Congressman Joaquin Castro, U.S. House of Representatives, Texas 20th District
In 2012 Joaquin Castro was elected to the U.S House of Representatives for Texas’ 20th District. In 2014, he was sworn in as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, House Foreign Affairs Committee and as Chief Deputy Whip in the House. Previously, he served five terms in the Texas Legislature, including vice chairman of the Higher Education Committee.
Congressman Joaquin Castro is an advocate for education and international exchange. He created the Trailblazers College Tour for underprivileged students. His passion for public service developed from his father, a teacher, and mother, a community activist. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School and graduated with honors from Stanford University.
Luis Almagro Lemes, Secretary General, Organization of American States
Luis Almagro Lemes was elected Secretary General of the Organization of American States in March 2015. He was Foreign Minister of Uruguay (2010-15). His time was characterized by activism in defense of human and civil rights and strengthening Uruguay’s image of as a democratic, fair, tolerant and diverse society.
As Foreign Minister for President José Mujíca, he defined several emblematic initiatives, from receiving former prisoners from Guantanamo, to welcoming dozens of Syrian families, to building support in the United Nations so that, beginning in 2016, Uruguay will become part of the Security Council.
He was Ambassador to China, after several diplomatic posts in his country and in Germany and Iran. Foreign Policy magazine named him a Leading Global Thinker.
Ambassador Reuben Brigety, Dean, Elliot School of International Affairs,
George Washington University
Reuben Brigety served as the appointed U.S. Representative to the African Union and Permanent U.S. Representative to the UN Economic Commission for Africa. From 2011-2013, he was the Deputy Asst. Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs with responsibility for Southern African and Regional Security Affairs. As Deputy Asst. Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, he supervised U.S. refugee programs in Africa, managed U.S. humanitarian diplomacy with major international partners and oversaw the development of international migration policy.
Previously, he served as Director of the Sustainable Security Program at the Center for American Progress and as a Special Assistant in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development. He also served as a senior advisor for Development and Security to the U.S. Central Command Assessment Team in Washington and Qatar.
He earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, England. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and recipient of the Council’s International Affairs Fellowship. He served as a politics professor at George Mason University and American University.
Matthew McGuire, PhD, U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank
Matthew McGuire previously served as Director of the Office of Business Liaison at the Department of Commerce from 2011-2014. Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Dr. McGuire was a senior executive in the asset management industry from 2003-2011.
Earlier in his career, he worked in the community development field, running workforce training programs and planning affordable housing projects. He has taught at the high school and college levels. Dr. McGuire received a B.A. from Brown University, Ph.D. from Harvard University and Certificate of Religious Studies from the University of London.