The Honors College is fortunate to have the guidance and knowledge of a distinguished group of business people and executives who contribute to our advisory board.
The board's goal is to strengthen the relationships between Mason and the local business community. It provides advisory feedback about the expectations of the business community, employment trends, and demands for workforce development. The board also helps the Honors College forge new partnerships, identify internships, and develop new service-learning opportunities.
Chair, Dr. Gerald L Gordon
Virginia Business Magazine named Dr. Gerald L. Gordon as its “2010 Business Person of the Year.” In 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016, the magazine named him one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians.
Dr. Gordon was the President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority in Fairfax County, Virginia, one of the largest office markets in the nation. He was with the FCEDA from late 1983 through the end of 2018, during which time office space in the county grew from 32 million square feet to more than 117 million, and jobs in the county grew from 243,000 to about 600,000. As a result, the real estate tax rate has decreased from $1.47 to $1.09.
Dr. Gordon has also worked for Arlington County, Virginia, and the United States Department of Labor. In 2005, the FCEDA was named by Site Selection Magazine as one of the Top Ten Economic Development organizations in North America. In 2007, Time magazine called Fairfax County “one of the great economic success stories of our time.” In 2011, the Washington Post said that “Fairfax County remains the economic wunderkind of Virginia and in many ways of the Washington area.”
Dr. Gordon has taught at Catholic University, the University of Maryland, George Mason University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. He has consulted with city and state governments throughout the United States and around the world, as well as the governments of Poland, the island of Vieques, and Micronesia. He has also served as a consultant to various government agencies, the United States Navy, businesses, non-profit organizations, associations, colleges and universities, and the United Nations.
Dr. Gordon holds a Bachelor’s Degree from The Citadel, a Master’s Degree from George Washington University, and a Doctorate in International Economics from the Catholic University of America. He is the author of 12 books on strategic planning and economic development. His most recent books include The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America (CRC Press, 2009), Reinventing Local and Regional Economies (CRC Press, 2011), The Economic Viability of Micropolitan America (CRC Press, 2013), and The Economic Survival of America’s Isolated Small Towns (CRC Press, 2015).
Dr. Gordon is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Israel Freedom Award of the Israel Bonds organization. In 2006, Dr. Gordon became the first American to address the All-Parliamentary Exports Group in the British House of Commons. In 2007, Dr. Gordon was accepted for inclusion on the roster of Fulbright Senior Scholars. In 2007, Dr. Gordon was named a Fellow of the International Economic Development Council. In 2010, he received the James Rees Award from the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce; and, in 2011, Leadership Fairfax honored him with the Northern Virginia Regional Leadership Award. In 2012, Dr. Gordon was named the Trendlines Trendsetter of the Year for the Washington, DC metropolitan area. In 2015, he was honored by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) with the Jeffrey A. Finkle Lifetime Achievement Award.
In his 35-year career in the agency business Matt has guided WHITE64 to become one of the largest independent advertising agencies in the Washington DC market.
In 1964, Matt’s father, Jim White, started the company as Nolan, Duffy and White. In 2004 Matt completed a buyout and renamed the agency White+Partners. Today, as Chairman|CEO of WHITE64, he takes tremendous pride in the 55 people they have in their Tysons location and the results-oriented work they produce for clients including: Penfed, Metro, The Washington Nationals, Hilton, Navy Mutual, Visit Fairfax, BIO, and American Chemical Society.
In addition to the George Mason University Honors College Advisory Board, Matt serves on the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce Board and the Fairfax County Public School Foundation Board.
Vice President of Government Relations
Jennifer W. Siciliano is vice president of government relations, including responsibility for community relations, for Inova – serving as the liaison to elected officials and regulatory agencies.
Prior to joining Inova in 2007 as assistant vice president for government relations, Ms. Siciliano served members of Congress on both sides of the aisle including the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate and the director of communications to the House Science Committee. Following her service in the House, she joined the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee staff as director of communications. After leaving Capitol Hill, Ms. Siciliano joined the firm of Podesta Mattoon as a principal representing a wide variety of clients.
Jennifer is the 2016-2017 secretary of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. She is also a board member of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Medical Care for Children Partnership and a member of the Fairfax County Economic Development Commission. She is a founding member of the Community Foundation of NOVA Business Women’s Giving Circle and serves on the George Mason Honors College Board.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications/public relations from Marymount University and a Master of Arts in public communications/government relations from The American University, Washington, DC.
