Dr. Querine Hanlon
Querine Hanlon is the founding President of Strategic Capacity Group. Dr. Hanlon brings considerable capacity building experience and expertise in creating professional education schools and specialized programs in the U.S. and abroad for military, government, and civilian students.
As a professor and dean in the U.S. Professional Military Education system before creating SCG, Dr. Hanlon led the redesign and accreditation of strategic-level education programs for the U.S. military as it grappled with the institutional requirements and needs of the post-9/11 security environment. She designed a post-9/11 focused security studies curriculum for the newest degree-granting college at National Defense University (NDU) and created NDU’s first satellite campus at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Dr. Hanlon has also conceptualized and created curricula for partner institutions. At the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Dr. Hanlon created innovative regional security sector programming in response to the Arab Spring that was recognized by the U.S. Department of State as a one of a kind standard for future programming. Dr. Hanlon has considerable expertise in Security Sector Reform (SSR). She has served on security sector assessment trips to Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco for the U.S. government and has advised government and international organizations how to design security assistance programming to deliver strategic and sustainable results.
Dr. Hanlon holds a PhD and MALD from the Fletcher School and a BSFS from Georgetown University.
Professor Ross Harrison
Ross Harrison is on the faculty of the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where he teaches Strategy, and the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches Middle East Politics and U.S. Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East. Harrison is also a senior scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. Harrison authored Strategic Thinking in 3D: A Guide for National Security, Foreign policy and Business Professionals and co-edited with Paul Salem a 2017 book, From Chaos to Cooperation: Toward Regional Order in the Middle East. He is completing a new book on the civil wars in the Middle East with co-editor, Paul Salem, which will be released in 2019.
Professor Harrison lectures regularly on matters related to strategy and as well as Middle East politics at the U.S. Department of State, the National War College, National Defense University, The Navy War College, the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, Georgetown University, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies. He is also part of a back channel diplomatic initiative relating to Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and has been a member of several study groups and Track II diplomatic initiatives related to the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy. Every summer Harrison teaches strategy to senior military and government officials in Tbilisi, Georgia. Prior to his academic career, Harrison was Executive Vice President of Tapco International, a global building products company and concurrently served as CEO of one of Tapco’s largest divisions, Builders Edge. He was instrumental in the company’s global expansion and its mergers and acquisition strategy.
Professor Harrison has been published in policy related journals such as The National Interest, Al Monitor, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Parameters, Huffington Post, Orient and al-Jazeera.
Dr. Richard Shultz, Jr.
Dr. Shultz is the Lee E. Dirks Professor at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, where he teaches graduate-level courses on various aspects of international security affairs and war studies. He also is the Director of the Fletcher School’s International Security Studies Program, which is dedicated to graduate-level teaching and research on a broad range of conflict, defense, and strategic issues. Professor Shultz has held three chairs: The Olin Distinguished Professorship of National Security Studies at the U.S. Military Academy, Secretary of the Navy Senior Research Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College, and Brigadier General H. L. Oppenheimer Chair of War-fighting Strategy, U.S. Marine Corps.
Since the mid-1980s, Dr. Shultz has served as a security consultant to various U.S. government departments and agencies concerned with national security affairs. Currently, he is a Senior Fellow at the Special Operations Command’s Joint Special Operations University. In this role, he deploys abroad as a member of military education teams to teach terrorism/counterterrorism and special operations integration courses to foreign military officers. In the last three years, in the Middle East, this has included programs in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Tunisia, and Morocco. As a senior fellow, he also conducts unclassified research and prepares studies for publication in SOCOM/JSOU’s monograph series.
In 2015, Professor Shultz initiated a new research project which examined military innovation in the war in Iraq. The research puzzles this study addressed focuses on how and why Task Force 714 was able to learn and innovate in the midst of war. The study was first published as a monograph in June 2016 as Military Innovation in War: It Takes a Learning Organization--A Case Study of Task Force 714 by U.S. SOCOM’s JSOU Press. Three subsequent articles have been published based on further research. "Post-9/11 Wartime Intelligence Analysis," Intelligence and National Security (forthcoming No. 6, 2018); “The Irreducible Minimum: An Evaluation of Counterterrorism Operations in Iraq,” PRISM: The Journal of Complex Operations (No. 3, 2018); and “U.S Counterterrorism Operations during the Iraq War: A Case Study of Task Force 714,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (Fall 2016).
Dr. Shultz’s recent books include Prioritizing Security Sector Reform: A New U.S. Policy (U.S. Institute of Peace Press, 2016), The Marines Take Anbar: The Four-Year Fight against Al Qaeda (Annapolis, MD: The Naval Institute Press, 2013), Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat (Columbia University Press, 2006; 2009), and The Secret War against Hanoi: Kennedy’s and Johnson’s Use of Spies, Saboteurs, and Covert Warriors in North Vietnam (New York: Harper Collins, 1999; 2000).
Dr. Alejandra Bolaños
Dr. Alejandra Bolanos is one of the founding members of Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) and serves on its Board of Directors. In 2020, she returned to the organization as a Senior Director leading SCG’s advancement in the areas of Knowledge Management; Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation (AM&E); and by contributing to institutional, strategic, and programmatic design. Dr. Bolanos brings over two decades of experience in the private and public sectors. Her areas of practice and subject matter expertise include Security Sector Reform, Institutional Capacity Building; Defense Institution Building, Defense and Security Governance; enterprise management; policy and strategy formulation; strategic planning; assessment, monitoring and evaluation; and ministerial/force design and professionalization. She has led program conceptualization, management, and implementation in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Before rejoining SCG, Dr. Bolanos worked for the Department of Defense (DOD) in direct support of policy priorities for Security Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere. In this role, she designed and supported tailored (executive) engagement products to enhance partner capacity in the areas of governance and enterprise management of key defense and security institutions. She also served at National Defense University (NDU), designing, managing, and implementing professionalization and instruction programs for law enforcement, armed forces, and civilian counterparts in support of the U.S. interagency response to capacity building requirements of more than 100 countries. Under the auspices of DOD, she advised senior government officials and informed policy and decision-making in the following areas: country and regional strategies, multiagency response to policy and strategic priorities, and in-depth programmatic insight on stabilization, countering violent extremism (CVE), combating terrorism (CT), and combating organized crime. Before formally joining DOD, Dr. Bolanos’ professional and academic career focused on combating terrorist networks. Working as a senior analyst in private sector institutions that pioneered the collection of online intelligence and the use of information technologies for the non-kinetic disruption of terrorism, her team provided support to the intelligence communities of the Five Eyes and select European partners. She has held research, advisory, and fellowship assignments in various research and academic institutions including the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) in Singapore, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, and Bosphorus University in Istanbul. She holds a MALD and PhD from the Fletcher School and a BA from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico.
