Juan Verde

Juan Verde
President

Michael Dukakis

Michael Dukakis

Francisco J. Sánchez

Francisco J. Sánchez

Alan D. Solomont

Alan D. Solomont

Manuel Ortiz

Manuel Ortiz


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Juan Verde

Juan Verde provides business and political advice on strategy, sustainability and globalization to governments, institutions and corporations in the U.S., Latin America and Europe.

As the founder of Spanish advisory firm Veritia and Senior Partner of U.S. consultancy firm Mapa Group, Juan advises governments and corporations on market expansion, strategy and sustainability.  He currently serves on a number of corporate and advisory boards including the Government of Lithuania's International Advisory Committee. In the corporate world, Mr. Verde serves among others, on the board of directors of Abengoa Bioenergy S.A., a global biotech ethanol company; Santander Bank, N.A., a U.S. subsidiary of the Spanish financial institution Grupo Santander; and Andina Energy Corp., a global diversified energy corporation. 

Earlier in his career, Mr. Verde founded and presided over the American Chamber of Commerce in the Canary Islands and founded PASS Inc., a strategic advisory firm providing market expansion advice to U.S. companies entering the European market.  In addition, Mr. Verde was Director for Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula for the Corporate Executive Board, Inc. (NASDAQ: CEB), a Washington, DC – based strategy consulting and research firm serving 400 of the Fortune 500 companies. 

Mr. Verde has extensive experience in the political world, having worked on 14 different national, regional and local campaigns, including those of President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Senators Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.  He specializes in fundraising and advising on strategic issues relevant to the Hispanic community.  During the 2012 campaign, Mr. Verde served as International Co-Chair for the Obama´s reelection campaign, where he developed and implemented a strategy to mobilize over 6 million American citizens residing outside of the United States.  During President Obama’s first term, Mr. Verde served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the United States Department of Commerce. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the department’s efforts in solving trade policy and market access issues facing U.S. firms seeking to grow their business operations in the region.

A passionate advocate for environmental causes, sustainability and the fight against climate change, Juan Verde partnered with former Vice President Al Gore to establish and lead “The Climate Project Spain”. He also serves as President of the Fundación Biosfera and continues to promote environmental values, sustainability and the fight against climate change.

Mr. Verde holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, and was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute fellow. In 2012, he was elected to the Alumni Board of Directors at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Boston University, where he graduated with honors. Juan currently splits his time between Washington, DC and Galicia, Spain, where he lives with his wife and daughter.

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Michael Dukakis

Michael Stanley Dukakis was born in Brookline, Massachusetts on November 3, 1933. His parents, Panos and Euturpe (Boukis) Dukakis both emigrated from Greece to the mill cities of Lowell and Haverhill, Massachusetts before marrying and settling in the town of Brookline, just outside Boston.

Dukakis graduated from Brookline High School (1951), Swarthmore College (1955), and Harvard Law School (1960). He served for two years in the United States Army, sixteen months of which he spent with the Support Group to the UN Delegation to the Military Armistice commission in Munsan, Korea.

Dukakis began his political career as an elected Town Meeting Member in the town of Brookline. He was elected chairman of his town's Democratic organization in 1960 and won a seat in the Massachusetts legislature in 1962. He served four terms as a legislator, winning re-election by an increasing margin each time he ran.

In 1970 he was the Massachusetts Democratic Party's nominee for Lieutenant- Governor and the running mate of Boston Mayor Kevin White in that year's gubernatorial race which they lost to Republicans Frank Sargeant and Donald Dwight. Dukakis won his party's nomination for governor in 1974 and beat Sargeant decisively in November of that year.

He inherited a record deficit and record high unemployment and is generally credited with digging Massachusetts out of one of its worst financial and economic crises in history. But the effort took its toll, and Dukakis was defeated in the Democratic Primary in 1978 by Edward King.

Dukakis came back to defeat King in 1982 and was re-elected to an unprecedented third four-year term in 1986 by one of the largest margins in history. In 1986 his colleagues in the National Governors Association voted him the most effective governor in the Nation.

Dukakis won the Democratic nomination for the Presidency in 1988 but was defeated by George Bush. Soon thereafter, he announced that he would not be a candidate for re-election as governor and served his final two years as governor at a time of increasing financial and economic distress in Massachusetts and the Northeast.

