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 Bolaños is one of the founding members of Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) and a member of the SCG Board of Directors. In 2020, she returned to the organization as a staff member, serving as the Senior Director of Programs. Dr. Bolaños brings nearly two decades of experience in the private and public sectors. Her areas of practice and conceptual expertise include Security Sector Reform, Institutional Capacity Building; Defense Institution Building, ministerial goverance and oversight, enterpise management; strategic planning, assessment, monitoring and evaluation, and ministerial and force professionalization. She has led program design and implementation in the U.S., Latin America, MENA, and Africa.
Prior to 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 capacity, she designed and supported tailored engagement and executive education 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 programs of instruction for law enforcement, armed forces, and civilian counterparts in support of the U.S. interagency and in response to capacity building requirements of more than 80 countries. Under the auspices of US DOD, she advised senior government officials on areas that include countering violent extremism (CVE), combating terrorism (CT), strategic planning, organized crime, as well as information technologies and conflict. Before joining the U.S. government, Dr. Bolaños’ professional and academic career focused on combating terrorist networks. She began this professional career as an 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 and as an academic fellow at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) in Singapore.
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.
Megan Amer joined Strategic Capacity Group in July 2016 as Director of Development and became Director of Development and Programs in February 2018, building SCG’s portfolio of programs and focus areas.
Ms. Amer has over seventeen years of training and complex project management experience, managing domestic and international projects for the U.S. Department of State and the private sector. At the State Department, Ms. Amer managed multi-sector and interagency teams and budgets over $200 million a year in foreign assistance programming to advance civilian security, criminal justice sector reform, counterterrorism, counterproliferation, counternarcotics, and border security efforts in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, Europe, and South and Central Asia. Ms. Amer’s last position at the State Department was to lead the Bureau of South and Central Asia’s long-term foreign assistance strategic planning efforts. Prior to the State Department she worked in the private sector as a Technical Training Manager for a leading international building automation firm.
Ms. Amer served as an adjunct professor at Mercy and Manhattanville Colleges. She received a MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University and a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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.
Brittany Anning joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in August 2019 as an Executive Assistant supporting the President.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Anning spent nine years supporting senior-level executives in education, non-profits, and wealth management. In her last position, Ms. Anning worked at an international nonprofit planning and executing several conferences. In her free time, Ms. Anning serves as a Youth Teacher, and also works with her church to plan mission trips in West Africa.
Ms. Anning earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies and Political Science from Virginia Wesleyan University. During her Bachelor’s degree program, Ms. Anning studied in Shanghai, researching Chinese foreign direct investments and their underlying strategies in Africa. She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Public International Affairs at Virginia Tech University. Ms. Anning is fluent in Akan, and has a working knowledge of Mandarin.
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.
Eleanor Baldenweck joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2020 as a Program Officer to support the implementation and evaluation of SCG’s security sector capacity building projects in the Sahel.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Baldenweck served as an Officer in the U.S. Army, working first in Chemical and Biological Defense and later in Military Intelligence. She served in Germany, Iraq, Afghanistan, Texas, and New Jersey among other military assignments. Ms. Baldenweck most recently taught as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Seton Hall University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps for four years, preparing five classes of cadets for upcoming military careers in accordance with U.S. Army Cadet Command standards and guidance.
Ms. Baldenweck holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French Language from Seattle University and a Masters of International Relations and Diplomacy Degree from Seton Hall University.
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.
Daniel Paul Bowersock
Daniel Paul Bowersock joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in August 2019 as a Project Assistant.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Bowersock attended military schools in Alabama and New York and studied Mandarin Chinese for a year in Suzhou, China.
Mr. Bowersock holds a Master’s Degree in Statecraft and International Affairs from the Institute of World Politics. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major in International Affairs and Asian Studies and a Certificate of Cybersecurity at the University of Cincinnati.
Marcus Cornelius is Deputy Director of Planning and Logistics at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), overseeing the planning and execution of SCG’s programs and project activities worldwide.
