Team

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Management

Emil Graesholm. Chief Executive Officer and co-founder.

Emil is head of section at the Danish Department of Defence on political economy. He is also an external lecturer at the University of Copenhagen, teaching political risk analysis. He has previously worked as a research assistant with the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, University of Cambridge, on governance and public policy, and at the Institute of Political Science, University of Copenhagen, on issues of political risk of finance and trade. Emil has also worked for a public policy think tank and as project manager for the Global Poverty Project. A board member of the Network for Political Economy, Emil holds a master’s degree with distinction in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a BA Honours in Politics from University of Cambridge.

Basim Al-Ahmadi. Chief Relations Officer and co-founder.

Basim is a political risk consultant and Middle East specialist. He is the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) Consultant at a business intelligence firm based in London. He assists financial institutions and multinationals through the political risk and compliance landscape of the MENA region. Basim has spoken at various conferences and universities around the world on the political risks in the Middle East. He was also previously Editor of Bonds & Loans, a leading debt market publication based in London, read by bankers, investors and lawyers worldwide. Basim achieved a First Class Honours in Politics with International Relations from the University of York. He subsequently obtained his Masters in International History from the London School of Economics (LSE). At LSE he was the President and co-founder of the LSE Political Risk & Investment Society.

Evan Abrams. Chief Operating Officer and co-founder.

Evan was previously a business strategy and IT consultant with Anant Corporation, where he helped companies streamline and grow their online operations. He has served as a law clerk for the chairman of the United States Senate Judiciary Committee and gained experience at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Socially Responsible Investing World Group, and the Washington, DC office of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Evan has a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center where he served as the Senior Articles Editor for the Georgetown Journal of International Law. He also holds a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics and a bachelor’s from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Sammy Halabi. Chief Strategy Officer and co-founder.

Sammy is an Associate at HLD Partners, a Mayfair-based investment consultancy that assists the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors. Previously, he served as a Compliance Analyst with the G8/G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto. He is a specialist on the Balkans, visiting the region on many occassions and conducting independent research within Kosovo. Sammy holds an MSc in International Political Economy from the London School of Economics. He received an undergraduate Honours BA from the University of Toronto in Economics and International Relations with High Distinction.

 

Advisors

Alisa Lockwood. Chief Strategic Advisor.

Alisa has more than 13 years of experience in political risk. Alisa began her career at a political risk start-up, Exclusive Analysis, and most recently spent five years Head of Europe/CIS Country Risk at IHS Global, where she advised major corporate and government clients on political and security risks in the region. Alisa managed a team of 8 in-house and 50 remote analysts, responsible for producing risk ratings, commercially-relevant forecasts and bespoke reports. She also led the development of IHS’ counterparty risk assessment product and oversaw global investigations. Alisa’s commentary has frequently appeared in the media, including Bloomberg, CNBC and Sky News. She has lived in Canada, France, the UK, and Russia, where she worked at the European External Action Service in Moscow.

 

Editorial Board

Laura Engshuber. Editor-in-Chief.

Laura works at the intersection of business and human rights, and is currently a corporate social responsibility analyst at oekom research, Germany’s leading sustainable investments ratings agency. She has previously lived and worked in Bogota, Colombia, conducting research on the impact of the Colombian oil sector on labor rights and indigenous rights, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, working on human rights education projects with Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. She holds an LLM with distinction in international law from the University of Edinburgh and a BA in politics and history from Georgetown University.

Nicolò Donà dalle Rose. Managing Editor.

Nico is an Analyst at Avascent, a leading business strategy consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. focusing on government-driven sectors. Previously, he worked and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, DCI Group, and the European Parliament. He has written for Mic, the Georgetown Voice, and the Huffington Post Italy. Previously, he served as Editor-in-Chief at the US-Middle East Youth Network. Nico holds a degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He has lived in Milan, Italy and Amman, Jordan.

Jeremy Luedi. Web Editor, Senior Editor & Senior Analyst. 

Jeremy specializes in Asia-Pacific affairs, and has worked for both NGOs and political parties in Canada. Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s degree with an Honours Specialization in Political Science, Major in History, Minor in Transitional Justice & Post-Conflict Reconstruction from the University of Western Ontario. He speaks German, spent 17 years in Zurich, Switzerland, and currently resides in Ottawa. Jeremy’s work has been republished and quoted by Business Insider, Nasdaq, Time Magazine, Nikkei Business, Greenpeace, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, among others.

Iain MacGillivray. Commissioning Editor.

Iain is an Independent Political Risk Analyst who focuses on Australian, European, and Middle Eastern Politics. He has worked as a Senior Academic Tutor in Middle Eastern Politics at the University of Melbourne and has been a freelance journalist for many years. Iain currently holds a Masters of International Relations from the Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne and is currently undertaking a Masters of Middle East Studies at Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara, Turkey.

Jeffrey Moore. Commissioning Editor.

Jeff Moore is senior political reporter for the North State Journal, a statewide news media company in North Carolina, as well as a contributor for GRI on economic and capital market risks. He started his career as an intra-day equity trader, trading through the extreme news-driven volatility of the 2008 financial crisis, before becoming a policy advisor in the North Carolina Office of Governor and N.C. Department of Commerce. He holds a degree in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Leon Aslanov. Guest Post Editor.

Leon currently works in the fields of consultancy and academia. He is part of the education consultancy ‘A-Class Education’ working as an intermediary between clients from the post-Soviet space and British boarding schools. He is also a member of the ‘Programme of Armenian Studies’, an academic institution based in London, acting as communications officer and report writer. His academic interests lie mainly in the Middle East and South Caucasus, having studied the politics and languages of the region. He has a BA in French & Arabic and an MSc in International Public Policy both from UCL.