Dr. Andrea J. Dew
Dr. Dew holds the Maritime Irregular Warfare Forces Chair at the US Naval War College where she has taught in the Strategy and Policy Department since 2007. In 2008 she helped to establish the Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG), which she also directs. Dr. Dew has studied advanced Japanese at the Kyoto Japanese Language School and has also served as a Research Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science in International Affairs at Harvard University and as Senior Counter-Terrorism Fellow at the Jebsen Center for Counter Terrorism Studies at the Fletcher School.
Recent publications include Communicating War From Quills to Tweets: The Evolution of American Wartime Communication Strategies (Georgetown University Press, 2019); Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat (Columbia University Press, 2009); and Deep Currents and Rising Tides: The Indian Ocean and International Security (Georgetown University Press, 2013). Dr. Dew's current research focuses on irregular warfare strategies on land and in the maritime environment.
Dr. Dew Holds an M.A.L.D. and Ph.D. from the Fletcher School and a B.A. (Hons.) in History from the University of Southampton.
Jimena Allendelagua joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2021 as a Project Coordinator in the Knowledge Management Department, supporting SCG’s monitoring and evaluation activities.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Allendelagua worked as an independent consultant monitoring social programs for non-profit organizations in Mexico. Ms. Allendelagua also worked at the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she served as an Advisor for North American Affairs to the Minister’s Chief of Staff. In this role, she supported the analysis of the trade agenda with the United States and Canada and represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during USMCA renegotiation rounds.
Ms. Allendelagua holds a Master of Public Policy Degree from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago and a BA in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico, where she wrote a thesis on transnational advocacy networks. Ms. Allendelagua speaks French and has lived and studied in Japan.
Aariq Amirza joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in January 2021 as a Project Assistant based in Malaysia to support SCG’s projects in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia.
Mr. Aariq joins SCG with five years of prior experience working in humanitarian organizations and supporting youth development projects. Mr. Aariq served as the Project Coordinator for Arasy Relief, an organization working to reduce the gap of IT literacy among the youth in Tanzania and Malaysia. Mr. Aariq also served as a Field Coordinator for Epic Collective, a community development consulting firm. In this role, he managed an International Youth Development program in Cambodia for the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Malaysia. He has also served as an expert for the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) on the dynamics of youth and terrorism.
Mr. Aariq holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from the University of Technology MARA, Malaysia. He is fluent in Malay and proficient in English.
Jacob Arnstein joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in May 2020 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Mr. Arnstein first joined SCG as in intern in the summer of 2019. In this role, he contributed to program planning and implementation, supported monitoring & evaluation, and conducted research on Mali’s security sector. Prior to joining SCG, he served as a Research Assistant at the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C., where he analyzed emerging security threats to the United States and edited articles for NDU’s journal of complex operations, PRISM.
Mr. Arnstein holds Bachelor of Arts Degrees in International Relations, with a focus on International Security, and Russian and East European Studies from Tufts University. He graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University and was awarded the 2020 Russian Prize. He is proficient in French and Russian.
Malick Ba is a Program Officer at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), serving as a Team Lead within the Planning & Logistics Department. In that position, he supports the planning, coordination and execution of all SCG’s programmatic activities worldwide.
Mr. Ba joined SCG in 2019 as a Project Coordinator. Prior to joining SCG, he worked in Dakar, Senegal as a Security Analyst for the Alliance for International Medical Action. In 2015, Mr. Ba served as a Transnational Threats Research Intern at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he supported field work and research on violent extremist organizations and counterterrorism strategies in the United States, Western Europe, Africa, the Middle-East, and South East Asia.
Mr. Ba holds an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE). He was selected for LSE’s Program for African Leadership, which focused on developing leadership skills such as problem-solving, creative and critical thinking, influencing, and collaboration. Mr. Ba also holds a BA in Political Science and Government from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is fluent in French, Fulani, and Wolof.
Jean-Marc Barattolo joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2019 as a Senior Police Advisor deployed to Niger in support of SCG’s Community-Oriented Policing and Academies of Excellence programs in the Sahel.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Barattolo served for 31 years in the French National Police and the Public Order Management Directorate. As a Commissioned Officer, he dealt with operations and high-risk interventions at various posts and functions, including Leader of the Special Protect and Arrest Unit, Operations Officer in Marseille, and Head of the support unit in Mayotte (Comoro island) 2006-2099. His fields of expertise are operations, crowd control, operational planning, and tactical training. Mr. Barattolo also served as the Head of the Training Department and deployed to two European Union Police missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina (2002-2004) and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2005-2006).
Mr. Barattolo has also served on multiple UN Missions, including Haiti and the Central Africa Republic (CAR). In Haiti, he served as a Formed Police Unit (FPU) trainer (2010-2011) and in CAR as an FPU Coordinator (2016-2017), Deputy Commander of the Bangui Task Force (2017-2018), and Sector Commander in Bria (2018-2019). In these roles, he oversaw 1,400 officers and the protection of civilians, IDP camp security, and implementation of urgent temporary measures to fight against armed groups and insecurity. Certified to assess FPU operational capacity prior to deployment, Mr. Barattolo conducted FPU assessments for missions in Mauritania and the Republic of Congo. In 2015 and 2016, he was selected to serve in the UN Police Division in Jordan and in Cameroon as an UN certified trainer in weapons handling, public order management, and police tactics and technics. He also trained FPU trainers from various Police Contributing Countries in English and in French. His overseas experience includes training Palestinian Special Police Forces (2010) and battalions assigned to the security of the presidential election processes in Democratic Republic of Congo (2010), Botswana (2011), Malaysia (2014), South Africa (2014), Nigeria (2015), and Senegal (2016).
Mr. Barattolo completed the French Superior National Police Academy program. He is the recipient of several awards from the European Union and the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He was also awarded the Haitian and Cameroonian National Order of Merit and several commendations by the French government, including the National Police Honour Gold Medal for conducting an operation to rescue hostages in CAR.
Abderrahmane Benali joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in December 2019 as a Senior Police Trainer supporting SCG’s program in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Before joining SCG, Mr. Benali had a successful 27 year career within the Algerian Gendarmerie, occupying several leadership positions including as head of the Special Operations Regiment, and retired at the executive level in 2019. As the Head of Training of two special units and Head of the Security Office and Commander of a special regiment, Mr. Benali participated in the development of the first pre-deployment training curriculum for Formed Police Units (FPU) serving in UN peace operations as part of the African Standby Force (ASF). Early in his career, Mr. Benali served as United Nations Police (UNPOL) part-time facilitator at Ecole de maintien de la Paix (EMP) in Bamako, Mali. He also has experience leading six training courses abroad, three for the Gendarmerie of Niger in 2003 and three for the Malian Gendarmerie in 2004. In 2013, Mr. Benali was selected for the National War College in Algiers, Algeria.
