2013 Inductees

Gurminder S. Bedi

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Mr. Gurminder S. Bedi is chairman of Compuware Corporation, a billion dollar IT company. He also serves on the board of directors of Kemet (a capacitor company) and Actuant (a diversified industrial company), and he is active in private equity investments. Mr. Bedi is a retired executive of the Ford Motor Company, having served until 2001 as vice president of the company’s $60 billion worldwide truck enterprise. He also was president of Ford operations in Argentina and Brazil. Throughout his 30-year career with Ford, he set the pace for trucks and SUVs in the industry, and was instrumental in delivering on Ford’s series of “Cleaner, Safer, Sooner” pledges by making all pickups and SUVs low emission vehicles. Mr. Bedi received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from GW in 1969 and his MBA from University of Detroit Mercy in 1976. He is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council.

Ashok K. Jha

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Mr. Ashok K. Jha began his career at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), where he supported several of NASA’s key missions, including the Cosmic Background Explorer and the Hubble Space Telescope. After working as a NASA civil servant, he joined Boeing, leading a range of programs, including NASA’s Space Station program. Building on the leadership expertise he developed at NASA and Boeing, Mr. Jha co-founded ADNET in 1991 to provide engineering and IT solutions to the NASA science community. As CEO of ADNET, he has led the company to an exceptional growth period, expanding its core functions to science, engineering, IT, and education and public outreach to a growing client base. Through Mr. Jha’s vision, ADNET today supports more than 40 NASA science missions at five NASA Centers nationwide. NASA GSFC has recognized ADNET’s achievements with consecutive Goddard Small Business Contractor of the Year Awards and two nominations for the George M. Low Award, the Agency’s highest recognition of quality. Mr. Jha received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1986, his bachelor of science degree in communications in1990, and his master of science degree in electrical engineering in 1992, all from GW. He is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council.

Gazelle Hashmenian Kimiavi

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Mrs. Gazelle Hashemian Kimiavi established her credentials as a leader in the telecom community early in her career and in 1999 was named one of the industry’s youngest chief information officers. Her early career included serving as a director of IT at Broadband Office, the chief information officer at Picus, and the director of IT at Teligent, among other earlier positions at MCIMetro and Hughes Network Systems. In 2001, she joined her husband, Dr. Sassan Kimiavi, in leading Paragon Technology Group into the government contracting market. After successfully growing the company, the couple sold it in 2012. Mrs. Kimiavi was named one of Washington SmartCEO magazine’s Brava! Women Business Achievement Award recipients in 2007. Mrs. Kimiavi received her bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from George Mason University in 1993 and her master of science degree in telecommunications and computers in 1997 from GW. She is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council.

Sassan Kimiavi

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Dr. Sassan Kimiavi began his career in the IT sector, working in leadership positions for various IT professional services firms in the Washington, D.C. area. In 1997 he co-founded Paragon Technology Group with his wife, Mrs. Gazelle Hashemian Kimiavi. Dr. Kimiavi managed Paragon and built up its client base, and in 2001, Mrs. Kimiavi joined him in managing it and moving it into government contracting. Together, they successfully grew the company until they sold it in 2012. Dr. Kimiavi—whose experience includes IT governance and implementation of complex IT systems for clients in the pharmaceuticals and telecommunications sectors, the Department of Defense, and various federal agencies— served as the CEO of the company for 15 years prior to its sale. In his role as the CEO of Paragon, Dr. Kimiavi was twice selected as a top CEO by Washington SmartCEO magazine. After the sale of Paragon, he founded ALTA Development LLC and ALTA Worldwide LLC, where he currently serves as the president and CEO. ALTA companies are focused on commercial and residential real estate development. Dr. Kimiavi received his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1985 from GW. In 1987 and 1998, respectively, he received his master of science and doctor of science degrees in computer science from GW. He is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council.

David V. Mastran

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Dr. David V. Mastran transferred his systems analysis skills in 1973 from the U.S. Air Force to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where he directed the federal research programs in Medicaid, welfare, social services and vocational rehabilitation. In 1975, he founded MAXIMUS to provide consulting, social welfare program management, and information technology services to state, local, and federal government. He served as CEO and a member of the board of directors of MAXIMUS until his retirement in 2004. During his tenure, MAXIMUS was selected four years in a row (1999-2002) by BusinessWeek magazine as one of the “100 Best Hot Growth Small Companies.” MAXIMUS is a NYSE company with a current market cap of more than $3 billion. Also a lover of music, Dr. Mastran founded GrandVista Music in 2006 and Quaver Marvelous World of Music in 2011. Dr. Mastran received his bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in 1965, his master of science degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University in 1966, and his doctor of science degree in operations research from GW in 1973.

Peter J. Unanue

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Mr. Peter J. Unanue is the executive vice president of Goya Foods, a family-owned business, the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned food company, and one of the fastest-growing food companies in the U.S. Mr. Unanue began his career as an operations research analyst at GROWMARK, Inc., and then worked for Baxter Healthcare and Merck-Medco Managed Care before joining Goya Foods in 1997. In 2006, he was named the company’s executive vice president. In this position, he is responsible for overseeing all logistical operations for Goya’s 14 facilities and distribution centers in the U.S., and he plays a significant role in the overall management of the company’s operations. Mr. Unanue received his bachelor of science degree in mathematics from St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY) in 1990 and his master of science degree in operations research from GW in 1992.

Christopher J. Wiernicki

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Mr. Christopher J. Wiernicki is an internationally recognized business leader and naval architect in the maritime and offshore energy sectors. He currently serves as chairman and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), one of the largest and most respected international classification societies, and chairman of ABS Group, a global leader in risk consulting services. Combined, these organizations employ 5,500 professionals in 70 countries. Mr. Wiernicki has been a leading voice on a number of issues impacting the marine and offshore industry, including modernizing maritime safety through the use of risk-based methodologies. His approach to management is to use his understanding of engineering, technology, and business fundamentals to stimulate growth and increase stakeholder value. Other leadership positions he has held in ABS and ABS Group include president and COO of ABS, president and COO of ABS Group, and chief technology officer of ABS. Prior to joining ABS, he was president and CEO of Designers and Planners Inc., a leading U.S. naval architecture firm. Mr. Wiernicki received his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1980, his master of science degree in structural engineering from GW in 1983, and his master of science degree in ocean engineering from MIT in 1985. He is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.