Kate Friedrich

Kate Friedrich is the Senior Director for Government Affairs and Special Projects (Americas) for Thomson Reuters. In this position she is responsible for assisting in the design and implementation of Thomson Reuters Markets strategy in Washington, DC and other key Americas capitals.

From November 2003 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. She was responsible for a broad range of foreign policy issues, including refugee and humanitarian relief matters, corporate social responsibility/internet freedom, development and women’s issues. She also was an executive branch staff member to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Additionally during this period, she held the position of 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.

From November 1998 to March 2010 she concurrently held the position of Senior Advisor to the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues at the State Department responsible for advising on the promotion of substantive dialogue between the Dalai Lama and the Chinese Government and designing programs aimed at safeguarding Tibet’s unique identity. Earlier in her career, she was a Program Analyst/Asia in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration handling a multi-million dollar budget for humanitarian relief matters in South and Northeastern Asia and also served as Special Assistant to the Deputy National Security Advisor at the National Security Council, the White House.

Ms. Friedrich holds a B.A. in Government Affairs and Politics from the University of Maryland College Park.

Ambassador Steve E. Steiner

Ambassador Steven E. Steiner is a retired US diplomat who now works with the United States Institute of Peace. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the US-Afghan Women’s Council. Prior to retiring from the Department of State, he served as Senior Advisor in the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. He earlier served in the Department of State’s Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and as Senior Coordinator in the Department’s former Office of International Women’s Issues. He also was the director of the Department’s Iraqi Women’s Democracy Initiative.

Ambassador Steiner entered the United States Foreign Service in June 1966. He completed tours of duty at the American Consulate General in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, the Embassy in Moscow, and the U.S. State Department’s Offices of Soviet Union and West German Affairs. He also served as Senior Watch Officer and then Deputy Director of the Department’s Operations Center, its 24-hour crisis management facility.

Ambassador Steiner served from 1983 to 1988 as Director of Defense Programs on the National Security Council Staff. He was named by President Reagan as the U.S. Representative to the Special Verification Commission (SVC), the implementing body for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), when the Treaty entered into force June 1988. Ambassador Steiner was named by the first President Bush to also head the U.S. side of the START Treaty Joint Compliance and Inspection Commission. Ambassador Steiner was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 26, 1990.

Charlotte Ponticelli

Charlotte (Charlie) Ponticelli was appointed Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State on April 7, 2003. The o­ffice serves as the focal point for the development and implementation of the pro-women foreign policy agenda, and reports directly to the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs. Prior to assuming her current position, Ms. Ponticelli served as Deputy Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues. Before coming to the Department in September 2002, she was Director of Lectures and Seminars at the Heritage Foundation.

Ms. Ponticelli has extensive government experience, serving previously at the White House (Director of Congressional Correspondence in the Offi­ce of Legislative Affairs), the U.S. Agency for International Development (Congressional Liaison Offi­cer for Latin America and the Caribbean), and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commissioner Assistant).

During the administration of President George H.W. Bush, Ms. Ponticelli was Director of Human Rights and Women’s Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and later moved to the International Republican Institute, where she designed and implemented several projects to assist democratic forces in the Balkans.

Ms. Ponticelli is the recipient of numerous Superior Honor Awards from the State Department. She received the Veritas Award from Albertus Magnus College in 1996. In 1984, she was given the Outstanding Young Alumna Award at her alma mater, Hood College, in Maryland. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Hood College, Mrs. Ponticelli earned a Master of Arts degree in Spanish literature through New York University’s program in Madrid and studied in the doctoral program in Spanish at the Catholic University of America.

Mohammad H. Qayoumi | President, California State University East Bay

Mohammad H. Qayoumi | President, California State University East Bay
Mo is the president of California State University, East Bay. He has a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from American University of Beirut. He also has M.S. degrees in nuclear engineering, electrical and computer engineering, as well as an M.B.A. in finance and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from University of Cincinnati. Mo is a licensed engineer and a certified management accountant. He has more than 29 years of experience in the service of higher education and industry. Mo has published eight books, more than 85 articles, and several chapters in various books and has made presentations at numerous conferences across the United States and in 10 other countries on various topics ranging from quality and energy to systems theory.

Qayoumi is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and has served as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award examiner and senior examiner from 2000 to 2003. He has served his native country of Afghanistan in various financial capacities. He was the senior advisor to the minister of finance of Afghanistan from 2002 to 2005 and boards of directors of the Central Bank of Afghanistan from 2003 until 2007.

Matthew McLauchlin

Mr. McLauchlin is an International Management Expert with 18 years of successful executive management, financial management/budgeting, reality-based strategic planning and execution, solution-oriented problem solving, diplomacy, and program implementation in corporate and government sectors. Specialize in the development and implementation of financial planning, metrics/bench-marking, risk management, strategic planning, and appropriations accessing a personal global network of experts in business, finance, government, security, and international organizations.

