Ian Dailey, Chief of Staff
As Chief of Staff, Ian is responsible for fulfillment of the organizations strategic initiatives while managing head office, partners and in-country staff across the globe.
With a diverse international consulting background across 89 countries, Ian brings a unique and versatile skill set combined with proven experience in focusing on risk management and global strategy.
Ian started his career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, ultimately becoming a Global Inspector tasked with performing reviews to identify weaknesses and areas of non-compliance among member firms throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia as well as South & North America. Once identified, Ian was responsible for the development and implementation of remedial plans.
Managing group operations which included a $100m+ budget, Ian also developed a wide-sweeping program that required the implementation of risk management standards, a firm-wide quality control framework (based on COSO), testing protocols and review guidance & training materials.
After PwC, Ian founded Heartland IT Consulting, with a focus on big data and risk analytics across Fortune 500 clients.
Mina Chang, Chief Executive Officer
As CEO of Linking the World, and with extensive on-the-ground experience including Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq, Mina has experienced first-hand the toll conflict and instability takes on these vulnerable communities.
Mina is an acknowledged thought leader who has been published in distinguished periodicals including Foreign Policy Journal, Forbes, the Huffington Post and as a regular contributor in The Hill. She has addressed assemblies at various foreign embassies, the Center for Peace, the United Nations, the Department of Defense, United States Military Academy at West Point, and NATO.
Mina has been appointed by the United Nations to serve on the Expert Panel for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Humanitarian Response, as well as the advisory group tasked with creating Common Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Standards.
Mina is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, and a Harvard John F. Kennedy Senior Executive in National and International Security. She formerly served as a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations at West Point, assisting in the development of academic programs tied to humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
Dr. Michel Léonard, Chief Data Scientist and Economist
Michel has over 15 years of experience in applied stability analytics and forecasting, with recognized expertise in applied modeling and political risk analysis. He currently serves as Chief Data Scientist & Economist. Previously working for the PeaceTech Lab, the data and risk analytics center created by the United States Institute of Peace. Michel is an Adjunct Professor in NYU’s Department of Economics and serves as a Fellow at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He previously served as Chief Economist at Alliant Insurance Services, Jardine Lloyd Thompson and Aon.
Michel began his career at Medley Global Advisors, the global macro advisory firm founded by Richard Medley. Michel holds a BA from McGill University, an MTS from Harvard University and an MA and PhD in Political Economy from the University of Virginia. He serves on the Board of the Business Council for International Understanding and is Chair of the Financial Roundtable of the National Association for Business Economics.
Tom Briscoe, Chief Programs Officer
Tom serves as our Chief Program Officer and is responsible for developing sustainable, pragmatic programs in each of the communities we serve.
Tom hails from the small town of West Plains, Missouri. After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Missouri, summa cum laude, he received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. He has been admitted to legal practice in Massachusetts and California. Although Tom has years of experience in the for-profit world, holding executive positions in marketing, operations, legal, human resources and finance, most of his working life has been focused on non-profits.
He has held executive roles in development, finance, administration, and program management. As a social entrepreneur, he founded and developed a successful outsourcing service for charities, providing human resources, employee benefit, and general liability programs for client organizations around the world.
In 2002, he moved to the Philadelphia area to work for HOPE Worldwide, an international charity where Tom served as Chief Operations Officer and as a National Program Director.
After 5 years in Philadelphia, he and his wife Mary moved to Dallas. Tom and Mary have traveled to many third world countries working with, and supporting HOPE Worldwide in their programs for orphans, widows, and other impoverished people, as well as in response to natural disasters.
Tom and Mary have two daughters, JuliAnna, who is a working actress in Dallas, and Danielle, who works for a law firm in Columbia, South Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Jeff.
Kathryn Carr, Special Programs Director
Kathryn comes from the Office of George W. Bush. She began her career as a White House Intern during the Bush Administration in 2007 and quickly rose within the ranks to manage high-level projects. Shortly after graduating from Southern Methodist University with a degree in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Kathryn assisted the George W. Bush Presidential Center team during the Groundbreaking Ceremony. Following, she served in Washington, D.C., as Executive Assistant and Scheduler to Republican National Committee Co-Chairman, Sharon Day.
Kathryn manages day-to-day logistics and communications for special projects for Linking the World. Prior to joining the team, she was Director of National Outreach for Marsy's Law For All, working to strengthen the constitutional rights of violent crime victims.
After the 2012 Presidential Election, she served in several capacities at the George W. Bush Presidential Center which allowed her the opportunity to work on two different programs: Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon and Presidential Leadership Scholars.
A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Kathryn resides in Dallas with her three year old Pit-Bull, Murphy.
Mitch Baroody, Comms and Policy
Mitch is a native of South Carolina. He holds a B.A. In Political Science from The Citadel: The Military College of South Carolina and earned a Juris Doctorate from Elon University School of Law. His law school thesis was on The Honor Killings of Women in the Arab World. He also completed extensive research in International Humanitarian Law, specifically, the use of cluster munitions in the 2006 Lebanon War. He has worked on numerous political campaigns in the past and has served as a speechwriter and adviser to politicians, businesses, and individuals all around the world.
