Board of Directors
The Honorable James M. Byrne is the Vice President of Ethics & Business Conduct at Lockheed Martin Corporation. He was appointed and later confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs on August 28, 2018. He retired from federal service on February 3, 2020. As the Deputy Secretary, he led modernization initiatives and worked closely with the Secretary as the chief operating officer leading operations of the federal government’s second-largest Cabinet department, with some 385,000 employees in VA medical centers, clinics, benefits offices, national cemeteries, and other facilities throughout the country.
Previously, Mr. Byrne served as VA’s General Counsel, leading VA’s nationwide team of nearly 800 attorneys, paralegals, and staff who support VA’s mission and priorities by providing sound legal expertise, representation, and, as needed, critical problem-solving skills and risk-management advice to the Secretary and other senior VA leaders.
Before arriving at VA, Mr. Byrne served as Associate General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at Lockheed Martin Corporation, where he was also the company’s lead cyber and counterintelligence attorney. He served for several years on the board of directors for Pacific Architects and Engineers. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Mr. Byrne served in the career Federal Senior Executive Service as Deputy Special Counsel with the Office of the United States Special Counsel, and as both the General Counsel and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
Soon after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Mr. Byrne was recalled to active duty for 18 months with the U.S. Marine Corps in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Lieutenant Colonel James Byrne was assigned as the Officer-in- charge of the Marine Liaison Office at the then-National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Mr. Byrne led teams of Marines in DC-metro-area military hospitals and Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, that were responsible for supporting injured and deceased Marines, Sailors, and their families.
Mr. Byrne has over 25 years of experience in the public sector, including service as a forward deployed Marine Corps Infantry Officer and a U.S. Department of Justice international narcotics prosecutor. Mr. Byrne’s professional honors include several DOJ awards and The Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator’s Award for Exceptional Service. He is also a recipient of the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism and several military decorations, including the Meritorious Service Medal.
Volunteering in his community, Mr. Byrne has extensive experience on several non-profit and advisory boards. Until August 2017, Mr. Byrne’s most recent professional engagements included service on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Board and the International Association of Privacy Professionals Board of Directors. For ten years, Mr. Byrne volunteered on the Executive Board of Give an Hour, a non- profit organization that has developed national networks of volunteer professionals capable of providing complimentary and confidential mental health services in response to both acute and chronic conditions that arise within our society, beginning with the mental health needs of post-9/11 veterans, service members and their families.
Mr. Byrne is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where he received an engineering degree and, ultimately, held the top leadership position of Brigade Commander. Mr. Byrne later earned his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, Florida, and started his legal career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Malcolm J. Howard, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of North Carolina.
Sean Howard, Global Managing Director, WPP Government & Public Sector Practice: Give an Hour Chairman of the Board. He responsible for identifying and pursuing government business worldwide within WPP. The WPP Government and Public Sector Practice works with governments and public sector organizations around the world, pioneering the application of excellence in public communications to the challenges of public policy delivery. He advises WPP agencies on federal, national and provincial, or statewide bid opportunities and manages the acquisition process that is specialized for successfully placing WPP agencies with government agencies in need of their services.
Sean also acts as the WPP Team Lead for the U.S. Navy business and regularly meets with senior Navy personnel to advise them on non-traditional marketing programs to further define the Navy brand and ultimately drive to the Navy’s annual recruiting mission.
Sean has worked across the marketing spectrum from small digital agencies to global digital, CRM, and traditional agencies and networks.
John Nowell is a Senior Principal at McChrystal Group, an industry leader in management and leadership development consulting, where he leads the firm’s Federal practice.
