Denise Campbell Bauer, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium
Denise Campbell Bauer was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium on June 21, 2013. She was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on August 2, 2013, and sworn in on August 7, 2013.
Since becoming Chief of Mission, Ambassador Bauer has prioritized strengthening America’s partnership with Belgium in countering radicalization, reinforcing our defense ties, and encouraging renewable energy investment and research. She supported trade and investment as bilateral trade has, for the first time, surpassed $50 billion per year. In commemorations throughout Belgium, Ambassador Bauer honored American veterans and the shared sacrifice of the American and Belgian people during World War I and II. She was particularly proud to be a member of the U.S. presidential delegation at the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne in December, 2014, in the presence of His majesty King Philippe and Her Majesty Queen Mathilde.
Ambassador Bauer has a life-long commitment to public service and civic engagement and has been active in political and community activities for more than two decades. From 2008 to 2012, she served on the Democratic National Committee, serving as Chair and Co-chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum and as Co-chair of the National Issues Conference. She was Finance Chair for Women for Obama from 2011 to 2012, and served on the Obama for America National Finance Committee from 2011 to 2012 and from 2007 to 2008. In 2008 and 2012, Ambassador Bauer served on the Presidential Inaugural Committee. She also served as President of the Board of Directors for the Belvedere Community Foundation in Belvedere, California.
She began her career in television news and public affairs in Los Angeles, California. From 1993 to 1994, she was a Public Affairs Officer for the American Red Cross Bay Area in San Francisco, and from 1990 to 1992, she was a freelance film and video producer in Los Angeles. Prior to that, she was the News Producer for the North American Bureau of Nine Network Australia in Los Angeles and also worked as Field Producer and Researcher for KCBS-TV News.
Ambassador Bauer graduated from Occidental College with a degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in foreign affairs and national security. Her home state is California and she now lives in Brussels, Belgium with her husband, Steven M. Bauer, and their two daughters.
Sylvestre Defontaine, a native from the Tournai region – born in 1976 – is a young, enthusiastic, and energetic journalist at PureFM, one of the five radio channels of public broadcaster RTBF. He joined PureFM in 2004, which was the year this youth radio station was created.
PureFM is a radio station that gets close to 200,000 listeners during its most popular programs, including Sylvestre’s evening program, “Drugstore.” PureFM features a lot of rock and pop music and has a brief news program every hour.
Sylvestre participated in a USG journalist tour on “Youth in Politics” during the Presidential campaign of 2012.
Luana Difficile is a young, twenty-three year old, journalist from Brussels who received her Bachelor in Journalism studies from Erasmus Hogeschool in Brussels. For a period of two years she interned with city broadcast radio FMBrussel. Via this internship, she came into contact with the radio’s sister company, the regional TV broadcaster TVBrussel where she started working as a youth reporter for the youth editing staff Brusk. Brusk brings stories for youth, by youth in Brussels on a whole range of connected themes. Music, trends, film, as long as it appeals to Brussels’ youth.
Three years have passed and her love for the media as well as for her city has continued to grow. She is currently finishing her Master in Media Studies at the University of Antwerp and is very eager to start a full-time career in the media sector.
Camille Goret is a young journalist – born in France in 1983 – and who has been with free daily Metro since 2009.
Metro is a free daily, which in Belgium like in several European countries, is distributed in train stations throughout the country and in the capital’s metro station. It is read by close to 500,000 people each working day, making it one of the largest circulation dailies in the francophone part of Belgium.
Free daily Metro is as highly respected as serious media papers and all its writers are professional journalists.
Camille traveled to the U.S. under U.S. Government auspices in 2012 to participate in the FY-12 Multi-Regional Project, “U.S. Elections and Political System.”
Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School
The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School is a world-renowned interdisciplinary research center dedicated to improving the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution. As Managing Director, Susan Hackley oversees all of PON’s activities, which include research projects, conferences, special events, and educational programs. She also manages the publication of a variety of books and teaching materials, including the monthly Negotiation newsletter and the quarterly Negotiation Journal. Susan has taught negotiation seminars in China, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain and Italy. Before joining PON, she worked in politics as a policy analyst and served as communications director of the Massachusetts Democratic Party. As a writer/photographer, she has had work published in National Geographic Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications. She also co-founded an Internet company, an e-philanthropy site dedicated to helping people connect to causes they care about. Susan has a Masters Degree in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School and served three years as chair of the board of directors of the Alliance for Peacebuilding.
