We wish to share with you the experiences of BAC and its people, including issues that we engage in, forums that are attended, and hearings on The Hill. In short, anything that we are "in the middle of," we want you to be in the middle with us!
BAC is a non profit organization focused on promoting, developing and improving business and trade relationships between the United States and Bahrain. It is an organization made of four board members, and two officers.
Chairman Dr. Al Khalafalla
Al Khalafalla is a leading figure in the Muslim and Arab communities in the United States of America and Canada. He has a strong record of services in areas such as immigrants’ education and integration, interfaith dialogues, and public policies that affect immigrants. Currently, he is the President of Bahrain American Council.
Dr. Khalafalla was the recipient for numerous prestige awards such as the Humanitarian Award by the Governor of Virginia in 2009. He served as the executive director of Virginia Institute for Peace 2007-2010 and Chaired Islamic Academy of Virginia 2006-2008. Dr. Khalafalla served as Vice Chair on the Board of A More Perfect Union — a non-profit organization with the University of Richmond. Dr. Khalafalla currently serves in the Advisory Board of TideWater College, Virginia Medical Institute, and the United States Institute of Peace Darfur Forum.
On September 27, 2008, Khalafalla was appointed as an Ambassador for Peace for his dedication to the African and Middle Eastern Peace Initiatives. The appointment was made by the Universal Peace Federation, which is one of the largest Peace organizations in the world.
Vice Chairman Ambassador Richard Carlson
Richard W. Carlson is Vice Chairman of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank engaged in the War on Terrorism. Ambassador Carlson writes a syndicated newspaper column and hosts the “Danger Zone” radio show on WMAL in Washington, DC. He was formerly the CEO of mBLAST, Inc., an Internet software provider which aggregates and disseminates data for business and industry worldwide. Ambassador Carlson was also a partner in Gately-Carlson, Inc. of Washington, DC, a consulting firm serving international trade and security clients.
He is the former President and CEO of King World Television, a Division of King World Productions formed to locate investment, partnership and production opportunities in public television worldwide. Ambassador Carlson had served as President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
He was the US Ambassador to the Republic of Seychelles from 1991-1992. From 1986-1991, he was Director of the Voice of America and Associate Director of the US Information Agency. He was also host of the weekly foreign affairs broadcast, “On The Line,” and had responsibility for Radio Martí broadcasts to Cuba and all US government TV broadcasts overseas, including the Worldnet TV network and the USIA Television and Film Service.
Ambassador Carlson has spent 30 years in journalism and business. He has received 18 major journalism awards, including three Emmys and the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. His articles have appeared in numerous publications. He has served as a director and trustee of various corporations and foundations.
Board Member Matthew Freedman — President, Global Impact, Inc.
Matthew Freedman, President of Global Impact, Inc., has advised the Departments of State and Defense. He served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s Transition Director for the Agency for International Development, the Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation. He was appointed Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security; Deputy to the US Ambassador to the United Nations; and Counselor in the Bureau of Verification, Compliance and Implementation. At the Defense Department he served as Senior Advisor, Department of the Navy. He also was appointed to the Advisory Board for Africa of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
Mr. Freedman served as Chief of Party for numerous national and global efforts on behalf of the World Bank, the USG, and the private sector where he hired and managed in-country staffs spanning from Russia to the Philippines. He has managed numerous international electoral campaigns to promote the rule of law from South Africa to South Korea. Mr. Freedman is also a recognized international health expert having advised the USG/Gates Foundation’s Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations (GAVI), the World Health Organization’s Rollback Malaria Program, and the US Government’s flagship international child health program, BASICS II.
In his earlier career in Washington, Mr. Freedman served in the U.S. government in numerous capacities, including Staff Director in the Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Office of the Secretary of State; International Development Policy Advisor and Coordinator for Narcotics and Terrorism Control at the Agency for International Development; and staff member at both the Office of Management and Budget and the White House National Security Council.
Mr. Freedman currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Business Council for International Understanding in New York and on the Advisory Board of Indigo Telecom Australia.
Board Member John Eddy — Partner, Southern Meridian
John Eddy is a Partner with Southern Meridian, a political consulting firm headquartered in California, with offices in Arkansas and elsewhere. Prior to becoming Partner at Southern Meridian, John ran a private finance company with investments in clean energy, banking, and various domestic and international start-up ventures. He served as the National Victory Director for the Republican National Committee (RNC), where he was responsible for direct strategic management and fiduciary oversight of the national political budget. Before being asked to serve at the RNC, John was appointed by President Bush as Deputy White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the Office of the Attorney General.
Mr. Eddy has decades of political experience, beginning over 25 years ago when he was the charter volunteer and lead spokesman for Kids Voting USA, a national citizenship education program for youth. His service as Chairman of the Board for American Majority, a non-partisan grassroots political training organization, is evidence of his continued passion for citizen education. American Majority has trained over 18,000 activists and candidates nationwide and plays a leading role in the conservative grassroots movement. John is an Executive Committee Member for the Republican Party of Arkansas. He also is the state chapter President for United Against a Nuclear Iran, led by Ambassador Mark Wallace.
When John was the RNC’s Deputy Regional Political Director for 16 states, his portfolio included the East and West coasts as well as various coalitions such as Eastern Europeans, Irish Americans, and various outreach groups. He helped organize support for a NATO nuclear missile defense shield, working with former Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) negotiator General Edward L. Rowny. He led delegations to the National Security Council and addressed the prestigious American Foreign Policy Council concerning Bush Administration efforts to support democratic movements in Eastern Europe.
John and his wife enjoy supporting Our House, a shelter for working homeless people; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arkansas; KIPP Delta Public Schools; The Pat Tillman Foundation; the Arkansas Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; and the Arkansas Pregnancy Resource Center.