The Board

The 2019-2020 Board of Directors

Rob Fenstermacher, Bosch XVI, Co-President

New York, NY

Experience

Rob, the Chief Content Officer of the American Council on Germany in New York (which also has a network of twenty-one chapters throughout the United States), helps direct the organization’s transatlantic programming in Europe and the United States, and was formerly CEO of Cultural Vistas (and before that, CDS International), the implementing partner in the United States of the Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship Program.  Rob has a strong understanding of how the program has evolved over time, was engaged in the Fellowship Program selection for fourteen years, maintains strong relationships with all the stakeholders involved in the program, and has experience working on major change (through the merger to create Cultural Vistas).  Since leaving his role at Cultural Vistas, Rob has remained active with the RBFAA and organized a virtual town hall regional event in January 2019 that connected Berlin, DC, and NYC alumni.

Seth Oppenheim, Bosch XXI, Co-President

Washington, D.C.

Experience

Seth is a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of Commerce based in Washington, DC, through 2021.  Previously, he was an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice where he was responsible for managing the mutual legal assistance and extradition relationship between the United States and Germany.  Seth was co-president of the RBFAA from 2008 to 2010 and co-led the RBFAA board and volunteers in organizing RBFAA programming throughout the United States, including the successful RBFAA 25th anniversary event in Washington, DC, at the Newseum.  Seth has been closely engaged in two other programs organized by the Robert Bosch Foundation: the multilateral Global Governance Fellowship Program and the Global Diplomacy Lab.

Carol Kuester, Bosch XII, Secretary

San Francisco, CA

Experience

Carol Kuester is Director of Electronic Payments at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her team manages and operates FasTrak®, the regional toll payment system and Clipper®, the regional transit payment fare card. Together these programs are responsible for managing well over two million user accounts and move nearly $75 million in transactions each month. Prior to her current assignments, Ms. Kuester led the award-winning 511 multimodal Traveler Information program. Ms. Kuester also has extensive European work experience. She was awarded a highly competitive Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship and served in the office of German Minister of Transport and subsequently as consultant in Hamburg and Hannover. In 2011 she was named an Urban and Regional Policy Fellow by the German Marshall fund and published research on public and private sector traveler information programs in the UK, Belgium and Germany.

Katherine Kortum, Bosch XXXII, Treasurer

Washington, D.C.

Experience

Katherine Kortum is a Senior Program Officer at the Transportation Research Board where she creates and guides committees that provide recommendations on transportation policy, including the provision of Mobility as a Service, regulation of new mobility options (including Uber and Lyft), future interstate funding options, evidentiary protection of transit data, transit asset management, development of federal research plans, and intercity passenger travel. In 2015 and 2016, she was also a Robert Bosch Fellow, working with the Innovationszentrum für Mobilität und gesellschaftlichen Wandel GmbH (InnoZ) in Berlin, Germany, on shared and integrated mobility research projects. She was elected chair of Young Professionals in Transportation by the international membership three years in a row and managed the nonprofit professional organization. In this role, she created over a dozen new chapters, including the first international chapters, more than doubled membership, merged two nonprofit organizations, and established partnerships with other professional organizations in the industry. Katherine serves as a member of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority’s Riders Advisory Council, which she chaired from from 2017 through 2019, and as a member of the MWCOG Transportation Planning Board Citizens Advisory Committee, which she chaired from 2018 until 2019. She has also served on the board of ASCE’s Transportation & Development Institute from 2015 through 2017, is the Institute’s Development Council chair since 2017, and has been on ASCE’s transportation public policy committee since 2016. She was appointed chair of the Institute of Transportation Engineer’s Younger Member Committee in 2013 and served in this position through 2016. She coordinated with the Institute’s board and local leadership to encourage younger member participation in ITE and to better serve the needs of young professionals. In addition, Katherine has spoken in a number of settings on the development of the next generation of the transportation workforce and on innovations facing the industry. She holds an MS and PhD in Transportation Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and expects to complete her MBA from the University of Illinois in 2019. She is a Professional Engineer in the District of Columbia.

Laura Damerville, Bosch XXIX, Membership Chair

Silver Spring, MD

Experience

Laura Damerville is a nonprofit organizations attorney who has represented clients both small and large. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 2007, Laura practiced law at Ropes & Gray LLP in New York City and Caplin & Drysdale, Chartered in Washington, D.C. In 2015, after spending years in private practice working with a variety of nonprofit clients (including the RBFAA), Laura joined the Smithsonian Institution as an Assistant General Counsel, a role she still holds today. Laura is a proud member of Bosch XXIX and has been an active member of the RBFAA since returning from Germany. During her fellowship year, Laura completed Stages at the Bundeszentralamt für Steuern and Deutsche Post DHL. Laura lives with her husband and two children in Silver Spring, Maryland, and is active in the German-speaking community in the DC metro area.

Lauren Edwards, Bosch XXIX, At-large Board Member

Seattle, WA

Experience

Lauren Edwards is the translation program manager at AmazonCrossing, Amazon Publishing’s imprint for literature in translation. A member of Bosch XXIX, she worked on global development policy in the Auswärtiges Amt and for die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). She subsequently worked as the Communications Manager for die Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Washington, DC, before shifting her passion for global affairs and cross-cultural communication to the international publishing industry. She holds a B.A. in foreign languages from Lewis and Clark College and a M.A. in German and European Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Elizabeth Livengood, Bosch XXIX, At-large Board Member

Berlin, Germany

Experience

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Livengood is a member of Bosch XXIX (2012-2013) and focused on economic and trade policy topics during the Bosch year. Lizzie has continued to work on trade policy topics in the years following her Bosch fellowship and is currently Director, Global Government Affairs and Policy for Siemens Healthineers in Berlin.