Mr. Benali has numerous military and law enforcement management diplomas and certificates from several elite units, including the French Gendarmerie Special Unit (GIGN) and the Austrian National Police Special Unit (EKO COBRA). He is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.
Amadou Berthé is a Project Coordinator at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), based in Mali to support SCG’s portfolio of projects in Mali and across the Sahel.
Mr. Berthé joined SCG in 2018 as a Program Assistant, supporting SCG’s projects in Mali. Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Berthé served as a Legal assistant at Satis Partners Law Firm in Bamako, Mali, where he was in charge of drafting legal acts and documents and supervising cases in court. Previously, he also worked for the US Embassy in Bamako as a Legal Assistant, providing support to the Resident Legal Advisor. In this capacity, Mr. Berthé was in charge of researching issues of law and procedure and planning and coordinating training programs, visits, and conferences.
Mr. Berthé obtained a Diploma of General Law from the University Gaston Berger of Saint Louis in Senegal. He also graduated from the Catholic University of West Africa in Bamako, Mali with a Master’s Degree in Business Law. Mr. Berthé is fluent in French, English and Bambara.
S. Patterson Blamo
Patterson Blamo joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2018 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s programs in Liberia.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Blamo worked in both the private and public sectors as a professional in the areas of education, human rights monitoring, documentation and reporting, qualitative and quantitative field research, and project coordination. Mr. Blamo joined the Liberian National Bar Association in 2019 as a licensed attorney and has since engaged in the active practice of law. He also served as the Chief of Office Staff for the House of Representatives-Liberia and legal practice. In this role, he participated in drafting and reviewing legislation under the 53rd legislature of the Republic of Liberia, including the Brewerville Vocational School Bill of 2013, School Fees Regulation Bill of 2014, the Liberia Electricity Act of 2015, and the Decentralization Act of 2018.
Mr. Blamo holds an A.A Degree in Education from the LICOSSESS Mobile Teacher Training College in Monrovia, a BA in Political Science from the University of Liberia, and an LLB Degree from the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law of the University of Liberia. Mr. Blamo is currently a candidate for an MA in Public Sector Administration from the Cuttington University School of Graduate and Professional Studies in Monrovia.
Megan Bloom joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2020 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Bloom interned for the Project Manager of the Francophonie Cultural Festival at the Smithsonian Associates. In this role, Ms. Bloom performed logistics and planning duties and managed social media for the festival. Ms. Bloom was responsible for translating meeting notes from English to French, organizing festival documents, and serving as a liaison to the Executive Director at the Alliance Française in preparation for the festival.
Ms. Bloom received a BA from George Mason University in Foreign Languages and Global Affairs with concentrations in French and Africa. She has a high working-proficiency in French.
Paolo Bonanno joined Strategic Capacity Group in July 2020 as a Senior Police Advisor supporting community policing initiatives in the Sahel region.
Before joining SCG, Mr. Bonanno worked as public security expert for the Swiss NGO Coginta in Chad and served as public order advisor in the Police Division of the UN Department of Peace Operations. During this UN assignment, he supported the start-up phase of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), serving as Chief of Operations in Bamako, Mali, and in Bangui, Central African Republic (CAR). Mr. Bonanno also deployed to several European Union and UN missions, in both conflict and post conflict settings, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Haiti. With extensive experience in the National Police of France as Deputy Head of Operations and Head of the Personnel and Training Office, Mr. Bonanno was selected as a member of the UN Group of Experts that developed the first pre-deployment training curriculum for Formed Police Units serving in UN peace operations, working both in New York and at Fort Indiantown Gap in Pennsylvania. As a firearms, police techniques, public order, first aid, and close protection instructor, Mr. Bonanno has delivered training in Morocco, Cameroon, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, USA, Russia, Bangladesh, India, Guinea, Libya, Italy, Jordan, Benin, and Sierra Leone.
Mr. Bonanno was commended for his service as the first commander of MINUSCA Joint Task Force in Bangui, a unique unit composed of police officers and military staff that operated during the visit of Pope Francis to CAR in November 2015. Mr. Bonanno completed the course for commissioned officers at the Nice National Police Academy in 1994. He is fluent in French and English.
Andres Borjas joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2022 as a Project Assistant in the Knowledge Management Department.
Mr. Borjas completed a one-year internship at SCG before joining the organization as a full-time project assistant. He supported the Knowledge Management Department by conducting research in several project-relevant areas including USG guidance on IT services compliance, best practices on public/media engagement by USG grantees, and background research on international forensic capacity building. Before joining SCG, Mr. Borjas interned as a Research Assistant at the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies, where he co-authored work on Arctic and Antarctic Security Governance. He also supported the coordination of the Center’s activities, serving security professionals from across the Western Hemisphere. Previously, Mr. Borjas has held internships at the United States Department of Commerce, the Mexican Secretariat of Economy, and UC Berkeley.
Mr. Borjas holds a double BA in International Relations and Political Science from Tufts University, where he held the International Relations Department Internship Award. He is a native Spanish speaker.
Pida Chanthasiri joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in April 2021 as a Project Assistant based in Laos to support SCG’s projects in Laos and across Southeast Asia.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Chanthasiri worked in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Chanthasiri served as an administrator and secretary for the Lao Airport Authority at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport. In this role, she facilitated events and training for airport ground safety and security and served as a coordinator between central government teams and the airport authority team at the ASEM Summit (ASEM 9) for airport safety protocol. Previously, Ms. Chanthasiri worked as a project assistant for a 650MW hydropower dam construction, supporting the meetings of the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and the Government Joint Steering Committee. She also coordinated dam safety meetings and training as well as government relations with the Ministry of Energy and Mines.
Ms. Chanthasiri holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the National University of Laos. She is fluent in Lao and Thai and proficient in English.
Marco Davì joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2020 as a Senior Program Officer supporting community policing and capacity development initiatives in the Sahel region.
Before joining SCG, Mr. Davì worked as a consultant for the World Bank, focusing on the development of United Nations – World Bank strategic and programmatic partnerships in fragile and crisis-affected countries. Serving as a UN Security Sector Reform Officer, he was deployed in Burkina Faso, in the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), and in the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI). In this capacity, Mr. Davì coordinated strategic advice and institutional capacity development programs to improve accountability and democratic oversight of the security sector, including strengthening mutual trust between security providers and local communities. Prior to his peacebuilding and stabilization experience, Mr. Davì worked as an Analyst with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Albania, focusing on results-based management.
