Mark Cowan draws on more than 35 years’ experience working on complex domestic and international public policy issues as counsel for a broad range of clients. He advises corporations, government entities, and foreign sovereigns on a wide array of business, regulatory, and trade issues.
His career is expansive and varied, having served among others, in the US Air Force, in the administrations of US Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, on the Trump Transition Team, and with the CIA.
Cowan, a lawyer, has headed three companies of his own, been a senior partner at Patton Boggs, LLP, an AM Law 100 firm, wherein he both created and directed the firm’s Business Development Department and effort for over 500 lawyers. Having founded The Jefferson Group in 1987, Mr. Cowan grew that public affairs firm to become the second largest in its class in just six years. Thereafter, he was Vice Chairman of Cassidy & Associates, Washington’s largest public affairs company, C.E.O. of the Columbus Group, C.E.O. of Newmyer Associates and a Senior Vice President at Hill and Knowlton, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, where he counseled numerous domestic and international clients.
Cowan currently serves on the Board of the Phi Sigma Kappa Foundation as Vice President for Development, and is a Board Member of DC Scores, an inner-city soccer and literacy program based in Washington, DC.
Patrick Murphy is a former Democratic Presidential appointee and western state legislator who has maintained an active role in the work of the US Senate and House of Representatives. His ever-expanding base of contacts with established and emerging Democratic political leaders reinforces his ability to develop successful policy initiatives and execute winning strategies in Washington, DC. He has enacted important legislative and regulatory change for clients in energy, technology, healthcare, finance and banking.
Mr. Murphy began his Washington career as an appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and moved on to direct a national strategy for government relations for the newly formed U.S. Synthetic Fuels Corporation (USSC). He was the founder and president of the Government Relations Group for the national public finance firm, Kutak-Rock.
Prior to moving to Washington, DC, he had an accomplished public service career having been twice elected to the Nevada State Legislature where he was Chair of the Government Affairs Committee. He was appointed by the Governor to the Nevada State Crime Commission and served the Nevada State Board of Education, the Nevada Commission on Tourism, and the Democratic National Committee.
Phil Bond is one of America’s most honored technology policy experts. A former US Undersecretary of Commerce for Technology, his 25-plus year career in Washington has included numerous recognitions for his leadership roles in the Executive branch, on Capitol Hill, at major high technology companies, and most recently as the CEO of TechAmerica, the largest technology advocacy association in the US.
Bond has been accorded numerous accolades during his 25-plus years in Washington, DC, including being named to the Federal 100, the annual listing by Federal Computer Week of the most influential people in government technology; named one of the Top 50 Tech Leaders of 2003 by Scientific American magazine for his policy leadership around nanotechnology; and was elected Deputy Chair of the World Information Technology and Services Alliance, a federation of more than 70 national technology associations around the world.
From 2001 to 2005, Bond was Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce for Technology and, from 2002-2003, served concurrently as Chief of Staff to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans. In his dual role, Bond worked closely with Secretary Evans to increase market access for U.S. goods and services and further advance America’s technological leadership at home and around the world. He oversaw the operations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the Office of Technology Policy, and the National Technical Information Service. During his tenure, the Technology Administration was the pre-eminent portal between the federal government and the U.S. technology industry.
Amagai has three core responsibilities – managing client accounts, ensuring that we deliver on what we have promised to our clients and tracking that progress; research – overseeing the research team and preparing necessary background information, whether for a client, business development or a specific project; and proposal development – assembling proposals for new clients and projects. Amagai also manages junior level staff that fall under her purview.
Mattie spent the past six years at the International Republican Institute, where she managed political party development and governance projects in the former Soviet Union, with a particular focus on Moldova and Belarus. In this capacity she worked closely with IRI offices in Chisinau, Vilnius and Warsaw to implement international projects and brings to Potomac International Partners a background in program management, budgeting, government relations in the U.S. and abroad, proposal writing and monitoring and evaluation.
Previous to joining Potomac Mattie served on two U.S. presidential campaigns and participated in the Women’s Campaign School at Yale. She graduated from Bowdoin College in 2008 with degrees in Government/International Relations and Russian Language.
The Honorable Michael Brown is a Senior Advisor to Potomac International Partners. Prior to joining Potomac, Mr. Brown was elected At-Large Councilman for the Washington, DC City Council, rising to the position of Council Vice Chairman.
