Jack F. Matlock Jr. Ambassador Jack F. Matlock Jr. is the Honorary Chair of the Board of Advisors for The National History Bee and the National History Bowl. During a 35-year career with the Foreign Service, he was posted to Austria, Ghana, and Tanzania before becoming Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and finally Ambassador to the Soviet Union, where he was stationed at the end of the Cold War. He has also taught at Dartmouth, Princeton, and Columbia and is recognized as a leading historian of the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. A member of the American Philosophical Society and a former faculty member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Ambassador Matlock is the author of a number of works of history including Autopsy on an Empire: The American Ambassador’s Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union, Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended, and most recently, Superpower Illusions, a critique of the foreign policies of our most recent presidents. Ambassador Matlock was also the keynote speaker at The National Championships of The National History Bee and the National History Bowl in April 2011.
Col. Dave Belote, USAF (Ret.) Dave is a retired Air Force Colonel who commanded a squadron, a group, and a wing, and earned the Defense Superior Service Medal, two Legions of Merit, and two Bronze Stars. In his 24-year career, he won a number of writing awards, including first place in the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff’s 2004 Strategy Essay contest and “Best Thesis” of 1999 from the Air Force Historical Association. He was a 5 day Champion on Jeopardy! in 2009 and has also appeared on Top Chef: Las Vegas. He holds master’s degrees in business administration, airpower arts and sciences, and national security strategy, and is a candidate for the Doctor of Liberal Studies degree at Georgetown University. Dave currently works for the Department of Defense as an adviser on the implementation of clean and renewable energy sources. He advises The National History Bee and Bowl on matters of military history.
Bob Borders Bob owns a marketing consulting firm which advises small businesses with strategies for development and growth. He was also one of the volunteers who helped out at the pilot tournament for The National History Bee and Bowl, the Tri-State History Bowl on May 22, 2010 in Ridgewood, NJ. From his perspective as a volunteer and business consultant, Bob helps the National History Bee and Bowl with organizational, marketing, and internet site development, along with the logistics of directing tournaments. He also serves as a trustee of the Ridgewood Historical Society.
Bob Harris Bob has been a TV writer (Bones, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), a travel writer (Forbes Traveler), a TV presenter (Mostly True Stories), an AP award-winning radio commentator (KNX 1070 in Los Angeles), a puzzle maker (New York Times), a humor columnist (National Lampoon), and the author of four books, including Prisoner of Trebekistan (Random House), a playful memoir of 13 Jeopardy appearances over the course of a decade. Bob’s recent book, The International Bank of Bob, chronicles his thousands of microloans to family businesses in 52 developing countries and his travels around the world to see the results. Bob advises The National History Bee and Bowl on media relations, question development, and will also be helping out with tournaments in the Western USA.
Brian McGuinness Brian is a recently retired teacher (40 years) and coach of the quiz bowl team (20 years) at Hastings High School in Hastings on Hudson, NY. His teams were known for their high level of performance and sportsmanship at regional at national level tournaments. He is the founder of the Charity Challenge, a charity quiz bowl event in Westchester County, that may expand to future regions of the country as part of the outreach efforts of the National History Bee and Bowl. Brian also helps out The National History Bee and Bowl with advice on directing tournaments.
Adam Nebesar Adam advises the National History Bee and Bowl from a business and entrepreneurship perspective. After graduating summa cum laude in economics from Princeton, he was a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University in England. Thereafter Adam worked for the Boston Consulting Group and the financial sector before obtaining his MBA from Harvard Business School in 2010. He has since returned to work in Boston, and he also helps out at tournaments in New England and at our National Championships.
John T. Spike John is a renowned art historian of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as a contemporary art critic. A past director of the Florence Biennale, his numerous books include Massacio, A Connoisseur’s Guide to the Met, Caravaggio, and Fairfield Porter: An American Classic. He has also recently authored an acclaimed biography of Michelangelo entitled Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine. Currently, John is a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at The Muscarelle Museum of Art at The College of William & Mary where he also teaches undergraduate courses. John advises the National History Bowl on matters of art and cultural history.
Michèle Spike Michèle is an attorney and advises the National History Bee and Bowl with legal matters. She has extensive experience with establishing and advising new companies. Additionally, Michèle has been active in promoting women’s rights and interfaith dialogue through her involvement with various non-profit groups in the United States and abroad. She is the author of Tuscan Countess, a biography of Matilda of Canosa, and has collaborated with her husband John on a number of his books as well.
Gaius Stern Gaius Stern holds a PhD in History from the university of CA at Berkeley. He has participated in quizbowl since he was in high school in Maryland (1983-87) through college and graduate school. He helped bring collegiate quizbowl to CA outside of College Bowl in the 1990s, proposed the creation of the WIT, and created the summer tournament BASQUE. He founded the SF Bay area HS quizbowl circuit, which includes many local sporadic contests (as well as the longer running CAL Certamen, the Bear Cub Classic, the Ygnacio Valley Springfield Bowl, etc.), and he founded and runs the Bay Area Academic League (BAAL). His research into every buzzer system available in the 1990s was published in the ACF newsletter for college teams and recirculates on many college quizbowl team web pages. He teaches Classics, Ancient History, and American History at UC Berkeley and San Jose State.
Charlotte Walker-Said Charlotte is an Assistant Professor in the Africana Studies Department at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. After completing her PhD at Yale, she worked as a lecturer in the History and African Studies departments at Harvard. She has also held positions at the University of Chicago and Webster University. In addition to her academic work, Charlotte is a geopolitical and economic development consultant and has worked with the World Bank, universities in Cameroon and Mozambique, and the private sector. She advises the National History Bee and Bowl with African history and tournament development. And when we expand to Mozambique at some point, she’ll be sure to have paved the way for that too.