Mr. McLauchlin is the President of SIROAL International a full-scope, intelligence, risk mitigation, and operational solutions firm. Supporting emerging market investors, governments, and corporations by developing and implementing customized programs through a global network of world class experts and capabilities.

Foreign Consultant – Ghulam Hazrat


Currently works for the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat, Afghanistan. He was recently appointed a transportation escort and special advisor on middle-eastern affairs and medical patient transportation to Dr. Peter Grossman, Associate Director of The United States based Grossman Burn Centers, as well as, a Foreign Consultant to The Grossman Burn Foundation.

Maria Capritto


A certified public accountant, in addition to being an attorney, Ms. Capritto combines her tax and law expertise to focus on probate and estate planning, elder law and tax controversy matters. She is a member of the State Bar of California, the Ventura County Bar Association, California Society of Certified Public Accountants, American Society of Certified Public Accountants and Southern California Council for Elder Law Attorneys.

Ms. Capritto is active in the community, serving on the boards of several local nonprofit organizations. She is past president of the Boys and Girls Club of Ventura and is the former chairperson of the Leadership Ventura Advisory Committee of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce. She is also the past president of Elderpride, Inc.

Ms. Capritto earned her law degree from Ventura College of Law and passed the bar examination just three weeks after delivering her baby daughter. She has a master of science in taxation from Golden Gate University and a bachelor of science in business administration/accounting from California State University, Northridge. A Ventura County native, Ms. Capritto lives in Ventura with her husband, who is also an attorney, and daughter.

Natalie Nevins


Dr. Nevins is the Founder of Amrit Davaa World Health Corp. She is dedicated to improving the quality of life and health for our whole human community. She is Board Certi­ed in Family Practice, Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. She holds a Masters Degree is Health Professions Education and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Family Practice at Western University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacifi­c and Touro University.

She currently serves as the Director of Medical Education at Downey Regional Medical Center for the Family Medicine Residency Program and Program Director for the Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Residency Program. She also serves as the Medical Director for the Amrit Davaa Wellness Center located in the Golden Bridge Yoga Center in Hollywood California.

Dr. Nevins served in the United States Air Force, with deployments to Afghanistan, and is currently a Major in the Ready Reserve. While on active duty she served as the Chief of Field Response, Chairman for Infection Control, Clinical Director of Laboratory Services and Radiology Services for the 61st Medical Squadron. She lectures nationally on issues related to Disaster Preparedness, Bioterrorism, Chemical and Radiological Warfare, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Family Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and Health Policy.

She was named “Most Valuable Physician” for 2007 by the Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of California, and named Downey Regional Medical Center’s 2007 “Hospital Hero” at the inaugural Hospital Hero Awards by the National Health Foundation honoring outstanding commitments and achievements of healthcare professionals.

Pari Moayer

Pari Moayer has been in the Nursing industry for 30 years. She began her career as a nurse in Abadon, Iran during the Revolution between Iran and Iraq and was a true nurse on the battlefield. After devoting five years of her career treating wounded soldiers and civilians, Pari moved to America where she began working in Beverly Hills Hospital. She then moved on to working as a school nurse and currently works at Lokrantz Special Ed. School, a school that caters to children with special needs. After developing a close relationship with the Grossman Family, Pari is passionate about the Grossman Burn Foundation’s mission and is volunteering her time and focus to the Foundation’s programs.

Sandy Francis


She began her acting career at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. Since moving to L.A. she has appeared in numerous television shows including: General Hospital, The Young and The Restless, The Practice, Beverly Hills 90210 and Monk. Films include, Tycus, with Dennis Hopper, Restraining Order, with Eric Roberts, Nautilus and Saints, No Angels scheduled for release in 2008.

Sandy Francis is an actress and writer residing in Los Angeles. She has written numerous scripts for television and film. She wrote and starred in the production of “Scenarios,” a presentation of her scenes, which had an eight-week run in Los Angeles. One of her scenarios was filmed and received a national first place award for original short films. For the past three years, she has been a contributing editor to Westlake Magazine, with featured articles on humorous “slice-of-life” subjects.

​Sandy received her B.A. degree from the University of Illinois, where she majored in Speech and Drama. She taught High School English and Speech in Chicago.

Byron S. Hollins


Byron S. Hollins, rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell, received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1972 (Mizzou).  He was admitted to practice in June of 1984.  After admission to practice, he focused on defense of cases involving medical malpractice, product liability, automobile manufacturers, toxic tort and legal malpractice matters, as well as the analysis and litigation of insurance coverage issues. In 1997 he left Century City for Calabasas and an office closer to home and family life.  Since 1991, he has been a member of numerous legal organizations, has authored many articles in the area of professional liability for lawyers and has numerous published and non-published decisions from the California Courts of Appeal and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Zubaida Hasan, Chair of Youth Committee