POGO's Board of DirectorsTweet
Board of Directors
(Affiliation for identification only)
David Hunter, Chair
David Hunter is Professor of Law, Director of the International Legal Studies Program and Director of the Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law at American University's Washington College of Law. Prof. Hunter was the former Executive Director of the Center for International Environmental Law, a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the global environment through the use of international law. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Bank Information Center, Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide-US, EarthRights International, and is a Board Member and Member Scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform. He is also a member of the Organization of American States’ Expert Group on Environmental Law, the Steering Committee of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law, and the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman’s Strategic Advisors Group. Mr. Hunter is author of many articles and books relating to international environmental law, accountability and transparency in global governance, and sustainable development.
Debra Katz, Vice Chair
Debra Katz is a partner with Katz, Marshall & Banks, LLC, a civil rights law firm based in Washington, D.C. The firm specializes in the representation of whistleblowers. Ms. Katz has represented nuclear, financial services, defense contractor and pharmaceutical whistleblowers for more than 30 years. Ms. Katz received her B.A. degree from Union College in Schenectady, New York and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI.
Dina Rasor, Treasurer
Dina Rasor is a partner in the Bauman and Rasor Group which does investigative and consulting work on lawsuits including health care fraud and military procurement fraud. Ms. Rasor founded POGO's predecessor organization, the Project on Military Procurement, in 1981 and directed it for ten years. In that capacity, Ms. Rasor researched and publicized many of the major defense scandals of the 1980s such as the infamous $7,600 coffee brewer and the $670 armrest in the C-5 cargo plane, as well as the ineffectiveness of major weapons systems and other procurement fraud. She also worked as an investigative journalist for newspapers and television shows such as ABC's PrimeTime. Ms. Rasor authored The Pentagon Underground, co-authored the whistleblower's manual Courage without Martyrdom: A Survival Guide for Whistleblowers, and edited the book, More Bucks, Less Bang: How the Pentagon Buys Ineffective Weapons.
Ryan Alexander is President of Taxpayers for Common Sense. Prior to joining TCS, Ms. Alexander at various times served as Executive Director of the Common Cause Education Fund, the research and education affiliate of Common Cause; a consultant to foundations and advocacy organizations; a program officer for the Rockefeller Family Fund; and a litigating attorney for the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund in West Virginia. In 2001, she co-founded the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, which she continues to chair. Ms. Alexander received a B.A. from Wesleyan University, a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and was awarded a NAPIL Equal Justice Fellowship.
Hank Banta is an attorney with Lobel, Novins & Lamont where he primarily practices federal energy law. Previously, he served as Counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly. Mr. Banta also worked at the Federal Trade Commission where he was staff attorney and attorney-advisor to the Chairman of the Commission. Prior to that he was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Mr. Banta received both his B.S. and law degree from Georgetown University.
Lisa Baumgartner Bonds
Lisa Baumgartner Bonds is the Chief Advancement Officer for Animal Humane Society where she leads all of AHS' brand, communication, marketing and fundraising efforts. Lisa previously served as Senior Director of Donor Services at the Lutheran Community Foundation where she lead and managed the LCF’s Community Grants & Services Department and the Charitable Giving Services Department. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Lisa worked at Lutheran World Relief (LWR) where she managed and led LWR’s fundraising, marketing, congregation and community engagement, public policy, and advocacy and communication. Lisa has also worked for a number of Washington, DC-based causes and nonprofit organizations including the World Wildlife Fund, the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the Alaska Wilderness League; as a consultant for M&R Strategic Services; as a professor at American University in Washington, DC and St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN; and as a press secretary for a member of U.S. Congress. In addition to POGO, she serves as a member of the board of directors for Pro-Choice Resources and CornerHouse MN. She completed her undergraduate work at Gustavus Adolphus College and received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
David Burnham is the co-director of Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). With The New York Times from 1968 to 1986, Mr. Burnham wrote numerous prize winning investigative pieces including those depicted in "Serpico," and "Silkwood." He has been inducted into the Freedom Forum's National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame, and honored with the Polk Award, the Patterson Fellowship, and the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, among others. He is the author of several books including Above the Law: Secret Deals, Political Fixes, Other Misadventures of the U.S. Department of Justice, and A Law Unto Itself: Power, Politics and the IRS.
Michael Cavallo is a writer. He was previously Director of Renewable Energy for C40 Cities, an alliance of the world's largest cities brought together to work at preventing climate change, and for the Clinton Foundation. He was also Commissioner of the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission, Executive Director of the United States Chess Federation, President of Cavallo Capital Management, Chief Financial Officer of Trenza, and Board Chair of the Government Accountability Project. Besides POGO, he currently is on the Board of the Fund for Constitutional Government.
Sarah Chayes is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she does groundbreaking analysis on the structure of corruption networks worldwide, and how corruption contributes to such international crises as the rise of violent extremism, revolutions and their violent aftermaths and environmental destruction. Her book Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security won the 2016 LA Times Book Prize. Before joining Carnegie, she served as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen. He tapped Chayes for the job after she had spent nearly a decade living and working in Kandahar, Afghanistan. That is where her understanding of the threats of kleptocratic governance originated.
