2015 Past Presenters

Lamar Alexander United States Senator for Tennessee Keynote Address Tuesday, March 3 , 12:30 1:00 pm

Lamar Alexander was born in Maryville, the son of a kindergarten teacher and an elementary school principal. He is a seventh-generation Tennessean.

He is the only Tennessean ever popularly elected both governor and U.S. Senator. He has been U.S. Education Secretary and University of Tennessee president. He chaired the National Governors Association and President Reagan's Commission on Americans Outdoors.

When first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2002, Alexander had spent more adult years in the private sector than in public life. In 1972 he co-founded a Nashville law firm. In 1987 he and his wife and three others, including Bob Keeshan, television's Captain Kangaroo, founded Corporate Child Care, Inc. The company became publicly traded in 1997 (NASDAQ) and later merged with Bright Horizons, Inc., creating the world's largest provider of worksite daycare.

Three times between 2007 and 2012, his colleagues elected Sen. Alexander Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference - the third-ranking Republican position in the United States Senate. In January 2015, Alexander was elected by his fellow committee members to serve as the Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee where he has said his top priorities will be to fix No Child Left Behind, deregulate and reauthorize the Higher Education act, and modernize the Food and Drug Administration so that we can bring more cures and medical devices to market fast and cheaper. Alexander will also serve as the Chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees energy and water appropriations. His priorities will include unleashing nuclear power and other sources of the cheap, clean, reliable energy America needs, supporting government-sponsored research that leads to innovation and jobs in our free enterprise system and controlling the costs of big government construction projects in Tennessee and across the country. He will also continue to support our nation's harbors and inland waterways. Alexander was reelected to a third term in the U.S. Senator in November 2014. In his campaign for governor, Alexander walked 1,000 miles across Tennessee in his now-famous red and black plaid shirt. Once elected, he helped Tennessee become the third largest auto producer, the state with the top-rated four-lane highway system and the first state to pay teachers more for teaching well. He started Tennessee's Governor's Schools for outstanding students. When he left the governor's office, the state had a Triple AAA bond rating, fewer employees and no long-term highway debt.

He is a classical and country pianist and the author of seven books, including Six Months Off, the story of his family's life in Australia after he was governor.

Lamar Alexander and Honey Buhler were married in 1969. They have four children and seven grandchildren, and a dog named Rufus. He is a Presbyterian elder.

Jamie Merisotis President and CEO Lumina Foundation Opening Keynote Monday, March 2 , 2:15 3:00 pm

Jamie P. Merisotis is president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, the nation's largest private foundation committed solely to enrolling and graduating more students from college. Merisotis leads the Foundation's $1.3 billion endowment and oversees all staff and strategic decisionmaking.

Long a champion of the idea that higher education enhances both society and individuals, Merisotis has worked for decades to increase educational opportunity among low-income, minority and other historically underrepresented populations. At Lumina, Merisotis is continuing that effort by employing a strategic, outcomes-based approach in pursuing the Foundation's mission of expanding college access and success. Under his leadership, Lumina has embraced an ambitious and specific goal: to ensure that, by 2025, 60 percent of Americans hold high quality degrees, certificates and other credentials-up from the current level of less than 40 percent.

Merisotis is an expert on a wide range of issues. He is well versed in domestic and international issues, including talent development, higher education financing, minority-serving colleges and universities, learning outcomes, and the social and economic benefits of higher education. His work includes extensive global expertise, with experience in Southern Africa, the former Soviet Union, Europe and other parts of the world.

Before joining Lumina Foundation in 2008, Merisotis was founding president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Established in Washington, D.C., in 1993, IHEP is an independent, non-partisan organization regarded as one of the world's premier education research and policy centers.

Prior to founding IHEP, Merisotis served as executive director of the National Commission on Responsibilities for Financing Postsecondary Education, a bipartisan commission appointed by the U.S. president and congressional leaders. Merisotis also helped create the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps), serving as an advisor to senior management on issues related to the quality and effectiveness of national-service initiatives.

