Development Transformations (DT) has a cadre of high-caliber staff with extensive experience in countries in the midst of – or emerging from – conflict or political transition. Our diverse experience in the NGO, inter-governmental, civilian, and military sectors allows us to take holistic approaches to training, program design, and implementation in complex environments. Our staff have lived and worked in every region of the world and include former employees from USAID, Department of State, Department of Defense, UK Foreign Office, think tanks, universities, Asian and European governments, media organizations, political parties and parliament, international donors, and democratic development organizations.
Mr. Mann co-founded Development Transformations in 2009, after having spent fifteen years working in the military and international development spaces. His unique civilian-military background helped inform his broader vision that DT be an innovator that utilizes a holistic lens in training, program design, and implementation in the world’s most complex operating environments. As the Managing Director, Mr. Mann oversees DT’s corporate strategy and operations at the home office in Washington D.C. and field offices abroad.A West Point graduate, Mr. Mann served five years in the United State’s Army during which he conducted peacekeeping missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. He later went on to graduate with distinction from Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program. Recently, Mr. Mann worked as an adjunct professor at Georgetown where he taught a graduate-level course on war-to-peace transitions.
Over the span of his career, Mr. Mann has held several prominent roles including a Development Advisor to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force - Afghanistan (CJSOTF-A) for the United State’s Agency for International Development (USAID). Based in Bagram, Afghanistan, he partnered with U.S. Special Forces and developed methodologies for effective interagency approaches to promoting stabilization in communities that were priorities to the counterinsurgency effort. He also worked in Darfur, Sudan where he was a Field Program Officer with the USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Prior to this, he served as an Abuse Prevention Officer in Iraq where he was responsible for identifying, monitoring, and preventing human rights violations with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) and the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART).
In addition to his extensive overseas experience, Mr. Mann has also provided expert commentary on post-conflict stability issues for a variety of news outlets including CNN, Fox News, and NPR. His work has also been published in journals including World Affairs, Small Wars, and the Journal of International Peace Operations.
Mr. Mann lives with his family in a timber frame home on a small piece of land in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. In his free time he runs with his dogs, competes in triathlons, and practices natural horsemanship with his horse, Draco.
Accounts Payable Specialist
Marwan is the Accounts Payable Specialist for the Development Transformations (DT) in Washington D.C., Before he joined Development Transformations Mr. Alqaseer he served as an Accounting Clerk for a large government services contractor and in a similar role at the International Center Not-for-Profit Law Organization (ICNL). He was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq and graduated with a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Baghdad. In 2009, Mr. Alqaseer moved to the US to start a new life. He speaks Arabic and English.
Director of Operations
Ryan Archer is the Director of Operations at Development Transformations where he manages DT’s support to field programs and home office administration. Mr. Archer has broad operations and management experience in the non-profit, private, and government sectors. Prior to joining DT, he held a management position with USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) where he served as the Deputy Chief of Operations and Management. His teams provided information technology, recruiting, and human resources support to OTI’s field programs and headquarters. Mr. Archer also provided field-based operations support to OTI’s Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, and Syria programs.
Prior to his work at OTI, Mr. Archer managed a $125 million contract with USAID’s Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA). He comes to DT with multi-region international experience having served as a Field Operations Manager for U.S. Department of Justice security-sector assistance programs in Ukraine, Moldova, the South Caucasus, and Paraguay. He began his career overseas working on a State Department financed democracy promotion program in Belarus implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI).
Mr. Archer is currently pursuing his M.B.A. at the George Washington University (GWU) School of Business. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School also at GWU. Mr. Archer lives in DC with his growing family. In his spare time, he enjoys running and digital photography.
Madhu Aggarwal, a Financial Controller at Development Transformations, has more than 20 years experience in government contract management. Ms. Aggarwal most recently worked as a Senior Consultant at Dixon Hughes Goodman. She has extensive knowledge and experience in government cost accounting and has designed and implemented Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA), and Cost Accounting Standards (CAS) approved accounting and purchasing systems. She has developed accounting procedures and manuals for setting up accounting systems for several government contractors. Ms. Aggarwal holds an accounting diploma from University of Virginia and B.S. in political science from Agra University in India. In her free time, Ms. Aggarwal is an avid jogger.
