John DeBlasio ( http://bootstrap-capital.com ) is Founder and Executive Director of the GPD Charitable Trust ( http://gpdcharitabletrust.org ) which was established from the proceeds of the sale of Sallyport Global Holdings in 2011. The Trust has established programs to assist at-risk young adults as well as to promote democracy world-wide. The Trust works with a range of implementing partners from major universities to innovative social entrepreneurs to accomplish its objectives.
The Trust has funded the following programs since inception:
1. The Center for the Study of Civil Military Operations at The United States Military Academy at West Point.
2. The Center for Middle East Studies at the Denver University - Korbel School of International Studies
3. The Middle East & North Africa Program at Northwestern University’s Weinberg School of Arts & Sciences.
4. The Young Leaders Program for the YMCA of Pittsburgh as well as targeted infrastructure grants for its Deer Valley Family Camp
5. The Leadership Development Program for the Nuestros Pequenos Hermanos orphanages in Central and South America
6. Smaller but significant grantees include, Syria Direct, Partners for Democratic Change, Illinois Joining Forces Foundation, and Spearhead Rugby Academy.
John is a 1989 West Point Graduate who retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserve Civil Affairs branch and was deployed to the Middle East in 2003-2004 where he worked with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) as an Advisor to the Ministry of Trade and with the US Embassy in Amman Jordan as the CPA Liaison for the Embassy. During that time he was awarded a Bronze Star as well as a Joint Service Commendation medal. Previously, as owner of Sallyport Global Holdings, John built an organization which employed over 1,900 people worldwide and became the largest provider of security and facilities management services to USAID prime contractors operating in Iraq as well as a primary contractor for DoD and DoS work in Central Asia and Africa.
John has traveled to Iraq and other locations in the Middle East and Central Asia more than 50 times over the past 12 years. He is a resident of Chicago and serves on the Board of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Illinois Joining Forces Foundation, MVP Vets, The Social Science Foundation of the Korbel School, and previously was a member of the Dept. of Commerce’s US-Iraq Business Dialogue. He was selected as an Emerging Leader by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs in 2011.
John has been extensively quoted in the press and has appeared as an expert commentator on the History Channel, ABC News, MSNBC, NPR, and the Lehrer News Hour.
He maintains regular contact with colleagues and contacts in the region and is an excellent resource for up-to-date information on both military and political policy as well as business opportunities in Iraq as well as across the Middle East and Central Asia.