Local Solutions for a Global Economy


Board of Directors

Danilo Turk

HE Danilo Türk (Slovenia)

Board Chair

Dr. Danilo Türk served as President of the Republic of Slovenia from 2007 to 2012. Dr. Türk was the first the Slovenian Permanent Representative to the United Nations and served as non-permanent member of the Security Council as well as a member of UN Human Rights Committee. Later he was appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs before returning to Slovenia where in 2007 he was elected as the third President of Republic of Slovenia where he served until 2012. A former professor and director of the Institute for International Law of the University of Ljubljana, Dr. Türk served on the Constitutional Commission of the Slovenian National Assembly co-wrote the human rights chapter of the 1991 Slovenian Constitution.

“Global Fairness Initiative is a wonderful blend of moral commitment, economic innovation, and practical effect. A great example of how to improve lives of those who need improvement the most”

James Boland

James Boland (Ireland)

James Boland has served as President of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC) since 2010 and has served as a member of the Executive Board since 1995 during which time he served as Executive Vice President and as Secretary-Treasurer. Mr. Boland joined BAC as a member in 1977 and spent the next decade working on commercial projects in the San Francisco Bay area in brick, block, stone, and marble. He became Business Agent in 1988 and then President in 1992 of BAC Local 3 California. One year later he was appointed to serve as a member of the International Union’s highest advisory body, the BAC Executive Council. In 1994 Boland he joined the International Union’s headquarters staff before being elected as the International Union President, where he now is responsible for formulating and supervising the IU's programs and activities consistent with the policies established by the IU Convention and in accordance with the Union's Constitution. He also serves as Co-Chair of the International Masonry Institute (IMI), the training and industry development arm of the organized masonry industry. In addition to leading BAC, he is a Vice President of the AFL-CIO Executive Council, and Chairs the Immigration Committee, is a member of the International Affairs, and Legislation/Policy, and Political Committees, and the Labor Commission on Racial and Economic Justice. He serves on the Governing Board of Presidents of the North America’s Building Trades Unions, and the General Presidents’ Committee on Contract Maintenance and the National Joint Heavy and Highway Committee.

Mário David

Dr. Mário David (Portugal)

Mário Henrique de Almeida Santos David served as MEP in the VII Legislature of the European Parliament (2009 – 2014), elected by the Portuguese Social Democratic Party (PSD). In the European Parliament, he served on the Committee of Foreign Affairs, the Committee of International Trade, the Sub-Committee of Security and Defence, and he was the Vice President of the European People ́s Party (EPP). Dr. David was born in Angola and moved to Lisbon where he finished he received his degree a medical doctor and then practiced in several hospitals and health centers. He then served as Head of Cabinet of Francisco Pinto Balsemão, Paulo Mendo, Fernando Nogueira, Faria de Oliveira, and António Capucho. His entry into Portugese politices then led him to the European Parliament, where he was elected Secretary General of the Parliamentary Group and Member of the Presidency of the European Liberals, Democrats and Reformists (ELDR). He assumed the role of Special Counselor for the enlargement of the European Union to the Eastern European countries and was also responsible for the follow-up team for the twelve candidate countries, and the relations with Russia and the Balkans. After working as a senior advisor to Portugese Prime Minister Durão Barroso, Dr. David then led the election process and transition of Durão Barroso as the 11th President of the European Commission. He was invited by the Prime Minister Santana Lopes to be State Secretary for European Affairs, during the XVI Constitutional Government where he was founder of the Movement of friends of the cohesion countries and created the basis for successful negotiations on the financial perspectives 2007-2013 for Portugal. Dr. David currently serves as a Partner at Alpac Capital in Lisbon.

