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Senior Manager, Forensic & Integrity Services, Ernst & Young
Zane Barnes currently heads the Integrity Due Diligence team within Ernst & Young’s Forensic & Integrity Services practice in Dubai. The Integrity Due Diligence team assists public and private sector clients with due diligence research across many countries and languages and is one the preeminent due diligence practices in the MENA region. With experience in geopolitical advisory, Zane has managed project investigation teams in the Middle East and Africa since joining EY in 2016. Focusing on work in the Government and Public Sector, Zane has assisted a government client with a large public debt transformation project and has regularly assisted on sanctions-related investigations. Prior to joining EY, Zane served eight years as a US Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State. His assignments there included Bangkok, Seoul, Auckland, Kabul, Kandahar, and Dubai. Zane has a BA in Political Science from San Jose State University and a Master in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Principle Analyst, Middle East Upstream Oil & Gas, Wood Mac
Jessica Brewer is a Principal Analyst at Wood Mackenzie within the Middle East upstream research team. Her specific focus is on the OPEC nations. She has acted as Iraq country expert on several consultancy projects, covering upstream strategy and opportunity screening studies. She is a key contributor to Wood Mackenzie’s analysis of global pre-FID projects. She joined the company in 2012 and is based in Dubai. As well as writing topical analysis, Jessica has presented at conferences and appeared on TV and radio, providing insight on the region’s oil and gas sector. Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Jessica worked as a Well Services engineer with Schlumberger, located in Western Siberia, Sakhalin, and the US Gulf of Mexico. She holds a Masters of Mechanical Engineering and Masters of Sciences in Sustainable Energy, both from Imperial College London, as well as a Masters of Sciences in Energy, Trade and Finance from Cass Business School.
ISOA Founder & President Emeritus, ISOA
Doug Brooks founded the International Stability Operations Association and lead the association during a decade of unprecedented activity when ISOA teamed academia, think tanks, industry, government and nongovernmental organizations to develop international guidelines for the modern Stability Operations industry. Now ISOA President Emeritus, he serves on the Board of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, teaches as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Fiji, and maintains close relationships with ISOA sharing his expertise as an independent consultant. He has testified before the US Congress, South African Parliament, and at UN functions. He has appeared on numerous television and radio programs, including al Jazeera, the BBC, CBS News, NBC News, Fox News, and SABC in South Africa. He has lectured at a number of universities and colleges, including Georgetown University, the South African Defense College, George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany, and the US Military Academy at West Point. He has authored numerous articles, book chapters and op-eds that has appeared in leading media around the globe. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from Indiana University and a Masters in History from Baylor University, with doctoral studies at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh.
Founder, Bob Castro Strategies
Following two years as a White House appointee in the Presidential Transition, State Department, and USAID, Bob Castro recently returned to the private sector, where he has focused for over a decade on new markets, innovation, entrepreneurship, and corporate engagement in Defense, Diplomacy & Development, living in the GCC region, Egypt, Mexico, and Washington, DC. As Senior Advisor at USAID, Bob lead re-thinking of continuity of operations/emergency response protocols, among broader management reforms. He contributed to new policy initiatives and communication plans for key priorities, from innovation to private sector engagement to the Indo-Pacific strategy. Previously Chief of Staff (PDAS-rank) for Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) at State, Bob served for ten years as professional staff for prominent members of appropriations, authorizing, and oversight committees and Congress’s Joint Office of Technology Assessment. Bob was managing Vice President of an influential public opinion and market research firm and Director of Global Security Policy at Lockheed Martin, with business development responsibilities for its subsidiary, PAE, Inc. He advised the leadership of Corporate Council on Africa, US-ASEAN Business Council, Kellogg Innovation Network (KIN), and AmChams in MENA/MECACC/AACCLA regions. Bob received the AAFSW Secretary of State Award in 2016 and DACOR’s Tragen Award in 2013.
Vice President, Business Development, PAE
Darryle Conway (ISOA) joined PAE in 2011, and serves as a Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Global Mission Services (GMS) Business Unit. GMS is a business with annual sales of more than $1.9B and 10,000 employees spanning all seven continents, operating in more than 70 countries. GMS customers include: US Federal Civilian Agencies, DoD, UN, and various commercial clients and allied governments. Prior to his current position, Darryle was the Vice President of Business Development for PAE’s Global Logistics & Stability Operations Business Unit. In addition, Darryle led the startup and served as the Expeditionary Logistics Business Area General Manager, a rapidly expanding service line with revenues of $275M and a workforce of more than 2,000. Darryle has broad experience leading and growing government contractor organizations. Before joining PAE, Darryle was with Raytheon and served as Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development and as Business Development Executive for Raytheon Technical Services Company. Darryle currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Stability Operations Association and on the Board of Trustees for the Army War College Foundation. He is a native of Washington D.C. and graduated with a B.S. in Biology from East Tennessee State University.