After leaving office in January 1991, Dukakis and his wife, Kitty, spent five weeks in Australia as guests of the city of Melbourne and three months at the University of Hawaii where Dukakis was a visiting professor in the political science department and at the School of Public Health. While at the University of Hawaii, he taught courses in political leadership and health policy and led a series of public forums on the reform of the nation's health care system. Since then, there has been increasing public interest in Hawaii's first-in-the nation universal health insurance system and the lessons that can be learned from it as the nation debates the future of health care in America.

Since June of 1991, Dukakis has been a visiting professor at Northeastern University's political science department and has also taught in the senior executive program for State and Local managers at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has also taught for the past three years at Florida Atlantic University.

His research has focused on national health care policy reform and the lessons that national policy makers can learn from state reform efforts. He has authored articles on the subject for the Journal of American Health Policy (1992); the Yale Law and Policy Review (1992); the New England Journal of Medicine (1992); and Compensation and Benefits Management (1993). In addition, he co-taught with Professor Rochefort a graduate seminar in national health policy reform that included a series of public forums and an all-day conference that culminated in the publication of Insuring American Health for the Year 2000, a Northeastern University publication that has been distributed widely to health policy makers, legislators and others.

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Francisco J. Sánchez

Francisco J. Sánchez served as Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, a post he was appointed to by President Barack Obama in 2009 until November 6, 2013.

As Under Secretary, Sánchez led the International Trade Administration, an organization of 2,400 employees with offices throughout the United States and in 73 countries. Sánchez leads the efforts to improve the global business environment by helping U.S. businesses compete abroad.

As one of the architects of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), with the ambitious goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, Sánchez directed programs and policies that promote and protect the competitiveness of American businesses. Under his leadership, working with partners in government, ITA has helped reach significant export milestones. In 2012, U.S. exports reached a record $2.2 trillion in total value supporting nearly 10 million jobs, an increase of 1.3 million since 2009.

During his tenure, Sánchez placed a unique focus on export promotion. Since 2009, ITA successfully has assisted more than 22,000 companies, supporting more than $190 billion in U.S exports. He also put a priority on ensuring that American businesses can compete on a level playing field globally. Sánchez reenergized and refocused ITA’s Advocacy Center, which has helped companies win international government contracts totaling more than $120 billion in U.S. export content, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, since the beginning of the Obama Administration. He has also strengthened relations with priority markets, playing a leading role in advancing the U.S.–Brazil Commercial Dialogue, the U.S.–Turkey Business Council, and the U.S.–Indonesia Commercial Dialogue.

Sánchez has a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sectors. During the Clinton Administration, he served as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Sánchez previously served in the White House as a Special Assistant to President Clinton, and Chief of Staff to the Special Envoy to the Americas.

In addition to his public service, Sánchez spent more than 15 years working with several leading consulting companies on projects involving negotiation strategy and training, most recently as a partner with CMPartners. Among his private-sector achievements, Sánchez served as a consultant to the President of Ecuador in negotiations that led to the resolution of a long-running border dispute with Peru.

Sánchez was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and also one of the top Hispanics nationwide by Poder Magazine. Sánchez is on the board of directors for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He has been awarded the National Point of Light Award and the Governor’s Point of Light Award for Outstanding Community Service. In 2010, he was named to the National Hall of Fame for the Boys and Girls Club of America.

A native of Florida, Sánchez obtained his B.A. and J.D. from Florida State University. He also received a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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Alan D. Solomont

Alan D. Solomont (Boston, 1949) is the former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. Selected by President Barack Obama, he was confirmed by the United States Senate on December 24, 2009.

Active for many years in the Democratic Party, Solomont served as National Finance Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 1997, raising over $40 million. In 2000, he was appointed by President Clinton to the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees three national service initiatives: AmeriCorps, the National Senior Service Corps and Learn & Serve America.

Solomont serves on the boards of numerous organizations including the Boston Private Bank & Trust Company, Angel Healthcare Investors, LLC, Boston Medical Center, The Jewish Fund for Justice, The New Israel Fund, Israel Policy Forum, Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, and the WGBH Educational Foundation. He chairs the Board of Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston. He received an honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

He earned a B.A. from Tufts University in Political Science and Urban Studies in 1970.