Erik Doman is a Director at Development Transformations where he provides oversight to DT’s work with the U.S. military and Special Operations Forces. Most recently he worked for Development Transformations as a senior advisor to USAID's Kandahar Food Zone in Afghanistan, implemented by IRD. Mr. Doman’s role is to help identify and address the drivers of poppy cultivation in targeted districts of Kandahar Province, as well as to discover obstacles to licit crop adoption. In his previous assignment, he worked for Development Transformations as USAID’s Stability Operations Advisor to Regional Command East in Afghanistan. Mr. Doman worked closely with Afghan and American conventional and Special Operations Forces to support economic and political stability. He has worked as an implementer for USAID in support of local government in Paktika, Khost and Helmand province. In that role he designed and executed projects and programs in support of governance and development. Mr. Doman is a former member of the Department of State’s career Foreign Service where he served in various countries in Southeast Asia and in Washington, D.C. where he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs.
Between 2010 and 2012, Mr. Doman was the senior advisor for interagency training at Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center serving Brigades and Special Forces units preparing to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan. He has also worked as an interagency instructor at US military bases in the United States and abroad. As a former Infantry Team Sergeant who served in Afghanistan, Mr. Doman believes that our nation’s service men and women are a precious resource and deserve everything we can give them to accomplish their mission and come home alive. He is a life member of the Combat Infantryman’s Association, the American Foreign Service Association and an Associate Life Member (through his grandfather) of the United States Legion of Valor. Erik takes pride in delivering maximum value to our clients and helping to build a more stable and prosperous global community. Mr. Doman holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School, George Washington University and graduated summa cum laude from Temple University with a B.A. in Political Science. Erik enjoys hiking, canoeing and traveling as well as spending time on home construction projects and forestry.
M. SHANDS PICKETT
Director of Innovation
M. Shands Pickett is a Director at Development Transformations (DT). He leads DT’s innovation initiatives and manages programs focused in the areas of training support, civil society, governance, and countering violent extremism. Mr. Pickett has a broad background working with U.S. foreign policy stakeholders – interagency and military – to overcome stability challenges using technology and data.
Previously, Mr. Pickett created technology tools for U.S. Special Operations Command components to help Special Operations forces better understand local conflict dynamics. Mr. Pickett also supported the U.S. Army Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Germany, where he built a new training platform designed to increase the effectiveness of U.S., NATO, and multinational forces operating in Europe.
From 2010 – 2013, Mr. Pickett led research operations for two U.S. Army teams in Afghanistan, gathering and analyzing local population data to enhance governance initiatives in Ghazni and Zabul. Before deploying to Afghanistan, he worked for the intelligence community on a wide variety of counterinsurgency and counterterrorism programs. Mr. Pickett served in the U.S. Peace Corps as a volunteer in Uzbekistan from 2003 – 2005, where he won and administered a USAID small projects grant.
Mr. Pickett completed an M.A. at The George Washington University where he studied U.S. foreign policy as a graduate fellow at the Institute of European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies. He regularly contributes to the Small Wars Journal and spends his free time learning new programming languages with only marginal success.
As a Director, Ilan Cooper oversees Development Transformations’ (DT) programs in the MENA region including Libya, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. He is DT’s IQC Manager for our USAID/Office of Transition Initiatives Support that Augments Rapid Transitions (START) IQC, Manager of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund, and leads USAID new business development. Previously, Mr. Cooper served as the Lead Research Associate at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. He conducted primary research for the Berkley Center and the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation on the role of local transitional justice mechanisms in sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on the Southern African Development Community countries.
Prior to the Berkley Center, Mr. Cooper worked for Oxford Analytica as an Editorial Researcher writing briefs on transitional justice mechanisms and lived in Accra, Ghana. Mr. Cooper graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a M.A. in Conflict Resolution. He also holds a M.A. in International Relations, with distinction, from the University of Chicago and a B.A., with distinction, in War Studies from King’s College London. In his spare time, Ilan is an avid soccer player and fan and spends time with his English Bulldog, Ollie.