Mr. Cornelius joined SCG in 2018 as a Senior Program Officer, leading SCG’s projects for capacity building in the Sahel and a Strategic Communications project with the Liberian National Police. Mr. Cornelius has a diverse work history over his 20-year career in the United States Marine Corps. In 2004, he served as training advisor in the countries of Chad and Niger as part of the Trans-Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative. In 2005, he deployed to Iraq as a Platoon Commander with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion to Al Anbar Province. From 2006-2010, Mr. Cornelius was assigned to the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command (TECOM). After leaving TECOM, he completed several deployments to Afghanistan, most recently as a Foreign Security Force Advisor, where he served as the Training and Education advisor to Train Advise Assist Command- East. In this role, he focused on building the strategic capacity of the Afghan National Police Regional Training Centers. He also served as the Senior Gender Advsior, developing a strategy to effectively incorporate women in the Afghan National Defense Security Forces.
Mr. Cornelius holds a BA degree in Philosophy from Auburn University and an MA degree in Strategic Security Studies from the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University. He is also a graduate of Marine Corps’ Expeditionary Warfare School and Command and Staff College. Mr Cornelius is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (Combat V), Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the National Defense Medal.
Will Davis is a Project Coordinator in the Planning and Logistics Department at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG). He supports the development and execution of SCG’s technical training and capacity-building programs across the globe.
Mr. Davis joined SCG in August 2019 as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s programs in the Sahel and the Eastern Caribbean. Prior to joining SCG, he worked as a Spanish language tutor and taught conversation classes at the College of Charleston. He also served as an editing assistant at the Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, he interned at the Office of the United States Trade Representative. He has lived and worked abroad in Peru, Northern Ireland, Italy, and Romania.
Mr. Davis holds an MA in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a BA in Spanish from the College of Charleston. He is fluent in Spanish and has a working proficiency of French and Italian.
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.
Grace Duthie is a Project Coordinator in the Planning and Logistics 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 & Comparative Politics, with a focus on African politics. She is currently working toward her 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 joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in November 2019 as the Senior Accounting Officer to assist with the management of SCG’s accounting and financial operations.
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.
Leo Figueroa joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in September 2020 as the Deputy Director of Training and Advising Programs, managing SCG’s technical training and capacity-building programs globally.
A retired Supervisory Special Agent from the Drug Enforcement Administration and former police officer of Metro Dade County Police Department in Miami, Mr. Figueroa has more than 33 years of domestic and international law enforcement experience. Prior to SCG, Mr. Figueroa was a Forensic Accountant at the Federal Bureau of investigation. At FBI, he spearheaded complex financial investigations and used forensic software to collect sensitive data. Prior to FBI, Mr. Figueroa was a Senior Police and Justice Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Jerusalem, Israel. At INL, he provided law enforcement expertise, policy analysis, capacity building, and program management guidance globally on police and justice sector reform.
Mr. Figueroa holds a BA in Human Resource Management from Barry University and a Master’s Certification in Forensic Accounting from Georgetown University. Mr. Figueroa is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Gold Medal of Valor from Miami Dade County Police Department. Mr. Figueroa is fluent in Spanish and has a working-level knowledge of Thai.
Trevor Flynn joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in June 2019 as the Budget Coordinator and was promoted in June 2020 to the Finance and Operations Officer. Mr. Flynn provides essential financial and administrative support for SCG’s global portfolio of grants and programs.
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 locations profit and loss statement related to revenue growth and expense monitoring. Part of these duties included overseeing and growing the sales territory in which Penske Truck Leasing operated within the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area and serving 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.
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.
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.
Peter Hanlon joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in December 2019 as the Director of Global Operations, overseeing the planning, implementation, and security of SCG’s worldwide programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Hanlon served as the Assistant Deputy Administrator for the Office of Material Management and Minimization (M3) at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). He was responsible for all Department activities relating to the conversion of research reactors and isotope producing facilities from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium. Mr. Hanlon also oversaw the U.S. global program for removing highly enriched uranium (HEU) and plutonium and the U.S. disposition program for excess plutonium and HEU. Under his direction, the M3 organization aimed to achieve permanent threat reduction by minimizing and, when possible, eliminating weapons-usable nuclear material around the world. Prior to his joining the NNSA, Mr. Hanlon served in the U. S. Navy for 25 years, retiring as a Captain. He deployed on a variety of nuclear-powered submarines, including command of the USS LOUISIANA (SSBN-743). Ashore, he served in policy positions within the Departments of Defense and Energy.
Mr. Hanlon holds a BS in Mathematics from the United States Naval Academy and a MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
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.
