CFE-DM is a U.S. DoD organization comprised of nearly 30 subject matter experts that provide academic research, civil-military coordination training, and operational insights to support decision making before, during, and after crises. Each individual brings a unique background of talents and knowledge which combined, makes the organization special.

Leadership

Mr. Martin is the Director of the Department of Defense Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM) on Ford Island, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He directs training, education, applied research, regional civil-military coordination, and crisis support during disasters in support of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, with worldwide responsibilities and functional alignment under the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Stability and Humanitarian Affairs. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in October 2016 upon resuming duties as the Center’s Director; he previously served as the Director of CFE-DM from May 2014 to June 2016 while on active duty as a U.S. Air Force colonel.

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Doug Wallace serves as the Deputy Director of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). He is the principal assistant to the director for managing CFE-DM programs.

Wallace joined the Center in January 2007. He is a retired U.S. Army colonel with more than 24 years of service, most of it in civil-military operations positions or related education and training programs. His last assignment was as the Civil-Military Operations Chief, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

Wallace holds a bachelor's degree from California State University and a master's degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

James Kenwolf serves as the Operations Officer at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

Kenwolf joined the CFE-DM team from United States Indo-Pacific Command Operations Directorate (USINDOPACOM), where he was an antiterrorism force protection watch officer. He has also worked as administrative support, security manager and reserve coordinator in the Operations Directorate, USINDOPACOM.

Kenwolf holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from American Military University, Charleston, W.Va.

Dr. Morales serves as the Applied Research and Information Sharing (ARIS) Branch Chief at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM), where he manages applied research, academic outreach, assessments, and information sharing programs focused on disaster management capacity building for 36 partner nations in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

He joined the CFE-DM team from United States Pacific Command’s Operations directorate where he was a program analyst. He co-chairs the Regional Consultative Group’s Information Sharing Working Group for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). He is managing editor and contributing author of CFE-DM’s Liaison Magazine, and facilitates the Information Communication Technologies (ICT) Working Group, a subsidiary of the Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Workshop hosted by Brown University, Harvard University, the U.S. Naval War College, and UNOCHA. Morales is also a member of the Pacific Resilience Partnership Academic Taskforce and a member of the United Nations’ University Student Surge Group.

Morales served 24 years in the United States Armed Forces. During his military service, he served in the infantry, air defense artillery, logistics, recruiting and retention, operations, and education and training as well as operational deployments in Central America, Northeast Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Morales holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico; a Master of Arts in Organizational Management and a Master of Education in Human Resource Management from Wayland Baptist University; and a Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California. He is a Fellow of the Pacific Leadership Academy and Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies as well as adjunct faculty at the Japan-America Institute of Management Science and Wayland Baptist University’s School of Education and Business. He is fluent in Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.

Jesse Wolfe is the Training and Engagement Branch Chief at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. In this capacity he determines the Center's training areas of focus and subject matter expertise support to senior leaders, staff and civilian stakeholders.

Jesse is a former UNOCHA civil-military coordination officer and consultant to UNHCR, the Global Protection Cluster, InterAction, and INGOs operating in Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen. Before his current role, Jesse was the UNOCHA Regional Civil-Military Coordination Advisor for Syria based in Amman, Jordan (2017-2019). In this capacity he advised the Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, supported the Syria INGO Forums, and led the Humanitarian-Military Coordination Cell (HuMiCC) with the Coalition Forces (SOJTF/CJTF-OIR) and the Syrian Democratic Forces during the Raqqa City offensive and counter-ISIS operations in Northeast Syria.

As a prior CFE-DM staff member, Jesse was a Regional Civil-Military Coordination Advisor (2014-2017) where he supported regional forums, national assessments, lessons learned, and training and exercises throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to this Jesse was a US Department of State civilian advisor in Kandahar, Afghanistan (2010-2011) and INGO Southeast Asia program manager based in Cambodia (2007-2009) where he led humanitarian field operations, including the response to Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar which killed approximately 140,000 people. He previously deployed as a U.S. Marine in Afghanistan (2006) and Iraq (2004-2005).

Jesse is a member of the UNOCHA and RedR Australia surge mechanisms. He has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.


Staff

Alan Aoki is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and serves as a research analyst in the Applied Research and Information Sharing Branch of the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

Aoki joined the CFE-DM team shortly after graduating from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. He has also worked at the Hawaii State Library, Hamilton Library, Center for Korean Studies and the Industrial Relations Center.

Alan received a bachelor of arts and a master of science degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

Dr. Joyce "JB" Blanchard is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and serves as a disaster management and humanitarian assistance advisor for the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She specializes in the Asia-Pacific Region and civilian-military coordination.

Blanchard is a retired U.S. Naval Flight Officer. She joined the CFE-DM team after completing a seven-year tour on the staff of the Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, where she served for seven years as the deputy of the Functional Plans Division, a humanitarian plans officer and the Pacific Fleet civil-military coordinator.

Blanchard holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography, a Master of Science in Foreign Affairs and Doctorate in the field of Organizational Leadership.