Paul McKinney is a Program Officer at Development Transformations (DT) where he supports programs in Iraq and Libya. Prior to joining DT, Mr. McKinney served in the U.S. Army for eight years and deployed to the Middle East with the Joint Special Operations Command. Upon leaving the military, Mr. McKinney held internships on the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and at USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (DRG Center).
Mr. McKinney completed a B.A. at The George Washington University where he studied International Affairs with a concentration in Conflict Resolution. In his spare time, Paul enjoys playing and coaching tennis, making his mother’s chili, and studying Arabic.
Mark Strohbehn is a Program Manager for Development Transformations’ (DT) Syria programs. His current portfolio includes the U.S. State Department-funded Civil Society in Syria Program, the USAID/OTI-funded Syria Regional Platform, and leading DT’s new business efforts in this area. DT’s Syria programs support civil society organizations to increase their ability to serve their communities amid conflict, counter threads of violence and extremism through discreet support and expanded service delivery, enhance the understanding of democratic governance and accountability. Prior to joining DT, Mr. Strohbehn worked as the Manager of Business Development with Making Cents International where he successfully secured USG-procurements for programs directed at the financial inclusion of youth and vulnerable populations in conflict-affected areas, such as Northern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Pakistan.
Prior to this, Mr. Strohbehn worked at International Relief and Development where managed several U.S. State Department-funded programs to support minority groups living in areas of northern Iraq affected by Syria’s instability and the intrusion of ISIL, and supported the management of the USAID-funded Peace through Development II program, a countering violent extremism program in Burkina Faso, Chad, and Niger. Mr. Strohbehn served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan from 2009-2011 and The Gambia from 2007-2009.
Mr. Strohbehn completed a M.A. in International Security Studies at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service where his studies focused concentrated on economic factors of terrorism, insurgency, and national security policy. Mr. Strohbehn lives with his spouse in Washington, DC. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors kayaking, hiking, and sailing.
Eric Grenlin is a Program Assistant at Development Transformations (DT) where he supports Department of Defense programs. Prior to joining DT, Mr. Grenlin spent eight years as a U.S. Army Military Police Soldier, with deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Grenlin was medically retired in 2016 following a motorcycle accident. After leaving the military, he obtained a B.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University (GMU). Mr. Grenlin has held internships at the Center for Narrative and Conflict Resolution at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR) at GMU, and at Sayara International.
Mr. Grenlin is currently working to complete his M.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at GMU. In his free time, Eric enjoys fly fishing and playing fetch with his German Shorthaired Pointer Jäger
Talia Hulkower is a Program Assistant at Development Transformations (DT) where she currently supports DT’s U.S. State Department-funded Civil Society in Syria Program (CSSP). Prior to joining DT, Ms. Hulkower worked with the business development team at Palladium on USAID economic growth proposals in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and Latin America. Ms. Hulkower graduated from Tufts University with a B.A. in International Relations and fluency in Spanish. In her free time, Ms. Hulkower volunteers at the Latin American Youth Center and runs the Tufts Women DC alumni group. Otherwise, she can regularly be found somewhere in the Shenandoah Valley or hanging out at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
Il YOUNG SHIN
Il Young Shin is a Program Assistant at Development Transformations (DT). His current portfolio includes projects with USAID/OTI, USAID/OSDBU, and the Department of Defense. He is also engaged in qualitative studies and M&E efforts at DT. Prior to joining DT, Mr. Shin served in the Korean military including six months in Afghanistan as liaison to the Korean Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Parvan Province. As lead interpreter, he facilitated the Korean special forces' operations and the Korean International Cooperation Agency's (KOICA) project implementations in northern Afghanistan. He also interned at J.E. Austin Associates supporting proposal efforts in monitoring and evaluation, supply chain development, and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia.
Mr. Shin graduated with an M.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he studied International Relations and International Development. He also holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. He has lived in over nine countries and hopes to add more over the course of his career. He is also an avid fan of the NBA and religiously follows the latest tech trends.
Katy Howell is a Program Assistant at Development Transformations (DT) where she supports USAID/OTI’s Libya Transition Initiative and Syria Regional Program. She also leads business development efforts for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund. Prior to joining DT, Ms. Howell worked at the Institute of Medicine in D.C., where she was responsible for planning local and international workshops for the Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation, as well as providing research support to the Global Health Risk Framework initiative designed to inform effective response to future infectious disease outbreaks like Ebola. Ms. Howell has previously held internships at the International Institute of Minnesota and Planned Parenthood.
