Meet Our Team

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David Metzner, Managing Partner

David Metzner has consulted for over 25 years on the federal nature of the American Government and the interplay between the states, Washington, DC, and foreign governments in the development of public policy. This has included national debates among the Republican and Democratic political parties, the regulation of the financial markets, trade policy, intellectual property and foreign policy.

Mr. Metzner co-founded the American Continental Group (ACG) in 1994. In this capacity, he has assisted corporate and non-profit organizations in understanding the development of public policy in general and complex financial regulatory events in particular.

In 2007, Mr. Metzner assumed the leadership of ACG Analytics, the firm’s analytical consultancy, which advises asset managers and corporate leaders on how public policy can affect their investment and management decisions. Most recently, ACG Analytics has been a resource for firms researching: CFIUS decisions, Treasury sanctions, the IMF, the government conservatorship of the GSEs, President Trump’s trade policy, the EU macro economy, Brazil’s Bolsonaro Government as well as Puerto Rico’s debt issues. Since the firm’s inception, he has supervised the publication of over 9000 pieces of written research and countless custom research assignments for clients. Additionally, he has led the organization of research trips to Athens on Grexit, London on Brexit, Berlin on EU macro and Washington on the Venezuela crisis, the GSEs and Puerto Rico. He is frequently asked to speak on the development and implementation of the Trump Administration’s domestic and foreign policies.

Mr. Metzner began his public policy career as the Director of Legislative Affairs for The Singer Company. He assisted the CEO and other senior executives in developing and advocating corporate positions on tax policy, international trade, and national security. During this period, he often spoke to corporate employees about the private sector’s role in policy development at the state, local, and federal levels of government.

In January 2009, Mr. Metzner completed his six-year Presidential appointment as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In this role, he focused his efforts on strengthening the Center’s programming on Globalization, China and Latin America. He led the Board’s initiative in creating the Kissinger Institute on China-United States Relations. Congressman Lee Hamilton, the Wilson Center’s President, called this the “Center’s most important initiative in thirty years.” The Chinese Government has enthusiastically endorsed the Institute for its leadership in the two nations’ bi-lateral relations. He is a member of the Economic Club of Washington and the National Committee on US-China Relations. He has been recognized by Crain’s New York Business and Washington Life for his deep understanding of the developmental process of public policy in the United States.

Mr. Metzner earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University National Law Center. While at Fletcher, he produced a highly regarded thesis on the role of the Vice President in Foreign Policy. At George Washington, he did research on government procurement policy and its impact on the economy.

He resides in Washington, DC and is married to the former Viktoria Jerch and has four daughters and two dogs.

Gabriella Heffesse, Chief Operating Officer

Gabriella Heffesse joined ACG Analytics in 2014 and focuses on client relations, business development, and analyzing policy effects on capital markets. Since joining ACGA she has led trips for clients to meet with governments and officials in several countries including Greece, Argentina, Germany, and the United States.

Gabriella received her B.A. from Dartmouth College majoring in economics with a concentration in finance and international markets, and minored in French Literature. She has passed all three levels of the CFA exam.

Prior to joining the ACG team Gabriella interned at Morgan Stanley, concentrating on Argentinean and Venezuelan markets. She also worked at LA Properties, a real estate firm in Los Angeles.

John East, Director of Research

John East worked in the Senate as committee staff for the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, now Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Richard Shelby (R-AL). He also worked as a liaison to the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee for Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) who held both committee assignments. John also worked in the House for Colorado-3 (swing district) Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO), assisting in his work on the House Natural Resources Committee. John started his life in politics working for Barack Obama when he ran for House and Al Gore on his 2000 Presidential campaign.

John has worked on House, Senate, and Presidential campaigns, and on State House and Senate, gubernatorial and ballot initiative campaigns. John served as legal counsel for Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and for the Maryland House Ways & Means Committee. He has lived in the Mid-Atlantic (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania), New England (Connecticut, Maine), Appalachia (West Virginia), the Midwest (Illinois, Nebraska), the West (Colorado), and the South (Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana). He currently resides in New Orleans.

Education: University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago; J.D. University of Maryland. Attorney-at-Law.

John is a member of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the American Dialect Society, and is a recipient of the Libertarian Party of Alabama’s Freedom Fighter of the Year Award.

Meilee Wong

Meilee joined ACG in 2009 and has served in a variety of roles, most recently as Managing Director of Special Projects. She brings a particular expertise in managing complex strategic projects and logistics for our clients. Previously, Meilee worked at several different nonprofits in their Federal policy and communications departments. She also served overseas in the Econ/Pol section of the U.S. Consulate Sao Paulo (Brazil) and speaks Portuguese.

