Team Rubicon Announces Key Appointments to Board of Advisors

Former Baltimore Mayor and current National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Rawlings-Blake among five notable members to domestic board of advisors.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Aug. 2, 2023) — Veteran-led humanitarian organization, Team Rubicon, today announced five additions to its notable Board of Advisors, including former Baltimore mayor and current NBPA Foundation Executive Director Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Blake joins an accomplished list of disaster response, business, entertainment, and military professionals whose unique talents and understandings will profoundly impact the scope and level of service Team Rubicon is able to deliver.

Through their collaboration, networks, expertise, and ideas, the Board of Advisors enables Team Rubicon to mobilize service-minded volunteers, known as Greyshirts, to expand the range of services provided while enhancing real-time response. They also shape future decisions and enable growth and sustainability.

“When professionals enthusiastically share their skills and insights to help our leadership team, great things happen. The talented members of our Board of Advisors share Team Rubicon’s core values and believe in the importance of our mission,” said CEO Art delaCruz. “With their help, Team Rubicon will not only continue serving communities in need, but also increase our volunteer base and enhance our ability to meet the growing needs of vulnerable communities impacted by disasters.”

New members will work alongside current board members Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Travelers Insurance, and Ehsan Zaffar, founder of the Los Angeles Mobile Legal Aid Clinic as well as the Difference Engine, Arizona State University’s Center on the Future of Equality. The new additions include:

  • Jarrod Bernstein – A public servant, attorney, and seasoned executive with over a decade of experience counseling a wide range of institutions with complex organizational structures. Previously Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security responsible for outreach to Mayors and Governors, and also White House Jewish Liaison under President Barack Obama, Bernstein was recently named Of Counsel at the New York City-based international law firm of Morrison Cohen LLP, and he continues to serve as Managing Director of First Due Advisory. Bernstein regularly advises clients in communications, government relations, disaster management, and combating bias.
  • David Buss – Retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral and member of the Forbes Technology Council. He has advised or sat on the boards of multiple startup tech companies, including GelSight, Niron Magnetics, ANZU Partners, and NUBURU. He served as president of Cubic Global Defense for three years, leaving the company to become CEO of OpenDrives from 2019 to 2022. Buss is also a Trustee with the Naval Academy Foundation Board and Chairman of the Board for the National Aviation Museum Foundation.
  • Aaron Carew – Award-nominated writer and producer known for television shows like Power Book IV: Force, L.A.’s Finest, and Dirty John. Carew currently writes and serves as co-executive producer for The CW’s Walker. He is also developing a set of dramatic series for CBS: Carver Law, and Guard. Before working in film & television, Carew served in the U.S. Army for seven years. He finished two tours in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, was awarded several medals, and honorably discharged as a Sergeant.
  • Pete Gaynor – Senior Vice-president and Director of National Resilience, Response, and Recovery Programs at GEI Consultants, Inc. He is a Certified Emergency Manager with experience leading a wide variety of challenging disasters at the local, state, and federal levels. Gaynor served as the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, FEMA Administrator, and Deputy FEMA Administrator. His tenure at FEMA saw him leading the response to over 300 emergencies and major disasters, including the first year of covid.
  • Stephanie Rawlings-Blake – Executive Director of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) Foundation. In this role, Rawlings-Blake is responsible for the strategic vision and management of the NBPA Foundation, which distributes millions in grants to organizations around the world. Previously, she provided advocacy and consulting services to the private, public, independent, and corporate sectors as president of SRB & Associates. Stephanie previously served as the 49th Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, leading the most significant economic revival in the City’s recent history.

Additional members of the Board of Advisors will be announced throughout the year.