Daniel Wagner is the CEO of Country Risk Solutions (CRS), a cross-border risk advisory firm based in Connecticut (USA). He has a quarter century of experience managing country risk, is an authority on political risk insurance (PRI) and analysis, and has 15 years of underwriting experience with AIG, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), GE, and the World Bank Group.
Prior to founding CRS in 2009 Daniel was Senior Vice President of Country Risk at GE Energy Financial Services in Stamford, Connecticut. At GE he was part of a team investing billions of dollars annually into global energy projects, with a total portfolio of $20 billion of assets in 20 countries. Daniel was responsible for advising senior management on a variety of country risk-related issues, strategic planning, and portfolio management. He created a Center of Excellence for country risk analysis in GE and led a team that produced a comprehensive automated country risk rating methodology.
Daniel began his career at AIG in New York and subsequently spent five years as Guarantee Officer for the Asia Region at the World Bank Group's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in Washington, D.C. During that time he was responsible for underwriting PRI for projects in a dozen Asian countries. After then serving as Regional Manager for Political Risks for Southeast Asia and Greater China for AIG in Singapore, Daniel moved to Manila, Philippines where he was Guarantee and Risk Management Advisor, Political Risk Guarantee Specialist, and Senior Guarantees and Syndications Specialist for the ADB's Office of Cofinancing Operations. Over the course of his career Daniel has also held senior positions in the PRI brokerage business in New York, London, Dallas and Houston. He is a Senior Advisor to Political Risk Services.
Daniel has published hundreds of articles on risk management and current affairs. His editorials have been published in such notable newspapers as the International Herald Tribune and the Wall Street Journal. His latest book - Managing Country Risk - was published by Taylor and Francis in 2012. His first book - Political Risk Insurance Guide - was published by the International Risk Management Institute.
He holds master's degrees in International Relations from the University of Chicago and in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in Phoenix. He received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Richmond College in London. Daniel is a Non-Resident Scholar at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis and a regular contributing writer to the Huffington Post, foreignpolicyjournal.com, and the International Risk Management Institute.
Senior Advisor, Cross-Border Investments
Rauf Diwan has had a long and distinguished career at the forefront of global investment. He was most recently CEO of Emerging Markets Partnership (EMP) Bahrain and managed the $730 million IDB Infrastructure Fund covering the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Previously, Rauf was the CEO of the Asset Management Division of Atlantic Capital in Doha, Qatar, and CEO of EMP’s first AIG Asian Infrastructure Fund (sponsored by AIG). He earlier served as Managing Director of the AIG Asian Infrastructure Fund II (a US$1.7 billion fund) and was instrumental in developing and executing EMP’s successful strategy for both Funds in South Korea. During this time he served on the board of several Asian companies, including subsidiaries of international companies such as Suez and Cemex.
Before joining EMP, Rauf was with the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation for 15 years in a number of senior roles. He was Director of the global Power Department where he was responsible for investments in emerging markets worldwide. He was also Manager of the East Asia Division.
Rauf has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Oregon State University and an MBA from Columbia University, where he was a DuPont Fellow. He is also a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program.
Director of Chinese Affairs
Janet Carmosky is CEO of The China Business Network, a marketplace for China business expertise that facilitates effective communication between business people in the world's two most powerful nations. Janet began focusing on China well before most westerners, living and working in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Xi’an from 1985 until 2003 in a variety of capacities. Fluent in Mandarin, her experience ranges from operations (trade, manufacturing, retail, and technology) to service (strategy consulting, private equity, and public relations). Janet gained unusual insight into how China functions by being married into a family of Xi'an City and Shaanxi Province Communist Party officials. Though traveling frequently to China since returning to the USA in 2003, she has increasingly dedicated her time to speaking, training, teaching and coaching business people from both China and the USA. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Pennsylvania."
Director of Country Risk Analysis
Christopher McKee is CEO/Chair of the PRS Group, a firm specializing in political risk assessment. Chris also functions as the Editor-in-Chief of the company’s International Country Risk Guide.
He received his Ph.D. in international political economy from Queen’s University in 1994 and was a faculty member at the University of British Columbia from 1993 to 1998. During these years he operated a private consultancy on country risk assessment for private and public entities with commercial interests in emerging markets. Subsequently, Chris worked in the private and government sectors conducting due diligence assessments of limited recourse financing projects in the Latin American mining and oil and gas sectors, formulating sovereign debt sustainability models, and constructing micro-financing facilities.