Genevieve Jesse joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in August 2020 as a Project Coordinator in the Planning and Logistics Department, supporting SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Jesse worked as a Research Analyst at Ascendant Program Services, contracting for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s Sub-Saharan Africa team. In this role, Ms. Jesse helped track and manage USAID grants for energy projects in West Africa from the proposal stage to project implementation. Ms. Jesse also previously worked with Dr. Landry Signé at the Global Network for Africa’s Prosperity and the Brookings Institution on research related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Sub-Saharan Africa’s business and investment markets, and U.S. affairs in Africa.
Ms. Jesse holds an MA in International Affairs with concentrations in International Security Studies and Africa from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. She also holds a BA with Departmental Honors in International Studies and French from Seattle University. Ms. Jesse is fluent in French and has lived and studied in France and Morocco.
Alexandra Kerr is Deputy Director of Programs at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), overseeing SCG’s capacity building activities worldwide.
Ms. Kerr joined SCG in 2018 as a Senior Program Officer, leading SCG’s projects on defense institution building, border security capacity in North Africa, and transnational organized crime in the Eastern Caribbean. She is currently coauthoring a book with SCG President Dr. Querine Hanlon that analyzes how to rescope defense sector reform strategy in the context of 21st century operating environments.
Ms. Kerr has worked in international relations and defense both domestically and internationally for more than a decade. Prior to joining SCG, she was a Fellow at the National Defense University, where her research focused on Security Cooperation & Security Assistance, including security sector reform and institutional capacity building. She led an initiative on U.S. Defense Institution Building policy and is the editor and an author of Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building (2017), a book published in collaboration with the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Security Cooperation. Previously, Ms. Kerr was Assistant Director of the International Institutions and Global Governance Program at the Council on Foreign Relations, and prior to that, she held a research position in conflict mediation at the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. During her studies she held several research positions, including in Oxford, the University of Saint Andrews, the political risk division of Lloyds of London, and the UN World Food Program in Rome.
Ms. Kerr holds a Master’s Degree in International Conflict from the Department of War Studies in King’s College London and an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland.
Muhammad Khan Baryalai
Muhammad Khan Baryalai joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in May 2020 as an Accounting Officer to provide accounting and financial support to SCG’s portfolio of grants and programs.
Mr. Baryalai has over 16 years of non-profit accounting experience. Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Baryalai served as the Finance Officer at Counterpart International. Previously, Mr. Khan served in various roles at Encompass LLC, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI).
Mr. Baryalai received his BA in Economics in 2001 and an MBA Degree with a concentration in Finance in 2013 from American University of Afghanistan. Mr. Baryalai is fluent in Pashto, Dari, and Urdu.
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.
Brandon Kotlow is a Program Officer at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), supporting SCG’s Law Enforcement Experts Program (LEEP).
Mr. Kotlow joined SCG in 2019, serving as a Project Coordinator prior to his promotion to Program Officer. At SCG, he has support Security Sector Reform and Capacity Building Programs in Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and South Asia. Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Kotlow was a Program Manager at WorldStrides, where he designed global education programs across 6 continents for elite institutions. Previously, Mr. Kotlow conducted research on terrorism rehabilitation and supported conflict resolution and international security projects at Seton Hall University’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. Mr. Kotlow also served at the U.S. Department of State as an intern in the Economics Division of U.S. Embassy San Salvador and at the Foreign Service Institute.
Mr. Kotlow holds an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University and a B.A. in International Studies and Spanish from Manhattan College. He is fluent in Spanish and has intermediate-level knowledge of Arabic.
Ruth Kouadio joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in September 2019 as a Project Coordinator, supporting SCG’s global capacity building programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Kouadio worked with Heifer International, supporting the Business Development Team. She has worked with Americorps as a Mentor Coordinator and helped establish a Girls who Code chapter in Plattsburgh, NY. She also served at the United Nations as an intern with the Office of Disarmament Affairs in Vienna, Austria. She is a community leader and oversees a women ministry.
Ms. Kouadio earned a Master’s Degree in International Security and Strategic Studies from Bellevue University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Studies from Bellevue University. Ms. Kouadio is fluent in French and Akan and has a working knowledge of Spanish.
Rachel Larned 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.