Ms. Howell completed a B.A. at Macalester College in Minnesota where she studied Anthropology with concentrations in Community and Global Health and African Studies. Ms. Howell works nights at a local music venue, explores new running routes throughout the city, and is constantly searching for the perfect bagel.
Victoria "Tori" Osborne is a Program Officer at Development Transformations (DT). Ms. Osborne currently supports DT’s U.S. State Department-funded grants program, which aims to increase the ability of Syrian civil society organizations to advocate for their needs and hold local governance structures accountable. Prior to joining DT, Ms. Osborne worked as an intern with International Rescue Committee helping to resettle refugees in the Baltimore area. Ms. Osborne completed a B.A at Loyola University Maryland where she studied International Development and Spanish. When trying to escape the hustle and bustle of D.C., Ms. Osborne can be found singing and strumming her guitar, baking something sweet, enjoying a tough workout, or discovering her new favorite slam poet.
Humam Rajab is a Project Director at Development Transformations (DT). Mr. Rajab manages DT’s Global Affairs Canada (GAC) program in Iraq. He also provides support to DT’s other MENA programs.
Prior to joining DT, Mr. Rajab was a Senior Project and Outreach Officer with the Iraq Foundation. In that capacity, he led the organization's team of local and expatriate staff in implementing projects in Iraq on democratic forms of governance and economic empowerment of marginalized populations.
Mr. Rajab holds a Master’s degree in Business Leadership from the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. He enjoys traveling to exotic places and is a soccer fan.
Advisory Council Member
James Kunder is principal at Kunder/Reali
Associates, an Alexandria, Virginia-based
consulting firm, specializing in international
development, post-conflict reconstruction
and civil-military relations.
serves as an Affiliated Expert at The Lugar
Center, in Washington, DC, and as a member
of the Executive Committee of the
Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network.
In 2014-15, working with Palladium, Kunder
led a major evaluation project for the
Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research, examining whether U.S.
Government programs attempting to counter violent extremism abroad were
achieving their objectives.
Kunder has extensive government and private sector experience managing
international development, relief and reconstruction programs. From 2006 to
2009, he served as Acting Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), the U.S. government organization responsible
for administering the U.S. foreign assistance program in ninety nations.
Previously at USAID, he served as Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near
East, Director for Relief and Reconstruction in Afghanistan, Deputy Assistant
Administrator for External Affairs, and Director of the Agency's Office of U.S.
Foreign Disaster Assistance.
In the private sector, Kunder was Vice President for Program Development at Save
the Children Federation, an international non-profit organization dedicated to
improving the lives of children in the United States and around the world.
Previously, he served as Director of Marketing for Widmer Engineering, a
Pennsylvania-based engineering firm.
He has also served as a legislative director in the U.S. House of Representatives,
and was a candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania’s Fourth Congressional
District. Prior to his service on Capitol Hill, he was on active military duty as an
infantry platoon commander in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Kunder has a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in American Government
and a master's in international relations from Georgetown University. He pursued
doctoral studies in international relations at The George Washington University.
He currently teaches at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, at USAID, and at the
Marine Corps University. He has authored numerous publications on international
humanitarian issues, reconstruction, peacekeeping and crisis management.
Kunder lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his family.
Advisory Council Member
Mr. Lombardo is President of Orenda Group LLC, an international development firm specializing in strategy, organizational capacity development for strategy execution, and performance management. Mr. Lombardo has over three decades’ experience serving in leadership and senior management positions with USAID, NGOs, and consulting firms.
