Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky is a foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs. She is a Senior Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and is Vice Chair of the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council.

From 2010-2012, Ambassador Dobriansky was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing a corporate approach for engagement in Washington, D.C. and other key capitals around the globe. During this time, she was also appointed the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs from 2001 to 2009. Among her primary accomplishments, she established and led the U.S.-India, U.S.-China, and U.S.-Brazil Global Issues Fora, which advanced crucial work and international cooperation on environment, energy, health, development, and humanitarian issues. Additionally, she was head of delegation and lead negotiator on U.S. climate change policy.

In February 2007, as the President’s Envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Dobriansky received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her contribution to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. During her more than 25 years in national security affairs, Ambassador Dobriansky has held many Senate-confirmed and senior level positions in the U.S. Government including Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, Ambassador Dobriansky serves on the Defense Policy Board, the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board and is Chair of EXIM Bank’s Chairman’s Council on China Competition (C4). She is a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission, on the Advisory Board of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Chair of the Bush Center’s Women’s Initiative Policy Advisory Council. Previous boards include the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, Smith Richardson Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy (Vice Chair), George Mason University Board of Visitors and the World Affairs Councils of America as Chairman of the National Board.

She received a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University. She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar, Ford and Rotary Foundation Fellow, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a recipient of various honors such as the Foreign Policy Association Medal for her service to country and leadership of the World Affairs Councils of America and the International Republican Institute’s Women’s Democracy Network Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award (2008). She has received other high-level international recognition including the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland, Poland’s Highest Medal of Merit, Grand Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, National Order “Star of Romania”, Hungary’s Commander’s Cross Order of Merit and Ukraine’s Order of Merit. She has also received three Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, one Honorary Doctorate of Laws and one Honorary Doctorate of International Affairs.


Greg Lebedev currently holds a portfolio that spans business, government, and philanthropy. He serves as Chairman of the publicly-funded Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), one of the four core institutes of the National Endowment for Democracy. CIPE’s mission is to promote free-market institutions and economic reform throughout the world. Lebedev is a Senior Advisor to the CEO of the United States Chamber of Commerce, the largest business federation in the world, and is a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Lebedev is Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Robertson Foundation for Government, a private family foundation that supports talented men and women wishing to pursue governmental careers in foreign policy, international affairs, and national security. He also sits on the Editorial Advisory Board of Diplomatic Courier, a global affairs media network.

Lebedev regularly advises on business strategy and international affairs and undertakes special projects involving trade, development, and global corporate governance. In 2008, Lebedev was President George W. Bush’s nominee to be US Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform (with the rank of Ambassador).

Before these assignments, Lebedev served as President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), where he represented the domestic and international interests of the $1.7 trillion global chemical and plastics industry. Prior to the ACC, Lebedev held a unique portfolio at the United States Chamber of Commerce. During his nearly five years of service, he was the Chamber’s COO and Executive Vice President for International Policy and National Security Affairs. In addition to running day-to-day operations, he was Managing Director of the Chamber’s public policy think tank, the National Chamber Foundation, and President of the Center for Corporate Citizenship, a governance and philanthropic resource of the business community.

Earlier, Lebedev was a Senior Partner of The Hay Group, then one of the largest international management consulting firms, after which he joined the American Trucking Association where he was Senior Vice President and CFO. Following the first Gulf War, as an independent consultant, Lebedev directed projects associated with the reconstruction of Kuwait and was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to be Inspector General of the Department of Defense.

Lebedev also held a number of senior governmental assignments. President Gerald Ford appointed him to the State Department post of Assistant Inspector General of Foreign Assistance/Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Before that, Lebedev served in the Bureau for Security and Consular Affairs and was one of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s youngest Deputy Assistant Secretaries. Prior to his State Department tour, Lebedev was Deputy Special Assistant to the President of the United States at The White House.

Lebedev earned a Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law of the University of South Dakota and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the same university. He is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.


Dr. Paul C. Light is NYU Wagner’s Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service, Before joining NYU, Dr. Light served as the Douglas Dillon Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding director of its Center for Public Service, and vice president and director of the Governmental Studies Program. He has served previously as director of the Public Policy Program at the Pew Charitable Trusts and associate dean and professor of public affairs at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.


Chuck Robb co-chairs BPC’s national security program and Iran Task Force. He served as a senator from Virginia from 1989 until 2001. During his tenure in the Senate, he promoted fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense. He became the only senator to simultaneously serve on all three national security committees: Armed Services, Foreign Relations, and Intelligence.

Robb was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia in 1978 and served until 1982. He also served as governor of Virginia from 1982 to 1986.

In 2004, he was appointed to co-chair the Commission on Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction. In 2006, he was appointed to serve on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He also served on the Iraq Study Group.

William S. Robertson is a founding member of the board of directors of the Robertson Foundation for Government. He served as the first chair of the board and as RFG president until 2012.

He is currently a member of the RFG Advisory Board and serves as co-chair of the Investment Committee. Mr. Robertson also serves as a trustee of Plant One Million Corals. In the past he served on the board of trustees of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, and as a trustee of the Robertson Research Fund at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Before turning his full-time attention to his family and personal philanthropic endeavors, Mr. Robertson served on numerous boards of emerging companies in the food, technology, and energy industries.

For 15 years, Mr. Robertson owned and operated Loriva Supreme Foods, a specialty foods manufacturer. He graduated with a BA from Princeton University.


