Managing Director, Doheny Global Group
Founder, Global Capital Associates
Founder, Words Can Heal
Irwin G. Katsof, businessman, educator and author, is a dynamic and driven individual. He might best be described as an outstanding successful serial entrepreneur.
Katsof is the Managing Director of Doheny Global Group (www.dohenygroup.com) and is responsible for the overall direction of the firm which is developing clean-energy ventures in the United States an
d Europe. In this capacity he makes use of his vast numbers of relationships with chairmen and chief executive officers of public and private companies, philanthropists, investment bankers, and institutional and private investors to benefit the clientele of the firm.
Katsof’s current endeavor is the culmination of a series of great strides he made over the past 25 years. In 1982, he moved from Jerusalem’s Old City to Los Angeles with his bride of 10 days, Judy, to establish what became a world-class model for Jewish adult educational programs. Among these was the cutting-edge “Twenty Something” seminar which was featured on the front-page of the Los Angeles Times View section and which has been copied around the globe. In 1992, he as ordained as a rabbi, and in 1994 organized the largest-ever international satellite broadcast in the Jewish world called “Help Our People Know,” to bring attention to the plight of Jews in the former Soviet Union who had been denied knowledge of their heritage under the communist regime. Vice President Al Gore, Simon Wiesenthal, Sumner Redstone and Jeffrey Katzenberg took part in the broadcast, which reached ten countries on four continents.
In 1995, Katsof founded the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, and shortly thereafter relocated to New York with his wife Judy and eight children in tow. He served as its Executive Vice President until mid-2004 and thereafter as a Board Member. Katsof recruited countless senior mission participants for his high-level Jerusalem Fund executive missions to Israel and Jordan between 1996 and 2004, including Senators Orrin Hatch, John Kerry and Joe Biden, Secretary Tom Ridge, former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, past House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Senator Rudy Boschwitz, Lady Margaret Thatcher, former Secretary of Housing Henry Cisneros and Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick, as well as numerous top business leaders, among them National Semiconductors’ Brian Halla, Chairman of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Barry Sternlicht, Starbucks’ Chairman Howard Schultz, and Coors Brewery Chairman Pete Coors. His creative, soft-spoken approach attracted many celebrities and business leaders to explore their Jewish roots. CNN’s Larry King, actors Kirk Douglas, Elliot Gould, Jason Alexander, Rod Steiger and William Shatner, as well as business magnates Metromedia Executive Vice President Stuart Subotnick, AOL Time Warner Investments President Len Leader, and Dean and DeLuca Chairman Les Rudd are among the many that Katsof inspired to get involved in Jerusalem Fund programs.
In 2001, Katsof assisted in the founding of “HonestReporting.com,” a fast-action, interactive website which alerts, informs and mobilizes grassroots activists via email to respond to unbalanced reporting on Israel and the Middle East. That same year, Katsof also launched “Words Can Heal,” a nationwide campaign to strengthen America through the power of words. As Executive Director, he oversaw the fastest and highest profile media launch of a non-profit organization ever. “Words Can Heal” was featured on over 100 national TV shows, including Oprah, Fox, CBS and ABC primetime news, as well as in 150 leading media outlets – among them the N
ew York Times, Washington Post, and USA Today – and in an exclusive National Press Club event hosted by Goldie Hawn and broadcast live on C-SPAN and NPR.
On top of all of these accomplishments, Katsof has authored three books between 1998 and 2001, and is currently working on his fourth. In 1998, he co-authored with Larry King, Powerful Prayers: Conversations on Faith, Hope and the Human Spirit with Today’s Most Provocative People, which was ranked the tenth best-selling religious book of the year according to Publishers Weekly. His second book, How to Get Your Prayers Answered, was published in 2000 and reissued in 2002. His third, The Words Can Heal Handbook: How Changing Your Words Can Change Your Life, was released in 2001 and is still being used by thousands of students across America as part of the Words Can Heal Character Education Program. His fourth book – a memoir tentatively entitled A Time of Living Dangerously: Trying to Get Rich While Staying Connected to God – is in progress.
In 2004, Katsof founded the Global Foundation for Democracy, an independent, non-denominational and non-partisan organization, the primary purpose of which is to educate the public about the benefits of promoting democracy worldwide as a means to achieving global peace and cooperation. He served as the foundation’s Chairman and President until 2006. A year later he went on to found the World Congress of Christians, Jews and Muslims, an organization with a mission to harness the spiritual power and religious wisdom of these faiths in the service of universal peace and tolerance.
In 2005, Katsof established Global Capital Associates, a networking and consulting firm dedicated to initiating international partnerships and creating strategic alliances. Global Capital Associates assisted Israeli and Central/Eastern European start-ups in finding US investors and strategic partners, and developed investment banking relationships by capitalizing on an elite, worldwide contact network spanning a diverse range of industries – from defense to high-tech, from the life sciences to finance. Katsof arranged for AOL Investments to make their first strategic investments in Israeli companies. As a result, AOL Investments took an equity position in Dealtime.com which later went public as Shopping.com, and in Gurunet.com which became Answers.com and also had a recent successful IPO. In January 2008, Global Capital Associates merged with Doheny Global Group.
Under Katsof’s direction Doheny is developing 166MW of Hydro electric power in the country of Georgia and working with the Greek government in developing wood biomass electric power plants. Doheny is also developing 100MW in several wood biomass electric power projects in the Southeastern United States in areas with significant wood baskets and infrastructure for obtaining wood fuel.
Well-known political leaders who are partners in Doheny include: General Wesley Clark (former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO), Governor Tom Ridge (two time Governor of Pennsylvania and the first Secretary of Homeland Security in the U.S.A), Governor Christine Todd Whitman (former Governor of New Jersey and former Commissioner of the US Environmental Protection Agency), Joe Reeder (managing partner of the law firm Greenberg Traurig and former under Secretary of the Army), President Jose Aznar (former President of Spain) Dr. Philip Demitrov (former Prime Minister of Bulgaria), and Ambassador Mykhailo Reznik (former Ukraine Ambassador to the United States).
Katsof lives with his family in Monsey, New York.