BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Established in 2015, the Forage Center for Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Education is a not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the peaceful resolution of conflict and the humanitarian imperative: the prevention and alleviation of human suffering.
DAVID J. SMITH
David J. Smith is the president of the Forage Center. He works nationally with higher education and professional groups to promote conflict resolution and peacebuilding approaches to addressing differences. David is a member of the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection. Previously, he was a senior manager and program officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC. David has been on the faculties of Georgetown University, Towson University, Goucher College, and George Mason University. He was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar teaching at the University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia. David has written widely about graduate and undergraduate education in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, Journal of Peace Education, and ACResolution. He is the author of Peace Jobs: A Student’s Guide to Starting a Career Working for Peace (Information Age Publishing) and a co-author of USIP Special Report 246, Graduate and Professional Practice in International Peace and Conflict, which makes recommendations for best practices in experiential education in the field. In 2015, he received the William Kreidler Award for Distinguished Service to the field of Conflict Resolution by the Association for Conflict Resolution. David holds degrees from American University (BA), George Mason University (MS), and the University of Baltimore (JD).
Peter Reynolds is a successful consultant with over 29 years in leadership positions in the military and 10 years’ experience as a lecturer, management and environmental safety and security consultant. He has delivered solutions in strategic planning, budgeting, humanitarian logistics, security strategy and policy, security training and humanitarian operations, general project management in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America. A graduate of Cranfield University, he has an MDA and was a visiting professor at FAU, Boca Raton FL. He has traveled, lived and/or worked in more than 30 countries and is a strong communicator.
Director of Education & Training
Jess Bonnan-White is a security studies scholar, and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in homeland security, conflict resolution, peace studies, criminological theory, and emergency management. Her most recent work can be found published in Contemporary Justice Review, PLOS Currents – Disasters, the Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Peace Review, Agriculture and Human Values and the International Association for Emergency Management (IAEM) Bulletin. With domestic and international fieldwork experience, her scholarship explores processes that increase community resilience during emergency and crisis response in conflict areas. She holds an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Northern Illinois University and The University of Iowa, respectfully, as well as a postgraduate certificate in Conflict and Peace Studies from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro. She also volunteers with the American Red Cross – New Jersey Region as a volunteer for the Service to the Armed Forces and International Services program areas.
Doda Johnson is a Board Member of the Forage Center and serves as its treasurer. She has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Philippines with various government and non-governmental organizations. She has experience in survey design and analysis, project administration, volunteer coordination, community organizing, counseling, fundraising, and training. She is currently working for a financial institution based in Bethesda, Maryland. Doda has a BA degree in comparative literature and an MSc in human services.
Armen Gregorian is a Board Member of the Forage Center and serves as its secretary. He is a member of American Red Cross International Response Unit as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stationed in Geneva, Switzerland and Washington D.C. and he is an Administrator for Nova Southeastern University. He first joined the American Red Cross in 1986 as a volunteer. He has completed numerous assignments as a member of ICRC delegation visiting Prisoners of Wars (POWs), Restoring Family Links, and providing Interpretation Services. His subsequent role, as a delegate, took him into some of the most high profile and complex conflicts of recent years, including but not limited to Chechnya, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Iran, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Albania, East Timor, and former Soviet Socialist Republics. After almost 30 years of witnessing the effects of conflict, Armen is a passionate advocate for explaining fully the limits of waging war, and on the vital importance of neutrality and independence as powerful tools in helping the ICRC to be more effective on the ground for victims of conflict. Armen holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree Organizational Management, Master of Business Administration in Management, and he is in process of completing his PhD in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Armen enjoys reading, cooking, fishing, tennis, golf and traveling. Armen lives in West Palm Beach, FL with his wife Deborah where they own a mediation business.
Kathryn Rzeszut is a Board Member of the Forage Center. She is a conflict and stabilisation specialist and holds the position of Senior Expert MEL at Integrity Global. She was previously a Research Fellow at the University of York’s Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit (PRDU).
Matt Collette is a Board Member of the Forage Center. He is currently a partner at Massey & Gail LLP after serving for many years 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.
Lena Choudhary, JD, MS, RN is an associate professor of nursing at Montgomery College. She has been teaching for over 8 years. Her content focus is on legal and ethical issues in nursing along with work site environments particularly lateral violence or bullying in the nursing profession. She has presented at numerous conferences and faculty and student forums on this topic. She has taught at the bachelor's and graduate level as well. Lena Choudhary’s specialty is in public health nursing, particularly vulnerable populations, domestic and international. Her experience with the Forage Center and the Atlantic Promise simulations for over 5 years is supported by her continued professional development in nursing simulation which has grown in use tremendously in the last 10 years.
