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6th Annual Interel Global Summit

Advancing Leadership in Global Public Affairs

June 5-7, 2019 Washington, D.C.
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About The 2019 Global Summit

Join us for the 6th Annual Interel Global Summit “Advancing Leadership in Global Public Affairs.” In 2019 we will explore themes in leadership and its evolving roles, whether in government, business, associations, and other organizations seeking to make an impact on public policies and the most pressing issues facing us today.

As in years past, the Summit gathers members of the Interel Global Partnership along with corporate and association leaders from around the world to discuss current political and economic trends, industry developments, social change, and best practices in advocacy.

Please contact us for additional registration details. 

Event Details


Welcome Reception | June 5

Interel US Office/Interel Global Partnership Headquarters

1420 New York Avenue NW, 5th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20005

Interel Global Summit Conference | June 6

The Newseum

555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

*Attendees will be given full access to the Newseum during the Summit week

Interel Global Partnership Reception and Awards Dinner | June 6

InterContinental Washington, D.C. - The Wharf

801 Wharf St SW, Washington, D.C. 20024

Interel Global Partnership Meeting (IGP Members Only) | June 7

The Willard

1401 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004


InterContinental Washington, D.C. - The Wharf

801 Wharf St SW, Washington, D.C. 20024


Interel Global Partnership Golf Scramble | June 5

972 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20024

*This event has an additional fee

U.S. Capitol Tour (IGP Members Only) | June 5

First St SE, Washington, DC 20004


Lyft Code: Coming Soon!


Download PDF

Please take a moment to review our tentative Summit program. We are excited to present a diverse agenda with an array of topics covering the event’s theme, “Advancing Leadership in Global Public Affairs.” The three-day program aims to be the biggest yet with prominent speakers, thought provoking sessions, and timely insights. We’ll also have special sessions planned for business development, the annual IGP awards dinner, and new, optional extracurricular events to give you the full Washingtonian experience.

Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the event!
Program subject to change

* Day 3 is for Interel Global Partnership Members Only

Interel Global Partnership Golf Scramble

Before the official start of the conference, tee-off your Summit experience by partaking in the first-ever Interel Global Partnership Golf Scramble! Enjoy a fun round of nine on one of Washington’s golf courses. Light lunch will be served to all participants. Profits from the Golf Scramble will be donated to the Foundation for Public Affairs.

*This event has an additional fee

9:00 - Noon East Potomac Golf Course

Tour of the U.S. Capitol

IGP members are invited on an exclusive behind-the-scenes guided tour of the U.S. Capitol hosted by the Interel U.S. government relations team.

This event is for IGP members only
*Spaces are limited

14:00 - 16:30 U.S. Capitol

Welcome Reception

Join us for the official start of the 6th Annual Interel Global Summit with a rooftop reception at the new Interel Washington office and global headquarters of the Interel Global Partnership, just steps away from the White House. Enjoy a casual evening connecting with colleagues over a glass of wine and light snacks before heading out for a night on the town!

18:00 - 20:00 Interel U.S. Office / Interel Global Partnership Headquarters


Sponsored by State & Federal Communications

8:30 - 9:00 Newseum Reception Area

Welcome Session | Advancing Leadership in Global Public Affairs

Today’s political, economic and technology challenges require new thinking about leadership in policy and public affairs in both the public and private sectors. How can we all as leaders in this space – whether as policy experts, public officials, business function heads, association executives, or consultants – make an impact and tackle these challenges that shape our future?

Speaker: Fredrik Lofthagen | CEO, Interel | Chairman, Interel Global Partnership

9:00 - 9:15 Newseum Knight Conference Center

Keynote Session | The Call to Leadership in an Unpredictable World: Perspectives from the Policy Helm

Moderator: Cesca Antonelli | Editor-in-Chief, Bloomberg BNA

9:15 - 10:00 Newseum Knight Conference Center

Coffee Break

10:00 - 10:15 Newseum Reception Area

New Governments and New Elections: Changing Leadership Around the World

Invited: David O’Sullivan | Ambassador to the European Union to the United States of America

10:15 - 11:15 Newseum Knight Conference Center

Corporate and Association Leadership Panel | Heads of Function/Associations

A key leadership role of public affairs executives in corporations and associations is to help steer their organizations through change and at times create it. Hear from a panel of senior-level corporate and association leaders on how they have helped lead their organizations through challenges to manage risks and create new opportunities.

