Time, Talent, and Targeted Treasure




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Time, Talent, and Targeted Treasure

Taking seriously their role as pacesetting governors, the members of the Salzburg Global Board of Directors have long provided generous financial support to the organization. But Salzburg Global Board Members are engaged far beyond just financial contributions…  HEATHER STURT HAAGA, Chair of the Salzburg Global Board of Directors

In the words of South African Salzburg Global Director, Sean Cleary: “There’s no point belonging to an organization if you don’t contribute to it.” 

Whether they are attending programs, spearheading new multi-year series, establishing “hubs” for young cultural innovators, or launching new scholarship programs, Salzburg Global benefited greatly from the “time, treasure, and talent” our board members contributed in 2015. 

In addition to attending three in-person meetings a year, all of which include strategic program guidance alongside fiduciary oversight, Salzburg Global directors are encouraged to take part in programs of particular interest. In areas of special knowledge and expertise, directors advise staff on substantive questions and issue-framing, prospective partner institutions, speakers, and financial support. 

In 2015, Martha Darling brought her decades of experience as an education policy consultant to the session Early Childhood Education and Development. American ambassador to Austria, Alexa Wesner, was as a guest speaker at Youth, Economics and Violence: Implications for Future Conflict and at The Search for a New Global Balance: America’s Changing Role in the World. The Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World counts several board members as returning Fellows including Ewald Nowotny, Governor of the Austrian National Bank, who assists with annual recruitment of Fellows from central banks across Europe, and Byron Boston, President of Dynex Capital, who has also attended multiple sessions and helped recruit other leading participants. 

Outside Schloss Leopoldskron, as co-chairs of the advisory council of the Cutler Center on the Rule of Law, Thomas Mansbach and Bailey Morris-Eck carry forward the legacy of former board chair Lloyd N. Cutler. In addition to assisting with the selection of a speaker for the annual Cutler Lecture and co-hosting other events in Washington, DC with Morris-Eck, Mansbach also supports the yearly Cutler Law Fellows Program, engaging with the “next generation” of international lawyers and acting as an informal mentor. 

Board members also give their time by hosting events and opening up their networks to Salzburg Global. Vikas Thapar, together with his wife Baroness Franziska von Pranckh, has hosted events at their home, Schloss Windern. Wesner and her Austrian counterpart, Wolfgang Waldner are continuing the long-held tradition of opening up their respective ambassadorial residences to Salzburg Global, with Wesner most recently hosting a luncheon with a variety of key stakeholders to explore how Salzburg Global Seminar could help Europe address its migration crisis and Waldner hosting a welcome dinner for Salzburg Global directors and friends in Washington.

Beyond attending sessions as either Fellows or speakers, board members have also helped to shape and lead programs. 

Although he only joined the Salzburg Global Board of Directors in November 2015, Andreas Dombret has served on faculty of the Salzburg Global Forum on Finance in a Changing World for several years and is a founding member of the multi-year series’ advisory council. 

The new Salzburg Global Forum on Corporate Governance is being spearheaded by long-serving board member and long-time Fellow, Robert Mundheim, who led the inaugural session Corporate Governance in the Global Economy: The Changing Role of Directors, with several other board members offering insights during program planning, and seven current and former directors attending the October 2015 session.

While there some differences in the roles played by for-profit and non-profit directors, the importance of governance is fundamental to both types of organizations. Salzburg Global Director Victoria Mars explains: “What you’re trying to do is help that organization be successful, whatever that organization is. So you’re bringing your skills and knowledge to help guide, align, and question – in a positive way!” 

Board members – not least chair of the board Heather Sturt Haaga, with a wealth of experience serving on the boards of other non-profits – bring their talents to more than just individual programs, helping to “guide, align, and question” the longer-term strategic, programmatic, and financial planning of Salzburg Global. Financial industry executive Donald O’Neal is closely engaged in financial planning for the both the programmatic and hotel business sides of Salzburg Global. Max Schlereth, with extensive business experience in the hotel industry, advises on optimizing the operations of Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron. Mars, an experienced corporate ombudsman, is helping to expand staff capacity through professional development programs to be offered through her company, Mars, Inc. in late 2016. Michael Hoffman, founder of a private equity firm, chairs Salzburg Global’s investment committee, helping to maximize performance of the organization’s restricted endowments.

The directors of Salzburg Global make generous financial donations to support the organization’s twin goals of program excellence and financial sustainability. In addition to annual unrestricted contributions, which provide early stage support for activities before sustaining funds can be secured, several board members have designated special gifts to help the organization expand in significant strategic directions.

