David M. Rubenstein, National Jury Chair
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, The Carlyle Group
District of Columbia
David Rubenstein is a Co-Founder and Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, founded in 1987. Mr. Rubenstein is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Duke University, and the Library of Congress Madison Council, a Regent of the Smithsonian Institution, Co-Chairman of the Brookings Institution, Vice-Chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, and President of the Economic Club of Washington. Rubenstein is on the Boards of Trustees of the University of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, the Institute for Advanced Study, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Johns Hopkins Medicine. He is a member of the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors and the Harvard Global Advisory Council (Chairman).
Dawn Arnall, National Jury Vice Chair
Chair, SBP Capital Corporation
Dawn Arnall is a private investor, businesswoman and philanthropist. She currently serves as Chair of SBP Capital Corporation. A seasoned executive with more than two decades of professional experience in the financial services and real estate industries, Dawn is an active investor in energy, insurance and technology sectors. Dawn is a Director on the Board of Conservation International, a member of the Smithsonian National Zoological Advisory Board, a Trustee of The College of William and Mary Foundation Board, and former Chair of National Geographic’s International Council of Advisors. She also is a member of the George W. Bush Institute's Woman's Advisory board, serves on the executive committee of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and is a supporter of Shalva, a therapy center for mentally and physically challenged children. Dawn obtained her BA and MBA from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She resides in Aspen, Colorado.
Retired President/COO, JDS Uniphase
Jay and his wife, Karen, reside on their ranch and vineyards outside of Healdsburg, California, 70 miles north of San Francisco, where they grow grapes and produce a modest amount of wine. Jay is a retired technology business executive, having served as Chief Executive Officer of Optical Coating Laboratory in the late 1990s and President and Chief Operating Officer of JDS Uniphase, a fiber optics company, until his retirement in 2001. Prior to his operating roles, Jay also served for 18 years as a management consultant and senior partner with McKinsey & Company. Currently, he remains active as a director of several public companies, a trustee of his independent secondary school in Pennsylvania, and several local community organizations in Sonoma County. Since 2009, Jay has served on the board of American Prairie Reserve, an organization that is creating the largest nature reserve in the continental United States. Having grown up outside of Philadelphia in a very East Coast family, where “the West” meant Ohio, Jay connected strongly to Montana during a summer job in 1961 working on the Minuteman missile complex in the central part of the state.
Owner, Triple Creek Guest Ranch – Montana
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Barbara Barrett is Ambassador, Astronaut, Aviator, Attorney and Academic President. She and her husband own Triple Creek Guest Ranch in Montana, twice ranked the #1 hotel in the world. Triple Creek Ranch is home to several hundred head of American Bison that roam the ranch’s 26,000 acres of grassland and forest. Barbara serves on the governing boards of RAND, Caltech, the Smithsonian, Lasker Foundation and The Aerospace Corporation, of which she is Chairman. Barbara was Interim President of Thunderbird School of Global Management, Ambassador to Finland, CEO of the American Management Association and a fellow teaching leadership at Harvard. She was FAA Deputy Administrator and Civil Aeronautics Board Vice Chairman. An instrument-rated pilot, Barbara trained in Russia and Kazakhstan, culminating in certification for space flight.
Tricia Besing is a devoted philanthropist and an excited National Jury member. She is active with the Tiffany Circle of the American Red Cross, and has helped grow the Dallas chapter alongside her mother who is a founding member of the Tiffany Circle. She is involved in various philanthropic efforts, including A.W.A.R.E. (Alzheimer’s Women’s Association for Resources and Education), Crystal Charity Ball (supporting Dallas children’s charities) and KIPP (a nonprofit network of college preparatory, public charter schools serving elementary, middle, and high school students). She and her husband, Gil, own a small hotel in Harbour Island, Bahamas, and have been blessed to know and empower the community there. Tricia and Gil currently reside in Dallas, Texas and have two children, ages 28 and 25. They love spending time in Whitefish, Montana and are passionate about the outdoors and preserving our natural resources.
Michael R. Bonsignore
Retired Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Honeywell International Inc.