Mr. Davì holds a Master of Science in International Relations with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science. From the University of Turin (Italy), Mr. Davì received a Master of Arts in International Affairs and Human Rights and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.
Abdoulaye Dembele joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in February 2019 as a Project Coordinator based in Bamako, Mali to support SCG's projects in Mali and across the Sahel.
Before joining SCG, Mr. Dembele worked for five years as a Program Assistant for Winrock International, supervising projects in Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea. Mr. Dembele has also consulted with the World Bank on matters relating to Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in northern Mali and refugee living conditions in both Mali and Burkina Faso. Mr. Dembele has served as a trainer at the Mali National Gendarmerie School, the Peacekeeping School of Bamako, and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for the United Nations Police (UNPOL). He has extensive expertise in the areas of Criminology, Military Leadership, Conflict and Operational Stress Management, and Methods of Elaborating Operational Decisions. Further, Mr. Dembele served as an analyst with Mali’s Military Security Intelligence.
Mr. Dembele has received numerous distinctions from the Malian Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs. He holds an MA in Criminal Psychology and Rural Sociology from the University of Cocody, Côte d'Ivoire. Mr. Dembele is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Social and Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado. Mr. Dembele speaks French, English, and Bambara and is proficient in Spanish.
Issa Diarra joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in January 2019 as a Project Coordinator based in Burkina Faso to support SCG's community policing and capacity building programs in the Sahel.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Diarra worked for mining companies and the African development bank program, where he focused on taxes and financials. From 1999 to 2005, he was the financial manager of Group Hage in West Africa, an organization that specializes in manufacturing building materials.
Mr. Diarra holds two Master's degrees from Thomas Sankara University, one in Accounting, Finance, and Audit and the other in Technical and Vocational Education. He is fluent in French, Moore, Dioula, Kasséna, and has some facility in Arabic.
Elhadji Diop (EJ) joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in January 2020 as a Project Coordinator based in Dakar, Senegal to support SCG's projects in Senegal and across the Sahel.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Diop worked for five years as an interpreter and training coordinator for the Marine Special Operation Team in Senegal and Niger. In this role, he was in charge of the planning and execution of the Cultural Understanding and Leadership Program for U.S. Army Cadet Officers. Additionally, Mr. Diop has eight years of experience providing logistics support to the INL State Department IPPOS program, where he was in charge of supporting pre-deployment training of FPU's and IPOs in Mali, Senegal, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso. Mr. Diop has worked with the Legal Attaché office in Dakar as a Training Facilitator. He has extensive experience working for the Senegalese Government, National Gendarmerie, the National Police, and the Ministry of Defense.
Mr. Diop holds a BA in English and British Civilization Studies from Cheikh Anta Diop University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Diplomatic and Strategic Studies from the Centre d'Etudes Diplomatiques et Stratégiques Dakar. Mr. Diop has received numerous distinctions from the Senegalese Gendarmerie, the U.S. State Department, and the FBI. He is fluent in French, English, and Wolof.
Grace Duthie is a Program Officer and Team Lead in the Global Operations Department at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), where she supports SCG’s global capacity-building programs.
Grace Duthie joined SCG in November 2019 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s capacity building projects in West and North Africa. Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Duthie served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone, living and working alongside local communities to foster community-based development. Ms. Duthie also implemented a successful microenterprise project in Uganda in collaboration with women’s groups and then transferred this project to Nigeria as a pilot. She also has experience supporting youth engagement projects in Egypt and Kenya.
Ms. Duthie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Comparative Politics, with a focus on African politics. She is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Global Security Studies with a Certificate in Intelligence at Johns Hopkins University. She is proficient in French and has working knowledge of Spanish and Arabic.
Angela Fifer is the Deputy Director of Accounting at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), managing a team of accounting officers within the Finance and Administration Department and overseeing day-to-day accounting operations for the organization.
Ms. Fifer joined SCG in November 2019 as the Senior Accounting Officer before she was promoted to lead the accounting team in March 2021. Ms. Fifer has over twenty years of combined experience in financial accounting and reporting, federal government contracts and awards, and budgeting. Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Fifer served at non-profit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area, including National Quality Forum and the National Democratic Institute.
Ms. Fifer received a BBA in Accounting from Howard University.
Trevor Flynn serves as the Senior Finance and Operations Officer at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), providing essential financial and administrative support for SCG’s global portfolio of grants and programs.
Mr. Flynn joined SCG in June 2019 as the Budget Coordinator and was promoted to Finance and Operations Officer in June 2020 and then to Senior Finance and Operations Officer in June 2022. Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Flynn served as the Branch Manager for Penske Truck Leasing’s Manassas, VA facility. In this role, Mr. Flynn was responsible for maintaining the branch location’s profit and loss statement as well as all branch office financial statements. Part of these responsibilities included developing and attaining branch sales goals, fixed asset management and depreciation, recommending fully depreciated assets for sale and rental utilization rate oversight. Mr. Flynn also served as the Account Executive for multiple Fortune 500 companies that operated in the Northern Virginia Region.
Mr. Flynn holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Frostburg State University. Mr. Flynn is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Longwood University’s College of Business and Economics.
Amadou Fofana joined the Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in October 2019 as a Senior Police Advisor to support SCG’s program in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Mr. Fofana has twenty-eight years of professional experience, including fifteen in the field of policing focused on international peacekeeping, law enforcement, and medical practice. Previously, Mr. Fofana served as a Course Director at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and head of the police training unit at the École de Maintien de la Paix Bamako (EMPABB). In these roles, he developed course curriculum for Formed Police Unit pre-deployment training and certification and police middle management training. Mr. Fofana has also served as a lecturer and consultant for the United Nations, the African Union, and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and he has managed several training teams throughout Africa during his career. Mr. Fofana first joined the police as a medical officer for a community health management system after earning his advanced police diploma.
Mr. Fofana is a UN Integrated Training Service (ITS) certified adult trainer. He earned a Master’s Degree in criminal justice, governance, and police science and a Bachelor of Science Degree from China Medical University (CMU) in China. Mr. Fofana is fluent in French, English, Chinese and Bambara and proficient in Russian and German.
Julia Gerdak joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in April 2022 as a Senior Human Resources Officer, supporting benefits compliance and reporting, performance management, recruitment, and employee relations.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Gerdak served as a Human Resources Generalist at Kastle Systems International LLC. In this role, Ms. Gerdak supported all areas of HR Operations including managing corporate benefits and wellness programs, handling benefits compliance and reporting, and administering performance reviews, merit, and leave of absence processes.
