News Release

David Friend, William A. Owens, Haim Saban Elected to Brookings Board of Trustees

March 11, 2003

David Friend, general partner of venture capital firm Orchid Partners, retired Navy Admiral William A. Owens, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a co-CEO of Teledesic LLC, and Haim Saban, founder of Saban Entertainment and Fox Family Worldwide, have been elected to the Board of Trustees at the Brookings Institution.

“These three distinguished new members of our board bring with them years of expertise in government and the private sector,” said James A. Johnson, chairman of the board. “We?re privileged to have them join us.”

“David, Bill, and Haim are welcome additions to the board. They represent a breadth of experience and expertise that is highly relevant to the Brookings mission. I’ve worked with all three of them in the past and am grateful to them for their willingness to serve,” said Brookings President Strobe Talbott.


Haim Saban began his television career in 1988, when he formed Saban Entertainment, an international television, production, distribution, and merchandising company. Saban Entertainment produced several major hits, such as X-Men, several “Marvel” comic characters, and the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.”

In 1995, Saban Entertainment merged with Rupert Murdoch?s Fox Kids Network and in 1997, their partnership acquired the Fox Family Channel. They restructured this partnership under the banner Fox Family Worldwide.

In 2001, after choosing to dedicate a larger portion of his time to his philanthropic and political activities, Saban and Rupert Murdoch sold Fox Family Worldwide to the Walt Disney Company. The following year, Saban formed Saban Capital Group, a private and public equity investment company where he currently serves as chairman and CEO.

In February 2002, Governor Gray Davis of California appointed Saban to the state’s Board of Regents, the governing body of the University of California school system.


Admiral Owens (U.S. Navy retired) is currently co-CEO and vice chairman of Teledesic LLC, and was the vice chairman, president/COO of SAIC upon his retirement from the military. Owens had a long career in government before moving to the private sector. He served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the second-highest military officer in the country in the Clinton administration. During the first Bush administration, he served as Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Warfare Requirements and Assessments; Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet; and Senior Military Assistant under Secretaries of Defense Frank Carlucci and Dick Cheney.

Owens has written more than fifty articles on national security and is the author of Lifting the Fog of War (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2000) and High Seas (Naval Institute Press, 1992). He earned his B.S. in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy and a B.A. and M.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University. He received a Master’s degree in management from George Washington University.


David Friend is a general partner of seed-stage venture firm Orchid Partners. He has been a successful entrepreneur in the technology industry for more than thirty years. He is a co-founder and chairman of Sonexis, a manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. Friend was also chairman and co-founder of FaxNet Corporation, a leading supplier of messaging services to the telecommunications industry.

Prior to FaxNet, Friend co-founded and was chairman of Pilot Software, Inc., a software company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that pioneered executive information systems and multi-dimensional databases. He is also the founder and former chairman of Computer Pictures Corporation, one of the first computer graphics software firms, and the co-founder and former president of ARP Instruments, an audio hardware manufacturer and leading manufacturer of synthesizers.

Friend is on the boards of seven high-tech companies. He is a trustee of Berklee College of Music and is on the boards of the Boston Chamber Music Society and Boston Baroque. He is a former trustee of the New England Conservatory of Music.

Friend has been a lecturer at MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Yale University and was a David Sarnoff Fellow at the Princeton University Graduate School of Engineering.

The Brookings Institution is an independent, nonpartisan organization devoted to research, analysis, education, and publication focused on public policy issues in the areas of economics, foreign policy, and governance. The Board of Trustees, the Institution?s voluntary oversight group, is comprised of corporate executives, academic leaders, and former government officials and is responsible for the general administration of the Institution. It is charged with ensuring the highest caliber of scholarship and preserving the independent studies for which the Institution is known.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.