Mark Cowan draws on more than 35 years’ experience working on complex domestic and international public policy issues as counsel for a broad range of clients. He advises corporations, government entities, and foreign sovereigns on a wide array of business, regulatory, and trade issues.
His career is expansive and varied, having served among others, in the US Air Force, in the administrations of US Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, on the Trump Transition Team, and with the CIA.
Cowan, a lawyer, has headed three companies of his own, been a senior partner at Patton Boggs, LLP, an AM Law 100 firm, wherein he both created and directed the firm’s Business Development Department and effort for over 500 lawyers. Having founded The Jefferson Group in 1987, Mr. Cowan grew that public affairs firm to become the second largest in its class in just six years. Thereafter, he was Vice Chairman of Cassidy & Associates, Washington’s largest public affairs company, C.E.O. of the Columbus Group, C.E.O. of Newmyer Associates and a Senior Vice President at Hill and Knowlton, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, where he counseled numerous domestic and international clients.
Cowan currently serves on the boards of the Phi Sigma Kappa Foundation as Vice President for Development, DC Scores, an inner-city soccer and literacy program based in Washington, DC, and the Lowcountry, South Carolina, chapter of the Red Cross.
Phil Bond is one of America’s most honored technology policy experts. A former US Undersecretary of Commerce for Technology, his 25-plus year career in Washington has included numerous recognitions for his leadership roles in the Executive branch, on Capitol Hill, at major high technology companies, and most recently as the CEO of TechAmerica, the largest technology advocacy association in the US.
Bond has been accorded numerous accolades during his 25-plus years in Washington, DC, including being named to the Federal 100, the annual listing by Federal Computer Week of the most influential people in government technology; named one of the Top 50 Tech Leaders of 2003 by Scientific American magazine for his policy leadership around nanotechnology; and was elected Deputy Chair of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, a federation of more than 70 national technology associations around the world.
From 2001 to 2005, Bond was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for Technology and, from 2002-2003, served concurrently as Chief of Staff to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans. In his dual role, Bond worked closely with Secretary Evans to increase market access for U.S. goods and services and further advance America’s technological leadership at home and around the world. He oversaw the operations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Office of Technology Policy, and the National Technical Information Service. During his tenure, the Technology Administration was the pre-eminent portal between the federal government and the U.S. technology industry.
Taniel “TK” Koushakjian
Taniel Koushakjian (TK) is the Senior Vice President of Potomac International Partners. As a seasoned government affairs & strategic public relations professional, TK has worked with numerous clients in the corporate, non-profit, and political campaign world. He has 15 years of experience successfully advocating before local, state, and the federal government on a wide array of appropriations, affordable housing, cybersecurity, taxes, technology, transportation, immigration, human rights, U.S. national security and foreign policy issues. He is the former Government Affairs Director for Offensive Security, one of the largest cybersecurity training companies in the world, and CEO of BreakThru Strategies.
TK was recently named a “Top 21 in 21” lobbyist by The Advocacy Association, and a Trustee of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University, a M.A. in Political Management and a Graduate Certificate in Political Action Committees (PACs) from The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. He splits his time between Washington, DC and West Palm Beach, FL where he resides with his wife, son and daughter.
The Honorable Michael Brown is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners. Prior to joining Potomac, Mr. Brown was elected At-Large Councilman for the Washington, DC City Council, rising to the position of Council Vice Chairman.
Prior to and during his public service, Mr. Brown was the Managing Director of Government Affairs Practice of Edwards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge. He was previously the Managing Partner of Lacade and Fay, and a Member of The Patton Boggs Law Firm. Earlier in his career he was a Legislative Assistant to Rep. Peter Rodino (D-NJ).
Mr. Brown served as National Finance Chair Vice Chairman of the DNC from 2000-2004. He served as a surrogate speaker for the Obama-Biden Campaign, a role he has occupied since the Clinton-Gore, Gore-Liberman, Kerry-Edwards, Obama-Biden. Mr. Brown is also a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, TVONE, MSNBC and other local and international interviewers.
