Sarah Lederman, President
Sarah Henry Lederman teaches history at the Spence School in New York City. She has an undergraduate degree in European History from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in American history from Columbia University. Before beginning her graduate studies she worked as a reporter for a year at Foster’s Daily Democrat in Dover, NH.
Mulan Ashwin, Secretary
Mulan Ashwin is an Australian and US trained lawyer. She has worked in a Washington DC law firm, a NY corporate law firm and then as a lawyer in the Legal Department of the United Nations. She has also worked with several not for profit organizations and has served as an electoral observer for the UN in Mozambique. She currently devotes time to the International Rescue Committee in New York, assisting resettled refugees integration into US society. Ashwin graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws, Cornell University Law School with a Master of Laws and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs with a Master in International Affairs.
Anne Bennett, Executive Director
Anne Bennett is an international development expert with extensive experience in creating and managing complex radio and journalism projects and communications strategies in challenging post-war and development contexts: Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Algeria, and North East India. Prior to founding HUSA, Bennett managed operations for Fondation Hirondelle is Sierra Leone, Sudan and South Sudan. She is recognized for successfully engaging effective multi-year support from international donors as well as partner organizations. She has a BA from University of California at Berkeley and a MA from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, University of Geneva.
Philip Bennett, Treasurer
Philip Bennett is the Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University and the Patterson Professor of Public Policy and Journalism. Between 2005-2009 he was the managing editor of The Washington Post, and has been an editor of international and national security coverage, a local news reporter and a foreign correspondent. Since leaving the Post newsroom, Bennett has worked on new media projects for The Washington Post Co. and served as managing editor of the television series FRONTLINE on PBS. He joined the Duke University faculty in July 2009. He is teaching about journalism ethics and national security secrecy, the news media and Islam, and subjects relating to the future of journalism. Bennett graduated from Harvard College in 1981 with a BA in history.
Elan Blutinger has been a managing director of Alpine Consolidated, LLC, a merchant bank specializing in consolidating fragmented industries, since 1996. He serves as the Chairman and CEO of Washington, DC based, AudioNow, the largest call-to-listen mobile broadcasting technology company in the industry, and Park-City Utah-based Vacationroost, an online lodging technology company. Mr. Blutinger has served as the chair of the board of trustees of the Washington International School in Washington, D.C. He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from American University and an M.A. degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently the Vice-Chairman of Our Time.Org, a bipartisan youth advocacy group and leads the organizations efforts to develop a for-profit operating unit.
Carroll Bogert is the Deputy Executive Director for External Relations at Human Rights Watch. She oversees the organization’s external relations and works with the executive director on advocacy and fundraising. Bogert previously served as Human Rights Watch’s communications director, publicizing the organization’s work and drawing attention to human rights issues in more than 90 countries worldwide. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she spent more than a decade in international news reporting for Newsweek magazine, beginning as a stringer in China, then moving to the Southeast Asia bureau as correspondent, becoming bureau chief in Moscow, and finally working as an editor and international correspondent in the magazine’s New York office. Bogert holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies and a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University. She speaks Russian, French, and Mandarin.
James Brenner is the founder and CEO founder and CEO of Broad Cove, an investment and project management firm that serves as a bridge between international capital sources and high-potential, housing-related initiatives in frontier markets. He worked as a senior advisor to John F. Kerry when he served in the US Senate, responsible for shaping legislation in international trade, banking and taxation. Mr. Brenner holds degrees from Wesleyan University, where he built his first solar-house, and Harvard University’s JFK School of Government.
Caroline Kurtz lives with her family in Missoula, Montana, where she is a freelance writer and editor specializing in scientific and natural history topics. She has served on boards and advisory committees of numerous local non-profit organizations, and recently has been particularly involved in creating a new collaborative-funding initiative aimed at strengthening the organizational capacity of important cultural and social service non-profits in the state. She received her B.A. in English from Vassar College and a master’s degree in Science Communication from Boston University.
Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh is currently senior associate and regional director for Central and West Africa at National Democratic Institute. He has organized and advised international election observation missions and designed and supervised country specific democracy support programs in numerous African countries. He recently designed and helped launch the African Statesmen Initiative (ASI), a program aimed at facilitating political transitions in Africa by encouraging former democratic heads of state to stay engaged in humanitarian issues, conflict mediation, public health and other key sectors of political, economic and human development on the continent.
Dr. Fomunyoh holds a Licence en Droit from Yaoundé University in Cameroon, a master’s degree (LL.M.) in international law from Harvard Law School; and a Ph.D. in political science from Boston University. He is the founder of a nonprofit organization that supports democracy and humanitarian causes in Cameroon.
Peter McKillop, Managing Director, is Global Head of Communications for BlackRock’s iShares ETF business. In this role, he drives the communication strategy and oversees media relations, executive communications and internal communications for iShares globally. Prior to joining BlackRock in January 2014, Mr. McKillop held leadership roles in global communications and marketing at JP Morgan, UBS, KKR and Bank of America. He also served as Managing Director of the Japan office of Burson-Marsteller and Regional Media Director for its Asia-Pacific operations, where he provided strategic marketing, public affairs and crisis communications counsel to leading Fortune 500 companies
Prior to joining financial services, Mr. McKillop was a senior correspondent and bureau chief for Newsweek from 1983-1995 in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong covering key social, political, cultural and financial events. Mr. McKillop helped start and continues to play an active role in the Harvard University Symposium for Building a 21st Century Financial System for Japan and the US, which brings together senior government, finance, and academic experts to discuss significant financial issues between the US and Japan. Mr. McKillop is a board member of the Africa-American Institute and a trustee at Eaglebrook School, in Deerfield, MA.
Mr. Mckillop received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University in 1981 where he majored in African Studies.
Michael Schoenfeld is Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations at Duke University, where he leads external affairs and advocacy for the university and medical center, directs Duke’s Washington, DC, center, and serves as the principal spokesperson. He also teaches a seminar on media, politics and policy at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. A veteran communications and public affairs executive, Schoenfeld was previously vice chancellor for public affairs at Vanderbilt University from 1997-2008. His media experience includes service as senior vice president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, director of program development at USIA-Worldnet TV, and executive assistant to the director of the Voice of America (VOA). He started his career as a reporter and newscaster for VOA, where he also served as Congressional liaison officer. A 1984 Duke graduate, Schoenfeld earned a master’s degree in public policy from Stony Brook University.
Caroline Vuillemin (non-voting),
Caroline Vuillemin has been engaged in international development, particularly with Africa, for most of her career. As a former Africa Program Officer for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) she set up and managed the IFES office in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 1998 to 2003, and worked extensively in the African Great Lakes region on projects in Rwanda, Burundi and Congo-Brazzaville. She participated in many Elections Observation missions with IFES, notably the national elections in South Africa and Nigeria in 1999.
Caroline Vuillemin joined Fondation Hirondelle in December 2003,and in 2008 became a member of the Executive team as Chief Operations Officer. Vuillemin holds a Degree in Political Science from the Lyon “Institut d’Etudes Politiques”, and a BA in International Relations from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.