Category: Speakers (page 1 of 14)

Speaker programs at Wednesday SMA Meetings

Speaker — October 12, 2016
Thomas M. T. Niles
Vice Chairman
United States Council for International Business

Thomas M. T. Niles

Thomas M. T. Niles

Thomas M. T. Niles retired from the United States Foreign Service in September 1998 following a career of more than 36 years. In the Foreign Service, he served as Ambassador to Canada (1985-89), Ambassador to the European Union (1989-91), Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Canada (1991-93), and Ambassador to Greece (1993-97).

Earlier in his career, he served in Belgrade, Moscow (twice), and the United States Mission to NATO in Brussels as well as in the Department of State. On February 1, 1999, he became President of the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which advances the global interests of American business both at home and abroad, promoting an open system of world trade, finance, and investment. It is the U.S. affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) to the OECD, and the International Organization of Employers (IOE).

On April 15, 2005 Ambassador Niles retired as President of USCIB and became Vice Chairman of the Council.

Speaker — October 5, 2016
Donald P. Gregg
Chairman of the Pacific Century Institute (PCI) in Los Angeles, and
Chairman Emeritus of The Korea Society in New York City.

Donald P. Gregg

Donald P. Gregg

Donald P. Gregg currently is chairman of the Pacific Century Institute (PCI) in Los Angeles and chairman emeritus of The Korea Society in New York City.

Following graduation from Williams College in 1951, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and over the next quarter century was assigned to Japan, Burma, Vietnam and Korea. He was seconded to the National Security Council staff in 1979, where he was in charge of intelligence activities and Asian policy affairs.

In 1982, Gregg was asked by the then Vice President George Bush to become his national security advisor. He then retired from the CIA, and was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. During his six years with Vice President Bush, Gregg traveled to 65 countries.

Gregg also served as a professorial lecturer at Georgetown University from 1980-1989, where he taught a graduate level workshop entitled Force and Diplomacy.

In September 1989, Gregg began his service as the United States Ambassador to Korea. Prior to his departure from Korea in 1993, he received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, an honorary doctoral degree from Sogang University, and a decoration from the prime minister of Korea.

In March 1993, Gregg retired from a 43-year career in the United States government to become the president and chairman of The Korea Society. He has been chairman emeritus since 2009. In 2012 Gregg was appointed chairman of the Pacific Century Institute.

Gregg remains strongly interested in establishing normal relations with North Korea, a country he has visited six times. The Pacific Century Institute actively supports unofficial meetings between Americans with significant experience in Korea with North Korean officials. Gregg led a PCI delegation to North Korea in February 2014.

Gregg is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Recent awards include an honorary degree from Green Mountain College (1996), the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service (2001), Williams College’s Kellogg Award for Career Achievement (2001), the 2004 Bartels World Affairs Fellowship from Cornell University, and an honorary degree from Colorado College (2010). Gregg and his wife were honored in 2009 by the establishment of The Donald P. and Margaret Gregg Professorship at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. In July 2014, Gregg published a memoir entitled Pot Shards; Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House and the Two Koreas.

Speaker — September 28, 2016
Alan J. Mathis
President and CEO of Liberation Programs

Alan J. Mathis

Alan J. Mathis

Since 2006, Alan J. Mathis has served as the President and CEO of Liberation Programs, one of Connecticut’s leading nonprofits providing prevention, education and treatment services for persons with substance abuse disorders and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Under Mr. Mathis’ leadership, the agency has increased the number of people served by 38%, reduced wait times for treatment, and expanded access to wraparound social services to include a transitional employment program, and increased access to primary medical care through partnerships with community health centers.

Working with the Board of Directors, the agency developed an 18-unit permanent supportive housing complex in Norwalk for women and their children. This also included renovation of a 7,000 square foot space for Liberation’s inpatient program for pregnant and parenting women. Mr. Mathis transformed Liberation into an organization that provides evidenced-based, targeted care for the 1,200 individuals seen every day while strengthening the agency’s business practices and management.

Mr. Mathis is a frequent speaker in the community. He is currently chairing Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling’s Affordable Housing Committee.

Prior to joining Liberation Programs, Mr. Mathis served as President and CEO at the Lower Eastside Service Center providing housing, primary medical, addiction and mental health services in NYC and served on NYC’s Mental Health and Hygiene Policy Advisory Board under Dr. Thomas Frieden, the current Director of the nation’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He holds a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from the Averall Harriman College at the University of NY at Stony Brook. As a Sloan Fellow, he studied public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

He resides in Norwalk with his wife Melissa.

Speaker — September 21, 2016
Bill Ryczek
Baseball on the Brink,
The Crisis of 1968

Gehr Brown

Gehr Brown

Bill Ryczek has written seven books on sports history — including a trilogy on 19th century baseball, books on the Yankees and Mets during the 1960s — and two books on professional football during the 1960s. He was also the co-editor of two reference books on 19th century baseball, and has taught The History and Social Impact of Baseball at Quinnipiac University. His books have won numerous awards, and he is a two-time winner of the Nelson Ross Award for his books on professional football.