Merisotis' work has been published extensively. He has written and edited several books and monographs, and is a frequent contributor to magazines, journals and newspapers. He has served as a regular commentator on the award-winning PBS show Nightly Business Report, which consistently ranks as the most-watched business news program on television. His writing has appeared in The Washington Post, National Journal, Times Higher Education Supplement (London), The Chronicle of Higher Education, Huffington Post, Politico, Roll Call and numerous other print and online publications.

Merisotis is an experienced trustee and director for numerous organizations around the globe. He is a member of the board of trustees of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and chairs that board's governance committee. He also serves on the board of Anatolia College in Thessaloniki, Greece, a bicultural institution that includes a college, a high school, and an elementary school. He serves on several Indiana-based boards and commissions including the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the leading voice for regional economic development in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. He also serves as trustee and investment committee chair for The Children's Museum of Indianapolis, the world's largest museum for children. Merisotis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. His previous board service included president of the Economic Club of Indiana; chairman of the board for Scholarship America, the nation's largest private-sector scholarship and educational-support organization; vice chairman of the board of directors for the Washington Internship Institute; and executive committee member of the London-based European Access Network.

Matthew Sigelman CEO Burning Glass Technologies A Look at Growing Skill Demands/Occupations Monday, March 2 , 3:00 4:00 pm

Matthew Sigelman is CEO of Burning Glass Technologies. For more than a decade, he has led Burning Glass in harnessing the power of data and analytics to deliver artificial intelligence technologies that have helped fill millions of jobs and provided the data needed to resolve the skills gap.

Matt has helped establish Burning Glass as a leading labor market analytics firm that is playing a growing role in informing the global debate on education and the workforce. Burning Glass collects and mines millions of job postings and resumes each day and translates them into a common language in order to map career patterns, flag employer pain points, match people and jobs, and render detailed intelligence on the jobs in greatest demand and the skills required to get them. Burning Glass solutions drive critical workforce, education, and economic development initiatives for more than a dozen state and national governments, as well as numerous educational institutions, regional agencies, global recruitment agencies, major employers, and job boards. Burning Glass's tools power several government workforce systems, are used by millions of job seekers and students each year, and have been shown to have substantive impact on reemployment outcomes and on job market literacy.

Matt is consulted frequently by national media, including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Forbes, NPR, Vox, CBS, Fox News, and the New England Journal of Higher Education;, by higher education leaders; by researchers and policy makers; and by the White House. He has recently been a featured speaker and panelist with the Business Higher Education Forum, The Economist, the National Association of Workforce Boards, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Institute for Human Resource Information Managers, and with the HRO Today Forum.

Matt, formerly with Capital One, Mesa Air Group, and McKinsey and Company, also serves on the Board of Directors of The Graduate! Network, a national alliance of regional partnerships achieving outstanding outcomes in adult college completion. He holds an AB from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jeff Strohl Director of Research Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce Keynote Breakfast Tuesday, March 3 , 8:30 9:30 am

Jeff Strohl is the Director of Research at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce where he continues his long involvement in the analysis of education and labor market outcomes and policy. He leads the Center's research investigating the supply and demand of education and how education enhances career opportunities for today's workforce. Dr. Strohl also focuses on how to quantify skills and how to better understand competencies given the evolving nature of the U.S. workplace.

Before moving to the Center, Dr. Strohl was a senior analyst and project director at Westat, Inc. While at Westat, Dr. Strohl was primarily involved in program evaluation and analysis of education outcomes. He helped design and direct several projects that investigated socioeconomic diversity in American education and sought to affect postsecondary admissions policies. Dr. Strohl also helped design a model that predicts occupational risks to offshoring as a function of workplace competencies.

At Westat, Dr. Strohl used economic modeling to evaluate the Federal GEAR UP program, the Federal Youth Opportunity Grant Initiative, the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance programs, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's National and Local Emphasis programs.

Dr. Strohl received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from American University. His dissertation was a cross-country study of how education can enhance overall economic flexibility in times of economic crisis and structural shift.

