Dean's Advisory Council


The Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs Dean’s Advisory Council

The Dean's Advisory Council is a representative group of individuals dedicated to the mission and principles of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. Members contribute their support, wisdom and expertise to shape, enrich and sustain the Green School and its programs.

Members serve as ambassadors to the community and support fundraising to advance the Green School’s goals and heighten the visibility of the Green School in the community. The Dean's Advisory Council does not engage in the administrative or management affairs of the School and does not have any fiduciary responsibilities.

For more information on the Dean's Advisory Council, please contact JC del Valle, at or (305) 348-6394.

To check out the Green School's upcoming events, click here.

Dean's Advisory Council Members

Deborah Balliette-Jacobson

Deborah Balliette-Jacobson, SBJ, Inc. and Honorary Consul of Tunisia

Deborah Balliette-Jacobson is President of SBJ, Inc., which provides strategic planning and solutions for managerial, administrative and marketing needs for governmental and private sector entities. SBJ, Inc. and Advanced Marketing & Consulting International, Inc. (an affiliated company) work together in the representation of Tunisian and North African companies needing representation in the United States.

Balliette-Jacobson is also owner of American Central Insurance Agency, Inc., which provides life, health, group health, long term care and annuities policies to individuals and business. She is the Honorary Consul General for the Republic of Tunisia in Miami, Director of Plus International Bank, member of the International Federation of Women, Advisory Board Member of the Miami Bridge; past Board Member of the Children Home Society and past Board Member of the Greater Miami Heart Association. She holds a B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Miami.

Hon. Cándido Creis Estrada

Hon. Cándido Creis Estrada, Consul General of Spain

The Honorable Cándido Creis is the Consul General of Spain in Miami for Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. He is a career diplomat in the Spanish Foreign Office. In 1995, he took up his first assignment as Head of Foreign Policy and Security Area at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Madrid. In 1996 he joined the staff of the Royal Household of His Majesty the King as Deputy Director of the Department of Protocol. He has worked at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the European Union in Brussels, served as Counselor at the Embassy of Spain in Tel Aviv and, in 2010 he was Chief of Staff of the Undersecretary of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation.

Most recently, he was appointed Chief of Protocol of the Royal Household of His Majesty the King of Spain (2011 – 2014). He holds a Law Degree from the Complutense University of Madrid and a course of English Law from the University of Kent at Canterbury.

Edward Glab

Edward Glab, Florida International University

Faculty Advisor

Edward Glab is the Co-Director of the Global Energy Security Forum at FIU. He joined the Business School at FIU as Director of the Knight-Ridder Center in 2004 after retiring from ExxonMobil, where for over 25 years he held a variety of positions in public affairs. He has conducted business and traveled in 76 countries around the world. He has taught at Northern Illinois University and the University of Texas at Austin.

He has also been a Fulbright Professor at both the University of Chile and La Catolica in Santiago, Chile. He has published a number of articles, edited one book and ran a nation-wide project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities in the area of bilingual-bicultural education. He has been working on alternative energy for the past three years. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University in 1975.

Amira Ishoof

Amira Ishoof, Emerge USA

Amira Ishoof is a founding member of Emerge USA's predecessor organization, Center for Voter Advocacy. She has dedicated the last decade of her life to a number of civic ventures, including having served on the organizing committee of Generation Engage in South Florida, a launch advisor to TurboVote in Miami and a founding committee member of City Year Miami's Annual Women's Leadership lunch. She has stayed deeply engaged in the political process, as a campaign fundraiser for a wide range of local, state and federal candidates for elected office.

In addition to her civic work, she has spent considerable time raising funds for health-related charities including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. She earned her A.A. from Miami-Dade College and her B.A. from FIU. She is the wife of Saif Y. Ishoof, Esq., who serves as Vice President for Engagement at FIU and is a Green School Senior Fellow.

Farrokh Jhabvala

Farrokh Jhabvala, Jorden Burt

Farrokh Jhabvala is a partner in the law firm of Jorden Burt LLP. He specializes in class actions and other complex civil litigation. He has degrees from the University of Bombay (B.Sc. in Physics/Maths, 1963; B.E. (Elec.), 1966), University of Delhi (M.A. in Political Science, 1969), the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (M.A. in International Affairs, 1973; Ph.D., 1977) and the University of Miami (J.D., 1988). He taught international relations and international law at FIU for more than twenty years (Asst. Prof. 1976-1980; Assoc. Prof. 1980-1984; Prof. 1984-1999).

He has published numerous articles in journals, such as The American Journal of International Law, the Netherlands International Law Review, The Indian Journal of International Law, the Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, and the Human Rights Quarterly. Jhabvala was awarded the Francis Deak Prize of the American Society of International Law in 1979. His hobbies are reading (history, politics) and gardening. He lives in Miami with his wife, Margarita.

Marcelo Llorente

Marcelo Llorente, LSN Partners

Marcelo Llorente is the Managing Partner at LSN Partners, where he assists domestic and international clients with strategic planning, marketing and communications. He is also the Managing Partner at the law firm of Llorente and Heckler P.A. In 2002, he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 116th District and was subsequently reelected in 2004, 2006 and 2008. During his service in the Florida House, he passed landmark legislation and held positions including Chairman of the Full Appropriations Council on General Government and Health Care, where he oversaw more than $30 billion of the State of Florida’s annual budget.

