Kermit Birchfield, J.D.

Mr. Birchfield was admitted to the Federal District Court of New York and the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and the New York State Bar and the New York City Bar in 1972 and has over 40 years of experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate litigation and other corporate matters. He spent the first 12 years of his career with two Wall Street law firms. For five years in the 1980s he held the position of Senior Vice President Legal and Governmental Affairs and General Counsel at Georgia-Pacific Corporation (at that time, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange) and in the 1990s, he spent five years as Senior Vice President Legal, Secretary and General Counsel at M/A-Com, Inc. (also then listed on the New York Stock Exchange). Since that time he has served on the boards of a number of US companies including HPSC Inc. (at that time, listed on the American Stock Exchange) and Dairy Mart Convenience Stores Inc. (also then listed on the American Stock Exchange). He is currently Chairman of Massachusetts Financial Services Compass Group of Mutual Funds, which manages approximately US$10 billion; and serves on the boards of Displaytech Inc.; SiteWatch Technologies LLC; Dessin Fournir Companies; Juridica Investments Limited, ImmunoScience, Inc.; and Intermountain Industries, Inc.

Katy de la Garza, Ed.D.

Dr. de la Garza has more than 15 years of experience working with international development initiatives. Some of her previous collaborations include initiating operations of micro-finance NGO Pro Mujer in Mexico; managing the Rural Community Development Program for the U.S. Peace Corps in Costa Rica; leading The Nature Conservancy’s Costa Rica team to successfully execute conservations strategies, eco tourism projects and policy research; leading strategy and innovation at Televisa Foundation that focuses on enhancing educational opportunities for Latino youth and families in the United States; and working with international development government agencies such as the German Cooperation Agency (GIZ) in programs focusing on education quality and relevance for indigenous peoples. Dr. de la Garza holds a Doctorate in international educational development and a Master’s in international affairs from Columbia University. Her research interests are related to social justice and include community development, teacher education, indigenous people's rights, education and development in rural contexts, mentorship in education and education policy for marginalized populations in Latin America. Dr. de la Garza is Dean of International Honors Programs at SIT Study Abroad, World Learning.

Anita Demkiv, Ph.D.

Dr. Demkiv has been consulting and researching in the energy industry for nearly a decade. She has held positions as Senior Analyst for Crude Oil at an energy derivatives brokerage firm and Oil Market Analyst at a physical oil products brokerage firm in New York City. Prior to working as an energy consultant, she was an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University, as well as a lecturer at Odessa National University and at Fordham University. She has also worked in Ukraine as a US Peace Corps Volunteer, as Program Coordinator at the George Soros-sponsored NGO, International Renaissance Foundation in Kyiv and as an NGO consultant at the World Bank in Ukraine. Anita earned a PhD in Global Affairs from Rutgers University, MA from Columbia University and BA from New York University. She has published articles and reports on energy issues, petrostates and political instability. Anita currently runs her energy consulting firm, ADIN Energy, which she founded in 2015 and has been a Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Alumni Association Board Member since 2015.

Alla Korzh, Ed.D.

Dr. Korzh is Assistant Professor of International Education at the School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute, World Learning. She holds a Doctorate in international educational development from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to assuming her teaching position at SIT, Dr. Korzh worked as a post-doctoral research scholar at the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, where she conducted interdisciplinary research with formerly incarcerated women in NYC to examine their experiences with barriers to and challenges in higher education and strategies for developing a two/multi-generational framework that enhances educational access and success of families affected by incarceration. Dr. Korzh's research focuses on education (in-)equity, social justice, social change, and educational transformations in post-Soviet contexts. Her dissertation research in Ukraine examined orphanage children's and youth's educational experiences; quality of secondary education in orphanages, and how it prepares youth for post-secondary educational pursuits; role of educators and peers in disadvantaged children’s lives; cultural production of genetic deficiency ideology; hidden curriculum for social reproduction or transformation; and de-institutionalization and foster care reform in Ukraine. Dr. Korzh serves on the American Association for University Women fellowship selection panel.

Jennifer Toritto Leonardo, J.D.

Since 1997, Ms. Toritto Leonardo has been a criminal prosecutor advocating on behalf of child victims.  She began her legal career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office serving under then Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau.  As an Assistant District Attorney, Ms. Toritto Leonardo specialized in prosecuting domestic violence crimes including rape, assault, and child abuse.  In 2004, Ms. Toritto Leonardo joined the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice.  As a Senior Trial Attorney in the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, she has represented the Department with respect to complex and multi-target investigations and prosecutions involving the production and distribution of child pornography, trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation, and in “sex tourism” cases involving United States citizens that travel abroad for the purpose of engaging in sex with minors.  She has tried numerous cases involving the exploitation of children, including one of the first federal sex trafficking of minors cases resulting in a defendant’s sentence to a mandatory term of life imprisonment.  She regularly provides training and guidance to both U.S. and foreign law enforcement and prosecutors and has travelled throughout the world to meet with foreign delegates on issues related to human trafficking and child exploitation.  Ms. Toritto Leonardo has received the Justice Department’s Exceptional Achievement Award, the Department of Homeland Security Director’s Award, and has twice received the Justice Department’s Award for Outstanding Advocacy for Protecting Citizens from Online Crime.  She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two children.