The Osgood Board

Sheldon L. Ray, Jr,

Chairman, The Osgood Board
Senior Vice President, Investments and Portfolio Manager
Raymond James and Associates, Inc.

Sheldon is a Senior Vice President, Investments and Portfolio Manager at Raymond James and Associates, Inc. in Washington, DC. He and Doug Richards have managed global equity and fixed income portfolios for individuals and institutions for over 14 years. Sheldon's analysis focuses on risk management, corporate governance, global macroeconomics, long-term geopolitical outlook, as well as dividend yields, price-to-earnings ratios and other fundamentals. He studies numerous aspects of China's emergence and assesses their impact on nearly all investment decisions. He conducts his own research and maintains regular contact with senior government officials, economists, diplomats, regulators and journalists. He and Doug also advise non-profits on investment policy statements, long-term financial goals and sustainable giving strategies.

Sheldon began his stock market experience as a young investor (age 14) in the grueling bear market of the early 1970's. He entered into the securities profession with Prudential Securities on 1996, and moved to UBS in 2001. He joined Morgan Stanley in March 2008. Previously, Sheldon worked for 11 years in the real estate investment business. The first five years were spent in Hong Kong in the 1980's, where he advised senior corporate executives on real estate investments and financing. Sheldon's Hong Kong experience was pivotal in developing his global perspective.

Sheldon and Doug currently manage endowments of the 90-year-old Rotary Foundation of Washington, DC, National Capital Presbytery and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He has been active in Rotary for over 20 years, after joining in Hong Kong in 1988. He is currently a board m ember of PAL (People Animals Love), Chairman of the board of the Osgood Center, a member of the Board of Advisors of the SEC Historical Society, treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 100 and a member of Georgetown Presbyterian Church's investment committee.

Sheldon regularly speaks to various groups on China, international financial markets and global corporate governance issues. During Sarbanes/Oxley he advised SEC commissioners on non-US securities regulations and also advised UBS equity analysts on upcoming governance changes. He's been a speaker at Fudan University in Shanghai, University of Chicago Graduate School of Business Alumni in Washington, the National Defense University and the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State.

Sheldon has a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Louisiana State University, and lives in Washington with his wife, Mary Beth, and two children, Betsy and Alex. He is an Eagle Scout.

Jeff Abernathy

President, Alma College

Jeff Abernathy, Alma College's 13th president, arrived on campus in June 2010 with a strong commitment to the values of a liberal arts education. Prior to coming to Alma, Dr. Abernathy served as vice president and dean of Augustana College from 2004-2010, where he helped to found the Midwest Alliance for Learning in the Liberal Arts, a consortium of seven liberal arts colleges committed to collecting, sharing and analyzing data on student learning for the purpose of improving student outcomes. Previously, Dr. Abernathy was vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college at West Virginia Wesleyan College, and associate dean and a faculty member in English at Illinois College.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Abernathy graduated with a bachelor's degree in English from Longwood College. He earned a master's degree in English from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Florida. He is an Eagle Scout.

Nicholas M. Bassey

Division Chief, Frontier Partnerships for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Global Development Lab

Nicholas M. Bassey is Division Chief, Frontier Partnerships for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Global Development Lab (the Lab). This new team strategically fosters the Lab's Center for Transformational Partnerships' "disrupt" portfolio through alliances with non-traditional stakeholders. The team seeks to develop innovative ways to leverage and unlock private sector resources for international development. Prior to this role he led the Research and Innovation Fellowships program, at USAID, which connected Americans with key organizations in developing countries to collaboratively apply science, technology, and innovation to development challenges.

Nicholas served as Director of University Programs for the U.S. Peace Corps, establishing and nurturing relationships with a range of higher education institutions involved in international development. He also served the Peace Corps as Director of Placement where he oversaw the selection of applicants; managed the operations of the Placement Office; assured placement program planning and evaluation; and participated in activities which established the agency's Volunteer recruitment and placement goals.

Prior to the Peace Corps, Nicholas was Director of the Institute for International Public Policy at the UNCF Special Programs Corporation (UNCFSP). Preceding his work at UNCFSP, Nicholas served as Assistant Vice President for Program Development at the Council for Opportunity in Education; Deputy Director of the CDF Freedom Schools program at the Children's Defense Fund; and Assistant Program Manager at the Morehouse College Office of Community Service. He earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Morehouse College and an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from the George Washington University.

