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Andrew Albertson, Executive Director

Andrew brings more than a decade of experience leading initiatives that promote smart, principled approaches to American national security challenges. From 2007 to 2010, he was the founding executive director of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED). From 2011 to 2012, he served in Afghanistan with USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI), where he was Deputy Regional Representative for OTI's programs in the South and Southwest regions. From 2012 to 2015, at Creative Associates International, he directed programs in Libya that built the capacity of civil society organizations and municipal governments. He received a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University, where he was the Huffington Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Andrew recently led the grassroots campaign Foreign Policy Professionals for Hillary and co-directed the Truman National Security Project's Fragile States Working Group.  


Board of Directors


Dr. Stephen Grand, Director

Stephen leads the Middle East Strategy Task Force at the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Project on US Relations with the Islamic World at Brookings, where he served as director from 2006 to 2013. He recently published a book, Understanding Tahrir Square: What Transitions Elsewhere Can Teach Us about the Prospects for Arab Democracy. From 2004 to 2006, he was director of the Aspen Institute's Middle East Strategy Group. He has served as an adjunct professor at American University and Syracuse University, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute. Stephen serves as chairman of the board of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and a member of the International Advisory Council of the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation.

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Amb. (ret) Laura Kennedy, Director

Laura is a foreign affairs expert who served for nearly 40 years with the U.S. Foreign Service. She was Ambassador to Turkmenistan (2001-3), Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2004-5), taught and served as Deputy Commandant at the National War College (2007-9), and was appointed U.S. Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and Special Representative for Biological Weapons Convention Issues (2010-13). After retiring, she was recalled to active service in May 2014 to serve as Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan until September 2014 and then as Charge at the U. S. Mission to the United Nations in Vienna and a member of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency until July 2015. Laura is an elected member of the American Academy of Diplomacy and serves on the Boards of the State Department’s Senior Seminar Association and the World Affairs Council of DC.


Leopoldo Martinez, Director

Leopoldo is a lawyer who completed graduate studies at Harvard, Princeton and the University of Miami. He is Board Chairman at Latino Victory Project and Director at IQ AMERICAS Political Consultants. He has worked with large international law and accounting firms and possesses extensive experience advising Fortune 500 companies, international businesses, and governments. He is also an author and was Professor of Tax and Public Finance Law, which led to his election as an independent Congressmen in Venezuela. He produced, directed and hosted the popular Venezuelan talk show Constructores de un Pais. Committed to sustainable democratic change in the Americas, Leopoldo is also the Chairman & CEO of the Center for Democracy and Development in the Americas (, Publisher of IQLatino (, and an advisor to the Group of Fifty Foundation (


Hon. Ellen Tauscher

Ellen is an experienced executive, strategic advisor, and seasoned leader who returned to the private sector in February 2012, after more than 16 years of public service in Congress and the State Department. In 2009, she was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs. As Under Secretary of State, she was responsible for successfully closing negotiations of the New Start Treaty with the Russian Federation in March 2010 in Geneva, after months of stalemate. She also represented the United States at the Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in May 2010, which produced the first consensus agreement in 10 years. Prior to her appointment, she was a seven-term Democratic Member of the United States House of Representatives, representing California's 10th Congressional district. Ellen currently serves as an independent director of public and private companies, non-profit, and non-governmental organizations. 

Affiliations are for identification only