Mr. Brown has twice been appointed as a member of United States Delegations to Africa. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Constituency of Africa and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He serves on numerous civic foundations and co-founded The Ronald H. Brown Foundation. Mr. Brown is a graduate of Clark University and Widener University (Delaware) School of Law.
Mr. Coursen founded The Status Group in 1986 to provide strategic planning, policy analysis, consultation, and representation to executives in private industry in the areas of Technology, Telecommunications, and Government Relations. The concept of confidential intelligence and strategic planning combined with active representation grew out of Mr. Coursen’s own extensive work in the private sector, on Capitol Hill, and in national politics.
Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Coursen was a partner with the prominent Washington law firm of O’Connor & Hannan, where he provided a full range of legal and Government Relations services to major corporations in many issue areas, including health care, tax, banking, and telecommunications.
After the 1980 elections, Mr. Coursen joined the United States Senate as Majority Communications Counsel for the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. As Majority Counsel, Mr. Coursen served as personal Advisor and Counsel on all Technology and Telecommunications matters to Senator Bob Packwood, the Chairman of the Committee, as well as to all Republican Committee Members. Mr. Coursen also served as Chief Counsel to Senator Barry Goldwater, the Chairman of the Communications Subcommittee.
Mr. Coursen is an active member of the Republican National Finance Committee, and served on the Leadership Committees for the Republican Senate-House Dinners from 1996-1999, for the Presidential Galas from 1997-1999, and as an official at the 1995 Republican Inaugural. He served as an Advisor on the Trump-Pence ’16, the Romney-Ryan ’12, the Bush-Cheney ’00 and ’04, the Dole-Kemp ’96, the Bush-Quayle ’88 and ’92, and the Reagan-Bush ’80 and ’84 Campaigns. Mr. Coursen was very active in the Bush-Quayle’88 Campaign, serving as Chairman of the Telecommunications Task Force and as a member of the Executive Committee of Commerce and Industry Leaders for Bush. In addition, he served on the Reagan-Bush ’84 Campaign as a Convention Official and as an Attorney Advisor, and on President-Elect Reagan’s 1980 Transition Team for Technology and Telecommunications.
Mr. Coursen received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University in 1970, and his Juris Doctor degree from The National Law Center, George Washington University, in 1975. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court and is admitted before all federal, military, and local courts in Washington. Mr. Coursen has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Telecommunications at the George Washington University National Law Center.
Mr. Coursen’s honors include appointments by President George H. W. Bush to the President’s Advisory Board for Cuba Broadcasting, where he served for over 13 years, under 3 Presidents, the last 7 years as Acting Chairman, and by President Reagan to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Mr. Coursen is the recipient of the Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom and the Republican Majority Medal. Mr. Coursen served on the Children’s Hospital
Foundation Board, and on the Advisory Board for the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Economic Reconstruction of Cuba. He currently serves as a Member of the Children’s National Health Center Emeritus Board. Mr. Coursen also serves as a Member of the Honorary Board for the Blue Sky Foundation, which uses tennis as a vehicle to thank our military for their service.
Mr. Coursen founded the Boys and Girls Club in Lexington, VA, in 1968, while in college. He volunteered as a Big Brother to three DC inner city boys while in law school. In addition, he is an active member of the One and (Red) campaigns to fight childhood AIDS in Africa. Mr. Coursen serves as an Advisor to the Veteran’s National Recovery Center, as a volunteer for The Wounded Warrior Project, and as a volunteer for the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Coursen also serves as an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Mr. Coursen has served as a member of the Metropolitan Police Department Auxiliary, and as an active supporter of Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS).
Mr. Coursen is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals, Men of Achievement, Community Leaders in America, and The Social List of Washington.
Guilherme Miranda Mello
Guilherme is a professional with extensive experience in foreign affairs with focus in international trade and marketing activities – he has been working for over 25 years throughout Brazil and he has been able to create several opportunities opening up commercial channels, import facilitation, logistics and such elements, distribution network, sales team, technical support as well as strategic partners and joint venture agreements.
