Sulaiman Lutfi, Chairman; Jeffrey Grieco, President & CEO
Update on AACC Activities and Leadership Transition
September, 11, 2017
NEW AACC LEADERSHIP:
- Jeffrey Grieco, President & CEO: Effective May, 2017, Jeffrey Grieco – long-time AACC Vice President and Board Member – was elected as President & CEO. Jeff brings extensive U.S. Government and foreign policy experience to this position. He has held senior level U.S. Government roles at the State Department and USAID. Additionally, he has extensive international business experience; Jeff has worked with major global corporations, overseeing international marketing, trade and investment programs and negotiating major agreements in more than 25 His main sectors include: civil aviation and air traffic management system development; defense contracting (including the sale of U.S. military and related equipment and services) global telecommunications equipment and services; and irrigation systems. He will bring his government and private sector expertise to take AACC to the next level of implementation.
- At our May 2017 Board meeting the AACC elected the following Board Members to the AACC Executive Committee for 2017-18:
- Chairman, Sulaiman Lutfi
- President & CEO, Jeffrey Grieco
- Vice President, Leslie Schweitzer
- Secretary, Doug Brooks
- Treasurer, Yama Azami
- At-Large: Assad Mattin
- At-Large: Gen. Arnold Fields, USMC Ret.
All biographies are available on the AACC website at: www.a-acc.org
NEW AACC SENIOR ADVISORY AND ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM:
- The AACC has also recently installed several new administrative and senior advisory positions. We are pleased to welcome:
- AACC Senior Advisor, Robert Voetsch. Dr. Voetsch is focused on helping AACC engage professionally with the U.S. Government, International Financial Institutions (World Bank and ADB) and bilateral and multilateral donor communities. He is an internationally renowned private sector development expert who has designed and implemented private sector development programs for Deloitte, Bearing Point, United Nations, USAID and other prominent organizations. He has managed large grant and contract service programs for various institutions; Dr. Voetsch knows Afghanistan well from previous professional experience there.
- Senior Attorney, Mr. Enayat Qasimi. Qasimi comes to AACC with significant experience in Afghanistan. Mr. Qasimi is a Partner in the law firm of Whiteford-Taylor- Preston and is the Co-Chair of the firm’s international practice group. He serves in the firm’s Corporate and Securities Department based in Washington, D.C. His practice focuses on international business transactions, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, project finance, contracts, oil and gas, energy, mining and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Qasimi represents both U.S. based clients and international clients. He has advised and represented U.S. and international corporations on a broad range of issues involved in doing business outside of the United States, especially in emerging and frontier markets. He has extensive experience in handling international business transactions, particularly in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia regions.
- AACC Operations Manager, Mr. Feraidoon Zaki. Mr. Zaki is a highly professional and multi-lingual business associate who is applying the logistics and administrative skills he honed in Afghanistan to AACC daily operations in the Washington D.C.
- We have not sent out many updates recently because we have been so busy launching new programs and negotiating with partners about future events. We have also been meeting with members of the Trump Administration to gain a better understanding of the newly revealed Afghanistan strategy. Over the coming months, we will be meeting with other Administration officials – many of whom are our friends and former colleagues – about Afghanistan and the private sector development components of their new
- Below, we have provided a brief synopsis of our AACC program and management activities since May
- AACC Chairman Sulaiman Lutfi met with Afghanistan Business Council of Dubai Chairman Mr. Haji Obaidullah Saderkhail to discuss joint program
- AACC CEO Jeff Grieco met with Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States
- AACC Board Members attended the Afghan Disability Rights Conference: From Policy to Programming in Washington, D.C. May 23 – 24, 2017 at Georgetown University. This conference was held in partnership with the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council and the United States International Council on
- AACC’s Jeffrey Grieco participated as a member of the Congressional Task Force on International Assistance Reform (May-August, 2017); the Co-Chairs of this Task Force were Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Senator Todd Young (R-IN).
- AACC leadership met with Afghanistan implementers for USAID to discuss AACC partnership programming and gain insights about program planning for 2017-18.
- An AACC Board Delegation attended the June 15 annual fundraising dinner for the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). This event was produced by fellow AACC Board Member (and now AACC Vice President) Ms. Leslie
- AACC President & CEO Jeff Grieco presented at the “Trans Caspian Forum” event in Washington C. on June 26-27. This event was held in conjunction with several U.S.-Bilateral Chambers from various Central Asian Republics. Jeff’s presentation concerned the development of a private sector-led “Central Asia Regional Airspace and Air Transportation Initiative.” Highlights of Jeff Grieco’s presentation will be shared in a future AACC e- newsletter. For more information on the event, please see this link: http://www.transcaspianforum.org/
- AACC management conducted the annual financial audit and program review for fiscal year 2016 and undertook all actions necessary to ensure that the organization meets r all U.S. federal contracting
- AACC recruited Robert Voetsch and Senior Attorney Enayat Qasimi to serve the AACC in an advisory capacity. (See announcement above).
- Senior Attorney Mr. Enayat Qasimi, agreed to launch a pro bono effort to craft a “Notional Consolidated U.S.-Afghanistan Bilateral Tax, Investment and Trade Agreement.” This notional draft would be circulated for discussion among business organizations, government representatives, and thought leaders in Afghanistan and the United
- AACC held its quarterly Board Meeting.
- AACC agreed to create new “AACC Regional Vice President” positions in the United States. These positions will help promote greater involvement among specific Afghan-American communities and within various business and international civil society organizations that support Afghanistan private sector development. AACC Board Member Mr. Noor Delawari was appointed as AACC Regional Vice President for the Southeast He committed to hosting a major event in Los Angeles about one of the emerging investment sectors in Afghanistan. This event will be held in the next six months and will be 100% self-funded. AACC leadership met with ADB leadership at Washington Offices to discuss current and future Afghanistan programming and private sector development priorities.
- AACC Board Member Major General Arnold Fields, USMC Ret., hosts Jeffrey Grieco at the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) in Washington, D.C. to discuss the current state of Afghanistan economic and private sector development with NAPA international fellows and NAPA Board
- AACC leadership holds a meeting with S. Dept. of State on current bilateral economic and commercial agenda and the transition to the new Trump Administration policy team. They discussed the needs of Afghanistan private sector through 2017-18.
- AACC held meetings with the USAID Afghanistan team on current bilateral economic and commercial agenda and the transition to the new Trump Administration policy
- AACC attended the Afghanistan Embassy briefing concerning new Afghanistan mining law and potential international investment
- AACC members serve as panelist/discussant at a major Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) televised event on Afghanistan concerning the components of future U.S. non-military assistance strategy: https://www.c-span.org/video/?433761-1/forum-explores- us-political-economic-strategy-Afghanistan
- AACC delegation will attend the India-Afghanistan Trade and Investment Show (with the theme of “Passage to Prosperity”) from September 26-30, 2017 in New Delhi, India. AACC is encouraging all members to attend, if feasible, as there is no cost for this S. and Afghan Government sponsored forum. AACC will hold an informational meeting for any interested AACC conference attendees during this event. Please go to the website below for further agenda information and for the online registration process. Note: You must be registered and cleared to attend this event. No “walk-ins” or “on-site” registration will be allowed. AACC will provide more updates on this event in the coming weeks. Please go to these links:
- Annual UN General Assembly Meetings: We expect that the Afghanistan Government leadership will be attending the UN general Assembly High-Level Plenary meeting from September 19-25. The AACC may be asked to hold an event during or after this NYC AACC will keep our members posted via email and our website (www.a-acc.org).
We hope you have enjoyed this AACC Business Update Memorandum. We welcome your email responses, questions and advice to: email@example.com
President & CEO