Paula J. Dobriansky

Ambassador Paula J. Dobriansky (United States)

Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs from 2001-2009. In 2007, she was appointed as the President's Special Envoy on Northern Ireland, service for which she received the Secretary of State's highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal for her work on global issues and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Other government appointments include Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House. Ambassador Dobriansky also served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the Council's first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow on Russian and Eurasian Studies. In 2010, she joined Thomson Reuters as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government Affairs for the Americas. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. Currently, Ambassador Dobriansky is a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

“The Global Fairness Initiative has made a substantial difference in people's lives, especially those living in poverty. GFI's results-oriented paradigm has been successful. It promotes sustainable economic development and provides working people opportunities to advance. ”

Jan Jones Blackhurst

Jan Jones Blackhurst (United States)

Jan Jones Blackhurst is Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Corporate Responsibility for Caesars Entertainment, Corp. In that capacity, she oversees all worldwide government affairs, corporate communications, community relations and corporate-social responsibility programs for the $9 billion corporation. Prior to joining Caesars in November 1999, Jones Blackhurst served two terms as Mayor of the City of Las Vegas. She was the city’s first woman chief executive, and among the most popular mayors in its history, having won reelection in 1995 by a 72 percent margin. While in office, Jones Blackhurst presided over an unprecedented period of economic, social and cultural expansion, one in which the city’s population increased 66 percent, making Las Vegas the fastest-growing major metropolitan area in America throughout much of the 1990s. Today, she is a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Women’s Leadership Board at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She sits on the board of directors of Nevada Public Radio, the Women’s Campaign Fund in Washington, D.C., and is a member of the Gaming Law Advisory Board at the UNLV Boyd School of Law. She is also a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Federal Club and of Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood. In 2012 she was appointed the Vice Chair of the Clark County Public Education Foundation. Jones Blackhurst graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in English.

Shahnaz Kapadia-Rahat (Pakistan)

Shahnaz is a social entrepreneur and livelihood innovator who founded Empowerment thru Creative Integration in Pakistan and who served as the former Group Head of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation. She has worked for over 28 years leading projects and people to promote effective and sustainable socio-economic development. In addition to her leadership on program in Pakistan, she has run multi-sector projects in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Egypt, Iran, India, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey, and Uganda. Her Empowerment thru Creative Integration (ECI) enterprise began as a one-(wo)man business and grew into Pakistan’s 18th fastest growing company, providing training and consulting services that earned and international reputation. ECI designed and implemented cascade training programs for federal, provincial and local governments as well as international development organizations with outreach to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries across Pakistan. With ECI Shahnaz designed and conducting over 5000 training days to audiences ranging from corporate senior management, government officials to non-literate rural farmers. Most recently, Shahnaz has completed the Harvard Kennedy School’s mid-career Masters of Public Policy program in the US and will be returning to Pakistan to launch her next social venture.


HE Kabine Komara (Guinea)

Guinea’s former Prime Minister is a well-known banker in the African continent and a former director at the African Export-Import Bank in Cairo, Egypt. Mr Komara is currently the High Commissioner of the Organisation for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS). Born and raised in North Guinea, Mr. Komora belongs to the Maninka ethnic group. After studying management in Guinea’s capital Conakry, and then abroad in France, the United States and Egypt, he began his banking career at Crédit Suisse, Zurich, in 1975. Rising in business and government, he was appointed to the Guinean Conseil Transitoire de Redressement National ruling council in charge of Economic Planning & Cooperation in 1990. He also served as Assistant Director for Personnel in the Compagnie des Bauxites de Guinée and as director of the Alumina Company of Guinea Aluminum works at Fria. When he was appointed Prime Minister, he chose not to belong to any political party and formed a government drawing together soldiers and technocrats, an unprecedented case in Guinea’s history.

Pablo Muñoz

Pablo Muñoz (Colombia)

Mr. Muñoz served as the senior Vice President and President of North America for Avon Products Inc. and the Group President for Tupperware Brands Corp where he worked for 18 years, holding multiple positions of increasing responsibility such as Area Vice President Latin America, Vice President Global Strategy, and Vice President Global Product Development. Previous to Tupperware, he was Executive Director of Strategy at Sara Lee Corporation, Senior Manager at Booz Allen & Hamilton, and Abbott Laboratories. Mr. Muñoz has a Bachelor's of Industrial Engineering and a Master's of Science, both from Georgia Institute of Technology. Working alongside various GFI programs, he strives to build business strategies and social investment programs that are aligned to enlighten, educate, and empower women.

