BOARD OF ADVISORS
Ms. Heidi Avery
Heidi Avery is a career national security professional who previously served as a member of the White House National Security Council staff under President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, including several years commissioned as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Homeland Security Advisor. Ms. Avery also served as Chief of Staff, National Counterterrorism Center, including in its original formation as the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. Ms. Avery has received numerous awards for her public service as a national security official including the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive.
Hon. Eduardo Bours
Was born in Ciudad Obregón, Sonora on December 17, 1956.
In 1980, he married Lourdes Laborín Gomez, with whom he shares the most important project in his life, their four children: Maria de Lourdes, Mario Alfredo, Lorena and Eduardo.
He graduated from Monterrey Institute of Technology, Campus Monterrey, with a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, class of 1980. He received an Honoris Causa Doctorate degree from Universidad La Salle Nororeste.
From 1980 to 1992, he held several posts in Grupo Bachoco, a leading agricultural company.
From 1992 to 1994, he was President of the Consejo Nacional Agropecuario, CNA (the National Agricultural Council), the leading organization of Mexico’s agricultural sector. During his tenure, he coordinated, on behalf of the private sector, the negotiations for the agricultural chapter of the North America Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, with the United States and Canada.
From 1994 to 1996, he was President and Director General of the Del Monte Fresh Company, and was in charge of its restructuring and sale.
From 1995 to 1997, he was the General Coordinator of the Unidad Coordinadora para el Acuerdo Bancario Empresarial, UCABE (the Coordinating Unit for the Banking and Business Agreement), a post created by the Mexican Federal Government and the Mexican Banking Association, to handle the financial restructuring of the largest Mexican companies that were in the middle of a crisis, helping in the salvage of more than 80 business groups, with an accumulated debt of 10 billion dollars.
From 1997 to 1999, he was the President of the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial, CCE (the Business Council), the leading organization for Mexico’s private sector.
Also during the 1990’s, the was the President of the Technical Committee for Competitiveness Regional Centers (Cetro-Crece), supporting almost 4,500 small businesses through state service centers.
From 1999 to the year 2000, he was the Liaison Officer for the Private Sector, in the Presidential Campaign of Francisco Labastida Ochoa, the candidate of the PRI political party.
From 2000 to 2002, he was a Senator for his native State of Sonora, post that he left, in order to obtain the candidacy for the Governorship of the State of Sonora, also with the PRI political party.
In July 2003, he was elected Governor of the State of Sonora, post he holds since September 2003, until September 2009. Among his many successes, it is worth mentioning that he increased citizen participation in his administration, as well as increasing both human and infrastructure investments in more than 100 percent.
He has been in the Boards of Directors of several companies, such as Bachoco (agriculture), Nacional Financiera and Banco de Comercio Exterior (banking and finance), Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (Mexican stock market), Pronatura, Grupo Azucarero de México (Sugar Group in Mexico), Corporación Mexicana de Restaurantes (Corpotacion Mexican Restaurant), Megacable, Mercado Mexicano de Derivados (Mexican derivatives market), Fondo para la Capitalización e Inversión del Campo (rural development), Herdez, among others.
He’s been a board member and advisor to the board of several organizations, such as the National Chamber of Commerce, the National Chamber of the Cable Industry, the Mixed Commission for the Promotion of Exports, the National Poultry Association, the National Pork Producers Union, Pronatura (environment).
He has the distinction of being named one of “Global Leaders of Tomorrow” at the Davos Economic Forum, in Switzerland. He has also been selected as one of the 100 men from the Mexican transition.
Eduardo Bours was the Governor of Sonora for the period 2003-2006, where he promoted the most ambitious transformation projects in the State’s modern history. Polls gave him some of the highest approval ratings for a governor in the country.
Eduardo Bours is currently the President and General Director Agropecuaria BL S.A. de C.V.
Ms. Sarah Chamberlain
Sarah Chamberlain’s passion for pragmatic politics and women’s engagement drives her to wear many hats. As President and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership, Sarah runs an organization that supports the governing wing of the Republican Party in Congress. She is the only woman in the country who’s the CEO of a major Republican organization. Additionally, as the President and Founder of the Women2Women National Conversation Tour, Sarah has become one of the most prominent national voices calling for women to raise their voices on issues that matter most to them while educating them on how decisions being made for the country are affecting their own lives.