Ambassador Solomont pursued independent studies abroad as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and later earned a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He was elected to the Tufts University Board of Trustees in 1999.

Ambassador Solomont will be the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

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Manuel Ortiz

Manny is considered one of Washington's top lobbyists. He is a trusted advisor to Fortune 50 CEOs as well as politicians. Foreign governments, as well as the world's leading corporate brands, depend on Manny for his Democratic ties, strategic advice and development of comprehensive government relations plans to advance and protect their interests. He successfully represents his clients on complex issues in the halls of Congress, the White House and executive agencies. Manny is well known for his recent work on healthcare and Wall Street reform bills.

Manny is an experienced corporate advisor with a strong, results-driven reputation for his blue chip clients, such as Sony, MetLife, Microsoft, Hilton, Qualcomm, Visa and Verizon. His expertise is focused in the areas of immigration, telecommunications, transportation, financial services, tax and energy.

As a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Manny is nationally recognized for his work to advance the interests of U.S. territories and foreign governments with federal agencies, Congress and the White House.

Manny's clients in the U.S. territory include Puerto Rico’s Senate, the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, The University of Puerto Rico, the City of San Juan and Banco Popular, the largest Puerto Rican financial institution.

On behalf of clients, Manny has played prominent roles in recent successful efforts including:

Brownstein played a central role in Freeport LNG obtaining approval from the Department of Energy for a 20-year contract to Export LNG by Vessel from the Freeport LNG Terminal on Quintana Island, Texas to Non-Free Trade Agreement Nations. This is only the second permit issued by the U.S. Department of Energy to countries that do not have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States. Significant opposition to export licenses from domestic chemical companies as well as environmentalists made the process more dramatic.

On behalf of Puerto Rico, he led and facilitated an increase in its Medicaid and Medicare funding, from $500 million to more than $1 billion annually.

Led a telecom policy and economic initiative to persuade Congress, in the context of debt ceiling negotiations, to exclude our client from a new requirement for incentive auctions and fees on unlicensed spectrum. This prevented our client from having to pay billions of dollars in excessive fees to the government.

Lobbied Congress to include and reauthorize a "pro-investment provision" that allows businesses to deduct 100% of their equipment expenses to help stimulate the economy and job growth in 2008 and 2010.

On behalf of a Fortune 500 telecommunications company, Brownstein successfully lobbied Senate and House conference negotiators to accept a limited exception for telecommunications services. These related to the sanctions sections of the bill dealing with U.S. interest abroad. The bill was successfully passed in 2012.

Designed and executed strategy that led to successful congressional passage of the REIT Modernization Act.

Successfully lobbied for an education client to carve out from regulations advocated by the Department of Education by strategically demonstrating to the White House the adverse economic effects of the regulation.

Lobbied Congress and the White House to defeat a proposed rule from the Department of Labor, which would impose significant changes to our client's business model. We built significant policymaker opposition and the White House removed the rule from consideration.

Successfully lobbied the Securities and Exchange Commission to oppose money market rules proposed by the Chair of the SEC, and supported by the Administration.

On behalf of Verizon and Comcast, successfully helped guide efforts to secure approval of spectrum transaction by both the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice after significant congressional oversight.

Manny's reputation expands beyond the Beltway. He has been hailed as “the young lobbyist with the most influence in Washington” by Washingtonian Magazine. The New York Times has praised him as, “Puerto Rico's go to guy in Washington,” and CNN has touted him as, “one of Washington’s Powerhouse Lobbyists.” The Washington Post called him the "Democratic power broker regarded as one of K Street's most influential strategists." Lastly, Golf Digest gave Manny the nod in June 2011 for ranking 58 in Washington’s Top 150 Golfers.

Prior to joining Brownstein, Manny served as director at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, where he played an integral role in making the public affairs firm one of the top outfits in Washington. Previously, Manny worked as a transactional attorney with the international law firms of Verner Liipfert Bernhard McPherson & Hand and Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Prior to law and politics, Manny enjoyed a distinguished tennis career playing professionally in the ATP Tour, serving as Captain of the University of Kansas team and a member of the Puerto Rican Davis Cup team.

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