The Mason Council helps guide the Center’s campus-directed programming, building essential relationships among university stakeholders.
Alan J. Abramson is a Professor of Government and Politics in the Department of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University, a Senior Fellow in the Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation at the Aspen Institute, and an Affiliated Scholar with the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute. In these Washington, D.C.-based positions, he teaches, conducts research, and works with leaders on a broad range of nonprofit and philanthropic issues. For more than a decade, Abramson directed the Aspen Institute’s nonprofit program, overseeing the Nonprofit Sector Research Fund and other initiatives that helped to build the nonprofit research field in the U.S., strengthen nonprofit and foundation leaders, and deepen the understanding of policymakers about nonprofit activities.
Before joining the Aspen Institute, Abramson was on the research staff of the Urban Institute, where he worked on a variety of domestic public policy issues. He has served on many national and local nonprofit boards and advisory committees, and currently is Vice Chair of the Executive Committee of Nonprofit NoVa, a coalition of Northern Virginia nonprofits. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and George Washington Universities. Abramson received his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and his B.A. from Wesleyan University. He is the author and co-author of numerous books and papers, and his work has twice won awards from the American Political Science Association. Abramson has also been named among the 50 most influential leaders in the U.S. nonprofit sector. Knowledgeable about a broad range of nonprofit issues, his major, current interests are: nonprofit-government relations; foundation policy and practice; social enterprise and social entrepreneurship; and shared governance, the engagement of all three. Knowledgeable about a broad range of nonprofit issues, Alan’s major, current interests are: nonprofit-government relations; foundation policy and practice; social enterprise and social entrepreneurship; and shared governance, the engagement of all three sectors – nonprofit, government, and business – in addressing social problems.
Jonathan Aberman is the founder and Managing Director of Amplifier Ventures. He possesses substantial venture capital, financial and managerial expertise, gained over a 22-year career spanning venture capital, law and investment banking. Since 2005, when he formed Amplifier, Aberman has been integrally involved in evaluation and execution of its investment opportunities. He was primarily responsible for evaluating and selecting the remainder of the Amplifier team, and directs and manages Amplifier’s investment process. As a member of the board of directors of portfolio companies, Aberman plays an active role in recruiting executives, soliciting and closing funding rounds, licensing technology, identifying alpha and beta customers, and charting strategy.
After his relocation to the DC Metroplex in 1998, and continuing through 2004, Aberman was legal counsel of choice for many emerging companies and the venture capital funds that invest in them. He focused on technology company building activities in the region and, as a partner in well-known technology law firms (Fenwick & West, Fish & Richardson and Pillsbury Winthrop), mentored the formation and growth of about 60 promising emerging technology companies, represented approximately 15 venture capital funds in their investing activities, and handled various financing and other business transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $1 billion.
While he was a venture capital lawyer, Aberman was integrally involved in evaluating and participating in the selection of investment opportunities for venture funds with which he was associated and performing business and legal due diligence on portfolio company candidates. Before focusing on venture capital in the DC Metroplex, he practiced law in New York City, where he acted as counsel for large public and international companies in complex financial and corporate transactions.
As Amplifier’s Managing Director, Aberman is applying the managerial experience he gained by managing the growth and business activities of branch offices for two international law firms, including a $45 million business unit with more than 200 employees. Prior to entering legal practice, Jonathan worked in the investment banking industry in London, England (Daiwa Securities, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and Goldman Sachs International), where he applied his financial analytical skills in mergers & acquisitions and international interest rate and currency trading. As a well known leader in the DC Metroplex technology community, Aberman serves or has served on boards and committees of a number of influential bodies dedicated to technology development, including the Virginia Biotechnology Association, the Governor’s Commission on Biotechnology for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Mid-Atlantic Venture Association, the DC Technology Council, Alpha Connect, George Mason Intellectual Properties and the Venture Genesis Forum.