US Ambassador to the UAE (Ret)
Ambassador Michael Corbin is a consultant based in the United Arab Emirates. Formerly a career diplomat with extensive experience in the Middle East, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates from July 2011 to December 2014. After retiring, he devoted his energy to a new career supporting the private sector. Prior to his UAE posting, Ambassador Corbin served at the State Department as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Minister-Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, and from 2006 to 2008, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, Syria. He held various other positions at the State Department in Washington and served in Embassies abroad twice in Cairo, twice in Kuwait, and twice in Tunisia. Outside of the Middle East, he served as Director of Counter-Narcotics Affairs in Caracas, Venezuela from 1997 to 2001. Ambassador Corbin joined the Foreign Service in 1985. Previously, he worked in Mauritania with the Peace Corps on an agricultural project from 1982 to 1984. He received a BA from Swarthmore College. He speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish and is an avid cyclist.
Chairman, Board of Directors, AMCHAM Abu Dhabi
Sharief Fahmy serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Abu Dhabi, promoting commerce and investment between the USA and UAE. AmCham Abu Dhabi is a member of the AmCham MENA Regional Council, which comprises the AmCham’s in UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. In the private sector, Sharief is a Managing Partner at Burgeon Ventures, providing leadership and direction to clients in multiple business sectors, capitalizing on UAE’s strategic location as a global market epicenter. He served as CEO of Middle East General Enterprises, a private holding company providing international business and investment in logistics, services, oil and gas, healthcare, aerospace and defense. He was CEO of Fairs & Exhibitions, one of the world’s most accomplished event organizers, managing the internationally acclaimed Dubai Airshow. Sharief served in the US Government for 23 years, ranging from USAF and Joint Strategic tours at the Pentagon to the White House, with Air Force One, at USCENTCOM, and as a diplomat at the United States Embassy Abu Dhabi. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management from the University of Maryland, and Graduate degrees in Public Administration and Human Resource Management.
U.S. Department of Defense as a Senior Advisor
Major General Arnold Fields served in the US Marine Corps for 34 years, including as Deputy Commander of Marine Corps Forces in Europe and previously Director of the Marine Corps Headquarters Staff at the Pentagon; Commanding General of all Marine Corps Bases in Hawaii; and Commander of U.S. Central Command’s Forward Headquarters, with dual responsibilities as Central Command’s Inspector General. He commanded a motorized infantry battalion in combat operations during Operation Desert Storm and served as the commanding officer of all Marine Corps embassy and consulate security guards in 17 North Africa and Middle East countries. He was assigned to the US Embassy in Iraq from August 2004 until October 2005 and as Chief of Staff of the Iraq Reconstruction and Management Office, as Deputy Director of the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, and as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). He earned a Bachelors of Science Degree in Agriculture Education at South Carolina State University, Master of Arts Degree in Human Resources Management at Pepperdine University, and graduated from the Army War College, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School.
Vice President BAT Operations, DynCorp International
Ken Fox is the Vice President BAT Operations at DynCorp International LLC. Previously at DynCorp, he assisted in the management of LOGCAP and was the Senior Program Director at US Embassy Kabul and the Senior Director of Business Operations in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Prior to that, he was a Program Quality Manager at KBR supporting Middle East operations, and previously was KBR's Project Manager for Business Operations at the US Embassy in Baghdad. He received his education at Arizona State University.
Assistant Professor, Zayed University
Jonathan Fulton is an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He received his PhD in International Relations from the University of Leicester, UK, where his dissertation focused on China’s relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council member states. He has written widely on China-Middle East relations for both academic and popular publications. He is the author of “China’s Relations with the Gulf Monarchies” and co-editor of “External Power and the Gulf Monarchies”. His research focuses on China-Middle East relations, Chinese foreign policy, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the international relations of the Gulf region. His analysis also appeared on Washington Post, South China Morning Post, The Diplomat and other media outlets. He received his Ph. D. in Political Science at University of Leicester, United Kingdom, Masters of the Arts on International Policy and Diplomacy, from Staffordshire University in the UK, and Masters of Education from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, as well as a Bachelors in Political Science from Dalhousie University, Canada. Dr. Jonathan taught in Cheju National University, Kyung Hee University in South Korea, and has been with Zayed University since 2006.
