Gala Speakers
Former United States Ambassador Grover Joseph Rees to deliver Opening Remarks at BPSOS Gala

Grover Joseph Rees, a native and resident of Louisiana, served as the first United States Ambassador to East Timor from 2002 to 2006. Since January 2009, he has worked with BPSOS as Senior Counselor for International Initiatives.

From October 2006 until January 2009 Ambassador Rees served as Special Representative for Social Issues in the U.S. Department of State.  He was responsible for promoting human dignity, including issues affecting vulnerable persons and the family, within the United Nations system.  He served as Acting U.S. Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Counsel during the fall 2007 session of the UN General Assembly and also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Organizations.

From 1995 until 2002 Rees was a senior staff member on the Foreign Affairs Committee in the United States House of Representatives, where he was responsible for human rights and refugee protection and played a major role in the drafting and enactment of important human rights legislation including the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the International Religious Freedom Act, and the Torture Victims Relief Act.

Ambassador Rees also formerly served as General Counsel of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (1991-93), as Chief Justice of the High Court of American Samoa (1986-1991), and as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the United States (1985-86).

Prior to his work in Washington, Rees served for seven years as a law professor at the University of Texas.  He has written and spoken widely on international law, human rights, refugees, and related issues.

Rees obtained his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his law degree from Louisiana State University Law School, where he served as Editor in Chief of the Louisiana Law Review and was selected for the academic honor society Order of the Coif.

Rees was born in New Orleans, the oldest of 12 children.  He is married to Lan Dai Nguyen Rees and has one son.  He retired from government service in January 2009 and now lives and works in Lafayette, Louisiana.

In addition to English, Ambassador Rees speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, Samoan, and Tetum.

 

 
Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II to make Welcoming Remarks at BPSOS Gala

 

Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II was elected Attorney General of Virginia and sworn into office on January 16, 2010.  As Attorney General, he is responsible for overseeing an office of more than 300 attorneys and staff.

Prior to serving as attorney general, he served in the Senate of Virginia from August 2002 to January 2010.  As a state senator and private attorney, he worked to improve the Commonwealth's mental health system.  In private practice, he served as a court-appointed attorney for individuals in Virginia’s involuntary civil commitment process.  After joining the Senate in 2002, he passed legislation that provided for more humane treatment of the mentally ill.

He has also been a champion for Virginian’s property rights, sponsoring a law (and now backing a constitutional amendment) to dramatically curb the state’s eminent domain power, so private land can no longer be taken by government from one private owner and given to another, merely to increase tax revenues, economic development, or private gain.

He made government more transparent and accountable to its citizens by sponsoring a law to put the state’s detailed budget online in a format that citizens could easily understand.

As attorney general, Mr. Cuccinelli works to protect consumers from scams and fraud, take the worst sexually violent predators out of our communities, put gang members in jail, and save taxpayers millions each year by prosecuting Medicaid fraud in the commonwealth.

As a state senator, Ken Cuccinelli led the fight to defend constitutional rights, stop tax increases, protect life and families, and keep Virginia a low-regulation and pro-business state. Ken's Commissions included service on the Public / Private Partnership Advisory Commission, Commission on the Prevention of Human Trafficking, Joint Subcommittee to Study Liability Protections for Health Care Providers, and Virginia Supreme Court Commission on Mental Health in the Justice System. Ken also had a strong record of supporting our police officers as they protect our communities. He passed legislation that stopped local governments from unfairly exploiting our law enforcement officers’ overtime work.

Ken was a small business owner and partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli & Day, PLLC, in Fairfax.  He was a business law attorney with a particular focus on serving as an outsourced general counsel to small and mid-sized companies.

Attorney General Cuccinelli earned a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, a master’s degree in International Commerce and Policy from George Mason University, and his juris doctor from the George Mason University School of Law and Economics.

 

 
Viet Dinh, Georgetown law professor and former U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy, to Deliver the Keynote Address at BPSOS Gala
Viet D. Dinh is Professor of Law and Co-Director of Asian Law and Policy Studies at the Georgetown University Law Center. Dinh was U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy from 2001 to 2003. As the official responsible for federal legal policy, Dinh helped develop initiatives to reduce demand for illicit drugs, eliminate racial profiling in federal law enforcement, protect children from exploitation, combat human trafficking, develop DNA technology, reduce gun violence, and reform civil and criminal justice procedures.

After 9/11, Dinh conducted a comprehensive review and revision of Department of Justice priorities, policies and practices to ensure that all available resources are dedicated to protecting America against terrorist acts. He played a key role in developing the US Patriot Act and revising the Attorney General’s guidelines, which govern federal law enforcement activities and national security investigations. Dinh also represented the Department of Justice in selecting and confirming federal judges, contributing to the appointment of 100 district judges and 23 appellate judges during his tenure.

 

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Washington Post Journalist Ylan Mui to serve as Master of Ceremonies for BPSOS Gala

Falls Church, Virginia | April 20, 2011 - BPSOS is pleased to announce that Ylan Mui will be serving as the Master of Ceremonies at the organization's 30-Year Anniversary Gala to be held on July 2, 2011 at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC.

Ylan Q. Mui is a financial reporter at The Washington Post covering consumers and the economy. She has interviewed CEOs at the nation's largest companies, leading politicians and senior government officials as well as unemployed workers, distraught fishermen and disaster victims. She frequently appears on MSNBC, CNBC and National Public Radio and has filed stories from Vietnam, Brazil, Las Vegas and the Gulf Coast.

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