He is an advisor to the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute and the Technology Advancement Program at the University of Maryland, College Park; the Hinman CEO Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Maryland, College Park; and the Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and Commercialization of The George Washington University. Aberman is also an adjunct professor at the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and has been an adjunct professor at the George Mason University School of Management, where he has taught various courses on venture capital, corporate finance and entrepreneurship. He is also a frequent writer on venture capital topics for regional and national publications. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Economics with honors from The George Washington University where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He holds a Masters in International Economics with Distinction from The London School of Economics. Aberman is the recipient of Bachelors and Masters of Law degrees from both Cambridge University and New York University School of Law.
Zoltan J. Acs is University Professor at the School of Public Policy and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy. He is coeditor and founder of Small Business Economics, the leading entrepreneurship and small business publication in the world. He is also a visiting professor at Imperial College Business School in London. His career has focused on the link between innovation and entrepreneurship in industries, cities, and worldwide. In May 2010 Acs joined the Office of Advocacy as chief economist. As chief economist, Acs focuses on small business dynamics and entrepreneurship.
Acs served as chief economic advisor in Advocacy’s Office of Economic Research from 1996 to 1998, has known all of the chief counsels, and has performed important research under contract. Most recently, he was the coauthor of the Advocacy report, High-Impact Firms: Gazelles Revisited (2008), with William Parsons and Spencer Tracy. He also prepared special reports for the White House, the Administrator, congressional committees, congressional hearings and the public, and furnished economic advice and counsel for important governmental action decisions as they affect small business. He has provided many years guiding the development of policy and information on small business across numerous organizations.
Acs helped establish the Max Planck Institute for Economics in Jena, Germany, and was Scholar-in-Residence at the Kauffman Foundation. He has served as: Research Fellow at the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Chief Economic Advisor at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Associate Director of Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) at the University of Maryland, Research Fellow at the Science Center Berlin, and Research Associate at the Institute on Western Europe at Columbia University. Professor Acs was the Doris and Robert McCurdy Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in the Robert G. Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore and has held faculty positions at Middlebury College and The University of Illinois-Springfield.
Professor Acs is a leading advocate of the importance of entrepreneurship for economic development. His policy initiatives take a broad view of public policy encompassing the individual, the economy, international aspects, the region and social policy.
He received the 2001 International Award for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research, on behalf of The Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development. He has published more than 100 articles and 20 books, including articles in the American Economic Review, Review of Economics and Statistics, Kyklos, Journal of Urban Economics, Economica, Research Policy and Science Policy.
Philip Auerswald is the Senior Scholar of the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship and an Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is also the co-founder and co-editor of Innovations: Technology | Governance | Globalization, a quarterly journal from MIT Press about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges; an associate with Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs; and an advisor to the the Clinton Global Initiative. Since 2008 he has been the facutly co-lead for the Ashoka Changemaker Campus initiative. He is author and co-author of numerous books, reports, and research papers pertaining to entrepreneurship and innovation including, most recently, The Coming Prosperity: A Guide to Opportunity in the Age of Entrepreneurship (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2011).
Peter J. Boettke is the Deputy Director of the James M. Buchanan Center for Political Economy, a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, and a professor in the economics department at George Mason University. Boettke was born and raised in New Jersey. He received his BA in economics fromGrove City College and his PhD in economics from George Mason University. Before joining the faculty at George Mason University in 1998, he held faculty positions at Oakland University, Manhattan College and New York University. In addition, Boettke was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution for War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford University during the 1992-1993 academic year. He has been a visiting professor or scholar at the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, the Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems in Jena, Germany, the Stockholm School of Economics, Central European University in Prague and Charles University in Prague.
Boettke is the author of several books on the history, collapse and transition from socialism in the former Soviet Union. He is also now the co-author, along with David Prychitko, of the classic principles of economics texts of Paul Heyne’s The Economic Way of Thinking (10th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2002). Boettke has also edited several volumes.
