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Peace, Stability, and Transition Specialists

    Bridget Burke
    Director, West and Central Africa and Haiti

    ​Bridget Burke is a health and conflict management specialist with more than seven years of experience managing and leading programs in developing countries. She currently leads Chemonics’ Cote d’Ivoire Transition Initiatives project, where she provides home office support and direction to the field team. Prior to becoming a director, Ms. Burke was deputy chief of party and then chief of party on the USAID OTI-funded Haiti Recovery Initiative II program, and also has experience in West Africa and the Middle East. Ms. Burke speaks French and Haitian Creole, and holds a B.A. in International Studies from American University.

    Christina Schultz
    Director, Latin America and the Caribbean

    Christina Schultz has 20 years of experience in conflict and post-conflict, democracy and governance, and human rights programming in Africa, Latin America, Afghanistan and the Middle East. This includes managing and supporting seven projects, funded by USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, both in field and home offices. She possesses strategy development skills with experience in monitoring, evaluation and learning. Ms. Schultz is currently the director of three projects at Chemonics, including the Jordan Food Assistance Program and Mexico Human Rights Public Policy Activity. Ms. Schultz has worked for USAID, implementing partners, the United Nations, the Inter-American Development Bank, and various international and local NGOs. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University and a bachelor's degree from UCLA in international economics.

    Elizabeth Martin
    Director, Middle East

    Elizabeth Martin is a conflict specialist with experience in the design, management, and assessment of USAID programs in a variety of developing countries. She worked for six years in the USAID/CMM office, serving during that time as a senior conflict advisor for Africa, a program officer, and director of the office’s training initiatives. She has led conflict assessments in Ethiopia and Sudan and designed multi-year conflict programs in Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Kenya. As a Presidential Management Fellow, conducted rotations in the State Department, serving as the Washington-based lead for NATO Stability and Reconstruction Policy, NATO engagement in Darfur, and Global Peace Operations Initiative in Europe; and in the USAID/OFDA office, acting as the USG representative in Juba, Southern Sudan, during the re-establishment of the USAID mission and U.S. Consulate in Juba. Served as deputy country representative for USAID/OTI’s $130-million post-earthquake transition program in Haiti, designing and managing all elections-related programming and OTI support to the USG cholera response effort. She holds an M.A. in international relations from John’s Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in African and Middle Eastern history from Northwestern University.

    Enrique Betancourt
    Director, Violence and Crime Prevention Initiative

    Enrique Betancourt is a trained architect and urban planner who once served as Executive Director at the National Center for Crime Prevention and Citizen Participation in Mexico. As an expert in urban innovation, he co-founded CONTEXTUAL, an agency developing creative solutions to complex urban problems through collaborative and participatory design. CONTEXTUAL works to bridge the gap between research, policy design and successful implementation. Previously, Enrique served as Deputy General Director of Social Policy for the Presidency of the Republic of Mexico. He holds a Masters of architecture in urban design from Harvard University.

    Eric Reading
    Executive Vice President

    Since Executive Vice President Eric Reading joined Chemonics in 1994, he has served in leadership roles in the both the field and the home office. As senior vice president he significantly expanded Chemonics work in the Middle East region and subsequently led the Afghanistan and Pakistan region. Prior to joining the executive team, he worked in Kosovo and Egypt as chief of party and technical advisor for institutional strengthening programs. Mr. Reading’s development technical experience crosses a range of sectors, including governance, infrastructure, economic development, financial services, and agriculture and he has significant experience in post-conflict recovery. In addition to overseeing the implementation of Chemonics development and transition work globally, he leads our internal systems strengthening. Mr. Reading holds an M.A. from Florida State University and is a PhD candidate in Governance and Globalization at Virginia Tech.

    Michael Geertson
    Director, Europe and Eurasia

    Currently a director in the Europe and Eurasia region, Michael Geertson is a democracy and governance and conflict mitigation specialist with more than 10 years of experience in the management and technical direction of USAID programs. He has led design and implementation teams in more than a dozen countries around the world. Prior to his current role, Mr. Geertson was responsible for home-office oversight of a project to help the Haitian government and communities recover from the January 2010 earthquake. Mr. Geertson also has experience on governance efforts in Honduras, Mongolia, and Uganda, as well as law and civil society reforms in Albania, Armenia, and West Bank and Gaza. Mr. Geertson holds an M.P.A. from Virginia Tech's Center for Public Administration.

    Michele Piercey
    Director, Peace, Stability, and Transition Practice

    Michele Piercey is an international development practitioner with 17 years of experience, including 10 years working on political transition and counter-violent extremism (CVE) programs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Tunisia. After corporate change management posts with the Australian Department of Defense early in her career, she worked with the U.S. Army Engineers on small-scale community engagement projects across Iraq. She has since worked in various leadership positions, such as serving as COP on USAID/OTI projects in conflict and transition zones. She is currently the Director of Chemonics International's Peace, Stability, and Transition Practice, in which she leads Chemonics' industry outreach on conflict and CVE, supports new business efforts, and provides technical support to projects. Michele holds a B.A. in Political Science from Australian National University.​

    Rhett Gurian
    Chief of Party, Middle East

    Mr. Gurian is currently a chief of party in the Middle East region. Prior to this, he led Chemonics’ activities in West Africa and Haiti as the Senior Vice President, where he has also served as chief of party on a recovery and stabilization program. Since joining the company in 2003, Mr. Gurian has served in a number of leadership roles and has extensive experience managing and designing programs focusing on conflict and disaster management and political transition in Africa and Afghanistan. He began his development career as a Peace Corps education volunteer in Benin. Mr. Gurian is a graduate of Syracuse University and holds a B.A. in international relations, public relations, and French.

    Todd Diamond
    Director, Middle East

    Todd Diamond is a democracy and governance specialist and crisis and conflict analyst with over 20 years of experience. He has worked in the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America on a variety of programs involving civil society actors, government institutions, and reforms. Previously, Mr. Diamond was a journalist and has also worked at the United Nations. At Chemonics he also provides support and analysis to governance programs in the Middle East. Mr. Diamond studied at the University of California, Berkeley and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Mr. Diamond earned a graduate degree in international relations from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and a B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

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