Chris is the author of several books, monographs and privately commissioned reports addressing issues affecting international business, and has lived and worked in a range of emerging markets including Latin America, South East Asia and North Africa. He has been interviewed or quoted by such publications as LatinFinance, Institutional Investor, Euromoney, Reuters, CIO, and has appeared on CNBC’s “Street Signs”.
Director of Crisis Communications
David Wagner is a leading authority on business communications skills and has conducted more than 1,200 media and crisis trainings since 2001. Over the past quarter century he has conducted more than 4,000 workshops in North America, Asia and the Middle East for approximately 350 organizations, including Barclays Capital, Ericsson, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Merck.
David is the author of 20 books on business communications, with translations in Japanese, Korean and Chinese. He has lectured extensively on business communications skills at the Institute of Public Administration and Management in Singapore and Waseda University in Tokyo.
Early in his career David worked as a reporter for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. In Japan he subsequently became a columnist for the Mainichi Daily News and subsequently the Daily Yomiuri. More recently, David created and hosted two nationally televised series in Japan on NHK teaching international business skills.
David received a Master’s Degree from the Monterey Institute of International Policy Studies in California where he specialized in Japan’s economic and political system.
Director of Dispute Resolution
Luis Dodero is the former General Counsel of the World Bank Group's Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and the Spanish export credit agency CESCE. Luis has more than 40 years of experience in a variety of aspects of cross-border trade and investment law, ranging from dispute resolution and arbitration to claims payments and resolution. Throughout his career, Luis has negotiated with and concluded agreements with numerous governments on sensitive issues such as bilateral payment rescheduling agreements, and has acted as both an intermediary and primary negotiator. He has been a member of the Claims Committee of the Berne Union and the Spanish delegation to the Paris Club.
Luis was instrumental in the formation and establishment of MIGA and its legal department. He oversaw the membership of scores of countries to MIGA, as well as its mediation services. Following his retirement from MIGA in 2005, Luis worked for the European Investment Bank as external advisor for its legal department’s Internal Control Framework.
Luis has lectured at several universities in Spain and the USA and has co-authored a number of books on business and investment law. He is fluent in English, French, and Spanish. Luis graduated with an LLM degree from Universidad Complutense of Madrid and is a member of the Madrid Bar Association. He has diplomas in Commercial, Contract and International Law from educational institutions in several countries, including the UK, Spain and France. In 2000 he completed the Executive Development Program for World Bank managers at Harvard University.
Director of Financial Advisory Services
Addison Cheng has more than 20 years of experience assessing private equity and project finance transactions and has been instrumental in the placement of more than $41 billion in direct investments and $17 billion in more than 50 closed transactions in the industrial, energy, power, and transportation sectors. His experience includes as Risk Deal Team Leader for GE Capital, Executive Director for Fieldstone Private Capital Group, VP and Manager at Fuji Bank, and Director of Finance at Intergen.
Addison has extensive experience in credit and investment underwriting, portfolio management, project management and transaction execution involving major U.S. and international equity investments and corporate, structured, infrastructure, and energy financings. He has provided advice to senior corporate decision makers and is adept at utilizing high concept strategies in a variety of areas, including value-added business and project developments, financial modeling, debt, equity and lease structures, mergers and acquisitions, balance sheet restructurings, refinancings, partnerships, and joint ventures.
Addison is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies with an M.A. in International Relations and a concentration in international business management. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, English, French and Filipino, and has lived and worked in Asia and the United States.
Director of Geopolitical Analysis
An urban and political geographer at DePaul University in Chicago, Professor Alex Papadopoulos is an expert in the intersection of political process and urban change.
His current research includes two projects: a study of the role of geospatial technologies in the emergence of an American “security state”, and a grant-supported study of the spatial logics of the Vincentian ‘praxis’ in early state formation in France.
Dr. Papadopoulos’ published work includes a significant monograph on the urban impacts of European integration in the restructuring of Brussels' downtown, and a collection of articles on the urban impacts of market reform and political liberalization in St. Petersburg, Russia. His political geographic research includes works on identity formation and international security in the Southern Balkans.