Cindy Dyer, Vital Voices

Vice President, Human Rights

Cindy is the Vice President of the Human Rights team and oversees all program and partnerships related to sexual violence, human trafficking and harmful cultural practices. Prior to joining Vital Voices in 2008, Cindy Dyer served as the Director of the United States Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Cindy was nominated to this position by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate. As Director, she served as the liaison between the Department of Justice and Federal, State and International governments on crimes involving violence against women.

Cindy has spoken at numerous conferences and professional training sessions before national and international audiences. She was a specialized domestic and sexual violence prosecutor for 13 years and has received numerous awards and recognition for her service to victims. Cindy served for 10 years as a member of the Public Policy Committee of the Texas Council on Family Violence and she was a weekly hotline volunteer for 9 years at a shelter for battered women and their children.

Bart S. Fisher

Partner, Law Office of Bart S. Fisher

Bart S. Fisher is the Managing Partner of the Law Office of Bart S. Fisher in Washington, D.C., and a member of the District of Columbia bar. From 1972 through April, 1994, he practiced law with Patton Boggs LLP in Washington, D.C., where he was a partner as of January 1, 1978. He has also been a partner at Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn (1994-1995), and Of Counsel with Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur (1996-2001), Bryan Cave (2002) and Dorsey & Whitney (2003-2004).

He attended Harvard Law School (J.D. 1972), The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. and Bologna, Italy (M.A. 1967 and Ph.D. 1970), and Washington University (B.A. 1963). He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Washington University and awarded The Brookings Institution Fellowship in 1968.

Dr. Fisher is Professorial Lecture in American Foreign Policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has also taught international trade and investment at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, George Mason University, and the Elliott School of International Affairs of George Washington University.

He is ex-officio member of the Board of Governors, International Practice Section, Virginia State Bar. He was a participating member of the International Trade Working Group of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.

He is Chairman of the Give Life Foundation, on the Board of Directors of The Marrow Foundation, and Vice-Chairman of The Institute at Biltmore. He has served as President of the Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, which he founded in 1983.

Jennifer Hara

Director, PPP Services, Institute for Public/Private Partnerships (IP3), A Tetra Tech Company

Jennifer has over fifteen years of experience in the private sector, focusing on government contracts, public relations and communications. Jennifer has an intimate knowledge of innovative financing programs of the US federal government, and of political decision making, international project finance, economic and strategic planning. She has served as President of the prestigious Washington, DC Rotary Club and is now an Assistant/Area Governor for Rotary's District 7620, which encompasses the District of Columbia, Southern Maryland and the panhandle. She has a Master of Arts in International Economics from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Politics from Seattle University. Jennifer is also fluent in Spanish.

Sarah Hillware

Founder, Girls Health Ed and Sr. Consultant, World Bank Group

Sarah Hillware is a social entrepreneur and global communications strategist. She has spent her career designing, implementing and managing effective public affairs and behavior change campaigns with measurable public health, gender equality, educational and environmental outcomes. She currently consults the World Bank on external communications and corporate engagement for an international, multi-sectoral program. In addition to the broader program activities, she also works with task teams to implement behavior change communication at the country level.

Sarah has an academic background in international affairs, global health and entrepreneurship and has held positions in international organizations, NGOs and private sector media and marketing companies. Prior to working for two major United Nations agencies, she supported the execution of two major campaigns for the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Foundation.

In 2012, she founded Girls Health Ed, a nonprofit health education program for low-income girls and young women ages 8-17 throughout the United States and Kenya. The organization has since hired employees to manage day-to-day operations, but Sarah continues to advise the organization on strategic initiatives.

Charles E. Morrison

President, East-West Center

Charles E. Morrison is a distinguished senior fellow with the East-West Center, having previously served as president from 1998 through 2016. He has had extensive involvement in the conceptualization, organization and funding of policy-oriented educational research and dialogue projects involving U.S.-Asia-Pacific relations. From 2005 to 2012, he served as international chair of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). He is a past chair of the U.S. National Consortium of APEC Study Centers. He is a former U.S. Senate legislative assistant, and has served as a research adviser to two binational Japan-U.S. commissions. Among his other projects, he currently co-directs the Small Business and Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative at the East-West Center.

