Program Officers

Miriam Abaya – Lead Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Miriam Abaya is a Lead Program Officer in the Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) Program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In her leadership capacity, she is responsible for facilitating dialogue between Peruvian and Bolivian stakeholders to address water-use conflict and environmental diplomacy in Lake Titicaca. She also is contributing to IMTD projects regarding legal practices of international partnerships and 501(c)(3) laws.

Previously, Miriam interned at the Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation writing briefs for the Federal Courts of Appeals. She also interned at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court performing legal research and writing on international criminal law.

Miriam received a BA in Music from Haverford College and is currently a third-year student at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. At law school, Miriam is a Law & Public Policy Scholar, a fellow at the Institute for International Law and Public Policy, and a lead research editor for the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal.

Nur Hidayah Anzis – Program Officer, Children Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K); Personal Assistant to Ambassador John W. McDonald

As a Program Officer at IMTD, Hidz assists with program evaluation, grant application, and peacebuilding curriculum design for the Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya. In addition, she serves as a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald, and she is also working on a project to design emergency training education materials in collaboration with Sovereignty First. She holds a Masters degree in Instructional Multimedia from Universiti Sains Malaysia and most recently completed four years of a PhD program in Curriculum and Instructional Technology at Iowa State University, during which time she worked as an Instructional Designer at the ISU Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer.

Ivan Avramovic – Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K)

Ivan Avramovic is a Program Officer for the Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) program. In his role with CPI-K, he assists with grant proposals and the development of peacebuilding curriculum. In past roles, he has served as a dialogue facilitator with the Dialogue and Difference Project with the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and an intern for the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Washington, D.C. Originally from Sarajevo, Ivan graduated in May 2016 with degrees in Global Affairs and Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason. His research interests include international development, democratization, and post-conflict peacebuilding, specifically its long-term effectiveness.

Sabrina Bath – Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) and Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald

Sabrina Bath is a Program Officer for the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) program as well as a Personal Assistant to Ambassador John McDonald. At CPI-K Sabrina assists with grant proposals, evaluations, and development of peace-building curriculums. As a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald, she performs various administrative tasks. Sabrina is currently attending George Mason University to obtain her Bachelors of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in Global Engagement. Her personal mission is to advocate for the rights and ensure the proper development of children in unstable and oppressed societies.

Chris Blakely Jr. – Publications Editor and Social Media Manager

Chris Blakely Jr. is the Publications Editor and Social Media Manager for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In his roles, he edits all internal and external publications within the Institute and executes social media outreach strategy. Previously, Chris has been a Narrative Analyst for George Mason University’s Center for the Study of Narrative and Conflict Resolution (CNCR) and a dialogue facilitator for the Dialogue & Difference Project. Chris has also served around the world in both the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Army. He is currently a student at George Mason University earning degrees in Public Relations and Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Chris works as a social media consultant for a public relations research agency and continues military service as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. His research interests include track-two diplomacy, peace journalism, facilitated dialogue, and narrative analysis as means to forecast, prevent, and mitigate violent conflict.

Anika Forrest – Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) Co-Lead Program Officer; Legal Advisor

Anika Forrest is a Legal Advisor for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) and is the Co-Lead Program Officer for IMTD’s Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) Program. As a student legal advisor, Anika develops a plan of best legal practices regarding international partnerships and 501(c)(3) laws. She also completes business, corporate governance, and tax law assignments. Anika’s CCHS responsibilities include integrating climate change and rule of law principles, surveying international climate justice policies, securing funding, and researching the causal link between climate change and conflict.

Anika also interns with the Embassy of Jamaica in D.C. During the summer of 2016, Anika served as IMTD’s Legal Advisor and Lead Program Officer for Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K). As a 2015 Philadelphia Diversity Law Group Fellow, Anika was a legal intern at FMC Corporation, a global chemical and manufacturing company. Her work at FMC included international employment, international trademark, and business law.

Anika received a BA in sociology from Davidson College. After her undergraduate study, Anika joined the Office of Admission at Haverford College as an Admission Counselor and Co-Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment. Anika is a third-year student at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. At Temple Law, she is a Law & Public Policy Scholar and a Fellow for the Institute for International Law and Public Policy.

Francis Newton – Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Francis Newton is a Program Officer for the Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) program at the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD).

Francis also works in the Accounting Office at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He has previous experience as a Substitute Teacher at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Maryland. Previous experience on climate change came from a Research Assistant Internship with the International Fund for China’s Environment.

He received a BA in Social Sciences from Gardner-Webb University and a MA from Catholic University of America in World Politics. His research has focused on Middle Eastern and East Asian security issues.

Carmen Olivares – Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Carmen Olivares is a Program Officer for the Climate Change and Human Security Program (CCHS) at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy(IMTD). She is currently attending University in Chicago in which she is pursuing a degree in International Business and Spanish. In her role with CCHS, she is working on projects pertaining to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, in order to help communities threatened by the environmental deterioration caused by climate change. Applying her Spanish abilities, she translates important documents so that they are accessible to both English and Spanish-speaking readers. Along with her business management skills, she also formulates the program’s budgets in order to submit accurate grant proposals to third parties. She came to IMTD to learn about practical applications of conflict management.

Heather Payne – Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-Kenya) and Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald

Heather Payne is a Program Officer for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) program and a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald. In her role at the CPI-Kenya program, she assists with grant proposals, evaluations, and development of peacebuilding curriculums. As a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald, she performs various administrative tasks.

Heather’s background consists of working with children and youth in a variety of settings. She has worked as an early childhood educational teacher and in child protective services with foster children. She also worked as an in-home data collector and researcher for families with young children as well as a research assistant for family therapy. Heather also volunteered as a therapist for children with problematic sexual behaviors.

Currently, she is attending George Mason University to obtain her MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Heather’s mission is to work with children and youth involved in conflict and peacebuilding. Working on IMTD’s CPI-Kenya project is a rewarding experience that involves empowering children to be agents of peace in their communities.

Kern Singh –  Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K)

Kern Singh is a Program Officer for the CPI-Kenya program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In his role, Kern assists with securing grants, conducting research and monitoring evaluations for CPI-K’s variety of programs. Kern has worked in previous roles at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, BiH. He has also worked as an intern with impl. Project and the Democratic Party of Virginia. In addition, Kern was the youngest ever participant in the Symposium for Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Peacebuilding at the International Peace and Security Institute in the summer of 2016. His particular interest in Kenya lies in his having lived in the country for two years in elementary school while his father worked there as a USAID Foreign Service Officer. Kern is working towards a B.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in Building Peace in Divided Societies and a minor in Philosophy from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. His scholarly interests include Countering Violent Extremism, Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Reconciliation. In addition, he has done research on the practical role of existential philosophy in conflict analysis, and how it can inform the work of practitioners working on the ground.

Nathan Smith – Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Nathan Smith is a Program Officer for the Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In his role, he assists with writing, editing and delivering grant proposals. He helps with project research and contacting potential stakeholders and internationally interested parties.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Nathan worked as a university instructor at the Chongqing University of Technology in the municipality of Chongqing, China, for two years. While there, he taught courses on history, culture, and society as well as English and environmental science. In addition to doing his job, he was able to acquire high proficiency in Mandarin and passed the HSK level 5 (the official Mandarin language proficiency exam) and is working towards achieving the highest level (HSK 6).

He received is Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in international studies, and studied abroad for one academic year at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, Germany, where he focused on German language. He is currently a graduate student at American University perusing his MA in Cultural Anthropology. Nathan feels that the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy forms the perfect crossroads between his diverse educational background, and is excited to learn more about the connections between environment, diplomacy and human relationships.

 

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