Sam Potolicchio (President) – Georgetown University

B.A. Government, Georgetown; B.A. Psychology, Georgetown; M.T.S. Theology and Culture, Harvard; PRSE, Harvard; MA, Government, Georgetown; PhD, Government, Georgetown

Dr. Sam Potolicchio is Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Potolicchio was named one of “America’s Best Professors” by the Princeton Review, the only one in his field, and the Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities. Potolicchio has delivered lectures in over 75 countries including at Oxford, Yale, Cambridge, Sorbonne, London School of Economics, Brown, Dartmouth, Bologna and Warwick.

He also serves as the Department Chairman and Distinguished Professor in Political and Social Communications at the School of Public Policy at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and as the President of Preparing Global Leaders Forum a leadership training program for rising leaders from over 100 countries. Potolicchio is a senior adviser to high ranking officials around the globe and is currently the Director and academic designer of the first english language program on Global Governance and Leadership in the Russian Federation. He is a visiting professor at New York University and an official lecturer at the Library of Congress for OWLC, an international leadership program of the United States Congress. Potolicchio holds a B.A. in Government and a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown, an M.T.S. in Theology and Culture, a PRSE from Harvard, and an MA and PhD in Government from Georgetown.


Matt Spence – Stanford University

B.A. Stanford, International Policy Studies;, Ethics, Politics & Economics; M.A. Stanford, International Policy Studies; J.D. Yale Law School;  PhD Oxford, International Relations.

Dr. Matthew Spence is the William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University, and a partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to entering the private sector, Dr. Spence spent six years in senior national security positions in the U.S. Government.  From 2012 to 2015, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Middle East Policy, where he was the Principal Advisor to three Secretaries of Defense for U.S. defense policy in the Middle State. Dr. Spence also served in a senior role on Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s confirmation and transition teams.  He received the Secretary of Defense Award for Outstanding Public Service.

From 2009 to 20012, Dr. Spence worked at the White House on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Economic Affairs and as Senior Advisor to two National Security Advisors. Dr. Spence was also a Managing Director at Guggenheim Partners, focusing on cyber security mergers and acquisitions. He is the co-founder of the Truman National Security Project, was a Lecturer in International Relations at Oxford University, and has been widely published in national security and foreign policy, including in the Yale Law Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. Trained as a lawyer, Dr. Spence also practiced criminal and international law in California, and served as a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.


Branden Thornhill-Miller – University of Paris V (Sorbonne) & University of Oxford

BA Yale, Ethics, Politics & Economics; MDiv Harvard, World Religions; Doctorate, University of Oxford, Psychology

Dr. Branden Thornhill-Miller is a researcher, speaker, and consultant, affiliated with Paris

Descartes University (Sorbonne) and the University of Oxford.  He was a Lecturer and Director of Studies for Psychology and Psychology, Philosophy at the University of Oxford for many years, where he has more recently been a College Fellow and Visiting Researcher and remains affiliated with several different colleges and faculties. Branden also is attached to the Sorbonne’s leading laboratory for the study of work psychology, individual differences and creativity. He teaches research methods and supervises research on a range of topics including decision-making, cognitive bias, and leadership in the Sorbonne’s graduate program in Economics & Psychology.

His speaking, consulting, and research interests are focused on creativity, individual differences (e.g. personality, intelligence, culture, gender, psychometric tests, and test development), the psychology of religion (especially fundamentalism, identity and conflict, religious experience, and meaning-making), behavioral economics (cognitive biases and decision-making), and other aspects of social, political and organizational psychology such as leadership and visionary personalities, behavioral change, well-being and “gross national happiness.” He also conducts more entrepreneurial research in technological areas, supervising students from engineering and IT schools like EPITA and CNAM with an interest in disruptive web-based and virtual reality applications and future-oriented integrations of psychology and technology.

In addition to his teaching and research Branden works as a consultant and organizational advisor, holding cultural and talent visas that allow him to work in Russia and France.  As Vice President of Omni Art Design, he has served as a visual artist and been in charge of strategic planning, IT, and public communications. He has been the creative consultant for major artistic monuments in the US and is Associate Editor of the flagship design research publication, the Journal of Design, Business & Society.  In the past he has also functioned as an engineering innovator for business, as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill, Director of the Inter-religious Dialogue Program for 10 colleges in the Boston area, and as Visiting Professor of Literature at Beijing University.

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