He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and has an honorary degree from the University of the Ryukyus. Recent publications have been on Asian international relations, ASEAN, and APEC.

Haleh Vaziri

Founder, Vaziri Research Management Consultancy

Haleh Vaziri is the founder of VRMC (Vaziri Research Management Consultancy), established in 2010. Her motto is "Asking the right questions, offering you insights for action." She advises a diverse clientele on issues of democratization, human rights, media markets and public diplomacy vis-a-vis the research management process and proposal preparation, survey questionnaire design, analytic writing, presentations, conference planning and curriculum development. Her clients have included Edison Research, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Women's Learning Partnership for Rights, Development and Peace.

Prior to striking out on her own, Haleh worked for over a decade at the InterMedia Survey Institute as the Regional Research Manager for the Middle East and North Africa, implementing audience and public opinion studies for clients seeking to reach media consumers in the MENA. She has supervised and trained qualitative and quantitative research teams in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. She was additionally responsible for studies conducted in Afghanistan, Algeria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, adapting market research methodologies to the needs of difficult-to-access populations.

Haleh holds a PhD in international relations from Georgetown University and was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She has authored numerous articles and conference papers, concentrating in large part on Iranian politics. She has co-authored four human rights education guide books, among them, Victories over Violence: Ensuring Safety for Women and Girls, A Practitioner's Manual (2012). A strong believer in volunteerism, Haleh is a member of the Washington, DC Rotary Club and has served as its Secretary and Ombudswoman.

Gregory M. Williams

Partner, Wiley Rein, LLP

Mr. Williams joined Wiley Rein in 2013. His prior legal experience includes being a partner in Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and an associate at Covington & Burling LLP. His diverse experience includes handling significant commercial litigation, patent infringement suits, international arbitrations and anti-corruption matters.

Mr. Williams has served as lead or co-lead in litigation matters involving patent infringement, administrative law, contractual disputes, securities actions, insurance coverage and toxic tort. His Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) experience runs the gamut, including managing international internal investigations, conducting due diligence on international agents, joint venture partners and other third parties, and designing corporate anti-corruption policies, practices and training programs.

Mr. Williams received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was editor of the Virginia Law Review. He also holds an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. from Austin College. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jacques L. Wiener of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.


The nonprofit Vital Voices Global Partnership grew out of the U.S. government's successful Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. The Vital Voices Democracy Initiative was established in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy goal.

Under the leadership of the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative, the U.S. government, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the European Union and other governments coordinated Vital Voices conferences throughout the world, bringing together thousands of emerging women leaders from over 80 countries. These conferences launched regional Vital Voices initiatives that continue to give women the skills and resources they need to lift up themselves, their communities and their countries.

The overwhelmingly positive response to the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative led to the creation of Vital Voices Global Partnership as a nonprofit non-governmental organization (NGO) in June 2000. Vital Voices is now continuing the work of advancing women's economic, political and social status around the world, by providing skills, networking and other support to women around the world, whether they are working to increase women's political participation in Latin America or to promote women's entrepreneurship in the Middle East.

Senior Advisory Board

Retired Osgood Board Members and some other distinguished persons are eligible for Board election to a non-voting advisory Board that allows the Board and staff to benefit from their wisdom and support. The inaugural Advisory Board Members are:

Bruce Ellsworth

Foreign Commercial Service Officer in the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce

Bruce’s responsibilities cover the promotion of foreign direct investment to the U.S. from China, the Nordic countries, and Russia, the Ukraine and Eurasia. Until 2016, Bruce served as the Head of Market Access, Patient Advocacy and Public Affairs and as a member of the senior management team of Shire Pharmaceutical in Japan. Bruce also served as Senior Director of Corporate Government Affairs & Policy for the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies in Japan. Earlier in his career, Bruce served as Director of Corporate Affairs and Director of the Office of the President for Hartford Life Insurance K.K., the Japan operations of the Hartford Financial Services Group. Bruce has also served in leadership roles in a variety of industry associations, including twice as an elected member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Bruce has a Master of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University in Washington, DC and spent two years as a Research Scholar at Waseda University’s Graduate School of Political Science in Tokyo. He received his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Austin College in Texas.

