LOCAL GOVERNMENT, GOVERNANCE, PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
From 2009 to present, Volunteer Consultant for International Executive Service Corps on a USAID project in Cambodia to develop small rural businesses and for Financial Services Volunteer Corps as Co- Chair of an Accessing Budgets Seminar sponsored by the US State Department. Tended to my wife during her illness and wrote my memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man”, published on September 27, 2019.
From 2001-2009, as Senior Advisor, Chairman, Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA, a Free Trade Zone), developed and implemented a worldwide marketing plan. As a result over US$ 4 billion of foreign private investment, and 400 new companies have been attracted to BIDA.
From 2001-2007, as Senior Advisor, Chairman, Batam Industrial Development Authority (BIDA, a Free Trade Zone), the Governors, Riau and Riau Islands Provinces, Indonesia, working closely with Rolls-Royce, created strategies, and packaging the stakeholders and financing to develop both gas turbine and genset (MDF) power plants. The strategy focused on involving local government, private partner developers/operators, and financially strong balance sheet independent regional subsidiary of Indonesian State owned Power Agency (PLN). Rolls Royce together with PLN developed feasibility studies at no cost to the local governments’. The Provinces created wholly owned private companies to be part of a partnership with the other stakeholders. All stakeholders contribute to the equity of a new specially created private power plant ownership entity. To assure cash flow, emphasis is placed on an availability guarantee via a long-term maintenance contract from the engine supplier. The strategy has evolved from local bank financing to accessing off shore entities, such as BNP Paribas, CreditSuisse, Marubeni, and the IFC. A number of these plants are in operation, while others are at different stages of development.
From 1999-2011, as Senior Advisor, Chairman, BIDA, and the Governors of Riau, and Riau Islands Provinces, involved in developing investment, marketing, governance strategies, and packaging operator/developers, financing, legal and other consultants in port, ferry, airplane, water, wastewater infrastructure projects.
In 2006-7,developed strategy with Rolls-Royce Marine, Thornycroft Australia, to build in Batam six jet high speed ferries to assist in improving commerce between the islands of Riau Province. A MOU has been signed between Riau Islands and Thornycroft, for the building of these ferries via a bidding process. A financial institution has given a commitment letter subject to conditions precedent being met. The bidding process to build should commence mid-year. As part of this same strategy, a MOU has been signed with Bombardier to lease two Dash 300. On behalf of the Governor and with a well-known Indonesian airline/airplane advisor assisting, I sourced Bombardier after meeting with other airplane provider in France, Spain and the Czech Republic.
In2006-2007, commenced talks with Mid-American Airport which has resulted in a MOU signed between BIDA and Mid-America, Cardig International, (Indonesian logistics, cargo holding company), and Evergreen (American cargo company), to commence direct flights from Batam to Mid America (St. Clair, Illinois), and to improve security at Batam Airport.
In 2003, as Senior Advisor, Chairman, BIDA as part of port privatization, sourced operator/developers, legal/financial consultants, and reviewed documents.
In 1999- 2005, as Senior Advisor, Chairman BIDA, sourced USTDA grants for wastewater and airport security. Member of BIDA panels that picked US consultant.
In 2000-2002 as Senior Advisor, Governor, Riau Province, sourced and worked on feasibility study co financed by Siemens for railroad spur from palm oil plantations to port. Also worked on development of highway feasibility study from capital to port. Sourced legal/financial consultants, and developers.
In 1998-1999, as Senior SE Asia Finance Policy Advisor, USAID, advised and assisted Deputy Minister, Bappenas (Government of Indonesia Planning Agency), in drafting public/private partnership infrastructure regulations, and in demonstration water project infrastructure.
In 1994-1998, as consultant to World Bank or USAID:
Advised Government of Maldives as part of Mission Economic Review Memorandum, recommended new governmental infrastructure policies, laws, regulations, programs for the development of public/private partnerships, and demonstration projects.
Advised Government of Ukraine on legal restructuring to support development of local water supply systems. Issues covered included, e.g. quality, tariffs, reliability, risk management, and customer obligations.
Advised Government of Moldova as part of real estate/housing strategy paper on necessary infrastructure legislative/regulatory reforms.
Advised Government of Albania on policy, legislative/regulatory reforms and land-use, real estate, and infrastructure, including water privatization.
In 1992- 1993, as directly engaged Special Advisor, Prime Minister and Government of Jamaica, developed strategies for privatizing infrastructure, secondary housing finance, and developed project finance for affordable housing and privatized utilities.
In 2001-2003,Corporate Secretary, Pt. Bimintara Citra, Developed new risk management programs for holding company to access factors to be followed and rated in subsidiary companies. Created changes in governance that allowed company to increase its rating for eleven to seventh in Indonesian companies. Along with CEO, and CFO visited many funds in Singapore, Hong Kong, London and Edinburgh in preparation for possible sale of stock by majority owner to management.
