Announcements / December 3, 2020

Announcing New Global Ties U.S. Board Members for 2021

Global Ties U.S. is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to its Board of Directors: Muddassar Ahmed, Tara Panek Bringle, and Jonathan Quarles. The appointments take effect January 1, 2021. Together, they bring a wealth of expertise in finance, entrepreneurship, communications, and international exchange. 

Muddassar Ahmed leads Unitas Communications, a strategic communications firm where he has directed projects for the United Nations, Friends of the Earth, the U.S. Department of State, Amnesty International, and the NFL, alongside many other global clients. He is the Founder and President of the John Adams Society, the official U.K. Association for the U.S. Department of State’s IVLP alumni. Muddassar is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and recently completed a term as an Independent Advisor to the British government. 

Tara Panek Bringle is a Partner and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Development Innovations Group (DIG), a private, international firm committed to expanding the frontiers of finance and development and improving the lives of the poor around the world. Tara is also a Founding Partner of DIG Capital.  As CFO, Tara oversees all finance and compliance for DIG and its related entities globally. A seasoned program director, she specializes in the design, management and implementation of programs for a variety of clients, including USAID, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, large U.S. foundations, U.S. and international NGOs, multi-lateral institutions, and private banks.

Jonathan Quarles is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The BTL Group, a consultancy helping public and private organizations around the world connect the dots on critical resources, community dynamics, and lucrative partnerships. Jonathan also founded Quartz Water Source, a company inspired by the ongoing Flint water crisis that serves as a hub for ‘second-line’ clean water solutions. Jonathan brings ten years of experience on the Global Ties Detroit Board of Directors and as host and a speaker for groups of international entrepreneurs visiting the United States on topics around best business practices.

Global Ties U.S. deeply appreciates Henry Collins, Vice President at Meridian International Center, a National Program Agency, and Jacquelyn Shipe, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ties Alabama, a Global Ties U.S. Community-Based Member, who conclude their terms. Both Henry and Jacqui served as officers on the Board, providing years of exceptional service to Global Ties U.S. We and our Network of 120+ nonprofits extend our profound thanks to them for their passion and commitment to international exchange and public diplomacy.

In January, Global Ties U.S. will also welcome a new slate of officers. Jacqueline Miller, President & CEO of the World Affairs Council of Seattle, will begin her tenure as Chair, while Patricia Harrison, Ph.D.,  Director of Global Programs (Professional Exchanges) at World Learning, will serve as Vice Chair. Martin Baier, President and CEO of The International Center in Indianapolis, will serve as Secretary, and Diana Bucco, President of The Buhl Foundation in Pittsburgh, will serve as Treasurer. 

We profusely thank Mariano Gutierrez, Head of Global Marketing Operations at MetLife, who served as Treasurer, and Christopher Washington, Ph.D., Executive Vice President & Provost of Franklin University, who served as Chair for the past two years. Both will continue to serve on the Board as Directors. 

As of January 1, 2021, the following individuals will serve on the Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors:


Jacqueline Miller, Chair
President & CEO
World Affairs Council – Seattle
Seattle, WA

Patricia Harrison, Ph.D., Vice Chair
Director of Global Programs (Professional Exchanges)
World Learning
Washington, DC

Martin Baier, Secretary
President & CEO
The International Center
Indianapolis, IN

Diana Bucco, Treasurer
The Buhl Foundation
Pittsburgh, PA


Muddassar Ahmed
Managing Partner
Unitas Communications
London, UK

Anna Aleman
Program Director, Development & Major Gifts
University Medical Center Foundation of El Paso
El Paso, TX

Peter Asaad
Potomac Law
Washington, DC

Mariano Gutierrez
Head of Global Marketing Operations
New York, NY

Barbara Keller
BIKConsulting, LLC
Arlington, VA

Elizabeth Kumbhari
General Counsel and Vice President for Professional Exchange Programs
Cultural Vistas
Washington, DC

Robin Lerner
President & CEO
Texas International Education Consortium
Austin, TX

Cheryl Matherly, Ph.D.
Vice President & Vice Provost for International Affairs
Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA

Derrick Olsen
Portland, OR

Tara Panek Bringle
Partner & CFO
Development Innovations Group
Washington, DC

Patricia Preston
Executive Director
Vermont World Affairs Council
Burlington, VT

Jonathan Quarles
Founder & CEO
The BTL Group and Quartz Water Source
Detroit, MI

Christopher Washington, Ph.D., Ex-Officio
Executive Vice President & Provost
Franklin University
Columbus, OH

The Global Ties U.S. Board of Directors is comprised of prominent leaders who provide thought leadership, strategic vision, and organizational direction for Global Ties U.S. Board members serve as advisors and ambassadors for Global Ties U.S., and help to drive strategy, assess effectiveness, and ensure adequate financial resources so that Global Ties U.S. can achieve its mission and vision. Board members are nominated by either a current Global Ties U.S. Board or Advisory Council member, or by a leader of a Global Ties Network member.