Born in upstate New York, she received her undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Delaware and received her master’s degree from the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard University. From there, she came to Washington, D.C. to work for Republican Main Street Partnership and its founder Rep. Amory Houghton Jr., a former CEO of the Corning Glass Company and six-term member of Congress. Sarah has since built the Republican Main Street Partnership from the fledgling organization founded in 1997 into a thriving network of over 50 Members of Congress who share Sarah’s commitment to conservative, solution-oriented governing.
Sarah serves on the Board of Directors of the Women Campaign School at Yale University, is a National Capital Trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and sits on the Wall Street Journal CEO Council. Her written work has been featured in the Washington Post, The Hill, U.S. News & World Report, and she is a contributor for Forbes. Sarah was chosen by CQ Roll Call as a 2017 Rising Star and was featured as one of Elle Magazine’s 10 Women in Washington in 2017.
Hon. Kevin Johnson
Kevin M. Johnson currently serves as the General Partner of the Black Capital Fund, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on investing in black and underrepresented entrepreneurs.
Prior to his role with Black Capital, Johnson served as the two-term mayor of Sacramento, where he led the effort to keep the Sacramento Kings from relocating by assembling a new ownership group, raising $535 million to purchase the team, and developing the Golden 1 Center. The new arena has catalyzed a $1.5 billion investment in the downtown core and was financed through innovative uses of public resources without raising taxes. He also served as President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and Founding President of the African American Mayors Association.
Before taking public office, Johnson served as CEO of St. HOPE, a community development corporation focused on education and economic development in under-resourced communities. Prior to his business career, Johnson played 12 years in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns, garnering All-Star status three times.
Ms. Marie O’Neill Sciarrone
Marie O’Neill “Neill” Sciarrone is the CEO of Tribal Tech, LLC and its subsidiary, Cowan & Associates, Inc. Tribal Tech is an American Indian, SBA 8(m), woman-owned small business (WOSB) that provides management and technical services to federal, state, tribal and corporate clients.
Ms. Sciarrone is an executive leader and successful entrepreneur with over two decades of public and private sector technology, defense, and national security experience. She is Co-Founder and former President of Trinity Cyber, Inc., and previously served as a senior executive at BAE Systems, Inc. where she developed and evaluated growth strategies in emerging technologies for the U.S. corporate business, led strategy and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) for their intelligence and security business, was a business development executive, and led the cyber and information sharing profit and loss (P&L) for a mid-sized technology firm, acquired by BAE.
Prior to her private sector career, Ms. Sciarrone was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Policy. In this capacity, she led the Administration’s efforts on cybersecurity, information sharing, and critical infrastructure policy. This included developing and implementing national policies and programs for critical homeland and national security issues. Ms. Sciarrone was the principal author and coordinator of both the U.S. Government’s cybersecurity and information sharing directives, policies, and national strategies. She also held key roles for the White House Homeland Security Council, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Commerce.
Ms. Sciarrone serves on multiple non-profit Boards including the Board of S2MARTS and the Silverado Strategic Council. She has been recognized as an inaugural Presidential Leadership Scholar and was named one of the “Top 10 Women Power Players in Cybersecurity” by SC magazine in 2015. Ms. Sciarrone is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Mr. Pete Pflugrath
Pete Pflugrath is responsible for day-to-day business operations as the senior vice president of markets & growth at LMI, a consultancy dedicated to powering a future-ready, high-performing government, drawing from expertise in digital & analytic solutions, logistics, and management advisory services. Prior to his current role, Pete served as LMI’s vice president of logistics specializing in supply chain modernization, acquisition, infrastructure, and climate change.
With more than 30 years’ experience delivering advanced research and development solutions and ready-to-field systems, Pete has supported defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and healthcare missions across the federal government. He established and managed a federal law enforcement agency’s largest biometric and forensic laboratory. As a logistics subject matter expert, he deployed in support of U.S. military operations to include Operation Desert Storm (Saudi Arabia and Kuwait), Operation Restore Hope (Somalia), and Operation Enduring Freedom (Bosnia). Pete’s work was recognized and awarded “Best Fielded Artificial Intelligence System in the Department of Defense (DoD)” by the National Defense Industrial Association and “Best Information Sharing Application in DoD” by the DoD Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Pete holds a bachelor’s in computer science from the College of William & Mary and a master’s in software engineering from George Mason University. He served for many years as co-chair of the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation Technical Committee and served on various expert panels focused on technology and society.
Ms. Stephanie Schriock
Called a transformational leader, Stephanie Schriock has run: a major national organization that dramatically changed the American political landscape; successful managed and advised countless high-stakes competitive political campaigns; and counseled CEOs, candidates and national, state and local office holders.
