BRETT BRUEN, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SITUATION ROOM

BRETT BRUEN, PRESIDENT, GLOBAL SITUATION ROOM

During twelve years as a U.S. diplomat, Brett became a specialist in using strategic communications to influence the course of crisis and conflict. As Director of Global Engagement at the White House, he created some of the government’s most innovative international programs for reaching new audiences around the world. While at the White House, he was responsible for public diplomacy programs, international media, crisis communications, and global entrepreneurship programs. Brett coordinated the United States’ response to Russian propaganda, developing the first interagency communications taskforce to push back against misinformation. Brett also unified public and private entrepreneurship programs for the first time under one banner, as part of the President’s Spark Global Entrepreneurship initiative.

While in the diplomatic service, Brett worked in the Ivory Coast, Liberia, Guinea, Iraq, Venezuela, Argentina, Zambia, and Eritrea. In his current role as President of the Global Situation Room®, he runs a consulting firm specializing in strategic communications, international public policy, and crisis management. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Federal Executive Institute, where he trains senior U.S. Government leaders on strategy and world affairs. Brett graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in International Relations and Political Science. He holds a Masters in Global History from the London School of Economics. Brett speaks fluent Spanish and French.

Bob Heckart, Treasurer & Board Member, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation, Harvard University

Bob Heckart, Treasurer & Board Member, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation, Harvard University

During 2013 and 2014, Bob was Senior Counsel for US Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) working on implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and the Volker Rule, tax reform legislation, abuse of corporate tax loopholes, securities markets regulation and other financial policy issues.  During 2011 and 2012, Bob was Senior Adviser for Economic and Financial Policy for US Senator Kirsten Gilibrand (D-NY) and her liaison with Wall Street.

Bob was a partner in Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP from 1973 to 2010 working on complex international and domestic financing transactions, including rescheduling the sovereign debts of Turkey, Poland and several South American countries, leveraged buyouts, cross-border acquisitions, global note issuances and other securities offerings, the bankruptcy of Delta Airlines and Frontier Airlines and the restructuring of AIG as counsel for the US Treasury Department and the New York Federal Reserve Bank in 2008 to 2010.

Bob is a graduate of Harvard Law School in 1973 and Yale University and Yale’s Army ROTC program in 1970.  As an officer in the Air Defense Artillery Branch, he was in active reserve status until honorably discharged as a Captain in 1978.

Jim Paul, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service, Boston

Jim Paul, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service, Boston

Mr. Jim Paul is Director of the U.S. Commercial Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, office in Boston.  Mr. Paul currently uses his educational background and more than 20 years of work experience in international trade to assist U.S. exporters in penetrating markets overseas. 

Prior to this position, Mr. Paul most recently served as an International Trade Manager for the World Trade Center Association in Los Angeles, California.  Before assuming those duties, Mr. Paul performed international freight forwarding and customs brokerage for Fritz Companies.   Previously, Mr. Paul coordinated the global marketing, sales and logistics for an export/import firm.  During his graduate studies, Mr. Paul completed an internship with the Foreign Commercial Service at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. 

Mr. Paul graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Art’s degree in Political Economy of Industrial Societies from the University of California, Berkeley.  He later received a Master of Business Administration in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.  Mr. Paul also earned an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA, Senior Fellow Geoeconomics and Strategy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Christopher Smart, PhD, CFA, Senior Fellow Geoeconomics and Strategy, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Christopher Smart is Senior Fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace following six years in the Obama Administration as a senior
policymaker for international economic affairs. As Special Assistant to the President at the National Economic Council and the National Security Council, he was principal advisor on trade, investment and a wide range of global economic issues. From 2009-13, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury, where he led the response to the European financial crisis and designed U.S. engagement on financial policy across Europe, Russia and Central Asia.

Before entering government, Dr. Smart was Director of International Investments at Pioneer Investments where he managed top-performing Emerging Markets and International portfolios. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he worked in Moscow, advising Russian government agencies on economic policy and financial market reform. Earlier in his career, he was a journalist in St. Petersburg, Florida and Paris, France.

Dr. Smart is also the author of The Imagery of Soviet Foreign Policy and the Collapse of the Russian Empire (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1995) and numerous analytical and opinion articles. He earned a B.A. in History from Yale University and a PhD in International Relations from Columbia University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and speaks French, Russian and some German.

