Briget Polichene

Briget Polichene serves on BGR’s Advisory Board and focuses on financial services issues. She is the former CEO of the Institute of International Bankers (IIB), a trade association that represents internationally-headquartered financial institutions that engage in banking and securities activities in the United States.

In addition to her position at IIB, Briget’s private sector roles have included senior advocacy and regulatory affairs roles with MetLife and Citigroup, Director with Promontory, financial Group and of counsel and associate positions at nationally-recognized law firms. Prior to joining the IIB in 2018, Briget was Vice President and Head of Federal Government Relations at MetLife, where she developed and executed MetLife’s federal advocacy strategy. Briget was previously at Promontory Financial Group, advising clients on regulatory compliance and risk management. She joined Promontory from Citigroup, where she was a Managing Director and General Counsel of State and Local Government Relations. Briget also served as General Counsel to the House Banking Committee (now the House Financial Services Committee), as the General Counsel of the Indiana Department of Insurance, and as a governor-appointed member of the Indiana Department of Financial Institutions Board, which is charged with policy making for state-chartered financial institutions.

Briget received her J.D. with honors from Duke University and a B.A. in economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak serves as a senior advisor to BGR. Prime Minister Barak possesses unique vast knowledge and experience regarding political, technology, security, defense, and international affairs, among other issues. Following a career in the Israel Defense Forces, where he was the most decorated soldier in Israeli history and served as Chief of General Staff, Mr. Barak entered politics and served Israel in several capacities, including Prime Minister and Minister of Defense.

As Israel’s 10th Prime Minister, Mr. Barak led the country out of a prolonged recession and into an economic boom, with high annual growth and foreign investments, near zero inflation, a halved deficit and significantly decreased external debt. However, the core of Mr. Barak’s government’s effort was devoted to the peace process. In May 2000, Prime Minister Barak ordered the withdrawal of the IDF from South Lebanon, ending 18 years of Israel’s presence there. He led far-reaching efforts to negotiate peace agreements, first with Syria and later with the Palestinian Authority, with the active participation of President Bill Clinton and his administration. Regrettably, these negotiations did not result in the breakthroughs necessary to conclude final agreements.

Mr. Barak was bestowed the U.S. Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award in 2012 by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. The same year, Foreign Policy magazine named him 13th among its 100 Global Thinkers. He is a graduate in physics, mathematics and economics from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Stanford University.

Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D.

Deborah L. Birx, M.D., has spent her first career serving the United States, as an Army Colonel and later, running some of the most high-profile and influential programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State. Most recently, Dr. Birx served as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, where she made recommendations to the Vice President using complex data integration to drive decision-making, as well as worked closely with state officials across the country to provide state-specific advice and guidance. In 2014, Dr. Birx became an Ambassador-at-Large, when she assumed the role of the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. Dr. Birx is a world-renowned medical expert and leader whose long career has focused on clinical and basic immunology, infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, she oversaw the spending of the $6 billion annual budget of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

She is dedicated to program improvement and change management to increase the health impact of every dollar spent; she has spent a lifetime mentoring young women in the Federal Government and translating science into effective implementation.

In 1985, Dr. Birx began her career with the Department of Defense (DoD) as a military-trained clinician in immunology, focusing on HIV/AIDS vaccine research. Through her professionalism and leadership in the field, she progressed to serve as the Director of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP) at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1996-2005. Dr. Birx lead one of the most influential HIV vaccine trials in history (known as RV 144 or the Thai trial), which provided the first supporting evidence of any vaccine’s potential effectiveness in preventing HIV infection. During this time, she also rose to the rank of Colonel, bringing together the Navy, Army, and Air Force in a new model of cooperation – increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. Military’s HIV/AIDS efforts through inter-and intra-agency collaboration. Then known as Colonel Birx, she was awarded two prestigious U.S. Meritorious Service Medals and the Legion of Merit Award for her groundbreaking research, leadership and management skills during her tenure at the DoD.

From 2005-2014, Dr. Birx served successfully as the Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA) in the CDC Center for Global Health, where she utilized her leadership qualities, superior technical skills, and infectious passion to achieve tremendous public health impact. As DGHA Director, she led the implementation of CDC’s PEPFAR programs around the world and managed an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion. Dr. Birx was responsible for all of the agency’s global HIV/AIDS activities, including providing oversight to more than 1900 staff, and more than 50 country and regional offices in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, and Latin America. Recognized for her distinguished and dedicated commitment to building local capacity and strengthening quality laboratory health services and systems in Africa, in 2011, Dr. Birx received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. In 2014, CDC honored her leadership in advancing the agency’s HIV/AIDS response with the highly prestigious William C. Watson, Jr. Medal of Excellence.