In 2000-2001, Director, Ernst & Young, Jakarta, Indonesia, Advisor to numerous banks (including government owned BTN), IBRA (Indonesian restructuring agency), and stock exchange listed Indonesian corporations, (including Pt. Bimintara Citra). Advised on Corporate Debt Restructuring, Asset Sales, Corporate Governance and Risk Management.
In 1999-2000, Senior Advisor, Jakarta Initiative Task Force (A World Bank created Indonesian Corporate Debt Mediation Restructuring Agency). As head of the small –medium enterprise, and real estate dockets, managed a staff of 10 Indonesian professionals, and participated in numerous mediations.
In 1994-1995, as USAID consultant advised the Government of Slovakia on legislative/ regulatory land and housing finance reform.
In 1994, as USAID consultant to Russian Government advised in the writing of the Housing Reform Law.
In 1993-1994, Special Partner, Petit & Martin, San Francisco, CA, One hundred-forty person law firm. Started specialized practice in affordable housing finance practice. Clients included numerous financial institutions and NGOs’.
In 1988 as USAID consultant advised the Indian Government in the creation of the India Housing Bank, and a program of on lending to seven private affordable housing mortgage companies.
In 1981-1994, Managing Partner, Hirshen & Associates, and Managing Partner and General Counsel. Financial Charters & Acquisitions. Both firms were full service financial advisors. Hirshen and Associates also acted as advisor for the development affordable income housing strategies, programs and finance. As an example of the latter advisory service H&A advised the California Partnership of the Ford Foundation created Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC one of the original on lending institutions to assist non-profit housing development corporations in creating public/private partnerships for affordable multi-family apartment projects. As part of this endeavor, H&A created a $10, 000, 000 demonstration project the Bank of America. The success of this program helped lead to The Bank of America’s present nationwide multi-family affordable housing program involving well over forty billion in loans.
The firms assisted in enterprise restructuring and business development. The work of the companies included acting as financial advisor in the sale of financial institutions and their branches, review of appraisals and valuations. In addition, the firms advised in the creation and marketing of a hedging program for mortgage baking operations. Clients included Transamerica, and numerous financial institutions in California.
In 1977-1980. Founding Director, Office of Community Investment, Federal Home Loan Bank Board. Member, Senior Executive Service, Carter Administration.
Managed 26 employees and Community Investment Officers in 12 District Banks. Created and administered $10 billion loan finance program. This was the first public/private partnership program in the United States. Worked closely with the White House, the Congress, Conference of Mayors, League of Cities, governors, state legislatures, financial institutions and NGOs’
In 1968-1977 Lecturer in Law, Founding member and Director, National Housing Law Project, Boalt Hall Law School, University of California, Berkeley.
As Director, provided leadership and supervision for staff of 23. Project was a specialized support center for 2,000 legal services (poverty) lawyers nationwide. We provided advice concerning land, infrastructure, real estate, and the development of citizen participation and non-profits. The project won many landmark cases, wrote federal and state laws, and negotiated many federal and state regulatory changes. The Project was widely acclaimed.
In 1965-1968, Trial and Appellate Lawyer, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice.
In 1964-1964, Law Clerk, U. S. District Judge, Irving Ben Cooper, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
University of Chicago-JD, 1964
City College of New York, BA, January 1961
Admitted to practice law in California, New York and U.S. Supreme Court
Al Hirshen has led an unusual life. He is the son of a Jewish immigrant family who learned street smarts in the Bronx, helping out at his father’s candy store, working as a waiter in the Catskills to pay for his schooling, and ultimately becoming a lawyer. He was a participant in many of the pivotal changes of our times – as a Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division Lawyer in the 60’s, then as a pioneering anti-poverty lawyer and the creator of the first public/private partnerships in the Carter Administration. After the breakup of the former Soviet Union, he was among the first USAID (United States Agency for International Development) consultants to work in Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia and Albania.
Always ready for a new challenge and adventure, Al travelled the world, was a successful international development consultant, and even tried his luck at movie production in Hollywood. For nine years he worked as a consultant to the leadership of Indonesia, living as a Jew in the world’s largest Muslim country during that nation’s turbulent transition to democracy.
Al’s memoir is far more than a travelogue: it shares a razor sharp awareness of the changing world we inhabit. He has a rare sense of humor and a profound love of life, the world, and people. His writing conveys a deep appreciation of the beauty around us, of friendship and the transcendent spirit of humanity, with sadness for the ways we mistreat each other. As a recovering alcoholic, father, grandfather and a husband in a happy third marriage, Al sees himself as an “ordinary man”, a human being blessed to live life fully in an imperfect, yet stunning world.