IAVA Welcomes New Chair and Members to its Board of Directors

IAVA Welcomes New Chair and Members to its Board of Directors

CONTACT: Carlisle Williams (212) 982-9699 or press@iava.org


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IAVA Welcomes New Chair and Members to its Board of Directors 

NEW YORK (June 10, 2013) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s (IAVA) Board of Directors is proud to announce a new Chairman of the Board and six new members. Founded in 2004 by Iraq veteran Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA has received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.

IAVA’s Board of Directors today announced Jim Hirschmann, President and CEO of Western Asset Management, as IAVA’s new Board Chairman, and the addition of the following new members to its Board of Directors:

– Greg D’Alba, President of CNN News Networks & Turner Digital Ad Sales and Marketing

  • – Dick Beattie, Partner and Chairman of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLC
  • – Bill Cowher, Super Bowl Champion Coach and CBS Studio Analyst
  • – Michael Leven, President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp.
  • – Reynold Levy, President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

“IAVA is honored to have these amazing leaders joining our board and leading the effort to support and empower the New Greatest Generation of veterans,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “In 2013 and beyond, we look forward to working closely with our new Board Chairman and members to ensure that new veterans and their families receive the care and support they deserve as they return from war.”

Said Jim Hirschmann, incoming Board Chair: “I am honored to become Chair of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America and am so proud of the great work supporting New Veterans.  Our Board is excited about the opportunities we have to continue to have a positive impact on OIF, OEF and OND veterans.”

Nine years after helping to found the organization, IAVA’s first Chairman of the Board, Ed Vick, is passing the mantle to Jim Hirschmann. IAVA is proud to recognize Mr. Vick for his service. He will remain involved with the organization as Chairman Emeritus. Mr. Vick, a Vietnam veteran, has been essential to IAVA’s growth and success as an organization. 

“Ed has poured his heart into the mission, advancing IAVA from a scrappy startup to an established and respected organization representing over 270,000 veteran members and supporters across the country,” said Rieckhoff. “Over the years, Ed has lent his time, his experience and his passion to grow the organization and develop its staff.  Ed’s leadership has been invaluable to countless veterans and their families. Under his leadership, IAVA has completely changed the landscape of veterans support. From the creation of our groundbreaking Ad Council PSA campaign to the passage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the impact of Ed’s tenure as our Chair will last forever in the changed lives of veterans nationwide, and we’re thrilled to keep him involved as our Chairman Emeritus.”

Chairman Emeritus Ed Vick said, “Since IAVA’s founding in 2004, every member of our Board has gone above and beyond to advance the mission, serve our members and support our staff. I know these newest members will prove no exception to that rule. It is my privilege to pass the torch to individuals with deep connections to our mission, integrity and generosity to our team; they will no doubt move the organization onward and upward during their tenure. I know I speak for the entire IAVA family when I thank each of them for joining this movement. For my part, I thank each of them, and especially Jim Hirschmann, for taking over the important role of Board Chair.”

Biographies of all members of IAVA’s Board of Directors are available on our website. See below for full biographies of our newest members:

About Greg D’Alba

Greg D’Alba, a long-time supporter of IAVA, is President of CNN News Networks & Turner Digital Ad Sales and Marketing. Starting with his support for IAVA’s Ad Council campaign in 2008, D’Alba has been championing IAVA’s mission and its members through his role at CNN at every turn.

D’Alba also sits on the Boards of Directors of the Cable television Advertising Bureau and Interactive Advertising Bureau and serves as Board Secretary of the American Advertising Federation. He is also Board Chairman of the Ghetto Film School and Digital Bodega. Additionally, D’Alba pioneered the Turner Diversity Fellowship program with Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications to provide scholarships to students in their masters program. D’Alba earned a degree in communications at the University of Buffalo, and was also honored to deliver the commencement address to the University’s graduating class of 2005.

