Past Faculty of Preparing Global Leaders Academy

Sam Potolicchio (President) – Georgetown University

Dr. Sam Potolicchio is Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Potolicchio was named as one of “America’s Best Professors” by the Princeton Review, the only one in his field and the Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities.

Potolicchio has delivered lectures in over 70 countries including Oxford, Yale, Cambridge, Sorbonne, Brown, Dartmouth, and Warwick. He also serves as the Department Chairman and Distinguished Professor in Political and Social Communications at the School of Public Policy at the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration and as the President of the Preparing Global Leaders Foundation, a leadership training program for rising leaders from over 100 countries.

Potolicchio is a senior adviser to high ranking officials around the globe and is currently the Academic Dean of a dual degree program on Global Governance and Leadership between the oldest university in Europe (Bologna) and the largest (RANEPA). He is a visiting professor at New York University and an official lecturer at the Library of Congress for OWLC, an international leadership program of the United States Congress.

Potolicchio holds a B.A. in Government and a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown, an M.T.S. in Theology and Culture and a PRSE from Harvard, an MA and PhD in Government from Georgetown. To learn more and to contact Sam Potolicchio, visit his website.


BrandenPic2Branden Thornhill-Miller – Oxford University

Dr. Branden Thornhill-Miller is a researcher, speaker, freelance consultant based in Oxford, United Kingdom and Paris, France. He is a fellow of Harris Manchester College at the University of Oxford, where he was previously Lecturer in Psychology and Director of Studies for Psychology, Philosophy, and Physiology for a number of years. He is an Adjunct Professor for Economics and Psychology at the University of Paris (Sorbonne) where he is also conducting research on technology, virtual reality, and the enhancement of creativity for the multi-university “Creativeness Project.” Thornhill-Miller’s speaking, consulting, and research interests include creativity, individual differences (e.g. personality, intelligence, culture, gender, psychometric tests, and test/survey development), leadership and visionary personalities, the psychology of religion (especially fundamentalism, identity and conflict, mysticism, meaning-making, awe and wonder), behavioral economics (including cognitive biases, decision-making, and risk), behavioral change, well-being and “gross national happiness,” and other aspects of social, political and organizational psychology.

In addition to his teaching and research Thornhill-Miller works as a consultant, individual coach, and organizational advisor. As Vice President of Omni Art Design, he has served as a visual artists and been in charge of strategic planning, IT, and public communications. Recently, he has been the creative consultant for two large-scale public monuments in the US, working as a lead advisor for technical, conceptual, aesthetic, strategic, and/or public relations aspects of community- and identitybuilding projects such as “New Bloom” (the landmark sculptor designed as the new symbol for Fort Wayne, Indiana) and the even larger Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in San Diego, California. In the past he has also functioned as an innovator for business (e.g. building and programming computers to run new industrial production lines for a Fortune 500 company), as a Legislative Assistant on Capitol Hill, and as Visiting Professor of Literature at Beijing University. Early in his career he was one of twenty-three scholars from different disciplines and around the world  invited by the Foundation for the Future to discuss the problems and possibilities facing humanity’s long-term survival.

Thornhill-Miller received his bachelor’s degree in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale
University, where he was also Vice President of the student government, coordinator of the Yale Club in Washington, D.C, and wrote a second thesis in literature on originality, supervised by Harold Bloom. While doing his Masters of Divinity focusing on world religions at Harvard, he became Director of the Inter-religious Dialogue Program for the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine schools, including Harvard, Boston University and Boston College. He was nominated by the US for a Fulbright Scholarship to attend Cambridge University, but pursued his doctoral studies in psychology at the University of Oxford supported by an Overseas Research Award from the British Government and the Knox Fellowship from Harvard University.


harryHarry Verhoeven – Oxford University

Dr Harry Verhoeven teaches African Politics in the Department of Politics & International Relations at the University of Oxford and he is the Convenor of the Oxford University China-Africa Network and the Oxford Central Africa Forum. His research focuses on conflict, development and environment in the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region. He has just finished writing his major academic monograph, focusing on the politics of the Nile Basin: “Water, Civilisation and Power.

