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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.

Dakota Prince

Dakota Prince – Deputy Registrar
Email: Dakota.A.Prince.ctr@ndu.edu


Dakota Prince is a Deputy Registrar at the NESA Center. Dakota Prince graduated from George Mason University in 2022 with a B.A. in Government and International Politics. During his undergraduate studies, Dakota worked as a Research Intern at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in 2021. Prior to joining NESA as a Senior Events Program Planner, Dakota worked in higher education as the Student Life Advisor at Northern Virginia Community College. At NVCC, he gained invaluable experience supervising and working with students from various regions across the world. Dakota is excited to further grow his career in international relations at the NESA Center.

Nancy Luong

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, where she develops promotional and informative materials for the Center. Her role extends to conducting media research and strategies to enhance the Center’s visibility throughout the NESA region. With expertise in graphic design, publication/print production, marketing, multimedia, web, and more, Nancy brings a diverse skill set to her position. Her most recent background includes serving as a Virtual Education Specialist and Adjunct Faculty at the Art Institutes, and as a Webmaster and Photographer at the Africa Center. Nancy holds a B.F.A. in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a minor in Religious Studies.

Peter Klu

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 – GlobalNET Content Manager
Email: Gillian.E.Hurtt.ctr@ndu.edu


Gillian Hurtt is the GlobalNET Content Manager 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 – Program Manager, Outreach & Engagement
Email: Christopher.R.Muller.ctr@ndu.edu


Christopher Muller is the Program Manager, Outreach & Engagement 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.

Melissa Toronto – Program Planning Manager
Email: Melissa.N.Toronto.ctr@ndu.edu  // Phone: (202) 391-3955


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.

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.

 

Benjamin Allgor – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: Benjamin.J.Allgor.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (908) 488-5044


Benjamin Allgor is a Senior Events Program Planner at the NESA Center. As a 2022 James Madison University graduate, Benjamin majored in International Affairs with a concentration in Asian Studies and minored in Chinese. He has worked in Chengdu, China, and studied Mandarin Chinese for over ten years. Most recently, Benjamin worked as a research associate intern for the global advisory sector of Edelman, an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm focusing on climate change. Benjamin enjoys traveling and looks forward to finding his way across the world and visiting various places in his position.

Kameesh Karim

Kameesh Karim – Senior Events Program Planner
Email: Karim.Kameesh.ctr@ndu.edu


Kameesh Karim is a Senior Events Program Planner at the NESA Center. Kameesh holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Texas in Austin. Kameesh previously served as a NESA Center Deputy Registrar and started at the NESA Center as an intern. Before joining the Center, he was an Archer Fellow for UT Austin in Washington, D.C. He has native proficiency in Urdu and is passionate about security and political issues in the Middle East and South Asia.

 

Susan Yang – Program Analyst
Email: Susan.Yang.ctr@ndu.edu


Susan Yang is a Program Analyst at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies.  Previously, Yang served as a Program Participants Manager, where she oversaw the participant experience and assisted with program logistics and outreach. She previously worked at a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, World Learning, where she administered the U.S. Department of State’s professional and academic exchange programs. Susan also has extensive experience working directly with domestic and international students of all ages. She taught English in French Guiana through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) and in South Korea at Branksome Hall Asia. She also led educational tours in Southeast Asia through Rustic Pathways and worked in data and evaluation at the Girl Scouts – River Valleys.

William Owen Cox

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.

Frejus Bakpe

Frejus Bakpe – Operations and Travel Specialist
Email: Frejus.D.Bakpe.ctr@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 509-1571


Frejus Bakpe is the NESA Center’s Operations and Travel Specialist. With experience spanning five years, Frejus has been an integral part of supporting the U.S. Government, where he has worked with the Africa Center, the NESA Center, and the Perry Center, fulfilling roles in operations and program support. Before his current position, Frejus served as a Logistics Officer and Travel Coordinator at the Africa Center. His expertise extends to program support, finance, budgeting, and operations, garnered from his private and federal sector experiences. Frejus holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Public Finance from the National Institute of Economics in the Republic of Benin. Building upon this foundation, he completed the Project Management Professional (PMP) program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Currently, he’s expanding his horizons by pursuing an accelerated master’s degree in Information Security and Assurance at Strayer University with the long-term goal of holding a doctorate in the field. Frejus is fluent in English, French, and several African languages.

 

 

Resources

Monas Kpakpa – Chief of Resources
Email: Monas.C.Amoussou-Kpakpa.civ@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-2428


Monas Kpakpa is the NESA Center’s Chief of Resources. He has 11 years of experience supporting the USG via contracts with ACSS, NESA, and WJP efforts in various budget formulation, program management, operations/planning management, contract management, and resource management roles. Monas previously served as a Program Planning Manager and a Contract Manager supporting NESA and WJ Perry Centers. He previously worked at the NESA Center’s sister organization, the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, as a Finance and Contract Manager, a Program Support and Accounting Manager, and later as a Program Manager. Monas Kpakpa 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 an M.B.A. in Finance, both from Strayer University’s Graduate School of Business, and is fluent in English, French, and several African languages.

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.

Quynh Nguyen

Quynh Nguyen – Budget Analyst 
Email: Quynh-Tram.Nguyen.civ@ndu.edu // Phone: (202) 685-4994


Quynh Nguyen is the Budget Analyst at the NESA Center.  She is responsible for the program planning, budget, and execution of the funding associated with the NESA Center mission. Quynh comes to the NESA Center with over 17 years of financial management experience including budget and accounting at various Department of Defense agencies.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Liberty University.

 

 

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.