Emmanuel Quinn (President)
Emmanuel Quinn is the founder of BBBP and president of the Board of Directors. After learning from family in Belfast that their community’s youth were committing suicide at an alarming rate, he gathered up a group of people in Washington that he knew could help and formed BBBP. In reaching out to boxing clubs and youth groups in the Washington D.C. area, he found that many of the youth here face similar hardships — poverty, lack of opportunity, family histories of substance abuse, and community violence. As a youth boxer himself, he recognized that the lessons of discipline and structure that boxing provides go beyond the ring.
Emmanuel came to the United States by himself when he was just 15 years old. Many of the youth with whom he grew up in Belfast had never left their neighborhood. One of the foundations of this project is to provide each year’s participants with the opportunity to see another part of the world, learn about different cultures, and to broaden their horizons in hopes that it will put them on a path to succeed.
Sean Brebbia (VP)
Sean Brebbia has been a member of BBBP’s Board of Directors since its inception, and now serves as VP. “The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project is a unique charity that provides a tremendous experience for everyone involved. The Project’s participants come from diverse communities on both sides of the Atlantic. I cannot overstate the value for the individuals that are involved. For many, BBBP provides a cultural experience they would not have otherwise had. Travel broadens the mind, and we are committed to providing valuable experiences and resources to everyone involved in the Project. I hope BBBP can continue to grow and expand its efforts to support our young people.”
Sean is the Acting Deputy General Counsel for Special Projects with the Department of Commerce. Sean’s prior experience include being an attorney for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and a trial attorney for both the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia and the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Brockton, Massachusetts. Sean is a graduate of Colgate University and The George Washington University Law School, where he graduated with high honors and was a member of the Law Review. Originally from Marshfield, Massachusetts, he now resides with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.
Eric Silva (Secretary)
BBBP Secretary Eric Silva has been one of the Project’s strongest fundraisers, serving as co-chair of the 2014 and 2015 D.C. Boxing Classics, and is very passionate about the Project: “The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project boils it all down to what really matters— giving young people from D.C. and both Belfast communities the chance to train together, learn from one another, and compete for their cities and countries. In the end, what you see are people from very different parts of the world finding out that their life experiences are in a lot of ways alike. New friendships are forged and respect is earned, both in and out of the ring. In a small way, this project gives us a glimpse into what’s possible when communities get together, set aside differences, and work for a common purpose.”
Eric is an attorney and lobbyist who represents clients as an advocate and strategic counsel before the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government. Prior to his private sector work, Eric worked as an aide to the United States Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and to the late Senator James M. Jeffords (I-VT). He got his start in Washington as a fellow for the Congressional Hunger Center and now serves as one of their board members. A proud Bostonian, Eric attended Boston College and did a stint at the District Attorney’s Office while attending the University of Notre Dame Law School. He is the recipient of Boston College’s John Joseph Moakley Award for International Service and Winston & Strawn’s Pro Bono Commitment to Service Award. He remains active with the American Ireland Fund Young Leaders Society and serves as Vice President and board director for the Boston College Alumni Association. And finally, lest the Portuguese surname fool you, he also hails from the Fitzpatrick and Cotter clans of East Boston and Charlestown, MA, respectively.
Shawn Coughlin is the President and CEO of the National Association for Behavioral Heath (NABH). In this role, he serves as the association’s principal lobbyist, oversees the association’s advocacy work on Capitol Hill, and helps to set and implement strategic policy goals that support high-quality, evidence-based behavioral healthcare for Americans living with mental and substance use disorders.
“As a result of my role with NABH, I have become more educated and aware of the critical needs of at-risk youths regardless of their country or location, and the benefits of providing them with an alternative to the many negative forces they experience daily on the streets,” Shawn says. “In my view, the goals of BBBP align perfectly with the mission of NABH and I believe we can identify additional resources and services we can bring to bear in addressing the pressing needs of the children and communities the BBBP serves.”
Prior to joining NABH, Shawn served as the association’s advocacy consultant on behavioral health policy during his almost 16 years with Capitol Health Group as the firm’s principal and chief operating officer. He is a leading healthcare advocate and policy expert who works with patient and provider groups, regulators, public and private payers and trade associations. Shawn began his health policy career working on Capitol Hill, handling various healthcare policy needs for the House Ways and Means Committee. Shawn earned his bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. and a master’s degree in public management from the University of Maryland.
BBBP Board Member Timothy Curry is the Deputy Director for Counter Terrorism Policy in the Office of the Counterterrorism Coordinator at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mr. Curry has been recognized for his efforts receiving the 2012 DHS Thought Leadership Award and several Distinguished Services Awards over his tenure at DHS, and he has spoken at conferences hosted by the European Commission, academic institutions, private sector and government agencies in the U.S. and Europe. Prior to his work at DHS, Mr. Curry worked as a Program Coordinator for the Technology and Public Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Mr. Curry’s work focused on areas such as critical infrastructure protection, cyber security, emerging technologies, space as well as homeland and national security.
