• Bernard Schwartz

    Founding Chairman


    Our friend, partner and chairman Bernard L. Schwartz passed away on Tuesday, March 12, 2024. He was 98 years old…and he remained dedicated to working hard to support the work of the administration right up to the very end. As you all know, he was a unique, wonderful man and he will be missed.

    Thanks to Bernard, we will be able to continue our work at the PolicyForum as we have in the past. In his honor, we will call our high level sessions The Bernard L. Schwartz PolicyForum Leadership Series. The last such session in the series, as you know, featured the participation of Jake Sullivan. The next, in April, will feature Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

    Bernard L. Schwartz is a private investor, a progressive public policy advocate, a philanthropist, and a retired industrialist. He is currently chairman and CEO of BLS Investments, LLC, a private investment firm founded in  006. In addition to his personal portfolio, Mr. Schwartz manages the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation which  ocuses on four major areas of support: think tanks and economic policy advocacy organizations that develop strategies to promote U.S. economic growth and job creation initiatives; educational institutions; medical  esearch centers; and major New York City-based cultural organizations. Mr. Schwartz is a life-long Democrat and an active supporter of the Democratic Party.

    Prior to establishing BLS Investments in March 2006, Mr. Schwartz served for  4 years as chairman of the board and CEO of Loral Corporation (NYSE:LOR) and its successor, satellite  communications company Loral Space & Communications (NASDAQ:LORL), formed in 1996. Loral Corp, a Fortune 200 defense electronics firm, at one time employed as many as 38,000 employees at its 25 locations all in the U.S. At its height Loral attained annual revenues of nearly $7.5 billion and had a market value of $13 billion.

    In addition, from 1989 to 2005, Mr. Schwartz formed and was chairman of the board of K&F Industries, a worldwide leader in the manufacture of wheels, brakes, and brake control systems for the aviation industry.  He also served until 2001 as chairman and CEO of Globalstar Telecommunications Limited, a low-Earth orbit global mobile satellite telecommunications network launched under his leadership in 1991.

    Mr. Schwartz is often called upon to express his views or provide counsel on matters ranging from U.S. economic growth and competitiveness to job creation, investment in infrastructure, innovation, technology, and research and development. At several institutions, he has initiated programs that rigorously examine current U.S. economic policy and competitiveness, and that consistently challenge current orthodoxy to arrive at policy proposals that will further U.S. economic and technological preeminence and will create jobs. The policy proposals that emerge from these programs are broadly distributed to members of the administration and Congress, educators, researchers, the media, and the general public.

    In this arena, Mr. Schwartz is chairman emeritus and sponsor of the Schwartz Initiative on American Economic Policy at Third Way, the nation’s leading centrist policy institution. He is chairman of The Rothkopf Group, a non-profit advisory and communications firm. He is also publisher of Democracy: a Journal of Ideas, a quarterly progressive publication that spurs debate on economic and foreign policy issues.  At The New School, a progressive urban university founded in 1919, Mr. Schwartz, a trustee, established a chair in economics and policy analysis, and formed and supports the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Development.  He is a member of the chairman’s circle at the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the boards of the Roosevelt Institute and Center for American Progress.

    In the field of medical research, Mr. Schwartz has been a trustee for more than three decades of New York University’s Langone Medical Center.  Over the years he has underwritten numerous programs and fellowships and the formation of cutting-edge medical specialty centers – all of which bear the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Foundation name.

    Mr. Schwartz, a graduate of the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance also holds an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the college.  He is the author of JUST SAY YES: What I’ve Learned About Life, Luck, and the Pursuit of Opportunity, published in March 2014.

  • David Rothkopf


    David Rothkopf is the CEO of TRG Media, host of the Deep State Radio podcast, and the author, most recently of Traitor: A History of Betraying America from Benedict Arnold to Donald Trump. The Rothkopf Group produces podcasts including Deep State Radio, National Security Magazine, custom programming for clients and it organizes live interactive web-based and live forums.

    Rothkopf is a contributing columnist to The Daily Beast and a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today.  He is the author of hundreds of articles on international, national security and political themes for publications that include the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, the Financial Times, the Daily Beast, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs. He is also a regular commentator on broadcast media worldwide. His previous books include Great Questions of TomorrowNational Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of FearPower, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government—and the Reckoning That Lies AheadSuperclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, and Running the World: The Inside Story of the National Security Council and the Architects of American Power. His most recent book is The Great Questions of Tomorrow.

    Rothkopf has taught international affairs at Columbia University, Georgetown University and Johns Hopkins University. He has served as a member of several boards and advisory boards including those associated with the U.S. Institute of Peace, IREX, the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, the Progressive Policy Institute, and the Center for the Study of the Presidency.

    Previously, Rothkopf served as CEO and Editor of the FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine, CEO of Garten Rothkopf and was the founder and CEO of Intellibridge Corporation, an open-source intelligence provider to government and private sector organizations. Prior to that he served as managing director of Kissinger Associates.

