Advisory Council

Avram Miller

Ambassador James Michel, Special Advisor

John Gage

Kalon R. Gutierrez

Michael Novak

Yu Kakusaka

Michael Kleeman



Kakoli Ray

Diane de Terra

Kimberly Weichel




AVRAM MILLER, Senior Advisor

Avram Miller is CEO of The Avram Miller Company, a Strategy and Business Development Corporation. His primary interest lies in the opportunities created by the convergence of the communications, computer and media industries. Miller was one of the first individuals to recognize the potential of the Internet to become a powerful new medium and had a leading role in the development of broadband technologies starting with the development of the cable modem in 1994.   Miller is known for his successful investments in early stage companies.  He has been listed several times in the Forbes Midas list of the top 100 venture investors including occupying the number eight position in 2003.

Avram joined Intel Corp in 1984 and served as Vice President and Director of Corporate Business Development until he resigned in 1999. While at Intel he played a principal role in establishing the companies venture activities and managed a billion dollar plus portfolio. In addition, he was a member of the company’s strategy committee and was responsible for developing Intel’s relationships with both the communications and media industries.

Avram has served on the boards of a number of public and private technology and entertainment companies as well as the boards of several non profit organizations.



James Michel is an independent consultant in international development cooperation, specializing in support for good governance and the rule of law.  Previously, Mr. Michel served in a number of senior positions during a long career of public service with the United States Government and with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

He joined the U.S. Department of State as an attorney in 1965.  His assignments in the State Department included service as the Deputy Legal Adviser (1977-1982) and as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs (1983-1987). After an assignment as U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala in 1987-1989, he joined the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1990 as Assistant Administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean. He later served as Counselor, Acting Deputy Administrator and Acting Administrator of USAID. From 1994 until 1999 he was Chair of the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, where he presided over the principal international forum for coordinating development cooperation policies.

After leaving government service in 2000, he was senior counsel to DPK Consulting, a division of ARD Inc. He returned to USAID temporarily in 2009 and 2010 to assist in the Agency’s management during its transition to new leadership. Mr. Michel is a member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Missouri Bar, and several professional associations.  He is also active in community affairs in Falls Church, Virginia, where he resides with his wife, Conception Michel. He holds a law degree (Juris Doctor, cum laude) from Saint Louis University.



Yu Kakusaka’s lifetime of service in Japan has included valuable contributions in the areas of urban planning, e-government and international non-governmental organizations.

He began his career in urban planning with a survey of village structures in both Japan and Latin America, which led to a consultative role with the Institute of Industrial Science at the University of Tokyo. He continued his work designing Nigeria’s capital Abuja, and did architectural consulting in Singapore, Algeria, and with several municipal governments in Japan. He also established the Municipal Resource Planning Center software company with the cooperation of Japan’s Ministry of Economic Trade, and Industry.

Throughout his career, Mr. Kakusaka has also been involved with International NGO’s – from cultural anthropology work on the Yucatan Peninsula to a two year stint with Sir Edmund Hilary’s Himalayan Trust.

He received his university degrees at Tokyo University in Architecture and is currently conducting seminars at the Graduate School of Media and Governance at Keio University’s Shonan Fujisawa campus.