“The work that GFI does for improving women's economic livelihoods is crucial to giving an education to the underprivileged children of the world and as a consequence the most important step in getting people out of poverty.”

Sally Painter (United States)


Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Blue Star Strategies LLC, Ms. Painters has over 27 years of experience advising corporations, governments, NGOs and multilaterals on international investment opportunities, poverty reduction and on foreign and security policy issues. She has served as a founder of the US Committee on NATO, as Executive Director of the Business Coalition for US-China Trade -- where she helped secure passage of Permanent Normal Trade Relations for China, as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Commerce in the Clinton Administration, and as the Director of International at Tenneco Inc., a fortune 500 company. Ms. Painter has received numerous awards for her work, including The Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit from the Republic of Hungary and The Minister of Defense’s Award for Distinction from the Republic of Latvia. Ms. Painter has an extensive track record working with Central Europe on security and policy issues, including successfully representing many of these countries on their NATO and EU bids as well as a Visa Equity Coalition of seven countries where legislation was passed in the U.S. Congress which allowed their citizens to enter the US visa-free.

“I am very proud to serve as a GFI Board member as I believe GFI has created an approach that truly impacts the livelihoods of poor people by creating sustainable programs in the countries where they operate. GFI has demonstrated concrete results for hundreds of thousands of people by raising their wages and connecting poor producers to the global economy.”

HE José Ramos-Horta (Timor-Leste)

Dr. José Ramos-Horta served as President of is native country of Timor-Leste from 2007 to 2012 and is the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work towards a just and peaceful solution to the former conflict in Timor-Leste”. Before serving as President, Dr. Ramos-Horta was well known as a peacemaker and the international voice of the Timorese people. As a founder and former member of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), Ramos-Horta served in exile as spokesman for the East Timorese Resistance to the United Nations (1975-1999). After East Timor achieved independence in 2002, Ramos-Horta was appointed as the country's first foreign minister. He served in this position until 2006 when he was named and sworn in as the second prime minister of East Timor. The following year he was elected as the second President of Timor-Leste and held the Presidency until 2012, leading the country through a period of growth and stability remarkable in the history of post-conflict nations. Today he serves as United Nations' Special Representative for the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Guinea-Bissau.

Aivis Ronis

Aivis Ronis (Latvia)

Ambassador Ronis is currently an independent business and NATO consultant. Mr. Ronis has served with distinction in the Latvian diplomatic service since its re-establishment in 1991 after Latvia restored its full independence. His civil service to Latvia has included multiple leadership positions within government including as Latvia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Transportation Minister, and Deputy Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He has also had a robust careering representing Latvia as a diplomat in the Foreign Service, holding positions as Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador to Mexico, and Ambassador to Turkey, as well Latvia's Ambassador to NATO in Brussels. Ambassador Ronis has worked actively in Latvia’s private sector since his government service, and serves as a consultant to multiple companies and organizations representing Latvia’s interests and promoting investment and engagement in Latvia’s public and private sector. Early in his career Ronis was a TV journalist and a Latvia youth chess champion.

Albina Ruiz

Albina Ruiz (Peru)

Dr. Albina Ruiz is the founder of Peru’s Ciudad Saludable (Healthy City Group) and is internationally renowned as the “Godmother of Recycling. “ Dr. Ruiz began Ciudad Saludable out of concern for the health and environmental threats posed by inadequate public-sector solid waste disposal services, and miserable conditions faced by workers in the waste sector. Her ideas to transform the waste sector led to a movement around waste as an enterprise, and has helped innovate garbage processing, reduce waste volume and generate income for thousands of “waste-pickers” throughout Latin America. Dr. Ruiz has consulted for cities, industrial firms, and international development agencies to bring her innovative approaches to the global challenge of waste and recycling, and through her organization Ciudad Saludable, Dr. Ruiz has organized thousands of waste collectors, creating employment and improving health and living conditions for workers in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, India, and her home of Peru. A Chemist by training, Dr. Ruiz has been the recipient of several international awards including the 2011 Fairness Award from GFI.