Communications for the Cyber and Intelligence Mission Solutions and Space ISR Systems divisions
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Matt McQueen serves as sector director, Communications for the Cyber and Intelligence Mission Solutions and Space ISR Systems divisions of Northrop Grumman Corporation. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of external and internal communications for the divisions, including media relations, employee communications, digital and social media, thought leadership, advertising and events. He also leads company-wide communications and branding activities in support of Northrop Grumman’s core cyber capabilities.
Prior to his current position, he served as Director of Global Strategic and External Communications for Northrop Grumman’s former Information Systems sector. Previously, Matt served as the corporation’s government relations lead for all state and local activities, as well as representing Northrop Grumman’s civilian agency, tax, and environmental legislative issues to the United States Congress. He began his career as an international policy analyst for Bank Austria in Vienna, Austria.
Matt earned a BA in International Relations from the College of Wooster and a master’s degree in Organizational Science and Management from The George Washington University where he was a Graduate Fellow in Organizational Management, specializing in crisis communications and international marketing.
Foundation for FCPS
Elizabeth Murphy joined the Foundation for FCPS as Executive Director in June, 2015. The 10th largest school district in the country, FCPS is a recognized leader in educational innovation. The Foundation, under Ms. Murphy’s guidance, has supported the expansion of cyber education, STEM curriculum enhancements, health care training, and more focused attention on the students living in poverty. The Foundation provides funding for the annual employee recognition event, the FCPS Honors, where Ms. Murphy championed the addition of awards for dedicated business and community partners.
Prior to coming to the Foundation, Ms. Murphy served for over 15 years as a non-profit leader in Fairfax County, with Leadership Fairfax, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and the Fairfax Choral Society. Her expertise is in the areas of strategic direction, fund development, financial management, and program delivery. Murphy was selected by the Virginia Commission for the Arts as state-wide coordinator of the Minds Wide Open festival in 2012, serves on the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce board of directors, and on the grants review panel for the Arts Council of Fairfax. She earned her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary and resides currently in Fairfax, VA.
Executive Vice President
Suresh V. Shenoy is Executive Vice President at Alyx Technolgies, a Virginia based systems consulting and Technology Company. He recently completed two terms as Chairman of the National Capital region of the American Red Cross and serves on the boards of IMC Global Services, The Capital IIT Alumni Association, WHEELS Global Foundation, The Heritage Foundation (iit Bombay) and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Shenoy also served on the TechAmerica Commission on Technology Convergence for the United States Congress and OMB and on the Board of Fairfax 2015 – the biennial World Games of Police and Fire Fighters with 12,000+ athletes competing from 80 countries. Mr. Shenoy served as President of the PanIIT Alumni Association in North America for the 2006-2008 Term. He also represented Dranesville District on the Fairfax County IT Advisory Board for six years. Mr. Shenoy is a Fellow of the Information Management Congress (Europe) and AIIM International (USA). He has been recognized by IBM Corporation as ‘Information Champion’ for his contributions to Enterprise Content Management technologies for six consecutive years 2009-2014 and received the Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater, the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai. In 2010, Mr. Shenoy and his brother Sudhakar, were honored by the Northern Virginia Community Foundation for their leadership and contributions to Fairfax County and also received a citation for their community service from the US Congress. He is on the adjunct faculty of the School of Information Technology & Engineering at George Mason University where he teaches a course in Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the George Mason School of Bio-engineering and the Honors College Program. Mr. Shenoy and his brother endowed the “Shenoy Innovation Studio” at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India, which has become a model for other engineering colleges in that country. Several innovative solutions developed there have won national recognition and awards (see http://shenoy-innovation-studio.blogspot.com/ ). In March, 2014 Mr. Shenoy was awarded “Distinguished Alumnus” by the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay - the highest recognition for an alumnus of this prestigious institution. Earlier in 2015, Mr. Shenoy was recognized by the “Award of Merit” – the highest award bestowed by the global Association for Information and Image Management. Mr. Shenoy has traveled widely throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, has a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (1972), and a MBA from the University of Connecticut (1975).
Greater Washington/Central Virginia Region President
Wilmington Trust, N.A.
Dave is the Greater Washington/Central Virginia Region President of Wilmington Trust, N.A., responsible for overseeing all Wealth Advisory Services. Dave leads a team of professionals who provide planning, trust, investment management, family governance and education, family office, and private banking services.
