PAAC United States

Members of the PAAC United States

Mohammed Ajrash ’16 (Hadiya, Kuwait)

As a Group Managing Director, Mohammed directly assists the Group’s CEO for all the internal activities of the Group in assuring its sustainable-growth toward its objectives by developing a strategic organization structure that would bring to the company an effective and efficient work flow in regard to the group’s modern business model and activities. 

ABDG’s business model also innovates in order to achieve and sustain its developments in parallel to today’s technological advancement for best integration.  

Mohammed's areas of expertise include economic research, business planning, Oorganizational structure and human resources development. 

Martin Avidan '80 (Greenwich, CT)

Martin Avidan is a Managing Director at Natixis and Enterprise Risk Management Leader. Natixis is the Corporate & Investment banking arm of Groupe BPCE, the second largest banking group in France. He has been at Natixis for over 18 years. Prior to Natixis, he spent four years as a Portfolio Manager at CGA Investment Management, a Structured Products/ABS/CMBS investment firm.  Prior to CGA, Mr. Avidan spent 13 years at Credit Lyonnais where he held a number of business development, banking and managerial positions. Mr. Avidan began his career at Citibank, where he spent two years in Bahrain.  

Mr. Avidan has a BA Magna Cum Laude from the American College of Paris and an MBA in Finance from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Mr. Avidan is a CFA Charterholder and holds Series 7, 24 and 63 FINRA Registrations.   

Mr. Avidan serves as a Director of the American University of Paris Foundation and is its Secretary. He is married with two children and lives in Greenwich, Connecticut. 

Melanie Cissone (New York, NY)

Melanie Cissone is a freelance writer based in New York City.  

Formerly Sr. Vice President at Target Capital Management, LLC, a boutique money management firm, Melanie began her career first in public and investor relations. It was her background as a French major at AUP that landed her her first job out of college at a small public relations outfit working on the Champagne News and Information Bureau account. 

Melanie was actively involved in arts organizations in her Northwest Florida community of Santa Rosa Beach where she lived for 10 years before returning recently to the Big Apple. Melanie graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. She has two sons. 

Franklin Craig '81 (Mombasa, Kenya)

Franklin worked for 30 years in the brokerage/investment banking world in Paris and London and for 20 years has been heavily involved in financing the natural resource sector in Africa. Franklin’s last salaried position was managing the Paris office of Canaccord Capital, Europe, Ltd. until 2008 when he left the firm to work for himself. Today, Franklin sits on the boards and advises several public and private equity investment funds. He has also managed several real estate syndicate investments in the US, Africa and in France. Franklin was a trustee of the American University of Paris from 2008 - 2018. Franklin is American, a resident of Kenya, and speaks fluent French and Spanish and is learning Swahili. 

Kristin Dossetti '95 (Venice, CA)

Kristin Dossetti is a Venice Beach, California-based creative producer, content evangelist and restaurateur. Her passion is finding where creative commerce and social impact intersect and leveraging that for the greater good. Kristin has extensive experience in strategic business development, sales, marketing and international business.

Prior to the hospitality industry, Kristin had high-level leadership roles with media and entertainment companies including Getty Images where she oversaw marketing and content sales to Fortune 500 companies with a client base across multiple sectors around the world. She is now the co-owner of Zinqué and is jointly responsible for all facets of launching and managing the privately-held hospitality and lifestyle brand including business development and strategic expansion. Kristin is a dynamic powerhouse for Zinqué’s expansion throughout the West Coast. The French bistro, café and wine bar has five locations in Southern California and one location in Scottsdale, Arizona.

An entrepreneur at heart, Kristin’s energy, grit and grace to build an empire does not stop with Zinqué. She and her husband recently launched a sister restaurant, Massilia, and she founded a Los Angeles-based production company, Vinyasa Media, which focuses on cultivating social impact entertainment through films, television series, books, and art activations.A cum laude graduate of the American University of Paris with a Bachelor of Arts, Kristin is fluent in French. She achieved her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Motion Picture Producing as a student in The Peter Stark Producing Program at USC’s School of Cinema-Television. She has won numerous awards for public speaking, is an experienced film director, producer and editor and is professionally trained as an actress, singer, dancer and DJ.

