Wednesday, July 07, 2010

International leaders attend Four Star Debate program in Jordan; Fifteen leaders will speak at this year’s camp

Bookmark and Share

July 7, 2010

International Media Contact: Houda Elyazgi

U.S.-Based Media Contact: Lisa Janssen

International leaders attend Four Star Debate program in Jordan; Fifteen leaders will speak at this year’s camp

AMMAN, Jordan – Twenty-four students from the U.S. will pair up with 24 students from the Middle East and have a chance to listen to and interact with renowned leaders and policy experts during a 10-day leadership development and debate camp at King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan. The Four Star Debate program is taking place from July 1 – 10 and includes various international speakers.

The students will debate whether the United States should support a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Four Star Debate: Developing Leaders with General Tommy Franks is hosted by the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute, the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) and the Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University (OC).

The following leaders will be speaking at the program:

Gen. Tommy Franks
Gen. Tommy Franks is from Wynnewood, Okla. and attended the University of Texas. After two years, he joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and sent to Vietnam. In June 2000, he was promoted to four-star General and assigned as Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command. He led American and Coalition troops in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. Franks has received numerous awards, including five Distinguished Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, four bronze stars and three purple hearts. He now travels across the country speaking to groups on leadership.

Dr. John Goodman
Dr. John Goodman is a Texas native and attended of the University of Texas and received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. He has taught and conducted research at Columbia, Stanford University, Dartmouth University, Southern Methodist University and the University of Dallas. He is now the CEO of the National Center for Policy Analysis. The Wall Street Journal and the National Journal, among other media, have called him the "Father of Health Savings Accounts." Also, he has appeared on many different television and radio news programs. He is frequently invited to testify before Congress on health care reform and retirement topics and is the author of more than 50 published studies on topics such as health policy, retirement reform and tax issues, as well as nine books.

Dr. Mike O’Neal
Dr. Mike O’Neal attended Oklahoma Christian University (OC) as an undergraduate and then went on to Harding University. He is currently the OC president. Since 2002, he has worked hard for the university to implement his visions of academic success. Prior to working with OC, O’Neal worked at Pepperdine University, Harding University and as a CPA with many different accounting firms, including Coopers & Lybrand. Since moving back to Oklahoma, O’Neal has become involved with many different organizations and serves on the board for many of them.

Antwan Saca
Antwan Saca is a OneVoice Palestine Youth Leader from Bethlehem. He is currently working as a research assistant in the urbanization monitoring department at the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem. He graduated from Arab American University of Jenin with a bachelor’s degree in Public Law. He has been an active member of OneVoice for the past two and half years.

Dr. Brian Bush
Dr. Brian Bush is executive director of the Academy of Leadership and Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. He holds a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Harding University and a juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. After graduating from law school, Bush served as an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County. Bush left the district attorney’s Office to pursue an opportunity with a statewide private legal practice. He later served as assistant dean of students at Harding University. Bush sits on several boards and is a current member of the Oklahoma Bar Association.

Dr. Islam A. Azzam
Dr. Islam A. Azzam is a graduate of both California State University and Pepperdine University with degrees in business and education. He is currently vice president of strategy and business development at Enatel, Inc. The company is a Cisco- and Microsoft-certified partner that provides training on information technology. Azzam is also an entrepreneur and this has helped him to become a more passionate person, always seeking new and innovative business opportunities.

Joe Crookham
Joe Crookham is the president and principal owner of Musco Lighting. His main business is athletic field lighting for parks, recreation facilities and schools. Many different major sports facilities for NFL, NBA and MLB have all used Musco Lighting. He has received an Emmy and a technical Academy Award for his T.V. and movie lighting work. Crookham is involved with many different foundations, including the National Parks Foundation.

Dr. Mahmoud Labadi
Dr. Mahmoud Labadi was the Director General of the Palestinian Legislative Council until 2005. He was the spokesman for the PLO in Lebanon until 1983 and is the former Director of Aid Coordination and UN Specialized Agencies. Dr. Labadi is a member of the International Relations Council of Fatah in Ramallah. He is a writer and author of four books on media, two novels in Arabic, and different studies on economics. Dr. Labadi was the editor-in-chief of Palestine Bulletin in Lebanon, and he also wrote for the Palestine Times Daily. Dr. Labadi is a founding board member of OneVoice Palestine. Dr. Labadi is fluent in Arabic, English, German, French, and knows Hebrew. He holds an M.A. in Economics.