Michelle Fanzo, Bosch XIV, At-large Board Member

Pittsburgh, PA

Experience

Michelle currently serves as the Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh, the western PA chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and leading our effort to build an AIA Pittsburgh Foundation to apply systems-thinking to community challenges, support public interest design and build social infrastructure that brings people together. She serves on a number of non-profit Boards, including the RBFAA 10 years ago, and currently as the Board President of The Global Switchboard, bridging local and global issues. She has 18 years experience in public policy and international affairs, mostly at the UN, including as a speechwriter in the Office of the Secretary-General under Kofi Annan, a policy specialist in the Department of Peacekeeping, and international development postings in Asia and Africa. She also serves as a fellow at the World Policy Institute

Harrison Grafos, Bosch XXX, At-large Board Member

Washington, DC

Experience

Harrison Grafos, Ph.D., is a trade policy analyst in World Trade Organization (WTO) and Multilateral Affairs at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where he leads the engagement of the United States at the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development, as well as USTR’s policy and coordination on the United Nations, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State. Previously, he worked as a budget analyst in the headquarters of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as an international policy analyst at the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General. From 2013-2014, he was a Bosch Fellow (XXX) in the Bundestag and Auswärtiges Amt. Harrison earned a PhD at the University of Pittsburgh and an MPA at New York University. His dissertation research in comparative public management was recognized with fellowship awards from, among others, Fulbright, the German Academic Exchange Service, and the Daimler and Benz Foundation. Harrison completed a BA at Whitman College and is a native of Washington state. Harrison is also co-chair of the Public Space and Transportation Committee in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC, is the treasurer of his condominium association’s board of directors, and has twice served as the RBFAA’s secretary.

Elizabeth Johnson, Bosch XXX, At-large Board Member

Washington, DC

Experience

Elizabeth Johnson is a Director for Europe at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she is responsible for developing trade policy positions with the European Union with focus on Germany. Before joining USTR, Elizabeth worked for several years at the U.S. Trade and Development Agency on infrastructure development in emerging markets. Prior to her service in the U.S. Government, Elizabeth worked on economic policy issues at the Representative of German Industry and Trade in Washington, D.C. She was a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow from 2013 to 2014, where she worked at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology and in the foreign economic affairs department of the Federation of German Industries. Elizabeth earned her masters degree from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and holds a bachelors degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Ellen Scholl, Bosch XXXII, Regional Events Chair

Washington, D.C.

Experience

Ellen is currently deputy director of the Global Energy Center at The Atlantic Council, a foreign policy think tank based in Washington DC. As a Bosch 32 (2015-2016) Fellow, she worked at the Federation of German Industries (BDI), World Energy Council Germany, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Prior to her Fellowship year, Ellen spent five years working on energy issues in a legislative capacity, as committee staff in the Texas Senate and the US House of Representatives. Ellen received her master’s degree in global policy studies, with a certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she was a Powers fellow. She earned a BA in humanities and government from the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with highest honors.

Christina Peters, Bosch XII, At-Large Board Member

Philadelphia, PA

Experience

Christina Peters is a senior legal executive using broad domestic and international experience in data, technology, and the law to craft strategy and practical business solutions to complex problems. As IBM’s Chief Privacy Officer at IBM, she is responsible for information policy and practices affecting IBM employees and thousands of clients. She leads a global team of legal, data protection and technical professionals at IBM who address privacy and data security in the leadership manner expected of this global brand. She also leads IBM’s global engagement in public policy and industry initiatives on data security and privacy, and serves on the advisory board of the Future of Privacy Forum and on the Education Advisory Board of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). As a practicing attorney at IBM since 1996 (first in Germany, later in the US), Christina has handled a wide range of complex transactional, policy, compliance, litigation, and cybersecurity matters in the United States and internationally. Christina was educated at Dartmouth College (summa cum laude) and Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where she was an Executive Editor of the Harvard Law Review. After a D.C. Circuit clerkship, Christina worked at a large Washington, D.C. law firm. Prior to joining IBM, she was a Robert Bosch Fellow in Germany, where she worked at the Federal Cartel Authority and Deutsche Telekom. She speaks German and French in addition to her native English. She is an IAPP Certified Information Privacy Professional, and has been admitted to the bars of New York, Pennsylvania (corporate counsel), Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Pilar Wolfsteller, Bosch X, At-large Board Member

San Francisco Bay Area, CA

Experience

Pilar is a journalist and communications professional based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a member of Bosch X (1993-1994) and previously served on the RBFAA Board in 2014-2016 as Communications Chair and At-Large Member. She completed her fellowship stages at the Bundesministerium für Frauen und Jugend in Bonn and the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper in Dresden.

Following the Bosch program, she spent almost two decades living and working in Europe before returning to the United States in 2013. She held various editorial roles for Reuters and Bloomberg, followed by strategic public relations and Corporate Social Responsibility positions for leading global brands including Deutsche Bank, McKinsey & Company and Airbus. Her Master’s Degree is from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in History from Queen’s University at Kingston (Canada). She also completed a Professional Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility management at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). She is a passionate aviator and holds both FAA and EASA private pilot certificates.

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