Jeffrey Durgee ’64 (Loudonville, NY)

Jeffrey Durgee was recently made Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). At RPI, he teaches consumer behavior and product design as well as advertising and branding. He also taught at the Helsinki School of Economics and the International University of Japan.

His research has been published in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, the Journal of Advertising Research, Psychology and Marketing, the Design Management Journal, The Design Management Review, and MSI Working Paper Series. He has three books – one on branding and two on entrepreneurship in the Maghreb.

Jeffrey has consulted for many companies including Procter & Gamble, Kodak, and Enterprise Rental Car. Previously, he worked in the Creative Research Department at Young and Rubicam in New York City. Jeffrey’s PhD is in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh; his undergraduate degrees are from the University of Pennsylvania and The American University of Paris.

Elan David Garonzik ’70

Elan David Garonzik is Vice President for Program Administration at ELMA Philanthropies, which focuses on improving the health, education and livelihoods of vulnerable children and youth in Africa. Previously, he was a program officer at the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, one of the USA’s largest foundations, where he handled grantmaking that strengthened the nonprofit sector and philanthropy in the US and internationally. From 1991 to 1997, he was the deputy director of the European Foundation Centre, in Brussels, Belgium. Prior to that, Elan worked at the Foundation Center in New York. He served on the board of the Michigan AIDS Fund and was a board member and board treasurer of the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE). Advisory committee service has included the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the International Committee of the Council on Foundations.

Elan is also an accomplished playwright. His play Scenes and Revelations was produced at the Goodman Theater in Chicago, off-Broadway at The Production Company and on-Broadway at Circle in the Square, with numerous regional productions. A drama, The Blue Mercedes, was produced at Actors Theater of Saint Paul. A recent comedy, Eternity, has had some 20 productions, broadly in the USA as well as in the Philippines, Scotland and Wales. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Playwrights Center.

Elan holds an AA from The American University of Paris from the class of 1970, a BA from George Washington University, an MFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Monica Heslington '97 (New York, NY)

Monica leads the Goldman Sachs Family Office art and collectibles advisory practice within Goldman Sachs Private Wealth Management. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, she was a Tax Supervisor at Berdon LLP, where she worked with families and high net worth individuals on income tax and estate planning. Previously, Monica was the Associate Director of Acquisitions & Auction Liaison at Spanierman Gallery LLC. She began her career at Sotheby's in the 19th & 20th Century Sculpture and Arcade Paintings Departments. She is a member of PAIAM (Professional Advisors to the International Art Market). 

Monica received an undergraduate degree in Art History from the American University of Paris and currently serves as a member of its President’s Alumni Advisory Council and as a Director on the Board of the American University of Paris Foundation. Monica also holds a JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and an LLM in Taxation from New York University School of Law. 

Carey Kluttz MA'09 (Washington, D.C.)

Carey Kluttz is Head of Country Programs at Open Contracting Partnership in Washington, D.C. where she leads country engagement and open contracting implementation. She previously served as a Fulbright-Clinton Fellow with SODEMI, the national mining company of Côte d’Ivoire, where she also supported the development of Côte d’Ivoire’s first Open Government Partnership (OGP) National Action Plan. 

Prior to her Fellowship, Carey was with the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice, where she focused on open contracting as well as governance of the extractive industries. Before joining the World Bank, Carey served as Executive Director of the Bridges of Understanding Foundation, dedicated to fostering understanding between the United States and the Arab world. Carey holds an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the American University of Paris and a BA in French and Anthropology from the University of Virginia. She has studied Arabic and is fluent in French. 

John Meyers ’86 (New York, NY)

John Meyers is Managing Director – North America for Swisscontact and Executive Director, Swisscontact North America. In these capacities, he represents Swisscontact, a Swiss-based NGO working in 33 countries, to North American constituencies and to the UN Economic and Social Council.

John serves as Co-President, Microfinance Club of New York, a membership organization focused on microfinance and impact investing, and is on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Active internationally for much of his career, John administers and was appointed twice to the United States delegation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Human Resource Development Working Group. Further, he served as Executive Director of Lawyers Without Borders and was a founding editor of the Journal of Studies in International Education.

