New Officers and Board Members

New Officers and Board Members December 2014

FRRME America Executive Committee (left to right), John Busterud, former Vice Chairman; Kevin Douglas, Treasurer; Connie Wilson, Secretary; Nina Shea, Vice Chairman; Scott Rye, Chairman; Woody Hogle, Immediate Past Chairman; and David Greer, Executive Director.


WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East elected new officers and approved three new members of the board at its Annual Meeting held here Dec. 4-5.

Foundation President Canon Andrew White, Vicar Emeritus, St. George’s Church, Baghdad, and Dr. Sarah Ahmed, the Foundation’s Director of Operations, attended the meeting and provided updates on recent humanitarian relief and religious reconciliation efforts in Iraq, Kurdistan, Palestine and Jordan. The Board also discussed a number of initiatives for the coming year as the humanitarian crisis continues in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East.

Scott Rye was elected Chairman of FRRME America. Rye previously served two consecutive terms as Treasurer, as well as serving on the Foundation’s Crisis Management Committee. A captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, he served in Iraq as the Chief of Multi-National Force—Iraq’s Media Operations Center and as a member of the Joint Interagency Personnel Recovery Task Force. Rye is the Director of Black Flag Communications, providing crisis communications and government and public relations. The author of two books, Rye read mediaeval British history and Arthurian literature at St. John’s College, Oxford, and is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Rhodes College.

Nina Shea was elected as the Foundation’s Vice Chairman. An international human rights attorney for more than 30 years, Shea is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, where she directs the Center for Religious Freedom. In that role, Shea undertakes scholarship and advocacy in defense of those persecuted for their religious beliefs and identities. For 10 years prior to joining the Hudson Institute, Shea worked at Freedom House, where she directed the Center for Religious Freedom. She served seven terms as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has served as a U.S. delegate to the United Nation’s main human rights body, and in 2009, was appointed to serve as a member of the U.S. National Commission to UNESCO. Shea is the co-author of two books and has written extensively on religious freedom issues. A member of the bar in the District of Columbia, Shea is a graduate of Smith College and American University’s Washington College of Law.

Connie Wilson was reelected as Secretary. Connie and her husband, Bill, a retired brigadier general in the Georgia National Guard, are long-time friends and supporters of FRRME President Canon Andrew White. Connie splits her time between Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem, where she and Bill maintain an active ministry.

Kevin Douglas was elected as Treasurer of the Foundation. Douglas is an attorney with the Nashville law firm of Bass, Berry and Sims. His practice focuses on corporate governance, securities laws compliance and corporate transactions. Douglas’ experience ranges from providing SEC disclosure advice to the audit committee of a Fortune 100 company, to representing numerous public companies in significant acquisitions and other strategic transactions, to negotiating a settlement agreement with a significant shareholder activist to resolve a threatened proxy fight. Douglas has published a number of articles on legal issues. Prior to joining Bass, Berry and Sims, Douglas practiced at Sherrard & Roe, PLC, in Nashville, and at Latham & Watkins in Washington, D.C. Douglas is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School, where he was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review.

Elected to the Board was Stuart W. Bowen, Jr., who currently serves as a Senior Advisor to both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Bowen previously served as Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and Inspector General for the Coalition Provisional Authority. Bowen was Special Assistant to the President and Associate Counsel before becoming Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Staff Secretary from 2001 to 2003. Prior to working in the White House, Bowen served as Deputy General Counsel to the Governor of Texas and before that was an Assistant Attorney General of Texas. A former Air Force Intelligence officer, Bowen graduated from The University of the South with a dual major in economics and English and from St. Mary’s University Law School, where he was Research and Note and Comment Editor for the St. Mary’s Law Journal.

May Al-Najjar was elected to the Board. Al-Najjar currently works with TD Bank in Washington, D.C. A native Iraqi, Al-Najjar has worked for a number of multi-national companies in Iraq and Jordan, as well as the Coalition Provisional Authority and the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières. Al-Najjar holds degrees from the Mustansiriya Baghdad University and the University of the District of Columbia.

Also elected to the Board, the Rev. Meg Saunders serves as Associate Rector of Christ the Saviour Anglican Church in Alexandria, Va. Her previous experience includes serving as Assistant Rector at St. Brendan’s in the City; as a writer, researcher and project manager at HarperCollins; and as the Director of Communications and Research, United States Senate Office of the Chaplain; as well as other positions in both government and the private sector. She also served as a missionary, teaching in a secondary school in Kenya. She is the author of “First Thoughts,” a weekly devotional. Saunders has a B.A. in Speech Communications from Baylor University, an M.A. in American History from Fordham University, and an M.Div. from Trinity School for Ministry.

Lt. Gen. Walter S. “Woody” Hogle, Jr., USAF (Ret.), will remain on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chairman. Brig. Gen. David E. Greer, USA (Ret.), will continue his role as Executive Director of the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

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