The Doughboy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the District of Columbia in 2013 under the name of the "United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars."
The Foundation supports and encourages planning and execution of programs, projects, and activities commemorating and educating the public on America's role in World War I, "The War that Changed the World." The Foundation encourages private & educational organizations, Federal, State, and local governments, and all individual Americans to Keep Faith with the Doughboys and all those who served in WWI. Our mission is three-fold:
- Commemorate the experience of those Americans who served in WWI.
- Honor the 4.7 million Americans who put on the uniform to answer the call of their country.
- Inspire 21st-century Americans and all future generations to learn about, remember, and understand how WWI transformed our country and the world.
The Doughboy Foundation has worked hand-in-glove with the US WWI Centennial Commission to make the new National World War I Memorial in Washington, DC a reality. From the Memorial's conception in 2014, through the international design competition in 2015, through the design selection in 2016, through the three year design refinements and collaboration with the Commission of Fine Arts, the National Capital Planning Commission, the National Park Service and others resulting in the final approval in 2019, through the fundraising of $50 Million, through the construction during a pandemic in 2020, to the opening of the Memorial to the public in 2021 and beyond, the Doughboy Foundation has been an integral part of the effort to complete this long-overdue Memorial.
As the project completes and the Centennial Commission sunsets once the main sculpture is installed, the Doughboy Foundation will continue its mission of stewardship for the National WWI Memorial and the remembrance of all those who served and sacrificed in WWI.
We invite you to meet our team
Daniel S. Dayton: President
Mr. Dayton, a senior U.S. Government Executive, was appointed as the Executive Director of the United States World War I Centennial Commission in 2015. He has served as the Designated Federal Official for the Commission since 2013.
Before coming to the Commission, Mr. Dayton was engaged in special project work for the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) of the U.S Department of Homeland Security from 2012-2014. He was detailed from S&T to the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) from 2011 to 2012 to lead public affairs efforts in connection with the Navy's Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the Star-Spangled Banner, an effort which resulted in exposure for the Navy of 500,000 people in 15 cities over 120 days.
Before the detail to NHHC, Mr. Dayton had served as the Director of the Corporate Communications Division of S&T from 2007 to 2011. Prior to DHS, Mr. Dayton served as Director of Communications for the Office of Naval Research (ONR), which manages the science and technology programs for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Before joining ONR, he founded The Communications Center. LLC, a Center of The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies; previously he was Director of Marketing and Public Affairs for the Potomac Institute.
Mr. Dayton's broad business background includes radio and television station ownership over a span of more than 20 years. He came to station ownership via the radio and television news business, having been a news producer for NBC, New York and WCBS, New York. He also served as Director of the New England Region of United Press International. He built radio stations “from the ground up” in New York State, Delaware and Florida, and managed a $30-million group operation, which encompassed independent TV stations in three states.
In addition to his civilian accomplishment, Dan was active as a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve, retiring from that service as a Captain in February of 2005. His last assignment was as Commanding Officer of the reserve public affairs unit providing key support to the U.S. Strategic Command in Omaha, Neb.
He is a long time member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the National Press Club and has served as a coordinating judge for the prestigious International Radio and Television Festival of New York. He served as an adjunct professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. He graduated with honors from Emerson College, Boston.
Daniel J. Basta retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 2016 after 37 years of outstanding Federal Service. With three Engineering Degrees his long and distinguished career also included stints in the Aerospace Industry, at Johns Hopkins University, the National Academy of Sciences, Resources for the Future, and as a Management Consultant.
His career took him on assignments and expeditions around the globe. One of the things he is most well-known for is creation of the National Marine Heritage Program, while he was Director of the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in NOAA, for which in 2014 he received the National Marine Heritage Society Distinguished Service Award. Soon after retiring he was a principal and the creative driver of the landmark: “1st World Congress on Maritime Heritage” held November 6-8 in Singapore in 2018.
He has now turned his attention to writing, completing his first nontechnical book, “Searching for Ghosts in the South Pacific” about expeditions exploring World War ll remains; and his second book (in process), “Among Honest Communists” about his experiences behind the iron Curtain during the height of the Cold War. He is well known for his ability to build coalitions and create uncommon success.
Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich (Ret)
Jeffrey L. Bleich is a litigation partner based in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. He returned to the partnership in December 2013 following four years of service as U.S. Ambassador to Australia and as Special Counsel to President Obama in the White House during the first year of the Administration.