He is also Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government and Whitehead Senior Fellow at Chatham House.

Jill Kelley, President and Founder, Military Diplomacy Strategies, LLC.

Jill Kelley, President and Founder, Military Diplomacy Strategies, LLC.

Jill Kelley is an expert on military diplomacy and International exchange. Known to be the 'connective tissue' to the diplomatic world, Kelley's expertise and influence focused on strategic dialogue throughout multiple nations in the international community.

She is a former honorary diplomat and served as the first and only Honorary Ambassador to the
International Military Coalition Forces at United States Central Command under General James
Mattis (the current Secretary of Defense.)

During her appointment Kelley met regularly with Royals, Presidents, Prime Ministers and
Parliaments to foster economic and military relationships. Because of her background and international relationships, Ms. Kelley is an expert on global affairs and challenges; She advised on the geopolitical issues unfolding in the Middle East as well as the 60 nations she represented at U.S. Central Command. Jill can remark on the diplomatic nuances and economic implications by our military action on the area of region (AOR) as her pursuit was on cross-cultural diplomacy, global trust and economic relationships.

Kelley's niche focuses on a coalition of foreign allies to implement international exchange
through culture, economy, politics, military and social advances. Ms. Kelley can opine from her
own personal experience as she continues to communicate with many heads of state. She
understands the intricacies and complexities facing our allies in midst of several wars.
Throughout her leadership, she successfully increased the number of coalition forces using her
personal collaboration with international leaders.

Jill was the youngest appointed Honorary Consul General to South Korea. Her title was
bestowed by the President and Parliament of the Republic of South Korea. The government
nominated Jill to increase and expand their free-trade through military, economic and political
opportunities via the newly created U.S- Korea Free Trade Agreement.

The Honorable Jill Kelley is the President and Founder of Military Diplomacy Strategies, LLC.
Her advisory firm identifies and facilitates cross-border relationships on a global scale through
cross-cultural dialogue to promote economic exchange across the international community.
Mrs. Kelley uses her unique accesses to provide the highest level of resources and counsel with
all aspects of strategic planning, government relations, military advocacy, economic
opportunities, political nuances all collaboratively to promote international negotiations
worldwide. From in-depth analyses to strategic exit planning, Jill utilizes the needs and
international arena in trade and development by fostering relationships

Jim Krzywicki, Executive Vice President and COO, WebPort Global

Jim Krzywicki, Executive Vice President and COO, WebPort Global

Jim Krzywicki leads WebPort Global operations; providing businesses and trade organizations with a platform for trade opportunities, collaboration and knowledge resources.  Jim is charged with connecting Companies, Agencies, Trade Organizations and Service Providers in a secure trade-focused environment. He is positioning WebPort Global to bring greater transparency to every step of the SME trade journey; a requirement for growth.  Current programs include initiatives in China, Africa and Latin-America, Europe and North America.  

Jim has been directly involved with international operations throughout his career.  Serving as CEO, Screendragon (London & Cork); Board Member, SkillSoft (Dublin) and VP of Services, IBM (Tokyo, Brussels & Stockholm). Jim established European headquarters for Prime Computer Operations in Amsterdam and lived there for several years.

Jim serves or has served on public, private and NGO Boards. 

Katie Davies, VP International Solutions Development, Radius

Katie Davies, VP International Solutions Development, Radius

Katie is the VP International Solution Development and within this role is not only responsible for acting as the Client Service Director for a number of strategic client accounts but also manages specific advisory and global mobility projects across the Radius client portfolio on a global basis.

Katie heads up the Brexit Task Force that Radius created in June 2016 following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and frequently contributes as a speaker, panelist and commentator with press organizations and on social media, with respect to Brexit as well as many other international expansion matters.

Katie is an expert is a wide variety of international and cross-border issues including HR, corporate tax, immigration and global mobility, as well as legal matters such as data protection and other practical operational considerations that organizations and businesses face when operating internationally or looking to expand overseas.

Katie has been with Radius since 2005 and was previously the Director of Operations for The Beanstalk Group in London (a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company). Prior to that, she was for 11 years a senior manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), London within the global mobility and expatriate tax practice.