Dave joined M&T Bank in 1992, which acquired Wilmington Trust in 2011. During his nearly three decade tenure with M&T, Dave managed retail branches, directed the bank's retirement plan sales team, and worked on integration-related projects for some of M&T's acquisitions. He most recently served as group manager for M&T Bank’s commercial operations in the Northern Virginia marketplace, which includes the bank's Government Contracting practice.
Dave holds an MBA from The American University and a bachelor’s degree in Business & Finance from Mount Saint Mary’s University. He also completed an executive leadership program at Columbia University.
Dave currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce; the Board of Directors and Finance Committee of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington; the Board of Visitors of Mt. St. Mary’s University’s Robert Bolte School of Business; the Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Finance Committee of DeMatha Catholic High School; the Board of Advisors for the Honors College at George Mason University; and the Board of Directors for Sports Changes Life. He has also been a CYO basketball coach for St. Theresa Catholic Church/School in Ashburn, Virginia.
Vice President of Americas
Susan Saadat is an accomplished senior business leader and board director with a proven track record of improving operational and financial performance in global, growth-oriented organizations. She has an exceptional track record in operations management, sales and expansion strategies in a broad range of high-technology industries including satellite, wireless, and mobile technologies, logistics and transportation, enterprise platforms, and telecommunications.
Throughout her career, Susan has held leadership positions in both large and emerging global wireless, satellite and telecommunications businesses. She has led domestic and international expansion in government and commercial markets in public and private companies with P&L responsibility. She has a unique ability to combine strong financial acumen with innovation and technology to improve business processes and achieve top line revenue growth. Susan is recognized for her skills in growth strategies, market expansion, and innovative technology operations with companies ranging from $3M to $2B in revenue.
She was elected twice to the Board of Directors of Women in Aerospace, an organization dedicated to expanding women's opportunities for leadership in the aerospace community. She is a Member of the Leadership Foundry for Women in Technology, and has served on the Board of Directors of ParaGea Communications, Paravoice Technologies and the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra.
Susan is currently the Vice President of Americas with ETL Systems, a leading designer and manufacturer of RF distribution equipment. She was recruited to ETL to lead the expansion of the newly launched Americas business and is responsible for complete sales and operations. Prior to ETL, Susan served as Vice President of Americas at Thrane & Thrane where she led sales, marketing, and business development activities across all business units. She successfully established business plans with KPIs for all key areas and ensured their execution leading to the acquisition by Cobham PLC in 2013.
Previously, Susan served a successful tenure as Sr. Vice President of Operations at ORBCOMM where she led all aspects of the company's sales engineering and operations. In this role, she implemented and developed a customer web based portal for channel partners to manage their fleet and traffic flow. With the launch of this portal, Susan expanded ORBCOMM's footprint into new verticals such as the energy and utilities markets.
In addition, Susan led the SATCOM division of Harris Caprock Government, a $150M provider of satellite telecommunication solutions. She also served as Managing Director of Broadband & Enterprise Network Solutions with Intelsat, the largest global satellite operator, where she spearheaded strategic initiatives and business development opportunities that grew the division from $2M to a profitable $200M in 4 years.
Prior to Intelsat, Susan led the management buyout of Comsat Network Systems and founded ParaGea Communications, a global designer and manufacturer of VSAT systems. She co-founded Paravoice Technologies, a suite of software in voice and data compression and echo cancellation. As member of the Board of Directors, Susan positioned the company for $42M divestiture to LSI Logic in 2000.
Susan holds a Bachelor's degree, Magna Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University, a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MBA from George Washington University.
McLean, VA-based Principal and leader
Booz Allen Hamilton's Joint and Combatant Commands group
Eric Reffett is a McLean, VA-based Principal and leader in Booz Allen Hamilton's Joint and Combatant Commands group focused on delivering solutions that combine analytics, systems development big data analytics, data sciences, and specialized tradecraft to help clients anticipate, prevent, detect and respond to global threats and opportunities with real-time actionable insights. He has a proven track record in the application of analytic solutions and techniques to enable Booz Allen’s clients to address new and emerging challenges from around the globe. He and is team design, develop, and deliver large-scale analytic approaches to address business and missions needs across Federal and Commercial clients.
He is a former Harvard Fellow and holds a Doctorate in Political Science from the University of Alabama and a BS from the United States Air Force Academy. He has two children who are graduates of George Mason University and both are alumni of the Honors College.