Prior and during to his public service, Mr. Brown was the Managing Director of Government Affairs Practice of Edwards, Angell, Palmer and Dodge. He was previously the Managing Partner of Lacade and Fay, and a Member of The Patton Boggs Law Firm. Earlier in his career he was a Legislative Assistant to Rep. Peter Rodino (D-NJ).
Mr. Brown served as National Finance Chair Vice Chairman of the DNC from 2000-2004. He served as a surrogate speaker for the Obama-Biden Campaign, a role he has occupied since the Clinton-Gore, Gore-Liberman, Kerry-Edwards, Obama-Biden. Mr. Brown is also a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, TVONE, MSNBC and other local and international interviewers.
Mr. Brown has twice been appointed as a member of United States Delegations to Africa. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Constituency of Africa and is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. He serves on numerous civic foundations and co-founded The Ronald H. Brown Foundation. Mr. Brown is a graduate of Clark University and Widener University (Delaware) School of Law.
Susan B. Ralston’s strong background in seamless event management, political fundraising, coalition building, and project management drives each and every client interaction. Given her 6 years of high-level executive branch experience and 10 years of government affairs experience and business-to-government collaboration, Ms. Ralston is uniquely qualified to deliver on her clients’ objectives.
From contributing as Senior Advisor at the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), where she was responsible for membership and partnership development, strategic planning, and coalition building, to launching Winning For Women, a 501c4 national grassroots organization, to orchestrating corporate and non-profit high-profile events with attendees ranging anywhere from 20 to 3,000, Ms. Ralston’s ability to build relationships, fundraise, and manage complex events to the minute, has been a reliable and sought-after service. She has also managed events for World Vision’s Strong Women Strong World, the Halifax International Security Forum, and the Institute for the Study of War, organizing VIP receptions, running complex general programs, and managing keynote dinners. From galas to dine-arounds comprised of 20 simultaneous dinners with foreign heads of state, Ms. Ralston gets the job done right. She has also been an active fundraiser for Republican House, Senate and Presidential candidates, as well the NRCC, NRSC, RNC and RGA for more than 10 years.
Prior to her work as a consultant, Ms. Ralston was the Special Assistant to the President and a deputy to Karl Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor at The White House. She was responsible for the development of policy, strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison activities, and intergovernmental affairs efforts of The White House. She was also responsible for domestic issue campaigns, including Education, Healthcare, Social Security, Immigration, Energy, Budget and Economy, Environment, National Security, Iraq, Global Diplomacy and the Gulf Coast, as well as the development and production of presidential and major surrogate events.
As a Filipino-American, Ms. Ralston was actively involved in the creation of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. She was a member of the Presidential Delegation to attend the Inauguration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, of the Republic of the Philippines, in June 2004.
During the 2004 re-election campaign, Ms. Ralston was the White House Liaison to Bush-Cheney ’04, coordinating the activities between the two entities. She also served on the Advisory Committee for “W Stands for Women,” the campaign’s outreach effort to women.
Prior to her public service, Ms. Ralston was the Assistant Director of Governmental Affairs at Greenberg Traurig and has also worked for the lobbying firm of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, LLP.
In her spare time, Ms. Ralston rides and shows horses—and takes care of her farm in Virginia where inhabitants include 8 horses and a zebra
Mr. Coursen founded The Status Group in 1986 to provide strategic planning, policy analysis, consultation, and representation to executives in private industry in the areas of Technology, Telecommunications, and Government Relations. The concept of confidential intelligence and strategic planning combined with active representation grew out of Mr. Coursen’s own extensive work in the private sector, on Capitol Hill, and in national politics.
Prior to starting his own firm, Mr. Coursen was a partner with the prominent Washington law firm of O’Connor & Hannan, where he provided a full range of legal and Government Relations services to major corporations in many issue areas, including health care, tax, banking, and telecommunications.
After the 1980 elections, Mr. Coursen joined the United States Senate as Majority Communications Counsel for the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. As Majority Counsel, Mr. Coursen served as personal Advisor and Counsel on all Technology and Telecommunications matters to Senator Bob Packwood, the Chairman of the Committee, as well as to all Republican Committee Members. Mr. Coursen also served as Chief Counsel to Senator Barry Goldwater, the Chairman of the Communications Subcommittee.
