Steven M. Anderson, Brigadier General (Retired), US Army
Brigadier General (Retired) Steven M. Anderson assumed duties as the Senior Vice President for Relyant LLC, a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), on 15 Jan 11, after serving 13 months as the Chief Operating Officer for Synovision Solutions LLC.In his new position with Relyant, Anderson will establish an office in the Washington DC area and focus on commercial and government business development in order to leverage Relyant’s profound and proven capabilities delivering products and services in support of energy, logistics, construction, maintenance, demining and security operations all over the world. Anderson, a career military officer who retired from active duty in November 2009, served for five years as a general officer in the US Army, including 15 months as the senior US and coalition logistician in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.As the Multi-National Forces Iraq C4, he was the first senior leader to recognize the importance of reducing risks to soldiers and cutting costs thru energy demand reduction and directed the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force to use spray foam insulation in Iraq, an effort that since 2007 has significantly reduced energy requirements in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Djibouti.The spray foam initiative has stimulated over $3B in energy cost avoidance for our military and taken over 30,000 fuel trucks off the most dangerous roads in the world, thereby reducing risks to our troops.Additionally, he coordinated with the governments of Jordan and Turkey for increased logistical support, developed and cleared wreckage at the Iraqi port of Um Qasr, brought commercial airlift support to Al Asad, and reestablished the Um Qasr-to-Baghdad rail operation.He was responsible for the development and execution of two key Iraqi business development/employment initiatives: the Iraqi Trucking Network (ITN) and the Iraqi-Based Industrial Zone (I-BIZ), both of which now employ many thousands of Iraqis.
From 2004-2006, Anderson served as the senior US logistician in Korea (Deputy C-4 for the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command and J4, United States Forces Korea) and spearheaded the development of Camp Humphreys, the new combined and US headquarters facility in central Korea.He served in various command positions including Commander, Division Support Command, 2nd Infantry Division, Korea (2000-02), and Commander, 725th Main Support Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii (1995-97). In his final military assignment, he served for two years on the Army Staff in the Pentagon as the Director, Operations and Logistics Readiness, Army G4 (Logistics).
As a complement to his duties with Relyant, Anderson also serves on the board of directors of several companies in what he categorizes as the emerging field of “energistics” – the art and science associated with leveraging enhancements in energy reduction, production, storage and management to cut logistics requirements and costs associated with complex and demanding operations:Ultralife Corporation, a $250M/year battery manufacturer (Rochester, NY); Marine Power Products, a low-energy hydrogen fuel developer (Richmond, CA); Greener Building Solutions, an energy efficient expeditionary housing manufacturer (Fairfax, VA); Applied Training Solutions LLC, a start-up simulations software company (Oakton, VA); and HVAC Manufacturing, an energy efficient zone control unit manufacturer (San Jose, CA).He also serves on the board of directors for PATHS, a non-profit charitable organization intent on building schools for disabled children in Iraq. Anderson has spoken publicly on logistics and energy issues in various forums, and his papers have been published by the Institute of Land Warfare (Association of the US Army), the Armed Forces Journal, Army Logistician, and others.His Op-Ed piece, “Save Lives, Save Energy” appeared in the New York Times on 12 Jan 11, and in July 10 he appeared for a week on a national television campaign for a national Clean Energy climate plan for VoteVets.Org.He was highlighted in the Tom Friedman’s column on 24 July 10, and appeared several times on National Public Radio and Washington local television.
A 1978 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, Anderson earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering.In 1987 he earned a Master of Science in Operations Analysis Engineering at the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, California.He is a graduate of the Army War College (1998) and the Marine Corp Command and Staff College (1991).
Anderson is married to the former Anne L. RisCassi and they reside in Arlington, Virginia.They have two children: Cassi, an elementary school teacher in Springfield, Virginia, and Drake, a freshman at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA.He is an avid golfer, a vintage car enthusiast, and a nationally ranked age group distance runner.
Virginia Walden Ford
A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Virginia Walden-Ford was raised by William Harry Fowler and Marion Virginia Fowler Armstrong who were both public school educators.Her father was a principal and the first black assistant superintendent of the Little Rock school district. Her mother was one of the first black teachers to work at an all-white elementary school there.
The famed Little Rock Nine were the first African-American students to integrate Central High School, in 1957. But Walden-Ford and her twin sister were among a group of about 130 black students who were handpicked to desegregate the city's high schools on a larger scale in the mid 1960s.
She came to Washington, D.C. in 1977 and worked at Sister Cities International, Inc., a non-profit organization that works with international exchange programs.In 1991, she opened Wee Luv Child Development Center and served as the Executive Director until 1996. Virginia served as Community Outreach Director/Media Specialist for Friends of Choice in Urban Schools (FOCUS), an advocacy organization supporting the growing Washington, D.C. charter school movement. She worked as a volunteer with the Center for Education Reform in their parent outreach campaign in l997and worked with the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise as Parent Outreach Coordinator and organized parents to support school choice and the D.C. Scholarship Act in 1998.
