Richard Gannon, founder and a managing director of GTB Partners, was recently elected chair of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations Board of Overseers. A member of the board for the last three years, Gannon is a 1991 graduate of Seton Hall Law School.
"Partnering with the School of Diplomacy as it embarks on its next 20 years is both a privilege and a challenge," Gannon said recently. "This is the moment for the School to reflect on its past, use the lessons learned, and then boldly position itself to become one of the preeminent international relations institutions in the world."
As the chair of the Board of Overseers, Gannon will be working with representatives of the School's student body, along with faculty, staff, alumni and supporters. "Ours is a multi-stakeholder board," explains Andrea Bartoli, dean of the School of Diplomacy. "I'm happy that Rich will be leading the board as it engages with the School in many ways and moves us forward toward the future." As an advisory group to the dean, the Board makes recommendations on academic programs, fundraising strategies and special initiatives. Board members participate in workshops and guest lectures and often mentor students through internships and professional development programs.
Inspired by Excellence
Gannon, who also holds a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown, was introduced to the School of Diplomacy by Ambassador Clay Constantinou, Diplomacy's dean from 1999 to 2005. An early supporter of the School, he has attended Diplomacy events over the years, including the 2009 World Leaders Forum, featuring former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 2015, Dean Bartoli invited Gannon to deepen his involvement by joining the Board of Overseers. Gannon says he was impressed by Bartoli's "collaborative, respectful, thoughtful leadership style" and the commitment of other members of the Board. He believes that students and faculty deserve a Board that works to their benefit.
"Each member of the Board has impressive credentials and accomplishments," Gannon says. "They are titans of industry, academia, diplomacy and government who can contribute to the future success of the School of Diplomacy." As the new chair, Gannon hopes to encourage Board members to use their unique skills, expertise, and networks to further engage with and support the School. To prepare for his new role, Gannon has looked to past Board chairs to learn about their backgrounds, life experiences, and leadership styles. He says he plans to approach his new duties with "vigor, drive and a sense of the possible."
A Commitment to Civic Engagement
As founder and managing partner of GTB Partners, Gannon is involved with the firm's international affairs initiatives as well as with legislative and executive branch efforts. He previously served as senior advisor for trade development for the late-Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown. While in this position, he led commercial diplomacy efforts for the U.S. Government in the Middle East and throughout Africa.
In addition to his legal experience, Gannon also has an extensive background in national politics. Before joining the Commerce Department, he served as Associate Counsel to President Clinton in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and as New Jersey Governor James Florio's Director of External Affairs. He ran the Clinton/Gore New Jersey election campaign in 1992, and worked on the campaigns of U.S. Senators Frank Lautenberg and Bill Bradley. Gannon earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Fordham University, where he pitched for the Fordham Rams. He serves on the boards of several nonprofits and universities, including Seton Hall's President's Advisory Group.
Learn more about our distinguished group of Board members here.
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