Board and Committees

Board of Directors

Michael Rolland

Co-founder, President and Chairman

Mr. Rolland’s skilled expertise comes with over 25 years of experience as a qualified lawyer, international consultant…

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Christina Mathesius

Vice President

Ms. Mathesius is an experienced sales & marketing executive that strives for social change. She has held various leadership…

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John Gosch, CPA

Co-founder and Director

Mr. Gosch is a highly efficient CPA. He’s a Partner with Prager Metis CPAs, LLC, and is a member of Prager Metis…

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Leslie Williams, Esq

Co-founder and Director

Ms. Williams is an expert international business attorney practicing for over 20 years in the state of California…

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Advisory Board

Sven Hackmann

Senior Advisor

Mr. Hackmann is an efficient business leader with an extensive background in business incubation, innovative…

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Florian Leibert

Senior Advisor

Mr. Leibert is a lead expert in technology. He is the founder of Mesosphere, a cloud-based company that helps brands 

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Ali Abbassi

Senior Advisor

Abbassi is a global business and marketing executive with over 18 years’ of experience in business strategy, operations …

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Michael Rolland

Mr. Rolland’s skilled expertise comes with over 25 years of experience as a qualified lawyer, international consultant, speaker, and a government/public affairs specialist. His environmental and communications background includes a wide range of business, political, and international involvement (U.S., European Union, and Germany) with an emphasis on public relations.

Michael formerly held the position of Chief of Staff and Press Spokesman at the State of Hessen (Germany) for the Secretary of Environment, Energy, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection. He was also the former Managing Director of Biogasrat+ and the German Forest Owner Association.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Rolland worked as an advisor and personal assistant to the current Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. He is dedicated to social change and has exceptional experience in the global political arena, specifically lobbying and business.

Michael is a co-founder of the Senate of the Economy, as well as President and Chairman of the Board.

Contact: mrolland@senate-economy.us

Christina Mathesius

Ms. Mathesius is an experienced sales & marketing executive that strives for social change. She has held various leadership positions for national and global fashion and retail companies, including international brands like ESPRIT and Peek & Cloppenburg. She currently acts as an independent advisor for SME´s sales and marketing functions.

Christina has studied Law at the University of Muenster, in Germany, and Sales & Marketing Mgmt. at the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland. She also served as a Marketing & Sales teacher at the canton in St. Gallen.

Her social engagement includes heading school funds, organizing job fairs for students, and voluntary coaching sessions for the unemployed. Fluent in German and English, she is an active member of the Rotary Club and part of the alumni association at Schule Schloss Salem, a leading German boarding school.

Christina is Vice President of the Senate of the Economy.

Contact: cmathesius@senate-economy.us

John Gosch, CPA

Mr. Gosch is a highly efficient CPA. He’s a Partner with Prager Metis CPAs, LLC, and is a member of Prager Metis International Group. John serves clients in consumer products, entertainment, online retail, media, technology, and start-ups. He is also a member of the firm’s International Services Practice.

John has a significant international background and is fluent in German and French. He has a wide range of business and technical experience including operations, logistics, controllership—both internationally and domestically, entrepreneurship, turnarounds, and U.S. inbound/outbound taxation.

Mr. Gosch has served as Group and Division Controller for a Fortune 500 company both domestically and overseas. He has participated in the IPO of technology firms and has served as CFO for several innovative and emerging organizations.

John is a co-founder of the Senate of the Economy and a Director. He is also the Treasurer of the Senate.

Contact: jgosch@senate-economy.us

 Phone: 310.207.2220 x 60757


Ms. Leslie Williams, Esq.

Ms. Williams is an expert international business attorney practicing for over 20 years in the state of California. Her experience includes a broad range of corporate and intellectual property transactions for the commercialization of technology, products, and services. This includes data protection and privacy, ESG, and other nonfinancial reporting.

Fluent in German, Spanish, and French, she acts as a liaison between organizations to promote better international business. She helps foreign companies to assimilate their business operations and corporate culture with U.S. firms. Subsequently, she also helps U.S. companies understand foreign business and trade.

Leslie was a principal and partner of Shaub & Williams LLP, Los Angeles (an intellectual property and international business firm) for more than twenty years. Most recently, she concentrates on data privacy, sustainable finance and ESG issues from her position as partner at Intelink Law Group PC, in Newport Beach, California. Her academic background includes a research fellowship at Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, in Munich, Germany.

