ACDA Leadership

By mpirog - Posted on 06 May 2008

Michael D. Ostrolenk — President / Board Member

Michael D. Ostrolenk has his undergraduate degree in government from West Virginia Wesleyan College and received his Masters Degree is in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.

Michael is a co-founder the Liberty Coalition which works to protect civil liberties and promote national security, Vice President of HSLEADER, a founding member of the Integral Institute (promoting new approaches to personal and professional relationships), and a policy fellow with the Coalition for a Realistic Foreign Policy.

As a government affairs consultant, Michael has worked with such organizations as the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Eagle Forum, EdWatch, and the Arlington Institute. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of publications ranging from USA Today to The American Conservative Magazine.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D. — Francis Walsingham Fellow / Board member

Philip M. Giraldi is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served 18 years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992, designated the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support, and served as official liaison to the Spanish Security and Intelligence services. Since 1992, Phil has been engaged in security consulting for a number of Fortune 500 corporate clients. He is currently President of San Marco International, a consulting firm that specializes in international security management and risk assessment, and a partner in Cannistraro Associates, a security consultancy located in McLean, Virginia.

Phil is a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a regular contributor to (his column is titled “Smoke and Mirrors”) and serves as a contributing editor on terrorism, intelligence, and security issues for the American Conservative magazine (his column there is called “Deep Background”). He has written op-ed pieces for the Hearst Newspaper chain, appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, National Public Radio, and has been interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British Broadcasting Corporation, Britain’s Independent Television Network, FOX News, Polish National Television, Croatian National Television, al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, 60 Minutes, and Court TV. A keynote speaker at the Petroleum Industry Security Council annual meeting, he spoke twice at the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC convention in Washington, and has addressed several World Affairs Council affiliates. He prepares and edits a nationally syndicated subscription service newsletter on September 11th issues for corporate clients.

Phil was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish.

Doug Bandow, J.D. — Robert A. Taft Fellow / Board Member

Doug Bandow received his B.S. in Economics from Florida State University and his J.D. from Stanford University. He is the Cobden Fellow in International Economics at the Institute for Policy Innovation, Vice President of Policy for Citizen Outreach (a Washington-based grassroots political organization) and the Bastiat Scholar in Free Enterprise at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He was formerly a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and Visiting Fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Doug served as a Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan and as a Senior Policy Analyst in the 1980 Reagan for President campaign.

A weekly columnist for (his column is titled "Foreign Follies"), he has been widely published in such periodicals as Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Christianity Today, Foreign Policy, Harper's, National Interest, National Review, New Republic, Orbis, and World, as well as leading newspapers including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated columnist with Copley News Service and served as editor of Inquiry magazine.

Doug Bandow has written and edited numerous books, including "Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire," "The Korean Conundrum: America's Troubled Relations with North and South Korea" (co-author), "Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World," "Perpetuating Poverty: The World Bank, the IMF, and the Developing World" (co-editor), and "Military Manpower and Human Resources ." He has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including ABC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN Crossfire, CNN Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Nightline, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Larry Madison — Military/Veteran/Government Relations Analyst / Board Member

Larry Madison is a long-time conservative activist and writer. He served on the staff of the Minnesota state Republican Party for seven years and has been a delegate to numerous GOP state and local conventions. He has also been active in many conservative political organizations, starting with Young Americans for Freedom when he was in college. While in graduate school at Baylor University in Texas in 1976, he was a volunteer in Ronald Reagan's campaign for the presidency against Gerald Ford. In 1980 he served on the Minnesota Reagan for President advisory board.

Larry served on the staff of the Minnesota Secretary of State and has worked for two of the most prominent conservative direct marketing agencies in the nation, serving a variety of conservative political clients. In addition, he has been on staff at the American Security Council and the American Defense Institute.

A member of the Guard and Reserve components of the Air Force and Army for more than 30 years, his military awards include Meritorious Service medal and the Air Force Commendation medal. He currently is legislative director for a national veterans' service organization specializing in military personnel matters.

Samah Norquist — Secretary / Board Member

Samah Norquist was born in Kuwait to parents of Palestinian descent; her family immigrated to the United States in 1990. She attended Northeastern University, receiving a B.S. in political science and the American University in Cairo, Egypt, receiving an M.A. in political science with an emphasis on international relations.

Currently a Washington D.C.-based public relations consultant, Samah served as Public affairs Specialist for Arab and Muslim outreach at the Bureau of Legislative and Public affairs at US AID, director of communications at the Islamic Free Market Institute, and Cultural affairs Assistant at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan.

Peter B. Gemma — Treasurer / Board Member

Peter B. Gemma is a recipient of the George Washington Honors Medal for Individual Achievement, awarded by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, for his "ability to communicate patriotic ideas and ideals." A columnist with Middle American News, he has written more than 100 commentaries for USA Today and for such publications as the Washington Examiner, Military History, Human Events,, and The Social Contract Quarterly. Peter's articles and essays have been reprinted in three college textbooks — "Critical Thinking" (2003), "Reading for Thinking" (2002), and "Logic" (1995) — as well as in two anthologies: "20th Century Heroes" (2000) and "The Superpowers: A New Detente" (1989). His frequent media appearances include C-Span, 60 Minutes, Nightline, All Things Considered, Good Morning America, and Voice of America.

A veteran political and non-profit public relations and development consultant, his clients have ranged from G. Gordon Liddy to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and from Joe Sobran to the Wildfowl Trust of North America. He was elected as a Delegate to the 1992 Republican National Convention (serving on the platform committee), and was a senior staff member of the Pat Buchanan 2000 Reform Party presidential campaign. The radical Southern Poverty Law Center asserts that Peter Gemma is a "a seasoned Republican campaign manager and a veteran far-right agitator" who "has championed many conservative causes over the years."

His anthology, "SHOTS FIRED: Sam Francis on America's Culture War," was published in 2006; he is currently writing a biography of former Louisiana congressman John R. Rarick.

Jesse Benton — Media Coordinator

Jesse Benton is a communications, public policy, and political activist. President of C.I.C. Solutions, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm, he is currently serving as national spokesman for the presidential campaign of Congressman Ron Paul. He has served as press secretary at Americans for Tax Reform; communications director at the American Conservative Union; and director of public policy and external affairs at the Performance Institute. Jesse Benton has also worked in government relations and external affairs for corporations and trade associations.