Martin L. Edelman
Martin L. Edelman is of counsel to Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP, specializing primarily in international real estate and corporate transactions. Also, he is a director of Avis/Budget Corp., Capital Trist and Ashford Hospitality Trust. As a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University School of Law, Edelman has done work all over the world and is a frequent speaker at institutionally sponsored seminars. He is one of the founders of The Jackie Robinson Foundation and is involved with many different foundations across the United States.

Michele Smith
Michele Smith is from Glen Gardner, New Jersey, where she set many different records in high school sports. She is now a two-time Olympic Softball Gold Medalist with the United States National Softball Team. Smith participated in the 1996 and 2000 Summer Olympics. Currently, she is playing for Toyota Shokki and serves as a softball analyst for ESPN.

Dr. Nathan B. Mellor
Dr. Nathan B. Mellor attended Harding University and Pepperdine University and received degrees in law and education. Mellor is the assistant to the president at Oklahoma Christian University (OC) and serves as the assistant professor of leadership in the School of Business Administration. He is also the president of Strata Leadership, LLC. Prior to working with OC, he worked for Pepperdine University and among many positions, served as graduate assistant to the president of the university.

Dr. Nouh El-Harmouzi
Dr. Nouh El-Harmouzi, who has a doctorate in economics from Aix-Marseille 3 University in France, is the editor of “Minbar Alhurriya,” and he served as a university teacher for five years at Marseille University. Much of his work has been published, from research papers to various periodicals. Currently, he is the editor-in-chief and general coordinator of the Minbar Al-Hurriyya Project.

Ambassador Robert Jordan
Ambassador Robert Jordan was chosen by former President George W. Bush to serve as the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. During some of the most critical moments in history, he served as an ambassador from October 2001 through October 2003 and took charge of his mission directly after the attacks on Sept. 11. Currently, Ambassador Jordan practices law at Baker Botts and engages in international business, government relations, international arbitration and dispute resolution practices. Not only has he served as a personal attorney to former President George W. Bush, but he has also participated in major transactions with large businesses.

Renzi Stone
Renzi Stone is an Oklahoma native and attended the University of Oklahoma. He is currently the president and CEO of Saxum Public Relations, one of the region’s largest independent public relations firms. Stone grew the business from a one-person team to a 21 full-time professional group in seven years. Stone is a leader in his community and has been published in many different publications and editorials, such as The New York Times, Indianapolis Star and The Oklahoman. He speaks at many different seminars and organizations and serves on various boards, such as the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.

Tal Harris
Tal Harris graduated from Tel Aviv University, where he received MA in program for diplomacy. He is currently the executive director for OneVoice Israel. He has a diverse background and brings that to OneVoice with knowledge in conflict resolution, mediation and youth activism. He has also served as a representative of the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University and coordinated a Middle East simulation conference in Germany.

For more information, please visit

About the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum
The goal of the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum is to tell compelling stories of leadership, introduce historical topics in each exhibit, and to encourage study and debate concerning the leadership traits illustrated by the story. It is located in Hobart, Okla. For more information, visit

About the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA)
With offices in Dallas and Washington, D.C., the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. The NCPA's goal is to develop and promote private alternatives to government regulation and control, solving problems by relying on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. For more information, visit

Academy of Leadership & Liberty
The Academy of Leadership & Liberty at Oklahoma Christian University exists to uphold, teach, and strengthen the values that promote liberty, free enterprise, and servant leadership. To accomplish that mission, the Academy seeks to inspire leaders of character, vision, and courage while equipping them with the values that have a profound and lasting impact on individuals, families, communities, and nations. Guided by faith and the principles of servant leadership, character, and social justice, the Academy is committed to perpetuating the values and freedoms endowed by our Creator and empowered by the founding wisdom of our democracy. For more information, visit

About King’s Academy
Established in 2007, King’s Academy is a private, not-for-profit, co-educational boarding and day high school (grades 9 to 12) in Madaba, Jordan. The school, which integrates the New England boarding school experience in the historical and intellectual context of the Middle East, follows an English-language, Advanced Placement curriculum. The dynamic curriculum includes an integrated co-curricular program of athletics, activities and community service, and students live in a nurturing residential environment that allows them to flourish personally and intellectually. King’s Academy is situated 30 minutes from Amman on a 144-acre (575-dunum) site and is comprised of 23 buildings and state-of-the-art facilities. For more information, visit