Mr. Coursen is an active member of the Republican National Finance Committee, and served on the Leadership Committees for the Republican Senate-House Dinners from 1996-1999, for the Presidential Galas from 1997-1999, and as an official at the 1995 Republican Inaugural. He served as an Advisor on the Trump-Pence ’16, the Romney-Ryan ’12, the Bush-Cheney ’00 and ’04, the Dole-Kemp ’96, the Bush-Quayle ’88 and ’92, and the Reagan-Bush ’80 and ’84 Campaigns. Mr. Coursen was very active in the Bush-Quayle’88 Campaign, serving as Chairman of the Telecommunications Task Force and as a member of the Executive Committee of Commerce and Industry Leaders for Bush. In addition, he served on the Reagan-Bush ’84 Campaign as a Convention Official and as an Attorney Advisor, and on President-Elect Reagan’s 1980 Transition Team for Technology and Telecommunications.
Mr. Coursen received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University in 1970, and his Juris Doctor degree from The National Law Center, George Washington University, in 1975. He is a member of the Bar of the United States Supreme Court and is admitted before all federal, military, and local courts in Washington. Mr. Coursen has also served as an Adjunct Professor of Telecommunications at the George Washington University National Law Center.
Mr. Coursen’s honors include appointments by President George H. W. Bush to the President’s Advisory Board for Cuba Broadcasting, where he served for over 13 years, under 3 Presidents, the last 7 years as Acting Chairman, and by President Reagan to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Mr. Coursen is the recipient of the Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom and the Republican Majority Medal. Mr. Coursen served on the Children’s Hospital
Foundation Board, and on the Advisory Board for the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Economic Reconstruction of Cuba. He currently serves as a Member of the Children’s National Health Center Emeritus Board. Mr. Coursen also serves as a Member of the Honorary Board for the Blue Sky Foundation, which uses tennis as a vehicle to thank our military for their service.
Mr. Coursen founded the Boys and Girls Club in Lexington, VA, in 1968, while in college. He volunteered as a Big Brother to three DC inner city boys while in law school. In addition, he is an active member of the One and (Red) campaigns to fight childhood AIDS in Africa. Mr. Coursen serves as an Advisor to the Veteran’s National Recovery Center, as a volunteer for The Wounded Warrior Project, and as a volunteer for the U.S. Marine Corps. Mr. Coursen also serves as an active member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Mr. Coursen has served as a member of the Metropolitan Police Department Auxiliary, and as an active supporter of Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS).
Mr. Coursen is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the East, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals, Men of Achievement, Community Leaders in America, and The Social List of Washington.
Chris Mustain is an expert in the policies and partnerships that support successful innovation ecosystems. As an Advisor to Potomac International he brings a deep knowledge of innovation-based economic development.
As a Vice President at the Council on Competitiveness, Mustain convened senior leaders from industry, government, academia, labor unions and the U.S. national laboratories to take action on economic competitiveness issues. He managed the Council’s Advanced Computing Roundtable that advocates U.S. leadership in supercomputing and strategies to leverage advanced computing for U.S. competitiveness. He served as an advisor to the National Science Foundation and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities.
Mustain founded Innovation Advocates in 2009, an independent government relations firm offering advice and analysis on science and technology policy. From 2000-2009, Mustain was an IBM executive, serving as the corporation’s U.S. policy lead for innovation, privacy and other business technology issues. While at IBM, he served on the core team that produced the Innovate America report and was instrumental in working with Congress and the Executive Branch to enact the America COMPETES Act.
In the 1990s, Mustain managed the European-American Business Council and served as a legislative analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget. He is well versed in trade, tax, investment and other economic issues. He’s been featured on National Public Radio’s Marketplace and written for Presidents, Cabinet Secretaries, CEOs and Members of Congress.
Mustain earned a Master’s degree with honors from Georgetown University in International Business-Government Relations. He was a fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research and selected for the prestigious European Union Visitors Program. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Heidelberg University in Ohio, completing majors in Political Science, Economics and German.