Andrew Cockburn is the Washington editor of Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of numerous books and articles, with an emphasis on defense and national security issues. His most recent book is Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy. Mr. Cockburn has also produced numerous documentaries in partnership with his wife Leslie, including many films for PBS Frontline, and most recently American Casino (2009) about the ongoing Wall Street crash and its effect on ordinary people. He is a graduate of Oxford University.
Mickey Edwards was a Member of Congress for 16 years, serving as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee (the party’s fourth-ranking leadership position) and as a ranking minority member of the House Budget and Appropriations Committees. After leaving Congress, he taught for eleven years at Harvard (at the Kennedy School of Government and Harvard Law School) and then for five at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs before returning to Washington to become a vice president of the Aspen Institute. He has been a weekly political columnist for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune and a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He has been published in most of the nation’s major newspapers and in publications ranging from The Atlantic to The Nation. His most recent book, The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans, was published in 2012 by Yale University Press.
Pamela Gilbert is a partner and public policy advocate in the law firm of Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP, where she fights for civil justice and consumer protection. Gilbert is the former Executive Director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). She also served as Chief Operating Officer of M&R Strategic Services, and served on the Board of OMB Watch and the Center for Effective Government for over six years before joining the POGO Board. Overall, Gilbert has over 25 years of experience in consumer advocacy in Washington, D.C. She has testified before the U.S. Congress over 50 times and made dozens of appearances in the national print and electronic media.
Dan Olincy practices tax, trust and estate law in Los Angeles with Olincy & Karpel (a successor to Olincy & Olincy). He’s a graduate of Stanford Law School. Following law school he spent three years in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate’s Corps office at the Pentagon where he dealt with tax and government contracting matters. He was chair of the California State Bar Tax Committee in the 70s, and in 1983 received the V. Judson Kline award for outstanding achievement and public service in the practice of tax law. For 29 years he was on the board of Earthjustice, and headed its audit committee, and also served on several of its other committees. He is a founding member of the UCLA Center on Aging, and continues his membership on its board.
Norman Ornstein is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist and contributing editor for The Atlantic. He is also Chairman of the Campaign Legal Center. For thirty years he was an election eve analyst for CBS News; since 2012, he has been a principal on-air election eve analyst for BBC News. He helped create the Continuity of Government Commission, where he served as senior counselor. In his decades of involvement in political reform, he played a major role in campaign finance reform, Senate committee reform, the creation of the Congressional Office of Compliance to ensure Congress was governed by the laws it enacts for others, and in the creation of the House Office of Congressional Ethics. He was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004; he directed the Academy Project on Stewarding America. His many books include The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track, with Thomas E. Mann, and the New York Times bestseller, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism, also with Tom Mann, His new book, with EJ Dionne and Tom Mann, “One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate and the Not-Yet-Deported,” is scheduled for publication by St Martin’s Press in September 2017
Nithi Vivatrat is the founder and CEO of Intellei, a SaaS company that enables organizations to engage with individuals through AI-powered mobile conversations. He was previously the Chief Product Officer of Clarabridge, a SaaS provider of text analytics for customer experience management. Prior to Clarabridge, he was the Chief Operating Officer of a technology firm serving the defense and intelligence sector. He was co-founder and Managing Partner of Claraview, a strategy and technology consulting firm, which was acquired by Teradata Corporation in March 2008. Prior to Claraview, Mr. Vivatrat had leadership roles in technology and marketing at MicroStrategy. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a BS in Economics. He is also on the Mid-Atlantic board of UNICEF USA.
Anne Zill is the Director of the Center for Ethics in Action at the University of New England and Curator at its Portland Campus Art Gallery. She is also the President of the Fund for Constitutional Government, and a program associate at the Stewart R. Mott Foundation. Some of the other programs and organizations she has founded, developed, and/or led include: Women's Campaign Fund; The Karen Silkwood Fund; Women for Meaningful Summits; and the Women's Foreign Policy Campaign. Ms. Zill has mounted two art exhibitions at the United Nations (2000 & 2001) and one at UNESCO in Paris (2011.)
Morton Mintz, Director Emeritus
Morton Mintz has been a reporter since 1946, first in St. Louis and then at The Washington Post from 1958 to 1988. Mr. Mintz has received numerous awards and honors including the Columbia Journalism Award; the Playboy Foundation's Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award for Lifetime Achievement; the Worth Bingham, Heywood Broun, Raymond Clapper, and George Polk Memorial Awards; and twice, the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild award for Public Service.
A major focus of Mr. Mintz while at The Washington Post was grave corporate crime and misconduct. He conducted investigations into numerous issues including thalidomide, the sedative/tranquilizer that caused several thousand children worldwide to be born without arms or legs; the disastrous Dalkon Shield and Cu-7 IUDs; the tobacco industry; the tailing of Ralph Nader by a private eye retained by General Motors; a cholesterol-lowering drug MER/29 that afflicted thousands of users with cataracts and other maladies; and Oraflex, a dangerous anti-arthritis drug withdrawn by the manufacturer only a few months after sales began. He has written and co-authored several books including At Any Cost: Corporate Greed, Women, and the Dalkon Shield and America, Inc.: Who Owns and Operates the United States.