Michael Hess, Conflict and Humanitarian Expert
Mike was formerly the Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance.
Michael Edward Hess was sworn in on June 27, 2005, as Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Hess was appointed by President George W. Bush to this Senate-confirmed position.
Prior to his appointment to USAID, he worked as a Senior Risk Reviewer and Vice President at Citibank, responsible for monitoring and evaluating 15 areas of risk for corporate finance units at Citigroup Inc. in New York.
Hess has over 30 years of active and reserve service in the United States Military. He received his commission from the United States Military Academy in 1971, and has served in humanitarian operations in Turkey, Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo. Hess served in both command and staff assignments in the U.S. and Germany and taught European History at the United States Military Academy.
In April 2003, Colonel (Ret.) Hess was recalled to active duty to serve as the humanitarian coordinator in the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He later served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Coalition Provisional Authority, assisting in the establishment of the 2,000-person multinational organization responsible for establishing a representative government for Iraq as well as for rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure.
Hess has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master’s degree in European history from Columbia University in New York, a master’s in business administration and international finance from New York University in New York, and is a graduate of the National Strategic Studies Program at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
John Melkon, C/PVE Expert
John Melkon has been charged with building and leading the Center for the Study of Civil Military Operations at West Point since March of 2012. In this capacity he is responsible for facilitating the coordination, planning and execution of the strategic vision and mission for the Center.
Prior to his service at CSCMO, Mr. Melkon served as a Senior Operations Advisor to the United States Army Africa in Vicenza, Italy from 2009 to 2012. He was responsible for providing strategic liaison to Inter-Agency and multi-national partners and advising the command on critical operational planning. He was also a Strategic Operations Officer for the Department of Defense from 2006 to 2009 with service to OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. Before re-entering public service Mr. Melkon worked as an International Banking Associate for Credit Suisse First Boston in Frankfurt, Germany. Prior to his civilian service Mr. Melkon was an Army Special Forces Officer who served for over thirteen years before retiring.
In his twenty plus years of national security service to the United States of America, Mr. Melkon has had operational and combat experience in Europe, the Middle East, and Central and South East Asia. His expertise spans a wide range of civil-military operations, unconventional warfare, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and foreign internal defense. Since 9/11 Mr. Melkon has served multiple combat tours in Afghanistan as a uniformed and civilian service member. During that time he planned and executed combat operations with elements of Joint Special Operations Task Forces and other Special Operations Forces against elements of Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and various terrorist organizations. He has received a number of awards including the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism and the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award from a Joint Special Operations Task Force.
Mr. Melkon received his A.B. in History from Princeton University. He also holds an MBA from the Lowry Mays School of Business and an MPIA with honors from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Mr. Melkon has lived or deployed overseas for nearly fourteen years. He maintains proficiency in several different languages including French, Korean and German among others.
Glory Ohaekwusi, Partnerships Director
Glory Chiamaka Ohaekwusi serves as our Partnerships Director. A Nigerian-born legal practitioner and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria with great experience and specialisation in international law and international development, Glory manages our various projects in Nigeria and coordinates all our activities with all local, regional and international rules and regulations. She got her Bachelor’s degree in law (LL.B.) from the Faculty of Law Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Nigeria, where she acted in various capacities as student representative. She was a delegate at the United Nations Leadership and Entrepreneurship Summit of July 2008 in New York USA. She was later called to the Nigerian Bar in 2012 after attending and receiving her Certification (BL.) at the Nigerian Law School Abuja. Since then, Glory practiced in various capacities as; a State Attorney-in-training at Rivers State Ministry of Justice Port-Harcourt, a legal representative and executive manager in International Student Recruitment (ISR UK) where she handled numerous projects relating to international student's immigration and welfare.
Glory later proceeded to the United States for her masters degree (LL.M.) in International Law and Legal Studies and graduated with honors from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. While in Pitt Law, Glory distinguished herself in various strides. She was part of the four-man team that representedUniversity of Pittsburgh in the 2016 LL.M. International Investment Arbitration moot-competition held at the American University Washington College of Law where they came out victorious among other universities in the United States, Africa and beyond. After her postgraduate studies she interned at Linking the World through the offices of Makro LLC where she used diverse legal and complex data to study and monitor IDP cases resulting from terrorists’ attacks in Nigeria. Presently Glory works at the law firm of Rehan Nazrali Esq., which specialises on Immigration Law and International Affairs.
She loves reading, research, humanitarian and social services, public speaking, singing, dancing and praying. She has motivations for International development programmes, Immigration law, legal Arbitration, entrepreneurship and human resource
Olyvia Troop, Volunteer Coordinator
Olyvia Troop epitomizes integrity, hard work, and a positive attitude. She grew up in a military family of seven and learned early on how important family and God is. This humble beginning is big part of who she has become. Today Olyvia has her own family comprised of three wonderful children and has worked tirelessly to instill those same values in them. Everyone who knows her would say that she has fully succeeded in this endeavor. Her life story illustrates that she is a selfless person ready to help those who need it and her experience indicates that she can do it.
