Marshall J. Breger
Member of the Board
A Professor of Law at the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, Marshall Breger has served as a Senior Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, Solicitor of Labor, the chief lawyer of the Labor Department, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Labor Management Standards. Additionally, Marshall has acted as the Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States, an independent federal agency, the Alternate Delegate of the U.S. to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva, and Special Assistant to President Reagan and his liaison to the Jewish Community. Marshall is a contributing columnist to Moment magazine. He also has published work in periodicals such as the Middle East Quarterly, The National Interest, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. Dr. Breger is the editor of The Vatican-Israel Accord: Legal, Political, and Theological Issues (Notre Dame University Press, 2004); Public Policy and Social Issues: Jewish Sources and Perspectives (Praeger, 2003); and Jerusalem: A City and Its Future (with Ora Ahimeir) (Syracuse University Press, 2002). Marshall along with Thomas A. Idinopulos are the co-authors of Jerusalem’s Holy Places and the Peace Process (Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 1998); and co-editor with David M. Gordis, of Vouchers for School Choice: Challenge or Opportunity? An American Jewish Reappraisal, (Wilstein Institute of Jewish Policy Studies, 1998). Marshall holds a B.A. and an M.A from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.Phil. from Oriel College, Oxford University; and a J.D., magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Member of the Board
Joshua Gordon is the senior vice president of the Democracy Council and CEO of Global Direct Telecom, an international carrier and consulting firm. Josh was previously Vice President and Managing Director for Verestar, Inc., an American Tower company (NYSE: AMT), and Director of Strategic Networks for Justice Telecom. Besides his work in the field of international telecommunications, Josh was a Degree Fellow at the East-West Center in Hawaii where he specialized in tracking democracy, freedom of information and media censorship in East and Southeast Asia. Prior to his tenure at the East-West Center, Josh was Programs Manager and Press Officer at Freedom House in New York and in Washington, D.C., where he administered projects aimed at monitoring and promoting democratization in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Iraq, Cuba and elsewhere. Josh’s commentary on democracy and telecommunication issues has appeared in various publications including The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and The International Herald-Tribune. Josh graduated Magna Cum Laude from Williams College, earned a M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and received a JD from Harvard Law School.
Member of the Board
Michael Mahdesian is Chairman of the Board of Servicon, the leading facilities maintenance contractor servicing the aerospace, industrial, hi-tech, and commercial sectors in the American south-west. Prior to rejoining Servicon, Michael worked for seven years as a Presidential Appointee in Washington, D.C., where he served as Deputy for the Bureau of Humanitarian Response at the State Department. During this period, he was integrally involved in the U.S. response to crises in Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Indonesia and other trouble spots around the world. Michael led the first assessment team to the Democratic Republic of Congo after the fall of Mobutu, and helped shape the U.S. assistance program there. He also served on USAID’s Bosnia Task Force as coordinator of the Humanitarian and transition programs for Bosnia. Michael received a B.A. from the University of Southern California, and a M.A. from UCLA’s School of Urban Planning. He is now on the Los Angeles Planning Commission, Board of Advisors of UCLA’s School of Public Policy, and is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy.
Frederic C. Hof
Member of the Board
Frederic C. Hof is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. On March 28, 2012 President Obama conferred on Fred the rank of ambassador in connection with his new duties as special advisor for transition in Syria. Fred was previously the special coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchell on the full range of Arab-Israeli peace issues falling under his purview and focusing on Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters. He joined the State Department in 2009 after serving as president and CEO of AALC, limited company, an international business consulting and project finance firm formerly known as Armitage Associates LC. Fred’s professional life has focused largely on the Middle East. In 2001 he directed the Jerusalem field operations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee headed by former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and was the lead drafter of the Committee’s 2001 report. In 1983, as a US Army officer, he helped draft the “Long Commission” report, which investigated the October 1983 bombing of the US Marine headquarters at Beirut International Airport. Both reports drew considerable international praise for fairness and integrity. A 1969 graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Fred began his professional career as an Army officer. He is a Vietnam veteran and served as a US Army Middle East foreign area officer, studying Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute in Tunisia and receiving a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as US Army attaché in Beirut, Lebanon and later in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as director for Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestinian Affairs. Fred has written extensively on Arab-Israeli issues. He is the author of Galilee Divided: The Israel-Lebanon Frontier, 1916-1984 (Westview Press, 1985); Line of Battle, Border of Peace? The Line of June 4, 1967 (Middle East Insight, 1999); and Beyond the Boundary: Lebanon, Israel and the Challenge of Change (Middle East Insight, 2000). He has also written many articles on Jordan Valley water issues. His writing on the Israel-Syria, Israel-Lebanon and (by virtue of his work on the “Mitchell Committee”) Israel-Palestinian tracks of the Middle East peace process has contributed positively to the body of literature promoting Arab-Israeli peace. His awards include the Purple Heart, the Department of State Superior Honor Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the Defense Superior Service Medal.
Member of the Board
Angela Hawken, Ph.D., is associate professor of economics and policy analysis at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. She is from South Africa, where she taught undergraduate and graduate econometrics and microeconomics before moving to Los Angeles in 1998 to complete a PhD in policy analysis at the RAND Graduate School. She teaches graduate classes in research methods, statistics, applied methods for policy analysis, crime, and social policy. Her research interests are primarily in drugs, crime, and corruption. At RAND, she conducted research on early education, sentencing, and tort reform. Angela conducted the statewide cost-benefit analysis of California’s Proposition 36, and led the randomized controlled trial of Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE), a swift-and-certain-sanctions model to manage high-risk probationers. Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske, identified HOPE as the most promising initiative that “not only prevents recidivism, but also actively assists individuals to transition to productive lives.” Angela consults regularly for the UN and the State Department. She advised a State Department-supported think tank in Georgia. She is developing measurement instruments to study corruption and gender issues in the Asia-Pacific region and for the UN regional office. Her work is featured regularly in UN Human Development Reports. She has visited Afghanistan twice, and is co-author of the Afghanistan corruption-monitoring system used by the UN and State Department to track public-sector corruption. She is also working on counter-narcotics policy for the U.S. State Department’s Afghanistan division. Angela actively includes students in fieldwork for her research and writing projects. She involved a dozen School of Public Policy students in the HOPE evaluation and has placed over two dozen students in international internships.
The Democracy Council (DC) operates with a collaborative, people-centered approach to the highest level of standards, ethics and accountability. Our team is made up of leading specialists from a broad range of backgrounds and practical experience from law, accounting, and government to humanitarian relief and civil society activists.