Mr. Lombardo began his international development career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras, where he worked with local governments and Honduran NGOs to improve housing and urban services for the poor. During his 22-year career with USAID, Mr. Lombardo continued his work initially in low-cost housing and urban development programs and later was involved in designing, implementing and evaluating broad international development policies, strategies, and programs designed to support U.S. foreign policy associated with the military to civilian transitions of power in Central America, the interagency economic restructuring in post-Communist Eastern Europe, and conflict stabilization and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Lombardo directed USAID missions in Latin America, where oversaw the development of interagency strategies to combat the international drug trade in Peru and the massive interagency hurricane reconstruction program in Honduras. In Washington, he played a key role in the development of the Agency’s strategic planning, project development, and performance management policies. As the Agency director for strategic and performance management, Mr. Lombardo led the formulation, presentation and negotiation with OMB and the Hill of the Agency’s annual budget, development of the joint USAID-Department of State annual performance report, country development strategy reviews, and overseas mission management assessment program.
After leaving the U.S. Foreign Service, Mr. Lombardo provided expert advice in strategy, project design, organizational capacity development, and evaluation services in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Georgia. He taught interagency strategy courses for the Civil Response Corps at the National Defense University. At the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Mr. Lombardo oversaw youth workforce development and basic education programs for at risk children in Brazil and India, respectively. As the program director for city-to-city partnerships at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Mr. Lombardo developed municipal programs to improve citizen security in Honduras and strategies to improve the effectiveness of local governments to adapt to climate change. As vice president for monitoring, evaluation, and learning at Palladium, Mr. Lombardo oversaw evaluations of USAID climate change programs, and State Department programs in citizen security, countering violent extremism, and diplomatic efforts to improve international energy collaboration.
Mr. Lombardo holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology from SUNY at Buffalo, a master’s degree in educational psychology and statistics from SUNY at Albany, and a master’s degree in regional planning from Syracuse University. He currently teaches courses for USAID staff, and provides performance management services to the Department of State and overseas USAID missions. He has authored peer-reviewed journal articles, and other publications on international development topics. Mr. Lombardo is fluent in Spanish, and lived and worked in Latin America for 17 years, as well as having worked in over 30 countries worldwide in Latin America and the Caribbean; Central, South, and Southeast Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; and Central and Eastern Europe.
Mr. Lombardo resides in Reston, Virginia with his family.
Advisory Council Member
Director, Finance and Operations
Gabriel Abromovitz is DT's Director of Finance and Operations for a U.S. State Department-funded program that supports civil society organizations throughout Syria. Mr. Abromovitz has eight years of progressive experience working in international development and post-disaster settings, having worked in both Haiti (2010) and Nepal (2015) in the immediate aftermath of the respective earthquakes that affected each country. Gabriel’s competencies include start-up operations, setting up effective supply chain systems, and life-cycle program operations management. From 2012 to 2015 Mr. Abromovitz served as the Operations Manager for a large-scale USAID A&E program in Haiti that focused on rebuilding health infrastructure in the country. Mr. Abromovitz joins Development Transformations from Dexis Consulting Group, where he was working in Washington, D.C. as a Program Manager.
Nadia Alami is the Program Director for Development Transformations’ U.S. State Department-funded Civil Society in Syria Program. Ms. Alami brings 20+ years of experience providing leadership and management for international development programs. She has been recognized for her work in the MENA region on emergency humanitarian responses, governance, health, media, access to information, youth programs, and gender and social inclusion. She has managed more than $50M in large scale contracts in the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, working to improve technical assistance programs, financial and budget compliance, client and partner relations, technical design, implementation, and staff oversight.
Ms. Alami established the first Women Alliance in MENA and South Asia with 13 countries and 45 organizations as members. She has extensive experience designing multi-track, public diplomacy programs, and administering governance, civil society, media, anti-corruptions, health, gender, and youth development programs and initiatives. Ms. Alami managed and ran humanitarian response efforts in both Haiti and Syria supporting refugees and displaced populations.
Prior to joining DT, she was the Senior Director of MENA Programs at Palladium where she led senior level regional government interactions in the areas of health, governance, food security, civil society, and strategy execution, among other responsibilities. Ms. Alami holds a B.A. in Communications from American University in Washington, and a M.A. in Conflict Resolution from The Institute of Diplomacy in Jordan. She is fluent in English and Arabic.
