Board of Advisors
Farah Pandith has been a political appointee in the George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama administrations. She left government at the end of January 2014 for Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government where she maintains an affiliation. She is driving efforts to counter extremism through new organizations, programs, and initiatives. She was appointed the first-ever special representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The Office of the Special Representative was responsible for executing a vision for engagement with Muslims around the world based on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reported directly to the secretary of state. Ms. Pandith traveled to more than eighty countries and launched youth-focused initiatives. She is also the main architect of the Women in Public Service Project. In January 2013, she was awarded the Secretary's Distinguished Honor Award.
Prior to this appointment, Ms. Pandith was senior advisor to the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs. This role was created for her in the context of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, and she built new State Department strategies for how U.S. embassies in Europe understood the Muslim demographic, the increase in foreign ideologies present on the ground, and how the United States could build resilience. From December 2004 to February 2007, Ms. Pandith served as the director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council. Prior to joining the NSC, Ms. Pandith was chief of staff of the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2004, she spent two months in Afghanistan developing a public outreach strategy. She also served at USAID from 1990–1993 on the administrator’s staff and as the special assistant to the director of policy.
From 1997 to 2003, Ms. Pandith was Vice President of International Business for ML Strategies in Boston, Massachusetts, and served as a Commissioner on Governor Paul A. Cellucci’s bi-partisan Asian Advisory Commission. She has been a consultant in the public, private, and non-profit sectors and has served in leadership positions on several boards with a focus on international affairs.
Ms. Pandith received a Master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she specialized in International Security Studies, Islamic Civilizations and Southwest Asia, and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She received an A.B. in Government and Psychology from Smith College, where she was president of the student body. She is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Smith College President’s Council. She was awarded the Smith College Medal in February 2014 and the Distinguished Achievement Award by Tufts University in 2013.
She was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, India, and raised in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Kate FriedrichKate Friedrich is Vice President of Global Government Affairs for Thomson Reuters. In this position she is responsible for managing Thomson Reuters’ government affairs operation in Washington as well as assisting in the design and implementation of the company’s government strategy in DC and other key capitals around the world. She also currently serves at the Vice Chair of the Board of the Software and Information Industry Association, the principal trade association for the content and digital industry. Prior to this, she was the Senior Director for Government Affairs and Special Projects for Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Division and played a key role in developing its global financial regulatory strategy. From November 2002 to March 2010, Ms. Friedrich served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. During this time, she also was an executive branch staff member to the Congressional- Executive Commission on China, the Global Affairs Policy Coordinator for Afghanistan and served concurrently as Executive Director of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership and multi-million dollar presidential initiative designed to mobilize resources to empower Afghan women. In 2008, she was recognized with the Service to America Medal for National Security and International Affairs for her extensive work in this area. Earlier in her career, she was a Program Analyst in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the State Department and also held several key positions at the White House including Special Assistant to the Deputy National Security Advisor. Ms. Friedrich serves on several boards including the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan, the Center for Private International Enterprise, the Grossman Burn Foundation, and is a Member of the Atlantic Council. She holds a B.A. in Government Affairs and Politics from the University of Maryland College Park.
Kristi RogersKristi M. Rogers has over 25 years’ experience in executive-level problem solving, corporate leadership, risk management and crisis communications. Her strategic advice and counsel are regularly sought on issues relating to security and disaster response, federal government contracting, the role of business in complex and dynamic environments (including markets emerging from conflict), public-private partnerships, and crisis communications. Kristi is currently the Managing Partner (and co-founder) of Principal to Principal (P2P). Principal to Principal’s CEO Forum brings together senior executive leaders and decision-makers in a private setting to consider new and constructive approaches to today’s multifaceted public policy issues. P2P also assists Boards of Directors and C-suite executives in successfully addressing complex challenges. A recovering start-up CEO, Kristi successfully launched two companies with extensive overseas operations. The first was Aegis LLC, where she served as President and CEO. Aegis is a leading risk management and security company providing government and corporate clients with a full spectrum of risk management and culturally sensitive security solutions to operational and development challenges around the world. Following Aegis, Kristi was a co-founder, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aspen Healthcare Services/Aspen Medical International (AMI). During her tenure, Aspen successfully ran full service medical clinics in Liberia and Sierra Leone, including nine Ebola treatment units in the affected countries. Rogers’ also held senior positions within the U.S. government including her appointment as Assistant Commissioner at U.S. Customs & Border Protection and as senior official with the U.S. Department of Defense, serving nine months in Iraq. Kristi currently serves on the Board of Directors of Qualys Inc. (a publicly traded company) and the Advisory Council for Trident Capital’s Cyber Security fund. She was chair and founder of the Women in National Security group within BENS (Business Executives for National Security). Kristi is also a Member of the Spectrum Group, President of the Michigan State Society, an Advisory Board member for America Abroad Media, and a regular speaker at Michigan State University’s College of Social Science and other institutions.
