I’m an independent consultant specializing in strategy and stabilization advising, with a focus on transnational organized crime, migration, security sector governance, and border security reform.
I’m an experienced field manager, with expertise in building and leading teams in complex or sensitive environments. I have in-depth experience in conflict and security force capacity assessments, program conceptualization and design, and the development and facilitation of trainings, simulations, and multi-stakeholder workshops. Over the last fifteen years, I have lived and worked in fragile, post-conflict, or transitional states throughout the Sahel, Maghreb, Horn of Africa, and Latin America.
I hold a PhD in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Tufts University, with a sub-specialization in security studies and law & development. My doctoral research analyzed how and why cross-border smuggling systems in Meso-America and North Africa that had been peaceful transformed into ones marked by violence and conflict. My current research projects delve into smuggler-terrorist engagements, criminal innovation diffusion, the regional security impact of China’s rising narcotics market, irregular migration in North Africa, and security sector reform.
From 2017 to 2019, I was a Partner and Director at Maharbal, an early-stage Tunisia-based consultancy that provided analysis, advising, and solutions to complex challenges. While there, I provided strategy and situational advising to NGOs and governments, conducted staff training for an international donor organization, designed and led a cross-regional study on the dynamics of North African irregular migration, and contributed to a project on decentralization, dignity, and youth political participation at the municipal level in Tunisia.
Prior to Maharbal, I served as a Senior Program Officer with the Strategic Capacity Group, where I designed and implemented analysis and capacity building programs in West and North Africa around security force training and academy strengthening, security force-community engagement, and border security. I have also consulted on development and crime issues in East and North Africa for STATT Consulting and as an independent consultant, managed the transborder threats portfolio for the state of New Mexico, and served as a policy aide to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. I have additional programmatic and assessment experience in Somalia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Haiti, Brazil, Mongolia, and the Philippines.
I have been quoted on security, migration, and organized crime issues by The New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Telegraph, Financial Times, El Pais, Jeune Afrique, Le Monde, Agence Presse France, Associated Press, Vice News, and African Arguments.
I present regularly on transnational organized crime, border security, community-security force relations, and security sector reform, including to the U.S. Institute of Peace, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Small Arms Survey, Knowledge Platform: Security and Rule of Law, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime, Harvard University, and Tufts University.
Select publications include: “‘La Mal Vie’: The Routes, Drivers, and Politics of North African Irregular Migration,” (Institute for Security Studies, May 2019), “Less than the sum of its parts: Europe’s fixation with Libyan border security,” (Institute for Security Studies, May 2019), "The Insurgency in Tunisia's Western Borderlands" (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2018), “At the Edge: Trends and Routes of North African Clandestine Migrants” (Institute for Security Studies, 2016), “Border Security Challenges in the Grand Maghreb” (U.S. Institute of Peace, 2015), and “Partisans, Profiteers, and Criminals: Syria's Illicit Economy” (The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, 2014). Information on further articles and assessments can be found on the Publications page.