ABOUT AACC
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Mr. Sulaiman Lutfi
Chairman of the Board
Sulaiman Lutfi is the current Chairman of the Board of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  He is one of the Founding Members and has helped develop the brand of AACC and supported the marketing efforts of the organization, since its inception.   He was one of the key planners in organizing AACC’s Annual Matchmaking Conferences by securing sponsors, promoting the conference and handling public relation and media efforts.

He has over 20 years of experience in marketing and media communications. As an Afghan-American business owner of family owned, TriVision Studios, Sulaiman Lutfi has helped start a successful business with offices in the United States and Afghanistan. TriVision Studios is an award-winning, full service agency that develops innovative strategies to achieve powerful and creative marketing, entertainment and media campaigns for its clients. TriVision manages cross-platform advertising and integrated communication programs for a diverse group of clients, ranging from start-up companies to government agencies to some of the world's leading multi-national organizations.

Prior to AACC, Sulaiman Lutfi has served and helped to create many Afghan organizations in the United States. He co-founded the Afghan Student Association (ASA) in 1992 and served as the President of the organization from 1994 to 1997 and thereafter as the Director of Events and Programming until 1999. In his involvement with ASA, he organized community and cultural events and helped raise funds for needy children and women in Afghanistan.  He also co-founded the Afghan Sports Federation in 1997 and serves as the Vice-President and Soccer League Commissioner for the organization.   Afghan Sports Federation is the largest sports organization outside Afghanistan with over 1000 members.  In addition, he has also worked and contributed to many other organizations, such as Afghan Academy, Mustafa Center and Society of Afghan Professional.

Sulaiman Lutfi received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Decision Science Management Information System from George Mason University and participated in many professional training and conferences for media communications and branding.  He has received many awards and certificates for his achievements and innovation.

Sulaiman Lutfi and his wife, Zakia Lutfi, have three children – Arman, Sabrina and Sultan. They reside in Virginia.


 
altHon. Don Ritter
President & CEO
The Honorable Dr. Donald Ritter is the current President and CEO of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.  Since 2002, he has worked full time on Afghanistan and has been back to the country 22 times. Dr. Ritter represented Pennsylvania’s 15th district, the “Lehigh Valley”, from 1979 to 1993 in the U.S. House of Representatives, and has a near 30-year history in Afghanistan. As ranking member on the Congressional Helsinki Commission, he fought for liberty and human rights in the former Soviet Union, serving also as the founding chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Baltic States and Ukraine. No other Congressional body even came close to the number of hearings the Helsinki Commission held on Afghanistan under Ritter’s guidance. As one of the leading congressional proponents of U.S. assistance to the people of Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion and occupation as prime author of the “Material Assistance“legislation and founder and Chairman of the “Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan”, Dr. Ritter continues his effort today via the economy and private sector to find solutions to Afghanistan's challenges of insurgency and drug trade.
 
He is founder and former Chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based Afghanistan Foundation, later known as the Afghanistan-America Foundation and a founder of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) in 2002. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce and the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce (AICC) in Kabul during the creation and development years of AICC, 2004 and 2005 under a USAID grant. Dr. Ritter was a major architect of the AICC, the first independent, free-market oriented Chamber in the history of Afghanistan, now merged with the Afghan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI). Dr. Ritter presently seeks to continue AACC’s seminal role in assisting the development of the Afghan market economy to bring stability and prosperity to Afghanistan. He also wears the hat of private businessman and investor in Afghanistan and is active in businesses involving consumer services, construction and carpets. Dr. Ritter holds a B.S. in Engineering from Lehigh University and an engineering doctorate from M.I.T.  He was a NAS Scientific Exchange fellow in the former Soviet Union for a year and speaks fluent Russian. He was a member of the faculty and administration at Lehigh University for 10 years, a consultant to industry, and, after 7 terms and 14 years in the US Congress, was founder and President of the National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI) for 10 years. Don also serves on the Board of Directors of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation and is Chairman of their Development Committee.
 
Jeffrey Grieco
Mr. Jeffrey Grieco
Vice President
Jeffrey Grieco is the current Vice President of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. Jeffrey Grieco is a senior foreign policy and foreign assistance consultant having served as a senior leader both in the public and private sector, focused on U.S. foreign policy and foreign assistance implementation.  He is a Board Member of the Society of International Development (SID-Washington Chapter), a former Board Member of the International Stability Operations Association (ISOA) completing his 2 year term in 2013 and a former Board Member of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) completing a 2 year term in early 2013.

From 2009-2014 he served as Chief of Communications and Government Affairs for International Relief & Development (IRD), one of the largest non-profit, NGO implementers for the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Grieco was responsible for all IRD Communications, Advocacy, and Government Affairs and served on IRD’s Executive Committee and Senior Management Team.

Prior to arriving at IRD in 2009, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Assistant Administrator for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) at USAID, serving as the Agency’s senior advisor on all legislative and global public affairs activities. As head of LPA, he was responsible for all Congressional contacts and communications, managed all agency communications to both foreign and domestic audiences, and supervised USAID media and public affairs programming worldwide. He also served as the agency's lead congressional and public affairs representative at global meetings and conferences dealing with USAID's reconstruction operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Liberia, and other nations. His portfolio dealt with USAID's humanitarian and development programming in more than 100 countries.