His latest book, which he will talk about this morning, has the working title, Baseball on the Brink, The Crisis of 1968. This book discusses the sorry state of baseball during the mid-and late 1960s, how it was threatened by professional football, and dogged by inept management and a mind-set that was stuck in the passive 1950s in the midst of a time when American society was violent, divided and becoming increasingly oriented toward the decade’s rebellious youth.

Anyone who writes about 19th century baseball and minor league football needs a day job, and Bill is a former banker who is a principal in a finance company in Middletown, CT.

Speaker — September 14, 2016
Mike Baker
Managing Director – Americas: Diligence, LLC

Mike co-founded Diligence after 17 years service with the CIA. Mike oversees the company’s operations and growth in the Americas. He advises clients on strategic and competitive intelligence matters and oversees due-diligence, investigations, continuity and risk management practices.

Diligence, LLC was founded in 2000 by former intelligence officers. Diligence bridges the gap between what you know and what you need to know to make informed decisions. With 10,000 projects completed and five hub offices, we offer worldwide coverage to assist you with unfamiliar situations, people and places. Their expertise is based around Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Pre-Employment Screening, Investigations, Business Continuity & Resilience, and Forensics.

During his career as a covert field operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Mike specialized in counter-terrorism, counter-narcotic and counter-insurgency operations. He engaged in, organized and supervised operations around the globe, working in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.

Mike will talk about the top crises facing the USA: cyber-security, Syria, ISIS, Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

Speaker — September 7, 2016
Mark Albertson
“U.S.A. – Democracy or Republic?”

MarkAlbertsonMark Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine. He has authored several books, including On History: A Treatise; and, is finishing volume 1, Sky Soldiers: The Saga of Army Aviation. An avid speaker, he travels Connecticut presenting a variety of historical topics and current events. He teaches as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College for the Extend Studies Program and for the Lifetime Learners Institute.

At the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Benjamin Franklin was asked, as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin famously responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

Mark will discuss the differences between a republic and a democracy, and how these differences are manifested in the government of the USA.

Speaker — June 1, 2016
Craig Bowling,
Special Agent of the US Department of Homeland Security


Craig-BowlingCraig Bowling, Special Agent U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will speak about “Digital Jihad: A 13 Year International Investigation that Finally Brought the Godfather of Terrorist Websites to Justice.”

With over 18 years of investigative experience as a federal agent, Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent Craig Bowling has spent the last 15 years conducting and supporting complex international terrorism investigations. Most recently, Special Agent Bowling concluded a 13-year investigation that resulted in arrests and convictions for offenses including terrorism and espionage. Special Agent Bowling also has investigative experience with narcotics-related smuggling, money laundering, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations, export violations, and child exploitation-related violations. Additionally, as a Computer Forensics Agent, Special Agent Bowling has conducted scores of digital forensic examinations and led numerous computer and Internet-related investigations.

Special Agent Bowling has provided training to federal, state, and local law enforcement. He has testified in federal court as a subject matter expert and his research into computer and Internet-related crime has been published in peer reviewed academic journals.

Special Agent Bowling holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Foreign Languages and Literatures and a Master of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, all from Washington State University.

Arranged by Bob Smith

Speaker — May 25, 2016
Jack Fitzgibbons, M.D.
Presidential Health, Confidentiality vs the public’s right to know

John P. Fitzgibbons, MD

John P. Fitzgibbons, MD

John P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., M.A.C.P. is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is a Senior Advisor on Graduate Medical Education at the Stamford Hospital. He will talk about Presidential Health — Maladies, Myths, and Mistakes. This subject combines both medicine and history, and engages Dr. Fitzgibbons’s long-term interest in the subject of presidential health.

Dr. Fitzgibbons was born in Boston, MA and grew up in Syracuse, NY. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 1960 and went on to medical school at the State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center. He did his first two years of postgraduate training in medicine at Boston City Hospital. He then spent two years in the US Public Health Service in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic. From there he moved to San Francisco where he did two more years of medicine training at the University of California at San Francisco. He returned to Boston to do a clinical and research fellowship in Nephrology at Tufts, New England Medical Center. In 1973 he went to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts to run the medical student program, in 1977 he became the Chief of the Nephrology.

In 1988 Dr. Fitzgibbons was appointed Chair of the Department of Medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a position he held until June 2008. He was a Professor of Medicine at Penn State University School of Medicine and held the Leonard Parker Pool Chair of Medicine.

He is a former President of the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine (APDIM) and was also the Co-Chair of the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine.

He was the Governor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American College of Physicians and President of the Pennsylvania Chapters. In 2008 he received a Mastership in the American College of Physicians (MACP).