Special Projects Program Specialist
Thomas Stukes holds a Master's degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and has worked and studied across the US and Latin America. He has 5 years of experience in the public and nonprofit sectors, and is interested long-term in addressing humanitarian issues through public-private partnerships. Among his experiences, Thomas has worked on USAID contracts for humanitarian projects in the Middle East, served as a labor organizer, and managed a local political campaign in Washington state. He is originally from Georgia but currently resides in Seattle, WA.
Sydna Cooper is a graduate from George Mason University receiving her Master's of Social Work and Master's of Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Prior to graduate school, Sydna worked as a crisis counselor and an advocate for victims and survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and harassment. Throughout graduate school, Sydna worked in advocacy and education in many different contexts. Currently, Sydna works in Alternative Dispute Resolution providing mediation services and support in development of workshops and trainings surrounding communication and conflict resolution skills. In 2015, Sydna was a participant of Atlantic Promise and returned in 2016 to work as a Controller Evaluator of the program.
Senior Adviser for Operations
Lawrence F. (Larry) Lawson is the Senior Adviser for Operations for the Forage Center. He is an expert in the Criminal Justice field serving over 35 years as a State of Florida certified law enforcement officer. During this time he served 15 years as the Director of the Criminal Justice Training Institute and Criminal Justice Department Chair at Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, Florida. Previously he served as a police Officer, Detective, Detective Supervisor and Investigator for the States Attorney’s Office for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Trained as a first responder, law enforcement and C.E.R.T. instructor, Lawrence worked with Dr. Paul Forage as he brought the Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid program to Indian River State College from Florida Atlantic University. Lawrence was a part of the original staff that brought the Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Aid Program “Svetlina” (“The Light”) to the Republic of Macedonia (2007-2009) for an intensive two week training program. This program was conducted by Indian River State College in conjunction with the Republic of Macedonia Government and St. Cyril & St. Methodious University in Skopje, Macedonia. Lawrence has degrees from Nova Southeastern University (BS Management) and Troy State University (MPA).
Director of Communications
Sarah (Forage) Lough has extensive experience in the area of corporate operations. This includes project management for a mid-size software firm, hospitality operations management, and payroll and human resources management. Sarah 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 Atlantic Promise field training exercise. She resides outside Toronto with her daughter Vivian.
Catherine Cousar is currently an administrative specialist with the forage Center. She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, who served in Panama from 2012 to 2014. She completed a Masters in Global Policy Studies at the University of Texas in 2017, where she specialized in security, law and diplomacy. While a student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, she was a Graduate Research Affiliate with Innovations for Peace and Development on the Aid Data team. As a final graduate project, she was also a member of team that researched and wrote a report on world diplomatic service for the America Foreign Service Association. In 2016 she interned with the European Parliament in Washington, where she followed senate and congressional bills and analyzed US policy. She was offered the opportunity to extend to a position with the Parliament in Brussels, where she worked with an internal environmental regulatory agency. She also holds a BA in English from Smith College, which she graduated from in 2011.
Program Specialist (Education & Training)
Chelsea Cornwell holds a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Connecticut and will shortly be completing a Master’s of Science in Disaster Resiliency Leadership from Tulane University. During her graduate school years, Chelsea worked as a research assistant and interned with the International Association of Schools of Social Work as an NGO representative to the United Nations. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a victim advocate for survivors of sexual assault, completed two years an AmeriCorps member in Virginia, and directed a summer camp for youth. Chelsea originates from Pennsylvania and holds a BA in Social Work from Elizabethtown College, where she minored in Peace Studies and spent two semesters studying abroad in The Gambia and Northern Ireland. Chelsea was a participant in the 2016 Atlantic Hope exercise and joined the Forage Center Staff in 2018 after returning for the 2017 and 2018 programs as a Controller/Evaluator.
Program Specialist (Education & Training)
Christy McGuire is a learning scientist as well as a lifelong learner. She earned a PhD in cognitive and experimental psychology from Georgia Tech in 2001, and has recently returned to school for an EdD in social and comparative analysis in education at the University of Pittsburgh. In between these schooling experiences, she served as an Area Director for Elderhostel (now Road Scholar) and a research manager for Carnegie Learning. She also co-founded an educational technology startup company, Tutor Technologies. Currently, she is a freelance academic editor as well as a graduate research assistant at the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Christy participated in the May 2018 training at LaRoche College, then returned in November 2018 as a role player and member of the Education & Training team. She is particularly interested in collaborating with educators around racial equity and culturally relevant pedagogy, as well as in exploring humans’ various ways of knowing.