People

Behind the inspiring organizations, dynamic businesses, compelling events, intriguing communities, and notable news items that help make Philadelphia global, are individuals who bring a wealth of expertise and commitment.  Meet the scholars, researchers, students, diplomats, curators, artists, linguists, educators, attorneys, financiers, transportation experts, scientists, administrators and others who contribute so much to the globalism of the region.  (GPA members appear at the beginning of the list, followed by non-members in alphabetical order.)

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Matthew A. Chiachetti is an associate in the Commercial Litigation Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. He concentrates his practice in commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on complex breach of contract litigation, white collar investigations, and international matters. Mr. Chiachetti participated in Villanova University School of Law’s Civil Justice Clinic and served as a judicial intern to the Hon. Susan Peikes Gantman of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lauren Helga Cifoni embraces a series of accomplishments both on and off the stage worldwide. She graduates with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Italian language and literature from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Her studies in music and opera start in 2004 at the Conservatory Francesco Morlacchi of Perugia, Italy; and finish in the Conservatory Gaetano Braga of Teramo, Italy, where she graduates with a music degree in Music and Vocal Performance in 2010. In 2010 she continues her specialization in Vocal Performance in Rovigo, Italy and in 2011 completes her vocal specialization at Cantare l’Opera in Rome, Italy. In 2013 she earns her Master’s degree in Communications/Artistic Management and Productions at the University of Teramo, Italy. Currently, she is working on finishing her Master's and Doctorate's degree in Social Work at Widener University.
Michael Clark was the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Pan American Academy Charter School, a rigorous dual language school with an innovative integrated services model. Pan American was founded by Congreso, a multi-service nonprofit organization in North Philadelphia. Prior to his current position, Michael worked as the Development Director and as a 5th grade teacher at The DePaul Catholic School in Germantown, where he still sits on the board.
Director of Operations at New Jersey Office of the Public Guardian
President, World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia
Assistant Vice President, Education Abroad and Overseas Campuses
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, GC3 Strategy, LLC; Founder, China Partnership of Greater Philadelphia
Jeffrey Cooper leads the University of Pennsylvania’s efforts to build constructive relationships with government officials, community groups, and other stakeholders. As Vice President, he has positioned OGCA as a resource for the University community and encouraged increased collaboration with Penn's peer institutions. Jeff previously served in the administration of Governor Edward G. Rendell as the Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and Executive Deputy General Counsel to the Governor.
Founder/Partner/Financial Advisor & Special Needs Planner at Empowered Financial Strategies
Connecting People to Create Business Opportunities
Greg Deshields is the Executive Director of Tourism Diversity Matters and he is a Qualified Tourism/Hospitality and Academic Professional Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE), proficient in developing and implementing plans, strategies, and initiatives specifically designed to raise destinations image for diverse, multicultural travel. DeShields is also an Experienced Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), with demonstrated cultural competence. Prepared to strategically position an organization to remove systemic barriers to inclusion, lead culture change, and transform the brand.
Joan Detz is the author of four highly respected public speaking books. Since 1984, Joan has run her own speaker services business—writing speeches, coaching executives, offering media training and conducting workshops.
Director of Anchor Economy at Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Interim Director of Career Readiness, then Youth Services Lead Administrator at Partners for Youth with Disabilities
Co-founder and Officer, French-American Chamber of Commerce, Philadelphia Chapter; Director, France-Philadelphia 
Director of International Programs, Professor of Legal Writing, Villanova Univ. School of Law
Principal at Richard Erstad Consulting
Founder of Fengfeng Tech
President & CEO, Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau
Ellen Firestone is the founder Firestone, LLC. Ellen is also an International Human Rights Ambassador with United for Human Rights and serves on the National Council of the United Nations Association of the United States of America, Board Member of UNA-GP and is on the Advisory Board for Global Education Motivators (GEM) out of Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia.