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Staff

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COL Bill Turner, USA (ret.) – Chief, Program Support
Email: TurnerW@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-4047


COL (ret.) William D. Turner is the Chief of Program Support and has served as the Chief of Outreach. Bill oversees the integration of resources to execute over 60 programs and 50 plus activities annually supporting the Office of the Secretary of Defense Policy involving United States government agencies with officials from 26 countries in the NESA region and numerous other partner countries/organizations worldwide. Mr. Turner retired from the U.S. Army in 2008 after serving 26 years in various tactical through strategic level staff and leadership positions. Prior to joining the NESA Center, Mr. Turner served as a deputy director for the Capstone General and Flag Officer Course at the National Defense University and as an assistant program manager at the Office of the Program Manager Saudi Arabian National Guard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Turner is an alumnus of the National War College, National Defense University.

Cynthia Pritchett – NESA Strategic Plans and CENTCOM Liaison
Email: Cynthia.A.Pritchett.civ@mail.mil // Phone:(813) 827-5253


Cindy Pritchett is the strategic planner for the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and serves as their Liaison to U.S. Central Command in Tampa. Ms. Pritchett joined the NESA Center in 2010, and is responsible for planning, coordinating and synchronizing the Center’s annual program plan consisting of over 70 events in support of Department of Defense objectives.

Ms. Pritchett was formerly a Soldier in the United States Army, retiring as a Command Sergeant Major after over 36 years of active service. She served for two years, as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader of Combined Forces Command –Afghanistan and principle advisor to the Commander on all matters concerning the health, morale, welfare, and support and force sustainment of all U.S and coalition forces assigned. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations Global Studies from Troy University and a bachelor’s degree in administration and management from Excelsior College.

sam marrero

Sam Marrero – Executive Officer
Email: Samuel.Marrero@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-2490


Sam Marrero is the Executive Officer at the NESA Center. Prior to NESA, he served as the Special Assistant to U.S. Ambassador Wanda Nesbitt and Research Analyst at the Department of Defense’s Conflict Records Research Center (CRRC). Mr. Marrero graduated from Wake Forest University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and received a Master’s degree in International Trade & Security from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in 2010. He was honored to receive a Critical Language Scholarship for Arabic in 2009, a Boren Fellowship in 2010 to research labor unrest and democratization in the Middle East, an Honorable Mention for the Saul Linowitz Federal Service Award in 2013 for his work archiving captured Al-Qaeda documents with CRRC, the Aspen Security Forum Scholarship in 2016 and the German Marshall Fund Manfred Wörner Seminar Fellowship in 2018.

kathryn pearce

Kathryn Pearce – Registrar Manager
Email: Kathryn.A.Pearce.civ@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 433-7389


Kathryn Pearce is the Registrar Manager at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies. She works with the U.S. Embassies, local Embassies, and partners to register all nominees for various NESA courses. She also works in DSAMS, SANweb, and RCPAMS. Her biggest joy is building relationships with the country teams, embassy representatives, and participants. Ms. Pearce joined the NESA Center as the Registrar Manager in December 2018, after serving as the Participant Programs Manager. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Berry College and a Master’s degree in International Relations from American University.

 

Emily Santucci – Deputy Registrar
Email: Emily.R.Santucci.civ@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 423-6446


Emily Santucci is a Deputy Registrar at the NESA Center. Prior to her current role, she also served as a Participant Programs Assistant for the NESA Center. Emily gained extensive exposure to the study and research of the Middle East and North Africa region through internships with the NESA Center, Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of International Affairs for the MENA Division. While studying Arabic abroad in Amman, Jordan, she also acquired first-hand experience with living in the region. Emily holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Middle East Studies (with a minor in Arabic Studies) from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

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Thora Gibbs – Deputy Registrar
Email: Thora.C.Gibbs.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-2426 


Thora Gibbs is a Deputy Registrar at the NESA Center. Before joining NESA, Thora worked for several government contractors doing business development and international business research. She also had experience working for a non-profit at Women Forward International, where she supported a variety of programs. Thora previously worked at the NESA Center’s sister organization, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, as a National Security Strategy Research Assistant. She is a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington, where she received her B.A. in International Affairs.

Monas Kpakpa – Contract Manager
Email: Monas.Kpakpa.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-2428


Monas is the Contract Manager and is fully responsible for management and integration of all supporting functions to achieve deliverables for all engagements, programs, and contractor personnel tasked with supporting the NESA Center. This includes the management and oversight of all activities performed by contractor personnel, including subcontractors, to satisfy contract requirements and deliverables.  Monas previously served as Program Planning Manager at the NESA Center. He previously worked at the NESA Center’s sister organization, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, as Finance and Contract Manager, and as well as Program Support and Accounting Manager, and as later a Program Manager. He has proven expertise in program management, program planning, procurement, accounting, finance, budgeting, and operations experience within private companies, and the Federal Government. He holds an M.S. in Accounting and M.B.A, both from Strayer University’s Graduate School of Business, and is fluent in English, French, and several African languages.