With access to Institutions and private companies he has been servicing clients within a wide range of projects, supporting individuals and groups in consulting and market entry, also for trade missions to Brazil, from the USA, Australia and from The Netherlands, among other countries covering the following industry sectors: agriculture; energy; biotechnology; genetics; food and beverages; education; sports; health; medical; dental; construction; infra-structure; environmental & waste management and water resources, mining; IT; telecommunications; cosmetics; textile; household appliances; footwear; metal-mechanics; furniture; electronics; automotive; equipment and tooling; avionics; oil and gas; plastics; defense; among others.
Such a wide range of activities and segments allowed companies to generate sales and to have on-the- ground presence in the Brazilian marketplace – providing clients the reliance of international support.
With a degree in Business Administration from the university named UNA-Centro Universitário in Brazil, and extension studies at Ohio State University, USA, he is fluent in English and Portuguese and high level of understanding in Spanish and French as well, he has developed very good understanding in a number of industry sectors with on-the-ground expertise in Brazil and other international markets, as he has become very familiar with those segments in USA, The Netherlands, Australia and with the enormous opportunities in whole territory in Brazil – enhancing business relationships, culture and technical innovations that are being introduced to those markets.
Guilherme is always establishing connections and bringing to the international community substantial high-level meetings with decision makers and politicians which have built the experience and his background, creating possibilities as he has already executed assistance and trade promotion for over 500 Australian and American companies in the Brazilian market, by establishing partnerships, assisting import/export procedures, investments structuring, joint-ventures, marketing and sales activities, not to forget the trade shows participations.
He has great success in creating demonstration projects and feasibility analysis test-fields project-base which included both technical and legal aspects in Brazil in close cooperation with International Governmental Agencies to creating and promoting new opportunities for operations in Brazil and establishing presence for the foreign companies
Founder and director of TVZ International, Vania Zulatto brings over 25 years of experience in international business, working with American companies and U.S. government agencies in international trade, export promotion, market entry strategies, marketing, and foreign direct investment in the United States, assisting foreign companies in entering the Brazilian market and Brazilian businesses in establishing overseas subsidiaries. Aside from overseeing the commercial and market intelligence departments, Ms. Zulatto is also responsible for TVZ’s financial and administrative functions, including budge, personnel, and administration.
Ms. Zulatto has gained extensive experience in business development and diplomatic relations throughout her career. Ms. Zulatto also navigates trade missions to Brazil and matches businesses with partners. Ms. Zulatto has been participating in multiple trade conferences and webinars as a speaker about opportunities in the Brazilian market.
During this 25 years of experience, Ms. Zulatto gained vast experience and developed a strong network in a wide spectrum of industrial segments strengths which include: Advanced Manufacturing; Aerospace and Aviation; Agriculture and Food Processing; Automotive; Bioscience and Bioproducts; Chemical and Oil & Gas; Defense; Energy and Renewable Energy; Environmental Technologies; Healthcare; IT; Instruments, Controls, and Electronics; Safety and Security, Water and Wastewater; among others.
Since she has extensive experience assisting Economic Development Agencies, Diplomatic Organizations, and Private Companies with their Brazilian market inquiries, she is confident in helping executives and companies interested in exploring the Brazilian market.
Ms. Zulatto was previously associated with the USFCS in São Paulo, Brazil, as a Co-Manager of the Trade Events Unit. Her activities included the organization, coordination, and management of the U.S. Pavilions at all trade fair events on a countrywide basis, assisting the Trade Fairs Unit Director in event recruiting, negotiation of trade fair space, and price with prospective exhibitors. Prior to that Ms. Zulatto worked for nine years in the private sector.
Ms. Zulatto received her Bachelor´s Degree in Social Sciences from The Catholic University of São Paulo, Brazil in 1993 and also graduated in Visual Communication at Escola Pan Americana de Artes in São Paulo. Ms. Zulatto speaks fluent Portuguese and English and has a working understanding of Spanish and Italian.
Chris Mustain is an expert in the policies and partnerships that support successful innovation ecosystems. As an Advisor to Potomac International he brings a deep knowledge of innovation-based economic development.