Denis Hvizdak, Business Development Manager, Investissement Quebec

Denis Hvizdak, Business Development Manager, Investissement Quebec

Denis holds the position of Business Development Manager, Americas, Foreign Investment Affairs at Investment Quebec. He is in charge of providing all internal and external financial tools and activities related to the development of foreign investment in the province of Quebec. In addition to overseeing all strategic initiatives aiming at enhancing Investment Quebec’s international reputation and image. He is also responsible for the elaboration and roll-out of customised strategies required to attract and retain foreign investment. These include structuring viable financial solutions by showcasing all the financial tools managed by Investment Quebec  and its partners.

Prior to joining Investment Quebec, Denis held several management positions notably with the Transcontinental Group (GTC), and the Metropole Communications group. Denis is an active member on the board of the American Chamber of Commerce, Quebec chapter

Leland Vittert, Anchor of America’s News Headquarters, Fox News

Leland Vittert, Anchor of America’s News Headquarters, Fox News

Leland Vittert is the Emmy-nominated anchor of America’s News Headquarters on Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2010 as a foreign correspondent based in Jerusalem.

In addition to his weekend anchor and reporting duties, Vittert fills in for hosts on Fox and Friends, America’s Newsroom, and Happening Now.

Vittert is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also studied at the London School of Economics.

Prior to joining FNC, Vittert anchored the weekend news at KDVR-TV (FOX 31) in Denver, Colorado and was a reporter for WFTV-TV (ABC 9) in Orlando, Florida. He also worked at other national news stations, including KATV-TV (ABC 7) in Little Rock, Arkansas; KNWA-TV (NBC 50) in Fayetteville, Arkansas; and WMTV-TV (NBC 15) in Madison, Wisconsin.  As a young reporter, Vittert received an Emmy nomination for clearing a police officer wrongly accused of rape.

Jeremy Vitaro, VP of International Development, Dunkin' Brands

Jeremy Vitaro, VP of International Development, Dunkin' Brands

Jeremy Vitaro is currently the Vice President of International Development for Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. 

Jeremy leads the team responsible for store development around the world for both Dunkin' Donuts® and Baskin Robbins®, partnering with high-quality new and existing franchise partners to drive healthy new unit growth.

Dunkin’ Brands’ development team has been a leader both in the United States and internationally in the QSR segment in terms of new store openings year over year, and uses a disciplined approach to enter new markets and successfully expand existing markets.

Jeremy has been with Dunkin’ Brands since 2003, holding positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of asset management, operations, business development and franchising.  Prior to joining Dunkin’ Brands, Jeremy worked in sales and marketing in Europe with the spirits producer Casoni SpA and with the education franchise, The Benedict Group.

Jeremy holds an MBA from Columbia Business School, an M.A. in Economic History from Stanford University and a B.A. in History from University of California at Los Angeles.

Nicole Sahin, CEO and Founder, Globalization Partners

Nicole Sahin, CEO and Founder, Globalization Partners

Nicole Sahin is the CEO and Founder of Globalization Partners, which has been ranked as the 6th and 33rd fastest growing private company in America by Inc Magazine in 2016 and 2017, respectively.  Globalization Partners breaks down barriers to global business with its Global PEO and employer of record platform, which enables companies to expand into 150+ foreign markets without establishing subsidiaries.  The platform enables companies to hire employees overseas in a matter of days instead of the months or years it has traditionally taken companies to expand into new markets.   Ms. Sahin is focused on ensuring that her firm builds the most trustworthy solution for companies that want to leapfrog the  complex global legal environment and focus on rapid, compliant growth.   Globalization Partners also has a strong focus on diversity and company culture.  In 2017, the Company was awarded Inc Magazine’s “Top Companies to Work for” in America, and also was awarded Ivy Exec’s Top Disruptive Company to work for in America. 

Prior to launching Globalization Partners, Nicole helped build High Street Partners, which developed software to simplify management of global expansion for CFOs and controllers.  Nicole has also owned a business in the Caribbean, and co-founded a school in Cambodia.   She has an MBA in International Management.   Nicole moved to Boston in 2012, and loves to travel and spend time with family.  