Nancy Luong – Media & Communications Manager
Email: Nancy.M.Luong.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-9467


Nancy Luong is the Media and Communications Manager at the NESA Center. She is responsible for developing promotional and informational material for the Center, conducting media-related research, and recommending means to increase awareness of the Center across the NESA region. Luong has specialized in graphic and publication design, marketing, multi-media, print production, virtual education, learning and content management systems, faculty development and training, search engine optimization, and web design.

Nancy also served as a Virtual Education Specialist and Adjunct Faculty for the Art Institutes. She previously worked for another regional center, the Africa Center, where she held the position of Webmaster and Photographer. Nancy Luong completed a B.F.A. in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University with a minor in Religious Studies.

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Peter Klu – Information Technology Specialist
Email: Peter.S.Klu.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 316-5882


Having earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Minor in Mathematics, and armed with MS in Electrical Engineering, Peter’s goal was to complement his natural technical savvy with a strong foundation in Software and Web Development, Networking, VOIP and Ethical Hacking. In order to understand the ever-changing IT field, Peter needed to gain extensive experiences. The best way to do this, he felt, was to join a Big 8 firm within the IT consulting practice. He accepted a position with Booze Allen & Hamilton where he gained extensive software development and RDBMS experience.

Peter left and went consulting for different software companies through his established business. Peter consulted for the likes of Booze Allen & Hamilton, Price Water Cooper, Ernest and Young, Microsoft, IBM, National Defense University and other small technology companies. Peter also worked for Africa Center and Near East South Asia Center as an Information Management Officer (IMO).

Gillian Hurtt – Education Technology Specialist
Email: Gillian.E.Hurtt.ctr@ndu.edu


Gillian Hurtt is the Education Technology Specialist at the NESA Center. She is responsible for developing and supporting virtual educational goals, recommending design and communication trends to implement into the school’s learning environment, and assisting faculty and staff with developing and implementing course content. Prior to joining the NESA Center, Ms. Hurtt spent over 5 years in the local television news industry as a newscast Producer and Director. These roles allowed her to develop and hone her technical and communication skills, which are of paramount importance in her current position at the NESA Center. Ms. Hurtt graduated from Virginia Tech in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication/Multimedia Journalism and a minor in Business Leadership.

Christopher Muller – Outreach & Alumni Coordinator
Email: Christopher.R.Muller.ctr@ndu.edu


Christopher Muller is the Outreach and Alumni Coordinator at the NESA Center. He is the senior coordinator for all NESA alumni events and is responsible for supporting alumni affairs and professional education goals, developing and implementing outreach strategy, and assessing NESA’s mission impact. Christopher is a Russian speaker with over six years of experience managing language acquisition programs, professional training, and research fellowships throughout Eastern Europe and Western and Central Asia. He gained exposure to the NESA region through prior roles with American Councils for International Education and NBC Sports and Olympics and has worked as an educational consultant and project manager within U.S. higher education. He holds a B.A. in International studies with a specialization in International Communication and a regional focus on Russia and Eurasia from American University’s School of International Service.

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Melissa Toronto – Program Planning Manager
Email: Melissa.N.Toronto.ctr@ndu.edu


Melissa Toronto is the Program Planning Manager at the NESA Center. She is responsible for leading the event staff, ensuring procedures, and overseeing the continuity of domestic and international programs. Melissa has extensive background working with various for profit and non-profit entities in the United States and around the world. Locally, she has worked in operations at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Washington, D.C. and volunteered as Marketing Director for Minds Matter D.C. Internationally, she has worked in admissions and recruitment at the British International School Abu Dhabi, UAE, and volunteered as humanitarian aid worker in Cambodia, Turkey, Spain, Uganda, Jordan, and Sri Lanka. Melissa has a master’s degree in Human Rights and Global Ethics from the University of Leicester, UK. She is an avid runner, non-fiction reader, and ice cream enthusiast.

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Marlene Ryan – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: RyanM@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-2132


Marlene Ryan is the Senior Event Program Planner at the NESA Center, where she has worked in program management for 15 years. Previously she worked in business development with General Dynamics, and at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s D.C. Headquarters as a Fingerprint Examiner.