As a Vice President at the Council on Competitiveness, Mustain convened senior leaders from industry, government, academia, labor unions and the U.S. national laboratories to take action on economic competitiveness issues. He managed the Council’s Advanced Computing Roundtable that advocates U.S. leadership in supercomputing and strategies to leverage advanced computing for U.S. competitiveness. He served as an advisor to the National Science Foundation and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Mustain founded Innovation Advocates in 2009, an independent government relations firm offering advice and analysis on science and technology policy. From 2000-2009, Mustain was an IBM executive, serving as the corporation’s U.S. policy lead for innovation, privacy and other business technology issues. While at IBM, he served on the core team that produced the Innovate America report and was instrumental in working with Congress and the Executive Branch to enact the America COMPETES Act.
In the 1990s, Mustain managed the European-American Business Council and served as a legislative analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget. He is well versed in trade, tax, investment and other economic issues. He’s been featured on National Public Radio’s Marketplace and written for Presidents, Cabinet Secretaries, CEOs and Members of Congress.
Mustain earned a Master’s degree with honors from Georgetown University in International Business-Government Relations. He was a fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research and selected for the prestigious European Union Visitors Program. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg University in Ohio, completing majors in Political Science, Economics and German.
Major General John F. Wharton (US Army Ret)
John Wharton is senior adviser to Potomac International Partners. He is a Managing Partner, at One Defense, an organization originating out of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Defense, focused on national security and technology acceleration in support of national security and homeland defense. He most recently served as Commanding General of the United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. There he led 13,800 scientists, engineers, and support personnel at more than 100 global locations controlling 75% of the Army’s R&D budget. Subordinate organizations included: The Army Research Laboratory, the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center and the five Research and Development Centers: Armament (Picatinny Arsenal, NJ); Aviation and Missile (Redstone Arsenal, AL); Communication and Electronic (Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD); Soldier Support (Natick, MA); and Tank and Automotive (Warren, MI). Before RDECOM, he served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Sustainment Command and Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Prior to that he was the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Army Materiel Command and the Commanding General, AMC-Southwest Asia/U.S. Army Central G-4/CFLCC C-4. John has also commanded units in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Korea, and the Sinai. He has a degree from the United States Military Academy and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He has also served as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC and Senior Advisor to the National Security Technology Acceleration Program (MD5) providing our Nation’s leaders with expertise regarding science and technology, innovation, and engineering affecting national security.
Eva Teig Hardy
Eva Teig Hardy is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners. Prior to joining Potomac’s team, Hardy has established her own consulting firm Strategic Communications and Public Policy and serves on the Corporate Board of the Armada Hoffler Company. Hardy has also served in various roles in the Virginia state government and has remained active in Virginia democratic politics. Finally, she has remained active for three decades in Democratic politics, personally raising close to a million dollars for state and federal candidates. She supported Vice President Biden in the primary.
In 1972, Hardy began 8 years with the City of Portsmouth, Virginia, as an urban planner and the Director of Management and Legislative Services. In that position, she became the top policy assistant to Mayor Richard J Davis, later the Virginia Lieutenant Governor with Democratic Governor (and future US Senator) Charles S. Robb in 1982. She was then appointed as the Commissioner of the VA Department of Labor and Industry in 1983. In 1986, Hardy was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services. In 1990, she joined Virginia Power as a Vice President for Government Affairs and then went to the parent company, Dominion Energy in 1997 as a Senior VP for all the states where Dominion Energy did business.
In October 1994, she was selected by President Bill Clinton to travel with him and a small group of Arab Americans and Jewish Americans to Israel and Jordan for the Peace treaty signing between the two countries. President Clinton also appointed her to serve on the Southern States Energy Board.
Hardy previously served for a year as the interim state director for US Senator Mark Warner following his first election and volunteers as Co-Chair of his Statewide Advisory Committee. She has also assisted Sen. Tim Kaine since his time as Mayor of Richmond and Governor of Virginia where she served in his transition team. She was appointed by Governor McAuliffe to serve on his Virginia Higher Education Board Advisory Committee, and she was recently appointed by Governor Ralph Northam as a Commissioner of the Virginia Port Authority.
She graduated from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland in 1965. She received a Master’s Degree in Government and Public Administration from the American University in Washington, DC in 1969. She has won numerous awards over the last thirty years, including the First Oliver Hill Citizen of the Year Award given to her by Mr. Hill; an honorary doctorate of Humanities from Norfolk State University in Virginia; and the Virginia Commonwealth University Wayne Medal for her work in improving and advocating for mental health for children.
