Greenwich Residents Elected to World Affairs Forum Board

Elizabeth Behnke, Derek Harvey, Richard Lukaj, and Scott Nevins of Greenwich were elected to the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Forum at its June 8 Annual Meeting held at the Stamford Yacht Club. In addition, two Greenwich residents, Dr. John Knopf and David Nelson, were reelected to the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Forum.

Elizabeth Behnke is a real estate investment professional who earlier in her career was responsible for underwriting and structuring debt and equity transactions for institutions such as J.P. Morgan and the Hong Kong Bank. More recently she headed Marketing and Investor Relations for both Starwood Capital Group and AXA Real Estate Investment Managers. In this capacity, she raised capital from the institutional and high net worth investor community for real estate private equity and hedge fund products. Locally, Behnke, who resides in Riverside, served on the Board of the Greenwich YWCA from 2002 to 2005 where she co-chaired the Brava Committee and chaired the Public Policy Committee. She currently serves on the Board of the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra. Behnke graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wayne State University, with a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in Economics. She also completed the Endowment Institute, Level 1, Yale School of Management program.

Derek Harvey worked for 32 years at Exxon Mobil Corp., during which time he worked in England, Indonesia, Qatar, Nigeria, and many US cities. Harvey served on a number of significant boards and committees within the Corporation, as well as representing the Corporation both in a Conference Board Committee and Oil Industry Committees. Harvey spent 10 years at the corporate center, working for the Senior VP for Administration as his Chief of Staff. Responsibilities included co-chairing a working group to redesign the corporate governance/ executive structure, and redefining the company’s exploration strategy. During his assignments in Indonesia and Qatar, he served on the affiliate Executive Committees.

Richard Lukaj is a founder and Senior Managing Director of The Bank Street Group LLC, a U.S. registered Broker Dealer. He has over 25 years of investment banking experience and has broad global experience in a variety of industries. Lukaj was the Chairman of the National Albanian American Council (NAAC), the leading organization in the U.S. with offices in Washington and throughout the Balkans, where he was recognized as a significant voice for economic development, stability, and pro-democratic initiatives in Southeastern Europe. He was honored for his work by the Republic of Albania and was selected as the Honorary Consul to the US and later confirmed by the U.S. Department of State. Lukaj has engaged in many philanthropic activities in which he has been both a significant donor and prolific fundraiser. He was a founder of the American University in Kosovo, which brings quality U.S. education to Southeastern Europe, and the Hope Fellowship program, which provided leadership training for women in the Balkans. He also cofounded Action for Mothers and Children in Kosova to save critical care babies, in honor of his late daughter, Adelina. In addition, he and his family established the Lukaj Foundation, through which most of the family’s philanthropic initiatives are coordinated.

Scott Nevins is a Principal and Senior Investment Advisor in the private client organization at Bernstein Private Wealth Management. In his role at Bernstein he manages the money for high net worth individuals, family offices, foundations and endowments. His 35+ year career began at GE Capital. During his career, he was the CEO of seven venture capital backed emerging technology and financial service companies. He is the recipient of Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” and Deloitte & Touch’s Fast 50 Award. Nevins is on a number of boards including Angel Investor Forum, CT Venture Group, Association of Corporate Growth (ACG), Men’s Club of the Jewish Senior Services in Fairfield/Bridgeport and Fairfield University’s School of Business. Nevins is very active in the community and lives in Greenwich. He is married and has three sons.

Dr. John Knopf is currently the Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs at the School of Business, UCONN/Stamford. He has taught at a number of universities, including Towson State, NYU, Gothenburg, Pace and Seton Hall, and at the University of Connecticut since 2004. In addition, he has either written Expert Opinion Letters and/or Conducted Training for, among others, Credit Suisse First Boston, Goldman Sachs, ING, Metropolitan Life and Morgan Stanley. Knopf serves on the Editorial Board of the UConn School of Business Magazine and the Journal of Emerging Market Finance and is the recipient of a number of awards and grants. He is also the author of numerous publications.

J. David Nelson serves on a number of boards including VaporStream, Inc., a software startup company.  In 2009, he retired after eight years as COO of the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, an educational foundation focused on teaching youth from low income communities how to start and operate a business, whose purpose was to get these students engaged in learning and graduating from high school. For his work at NFTE, he was named a Purpose Prize Fellow in 2006, which recognizes individuals in an “encore career” who use their experience to tackle urgent social issues. Previously, Nelson enjoyed a 33-year intrapreneurial career with IBM, including a three-year assignment in China. He has been a lecturer at the Harvard Business School, the Kellogg School of Management and Renmin (Beijing), among others. Other civic involvement currently includes service on the Boards of Directors of CenterLight Health Care and the Literacy Assistance Center, both in New York City, and Future First in California, which seeks to engage alumni in high schools. He completed six-year terms on the Boards of Directors of AARP and the AARP Foundation in Washington.

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