Marcel Arsenault - Founder
Marcel Arsenault is OEF’s Chairman and Founder. He provides the driving vision for the foundation and ensures that OEF continues to move in the appropriate direction. Together with his wife, Cynda, Marcel founded two other foundations during the past decade: a grant making foundation established to support peace through governance, and the Secure World Foundation, an operating foundation dedicated to the secure and sustainable use of space.
Marcel continues to be an extremely successful entrepreneur, which allows him to fund his three foundations. As the Chairman, CEO, and founder of Real Capital Solutions (formerly Colorado & Santa Fe Real Estate), Marcel is one of the largest and most active owners of commercial real estate in Colorado. Before entering real estate, he founded Mountain High Yogurt, a highly successful brand of yogurt that he later sold.
Beyond the business world, Marcel served as a board member for the Metropolitan Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC) for five years, during which time he brought MARC back from the brink of disaster and helped its thrift store chain double its profits. His achievements and vision have won him numerous awards including the “Conservationist Award” for his participation in several open space projects in Boulder, Colorado and the distinguished “Steven B. Hart” award from the Colorado Historical Society for saving and restoring the Tabor residence and the Tabor Grand Hotel in Leadville.
Marcel was also an early board member and Vice Chair of Ecocycle Boulder, one of the earliest and largest non-profit recycling organizations in the United States. Marcel helped Ecocycle formulate business plans and obtain crucial grants and kept the organization afloat during a downturn in the paper market.
His academic accomplishments include a BS degree from McGill University in Canada and four years toward a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Colorado. Additionally, Marcel has authored several papers on real estate and co-authored one book, Foundations of Wealth: How to Build a Real Estate Empire, in which he describes the paths he took in creating a self-sustaining real estate empire.
Eamon Aloyo - Research Associate
Eamon Aloyo is a political scientist who leads the theory of global governance research area at OEF. He specializes in theories of global governance, the responsibility to protect (R2P), just war theory, human rights, and international criminal law. His work will appear in Global Constitutionalism, among other outlets. Eamon holds a PhD in political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was given the Thomas Jefferson Award, one of the most prestigious awards the university bestows. He also holds a BA in economics and an MA in political science from Lehigh University. Besides completing an international development certificate as part of his PhD work, Eamon contributed to international development NGOs in East Africa and Latin America. He serves on the advisory board of two NGOs, the Seattle Globalist and International Peace Initiatives.
Kelly Backens - Human Resources Recruiter
Kelly Backens is primarily responsible for the sourcing and hiring of OEF’s exceptional staff. Prior to joining OEF, Kelly helped start up a luxury destination club in downtown Denver as the director of corporate operations and human resources. Her career has been in the role of creating and developing the HR function in small, startup environments in the industries of high tech software, banking, education, and patent research. She has extensive experience in fast-growth recruiting, benefits, payroll, HRIS, organizational management and management coaching. Kelly received a BA in politics from the University of San Francisco. When she isn’t working, Kelly enjoys traveling the world, spending time with family and friends, skiing the Colorado mountains, and training for marathons while raising money for cancer and multiple sclerosis research.
Jon Bellish - Project Officer, Oceans Beyond Piracy
Jon Bellish graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Millsaps College where he received bachelors degrees in political science and Spanish and won the John F. Kennedy Award for the most outstanding senior in political science. After completing his undergraduate education, he remained at Millsaps pursuing an MBA and working at a public relations firm in Jackson, Mississippi. Jon graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law where he focused on international and comparative law. He has published law review articles on the doctrine of necessity at customary international law and corporate social responsibility as it relates to the ancient lex mercatoria. Jon is also an alumnus of The Hague Academy of International Law where he studied both private and public international law. He writes about maritime piracy for several international law websites and has experience with piracy trials in United States courts. Jon is fluent in English and Spanish.
Anna Bowden - Associate Director, Business Initiatives
Anna Bowden directs OEF’s Business Initiatives Program, which supports the role of business in OEF's implementation projects. She is also the manager and lead author of the "Economic Cost of Piracy" 2010 and 2011 reports. Prior to joining OEF, Anna worked with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, an initiative working with hundreds of institutional investors to mainstream responsible investment practices. Anna holds a master’s degree in international development from Oxford University. Her thesis examined development policy in conflict zones of the Philippines, where she conducted fieldwork. She earned a bachelor’s degree in social science (Hons) at Macquarie University, Australia, where she majored in politics and anthropology, completing double honors in both subjects. Her honors thesis on development policy in post-conflict Sri Lanka was awarded the Nora Rose Memorial Prize. She was also awarded the Chandra Jayawardena Prize as the top student in anthropology for multiple years. Anna has also worked at private equity and insurance companies in Sydney, Australia and London, UK.
