The Chief of Staff Association is composed of a diverse, experienced group of global thought, business and academic leaders.

Board of Directors

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. ​

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.

John Porter
Director (Geneva, Switzerland)

John is a UK tech entrepreneur with close ties to Silicon Valley. He holds degrees from Oxford, Sciences-Po Paris, and Stanford. 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.

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.​

Trent Smyth AM
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. Trent is the founder of the Sports Diplomacy Foundation which assists companies and major events in tapping into diplomatic and Government channels to export their specialist capability through strategic advice and partnerships. Mr Smyth is a Director of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA from the University of Melbourne.​

Editorial Board – The Chief of Staff

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

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. Dr Firth has successfully managed small and large projects, particularly in building digital systems and resources, and in developing collaborations across institutions to support student learning.

Dr Chris Howard
D.Phil.(Oxford) MBA (Harvard)
Member of the Editorial Board

The eighth president of Robert Morris University, Dr. Howard is a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. As a Rhodes Scholar, he earned a doctorate in politics (D.Phil.) from the University of Oxford. He also has an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School. Dr. Howard earned a Bronze Star for service in Afghanistan, and also served with the elite Joint Special Operations Command and as the Reserve Air Attaché to Liberia.

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. Dr Kissane is a Clinical Professor where she teaches graduate level courses examining the geopolitics of energy, comparative energy politics, energy, environment and resource security. She serves as the Academic Director for the MS in Global Affairs and the new MS in Global Security, Conflict, and Cybercrime.

Dr Usman Chohan
MBA (McGill) Ph.D. (ANU)
Member of the Editorial Board

Dr Usman W. Chohan is an international economist-academic and 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. The International Journal of Public Administration and Parliamentary Affairs is among the esteemed journals that have published Usman’s work.

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.

Dr Stuart Murry
Bond University
Member of the Editorial Board

Dr. Murray is an Associate Professor in International Relations and Diplomacy (Bond University, Australia), a Global Fellow at the Academy of Sport (The University of Edinburgh), an Honorary Member of the Centre for Sports Law, Policy and Diplomacy at the University of Rijeka (Croatia), and an Associate Editor of Brill Research Perspectives on Diplomacy and Foreign Policy (Brill, the Netherlands) as well as The Journal of Public Diplomacy (Seoul, Korea).

The CSA is fortunate to have a network of Fellows who support our community with experience, influential connections and mentorship.