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Global leadership 5 Cs for Success

ACIR's leadership team is made of up former military personnel, leaders,

academicians and business professionals, all with a keen interest in international affairs.

Board of directors

More About Bob

A former senior government official, Bob is president/CEO of ACIR. He served more than 20 years as Professor of International Affairs at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia and was elected professor emeritus upon retirement. His prior positions include serving as director of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany; Deputy Commandant, NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy; Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of National Security Studies, U.S. Army War College; Senior Researcher at the U.S. Army’s Strategic Studies Institute; Foreign Affairs Officer, U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; an enlisted man in the U.S. Army; and command pilot on active duty with the U.S. Air Force and later with the reserve forces. Bob was a Fulbright Scholar in Peru, holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Georgetown University and a B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy. He is recipient of the Superior Civilian Service Award, US Department of Defense, the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the Chairman, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, a Doctorate Honoris Cause from the Bulgarian National Defense College, and the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been elected a permanent member of the Academy of Security, Defense, and Law Enforcement, Russian Federation with the title of Professor. For his efforts in helping Romania meet the requirements for NATO membership, the President of Romania awarded him the title of Commander. He has lectured and published widely. His latest book is The Road to War: Congress’ Historic Abdication of Responsibility.

More About Colin

Colin Brady is a community leader and former businessman. During his corporate career, Colin was an executive with PPG Industries, a division president and corporate officer of Philip’s Industries (NYSE), and CEO of the America’s of Portals Holdings, PLC. At the time, he was the only American to have been elected to a UK board of Portals Holdings since that company’s founding in 1712. Colin is one of the few Americans knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). Colin is a community leader, who has served with the British American Business Council, the Georgia Council for International Visitors, the Atlanta College of Art/Woodruff Arts Center (now merged with SCAD), the Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities. He was also a judge for the annual National Business Plan Competition among Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He currently is board director for the National Monuments Foundations. He joined the ACIR Board of Directors in 2020.

More About Mike

A senior financial executive and strategic planner.

Had several senior financial positions in Cleveland; became SVP Finance of a unit of AB Volvo, based in Brussels. Spent 8 years there; live there another 11 years, & commuted back and forth 10x a year. Lived in NYC for five years, and now 15 years in Atlanta.

Traveled globally extensively; interest in economics; politics, & history.

Born and raised in Cleveland, OH. BS from John Carroll U, Cleveland. MBA-Finance, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland.

Currently a consultant offering clients in a broad range of industries: strategic, financial, and M&A advisory consulting services.

Married; three children; six grandchildren. Love golf; exercise; travel.

More About Don

Has traveled internationally learning about the history of localities and how that history impacts their current situation.

Retired Educator – Elementary Physical Education teacher for 12 years in suburban Chicago followed by 20 plus years at the Georgia Department of Education in the areas of teacher certification and leadership development. Have been involved in officiating football at the high school level for over 50 years.

Bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University, Masters from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and additional graduate studies at Georgia State University.

Married with two grandsons.

More About Jeremy

Jeremy Croggon was born in Cornwall UK, where much of his family still resides. He received a B. Commerce degree at McGill University Montreal, Quebec in 1960. Following graduation, he joined English China Clays (ECC), a Cornwall based producer, which at that time, was the Global Leader in the production of Kaolin and other Industrial Minerals. Jeremy was sent back to Canada to develop Canadian and US markets for products exported from Cornwall, mainly paper and ceramic applications.

In 1967 Mr. Croggon was appointed President of the North American business with operations in Georgia and HQ in NYC. 1970 He moved the company HQ to Atlanta. Through acquisitions and internal development ECC America became the largest producer of Kaolin in USA, with Global markets, 50% of the output being exported. He subsequently was appointed to the UK Board of Directors. In addition to North American responsibilities, a large part of his role was assisting the establishment of operations in Asia and South America, especially Japan and Brazil.

Jeremy retired from ECCA and joined OMYA, Inc., a privately held Swiss Company, with Mineral operations in 35 countries around the world, where he led their North American business. On retirement from OMYA, he continued working with OMYA’s German based Group on the development of regional market plans. His work with OMYA involved extensive travel throughout Europe, Asia, and South America.

Mr. Croggon remains active with Consulting in Industrial Minerals, with current projects in Germany and India. Past Board associations include, St Joseph’s Hospital, Trust Company International Advisory, the International Club of Atlanta, and North Valley Homeowners Association.

Jeremy is married to Christiane since 1962. They have two sons and four Grandchildren.

More About Tony

Tony Cuzzucoli, a New Englander, was born in Sharon, Connecticut. He is a former civic leader who, while a Long Island resident for 40 years, engaged with local, state, and federal governments on behalf of local residents, fighting for improved education, groundwater flood relief, and other community issues. He was also a political consultant for several county and state contests. He served on key Long Island committees, such as the 208 Ground Water Advisory Committee for the protection of the Sole Source Aquifer that serves Long Island’s three million residents. He is a veteran and taught Government and American History for three and a half decades. In his decades as a teacher, he brought prominent guests to the classroom in addition to establishing a successful internship program for state and federal officeholders. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Government from Wagner College, 1961, and a Masters in American History and Foreign Affairs from Adelphi University, 1970. An ACIR member for well over a decade, he has been on the ACIR’s Board of Directors since 2016. He served as Director of Programs until January 2024 and was elected Board Member Emeritus.