Santa Barbara, California
Michael Bonsingore is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Honeywell International. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and has served on the boards of many companies including Medtronic, Donaldson Company, Cargill, St. Paul companies, Pricelock and Healthsense. Mr. Bonsignore has served as a National Geographic Society Trustee since 2004 and is a member of NGS International Council of Advisors. He is former Chairman of the U.S./China Business Council and former Member of Business Roundtable. He served on the Executive Advisory Board of the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, and as a board member of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, the Minnesota Orchestra (trustee emeritus), Global Leadership Development Board, and Alliance to Save Energy. He is a current member of SeaSpace Symposium. Mr. Bonsignore and his wife Sheila divide their time between Seattle, Washington, New York City and Santa Barbara, California. His interests include boating, fly-fishing, underwater photography and collecting Northwest Coast contemporary art. He is the owner of the Stonington Gallery in Seattle, Washington.
Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus
New York, New York
Coulter served as Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Advisor at Warburg Pincus, focusing on the firm’s financial services practice from 2005-2014. Mr. Coulter retired in September 2005 as vice chairman of J.P. Morgan & Chase Co. He previously served as Executive Chairman of its investment bank, asset and wealth management, and private equity business. Mr. Coulter was a member of the firm’s three-person Office of the Chairman and also its executive committee. Mr. Coulter came to J.P. Morgan Chase via its July 2000 acquisition of The Beacon Group, a small merchant banking operation. Before joining The Beacon Group, Mr. Coulter was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the BankAmerica Corporation and Bank of America NT & SA. His career at Bank of America was from 1976 to 1998 and covered a wide range of banking activities. He served on the board Aeolus Re, MBIA, Webster Bank, Sterling Financial and the Strayer Corporation. He currently is on the board of Santander Asset Management. He also serves on the boards of Lincoln Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Asia Society of Northern California and the Foreign Policy Association. He received both his BS and his MS from Carnegie Mellon University and currently serves as a Trustee for Carnegie Mellon.
Partner, Armstrong Teasdale, LLP
St. Louis, Missouri
Steven N. Cousins is a partner at Armstrong Teasdale, LLP, a 250-person law firm with offices throughout the U.S. and in Shanghai China. Mr. Cousins became Armstrong Teasdale’s first African American lawyer when he joined the firm in 1980. Four years later, he founded and chaired the firm’s first financial restructuring, reorganization and bankruptcy practice – the first associate to start a department at Armstrong Teasdale. In 1987, he became the firm’s first African American partner and one of the few in St. Louis. He served on the firm’s executive committee for 15 years and has been one of Armstrong Teasdale’s top rainmakers for twice that long. He has represented global corporate clients such as Peabody Energy and Payless Shoes and high profile clients throughout the country, including a former U.S. Cabinet Member who was vindicated in a Justice Department investigation. He has been listed for 24 years in The Best Lawyers in America, named as a Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyer, and listed in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the country’s top five bankruptcy lawyers. He is the 2017 recipient of the Martin J. Purcell award from the Missouri Bar Foundation. The award acknowledges an outstanding lawyer that has demonstrated an exceptional degree of competency, integrity, and civility in both professionalism and civic activities. Mr. Cousins received his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1980 and BA from Yale University in 1977. An active community leader, Mr. Cousins was the general counsel and currently serves on the executive committee of the St. Louis Regional Chamber of Commerce, vice-chairman of St. Louis Children’s Hospital board and is a St. Louis Art Museum trustee. In addition, he is outside general counsel for Concordance, a path-breaking program to reduce recidivism in St. Louis and beyond. He also serves on Washington University’s National Council of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. He served as the initial co-chair of the St. Louis Internship Program, an inner-city youth jobs program, replicated in 38 cities with more than 3,300 alumni. In addition, Mr. Cousins is a co-founder of the St. Louis Public Schools Foundation, served as a member of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Chancellor’s Council and the national Board of Governors of the Association of Yale Alumni, and was a Webster University trustee.