Denise Fate

Formerly of Volkswagen

As an executive with Volkswagen of America and Audi of America, Mrs. Fate distinguished herself over a span of 32 years with a variety of international experience. In addition to assignments at VW world headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, 1987-88, and Volkswagen Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong 1994-97, Mrs. Fate also worked on or led global, cross-functional project teams in Puebla, Mexico, and Curitiba, Brazil. This work gave her a unique perspective on the global operations of a major world automotive company. In addition to finance and controlling responsibilities, a key area of focus was supply chain management.

As General Manager of the Audi Academy in the US for many years, her team was regarded for providing progressive training and innovative HR tools to the Audi dealer network in the US and Canada. These had the impact of elevating the professionalism of the dealer staffs.

Mrs. Fate is currently retired and very active in leadership roles in a variety of non-profit organizations. She has been the President of the Charlevoix Historical Society in Charlevoix, Michigan, where she makes her home, for several years.

Mrs. Fate is a 1976 graduate of Austin College, having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. She also holds a MBA in International Business from the University of Dallas.

She joined the Osgood Board in 2009.

Les Janka

Associate Director, George C. Marshall International Center

In June, 2010, Les Janka was appointed President, Saudi Arabia, for Quincy International after serving from 2007 as President of Raytheon Arabian Systems Company and Vice President, Network Centric Systems Operations, based in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Mr. Janka distinguished himself as an international affairs expert during a 30-year career as a consultant, business executive and multiple assignments in the U.S. government including high level tours on the National Security Council Staff and at the Department of Defense. 

In the government sector, Mr. Janka served in the White House under three Presidents: as Special Assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger, Senior Staff Member on the NSC under President Ford and a member of President Nixon’s delegation to Saudi Arabia in 1974. As Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Near Eastern and African Affairs, he oversaw several major arms sales to Saudi Arabia including that of the F-15. He later returned to the White House as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

In the private sector, Mr. Janka led the Middle East and Africa government relations and trade advisory practice as executive vice president of one of Washington’s premier foreign policy lobbying and public affairs firms. As an international consultant, he has advised major U.S. and European companies resulting in sales of their military, telecommunications and commercial applications in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Janka’s distinguished public service is also represented by his serving as Vice President of the National Council for US-Arab Relations, as Founder Chairman of the Council for American-Saudi Dialogue, as Chairman of the Board of American Near East Refugee Aid, and as a frequent lecturer and author on the Washington political scene, Middle East affairs and the formulation of US national security policy.

A native of California, he received his BA degree in economics from the University of Redlands and his MA degree in international economics and Middle East studies from the School of Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University. 

Tim Kennedy

Chaplain, Washington Episcopal School, Bethesda, MD

Tim Kennedy is a homeland security policy expert with over a dozen years of experience on Capitol Hill, at the White House, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and in the private sector.

On Capitol Hill, he worked for U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry (TX-13) and Speaker of the House Denny Hastert. Kennedy directed operations for the Speaker's Deputy Chief of Staff and the Speaker's Counsel/Floor Director and helped to coordinate policy issues, communications, special events, scheduling, and operations. He also focused on Legislative Branch Continuity of Government, Continuity of Operations, and emergency preparedness issues. He worked on the 2005 Presidential Inauguration, the 2004-2006 State of the Union Addresses, the Lying in Honor of Rosa Parks, the Lying in State of President Reagan, and the Lying in State of President Ford. He also assisted Speaker Hastert in editing his 2004 book, Speaker: Lessons from 40 Years in Coaching and Politics. Kennedy served as an Official Proceedings assistant when Hastert served as Permanent Chairman of the 2004 Republican National Convention. When Republicans lost the House majority in 2007, Kennedy accepted a transition position with then Republican Leader John Boehner, assisted the new Democratic majority as they assumed power for the first time since 1994, helped coordinate Speaker Hastert's transition, and oversaw the archiving of Speaker Hastert's official papers and memorabilia.

At the White House, Kennedy served as a Policy Director on the Homeland Security Council where he focused on emergency planning, Enduring Constitutional Government, Continuity of Government, and Continuity of Operations issues. He was the White House lead for writing and implementing the President's National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan pursuant to National Security Presidential Directive 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20.