 Mr. Grieco also served as USAID's senior representative on various interagency committees and working groups dealing with legislative affairs, communications, public diplomacy, and public affairs, including inter-agency working groups such as the Joint Policy Council of the Department of State, the Administration's Iraq Stabilization Group (ISG), and the Agency's Muslim Outreach Coordinating Committee. He was the U.S. Representative to the Development Assistance Committee Communicators Network of the OECD and participated in major multilateral efforts to improve aid effectiveness and communications.

He is a graduate of Georgetown University's Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service Studies where he obtained a Masters degree in Foreign Relations. He has also received a fellowship for graduate studies in comparative international management at Oxford University's Templeton College. His Bachelors degree is from George Washington University's Elliott School in international affairs. He is proficient in Korean and French.


 
altMr. Yama Azami
Treasurer
Yama Azami is the current Treasurer of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.He has been the Treasurer of AACC for the past six years. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan and migrated to the United States with his family in 1983. He attended the University of Texas graduating in 1993. In 1996, he relocated to the Washington D.C. area. He continued his business profession as well as his organizational professions with Afghan Student Association, serving as vice president for one year and president from 1998-1999. In this role, he was very involved in community activities as well as raising funds to help the women and children in Afghanistan, sending significant amounts of monetary aid to help provide clothing, food, health care supplies and all items of necessity for the poverty stricken and helpless individuals of Afghanistan. During this time, he was building his professional experience and prospering in the mortgage industry.

He is the President of Washington Mortgage Group, which provides residential and commercial financing for the Washington DC metro area. He has been in the mortgage industry since 1999. His company has built up an impeccable track record for the service they provide to their clients. While he has been continuing his business profession, he has also been a member of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce and is currently on the board of directors and has been serving as the Treasurer since 2008. Even though he devotes a great deal of time to his professional and organizational commitments, he still makes time for his personal commitments.

He currently resides in Fairfax Station, Virginia with his wife Fara and three children, Neela, Neda and Layla.


 
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Mr. William C. Joern
Secretary of the Board
William C. (Bill) Joern is the current Secterat of the Board of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.has been an active member of the Afghanistan American Chamber of Commerce since 2005.  He has served on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and as a Member-at-Large; contributed to several organizational issues to ensure openness and transparency of AACC   programs and processes; supported all AACC-sponsored networking events, including the launch event of the Northern California chapter; and represented AACC at other organizations' events.  Currently he is a participant in the Chamber’s ICT Working Group.
 
Mr. Joern has participated in the planning and organization of all eight AACC Business Matchmaking Conferences, including thematic development, identification and selection of speakers, moderation of speaking panels and preparation of post--conference evaluations.  Additionally, he developed a business-to-business matchmaking agreement that was used in previous conferences.

At the request of the AACC Board of Directors, he developed for Board discussion and adoption a set of policies and procedures, including the necessary corporate by-law amendments, which are being used to develop local AACC chapters. If elected to the Board, Mr. Joern will continue to support and contribute to all AACC activities and programs; focus on extending AACC's presence in the United States through local chapters and other localized activities; and support an AACC presence in Afghanistan during the upcoming "transition" period.  

Mr. Joern has over 40 years of experience in general management, strategic planning, program development and evaluation, personnel recruitment and training, budget development and monitoring, proposal development, contract management, and marketing with small and medium-size private corporations.

Mr. Joern is currently a co-founder and executive chairman of ROI3, Inc., which is developing applications for mobile phones and tablets to meet the educational and informational needs of individuals and communities in developing countries and economies.  Applications under development or consideration include those addressing English-as-a-second language, health, agriculture, e-government, business development, and financial management. As executive chairman, he is responsible for establishing the ROI3’s strategic direction and long term goals; identifying partnership opportunities with businesses and non-government organizations; and representing the company at conferences and other public events.

Mr. Joern also serves as president of Business Development Associates, which provides representation and marketing services to U.S. companies that design, manufacture, install and service across multiple sectors. These include food processing, packaging and storage; water bottling; water purification and waste water treatment; housing and commercial building construction technologies; medical and pharmaceutical equipment and supplies; and other areas.  He is familiar with a wide range of programs and funding sources including private venture funds, the US Export-Import Bank, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank.

He also has extensive experience as a board member or executive with non-profit organizations and IRS designated 501 (C) 3 tax-exempt entities at the local, state, and national levels.  Mr. Joern has served as a member of the board of directors of several organizations, CEO of a regional health planning corporation, managing director of Washington operations of a Philadelphia-based information services and R&D organization, and board member of a 200,000+ membership organization with active state chapters.

Mr. Joern is an active participant with and/or member of several international organizations in the Washington, DC area including the Washington International Trade Association, the Maryland China Business Council, the Corporate Council on Africa, the Council of the Americas, the Asia Society, and the Middle East Institute. He also associates with the Wharton Club of DC, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, The Gallup Organization, and the Nebraska Society of Washington DC.