Palo Alto, California
Steven A. Denning
Chairman, General Atlantic LLC
Steven A. Denning is the Chairman of General Atlantic LLC, a global private equity firm. He joined the firm in 1980 and has built the organization into a leading global growth investment firm with twelve offices around the globe and over $20 billion of assets under management. He is actively involved in a number of private companies, and is also a director of Engility Corp. (NYSE:EGL). Mr. Denning joined GA after working with McKinsey & Company. He received an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1978. Prior to business school, Mr. Denning served for six years in the U.S. Navy, where he also earned an MS degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He received a BS from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1970. Mr. Denning is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University and former Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of The Nature Conservancy (TNC). He remains on the board of TNC, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bridgespan Group. He is an Honorary Trustee of The Brookings Institution and the American Museum of Natural History, Emeritus Chairman of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Board and an Emeritus Trustee of the National Parks Conservation Association. Mr. Denning was formerly a member of the board of the McKinsey Investment Office Advisory Council, the Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Science Center, the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, the Georgia Tech Foundation Inc., and the Cancer Research Institute. Mr. Denning grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. He and his wife, Roberta, currently reside in Greenwich, CT, and San Francisco, CA. They have two children, Robert and Carrie.
Chief Investment Officer and Founder, Silver Creek
Silver Creek is an alternative investment advisory firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Eric Dillon is Silver Creek’s Chief Investment Officer and Founder. Mr. Dillon is the Chair of the Investment Committee, which is responsible for all investment research activities, portfolio management and portfolio risk management. In conjunction with these responsibilities, Mr. Dillon sits on numerous advisory boards of Silver Creek portfolio investments. Mr. Dillon has been involved in the investment industry since 1982 when he started his career as a stockbroker at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he became a Senior Vice President. Mr. Dillon continued his investment career with Salomon Smith Barney, where he evaluated and monitored investment advisory firms for institutional and private investors. Mr. Dillon launched his first fund of hedge fund product offering, Dillon/Flaherty Market Neutral Fund, L.P. (now known as DFP Fund, L.P.) in 1994 while he was an employee of Smith Barney. Mr. Dillon has experience in various private business transactions, including being a founding investor and advisory board member of Amazon.com, AQuantive (later sold to Microsoft), and Wizards of the Coast. In addition to his background in investments, Mr. Dillon is on the board of the Nature Conservancy of Idaho and also owns several ranches in Central Montana that are focused on creating sustainable agriculture and ranching models which are consistent with wildlife management.
Founder and Managing Partner, Black Bear Partners
Aaron is the Founder and Managing Partner of Black Bear Partners, a growth capital investment firm located in Dallas, Texas. He has had a broad and expansive career in principal investing, marketing and strategy consulting, and general management. Aaron was most recently the Chief Financial & Development Officer for Genesco Sports Enterprises, Inc., a sports marketing and consulting firm based in Dallas and with offices in Charlotte, Chicago and New York. Aaron served as a Principal with CIC Advantage Holdings LLC (CIC Partners LP), with a particular investment focus on restaurant, retail, consumer packaged goods and media. Aaron started his career with McKinsey & Company, and also served in marketing and management capacities with the sports marketing conglomerate International Management Group (IMG) and the U.S. Olympic Committee. Aaron currently serves as a Director of Bitty Foods, Force of Nature Enterprises, Hail Merry Inc., Seven Mile Suites Ltd. (Comfort Suites Grand Cayman) and Wolf Manufacturing, and as a Board Member of Ecologic Brands, Inc., and formerly sat on the boards of giggle, MosquitoNix, Red Mango and Signstorey (CBS Outernet). In addition, he has served in various advisor and board capacities with the Greenhill School, Duke University Annual Fund Executive Committee, Duke University Innovation & Entrepreneurship Board of Advisors, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas and the AFI Dallas International Film Festival. Aaron received his BA in History and Comparative Area Studies from Duke University and his MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. He lives in Dallas with his wife and their three children.
Executive, Friess Associates Inc. (Retired 11/2010)
Growing up in a farming community in upstate New York, Lynn received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin. With her husband, she helped build a family business and raise four children. Names as one of the Outstanding Women of Wilmington, Delaware, for her volunteer work, Lynn continues to work in the fields of arts and education. She has served as Chair of the Board of the National Museum of Wildlife Art, located in Jackson, Wyoming. Taking her love of art and storytelling, she created five award winning children’s books. Current activities include helping on a board to build a K-12 private school in Jackson, Wyoming; a trustee of the National Museum of Wildlife Art; serving as the first elected woman Board Chair of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; collecting art; enjoying her 15 grandchildren; and traveling with her husband.