Ms. Gerdak holds a Master of Professional Studies in Human Resources Management from Georgetown University and a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Nizhny Novgorod State Pedagogical University in Russia. Ms. Gerdak is fluent in Russian and has elementary knowledge of Italian.
Farah Guerrero joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in July 2021 as a Project Coordinator, supporting the delivery of SCG's capacity building projects in Belize.
Mrs. Guerrero has more than 17 years of diverse human resource and project management experience. Prior to joining SCG, Mrs. Guerrero was a Partner at Salient Group LLP, with responsibilities in the areas of project management, business development, business management and administration, business plan development, search engine optimization, and social media and internet marketing. Previously, Mrs. Guerrero worked at the U.S. Embassy Belmopan, providing support to the Human Resources section in recruitment and staff actions. Throughout her career, she has developed expertise in recruitment, HR policy and procedures, company culture transformation, business and leadership development, and project quality and communications management.
Mrs. Guerrero is a graduate of St. John’s College Junior College. She has completed numerous training courses in strategic planning, management, and human resources and has received several awards, including a Meritorious Honor Award from the Department of State. She is fluent in English and has intermediate-level knowledge of Spanish.
Amanda Hague joined Strategic Capacity Group in June 2017 as the Director of Finance and Administration where she serves as SCG’s chief financial officer and head of Human Resources.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Hague was the Director of Finance and Human Resources at BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI), a non-profit economic development organization in Rockville, Maryland. Previously, she served as the Administration, Communications, and Events Manager at Rockville Economic Development, Inc. in Maryland.
Ms. Hague received an MBA from The George Washington University and a BA in German from The State University of New York at Oswego.
Itay Hertz joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in September 2021 as the Director of Global Operations, overseeing the planning, implementation, and security of SCG’s worldwide programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Hertz served in various security roles on behalf of the Israeli government, leading operations around the globe in over forty countries. Mr. Hertz helped to create and implement security policies and procedures and worked closely with the local security sector in numerous countries, including the police, military, and intelligence. He operated extensively in high-threat environments, navigating a coup in West Africa, and establishing the first official, permanent Israeli embassy in Turkmenistan. Mr. Hertz’s most recent role before joining SCG was Chief of Security for the Israeli Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. Prior to working in these roles, Mr. Hertz served in the Israeli Navy as a Team Leader in a special operations unit, conducting combat and defensive diving operations in nations hostile to Israel.
Mr. Hertz holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in National Security from the University of Haifa in Israel. He speaks Hebrew, Spanish, and Arabic.
Jeffrey Hunter joined Strategic Capacity Group in June 2015 as a Senior Police Advisor to support SCG’s SSR and Border Security Programs in North and West Africa. Since July 2019, Mr. Hunter has served as SCG’s Security Manager overseeing the organization’s global operations.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Hunter completed a 32-year career in policing with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and retired at the Executive Level in 2013. His duties included serving as a National Director for the RCMP's Critical Incident Program, among other senior management positions. Mr. Hunter has worked as a Senior Policing Advisor in Afghanistan, Tunisia, and Mali for various governments and international organizations including Global Affairs Canada, the European Union in Afghanistan (EUPOL), NATO, and the U.S. Department of State. He has extensive international experience in Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Tunisia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and France.
Mr. Hunter has numerous law enforcement and police management diplomas and a certificate from the Canadian Police College.
Lis Kabashi joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in March 2021 as a Project Coordinator to support SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Kabashi worked as an Executive Assistant to the Ambassador of Kosovo in Washington, DC, managing the Ambassador’s agenda and day-to-day calendar, and supporting official delegations from Kosovo during their meetings with U.S. government officials. At Seton Hall University, as an Abd-El Kader Fellow, he conducted research and policy in support of U.S. Army Africa/Southern European Task Force (G2) and presented his work at the White House and the Pentagon. Previously, Mr. Kabashi supported the Consul General of Kosovo in the UN Security Council regarding the status of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Kosovo.
Mr. Kabashi holds a Master of Arts in International Relations and Diplomacy from Seton Hall University and was awarded the Abd-El Kader Fellowship. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the American College of Thessaloniki. He is fluent in Albanian and has elementary knowledge of Arabic and Greek.
Oumar Konipo joined SCG in 2017 as a Field Logistics Coordinator, supporting SCG’s portfolio of projects in Mali and across the Sahel.
Prior to his role at SCG, Mr. Konipo worked for the U.S. Embassy in Mali, where he provided simultaneous and consecutive interpretation services for the Regional Security and Legal Advisor Offices. There he also served as a Senior Economic and Commercial Specialist, working across multiple offices and directorates on issues related to peace and governance, trade, money laundering, and economic development and growth. Earlier in his career, Mr. Konipo worked for the Government Investment Center (CEPI) as the Chief of the Small Business Assistance Division and the Chief of Projects.
Mr. Konipo received an MBA from Northeastern University and a BS in Civil Engineering from Ecole Nationale d’Ingénieurs in Bamako, Mali. He is an active member of the Lions Club International, currently serving as the District Secretary for eight countries in West Africa. Mr Konipo is the recipient of numerous awards, including two Meritorious Honor Awards from the U.S. Embassy in Bamako and a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State.
Ferenc Less, Ph.D.
Dr. Ferenc Less joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2021 as a Senior Police Trainer for SCG’s security sector capacity building project in Liberia.
Prior to joining SCG, Dr. Less spent 30 years serving in the Hungarian Police. He started his career as a patrol officer at the Rapid Response Unit, the largest Hungarian Police Department that performs public order, police patrol activities, and operations nationwide. He participated in numerous police operations and led police units on team, platoon, and company levels. In his last position at the Hungarian Police, Dr. Less served as the Head of the Dog Handlers and Service Dog Training Centre and as Secretary of Kynopol, the EU network for service dog professionals. Dr. Less has extensive international experience, delivering public order training in Russia, Northern Ireland, Azerbaijan and Georgia for various international organizations. For the United Nations, he served as a UNPOL instructor in the Ivory Coast and developed UN Formed Police Unit pre-deployment training. Additionally, he has ten years of research, teaching, and administrative and management experience at the National University of Public Services in Budapest, Hungary.
Dr. Less holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Police Administration from the Police University of Budapest, and a Master’s Degree of Security and Defense Policy and a Ph.D. in Military Science from the National University of Public Services of Budapest. He is fluent in English and Russian.
