Hai Feng Peng

Hai Peng is a Senior Director at BGR Group where he advises clients on U.S.-China relations. Hai draws on his extensive military and civil service experience, together with his deep understanding of Chinese language, politics, and culture, to advise on global geopolitical and security issues.

Prior to joining BGR Group, Hai served as Deputy Chief – China, Taiwan, Mongolia Division in the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: Joint Staff, J5, DD-Asia. In this position, Hai advised the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) in his role as the senior military advisor to the Secretary of Defense and the U.S. President by providing expert advice, information, analysis, briefings, studies, and reports on China, Taiwan and Indo-Pacific region, both within the country and in a geopolitical context. Before joining the CJCS, Hai worked as a Senior Geopolitical and Military Affairs Specialist in the Strategic Competition Branch under the Department of the Air Force. Hai’s extensive civil service experience also includes three years with the Defense Intelligence Agency at U.S. INDOPACOM.

Hai also has over eighteen years of military service. He joined the United States Army New York National Guard in March 2002 and commissioned as an Army intelligence officer through the Citadel ROTC Program in 2007. He served seven years on active duty in the U.S. Army, including one combat tour in Iraq, and as an intelligence officer in the 82nd Airborne Division and 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne). In 2014, he transitioned to the United States Army Reserves and is currently a Lieutenant Colonel.

Born in China, Hai is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He came to the U.S. at age 17 and lived in Brooklyn, NY.  He is a graduate of Columbia University holding a Master of International Affairs – International Security Policy with a focus on East Asia, and the Citadel, Military College of South Carolina, holding a Bachelor of Arts in History. Hai lives in Alexandria, VA with his wife, Kimberly Lucas.

Scott Eisner

Scott Eisner is a Senior Vice President with BGR’s International and Trade Practice, where he brings expertise in building international business relationships, policy advocacy, and advising global leaders. Prior to joining BGR Group, Scott served as President of the U.S.-Africa Business Center and Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He directed the strategic activities of the USAfBC, engaging with senior-level U.S. government officials, international business leaders, and African governments.

Eisner was also a former member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Trade Advisory Committee on Africa. Before joining the Chamber, Eisner had a diverse career across multiple sectors, including politics, working on Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign and his reelection to the Senate in 2004. He was also director of business development for the Kronk Boxing Gym, home to numerous world champions, including Tommy “The Hitman” Hearns and Lennox Lewis.

In 2019, Eisner was selected to be a Presidential Leadership Scholar. Scott currently serves on the advisory board for George W. Bush Institute,  City Year South Africa, Africa Leadership Academy USA, and  the Woodrow Wilson Center Africa Program Advisory CouncilEisner graduated with a degree in political science from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two daughters.

James Day

James Day serves as Director of Intelligence & Investigations at BGR Group. In this role, James leverages his professional experience and international network to deliver discrete, individualized investigative services across North America and abroad. His robust understanding of industry-leading investigative products uniquely positions James to engineer bespoke intelligence solutions for the firm’s clients.

James joined the BGR Intelligence, Investigation, and Security team with nearly a decade of professional experience in senior-level due diligence investigations and customized research solutions, specializing in corporate/individual backgrounds, international risk assessment, and multi-jurisdictional investigative services. James has provided critical intelligence and litigatory support to Fortune 500 firms in the Legal, Financial, and Due Diligence space, offering unique insight into the operation and compliance requirements of major firms across the industry.

James earned a B.A. in Political Science and American Studies, with a concentration in Constitutional Studies, from Christopher Newport University in Virginia.

David J. Urban

David J. Urban is a Managing Director at BGR Group. He has more than three decades of experience in the military, law, business, politics and public service sectors. David provides strategic advice and counsel to BGR clients throughout the firm.

Prior to joining BGR, David served as Executive Vice President of North American Corporate Affairs for ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok. In this senior role, he worked alongside the company’s top leadership, helping them navigate public policy and communications challenges, as well as advising on Environmental, Social, and Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility issues.

As President of the American Continental Group (ACG) he provided high stakes counsel to key clients including the CEO of Zoom during the early tumultuous days of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CEO of 7-Eleven to help the company adapt to a rapidly changing regulatory environment. 

Before joining ACG, David served as Chief of Staff to the former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania for five years. In this role, David was the Senator’s senior advisor on all legislative, political, media and administrative matters in Pennsylvania and Washington.

David was appointed by former President Donald Trump to serve as the 11th Chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission. He was also appointed by the President to the Board of Visitors (Trustees) for the United States Military Academy at West Point.

A graduate of West Point, David served as an artillery officer in the 101st Airborne Division where he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during Operation Desert Storm. He earned a law degree from Temple University and a Master’s in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed an ESG certification program through the Said School of Business at Oxford University and the Stratfor certification program in geopolitical analysis at the Florida Atlantic University. He served as an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Government. An active member of the Pennsylvania Bar, David is admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

James Mazzio-Manson

James Mazzio-Manson is a Policy Analyst for BGR’s International and Trade Practice and the author of the BGR China Brief. In this role, James provides the research and analysis necessary to aid both domestic and international clients on foreign policy, international trade, sanctions, and export control issues. 

James joined BGR as a research clerk in 2020. Prior to joining BGR, James worked at Racepoint Global, where he supported public relations efforts for international and domestic clients. James’ Hill office experience includes then-Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus Joe Crowley (D-NY) and former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA).

Before pursuing a career in international relations, James worked in documentary filmmaking for 50 Eggs Films. James studied Middle Eastern National Security at Harvard Extension School before earning his bachelor’s in international affairs from Wesleyan University.

