The Georgetown Strategy Group has built a dynamic team of former senior leaders drawn from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, the Department of Defense, the World Bank and the private sector. The firm brings unparalleled experience in trade facilitation, political transitions, stabilization, private sector development, and strategic communication in complex crises. Notably, this team has managed well over $20 billion in contracts and grants in over a dozen countries in the past two decades. The firm has the agility and innovative culture to capitalize on market opportunities to create value for partners, communities, and nations.
Before founding the firm, Dave Harden was a Minister Counselor in the career Senior Foreign Service. He recently served as the Assistant Administrator for the US Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance in the Obama Administration. In that capacity, Mr. Harden led a bureau focused on global crisis response and political transition with an annual budget of $4.8 billion with nearly 1,200 staff. Mr. Harden spearheaded all USAID efforts to respond to crises and stabilization efforts – including responses in Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, the West Bank/Gaza and Yemen.
Director of Trade and Investment
Randa Masri is the founder and CEO of ConnectME, a social enterprise established to support the development of a sustainable, prosperous economy in Palestine and of the economies in transition across the wider Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Prior to establishing ConnectME, Ms. Masri worked in Washington as an independent consultant to projects focused on Palestinian economic development and private sector engagement across the MENA region.
Director of Infrastructure and Project Finance
Bassam Refai has over 30 years of global senior program management and engineering experience in both the public and private sector. He has managed large road, water, sanitation, power plant, school, hospital and airport construction throughout the Middle East and Africa. Bassam Refai utilizes this expertise to provide world-class engineering and project management, design-build, project financing, construction claims prevention, alternate dispute resolution, mediation, arbitration, expert witness, and international capital project risk analysis and management throughout the world
Director of National Security Policy and Operations
PJ Dermer is a seasoned national security, civil-military and post-conflict development practitioner. His career included military and civilian venues spread over a breadth of challenging spectra including national levels of government and complicated international environments. He has extensive program manager and first-hand field development experience. PJ’s experiences include international coalition-building and working with host-nation counterparts to foster the rebuilding of national institutions and critical infrastructure, both public and private.
Director of Compilance, Transparency and Integrity
Jonathan Shapiro is a seasoned compliance professional with deep experience in emerging markets. Jonathan specializes in complex fraud and corruption investigations as well as all facets of corporate compliance. As the longest serving Integrity Compliance Officer at the World Bank Group, Jonathan managed the daily world-wide operations of the Bank’s corporate compliance function. A serving Reserve Captain in the US Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Jonathan has trained thousands of foreign uniformed service members in International Human Rights Law.
Director of Strategic Communications
Sahar Kalifa is a senior communications expert with extensive experience in the Middle East and Africa. Most recently, she led several public relations campaigns for USAID to advance its work globally, including the agency's first regional communications initiative. Previously, she served as a writer, producer, and creative strategist developing new content for USAID's storytelling and multimedia platforms focusing on human interest videos and stories from around the world. Prior to that, she served as the Director of Communications for USAID's Israeli-Palestinian Program.
Director of European Outreach
Joyce Morin Utz created Praescire to supply tech entrepreneurs with the strategic planning and networking necessary to secure investments. She is passionate about bringing the possibilities of tomorrow both to today’s . entrepreneurs and intuitive investors. A graduate of Georgetown University, magna cum laude, she holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. While at Georgetown Law Center, she was a public interest scholar. Joyce has spent the past seven years working on government development projects and support of startups in the Middle East.
Development and stabilization consultant.
Tim Williams worked in the Office of the Quartet Representative in Jerusalem on trade and access issues for six years and was acting Head of Mission. He has extensive practice in working with communities, private sector and local humanitarian and development agencies on the ground and also at a high level with governments, diplomats, and donor organizations on analysis, policy development, project management, and implementation of complex change. He is an established practitioner in policy, negotiation and mediation toward stabilization through economic development. He has 13 years direct experience in civil-military coordination, humanitarian and trade access, and ethical practice/anti-corruption processes in institutions.