John retired from the U.S. Navy in 2022 as a Vice Admiral after more than 38 years on active duty. His experience includes multiple overseas tours leading large joint and multinational teams and conducting international negotiations. His operational tours spanned the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets to include commanding forward deployed naval forces homeported in Europe and the Western Pacific. A Surface Warfare Officer, he commanded at every level including command of an AEGIS Guided Missile Destroyer, a Destroyer Squadron, Combined and Joint Task Forces and an Expeditionary Strike Group. Ashore, he has extensive experience on Capitol Hill with congressional liaison and coordination as well as the development and operationalization of the Navy’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense Programs. Significant experience in Human Resources culminating as the Chief of Naval Personnel in charge of all talent acquisition, management, and workforce development for over 400,000 personnel with a global workforce of 26,000 and an annual budget over $35B. Led transformation and modernization of Navy’s workforce development and HR Service Delivery process and service-wide efforts in leveraging Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as the Navy’s first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. He conceptualized and effected a focus on Cultural transformation.
He sits on the Boards of the Abrams Marine Group, the Navy Memorial Foundation and the Give an Hour Foundation.
John is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Ocean Engineering, and he holds a Master of Science in Weapons Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is a published author in the U.S. Naval Institute’s PROCEEDINGS journal, a keynote speaker at the UVA Darden School’s “Strategic Thinking Course” and was recognized by the 2021 Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO) Legacy in Leadership and Vision Award.
Edward Schiff is currently Senior Counsel at the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in its Washington, D.C. office.
Ed was born and raised in New York City, starting his educational career at Pennsylvania State University, where he was a member of the Skull & Bones Honor Society and Chairman of the Student Judiciary Board. He continued his education at the School of Law at Washington and Lee University, where he earned his law degree, Magna Cum Laude, Order of the Coif. In addition to being the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review, he was also President of the Law School Student Body. After graduating from law school, Ed clerked for the Honorable John Minor Wisdom, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, La. Ed led the opening of the Washington, D.C. office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, a 700 person international AM LAW 100 law firm with offices in California (7), New York, Illinois, Washington D.C., London, Brussels, Shanghai, Beijing, and Seoul. Mr. Schiff served as the Managing Partner of the Washington, D.C. office for its first ten years. Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Ed was a partner in the Corporate Practice Group of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld in its Washington, D.C. office and then, after leaving that firm, was Managing Partner for the D.C. office of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis, a Philadelphia-based law firm. Mr. Schiff is a frequent guest speaker and panelist on finance structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and negotiating strategies.
Rob Scott joined Birdon America in November 2021 as the President of their operations in the U.S. Prior to that he held a variety of executive management and operational roles with Bechtel Group Inc. In his last role with Bechtel, Rob helped set up and lead Bechtel’s Operational Technology Cybersecurity Business Unit. In addition, during 2020 he also led Bechtel’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Team answering a national call for help in planning and responding to the pandemic through Alternate Care Facilities.
Prior to joining Bechtel in 2011, Rob had a distinguished 21-year career in the United States Marine Corps. Rob graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He is also a certified Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute and served as a Commandant of the Marine Corps Fellow (Executive Fellowship) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Rob has also received numerous honors and awards including the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star medals. Rob volunteers to help transitioning veterans find apprenticeships in the construction field.
Rob currently lives in Houston, TX with his wife Gabriela and together they have four children.
Patricia Toledo built her career at the intersection of product innovation, business development, leadership, and tech at financial services, education technology, and social impact companies.
Successfully launching and managing for-profit businesses, and non-profit organizations of $10M – $1B+ P&L, in the US, Europe, and Latin America. She brings 20 years of experience as a strategic & operational leader with a demonstrated track record of building successful products and high caliber teams. Patricia is a lifelong learner. A self-starter with an entrepreneurial mindset, ability to scale businesses, and great passion for mission-driven organizations.
In 2022, she believes we will see a larger focus on ensuring quality mental health care reaches all populations in need, with greater emphasis on access and cost-effectiveness. Now is a good time to expand GAH’s program portfolio, reach, and social impact.
Ross Whitmore (Lt. Colonel, USAF, Ret.) was the first openly gay Commander at the Air Force Special Operations Headquarters. He faced many personal and professional challenges because of this deliberate decision, but still successfully fulfilled his duties as a Commander. His openness provided a safe space for many colleagues to share their own struggles and led to a public speaking invitation by the Gay-Straight Alliance to share his struggles of living under the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.