Fred Turner

Fred Turner serves as a Principal in BGR’s International Practice where he brings perspective from a long and distinguished career on both sides of Capitol Hill and as Chief of Staff to the U.S. Helsinki Commission. He also provides valuable insights and support to clients in the Commerce and Financial Services practices. Fred was named a 2022 Top Lobbyist by The Hill newspaper.

Prior to joining BGR, Fred served as Chief of Staff to Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In this role, Fred served as the Senator’s top policy and political advisor. A Garden State native, Fred joined Senator Menendez after serving as Chief of Staff at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, frequently known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission. He was jointly appointed to that position by Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) and served for seven years. While there, he advised Commissioners on foreign policy matters and organized and participated in more than two dozen Congressional delegations abroad throughout Europe, Eurasia, the Middle East, and the Maghreb.

Fred served for more than twelve years on the staff of Congressman Hastings, the last seven as Chief of Staff. He also served as an Associate Staff Member of the U.S. House of Representatives Rules Committee, Democratic Staff Director of the Rules Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process, and Democratic Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Subcommittee on Europe. He also served as Legislative Director for Congresswoman Karen McCarthy (D-MO).

Fred is an honors graduate of American University where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in political science. He also served as an Adjunct Professor of Government at American University’s School of Public Affairs. He is the author of The Participation of Members of the U.S. Congress in NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Assemblies (co-authored with Zlatko Sabic). In 2018, the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute honored Fred with the Vermillion Award in recognition of his work to advance the Hispanic Community in the United States.

Douglas Lute

Ambassador Douglas Lute (Lieutenant General, U.S. Army, Retired) is Chair of BGR’s International and Trade and Defense and Critical Technologies Practices and works with the Advisory Services team. Over his long, distinguished career in the U.S. military and as a senior White House advisor and diplomat, Ambassador Lute has built extensive relationships with national security, diplomatic and military leaders in America and around the world.

Ambassador Lute’s familiarity with American foreign policy and today’s policymakers gives him unique insight into Washington’s approach to international security and America’s relationships with its allies and partners.

He served six years in the White House during two administrations, first under President George W. Bush as Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan from 2007 to 2009. He was the senior-most White House official retained by President Obama, serving first as Coordinator for South Asia and then during the second Obama-Biden term as U.S. Ambassador to NATO.

Ambassador Lute graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and is a decorated military officer of 35 years. He was Director of Operations on the Joint Staff overseeing U.S. military operations worldwide. He also was Director of Operations at U.S. Central Command in the Middle East, had several tours as a NATO commander, and served in combat during Operation Desert Storm.

Ambassador Lute earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University in 1983 and then taught in the U.S. Military Academy’s Department of Social Sciences. He is a member of the board of the Atlantic Council, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a charter member of the Senior Military Advisory Group of the United States Institute of Peace, and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Hunter Strupp

Hunter Strupp serves as a Vice President with BGR’s International and Trade Practice where he consults with foreign governments and advises on Congressional relations.  

Prior to joining BGR, Hunter served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, chaired by Representative Ted Yoho (R-FL-3). During that time, he served as lead staff of 23 Congressional hearings and traveled extensively throughout Asia with Members of Congress, Committee staff and foreign officials. 

Hunter also served as Asia Policy Advisor for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA-39), where he focused on India, Bangladesh, the Korean peninsula and Southeast Asia, in particular. He has assisted in drafting several legislative initiatives that have been enacted into law, including sweeping sanctions bills H.R.757, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act and H.R.1644, the KIMs Act. He has also assisted in drafting op-eds and letters to the editor that have been published by the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Diplomat, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Orange County Register, Foreign Affairs and Washington Times, among others. 

Prior to his work on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Hunter served on the staff of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, and as Legislative Aide to Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), where his work focused on foreign policy, defense, trade and energy. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Literature from Colgate University in May 2005.

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.

Mark Tavlarides

Mark Tavlarides is a Principal in the firm’s International Practice.  He is a lifelong Washingtonian who started his career as an intern on Capitol Hill and has accumulated over four decades of experience working in Congress, the Executive Branch and as a lobbyist.  He is bipartisan in his approach to problem solving and achieving a client’s goals.

Mark joined BGR after years of advocating on behalf of nonprofits, sovereign governments and corporations. Mark takes a comprehensive approach to client management but always puts the well-being of clients above politics. He obtained funding for a major malaria program that saved thousands of lives on behalf of a public private partnership and successfully removed language from national security legislation that would have prohibited funding to a strategic partner of the United States.

Prior to joining the private sector, Mark served as director of Legislative Affairs for the National Security Council, where President Bill Clinton tapped Mark’s expertise in leading efforts to generate congressional support for the president’s national security strategy.

Mark joined the White House from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he served in the Legislative Affairs Bureau as the Senior Special Assistant for International Security Affairs. He previously spent 10 years serving on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Organizations. As the subcommittee’s staff director, he worked to improve and strengthen U.S. relations with the United Nations and advanced foreign aid measures. Among his key accomplishments was participating in the enactment of legislation that established the Child Survival Fund, which provides life-saving interventions for children in impoverished areas of the world. Work has taken Mark all over the world, from Central America, Asia to Africa and Europe, travel that has honed Mark’s evolving worldview.

A true D.C. native, Mark was born and raised in the District and attended Washington public schools. He dreamt of being the next Willie Mays, but unfortunately couldn’t hit the curve ball. A lover of music (Earth, Wind and Fire, Rolling Stones) and travel, Mark is also devoted to his church and community. Mark received his Bachelor of Science from Towson State University.