Trip Delegates

George Billard – Team Leader

George Billard is a filmmaker based in New York City. He is President of Do Diligence, a film and television production company that has mounted productions in more than 30 countries, including Mongolia, Japan, Peru, French Polynesia, Australia, Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and Chile’s Easter Island. He is also President of Miracle Media, under which he produced and directed The Well-Seasoned Traveler for the A&E television network.

In the past 10 years, Billard has directed, photographed, and created a library of motion picture imagery that is distributed internationally through Getty Images. In addition, Billard continues to produce corporate communications and advertising. Clients include Panasonic, American General, Toyota, Dannon, Revlon, Warner Brothers, and Sony. He has a B.A. in Broadcast and Film from Boston University. In 2005 he earned an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. For more information, visit his award-winning website,

Patricia Begley

Patricia Begley is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of two related companies, Prizmalite Industries and TioxoClean Inc., both of which are involved in nanotechnologies.

Prior to her current ventures, Begley had more than 20 years of experience in the investment banking industry, as the head of the investment banking department at Sumitomo Bank in New York and as a Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of two private investment banking boutiques. Before that she spent six years at Drexel Burnham Lambert in Corporate Finance. She is a member of the first class of women to graduate from Yale University and holds an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where she was selected as a Wharton Fellow.

Tai-Heng Cheng

Professor Tai-Heng Cheng is Associate Director of the Center for International Law at New York Law School. He is also guest professor at Sarah Lawrence College and Of Counsel to the law firm Engel McCarney & Kenney LLP. In all of these appointments, he addresses complex issues situated at the intersection of public and private international law. He was involved in the Dahbol arbitrations concerning the largest foreign investment in the Republic of India. He has also advised the Prosecutor-General of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor.

Professor Cheng holds a Doctor of the Science of Law degree and a Master of Law degree from Yale Law School, where he was Howard M. Holtzman Fellow for International Law. He also holds a Master of Arts degree and a Law degree with first class honors from Oxford University, at which he was Oxford University Scholar.

Lynn A. Foster

Lynn A. Foster has held senior level positions in financial and civic institutions and has had an enduring commitment to conservation, health care, and education. Recently retired as a research director of an investment management firm, she has also served as an institutional broker, a health care equity analyst, and a consultant to a venture capital firm specializing in health care investments. She is on the Executive Committee of the Board of the World Wildlife Fund and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and chairs the Nominating Committee of the Board of the Population Council. She is a former president of the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York and a former trustee of the Girl Scouts of America.

Foster attended Punahou School in Hawaii and received a B.A. degree in English from Connecticut College and an M.B.A. with honors in Finance and Organizational Behavior from Boston University.

Thomas Gorman

Thomas Gorman is the Program Director at Network 20/20. A graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. in Political Science, Gorman’s academic focus revolved around international affairs, with a particular focus on private security contractors and counter-narcotics policy in the Andean region. He has previously worked as a Research Associate for the Council on Hemispheric Affairs in Washington, D.C., drafting position papers relating to Western Hemispheric issues.

Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Gorman grew up in upstate New York. He has traveled widely in Australia and New Zealand, where he pursued his love of making wine and trekking in the wilderness. He speaks some Spanish and is currently learning Farsi.

Demetri Gounaris

Demetri Gounaris is a lawyer who works for the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations, where he advises on matters of logistics, supply, and contract management. As a product of big New York City law firms, his professional background is in project finance, structured finance, and banking transactions. He has provided pro bono services to the Legal Aid Society, Volunteers for Legal Service, and the St. Ignatius soup kitchen. Gounaris also volunteers as a teacher of English to immigrants and refugees at the International Center in New York.

Gounaris grew up in Greece, the Dominican Republic, and Saudi Arabia and attended Columbia University and Boston College Law School. He speaks French and is currently learning Spanish.

Patricia Huntington

For more than 20 years, Patricia Huntington has advised grant makers in foreign policy, international development programs, and strategic philanthropy. Her clients have included American Express, the Ford Foundation, and the Sumitomo Corporation.

Prior to founding Network 20/20, Dr. Huntington directed a Rockefeller Foundation field research project in 11 countries on four continents. Dr. Huntington reported the results in a position paper, “Landmines and U.S. Leadership: A View from the Field.” She also created an educational CD-ROM on global humanitarian mine clearance entitled “Landmines: Clearing the Way,” which has been disseminated widely throughout the world.

Dr. Huntington is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, Women in International Security, and the Foreign Policy Association’s Off-the-Record Lecture Series. She earned a Summa Cum Laude for her Smith College undergraduate work on British imperialism in Southern Africa, an M.A. in African History from UCLA, and an Ed.D. from Rutgers University.

Glenn Johnston

Glenn Johnston is a director of business research for Kroll and is head of business development for the North America region. Before joining Kroll, he held director-level positions at the law firms of Loeb & Loeb and Covington & Burling.

