Mansfield Center Advisory Board

David A. Bell

David Bell is President & CEO of ALPS Corporation, a national lawyers' malpractice carrier based in Missoula, MT.

David joined ALPS in 2012 from Allied World Assurance Company (NYSE: AWH), a 3 billion dollar publicly traded global (re)insurance company. He was a founding executive and served as the COO. He began his professional career with The Chubb Corporation as an Executive Protection Underwriting Manager. David founded and serves on the board of Grateful Nation Montana, a first-of-its-kind-in-the-nation organization that provides tutoring, mentoring, and a college education for the children of all Montana soldiers killed while on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. David served on the board and as president of PLUS (Professional Liability Underwriting Society), the largest insurance industry association focused on education. He currently serves on the board of the Bank of Montana. He has presented to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), focusing on expropriation and kidnap/ransom in Asia and the Middle East, and has spoken and written extensively on the subject of insurance risk transfer.

Charles Courtney

Charles "Sam" Courtney is a retired Foreign Service Officer. During his career he served in, among other countries, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. He was the first American diplomat assigned to the new country of Bangladesh at the end of the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971-72. Later he directed all information and cultural operations of the United States in South Asia. Subsequently he was in charge of these programs worldwide. He worked in the White House with four presidents. Upon retirement he became a visiting professor at the University of Montana, where he helped found the Montana World Trade Center. He also taught at the National War College, the University of Puget Sound, and Evergreen State College. His education includes degrees from Stanford and San Francisco State and postgraduate study at the University of Istanbul and at Harvard. He lives in Hamilton, Montana, and in Dampierre-sur-Avre, Normandy.

John Datsopoulos

After graduating from the University of Montana, John Datsopoulos worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C. and served in the Air National Guard. He received a Master’s degree from the Thunderbird School of International Management and worked internationally for Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. and Black & Decker. He lived and worked abroad for 16 years in countries across the globe, including in Asia, Europe, and Central America. He is the founder of American Diversified Products, which consults startup American medical equipment manufacturers that want to establish sales and marketing organizations in Europe, the Pacific, and the Far East.

Bruno Friia

Bruno Friia graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Temple University in Philadelphia. He has been in the real estate and property management industry for over 25 years. He currently serves as the CEO of Lambros Real Estate ERA in Missoula and also as a property management instructor. He is the former National Director of the National Association of Residential Property Managers, a former Commissioner of the MT Board of Realty Regulation, and a former chair of the National Association of REALTORS Property Management Firm.

David Janes

David Janes is Program Officer and Assistant to the President at the United States-Japan Foundation, where he directs the Education, Policy, and Communications grant portfolios. He specializes in promoting mutual understanding between Japan and the United States through the educational systems of both countries. During his tenure at the Foundation, Mr. Janes created, and currently directs, the Elgin Heinz Outstanding Teacher Awards for precollegiate educators who have demonstrated exemplary and innovative teaching on Japan, its language, and its culture. Mr. Janes recently completed The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy's Global Master of Arts Program in International Affairs, and holds a Master of Arts degree in Asian Religions from the University of Hawaii and a B.A. in Religion from Mary Washington College. He has also studied at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar and is a graduate of the Japan Center for Michigan Universities in Hikone, Japan. Mr. Janes is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Trustee of the Japan ICU foundation.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is the Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Montana and a Mansfield adjunct professor at the University of Montana. He spent 30 years in the U.S. State Department as a diplomat, serving in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Paul Lauren

Paul Lauren is the first Regents Professor ever named by the University of Montana. He is an internationally recognized authority on diplomacy, international relations, and human rights. Professor Lauren has written many books on these subjects, has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and has delivered invited addresses around the world and before the United Nations. He also served as the founding director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at the University of Montana and as the Mansfield Professor of Ethics and Public Affairs.

Ian Marquand

Ian Marquand is Executive Officer for the Montana Board of Medical Examiners (MT Dept. of Labor & Industry) in Helena, MT. A University of Montana graduate in Radio-Television (Class of 1979), he spent more than 30 years in broadcast television in Montana, as well as two years as a self-employed consultant and video producer. He has extensive experience reporting on Montana's relationships in Japan, Taiwan, and China and was the first broadcast journalist to visit Montana's sister state of Kumamoto, Japan. He has produced multiple television programs on Montana and Japan, including the award-winning "Toxic Tragedies, Hometown Hopes: The Libby and Minamata Stories" (2007) in partnership with the Mansfield Center.

