Born in Ethiopia, Isaac has twenty five years of practical experience in community and organizational development, management and leadership. As President of IIRR, Isaac takes a lead role in strategy formulation, organizational diagnoses and restructuring, strategic management, business plan development and monitoring and evaluation.
Isaac’s academic qualifications include a Doctoral degree in Organizational Development and Planning. While pursuing his doctoral studies, Isaac worked as a part-time lecturer in the school of Public Health and as the Coordinator of Graduate Research Programs in the Philippines.
Isaac joined IIRR in September 1989 as the Africa Regional Director and was appointed as the 6th President of IIRR in January 2009. Isaac built IIRR’s Africa Regional Center from scratch by mobilizing resources, building strong teams and establishing a presence in four East African countries. As President, he is a voting but non-independent member of the Board of Trustees which he was appointed to in January 2009 when he assumed the role of President.
Dr. Bassiouni joined IIRR’s Board in 2011. A veteran humanitarian and emergency expert, Dr. Bassiouni served in the United Nations system for over two decades, primarily working with UNICEF, DHA,OCHA and UNDGO. He was the first-ever Humanitarian Coordinator and the only Coordinator to be appointed by the Secretary-General and the Security Council.
Dr. Bassiouni’s expertise cuts broadly across humanitarian affairs and assistance, complex emergencies, conflict and crisis resolution, safety and security, change management, sustainable development, agricultural and natural resource development and management, and his first career in veterinary medicine.
Bassiouni has held several senior positions in the UN including Deputy Director of UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Programmes, Chief of Inter-Agency and Response Branches in DHA/OCHA and Coordinator for IASC/ECHA, Rappoteuer to the high level panel on the Humanitarian Response Review and Senior Technical Coordinator for the Joint UN/WB Needs Assessment of Somalia. He has also served as UNICEF’s Representatives in seven countries including Somalia Sri Lanka, Maldives, Ethiopia, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Egypt and Bangladesh. Prior to his career in the UN, Dr. Bassiouni served in senior government positions, including Regional Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the Sudan.
A graduate of the School of Veterinary Medicine of Khartoum University, Sudan, Dr. Bassiouni holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a Parvin Fellowship from Princeton University. In addition to his role on the Board at IIRR, he sits on the boards of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation, the Non-Violent Peaceforce, the Bassiouni Group and the Mary N. Bassiouni Foundation. David joined as a voting member of the Board of Trustees in 2011.
Jim is currently a Managing Director at Citadel Securities in NY, with over 25 years of investment banking experience on Wall Street. A majority of his career was spent as a senior banker at Bear, Stearns & Co., with prior affiliations with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. and Prudential Securities.
Jim received his undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics/Economics from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business. He has been a voting Trustee of IIRR since 1999 and is the grandson of Dr. Y.C. James Yen.
Alan Dunning is Senior Counsel at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. His practice has focused on corporate and financial matters, particularly domestic and international securities offerings and other capital markets and money markets transactions.
Alan joined Cleary Gottlieb in 1971 after graduating from Princeton University and Yale Law School and became a partner in 1980. He participated in opening the firm’s Hong Kong office in 1980 and was based in the Frankfurt and London offices from 1997 until his retirement as a partner in 2008.
Alan and his wife Anne have four children and two grandchildren and reside in New York. Prior to moving to Europe, they lived in Summit, New Jersey, where Alan was a member and President of the Summit Board of Education. He joined as a voting member of the IIRR Board of Trustees in 2009.
An International Economist and Bank Credit Officer, Jim was a Peace Corps Volunteer in a UNDP-led Rural Development Program in the Rif Mountains of Morocco for three years. This experience sparked his interest in joining the IIRR Board, where he has served as the Chairman of the Finance & Budget Committee for the past twenty years and became Chairman in April 2009. In a long career in the financial services industry, he has held various positions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Chemical Bank, The Institute of International Finance, Merrill Lynch, Smith New Court, and Citigroup. He holds a B.A. in Economics and History from Fordham University and has pursued graduate studies in International Relations and Economics at George Washington University and New York University. In addition to Morocco, he has worked in Mexico and Belgium and speaks Arabic, French and Spanish. Jim and his wife, Marcia, have been married for thirty-two years and have three sons.
Donald L. Holley is Senior Counsel based in the Brussels and Paris offices of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP. Donald’s practice has focused on EC competition law. Donald began work at Cleary Gottlieb in 1959 and became a partner in 1970. In 1992 he became Senior Counsel to the firm, in respect of its EC competition practice in Paris and Brussels. Since 1970, Donald has lectured at various conferences in Europe and the United States, in particular on EC competition law, and has published numerous articles on these subjects.
Donald received an LL.B. degree from Columbia University in 1959 and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the law review. He also holds an M.I.A. degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is a member of the Bar in New York and in Paris. Donald member of the Union Internationale des Avocats, the International Bar Association, the American Bar Association (Antitrust Section), the American Society of International Law and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
Paul Marquardt joined IIRR’s Board in 2012. He is a partner at the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, based in the Washington, D.C. office.
Mr. Marquardt’s practice covers a broad range of domestic and international transactional matters, including public and private international law and he has represented a number of governments and international organizations in negotiations of international agreements. Mr. Marquardt also has extensive experience in a number of regulatory areas relevant to cross-border transactions and is a specialist in reviews by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
From 1998 to 2002, he worked in Brussels. He received a J.D. and an M.A. in international relations from Yale University in 1994, where he was Book Reviews Editor of the Yale Law Journal, and an undergraduate degree, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan in 1990. Mr. Marquardt is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the State Bar of Michigan. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the American Society of International Law. Paul joined as a voting member of the Board of Trustees in 2012.