President, Wolf Conservation Center
New York, New York
Martha Handler spent her early career working as an environmental consultant to the EPA, DOE and numerous private businesses in Washington, DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. In 1999, she and her family relocated to NY where she joined the board of the Wolf Conservation Center located in South Salem, New York. She is currently Board President and is focused on wolf education and reintroduction. In addition, she is a volunteer at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a 900-women, maximum security prison. Martha splits her time between New York City and Westchester and immensely enjoys going on "off the grid" adventures.
Liliane A. Haub
Liliane A. Haub was born in Switzerland, raised in Austria and has been living in the U.S. since 1989. She serves on several boards: Georgetown University, College Board of Advisors to the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences; Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming; and is a Member of the Advisory Board of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Together with her husband, Christian, Liliane served as co-chair of the campaign cabinet of Fast Forward, a subsidiary of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. An avid runner, she finished the NYC marathon several times to raise awareness and funds for the MS Society, and is still very active with the local chapter. She is also on the board of the Elizabeth Haub Foundation for Environmental Law and Diplomacy, USA and Canada, which was founded by the Haub family, who is engaged in its fifth generation of retail business and investments. Since 2015, Liliane has served on the board of American Prairie Reserve, an organization that is creating the largest nature reserve in the continental United States. Liliane has an extensive background and training in art. A passionate art collector of Contemporary and American Western Art, she is a member of the board at the Tacoma Art Museum, Washington state. Liliane and Christian reside in Greenwich, CT, and they have four children. Christian and Liliane are the co-chairs of the Parents Leadership Council at Boston College. They love spending time at their family ranch in Wyoming and are passionate about outdoor activities and open space.
Larchmont, New York
A Larchmont, New York resident since 1986, Karen, is a former PR professional (corporate, consulting and agency), community volunteer and mother of four. Karen has had leadership positions in numerous civic, community, performing arts, religious, educational and athletic activities. Board positions have included: the Emelin Theatre of Performing Arts, Larchmont Avenue Presbyterian Church, Junior League of Westchester on the Sound and Larchmont Temple Religious School Board. Golf, family and friends are her particular passions.
Dallas Civic and Philanthropic Leader
One of Texas’ most influential supporters of the arts, Gene Jones’ Dallas Cowboys Art Collection at AT&T Stadium has been shared with millions of visitors. Housing over 50 museum quality pieces from an international array of artists, it is the focal point for several youth art education programs. In a lifetime dedicated to helping others, Gene has contributed to her community by serving as co-chair of the executive board for the Meadows School for the Arts at Southern Methodist University. She additionally supports artistic efforts in North Texas with membership on the Board of Directors for the AT&T Center for Performing Arts and the Dallas Museum of Art Board of Trustees. Her more than two-decade association with the Salvation Army has included membership into the William Booth Society as well as service on the Army’s National Advisory Board. A member of the Texas Cultural Trust Board, she received the organization’s Individual Art Patron Award in 2013.
Elizabeth Baker Keffer
Managing Director and Chief Network Officer, BDT & Company
Elizabeth Baker Keffer is a Managing Director and Chief Network Officer of BDT & Company. Prior to joining BDT, Elizabeth was President of AtlanticLIVE, the events division of The Atlantic, where she also was Publisher from 2001 to 2007. Prior to joining Atlantic Media, Elizabeth served as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at the Advisory Board Company and Corporate Executive Board. Elizabeth is a board member of Research!America and Ford’s Theatre, and a member of the National Jury for the American Prairie Reserve’s Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. Elizabeth received a BA in English and minor concentration in Human Biology from Brown University.
Author and Historian
Los Angeles, California
Kate Kelly is a writer and publisher of America Comes Alive, a website dedicated to telling little-known stories of America’s past. The site is visited by more than a half-million readers annually. She is author of many books, including Election Day: An American Holiday, An American History as well as a six-volume history of medicine for the college market. About 30 of her other works were collaborations with doctors and business people. She has been an instructor at The New School, NYC, and Osher Institute, UCLA. She is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Civil War Trust. Her former board service includes the national board of the SLE Lupus Foundation, Lupus LA, the Westchester County Historical Society, and the Friends of Smith College Libraries. She was a committee member of the Wildlife Health Sciences Committee, NY Zoological Society. Before moving to L.A, she and her husband were long-time residents of Larchmont, NY. They have three grown daughters.