BILAL AL AYOUBI
Senior Stabilization Advisor
Joe Auger serves as a Senior Trainer with Development Transformations. He provides training and technical assistance to the District Stability Framework (DSF), an initiative managed by the Office of Military Affairs at USAID. From 1998-2007, Mr. Auger served in the Canadian Forces. While deployed to Afghanistan, he assisted the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in implementing community based stabilization projects and coordinating development programs with public and private sector partners as well as international organizations. After leaving the Canadian military, Mr. Auger directed the local stability initiatives component of a USAID Afghanistan stability project focused on local government and community development. As part of this work, he developed provincial stabilization strategies in concert with U.S. and international forces within the Pashtun Belt.
Risk Management Consultant
Justin Bishop serves as a Consultant with Development Transformations providing risk assessment and logistics support to select DT projects. Mr. Bishop served eight years with the U.S. Army in Europe, including three years of peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) with the Implementation Force (IFOR) and Stabilization Force (SFOR), where he worked as a liaison officer between U.S. Civil Affairs teams, local government officials, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Mr. Bishop developed and supervised personal security training programs for over 200 OSCE election monitors during the 1996 and 1998 general elections in BiH. After leaving the military, Mr. Bishop worked for a Fortune 500 company providing threat and risk assessment and security training for clients traveling to or working in high-risk environments. Mr. Bishop graduated Magna Cum Laude from Auburn University in 1995 with a B.A. in Russian and Post-Soviet Studies. Mr. Bishop is an ASIS International Certified Protection Professional (CPP) as well as ISO 28000 Certified in Supply Chain Security Management.
Senior Stabilization Advisor
Johanna Brown serves as a Senior Stabilization Advisor for Development Transformations with a focus on stabilization and civil-military operations. Ms. Brown has worked over 10 years with U.S. Government interagency, U.S. and foreign militaries, International Organizations, and host nation stakeholders focused on countries in conflict or undergoing political transitions. She has extensive experience in Afghanistan and the Republic of Georgia. Her recent experience includes supporting multilateral international training events by providing training and subject matter expertise in support of reconstruction and stabilization activities, civil-military operations, military exercises, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and program management. Ms. Brown has a Master's degree in International Affairs with a Security Studies minor from The Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University.
Michael Hess serves as a Senior Advisor for Development Transformations. He provided expert level advice, mentoring, and training on DT's USAID and Department of Defense programs. He has over 30 years of active and reserve service in the United States Military serving in humanitarian operations in Turkey, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Mr. Hess served in both command and staff assignments in the U.S. and Germany and taught European History at the United States Military Academy.In April 2003, Colonel (Ret.) Hess was recalled to active duty to serve as the humanitarian coordinator in the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Coalition Provisional Authority.He subsequently served as Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Democracy Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2005 - 2009. Following USAID. Mr. Hess worked for L-3 MPRI.Mr. Hess has a B.S. in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, an M.A. in European history from Columbia University in New York, a master's in business administration and international finance from New York University in New York, and is a graduate of the National Strategic Studies Program at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
Mark Kustra is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran with over 23 years of experience in U.S. government service working on complex problem solving, stability operations, conflict management, national strategy, security assistance and security sector reform, peacekeeping, as well as leading and participating in teams of interagency and international counterparts. Throughout his career he has worked with a diverse group of civil and military interagency and international groups and organizations. He served primarily as a Marine Corps infantry and reconnaissance officer in a variety of Command and Staff assignments. He served in service-level headquarters to the tactical unit level and deployed in support of operations in Kuwait, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as numerous other contingencies throughout the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
His last assignment in uniform was as a Strategic Analyst in the Marine Corps’ Strategic Initiatives Group where he looked at a range of issues related to interagency and stability operations as well as the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. As a member of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands Program, he served as a governance and development advisor in Marjah District, Helmand Province. Prior to this, Mark served as the Director of Joint Operations, Joint US Military Advisor Group-Thailand where he served on the Country Team and successfully provided training initiatives with Thai security forces focused on peacekeeping, counter narcotics, counter terror, counterinsurgency operations, and disaster relief.
Since he left active duty, Mark has served as an Adjunct Fellow for the American Security Project and consults on a variety of topics including security force assistance, stability operations, interagency and civil-military operations, crisis response operations, and Asian culture and history.