Robert Glazer, Founder and Managing Director, Acceleration Partners

Robert Glazer, Founder and Managing Director, Acceleration Partners

Robert Glazer, founder and managing director of Acceleration Partners, is an award winning customer acquisition specialist with an exceptional track record in increasing revenue and profits for fast-growing consumer businesses. In demand by top brands and investment firms, he has extensive experience in the consumer, e-commerce, retail, online marketing, and ad-tech industries. He is a contributing author with over 100 published articles on performance marketing, strategy, leadership and entrepreneurship including monthly columns for SteamFeed and Entrepreneur.com. He is also a sought-after speaker having presented to large global audiences at over 20 conferences including adTech, Internet Retailer, DMA and Shop.org.

Robert is a demonstrated thought leader in the performance marketing industry and in the areas of company growth, leadership, culture and distributed teams. He was a Boston Business Journal 40 under 40 award winner, a SmartCEO Boston Future 50 award winner and a finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year in New England. He also serves as an advisory board member to several private companies

Robert also highly values giving back. He has participated in the Rodman Ride for Kids for over twelve years, raising almost $100,000 and founded the Fifth Nightcharitable event with his family. He is the past president of the Boston Chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and currently serves as its regional area director and champions several leadership development programs. He formerly served on the board of the Performance Marketing Association and the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay.

Michele M. Pecoraro, Executive Director, Plymouth 400, Inc.

Michele M. Pecoraro, Executive Director, Plymouth 400, Inc.

Michele Pecoraro brings years of tourism, marketing, and leadership experience to the helm of Plymouth 400, Inc., the organization formed to lead the planning and execution of programs and events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the 1620 Mayflower voyage and the founding of Plymouth Colony; events that significantly shaped the building of America. Michele’s knowledge of the tourism industry and her connections with industry leaders and legislators have helped her increase awareness and engagement for Plymouth 400 at the local, national, and international levels.

Michele joined the Plymouth 400, Inc. team in Spring 2014 and immediately began developing and expanding the organization’s National and International outreach efforts, government involvement, fundraising strategy, and overall strategic plans for Signature Events and Programs of 2020. Ms. Pecoraro is also the architect of Massacusetts 400, a concept to sustain the momentum of the Plymouth Colony commemoration for 10 years (2020 to 2030), the 250th of the American Revolution, and the 100th anniversary of the American Women’s sufferages movement, among others.

Ms. Pecoraro came to Plymouth from Cape Cod, where she worked for seven years as the Vice President of Operations, International Markets & Special Projects at the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors Bureau. She also served as President of the Massachusetts Cultural Coast for ten years, and worked at several non-profit museums and schools.

Dr Rollan Roberts, The Business Battleground & Former CEO of Hoverboard

Dr Rollan Roberts, The Business Battleground & Former CEO of Hoverboard

Dr. Rollan Roberts is an internationally-renowned, best-selling author, CEO, TV personality, and former CEO of the Hoverboard company - the single, hottest, global consumer product of 2015.  In addition to being recognized as the “Top 100 Most Influential Floridians” of 2015, he has led several global, high growth companies and has a record of creating some of the fastest growing companies in America.  He has a Doctorate degree in Global Business and Entrepreneurship, holds two patents, and is a master at implementing systems and corporate turnarounds.

Martin S Roth, PhD, Dean and Professor, University of Hartford

Martin S Roth, PhD, Dean and Professor, University of Hartford

Dr. Martin S. Roth is Dean and Professor of Management & Marketing at the Barney School of Business, University of Hartford.  His areas of expertise include global corporate and marketing strategy, branding, and customer value.  Since becoming Dean in 2013, he has led increases in enrollments, student placement and satisfaction, faculty recruiting and research support, alumni engagement, corporate partnering, fundraising, new curriculum design, and the development and launch of online degree programs.

He was previously Chair of the Sonoco International Business Department at the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business, top ranked globally in international business research, undergraduate and graduate programs. At the Moore School he also served as Executive Director of the flagship International MBA Program, and as the School’s Chief Innovation & Assessment Officer. He has won numerous teaching awards, including the Alfred G. Smith, Jr. Award as the Moore School of Business outstanding teacher, the Outstanding EIMBA Elective Professor Award, and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the University of South Carolina Alpha Chapter of the Mortar Board. He has also taught at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, Katz Graduate School of Business (University of Pittsburgh), the Arthur D. Little School of Management (Boston), and at universities in Austria, France, Hong Kong, Mexico, Portugal, Thailand, and Tunisia. He has led executive education programs on global strategy, innovation, scenario planning, marketing strategy, customer service, market research, and program evaluation, including custom programs for companies such as Blue Cross & Blue Shield, BMW, CSX, Fiberweb, Metso, Nissan, Verizon, and Xerox.

