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Assembly Hall

The nation’s oldest, largest, and most successful voter education project...

Gloria Kirshner, President Emeritus

Gloria Kirshner founded the National Student/Parent Mock Election in 1980 with her late husband Edward Stanley, who had built a long and distinguished career with NBC promoting television as an educational tool. Kirshner worked as an educational consultant, scriptwriter, and program supervisor for many of NBC's programs, including "Exploring" and "Animal Secrets".

Kirshner also worked for a decade as a classroom teacher at all levels, including elementary schools in New York City, the Bronx, and East Harlem, and a seminar at Teachers' College, Columbia University. She has authored more than 3,000 teacher's guides to programs on not only NBC but also ABC, CBS, and PBS, including "Profiles in Courage", "Great Performances", and "The Ascent of Man". She has also been involved in projects to study how film can help improve children's self-images, and how to improve urban education.

Awards she has received throughout her career include the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America, the Award of Merit from the National Society of Medical Research, and the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Ramon Carlos Barquin III, Chairman of the Board y Executive Director

Dr. Ramon Barquin was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a well-known information technology (IT) business executive and political consultant, who has specialized in the use of IT in government, with over 20 years in C-type level management positions in technology and management consulting companies, as well as being a serial entrepreneur. A former executive director of the Puerto Rico Institute for Public Policy & Strategic Studies (Puerto Rico’s first think tank) and the Instituto de Formación Democrática, he was Technology Editor for the San Juan Star, Editor-in-Chief of Mercados & Tendencias, IT Now, LogistiCo, Construir, Computers & BusinessWorld, Industriales Puerto Rico, Computerworld, and PC World Magazines. He held faculty appointments at the University of Phoenix, Columbia College, Inter-American University, Atlantic University, and the Instituto de Educación Empresarial. Barquin is the author of numerous management and technical publications and has conducted extensive research on Knowledge Management and C&IT, as enablers for economic development.

As a political consultant, Dr. Barquin III has advised electoral candidates in domestic and foreign jurisdictions, as well as races for the presidency, governorship, legislature, and even municipalities across the ideology and political spectrum. Since the mid-1990s, he directed the Instituto de Formacion Democratica and represented the National Student Parent Mock Election in Latin America and US Hispanic Communities, later directing the mock elections in Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, whose programs have had over 60 million participants across the United States of America. He has been a political advisor to media outlets, candidates, and political organizations in the United States of America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Together with Mr. Allan Locke from Campaigns & Elections and Winning Campaigns magazines, Barquin launched the Hispanic outreach initiative and political seminars in Puerto Rico. He founded Politoonz and was the professional behind “Preguntale a Politologo” at America Online. Dr. Barquin III has been contributing editor on electoral education to The San Juan Star, La Semana, El Vocero, and the Virgin Islands Daily News. He is a past member of the Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Board and a former advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico.

Barquin graduated from Brandeis University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Politics, Latin American Affairs, and Economics, where he also conducted graduate studies in Politics, and the special programs of Legal Studies and International Relations, as well as a minor in Spanish. He studied Law at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico with a course concentration in International Affairs, an MBA from the University of Phoenix (Arizona) in Global Management, and a Doctorate in Management with a specialization in Information Systems Technology. Barquin holds Entrepreneurship Development Program Certificates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Executive Entrepreneurship Leaders Program from Stanford University; a Project Management Certificate from the University of New Orleans; a Minority Business Executive Program Certificate from the University of Washington; a Certified Professional Coach; and a Baldrige Performance Certificate from the Texas Quality Foundation.

Christopher Norgaard

Christopher Norgaard is board president for the top-ranked San Marino Unified School District and a business litigation lawyer in downtown Los Angeles with four decades of legal experience. A graduate of Stanford University and the Georgetown University Law Center, Norgaard has served as lead litigation counsel in a number of important banking and commercial cases, including cases that have made law in California as well as in the federal Ninth Circuit. The school district whose board Norgaard leads is recognized as one of California's leaders in civics education. In addition to his many other roles, Norgaard is about to release his first book, "Unfair Competition -- Murder by Gunshot".

Michael E.G. Kirby, Vice Chairman

Michael Kirby guided worldwide strategic advertising and promotion for Xerox Corporation and spearheaded a campaign to rebrand Xerox from a copier company to "The Document Company". Kirby also participated in Xerox initiatives to standardize its strategy development, structure budget planning, and launch the Marathon generation of copiers.

Prior to his 15-year career with Xerox, Kirby worked for Young and Rubicam where he oversaw the launch of Excedrin PM; guided the growth of Tang through a marketing campaign built around NASA. He is a former board member of the Association of National Advertisers and the International Advertising Association.

Ramon Barquin, National Advisory Board

Dr. Ramon Barquin II has been a leader in the information technology industry for five decades and has been involved with the National Student/Parent Mock Election for more than three decades.

He is currently president of Barquin International consultancy, advising corporations on data warehousing, business intelligence, and customer relationship management. Barquin is also co-founder of The Data Warehousing Institute, former president of the Washington Consulting Group,  and a member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee.

Barquin is also the author of more than 100 technical and management publications, including the "Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics".


National Advisory Board:

Stanley Abrams

Hon. Michael Castle

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hon. Dennis DeConcini

Hon. Bill Diamond

Steven A. Dowling

Hon. Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr.

John Gisi

Joseph M. Grant

Hon. Orval Hansen

Hon. Paul G. Kirk Jr.

Erwin Krasnow

Isabelle Leeds

Dr. Richard Lesher

Lowery Mays

Hon. William G. Milliken

Hon. Jim Nicholson

Dr. John Pedicone

Adam Ray

Hon. Charles S. Robb

Hon. Roy Romer

Sy Rotter

Dr. Isidore Starr

Michael Zuckerman

Hon. Pedro Pierluisi

Hon Carlos Romero Barcelo

Hon. Kenneth McClintock

Hon. Carmelo Rios Santiago

Eng. Carlos Hamill

Jim Gillis

Jorge Socca

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