 Emmy nominations. She also directed the four-part series, College Behind Bars, which follows a group of incarcerated men and women trying to earn degrees while serving time for serious crimes. For her work, Novick has received Emmy, Peabody, and Alfred I. duPont Columbia Awards.

David L. Fogel is a nonresident senior fellow in the Forward Defense practice of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and a member of Forward Defense’s Gray Zone Task Force. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches entrepreneurship. Fogel currently serves as CEO of NCCS, the operating subsidiary of Coinmint, LLC, a leading crypto mining company. In 2019, Fogel was appointed chief of staff at the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and in 2020, he was appointed to multiple positions in the US Department of State. Prior to his government appointments, Fogel was a member of the Freedom House Board of Trustees.

 Mark D. Goodman is chairman and chief executive officer of Colorado Nut Holding Company. A former economic and foreign policy advisor to Sen. Edward Kennedy, Goodman previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer for Save-A-Lot; executive vice president and chief marketing officer for strategy, membership, and e-commerce at Wal*Mart/Sam’s Club; corporate vice president for US strategy for the McDonald's corporation. Currently, Mr. Goodman serves on the Boards of Tufts University, Pinnacol Insurance, Bellco Credit Union, and The College of Wooster.

"Our new trustees have distinguished themselves in the public sector, private sector, and the arts and bring important perspectives to our work,” said Abramowitz. "Throughout our history, the leadership of Freedom House’s trustees has been catalytic in growing our impact to better serve our mission. I warmly welcome this accomplished group of trustees and look forward to benefiting from their tremendous wisdom and insights."

You can find a full list of all Freedom House Trustees here.


Freedom House is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to create a world where all are free. It informs the world about threats to freedom, mobilize global action, and support democracy’s defenders.