11:15 - 12:15 Newseum Knight Conference Center


Sponsored by Quorum

12:15 - 13:00 Newseum Knight Conference Center

Getting Around: Mobility & Society

Speakers: Taras Szmagala Jr. | Senior Vice President, Public & Community Affairs, Eaton Corporation

13:00 - 14:00 Newseum Knight Conference Center

Leading Innovation in Healthcare

Speakers: Tom Leary, MALA, CAE, FHIMSS | Vice President, Government Relations, Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS)

Moderator: Cynthia Berry | Client Director, Interel, Managing Director, Civil Justice Reform Group (CJRG)

14:00 - 14:45 Newseum Knight Conference Center

Coffee Break

Sponsored by WE Communications

14:45 - 15:00 Newseum Reception Area

Brave New World: AI & Automation

15:00 - 16:00 Newseum Knight Conference Center

The Market Shaping Impact of Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG)

Speakers: Peter Reali| Senior Director, Responsible Investing Nuveen, a TIAA Company


16:00 - 16:45 Newseum Knight Conference Center


Our annual Interel Global Partnership Reception and Awards Dinner will be held at the InterContinental Washington, D.C., located in one of Washington’s newest neighborhoods, the Wharf. On the Wharf, a redeveloped historical riverport of Washington located just blocks away from the National Mall, you can enjoy an evening of waterside views and a myriad of late night activities under the stars.

18:30 InterContinental Washington, D.C. - The Wharf

Interel Awards Dinner

Speaker: Doug Pinkham | President, Public Affairs Council

As part of the evening program we will also be presenting the Advancing Interests Award. The award will be given to a successful case study of a campaign or project that exemplifies the power of public affairs to help a client advance its interests and create the desired outcome.

2019 awards information is coming soon!
For a look at last year’s winners, click here.

19:30 - 21:30 InterContinental Washington, D.C. - The Wharf

Interel Global Partnership Meeting - IGP Members Only

Agenda to follow

8:30 - Noon The Willard Hotel

2019 Global Summit Speakers

Additional speakers to be confirmed soon!

Fredrik Lofthagen
Fredrik Lofthagen

Fredrik Lofthagen

Session – Advancing Leadership in Global Public Affairs
Fredrik Lofthagen, CEO, and Chairman of the Interel Global Partnership has grown the size of Interel by more than 400% since becoming chief executive of the firm in 2006; this expansion has been achieved through both organic growth and acquisitions. He also founded and is chairman of the Interel Global Partnership, a network of best-in-class, independent public affairs consultancies with offices in over 70 markets around the world.

During his illustrious career, Fredrik has conceived and managed numerous public affairs campaigns that had a lasting impact on policy and legislation, especially in the areas of corporate governance, the environment, disease awareness, and external relations. He joined Interel in 1996 to launch and manage the build out its European Affairs practice. In recognition of these efforts, in 2005 he became the first European consultancy leader to accept the SABRE award for Public Affairs Consultancy of the Year.

Fredrik speaks English and French in addition to his native Swedish. He holds a law degree from the University of Lund, Sweden, and began his career as a lawyer in Brussels. He spent three years employed by the joint EU representation of the Law Society of England & Wales and the Law Society of Scotland.

Doug Pinkham
Doug Pinkham

Doug Pinkham

Session – Interel Awards Dinner

Doug Pinkham is president of the Public Affairs Council, the leading international association for public affairs professionals, and President of the Foundation for Public Affairs.

Doug was elected to head the Council in 1997. Under his leadership, the Council has expanded its membership, online services, research on emerging public affairs trends, conferences and global public affairs programs. He has written numerous articles for trade/professional magazines and books and is a frequent speaker on public affairs, politics, communications and corporate management. He has been quoted widely in the print and broadcast media, including The Wall Street JournalThe Washington PostUSA Today, Fox Business News and NPR.

Before joining the Council, Doug was VP of communications for the American Gas Association, a major trade association representing natural gas distribution companies.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Doug graduated with honors from the College of Wooster in Ohio. While at Wooster, he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa society.

Doug is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. He serves on the board of the Institute for Public Relations and previously served on the International Advisory Board of the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship. He is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, an association of senior-level corporate communications executives.

Taras Szmagala Jr.
Taras Szmagala Jr.

Taras Szmagala Jr.

