G. Philip Hughes was elected Chairman of ADST in February, 2015. In professional life, he is a Senior Director of the White House Writers Group, which he joined in 2000. There he has supported clients in the fields of defense, energy and agro-business and in several international engagements.
In government, he served through the entirety of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations in a series of assignments: Deputy Assistant to the Vice President for National Security Affairs; Director for Latin American Affairs on the National Security Council staff; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs; Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement; Executive Secretary of the National Security Council; and, finally, Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. Prior to joining the Reagan Administration, Ambassador Hughes served as a defense analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, as Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution; and as Assistant Director for Intelligence Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
A past President of The Philadelphia Society, Amb. Hughes also serves as Senior Vice President and Secretary of the Council of American Ambassadors; Program Chairman and Board member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs; Vice President of the Foreign Policy Discussion Group; and Adjunct Professor of Diplomacy at the Institute of World Politics, among other roles. He holds graduate degrees from Harvard University and the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, and a B.A. from the University of Dayton.
Robert M. Beecroft is a Career Minister-Counselor (retired) who serves part-time at the State Department as a Supervisory Senior Inspector, with inspections of U.S. diplomatic operations in Kuwait, Syria, Taiwan, Vietnam, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Washington, D.C. He and Ambassador Princeton Lyman recently co-authored a paper for the U.S. Institute of Peace, analyzing the roles and effectiveness of U.S. special envoys in American diplomacy. He also conducted an in-depth report for the American Academy of Diplomacy on the professional education and training of American diplomats.
From 2004 to 2006, he was a Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College. In 2001-04, he led the 800-person OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; previously, he served in Sarajevo as both the Special Envoy for the Bosnian Federation and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy. Earlier assignments included Amman, NATO/Brussels, Ouagadougou, Cairo, Bonn, Geneva (SALT TWO), Paris, and SHAPE/Belgium. In Washington, he was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, Officer-in-Charge of Federal German Affairs, and a nuclear arms control specialist in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
He served in the U.S. Army Reserve (1965-70) as a medical corpsman and Civil Affairs officer. Amb. Beecroft’s nonprofessional interests include music (listening and performing), travel, and U.S. Civil War history. He is married to the former Mette Louise Ording Ottesen, Ph.D., a program officer at the State Department. As both a volunteer and an employee, she has concentrated on safeguarding and improving the quality of life of Foreign Service employees and their families, and has received several awards for her contributions. Their two grown children are also active in international affairs, with a focus on human rights and economic development.
Charles A. Ford is President of CAF International, LLC, a trade consultancy. He serves as Ambassador-in-Residence at the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and as Treasurer of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA). Member of the Boards of: the PDI defense group; the Thomas Jefferson School of Public Policy at the College of William and Mary; and the American Academy of Diplomacy (AAD), where he directs the preparation of a report on improving diplomatic programs to support U.S. business in overseas markets.
Until April 2013, Ford served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the United States Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS). As the chief operating officer of the US government’s premier export promotion agency, he managed a $270 million budget and 1400 U.S. and international employees located in the United States and over 70 countries. Previously, he served as Ambassador to Honduras from 2005-2008. Ambassador Ford obtained his B.A. in Economics from the College of William and Mary, and his M.A in Latin American Studies from George Washington University. His numerous honors and awards include the Department of Commerce Silver, Gold and Bronze Medals. In May, 2008, he was awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award, and received the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2009.
Harold W. (Harry) Geisel spent 30 years in the Foreign Service in senior management roles at US embassies in Bern, Bamako, Rome, Bonn and Moscow. He also served as Consul General in Durban South Africa. In the Department, he was executive assistant to the Undersecretary for Management, Senior Negotiator for Burden Sharing, Acting Inspector General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Management – Acting Chief Information Officer. He was Ambassador to Mauritius, Seychelles and Comoros.
After retirement from the Foreign Service, he returned to the Department as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Logistics Management. He led a team that negotiated a Conditions of Construction Agreement with the Peoples Republic of China that led to the building of new embassies in Beijing and Washington. In June, 2008, the Secretary appointed him as Acting Inspector General. He served in that position, under three Secretaries of State until September 2013. He has also been a long-time officer of the Board of Directors of the State Department Federal Credit Union. He is the recipient of various awards from the Department of State including the Distinguished Honor Awar. He received a BA from Johns Hopkins University and an MBA from the University of Virginia.