CEO, Astral Aviation
Sanjeev Gadhia is the Founder and CEO of Astral Aviation Ltd, a cargo airline based in Nairobi, Kenya, operating a fleet of seven cargo aircraft in Europe and Africa. He is responsible for the management, network planning, and fleet acquisition for Astral Aviation, along with its Pan African expansion strategy, adding two cargo hubs in West and Southern Africa and diversifying into logistics, airport infrastructure, executive jets and unmanned cargo aircraft. He is rated as a “New Generation Leader for Africa” by the prestigious African Leadership Network. Astral has been rated as the best all-cargo carrier in Africa in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. In 2017, Astral Aerial (UAV/Drone subsidiary of Astral Aviation) won the prestigious IATA Cargo Innovation Award for its UTM (UAV Traffic Management) innovation. In 2019, Astral Aerial was rated as one of “Africa’s Top 10 Tech Startups” and was selected by Airbus to participate in its Bizlab #Africa4Future accelerator program. He is Vice Chairman of the African Airlines Association Cargo Committee and was the first Director from Africa to sit on TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association). A former banker, he holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Schiller International University in London.
President, BG Global Advisors
Barbara Gibian is President of BG Global Advisors, a women-owned small business providing international project development solutions for developers, investment firms, and private equity funds. BGGA focuses on infrastructure development in competitive, challenging and unstable markets. Barbara manages greenfield project development and restructuring of failing businesses in emerging markets and post-conflict countries. She leads efforts to evaluate and develop complex projects involving equity and/or debt financing in new, expanding or privatizing emerging market companies. Her experience ranges from natural resource projects to hospitality and real estate projects on five continents. She served as Associate General Counsel for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, an independent agency of the U.S. government assisting US businesses to invest overseas, fostering economic development in new and emerging markets, complementing the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supporting US foreign policy in more than 150 countries worldwide. At OPIC, she was responsible for negotiating medium and long term project funding through direct loans and loan guaranties and, for projects requiring more than OPIC’s maximum per-project lending capacity, she worked with co-lenders to bring sufficient resources to the project. She holds a Masters from Syracuse University, and a JD from Georgetown University.
Executive Management Team, MSA Security
Gerald Goss (ISOA Advisory Council) is the former Chairman of ISOA Board of Directors; VP for MSA Security. He serves as the Vice President of Business Development as a part of the Executive Management Team for MSA Security, an industry leader in high consequence threat protection and specialized training for corporate and government clients. Previously, he served on Triple Canopy’s Executive Management Team as Vice President of Business Development. He also served as Deputy Program Director and Operations Manager in support of intelligence, asymmetric warfare and counter narcoterrorism programs at TASC/ Northrop Grumman providing Global Mission Support on IDIQ contracts and task orders related to CENTCOM, NORTHCOM, AFRICOM and SOUTHCOM initiatives. He has worked with and provided support to a large network of defense, intelligence, law enforcement and industry professionals, managing programs and leading teams on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan, Honduras and elsewhere. He is a US Marine Corps Veteran, former certified law enforcement officer and has completed Cornell University’s High Performance and Executive Leadership programs.
CEO, Lockheed Martin UAE
Bob Harward is the Chief Executive for Lockheed Martin Middle East and has lived in Abu Dhabi for five years. He guides and supports all aspects of Lockheed's business interests in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, including strategy, operations, and business growth. A national security expert in both theory and application, he served on the National Security Council for the George W. Bush White House, commissioned the National Counter Terrorism Center, and has extensive combat/counterterrorism experience as a US Navy SEAL, in Afghanistan, Iraq (he led both invasions in 2001 and 2003), Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Bosnia. A US Naval Academy alumni, he holds a Masters in International Security Affairs and is a graduate of the Naval War College and the MIT Foreign Policy Program. He served as an executive fellow at RAND and speaks Farsi. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, he was a Vice Admiral (SEAL) in the United States Navy, with his last assignment as Deputy Commander, US Central Command (USCENTCOM). He currently serves on the Secretary of Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee (TRAC) where he chairs the Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction Task Force.
President & CEO, Emerging Consulting Group
Naeem Hasanyar is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in Virginia, USA, with over 15 years of experience in tax compliance, accounting, financial management, government audits, government contracts and grants compliance. He specializes in US Government regulations, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and OMB Circulars for contractors and grantees. Previously, he worked in Afghanistan and the USA as Director of Finance at the American University of Afghanistan, Financial Analyst at USAID/Afghanistan, and Government Auditor with Davis and Associates where he conducted numerous audits for SIGAR and the USAID’s Office of the Inspector General. He is the President and CEO of Emerging Consulting Group, where he advises and assists clients with Afghanistan tax compliance, establishing financial management systems, complying with federal contracts and grants, and supporting with financial audits. He is a member of Virginia Society of CPAs as well as a member of the UK-based Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), and is a certified Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor.
