A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Ross worked closely with Secretaries of State James Baker, Warren Christopher, and Madeleine Albright. Prior to his service as special Middle East coordinator under President Clinton, Ambassador Ross served as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the first Bush administration. In that capacity, he played a prominent role in U.S. policy toward the former Soviet Union, the unification of Germany and its integration into NATO, arms control negotiations, and the 1991 Gulf War coalition.
Yolanda Savage-Narva has devoted her professional career to helping people live their best and most healthy lives. For a little over 20 years, Yolanda’s has collaborated with Tribal governments to strengthen public health systems, promoted pedestrian safety and advocacy and coining the phrase, “Walking is a civil right,” and advancing health equity in states ad territories. Yolanda currently holds the position of executive director with Operation Understanding DC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting understanding, cooperation, and respect while fighting to eradicate racism, anti-Semitism and all forms of discrimination.
Jeremy Burton is the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC). Through advocacy, organizing, service and partnerships JCRC defines and advances the values, interests and priorities of the organized Jewish community of Greater Boston in the public square.
Previously he was the Senior Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funds for Justice, and Vice President of Programs at the Jewish Funders Network. Jeremy also served as a board member of Keshet, working for the full inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life.
Since Rabbi Blumenthal joined the RA as Chief Executive, he has initiated organizational and cultural change through the Zera’im project, in addition to meeting with rabbis from North America, Latin America, and Israel to hear and address their concerns. He has fostered relationships with key Jewish communal leadersip and hosted a webinar series bringing rabbis together from the Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist movements on the topic of understanding anti-Semitism today.
Thomas L. Friedman became the paper’s foreign affairs Op-Ed columnist in 1995. He joined the paper in 1981, after which he served as the Beirut bureau chief in 1982, Jerusalem bureau chief in 1984, and then in Washington as the diplomatic correspondent in 1989, and later the White House correspondent and economic correspondent.
Mr. Friedman was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon) and the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Israel). He also won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Mr. Friedman is the author of “From Beirut to Jerusalem,” which won the National Book Award in 1989. He has written several other books, including “Hot, Flat and Crowded,” an international bestseller.
Judith Ellen Heumann, “Judy” is an international disability rights activist from the United States of America. She is recognized internationally as a leader in the disability community. Heumann is a lifelong civil rights advocate for people with disabilities. Her work with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), non-profits, and various other disability interest groups, has produced significant contributions since the 1970s to the development of human rights legislation and policies benefiting children and adults with disabilities. Through her work in the World Bank and the State Department, Heumann led the mainstreaming of disability rights into international development. Her contributions extended the international reach of the independent living movement.