My educational background in both the sciences and the humanities has informed my career path – and financial and financial technology services, journalism, community service, and public service – with an abiding commitment to leadership, evidence-based management, ethics, and human dignity.
At Johns Hopkins University, with a National Merit Scholarship and originally studying physics and pre-med, I received my BA in 1977 and MA in 1979, both in the Liberal Arts with an emphasis on the Humanities. I published a research paper on "Oncogenes and Oncovirus," in the Spring 1974, Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Science Bulletin. Later, I was co-editor of The Hopkins Review. I also took courses at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies on the intersection of foreign policy and national security.
As a work-study undergraduate and graduate student+, I worked in university administration, first for the Office of Internal Audits, for the internal auditor Tony Dawgiewicz, director of Internal Audits and secretary to the Board of Trustees' Committee on Audits, then for Bob Wilson, director, Office of Business Development, and finally for George Stewart, director, Office of the Treasurer and chair, University Investment Committee. While a graduate student, I also worked as writer, editor and speech writer for Dr. Vicente Navarro at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Navarro, editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Health Services, was at that time the only tenured professor at Hopkins who was a Marxist.
Financial and Financial Technology Services
In 1979, after I had interviewed with the CIA at Johns Hopkins, I was instead was hired by A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard at Alex Brown & Sons in Baltimore. (Alex Brown was acquired by Bankers Trust , later Deutsche Bank.) Krongard, a long-time consultant and counselor to the various Directors of Central Intelligence (DCIs), later took a job with the CIA as the number three person, after his 29-year career on Wall Street. Additionally, Krongard is the brother of former State Department Inspector General, Howard "Cookie" Krongard. Together the Krongard brothers strongly supported Blackwater Security Consulting, which was founded by Erik Prince, Al Clark, and Jami Smith. Blackwater received its first black contracts as a result of the Krongard brothers' influence.
After training at Alex Brown, I was assigned to work in floor operations for Merrill Lynch at the NYMEX and COMEX at 4 WTC. NYMEX is the world's leading market for crude oil, and COMEX is the world's leading market in precious metals. I also worked in floor operations for Spear Leeds Kellogg (now a division of Goldman Sachs) at the NYSE. John A. Mulheren was one of my mentors.
In the mid-1980s, I worked as an oil trader in Liberia, and returned to the U.S. to be the vice president and national sales manager of two departments (managed futures and precious metals) at Dean Witter at 2 WTC. Ken Tropin was my boss. Tropin is the former President of Dean Witter Futures, and is now the founder and Chairman of Graham Capital Management.
In 1988, I co-funded a Trust and Company Service Provider (TCSP) in the Cayman Islands that later functioned as a cover for a prominent national security contractor. We conducted forensic accounting and other investigations. Our TCSP worked closely with the Financial Action Task Force and the Caribbean Action Task Force.
I remained in that position until moving to northern California in 2000, where I first retired from security contracting. I was then was hired in local law enforcement at the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office. (Badge No.2324.)
In 2004, I returned to work in the financial services industry by accepting a job at the Swiss bank, UBS. I worked for three years in their office on Oakmont Drive in the Valley of the Moon, California, between Santa Rosa and Napa. That office was the UBS propriety trading desk for cocoa, sugar and coffee commodities.
Currently, I am a special limited partner in a privately held financial software development company. We have four small offices located in San Francisco, London, Malta, and Cyprus. Part of what we do is in the area of advanced analytics to develop systems and tools to facilitate information discovery, detect trends and patterns, uncover relationships, and put global events in context, especially as they relate to Islamic finance. Our company also develops local complementary currencies and transaction nets for banks in the Persian Gulf. Our company is consistent with I-Q-Tel (IQT) technology priorities. For further information about the complementary currencies, see the work of Dr. Nassar Saidi, Chief Economist, DIFC Authority. We have also developed shariah-compliant, e-trading platforms for Islamic finance.
The digital dollar is another project that interests us. Digital dollar technology is now understood to include all digital currencies, digital certificates, digital gold, digital oil, and other digital commodities, along with financial cryptography, steganalysis and stegnography, cyber security, advanced banking platforms, and advanced trading platforms. Over time, our company has either developed or acquired a small portfolio of intellectual properties in these advanced technologies.