Marty’s research has been published in the leading marketing and management journals, including the Harvard Business Review, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, Journal of World Business, Marketing Management, Journal of Health Care Marketing, American Journal of Managed Care, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and Journal of Professional Pricing. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal as well as in many other national and local media. Marty’s CountryManager international marketing simulation game is used in over 140 schools worldwide. He has spoken on a variety of marketing and global management topics at industry and academic meetings throughout the Americas and Europe. Dr. Roth has consulted for companies ranging from multinationals to new ventures, including Bank of America, Colonial Life, Holopack International, Kimmel & Associates, Pitney Bowes, and Spirax Sarco. Prior to his academic career he held a number of marketing research and retail management positions. He earned his doctorate and MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.

Mike LaRhette, President, MassChallenge

Mike LaRhette, President, MassChallenge

In his current role as President, Mike is focused on expanding the impact of MassChallenge on a global scale, leading strategic partnerships with individuals, corporations and government leaders across all of MassChallenge programs, and driving the overall revenue strategy for the organization. Over his 25-year career Mike has worked for both early stage startups and established organizations in the design and facilitation of business strategy, innovation, sales and marketing leadership, and leadership development. He has been involved with MassChallenge since its inception as an advisor and facilitator of strategic growth.

Prior to MassChallenge he was most recently a Principal with Collective Next, a collaborative design firm based in Boston. His work there focused on facilitating the organizational alignment to business and innovation strategies. Prior to that he held senior leadership roles at AchieveGlobal, Korn Ferry, Symantec, and Sapient Corporation. He graduated from Boston College with a degree in Economics/Psychology and has a Masters from Boston University in Developmental Studies and Psychology.

Mike has spoken extensively on accelerating innovation through entrepreneurship at recent forums like the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, the 2016 Global Expansion Summit, the 2016 Chief Innovation Officer Summit, 2017 Innovfest Singapore and 2017 Impact Conference in Poland.

Johanna Maska, Former White House Director of Press Advance, CEO of Global Situation Room

Johanna Maska, Former White House Director of Press Advance, CEO of Global Situation Room

Johanna Maska is CEO of GSR.  For eight years Maska worked as Director of Press Advance for President Barack Obama, managing President Obama’s public image on trips for eight years across the United States and to 40 countries including extended tours of Asia, South America, Europe and Africa. She played an important role on both successful Presidential elections, starting in Iowa in 2007 and concluding in early 2015. 

Prior to that Maska worked in politics in Iowa and Kansas.  Maska has since worked in media and technology and works now to promote positive global growth for brands.

Dana M. Lewis, President and CEO, In Other Words, LLC

Dana M. Lewis, President and CEO, In Other Words, LLC

Dana M. Lewis is the President and CEO of In Other Words, LLC, a professional writing business that specializes in messaging, creative web and blog content, editing and speechwriting. In Other Words, LLC’s clients range from entertainment industry executives to national television networks to small businesses.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Ms. Lewis spent nearly 20 years in the federal government, including working for both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as their personal and professional aide on the 2007 campaign trail and in the White House. She also served as the Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council under the Obama Administration.

Ross Martin, CEO BlackbirdGlobal, Former EVP Marketing at Viacom

Ross Martin, CEO BlackbirdGlobal, Former EVP Marketing at Viacom

Emmy and Peabody Award winning creative leader Ross Martin is the CEO of Blackbird (www.blackbirdglobal.com), a marketing and business innovation firm. He is the former Executive Vice President of Marketing Strategy and Engagement for Viacom, the worldwide media and entertainment company, where he oversaw marketing strategy, consumer intelligence, data science, creative innovation, internal agency, and business development teams. Previously, Martin founded and ran Scratch, Viacom’s creative strategy and consulting division. He is a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation, and the advisory boards of St. Jude Children’s Hospital and the Yale University Center for Customer Insights. Recent honors and recognitions include Fast Company's “100 Most Creative People In Business,” an Advertising Age “Media Maven” distinction, Fortune Magazine’s "40 Under 40" top business leaders and AdWeek’s “50 Most Indispensable Executives in Advertising.” In 2014, he was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Achievement.