Hany Abu-Assad, Director
Hany Abu-Assad is a Palestinian film director and writer, born in 1961 in Nazareth. After a several years as an airplane engineer in the Netherlands, Abu-Assad entered the world of cinema and television, beginning with TV programs and documentaries about immigrants for the BBC and others. After directing the award-winning shorts Paper House and The 13th and producing the feature Curfew, Abu-Assad directed his first feature documentary, the bittersweet Nazareth 2000. His follow-up, Rana’s Wedding, was selected for Critics Week at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival, and his documentary Ford Transit played at Sundance the same year. His feature film, Paradise Now (2005), was nominated for an Academy Award and has won several international awards including a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film.
James Franklin Collins, Ambassador (retired)
Ambassador Collins is a senior associate and director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. One of America’s leading authorities on Russia and Eurasia, Ambassador Collins enjoyed a distinguished diplomatic career as U.S. ambassador to the Russian Federation from 1997 to 2001 and as ambassador-at-Large and special advisor to the secretary of state for the New Independent States in the mid-1990s. He has been active as a member of several boards of directors of including the U.S.-Russia Business Council, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Open World Leadership Program and American Councils for International Education. Ambassador Collins taught Russian and European history, American government and economics at the U.S. Naval Academy. He received his B.A. cum laude from Harvard University in 1961 and his M.A. from Indiana University in 1964.
Benicio Del Toro, Actor
Host of season one of True Stories: Life in the U.S.A. Benicio Del Toro is an award-winning actor with an international reputation. At the 2003 Venice International Film Festival, Del Toro won the Audience Award [Lion of the Public] for Best Actor and an Academy Award nomination for his performance in 21 Grams. As Javier Rodriguez in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic he earned an Academy Award, as well as Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, National Society of Film Critics and Silver Bear [Berlin International Film Festival] awards. Del Toro made his motion picture debut in John Glen’s License to Kill, opposite Timothy Dalton as James Bond. His subsequent films include Peter Weir’s Fearless; George Huang’s Swimming with Sharks; Abel Ferrara’s The Funeral; Marco Brambilla’s Excess Baggage; Terry Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; Christopher McQuarrie’s The Way of the Gun; Guy Ritchie’s Snatch; William Friedkin’s The Hunted; and The Indian Runner and The Pledge, both directed by his fellow 21 Grams actor, Sean Penn. His television credits include the NBC Emmy winning miniseries Drug Wars: The Camarena Story (directed by Brian Gibson). Del Toro recently starred in Robert Rodriquez’s Sin City, based on three of Frank Miller’s graphic novels.
Edward P. Djerejian, Ambassador
Edward P. Djerejian is the founding director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy. He served both President George H.W. Bush and President William J. Clinton as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs and Presidents Reagan and Bush as U.S. Ambassador to Syria. He served President Clinton as U.S. Ambassador to Israel before completing his foreign service career in 1994. He also served President Reagan as special assistant and deputy press secretary for foreign affairs. He has been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award, and numerous other honors including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Anti-Defamation League’s Moral Statesman Award.
Jihan El Tahri, Director/producer
Jihan El Tahri is an award-winning writer/director and producer. Her most recent work includes Behind the Rainbow about the difficult political transition in South Africa and Cuba, an African Odyssey, which examines Cuba’s support for African revolutions. She has produced and directed numerous other documentaries, including the Emmy-nominated House of Saud, as well as Price of Aid, The Tragedy of the Great Lakes, and the series Israel and the Arabs: The 50 Years War for which she co-authored the accompanying book. El Tahiri also co-authored a biography of Yasser Arafat titled Les Sept Vies de Yasser Arafat.
Danny Glover, Actor/producer/activist
Danny Glover was host of season two of the series True Stories. As a commanding presence on screen, stage, and television for more than 25 years, Glover’s film credits range from the blockbuster Lethal Weapon franchise to smaller independent features. At the same time, Glover has also gained respect for his wide-reaching humanitarian and philanthropic efforts, with a particular emphasis on advocacy for economic justice and access to health care and education programs in the United States and abroad. Internationally, Glover has served as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program from 1998-2004, focusing on issues of poverty, disease and economic development in Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and currently serves as UNICEF ambassador.
Honorable Lee H. Hamilton
Lee H. Hamilton is president and director of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. Hamilton represented Indiana’s 9th congressional district for 34 years beginning January 1965. During his tenure, he chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Subcommittee on Europe and the Middle East.
Hamilton has served as co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, a forward-looking, bi-partisan group created at the urging of Congress and is currently a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. Hamilton, a graduate of DePauw University and Indiana University school of law, authored A Creative Tension: The Foreign Policy Roles of the President and Congress; How Congress Works and Why You Should Care, and co-authored Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission.
Patricia Harrison has been president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting since June 2005. Previously, she served as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs and as Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. At the Department of State, she created "Partnerships for Learning,” a global initiative to enhance education and opportunity. Ms. Harrison received the Secretary's Distinguished Service Award from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her leadership.
Entrepreneur and author, Ms. Harrison holds an honorary doctorate from the American University in Rome. She received the 1999 Global Women's Leadership Award and, in 1997, was named one of “50 Most Influential Women in Politics” by Ladies’ Home Journal.
Heddy Honigmann is one of the most famous documentary makers in the Netherlands. Her documentaries are screened at festivals around the world and are often seen in Dutch cinemas. She has won numerous awards, including a Golden Calf twice, the first for Crazy (1999) and the second for Forever (2006).
Honigmann is Peruvian-Dutch. She studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome and has lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1978. She has made not only documentaries but also a number of feature films and has an impressive oeuvre. Her fame goes far beyond the borders of the Netherlands, there are retrospectives dedicated to her work from Paris to San Francisco, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York organized an exhibition about her. Notable films of Honigmann include O Amor Natural, Metal and Melancholy, Dame La Mano and The Underground Orchestra.
Internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto is one of the pre-eminent documentary filmmakers working today, renowned for creating extraordinary human portraits and tackling controversial topics with sensitivity and compassion. Longinotto's films have won international acclaim and dozens of premiere awards at festivals worldwide, including the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentary at Sundance for Rough Aunties.
Other awards include the Amnesty International DOEN Award at IDFA for The Day I Will Never Forget, which premiered on HBO in 2003, and the Grand Prize for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival and a BAFTA Award for Divorce Iranian Style (1998). Her film Sisters in Law, set in Kumba, Cameroon, premiered and won two prizes at Cannes including the prestigious Prix art et Essai Award, as well as a Peabody Award. She also won Outstanding Documentary at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival for Shinjuku Boys (1995).
Longinotto studied camera and directing at England’s National Film School, before working as the cameraperson on a variety of documentaries for TV, including Cross and Passion, an account of Catholic women in Belfast, and Underage, a chronicle of unemployed adolescents in the English city of Coventry. In 1986, she formed the production company Twentieth Century Vixen.
Joseph S. Nye Jr.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University and Sultan of Oman Professor of International Relations, was Dean of the John F. Kennedy School of Government from December 1995 through June 2004. Nye has been on the faculty at Harvard since 1964, during which time he also served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Chair of the National Intelligence Council, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Security Assistance, Science, and Technology. His most recent publications are The Power Game: A Washington Novel (2004); Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (2004) and an anthology, Power in the Global Information Age (2004). Nye received his bachelor's degree summa cum laude from Princeton University, did postgraduate work at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, and earned a Ph.D in political science from Harvard.