In 1994 he was among the founders of the Japan Friendship Club of Montana and has served as its president since then, coordinating with the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle, Kumamoto Plaza in Helena, and Montana's Office of Trade and International Relations, among others. In 2002, he received a special award for his efforts from Montana Governor Judy Martz and Kumamoto Governor Yoshiko Shiotani.

As a leader in the national Society of Professional Journalists, he was chosen for SPJ's delegation to the first East Asia Journalists Forum in Seoul, South Korea in 2003. In 2009 and 2010, he partnered with the Mansfield Center to produce a video on the Confucius Institute and its efforts to bring Chinese language and culture instruction to Montana high school students.

Michael McElhenney

Michael McElhenney is currently a Senior Vice President in Houlihan Lokey’s Aerospace, Defense, and Government practice, one of the leading aerospace and defense investment banking groups worldwide.  A native of Montana who was raised in Great Falls, Mike received a BS in business from the University of Montana and then served four years on active military duty in South Korea.  He then returned to UM for his MBA.

Following completion of graduate school, Mike was employed by AlliedSignal, Inc. in Phoenix, Arizona, where he worked in AlliedSignal Aerospace’s mergers and acquisitions group and was a key member of the team that supported the AlliedSignal, Inc./Honeywell, Inc. merger (now known as Honeywell International).  With a keen interest in the global economy, Mike pursued a graduate degree in international business at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona.  Upon graduation, Mike moved to Hong Kong, where he was employed by Global Sources Ltd., a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with Greater China. 

John Menson

John L. Menson II is retired from a career in international business. Mr. Menson began his career working for twelve years (1963-75) in various management positions related to budgeting and finance for Ford Motor Company's Tractor operations in Mexico and North America. Thereafter, he served as Founder and Senor Executive (1977-91) for JP Industries, Inc., a firm that purchased small firms, improved their management and product lines, and subsequently listed them for public offering. Company turnover went from $3 million at the time Mr. Menson founded the enterprise to over $500 million at the time of its sale. From 1991-96, Menson served as Managing Director and Majority owner of Econocruise Ltd., a British company that designs and manufactures electronic control systems, guiding it through a major expansion in the process. He culminated his working career as Managing Director of Furon Ltd. Menson has lived and worked in Japan and travels there frequently.

Sean Molloy

As a native Montanan and an alumnus of UM's graduate program in interdisciplinary studies, Michael (Sean) Molloy is a lifelong admirer of Mike Mansfield's devotion to the importance of Asian foreign policy on the one hand and the necessity of ethical leadership on the other. Molloy is currently a Senior Consultant for Black Lion Global in Beijing, following a stint as Asia Pacific Regional Director for LoJack Corporation. Sean has pursued a career dedicated to promoting stronger and more productive relations with China and Asia in the belief that businesses have a stake in responsibility for promoting more peaceful and productive integration among the diverse people, markets, and governments of the Pacific region.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith hails from Anaconda. He served as Executive Assistant to the President of the University of Montana and played an instrumental role in the creation of the Maureen and Mansfield Center when it was founded. Dan’s diverse background includes ordination as a Catholic priest, working as Director of Education and Director of Occupational Health Services at St. Patrick Hospital, and heading his own human resource consultant firm. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Catholic University of America in Washington D.C., and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Montana.

Kimberlee Visser

Kimberlee Visser developed a personal friendship with Mike Mansfield, and later with his family, during and after her congressional internship with him.

She is now the owner of a design business and an active community member who serves on several advisory boards to prominent organizations in the community, including the Missoula Children’s Theatre and St. Patrick Hospital. She also advises local businessmen and women about patents and product placement in China and Southeast Asia.

Terry Weidner

Dr. Terry Weidner is proficient in Chinese and worked as a political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and as a Chinese political and economic analyst for the Foreign Broadcast Information Service in Washington, D.C. He served as the Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center from 2003 to 2012 and continues to support the Mansfield Center as the Mansfield Senior Fellow in Asian Affairs.

He is now a professor in the Political Science department at the University of Montana. His academic interests include Chinese political economy, business, and U.S.-China relations.