MG Sean Jenkins
US Army, Chief, Office of Security Cooperation - Iraq
US Embassy • Baghdad
Major General Sean M. Jenkins earned his commission as an infantry officer upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1988. His military and civilian education include the Infantry Officer’s Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the United States War College. He holds a Master of Advance Military Studies from the United States Army Command and General Staff College, and a Master of Business in Aviation from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He served as an Anti-Tank, Infantry Rifle and Scout Platoon Leader; Company Executive Officer; Company Commander; Battalion S4 Trainer, Tarantula Team; Battalion and Brigade Operations Officer; Senior Liaison Officer; Battalion Commander; National Security Fellow at Harvard’s JFK School of Government, Harvard University; Brigade Commander, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AASSLT); Executive Assistant to the PACOM Commander, Camp Smith, Hawaii; Deputy Commanding General (Support), 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; Deputy Director Operations USCENTCOM, MacDill AFB, Florida; Deputy Commanding General IMCOM, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. His career includes multiple deployments to Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and the CENTCOM AOR.
Senior Management, Afghan Holding Group
Sanzar is an Afghan entrepreneur and an expert in the developing world economics. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Engineering and from Warwick Business School with a Master’s in Business Administration. At the University of Pennsylvania, he served as the Manager of the Wharton Graduate Association. Following his undergraduate degree, he worked for Merrill Lynch as a Technology Analyst on a trading desk for bonds and equities, creating a link for automatic reporting to the New York Stock Exchange. He started in Afghanistan as an Investment Associate for Acap Partners, setting up a $20 million venture capital facility and sourcing over 300 new deals for consideration. He was an Executive Advisor to the Attorney General’s Office of Afghanistan on a US Department of State program and worked to reorganize the institution and setup a nationwide paper and computer criminal case management system spanning seven justice institutions. He served as the Economic Advisor for the Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility, setting up operational and fiduciary requirements for the seven year £30 million grant facility in Kabul, followed by a promotion to Deputy Interim Team Leader. He speaks English, Pashtu and Dari.
Counselor at the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan (FAUAF)
Masih Khybari is Counselor at the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan (FAUAF), a non-profit 501(c)(3) in Washington, DC, dedicated to supporting higher education in Afghanistan for institutions that are private, independent, not-for-profit, non-sectarian, and coeducational, such as the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF). Prior to joining FAUAF, Khybari was an associate at Capitalize LLC, a strategic consulting firm based in Washington, DC, and worked on the MENA Desk at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. He holds a LLB from Staffordshire University Law School, Legal Practice Course degree from The College of Law in London, and a Master of Sciecnes from the London School of Economics.
Vice President and Founding Director, DAI
Tine Knott is the Vice President of the Center for Secure and Stable States where she provides strategic leadership of DAI’s work in fragile states. For the three years prior, she was DAI's Managing Director for Governance, Transition, and Stability, where she was responsible for the company's portfolio of good governance, stabilization, political transition, preventing and countering violent extremism, peace building, citizen security, and public financial management work. From 2011 to 2013, she held senior business development and technical expert positions with DAI. Before joining DAI, she spent more than 15 years with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, D.C., and the field, including assignments in Ghana, Jordan, Mozambique, and Peru. In her final USAID assignment as the Senior Development Advisor in Jordan, Shee developed cross-sectoral and politically sensitive programming in human rights, good governance, and poverty and was responsible for public outreach and management of relationships with host government counterparts, other US government agencies, civil society, and media. Prior to her career in development, She spent time in Nigeria teaching at the University of Ibadan and participating in the pro-democracy movement. She earned her Master’s degree in international development at the University of Pennsylvania.
Senior Counsel, Kakar Advocates
Thomas Kraemer is an American lawyer licensed to practice in the state of Ohio. He has worked in Afghanistan since 2015 and has been Senior Counsel and Head of the Legal Department at Kakar Advocates since 2016. He has provided legal services to both public and private clients in the extractives sector, including clients in the oil and gas, energy and mining industries. He has been involved in the drafting of key legislation, including Afghanistan’s Hydrocarbons Law, Minerals Law and associated regulations. He has substantial experience dealing with Afghanistan’s public procurement and public-private partnership laws, as well as land rights issues that arise in extractives projects. Before moving to Afghanistan, he practiced as a commercial litigator for over twenty years in the United States, with a concentration in intellectual property matters. He also worked for three years as an administrator in a maternity hospital in Hargeisa, Somaliland. Tom has a Bachelors from the University of Virginia, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, and a Masters in Public Health from Wright State University School of Medicine.
