Hostage US announces new Board and Advisory Council Members

Hostage US announces new Board and Advisory Council Members

· Former hostage elected to Board of Directors

· Former special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism joins Advisory Council

· Former presidential envoy for Hostage Affairs joins Advisory Council

Washington, D.C., September 19, 2018 – Hostage US today announced its newest Board and Advisory Council members.

Journalist and novelist Michael Scott Moore was recently elected to the Hostage US Board of Directors. Moore was abducted in Somalia in January 2012 and was safely released following 977 days in captivity.

Retired Col. Christopher P. Costa recently joined the Hostage US Advisory Council. Costa currently serves as executive director of the International Spy Museum. He previously served as special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism for the White House National Security Council under President Trump.

James O’Brien recently joined the Hostage US Advisory Council. He currently is vice chair of Albright Stonebridge Group. Earlier, O’Brien served in the George H.W. Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.

“Michael brings unique perspective to Hostage US, our mission and the needs of returning hostages and their loved ones,” said Dave Komendat, president of the Hostage US Board of Directors and vice president and Chief Security Officer for The Boeing Company. “We are grateful that Michael is using his personal experience to help others and make a difference.”

Komendat added, “We know Chris well through his unrelenting commitment to serving the needs of hostage families throughout his distinguished government career.”

“James played critical roles in securing the release of Americans held hostage overseas,” said Komendat. “I’m confident he will make many important contributions to Hostage US.”

The Hostage US Board of Directors and Advisory Council includes leaders from a broad range of experiences who bring invaluable insights, connections and knowledge vital to the mission of Hostage US.

Moore is a novelist and journalist who has written about politics and travel for major news publications. After covering a Somali pirate trial in 2012, Moore traveled to Africa to write about piracy and how to end it. In a terrible twist of fate, Moore was kidnapped in 2012 and subsequently held captive by Somali pirates for two and a half years. He was safely released on September 22, 2014.

Col. Costa’s 34-year Department of Defense career included 25 years as an intelligence officer serving with Special Operations Forces. Colonel Costa earned two Bronze stars for sensitive human intelligence work in Afghanistan. As a civilian at Naval Special Warfare Development Group, he was inducted into United States Special Operation’s Commando Hall of Honor for lifetime service to US Special Operations.

O’Brien served in the Obama administration as special presidential envoy for Hostage Affairs. Earlier, he served in the Clinton administration as presidential envoy for the Balkans and as an attorney-adviser in the State Department during the George H.W. Bush administration. He also served as senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State and as the principal deputy director of policy planning at the State Department.

Hostage US estimates nearly 200 Americans are kidnapped overseas each year. Hostage US is the only nonprofit that is exclusively focused on helping families during and after a kidnapping. Hostage US provides its services at no cost including legal and financial advice, counseling and putting families in touch with others experiencing a kidnapping. Hostage US is an independent nonprofit co-founded by Hostage UK and the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation.

Hostage US is not involved in operational responses to kidnappings and does not negotiate or raise ransoms.

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