Ami Bhandari Senior Vice President of Education & Strategy Lincoln Educational Services Bringing It All Together Tuesday, March 3 , 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Ami Bhandari joined Lincoln in 2003 and currently serves as Senior Vice President of Education and Strategy. Ms. Bhandari leads the company's education operations, product development and corporate strategy efforts. She and her team focus on developing and launching new products, streamlining business delivery models, integrating education technology, and ensuring faculty and administration have the skills, support and tools needed to deliver engaging and effective education.

Ms. Bhandari's earlier positions in the company include Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy & Development and Vice President of Planning, Analysis & Strategy. Her prior expertise lies in strategy development, investment analysis, and evaluating financial and operational data to solve problems that improve and optimize company results in areas ranging from program profitability, compliance and financial aid.

Prior to joining Lincoln, Ms. Bhandari held positions as a Management Consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton and as an Operations Manager at Procter & Gamble. She holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia Business School and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from University of California Berkeley.

Brandon Busteed Executive Director Gallup Education Credentialing and the Workforce Monday, March 2 , 4:00 4:45 pm

Brandon Busteed leads Gallup's education work. His career spans a wide range of important work in education as an educational entrepreneur, speaker, writer, and university trustee. Brandon's work integrates Gallup's research and science on talent selection, strengths, engagement, and well-being to improve student success, teacher effectiveness, and educational outcomes. His mission is to create a national movement to measure the educational outcomes that matter most, connect education to jobs and job creation, and promote a paradigm shift from knowledge mastery to emotional engagement in education.

With Brandon's leadership, Gallup Education released several ground-breaking Gallup studies in 2014. These include State of America's Schools: The Path to Winning Again in Education, which explores student and teacher engagement in public schools, and Great Jobs, Great Lives: The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report, a comprehensive, nationally representative study of U.S. college graduates that focuses on their long-term outcomes in work and life.

Brandon has founded two companies and one nonprofit organization as a social entrepreneur. He is the founder and former CEO of Outside The Classroom, a company that pioneered adaptive online education in alcohol abuse prevention. A three-year, 30-school, national study funded by the National Institutes of Health showed that AlcoholEdu - the organization's flagship alcohol-abuse prevention program - was effective in reducing binge drinking, drunk driving, and sexual assaults. More than 5 million students have participated in the program. The company was acquired by EverFi in 2011.

An internationally known speaker and author on education policy, Brandon has written frequently for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Trusteeship Magazine, The Huffington Post, and other publications. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and USA Today and on NPR and the NBC News "TODAY" show, among others.

Brandon received his bachelor's degree in public policy from Duke University. He is a trustee emeritus of Duke and has served on the Board of Visitors of the Sanford School of Public Policy. A former two-sport NCAA Division 1 athlete at Duke, Brandon continues to hone his competitive drive as an avid CrossFitter. He lives in Vienna, Virginia, with his wife, Deanna, and two children, Anabelle and Harrison.

Stephen Crawford Research Professor GW Institute of Public Policy, Project Director, Improving Labor Markets through Voluntary Standards for Describing Credentials Credentialing and the Workforce Monday, March 2 , 4:00 4:45 pm

Stephen Crawford is a research professor at George Washington University's Institute of Public Policy, where he directs a Lumina Foundation-funded project on improving credentialing transparency and comparability in the U.S. Previously, he served as deputy director of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program; a division director at the National Governors Association; and executive director of the Governor's Workforce Investment Board in Maryland. Earlier, he taught at Bates College and the University of Maryland, was executive director of research centers in Cambridge, MA and College Park, MD, and served as an assistant dean at the University of Pennsylvania and a U.S. Army infantry officer in Vietnam. He also served as a special adviser to the Maryland Higher Education Commission, a member of the Frederick County Board of Education and on the Obama-Biden transition team. His publications include Technical Workers in an Advanced Society (Cambridge University Press, 1987). His current research explores innovation in higher education, and includes publications with Robert Sheets in Educause (2012) and Continuing Higher Education Review (2013) and chapters on student loan policy and credentialing systems in books edited by others. Crawford holds a BA from Cornell University, a Masters from the Wharton Business School and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the American National Standards Institute, its affiliate, Workcred. He is also a presidential nominee for the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors, awaiting Senate confirmation.

