Millennium Leadership Program Advisory Council Bios
Abernathy Robert J. Abernethy
Chairman, American Standard Development Company
Vice Chairman, Atlantic Council  

Robert J. Abernethy is Chairman of American Standard Development Company and Managing Director of Metropolitan Investments, LLC. Robert received a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from Harvard Business School, certificates in Real Estate and Construction Management from UCLA and was formerly employed by Hughes Aircraft Company.

Robert is a member of the Advisory Council of the School of Advanced International Studies in Washington and Bologna as well as a Trustee of John Hopkins University. He serves as a Vice-Chairman of the Atlantic Council of the United States and is on the executive committee of the Pacific Council on International Policy. He is also a member of the Chairman’s Forum of the Council on Foreign Relations and the US Department of State Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy. Robert is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Brookings Institution and serves on the Boards of Directors of the RAND Center for Global Risk & Security and the New Leaders Council. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for The Truman National Security Project.

Previously, Robert served as Commissioner of the California Transportation Commission, the Los Angeles Telecommunications Commission, and the Los Angeles Planning & Zoning Commission and was Director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metropolitan Water District. He was a Member of the California State Board of Education and of the California Arts Council. He resides in Manhattan Beach.

Hagel Chuck Hagel 
Distinguished Statesman, Atlantic Council

Chuck Hagel is a distinguished statesman for the Atlantic Council. He was the 24th Secretary of Defense, serving from February 2013 to February 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense. Over his tenure, he directed significant steps to modernize America’s partnerships and alliances, advance the rebalance in Asia-Pacific, bolster support for European allies, and enhance defense cooperation in the Middle East while overseeing the end of America’s combat mission in Afghanistan. In addition, he led major initiatives for service members and their families, including increasing resources for suicide prevention, combating sexual assault, and accounting for missing personnel. Further, Secretary Hagel improved partnerships with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, to include health record interoperability, service treatment record transferability, and continuity of mental health services and support. Secretary Hagel launched the Defense Innovation Initiative to better prepare the Pentagon for future threats, and enacted comprehensive reforms to the Nuclear Enterprise and Military Health system.

Hagel served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska. Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. He Chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export, and Trade Promotion Subcommittee; and the Banking Committee’s International Trade and Finance, and Securities Subcommittees. Hagel also served as the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.

Previously, Secretary Hagel was a distinguished professor at Georgetown University, co-chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, chairman of the Atlantic Council, chairman of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Advisory Committee, and co-chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Corporate Council. He served as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board, Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Power, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Board of Directors and Systemic Risk Council; as a senior adviser to Gallup; and on the Advisory Boards of Corsair Capital, Deutsche Bank America, M.I.C. Industries, Bread for the World, Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, Center for the Study of the Presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, George C. Marshall Foundation, Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Global Strategy Forum, Global Zero, Hamilton Project, Initiative for Global Development, Lung Cancer Alliance, International Center for the Study Of Radicalization and Political Violence, National Bureau of Asian Research’s Next Generation Leadership Board, Ploughshares Fund, US Global Leadership Coalition, US Institute of Peace Middle East Senior Working Group, US Middle East Project, America Abroad Media, American Security Project, and The Washington Center.

Prior to his election to the US Senate, Hagel was president of McCarthy & Company, an investment banking firm in Omaha, Nebraska. In the mid-1980s, Hagel cofounded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc., a publicly traded corporation. He was president and CEO of the World USO, Private Sector Council (PSC), and chief operating officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit). Hagel also served as deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Commissioner General of the 1982 World’s Fair.

He is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter and was the subject of a 2006 book by Charlyne Berens entitled, Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward. He is a recipient of the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal (2015), the US Navy Distinguished Public Service Award (2015), the 2014 Intrepid Freedom Award, and the 2014 Award for Distinguished International Leadership from the Atlantic Council, among awards and recognitions from his public service.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have a daughter (Allyn) and son (Ziller).


Aas Kåre R. Aas
Ambassador of Norway to the United States

Ambassador Kåre R. Aas’ distinguished career with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs began in 1983. Aas was accredited as Norway’s Ambassador to the United States on September 17, 2013. Prior to his current position, he served in Oslo as Political Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Preceding his assignment as Political Director, Aas served as Norway’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan from 2008-2010. During his tenure in Afghanistan, Norway focused on education, good governance, rural development and collaboration with civil society. Aas also took part in an informal dialogue between Afghanistan and neighboring countries as part of a broad political settlement.