Dr. Robin Renee Sanders, a former senior career U.S. diplomat, is currently CEO of the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative & FE3DS, LLC, an advisory firm, which both focus on Africa policy, business, investment, and trade strategies, particularly in the energy, aviation, ICT, and housing sectors.

As a career diplomat, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republics of Nigeria & the Congo, and as Africa Director at the White House National Security Council (NSC), along with postings to Senegal, Namibia, and Sudan. She led work on policy issues ranging from political and economic good governance, elections, democracy, and education & health development to business, investment, and trade on behalf of the U.S. Government (USG).

Dr. Sanders has extensive work and expertise in the security area. In Nigeria, she and her team worked on key security issues related to the surge of Boko Horam along with handling challenges in the country’s conflict-prone Niger Delta Region, including the kidnapping of Americans. During her stint as NSC Africa Director and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs at the State Department, Dr. Sanders worked on many challenging security issues in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Sudan.

Her postings as Ambassador to Nigeria and the Republic of the Congo also provided her with the opportunity to serve as the U.S. Representative to ECOWAS and CDEAO, the West and Central African governing bodies for political, economic, security, monetary, and regional trade issues. As Ambassador to the Congo, Dr. Sanders led the USG team assisting the Congo in its resolution of the country’s international debt crisis and created, with UNDP, one of the country’s first post-civil war internet centers for small businesses and entrepreneurs, leading to her receiving the Medal of Honor from the country’s President, and recognition by the UNDP.

Dr. Sanders has received six State Department Superior & Meritorious Awards and the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Civilian Honor Award, which is the U.S. military’s highest civilian award. She also is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the College of National Security Leaders, and the National College of Collegiate Scholars for her doctoral and research work.

As CEO of FEEEDS & FE3DS, LLC, Dr. Sanders has received numerous awards for her advocacy work on global issues, for advancing the US-Africa business trade relationship, and for her scholarly research. As a scholar in data and information systems, Dr. Sanders is also a Senior Scientist consultant for Gallup Poll. She has worked extensively with U.S. and African small businesses on U.S.-Africa trade and on their public and marketing communications having been the State Department’s first Africa Public Diplomacy Director.

Dr. Sanders is currently a member of the USG’s Africa-Trade Advisory Board for USTR; a senior advisor to the global issues-focused international non-profit Concordia; and served previously as Chair of U.S. EXIM Bank’s Africa Advisory Council. She also is on the advisory board of Robert Morris University’s Innovation Center and the advisory board of three small Nigerian firms in the energy, renewable and ICT sectors.

Dr. Sanders received her doctorate degree in Information Systems and Communications from Pittsburgh’s Robert Morris University (RMU). She also holds an MA in International Relations/African Studies, and a MS in Communication, both from Ohio University, and a BA in Communications and Mass Media from Hampton University. She has taught at the university level on several occasions, including: two years at the National Defense University’s (NDU) Eisenhower College, six months as the “Rooney Visiting Scholar” at RMU, and time as a Visiting Scholar with the Center for Independent Colleges and Universities (CIC) Wilson Fellows Scholar Program. She is also the author of two books: The Rise of Africa’s Small & Medium Size Enterprises has numerous acclaims and Legendary Uli Women of Nigeria is a textbook at a Nigerian University.


Michael Schneider recently retired as the director of the Washington Public Diplomacy Program, a spring semester requirement for students enrolled in their second year of the dual MA in International Relations and MS in Public Relations Program, which is a joint initiative of Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He served as the Director of Maxwell-in-Washington until 2009.

In the 1980s, Dr. Schneider was Deputy Associate and Acting Associate Director of the United States Information Agency (USIA) for policy and programs, and served as USIA Liaison with the National Security Council. He was Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State in the mid-1990s. He served as executive secretary of a panel of U.S. and international leaders who examined the Fulbright Exchange Program, and authored the report, Fulbright at Fifty, and a subsequent report to the State Department, Others’ Open Doors.


Brent Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents. From 1982 to 1989, he was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm. In this capacity, he advised and assisted a wide range of U.S. and foreign corporate leaders on global joint venture opportunities, strategic planning, and risk assessment.

His extraordinary twenty-nine-year military career began with graduation from West Point and concluded at the rank of Lieutenant General following service as the Deputy National Security Advisor. His Air Force service included Professor of Russian History at West Point; Assistant Air Attaché in Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Head of the Political Science Department at the Air Force Academy; Air Force Long Range Plans; Office of the Secretary of Defense International Security Assistance; Special Assistant to the Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Military Assistant to President Nixon.

Out of uniform, General Scowcroft continued in a public policy capacity by serving on the President’s General Advisory Committee on Arms Control, the President’s Commission on Strategic Forces, the President’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Defense Management and the President’s Special Review Board. In recent years, he has served as a co-chair for both the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future and the National Academies of Science’s Committee on Science, Security, and Prosperity. He also formerly served as the Chairman of the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and was a member of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change.

He was recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of West Point, and earned his masters and doctorate in international relations from Columbia University.

In 1991, General Scowcroft was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President George H.W. Bush, and in 1993 was awarded an honorary knighthood – a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) – by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2009, he was presented the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

He was a member of the Advisory Board of the Robertson Foundation for Government for a nearly a decade until he retired from his position in 2017.