He is currently a member of the Cuban American Bar Association and the Florida Bar’s Section on Local Government. He attended Tulane University in New Orleans and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management, while being a four-year letterman in baseball. He received his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law.

Frank Lopez

Frank Lopez, Ryder System, Inc.

Frank Lopez is the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Ryder System, Inc., a Fortune 500 commercial fleet management, dedicated transportation and supply chain solutions company. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Global Human Resources Operations, responsible for leading Ryder’s global field Human Resources for the company’s three divisions. He has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility at Ryder System, Inc., including Assistant General Counsel, Group Director of HR and Labor Relations and Vice President of HR.

Prior to joining Ryder, he spent four years as an attorney with the national law firm of Fisher & Phillips LLP. Frank has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Florida International University and a law degree from Emory University School of Law.

Marile Lopez

Marile Lopez, Jorge Luiz Lopez Law Firm

Marile Lopez is the Chief Financial Officer at Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm, a governmental affairs firm representing municipal governments, Florida 100 and Fortune 500 companies at the federal, state and local levels. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, she was the founder and the creative director for Maria Elena Headpieces, a million dollar bridal accessory company which designs, manufactures, and sells products to high-end wedding boutiques internationally.

She is a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Miami-Dade, FIU President’s Council and the American Red Cross. She has served as Chair of Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, and served on the Board of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the Miami Children’s Health System Board, as well as on the Board of American Cancer Society’s Miami-Dade Unit. She received her M.A. in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, her B.A. in Health Services Administration from Florida International University and her A.A. from Miami-Dade College.

Patricia M. Maribona-McCarthy

Patricia M. Maribona-McCarthy, Goldman Sachs

Patricia M. McCarthy is a senior member of the Private Wealth Management (PWM) Global Management team in the Investment Management Division. She works closely with the global chief operating officer and the regional chief operating officers of the PWM business on strategic and infrastructure issues and is responsible for the implementation of key projects for the business. She serves as the chief operating officer of the PWM Client Experience Group.

Previously, she was an associate general counsel in the PWM Legal group for six years. Patty joined Goldman Sachs in 2004 as a vice president and was named managing director in 2013. Prior to joining the firm, Patty worked as an associate at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell and as Vice President of Business Affairs and Development at Univision Communications, Inc. Patty earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in International Relations from Florida International University in 1993 and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1996.

Clayton P. Solomon

Clayton P. Solomon, U.S. Attorney's Office

Clayton P. Solomon is an assistant United States attorney in Brooklyn, New York. He was previously an attorney in the Miami office of Hogan Lovells US LLP, where his practice focused on complex commercial and administrative disputes in the financial services, real estate and environmental sectors. He also worked as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Paul C. Huck, where he drafted trial court and appellate decisions for five federal judges. Before that, he was an aide to former FIU President Modesto A. Maidique.

Clayton is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and holds an LL.M in International Law (focusing on Human Rights) from the University of New South Wales in Sydney Australia, where he studied on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. While a political science undergraduate at FIU, he served as SGA President of what is today the Modesto A. Maidique Campus and as the student member of both the FIU Board of Trustees and the State University System Board of Governors.

Hon. Maria Elena Toraño

Hon. Maria Elena Toraño, META, LLC

The Honorable Maria Elena Toraño arrived in Miami as a political exile from Cuba in 1960. She relocated various times across the country, taught English to high school students, became a social worker, worked at Eastern Airlines and eventually became the Associate Director for Public Affairs at the U.S. Community Services Administration. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the U.S. Advisory Committee on Public Diplomacy, on which she served for 12 years. She was the Founding President of the National Association of Spanish Broadcasters; the Founding President and CEO of META, LLC – a marketing, public relations and corporate communications organization that executed contract work with federal agencies; and the Founding President of METEC, which was established to provide support to the Resolution Trust Corporation, an agency created by the U.S. Congress.

She was also the Founding Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Institute, created to provide executive leadership training to Hispanic women. In 2015, she became a member of the Sister Cities Committee of Miami Dade County’s International Trade and Tourism Council. She is an honorary member of the FIU President’s Council and is a donor and supporter for FIU’s office in Washington D.C.

Hon. Manny Diaz

Hon. Manny Diaz, Lydecker Diaz

The Honorable Manny Diaz, served as the mayor of the City of Miami from 2001 to 2009. During his two-term tenure, he was recognized for transforming the City of Miami and for many nationally recognized innovative programs in the areas of urban design, sustainability and green initiatives, education, infrastructure investment, affordable housing, law enforcement, poverty and homelessness and arts and culture. In 2008, he was chosen to lead the United States Conference of Mayors as its president.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of OUTFRONT Media, Inc. (NYSE: OUT). He also serves on various commissions as well as cultural, educational and volunteer boards, including Harvard University, Bloomberg Family Foundation, City Year U.S.A., Miami Foundation, Fair Districts Florida and the Perez Art Museum Miami. He has received almost 100 awards and recognitions for his work and leadership, including America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News and World Report and the Center for Public Leadership (Kennedy School of Government). He served as a Resident Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and is the author of Miami Transformed: Rebuilding America One Neighborhood, One City at a Time.