We are committed to the following corporate values: innovation in research and development; end-to-end collection architecture for identifying financial technologies; responsible stewardship of financial technology; anticipation of disruptive technology leaps in the financial services industry; and an agile and accountable best-practices business environment.
Public Service: HIV/AIDS
In 1988, increasingly aware of the human and financial costs of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, I took two two-year sabbaticals from the financial services industry. During this time, I served as Executive Director of two AIDS service agencies, first with the AIDS Project Worcester, a partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and then later with the Cape Cod AIDS Council. I was awarded commendations by the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives for leadership in fighting the AIDS epidemic.
I also was among the first AIDS workers to conduct outreach to prostitutes, hustlers, and IV-drug addicts. We did outreach at night on city streets, in parks, and in heroin addicts shooting galleries and crack houses in Boston and Worcester. I wrote about this work under pseudonyms –I share my given name with my father. It was published in The New Yorker, Harper's, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. I also helped create an underground railroad – a network of safe houses for homeless people with HIV/AIDS, including women and children, which was covered by the Boston media. I kickstarted this program by donating my summer home on the Annisquam River in Gloucester, Massachusetts for this purpose. I also assisted in the production of programming about safe sex practices and harm reduction on Midnight Blue, a sexually themed, public-access cable television show that aired on Channel J in New York City.
Public Service: Mendocino County, CA
I have been appointed by the Mendocino County Superior Court to serve on three civil grand juries (2012, 2013, and 2015) to investigate waste, fraud, and corruption in county and city government.
In 2012, I was appointed by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to be a public trustee of the county's $444 million retirement system, formerly known as the Mendocino County Employee Retirement Association (MCERA). In that capacity, I have been trained as a public trustee at Stanford Law School by the California Association of Public Retirement Systems (CALAPRS). I further graduated from the CALAPRS training in pension fund management for trustees at UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business (2013), and advanced pension fund management for trustees at UCLA's Anderson School of Management (2015).
In 2013, I was elected to a three-year term as a board director at Mendocino County Public Broadcasting (MCPB), and served as board treasurer in 2014. MCPB holds two FCC licenses, KZYX and KZYZ, in Philo, CA.
In January 2017, I was elected to the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District.
Over the years, I have written for several financial and other publications, including articles for the Johns Hopkins Magazine and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Since 2008, I have been bringing together my work experience in international finance, national intelligence, and law enforcement with my humanities and political science education to host a public radio show, "All About Money," with top guests from the world of business, finance and politics. The show was originally hosted on NPR affiliate stations, KZYX and KZYZ, in northern California.
In 2014, I moved the show to another public radio station, KMEC, associated with the Mendocino Environmental Center and the Cloud Forest Institute, also in northern California. The mission of the center to promote social and environmental justice resonates with the show's focus.
Guests on the program have included: Nobel Laureates in economics; numerous Pulitzer Prize recipients in business, financial, and political news reporting; Members of Congress and senior staff of Congressional committees; C-level executives from financial services, technology, and telecom; top Wall Street traders, hedge fund managers, and other institutional money managers; retired military executive officers and flag officers; retired national security and intelligence senior officials, including prominent whistleblowers; and many leading authors, academics, think tank researchers, progressives, and activists.
The broadcast airs every Monday at 1 PM, Pacific time in northern California at KMEC 105.1 FM. All About Money also streams live from the web at www.KMEC.org. Show Podcasts and Archives are at http://www.kmecradio.org/p/allaboutmoney/
The show's broadcast reaches listeners in northern California, and its webcast reaches listeners throughout the world.
Additionally, many of our radio shows are posted with text and video to YouTube. Archived shows are also available as podcasts. The production team may also post shows to NPR's The Public Radio Exchange and/or Pacifica's Radio4All.
As a guest commentator, I have also been interviewed on Al Jazeera, the BBC, American Public Radio's "Market Watch," Sirius-XM POTUS, and Free Speech Radio news, among other media. In November 2010, I appeared opposite President Obama on Al Jazeera while attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group (APEC) in Yokohama, Japan.
Married, with five daughters and two sons.