Kelly Hastings Senior Government Relations Advisor The Skills Gap is Real Tuesday, March 3 , 9:30 10:15 am

Kelly Hastings joined SHRM's Government Affairs Team in March as a Senior Government Relations Advisor. Kelly is responsible for SHRM legislative activities on employment and labor issues, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and other federal employment issues as they affect the management of human capital.

Prior to joining SHRM, Kelly worked as the legislative director for Congressman Lou Barletta (PA), a member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. In this role, Kelly developed an overall legislative strategy for the office and managed the Congressman's legislative team. She specifically focused on Congressman Barletta's Committee portfolio of issues including, labor, health, and education policy.

Before coming to the U.S. House of Representatives, Kelly worked in the U.S. Senate as a professional staff member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee for Ranking Member, Senator Mike Enzi (WY). She worked on workforce development, disability, and education policy for six years on the Committee. For nearly two years, she worked to develop a comprehensive, bipartisan renewal of the Workforce Investment Act.

Kelly earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia and a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University, in Washington, DC with a concentration in public finance. She resides in Washington, DC.

Peter Janzow Executive Director Pearson Acclaim Credentialing and the Workforce Monday, March 2 , 4:00 4:45 pm

Peter Janzow is Senior Director and Open Badges Lead for Acclaim, an enterprise class open badging platform backed by Pearson. Janzow has actively contributed to education for many years in roles that include executive management, global market development and entrepreneurship for educational publishing and technology companies. He has a keen interest in STEM education and continues to work actively in the fields of workforce development, professional credentialing, and engineering education. Peter is a former Director of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Andy Van Kleunen CEO National Skills Coalition Credentialing and the Workforce Monday, March 2 , 4:00 4:45 pm

Andy Van Kleunen is CEO of National Skills Coalition, which he founded in 1998 in collaboration with leaders from the workforce development and philanthropic communities. Andy has led the Coalition to become a nationally recognized voice on behalf of its member stakeholders-business leaders, labor leaders, community colleges, community-based organizations, and leaders from the public workforce system-who have come together to advocate for an America that grows its economy by investing in its people. Andy is a recognized expert on state and federal workforce policy issues, and is regularly invited to advise Congress, the federal government and state agencies. He is also the author of numerous pieces in the areas of workforce policy, healthcare policy, and urban community development.

Prior to founding the Coalition, Andy was Director of Workforce Policy for the national Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, where he worked with employers, unions and client advocates to improve job quality and training for low-wage workers within the nation's long-term care sector. Andy also spent over 14 years in community organizing and development efforts within several of New York City's low-income and working-class neighborhoods.

Andy holds a master's degree in urban sociology from the Graduate Faculty at the New School for Social Research, and a bachelor's degree in political science and honors studies from Villanova University. He is based in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

Steven O. Kramer Vice President National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation The Skills Gap is Real Tuesday, March 3 , 9:30 10:15 am

Steve joined the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) in July 2013, charged with leading communications and strategic partnerships to advance the Foundation's programming. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Washington, DC, NRAEF's educational initiatives, partnered with those of the National Restaurant Association, provide culinary, management, food safety and employability skills training to a create pipeline of work-ready talent for the restaurant and foodservice sector - the nation's second largest private-sector employer. The Foundation's cornerstone program - ProStart® - is a secondary school-based initiative that develops tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice industry leaders. ProStart, available in high schools and career technical education centers, annually serves nearly 100,000 students at more than 1,700 high schools in 49 states, Guam and on U.S. military bases. Through ProStart and other educational endeavors, NRAEF awards more than $1 million annually in scholarships to help students pursue post-secondary learning.

