Johannes M. Biermann graduated from the University of Cologne, Germany, with a master’s degree in business administration. He is currently the General Manager for aicas and leads marketing, sales, customer and sales operations globally. Prior to this, he worked for more than 25 years in leadership roles in both Hewlett Packard in California, USA and Böblingen, Germany, and Siemens AG in Munich. His tenure included a breadth of strategic and operational roles leading product and marketing management teams in addition to functional areas in customer advocacy and sales operations. He also worked with clients world-wide to acquire and deliver organizational change management consulting services. Johannes also served over many years in a non-profit role leading the San Francisco Eric M. Warburg Chapter Director of the American Council on Germany (ACG). He and his wife reside in the Karlsruhe area, Germany.
Rita M. Bral graduated from the University of Ghent, Belgium, with a BA in Art History, a Master’s in Roman Philology and an Aggregate in Pedagogy. From 1988-2002 she was Executive Director of Software Research Institute. She held the mandate of Honorary Consul of Belgium for Northern California and Nevada from 1993-2013, and was knighted twice by King Albert II of Belgium for her services. Currently she is Vice-President Corporate Communications of Software Research, Inc.
Terri E. Givens was an IES and CGES grant recipient and an active participant in their events while obtaining a PhD at UCLA. She is a renowned scholar in the field of immigration politics. Her most recent book, Legislating Equality was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. She was a Professor of Political Science at University of Washington from 1999 to 2003, and at University of Texas at Austin (2003-2015). At UT Austin, she launched the Center for European Studies as well as an undergraduate major in European Studies and served as Vice Provost of Undergraduate Curriculum and International Affairs (2006-2009). She became Provost at Menlo College in Atherton, CA in July 2015.
Adam Green attended UC Berkeley and began his career as an international student advisor and attorney at Harvard. He later specialized in immigration law and the representation of international students and scholars for more than 20 years. He represents numerous French nationals and companies which employ them in the US. He is listed in the prestigious publication, “Best Lawyers in America” and has an AV rating (the highest possible) from Martindale Hubbell, America’s well known attorney rating service.
Robert Heller was born in Cologne, Germany and obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from UC Berkeley. He began his career as an economics professor at UCLA and the University of Hawaii. Subsequently he was Chief of the Financial Studies Division of the International Monetary Fund and Director of International Economic Research at Bank of America. The President appointed him as a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. After that, he became President and CEO of Visa U.S.A. Robert Heller is a director of several public and private corporations.
Hermann-Victor Johnen was born in Aachen, Germany and received his doctorate from the University of Münster with a dissertation on the former San Francisco mayor Adolph Sutro. Dr. Johnen is President of JCI International, focusing on European-American business development, and represents Protocol Professionals, Inc.™ in Germany and the Benelux countries. From 2014 until 2016, he was a Visiting Scholar at IES.
David Clay Large obtained a Ph.D. in History from U.C. Berkeley in 1974. He has taught at Berkeley, Smith College, Montana State University, and Yale University, where he was also a college dean. A specialist on modern Central Europe, Large has published some twelve books on such topics as West German rearmament in the Adenauer era, Wagnerism in European politics and culture, urban history (Munich and Berlin), the German-hosted Olympic Games, and the Grand Spa-towns of Central Europe. Currently he offers courses through the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning (University of San Francisco) and serves as a Senior Fellow at Berkeley's Institute of European Studies.
Jaime Perez is from Barcelona and he studied economics at the Universidad de Barcelona. He received a BA and an MSc in Computer Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. From 1972 to 1974 he was a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Telephone Laboratories, Piscataway, NJ. From 1974 to 1989 he worked for what became Unisys Corporation in London, Paris and Blue Bell, PA. He joined the European Commission in 1989, being appointed to various policy areas, including IT, Telecoms, Fisheries and External Relations. From 2001 to 2005, he was assigned to the service responsible for EU relations with Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus. Following a brief assignment in the Mercosur and Chile unit, he served as EU Ambassador to Chile from 2007 to 2012. Next, and until his retirement in March 2014, he was head of the Training and Career Development Division of the European External Action Service in Brussels.
Evan Reade obtained a BA degree in Political Science from UC Berkeley in 1979, and a JD degree from American University’s Washington College of Law in 1985. He practiced law prior to joining the U.S. Department of State in 1989. He served on President Obama’s National Security Council staff as Director for Western Europe from 2014 to 2016. Prior to that, he was the U.S. Consul General in Strasbourg, where he also represented the United States at the Council of Europe. His other overseas assignments include serving as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the commander of U.S. Army forces in the Middle East, as Deputy Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, as a political officer at the U.S Embassies in Tokyo and in Tunis, and as a consular officer in Casablanca and in Bridgetown. In Washington, DC, he served in the European Affairs Bureau working on NATO affairs, in the Near East and North Africa Bureau, responsible for Libya and Tunisia, and in the State Department’s Operations Center and the White House Situation Room.
Andrew Standley graduated from Cambridge University in 1976 with a BA in History of Art and in 1982 with an MA from Columbia University in International Relations. Following work with the British administration in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) and with the United Nations Population Fund in Bangladesh, he started working for the European Union in 1986. His assignments included postings in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, as well as in Brussels, and included serving as EU Ambassador in Bolivia, Israel and Mexico. He retired from the EU in 2017. His work has focused principally on political relations, international development, human rights and trade.
Johann Strobl is a graduate from Vienna University of Economics and Business. He is chairman of Raiffeisen Bank International AG, which is a leading bank in Central and Eastern Europe with a broad network in fifteen countries.
Gigi Wang holds an MS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. She is an Industry Fellow & Faculty at UC Berkeley Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship where she teaches a start-up boot-camp and executive innovation programs. She also runs a consulting firm, MG-Team, LLC, coaches dozens of start-ups and is a frequent speaker at entrepreneur and innovation conferences around the world.
Michel Wendell is the Honorary Consul of Finland in the San Francisco Bay Area. Having earned his EE degree, he left his native Finland in 1985 and landed in the Silicon Valley in 1996. He is co-founder and General Partner of Nexit Ventures, a venture fund focusing on wireless and mobile opportunities. He also serves as a director on the boards of several venture backed high tech companies.
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