Senior Stability, Gender Advisor
Marina LeGree serves as a Senior Stability Advisor for Development Transformations with areas of expertise in community development, stabilization, gender mainstreaming, and conflict analysis. She has most recently been assisting the Stability in Key Areas (SIKA-East) program in Afghanistan, training local teams in the Pashtun belt to identify root causes of instability and lead communities to design innovative solutions. Marina worked with an Afghan team to create the Stability Analysis Methodology, a community-based conflict assessment tool adopted by USAID across stabilization programs. Prior to SIKA, she delivered District Stability Framework training to thousands of U.S. military and civilian personnel, as well as the Georgian Armed Forces, through USAID’s Office of Civilian-Military Cooperation. Before joining DT, Marina spent several years in rural Afghanistan managing community development programs for both IOM (International Organization for Migration) and GIZ (German government’s international development arm). She also served on Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Kunar and Nuristan provinces as a Forward Media Team Leader, building capacity of local journalists. She holds a Master's degree in International Affairs & Conflict Resolution from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
Oren Ipp is an international development professional with more than ten years’ experience in democratic governance. He serves as a Senior Advisor for Development Transformations. Mr. Ipp’s expertise is in fragile and post-conflict governance, with a regional focus on Afghanistan and South Asia. Oren has worked in the areas of political party development, election support, legislative strengthening, security sector reform, and civil society capacity building. Within these functional areas, Oren’s primary focus has been on program design, management, and monitoring and evaluation. Oren is currently an adjunct assistant professor at New York University (NYU) as well as a consultant for a number of organizations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Geneva Center for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, and the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). Recent projects have concentrated on political party development, military transformation in South Sudan, and conflict governance for parliaments in West Africa. During 2006-2008, Oren was based in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he directed the national and sub-national legislative programs of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Among Oren's publications is the chapter “Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector in Afghanistan” in the 2011 volume of "Deconstructing Afghanistan's Security Sector.” Oren holds a Master’s degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University.
Dave McCulloh is a retired Marine Corps Mustang Officer (he became an officer after serving as an enlisted Marine) who held command at every level through the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. McCulloh's assignments included service as an Officer Recruiter, Personnel Manager at HQMC, and the Director of USMC Blended Seminar Programs. He is a Joint Qualified Officer and recipient of the Bronze Star Medal. Following his retirement, Mr. McCulloh has focused in the areas of training, education, and readiness. He worked in the private sector in higher education as a College Director. More recently he moved to one of his true passions - supporting Marines and Sailors. In his role with Development Transformations, Mr. McCulloh supports the Marine Corps Tactics and Operations Group’s Unit Readiness Planning Course. There he provides instruction and guidance to the Marines, Sailors and subordinate units of the I and III Marine Expeditionary Forces.
Robert Osbeck joins Development Transformations as an instructor supporting Marine Corps Tactics and Operation Group’s Unit Readiness Planning Course. There, he provides instruction and guidance to the Marines, Sailors and subordinate units of the Second Marine Expeditionary Force located at Camp Lejeune, NC, as well as other units and organizations throughout the Corps. He is a retired Marine Gunnery Sergeant with twenty years of service in the infantry community.
Mr. Osbeck retired from the Marine Corps in 2015. In his last billet he served as a unit commander, leading and managing a 170 Marine unit aboard Camp Lejeune. Prior to his final billet, he served as the Course Chief for Unit Readiness Planning Course under Training and Education Command. In this capacity he provided UTM/URP instruction to operational units throughout the Marine Corps, as well as Partner Nation Militaries in South America. He previously served as an Assistant Operations Chief for an Infantry Battalion, a Company Operations Chief for an infantry company in Afghanistan, a Platoon Commander for an infantry platoon while deployed in Iraq, and as a Platoon Sergeant and Section Leader for operations in Iraq, Africa, the Mediterranean Sea and East Asia. Early in his military career, Mr. Osbeck served as a Marine Corps Recruiter and as a Machinegunner.
Mr. Osbeck is a certified Marine Corps Instructor, Curriculum Developer and Unit Training Manager. He’s a Six Sigma Yellow Belt and has attended instructional courses with the Bob Pike Training Group. He is a competitive shooter and an active volunteer with youth sports programs in his community.