Recent examples include Adena Testa and her husband David’s support for establishing one of the first and most active “hubs” in the Young Cultural Innovators Forum, in Baltimore, USA. Board Vice Chair Claudio X. Gonzalez instigated the formation of a scholarship program to increase Mexican participation, which has helped 14 Fellows attend sessions since its inception in 2013, and has recruited the continuing support of the Mexican Business Council. Through the generosity of the HDH Wills (1965) Charitable Trust, Catherine Wills has helped 31 Rhodes Scholars from across the world attend Salzburg Global sessions. Michael Hoffman paid for the publication of the transcript of the annual Palliser Lecture to be shared with a wider audience than just those able to attend the London event. Byron Boston, first personally and then through his company Dynex Capital, has sponsored the past three sessions of the Forum on Finance in a Changing World.

Board members also formed part of the international consortium of 25 individual supporters who helped finance the extensive renovation of the Meierhof in 2014, and several are now also assisting in the renovation of suites in Schloss Leopoldskron. 

Given demanding schedules and professional and philanthropic commitments, why do our board members make the effort to find the time to attend our programs, offer their expertise, open their networks, and invest their money? Shared values is an oft-cited reason. 

“The objectives of Salzburg really appealed to me... personally and professionally,” explains Jan Ernst de Groot, one of the board members who attended the Corporate Governance session. He attended not only because he is a board member and had assisted Mundheim and Program Director Charles E. Ehrlich in the formation of the program, but also because it is relevant to his own work. “I hope to get new ideas here – new questions, if not necessarily answers – as well as make new contacts.”   

Attending sessions also makes board members greater advocates of the organization. “That’s the product of the organization – the seminars – so I think it’s essential to have board members attend,” explains Boston. 

“If I haven’t experienced a session, then how can I talk about it to others?” adds Mars, who says she joined the board because she shares the same “passion” for “bringing people together, solving conflicts, getting people to talk who usually struggle to talk to each other” that Salzburg Global has.

Haaga echoes the thoughts of many of her fellow board members: “The reason why Paul [G. Haaga Jr., her husband and also former board member] and I invest in Salzburg Global Seminar is because we believe in the mission of the institution. 

“The end game is: we want to make a difference, and we think that Salzburg Global does make a difference in people’s lives and in the world as a whole.” 


Heather Sturt Haaga (Chair), Chair of the Board, Salzburg Global Seminar
Byron L. Boston (Treasurer), CEO, President and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Dynex Capital, Inc. 
Sean Cleary, Chairman, Strategic Concepts (Pty), Ltd. 
Martha A. Darling, Education Policy Consultant 
Andreas R. Dombret, Member of the Executive Board, Deutsche Bundesbank
Jan Ernst de Groot, Chief Legal Officer, Royal Ahold 
William C. Eacho, III, Co-Founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth, & Retired US Ambassador  
Claudio X. Gonzalez (Vice Chair), Chairman of the Board, Kimberly-Clark de Mexico, S.A.B. de C.V. A. 
Michael Hoffman, Chairman, Hoffman Ventures Ltd.
Merit E. Janow, Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University (on board leave)
Marjorie Layden-Schimberg, Chair, Henry Schimberg Foundation for Ethics and Leadership 
Christopher F. Lee, Senior Partner, Farron, Augustine & Alexander Ltd.  
B. Thomas Mansbach, Principal, Russin & Vecchi LLP, International Legal Counselors 
Victoria Mars, Chairman of the Board, Mars Inc.  
Bailey Morris-Eck, Trustee, American Funds 
Robert H. Mundheim, Of Counsel, Shearman and Sterling LLP 
Ewald Nowotny, Governor, Oesterreichische Nationalbank 
Donald D. O’Neal, Senior Vice-President, Director and Portfolio Manager, The Capital Group Companies, Inc. 
Stephen L. Salyer (President), President and Chief Executive Officer, Salzburg Global Seminar 
Max Michael Schlereth, Chair of the Board, DERAG Livinghotels 
Randal C. Teague, (Secretary, Non-Director), Retired Partner, Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease LLP 
Adena Testa, Law Counsel, Stewart Plant & Blumenthal 
Vikas Thapar, Managing Partner, Indus Capital Ltd. 
Wolfgang Waldner, Ambassador, Austrian Embassy to the United States of America
Alexa Wesner, Ambassador, United States Embassy to the Republic of Austria 
Marina v. N. Whitman, Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy, University of Michigan 
Peter Wilson-Smith, Director, Meritus Consultants 
Catherine Wills, Art Historian