During his career as an officer in the Air Force Medical Corp, Ross provided Command level leadership, policy development, and disaster intervention. Ross has served as Medical Commander in the 1st Special Operations Wing, additionally, he created the 27th Special Operations Wing Clinical and Operational Psych Support Program and was the first-ever Air Force Social Worker selected for both the elite Survival Evasion Resistance Escape training and the Special Operations Combat Rescue Officer Selection Cadre. Overseeing screening and selection of elite operators to rescue US service members stranded behind enemy lines.
As a member of the Surgeon General’s staff for the largest Major Command, Ross was responsible for all mental health services for 13 Bases. Concerned with the rising suicide rate within the Air Force, Ross assembled a task force to develop policy and protocol for the command to care for suicidal and other high-risk service members and their families. This policy mandated close coordination with the base mental health clinic, civilian medical resources, and the supervisor and Commander of the service member. This policy and protocol were then adopted as the standard of care for the entire Air Force in managing high-risk service members.
Ross holds a bachelor’s degree in Educational Psychology with a Major in Special Education from Brigham Young University and a Master’s degree in Social Work from The Ohio State University. After joining the Air Force, he continued his education with Graduate Level Senior Professional Education at the Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. Ross retired from active duty in 2016. He is the proud father of two daughters.
Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen is the founder of Give an Hour and the former executive director of the PREVENTS Presidential Executive Order Task Force. She is currently the chief executive officer of WeBe Life, a digital health company focused on improving global mental health and well-being.
Named to TIME magazine’s 2012 list of the 100 most influential people in the world, Dr. Van Dahlen is a renowned clinical psychologist and mental health consultant who built the first all-of-government and whole-of-nation effort focused on suicide prevention for Veterans. As a key element of the PREVENTS effort, Dr. Van Dahlen developed the first national public health campaign focused on suicide prevention for all Americans.
Dr. Van Dahlen is widely recognized for her work in changing the culture associated with mental health to remove barriers and increase access to care. She has been a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and TIME and has been interviewed by major media outlets such as AP, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, USA Today, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Newshour, and such military media outlets as Stars & Stripes, AUSA Magazine, and the Pentagon Channel.
Notable Donors and Partners
“A few years ago I found Give an Hour. This is an organization that has reduced overhead costs as much as possible allowing for 90% of their donations to go toward services.
I have been volunteering for them for many years. Each person I have worked with has been desperate for relief. They have struggled with feeling crazy or weak. They have yearned for some way to relieve their system, hitting roadblocks all along the way. Each person I have worked with has been beyond grateful for the organization and the service.
Communication with the organization over the last 2.5 years always reminds me why I volunteer. They are grateful, responsive, and willing to help their volunteers whenever possible.”
A. Johanson, Give an Hour Provider and Donor
- Aetna Foundation
- Alexion Charitable Foundation
- Calabash, NC VFW Post #7288
- Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes
- CVS Pharmacy, Inc.
- CVS Health Foundation
- County of Ventura
- District of Columbia Office of
- Victim Services and Justice Grants
- Allison and Ryan Johanson
- Kaiser Foundation Hospitals
- Kroll, Inc.
- Madwolf Technologies
- Marion County, Indiana
- Maxar Better World Foundation
Pro Bono Supporters
- MadWolf Tech
- Sheppard Mullin
- Moves by Madeline
- Outlaw State of Kind Fund of the
- Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (led by Mr. and Mrs. Chris Stapleton)
- Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP
- Stand Together Foundation
- Stanley R. Levin Fund
- Tresemer Foundation
- Triad Foundation
- United HealthCare
- The University of Phoenix, Inc.
- Ventura County Community Foundation
- Veterans United Foundation
- The Wasily Family Foundation
Financials and Documentation
Give an Hour operates in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements and maintains standards in specific areas through related policies and guidelines. We believe it is vital to the success of our organization that we conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity in all of our everyday actions on behalf of Give an Hour.
- Annual Report
- Audited Financial Statements
- Code of Conduct
- Conflict of Interest Policy
- Document Retention and Destruction Policy
- Whistle Blower Policy