He has a Master’s degree in International Relations and a PhD in Political Geography from the University of Chicago.
Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Srilal M. Perera, a Sri Lankan national, is presently Adjunct Professor of Law and International Research Scholar in Residence at the Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington DC. He retired in 2010 from the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) after having served there for 21 years, 11 years of which as the Agency’s Chief Counsel. He was MIGA’s project counsel for some of the most complex investment projects in all sectors, for which MIGA issued political risk insurance, principally in Asia and Africa. He was also for a brief period Acting Vice President and General Counsel of MIGA.
Srilal has extensive prior international legal experience working with multilateral organizations. From 1986 to 1989 he served as an attorney at the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, where he was also Legal Assistant to the President of the Tribunal (1988-89). He has extensive global experience in international investment transactions, claims adjudication, including alternative dispute resolution, and is a recognized specialist on international law, political risk insurance, investment arbitration and issues of State Responsibility with several key publications on those subjects.
Srilal received his legal education at the University of Sri Lanka where he earned an LL.B., and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University, with specialization in international law and international economics. He completed his Ph.D. at Georgetown University with specialization in International Law and International Relations. Srilal later completed the Executive Development Program at the Harvard University Business School.
He was nominated and appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka to the Panel of Arbitrators and Conciliators of Sri Lanka, of the prestigious International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC.
Director of Middle Eastern Affairs
Charles Kestenbaum is widely recognized as an expert in Middle Eastern Affairs. He served for 24 years in the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service at U.S. embassies in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. In addition to supervising the U.S. Rebuild Kuwait program in 1991 for the U.S. Department of Commerce, he also served as Commercial Liaison office director in the U.S. Executive Director's office of the World Bank.
Charles has negotiated trade agreements, counseled U.S. and international companies on all aspects of establishing and running businesses in the Middle East, and conducted extensive research throughout the region. Since leaving the U.S. government in 2002, he has been a Middle East business consultant to Fortune 500 companies, has established several security companies in Iraq, and has worked as a director of business development for a leading international risk management and investigation firm.
Charles is a lecturer and teacher, including preparing foreign service officers for embassy careers and diplomatic assignments through training programs at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center. He teaches courses in anti-corruption, competitiveness, how U.S. companies operate successfully abroad, how to forge private/public company relations, and how to support U.S. national security interests by U.S. embassies abroad.
He holds a master's degree from the American University in Cairo and a bachelor's degree in Arabic studies from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Charles has also completed post-graduate research at the Johns Hopkins school of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C. He speaks Arabic, French, and Bahasa Indonesia.
Director of Portfolio Investments
Joseph Wambia is CEO of the Wambia Capital Group, a Washington, D.C.-based boutique investment and merchant banking firm focused on African investment. A former World Bank senior staff member with 25 years of experience in international development finance, Joseph started his career teaching economics at the University of Nairobi and as a commercial banker with Barclays Bank Nairobi. He subsequently held a variety of senior level positions at the World Bank, including manager of portfolio performance and senior auditor of operations. He remains a consultant to the Bank.
Joseph is a specialist in financial product innovation and focuses on corporate governance, risk management, internal controls, and internal audit for financial institutions. He has a wealth of experience in development and project finance, trade finance, and private equity, as well as expertise in liquidity risk management and capital adequacy. Joseph is very knowledgeable about banking regulations, with a proven track record of syndicating millions of dollars to major banks in East Africa, East Asia, and South Asia in support of major change initiatives.
He has appeared several times on Voice of America TV, Investment News, and CNBC. Joseph regularly addresses conferences on investment and risk management in emerging markets, including the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles, the Louis Blouin Creative Leadership Global Summit in New York, and others by Bloomberg, Marcus Evans, Africa-Investor, and Institutional Investor among others. He has published in a number of leading academic journals on the political economy of large scale institutional reforms.
Joseph has a Master of Science degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University. He also has the following designations: Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors; Certified Investments and Derivatives Auditor (CIDA) from the Investment Training Institute; Certified Financial Services Auditor (CFSA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors; Certification in Control Self-Assessments (CCSA) from the Institute of Internal Auditors; and a Certificate in Financial Analysis from the CFA Institute.