John Patten is a Senior Advisor with Development Transformations. Mr. Patten has over 22 years of international experience. During that time, he has worked in and on issues concerning conflict, stabilization, development, humanitarian aid, NGOs and INGOs, civ-mil relations, and counterinsurgency. Mr. Patten holds an M.A. in Humanitarian Assistance from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston. Mr. Patten was previously working with moderate armed opposition groups in Syria, based in Turkey, with DOS. He was additionally in the Planning Division of DOS/CSO working on integrated training and planning for deploying civilians and military to Afghanistan. In 2005-06 he was USAID’s Regional Development Advisor for Southern Afghanistan based at Regional Command South in Kandahar, after having spent 2004-05 at the Kandahar PRT. Mr. Patten also worked with NGOs, was part of the DoD/USIP, Civ-Mil Working Group, which advised on the current Stability Ops Doctrine and guidelines for relations between U.S. Armed Forces and NGOs. In 2009 he was part of the CENTCOM Assessment Team for General Petraeus and has conducted many civilian interagency presentations to a variety of civilian and military groups, in addition to teaching at the Foreign Affairs Counter Threat course for deploying civilian government personnel.
MAYS AL SHAKHANBEH
Senior Capacity Building Specialist
Mays Al Shakhanbeh serves as Senior Capacity Building Specialist for DT’s US State Department-
funded Civil Society in Syria Program. She brings 17 years of experience in capacity building and
training for international development programs. Ms. Al Shakhanbeh is an expert in
organizational capacity development, including the design and implementation of tailored
capacity assessments and strengthening plans for sustainable development. She has an
extensive background working with young people to build quality life skills and career
approaches that empower them to be resilient and proactive for their futures. Ms. Al
Shakhanbeh is a certified organizational development consultant and has experience
implementing capacity assessment tools such as Organizational Capacity Assessment Tools. She
has trained and enhanced the capacities of more than 300 beneficiaries and led teams of 100
trainers and coaches working with youth, mentors, and parents.
Prior to joining DT, Ms. Al Shakhanbeh served as the Capacity Building Manager for IRC – Cross
Border, where she led implementation of capacity building projects inside Syria. She holds a BA
in English Literature from the University of Jordan.
Scott Withrow is a Senior Advisor with Development Transformations. Mr. Withrow has over 15 years of international experience. During that time, he has worked in and on issues concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, Turkey, Jordan, and Syria. He has held senior management positions with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, and Creative Associates International. In addition, he has served as an advisor on several Department of Defense contracts, including for General (Ret.) David Paetreus and General Joseph Dunford during their time as the Commanders of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Mr. Withrow specializes in governance and development issues, but also has substantial experience in elections administration, civil society development, media development, civ-mil relations, counterinsurgency, and stabilization. Mr. Withrow holds B.A.s in Political Science and Philosophy from Purdue University and a M.A. in International Relations from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and a M.A. in public policy from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Tamara Woisky is a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) professional in the humanitarian sector with
over 8 years of experience living, volunteering and working in developing countries. She received her
BA in International Development Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies from Dalhousie
University in Canada. Ms. Woisky is specialized in designing monitoring frameworks, program
indicators, tools and systems for data collection and analysis, training and program performance
management systems. She is especially passionate about the need for organizations to have a
stronger focus on building M&E systems that are based not only in theory but are also user friendly.
Ms. Woisky focuses on adapting and integrating her expertise in M&E into a diverse range of
complex environments and contexts and has extensive experience in effectively coordinating,
training and supporting staff remotely and directly. She has worked in Afghanistan (Kabul, Kandahar
and Herat), Sudan, Thailand, Senegal, Haiti, Switzerland, Brazil, Canada, Sri Lanka and Uganda
supporting programs run by multiple stakeholders and donors including World Vision, USAID, USDA,
UN and several grassroots organizations with focus on youth, migrants and refugees.
Prior to joining Development Transformations, in 2012-2014 Ms. Woisky was the M&E Department
Team Leader for AECOM International in Kandahar, Afghanistan and worked as an independent
consultant designing and implementing M&E performance management plans, training workshops,
baseline designs and assessments. In her free time, Ms. Woisky is passionate about fishing,
photography and gardening.
Home Office Staff
Field Staff & Experts