48 Prominent Hellenes Mentor Greek-American Students

WASHINGTON, DC, July 9, 2021 – Some of the most prominent current and former US policymakers and opinion leaders in Washington, DC met with some of the best and brightest Greek-American students from across the country through the 6th Annual Heritage America Program June 22-24. This annual program is hosted by the National Hellenic Society (NHS) and Manatos & Manatos.

In all, 48 speakers shared with these students, in intimate virtual discussions, their family’s immigration experience and how Hellenic and Orthodox principles and ideals helped them achieve success.

Through this unique experience, these students better understand and appreciate that the amalgam of Greek and American culture and heritage produces far more success than either culture or heritage freestanding.  Greek immigrants ranked last among American nationalities in education and income.  Yet their children, in just one generation, leapt to the top rankings in both of these categories.  Furthermore, they accomplished this in the country that led the world in education and income.

This allows Heritage America students to identify which parts of their Greek culture and heritage are of greatest value.  Such knowledge better enables them to preserve these precious gifts of heritage for their own benefit, for the benefit of their progeny and for the benefit of our greater national community.

To see a video of highlights from each of these presentations, click here.

Speakers in the 2021 Heritage America Program included:

Senior US Officials:
•    First US Director of National Intelligence & former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte
•    Former CIA Director George Tenet
•    Former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta
•    Former Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Spyridon Pope

Highest-Ranking Greek-Americans in the Biden Administration:
•    White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
•    Director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff LT General Andrew Poppas

Members of the US Congress:
•    Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
•    Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL)
•    Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY)
•    Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD)
•    Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV)

State and Local Government Leaders:
•    Former Democratic nominee for President and Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis
•    Lieutenant Governor of California Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis
•    Former Mayor of San Francisco Art Agnos

•    New York Times White House Correspondent Peter Baker
•    Fox News Channel Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel
•    Former Anchor of CBS Evening News Saturday Thalia Assuras
•    President of NowThis (world’s #1 video news publisher) Athan Stephanopoulos
•    Fox 5 DC News Anchor Jim Lokay
•    Former Fox 5 DC News Anchor and Reporter Laura Evans Manatos

Representatives of Greece, Cyprus and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the US:
•    Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
•    Ambassador of Greece to the US Alexandra Papadopoulou
•    Embassy of Cyprus Chargé d’affaires Maria Savvidou-Panayiotou

National Hellenic Society Leadership:
•    Chairman Drake Behrakis
•    Executive Director Art Dimopoulos

Business Leaders:
•    Georgetown Cupcakes founders Sophie Kallinis LaMontagne & Katherine Kallinis Berman

The two Greek-American Federal Judges:
•    Former Deputy Counsel to the President & US Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Greg Katsas
•    Former Deputy Counsel to the Vice President & US Court of Federal Claims Judge Eleni Roumel Olmem

Former Trump White House Officials:
•    Former White House Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios
•    Former White House Director of Advance George Gigicos
•    Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Nick Kass

Former Obama White House Officials:
•    Former White House Tech Transformation Commissioner Phaedra Chrousos
•    Former White House Business Director Diana Doukas

Former Clinton White House Officials:
•    Former Chief Speechwriter for the President Paul Glastris
•    Former Associate Counsel to the President Dimitri Nionakis

US Congress Senior Staff:
•    Chief of Staff for Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-NJ) Jason Tuber
•    Chief of Staff for Congressman Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) Elizabeth Hittos
•    Former National Security Advisor to the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) Jeff Dressler
•    Legislative Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) Greg Adams
•    Foreign Policy Advisor to Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) Bethany Poulos
•    Legislative Assistant to Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) Sam Muloplos
•    President of the Greek-American Congressional Staffers Association Helena Mastrogianis Schwarz

•    K&L Gates Partner Manny Rouvelas
•    Facebook US Policy Programs Manager Diana Doukas
•    Spotify Vice President for Government Affairs Tom Manatos
•    Manatos & Manatos CEO Andy Manatos
•    Manatos & Manatos President Mike Manatos
•    UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Government and Community Relations Jennifer Poulakidas

Others who have participated in previous years have included:

Senior US Officials:
•    Former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO Global Forces Admiral James Stavridis  
•    Former US Secretary of HHS and President of American University, Sylvia Mathews Burwell 

Senators and Members of Congress:
•    Former Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD)
•    Congressman Chris Pappas (D-NH)
•    Former Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-MA)

•    ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos 

Representatives of Greece, Cyprus and the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the US:
•    Ambassador of Cyprus to the US Marios Lysiotis
•    Ambassador of Greece to the United States Haris Lalacos
•    Ambassador of Cyprus to the United States Leonidas Pantelides

National Hellenic Society Leadership:
•    Founder George Marcus

Business Leaders:
•    Baltimore Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos
•    Baltimore Orioles Ownership Representative Louis Angelos
•    WWII Veteran and businessman Steve Yeonas and his son Steve Yeonas, Jr.
•    WWII Veteran and Real Estate Developer Jimmy Moshovitis

Senior White House and other Administration Officials:
•    Former Acting US Chief of Protocol Michael Karloutsos
•    Deputy Director, Office of Personnel Management, Mike Rigas
•    Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs Tommy Andrews
•    Special Assistant to President for Legislative Affairs Alex Angelson
•    Former Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, Lisa Kountoupes 
•    Director of the Office of Public Liaison George Sifakis
•    Former FDA Associate Commissioner for External Affairs Jack Kalavritinos
•    Director of Operations, White House Office of Public Liaison Alexandra Veletsis
•    State Department Director for European and Eurasian Public Affairs Athena Katsoulos
•    Former Consultant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Stephen Xenakis

US Congress Senior Staff:
•    Deputy Chief of Staff to the Speaker of the House George Kundanis
•    Senior Policy Advisor to the Speaker of the House Kenneth DeGraff
•    Chief of Staff for Congressman David Cicilline Peter Karafotas
•    Former Chief of Staff for Senator Paul Sarbanes Peter Marudas

To see pictures from each of the previous years programs, click here.

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