Magoumba Dieye – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: Magoumba.Dieye.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 433-1030


Magoumba Dieye is Senior Event and Program Planner at NESA. Prior to NESA, he worked in the private sector, in the fields of business development, outreach, and events, including as Assistant Office Manager at the D.C. location of the law firm Finnegan. Mr. Dieye holds a B.A. in Public Administration from George Mason University.

Amira Siddiqi – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: Amira.C.Siddiqi.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 391-3955


Amira Siddiqi is a Senior Event Program Planner at the NESA Center. She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Islamic Studies from George Washington University. Having previously interned at the NESA Center, Ms. Siddiqi is experienced in program execution, curriculum development, and research analysis.

Trevor Dykas – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: Trevor.M.Dykas.ctr@ndu.edu


Trevor Dykas is a 2021 graduate from the University of New Haven, where he majored in National Security Studies. Throughout his collegiate career, Trevor developed a strong interest in international affairs, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa region. He previously worked as a Research Intern at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies and is excited to be brought on as a Senior Events Program Planner. Trevor was also a part of the Democracy & Human Rights Foundation, a nonprofit startup, as an Assistant Program Director. He is currently pursuing publication for two co-authored academic research papers focusing on terrorism and its effects in international conflicts.

 

Marjory Schleicher – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: Marjory.W.Schleicher.ctr@ndu.edu


Marjory Schleicher is a Senior Events Program Planner at the NESA Center. She previously worked for the State Department at U.S. embassies in Libya, Mauritius, UAE, and Cameroon, where she managed cultural exchanges and planned outreach programs to advance U.S. foreign policy goals. She also managed student exchange programs in Russia. Marjory holds a B.A. in political science from Wheaton College (Illinois) and a M.A. in Russian and East European Studies from Georgetown University.

 

William Owen Cox – Participant Programs Assistant
Email: William.O.Cox.ctr@ndu.edu


Owen Cox recently graduated from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University with a Masters in Arab Studies. He was hired full-time as the NESA Center Participant Programs Assistant, following a two-semester internship. Owen grew up outside New York City. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a B.A. in Arabic including study at the School of Oriental and African Studies and AMIDEAST in Amman, Jordan. He also spent three years as a Cambridge University-certified English language instructor in Riyadh.

 

 

Resources

Jeffrey Young

Jeffrey Young – Chief of Resources
Email: Jeffrey.D.Young.civ@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-4993


Jeffrey Young is the NESA Center’s Chief of Resources. Mr. Young brings a decade of experience working in program and financial management for various U.S. Defense Department offices, including the Headquarters of the Department of the Army as well as the Defense Security Cooperation Agency. Mr. Young graduated from Temple University with a degree in Finance and International Business and holds an MBA from the Kogod School of Business at American University.

Scott Dorsey

Scott Dorsey – Resource Specialist
Email: DorseyS@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-3847


Scott Dorsey is the Resource Specialist and subject matter expert for security and travel at the NESA Center. As the Defense Area Security Officer (DASO), he is responsible for ensuring the NESA Center’s operations comply with National, DoD, and NDU security directives and policies. Mr. Dorsey previously served as the Program Planning Manager at the NESA Center for 15 years. He worked at the NESA Center’s sister organization, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, as the Program Support Manager. Before working for the NESA Center, Mr. Dorsey was a branch manager for 10 years at Suntrust Bank (Capitol Hill). He has proven expertise in program management, program planning, procurement, accounting, finance, budgeting. He holds an B.S. in Business Administration from Virginia Union University. Scott has several Federal Government Budgeting certificates as well as a Leadership and Planning certificate from George Washington University.

Brooke Zitney – Management Analyst
Email: Brooke.Zitney@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-4994


Brooke Zitney works as a Management Analyst for NESA. She has been with NESA for 13 years also serving as Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) for all assigned NESA support contracts. She directs, develops and performs logistics management operations required to support mission and or other designated programs. She provides effectiveness and efficiency of resource management and program operations to includes short- and long-range program planning and analysis, and budget analysis.

 

Academic Affairs

Fahad Malaikah – Academic Specialist, In Country Events & Alumni Affairs Coordinator
Email: Fahad.Malaikah.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-4995


Fahad Malaikah serves as the NESA Center’s In Country Events and Alumni Affairs Coordinator. He additionally serves as Program Manager of the Strategic Studies Network, a unique NESA Center initiative that serves as a consortium of over 65 strategic studies centers from across the NESA region and Europe. Mr. Malaikah joined the NESA Center in 2010 as a Research Associate. He has published articles on Middle East security issues in outlets including The National Interest, The Washington Times, and the Small Wars Journal.

Mr. Malaikah received a BA in Political Science and Middle East Studies from Georgia State University, and an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Center for Contemporary Arab Studies.