Virginia is a National Board Member and a founding member of The Black Alliance for Educational Options, Inc. She also serves on the DC Advisory Committee of the US Civil Rights Commission, is a board member of DC Children First, the coalition of DC organizations supporting school choice and is a board member of DC Progress, a new Washington DC Think Tank working to be the voice for residents of the District.
She also serves as Executive Director of D.C. Parents for School Choice, Inc. which she founded in 1998. DCPSC is a clearinghouse organization for parents in Washington, D.C.Its mission is to organize and educate parents in order to empower them to make the appropriate educational decisions for their children. If parents understand school choice, they can advocate for badly needed educational reform.
Called to action in January of 2003 to help lead the effort to get School Choice legislation passed in the District, she organized parents for a successful grassroots effort.DC Parents for School Choice joined a coalition of organizations who had worked tirelessly to make sure that the children of the District and their families would be the beneficiaries of the opportunity to choose schools that best served their children’s educational needs with the passage of the DC School Choice Incentive Act.
Virginia's community involvement began as a result of her own personal experiences. As a single parent, she raised three children in Washington, D.C. Two of her children finished high schools in the District successfully, but with her third child she was faced with deteriorating public schools and violent times. After obtaining a private scholarship for her son to attend Archbishop Carroll HS, she became an outspoken advocate for school choice. She believes passionately that all children should have the chance to obtain a quality education and that parents should be able to choose and send their children to the schools that best meet their needs.
Among her honors Virginia was the recipient of the Heritage Foundation's prestigious 2004 Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship, the Black Alliance for Educational Options’ (BAEO) 2004 Vision Award and the 2005 Leonard F. DeFiore Parental Choice Advocate Award from the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA) and the 2008 John T. Walton Champions for School Choice Award from the Alliance for School Choice.
She is the author ofVoices, Choices, and Second Chances: How to Win the Battle to Bring Opportunity Scholarships to Your State.Based on the dramatic story and ultimately successful campaign of D.C. Parents for School Choice, this book teaches parents how to fight to free children and their families from failing schools.
Clarence "Mac" McKnight, Lieutenant General (Retired), US Army
General McKnight served as the seventeenth Director of J-6. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy with a BS Degree in Engineering and holds an MS Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He is a graduate fo the Signal School, Basic and Advanced Courses, the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and the United States Army War College.
LTG (Ret.) Clarence "Mac" McKnight was inducted as Distinguished Member and appointed Honorary Colonel of the Regiment in 1990 for his 35 years of service to the Signal Regiment. LTG McKnight held a variety of command and staff positions, culminating in his last assignment as director of command, control and communications systems for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other key assignments included commander, 5th Signal Command/deputy chief of staff for communications-electronics, U.S. Army Europe; commander/commandant, U.S. Army Signal Center and School; and commander, U.S. Army Communications Command.
LTG McKnight also commanded two Signal battalions in Vietnam on back-to-back assignments, followed by a third consecutive battalion command assignment – this time in Europe. He then became chief of the program management office at U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Engineering Agency, Fort Huachuca, Ariz. More commands followed with 22d Signal Group, U.S. Army Communications Command Europe, and 5th Signal Command. LTG McKnight also served as chief of staff, U.S. Army Communications Command, and assistant commandant for the Signal Center and School.
LTG McKnight’s awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal with oak-leaf cluster, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star medal with two oak-leaf clusters and Meritorious Service Medal with three oak-leaf clusters.
Najiba Salam was born to a well-established family and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan. Her father was a General with the Afghan Security Forces and her mother stayed at home to raise the children which included Najiba and 5 of her siblings – one sister and four brothers. As a high school student, Najiba was an avid basketball player and played on her high school team.As captain of her team, Najiba was interviewed by Radio Afghanistan after her team won the championship and this is when she discovered her love of broadcasting. After graduating from Zargonna High School in Kabul, Najiba went to work for Radio Afghanistan as a news broadcaster.She continued in this position for three years until her marriage and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan prompted her to leave.Her family eventually relocated to New Jersey where Najiba raised her two daughters and continued her education.
Najiba attended William Patterson University in New Jersey where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.She continued on at William Patterson and eventually earned her Master of Arts in Communications before relocating to Washington, D.C. to accept a position at Voice of America.
Najiba has continued her work with Voice of America for more than 7 years as an international correspondent where she performs broadcasting duties that include interviewing prominent newsmakers, news translation and reporting.Najiba speaks four languages including Dari/Farsi, Pashto, and English.
In her career as a broadcaster, Najiba has received the Gold Award from Voice of America for outstanding achievement.