Håvard Bergo. Senior Editor & Senior Analyst.

Håvard is a GRI Senior Analyst and a foreign policy expert who works in Kampala for LPC Consult International, a consulting company that specializes on developing projects in East Africa and Mozambique. He has previously worked with the United Nations in Bangkok and as a project manager for a research project in Montreal. Håvard graduated with an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Karl Sorri. Senior Editor & Senior Analyst.

Karl has gained global experience working at the Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin, the Political/Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Helsinki, and as a freelance journalist. Karl holds an MA in Politics from the University of Glasgow and an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Sam Cho. Editor & Analyst.

Sam is a political appointee in the Obama Administration where he works for the US General Services Administration. Prior to his appointment, he worked for a member of the United States Congress on Foreign Affairs, Trade, Defense, Financial Services and Banking. He holds an MSc in International Political Economy from The London School of Economics and a BA in International Studies from American University.

Riccardo Dugulin. Editor & Senior Analyst.

Riccardo is an analyst at Drum Cussac, a global business risk consultancy. He specializes in supporting international organizations and large corporations operating in emerging markets by providing them with critical risk management intelligence. He has expertise on the Near East, the Gulf, North Africa and Continental Europe. Riccardo gained field experience in the Middle East having worked for leading think tanks in Dubai and Beirut. He holds a Bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies and a Masters in International Affairs, both from the Sciences Po – Paris.

Luke Iott. Senior Editor.

Luke currently works as an international development professional. He has extensive project experience in financial services and enterprise development across Europe, Asia and Africa. Luke holds a BA in international relations, cum laude, from Georgetown University and is particularly interested in the intersection of science, technology and international affairs. He is proficient in French, German, Spanish and Mandarin.

Gwen Schwartz. Senior Editor.

Gwen works with a smart phone startup called Dream Mobile and assists the company with branding, web graphics, and copy-writing. Last fall, she worked in the creative department of a public relations firm in Boston, MA, while working for a legal placement agency. Next fall, Gwen will be working part-time for the Vancouver Economic Commission building a web platform that will serve as part of the Commission’s ongoing redevelopment project. Gwen is currently pursuing a Masters of Digital Media at the Centre for Digital Media in Vancouver, BC. She holds a BA in Art History from Georgetown University.

Robert Shines. Editor & Senior Analyst.

Robert Shines is a Foreign Policy Analyst with the Foreign Policy Association and a Geopolitical Analyst with Wikistrat, a crowdsourced geopolitical consultancy.  Additionally, he is a Writer for Geopoliticalmonitor Intelligence Corporation, an international intelligence publication. Having previously consulted in Ukraine, his area of focus is U.S.-Russia relations.  He received his MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management with a focus on U.S.-China relations.

Ian Armstrong. Editor & Senior Analyst.

In addition to being an Editor and Senior Analyst at GRI, Ian serves as a Researcher and Simulation Supervisor at Wikistrat — the world’s first crowd-sourced consultancy. He has assisted in research at Temple University’s Department of Political Science, the University of Pennsylvania, Scottish Parliament, and Hudson Institute’s Center for Political-Military Analysis. His research has primarily focused on international energy, nuclear policy, and the Asia-Pacific, and has been featured at various publications.

Yesenia Lugo. Editor & Analyst.

Yesenia is a contract analyst supporting the Federal Government and Department of Defense in the Washington, D.C. metro area. She has written and worked on global governance and international financial institutions (IFIs) for a Washington, D.C. NGO. Yesenia holds a Masters in Diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University, where she specialized in economic development and international security.

Jacob Purcell. Editor & Analyst. 

Jacob Purcell is a Dedicated Intelligence Analyst with iJET International. He holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and obtained his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas where he triple majored in International Relations, Political Science, and Economic, triple minored in French, History, and Classical Studies, and graduated magna cum laude. He has also written a variety of articles for GRI, primarily focusing on the Middle East and Security issues.

Saskia Sophia Isabella Barnard. Editor.

Saskia is an M.Phil. student and Pre-Research Scholar in English at Trinity College, Cambridge. She received her BA English degree there in June 2016. Saskia is committed to promoting freedom of expression in international literature, working for 2 years on the committee of Cambridge PEN – affiliated with English PEN & PEN International, the world’s oldest human rights organisation – which campaigns for writers and artists around the world.

 

Social Media & Marketing

Arie Kuipers. Head of Partnerships.

Arie is a strategic communications consultant based in Los Angeles. He previously worked for the American Islamic Congress, an NGO specializing in implementing civil society-strengthening initiatives throughout the Middle East. Arie also worked in the Palestinian Territories researching barriers to private investment in the West Bank, and has had experience at the US State Department and Truman National Security Project. He received his BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, and his MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

William Christou. Head of Social Media.

William is a student at the University of Florida, majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and Economics, with a minor in Spanish and Arabic. He has a passion for promoting political literacy and empowering individuals through knowledge.

Richard Meaney. Senior Advisor – Social Media & Visual Content.

Richard operates his own popular lifestyle website and has had his work published in several travel publications. He is currently an undergraduate in his final year studying International Relations at the University of Durham, focusing on the politics of the Middle East.

Alicia Chavy. Partnerships Manager & Analyst.

Alicia currently works at Kroll, Inc on international and domestic anti corruption and due diligence projects. She also provided analytical and strategic support for Fortune 500 companies working to expand their business presence in the Asia-Pacific region at The Asia Group. Prior to her consulting experience, Alicia worked at non profit organizations where she conducted detailed assessments on foreign policy, security and economic issues in Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East. Alicia graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, earning a Bachelor of Science in International Politics.