Ambassador Ned L. Siegel (Ret.)
Ambassador Ned L. Siegel, (Ret.) is an International Business Advisor for the Caribbean & the Middle East to Potomac International Partners. He is also the president of The Siegel Group, a multi-disciplined international business management advisory firm he founded in 1997 in Boca Raton, Florida, specializing in real estate, energy, utilities, infrastructure, financial services, oil & gas and cyber & secure technology.
From October 2007 until January 2009, he served as the United States Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Prior to his Ambassadorship, in 2006 he served with Ambassador John R. Bolton at the United Nations in New York, as the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission and as the United States Representative to the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. From 2003-2007, he served on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC
Amb. Siegel received a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Connecticut in 1973 and a JD from the Dickinson School of Law in 1976. In December 2014, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.
Jorge L. Arrizurieta
Jorge L. Arrizurieta is an International Business Advisor for the Western Hemisphere to Potomac International Partners. Mr. Arrizurieta is President of Arrizurieta and Associates a full service business development and government relations consulting firm specializing in Florida, Latin America, and the Carribbean. Prior to this he served as Chair of the International Policy Group at Akerman, Senterfitt Law Firm.
He is past president of Florida Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA), a public private partnership led by Governor Jeb Bush whose main mission was to bring the Permanent Secretariat of the FTAA to Miami, Florida. There he was the driving force in the drafting of a policy recommendation that Governor Bush sent to President Bush and his administration that lead to the formation of the Interamerican Ethanol Commission and the important collaboration taking place between the United States Government and the Western Hemisphere.
Mr. Arrizurieta was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Alternate Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank in early 2002. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Arrizurieta worked for South Florida entrepreneur H Wayne Huizenga in various capacities for over 10 years. Initially as the Director of Community Relations at the Florida Marlins and then as Vice President of Public Affairs at Huizenga Holdings Inc. Prior to this he served US Senator Connie Mack in his first 5 years in the US Senate as his Director of State Projects.
Through his extensive career in the public and private sectors, Arrizurieta has volunteered his time to many charitable and civic organizations such as the Orange Bowl Committee, the Make A Wish Foundation, and the Beacon Council, among others. Currently, Mr. Arrizurieta serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and was a Trustee of the Miami-Dade County Public Health Trust, which supervises the County’s public health system. He completed his years of service at the Trust as Vice-Chairman of the Board.
He has published various articles along his career in the area of free trade, integration and the importance of biofuels and the possibility of a future hemispheric energy security policy and continues his commitment to the Interamerican Ethanol Commission where he served as a key advisor and Founding Director.
Mr. Arrizurieta served as an appointee of Governor Jeb Bush to the State of Florida’s Board of Governors which oversees Florida’s 11 public universities and colleges and was appointed to the Florida International University Board of Trustees in June 2007. He has served in a number of different leadership roles since. Most recently he was elected by his peers as Vice Chairman of the Board, serves as Chair of the Athletics Committee and Vice Chair of the External Relations Committee as well as the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees. Most recently Mr. Arrizurieta served as Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Policy Advisory Workgroup of Gov. Jeb Bush’s Campaign for President as well as Chairman of the campaign for South Florida.
Arrizurieta, his wife Mari and their three children Alexia, Alec and Sebastian reside in Coral Gables and are all native Miamians.
Peter Mirijanian is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners. He has provided years of public affairs expertise to dozens of corporate, trade association and individual clients.
Utilizing decade-long relationships with the national press corps, he initiated and managed the media coverage and editorials that have appeared in national outlets, including The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, along with the broadcast networks. He has also devised and executed media tours, editorial board meetings and talk radio campaigns for clients in markets across the country. Peter is also a crisis communications commentator in national publications, NBC’s Today Show, The FOX NEWS Channel, MSNBC, including “Hardball with Chris Matthews”, and CNBC’s Power Lunch and Closing Bell.