Steve previously served for 10 years as senior vice president with Home Builders Institute (HBI), a national leader for career training in the residential construction sector. Steve developed HBI's industry training and certification programs utilized by secondary and post-secondary intuitions nationwide. He also served in leadership positions for 15 years at international public relations/public affairs consultancies including Burson-Marsteller, Ketchum, Weber Shandwick and Hill+Knowlton Strategies in New York, Atlanta and Washington, DC, representing corporate and industry-wide interests. He is a graduate of American University.

Trish Serratore President and CEO National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF)
Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES)
The Skills Gap is Real Tuesday, March 3 , 9:30 10:15 am

Trish Serratore is the President of the National Automotive Technicians Education foundation (NATEF) and Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), a role she assumed in 2012. Both organizations are part of the ASE Industry Education Alliance. She has been with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) organization since 1988, and was named Senior VP in 2007. She works closely with all of the organizations within the ASE Industry/Education initiative, which also includes ASE and the Automotive Training Managers Council (ATMC), to help provide the qualified automotive professionals the industry needs today and tomorrow.

Before joining ASE, Trish was an account executive for Target Communications, a public relations/advertising agency in the Philadelphia area. She developed and implemented marketing, public relations and advertising activities for national business-to-business accounts.

Her career started at Motor Age Magazine, an industry trade journal, as the business editor. While there, she wrote and edited business management and merchandising articles and created a specialty column for the collision repair industry.

In 1994, Trish received the Automotive Hall of Fame's Young Leadership and Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in the automotive industry. In 2000, Akzo Nobel selected her as one of the most influential women in the collision repair industry. In 2010, she was named one of the "Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry" by Automotive News. Trish is a member of the International Motor Press Association, a board member of the Certification Institute as well as other industry boards and committees.

Edward Salsberg Director of Workforce Studies, Institute for Health Workforce Research and Policy George Washington University The Skills Gap is Real Tuesday, March 3 , 9:30 10:15 am

Mr. Salsberg has been a national leader in health workforce research, policies and data for over 25 years. He is currently Director of Workforce Studies at the Institute for Health Workforce Research and Policy at George Washington University. The Institute was recently established by the schools of medicine, nursing and public health.

Mr. Salsberg was the founding director of the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis in the US Department of Health and Human Services which was authorized by Affordable Care Act. Mr. Salsberg previously established and directed the Center for Workforce Studies at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the School of Public Health at the University at Albany of the State University of New York (SUNY). All three health workforce centers have been leaders in providing information on the supply, demand, distribution and use of the health care workforce and they have pioneered approaches to collecting health workforce data. 

From 1984 until 1996, Mr. Salsberg was a Bureau Director at the New York State Department of Health.  Mr. Salsberg received his Masters in Public Administration from the Wagner School at New York University.

John Wannemacher Vice President of Higher Education Strategic Marketing Pearson The Skills Gap is Real Tuesday, March 3 , 9:30 10:15 am

John Wannemacher is the VP of Higher Education Strategic Marketing at Pearson, overseeing the development of solution-driven campaigns and initiatives across North America to drive conversation around major trends and issues impacting success in post-secondary learning and workforce readiness. John is based in Chicago, IL. Follow John and and the conversation around ways higher education and industry can work together to improve workforce development @PearsonNorthAm.

Bob Skodzinsky Manager Americas – Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) Program Bringing It All Together Tuesday, March 3 , 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Haas Automation is the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. Bob coordinates CNC Tech Education partnerships between Haas Automation, the network of Haas Factory Outlet Distributors in the Americas and over 1500 schools, career centers, colleges and universities that use Haas CNC machines in their manufacturing technology education programs.

Prior to his current position, Bob was President of the Haas Factory Outlet-Michigan & Gerotech Inc. HFO/Gerotech is the exclusive Haas Automation Machine Tool Distributor in Michigan and operates two technology demonstration & turnkey systems engineering facilities in Flat Rock & Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Bob started his career in manufacturing with a traditional four year machine tool building apprenticeship at The Warner & Swasey Company in Cleveland, Ohio. He also holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University.