The Hydropolitics of Military-Islamist Rule in Sudan”, which will appear in the second half of 2014 with Cambridge University Press. A second book of his tackles the bloodiest conflict on earth since the end of World War II, which claimed more than 5 million lives between 1996 and 2002 in Congo. Co-authored by Professor Philip Roessler, “Why Comrades go to War: Post-Liberation Movements, Elite Politics and the Internal Dynamics of Africa’s Great War” tells the inside story of the dynamics between Central Africa’s elites and how former brothers-in-arms became mortal enemies within the space of 15 months, a fallout that led to Africa’s greatest hecatomb ever.Research for this book has taken Dr Roessler and Dr Verhoeven to ten different countries in the past five years, to interview elusive army generals across Africa, study diplomatic cables in the Vatican and track down those implicated in the Rwandan genocide and Congo wars of the 1990s. Outside academia, Dr Harry Verhoeven has collaborated with UNDP Sudan, Small Arms Survey and advised several Western & African governments, as well as working on education and human rights in Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Senegal.

He also done research on climate change and biofuels in the Indian Subcontinent with Greenpeace India and wrote a visionary briefing paper on how economic cooperation can lock in peace in East Africa for the prestigious Royal Institute of International Affairs/Chatham House in London, “Black Gold for Blue Gold? Sudan’s Oil, Ethiopia’s Water and Regional Integration” Dr Harry Verhoeven’s teaching and research has been widely appreciated, including winning awards from Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council, the Royal Belgian Benevolent Society and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in New York as well as having ongoing work on the BRICS countries funded by the Volkswagen Foundation in Germany. Dr Verhoeven was also nominated by the Global Water Forum as one of ten outstanding Emerging Scholars. His leadership as the Convenor of the Oxford University China-Africa Network is widely praised and in this capacity he is a regular presence in international media, from Al-Jazeera and China Daily to Reuters and the Guardian.


Stefano Bianchini –  University of Bologna

Stefano Bianchini is Professor of East European Politics and History at the School of Political Science, University of Bologna and the co-director of the European Regional Master in Democracy and Human Rights in SEE (Universities of Sarajevo and Bologna).

He is currently Vice-Rector’s delegate for the relations with East European Countries and the Director of the Unit of the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the Forlì Campus.

As an expert of Balkan issues, particularly on Yugoslavia and its successor states in politics, contemporary history and international relations, he published several books and articles in Italian, French, English and other languages.He was an advisor of the ICTY, in the Hague. Editor in Chief of the English Series on the Balkan and East-Central Europe (Longo Publ., Ravenna), he is the Executive Editor of «Southeastern Europe», Brill, Leiden. His last book is Eastern Europe and the Challenges of Modernity 1800-2000, Abington-New York: Routledge, 2015. Others publications: Partitions. Reshaping States and Minds, written with S. Chaturvedi, R. Ivekovic e R. Samaddar (Frank Cass, 2005 e 2015; Indian Reprint, 2007); Sarajevo, Le Radici dell’odio. (Edizioni Associate, three editions in Italy 1996-2003), and La Questione jugoslava, Giunti, Firenze (again three editions in Italy and translations in France and Romania). In Russian: Shodnyje čerty i protivorečivost’ kulturno-istoričeskogo razvitija IN: Alla A. Jaz’kova (ed.), Jugo-Vostočnaja Evropa v Epohu Kardinaljnyh Peremen, Ves’ Mir, Moskva, 2007, pp. 89-113. Professor Bianchini was a professional actor before he became an academic.


judy_wilcoxJudith Wilcox – CEO Gwathmey Inc. and formerly Professor, Harvard University 

Judith Wilcox, who until recently was Judith Gwathmey, earned her BA in 1972 and her V.M.D. in 1977 from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1983, and then did a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, Cardiology division from 1983-86. She taught at Harvard Medical School from 1986 through 1995, and has held appointments at a number of schools including Professor of Medicine and Physiology at Boston University. In 1996 she founded Gwathmey Preclinical Services (Gwathmey Inc.) , where she served as Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Executive Officer and later President.