Justin Mejia joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in August 2020 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Mr. Mejia was an active participant and leader of a variety of global programs at Tufts University. He began his academic career as a member of the inaugural Tufts 1+4 Bridge Year cohort in Madrid, Spain and later served as a Tisch Summer Fellow in Telangana, India, where he taught English, Math, and Social Studies to vulnerable youth. Mr. Mejia was selected as a Visions of Peace Fellowship and Tufts with Rwanda Fellowship Coordinator and Student Professor at the Tufts Experimental College. In these roles, he taught courses for Tufts undergraduate students on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Rwandan genocide. Mr. Mejia spent a year studying at the University of Chile and the Pontific Catholic University of Santiago in Santiago, Chile, where he interned at the Museum of Memory and Human Rights investigating migration across Latin America. Prior to joining SCG, he was a Project Assistant at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.
Mr. Mejia holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tufts University in International Relations, with a focus on International Development and Latin American Studies. He graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University as an Honos Civicus Inductee and was awarded the 2020 Tufts Senior Award by the Tufts Alumni Association. He is fluent in Spanish.
Elisa Montealegre is a Program Officer in the Planning and Logistics Department at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG). As a Team Lead, she supports the development, coordination, and execution of SCG’s technical training and capacity-building programs across the globe.
Ms. Montealegre joined SCG in February 2020 as a Project Coordinator. Prior to her work at SCG, Ms. Montealegre served as an Account Manager for VMware, Inc. working with both the private and public sectors in Latin America. In this role, Ms. Montealegre traveled in region to support local resellers and on average exceeded sales targets by over 50 percent.
Ms. Montealegre holds a double degree in Foreign Affairs and Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Virginia (UVA). At UVA, Ms. Montealegre was awarded two Jefferson Public Citizen (JPC) grants to support the successful implementation of a research-based mentoring program for women in Nicaragua. Ms. Montealegre is also a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program Fellow. She is fluent in Spanish.
James Morrill is the Deputy Director of Programs at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), where he oversees all training logistics programs globally.
Mr. Morrill joined SCG in October 2020, following a 23 year career in local law enforcement and international program management of post-conflict stability operations and security sector reform projects. Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Morrill spent over ten years implementing contracts for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), serving as Program Manager, Deputy Program Manager, and Operations Manager in Haiti, Liberia, Iraq, and South Sudan. Mr. Morrill has 9 years of full time and 14 years of volunteer experience in domestic law enforcement, serving as a police officer, instructor and information systems manager. Previously, he also served as a fraud investigator, investigating both domestic and international fraud for a major telecommunications company.
Mr. Morrill holds a B.S. in Business from DeVry University and a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate.
Gabriela Nava-Campos joined Strategic Capacity Group(SCG) in 2020 as a Senior Program Officer, supporting the organization’s monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) efforts for its portfolio of programs and projects around the world.
Dr. Nava-Campos is an expert evaluator with extensive experience delivering evidence-based advice and solutions to government agencies, NGOs, private companies, international organizations and bilateral donors in Mexico and the United States. Before joining SCG, she led a variety of MEL projects for programs focused on anti-corruption, environmental protection, open government, research capacity building, and violence in the workplace. In addition to her work in Mexico, Dr. Nava-Campos has significant experience conducting research and developing projects in Latin American countries, especially Brazil, Argentina, El Salvador, and Ecuador.
Dr. Nava-Campos holds a BA in International Relations from El Colegio de Mexico, a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and a PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Petra van Oijen
Petra van Oijen is the Director of Programs at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), overseeing and managing SCG’s global portfolio of projects.
Prior to her promotion to Director of Programs, Ms. van Oijen served as Deputy Director of Programs, managing a portfolio of projects in Libya, Tunisia, and the Central African Republic. She joined SCG in August 2020 as a Senior Program Officer, serving as Country Director in Tunisia and leading SCG’s programming in Libya and Tunisia. Ms. van Oijen has over seventeen years of experience in the areas of Security Sector Reform (SSR), training, and peace and conflict related efforts. Before joining SCG, she served as Security Policy Advisor for the Security Institutions Service (SIS) at the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). In this role she supported the mission, international partners and Libyan counterparts in the coordination and enhancement of strategic efforts in the context of Security Sector Reform activities, which included police reform. Before taking up this position Ms. van Oijen was a Senior Adviser for the Nigerien Security Strategy at the EU mission EUCAP Sahel Niger. In this context, she supported the Nigerien partners in developing a national security strategy. She has also served as a Senior Policy Advisor at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she was responsible for the strategic and policy set-up of the Netherlands in the context of SSR as well as the Comprehensive Approach, including Netherlands’ funded SSR projects in Burundi, Mali, Iraq, and Northern Africa. Ms. van Oijen has worked in Geneva as a Project Officer for the International Security Sector Advisory Team of the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DCAF/ISSAT). Her main responsibility was SSR training activities, which included the design and development of training for multi-lateral organizations such as the UN, AU and EU (including E-learning courses), support for ISSAT’s field missions, and SSR policy development. Prior to joining ISSAT, Ms. van Oijen was a civil servant at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence.
Ms. van Oijen holds a Master’s degree in International Business Studies (Organization & Strategy) from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands and has completed coursework in international relations at the Clingendael Institute and in International Conflict Prevention, Stabilization and Reconstruction at the University of Groningen. She has also been an active volunteer for the Netherlands Red Cross in the area of International Humanitarian Law, and she is currently a member of the Security Sector Reform Advisory Network to the United Nations. Ms. van Oijen is fluent in Dutch, English, and French, has a professional working knowledge of German, and basic skills in Spanish and Arabic.
Mary Kate O’Connell
Mary Kate O’Connell joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in August 2020 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. O’Connell was an intern at the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program at the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Africa Summit Team with responsibility for planning the program’s annual Summit in Cape Town, South Africa. At the Ghana Center for Democratic Development in Accra, Ghana, Ms. O’Connell developed policy briefings on election management bodies’ role in sustaining democracy. Ms. O’Connell has also researched and written about the role of foreign aid and strategic alliances in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ms. O’Connell graduated from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Economics.
William Payton joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in March 2022 as the Senior Technical Advisor and Program Manager supporting SCG’s security sector capacity building project in Liberia.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Payton served in the Louisville Police Department, Kentucky for 24 years commanding the department’s robbery, homicide, and sex offense squad, the internal affairs unit, and the narcotics unit, among others. Mr. Payton illustrious career includes over 14 years of international policing experience, having previously served as a Regional Commander in the Civilian Police Program (CIVPOL) Mission in Iraq (2007-2011) for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and as the Contingent Commander and Senior Police Advisor in INL’s Criminal Justice Program Support (CJPS) Mission in Liberia (2012-2020).
Mr. Payton holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Police Administration from the University of Louisville. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course (SPI Long Term) and, having served as a Lieutenant with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, he completed the U.S. Army’s Instructor and Curriculum Development Course.
