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HIAS National Board Welcomes New Chair, Vice Chair, and Five New Members
Jeff Blattner Elected New Chair of HIAS Board of Directors; Jane Ginns Elected Vice Chair
Julius Genachowski, Danny Grossman, Steven Koltai, Melody McCoy and Stephanie Mudick elected to the refugee resettlement nonprofit’s national board
Silver Spring, Md. – HIAS, the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides critical support to refugees, is pleased to announce the election of Jeff Blattner as chair, and Jane Ginns as vice chair, of its board of directors, along with the appointment of five new board members: Julius Genachowski, Danny Grossman, Steven Koltai, Melody McCoy and Stephanie Mudick. Their terms begin on July 1.
“My HIAS colleagues and I are excited to welcome new national board leadership with the appointment of Chair Jeff Blattner and Vice Chair Jane Ginns, as well as these five distinguished new members,” said Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS. “The new board leadership, and the diverse experience and skills of these new members, will be extremely helpful in guiding HIAS’ response to the war in Ukraine, which has caused the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and our important work to assist millions more who continue to be displaced in other regions around the world.”
“I am humbled to step into this role at such a challenging moment, and I am honored to serve with HIAS’ remarkable board and staff,” said incoming board chair Jeff Blattner. “I look forward to working with them and particularly with Vice Chair Jane Ginns and CEO Mark Hetfield to advance the organization’s mission of protecting and welcoming refugees.”
Jeff Blattner has been a member of the HIAS board since 2014, serving as Chair of the External Affairs Committee and the Global Structure Task Force. He succeeds longtime board member Robert Aronson, who became chair in 2019 and has been associated with HIAS for more than 30 years.
More information on the incoming board members below:
Jeff Blattner is a member of the adjunct faculty at the University of Colorado Law School, and a senior fellow at the Silicon Flatirons Institute Center for Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship of the University of Colorado. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, summa cum laude, and Harvard Law School, magna cum laude, Jeff was formerly deputy assistant attorney general and special counsel for information technology in the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice. Jeff also previously served as a law clerk to Justice Potter Stewart, and as chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee staff of Senator Edward Kennedy. He also served on the presidential transitions of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, as well as the transition of Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.
Incoming Vice Chair
Jane Ginns is the Founder and Chair of the Central Welcome Project, the refugee resettlement program at Central Synagogue in New York City. She previously worked at the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, Inc., where she assisted survivors in obtaining compensation for their suffering during the Holocaust. Jane began her career as a commercial litigation attorney with firms in New York and Chicago. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and The George Washington University Law School. A former HIAS client and refugee herself, Jane is actively involved with causes involving refugees, immigration, and international affairs, including serving on the HIAS board since 2014.
Incoming board members
Julius Genachowski has held senior leadership roles in both the private and public sectors, with a focus on digital media and communications. He is a Managing Director at The Carlyle Group, a leading global investment firm, where he focuses on technology, media, and telecommunications, and a member of the boards of directors of Mastercard and Sonos. Julius was Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from 2009-2013, on President Obama’s Transition Advisory Board, and chair of the TMT Advisory Group of President Obama’s 2008 campaign. He also served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2013-2017. Previously, Julius was a senior executive and a member of the Office of the Chairman at IAC, which owned and operated multiple Internet and media businesses, including Expedia, Ticketmaster, cable networks, and a film and TV studio. Early in his career, Julius was on the staff of the Iran-Contra Committee, and also worked for then-Representative Charles Schumer. He holds a B.A. in History magna cum laude from Columbia University and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Julius is the son a Holocaust refugee and led the U.S. delegation to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Danny Grossman has served on several boards, including Stand for Children, the Social Venture Network, the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, the Stanford Center for Ethics, the Jewish Community Federation, the Toy Industry Association, and Joshua Venture Group. Danny has a B.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Danny was the Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Community Federation of the Bay Area from 2015-2021. From 1993-2014, he founded and ran two companies, Wild Planet and Slow Food for Fast Lives. At the beginning of his career, Danny was a legislative aide to Congressman James Coyne in Washington D.C., before serving seven years in the U.S. Foreign Service as a diplomat, both overseas (India, USSR, Austria) and at the Department of State. Most of his time was focused on Soviet human rights, including the right for Jews and other Soviet citizens to emigrate. Based on his Jewish values, and his father’s history in seeking refuge from pogroms in his birthplace of Kyiv, Danny is deeply committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of refugees.
Steven Koltai was born in Budapest in 1954 and came to the U.S. with HIAS’ help and support following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Steven is currently a Research Affiliate at MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship at MIT D-Lab, and a Non-Resident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also Managing Director of Koltai & Co, an entrepreneurship development consultancy that has worked in over three dozen countries, and for the past four years exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. From 2009-2012, Koltai was the first U.S. State Department Senior Advisor for Entrepreneurship, where he created and ran the Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP). Prior to 2009, his 40-year business career included stints at Bankers Trust and Salomon Brothers (in international project finance), McKinsey & Company (in the media group), and 10 years as Corporate Senior VP for Strategy and Business Development at Warner Bros. Koltai earned a BA in History, magna cum laude from Tufts University, an MA from Tufts’ Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Licence in European Economics (as a Fulbright Scholar) from the Université libre de Bruxelles.
Melody McCoy is the Vice President of Global Engagement and Communication for Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins University-affiliated international non-governmental organization working to improve the health of women throughout the developing world. She has worked for Jhpiego for 14 years and spent the prior decade in executive positions focused on government relations, program strategy, communications, resource development, and grant monitoring. In her role at Jhpiego, Melody leads a team of global communicators, in addition to coordinating all communications, government affairs, donor development, and technical publications for the award-winning organization. Ms. McCoy has an MSW from the University of Maryland at Baltimore and extensive experience in community relations, both for a member of the U.S. Congress and as a chief lobbyist for the Maryland Jewish Alliance. At the Alliance, Melody led the successful campaign to divest Maryland’s retirement system from holdings with Iran and Sudan.
Stephanie Mudick has extensive public and not-for-profit board experience, and a 27-year-plus career in the financial services industry. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bancorp, Inc. (NASD:TBBK) where she sits on the Executive, Risk (Chair), and Environmental Social and Governance Committee (ESG) committees. Her experience at JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup includes significant experience in domestic and international transactional mergers and acquisitions (M&A), responsibility for developing and managing enterprise-wide risk, infrastructure control, driving best-in-class governance, and management of customer-facing operations for consumer banking. Stephanie currently serves on numerous not-for-profit boards, including the Institute for International Education, a global not-for-profit that designs and implements international education strategies and program services, including, among many others, managing the Fulbright Scholarship program for the U.S. Department of State and the Families and Work Institute. She served on the board of City Year New York for 11 years and as its Chair for six years.
HIAS is the international Jewish humanitarian organization that provides vital services to refugees and asylum seekers in 17 countries. We advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people to rebuild their lives and seek to create a world in which they find welcome, safety, and opportunity.