Previously, he worked for three years in corporate advocacy as a Senior Counselor at Powell Tate, and led non-profit media campaigns while at Fenton Communications. He served on the national advance staffs of the Dukakis/Bentsen ‘88 campaign, Clinton/Gore ‘92 and ‘96 campaigns as well as the Gore/Lieberman 2000 campaign, and has traveled internationally in that capacity for President Clinton and Vice President Gore.
Mirijanian has served as a spokesperson for the Women’s College Coalition and was a political advisor, along with Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution, to Anna Deveare Smith’s production of “House Arrest” at Washington’s Arena Stage.
Mirijanian graduated magna cum laude from Drew University and earned a Master of Arts in Public Policy [M.P.P.] from Georgetown University.
Christopher Abbott is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners. Previously, Christopher served as Deputy Director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy in the Trump Administration. In that role, he drafted the first internal memo to President Trump in January, 2020 warning that the U.S. was unprepared to respond to COVID-19, and highlighting the potential economic and human consequences the outbreak could have. He also led many of the Trump Administration’s efforts to secure the medical supplies necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and restore the U.S. medical industrial base. Christopher also drafted President Trump’s executive order to protect domestic supply chains for medical countermeasures, and served as the primary White House official involved in the effort to revamp the Strategic National Stockpile following the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to his efforts on the COVID-19 response, Christopher was also involved in several other high-level policy debates, including on trade, tariffs, China, and national security issues.
After leaving the White House, Christopher served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing in the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. In this role, he managed a team of 45 civil-servants and committed significant agency resources to monitoring potential disruptions to medical supply chains. He also oversaw the Industry Trade Advisory Center (ITAC) on Health Services and Products, and partnered with HHS, DOD, and staff at the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to review applications for billions of dollars of subsidized DFC loans that were made available to US corporations as part of the CARES Act.
Mary Arnold is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners and is an American lawyer and lobbyist based in Washington, D.C. For more than 30 years she has been successfully translating Washington for individuals, corporations, and countries.
Known for her “common sense” approach, integrity, and commitment to providing thoughtful and factually accurate lobbying strategies, Mary has played a substantive role in shaping numerous legislative initiatives in the U.S. and around the globe.
After a career on Capitol Hill which included working almost a decade for the Senate Republican Leadership on the Senate floor, Mary’s work experience includes serving as a senior member of a top lobbying firm, a Vice President of AT&T, a Vice President in the Office of the CEO of SAP, CEO of the GridWise Alliance – a top energy association – and as President of her own firm, Arnold Consulting, LLC.
Mary served on the Presidential campaign of Senator Robert Dole and has worked as a senior member of the “Official Proceedings” staff for the 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2016 Republican Conventions.
Mary holds a Juris Doctorate, from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Rollins College. She is an Active Member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Previously, Mary has also studied at the University of Paris and was a Founding Board Member of the Women’s High-Tech Coalition, a bipartisan group founded to bring together women from the private and public sector in Washington, D.C. to share information and exchange ideas on high-tech issues. She also serves on the board of Global Women in Blockchain.
Christopher Bryan Rivers
Christopher Rivers is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners and brings 20 + years of expertise in corporate external affairs, government, legislative policy and international diplomatic experience with enthusiasm and influence. He is also very active in national Democratic politics and values political engagement as a major form of public service. Even as a young boy accompanying his grandfather, Robert Ball, Sr. who served in the Virginia House of Delegates on his campaigns, he was inculcated with the importance and family tradition of public service, later managing a state House race.
After graduating from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Government, Rivers served as a Senior Aide to former Congressman L.F. Payne, during his campaign for Virginia Lt. Governor. Rivers went on to spend more than a decade at the Richmond, Virginia based Fortune 200 company Dominion Energy as the Intergovernmental Affairs Manager with a focus on public policy, corporate communications and philanthropy, concurrently serving as Chief of Staff to the EVP.
Following his passion for public service, Rivers supported and assisted in fundraising for Democratic candidates over two decades including US Senator Mark Warner, US Senator Tim Kaine, and Sec. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign as well as Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and many others. He has served and chaired dozens of NGO’s gubernatorial boards and commissions having been appointed by former Gov. Mark R. Warner to the state Scenic Rivers Advisory Board. Having held the position of Secretary of the Board of Trustees of The American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL), Rivers is most proud of the work he has done with ACYPL leading and hosting delegations to Egypt, Morocco, Indonesia and Malaysia to enhance U.S. public diplomacy efforts. Subsequently, he has hosted dozens of global election study programs for emerging elected political leaders to enhance U.S. public diplomacy efforts. Rivers is a past member of The Brookings Council New York.