Elizabeth Shuler (United States)

As a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism, Elizabeth (Liz) Shuler, like many young people today, pieced together part-time jobs, lived at home and struggled to find her way into the world of work. That was in 1992. Since then, Liz has used every job as an opportunity to stand up for the underdog. Today, as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, the second-highest position in the labor movement, Shuler serves as the chief financial officer of the federation and oversees six administrative departments. Shuler not only is the first woman elected as the federation’s secretary-treasurer, she also holds the distinction of being the youngest officer ever to sit on the federation’s Executive Council.

“GFI provides a voice for workers worldwide, many of whom work in informal work with low wages, hazardous working conditions and limited social protections. GFI’s work is critical to promoting decent work, improving livelihoods and creating a global economy that can sustain prosperity for all workers.”

Zohreh Tabatabai (Iran)

Zohreh Tabatabai is a familiar face in the diplomatic and global business arenas, having spent many years in high profile positions in the United Nations (UN) system. As the chief coordinator of the UN’s Fiftieth Anniversary Celebration, she created new strategies for assembling publicprivate partnerships to assure the success of the event, and she coordinated the activities of more than 100 heads of state who travelled to New York to participate. During her 20 years at UN headquarters, Ms. Tabatabai also served as Focal Point for Women and as Chief of the Public Services Section. Throughout her tenure, she pioneered methods for bringing in outside partners to work on extending the UN’s visibility and effectiveness across a broad range of initiatives. In the year 2000 Ms. Tabatabai moved to Geneva to take up the post of Director of Communication and Public Information at the International Labour Organization, the Geneva-based UN agency that promotes rights at work. Upon leaving the United Nations System, she created a communications and marketing company with special emphasis on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). She undertakes various CSR projects for a number of Global companies. Ms. Tabatabai currently serves on the boards of a number of non-governmental organizations, non-profit institutions and charitable foundations.

Karen Tramontano

Karen Tramontano (United States)

Founder and President

Karen A. Tramontano is the Founder and President of the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI), a non-profit organization working to promote a more equitable, sustainable approach to globalization to ensure its benefits reach all people, including the working poor. Before founding GFI, Ms. Tramontano served as Deputy Chief of Staff to President Clinton and counselor to two Chiefs of Staff, Erskine Bowles and John Podesta. Ms. Tramontano's White House portfolio encompassed a wide range of issues, including international trade, transatlantic relations, as well as economic and financial issues involving the U.S. Treasury and Commerce Departments. She played a major role in shaping policy concerning the WTO, OECD and other multi-lateral institutions, while handling public policy issues involving the World Bank and the IMF. Other specific accomplishments include spearheading the successful White House initiative to bring the Child Labor Convention into law and leading the team that developed the Comprehensive Steel Plan to rationalize global steel production. Additionally, she managed many of President Clinton's international trips, including his visits to India, Pakistan, and Viet Nam. In 2001, she served as Chief of Staff for President Clinton's transition, where she established his office and presence in New York.

Ms. Tramontano is currently the CEO and co-founder of Blue Star Strategies, LLC, which provides corporate, institutional and public sector clients with results-oriented strategies. Prior to founding Blue Star Strategies, she was a Principal at Dutko Worldwide, where she developed comprehensive multi-level government advocacy strategies for complex global issues. Ms. Tramontano also currently serves as Senior Advisor to Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, is on the Board of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and is an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law School. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Catholic University Law School and a B.A. from Boston College, and is a frequent commentator for Bloomberg News.

William Jefferson Clinton

William Jefferson Clinton (United States)

Founding Chair (Emeritus)

Bill Clinton served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, an era in which the U.S. enjoyed more peace and prosperity than at any other time in its history. Since leaving office, President Clinton has continued his work on many of the issues that defined his administration, including world trade, the economic empowerment of the poor, and the fight against AIDS around the world. His active involvement in issues of public concern is evident in his work of various foundations and organizations such as the Clinton Presidential Foundation.