Gwathmey Inc. worked closely with industry and academics to shepherd new drugs and treatments through the animal testing needed to win FDA approval. The company also conducted its own research and won tens of millions in funding from government and private organizations, and holds several patents. As scientist, Dr.Wilcox has won many awards including the Daniel D. Savage Award for Outstanding Research in Clinical Investigation of Heart Failure from the American Association of Black Cardiologists. She was the first non-MD inducted into the American College of Cardiology in 1990, and has served as charter member of many NIH study sections. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Wilcox earned a number of awards, including The Tibbets Award for Excellence in Technology Development from the Small Business Administration. She has won several Inner City Entrepreneurs Awards.

A video that Dr. Gwathmey developed to promote her institute at Harvard won the Will Solimene Award for Excellence from the American Medical Writers Association. But Dr. Wilcox’s passion is mentoring young people. She has mentored students from high school through graduate and professional degrees, and young professionals throughout their careers. She has mentored men and women of all backgrounds, but has specially focused on women and minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She has served as a mentor for young physician-scientists at Morehouse School of Medicine, the oldest historically black medical school in America. In 2003 she won the Distinguished Alumnus for Outstanding Achievements in Science and Mentoring from the Ohio State University. In 2001 she was awarded the prestigious Presidential Mentoring Award in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, from the Office of the President and the National Science Foundation. An early testimonial to her mentoring style can be found here.Dr. Wilcox has also been involved in civic activism. In 2008 she founded and chaired the Citizens for King William County, a voluntary association that sought to promote the historical character and environmental stability of King William County.

Against all odds and the “wisdom” of longtime county politicians, this organization helped to block a well-funded development plan that would have damaged the environment and the tranquility of this county, and to motivate citizens to replace well-entrenched incumbent politicians in a landslide election. Dr. Wilcox’s career – from a segregated school to Harvard Medical School and president of her own company, her mentoring of more than 100 young people, and her civic activism have led to some awards that she finds personally important. “Outstanding Woman of the Year” from the St. Paul’s Baptist Church in Aylett V.A., and “Woman of Conviction” from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Her motivation is best summarized by a clip she prepared for students recently. Click here to view the clip.


clyde_wilcoxClyde Wilcox –Georgetown University 

Clyde Wilcox is professor of government at Georgetown University, where he has taught for more than 25 years. He has been an endowed lecturer at the University of Toronto and the University of Tokyo. He is the author or editor of more than 30 books on religion and politics, gender politics, money in politics, interest groups and lobbying, and science fiction and politics. He has also written hundreds of journal articles and book chapters on a variety of topics. His writing has been translated into several languages, including Italian, German, Spanish, Arabic, Bosnian, and Hebrew.

For 25 years Wilcox has met with international visitor groups brought to the US by the U.S. State Department. He has met spoken to groups from almost every country in the world. He has also lectured in many countries to academic and citizen groups and on behalf of the U.S. State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Organization of American States, including Japan, Spain, Mexico, Norway, South Korea, Italy, Costa Rica, Columbia, Germany, Beligium, Denmark Sweden, UK, Uganda, Kenya, Hungary, Poland, Canada, China, Aruba, UAE, Turkey, and Russia. He has done digital video conferences to many countries including Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Nigeria. He has participated as an invited guest in Salzburg Seminars on gender politics and on East-West values.

Wilcox has consulted with presidential candidates, as well as local candidates in the U.S., Brazil, and elsewhere. He has spearheaded an effort to replace a county board in rural Virginia, and been an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Election Commission, the state of New York, and interest groups. He has consulted for the Mini Page. For more than a dozen years Wilcox has trained American diplomats in answering difficult questions, and has trained and/or lectured to diplomats in Poland, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. He has done professional training for the U.S. Defense Department, the government of Aruba, and for citizen groups in Spain and Mexico.