F. Allen “Tex” Harris: Regarded by many as a “diplomat’s diplomat,” Tex Harris served with distinction during a 35-year Foreign Service career. Beginning in 1965, his posts were varied and often dangerous, such as Venezuela just as a Fidel Castro-supported insurgency was breaking out, Argentina at the height of the “dirty war” and South Africa in the 1980s during the transition from apartheid. Harris also served in Australia and as an associate administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He earned the Distinguished Honor Award, the State Department’s highest, for his work in Argentina in the late 1970s exposing the fate of the 15,000 citizens clandestinely killed by the military junta. Harris also served in the Bureau of Economic Affairs, as an attorney for the White House, and between 1974 and 1977 as an environmental assistant who drafted the first international call for controlling the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to protect atmospheric ozone. Consistently a courageous advocate of the professional interests of FSOs, in 1970 he joined Tom Boyatt in leading the transformation of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) into a strong advocate of employee interests. Serving twice as AFSA president, Harris became known to his colleagues as “Mr. AFSA.” Following his retirement in 1999, he continued his close involvement with that organization and in 2000 AFSA’s governing board established the “Tex Harris Award” for creative dissent by a Foreign Service specialist in his honor.
Kenton Keith retired from USIA with the rank of Career Minister. At the time of his retirement, Ambassador Keith was Director of USIA’s Office of North African, Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, managing field operations, public diplomacy activities and budget for the Agency’s largest geographical bureau. From 1992 to 1995 he served as Ambassador to the State of Qatar. Previous assignments were Counselor for Press and Cultural Affairs in Cairo, Senior Cultural Affairs Officer in Paris and various posts in the Near East and Brazil. In 1996 Ambassador Keith served as USIA representative to the inter-agency planning team charged with designing the reorganization of foreign affairs agencies. Ambassador Keith currently serves as a team leader for the Office of Inspector General of the Department.
Ambassador Keith received two Presidential service awards and several individual and group superior and meritorious honor awards, including one for his work at the 1991 Middle East peace conference in Madrid. He is a Chevalier in the French Order of Arts and Letters, an honor conferred by the French government in recognition of his contribution to cultural and educational exchange between France and the U.S. Ambassador Keith serves as vice chairman of the Alliance for International Cultural and Educational Exchange, is on the board of the International Development Conference and is a member of the Association of Black American Ambassadors. A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Keith is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a major in International Relations. Ambassador Keith served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1965. He is married to the former Mireille Luc and has two grown children.
Jerry W. Leach is an educator, author, speaker and documentary filmmaker. He was a professor and director at the Prince Alwaleed Center for American and Global Affairs, American University in Cairo from 2006-11. He also served as national president of the World Affairs Councils of America from 1996-2006 and was the Peace Corps regional director for Eastern Europe, Soviet Republics, Middle East, Asia, and Pacific from 1989-93. His degrees include: Ph.D. and M.A., Cambridge University; M.A. University of California at Berkeley; and B.A. Emory University. Dr. Leach has authored Presidential Directives and concluded several Executive Agreements for the State Department. He was awarded the Emory Medal for Distinguished Public Service with his wife Marianne, as well as commendations from Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award.
John K. Naland ’s 29-year Foreign Service career included service in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico (as Principal Officer at U.S. Consulate in Matamoros), and Iraq (as leader of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Basra). Washington assignments included the Secretary’s Policy Planning Staff, the White House Situation Room, and the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. He was ADST Executive Director from 2010 to 2011 and earlier in his career had other detail assignments as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the U.S. and in a corporate exchange program working at Caterpillar, Inc. He served twice as President of the American Foreign Service Association and has had nearly 100 essays published in the Foreign Service Journal. He is currently the President of the Foreign Service Youth Foundation and President-elect of the Washington-Lee High School Parent Teacher Association (Arlington, VA). He is co-editing the third edition of Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the US Foreign Service to be published in 2017 by Georgetown University Press. A former U.S. Army cavalry officer who served in West Germany during the Cold War, he is a graduate of the Army War College. He received numerous Army and Department of State performance awards and was named an “Honored Citizen” by the Arlington County (VA) School Board in 2015. He is married and has two teenage daughters.
Robin Raphel has served for four decades in U.S. foreign policy agencies, including as Ambassador to Tunisia and Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia. She was the Senior Advisor for Pakistan, Coordinator for U.S. Development Assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Trade in Baghdad, Vice President of the National Defense University and Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, among other assignments. Ambassador Raphel has also been a guest lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School, University of Chicago and Johns Hopkins University. Educated at the University of Maryland, Cambridge and the University of Washington, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.
American Academy of Diplomacy – Ronald E. Neumann
Former Board Chairs
James T.L. Dandridge II, 2005-2015