More About Asif

Asif Jessani is a professional volunteer. He currently serves as a board member for Artworks Gwinnett, Gwinnett County Parks Foundation, and Gwinnett County Public Library Foundation. He also serves as an advisory board member for the United Way of Greater Atlanta - Gwinnett and Atlanta Speech School. With a passion for early childhood education, he is also involved with Gwinnett County's early learning initiative, Building Babies' Brains. As part of the Ismaili Muslim Community, he has been a volunteer preschool teacher for the past 24 years.

Asif is also actively involved with the communications and outreach team for the Ismaili Muslim Community and previously led the marketing and media team for the United States Ismaili Games.

In the past, he served on the Board of Directors for Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity, was on the steering committee for the Educate Georgia Summit, was a Crew Leader for Gwinnett Young Professionals' Journey program, served on the marketing team for Gwinnett Coalition's Great Days of Service, and was a part of Leadership Gwinnett's education subcommittee. He was also a volunteer with TEDx Centennial Park Women since its inception.

When he isn't volunteering, Asif takes on the responsibility of partner at CCS: Marketing & Technology, which provides chief marketing and technology officer services and branded items for mission-driven organizations.

More About Bianca

Bianca Modo serves as the Senior Brand Strategist in her company, Modo Global. She has consulted with various global businesses to develop innovative strategies for marketing, logistics, and professional development initiatives. Bianca has also been featured on numerous media outlets, both local and global, including The Word Network, Fox, Shein Magazine, Simply Buckhead, Kontrol Magazine, and Zoe Life.

Bianca has worked in government contracting and served as Operational support on various international projects enabling social justice platforms focused on educational development and resources, women’s empowerment, Rule of Law, and urgent medical care support in extremely impoverished and at-risk environments.

Bianca studied abroad and received a dual-degree MBA in Luxury Management and MSc. in International Marketing Affairs from the Paris School of Business and ESGCI in Paris, France. She has traveled to many countries and built global relationships through school and work endeavors. Her favorite foods come from Costa Rica, The Netherlands, Spain, and France.

As a servant leader, Bianca serves on multiple organizations’ boards and has previously served as the VP of Marketing of the AICI Global Southeast Region Chapter for two years. Before completing her graduate degrees, she graduated from the Global Young Leaders Academy, then served as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Global Peace Festival Foundation, which hosts a global-level event involving delegates from over 30 countries. Bianca Modo supported this peace-building effort involving the community, business, government, and religious leaders.

Bianca currently resides in her hometown, Atlanta, Georgia.

More About Mark

Mark Pierson is an international business development executive and heads up ACIR’s consular breakfast program. Mark holds an M.A. in International Economic Affairs from the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce, University of Kentucky, and is President of the Greater Atlanta University of Kentucky Alumni Club. His extensive international experience includes six months as a college student in India, as a volunteer in Kenya, extensive travel to China and Europe, and two years living in Bangkok and Hong Kong. Mark has been active in numerous Georgia organizations and is past-president of the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on its corporate advisory board. He was publisher of the German Chamber’s magazine from 1996-2003 and was the City of Berlin’s U.S. Business Liaison from 2010-2011. He helped establish the GlobalFax News Service in 1993 which is now GlobalAtlanta, a strategic partner of ACIR. He was a member of the Braves Inaugural Fan Advisory Council and has been a season ticket holder since 1993. Mark arranged for three Consuls General of Japan and the Consuls General of Korea and Germany to throw out the first pitch at Braves games over the past 15 years. Mark also taught Math and English for the Navy High School Functional Skills Program on five deployed ships, including the aircraft carrier USS Independence during the Iran Hostage Crisis.

More About Julie

Julie Caines is a global program manager focused on emerging talent acquisition and development. Over the last 20 years she has worked in a variety of roles at Microsoft and Oracle, leading international projects and strategic growth initiatives. She is an avid community volunteer who has taught English as a second language, tutored new readers in under- resourced elementary schools and provided hospital and hotline support to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She currently contributes time to the Never Alone Food Pantry, the Leaning Ladder Cooking School and to the International Pickleball Federation as the Vice President, International Country Membership.

More About Michael

Michael is employed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), coordinating and planning international engagements supporting the U.S Department of State – International Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. Michael has held positions at the United Nation’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), U.S. Department of Energy –National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Department of Agriculture - Animal Plant Health Inspection Service.

While working at the IAEA, Michael developed a strategic site-wide masterplan for the Seibersdorf Laboratory supporting the UN Sustainability Development Goals. Michael has extensive experience working with a variety of federal agencies supporting nonproliferation initiatives in chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological security. Prior to joining ORNL, he completed the NNSA Nuclear Graduate Fellowship Program in the Office of Radiological Security in Washington D.C.

Michael spent several years working as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor in Doha, Qatar, and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. He holds degrees from Temple University and Penn State University, and has completed postgraduate work at the Naval Postgraduate School – Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Advisor to the President

Dave Bolde

Advisory board members

Dr. Dan Papp

Chair, ACIR Advisory Board

Retired President

Kennesaw State University

Chris Davala



Dr. Howard Hensel

Professor of Politico-Military Affairs

Department of Strategy

U.S. Air War College

Craig Lesser


The Pendleton Group

Dr. Jennie Lincoln

Director, Latin America and Caribbean Program

The Carter Center

John Loud


LOUD Security Systems

Dr. Edward Mienie

Executive Director, Strategic Studies and Partnerships

University of North Georgia

Dr. Jorge Perez

Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success

University of Tennessee System

Norman Radow

Chief Executive Officer

The RADCO Companies

Gail K. Ripans


Senior University of Greater Atlanta

Chris Young

Senior Manager, Public Sector Consulting