From 2006 to 2012 he has been a member of the Accreditation Council in Graduate Medical Education’s Residency Review Committee (RRC) for Internal Medicine and in 2010 became a member of the Executive Committee. In April 2014 he received the Daley Founders Award from the Alliance of Academic Internal Medicine in recognition of his national accomplishments in medical education. He is presently a Senior Advisor in the Department of Medicine at the Stamford Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Speaker — May 18, 2016
Evonne Klein
Affordable Housing in the 21st Century: Myths, Reality, and Progress

Evonne Klein

Evonne Klein

Ms. Klein is a graduate of Fairfield University, receiving a Masters degree in Corporate and Political Communications as well as her Bachelor’s degree. She also completed course work in Economics and Comparative Government at Oxford University, the London School of Economics, and the University of London.

A resident of Darien, she entered public service on the Darien Board of Selectmen, serving from 2001 to 2009 including three terms as First Selectman.

In 2013 recently-elected CT Gov. Dannel Malloy consolidated existing housing activities into the Department of Housing, and appointed Ms. Klein as its Commissioner in 2013, where she still serves.

Click here for expanded bio.

Speaker — May 11, 2016
Senator Bob Duff
Connecticut Senate Majority Leader

Senator Bob Duff

Senator Bob Duff

Senator Duff represents the 25th Senatorial District, which includes Norwalk and a part of Darien.

A State Senator since 2004, he was a member of the State General Assembly from 2001 to 2004. Reelected to the Senate in 2014, he was chosen by his Senate colleagues in 2015 as Majority Leader. He is also Chair of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Vice Chair of the Legislative Management Committee.

Senator Duff will discuss the recent legislative session with a focus on the State budget and transportation projects and issues.

Speaker — May 4, 2016
David Genovese
Real Estate Developer

David GenoveseDavid will present an overview of the project that he and Penny Glassmeyer have proposed for the redevelopment of the approximately 6 acre area across from the Darien Playhouse.

Working with Robert A.M. Stern, the Dean of the School of Architecture at Yale University, and one of the leading architects in the United States, David and Penny have created a plan to transform the downtown of Darien into a more pedestrian friendly place, one where people can comfortably live, work and play. This large scale project will incorporate a mix of luxury housing, retail, office space, public parking and a “town green”.

Information about the project can be found at .

R. David Genovese founded Baywater Properties in 2001, following a 12-year career in real estate investment banking in New York and London.

Prior to founding Baywater, David served as Co-Head of Real Estate Investment Banking for Credit Suisse First Boston. Previously, David served as a Managing Director in Bankers Trust Company’s Real Estate Investment Banking Group. Through the course of his career in investment banking, David was responsible for a variety of transactions valued in excess of $15.0 billion, including mergers and acquisitions, equity offerings, bond offerings, securitized financings, bank loans, and principal investments.

David is an honors graduate of Colby College and The London School of Economics and Political Science. David also received an MBA from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.

David is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Human Services Council of Norwalk, The Darien Athletic Foundation and The Real Estate Finance Association of Connecticut. David has served as a member of the Board of Overseers of Colby College, and as a board member of the Darien Technology and Community Foundation, the Darien YMCA, the Darien Historical Society, and Darien Revitalization, Inc. In 2007, David was named as one of the “40 under 40” business leaders in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

Information about Baywater Properties can be found on

Speaker — April 27, 2016
Stuart Gibson
Kurdistan and Its Elusive Quest for Nationhood

Stuart Gibson is an international consultant with over 20 years’ experience working with cultural organizations and governments undergoing economic and political transition and post-conflict development.

Gibson has worked extensively in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Central Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. He is a UN senior international expert on museum management and organization, cultural policy, and the financing of culture.

He is currently Secretary to the International Advisory Board of the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia), a UNESCO advisor to the Uzbekistan Ministry of Culture and Sport on the development of museums and tourism, and advisor to the Kurdish Regional Government (Iraq) on museums and archaeology. Gibson is a frequent speaker and lecturer on cultural and management issues.

The talk will explore Kurdistan and its quest for independence. The events of the past couple of years have changed the Iraqi landscape possibly forever. These events have simultaneously brought into question many geopolitical assumptions not only about Iraq but the Middle East and beyond. One crucial element in this unfolding drama is the autonomous region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq – its role in combating ISIS, its turbulent relationship with the Baghdad government, its evolving relationship with Iran, Syria, and Turkey, and its longstanding aspirations for independence.

Kurdistan, which has been an unflinching ally of the United States for over 20 years, is a pluralistic society embracing Kurds, Armenians, Turkmen, Yazidis, and Christians. Its capital Irbil is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world dating back to 6,000 BCE. Despite suffering horribly under the Saddam regime, it nevertheless remained steadfast in its resistance to that repressive rule. Since the end of the first Gulf war it is been unwavering in reclaiming its heritage and cultural identity and erecting a viable political and economic social order as an independent region in Iraq. Since the emergence of ISIS, it has been transformed into a haven for those persecuted and disowned throughout the region and has also emerged as a key player in confronting the ISIS threat.

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