From 2003 to 2008, Aas served as Director General in the Department for Security Policy and the Arctic. In that capacity, he was responsible for Norwegian security policy and Norway’s strategic cooperation with European and Transatlantic partners, including NATO and Norway’s participation in international operations.

Ambassador Aas was also responsible for Norwegian policy and obligations within the fields of disarmament and non-proliferation, nuclear safety, Norway’s strategic policy regarding the Arctic, and bilateral relations with the USA, Canada, Russia, Eastern Europe, South-Caucasus and Central Asia.

From 2005-2007 he served as Norway’s Governor to the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) Board of Governors.

Furthermore, Aas chaired and was a member of various international groups working on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and international peacekeeping operations. During his career, Aas has also been posted to Chile, Norway’s Permanent Delegation to NATO in Brussels, and the Permanent Mission of Norway to the United Nations in Geneva.


Amend Kurt E. Amend
President, Raytheon International, Inc., Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Kurt Amend is president of Raytheon International, Inc., Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2015 sales of $23 billion and 61,000 employees, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, civil government and cybersecurity solutions. Raytheon is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Prior to joining Raytheon, Amend enjoyed a distinguished 23-year career with the U.S. Department of State, retiring as a member of the Senior Foreign Service in July 2011. From 2010 to 2011 Amend was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, where he provided broad policy oversight for security assistance programs, defense trade matters and political-military relationships with countries around the world. From 2009 to 2011, as the Department of State’s Senior Adviser for Security Negotiations and Agreements, Amend led the U.S. government’s successful negotiation of status of forces, burden-sharing, access and defense cooperation agreements with governments in South America, Europe, East Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.

Amend entered the Foreign Service in 1988. His overseas assignments included tours in Afghanistan, India, Kosovo, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan. In Washington, Amend served on the staffs of the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council. His languages are Arabic, German, Hindi, Russian, Tajiki/Farsi and Urdu. Amend is the author of “Counterinsurgency Principles for the Diplomat,” Orbis, Vol. 54, No. 2 (Spring 2010), pp. 215–231. He is a member of The Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, and Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute.

Before government, Amend practiced corporate and securities law with private law firms in New Jersey. He received a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, and a J.D. from the State University of New York, Buffalo, School of Law.


Falke Kenneth Falke
Founder/Chairman, Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness
Founder/Chairman, EOD Warrior Foundation
CEO, Shoulder 2 Shoulder, Inc

Mr. Falke is a 21-year combat veteran of the U.S. Navy and retired Master Chief Petty Officer. Ken is highly respected around the world as an innovative and forward thinking thought leader on the subjects of wounded warrior care, military and veteran transition, counterterrorism, military training, and innovative technology development.

Under Ken’s entrepreneurial direction and leadership as the Founder of his first company, A-T Solutions, the company is a recognized international expert and valuable global asset in combating the war on terrorism. At the forefront of providing training and consulting services in the Anti- Counter- Terrorism industry today, A-T Solutions was named four consecutive years to the Annual Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. Also recognized in Entrepreneur Magazines’ Hot 500 List, the Washington Technology “Fast 50”, Smart CEO’s “Future 50”, and the winner of the very prestigious Greater Washington Area Government Contractor Award in the category of companies $75M-$100M. In 2010, Ken was named as the Entrepreneur of the Year for th Fredericksburg, Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce and selected as a finalist in the prestigious Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.

Ken is the current CEO of a Shoulder 2 Shoulder Inc., technology and multi-media company, in addition to the chairman and founder of Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness and the EOD Warrior Foundation.

Ken spends the majority of his time educating the public and private sectors on the issues surrounding the long-term care of our returning military personnel and their families from the last fifteen years of war. Ken has recently received the Loudoun County Sheriff and the VFW Post 2760 annual leadership awards. In addition, Boulder Crest Retreat was named the nonprofit and small business of the year for 2015 from the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce. Ken was also a finalist for the Chambers; 2015 entrepreneur of the year. Ken is married to Julia Falke (for the last 33 years) and has two daughters Gennavieve (27) and Rhian (23). Ken’ daughter Genna is married to Brayden Keller, the father of Ken’s precious grandchildren, Troy, Riley, and Cameron.

Prior to Ken’s professional career, he was an avid hockey player and struggling student that barely graduated high school.

