Meet The Board
With decades of experience in an array of fields, the Forage Center Board brings a dedicated and united voice to the organization's mission to empower emerging humanitarians through powerful programming and sharing experiences and best practices. Interested in learning more and/or joining the Forage Center Board? Click here for more information.
David J. Smith
David J. Smith works in higher education and with professional groups to promote conflict resolution, humanitarian, and peacebuilding approaches to address conflict and change. He was a senior program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace. David has been on the faculties of Georgetown University, Towson University, Goucher College, and Drexel University, and currently at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University and the School of International Service at American University. He sits on the board of advisors of the master's in humanitarian action program at the Kroc School for Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. He was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching at the University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia. He is a recipient of the William Kreidler Award for Distinguished Service to the field of conflict resolution. He has been interviewed on the TODAY Show, published in The New York Times and Baltimore Sun, written several books including Peace Jobs: A Student's Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (IAP 2016), and been featured in The Washington Post Magazine. David attended American University (B.A.), George Mason University (M.S.), University of Missouri (G. Cert.), and the University of Baltimore (J.D.)
Sarah (Forage) Lough has extensive experience in the area of corporate operations. This includes project management for a midsize software firm, hospitality operations management, and payroll and human resources management. Sarah lives outside Toronto and has traveled extensively on business in the United States and the United Kingdom. She brings her years of experience to contribute to the Forage Center in honor of her brother and actively participates in its field training exercises.
Matt Collette is currently a partner at Massey & Gail. Before that he served as deputy director of the appellate staff of the civil division at the United States Department of Justice and senior counsel to the associate attorney general. Matt has argued over 100 federal appellate cases, appearing in every federal circuit. He has litigated matters involving U.S. constitutional and administrative law, as well as international law, national security law, transportation law, admiralty, and environmental law (including the Deepwater Horizon litigation). Since leaving the DOJ, he has published articles on the Freedom of Information Act and the integrity of the Department of Justice. He has also volunteered as a youth baseball and hockey coach and has taught at the Johns Hopkins University Carey School of Business.
Cindy Epperson, Ph.D., is a sociologist who has taught in higher education for 22 years. Prior to her professorship, she was an applied sociologist working in family violence, youth development and sexual assault. Cindy was trained by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the International Services Division of the American Red Cross, and the KROC Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Norte Dame. She developed and adapted curriculum in international humanitarian law and peace and conflict studies to utilize in her Evil and the Human Condition, Universal Human Rights, Introduction to Sociology, and Crime and Society courses. Cindy’s volunteer work as a board member of the Midwest Institute for International and Intercultural Education, an international humanitarian law teaching fellow for the International Services Division of the American Red Cross, and a board member of the Global Council of the Center for the Global Advancement of Community Colleges, she worked with her teammates to develop global citizens through curriculum and interactive learning including simulations. A published author on the topics of moral evil and the human condition, the community college system in Vietnam, and teaching human rights in undergraduate courses, Cindy appreciates lifelong learning, rational discourse, critical thinking, problem solving, and asking the questions “Please help me understand?” and “How can I help?” Cindy offers her education, experience, and appreciation of universal human rights to the Forage Center. At home in Lawrence, Kansas, Cindy is a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization and a member of several teams working toward greater equality for all, engaged citizenship, and appreciation for cultural differences.
Peter Reynolds is a highly regarded, enthusiastic consultant and trainer with over 29 years in leadership positions in the military and 15 years as a lecturer, management and environmental safety and security consultant. He has extensive experience in strategic planning, budgeting, humanitarian logistics, security strategy, policy and training as well as humanitarian operations, public affairs and project management in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America. He has travelled, lived and/or worked in more than 30 countries and is a strong communicator with extensive media and presentational experience.
Paz Magat is a seasoned professional in the fields of international education, peacebuilding, and community development. She is currently a Senior Director at Third Plateau, a social impact-oriented consulting firm, where she facilitates a cross-ideological, cross-disciplinary network and convening space through which civic leaders and influencers debate, envision, and realize a brighter future for American democracy. In her previous roles, Paz created and directed the only leadership program in the world for senior-ranking female military officers from democratic countries and spent several years training African Union and United Nations peacekeepers in conflict management communication. Some of her community building work includes designing sport-for-development programs to improve police-villager relations in Namibia and to align gang leaders for the safe passage of residents in Cité Soleil, Haiti. Based in Washington DC, Paz is tri-lingual, holds a B.A. in Spanish from Wellesley College, and a master’s in Applied Social Change from Future Generations University.
David Nitsch has an extensive and diverse background in the emergency services, emergency management, and global health. Mr. Nitsch is the Director of the Bureau Technological Hazards for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and also serves as Adjunct Faculty member in the Emergency and Disaster Management program at Thomas Jefferson University. Before joining PEMA, he worked in the private sector for a consulting firm that provided various emergency management and public health preparedness services. Additionally, David has served as a Medical and Rescue Specialist with the Pennsylvania Urban Search and Rescue Task Force, the Medical Team Leader with the Lancaster County Special Emergency Response Team, and as a Personal Security Specialist and Medic in support of the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic security mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Nitsch has a particular interest in displaced populations and the unique health and social challenges brought on by displacement. He travels internationally to support this underserved community serving in remote areas of Guatemala, the migrant camps along the U.S., Mexico border, Jordan in support of Syrian refugees, western Poland to support Ukrainian refugees, and most recently in Ukraine. Mr. Nitsch has earned a Masters of Public Health and is currently writing his dissertation to complete a PhD in Public Policy with a focus on foreign policy. He is a Nationally Registered Paramedic and a member of the Pennsylvania Public Health Association. In addition, he is a member of the International Organization for Migration, Displacement and Health Working Group, and the World Health Organization, Ukraine Health Cluster, Assessment and Analysis Technical Working Group.