Alexis BonnellAlexis Bonnell is the Division Chief of Applied Innovation and Acceleration in the U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID. Over her career, Alexis has developed and delivered over a billion dollars of humanitarian and development programming in over 25 conflict, post-conflict, and emergency countries, in almost every sector from education to stabilization, for more than 30 International Bi-lateral donors, 10 UN agencies, the military, and private sector. She has held positions with every side of development including: implementers, donors, policy makers, and beneficiaries and is proud of her “360 degrees” of development experience. Her more than 20 years of experience in management and communications has provided her incredible opportunities to work on/with: Wall Street, “Dot.coms”, Middle East Peace Plan, Afghan and Iraq Elections, Tsunami Response, Pakistan Earthquake, Haiti Earthquake, construction projects, and major logistics operations. After years of living and working overseas, Alexis returned to the USA with USAID as the Senior Advisor on Business Transformation and Knowledge Management. She then served as the Chief of Engagement for the Office of Education at USAID, where she helped shape the strategic communication and execution of the USAID Education Strategy. In 2013 she joined the leadership team of the new U.S. Global Development Lab of USAID as the Director of Engagement and Communications. Alexis’s currently serves as both the Acting Director of Engagement and Communications in the Lab but also as the Division Chief for Applied Innovation, which focuses on how innovations can be advanced to have maximum impact and scale and how they can be integrated into the larger development work around the world. Her focus at the Lab is to help convene and connect people and organizations around the world with the most innovative applications of science, technology, innovation, and partnership to accelerate the end to extreme poverty. Alexis was the founder of the Global Innovation Exchange, a industry level platform to share all globally relevant development innovation, connecting the world with thousands of innovations, millions in funding, and willing collaborators to help find ways to do development better, faster, and more effectively. Alexis received a dual major in Advertising and Public Relations from Pepperdine University (where she later returned as a professor), a Global Executive MBA from Kellogg Northwestern, as well as a Masters in Direct and Interactive Media from NYU. She achieved a “CFRE” (Certified Fundraising Executive) as well as an “SAPM” (Advanced Project Management Accreditation) from Stanford University, and a Certificate in Non-profit Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to her career in development, Alexis worked as the Director of Marketing for an early Interactive Marketing Association (Acquired by the Direct Marketing Association), where her job was to help Wall Street and the corporate world understand the impact that the internet, new media, innovation, and technology would have on business, customer experience, and society; as well as to match-make new innovative technologies to traditional business paradigms creating strategic change management models as well as major supply-chain and distribution reforms. Alexis is the co-author of the book “Get your Dream Job”. Alexis is an avid horsewoman, scuba diver, home renovator, and lives with her family in Virginia.
Lady Caroline RichardsLady Caroline Richards, a pioneer in Afghan education and lauded literary curator, brings a depth of knowledge and experience possessed by few to the Passerine Project Advisory Board. As a medical illustrator at the age of 24, Lady Caroline began an epic journey as the support spouse of Lord David Richards, Chief of the Defense Staff and the professional head of the British Armed Forces. Using her unique position and vantage point for the greater good, Lady Caroline not only set a graceful example for legions of service spouses, she also identified areas of great need and developed the Afghan Appeal Fund to build and restore schools in Afghanistans crisis zones. An idea born out of her love of Afghan culture an art, as well as a compelling need to ensure that women and children in Afghanistan have enduring peace and hope post-conflict, Lady Caroline created the non-profit NGO, The Afghan Appeal Fund. As a fundraising effort, Lady Caroline curated and produced an exceptional e-book titled, “Afghanistan Revealed”, which features contributions by the world’s most distinguished academics, commentators, and photographers. Through her vast work as a humanitarian, Lady Caroline has provided access to education for thousands of Afghan children who would otherwise go without; in addition, her grace and focus on mission has provided a positive idealogical example for the UK population and beyond.