6 Gokhan Gundogdu
Chairman, Gundogdu Holding Company and Gundogdu Foundation

Gokhan Gundogdu is a Turkish entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Istanbul, Turkey. He is the founder and Chairman of both Gundogdu Holding Company and the Gundogdu Foundation.

Mr. Gundogdu received the Global Education Award from the International Academic Center of San Rome, Italy in 2012 in recognition of his visionary approach to early years education by creating the International Children’s University Project.

Mr. Gundogdu received his B.A. in Economics and Management from Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY, where he became a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon (International Honor Society in Economics), Sigma Beta Delta (International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration), and All American Scholar (United States Achievement Academy). He graduated from Cukurova University’s Graduate School of Management with an M.B.A. and completed his PhD at the same department.

Mr. Gundogdu is a proud alum of the Atlantic Council’s Young Turkey/Young America program, a State Department-sponsored exchange for exceptional rising leaders. He currently contributes to the Council’s cause as a Millennium Leadership Program “MLP” Advisory Council Member. In addition, he serves at many social and professional clubs such as TESOL International Association, TESEV of Turkey, Black Tulip IKSV, Paul Harris Fellowship Program of Rotary International, Friends of High Line, Ordre Mondial des Gourmet Degustatuers, Istanbul Modern, and La Chaine des Rotisseurs.

Mary Mary L. Howell
Former Executive Vice President, Textron Inc.

Mary L. Howell served as Executive Vice President for Textron Inc., from August 1995 until her retirement in December 2009. For over 15 years she served on the Management Committee of Textron, comprised of the company’s top six executives responsible for the management of the large multi-industry corporation.

Howell joined Textron in 1980 and served as an officer of the corporation for 24 years. Over the past three decades, Howell was a driving force behind major strategic change and growth across Textron’s enterprises worldwide. Her leadership and vision played an integral role in Textron’s transformation from a collection of unrelated businesses to a synergistic, unified global company.

Howell currently serves on the board of directors of FM Global, the world’s largest commercial and industrial property insurance and risk management organization. She also serves as a board member of the Atlantic Council of the United States.

Throughout her career, Howell has been a strong business advocate in support of U.S. Foreign policy objectives and America’s national defense. In 2008, she received the Charles Ruch Semper Fidelis Award for her long-standing commitment to the U.S. Marine Corps and her leadership in various programs that have supported the Marine Corps mission.

Ms. Howell is a native of Massachusetts and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She and her husband, Dr. John Howell, reside in Arlington, Virginia and have four grown children.

7 Jon M. Hunstman, Jr. 
Chairman, Atlantic Council

Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. is chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of No Labels.

He began his career in public service as a staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He has served each of the four US presidents since then in critical roles around the world, including as ambassador to Singapore, deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia, US trade ambassador, and most recently, US ambassador to China. In all three Senate confirmations, he received unanimous votes. Twice elected governor of Utah, Huntsman brought about strong economic reforms, tripled the state’s rainy day fund, and helped bring unemployment rates to historic lows. During his tenure, Utah was named the best managed state in America. Recognized by others for his service, Governor Huntsman was elected as chairman of the Western Governors Association, serving nineteen states throughout the region.

This was a far better result than in his run for the Presidency in 2012 where he ultimately placed third in the New Hampshire primary before bowing out. He currently serves on the boards of Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Corporation, Chevron Corporation, Hilton Worldwide, the US Naval Academy Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he serves as a distinguished fellow at the Brookings Institute, a trustee of the Reagan Presidential Foundation, and chairman of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Governor Huntsman has served as a visiting fellow at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government as well as a distinguished lecturer at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. He was recently inducted into the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Huntsman is the father of seven children, including two adopted daughters from China and India. His two sons, both graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy, are active duty naval officers – the oldest of whom is currently training as a fighter pilot. Huntsman is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and has nine honorary doctoral degrees.

8 Tacan Ildem
Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy, North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Ambassador Tacan Ildem was appointed Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy in March 2016. He advises the Secretary General on public diplomacy issues and directs the Public Diplomacy Division (PDD), which plays a key role in conveying the Alliance’s strategic and political messages to opinion formers and to the public in general. PDD works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences world-wide and to build support for Alliance operations and policies.

Ambassador Ildem is a senior Turkish diplomat. Since the start of his career in 1978, he has held positions involving multilateral and bilateral affairs. Before assuming his current responsibilities, Ambassador Ildem served as Permanent Representative of Turkey to the OSCE in Vienna from 2011 until 2016. During his term in Vienna he performed the duties as the Chairperson of the OSCE Security Committee and as the Coordinator for Conflict Cycle for the Helsinki +40 process.