At DHS, Kennedy was Associate Director for Strategic Planning in the Office of Legislative Affairs (OLA) where he served as a liaison to Capitol Hill on the first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review and other special projects. He was OLA's liaison to other DHS entities, including the Office of Public Affairs and the Strategic Planning Team, the Chief Financial Officer and appropriations staff, the Office of Policy, the Secretary's official travel staff, and the Transition Team. He assisted in efforts to ensure the new Administration would have a successful transition and wrote OLA's Transition Plan for the Senate confirmation of new political appointees.

In the private sector, Kennedy served as a Senior Consultant with Lockstep Consulting, supporting the DHS Business Continuity and Emergency Preparedness mission. In this role, he directly supported the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security in fulfilling their Continuity of Government and Continuity of Operations responsibilities.

Kennedy graduated with a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, and currently serves as the Chaplain and religion teacher at Washington Episcopal School in Bethesda, MD.

Kennedy is a 1998 cum laude graduate of Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he earned degrees in Political Science and Religion, served as Student Body President, and was a member of multiple award winning Model United Nations teams. Austin College awarded Kennedy its 2006 Heywood C. Clemons Volunteer Service Award for his efforts on behalf of the College. He earned a master's degree in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University and a Certificate in Government Executive Leadership from Georgetown University. He is a Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive in National and International Security Studies. Kennedy was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, which he still considers home.

Sally Shelton-Colby

Ambassador, and Diplomat in Residence at American University

Ambassador Sally Shelton-Colby has held a number of senior positions in the public, corporate and non-profit sectors as well as in international organizations. She has been Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France; Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Global Programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Ambassador to Grenada, Barbados and several other Eastern Caribbean nations; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Legislative Assistant for Foreign Policy to then-Senator (later Secretary of the Treasury) Lloyd Bentsen. Most recently she developed and ran a transparency and accountability project for USAID and the Government of Mexico in Mexico City. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

She was a Vice President of Bankers Trust Co. in New York City where she was responsible for managing the bank's political risk in developing countries during the third world debt crisis of the 1980s. She also served on the Boards of Directors of Valero Energy Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and the world's largest oil and gas pipeline company, and the Baring Puma Fund, a closed-ended fund traded on the London Stock exchange and engaged in acquiring emerging market equities.

Ms. Shelton-Colby has served on a number of non-profit Boards of Directors, including Helen Keller International, Helen Keller International Europe (where she was also president), the National Endowment for Democracy, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Atlantic Council of the U.S., the Center for International Environmental Law, the American Committee for Aid to Poland, the American Hospital of Paris, and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation, among others.

She was one of the founders and first Chairman of the Board of Directors of UNAIDS, a U.N. entity which coordinates the HIV-AIDS prevention programs of the World Bank, the WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, and UNFPA. She served on two White House Commissions: the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission (Russia), where she was Vice Chair of the Committee on Health and the Committee on Agriculture, and the Gore-Mubarak (Egypt) Commission where she was Co-Chair of the Committee on Education.

Bonnie Wilson

Former Dean of Students, SAIS
homeBonnie Wilson served as a SAIS dean overseeing student issues from 1995 to 2013 "the longest serving dean in the history of the school."  As Associate Dean for Student Affairs she supervised the Offices of Admissions, Financial Aid, International Student and Scholar Services, Student Advising, Student Life, the Registrar, and Career Services.  As Assistant Dean for Student Life she was responsible for overseeing all aspects of the student experience at SAIS.  She was also the liaison for the Bologna Center in Washington.  She has served on the Bologna Committee, Technology Committee, Ph.D. Committee, Budget Committee, and Admissions Committee.  She has also served on the Johns Hopkins University Diversity Leadership Council, the Committee on Campus Violence, and the Student Affairs Coordinating Committee. 

Dr. Wilson received her Bachelor’s Degree from the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University, where she graduated Valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa.  She received her M.A. Degree and Ph.D. from SAIS, attending both the Bologna and the DC campuses.  Prior to her appointment as Associate Dean, Dr. Wilson was active in the field of international affairs as a counselor, instructor, and research scholar at the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, the J.W. Rouse Company, the Fund for Fine Arts, and Johns Hopkins University.