Chau Nguyen, Development Advisor
Chau Nguyen is a mother, a Licensed Social Worker and the Chief Marketing Officer of the Houston Area Women’s Center, the city’s largest non-profit provider for Domestic and Sexual Assault support services.
Chau is known by many for her 15 year television news career, having most recently served as an anchor and reporter with KHOU TV. She is the first Vietnamese American journalist to receive an Emmy Award for her documentary series covering a medical mission in Vietnam, and the Houston Press named her Reporter of the Year in 2007. Chau holds a Masters of Arts in Social Work from the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of St. Thomas. Currently, she also serves on boards of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Texas, Know Autism, and she is on the advisory boards of Houston Achievement Place and The Women’s Home. She has been honored as one of Houston’s Role Models by the Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, was selected as a Conversationalist at the University of Houston’s Friends of Women’s Studies Table Talk Series, and Operation Smile honored her for her service at its 2017 Houston gala. She is frequently asked to emcee events, including Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Inauguration in 2016.
Chau is a refugee from Saigon Vietnam, and her family were among the first wave of Vietnamese immigrants who settled into Houston after the fall of Vietnam in 1975. She is the proud mother of two young girls, Ryan and Myles, and is a member of Unity of Houston.
N. Jude Menes, Nigeria Country Director
Born in Nigeria, Jude has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and received his law degree, Doctor of Jurisprudence (Cum Laude), from Western Michigan University Law School. After serving at Thompson & Knight, LLP, in Dallas and the Dallas City Attorney’s Office, he founded Menes Law Firm. Over the past few years, he has devoted his efforts towards collaborating with others to contribute to progress in Africa, with a strong focus on Nigeria. Jude focuses on enabling US individuals and businesses to create reliable business relationships with individuals and businesses in Africa for the purposes of participating in investment opportunities in the continent.
Among others, Jude has helped a Dallas-based real estate investor to conceive and propose a world-class Abuja City Center real estate project in downtown Abuja (Nigeria). He also led a delegation of businesspersons to Nigeria on a trade mission, and in 2011, led a delegation comprising of the then Mayor of Dallas (and others) to the inauguration of the Nigerian president. He is passionate about uplifting the less privileged and has been involved in many philanthropic causes in the United States and Africa
Priya Anand, India Partnerships Director
Priya Anand joined Linking the World after working alongside us in Afghanistan through our corporate partner AMS. We are exceptionally grateful that AMS allowed Priya to work on creating partnerships with other corporate partners for our new program sites in India. There is no better advocate for corporate partnership than someone who both experienced it firsthand, and is passionate about preventing violent extremism in her homeland.
She’s responsible for developing our local communication strategies and public relations. Previously Priya has held positions of increasing responsibility managing overall marketing and communications across several SME’s and two Fortune 500 companies. She holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as an MBA in Marketing and Communications.
Shvan Harki, Director Northern Iraq
Shvan is responsible for creating and operating innovative programs that target the root causes of instability with community leaders. As a native of Erbil, Shvan received his diploma in accounting and management; studying under American, Iraqi and Iranian scholars.
Shvan has experienced firsthand the effects of conflict and committed himself to using his professional and personal skills to aid in humanitarian and conflict issues.
Shvan is a passionate and experienced as a photographer and videographer, and frequently publishes work to create public awareness on the toll conflict has taken amongst his people. He has since participated in more than 12 national and international exhibitions, and has produced short films and documentary movies.
Shvan understands the nature of conflict, and is particularly focussed on those refugees fleeing from ISIS occupation, and how those families can be integrated into the general community, and supported with grief counseling and educational interventions.
Shvan began working with Linking the World in 2014 traveling with team members regularly in order to create awareness of the situation in Iraq, writ large, as well as show the progress and challenges of the programs and initiatives in the region.
Gailan Haji, Comms and Policy
Having worked with Linking the World since 2014, Gailen has been able to document and help shape the initiatives of the organization on the ground through the extreme dynamics of the situation in the region. Gailen is an Iraq Communications and Policy specialist, having covered the conflicts in the region for over 10 years he knows intimately the consequences for the families and communities of the battle against Da’ash, including the ongoing liberation of Mosul.
Gailen is a respected and credentialed journalist, working for the European Press Agency (EPA), as such he has a depth of access that is invaluable for Linking the World, and his breadth of experience and understanding makes him ideal to lead local policy efforts, working alongside Shvan they help local community leaders interpret our data reports and implement targeted interventions.
He has an innate passion for human rights, and is driven by the thoughts of his own family being in the position of those worse off then himself. He’s deeply aware that only chance separates his life and those of refugees or IDPs.