    Rothkopf served as deputy undersecretary of commerce for international trade policy in the Clinton administration and played a central role in developing the administration’s groundbreaking Big Emerging Markets Initiative. Before government, Rothkopf was founder and CEO of International Media Partners and editor and publisher of the CEO Magazine and Emerging Markets newspaper. He also served as chairman of the CEO Institute. He is a graduate of Columbia College of Columbia University and attended the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

  • Christopher Cotnoir

    Senior Advisor

    Christopher Cotnoir is a Senior Advisor to TRG Media. Prior to becoming an Advisor, Chris spent almost six years as President of TRG Media, a business he helped build with his colleagues and the principals. During his tenure as President, the business grew from the flagship DSR Podcast to a network of 12 shows and counting, including two daily shows, one of which he co-hosted.

    Prior to joining TRG, Chris was the SVP, Operations and Chief Revenue Officer at Foreign Policy, where he was responsible for developing a digital strategy and building a sustainable business around content, events, advertising and eventually research. During the six years that he spent there, the business was transformed from one that primarily generated revenue from magazine subscriptions to a multi-platform, multi-media business that generated revenue from subscriptions, licensing and syndication, custom research and custom events and digital and print advertising.

    Chris also spent thirteen years at the Financial Times where he held various senior level positions in marketing, operations, and circulation.  He ran FT’s print business in the United States from 2007 to 2011 and took on a new Digital Strategy position for the remainder of his time.

    Chris lives in NJ with his wife and two children.  He is an avid sports fan and enjoys running and playing golf.

  • Riley Fessler

    VP of Podcast Production and Executive Producer

    Riley Fessler is the VP of Podcast Production and the Executive Producer for the DSR Network. He also is the Co-Host of the DSR Daily Brief. Before joining DSR, Riley worked at the Congressional Office for International Leadership in Washington, DC and interned with the Carter Center. Riley Graduated from Miami University in 2020 with degrees in International Studies and Political Science. When not working, you can find Riley volunteering at the Smithsonian in DC.

  • Marc Polymeropoulos

    Co-Host, Above Average Intelligence

    Marc Polymeropoulos retired from the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service in 2019 after a 26 year career where he served in a variety of operational and leadership assignments in the Middle East as well as at CIA headquarters.  He is a MSNBC national security contributor, a non resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a member of the Cipher Brief expert cadre, and the author of “Clarity in Crisis:  Leadership Lessons from the CIA,” published by Harper Collins.

  • Jon Wolfsthal

    Co-Host, We're All Going to Die Radio

    Jon B. Wolfsthal is a globally recognized expert on nuclear weapons, deterrence and international security policy.  He currently directs the Global Risk program at the Federation of American Scientists, serves on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and is a member of the US Department of State’s International Security Advisory Board.  

  • Heather Williams

    Co-Host, We're All Going to Die Radio

    Heather Williams is the Director of the Project on Nuclear Issues at CSIS and an Associate Fellow with the Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard Kennedy School. She previously worked at King’s College London and Chatham House. After a decade living in London, she now lives in Boston where the sports are better but the weather is worse. 

  • Michael Weiss

    Host, Foreign Office

    Michael Weiss is the Editor at The Insider English. He is also the co-author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror and his next book is about Russian military intelligence – the GRU.

  • Rosa Brooks

    Co-Host, Deep State Radio

    Rosa Brooks is the Scott K. Ginsburg Professor of Law and Policy at Georgetown Law. She has worked previously in senior positions at the Defense Department and the State Department. Brooks’ articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic and the Wall Street Journal, and she spent four years as a weekly opinion columnist for the Los Angeles Times and another four as a columnist for Foreign Policy. Her 2016 book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2016; it was named one of the five best books of the year by the Council on Foreign Relations. Her most recent book, Tangled Up in Blue: Policing the American City (2021) was named one of the best non-fiction books of the year by the Washington Post.

  • Kavita Patel

    Co-Host, Words Matter

    Dr. Kavita Patel is a Professor and Inaugural Director of the Stanford Biodesign Policy Program.  She also spends time advising startup companies and new ventures in health services and technology at New Enterprise Associates as a Venture Partner. Dr. Patel was previously a Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama and a Deputy Staff Director to the late Senator Edward Kennedy, where she focused on pandemic preparedness and health care reform.  Her prior research in healthcare quality and community approaches to mental illness have earned national recognition and she has published numerous papers and book chapters on healthcare reform and health policy. 

  • Norm Ornstein

    Co-Host, Words Matter

    Norman Ornstein is an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a contributing editor at the Atlantic. An expert on Congress and American politics he is the coauthor of several New York Times bestsellers, including It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism. He was named one of America’s Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2012 by Foreign Policy Magazine, and one of the 250 most influential people in policy in Washington by Washingtonian Magazine.

Back to top button