In 1998, Boettke assumed the editorship of the Review of Austrian Economics (Kluwer Academic Publishers), founded by the late Murray Rothbard in mid-1980s to promote research and the further development of the Austrian School of Economics. Prior to assuming that editorship, Boettke was the editor of Advances in Austrian Economics. Since the mid-1990s, Boettke has also been the Director of the Advanced Summer Seminar in Austrian Economics, a post he took over from Israel Kirzner. Boettke is a former President of the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics.
In addition to his scholarly activities, Boettke is a dedicated teacher and has won teaching awards, including the Golden Dozen Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University. He has taught in the Honors College Programs at Oakland University, New York University and George Mason University. Beyond economics, Boettke is also an affiliated faculty member in the Russian Studies Program; has taught at the Law School; and served on dissertation committees in the School of Public Policy.
Boettke’s commitment to interdiscplinary research in the social sciences is reflected in his organization and directing of a weekly Workshop in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Recent speakers have included Jon Elster, Duncan Folely, Andrei Shleifer, Deirdre McCloskey, Vernon Smith, Richard Swedberg and Sylvia Nasar among others. Research scholars working on projects that attempt to intergrate the disciplines of politics, philosophy and economics are encouraged to contact Boettke about a possible visit to George Mason University to present their work.
Boettke is also involved with the Global Prosperity Initiative, which is part of the Social Change Project at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. GPI was founded with the purpose of encouraging an analytical narrative approach to the institutional analysis of development and transition studies. This research seeks to combine an ethnographic style of field research with the analytical structure of economic reasoning to explore the fundamental questions of why some nations are rich and others are poor, and the broad implications of globalization for the liberation of humanity from poverty.
Dr. Nance Lucas is the Associate Dean and Associate Professor of New Century College at George Mason University and former Interim Director of the Higher Education Program and the Bachelor of Individualized Study Program at George Mason University. Lucas is an Adjunct Faculty member with The Gallup Organization and an Affiliate Faculty member of the Robert Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. She received a Ph.D. in College Student Personnel with a concentration in Leadership Studies and Ethics at the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Psychology both from The Pennsylvania State University. Her teaching and scholarship interests focus on ethics, leadership, and positive psychology.
Lucas is the co-author of the book Exploring Leadership: For College Students Who Want To Make A Difference (1st and 2nd editions) and author of chapters in edited books. She was the co-editor of the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies for special issues and a member of the Journal’s Editorial Board. She was a contributing author of Leadership Reconsidered and The Social Change Model of Leadership Development.
Lucas served as the creator and convener of the 1997 Global Leadership Week Program (a world-wide leadership program initiative that spanned five continents), co-founder of the National Leadership Symposium, co-founder of the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs, and a past chair of the National InterAssociation Leadership Project. She served on the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Leadership Studies Project Ethics Focus Group, W. K. Kellogg Foundation College Age Youth Leadership Program Review Team and the Kellogg Forum on Higher Education National Dialogue Series Planning Team.
Paul M. Rogers (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara, 2008) is the Faculty Director of the Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship. In that role he works with other Mason faculty to expand integration of social entrepreneurship concepts and pedagogy within their teaching, research and writing. Rogers has been a leader of Mason’s ChangeMaker Campus Team, a partnership between Ashoka and Mason aimed at fostering the capacities of social entrepreneurship across the University, the work of which helped lay the foundation for the launch of the Center. An Assistant Professor of English and the Associate Director of the Northern Virginia Writing Project, Rogers teaches advanced nonfiction writing, the teaching of writing, and theories of composition, as well as freshman and advanced composition in the disciplines. Recent books and articles include: “The Writing Across the Curriculum Sourcebook” co-edited with Terry Zawacki (Bedford St. Martin’s, 2011); “Traditions of Writing Research” co-edited with Charles Bazerman et al (Routledge, 2010) and “Rejoining the learning circle: When inservice providers conduct research” in the January 2011 issue of English Education.