A Sociologist, Mary Racelis, is currently a research scientist of the Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila University. Mary combines her academic research and writing on urbanization, urban poverty, gender, socio-cultural change, community organizing and people’s empowerment with practice-based development work. Mary has served as Regional Director for UNICEF in Eastern and Southern Africa, 1983-92; Country Representative of the Ford Foundation, Manila, 1992-97; and President and Board Chair of the Community Organizers Multiversity - a Philippine NGO engaged in grassroots organizing. She has also been a consultant to the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, UNICEF, the United Nations Development Program, AusAid and the Rockefeller Foundation. Mary has been a voting member of the Board since 1999.
George SyCip was born in the Philippines and received his A.B. in International Relations/Economics in 1978 from Stanford University and his M.B.A. from Harvard.
George Sycip is President of Halanna Management Corporation and a Founder and Principal in Galaxaco China Group LLC. George advises a variety of companies in their cross-border endeavors between the US/Europe and Asia. He also sits on several corporate boards, including Bank of the Orient in San Francisco, Beneficial Life Insurance Company in the Philippines, MacroAsia Corporation, Alliance Tuna International, Inc., Medtecs Corporation, Paxys, Inc. and Agritech Faso SA. Prior to setting up his own offices, George had a career in banking, internationally and domestically, including serving as Chief Financial Officer of United Savings Bank, a leading provider of banking services to California’s Asian communities and a major originator of home mortgages during the 1980s.
George currently serves as a Board Member of the Stanford Institute for International Studies, Give2Asia, and the California Asia Business Council. He has also served as Commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco’s Social Services Department. He was Director and Treasurer of both the San Francisco Education Fund and the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. Goerge has been a voting member of the Board of Trustees since 2003.
Isagani R. Serrano, known as “Gani” to friends, is the current president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement. An author, educator, community organizer, weekend organic farmer, and social activist, Gani was a political prisoner for seven years during the period of martial law in the Philippines. He has written numerous articles on environmental issues, poverty, the MDGs, climate justice, civil society, governance, and sustainable development, among other topics, and has been an active participant in many UN conferences and international meetings of NGOs since the early 1990s. Gani holds an MSc in Environment and Development Education from London South Bank University in London, England. He has been a voting member of the Board of Trustees since 2008 when he became President of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM).
Dane Smith is a consultant on peacebuilding and democratization, with emphasis on Africa. In 2011 and 2012 he served as Senior Advisor on Darfur in the State Department’s Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan. Ambassador Smith made a dozen visits to Darfur, meeting with government officials, rebel leaders, refugees in Chad, internally displaced persons in numerous camps, civil society and human rights activists, as well as UN and African Union peacekeepers and senior representatives. He played a significant role in the negotiation in Qatar of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur signed in 2011 by the Sudanese Government and a major Darfuri armed movement. He is an adjunct professor at American University and a Senior Fellow at the Joint Forces Staff College. He lectures on African history and culture and has worked with American police trainers heading for Sudan and Liberia.
From 2006 to 2010 he was a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, where he authored U.S. Peacefare: Organizing American Peace-Building Operations (Praeger: 2010). From 1999 to 2003, he served as President of the National Peace Corps Association, which mounts programs in global education, conflict resolution and voluntary service. Smith served as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal 1996-99. In 1995-96 Smith was Special Presidential Envoy for Liberia, while concurrently directing the State Department’s Office of West African Affairs. He was U.S. Ambassador to Guinea 1990-93. He is the recipient of the Presidential Meritorious Service Award and the Commandant de l’Ordre du Lion Award from the Government of Senegal. Smith and wife Judy began their international careers as Peace Corps Volunteers in Eritrea, 1963-65, then part of Ethiopia.
He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the African Studies Association. Smith earned his A.B. from Harvard College and a PhD in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He also studied at the Union Theological Seminary in New York. He and Judy have three children and seven grandchildren.
Lisa Milton is the founder and CEO of AZAP Mobile where she has helped create over 50 applications using social media and user generated content. AZAP has worked with Samsung Electronics, Excelsior Newspaper, and the government of Mexico City to create applications for the Latin American market. Before founding AZAP, Ms. Milton worked as a community organizer in California for 8 years. She advocated for the creation of some of the strongest affordable housing policy in the state, and helped spearhead the effort to establish a high school focused on film in South Los Angeles. In 2005, she was awarded Woman of the Year by the California Legislature for the 22nd State Senate District. Lisa graduated Cum Laude from Columbia University, studied Social and Political Science at Cambridge University, and received her MBA from Wharton. Lisa is an independent voting trustee and joined the board in December 2012.
Victoria T. Melendez, CFA, is a Senior Portfolio Manager and a Managing Director of Rockefeller & Co. Victoria works primarily in an investment advisory capacity to high net worth families, foundations and endowments. She also serves as a member of the Company’s Manager Selection Committee. Prior to joining Rockefeller in 1998, Victoria was with Morgan Stanley International in Tokyo and London from 1993 to 1998, Jardine Fleming Securities in Tokyo from 1990 to 1993 and International Financial Markets (a hedge fund) in London from 1988 to 1990. She also worked at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy and at Cleary Gottlieb as a tax and corporate attorney. She has extensive international experience, having lived and worked in Tokyo for nine years and in London for four years. She is proficient in Japanese, which she studied as an undergraduate. Victoria is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder. She received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an A.B. from Harvard College. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Victoria is an independent voting trustee and joined the board in December 2012.