Meilee holds a Master’s in Political Management from The George Washington University, and a bachelor’s in Print Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Rolf Maihöfer

Mr. Maihöfer is an independent consultant focusing on the Financial Sector and ACG Analytics’ European Partner. Prior to this assignment, he was a Managing Director within Citi’s Fixed Income and Capital Markets Departments, responsible for Debt Origination, Structured Products, Derivatives and Securitisation in Frankfurt and London. Mr. Maihoefer started his career in 1988 at Salomon Brothers in Frankfurt, New York and London and worked as a Director for DresdnerKleinwortBenson as Head of Derivatives Marketing for 5 years.

Mr. Maihöfer served for 5 years as Member of the Advisory Board of True Sale International as was founding member of the German securitisation initiative TSI in 2003. From 2011 until 2013, he was Co-Chairman of the Financial Services Committee of the German American Chamber of Commerce in Frankfurt and represented Citi at the German PPP initiative, ÖPP Beteiligungs AG des Bundes from 2009 to 2013. He will become a member of the board of Stiftung Kapitalmarktforschung für den Finanzstandort Deutschland, as of September 2013.

Mr. Maihöfer holds the degree Diplom-Kaufmann from the University of Regensburg.

Bart Oosterveld, Special Advisor

Bart Oosterveld is an independent advisor to companies and governments in the areas of macroeconomic, credit, and country risk. He joined ACG Analytics in January 2020 from the Atlantic Council, where he served as Director of the Council’s work on global trade, growth, and finance, including the flagship EuroGrowth and Economic Sanctions initiatives.

Prior to joining the Atlantic Council in 2017, Bart worked at Moody’s Investors Service for almost two decades. In his most recent role as chief credit officer, he was responsible for credit strategy in the Americas across all asset classes. Between 2010 and 2014, Bart served as the rating agency’s global head of sovereign ratings. Among other positions, he served as chair of the company’s Macroboard, its chief credit officer for governmental ratings, as well as management representative to the Moody’s Corporation’s board of directors.

Bart graduated with degrees in the philosophy of law and the history of Spanish literature from the University of Amsterdam. He holds master’s degrees in public policy from Columbia University and in economics from Georgetown University. He speaks Dutch, Spanish, German, English, and French. Bart is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and also actively supports the work of the Human Rights Campaign. In his spare time, Bart enjoys cooking with his children, practices Bikram, and collects books.

Chris Israel

Chris Israel spearheads all technology-media-telecom issues for ACG Analytics, bringing his experience as an accomplished public and private sector executive with an extensive record of leadership, including senior-level appointments by the President of the United States, service on Capitol Hill and holding a senior-level position within a Fortune 50 company.

Mr. Israel works with a diverse range of clients to develop and execute effective policy and communications strategies. He continues to be a frequent speaker on IP and innovation issues and was named one of the 50 “Most Influential People on IP” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine in 2006. He has also been called upon to testify before Congress several times since leaving public service.

Mr. Israel served for nearly seven years in senior leadership roles in the Bush Administration. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy at the Commerce Department by President Bush on 2001. While in this position, he led the development and execution of the Administration’s policies designed to maximize U.S. competitiveness and technological growth.

From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Israel served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Commerce Secretaries Donald L. Evans and Carlos Gutierrez, where he assisted in the leadership and management of major Commerce Department priorities such as trade and economic policy. He also served as senior liaison to the White House and other federal agencies.

In 2005, he was appointed to be the first U.S. Coordinator for International Intellectual Property Enforcement by President Bush. In this role, he was responsible for coordinating and leveraging the resources of the U.S. government to protect American intellectual property at home and abroad. He was frequently called upon to testify before Congress and lead U.S. delegations to key countries including China, India, Russia, Japan and the EU. He also represented the U.S. in global fora including WIPO, G8 and the OECD.

Before serving in the Bush Administration, Mr. Israel was Director of International Policy at Time Warner where he worked on issues such as online privacy, intellectual property protection and online taxation. He also assisted in the development of the Global Business Dialogue on E-Commerce, working directly with Time Warner’s then-CEO Gerald Levin.

Earlier in his career, he served on Capitol Hill for U.S. Representatives Jan Meyers (R-KS) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS).

Mr. Israel received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and an M.B.A. from The George Washington University.

Mr. Israel also currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Sproxil, Inc., a venture-backed social enterprise that provides a unique solution to minimize the presence of counterfeits in emerging markets, while connecting legitimate companies directly to their consumers in a very scalable way.

Christopher Czerwinski, Director of International Policy

Christopher Czerwinski joined ACGA in 2016. He provides strategic analysis on a range of policy issues including international trade, financial services, tax, energy and Latin America.

Christopher received an M.A. in International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a B.A. in Political Science from Clemson University.

Ruth Seim, Director of Media Strategy

Ruth Seim joined ACGA in 2019. She provides analysis on range of policy issues as well as managing ACGA’s social media presence.

Ruth received a B.A. in Political Science from American University.