Most recently, Stephanie Schriock served for 11 years as President of EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics. During her tenure, EMILY’s List raised more than $460 million for the organization and its candidates and spent $160 million in independent expenditures. With Stephanie at the helm, EMILY’s List endorsed more than 1,800 women, elected nearly 1,000 up and down the ballot, and trained more than 14,000.
As the EMILY’s List President, Stephanie doubled – and then doubled twice again – the organization’s digital footprint. She expanded EMILY’s List’s state and local training programs, including its online Training Center, and the creation of Run to Win, its national recruitment and training campaign. Stephanie and Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List Vice President of Communications, recently authored the book Run to Win: Lessons in Leadership for Women Changing the World, which serves as a leadership guide for running for office or leading an organization.
The second person to hold this position, Stephanie stepped down as President earlier this year. EMILY’s List is at its strongest position yet, following two record cycles and the incredible growth of Democratic women running for office.
Affectionately called “Coach Stephanie” by her staff, Stephanie has built an impressive network of corporate CEOs, elected officials, candidates, donors and staff across the country.
Originally hailing from the mining town of Butte, Montana, Stephanie has been electing Democrats for more than 20 years. In 2004, she served as the national finance director for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign, where she was at the center of the team that created the online fundraising model that ushered in the era of digital fundraising, laying the groundwork for the future campaigns of President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and President Joe Biden’s presidential campaigns.
In 2006, Stephanie returned to her home state of Montana to serve as Senator Jon Tester’s campaign manager, and after helping Democrats take back the Senate, served as his chief of staff. In 2008, she joined Al Franken’s Senate campaign as his campaign manager, leading the campaign to Election Day and then solidifying her reputation as a major force in Democratic politics by successfully managing the eight-month recount and legal fight that followed. Called “one of the absolute stars of American politics now,” Stephanie has also been named by ELLE Magazine to its “10 Most Powerful Women in Washington” list.
Hon. Greg Walden
Former Congressman Greg Walden represented the people of Oregon’s vast, Second Congressional District from 1999-2021. He chaired the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over telecommunications, health care, medical research, energy and consumer safety issues.
As a member of that committee for 20 of his 22 years in the House, he led legislative efforts in telecommunications and spectrum issues; energy grid security and reliability; confronting the opioids epidemic and expanding access to affordable health care.
His colleagues twice elected him to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee, the national campaign arm of the U.S. House GOP, where under his leadership House Republicans attained their largest back-to-back majorities in history.
Before his election to Congress, Walden served eight years in the Oregon House and Senate, where his state House GOP colleagues twice elected him Majority Leader.
Walden and his wife, Mylene, owned and operated radio stations in Oregon for more than two decades. He served on the local community hospital board and on the board of a community bank.
He is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism.
Currently, he and his wife own MSW Communications, and he serves on advisory boards working on innovative solutions to climate change, and advancements in health care. Recently he was named chairman of Alpine Advisors, a Washington, D.C. based strategy consulting firm.
Hon. Douglas B. Wilson
Doug Wilson’s 40-year career in foreign policy, national security, politics and communications strategy has spanned both the public and private sectors. As Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs during President Obama’s first term, he headed the largest government communications operation in the world. He played a key role in the repeal of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” legislation, and has three times been awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Pentagon’s highest civilian honor.
A native of Tucson, Arizona and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Stanford University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Mr. Wilson previously served as Board Member and Executive Vice President of the Howard Gilman Foundation, overseeing the development and implementation of the Foundation’s domestic and international policy programs at White Oak. He is a co-founder of the White Oak collaborative on veteran and military family issues.
Mr. Wilson is also the former President of The Leaders Project, the decade-long global successor generation leadership initiative which he co-founded in 2001 with former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen. The series included seminal successor-generation leadership conferences on India, Russia, the Pacific Rim, Pakistan, Europe, Islamic societies, women as leaders of change, public diplomacy, international development assistance and military families.
Doug has been a senior communications strategist for Microsoft and Boeing; a US foreign service officer in Italy and the UK; the national political director of the Democratic Leadership Council; Congressional Director at the US Information Agency; senior foreign policy advisor to presidential candidates Gary Hart and Pete Buttigieg; and led the 1996 Democratic presidential campaign victory in Arizona, the first time Democrats had won that state since Truman in 1948. He is the co-founder of Vets’ Community Connections, a national initiative to involve more Americans from all walks of life in veteran and military family community reintegration.