A recipient of the K. Patricia Cross Award for leadership in higher education, Professor Rogers was a 2008 recipient of AAC&U’s K. Patricia Cross Award for leadership in higher education, and a co-recipient of NCTE’s 2009 Janet Emig Award for research in English education. Paul serves on the Stanford Study of Writing Research team, and was co-chair of the 2011 international writing research conference-Writing Research Across Borders II.
Keith B. Segerson is Managing Director of the Mason Enterprise Center. Segerson has an extensive professional background in business development, business incubation/acceleration, and in the high-tech market having overseen large and diverse domestic and international information technology operations and business incubator/accelerators in both corporate and higher education environments. He was born in Madrid, Spain; raised in the mid-west section of the United States; lived and worked in Houston, Texas; and now resides and works in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Segerson received his BBA degree in Marketing & Management from Ohio University and went on to receive graduate degrees from Houston Baptist University (MS in Computer Science Management) and from George Mason University (MS in Information Technology Management.)
He serves on several community service organizations – Northern Virginia Salvation Army Board of Advisors; Manassas Center for the Arts Board; and is a past Commander of the Northern Virginia Sail & Power Squadron (part of the United States Power Squadron, which promotes safe boating through education.) Segerson is the Managing Director of the Mason Enterprise Center – an economic development outreach program of George Mason University – providing valuable business assistance consulting and training services to over 15,000 business entrepreneurs annually from 37 different physical locations across Virginia. Segerson has traveled extensively throughout the world (Central and Eastern Europe, Ireland, UK, Canada, Spain, Vietnam, China, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, India and Chile) as well as to most of the 48 contiguous United States and Hawaii.
Roger Stough is Mason’s Vice President for Research and Economic Development. His educational background includes a BS in International Trade and Economics from Ohio State University; an MA in Economic Geography from the University of South Carolina; and a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. Stough has an extensive publication record, including several hundred scholarly and professional publications, twelve books and nearly 100 journal articles. Stough also has a wide range of graduate and undergraduate teaching experience, with over 30 years logged in eight separate institutions (including Johns Hopkins University, University of South Carolina, Indiana University, Leiden and Erasmus Universities in the Netherlands, and George Mason University). He has extensive experience working with the local, state, regional, national communities and international groups. He chairs a number of task forces, and advises a wide range of external programs and university policy boards.
Stough is the principal investigator on numerous grants and contracts which have totaled more than fifty million dollars from various agencies including the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Research and Special Projects Administration (USDOT), the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the National Technology Information Administration, NASA, U.S. Department of Justice, Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, the National Science Foundation and numerous state and local agencies.
While the local National Capital Region is an empirical laboratory for much of his research, Stough has extensive research and consulting experience nationally and internationally. He has participated in technology policy seminars and university programs and published widely in Asia, Europe and North America. He has established a number of student and faculty research exchange programs with universities and research laboratories in Asia, Europe and Australia. Finally, he founded and directed various degree programs (from the undergraduate to the Ph.D. level) and several research centers.
James Wolfe is Assistant Professor of Management. Wolfe is a management executive, consultant, and attorney with 25 years’ experience helping emerging growth firms. He is the CEO and co-founder of J Street Consulting, a Washington, D.C., firm providing strategic marketing for new products, markets, and companies. He also serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and assistant professor of management in the School of Management at George Mason University.
Wolfe specializes in new ventures and organizations undergoing dramatic transitions, both large and small. He has been a founder, director, or consultant to more than 50 early-stage firms in a wide range of industries including the Internet, software, biotechnology, international trade, telecommunications, legal services, real estate, manufacturing and retailing.
Wolfe is a past director of the National Entrepreneurship Foundation, the National Business Incubation Association, and is a former Trustee of Indiana University. He also has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, where he taught courses on business planning, venture capital, and international entrepreneurship. Jim Wolfe holds a BS, MBA, and JD, all from Indiana University.