Cheryl Yaffe Kiser
Executive Director, The Lewis Institute & Babson Social Innovation Lab
As the Executive Director of The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation and The Babson Social Innovation Lab, Cheryl is responsible for leading a critical aspect of the growth strategy for Babson by promoting broad support for Babson’s work in integrating social innovation and social entrepreneurship into its curriculum and co-curricular activities. Employing Entrepreneurial Thought & Action as Babson’s key methodology for spurring social innovation in all sectors, Cheryl is developing Babson as the “go to place“ for global social entrepreneurship resources, activities, relationships, networks, knowledge and convenings. These initiatives will enable Babson to serve as an educator, amplifier, accelerator and communicator of the positive impacts of social entrepreneurship in all of its forms.
Before coming to Babson, Cheryl was the Managing Director of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. She is one of the leading voices in the U.S. on the role of business in society. For more than 12 years she played a central role in creating the largest research center of its kind in the U.S., and spearheaded a national initiative to engage leading businesses to take a collaborative approach to working on education issues.
For over a decade she managed the content and delivery of the largest annual conference in the world on corporate citizenship, the International Corporate Citizenship Conference which drew representatives from over one third of the Fortune 500 and from 24 countries around the globe.
Prior to Boston College, Cheryl was the Director of Marketing for Work Family Directions, the leading provider of work life programs.
Cheryl, who earned a graduate degree in community organization and social policy and planning from Boston College, has always been at the intersection of public policy, private enterprise and community. She is skilled at building new markets for social change organizations and developing communications and positioning strategies. She is a leader in corporate social responsibility and social innovation, and has won awards for her public affairs campaigns.
Cheryl’s passion for promoting healthy living started when she was born. Her grandmother was a vegan and her mother was a pioneer in the natural food industry, founding The Golden Sheaf Natural Foods in 1969. Cheryl is also active in her brother’s two food entrepreneurial ventures, Garden Grille, a vegetarian restaurant, and Wildflour, a gluten-free, vegan bakery in Providence, Rhode Island. Cheryl is also the co-creator of Food Sol an “action tank” at Babson’s Social Innovation Lab dedicated to using entrepreneurship to redesign the food system.
Cheryl is married to David Kiser and has two children Ross and Kenna.
Senior U.S. Affairs Writer, De Standaard
Evita Neefs is the senior U.S. affairs writer at Flemish daily De Standaard, the leading Dutch-language influential paper in Belgium.
Evita has been a journalist at De Standaard since 1981 and has covered the United States for almost 20 years. She has stayed in the U.S. for extended periods of time and become a real American expert. In fact, she has written two books on the United States.
She holds a masters degree in political science from the University of Oregon and in 2008 she obtained a Fellowship from the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.
Evita has participated in several journalist tours to the U.S. organized by the U.S. Embassy on the occasion of U.S. Presidential elections.
Founder, Empower Peace
Mr. Rendon is the founder of Empower Peace and Senior Partner of The Rendon Group, a Boston-based communications firm that specializes in public affairs campaigns. Empower Peace was founded on the premise that young people, through communication and the promotion of cultural understanding, could help pave the way for peace. Mr. Rendon holds strong to the belief that our future generation has the ability to create change and that they hold the key to breaking down the cultural barriers that threaten to divide the Western, Muslim and Arab worlds.
Throughout his career, Mr. Rendon has taken great pride in creating and developing innovative community-based initiatives and social campaigns. Working with community leaders and activists, Mr. Rendon helped create and organize the world’s largest school-based racial harmony campaign. For seven years “TEAM HARMONY” brought together over 15,000 middle and high school students from throughout New England to discuss the issues of hatred and prejudice and to develop programs to promote diversity and harmony in schools and communities region wide. Team Harmony’s keynote speakers have included former United States President Bill Clinton, United States Senator and former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, former United States Attorney General Janet Reno, and the Reverend Bernice King (daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Mr. Rendon was also the creator and co-founder of the school-based program, “UNITED WE STAND FOR AMERICA”. This program was developed post 9/11 to provide youth with an opportunity to express their emotions and feelings in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Students from throughout Massachusetts were recruited to create individual messages of peace, hope, and patriotism on six-inch tiles of red, white and blue fabric. This fabric was then assembled to create a giant quilt of an American flag (nearly half the size of a football field). Over 700 schools and 50,000 students participated in this program.