About Dick Beattie

Dick Beattie is Partner and Chairman of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Beattie has a long record of public service – starting with his time in the military. Prior to law school, he served four years in the Marine Corps as a jet pilot after graduating from Dartmouth College in 1961. During the Carter Administration, he served as general counsel of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and in 1980, he was in charge of organizing the U.S. Department of Education. During the 1980’s, Mr. Beattie served on the New York City Board of Education. He has served as a special advisor to the secretary of state and during 1995-1997 was President Clinton’s emissary for Cyprus. Beattie joined Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 1968 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Beattie is also Chairman and Founder of New Visions for Public Schools, member of the Board of Directors of Harley-Davidson, Inc., Heidrick & Struggles, the Carnegie Corporation and the National Women’s Law Center, as well as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Vice Chairman of the Board of Overseers and Managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Chairman of the Board of Managers of Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases.

About Bill Cowher

Bill Cowher, between his many successes in the National Football League, has traveled to the Middle East twice with the USO to spend time with our troops. Coach Cowher’s commitment to the men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is unwavering – from missing holidays with his family to be in Iraq to his decision to join IAVA’s Board, the newest generation of veterans has in him an unwavering advocate. 

An accomplished student-athlete at North Carolina State University, he began his career in the NFL as a linebacker and special teams standout for the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles. He began his coaching career as a special teams coach in 1985 for the Browns, then as defensive coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1989. In 1992, he succeeded Chuck Noll as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over the span of 15 years as Head Coach Bill Cowher’s accomplishments include eight division titles, 10 postseason playoff berths, 21 playoff games, six AFC Championship games (winning two) and two Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XL. He is one of only six coaches in NFL history to claim at least seven division titles and in 1995 at age 38, he became the youngest head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl. Coach Cowher resigned after 15 seasons as the Steelers’ coach on January 5, 2007. Later that year he joined CBS as a Studio Analyst on the program The NFL Today, a position he currently holds.

About Jim Hirschmann

James (Jim) Hirschmann is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Western Asset Management Company, Legg Mason’s largest subsidiary and one of the world’s largest fixed-income asset managers. Mr. Hirschmann joined Western Asset in 1989 in a business development capacity and was appointed President and CEO in 1999. He has been a key driver in the impressive growth and major global position that Western Asset has achieved as one of the world’s leading bond managers. 

Prior to his current position, he served as Director for Financial Trust Company (currently Invesco National Trust Company) in Denver, CO. Before that, he was a Vice President at Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corporation in New York, NY. In addition to his current duties, Mr. Hirschmann is member of the Investment Committee of Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, the Board of Directors of Medical Simulation Corporation, the advisory Board of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and is Chairman of Rose Bowl Legacy Connections. Mr. Hirschmann is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Widener College, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting. 

About Michael Leven

Michael Leven is currently President and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp and has served on its Board of Directors since 2004. He is a veteran hospitality executive with nearly 50 years of experience in the business and a distinguished and well-recognized record of success. He was formerly President and CEO of US Franchise Systems, Inc., the company he founded in 1995, which developed and franchised the Microtel Inns & Suites and Hawthorn Suites hotel brands. He was previously the President and COO of Holiday Inn Worldwide, President of Days Inn of America, and President of Americana Hotels. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Hersha Hospitality Trust. Leven holds a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University and Master of Science from Boston University. 

About Reynold Levy

Reynold Levy has been the President of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts since March 1, 2002. Levy’s leadership at Lincoln Center continues a distinguished career of public service, and as the son of a WWII veteran, supporting our nation’s veterans has always been paramount on his agenda. When IAVA approached him at Lincoln Center proposing a partnership to hire and welcome new veterans to the Lincoln Center community, he engaged without hesitation. Now, IAVA and Lincoln Center have been working together for almost a year to offer free employment and entertainment opportunities for new veterans and their families in the tri-state area with great success.

He has been President of the International Rescue Committee, the senior officer of AT&T in charge of government relations, President of the AT&T Foundation, Executive Director of the 92nd Street Y, and Staff Director of the Task Force on the New York City Fiscal Crisis.

He has served as a consultant, volunteer, and board member of numerous nonprofit and profit organizations, including the Manhattan Theatre Club, The Municipal Art Society of New York, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, The Grove Foundation, The Charles R. Bronfman Foundation, the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education, and Third Way. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Charles H. Revson Foundation and a member of the Board of Overseers of the International Rescue Committee. A graduate of Hobart College, Levy holds a law degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in government and foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. 


About IAVA

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation’s first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. IAVA recently received the highest rating – four-stars – from Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator.



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