Vice President of Marketing & External Affairs Government Services, KBR
Thomas Lampley leads marketing and external affairs for the KBRwyle Government Services Logistics Business, developing industry and government relationships and broadening OCONUS markets and clients in stability and sustainment operations with DOD and Federal Government agencies. He served as Senior VP Business Development for MVM, Inc., and as Vice President of Air Force Programs for IAP World Services. He retired from the US Air Force in 1999, culminating as Director of the Congressional Issues Group for the Secretary of the Air Force, Legislative Liaison. He served four years in DOD acquisitions with both DLA and USAF Research Development and Acquisition. He was the Commander of the largest academic and flying training program at the USAF Academy. He holds a BS in Engineering from the US Military Academy (West Point), an MS in Business Management from Troy State University, Alabama, and is a Graduate of two executive-level management schools, three professional schools and a fellowship with Westinghouse Corporation. He flew 236 combat missions in the F-4 Phantom over Vietnam and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 24 Air Medals, two Legions of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, a DoD Meritorious Service Metal, and theVietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
President and Executive Director, ISOA
Howard Lind is the President and Executive Director of the ISOA. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer for Matlock & Associates, an engineering, construction, and logistics firm. He was the Washington DC representative for the Fluor Government Group and previously served in the Departments of Defense and State in the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan and in the Coalition Provisional Authority supporting Ambassador Paul Bremer. He was the Deputy Director for the Iraq Project and Contracting Office, responsible for overseeing the $21 Billion Iraq Reconstruction Program for DoD. He was a US Naval Officer and retired at the rank of Commander having served in leadership and technical assignments aboard five Navy ships of the line and at Navy installations worldwide. Mr. Lind received a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech and a Master of Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.
Vice President, National Security Programs, KBR
Max Lobeto is the Vice President of KBRwyle Government Services. He has over 20 years of diverse leadership experience in both the public and private sectors to include the launching of a new business line within a corporation and the building of a new organization for the Department of Defense. Areas of expertise include international multi-disciplined Logistics, Construction, Supply Chain, Integrated Logistics Support, Logistics Information Systems, Program Management & Operations, and leading edge Business Development inclusive of strategic planning for growth. Previously, he served as Vice President of National Security Programs at KBRwyle and Vice President of Business Development at KBR. He was the Executive Director of Busines Development at Vectrus, and was a Senior Operations Director at Exelis Mission Systems as well as Director of Logistics at ITT. He worked for nearly seven years in the US Army in a variety of roles, including in supply chain management, logistics, Base Re-alignment and Closure, and logistics information systems. He holds a Masters in Military National Resource Strategy and Policy from the US Army War College and two Bachelors degrees from Franklin University, one in Business Administration, Management and Operations and the other in Human Resources Management and Services.
Cofounder, Precision Talent Solutions
Patrick Malcor is the Cofounder of Precision Talent Solutions and is Managing Partner at Framcor LLC, a professional services firm focused on international defense and government contracting, infrastructure, logistics, and technical services .Patrick is a former US Army Officer and spent his early days deployed in the Balkans. Following his military service, he worked in operations in the Balkans and in the Middle East for a large defense contractor. He spent ten years as CEO for a leading provider of supply chain solutions, supporting various US Government programs and prime contractors in AFRICOM, EUCOM, and CENTCOM. After over 20 years in the overseas contracting industry, he co-Founded Precision Talent Solutions (PTS) to focus on the unique challenges of connecting talent and opportunities in global contracting. Working with the growing PTS team, he has built a customized technology platform and developed services in executive, technical, and foreign national recruitment, as well as interim management and operations consulting for overseas programs. Patrick holds a BA from Davidson College and an MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
President & CEO, Center House, Ltd.
Living and working in the Middle East and North Africa for over 40 years, Dr. T. B. (Mac) McClelland, Jr., has extensive experience in political, social, and military affairs in the Middle East, Southwest Asia, and Africa. Mac is a retired officer in the US Marine Corps and has advised the US military, US Department of State and consular officials, foreign governments, and military officials on African and Arab affairs. He has led complex multicultural international organizations with P&L responsibilities across the globe. He currently leads a management consulting firm based in Dubai dealing focused on business development, marketing, and government relations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He is a professor at Hult International Business School and has conducted Executive Education in leadership and management for New York University and other organizations. He has been featured on CNBC and in The Wall Street Journal on several occasions, and has been an expert witness before the US Congress on issues affecting Americans and American companies abroad.
Business Development Director, Zohak Holding Group
Thomas Muenzberg’s experience includes economic development and policy work in Afghanistan, Washington, and Iraq for the US Department of State and US Department of Commerce. His private experience spans financial services, operations, promotion and channel development. He is Executive Director and a Board Member with the American Chamber of Commerce-Afghanistan, developing private business for members and pursuing policies to improve Afghanistan's business environment. Previously, as Deputy Commercial Attaché for the US Department of Commerce, he was stationed at US Embassy Kabul for 36 months, working with Afghan corporations, diaspora, and international business to promote private sector participation in Afghanistan’s economy. He worked as US Department of State Trade Advisor in Iraq for two years, then as Transition and Stabilization Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Iraq, focusing on the U.S. transition from military to civilian control in 2011/12 as well as the normalization of the bilateral relationship with Iraq. He was Vice President for Finance and Operations in a commercial security integration company in non-lethal weapons. He is a graduate of Metropolitan State University in Denver Colorado with a Bachelors in Finance and Economics, and a Masters of Business Administration in International Business from Regis University in Denver Colorado.
Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing, PAE
Jennifer Michael currently leads PAE’s Strategic Sourcing team, combining her 15 years of experience in category management, FAR compliance, and process improvement to support PAE’s growing list of programs in established and emerging markets. She first joined PAE in 2017 as the Procurement Manager for the Facility Support Services contract at NASA’s Johnson Space Center where she developed PAE’s and JSC’s Mentor-Protégé Agreement with Prairie View A&M University, an historic first for the NASA center. As a leader in the JSC Prime Contractors Roundtable, she has participated in multiple small business development events, providing lectures on engaging prime contractors and panel discussions to provide coaching and direction to aspiring subcontractors. She was honored to be counted among the class of Space Flight Awareness Award recipients for her small business outreach efforts in 2017. Prior to joining PAE, she served in operations, logistics, and procurement/subcontracts in KBR’s LOGCAP III program from 2004-2012 before moving into strategic sourcing and category management at Occidental Oil & Gas corporation. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Western Governors University-Texas.
CEO, RA Internatinoal
Soraya Narfeldt is a UK citizen who was raised in Sierra Leone by a Scottish father and a Lebanese/African mother. In 2004, Soraya set up RAI FZCO to provide catering, procurement and other services to US multi-nationals, various UN agencies and other western governments. She is a strong advocate and supporter of responsible business practice and has contributed articles on the subject to a number of recognised journals such as Forced Migration Review. Soraya also consults regularly with Government officials where she advises on Aid Funded Projects and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. Sangita Shah has extensive experience in corporate finance, journalism and senior consultancy. She is the non executive Chair of AIM traded Bilby plc, a board director of NASDAQ listed Forward Industries Inc. and a director to Global Reach Technology EMEA Limited. She has held a number of senior roles within blue chip organisations, including Unilever, Mars, Ernst & Young and KPMG and is a past President of the Chartered Institute of Journalists. Sangita is also a regular consultant to a number of companies and to HM Cabinet Office. Sangita is a qualified accountant and a frequent keynote speaker in forums for the Windsor Leadership Trust, European Parliament and European School of Management.
Senior Vice President, Patriot Group International
Michelle Quinn is Vice President of VxL Enterprises, a VOSB providing security, operational, logistics, and training solutions for DOS, DOD, and other agencies. At VxL, Michelle leads efforts to support critical U.S. missions by establishing relationships with the USG and industry partners, building technical solutions/programs, and standing up/executing programs post-award. Previously, Michelle served as Vice President of International Programs at A-T Solutions (now PAE); Operations Manager for multi-agency counter-terrorism programs at the FBI Lab in Quantico, Virginia; and Manager of Operations and Training for the WPPS/WPPS II Programs at DynCorp International. Michelle also worked on Capitol Hill, supporting the House Banking Committee on legislation tied to work and funding of USAID, IMF, World Bank; and in the Reagan White House for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Michelle holds a BA from William and Mary, an MBA from Mary Washington, and recently completed the National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College. She is a member of Women in International Security and the Harvard Business Review Advisory Council. During her tenure on the ISOA Board, Michelle effectively worked to double ISOA membership, increase ISOA Small Business participation, and elevate discussions of the roles/effectiveness of women in stability operations.
President, Middle East & Africa Chapter, ISOA
Melissa Sabin (ISOA Advisory Council) is currently the International Business Development Manager for Clements Worldwide. She has 10+ years' experience in security and risk management with a focus on contingency and stability operations, and reconstruction efforts globally. Her background includes risk mitigation and transfer and security support to clients in high risk and austere environments. Prior to joining Clements, she was the Senior Manager, Commercial Support at GardaWorld International Protective Services predominantly focusing on Afghanistan and Emerging Markets. She has also worked for ISOA as the head of Business Development, responsible for recruitment of new Members and developing benefits to the existing Membership base. She pursued a double major in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies degrees from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. She also spent time in Lebanon and Morocco as a journalist, reporting on political developments in the MENA region.
Senior Advisor, Financial Integrity Network
Ghassan Schbley is a business development and sanctions consultant focusing on the Middle East and sub-Saharan region. He was at Chenega International, developing and supervising training and technical services to investigate illicit activities and security risks. HE was appointed by the United Nations to the UN Panel of Experts on the Sudan to investigate individuals, entities, and armed opposition groups engaged in sanctions violations. He was the Finance Expert for the UN Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group, investigating the financial and support networks of Somali armed opposition groups, notably the Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab group, establishing that the export of charcoal is a significant revenue source for Al Shabaab. This resulted in a UN ban on charcoal imports from Somalia. He worked at CNA and the RAND Corporation focused on terrorist and extremist organizations in the Middle East and Africa and at the Nixon Center, at the US Mission to the EU, and UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He holds a Masters of Philosophy in Economics from the Free University of Brussels and an MA in International Politics from the European Center of Strategic and International Research at the University of Paris-Sud XI.