Mr. Rendon, working with the Islamic Society of Boston, the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, and the Governor’s Task Force on Hate Crimes, developed the “OUTNUMBER THE HATE” campaign. This Massachusetts school-based campaign encouraged students to rally against hate, prejudice and intolerance experienced by Muslim and Arabs in the United States post-9/11. In response to the 1,700 hate crimes reported against Muslims and Arabs living in America, Massachusetts’ students responded by creating OVER 1,700 messages of respect, diversity and tolerance.
In addition to over thirty years of experience as a senior communications consultant, Mr. Rendon served previously as a Public Information Officer for the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and as a member of United States President Jimmy Carter’s national political staff.
Teri Schultz covers the European Union for GlobalPost. She has covered the European Union, NATO and the Benelux region since late 2006, after serving as the State Department reporter/producer for FOX News Channel from January 2000 to August 2006. She recently returned from a trip to Afghanistan where she reported for National Public Radio. At the State Department, Schultz traveled frequently with Secretary of State Colin Powell, most often to the Middle East and Europe. She has also been a reporter/producer with Reuters Television and a writer with ABC News in Washington. Schultz lived in Helsinki, Finland, from 1989-1997, working as an an anchor and reporter for the Finnish Broadcasting Co.’s English-language radio service, and as a freelance reporter/producer for CNN International and many other international broadcasters. In 2004, she was awarded a Knight International Press Fellowship. She holds a master’s degree magna cum laude in international relations from the University of Helsinki and a bachelor’s degree with honors in journalism from New Mexico State University.
Professor of International Business, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
Christopher (Rusty) Tunnard teaches International Business at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and has recently been appointed the Hitachi Fellow for Technology and International Affairs. For many years, he was a principal at Arthur D. Little (ADL) in their Travel and Technology management consulting practice in Brussels and in London. He is a recognized expert on innovation and technology-led change in the international communications, travel, and financial service industries. In addition, Tunnard was a senior member of ADL’s Professional Development staff, and he created and/ or delivered a full range of skills courses in consulting and related business skills. Prior to joining ADL, he directed worldwide strategy and technology partnerships for the Travel Division of American Express TRS Co. He has also run his own consulting firm and has owned and operated a hotel barge company in southern France.
Tunnard’s consulting background led to a particular interest in research at the nexus of resistance movements, new technologies, and social network analysis. His doctoral dissertation focused on the use of technology in the formation of resistance networks that eventually led to peaceful regime change in Serbia in the 1990s. Currently, he is looking at the roles that social networks and social media can play in building up institutions and civil society in countries that have used them effectively in bringing down long-time democratic dictatorships, most recently in Tunisia and Egypt. In addition, he is developing analytical methods to examine public and private social networks and their impact on organizations.
Dr. Tunnard holds MA, MALD and PhD degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and he received his AB from Harvard.
Reverend Liz Walker
Pastor, Roxbury Presbyterian Church
Rev. Liz Walker is an award-winning television journalist, a documentary film producer, an entrepreneur and a humanitarian who has worked in the war-torn country of Sudan.
A 2005 graduate of Harvard Divinity School and an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Liz has chosen to combine her communication skills with her passion for serving the world. To New Englanders she will always be known as Liz, after 32 years as a television news journalist, nearly 20 of those anchoring WBZ Television’s evening newscasts in Boston. She was the first African American weeknight news anchor in Boston.
Liz began her broadcast career in her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas and worked at television stations in Denver, Colorado, and San Francisco, California, before moving to Boston. In addition to her focus on international education and women’s issues, she advocates for the homeless and survivors of domestic violence. Liz is on the “Kitchen Cabinet” of One Family Incorporated, a non-profit organization to end family homelessness in Massachusetts. In 1992, she worked with another close friend, former Massachusetts State Legislator, Marjorie Clapprood, in co-founding the Jane Doe Safety Fund, a multi-million dollar advocacy group for survivors of domestic violence. Liz sits on a number of community boards and is a spokesperson for people living with HIV-aids, breast cancer survivors, and at-risk youth.
Over her career she has been honored with two Emmy awards, an Edward R. Murrow Award and special recognition from the prestigious Gabriel Awards for my on-air and documentary work. Currently, she sits on the Board of Trustees for Andover Newton Theological School and the Regional Advisory Board of the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Tufts Health Foundation and the Board of Overseers for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Liz is on the ministerial staff of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Jamaica Plain, where she works with young people. She is also the senior pastor at Roxbury Presbyterian Church. She is the founder and principal of The Walker Group LLC, Communications Specialists, focused on non-profit capacity building and corporate public engagement.
Romina Van Camp
Romina Van Camp is a young reporter on Flemish commercial broadcaster VTM, which she joined in January of 2009.
