Thursday, May 05, 2016
Former Selectwoman Shelly Kassen has been elected president of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the organization said.
A longtime supporter of the institute and a member of its board of directors since 2008, Kassen most recently served as the organization’s vice president and chair of its development committee.
According to its website, the Washington Institute is an independent, nonpartisan research institution funded exclusively by U.S. citizens seeking to advance “a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East and to promote the policies that secure them. “
“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as president of the Washington Institute,” said Kassen, who had served with former First Selectman Gordon Joseloff from 2005-13.
“With the Middle East in upheaval and a new U.S. president set to take office in January, this is a critical moment for U.S. policy in the region,” she said. “I believe that the institute is well-positioned to make a positive impact.”
Martin J. Gross, chairman of the organization’s Board of Trustees described Kassen as one with “great vision and the ability to make that vision a reality.”
“I am certain that the institute will flourish and grow under her leadership,” he said.”
In her new role, Kassen succeeds Richard S. Abramson who died in January.
A former CPA and private industry controller, Kassen received an MBA from Harvard Business School.
She has held many community and volunteer roles, including the treasurer of Pink Aid, Inc., an organization that helps breast cancer patients in financial need and as treasurer of the Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now, which aims to close the achievement gap among Connecticut students.
She is also past president of the Conservative Synagogue of Westport.
She and her husband Michael, a former president of the pro-Israel lobbying group the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), have three adult daughters and one grandson.
Posted 05/05/16 at 02:16 PM Permalink