Amb. Hans H. Hertell
Head of Advisory Board
An attorney with over 30 years' experience in government, public affairs, business, and banking, Ambassador Hans H. Hertell was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic on November 8, 2001. When he finished his tour on May 1, 2007, Ambassador Hertell was the second longest serving U.S. Ambassador and he was awarded the prestigious Cobb Award for Excellency in Diplomacy by the Department of State. Before becoming an Ambassador, Mr. Hertell’s was Managing Director of Black, Kelly, Scruggs and Healey, a government and public affairs company based in Washington, D.C. He was president of Ponce Federal Bank and a founding partner of Goldman, Antonetti, Ferraiuoli, Axtmayer and Hertell. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. Mr. Hertell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University of New York and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Puerto Rico.
Mr. Matthews is currently the Head of Operations for Global Markets at a multinational investment bank. Prior to this position, he was the Global Chief Operating Officer at the same bank for a number of businesses, including global rates and credit trading as well as global prime finance and markets clearing. His roles over 30 years have spanned across the front, middle, and back offices with a focus on management, operations, and technology. Previously, he was at Citigroup, ING Bank, Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan. Mr. Matthews holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from Hofstra University.
Andrew F. Knaggs
Mr. Knaggs is currently Chief Operating Officer at PACEM Solutions International LLC, a consultancy, training and risk management company and a producer of high-quality munitions. He is also an adjunct professor of law at The George Washington University Law School and previously ran his own business and M&A practice in Washington, D.C., Knaggs Law PLLC. Mr. Knaggs has served in executive positions with the Department of Defense twice, first as Deputy Director, Special Operations and Irregular Warfare Directorate (2013-2014) and then as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Special Operations and Combating Terrorism (2017-2019), which he left to run for U.S. Congress in the 2020 election cycle. He was formerly Chief, Research & Engineering Division, at the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) focused on the development of next-generation technological capabilities. Mr. Knaggs, who completed two tours in Iraq, also served as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army 5th Special Forces Group as Commanding Officer; as the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha, leading a team specialized in High-Altitude Low-Opening (HALO) airborne operations; and as Deputy Commander, Special Forces Company, in addition to other military roles. Mr. Knaggs earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point and his J.D. from The College of William and Mary – Marshall Wythe Law School. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.
Mr. Bernstein is an insurance specialist with Richard S. Bernstein & Associates Inc., specializing in individual life and health insurance and employee benefit analysis. He is also a specialist in group business development. Mr. Bernstein is a television and movie writer, actor and director including a number of productions: Walt Before Mickey, Swing State, Brawler and New Life. Mr. Bernstein holds a Bachelor of Arts in Motion Picture and Theater Production with a minor in Marketing from the University of Miami.
George F. Braun
Mr. Braun specializes in agri-business, maritime and other corporate issues. He has written on several bills for the California, Arizona and United States Legislatures. He is a member and council for the Farm Bureau, Western Growers Association, the Produce Marketing Association, the California Agricultural Production Consultants Association, and the Pest Control Operators of California. Mr. Braun received a B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arizona and a J.D. from Golden Gate University/University of San Diego School of Law. He is admitted to practice in the United States District Courts in California for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts, as well as, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. He is a practicing member of the United States Supreme Court Bar.