Before working at CSIS Mr. Curry lived in Belfast, Northern Ireland where he worked for Weber Shandwick Worldwide and taught American Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. This was after working in Congress for Senator Edward M. Kennedy and at the Irish Institute of Boston College. Mr. Curry received a Masters with merit in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University in Belfast, and a B.A. cum laude in Theology with a minor in Art History from Boston College where he was a four–year member of the Division I Varsity Lacrosse Team. His Masters dissertation was a comparative analysis of the IRA and Hezbollah and his undergraduate Scholar of the College project focused on the role of religion in conflict. Mr. Curry is a member of the Clover Club of Boston and is on the Board of Directors of the Welles Remy Crowther Memorial Trust and BBBP.
Patrick Lyden leads the development and implementation of critical projects and partnerships as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiative at York Exponential. York Exponential is leader in the field of collaborative and industrial robotics. Patrick has a passion for issues related to the future of the workforce, education, and their connection with technology. With more than 20 years of work both inside the federal government and in the private sector, Patrick leverages his broad understanding of the legislative process and issues to assist businesses and organizations meet their strategic and policy objectives.
Prior to joining York Exponential, Patrick led Congressional advocacy efforts for Uber Technology with a focus on issues related to the new economy and emerging technologies such as autonomous vehicles and the impact on the workforce of the future. Patrick has worked for top Members of Congress including Congressman John Boehner when he served as Chair of the Education and the Workforce Committee of the House. He also served as Chief of Staff for former Representatives Mary Fallin (R-OK) and Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA). Patrick lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and two daughters.
Board Member John Neal helped found BBBP, and served as Secretary of the Board of Directors for 10 years. “Working with Emmanuel Quinn and a first class group of men and women to start BBBP has been a highlight of my time living in Washington, DC. As a DC resident, it has been very rewarding to be involved with a group committed to providing young athletes with opportunities to travel and compete, and to building relationships with young men with different life experiences. I’m very excited to see how we can take the BBBP’s success in the ring, and expand the charity’s offerings to young people in both the DC and Belfast communities to help them develop leadership skills, and become role models for the young boys and girls in their neighborhoods.”
John currently works for Planet Labs, a commercial satellite data provider managing its business relationship with the US Navy, Marine Corps, and the Department of Justice. Prior to joining Planet, he served as a staff member for Congressman Peter T. King R-NY, where he worked on financial services, technology, and national security matters. John spent nearly 10 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Special Agent where he conducted national security and criminal investigations while assigned to the Buffalo and Washington Field Offices, and served on active duty with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific and Middle East as an airborne reconnaissance officer. John received his BA in Government from the University of Notre Dame, and has an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
John first fell in love with boxing when his father took him to see Sugar Ray Leonard train in Buffalo, NY. His boxing experience is limited to surviving 12 rounds of ‘Bull in the Ring’ at the FBI Academy with all his teeth, and nose generally in the same place.
Michael O’Brien is a founding board member of BBBP and a Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Michael joined PwC as a Director in the Office of Government, Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy in 2005. In his current role, Michael represents the firm and its interests before Congress, the Executive Branch and federal regulatory agencies. He has advocated on the firm’s behalf on matters including the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, state and federal taxation matters, IFRS, litigation reform, and the competitiveness of the U.S. capital markets. Besides assisting in general lobbying activities, Michael has researched and developed periodic political analyses and strategies for firm distribution.
Prior to joining PwC, Michael served as a Legislative Specialist in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Michael served as Senior Advisor to Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Sheila Bair at the Treasury Department prior to joining the SEC. He began his career in the Office of U.S. Senator Daniel R. Coats of Indiana, serving as a Legislative Assistant for five years.
A native New Yorker, Michael received his BA from Georgetown University and his MBA in finance and public policy from George Washington University.
Richard Washington joined the BBBP Board in 2020. Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. Metro area, Richard has been involved with the growth and development of young people for several years. He was a soccer coach for boys and girls from pee wee to high school. In that capacity, he took on the role of teacher, mentor, and guide. Central to that role is building a relationship of trust and security. Stewarding young adults into adulthood with a sense of integrity and intention is a core tenet of his approach to community service. Understanding that a life without commitment is a life less fulfilled, Richard believes that words and actions must match, and we have an obligation to do whatever possible to affect positive change in the community. In addition to being a lover of all sports, Richard is a digital media expert with expansive experience in content production, brand management, and social media engagement.
Patricia Gunn (Executive Director)
A founding board member of BBBP, Patti stepped down from the board in 2014 to become Executive Director. In both roles, she has worked closely with the kids and coaches, and is deeply committed to improving the lives of teens and young adults.
“From my own experience, I know that the stresses of financial insecurity and difficult family situations weigh heavily on young people. I believe the opportunity to travel overseas and experience being welcomed as an honored guest in another culture can be of great benefit to the BBBP kids’ positive momentum and self-esteem.”
Patti is a freelance graphic designer with over 20 years’ experience, ranging from corporate to campaign. She received a B.A. from Victoria University of Wellington and a B.F.A. from The Corcoran College of Art and Design.