Ms. Williams is a co-founder of the Senate of the Economy and a Director. She also is a member of GRUR (grur.de), Sustain SoCal (sustainsocal.org), and the Transatlantic Advisory Committee to United Way Germany (unitedway.org/local/Germany).

Contact: lwilliams@senate-economy.us

 Phone: 949.398.7505

Sven Hackmann

Mr. Hackmann is an efficient business leader with an extensive background in business incubation, innovative technology, complex transactional negotiations, and venture investing. Throughout his career, he has developed consistent strategies with proven results. He has developed cross-sectional organizations in various spaces, including transportation, energy, municipal infrastructure, and healthcare.

Sven is Managing Partner at Rapid Venture Partners, an early stage innovation and venture development firm. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President of Veremonte, an international investment and holding company based in London.

Prior to joining Veremonte, he spent twelve years in leadership roles with Siemens, where he was recognized as an intrapreneur for supporting the launch of multiple businesses.

Florian Leibert

Mr. Leibert is a lead expert in technology. He is the founder of Mesosphere, a cloud-based company that helps brands like NBCUniversal, Deutsche Telekom, and Audi adopt transformative technologies like machine learning, real-time analytics, and modern application development.

As CEO, Florian raised more than $252m in venture capital across 4 rounds of funding (led by Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Microsoft, and Koch Disruptive Technologies, respectively). He then acquired enterprise customers from the public and private sectors in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Florian left his role as CEO in early 2019 to hand over to veteran tech executive and former Symantec COO, Mike Fey; who has been mandated to take the company public. Before Mesosphere, Florian was a tech lead at Airbnb and Twitter, where he held key engineering leadership roles during phases of hyper-growth.

Florian is deeply rooted in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley tech ecosystem and an active investor. His early bets include Away and Drift. Among many other professional recognitions, he has been named a “technology pioneer” by the World Economic Forum and repeatedly selected for the “40 under 40” category by Capital magazine.


Ali Abbassi

Abbassi is a global business and marketing executive with over 18 years’ of experience in business strategy, operations and marketing. His experience has assured the growth, development, and restructuring of many companies and organizations that he has worked for and consulted with.

Experienced in multiple sectors and numerous industries such as energy, IT, cellular, retail, service, and education (to name a few), he has helped built and developed many successful teams, and restructured organizations for new and existing products/services.

Ali was also the inventor and creator of the GATE Systems (Globally Applied Technology Enhanced); an advanced new concept in the cellular industry in which handsets will work simultaneously with multiply-installed SIM Cards. After presenting this technology to Motorola they adopted this technology in their dualsim phones, which is currently a top selling line for Motorola.

Currently in addition to serving as an advisor for The Senate of The Economy, he serves as a member on the Board of Directors of two start-ups, and he is currently also the Sr. Director of Marketing at UCLA Extension overseeing a team of 25 and his responsibilities include: (1) Overseeing an e-commerce website that generates ≈$50 million USD, with over 1.4 million visitors and ≈30 thousand transactions. (2) Managing the marketing efforts of 92 international partners in 24 countries. (3) Managing the marketing efforts of over 160 product lines, over 5 thousand products, and over 35 thousand clients/customers annually that generate $60+ million in revenue. (4) Developing process maps, implementing operational standards, and identify bottlenecks in order to increase the production quantity, quality, and increase efficiencies for UCLA Extension.

He has served on various committees at UCLA including: (1) The ITS Steering Committee – who’s members were charged with setting a strategic direction for UCLA Extension’s IT systems and services, and (2) The Customer Service Committee – who’s members were charged with developing an overarching philosophy and set of principles that will provide a foundation upon which guidelines for interacting with over 35,000+ students, 2,000+ instructors, and 200+ employees can be based.

He was also the recipient of UCLA Extension Staff Achievement Award in 2012, 2014, & 2016; and the recipient of UCLA Extension Exceptional Service Award in both 2012 & 2013. He holds two Global Executive MBAs, one from UCLA Anderson School of Management (in the United States), and another from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (in Chile). He also holds a B.A., in English Literature from UCLA.