Rachel Peery joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in August 2020 as the Finance and Operations Officer. Ms. Peery provides essential financial and administrative support for SCG’s global portfolio of grants and programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Peery served as a Buyer for Hilton Worldwide Corporate Office. In this role, she supported hotels across the Americas with procurement and logistics. Ms. Peery began her finance and procurement career in 2014 at Fairfax County Public Schools as a Buyer.
Ms. Peery holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from George Mason University. She also received the Virginia Contracting Associate certification from the Virginia Institute of Procurement in 2016.
Ricardo E. Roques
Ricardo Roques joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in July 2021as the Deputy Director of Finance, managing the financial operations, financial planning and analysis, federal grants regulatory compliance, and administration functions for the organization.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Roques served as Senior Manager at Atlas Research, LLC, a management consulting firm in Washington, DC, where he worked as a subject matter expert in federal grants and finance management, economics, and machine learning techniques, supporting the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of the Treasury, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Previously, he worked at Georgetown University and Tufts University as a Senior Research and Finance Manager and Senior Budget and Finance officer. Mr. Roques also worked as a Senior Economist at the Central Bank of the Dominican Republic, performing research in foreign debt, international investment, and currency markets. He brings over 15 years of federal grants management and regulatory compliance to SCG.
Mr. Roques received an MBA from Georgetown University, an MSF from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, a Postgraduate Degree in Applied Macroeconomics from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and a BS in Economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic. He is also a Certified Research Administrator and a certified Lean Six Sigma professional. Mr. Roques is fluent in Spanish.
Ruth Roy joined Strategic Capacity Group in 2017 as a Senior Police Advisor to support SCG’s projects in North Africa and the Sahel.
Ms. Roy is a retired police Inspector with over 30 years of completed service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Throughout her career, Inspector Roy worked throughout Canada and around the globe to improve police training programs with a special emphasis on gender sensitivity and balance. As a first responder constable, she was involved in several community policing initiatives throughout Canada. Inspector Roy also created a Women’s Advisory Committee for the Commanding Officer of Nova Scotia. As the Director of Basic Training for the United Nations Mission in Haiti, she improved the Basic Training Program for the Haitian National Police and developed training for police cadets on gender sensitivity.
Ms. Roy holds a Certificate in Police Leadership from Henson College and a Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in Management from Mount Saint Vincent University. She has received numerous honors, including the 2013 NAWLEE/Motorola Woman Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award, a United Nations Peacekeeping Medal, the Atlantic Women in Law Enforcement’s Police Woman of the Year Award, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Gloria Ruiz joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in March 2021 as a Project Assistant, supporting the delivery of SCG's capacity building projects in Belize.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Ruiz worked in the hospitality sector, where she gained experience in event planning and logistics. Additionally, Ms. Ruiz has experience working for international banks and law firms. In these roles, she completed reports and administrative tasks, and managed day-to-day and long term logistics planning for events and activities.
Ms. Ruiz holds a Bachelors Degree of Science from the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan, R.O.C. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Pakin Santanan joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in March 2021 as a Project Coordinator based in Thailand to support SCG’s capacity building projects in Thailand and across Southeast Asia.
Mr. Santanan has over ten years of experience in development, training, and event management for both public and private sectors domestically and internationally. Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Santanan was the project director for Multiple Intelligence International. In this role, he facilitated several projects and events for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Union, and United Nations. During his time with Multiple Intelligence International, he coordinated with local representatives in 17 countries across Asia and Oceania. Mr. Santanan has also served as a project coordinator for AIT Extension and the Asian Institute of Technology, where he managed several international projects.
Mr. Santanan holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, Thailand and a Master’s Degree in Science from the Asian Institute of Technology, where he received a full scholarship from the Royal Thai Government. Mr. Santanan obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Science from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Lardkrabang. He is fluent in both Thai and English.
Dale Sheehan joined Strategic Capacity Group in February 2017 as Special Advisor for International Cooperation.
Prior to SCG, Mr. Sheehan worked in law enforcement for over 35 years, including as Assistant Commissioner, Director General of Learning and Development, and an Adjudicator and Mediator for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). During that time, Mr. Sheehan published and co-edited Police Organization and Training, Innovations in Research and Practice, and spearheaded an effort with international partners in thirteen countries to broaden the appeal of public service through policing. He also served as INTERPOL’s first Director of Police Training and Development and as Director of INTERPOL in France and Singapore. Throughout his career, Mr. Sheehan has observed and participated in law enforcement capacity building and training initiatives in over 120 countries.
Mr. Sheehan holds a BA in Sociology/Criminology/Law from Carlton University and graduated from Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business Executive Strategic Human Resources Leadership Program. Mr. Sheehan is the recipient of numerous awards, including the St Johns Ambulance Medal, the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal, United Nations Protection Force Medal, Canada 125 Medal, Saskatchewan Centenary Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Long Service Medal, and the Member of the Order of Merit. He sits on several Canadian and international boards of directors, including Past President, Canadian Association of Police Educators, INTERPOL Group of Experts Police Training, Canadian Police Knowledge Network, and the RCMP Quarterly Editorial Board.
Andrew Smith joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2021as a Senior Program Officer supporting SCG’s law enforcement training and modernization programming globally.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Smith spent six years implementing rule of law programs for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa from both DC headquarters and field offices in Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco. He has a wide range of research and program management experience working on USG and non-USG funded programming in rule of law development and human rights, including judicial and criminal justice reform, access to justice, trafficking in persons, transitional justice, and peacebuilding and governance. He has lived and worked in Jordan and Italy in numerous capacities, and previously studied Arabic at the University of Jordan.
Mr. Smith holds a Master of Jurisprudence in Rule of Law for Development from Loyola University Chicago, School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from the University of Mary Washington.
Ali Souley joined Strategic Capacity Group in 2017 as a Project Coordinator to support SCG’s portfolio of projects across the Sahel.
Before joining SCG, Mr. Souley worked as a Translator and International Conference Interpreter. He also served as the Senior Officer of the National Democratic Institute-Niger, a Trainer in English Language Teaching, and an educational consultant. Mr. Souley founded two private schools in Niamey, Niger.
Mr. Souley holds a Ph.D. certificate in Education from Ahmed Bello University (A.B.U.) Zaria, an MA in Education from the University of Leeds, and an MA and BA in English Language from the University of Niamey.
Mike Sullivan, Ph.D.
Dr. Sullivan joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in January 2022 to manage SCG’s capacity building programs across the Sahel and lead SCG’s global Law Enforcement Expertise Program (LEEP).