John received his BA in International Relations from The American University of Paris; MLS from Rutgers University School of Communication and Information; and MA in History from Columbia University.

Silver Miller ’68 (Colleyville, TX)

Silver Miller attended the American College in Paris during 1967-1969. Afterward, he studied engineering at the Technische Universität in West Berlin, Germany, graduating with a Diplom-Ingenieur degree in Mining Engineering. He subsequently pursued graduate studies at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO and earned a Ph.D. in Mineral Economics. Silver has worked in senior and executive management positions in the international telecommunications and internet industries before returning to the minerals sector. He currently is a Corporate Consultant for mining and mineral economics with SRK Consulting Inc, based in Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX. 

Shaunna Spalten Prissert ’96 (New York, NY)

Shaunna Prissert is a Communications and Marketing Executive in wines and spirits focused on creative brand building, strategy, and innovation. Most recently Shaunna was VP Communications & Marketing for Pasternak Wine Imports, owned and operated by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite). Previously, Shaunna held several strategic business development and marketing positions with other importers, including Freixenet USA, and most notably over ten years with Moet Hennessy USA, a division of LVMH.

Shaunna sees her role in brand development as a professional story-teller, and her greatest strength in bringing to life the unique differences and rich, often generational histories of the estates with which she works. Under her marketing leadership, Veuve Clicquot and its iconic Yellow Label Champagne, grew to become the #1 best-selling champagne in the United States.

As an art history major at The American University of Paris, Shaunna’s introduction to the wine world was daily life in Paris. Returning to the US for a position at the Guggenheim Museum, Shaunna soon decided to turn her passion for wine into a career. It has since been her ambition to help make learning about wine and the French art de la table both accessible and fun.

Shaunna has two young daughters, Lucca and Mika, with her French husband, Thierry, and lives in New York City.

Jean-Marc Quach ’82 (New York, NY)

Jean-Marc Quach is currently President and CEO of The Alpha-1 Project, the venture philanthropy subsidiary of the Alpha-1 Foundation. He was previously a Vice President at Bayer Healthcare, responsible for Market Access i.e. managed care, durable medical equipment, reimbursement, government and contracts.

Prior to Bayer, Jean-Marc held various senior leadership roles in line and staff positions at Express Scripts Inc, from 1998 to 2006. As the Vice-President and General Manager of the Express Scripts Specialty Distribution Services subsidiary, he presided over the growth of a start-up to a $100 million entity. He and his team also launched the direct distribution model for an augmentation therapy product for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Earlier, he worked at NYLCare Health Plans and at American Express.

He earned his BA from The American University of Paris and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Bradlee Berk ’06 and G’07 (Reno, NV)

Michelle Breslauer ’02 (Brooklyn, NY)

Sarah Burns ’05 (Brooklyn, NY)

Sean Casey ’04 (King of Prussia, PA)

John Chamberlain ’81 (Silver Spring, MD)

Sharon Faccinto ’87 (Larkspur, CA)

Sarah Finnigan ’12 (Santa Rosa, CA)

Howard Fisher ’71 (Beverly Hills, CA)

Jennifer Friar ’02 (Richmond, VA)

Monica Heslington ’97 (New York, NY)

Amber Jorez (Paris, France)

Kristina Keenan ’08 (Washington, DC)

Luke Laumann ’05 (Brooklyn, NY)

P. Alice Maguire G’10 (Winter Park, FL)

Charles A. Miller III ’82 (Newport, RI)

Michael Miller ’95 (New York, NY)

Peggy Montgomery ’75 (Falls Church, VA)

Barbara Nance ’85 (Burbank, CA)

Max Nokhrin ’08 (Toronto, ON)

Alan Peterson ’89 (Irvine, CA)

Sanna Rasmussen '17 M'18 (Paris, France)

Stephanie Razzieri Hughes ’02 (New York, NY)

Jacqueline Routier '92 (Berlin, Germany)

Benjamin Rowbotham ’00 (Weston, CT)

Andrew Seid ’71 (New York, NY)

Cassia Svenja '97 (Dubai, UAE)

Maryland Swensen ’63 (Sausalito, CA)

Peggy Tierney ’92 (Indianapolis, IN)

Heather Walters ’96 (New York, NY)

Gina Torry ’98 (New York, NY)