Board of Directors

Richard Kraemer, President

Richard Kraemer managed the National Endowment for Democracy’s program portfolio on Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. Prior to joining NED, he managed programs in those states and the Levant at the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). Kraemer also taught law and researched at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He is an Eurasia Program Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and an affiliated expert of the Public International Law and Policy Groups where he advised the governments of Georgia and Montenegro. A member of the New York State Bar Association, Kraemer holds a JD from American University and a BA from the College of William and Mary. He’s appeared in numerous international and U.S. media. He is professionally proficient in Dari, Farsi, and Polish.

Reuf Bajrovic​, Vice President

Reuf Bajrovic served as president of the Emerging Democracies Institute in Washington, DC, and president of the Civic Alliance in Sarajevo. Mr. Bajrovic served as the Minister of Energy, Industry and Mining of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina where he oversaw a portfolio of $2 billion. Also, he served as consultant and advisor in over a dozen countries to political parties, private foundations and development agencies such as USAID, European Commission, EU Police Mission, UNDP, UK Department for International Development (DFID), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), National Democratic Institute (NDI), International Republican Institute (IRI), Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Mr. Bajrovic’s articles have appeared in Die Zeit, El Pais, Yemen Times, Transitions Online, Tampa Bay Times, Het goede leven, Today’s Zaman and numerous print media in the Western Balkans. He has been quoted in major print media, such as The New York Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, TIME Magazine, Newsweek and others. Also, he makes frequent television appearances including on PBS Newshour, Al Jazeera English, Voice of America, TRT World and the Western Balkans television stations.
He has written academic and policy research which was published by United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI), Open Society Institute, Center for Policy and Governance (CPU) and Heinrich Boll Stiftung. He holds an MA in Democracy and Human Rights and an MA in Governance and Policy of European Integration from the University of Bologna. He holds a BA in political science from the University of Louisville. He speaks Bosnian, English, and Turkish.

Jeffrey Gedmin

Jeffrey Gedmin is CEO and Editor-In-Chief of American Purpose. He also serves as a nonresident senior fellow for the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council and as a senior fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Previously, Dr. Gedmin was president and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), where he shaped the organization’s strategy and oversaw its $100 million budget of multi-media broadcast operations, including radio, television, internet, and social media. He also served as president and CEO of the London-based Legatum Institute, president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in Berlin, and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and executive director of its New Atlantic Initiative.

Dr. Gedmin is the author of several books, including “The Hidden Hand: Gorbachev and the Collapse of East Germany” (1992) and served as co-executive producer for two PBS documentaries, “The Germans, Portrait of a New Nation” (1995) and “Spain’s 9/11 and the Challenge of Radical Islam in Europe” (2007). He received his Ph.D. from Georgetown University in German Area Studies and Linguistics. He earned his master’s degree in German Area Studies from American University and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from American University.

Ambassador Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.

Ambassador Thomas Shannon is a Senior International Policy Advisor at Arnold & Porter and most recently served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the third highest ranking position at the State Department. Holding the personal rank of Career Ambassador, he was the highest ranking member of the United States Foreign Service, the country's professional diplomatic corps. During his tenure as Under Secretary, Ambassador Shannon was in charge of bilateral and multilateral foreign policymaking and implementation, and oversaw diplomatic activity globally and in our missions to international organizations.

Prior to that appointment, he served as Counselor of the Department, where he acted as a troubleshooter and roving envoy for Secretary of State John Kerry. In that capacity, he focused on Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, and led US support for the UN-sponsored peace processes in Yemen and South Sudan. Prior to his 2016 appointment by President Obama as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Ambassador Shannon was the United States Ambassador to Brazil. Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Shannon served as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2005-2009. He served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council (2003-2005), Deputy Assistant Secretary of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the Department of State (2002-2003), and Director of Andean Affairs (2001-2002). From 2000-2001, he was US Deputy Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, with the rank of Ambassador. During his career, Ambassador Shannon served in the US Foreign Service at embassies in Guatemala, Brazil, South Africa, and Venezuela.

Bunmi Akinnusotu

Bunmi Akinnusotu is a foreign policy enthusiast and organizational management leader. As the Deputy Director of the Rangel Fellowship at Howard University, Bunmi builds the talent pipeline of foreign service officers and international affairs leaders. Prior to Howard, Bunmi was the Chief of Staff at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy which also amplifies the voices of rising global policymakers. She was a political appointee in the Obama Administration where she served as a Special Assistant in the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the US Environmental Protection Agency. There, she coordinated international and domestic efforts to advance resource conservation and bring greater visibility to the social and economic benefits of reducing negative environmental impacts. Bunmi’s international journey began at Search for Common Ground in Timor-Leste and she later taught English in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. Prior to her career in foreign affairs, Bunmi was a non-profit fundraiser for the YWCA and United Way in Chicago. She’s also an Americorps Alumn, a Truman National Security Fellow, and a Penn Kemble Democracy Fellow.

Bunmi obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and also a Master’s in Sociology from Illinois State University Stevenson Center for Applied Community and Economic Development. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Bryant University located in her home state of Rhode Island.  Bunmi is a recovering collegiate volleyball player, loves anything made of red velvet, anything from Chicago, and enjoys producing her radio program and podcast, What in the World?. She is relentless in her pursuit to help more Americans understand the connection of foreign policy to their everyday lives.

Scott Cullinane, Executive Director

Scott Cullinane is an expert in US-European relations with extensive experience working with the business sector, Congress, and advocacy organizations. From 2011-2018 Scott served in various positions with the US Congress, including as the Professional Staff Member for the House Foreign Affairs Europe Subcommittee where he covered a broad jurisdiction, including the European Union, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and Central Asia. Cullinane’s work has focused on issues of democratic transition, rule of law, and national security. He has also worked as an election observer with the OSCE. Cullinane is a graduate of the Institute of World Politics in Washington and has completed course work at John Cabot University in Italy and Central European University in Hungary. He is currently based in Washington, DC.