Dr. Birx has published over 230 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, authored nearly a dozen chapters in scientific publications, as well as developed and patented vaccines. She received her medical degree from the Hershey School of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, and beginning in 1980 she trained in internal medicine and basic and clinical immunology at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Birx is board certified in internal medicine, allergy and immunology, and diagnostic and clinical laboratory immunology.

Admiral Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.)

Admiral Gary Roughead, USN (Ret.) is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy whose naval career culminated in serving as the Chief of Naval Operations, the senior officer in the U.S. Navy. In that role he was a member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his career, he held six operational commands and is one of only two officers in the history of the Navy to have commanded both the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

Ashore, he served as the U.S. Naval Academy Commandant where he led the strategic planning effort that underpinned the Academy’s first capital campaign. He was the Navy’s Chief of Legislative Affairs responsible for the Department of the Navy’s interaction with Congress. Admiral Roughead was the Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command during the massive relief effort following the 2004 tsunami in South and Southeast Asia.

Admiral Roughead serves on the boards of directors of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, Maersk Line, Limited and the Marinette Marine Corporation. He is a trustee of Dodge and Cox Funds, a trustee of the Johns Hopkins University and serves on the board of managers of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

In addition to his board responsibilities, he is the Robert and Marion Oster Distinguished Military Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He advises companies in the defense and medical sectors, and at the University of Haifa Maritime Center. He recently co-chaired a Congressionally appointed commission that reviewed the current administration’s National Defense Strategy and he remains active in non-governmental policy discussions with China, Japan, Canada and Mexico.

Heather Nauert

Heather Nauert is a member of BGR Group’s Advisory Board. Heather serves as a senior advisor to corporations, think tanks and foundations. Nauert advises Fortune 500 companies, reporting to CEOs and boards of directors, providing leaders with strategic communications guidance, including creating media campaigns to achieve clients’ unique goals.

Nauert previously served in a senior role at the U.S. Department of State. As the acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2018 to 2019, and as Spokesperson from 2017 to 2019, she articulated U.S. foreign policy and coordinated public messaging for the 75,000-person Department, its leadership, and nearly 300 U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide. She also helped plan, execute and manage messaging on all overseas trips led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

As acting Under Secretary, Nauert was the fourth-ranking official at State, overseeing nearly 1,000 staff and a $1.2 billion dollar budget. She was the Department’s highest-ranking woman while simultaneously serving as Department Spokesperson. She also served on the board of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, formerly known as the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which administers U.S. taxpayer-funded television and radio networks, including Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Asia, Radio Free Liberty, Cuba Broadcasting and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

Nauert provided strategic counsel to Secretary Pompeo during five meetings with North Korean officials, including Chairman Kim Jong Un, and was part of a select U.S. delegation that brought three American prisoners home from North Korea in 2018.

Nauert was an effective advocate for the administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy, making the case that all nations must protect their sovereignty from economic coercion by other countries, particularly China. 

Before serving in government, Nauert spent nearly 20 years as an anchor and news correspondent at Fox News and ABC News, where she covered many of the world’s most consequential stories, including the September 11 terror attacks, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and genocide in Darfur, Sudan.

Nauert was born in Rockford, Ill., and spent much of her childhood in Wisconsin. She has an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University and received her B.A. from Mount Vernon College. She currently serves on the advisory board of Warriors and Quiet Waters, a Montana-based veterans service organization. She previously served on the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and as a White House Fellows Commissioner. She lives in New York.

Ed Mathias

Edward J. Mathias is a member of BGR’s Advisory Board and a Senior Advisor with The Carlyle Group.

Prior to joining Carlyle in January 1994, Mr. Mathias was a long-time member of the Management Committee and Board of Directors at T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., a major investment management organization. He was instrumental in the founding of The Carlyle Group and assisted in raising the firm’s initial capital. Mr. Mathias serves as an advisor to senior management and is a member of the Investment Committees for Carlyle Growth, Asia Growth, European Technology, and Sub-Saharan Africa Funds. Additionally, he is actively involved with Carlyle’s broad-based investment strategy and serves in an advisory role for the firm’s Global Credit Funds.

Mr. Mathias holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania where he currently serves as a Trustee Emeritus. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, The Council on Foreign Relations, and The Trustees’ Council at The National Gallery of Art.

Daniel Hoffman

Daniel Hoffman is an advisory board member at BGR. He is a former Senior Executive Clandestine Service Officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. His combined 30 years of distinguished government service included high-level positions not only within the CIA, but also with the U.S. military, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Commerce.

A three time Chief of Station, Daniel’s assignments included tours of duty in the former Soviet Union, Europe, and war zones in both the Middle East and South Asia. Hoffman developed extensive, substantive expertise on geopolitical and transnational issues related to the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, counterterrorism, and cyber and counter-intelligence.

Now in the private sector, Daniel remains highly regarded for his policy experience and his work with foreign officials in the regions where he served.