Kelsey Coolidge - Research Assistant
Kelsey Coolidge is a graduate of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. Graduating in May 2012 with a BS with honors in international relations and environmental studies, her strategic research interests include Middle East and North Africa regional affairs, agricultural resources, women’s empowerment, and conflict resolution. In her undergraduate career, Kelsey was actively involved in organizing TEDx conferences (www.tedxsetonhall.us) and engaging students in local politics through various work with community organizations. Her internship experiences at United Nations headquarters in New York provided fantastic exposure to and experience in the world of global governance. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys volunteering with community organizations and spending as much time as possible outdoors hiking, running, and practicing yoga. Her future aspirations include graduate school as well as international work and travel.
Abdikarim Gole - Somalia Project Associate
Abdikarim Gole received a Master of Science degree in agricultural, environmental, and development economics from Ohio State University, where he wrote his thesis on agricultural development and management in Somalia. Abdikarim also has a Master of Science degree from Alexandria University in Alexandria, Egypt, where his thesis examined international agricultural trade in Somalia. He holds a Bachelor of Science (agricultural economics) degree from Alexandria University. Prior to joining OEF, Abdikarim taught Somali language and culture courses at Ohio State University. He also spent five years working for the Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), a non-profit organization and Small Business Administration intermediary micro lender in Columbus, Ohio. At ECDI, Abdikarim served as a small business developer and provided technical assistance, performed in-depth credit analyses on borrower’s, and analyzed overall loan portfolio quality. He was awarded President Barack Obama’s Volunteer Service Award in June 2011 in recognition of his commitment to community service. He is fluent in Somali, Arabic and English.
Jim Gray - Project Manager, Somalia Security Sector Reform
Jim Gray is the project manager for Somalia Security Sector Reform for Oceans Beyond Piracy at OEF. He recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel having served 21 years with the Royal Marines (UK). His final appointment was as the embedded UK military representative with the U.S. Department of State in Washington DC. Here he served as the SOCOM, CENTCOM and counter-terrorism planner with the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. His staff appointments have been predominantly in the operations and diplomacy fields including the British Embassy in Washington DC as the Assistant Marine Attaché, as Intelligence Officer with 40 Commando Royal Marines, and the UK Ministry of Defence in London. Jim has deployed all over the world on operational and combat tours. He was amongst the first British troops to reenter the hostile Sangin region in Helmand Province Afghanistan, and has served with the UN in West Africa. Jim has a BA in Strategic Studies from the Royal Naval College Greenwich, and a postgraduate Masters degree in Defense Studies. He is a graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff Course in Shrivenham (UK).
Lindsay Heger - Research Associate
Lindsay Heger is a political scientist and holds a PhD from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to arriving at OEF, Lindsay was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute for Global Cooperation and Conflict through the University of California and a lecturer at the Korbel School for International Studies at the University of Denver. Her research, straddling themes in comparative politics and international security, focuses largely on why rebel groups choose different types of violent methods and how post-conflict states consolidate peace through good governance. Lindsay has conducted extensive field work on the Irish Republican Army and post-conflict stability in Northern Ireland. Her work has appeared in various journals including International Studies Quarterly, Conflict and Cooperation, and Terrorism and Political Violence. She also contributes to political blogs. In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys running, the mountains, and good food.
Jon Huggins - Director, Oceans Beyond Piracy
Jon Huggins is the Director of Oceans Beyond Piracy at OEF. He previously served as NATO’s Operational Liaison Officer to the European Union Council Secretariat in Brussels and as Contingency Planning Officer at NATO headquarters. His work on major military staffs includes an assignment as lead planner for Counter-Terrorism and Irregular Warfare for the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review and as Study Coordinator for the Chief of Naval Operations Executive Panel. He also served as a Political-Military Planning Officer in Yokosuka Japan. During his 22 years in the US Navy, Huggins served as a Naval Flight Officer and Mission Commander on airborne missions in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, the Persian Gulf, and over Afghanistan. He was the Officer in Charge of the Navy’s detachment of land-based reconnaissance aircraft in Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002 in Masirah, Oman. Huggins holds an MA degree from George Mason University’s School of Public Policy and a BS degree in Economics from Iowa State University. He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, Kansas and spent a year as a resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States in Washington, DC
Kaija Hurlburt - Project Manager
Kaija Hurlburt manages Oceans Beyond Piracy's seafarer initiatives, including the Human Cost of Piracy reports. Prior to joining OEF, Kaija worked at World Resources Institute (WRI), a Washington DC based environmental policy research institution, where she focused on the social and environmental impact of energy investments to local communities and promoting international funding for climate change projects in developing countries. Kaija received her MA from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy and Washington, DC, where she concentrated in international environmental policy and economics. Prior to graduate school, Kaija spent two years in Albania with the Peace Corps. She also spent a number of years as a senior financial analyst at ING Clarion Partners, a real estate investment advisory firm. Kaija received her BA from the University of Washington where she graduated with honors in business administration and a minor in the comparative history of ideas.
