For Immediate Release September 25, 2009
- Michael C. Polt, Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia
- Victoria A. Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Office of Management and Budget
- Adele Logan Alexander, Member, National Council on the Humanities
Michael Polt is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and has been the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs since August 2008. Prior to that he was a State Department Senior Transatlantic Fellow to the German Marshall Fund of the US. Mr. Polt was sworn in as United States Ambassador to Serbia and Montenegro in May 2004. Following Montenegro's secession from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, Mr. Polt became the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia. He completed his Mission to Serbia in August 2007. During his three decades as a career diplomat, Mr. Polt served as U.S. Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, Germany and Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge’ d’ Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland. He has also served as Senior Advisor to the Director General of the Foreign Service for Management Reform and was a key member of the Senior Management Steering Board directing the State Department’s 2003-2005 multi-million dollar reinvention of its Diplomatic Communications System. Mr. Polt has held other senior positions in the Department of State, as Deputy Director for European Security and Arms Control issues, and in Panama City as Political Counselor of the U.S. Embassy during the time leading up to the U.S. military action against the Noriega regime in 1989. Earlier in his career, Mr. Polt was assigned to Embassies in Bonn, Mexico City, and Copenhagen, as well as the U.S. Consulate in Bremen, Germany. Mr. Polt received his bachelor’s degree from American International College and his master’s from University of Tennessee.
Victoria A. Espinel is the founder and President of Bridging the Innovation Divide, a not-for-profit foundation focused on addressing the "innovation divide" and empowering all Americans to obtain the full benefit of their creativity and ingenuity. From 2007-2009, Ms. Espinel was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the George Mason University School of Law. Her areas of teaching and research were intellectual property and international trade. She has acted as advisor on intellectual property issues to the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Finance Committee, House Judiciary Committee and House Ways and Means Committee. She also served as an advisor to Romulus Global Issues Management and is a member of the Brain Trust of the Global Innovation Forum. In 2005, Ms. Espinel was asked to serve as the first ever Assistant United States Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, serving as the chief U.S. trade negotiator for intellectual property and innovation. She testified on numerous occasions before the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Ms. Espinel also served as Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property and as Associate General Counsel at USTR. Before joining USTR, Ms. Espinel was with the law firms of Covington & Burling in London and Washington, D.C., and Sidley, Austin, Brown & Wood in New York. She holds an LLM from the London School of Economics, a JD from Georgetown University Law School, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.
Dr. Adele Logan Alexander is a professor of history at The George Washington University. She specializes in African American and family history, gender and social issues. Dr. Alexander has authored numerous articles and papers, as well as two notable books: Ambiguous Lives: Free Women of Color in Rural Georgia, 1789-1879, and Homelands and Waterways: The American Journey of the Bond Family, 1846-1926. Both works have won several awards, including the Gustavus Myers Award for promoting racial understanding. The African American Historical and Genealogical Society recognized Dr. Alexander in 2003 with the Outstanding Lifetime Contribution Award for her studies of family history. In addition, she had been a member of a number of boards, including the District of Columbia's Board of Higher Education, the Historical Society of Washington, and Harvard University's Graduate School of Education's Board of Visitors.