As the 24th United States Ambassador to Australia, Mr. Bleich’s term was marked by the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, with Australia being the focal point for that shift. His efforts included overseeing record growth in trade and investment between the U.S. and Australia, bringing the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty into force, establishing new alliance agreements for satellites and cybersecurity, executing a new space cooperation agreement that supported the Mars Curiosity rover landing, leading joint U.S.-Australia efforts in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province, and promoting regional human rights efforts.
Mr. Bleich holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Amherst College, an M.P.P from Harvard University with highest honors, a J.D. from the UC Berkeley School of Law with highest honors, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from S.F. State University. He has been elected as a life member to both the American Law Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves on the board of Pratt Industries as well as Willie Mays' Say Hey Foundation.
Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun (Ret)
Ambassador Braun was elected to serve as the only black member of the United States Senate in 1992, and the first and only woman to be elected to the Senate from Illinois. She was also the first black Democrat to be elected from any state to the Senate. She served as Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, and is the first and only United States Ambassador to be made a member of the Te Atiawa Maori tribe.
Carol Moseley Braun was one of the first black women to graduate from the law school at the University of Chicago. Previously, as an assistant United States Attorney, she was the first black woman to win the Attorney General’s Special Achievement award. As an Illinois state legislator, she was the first black woman to become an assistant majority leader and spokesperson for the Mayor of Chicago. (The late Harold Washington) Earlier on in her career, Carol Moseley Braun was elected to executive office in Cook County, the first woman to do so.
Her fourth career is as an entrepreneur, and she is currently the founder and President of a biodynamic organic food company, Good Food Organics®/Ambassador Organics™.
Chris Christopher: Treasurer
Chris Christopher has served on the staff of the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission since 2013. He is the Publisher of the Commission’s award-winning web site, and the Dispatch newsletter, and performs a variety of other duties. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the United States Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars and the Doughboy Foundation.
Over the past two decades, he has published numerous internal and external web sites for the U.S. Department of the Navy, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). He also directed numerous conferences for S&T scross the nation. Previously, he led development of and managed the Electronic Publishing System for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Finance Center. Before starting his 35-year career in the Federal government, Chris was an award-winning publisher, editor, and writer for a number of newspapers. He has edited and published a variety of newsletters for various organizations, and won multi-year national awards for fraternal organization and other newsletters. He has also published multiple private sector web sites.
Chris served for 30 years (Active and Reserve) in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Captain. He holds Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees from the University of New Orleans (UNO), and worked in a variety of Sports Information roles for the UNO Department of Athletics and its Athletic Association for over 20 years. A published poet, he has received local and national awards for his poetry.
Gary Lewi has an extensive background in communications, including work as a broadcast journalist and as a government press secretary on municipal and federal levels. He was Director of Communications for Hempstead Town on Long Island, the nation's largest township, and served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato during the Senator's first term.
With Rubenstein Associates since 1987, he has created innovative public relations and community affairs strategies for clients involved in issues that include energy, the environment, public policy, health, land use, transportation and crisis management. He is a member of the company’s executive management committee and, along with Howard and Steven Rubenstein, is considered one of the firm’s strategic analysts on public policy and government affairs.
Mr. Lewi has taught at the New York Institute of Technology and has lectured on public relations at Columbia, Stony Brook and Hofstra Universities and Molloy College. He has also been a lecturer on public relations before transportation executives, construction trade groups and energy industry symposiums. He is also the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the publication City & State.
Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr.
Dr. John H. Morrow, Jr., Franklin Professor of History at The University of Georgia, earned his BA with Honors in History from Swarthmore College (1966) and his Ph.D. in Modern European History from the University of Pennsylvania (1971). In 1971 Professor Morrow became the first African American faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he taught for seventeen years. During that time he was selected as a National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher and University of Tennessee Macebearer, the highest honor that a faculty member can receive. Morrow served as Head of the UTK History Department from 1983 to his departure from the University in 1988.
He is the 13th recipient of the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. He is the author or co-author of eight publications, including, “The Great War: An Imperial History,” “The Great War in the Air,” and “German Airpower in World War I".
He has lectured at the National War College, the Air War College and the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, and served as advisor in history to numerous distinguished agencies, including the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s Legacy Committee and the First Flight Centennial Federal Advisory Board.
Dr. Libby O’Connell
Libby H. O’Connell is currently the Chief Historian Emeritus at History Channel, where she worked for 23 years in education and corporate social responsibility. She has appeared as a commentator on History and A&E Network, as well as on CNN, the Today Show, and other news channels. Libby O’Connell’s work in television and education has received four national “Emmy” awards, White House recognition, and numerous other honors.