Lisa Kane-Hartnett - Project Assistant, Oceans Beyond Piracy
Liza Kane-Hartnett graduated from the University of Denver in June 2012, earning a BA in history with honors, and minors in both international studies and political science. In her senior year Liza authored two theses, “Pakistan as a Frontline State: The Gateway to Nuclear Proliferation” and “The Cultivation of U.S. Perceptions: Afghanistan, the Cold War vs. the War on Drugs.” Spanning her disciplines, her theses focused on the issue of global governance and the complex relationship between the U.S., Pakistan, and Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan War. Liza’s academic interests include development, global governance, human rights, and public policy. She is committed to returning to school in pursuit of a Master’s degree in the next few years.
Maurice Janssen - Chief Operations Officer
Maurice Janssen was recruited from the Netherlands to the position of Chief Operating Officer in 2010. Maurice studied finance, business, and economics in the Netherlands, and brings to OEF over 20 years experience as a senior management executive for a variety of large scale companies in the Netherlands and around the world. He specializes in managing start-up operations and dramatically turning around underperforming institutions in multiple sectors. Maurice’s work centers on helping OEF demonstrate that peace is possible through effective governance. He does this by honoring the intellectual contributions of the OEF staff and nurturing a sense of camaraderie, creativity and humor among the team, while actively grounding these contributions in measurable goals. When he’s not refining his input/output models of measuring effectiveness, Maurice likes to spend time outdoors hiking in the Colorado mountains and foothills. He currently holds a second-degree black belt.
Jens Vestergaard Madsen - Associate Director, Oceans Beyond Piracy
Jens Madsen received a masters of international studies from Seoul National University where he majored in international cooperation and graduated with high honors. His thesis explored the possibilities and limitations of replicating regional institutions. As a teaching assistant, his research primarily concentrated on examining solutions to global problems in the maritime realm, in particular the scourge of maritime piracy. He received his bachelor’s degree at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark where he studied business and Chinese at the Asian Studies Programme and Chinese language at Tsinghua University in Beijing on a Chinese government scholarship. He was a volunteer instructor at the Seoul Youth Center for Cultural Exchange in South Korea where he taught primary school students about UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Denmark, and he was a Young Researcher in the Asia-Pacific Regional Center of the Culture Link Network. He has also worked for a major Danish pharmaceutical company in Seoul and for IBM in Denmark.
Victor Odundo Owuor - Research Associate
Victor Odundo Owuor's primary responsibility at OEF is to provide core knowledge support to the Shuraako project and other implementation programs. His research focuses on developing sustainable businesses in Somalia. Victor received his PhD from the University of Texas at Dallas in December 2012. The title of his dissertation was “Destabilizing Dark Networks: The Case of the Somali Piracy Saga and its Financial Implications for Kenya.” Victor’s previous accomplishments include a BSc degree in Applied Mathematics/Physics from Willamette University, Oregon and an MBA in International Business/Supply Chain Management from University of Texas at Dallas. Victor joined OEF from University of Texas at Dallas where he was amongst others, an instructor of record for an introductory course on Negotiations and Conflict Resolution. His prior work experience includes nearly two decades of project and operations management in his native Kenya. A significant part of this period comprised a long stint as the founder and chief executive of a progressive construction firm, as well as the principal of a last mile/milk run logistics company for beverage products primarily targeting the bottom of the pyramid sector.