Previously Ambassador Ildem was Director General for International Security Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in Ankara (2009-2011), Turkey’s Permanent Representative to NATO (2006-2009) and Ambassador of Turkey to the Kingdom of the Netherlands (2003-2006). His earlier assignments include Chief of Cabinet and Principal Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of the Republic of Turkey (2000-2003) when he also acted as the Presidential Spokesperson; Special Advisor to the Undersecretary of the MFA; Head of the NATO and Western European Union Department; Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Turkish Embassy in Athens; Head of the NATO Military Affairs Department at the MFA; Political Counsellor and Spokesperson at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C.; and First Secretary at the Permanent Mission to NATO as well as at the Turkish Embassy in New Delhi.

Through these roles Ambassador Ildem has accumulated extensive experience in the international security domain with particular involvement in transatlantic relations. He has taken part in a number of key NATO initiatives, including the development of the 2010 Strategic Concept.

Ambassador Ildem was born in 1956 and is a graduate of Ankara University Political Science Faculty with a specialisation in international relations.

mcclean donna Donna McLean
President, Jeffrey A. McLean Foundation

Donna McLean is the President of the Jeffrey A. McLean Foundation and a member of the Millennium Advisory Council. Under her leadership, the Jeffrey A. McLean Foundation provides funding for small businesses and non-profit organizations to offer paid internships to students, including three Millennium Leadership Program interns each year.

Donna McLean is the President of the Jeffrey A. McLean Foundation and a member of the Millennium Advisory Council. Under her leadership, the Jeffrey A. McLean Foundation provides funding for small businesses and non-profit organizations to offer paid internships to students, including three Millennium Leadership Program interns each year.

Donna has a wealth of both political and private industry experience. Donna held integral responsibilities in two Congressional campaigns as well as a local judgeship race holding positions of Intern Recruiter and Evaluator, Volunteer Coordinator, Campaign Manager, and Office Manager. She continued to be the Officer Manager, Intern Manager, and Constituent Liaison for the Congressional Representative of the 26th District of New York.

During her tenure in the private sector, Donna held various positions including Officer Manager, Accounts Payable Manager, Payroll Manager, as well as other administrative positions. Donna has an A.S. Degree in Business from Monroe Community College.

Swift Matthew Swift
Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Concordia 

Matthew Swift is the Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Concordia. Since Concordia’s inception in 2011, Matthew and his business partner Nicholas Logothetis have grown Concordia into a reputable and impactful nonpartisan organization providing thought leadership to bridge the private, public and nonprofit sectors. He has also brought together an impressive group of international leaders to serve on the Board of Directors, which is comprised of Heads of State from around the world and top CEOs from multinational corporations.

Matthew’s passion for entrepreneurship and public-private sector partnerships has led to Concordia being recognized as the preeminent global hub for public-private partnerships.

Under Matthew’s leadership, Concordia has hosted six global summits and many practitioner level convenings to elevate the role of public-private partnerships in creating a more prosperous and sustainable future. Matthew catalyzed the development of Concordia’s Partnership Index, a series of online dashboards and research papers, to equip governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations with the analytical tools to effectively evaluate global partnership environments. Most recently, he launched Concordia’s Campaign series, organizing collaborative events and raising public awareness to drive focus and attention around specific global challenges.

Prior to establishing Concordia, Matthew spent six years in the media industry, having held positions within News Corporation and its subsidiaries: Fox News Channel, British Sky Broadcasting, and the New York Post. He has also spent considerable time on Capitol Hill, working for Senator John Warner of Virginia and the Business Roundtable.

Outside of Concordia, Matthew is active in politics, focusing on issue advocacy and the establishment of a mentoring platform for young professionals interested in political involvement. His motivations, both personally and professionally, are in response to issues such as economic opportunity, counter extremism, and environmental stewardship. Matthew is currently an Advisory Council Member of the Millennium Leadership Program at the Atlantic Council and sits on the The McCain Institute for International Leadership Next Generation Leaders’ Advisory Council, as well as the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Public-Private Partnerships (SAP3). Additionally, he sits on the board of the Seleni Institute and the S.H.E. Summit, is a Junior Board Member of HealthCorps, and is a member of the Global Advisory Board of i2Co: School of Transformational Leadership.

Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.