Presently, he is one of the Founding partners of Strategic Public Policy and Communications, a consulting firm that specializes in assisting companies navigate the intersection of public policy and public relations as well as the Founder of Rivers Investments, LLC a real estate management and investment company assisting entrepreneurs launching businesses with a social mission. He resides in New York City and splits his time between Manhattan and Bridgehampton, NY.
Alfonso Fernández is a senior advisor to Potomac International Partners and has numerous years of experience as an attorney in the banking, finance, and aviation industries.
From August 1982 to April 1985, Mr. Fernández worked as an attorney in the corporate banking department of McConnell Valdes Kelley in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 1985 he joined Prudential-Bache Capital Funding Puerto Rico, Inc. working primarily in the corporate and municipal finance areas as well as in the development of a variety of new products. In February 1990 when already a Senior Vice President, he established IVY Investment Group, Inc. In July 2002, he acquired the operations of Swissport P. R., Inc., now operating as Ivyport Logistical, www Ivyport.com, which provides a variety of services to aviation related companies.
During his tenure at Pru-Bache, Mr. Fernández participated in transactions exceeding over $4 billion dollars marketed both in the US and Puerto Rico markets. Among them, the $1 billion Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority bond issue, chosen as the 1989 Public Finance transaction of the year by Institutional Investor Magazine. Mr. Fernandez was also a member of the firm’s national resource-energy recovery practice group and participated in various financings for the Puerto Rico Telephone Company.
Mr. Fernández has acted and was qualified as an Arbitrator for both the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers. He is a former Chairman of the Board of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and serves on a number of corporate boards. He served as a founding member of the Puerto Rico-Israel Chamber of Commerce. In 1995 Governor Pedro Rosello named him to the Governing Board of the Caribbean Basin Facilities Financing Authority an affiliate of the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico, a post requiring Senate Confirmation.
In the aviation sector, Mr. Fernández has been active participant in major industry conferences in the ground handling, passenger, and cargo areas including Ground Handling International Conference in Rome, Miami and Amsterdam’s Air Cargo Conference, the Airline CEO Conference and founding member of the Wharton Aerospace Group. He has also acted as contributor to Ground Handling International magazine published in the United Kingdom on the state of Latin American and Caribbean aviation as well as to the World Bank Doing Business Yearly Survey.
Mr. Fernández obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University (1978), a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (1982) and a law degree from Columbia University (1982), where he was selected for the International Fellows Programs sponsored by Columbia University’ School of International and Public Affairs.
Lourdes Negrón is a senior advisor to Potomac International Partners and has a rich history in government and business affairs. In 1998, she served as Caseworker at the Office of the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico in Washington. Two years later she was appointed Special Assistant and Public Relations Director at the Office of the Former Governors of Puerto Rico under the Puerto Rico Office of Management and Budget.
For the past two decades she has managed the media and government relations for multiple clients in the healthcare, retail, food and beverage, banking and real estate sectors in addition to providing advice to public figures, ensuring accurate public perception and embracement of the institutional mission. She understands and knows the government structure and the key players to get things done.
She also served for eight years as Executive Director of the Foundation of a former Governor of Puerto Rico, where she was responsible for fundraising and outreach efforts from the government, corporations, foundations and individual donors.
Ms. Negrón, a permitting and regulatory expert has a strong background in political fundraising, coalition building and project management. She has collaborated in a variety of government functions for the U.S. Senate and congressional candidates, as well as the Democratic Hispanic Caucus, the Puerto Rico Mayors Association, the Center of Diabetes Control of Puerto Rico, among other organizations.
Lourdes has a proven track record of being able to navigate the city agencies and has built success on a direct approach to problem solving. She is a licensed Public Relations Professional, a licensed real estate agent and is a registered Specialist certified by the Department of the Treasury in Puerto Rico to perform returns, declarations and refund claims.