Vice President, Resource Development
United Way of the National Capital Area
Chris Preston, Vice President, Corporate Relations, United Way Worldwide brings a strong commitment to and understanding of United Way’s mission and work as he has been part of the United Way network for 16 years. Chris oversees the Global Corporate Leadership Program which consists of 91 corporate partners that raised a combined total of $1 billion for United Ways in communities around the globe and provides support to local United Ways in their overall fundraising efforts as part of the $4.8 billion United Way network.
Chris spent the first 11 years of his United Way career at United Way Worldwide with roles as National Sales Manager of the United Way Store and Corporate Relations Manager for the Global Corporate Leadership team. In addition to those roles, he was Resource Development liaison for United Way Worldwide’s Africa Region, convener for the Young Leaders Business Resource Group of United Way Worldwide’s Diversity & Inclusion Council, and Project Manager for the Network Engagement and Support Team Committee for United Way’s U.S. Task Force on Economic Model & Growth.
Prior to his return to United Way Worldwide, Chris served two local United Ways. First, as the Senior Vice President, Strategic and Regional Management at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. In that role, Chris assumed Chief of Staff duties and was responsible for the management and execution of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey’s organizational strategies across the region. Chris also served as Vice President, Resource Development, at United Way of the National Capital Area in Washington, DC. In that role he led the development team in managing a $33 million annual fundraising effort.
Chris is also a committed alumnus of George Mason University where he has served as President of the George Mason Alumni Association. He is currently on the Past Presidents Roundtable and member of the George Mason Honors College Advisory Board.
For almost a decade, Mike Sylvester has managed a variety of partnership relationships for Hilton’s industry-leading customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. He is currently responsible for leading the company’s co-brand credit card acquisition program. In early 2018, Mike launched Hilton Honors’ new credit card portfolio with American Express in the United States. Earlier in his career at Hilton, Mike led the company’s airline partnership strategy, and spearheaded Hilton’s sponsorship of the Canadian Olympic Committee leading up to the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.
Prior to Hilton, Mike worked in sponsorship and partnership development for Feld Entertainment (Disney On Ice, Ringling Bros., Monster Jam, Supercross, etc.), Special Olympics, Inc. and the Prince William Cannons minor league baseball club (now the Potomac Nationals).
Mike graduated from George Mason in 1996 with a degree in Business Management. Mike earned a Presidential Scholarship through the University Scholars program; the predecessor to today’s Honors College. Mike was accepted into the School of Business out of high school through the Dean’s Admissions Program. He served as a student assistant coach for the George Mason baseball team under head coach Bill Brown during the 1994, 1995 and 1996 seasons. For over twenty years, Mike has been an official statistician for Division I college basketball games in the DC area and can be seen at press row in Eagle Bank Arena during Mason basketball games.
Ms. Chaudhary most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Kettler, a leading multifamily real estate developer and manager in USA, overseeing all aspects of the organization. Previously, Ms. Chaudhary was Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of The Pew Charitable Trusts, Chief Financial Officer at The Washington Post, and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at United Way of America. She has also held several executive positions at Freddie Mac in the areas of finance, strategy, risk management, and corporate operations for its Investments and Capital Markets, Multifamily Housing, Single- Family Operations, and Risk Management Divisions.
Ms. Chaudhary has served on several non-profit and trade association boards over the past 15 years and on a private corporate board over the past 6 years, including as Treasurer, chair of Finance and Audit Committees, and member of Executive, Strategy, Compensation, and Ad Hoc Committees. She is currently on the Board of Nathan Associates, an international economic consulting organization. She is a strong advocate for education and is a supporter of a number of charitable organizations geared toward bettering youth through structured enrichment programs. Just a few of her philanthropic involvements include serving on the Boards of India International School, a well-established Northern Virginia Indian American education and cultural center and a recent start-up called RENEW (Reform Education for a New World).
Ms. Chaudhary has received various awards and honors over the past decade, including being named finalist in the March of Dimes ‘Heroines of Washington” in 2018; named Washingtonian’s “Most Powerful Women in Washington” in 2017; Bisnow’s “Women of Influence in Commercial Real Estate” in 2017; Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Honoree in 2016; The Women’s Center’s “Leadership Award” nominee in 2016; and named Washington’s “Non-Profit CFO of the Year Award for Innovation” in 2007.
Ms. Chaudhary is a graduate of Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Stanford University Graduate School of Business. She has also earned a World Executive MBA from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi, India.