Carolyn Munoz - Digital Design /Web & Communications Specialist
Carolyn Munoz leads the digital design communication strategy for One Earth Future Foundation. In addition, she also concentrates on content strategy for web engagement and content authoring. Carolyn received a master of arts in international/intercultural communications at the University of Denver Korbel School of International Studies where her research focused on international public relations in Nepal, and included researching the effects of violence on women and girls living in conflict zones in the Middle East, and Africa. She received a BA from the Women's College at the University of Denver, graduating with Cum Laude honors in communications as a Hornbeck scholar with a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. She is a member of the Lamda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society. Her focus included conducting independent study for Mi Casa Resource Center in Denver on the educational opportunities for Latina women and how it affects their opportunities in the workforce. She founded a publishing and advertising/pr agency in Denver serving national and internatioanl business-to-business clients, and non-profit organizations.
Theresa Musumhi - Research Assistant/Project Coordinator, Business Initiatives
Theresa Musumhi has worked with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland. While at the ITC, she worked as Project Associate on an EU-funded project promoting the creative industries sector in the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries. At the WTO, she researched the implications of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) provisions within the SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement for livestock and livestock products entering the EU. Theresa received an MA in International Law and Economics from the World Trade Institute in Berne, Switzerland, where she was also awarded best thesis for her work on the protection of traditional knowledge in plant genetic resources in Zimbabwe. Theresa also received an MA in International Policy Studies from the Monterrey Institute of International Studies at Middlebury College and a BA in French and International Trade at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
Maisie Pigeon - Project & Communications Coordinator, Oceans Beyond Piracy
Prior to joining OEF, Maisie Pigeon worked in Washington DC, directly and as a consultant, for several non-profits focused on international development, global health, and environmental sustainability. As an undergraduate student, Maisie studied in the East African nation of Kenya, where she researched voting patterns leading up to the 2007 national election and the subsequent violence, and she has returned several times to continue her research. Maisie is a DC-area native. She graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a special focus on international relations and African governance. She also completed coursework in anthropology and Africana studies.
Conor Seyle - Associate Director, Research & Development
Conor Seyle is a political psychologist and holds a PhD in social psychology from the University of Texas. He plans and directs the activities of the research department along with conducting his own research, which focuses on questions of what predicts and what resolves political conflict, including the role of identity and self-concept in driving political conflict; the predictors of successful deliberative discussion of political issues; and predictors of successful interventions in communities affected by natural disasters or war. Before coming to OEF, Conor worked as a researcher for NGOs including the Charles F. Kettering Foundation, Issues Deliberation Australia/America, and Psychology Beyond Borders. He has also worked on deliberative democracy initiatives including the National Issues Forums and Americans Discuss Social Security, and is a FEMA-approved trainer for the Crisis Counseling Program (the US governmental response to disaster-impacts or traumas).
Lee C. Sorensen - Senior Manager, Responsibility to Protect
Lee Sorensen is an entrepreneur with 25-plus years’ executive business experience creating healthcare, mental health, and education companies. He combined his business background with peace building by completing a Master’s Degree in Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego (USD) Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, with a focus on human security, poverty elevation, and structural inequality leading to conflict, particularly unequal distribution of resources. His development projects include child and maternal health, education, and peace building through many parts of Africa, including Tanzania, Ghana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. He is on the advisory board of several organizations including, RAND’s African First Ladies Initiative, which he helped found; the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies; the USD Center for Peace and Commerce; and the Institute for Peace and Justice Women Peacemakers Program. Prior to OEF, Lee was US Director of Outreach at the Institute for Economics and Peace. He is a passionate explorer of the relationship between peace, business, governance, and human wellbeing.
Roberta Spivak - Researcher/Editor
Roberta Spivak received an MA in comparative politics of the Middle East from Columbia University. While in graduate school, she was intern in the UN Political Affairs Department where she worked on issues related to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Roberta has spent the last few years wriiting on the gaps in law and state capacity that have allowed piracy to re-emerge in the 21st century. The book she co-authored, Maritime Piracy (Routledge 2012), serves as a primer for those interested in a concise, yet comprehensive, look at this ancient (and modern) practice. She also serves as Managing Editor of the journal, Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations published in cooperation with the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) and Lynne Rienner Publishers.
Matt Walje - Oceans Beyond Piracy, Project Coordinator
Matt Walje is a Sié Fellow in the class of 2014 at the University of Denver's Korbel School, where he is pursuing a masters degree in international human rights. Matt recently graduated from William Jewell College with a BA in international relations and political science. He was named the Outstanding Junior in Political Science in 2010 and subsequently as a senior in 2011. Matt is a sergeant in the Marine Corps Reserves. He is the senior intelligence aanalyst at 24th Marines and has been deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and recently served in Norway as a part of Operation Cold Response. For his work in Iraq, he received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Tracie Ware - Executive Assistant
Tracie Ware is the Executive Assistant to Maurice Janssen. Prior to joining OEF, Tracie was an Executive Assistant to the President and CEO for a major food manufacturing company in the Denver area for 15 years. She also held positions in client management and sales, in which she assisted with the development of new business as well as the launching of new internal departments and sales of multi-million dollar accounts. She also negotiated contracts and managed high level accounts. Tracie works on operations and logistical items for OEF.