Session – Getting Around: Mobility & Society

Taras “Terry” Szmagala, Jr. is the senior vice president, Public & Community Affairs. Szmagala is responsible for representing Eaton with governments at the international, national and local level, as well as overseeing the company’s community involvement and corporate contributions programs. He previously served in positions of increasing responsibility in the Eaton Law Department.

Szmagala joined Eaton in 2007 as chief counsel for the Fluid Power Group. In 2009 he was named vice president and chief counsel of the Industrial Sector and most recently served as senior vice president, deputy general counsel for Eaton. Prior to joining Eaton, Szmagala worked as group counsel with Avery Dennison Corporation and as an attorney with Squire Sanders in its Cleveland, Ohio; Washington, D.C.; and Kiev, Ukraine offices.

Szmagala has served in leadership roles in many community organizations, and is currently vice chairman of the board of University Circle Inc. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and a J.D. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.



Session – Getting Around: Mobility & Society

Robert T. Hastings, Jr., was named Executive Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs and Chief of Staff for Bell Helicopter in May 2010. In this role, he leads the company’s internal and external communications, marketing communications, branding, corporate giving, and community and public affairs.

Robert joined Bell from Northrop Grumman where he served as vice president of communications for the Information Systems Sector, a $10B global information systems and technology business serving both military and commercial customers. Previously, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. As the senior public affairs official and spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), he was the principal staff advisor to the Secretary of Defense and senior Administration officials for all strategic communications, leading a worldwide public affairs community of some 4,000 military and civilian personnel. Before joining the Defense Department, he served as chief of staff and vice president of communications for BAE Systems, Inc. where he directed strategic communications and public affairs programs for the $15B US-led segment of the global defense company.

Robert is a retired U.S. Army officer with more than 30 years combined federal and state military experience. His U.S. Army assignments include command tours in Aviation and Cavalry and operational assignments in Germany, Eastern Europe, Central America, Iraq, and Bosnia. Robert continues to serve as a Brigadier General in the Texas State Guard where he commands disaster response forces.

In 2009 he was awarded the DoD Distinguished Public Service Medal and was honored by the University of Maryland as its 2010 Distinguished Alumni. He received the Public Relations Society of America Lloyd B. Dennis Distinguished Leadership Award and Silver Anvil Award of Excellence. Additionally, he was honored by the International Association of Business Communicators with the Gold Quill Award for Excellence in Communications Management.

Robert is a former Chairman of the North Texas Commission, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America, the World Affairs Council of Dallas, the Metropolitan DC USO, and the Advisory Council for the University of Florida Master’s Program in Global Strategic Communication, and is a member of the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer. He is a licensed commercial pilot with broad experience in both military and civilian aircraft. Robert earned a Bachelor of Science degree in government studies from the University of Maryland and has completed executive studies at the Wharton School of Business and the University of Michigan.

Cesca Antonelli
Cesca Antonelli

Cesca Antonelli

Session – Keynote Session | The Call to Leadership in an Unpredictable World: Perspectives from the Policy Helm

Cesca Antonelli was named editor-in-chief of Bloomberg BNA in 2018. She most recently served as a senior executive editor at Bloomberg News, where she was responsible for data visualization, graphics, and visual media. 

At Bloomberg BNA, Cesca oversees an organization of 200 journalists with news desks covering law, tax, government, and environment — and a central news desk responsible for enterprise-wide functions, including a network of correspondents in the U.S. and across the globe, standards, training, social media, graphics, and audio/video.

Antonelli spent 19 years with Bloomberg News as a reporter and editor in five bureaus, and ran teams around the world.At Bloomberg News, Antonelli helped build the company news coverage in the Americas and throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She was Washington bureau chief and managed the company’s global “front page,” Top Worldwide.

Before joining Bloomberg, she was a reporter at business newspapers in San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

Antonelli has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and Latin American history from the University of Pittsburgh.



Session – Leading Innovation in Healthcare

Tom Leary is Vice President, Government Relations, at Healthcare Information and Management System Society (HIMSS), a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information and technology.

He leads the organization’s public policy initiatives and outreach to Congress and Federal agencies. Leary had served as HIMSS’ Senior Director of Federal Affairs since 2003, directing HIMSS’ public policy activities with federal agencies, including analysis and response to federal regulatory requirements and leveraging HIMSS member subject matter expertise in health IT public policy development.