Major General John F. Wharton (US Army Ret)
John Wharton is senior adviser to Potomac International Partners. He is a Managing Partner, at One Defense, an organization originating out of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Defense, focused on national security and technology acceleration in support of national security and homeland defense. He most recently served as Commanding General of the United States Army Research, Development and Engineering Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. There he led 13,800 scientists, engineers, and support personnel at more than 100 global locations controlling 75% of the Army’s R&D budget. Subordinate organizations included: The Army Research Laboratory, the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center and the five Research and Development Centers: Armament (Picatinny Arsenal, NJ); Aviation and Missile (Redstone Arsenal, AL); Communication and Electronic (Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD); Soldier Support (Natick, MA); and Tank and Automotive (Warren, MI). Before RDECOM, he served as the Commanding General, U.S. Army Sustainment Command and Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. Prior to that he was the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Army Materiel Command and the Commanding General, AMC-Southwest Asia/U.S. Army Central G-4/CFLCC C-4. John has also commanded units in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Korea, and the Sinai. He has a degree from the United States Military Academy and a master’s degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He has also served as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University (NDU) in Washington, DC and Senior Advisor to the National Security Technology Acceleration Program (MD5) providing our Nation’s leaders with expertise regarding science and technology, innovation, and engineering affecting national security.
Ambassador Ned L. Siegel (Ret.)
Ambassador Ned L. Siegel, (Ret.) is an International Business Advisor for the Caribbean & the Middle East to Potomac International Partners. He is also the president of The Siegel Group, a multi-disciplined international business management advisory firm he founded in 1997 in Boca Raton, Florida, specializing in real estate, energy, utilities, infrastructure, financial services, oil & gas and cyber & secure technology.
From October 2007 until January 2009, he served as the United States Ambassador to the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Prior to his Ambassadorship, in 2006 he served with Ambassador John R. Bolton at the United Nations in New York, as the Senior Advisor to the U.S. Mission and as the United States Representative to the 61st Session of the United Nations General Assembly. From 2003-2007, he served on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC
Amb. Siegel received a BA, Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Connecticut in 1973 and a JD from the Dickinson School of Law in 1976. In December 2014, he received an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.
Jorge L. Arrizurieta
Jorge L. Arrizurieta is an International Business Advisor for the Western Hemisphere to Potomac International Partners. Mr. Arrizurieta is President of Arrizurieta and Associates a full service business development and government relations consulting firm specializing in Florida, Latin America, and the Carribbean. Prior to this he served as Chair of the International Policy Group at Akerman, Senterfitt Law Firm.
He is past president of Florida Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA), a public private partnership led by Governor Jeb Bush whose main mission was to bring the Permanent Secretariat of the FTAA to Miami, Florida. There he was the driving force in the drafting of a policy recommendation that Governor Bush sent to President Bush and his administration that lead to the formation of the Interamerican Ethanol Commission and the important collaboration taking place between the United States Government and the Western Hemisphere.
Mr. Arrizurieta was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Alternate Executive Director at the Inter-American Development Bank in early 2002. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Arrizurieta worked for South Florida entrepreneur H Wayne Huizenga in various capacities for over 10 years. Initially as the Director of Community Relations at the Florida Marlins and then as Vice President of Public Affairs at Huizenga Holdings Inc. Prior to this he served US Senator Connie Mack in his first 5 years in the US Senate as his Director of State Projects.
Through his extensive career in the public and private sectors, Arrizurieta has volunteered his time to many charitable and civic organizations such as the Orange Bowl Committee, the Make A Wish Foundation, and the Beacon Council, among others. Currently, Mr. Arrizurieta serves on the Board of Directors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and was a Trustee of the Miami-Dade County Public Health Trust, which supervises the County’s public health system. He completed his years of service at the Trust as Vice-Chairman of the Board.
He has published various articles along his career in the area of free trade, integration and the importance of biofuels and the possibility of a future hemispheric energy security policy and continues his commitment to the Interamerican Ethanol Commission where he served as a key advisor and Founding Director.
Mr. Arrizurieta served as an appointee of Governor Jeb Bush to the State of Florida’s Board of Governors which oversees Florida’s 11 public universities and colleges and was appointed to the Florida International University Board of Trustees in June 2007. He has served in a number of different leadership roles since. Most recently he was elected by his peers as Vice Chairman of the Board, serves as Chair of the Athletics Committee and Vice Chair of the External Relations Committee as well as the Governance Committee of the Board of Trustees. Most recently Mr. Arrizurieta served as Chairman of the Western Hemisphere Policy Advisory Workgroup of Gov. Jeb Bush’s Campaign for President as well as Chairman of the campaign for South Florida.
Arrizurieta, his wife Mari and their three children Alexia, Alec and Sebastian reside in Coral Gables and are all native Miamians.