Dr. O’Connell’s recent book, The American Plate: A History in 100 Bites, uses food and drink as a lens for exploring the past. She lectures around the country on World War I and on the interplay of food, drink, and society. She received her Ph.D. in American history from the University of Virginia.
A Commissioner on the United States World War I Centennial Commission, Dr. O’Connell oversees the Education Committee of the Commission. She also served as Chairwoman of the World War I Centennial Committee for New York City
Russell Orban is a lawyer practicing public policy and regulatory law at the law firm of Husch Blackwell, LLP and is a principal at the firm of Husch Blackwell Strategies LLC where he specializes in government affairs and federal policy. Russell’s legal specialty areas have been federal regulatory law and compliance, and federal contracting and procurement law.
Russell worked for 33 years for the Federal Government mostly with the United States Congress where he was Chief of Staff and Counsel to Congressman Ike Skelton of Missouri on 3 different subcommittees as well as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Blanche Lincoln from Arkansas. Russell was also held the position as the General Counsel for the Committee on Small Business of the US House of Representatives. His specialties in Congressional work were legislative drafting as well as procurement, tax, federal budgeting and appropriations issues for federal programs. In addition, Russell also served in the executive branch as Assistant Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration for eight years.
Russell worked with the World War I Centennial Commission at its creation as a volunteer with his then-law partner, Ike Skelton, who served as the first Chairman of the World War I Centennial Commission, Ike Skelton. He has continued to work with them on federal compliance issues.
Mr. Orban has received a number of awards for his work with small businesses in both Congress and the Small Business Administration. He is currently the Chairman of the Missouri Kansas Forum, and has done extensive work over the years with the Tax Chairman group from the White House Conference on Small Business and the Security and Exchange Commission’s Small Business Forum.
Sandra Sinclair Pershing
Sandra Sinclair Pershing is the granddaughter-in-law of General of the Armies John J. Pershing. She is Director Emeritus of the Pershing Rifles Group.
After a long career in the real estate field, Pershing now does volunteer work in the New York area. She is a volunteer at Phoenix House, where she provides special support of Phoenix House’s national Military Service Programs, which deal with PTSD and other military service related experiences and injuries.
She also works with the Board of Women’s Prison Association.
Widow of Colonel John Warren Pershing, USA, she has two children, one grandchild, and one great grandchild.
The Honorable Ted Poe
Judge Ted Poe was a Representative from Texas from 2005-2019. Born in Temple, Bell County, Tex., She earned his B.A. from Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Tex., in 1970; his J.D. from the University of Houston, Houston, Tex., on 1973. Poe served in the United States Air Force Reserves from 1970-1976. Before being elected to Congress, Poe was a teacher; lawyer in private practice; district attorney of Harris County, Houston, Tex., 1973-1981; and district judge, Harris County, Houston, Tex., 1981-2003.
Philip Mazzara: President Emeritus
Philip G. Mazzara has led comprehensive advancement programs and capital campaigns for a wide range of non-profit organizations during his 40 year career. He has served as president of three hospital foundations and chief development officer for two academic medical centers, a technology university and a liberal arts college.
Additionally, he has served as chief development officer for two Atlanta-based international NGOs. During his tenure with The Carter Center, he planned and implemented a $150 million capital campaign and traveled extensively with President and Mrs. Carter to raise funds to double the size of the Center's endowment. While at CARE USA, he led the Private Support division responsible for raising approximately $65 million annually to support programs in 70 countries around the world.
He has also consulted with other NGOs, academic institutions and non-profits on board development, strategic planning and fundraising effectiveness, and he has conducted or participated in numerous development program assessments, feasibility studies and capital campaign plans. He is the author of "Achieving Trustee Ownership," a chapter in The Trustee's Role in Capital Campaigns, published by the Association of Governing Boards.
While Chief Development Officer for the Medical Center at Emory University, he was selected for membership in The Unnamed Society. His alma mater, Lynchburg (VA) College awarded him its Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his leadership of a campus Blue Ribbon Task Force charged by the college president with transforming its alumni relations programming. His innovative, hospital-based "Grand Rounds for Community Leaders" program has been cited as a Best Practice by the Philanthropy Leadership Council of The Advisory Board.
He was recently elected chair of the board of the New Orchestra of Washington and serves as an advisor in philanthropy to The United States World War One Centennial Commission. Phil served as the President of the Doughboy Foundation until his retirement in March, 2021.