Angela Weinell, CPA – Controller
Angela Weinell oversees the accounting, facilities, human resources, and information technology functions at OEF. She graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver and has over 15 years of experience in accounting, auditing, and operations. She has worked in education and the service and solar power industries. In her time away from work, Angela enjoys reading, hiking, snowboarding, learning new gluten-free cookery tricks and playing with the younger generation of Weinells.
David Cortright - Fellow
David Cortright is the director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and chair of the board of directors of the Fourth Freedom Forum. He is the author or editor of seventeen books, including the Adelphi volume Towards Nuclear Zero, with Raimo Väyrynen (Routledge, 2010) and Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Cortright has written widely on nonviolent social change, nuclear disarmament, and the use of multilateral sanctions and incentives as tools of international peacemaking.
Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent KCB, CBE- Senior Fellow
Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent spent 37 years in the British Royal Navy after achieving a master’s degree at Cambridge University in mathematics and operational research. He left the Royal Navy in 2008 having commanded in every rank up to four-star admiral, concluding his career as Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet. He was knighted in 2004. He is a graduate of the Greenwich Joint Services Defence College, an alumnus of the UK Cabinet Office Top Management Programme and an honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College Cambridge. He has his own strategic advisory business – Orchard Leadership.
Robert Haywood - Senior Fellow
Robert Haywood served as OEF's executive director and chief vision officer for two years. Before joining OEF, he was the director of the secretariat of the World Economic Processing Zones Association (WEPZA) from 1985 to 2008 and completed projects on economic zone development in China, Mexico, and many other countries. During the Oslo Peace Process in 1995, he helped to mediate the industrial development agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In 2008, he was a senior economic development advisor to the British forces in Iraq. Beyond economic zones, Mr. Haywood has been involved with international business since 1977, working on banking practices in the Middle East and foreign investment development in Turkey. He has also been an associate director and a trustee of the Flagstaff Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to research and publishing information on international trade. He holds an honors degree in physics from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and worked for two years in high technology optics before receiving an MBA from Harvard University.
Swadesh Rana - Project Advisor
Swadesh Rana provides strategic insight and direction for OBP's efforts in South Asia, often serving as the focal point of contact for key partners. Her previous research and expertise areas focus on intra-state conflicts, weapons, and tools of violence in societies at war with themselves; the limits of military power; and the security situation in South Asia, among other areas. She was a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and the first woman to hold the position of Chief of the UN Conventional Arms Branch in the Department of Disarmament Affairs. She began her career as Deputy Director of the Indian Council of Social Science Research and Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses. She enjoyed a 20 year career at the UN, where she was a member of the Executive Office of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali and coordinated programs under Secretary-General Kofi Annan. A Presidential Gold Medalist in Political Science from Punjab University with a PhD in international affairs from Jawaharal Nehru University, Swadesh has received over a dozen awards and honors for academic and professional excellence. She holds an honors BA degree in English literature. Her debut novel, Kotheywali, was serialized on Abhivayakti, a web magazine for classics in Hindi literature.
John J. Forrer - Fellow
John J. Forrer is Associate Director of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility, as well as Research Professor at the School of Business and Associate faculty at the School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University. He recently co-led the United States Institute for Peace Task Force on Business and Peace and co-authored A USIP Special Report: “How Business Can Foster Peace.” He has written extensively on multisector collaborations for governance—public private partnerships and governance networks—and the role business plays in making such collaborations effective and impactful. His most recent article is “Business Practices and Peace in Post-Conflict Zones: Lessons from Cyprus” forthcoming in Business Ethics: A European Review.
Thomas G. Weiss - Fellow
Thomas G. Weiss is Presidential Professor of Political Science at The City University of New York’s Graduate Center as well as non-resident fellow of the One Earth Future Foundation and research professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He directed the UN Intellectual History Project and was president of the International Studies Association, chair of the Academic Council on the UN System, Editor of Global Governance, and research director of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. His latest single-authored books include Humanitarian Business (2013); What’s Wrong with the United Nations and How to Fix It (2012); and Humanitarianism Intervention: Ideas in Action (2012).