Project Manager, Egineering Support Services, Planate Management Group
Gretchen Soule has been working with Planate Management Group, a SDVOSB, for three years. The company specializes in facilities support projects worldwide, providing a range of engineering services. Previously, she managed infrastructure and capacity building projects for an NGO working in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan/Syria, the West Bank, and Pakistan. She specializes in working with local teams and contractors to complete engineering and construction projects. Her experience includes construction of health clinics, roads, and schools, as well as repairs to essential infrastructure, including working with community groups and local governments in developing countries and conflict areas, resolving conflicts, mitigating risks and providing support to gender and economic growth initiatives. She is currently working at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan as Engineering Project Manager for Planate on LOGCAP IV. Gretchen is from Denver, CO, and lives in Washington, DC.
Director Business Development, Janus Global Operations
Paul Stanley is the Director and Business Development Manager of Janus Global Operations, where he is responsible for the business development of risk management and stabilization services in frontier markets and other strategically focused business opportunities. He is responsible for the preparation of regional plans and is accountable for regional growth of the business. Prior to joining Janus Global Operations, he worked for Olive Group as Programs Director Iraq and for Control Risks as the Country Commercial Manager Iraq. He is a Chartered Surveyor and has worked in construction, real estate development, and real estate finance with Shepherd Group, Taylor Woodrow, and the Royal Bank of Scotland. He comes from Yorkshire in the UK and is a qualified International Security Manager. He holds a Masters in Archaeology. Paul is a Senior Officer with the UK Army Reserve and served for 35 years in the military including on operational tours in Kosovo and in Iraq where he was awarded the NATO Meritorious Service Medal.
EM & GCC Safety and Security Manager, Careem
Gary Stoner has over twenty years of experience in the security/law enforcement field including over five years as a US Marine and over ten years as a Special Agent with the U.S. Department of State. He is a seasoned security professional with accomplished career developing, managing, and executing security operations and training within multiple international environments. During his time as a Special Agent, he spent most of his career overseas, including tours in Bolivia, Egypt, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan. He was one of five Special Agents selected to support the US National Security Strategy by protecting the Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2002. Prior to joining the US Department of State, he served in the US Marine Corps from March 1987 to January 1993. He was selected to be a Marine Security Guard, providing armed internal security for U.S. Embassies ensuring the protection of all classified material, property, and personnel. He hold a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from George Mason University and recently became a Certified Social Media Intelligence Expert.
Chief Executive Officer, Shipcom Wireless + Color Tokens
Abeezar Tyebji founded and built Shipcom into a leading provider Inventory Management Software Solutions. He is an expert in the field of Smart Phones, Mobile Computing, and Radio Frequency ID Tags. Shipcom’s inventory management, mobile scanning, and Internet of Things software is installed in 25 Veterans Administration hospitals. In 2014, he briefed President Barack Obama on healthcare issues at a business strategy roundtable in Washington, DC. He served as an advisor to the President Obama’s technology team, charting and implementing a technology roadmap for US Air Force hospitals and the Navy. At the Ingalls Shipyard, Shipcom's software tracks $14 Billion of ship parts across 600 acres. Shipcom also offers solutions to tackle threats in the cloud. During the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Shipcom helped manage 20,000 people, 60,000 assets, and 5,000 vehicles over four states in the clean-up, using RFID and GPS tracking in Shipcom’s Catamaran software. In 2000, he accompanied President Clinton on his historic trip to India. He holds a Masters in Industrial Engineering and an MBA in International Business from the University of Houston. He is a graduate of the ‘Birthing of the Giants’ program conducted by MIT’s Sloan School of Management.
Partner, Head of Corporate, Defense & Security at DWF (Middle East) LLP
Kayaan Unwalla is the Head of DWF (Middle East) Corporate and is an industry specialist in the technology, defense and aerospace sectors. He has advised on highly complex projects involving military vehicle development and prototypes, build operate and transfers, explosive ordinance disposal programs, advanced targeting systems, space intelligence systems, cargo and supply chain security, and integration involving AI and ledger systems. Additionally, he is an offset and technology transfer specialist, having advised on over $1.3 billion on offset obligations, and he advises industry leaders on matters in the Middle East and Asia including acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic PPPs, government procurement, and commercial regulatory issues. He has advised on drafting laws, security programs and regulations relating to national and border security (land, sea and air). Previously, he served in the Legal Department with a US DoD, UK MoD, and NATO prime contractor and worked in Afghanistan (LOGCAP IV), Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle-East.
