Board of Directors

DAVID J. SMITH

President

David J. Smith works nationally in higher education and with professional groups to promote conflict resolution and humanitarian and peacebuilding approaches to address global and domestic conflict and change. He was a senior manager and 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 he currently teaches at the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. He was a Fulbright U.S. Scholar teaching at the University of Tartu in Tartu, Estonia. David has written widely about graduate and undergraduate education and humanitarian issues in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, The Baltimore Sun, The New York Times, International Journal on World Peace, and ACResolution Magazine. He is a recipient of the William Kreidler Award for Distinguished Service to the field of Conflict Resolution, awarded by the Association for Conflict Resolution. He has been interviewed on the TODAY show and featured in The Washington Post Magazine. Besides his work with the Forage Center, he is a career coach for professionals seeking careers in international fields. David holds degrees from American University (B.A.), George Mason University (M.S.), and the University of Baltimore (J.D.). He is currently pursuing a graduate certificate in positive psychology.

Publications

The Streets

PETER REYNOLDS

Vice President

Peter Reynolds was an active duty soldier with over 29 years’ service in leadership positions and has subsequently accumulated 15 years’ experience as a lecturer, manager, and environmental safety and security consultant. He has delivered viable solutions in strategic planning, budgeting, humanitarian logistics, security strategy and policy, security training for humanitarian operations, and 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 Florida Atlantic University. He has traveled, lived, and worked in more than 30 countries.

Publications

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JESS BONNAN-WHITE

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, humanitarian history, and emergency management. Her work has been published in Contemporary Justice Review, PLOS Currents Disasters, Journal of Trauma & Dissociation, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Peace Review, Agriculture and Human Values, Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education, Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the International Association for Emergency Management Bulletin. Jess is also the recipient of an International Peace Research Association Foundation research grant for her recent work on policing in Northern Ireland. With domestic and international research and practice experience, her scholarship explores community dynamics, conflict analysis, and governmental response to public crisis. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Northern Illinois University and the University of Iowa, respectively, 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 programs as the regional lead for the International Humanitarian Law Instruction Program.

Publications

Community Service

DODA JOHNSON

Treasurer

Doda Johnson 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 now works for a financial institution in Bethesda, Maryland. Doda has a B.A. degree in comparative literature and an M.S. in human services.

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MATT COLLETTE

Secretary

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.

ARMEN GREGORIAN

Board Member

Armen Gregorian is the emergency program coordinator for the Palm Beach County Division of Emergency Management in West Palm Beach, Florida, and a member of the American Red Cross International Response Unit. He first joined the American Red Cross in 1986 as a volunteer. He has completed numerous assignments as a member of International Committee of the Red Cross delegations visiting prisoners of war, 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 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 for the vital importance of neutrality and independence as powerful tools in helping humanitarian organizations to be more effective on the ground for victims of conflict. Armen holds a B.S. in organizational management and an MBA in management, and he is in the process of completing his Ph.D. in conflict analysis and resolution. 

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ERNEST N. OGBOZOR

Board Member

Dr. Ernest N. Ogbozor is a scholar-practitioner of conflict resolution, peacebuilding, international development, and humanitarian action. He has several years of experience working on the frontlines of humanitarian response for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Nigeria, where he managed emergency relief to civilian victims of armed conflicts and ethno-religious and election violence. His academic research focuses on understanding the micro-level impact of conflict and the strategies used by local communities to cope with violence and protect their livelihoods. He led research projects for the United States Institute of Peace, Search for Common Ground, and the Fetzer Institute. He is a visiting scholar at the Center for Peacemaking Practice at George Mason University and has taught at George Washington University, Northeastern University, George Mason University, and Brandeis University on a range of subjects, including humanitarian action in conflict, livelihood and conflict, conflict analysis and resolution, and economics for development professionals. He was a 2010–2012 recipient of the Ford Foundation International Fellowship. He has a B.A. in agricultural economics (Nigeria), MBA in international business management (Nigeria), M.A. in sustainable international development (Brandeis University), M.Div. in practical theology (Virginia Theological Seminary), and Ph.D. in conflict analysis and resolution (George Mason University).

Publications

Staff

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SARAH LOUGH

Director of Communications

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. 

CHELSEA CORNWELL 

Program Specialist (Education & Training)

Chelsea Cornwell holds a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut and a master’s in disaster resilience leadership from Tulane University. She is currently working as a JSOCCP-certified clinician with juveniles in a residential treatment program to address inappropriate sexual behaviors with an accountability and strengths-based perspective. Her professional background includes work as a sexual assault victim advocate, AmeriCorps member working with educational programs for youth, and NGO representative to the United Nations on behalf of the International Association of Schools of Social Work as an intern. Chelsea came to the Forage Center as a program participant in 2016 and joined the program staff in 2017. She has served as controller/evaluator and exercise director with the education & training committee. 

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CHRISTY MCGUIRE

Program Specialist (Education & Training)

Christy McGuire is a learning scientist and lifelong learner. She is currently a research assistant with the Center for Urban Education at the University of Pittsburgh completing her Ed.D. dissertation research focusing on white teachers’ beliefs about discussing race and racism in the classroom. Since earning a Ph.D. in cognitive and experimental psychology from Georgia Tech in 2001, Christy worked in various education-related workspaces, including a international nonprofit and national for-profit, as well as co-founding an educational technology startup. Christy participated in the 2018 Forage Center training at LaRoche College, then returned in 2018 as a role player and member of the education & training committee. 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. 

Community Service

LARRY LAWSON

Senior Adviser for Operations

Lawrence F. (Larry) Lawson is an expert in the criminal justice field serving over 35 years as a 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 state attorney’s office for the 19th Judicial Circuit of Florida. Trained as a first responder, law enforcement instructor, and CERT instructor, Larry 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 part of the original Indian River State College staff that brought the disaster relief and humanitarian aid program “Svetlina” (“The Light”) to the Republic of Macedonia (2007–2009) in conjunction with the Macedonian government and Saints Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia. Lawrence has a B.S. in management from Nova Southeastern University and an MPA from Troy State University.

Community Service

LENA CHOUDHARY

Program Specialist

Lena Choudhary, J.D., M.S., R.N., is an associate professor of nursing at Montgomery College. She has been teaching for over eight years. Her content focus is on legal and ethical issues in nursing along with worksite 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 undergraduate and graduate level as well. Lena’s specialty is in public health nursing, particularly vulnerable populations, domestic and international. Her experience with the Forage Center and the live training simulations for the past five years is supported by her continued professional development in nursing simulation, which has grown in use tremendously in the last decade. 

Publications

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SYDNA COOPER

Program Specialist

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. She currently works in alternative dispute resolution providing mediation services and development support for workshops and training on communication and conflict resolution skills. In 2015, Sydna was a participant of the Forage Center's Atlantic Promise training and returned in 2016 to work as a controller/evaluator of the program.

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THOMAS STUKES

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 U.S. and Latin America. He has five 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. 

KATE FERGUS 

Communications Manager

Kate Fergus is a freelance editor and communications professional for small nonprofits, with 15 years of experience in the field. She is a former fire & rescue EMT with training in disaster response and emergency management and currently serves in the Maryland Medical Reserve Corps, the Maryland Department of Health’s corps of emergency medical volunteers. She has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maryland, a master's degree in literature from American University, and EMT certification from the University of Maryland's Fire and Rescue Institute.