Mr. Joern received his Bachelor of Science degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts with a major in history and political science. He also studied international relations and public administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and attended the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. He regularly attends numerous training conferences and seminars sponsored by universities and professional associations to develop and enhance his knowledge and skills.


 
Assad Mattin 
Mr. Assad Mattin
At-Large Member 
Assad Mattin is At-Large member of the Executive Committee of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a member of Board of Directors. A former Chief of Staff to a President and Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations, Assad Mattin leads the Oxus Consulting Group, a firm that Provides business development, strategic communications and commercial Facilitation support to corporations, organizations and individuals desiring to do business in, and with, Afghanistan. 

Mr. Mattin has held senior management positions with The St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company, USF+G Corporation, Marriott Corporation, First Equitable Corporation and MG Consultants Inc. Before beginning his corporate career, Mr. Mattin was deeply involved with the Afghan political sphere, and with that country’s Foreign Service, serving as Director of Communication and Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  

Born in Kabul, Mr. Mattin completed his undergraduate studies in Economics at Kabul University. His postgraduate education consists of Economics and Political Science at the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, and a Political Science and Diplomacy at Oxford University. Mr. Mattin also studied Business Administration at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and Strategic Management at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Mr. Mattin regularly supplies subject matter expertise in economic and political matters to Voice of America (VOA), British Broadcasting Company (BBC) and Radio Liberty. He is a senior advisor and board member at the Afghanistan Builders’ Association, a board member of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce and the Campaign for a U.S.-Afghan Partnership. He also serves as a Council Member on the Kabul Municipality Mayoral Advisory Board.

 
Arnold Fields Mr. Arnold Fields
At-Large Member
Major General (Ret'd.) Arnold Fields is At-Large member of the Executive Committee of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) and a member of Board of Directors. Arnold Fields is the former U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and a retired US Marine Corps Major General who served over 34 years on continuous active duty. He was the Deputy Commander of Marine Corps Forces in Europe and Africa at the time of his retirement in January 2004. He was advanced to brigadier general in September 1996 and assigned to U.S. Central Command where he assumed dual responsibilities as commander of Central Command’s forward headquarters while also serving as Central Command’s inspector general. Following this tour, General Fields was ordered to Hawaii where he took command of all Marine Corps Bases in Hawaii. He was selected for promotion to major general while serving in Hawaii and received orders to Headquarters Marine Corps at the Pentagon where he served as Director of the Marine Corps Staff. Fields’ colonel assignments included Commanding Officer of Camp Fuji Japan and its Headquarters Battalion and Chief of the Evaluation and Analysis Division of the Pentagon’s Joint Staff’s Plans and Interoperability Directorate (J7).

At the rank of lieutenant colonel, he commanded a motorized infantry battalion in combat operations to liberate Kuwait during the 1991 Gulf War; and with Headquarters in Casablanca, Morocco,  he earlier commanded all U.S. Marine Security Guards at U.S. embassies and consulates in North Africa and the Middle East. After retirement from active military duty, General Fields was appointed to the  U.S. Department of State where he  served in  Iraq as Chief of Staff of the Department’s Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office during which he helped coordinate the execution of over $18.4 billion appropriated by Congress for Iraq’s reconstruction. He was later appointed by the Deputy Secretary of Defense to serve as Deputy Director of the Department of Defense's Africa Center for Strategic Studies. While serving in this capacity, the President of the United States appointed General Fields  to stand up and head the congressionally mandated Office of Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) and to serve as the U.S. first Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. General Fields became the U.S. government’s watchdog of over $61 billion in U.S. appropriated humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan. During his tenure as SIGAR, Fields and staff produced over 35 fully scoped audits, initiated scores of investigations, referred several cases to the U.S. Attorney General or to other appropriate authority for prosecution or administrative action, recovered or recommended the redirection of almost $200 million dollars of U.S. appropriated funds for Afghanistan reconstruction, and made over 90 formal recommendations to Congress.

Fields earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Education at South Carolina State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Management at Pepperdine University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School. He is currently appointed by the Secretary of the Navy to the Board of Visitors at the Marine Corps University. General Fields is also a member of the National Academy of Science’s Board on Infrastructure and the Constructed Environment (BICE); the Board of Directors (and Fellow) of the congressionally chartered National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA); the Board of Directors of the Center for Human Capital Innovation (CHCI); the Board of Directors of two  Wounded Warrior Foundations; the Board of Trustees of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Foundation; and Business Advisor to Algodon Partners. Fields is currently President of Peacefulquest LLC.

He is the recipient of numerous military and civilian awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal; the Department of Defense  Superior Service Medal; the Bronze Star Medal, with Combat “V”; the Department of State Superior  Honor  Award for service with the Department in Baghdad ; and the South Carolina Order of the Palmetto. During his active duty career, General Fields was privileged to numerous opportunities to utilize his singing voice, which included performances   with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus in Atlanta, Ga.; at Carnegie Hall in New York City; and on tour in Europe under the late conductor Robert Shaw. Fields would later join the Paul Hill Chorale in Washington, DC and perform in concert, on numerous occasions, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.