The Center’s Leadership Council–comprised of community leaders from the worlds of policy, media, and business–advise the Center on matters of development and outreach.
Aldo Bello formed Mind & Media, Inc., a full-service communication and media agency based in Washington, D.C., with Dr. Marilyn Finnemore in 1994. They envisioned a place where they could offer clients excellent communication products and services that make a measurable change in organizations, communities, and our world-products that inspire action.
In 2012, Bello received the "Humanitarian Award" from the Americans for Immigrant Justice. He was awarded the Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary for "What Happened" from the NY International Independent Film & Video Festival; Best Director, Documentary for "What Happened" from the NY International Independent Film & Video Festival; and Best Documentary for "What Happened" from the Long Island International Film Expo. He earned his Master's degree in Radio, Television, and Film from the University of Maryland in 1994.
His most recent film, DREAM: An American Story, uses the story of Juan Gomez as a lens with which to view the young immigrant activists known as "Dreamers." The film won an Emmy Award for Best Public/Current/Community Affairs Series.
Michael di Virgilio is the Director of Collective Bargaining with the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC). A bricklayer by trade, he served as a Vice President with BAC Local 3-NY from 2006 to 2012. Mr. Di Virgilio earned a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in American Studies from SUNY at Buffalo, and attended the Harvard Trade Union Program. During graduate school, he was part of the Graduate Group on Industrial Heritage Policy, was assistant to the editor for The Oral History Review, and served as Chapter Steering Committee Chair of the Graduate Student Employees Union, CWA Local 1188, SUNY at Buffalo Chapter. Mr. Di Virgilio has conducted research on various aspects of Italian emigration. He worked for the Folklife Division of the National Park Service's America's Industrial Heritage Project in the early 1990s and was a Scholar-in-Residence with the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in 1995. In 2002, he received the Monsignor Geno Baroni History Prize for an article published in Italian Americana. Since 2008, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation.
Timothy Driscoll is Executive Vice President of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC). He began his apprenticeship with BAC's Local 3 Massachusetts in 1985 and became a Journeyman in 1988. He joined Local 1 Maryland/Virginia/D.C. in 1993 when he moved to the Washington, D.C. metro area. In 1995 he was tapped to join the Interntioanl Union's Government Relations department as a lobbyist for the union, then served as Assistant to the President. In 1999 he was promoted to the position of Director of Trade Jurisdiction, a position he held until his appointment to the Executive Board and an area in which he continues to lead. He holds a BS in Economics from the University of Maryland, and is a graduate of the Harvard Trade Union Program.
Neil Horikoshi serves as president and executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). Prior to joining the APIASF, Mr. Horikoshi had a 30-year career with IBM, serving in a variety of local and executive management roles. He serves as chairman of the board of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation, is an advisory council member for both the Asian American Justice Center and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies and is a Board of Governors member for the "Go for Broke" National Education Center. He has been Member of Washington D.C. Advisory Board of BB & T Corp. since March 2011. He earned his bachelors degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii and a juris doctorate and master's degree in business administration from the University of Southern California.
Michael C. Lin has held many leadership roles within the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), including serving as the National Executive Director (2007-08), as the first Chair of the Building Campaign (2003-04) and four years as the National President (1995-98). He is currently the OCA's representative on the Steering Committee of the 1882 Project, initiated last year by the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, National Council of Chinese Americans, and OCA. The 1882 Project is a national initiative to educate Americans about the history and lessons of the historic Chinese Exclusion policy, first enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1882 specifically to bar Chinese and, subsequently, other Asians from immigrating to this country.
After more than 30 years of service, Michael recently retired from the National Institutes of Health where his work contributed to a Nobel Prize. He is currently a member of Maryland Council for New Americans, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Montgomery College in Maryland and a member of the "Committee of 100." Michael emigrated from Taiwan, China to the U.S. more than 40 years ago. He obtained his doctorate degree in Georgia.
Marc Schliefer is the President of Equity Planning Inc and an accomplished and experienced financial planner. He joined the family practice in 1979, and in 1984, he earned the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation. For over 30 years, Marc has built the firm on his core values and a commitment to placing his clients’ needs above his own. He specializes in personal financial engineering, and his goal is to increase each client’s wealth by creating and implementing tailored and effective financial strategies.
He has been featured on several talk shows and radio broadcasts, and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal (Tax Report, 10/25/2000). He is also a contributor to the John Eric Home Magazine, where he writes a monthly column on pertinent financial topics. Marc attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 63 securities registrations held with Cetera Advisor Networks, and life and health insurance licenses. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA®) and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), and is on the Planned Giving Committee for the Montgomery College Foundation.
Jose Antonio Tijerino is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation. Mr. Tijerino oversees the operation of the national, nonprofit organization. Prior to this, he was the director of public relations in the communications department for the Fannie Mae Foundation. Before that, he served as a manager for corporate communications for Nike, Inc.'s marketing department and served as a spokesperson. Before joining Nike, Mr. Tijerino developed and managed public relations and public affairs campaigns as an account supervisor for Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolf public relations firms in Washington. He is extremely active in the District of Columbia community by serving on several boards and as communications counsel to numerous nonprofits. In addition, he serves on D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams's Commission on Latino Affairs. Mr. Tijerino earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland where he graduated from the school of journalism and minored in psychology.
Ruth Wasem is a specialist in the Domestic Social Policy Division at the Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress. In that capacity, she has researched, written, and testified before the U.S. Congress on immigration and social welfare policies. Congressional committees and offices have released many of her reports, which are widely cited. She is also an adjunct professor of public policy at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, where she teaches courses on immigration policy as well as legislative policy making. Wasem earned masters and doctorate degrees in History at the University of Michigan and received her baccalaureate degree in History, Political Science and Psychology from Muskingum University. Her most recent publications include Tackling Unemployment: The Legislative Dynamics of the Employment Act of 1946 (Upjohn Institute Press, 2013) and “Welfare and Public Assistance” in Encyclopedia of American Immigration, 2nd Edition, (M.E. Sharpe, 2013).