Earlier in his career, Johnston was a financial journalist and worked in London and New York. He also spent four years as a public affairs officer with the United Nations, where he was assigned to the General Assembly’s Legal Committee and the Security Council. Johnston has a law degree from Trinity College Dublin.

Rahul Manchanda

Prior to beginning his practice, Rahul Manchanda worked for one of the largest law firms in Manhattan, where he focused on asbestos litigation. Previously he worked for a multinational law firm in Paris, where he focused primarily on international arbitration, arbitration agreements, arbitration venue choice, and foreign policy.

At Boston University, Manchanda earned a B.A. in Biology, distinguishing himself in the chemical and biological sciences. He also attended Yale University, where he studied Molecular Cell and Evolutionary Biology.

He is admitted to practice in the highest state and federal courts in New York State and is currently an active member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Phi Alpha Delta International, the Global Interdependence Center, and the Asia Society.

Manchanda is fluent in French, English, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi. He has also studied Russian, Latin, and Hebrew.

Sarah Pfuhl

Sarah Pfuhl is an associate in WilmerHale’s Securities Department. Her practice focuses on regulatory investigations, including conducting independent internal investigations of alleged improper accounting practices for global Fortune 500 companies. Pfuhl’s work has also included analysis of international affirmative action jurisprudence for an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, pro bono representation of asylum clients, and research for the Open Society on international criminal law issues.

Pfuhl earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Duke University and was editor-in-chief of the Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law. In addition, she was an intern at Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, where she focused on international criminal law issues relating to the International Criminal Court Statute. Pfuhl is a member of the New York Bar Association.

Elsie Vance

Elsie Vance is currently an international consultant based in İstanbul and New York. Her clients include leadership educational and cultural institutions in Turkey and in the U.S. for which she provides strategic, marketing and governance services. Vance also serves on the Board of Trustees of Robert College of İstanbul, the American Research Institute in Turkey, İstanbul, and the Leadership Project of Washington, D.C.

Prior to moving to İstanbul, Vance worked from 1987 to 1994 as Vice President of the New York City Partnership, the leading business leadership organization in New York dedicated to promoting the social and economic climate of the city. Prior to that, she worked in leadership positions in the United States Senate from 1970 to 1986.

Vance has a B.A. in History from Vanderbilt University and an M.B.A. from Koç University in İstanbul, Turkey. She is married to Dr. Attila Askar, President of Koç University.

Josee Vrignon-Reboul

Josee Vrignon-Reboul, an attorney, was born in France, where she studied at the Institute for Advanced International Studies and the Center for the European Communities of the Faculty of Law in Paris.

Since moving to the United States in 1975, Vrignon-Reboul received her LLM from New York University and became a member of the New York Bar, working first at the law firm Skadden Arps in New York and then as Assistant General Counsel at Prudential Insurance Company in New Jersey. After full-time motherhood, she became a mediator for a community center.

Fluent in French and English with some conversational skills in Spanish, she travels frequently to France and has kept a residence in Nice.

Christiaan van den Hout

As the son of a Dutch diplomat, Christiaan van den Hout was born and raised till age four in New York. Later he attended the British School in The Hague and returned to New York City for a time before attending boarding school in England. While completing his education at Eton College, he was “house captain” of his boarding house and captained and played in Eton’s varsity teams for soccer, rugby, cricket, tennis, squash, fives, and rackets. Before commencing university, he interned for Senator Ted Kennedy in Washington, D.C., then backpacked through South America, Australasia, and Southeast Asia. He is now in his second year at Edinburgh University, a Politics major, studying History.

Van den Hout is interested in film and art, foreign cultures, and international relations. At Eton College he was a member of the Political Society Committee, and he is currently involved in Edinburgh University’s Political Society. He interned for nine weeks with Network 20/20, contributing to the Appendix of this report.


Network 20/20 Fellows from the Center for International Law at New York Law School

In July, 2006 the Center of International Law and Network 20/20 interviewed more than a dozen candidates, selecting two of them as Network 20/20 Fellows to conduct research on Iran. They are:

Matt Abrams

Matt Abrams is in his third year of studies in law at New York Law School. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in Political Science. He has held internships with Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the Legal Aid Society of New York, and Associate Justice Phyllis Gangel-Jacob of the Appellate Term of the First Department of the New York Supreme Court.

Abrams has worked as a research assistant with Professors Anthony Fletcher and Tai-Heng Cheng, both of New York Law School. After graduation he plans to practice law in New York and eventually to run for public office.

Shahab Ghalambor

Shahab Ghalambor is a third-year law student at New York Law School. A graduate of California State University, San Bernardino with dual bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Finance, his academic interests before law school focused on international relations policy and theory. His primary fields of legal interest are commercial litigation and international law.

Ghalambor was born in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated with his family at the age of four to Southern California, where his family currently resides. He is fluent in conversational Farsi and Spanish. He is recently engaged to Kathryn Poole, a middle school teacher in Manhattan.

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