About Us

The Chief of Staff Association arose out of the work of a few diplomats and chiefs of staff, who came together to find ways to navigate borders quickly and bypass traditional impediments to solve complex coordination problems and accelerate rapid economic diplomacy. This private diplomatic network, forms the backbone of the Chief of Staff Association.

Although some organisations possess extensive local business contacts and others have far-reaching international connections, seldom few have both. This breakdown occurs because maintaining relationships across multiple regions and sectors simultaneously requires commitment and assets that even the most well-resourced organisations could only hope to achieve.

We assist members to navigate borders quickly and bypass traditional impediments to solve complex coordination problems and facilitate economic diplomacy. In addition, a comprehensive engagement platform extends members reach and capacity well beyond their organisations including, CSA Connect and CSA Certification.

Incorporated in Delaware, the Chief of Staff Association is structured as a public benefit corporation, thus enabling it not to rely solely upon philanthropic donations.

Structure and Governance

Incorporated in the State of Delaware in the United States of America, the Chief of Staff Association is chartered as a public benefit corporation, thus enabling it not to rely solely upon philanthropic donations.



A “public benefit corporation” is a private company that intends to produce public benefits and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. We are obligated by our charter and the law of the State of Delaware to operate in a manner that balances corporate interests with the public benefits identified in our certificate of incorporation.

As stated in our charter: “The specific public benefits that the Corporation shall promote is to promote the profession of Chiefs of Staff across government, civil society, military, royal households, corporations and family offices. The Corporation shall promote said profession through the development of education, training and networking opportunities. Furthermore, the Corporation shall utilize this network to further peace and prosperity of individuals, organizations, countries and international bodies by facilitating connectivity, through Chiefs of Staff and associated personnel, particularly during times of crisis.”

The editorial board oversees Chief of Staff, our scholarly journal and its peer-review process. 

Board of Directors

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Jordan Blashek
Chairman (New York, USA)

Jordan is a Director at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, where he oversees their talent, national security and shared prosperity investments. Jordan is also a veteran of the US Marine Corps with two tours of duty in Afghanistan and Africa. He holds a JD from Yale Law School, an MBA from Stanford, and a BA from Princeton University. ​

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John Porter
Chairman of the Membership Committee (Geneva, Switzerland)

John Porter is a UK tech entrepreneur with close ties to California. He holds degrees from Oxford, Sciences-Po Paris, and Stanford. He served as Chairman of VeriFone from 1985 until its sale to Hewlett-Packard in 1997. He is Chairman of AML Analytics Ltd and is a key stakeholder in Telos Corporation, a cybersecurity specialist supplying the DoD and AWS. He has served on the boards of both Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Said School at Oxford, he is a Trustee of the Barbican Centre Trust and on the Board of the Verbier Festival.

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Dr Aron D'Souza
Secretary (New York, USA)

Dr Aron D'Souza is a former diplomat, academic and entrepreneur. He was the Honorary Consul of the Republic of Moldova in Australia. Dr D'Souza led PayPal founder Peter Thiel's litigation against Gawker Media involving the wrestler Hulk Hogan, which resulted in one of the largest invasion of privacy judgements in history. He is the editor of The Journal Jurisprudence and has a PhD from the University of Melbourne and a law degree from Oxford.

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Santiago Perez Teuffer
Director (Mexico City, Mexico)

Santiago’s strong Latin-American network and diverse business experience between Latin America and the US, provide a valuable edge for him to serve on the Board of the CSA. Santiago has an extensive banking career, and after pursuing his graduate studies at Stanford, went back to Mexico to pursue an entrepreneurial career in the energy industry. Santiago has an MS in Energy from the Stanford School of Energy, and an MBA from the Stanford GSB.​

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Trent Smyth
Executive Director (Melbourne, Australia)

Trent has served as the Honorary Consul for Malawi for eight years and the Secretary of the Consular Corps Melbourne since 2014. Mr Smyth is the founder of the Sports Diplomacy Foundation and a Director of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA from the University of Melbourne.​

Editorial Board

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Dr Katherine Firth
MA Ph.D. (Oxford Brookes)

Member of the Editorial Board

Dr Firth is an award-winning and innovative educator. Currently, Katherine is the Academic Coordinator at International House, within the University of Melbourne where she manages the academic program including academic advising, teaching, the library and graduate student academic development.

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Dr Usman Chohan
MBA (McGill) Ph.D. (ANU)

Member of the Editorial Board

Dr Chohan is one of the top 15 business authors in the world according to the Social Science Research Network. He is the author of Public Value and Budgeting and Reimagining Public Managers. He has been published in the International Journal of Public Admin and Parliamentary Affairs.

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Dr Carolyn Kissane
Ph.D. (Columbia)

Member of the Editorial Board

Dr Carolyn Kissane serves as the Academic Director of the graduate program in Global Affairs at the Center for Global Affairs at New York University and is a Clinical Professor where she teaches graduate level courses examining the geopolitics of energy, comparative energy politics, energy, environment and resource security, a regional course focusing on Central Asia. She serves as the Academic Director for the MS in Global Affairs and the new MS in Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime.

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Keith Ferrazzi
MBA (Harvard)

Member of the Editorial Board

Keith Ferrazzi is a #1 NYT bestselling author, who wrote Never Eat Alone, Who’s Got Your Back, and most recently published Leading Without Authority. He’s an entrepreneur, Founder & Chairman of Ferrazzi Greenlight and an executive team coach to some of the most prominent organizations in the world. He’s a thought leader and frequent contributor at publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, WSJ, and Fast Company. Recently, Keith has been at the forefront of remote team transitions since his published research in 2012-2015 appeared in Harvard Business Review.

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Dr Stuart Murray
MA Ph.D. (Bond)

Member of the Editorial Board

Stuart Murray is an Associate Professor in International Relations (Bond University, Australia), and a Global Fellow at the Academy of Sport (Edinburgh University). Widely considered as the founder of the Innovative School of Diplomatic Thought, Stuart has written and published over fifty peer-to-peer articles, chapters, and edited books.

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Melbourne 3000