Ambassador Michael Ussery (ISOA Advisory Board) has led major investment, business development and humanitarian posts in East Europe, Asia, and the Mid-East, and is Vice Chairman of Kima Communications. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of the CalErin Group, Chairman of Mongolia Holdings and co-founder of Safi Apparel, Afghanista, and was a founding Board Member of the Chinese-American Museum and the Hellas Investment Fund for Greece. He is on the Advisory Boards of CorpsAfrica and the ISOA and was Global Adviser to General Dynamics. He was appointed by the Governor of Virginia as a Commissioner of the Vint Hill Economic Development Authority, turning a former U.S. military base into a commercial center, and was co-founder of the Romania Moldova Direct Fund (RMDF) and Chairman of its Advisory Board. He is President of CAUA, planning and organizing American universities overseas and was Chairman and President of the Coordinating Council for International Universities that planned the American University of Afghanistan. He was appointed by President Reagan to be U.S. Ambassador to Morocco, serving until 1992. Previously, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Near East and South Asia Bureau and Chairman of the Libya Task Force.
US Business Development Director, RA International
William Warnock is the US Business Development Director for RA International, managing US business development strategy and implementation since 2015. He is responsible for expanding the client base to US Government organizations in Africa and transitioning the company to USG-compliant business practices. As a member of the Executive Management Team, he communicates with the Board on project development and provides recommendations for strategic investments. Previously, he served for 30 years with the United States Navy, ending his career as a Captain. Among his assignments, he acted as Senior Defense Official to the US Special Representative to Somalia. Additionally, he served as Commander of all Naval Forces deployed to Kuwait and Qatar. During that assignment, he took responsibility for the day-to-day employment of over 1,200 US Navy personnel. His other assignments include a variety of military and diplomatic roles, such as serving as Senior Liaison Officer to the White House under Presidents Bush and Clinton representing the White House for all foreign State visits and functions. His career includes numerous shipboard and shore assignments and a tour at US Special Operations Command. He holds a Masters in Finance from Marymount University and a Bachelors in Economics from the Virginia Military Institute.
CEO, Agility Africa
Geoffrey White is the CEO of Agility for Africa, a post he has held since 2014. He is focused on developing integrated logistics infrastructure solutions across the African Continent. Prior to joining Agility, he spent eight years as CEO of Lonrho Plc, where he established product supply chains for some of the world’s largest retailers and developed essential infrastructure and logistics solutions for Africa’s burgeoning oil and gas industry. Geoffrey focuses on infrastructure development, retail supply chains, agri-business, and investment across the African markets. His career includes work with Thomas Tilling Plc, BTR Plc, Asda Plc, Hilton, Ford PAG, and a leading Middle Eastern private investment office. He has commented on Africa for the BBC, CNN, CNBC, Forbes, and at the World Economic Forum, AU, NEPAD, Royal Africa Society, Chatham House, the Africa Investor Index Series Summit, The Economist East Africa Summit, and many other important African debates. He is a regular author of editorials on Africa.
Group Chief Executive & Founding Partner, Sicuro Group
Scott Wilcox is the CEO of Sicuro Group LLC and is an entrepreneur with extensive experience of establishing, growing, and managing businesses in high risk environments. His early commercial experience includes working as a security advisor and consultant to large corporations such as Bloomberg, QualComm, Visa and DP World. He established Sicuro in 2005 and developed it from a small start up to one of the most successful organizations in the sector. The Sicuro group of companies delivers technology, procurement, logistics and information services, typically in support of governments, their contractors, NGOs, and the extractive industry. In 2018, Sicuro was chosen as the exclusive operating partner of Basra’s Oil Operations Centre which serves all International Oil & Gas Companies in Southern Iraq.
Head of Group Sustainability & Impact, DP World
Kate Willoughby is the Head of Global Sustainability at DP World. She manages the development and delivery of the company's Sustainability strategy with a particular focus on community investment and measurement. She first started working in the field of Corporate Responsibility while doing her Masters in International Business at the University of Auckland. While there, she researched Triple Bottom Line Reporting practices in New Zealand. She has spent the last 16 years working in the field of Corporate Responsibility in a diverse range of NGOs and large corporate companies in the UK, New Zealand, Tanzania, Mozambique, Spain, Bahrain, and the UAE. She worked on the Steering Group for LBG, the global standard for measuring corporate community investment, and helps support the application and development of LBG measurement framework globally.
Group Commercial Manager, Alpha Logistics
Karan Yadav is currently the Group Commercial Manager of Alpha Group with interests in logistics, supply chain and engineering services. Alpha Group operates mainly in East African Countries such as Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Mozambique. An Alumni of the Prestigious Officers Training Academy in Chennai, he was commissioned to the oldest regiment of the Indian Army, The Rajputana Rifles, and was decorated with the Chief of the Army Staff commendation card for gallantry. He was awarded the Timor Solidarity Medal by the President of East Timor for contributions to the development of East Timor. Prior to joining Alpha Group, he worked with several leading global logistics companies in Asia, Australia, East and Central Africa. He holds a degree in Computer Applications and Business Administration. His hobbies include photography and mountaineering.