CEO, National Geographic Partners
District of Columbia
Gary E. Knell is the CEO of National Geographic Partners, National Geographic Society’s for-profit arm that oversees all of National Geographic’s storytelling assets, including television, print and digital, and ancillary operations, which include travel expeditions. A member of National Geographic Society’s Board of Trustees since April 2013, Knell also has served on the Board of Governors of the National Geographic Education Foundation since November 2003. Additionally, Knell is a member of the board of the National Museum of Natural History. Prior to his role at the Society, Knell served as president and CEO of National Public Radio from 2011 to 2013.
His career in media spans more than three decades, including 22 years at Sesame Workshop, where he served as president and CEO for 12 years. Prior to Sesame Workshop, Knell was managing director of Manager Media International, a multimedia publishing company based in Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He also served as senior vice president at WNET/Channel 13 in New York, was counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary and Governmental Affairs Committees in Washington, D.C., and worked in the California State Legislature and Governor’s Office. Knell is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of Heidrick & Struggles, an executive search firm, and Common Sense Media. He is an adviser to the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California and to the Military Child Education Coalition.
Knell has a B.A. in political science from UCLA, where he was editorial director of the UCLA Daily Bruin and a stringer for the Associated Press. He has a J.D. from Loyola University of Los Angeles, where he was recently named a Top 50 Alumni. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Kenyon College in Ohio, Mercy College in New York, and Franklin University in Switzerland. He has been a commencement speaker at the University of Redlands, UCLA, the University of Texas–Austin, and Johns Hopkins University.
Mamaroneck, New York
Jean Lee has been dedicated to building private-public partnerships since graduating from Cornell University and Columbia University. In the past she has worked with various corporations, multi-lateral organizations, governments and NGOs in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. After four years serving as president of an international advisory council at The Tokyo Foundation where she led the development of a scholarship program supporting 69 institutions across 45 countries, Jean’s love for the power and impact of philanthropy turned into a professional career. She has leveraged her experience building business and strategic partnerships in various sectors to help nonprofit organizations. Most recently she led the GENYOUth foundation, created by the National Football League and National Dairy Council, to support the nation’s largest in-school health and wellness program. During her leisure time, she greatly enjoys the theater, golfing, skiing, tennis, shooting, and fly-fishing with her family. Annually her family shares the special experience of a back-country outfitting trip in Montana. Jean serves on the Young Partners Board at The Public Theater, which produced the smash hits A Chorus Line and Hamilton. She is a proud mother and step-mother of two children.
Jacqueline B. Mars
Retired Vice President, Mars, Inc.
The Plains, Virginia
Mrs. Mars is the owner of a working farm that specializes in organic farming and equine training and breeding. David and Karen O’Connor, Olympic Gold, Silver and Bronze Medalists in the sport of three-day eventing, have trained and ridden her competition horses at her two locations in The Plains, Virginia, and Ocala, Florida. Mrs. Mars is the retired Vice President of Mars, Inc., where she was responsible for development of new food products and their marketing strategy. She is a strong supporter of conservation groups concerning land use and the environment as well as an advocate and supporter of women’s education and their employment in the business community. Since 2014, Mrs. Mars has served on the board of American Prairie Reserve, an organization that is creating the largest nature reserve in the continental United States. A passionate promoter of the arts, she is Chairman of the Washington National Opera, a member of the board of trustees of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, as well as Vice Chairman of the National Sporting Library & Museum.
Larchmont, New York
Susan is a philanthropist and devoted volunteer at many organizations. She is a regular, active crew-member and Board Treasurer of her local Volunteer Ambulance Corps and she holds New York State, National Registry EMT and Wilderness EMT certifications. Susan and her husband, George, are also dedicated to aiding first-generation college and graduate students, and have established undergraduate scholarships at the University of Puget Sound and Vanderbilt University, as well as an important fund for fellowships at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Since 2008, Susan has served on the board of American Prairie Reserve, a privately funded organization working to build America’s largest grassland public park. In the fall of 2015, Susan joined the Board of Trustees of the New York Botanical Garden and currently serves on their Budget Committee. Born in Alberta, Canada, Susan moved to New York and earned a BS in Marketing, cum laude, from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and enjoyed a successful 15-year career as a commercial fashion model and spokesperson. Susan and George currently reside in Larchmont, New York, when they are not fly-fishing with their three adult children in Montana.