In August 2019, Ms. Larned began working at SCG as a Project Assistant to support SCG’s Global Law Enforcement Expertise Program (LEEP) and other programs in the Sahel. Prior to joining SCG, she worked at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina in the Econ Section, supporting trade and intellectual property rights initiatives. Previously, Ms. Larned interned at the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Center (ESISC) in Brussels, Belgium, as a research analyst, where she reported to clients on security developments in the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia, and conducted targeted analysis on terrorism in the Sahel. Ms. Larned has also spent time as an English Language Instructor, teaching elementary students in Romania and South Korea.
Ms. Larned has lived most of her life overseas in Europe, Asia, and South America. She holds a double BA in International Relations and French and Francophone Studies from the College of William and Mary. Ms. Larned is fluent in French.
Francesca Maestas is a Program Officer at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in the Planning and Logistics Department. As a Team Lead, she supports the coordination and execution of SCG’s international conferences, events and program activities.
Ms. Maestas joined SCG in 2018 as a Project Assistant supporting SCG’s Programs in North and West Africa. Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Maestas spent most of her life living overseas, primarily in Latin America. Ms. Maestas served as a Program Lead at an educational law conference for high school students at Stanford University in partnership with Stanford’s Law School. She also spent a year serving with Americorps at a public high school in Washington DC, working as an academic guidance counselor and behavior coach with recent immigrant youth from Central America, West Africa, East Africa and the Middle East. Previously, Ms. Maestas worked at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy, in the Consular Section supporting the initial intake process for visa applications.
Ms. Maestas holds a dual BA in History and Africana Studies from the College of William and Mary. She is fluent in Spanish and French and has working-level knowledge of Arabic.
Linda Mayberry joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in March 2020 as the Deputy Director of Training and Advising Programs, managing SCG’s technical training and capacity-building programs globally.
A retired Colonel and former Deputy Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police, Ms. Mayberry has more than 24 years of domestic police experience, including executive level and command positions. Prior to SCG, Ms. Mayberry was a Senior Police Advisor at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). At INL, she provided law enforcement expertise, policy analysis, and program guidance globally on police sector reform. Prior to INL, she served as an Advisor in Nairobi, Kenya, where she led the Women’s Justice and Empowerment Initiative, a US Department of Justice, International Criminal Investigative Training and Assistance Program project.
Ms. Mayberry has served on a number of state, national and international boards and committees, including the International Association of Women Police, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the International Managers of Police Academy and College Training, and as an Expert Panel Member to the United Nations for Increasing Women in Peacekeeping Operations. She is founder of the Kentucky Women in Law Enforcement Network. Ms. Mayberry holds a BA in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University and an MPA in Public Administration from Kentucky State University.
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 joined Strategic Capacity Group in August 2020 as 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, the international partners and the 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 and organized and coordinated the Advanced Defence Course for military pre-deployment training.
Ms. van Oijen holds a Master’s degree in International Business Studies (Organization & Strategy) from the Maastricht University in the Netherlands. In addition, she participated in several courses including “International Relations” (Clingendael Institute) and “International Conflict Prevention, Stabilization and Reconstruction” (Groningen University). In the Netherlands she has also been active as a volunteer for the Netherlands Red Cross in the area of International Humanitarian Law. 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.
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.
Paulson Pierre-Philippe joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in February 2019 to support SCG's capacity building programs in Haiti.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Pierre-Philippe was an International relations consultant, specialized in urban diplomacy and decentralized cooperation. He is the co-founder of Genglobe Consulting, a Montreal based consulting firm with a branch in Petion-Ville (Haiti). Mr. Pierre-Philippe was Vice-president of the Haitian-Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Montreal. He has carried out several international missions as a consultant for various companies, non-governmental organizations, and foundations. Throughout his involvement in Haiti, he has successively served as Permanent Delegate for the city of Port-au-Prince in Montreal, liaison agent for the city of Port-au-Prince with the American and French military contingents in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Chief of Staff to two former Mayors of Port-au-Prince, and Senior consultant for USAID/KONEKTE-HAITI on the "Kore Lavi Program." He has also served as an International relations advisor to the former President of Haiti, Michel Joseph Martelly. Throughout his career, Mr. Pierre-Philippe has participated in several international conferences as speaker and stakeholder of Municipal cooperation. He is also a lecturer, teaching International relations at the university level and has written several articles on governance issues in Haiti.