Dr. Peter Smith President Open College at Kaplan University Higher Education in the Connected Age Tuesday, March 3 , 10:30 11:00 am

Peter P. Smith, Ed.D. is the Senior Vice President of Academic Strategies and the Founding President of Open College at Kaplan University for Kaplan Higher Education.

Dr. Smith is the former Assistant Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). As the highest-ranking American at UNESCO, he was responsible for the supervision and management of some 700 full and part time staff located in more than 30 countries around the world. Headquartered in Paris, UNESCO's Education Sector serves the Ministries of Education in the world's less developed and emerging nations as their trusted intellectual advisor and advocate in developing and supporting national educational plans and strategies.

Between 1995 and 2005, Smith served as the founding president of California State University at Monterey Bay (CSUMB) where he oversaw all aspects of leadership and development of the institution, working closely with the founding faculty. The university is widely recognized for its outcomes-based curriculum, a strong science and technology program, the first wireless computer network on a public university campus in America, a focus on first generation college students, and a commitment to service learning as a core component of the curriculum. Dr. Smith, who holds a Doctor of Education from Harvard University, also advanced higher education in Vermont. He led the successful effort to found the Community College of Vermont, which included the design of its operating, administrative, academic, and assessment systems. Peter served as the first president of the Community College of Vermont from 1970-1978, and was named President Emeritus upon resigning.

In 1989, he was elected as a representative from Vermont to the U.S. House of Representatives. He served as Vermont's Lieutenant Governor from 1982-1986.

Dr. Smith is the author of the critically acclaimed The Quiet Crisis: How Higher Education Is Failing America (Anker Publications, Bolton Mass., 2004) & Harnessing America's Wasted Talent A New Ecology of Learning (Published by Jossey-Bass A Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA 2010).

Jason A. Tyszko Senior Director U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Center for Education and Workforce Bringing It All Together Tuesday, March 3 , 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Jason A. Tyszko is senior director of education and workforce policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he advances policies and programs that preserve America's competitiveness and enhance the career readiness of youth and adult learners.

Tyszko's prior experience focused on coordinating interagency education, workforce, and economic development initiatives. In 2009, he served as a policy adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration. In addition, Tyszko was deputy chief of staff and senior policy adviser to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Tyszko received his Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University. He is a certified teacher in the state of Illinois.

Danny Vargas Chair, Virginia Board of Workforce Development President and Founder, VARCom Solutions, Herndon, VA Bringing It All Together Tuesday, March 3 , 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Raul "Danny" Vargas is a noted business and community leader, accomplished media commentator, and national political analyst. A product of the mean streets of New York City slums, he has created opportunities, overcome challenges and beaten the odds all his life. He has made a mark not only in business but in the community as well.

Danny is the Founder and President of VARCom Solutions, a nationally-recognized, award-winning marketing communications, technology and management consulting firm. He is a regular media commentator in both English and Spanish, appearing on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Univision, Telemundo, PBS and many more. He has been dispatched by the U.S. State Department to various countries to appear in the media and in forums discussing the US political process.

A proven corporate executive, Danny played important roles at AOL, France Telecom, Global One and Raytheon. He was appointed by Virginia's Governor to chair the Virginia Board of Workforce Development to ensure the future economic vitality of the commonwealth. He served as Chairman of the Board of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (the first Hispanic to chair a mainstream chamber in Virginia history) and sits on the board of the Fairfax County Chamber.

Active in politics and the community, he was the national chairman of a national political organization, was appointed by Congress to a commission studying the creation of an American Latino Museum within the Smithsonian Institution, serves on boards of non-profit groups and regularly speaks at schools on the importance of education and perseverance.

Danny is a proud US Air Force intelligence veteran, serving seven years on active duty including five years in Panama. A New York City native, Danny grew up in poverty but was determined to create a successful life. A sought-after public speaker, Mr. Vargas is committed to keeping his community and our nation vibrant and strong.