Leary has spent a good portion of his career in Washington on federal healthcare policy and regulation development. His experience includes work both inside and outside of government. Prior to his arrival at HIMSS, Leary was a Division Manager for Science Applications International Corporation’s TRICARE Division, where he was engaged in the coordination of healthcare administrative outsourcing solutions for the Military Health System.

He began his career in 1992 as a staff assistant to Rep. Les Aspin (D-WI). He moved to the Pentagon with the Aspin team, where he served as a Clinton Administration political appointee at the Defense Department in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Legislative Affairs office as staff assistant, then as Special Assistant for Health Care Policy. In 1997, he expanded his focus on federal healthcare policy as the Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, serving on the Assistant Secretary’s senior management team that addressed medical readiness and peacetime healthcare delivery for the Military Health System.

Leary obtained his bachelor’s degree in History/Political Science from Rutgers University and his master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from The George Washington University.

Peter Reali
Peter Reali

Peter Reali

Session – The Market Shaping Impact of Environment, Social, & Governance (ESG)

Peter Reali is a senior director and member of the responsible investing (RI) team at Nuveen, the investment management arm of TIAA.

Nuveen’s responsible investing team is responsible for creating a firm-wide holistic RI vision, executing a unified framework across Nuveen’s multi-affiliate structure, and expanding strategic business relationships across the firm. Nuveen’s RI framework establishes the firm’s overall RI philosophy as well as guidelines for incorporating RI disciplines in investment decisions and new product development.

Peter’s responsibilities include leading the engagement efforts across Nuveen by working directly with companies to discuss important ESG issues and developing standards for proxy voting.

Prior to joining Nuveen, Peter led the corporate governance and proxy voting function at Lord, Abbett & Co and was on the corporate governance team at T. Rowe Price. From 2005-2013, he was the lead corporate governance analyst at TIAA-CREF.

He holds a BS in Business Administration from Fordham University.

Cynthia Berry
Cynthia Berry

Cynthia Berry

Session – Leading Innovation in Healthcare

Cynthia Berry is a Client Director in Interel’s Washington, DC office, where she serves as the Managing Director of the Civil Justice Reform Group (CJRG). She brings to Interel and CJRG decades of legal, public policy, and political experience.  She provides strategic counsel to executives of Fortune 100 corporations on advocacy, governance, coalition-building, and association management.

Cynthia came to Interel from Polsinelli PC, where she was a shareholder and member of the Public Policy Group and the Health Care Group.

In addition to her policy work, Cynthia has held numerous high-level political positions.  In 2016, she was asked to serve on the Presidential Transition Team. She managed the Senate confirmation process for President Trump’s nominees for Secretary of Health and Human Services and for Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Cynthia was the lead speechwriter at the 2016, 2012 and 2008 Republican National Conventions and also was part of the speechwriting team for the 2004 and 2000 conventions. She worked with Governor Mike Huckabee, Dr. Ben Carson, Laura Ingraham, actress Janine Turner, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senator Bill Frist, George P. Bush, and family members of 9/11 heroes, to name a few.

Cynthia’s Capitol Hill experience began when she joined the staff of Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives. She continued her advocacy work as Washington Counsel at the American Medical Association and as General Counsel and Managing Director at Wexler Walker Public Policy Associates.  She was a partner at Powell Goldstein/Bryan Cave, where she led the Government Relations practice.  She represented trade associations, corporations, and hospital systems before Congress and the Administration on a wide range of issues, including health care, foreign affairs, and appropriations.  She also counseled clients on lobbying and ethics laws and political giving strategies and compliance.

Under President Bush, Cynthia was appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson as a member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society (and its predecessor, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetic Testing). There, she was privileged to work with luminaries such as Francis Collins, leader of the Human Genome Project, and other experts in the field of genetics. Her appointments also include service on the 2005 Presidential Rank Award Review Board and two terms as vice-chair of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program.

Cynthia has lectured on lobbying and the legislative process at New York University, Boston University School of Law, the University of Maryland, and Gallaudet University.

Cynthia received her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University School of Law.  She was an Echols Scholar and received a Bachelor of Arts with High Distinction from the University of Virginia, with concentrations in Government and French.  An accomplished artist, she has an art studio in Great Falls, Virginia for her oil painting pursuits.


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Deadline for Submissions is May 10, 2019

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