Mr. Pierre-Philippe holds a Bachelor of Laws from the State University of Haiti and a degree in Management from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, University of Montreal. He also earned a degree in Leadership development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Pierre-Philippe is fluent in French, English, and Haitian creole.
Madeline Purkerson is a Program Officer at Strategic Capacity Group (SCG), leading SCG’s Law Enforcement Experts Program (LEEP).
Ms. Purkerson joined SCG in 2019, serving as a Project Coordinator prior to her promotion to Program Officer. At SCG, she has supported strategic capacity building and peacekeeping projects in West and Central Africa, as well as in South Asia and the Pacific. Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Purkerson served as a Program Coordinator at a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, where she coordinated programs, events, and research supporting U.S. security relationships in the Middle East. She also worked as a Gender and Global Security Program Assistant at Women In International Security (WIIS), conducting research and supporting projects related to global National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security. Additionally, she has experience working with refugees, human rights, and religious diplomacy at multiple organizations in Washington, D.C. and Denver, Colorado.
Ms. Purkerson holds an MA in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University’s School of International Service and a BA in International Studies from the University of Denver.
Yulistina Riyadi joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in February 2021 as a Project Assistant based in Indonesia to support SCG’s capacity building projects in Indonesia and across Southeast Asia.
Ms. Riyadi has over ten years of experience in both the development and private sectors. Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Riyadi was the research coordinator and project lead for the United Nations Global Pulse. In this role, she engaged in harnessing big data for development and humanitarian action. During her assignment, she managed crowdsourcing translation project in 11 countries in Asia. She also worked on various research projects on big data, mobile data, and social media analysis. Ms. Riyadi also served as a senior qualitative researcher for IPSOS Indonesia. In this role, she conducted research to understand Indonesia's consumers and gain insights for national and international clients.
Ms. Riyadi holds a Master’s degree in Social Health from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and was awarded a full scholarship from the Australian Government. Ms. Riyadi is fluent in Indonesian and English.
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.
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.
Robert Sigona joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in January 2019 as the Administration and Finance Officer and was promoted in June 2019 to Senior Administration and Finance Officer. Mr. Sigona provides essential financial and administrative support for SCG’s global portfolio of grants and programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Sigona served as the operations manager and lead instructor for a Virginia-based startup company. Mr. Sigona also has experience delivering effective forecasting and logistics management processes for Penske. Previously, Mr. Sigona served in the United States Coast Guard for six years and participated in a variety of missions ranging from search and rescue (SAR) to maritime law enforcement (MLE). He was an engineer by trade in the USCG, working on complicated mission critical machinery as well while participating in several migrant and drug interdiction missions in the Caribbean and JIATF South regions of the Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. Sigona holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from George Mason University. He has been the recipient of several awards in the United States Coast Guard, including the Coast Guard Sea Service Ribbon, Meritorious Team Commendation, Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Award, and the Commandant’s Letter of Commendation with Authorized Gold Star Pin in leu of multiple commendations.
Harsha Sirur joined SCG in May 2019, serving as SCG’s Tunisia Country Director and North Africa Regional Director.
Mr. Sirur, a former Diplomat with over 17 years of experience in the Canadian Foreign Service, has extensive overseas program management and oversight experience of international stabilization and security sector capacity building programs. Mr. Sirur served as a Country Representative in the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) in Haiti to support community security. As the Senior Deputy Director for Policy & Programming for the Afghanistan Task Force, Mr. Sirur provided policy oversight to Canada’s security sector and border management support in Afghanistan. Mr. Sirur has also actively worked with project partners on security sector reform by developing Canada’s counter-terrorism programing in Kenya and the East/Horn of Africa, as well as overseeing Global Peace & Security Fund (GPSF) investments in Somalia. He was previously stationed at the Canadian Embassy in Jordan as the Chargé d’Affaires for Iraq, where he led direct negotiation efforts with senior Iraqi officials relating to Canadian strategic interests and security sector programming in Iraq. Mr. Sirur has been based in Tunis since 2014 and has overseen Canada’s cooperation with various Tunisian security sector institutions and the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program’s (CTCBP) investments.
Mr. Sirur received a Master of Forest Science Degree and an Honours Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from the University of Toronto.
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.
Xaviera Steinecke-Caraballo joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in October 2020. She serves as the Finance and Operations Officer, providing essential financial and administrative support for SCG’s global portfolio of grants and programs.
