In partnership with The US Association of Former Members of Congress, Legacy will bring the following delegation of visitors to Kuwait and Oman from the United States. The Legislative Fellows Program (LFP) links community leaders in a two-way exchange that strengthens mutual understanding of the legislative and policymaking processes in Kuwait, Oman and U.S. (See bios of travelers below)
- Meeting withe Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Legal Affairs, and other high level officials
- Panel discussions with members of the Shura Council and State Council (upper and lower houses of parliament)
- Meeting with member of a National Geographic Team working on a historic artifact discovery project
- Visit to the U.S military base there (apparently over 60% of the land mass in Kuwait is covered by US military bases!)
- Lecture by our delegation at the American University of Kuwait
- Meetings with the Youth Council, Women’s Groups, and Volunteerism groups
Media innovator and champion of smarter government with 15 years’ experience writing, producing, and designing influential publications and technologies. Coauthor of the national bestseller The Google Story and editor/researcher on 7 other books, including three New York Times bestsellers about government. Entrepreneur behind OhMyGov’s Webby-honored politics blog and National Science Foundation-backed social analytics software, which is used by members of Congress, federal agencies and media outlets to analyze news, policy and citizen engagement.
In addition to his work with government social media as a cofounder of OhMyGov Inc., Mark Malseed serves as Director of 311 Solutions for the mobile Q&A company ChaCha. In this role, he has helped design, launch, and operate the SMS texting service for NYC 311, New York City’s municipal government information service. New York operates the largest-in-the-nation 311 service, handling more than 1.5 million calls per month as the main point of contact for NYC citizens to connect with their government. The texting service launched in the spring of 2011, enabling New Yorkers to send questions and service requests via SMS rather than dialing 311.
Irene Karedis (Client Services and Government Relations Support, the Livingston Group)
Irene joined the Livingston Group in 2010 to support client services in government relations, strategic communications, public affairs, and advocacy. She has experience working with International, Federal, State and Local institutions to provide solutions for clients including the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, Federal Agencies such as the Department of State, International Embassies, Think Tanks, non-profit institutions, academic institutions and associations.
Ms. Karedis graduated from Pennsylvania State University with degrees in International Affairs and English and has completed a Masters in National Security Affairs with a specialization in Public Diplomacy and Political Warfare from the Institute of World Politics in Washington DC. She also has studied at the Lehigh University College of Business and Economics, AUC American University in Cairo and UPF – Universitat de Pompeu Fabra in Bacelona. She is a member of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group, and is involved on a volunteer basis for several US based initiatives in mentorship and women’s development including Room to Read (R2R).
Former Member of Congress Ron Sarasin
Home District: Connecticut 5th district (Republican)
Years in Office: 1973-1979 (3 Terms)
Education: He earned his B.S., University of Connecticut, Storrs, 1960. and J.D., University of Connecticut School of Law, Hartford, 1963.
Biography : Hon. Ron Sarasin is currently the President, U.S. Capitol Historical Society. In his career he served in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1956. After law school, he served as town counsel in Beacon Falls, Connecticut from 1963 to 1972. He served as assistant professor of law at New Haven College in New Haven, Connecticut from 1963 to 1966. He served as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1968 to 1972. He served as assistant minority leader from 1970 to 1972. Sarasin was elected to Congress in 1973 and was reelected twice. He then ran for governor of Connecticut in 1978 but lost. He has served as the president of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society since 2000, a non-profit, non-partisan, educational entity chartered by Congress to enhance and perpetuate the history and heritage of the Capitol, its institutions and the individuals who have served there.
Former Member of Congress Les AuCoin
Home District: Oregon, 1st District (Democrat)
Years in Office: 1975-1993
Education: Earned his BA in Journalism from Pacific University (1968) and was also awarded and honorary doctorate of Human Letters from Pacific University (1978)
Biography: Les AuCoin is a retired, 18-year U.S. Congressman from Oregon who makes his home in Bozeman, Montana. Now an author, he has retired from his second career as an award-winning professor of government and business ethics at Southern Oregon University and as a visiting lecturer at the Maxwell School of Government at Syracuse, University.
Mr. AuCoin was a veteran member of the House Appropriations Committee and its defense subcommittee. In the latter capacity, he and his subcommittee colleagues visited Kuwait in 1990 to determine the needs of U.S. troops prior to the first Iraq war. He is well-traveled in the Middle East, having met with government leaders in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt during that time. Congressman AuCoin is also an expert on China, having brought the first U.S.-China trade bill to the House floor in 1978 and losing by what was considered a surprisingly narrow 35 vote margin. When relations between the two nations were restored, at the invitation of the government of the PRC, he was the first Member of Congress to lead a trade mission to China. He led that mission in February of 1979, one month after normalization of relations. His foreign policy credentials also include being an official congressional observer at the Geneva Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) between the U.S. and former Soviet Union.
Joanne (Jan) Newsome
Occupation: Program Officer for Senior Corps for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)
Education: Jan has a Bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from North Carolina Central University.
Biography: Jan currently serves as a Program Officer for Senior Corps for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Senior Corps engages adults age 55 and older in volunteer activities that increase the capacity of local nonprofit organizations to carry out their missions. Among Jan’s responsibilities as Program Officer is the implementation of strategies that expand the capacity of nonprofit and corporate entities to include their retirees and older workers in volunteer programs.
Jan has extensive knowledge and experience in helping to craft a strategic vision around volunteer and work issues for the age 50+ populations and has worked on these issues for three preeminent aging organizations — AARP, Senior Service America, and Senior Corps. Additionally, she has conducted leadership activities that supported the activities of the Administration on Aging, the U.S. government agency responsible for aging issues in America.
She has served in an advisory capacity on initiatives for numerous organizations including the WISDOM Works project for the National Council on Aging, the Purposeful Lives initiative for the American Society on Aging and the National Aging Collaborative of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Debra Gebhardt (Oman Only)
Occupation: Chief of Staff to Representative Thomas E. Petri (R-WI)
Education: She earned a degree in economics and business from Westmont College, Santa Barbara, California, in 1981.
Biography: Debra Gebhardt was named Chief of Staff to Representative Thomas E. Petri (R-WI) in January 2001. Congressman Petri is a senior member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where he serves as the Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee. From 1995 through 2006, Rep. Petri was Chairman of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee. He also is a senior member of the Committee on Education and the Work.
Debra began her career on Capitol Hill in 1982 as executive assistant to Rep. James K. Coyne (R-PA). From 1983 to 1987, she served as legislative assistant to Representative Guy V. Molinari (R-NY).
She served for 12 years (1987-1999) as a professional staff member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. From 1993 to 1999, she was a professional staff member on the Ground Transportation Subcommittee (formerly the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation), and was previously on the staff of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee and the Public Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee. During her career with the Transportation Committee, she was involved in various legislative initiatives, including the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21), Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, ICC Termination Act of 1995, Hazardous Materials Transportation Authorization Act of 1994, Accountable Pipeline Safety and Partnership Act of 1996, and the Water Resources Development Act of 1992.
From March 1999 through 2000, Debra was on the staff of the Legislative Affairs office of the American Trucking Associations. With ATA, she represented the trucking industry before the U.S. Congress, primarily in the areas of highway infrastructure, motor carrier safety and motor carrier economic regulation.