He has been a Fox News contributor since April 2018, and serves on the advisory board of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.

John McIntyre

John McIntyre is the CEO of RealClearPolitics (RCP) and serves as Chair of BGR’s Advisory Board. Founded in 2000 by two news junkies from their Chicago apartment, RealClearPolitics grew out of a passion for combing the internet for the most interesting political stories of the day. Tom Bevan and John McIntyre wanted a site that contained the most pivotal information on the day’s need-to-know issues. It wasn’t long before they discovered they weren’t the only ones with this desire. Today, RealClearPolitics has grown from an intelligent aggregator into a comprehensive media company – RealClear Media Group (RCMG) – encompassing 14 specialty areas of coverage, original reporting from our staff of seasoned reporters, the well-known RCP Poll Average, and original video.

One of RealClearPolitic’s most notable features, the RCP Poll Average, changed the way people talk about public opinion surveys during the election cycle. The most cited source for U.S. political polling information, the RCP Poll Average provides everyone from political experts and campaign consultants to amateur political junkies a more accurate read on the status of the election. The accuracy of the RCP Poll Average is unmatched and trusted for use in Bloomberg terminals and campaign communication documents, as well as being widely cited by hundreds of news organizations including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, FOX News, CNN, USA Today, and MSNBC.

RCP is the trusted, go-to source for news that matters. RCP readers rely on RCMG for the most comprehensive information and storytelling, keeping them one step ahead of the curve. Through curation, original reporting, multimedia and events, our platform provides in-depth insight representing all sides of the issue each day.

Ambassador Kurt Volker

Ambassador Kurt Volker provides strategic advice to BGR on a full range of international issues and serves as a member of BGR’s advisory board. Drawing on over 35 years of experience in a variety of government, academic and private sector capacities, Ambassador Volker helps BGR clients develop and execute strategies to achieve success in key foreign markets, and to navigate the complex business, government, think tank, media and public policy environment in Washington.

A former career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, he worked in official capacities for over 25 years under six presidential administrations. He served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations from 2017-2019, and U.S. Ambassador to NATO in 2008-2009.  He was Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs for an extended period in 2008.  Other Foreign Service assignments include working with Senator John McCain and the Secretary General of NATO.

From 2012-2019, Ambassador Volker was the founding Executive Director of The McCain Institute for International Leadership, a part of Arizona State University based in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Volker contributes regularly to public policy debates, with columns published at the Center for European Policy Analysis, and frequent appearances on BBC, Fox News, CNN, Newsmax, Newsnation, and Sky News.  His articles are published in such publications as the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, La Repubblica, Tagesspiegel, the Kyiv Post, EU Observer, and the American Interest, among others.

Ambassador Volker has a B.A. from Temple University and an M.A. in International Relations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He has studied in Sweden and France and speaks Hungarian, Swedish, French, some Spanish, and is learning Georgian.

He is available for speaking engagements through Chartwell Speakers, LTD.

Congressman Sean Duffy

Congressman Sean Duffy serves on BGR Group’s Advisory Board, where he advises on every aspect of banking, housing, and capital markets to ensure clients accomplish their goals through the best strategies and messaging.

Sean served in the House of Representatives from 2010 until his resignation in 2019. In the House, Sean served on the Committee on Financial Services which has jurisdiction over Capital Markets, Banking, International Monetary Policy, Consumer Protection, the Credit industry, Insurance, Financial Institutions and Housing. He also served on the House Budget Committee. As a result, his expertise is frequently featured on CNN in his role as a political analyst for the network.

Sean is known as a reformer dedicated to defending free enterprise and maintaining America’s enviable status as the global leader in business and financial services. He worked tirelessly to save America’s community banks, the lifeblood of small towns and families like the ones he represented in his sprawling, rural congressional district. 

Sean was a lead sponsor of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA). He sponsored the Small Cap Liquidity Reform Act to increase liquidity for emerging growth companies, including biotech innovators. Following the 2018 elections, he served as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development, and Insurance. He worked closely with HUD Secretary Ben Carson to expose corruption and unsafe conditions in public housing and make government housing policies more effective. This included his bill to make housing vouchers portable so low-income tenants can move closer to jobs and better opportunities for their families.

Prior to his service in the Congress, Sean earned his J.D. and worked in private practice until he was appointed as Special Prosecutor to Ashland County, Wisconsin in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he was elected and served 8 years as District Attorney of Ashland County. Together with local law enforcement, Sean facilitated the investigation and prosecution of child internet sex crimes in the state of Wisconsin.

Prior to his political career, Sean was an accomplished professional lumberjack athlete who put himself through law school doing exhibitions and competitions in lumberjack sports. He earned three world champion titles in the speed climb and provided color commentary on the sport for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games. He lives in Wausau, Wisconsin with his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy and their nine children.