She describes herself as “curious, passionate, perfectionist, loving breaking news and stressful days, and always with her bags packed and ready to go wherever the news takes her.”
She works as a reporter/journalist at the foreign desk of VTM and among the stories that she recently covered are more recently the migrant crisis (Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary,) the general elections in the UK in May 2015, the German Wings plane crash, the Summit on Violent Extremism in Washington in February 2015, the elections in Greece in January 2015, and the terror attack at Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015.
And next year, she will be on the VTM team covering the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
She studied Advanced Study in International Communication in Antwerp and, prior to joining VTM, did an internship for CBS News in New York in 2007.
Director of Community Learning, Randolph School
Mason West III earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. He later earned his Masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning and Community Development from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. Currently he is pursuing his Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Tennessee.
For fifteen years Mr. West served as an instructor and administrator. He has educated youth in Georgia, Alabama and Bermuda as an exceptional Religion and Social Studies instructor. Mr. West also served as an associate pastor at the West End Church in Atlanta Georgia and the Madison Mission Church in Madison, Alabama.
Currently, Mr. West serves others in several capacities. He is the Director of Community Learning at the Randolph School in Huntsville, Alabama. He is the Director of Ministry for the Buckhead Community Fellowship Ministry in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder and CEO of the Mason West Group (MWG), a youth leadership consulting company. His company specializes in the creation of youth leadership programs. MWG’s clients have included schools, local governments, the federal government, and corporations.
In 2003 Mr. West started his Talented Tenth Leadership Program. The purpose of the program is to teach youth how to influence their peers, their government and their economy. The program is a vehicle used to help youth under his tutelage become agents of social change.
Youth are trained in a curriculum that exposes them to different levels of economics, civics and the rational planning process. These youth then prepare economic development plans for low-income communities and crisis intervention plans for a conflict somewhere on the globe. They travel to Washington D.C. where they present these plans to those who actually work in these fields.
Mr. West’s students have presented before local government officials, officers at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Justice Department, World Bank, State Department and congressional offices. They have debated before municipal judges and celebrated legal scholars. They have become agents of social change.
Mr. West is also the co-founder and Chief Operations Officer for Engage Youth Empowerment Services, a youth advocacy company based in Wolverhampton, England. This company, which engages youth on the fringes of society has become one of the premier youth services organizations in the city of Wolverhampton, England.
Mr. West has helped those who have the ability, but not necessarily the opportunity to stand in prestigious places and discover that they can change the world if just given the chance.
Associate Director, The Lewis Institute & Babson Social Innovation Lab
In her dual role at The Lewis Institute for Social Innovation and The Babson Social Innovation Lab, Emily works to promote Babson’s mission of educating leaders who will create economic and social value everywhere, and focuses on our strategy to embrace people, planet, and profit issues simultaneously, not sequentially. Using Babson’s methodology of Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®, Emily engages with the entire Babson community as well as a host of external constituents to amplify social innovation activities and connect resources accordingly.
Prior to joining Babson, Emily served as Producer for the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, blending her vast experience in developing content with her event production background. Emily oversaw the strategy, development, and execution of all aspects of The Center’s annual events, including the signature International Corporate Citizenship Conference, where she grew attendance by 60% and increased revenue by nearly 40% through reorienting the focus of the program, enhancing the customer experience, and elevating the overall quality. She also developed The Center’s Green Events practice, where she consulted with dozens of Fortune 500 customers, hotels, and event professionals to link environmental sustainability efforts with corporate social responsibility initiatives.
An entrepreneur herself, Emily started the event and video production division of Darkhorse Media, a strategic marketing and communications firm dedicated to the nonprofit sector, and eventually served as the firm’s President. She has more than 15 years of management and production experience, creating programs that excite and engage audiences while delivering key themes and messages. Working for such experiential marketing and communications firms as CMI and Caribiner International (now Jack Morton Worldwide), Emily produced hundreds of events, videos, and interactive media projects for clients across nearly every industry. An excellent strategist, Emily leads her teams to ensure that all aspects of the project are aligned with the organization’s goals.
Emily began her career as both a stage manager for various theatrical performances and a consumer complaint mediator for the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, and she continues to apply the skills from each of those roles to all her endeavors. Her stage managing background allows her to develop creative, all-encompassing plans to account for multiple scenarios while maintaining the strategic vision. And her work in corporate mediation affords her a sense of diplomacy that allow for successful stakeholder engagement and relationship building.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Theatre Studies from Wellesley College.