Roland JofféRoland Joffé was born in London, England and is an acclaimed writer, director and producer, known for The Mission, The Killing Fields and The Scarlet Letter. Joffé attended the esteemed Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle in London, Carmel College in Oxfordshire, and the University of Manchester. Joffé began his directing career at the helm of such BBC TV classics as The Spongers for the Play for Today series. For his work, The Spongers won the coveted Prix Italia award. In 1984, Joffé directed his first feature film, The Killing Fields which was met great worldwide critical acclaim. The film won three Academy Awards and he was nominated for Best Director. Following the success of The Killing Fields, Joffé embarked upon his second directorial feature The Mission which was released in 1986 garnered one Oscar and Joffe nominations for Best Director and Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The Mission also won the “Palme d’Or” and Technical Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Joffé directed the acclaimed and visionary 1995 film adaptation of The Scarlet Letter starring Demi Moore and Robert Duvall. Throughout his career, Joffé has been noted for his precision in combining global story arcs with heartening, human narratives; Joffé has been a constant champion of telling the truth in stories that are seldom told including Fat Man and Little Boy starring Paul Newman, City of Joy, which he wrote, produced and directed, Vatel starring Gerard Depardieu, and is currently in post-production on film The Forgiven starring Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana which he directs and produces. Joffé serves on the board of several non-profits, using his gift of articulation to move forward the worldwide conversation on improving human rights in the neglected corners of the planet.
Charlie FeldmanCharlie Feldman is Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations in BMI’s New York office. In this role, Mr. Feldman directs all writer/publisher relations and administration activities in BMI’s New York office, including the company’s concert music, theatre and jazz departments. Mr. Feldman, who joined BMI in 1988 as Senior Director, Writer/Publisher Relations, was promoted to Assistant Vice President in that department in July 1990, and Vice President in 1992. Prior to BMI, Mr. Feldman was Vice President of EMI-Nashville and prior to that, was a songwriter signed to Muscle Shoals Music. In addition to his role at BMI, Mr. Feldman served as President of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS). He is also a past trustee. Mr. Feldman also serves as a Vice Chairman of the Entertainment and Music Industries Division of the UJA-Federation and as a member of the board of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. Mr. Feldman’s professional memberships include the Country Music Association (CMA), the National Academy of Popular Music (NAPM), Nashville Songwriter’s Association International (NSAI), the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), Board Member of T J Martell Foundation and National Secretary, and the Academy of Country Music (ACM). Mr. Feldman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alabama.
Jeff Fahey is a longtime humanitarian advocate who has traveled, lived, and worked extensively throughout the developing world for over 40 years. While Mr. Fahey’s interests are worldwide in scope, for the last fifteen years he has focused particular attention on helping the people of Afghanistan and the Western Sahara.
In Afghanistan, Mr. Fahey has used his nearly four decades of experience with that country to help his partners and friends there plan and carry out numerous successful development projects. He helped found orphanages in Kabul and an agricultural development initiative for poor farmers in Wardak Province; helped start a sewing and training factory, Safi Industries, that now employs over 1400 war widows; worked closely with the Afghan Ministry of Culture, Youth and Information; and launched a training program for young Afghan filmmakers. Mr. Fahey’s efforts were also crucial to the continuation of U.S. Government support for the International School of Kabul and to the founding of the American University of Afghanistan. From 2005-2008, Mr. Fahey Served on the US-Afghan Women's Council with First Lady Laura Bush and Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky.
Mr. Fahey has also worked tirelessly to draw attention to the plight of the world’s 21 million refugees, focusing particularly on the fact that some eight million of those refugees are now the victims of forgotten or frozen crises, and have been “warehoused” around the world in places like Thailand and Algeria. His work has specifically addressed the subject of warehoused Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. His advocacy recently helped convince the Moroccan and Algerian governments to allow those refugees significantly greater communications with and more frequent visits to their relatives in Morocco. In recognition of his efforts, in 2010 Mr. Fahey was designated as The Global Ambassador of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI). In that capacity, Mr. Fahey has worked to help respond to the needs of the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by the civil war in Syria and now living along that country's borders with Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon. Mr. Fahey visited the border area in early 2012, and was one of the first prominent international advocates to call attention to the emerging refugee crisis in that region. Following his visit, Mr. Fahey went directly to Washington to meet with members of the House and Senate to brief them on the urgency of the situation and the need for an immediate, effective response.
Mr. Fahey is also a member of the Advisory Board of Friends Forever USA, a grassroots organization that promotes peace by cross-community youth work, connecting communities in the U.S. with teens from regions of conflict, primarily Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine. Friends Forever USA also runs a domestic conflict resolution program that works with African teen immigrants in New Hampshire.
In all his work, Mr. Fahey has been a consistent and serious voice for those who have no voice, an advocate for those who have been forgotten, and a vigorous crusader against injustice.
When not in the field, Mr. Fahey pursues another successful career as an actor and producer of theater, television, and film. He is a veteran of more than 140 films and a number of television series.