Prior to joining SCG, Dr. Sullivan served 28 years as a U.S. Army armor and infantry officer. His service included five deployments to Iraq, one to Afghanistan, and one to Kosovo, all of which were in a Security Force Assistance role. He served as the Chief of Plans for the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart, Georgia, the United States Army Garrison Baumholder Commander in Germany, and as the Director of the Chief’s Initiative Group in the Office of Security Cooperation, Iraq at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. His last assignment in the Army was at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University, where Dr. Sullivan taught irregular warfare, counterinsurgency, and counter terrorism courses to both U.S. and foreign military officers.
Dr. Sullivan holds a Ph.D. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Master of Arts degrees from Kansas State University, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and American University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the United States Military Academy. Dr. Sullivan is fluent in German and has elementary knowledge of Arabic and French. He is adjunct faculty at both Georgetown University and The Fletcher School.
Eric Ségura joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in April 2021 as a Senior Police Advisor supporting community policing initiatives in the Sahel region.
Before joining SCG, Mr. Ségura led the execution of the European Union-funded project Appui à la Justice et à la Sécurité au Niger (AJUSEN), focused on strengthening Niger’s core government functions in the areas of justice, internal security, and border management. Previously stationed in Dakar with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Mr. Ségura served as a regional expert in charge of the implementation of airport security projects across Africa. As part of his extensive security sector reform experience in the Sahelian region, Mr. Ségura worked as an advisor to the Director of the National Police of Burkina Faso for the execution of migration flow management initiatives, leading to the creation of the Border Police Directorate. An experienced trainer, Mr. Ségura also oversaw delivery of French bilateral assistance to develop Cameroon’s law enforcement capacities to fight transnational trafficking and organized crime. Prior to his international career, Mr. Ségura served as a Commander in the French National Police in several roles and led the implementation of community-oriented policing strategies in Lyon, France.
Mr. Ségura completed the officer course at the French École nationale supérieure des officiers de police (National Police Officer School). For his distinguished service, Mr. Ségura was awarded the French National Order of Merit and Burkina Faso’s National Order.
Suvimol (Dee)Thanasarakij joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in October 2020 as a Project Coordinator based in Thailand to support SCG's projects in Thailand and across Southeast Asia.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Thanasarakij served as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tourism Marketing Coordinator, where she was in charge of tourism, marketing plans, and activities. She has extensive experience working closely with ASEAN Member States and organizing international events. Ms. Thanasarakij has also worked for the Pacific Asia Travel Association as an Executive Assistant to the CEO. In this role, she provided support in all global business matters. Previously, Ms. Thanasarakij worked as an Event Services Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, where she was in charge of logistics for their meeting groups.
Ms. Thanasarakij holds a Master of Science Degree in Tourism Management from the University of Surrey in the UK. She graduated with honors from Assumption University in Bangkok, Thailand, with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Hotel Management and with a Minor in Marketing. Ms. Thanasarakij is fluent in English and Thai and she has a working knowledge of Mandarin.
Nejib Tlili joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in July 2019 as a Project Coordinator, supporting SCG’s office in Tunisia and its programming in North Africa.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Tlili spent 26 years working in the security sector, occupying several positions of high responsibility and command within several ministries in Tunisia and for international organizations. In 2000, Mr. Tlili joined the United Nations, first as the head of a human development project and then as an Advisor on Safety and Security of Building and Property Staff in the UNDSS department. Most recently, Mr. Tlili was the head of safety and security for the European Union election observation mission.
Mr. Tlili is a graduate of the Tunisian Air Force academy and is fluent in French, Italian, and Arabic.
Joanne White joined Strategic Capacity Group in 2017 as a Senior Police Advisor and lead curriculum designer to support SCG’s SSR, Academies of Excellence, and Institution Building Projects in North Africa and the Sahel.
A retired police Superintendent with over 27 years of completed service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Ms. White brings considerable experience in training, development, and human resource management. Prior to retiring from the RCMP, Ms. White served as the Director of Police Sciences at the Canadian Police College (CPC), where she was responsible for training units that offered over 55 advanced and specialized courses and workshops in investigative techniques, technological crime, forensic identification, explosives disposal/ investigations, police executive development, and professional development for Aboriginal policing. As the Officer in Charge of CPC’s Leadership Development Centre, Ms. White also oversaw the development and delivery of specialized police leadership training.
Ms. White holds an MA in Leadership and Management (Policing) from Charles Sturt University, Australia and a BA in English from St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Kendal Wolf joined Strategic Capacity Group in 2019 as a Senior Program Officer, leading monitoring and evaluation for SCG’s Academies of Excellence Program in Mali.
Mr. Wolf is a seasoned evaluator with twenty years of international affairs, education, and project management experience. He most recently directed evaluation at a leading non-profit institute that builds professional connections and international understanding between global policy makers and their counterparts in the Middle East. Previously, he ran a boutique consulting business for international organizations based in the Pacific Islands. Mr. Wolf has broad experience in education and evaluation, working in settings as diverse as Senegal, France, Cook Islands, and Fiji, as well as in various other locations throughout the United States.
Mr. Wolf holds a BA from Tufts University and a MALD from the Fletcher School. He also completed graduate studies in Education at George Washington University and was a Fulbright Teaching Fellow at the Université de Bourgogne.
Donald Young joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2021 as a Senior Police Trainer, supporting SCG’s security sector capacity building project in Liberia.
Mr. Young has more than 38 years of law enforcement experience, including operating in complex environments as a curriculum developer, advisor and mentor, criminal investigator, and law enforcement executive. Following his career with the New York City Police Department, Mr. Young served as a law enforcement expert in Afghanistan, Iraq, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Somalia. Mr. Young is an expert in counter-network, counter-narcotics, and counter-corruption operations. He was responsible for building the Republic of Chad National Police’s first Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) and the Afghanistan Major Crimes Task Force responsible for investigating organized crime, kidnapping, and corruption. He has also conducted assessments in Palestine, Somalia and Chad and developed Standard Operating Procedures for the Major Crimes Task Force in Afghanistan, the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the National Intelligence and Security Agency in Somalia.
Mr. Young is a graduate of the New York City Police Department Academy. He completed the U.S. Department of Justice International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP) Instructors Development Course and the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry East Systems Approach to Training Course. He is currently working on his degree in Criminal Justice at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Mr. Young is fluent in English and French.
Tinsaye Zewdie joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in May 2022 as a Senior Staff Accountant. Ms. Zewdie provides essential accounting support for SCG’s Finance and Administration Department.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Zewdie served as the Senior Grant Accountant at the National Association Regulatory Utility Commission (NARUC) ensuring allocation of grants to proper project and expense accounts. Ms. Zewdie reviewed and processed all subcontracted work and expenditures and liaised with organizational departments.
Ms. Zewdie holds an Associate of Science Degree in Accounting from Admas University in Ethiopia. She is fluent in Amharic.