Prior to joining SCG, Ms. Steinecke-Caraballo spent 12 years in the United States Army as a career logistics professional. During her service, she supported operations stateside and abroad. Ms. Steinecke-Caraballo’s military service included multiple joint training deployments and a combat tour with the 101st Airborne Division in Afghanistan. During these missions, Ms. Steinecke-Caraballo was responsible for executing a wide array of complex logistics duties to ensure mission accomplishment. These responsibilities included strategic-level logistical planning and process improvement in support of operational forces. At the tactical level, she was responsible for the day-to-day execution of logistical support, providing the material and financial means necessary for mission success.
Ms. Steinecke-Caraballo is currently completing a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland. Her military education includes extensive training in Property Book Management and Automated Identification Technology and advanced leadership studies and organizational asset management. Ms. Steinecke-Caraballo is a recipient of the Army Demonstrated Logistician Award and the Combat Action Badge for bravely serving in live fire situations during her deployment to Afghanistan. She is fluent in Spanish.
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.
Coumba Ngouye Thiam
Coumba Ngouye Thiam joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in February 2020 as Senior Police Trainer supporting SCG’s program in the Central African Republic (CAR).
Before joining SCG, Ms. Coumba spent 37 years in the Senegalese police force, serving as the organization’s first female police inspector. From 2006 to 2008, Ms. Coumba deployed to East Timor in support of United Nations Police (UNPOL) and participated in developing the security plan for the presidential and legislative elections. She also deployed with the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), serving as Chief of Personnel and Administration from 2013 to 2015. In 2019, Ms. Coumba pioneered the first sub-regional conference "Paving the Road for Women" in Dakar, Senegal with support from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Ms. Thiam is an experienced trainer and facilitator. She has taught courses on peacekeeping and other topics for national, regional, and international organizations.
Ms. Coumba earned a baccalaureate in scientific studies from the John Fitzgerald Kennedy College in Senegal. Ms. Coumba is fluent in French, English, and Woloff.
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.
Tung Vu joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in December 2020 as a Project Assistant based in Vietnam to support SCG’s projects in Vietnam and across Southeast Asia.
Prior to joining SCG, Mr. Vu was a Program Associate for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, where he provided both technical and operational support to its rule of law development projects in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In this capacity, he conducted extensive research on rule of law development, trial advocacy, trafficking in persons, and wildlife trafficking.
Mr. Vu holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies from Vassar College, where he focused on the Politics and Economics of Southeast Asia and Vietnam. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.
Judy Waight joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in January 2021 as a Project Coordinator, supporting the delivery of SCG’s capacity building project in Belize.
Ms. Waight has over ten years of experience in non-governmental, academic, and private organizations. Before joining SCG, Ms. Waight was the Program Officer for the Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network, an Instructional Design Consultant, and an Adjunct Lecturer for the University of Belize. In these roles, she engaged in instructional design, e-learning development, and program development and design. She is a certified Moodle facilitator and skilled in e-learning authoring tools. Ms. Waight has also conducted and published research examining minority employee organizational attitudes to inform diversity training.
Ms. Waight holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and in Hospitality Management from the University of Houston.
Pamela I. Westfall
Pamela Westfall joined Strategic Capacity Group (SCG) in 2021 as a Senior Program Officer to lead and support the implementation of the organization’s security sector capacity-building project in Colombia. Mrs. Westfall has extensive experience working in diplomacy, stakeholder management, and program implementation in the areas of public security, drug policy, and alternatives to incarceration in Latin America.
Before joining SCG, Mrs. Westfall was a Program Officer at the Organization of American States (OAS), where she worked with countries on criminal justice reform in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mrs. Westfall worked with government agencies, national security and justice ministries, national drug councils, international organizations, and independent agencies to design, support, and implement evidence-based policies that respect the human rights of vulnerable populations. In addition to her work at the OAS, Mrs. Westfall has worked in bilateral relations between the United States and Mexico through the Merida Initiative, managing projects focused on building resilient communities in areas vulnerable to organized crime. Earlier in her career, Mrs. Westfall did research for the Canadian Parliament on seasonal agricultural migrant worker programs as well as for the Council of Hemispheric Affairs, where she published articles on security, immigration, and organized crime in the Americas.
Mrs. Westfall holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Universidad de Monterrey and a Master of Arts in Latin American and Security Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is fluent in Spanish.
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.