Erin Blankenship is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and a Conflict Analyst and Humanitarian Access Advisor with the Centre for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. Building on her field experience designing, implementing and evaluating aid programmes in conflict and post-conflict environments, she supports the Training and Engagements Branch to deliver strategic analysis of target country and humanitarian crisis contexts, as well as develop new training modules centred on humanitarian access and engagement in complex emergencies.

Prior to joining the Center in early 2020, Erin was based in Amman, Jordan with the International NGO Safety Organisation where she was the Regional Analyst covering the Whole of Syria Response,including Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon–advising 168 humanitarian organisations on security and access. She has 10 years of experience as a conflict specialist working with non-governmental, UN and private sector actors supporting humanitarian, development and peace building programmes in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Kenya, and across the Middle East. She has also spent four years conducting research and analysis for leading global think-tanks and the intelligence sector in energy security, nuclear and arms proliferation, political risk and counter-terrorism.

Erin has a BA in International Affairs and Chinese from Trinity University, and double MAs in Conflict Security and Development, then International Peace and Security from the War Studies Department and School of Law at King’s College London in the UK..

Andrea Ciletti is an employee with Valiant Integrated Services and works in the Applied Research and Information Sharing Branch at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She serves as a research analyst on the Disaster Management Reference Handbook team.

She joined the CFE-DM team in the summer of 2015. Previously, she served as a technical editor for AECOM providing editing, formatting, and production needs for various civil-military contracts and documents. She also served as a technical writer for Defense Information Systems-Pacific (DISA-PAC) where she researched and wrote operational materials. She brings with her more than five years teaching experience as a ground faculty member at the University of Phoenix, Hawaii Campus.

Ciletti holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education from Syracuse University in New York and a Master of Arts degree in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University.

Ed Flick is a part-time employee of Valiant Integrated Services and serves as a DMHA Advisor within the Training and Education Branch. His interests include disaster risk reduction, assessment, and military support to humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR).

Ed is a dedicated emergency management professional with nearly 30 years of experience preparing for, responding to, and recovering from natural and man-made disasters at the international, state and local level. When not working for the Center, Ed is a healthcare preparedness and response liaison for the Oregon Health Authority. Following his retirement from the Army in 2014, he served for five years as the emergency manager for Marion County, Oregon. Ed was a career US Army Special Forces Officer. He was assigned to Special Operations Command Pacific working in the Indo-Pacific region for over 10 years. His disaster response operational experience includes responding to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2007 Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh. Domestically, he has managed responses to wildland fires, droughts, floods, winter storms, HAZMAT incidents, and utility failures.

Ed holds a Master of Public Administration Degree from the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies from Western Oregon University.

Ranya is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and a Humanitarian Protection Advisor and Training and Engagement Instructor at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). She has almost a decade of experience as a humanitarian Protection Officer and Coordinator in complex humanitarian crises. Ranya leads in the development of protection related training curriculum and instructor for the CFE-DM Humanitarian Assistance Response Training (HART) Course. Her focus is international response communities, protection considerations for military planning and operations, gender-based violence (GBV), and civil military coordination for protection outcomes.

Prior to joining CFE-DM in May 2019, Ranya worked with various international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) including International Rescue Committee (IRC), Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and International Medical Corps (IMC) in Lebanon, South Sudan, Jordan, Afghanistan and Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. Her programming portfolio included protection, GBV, and child protection (CP) ranging from direct project implementation to larger national level program management and coordination. Ranya has served in technical advisory, program development and coordinator functions. She has led assessment teams and established programming in South Sudan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, building teams to address the protection needs of vulnerable populations which included protection monitoring, rule of law activities setting up safe spaces, and centralizing service provision for affected populations. She regularly worked with other sectors and actors to strengthen quality service provision, and to mainstream gender and protection.

Ranya is fluent in Arabic and holds a double major in International Relations and Legal Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Victoria Hart is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and works in the Applied Research and Information Sharing Branch at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She serves as a disaster management research analyst for the Center.

Hart managed UN peacekeeping training and led international mobile education teams in support of the Center for Civil-Military Relations for four years prior to rejoining CFE-DM. She first worked at CFE-DM as a research analyst focused on the humanitarian situation in Iraq, then as a humanitarian assistance specialist. She has worked with Pacific Forum CSIS, and prior to that was a civil affairs officer in the UN Mission in Sudan, working in a civilian component of the peacekeeping mission in Khartoum. She also has experience working in Australia, Cambodia, China, Germany, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and aboard ship in international waters. She lived two years in Taiwan and speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Hart earned a master’s degree from the University of California, Irvine and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, both in political science. She is a doctoral student in political science from the University of Hawaii. She completed the UN DPKO’s Protection of Civilians (POC) Training of Trainers (ToT) course, UN OCHA’s Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) ToT, and USAID’s Joint Humanitarian Operations Course (JHOC).

Dr. Hicks is a program specialist in the Applied Research & Information Sharing (ARIS) branch supporting CFE-DM’s academic partnerships and programs.

Dr. Hicks possesses an extensive background in global health (pandemic response), humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, health care administration, and higher education spanning over 28 years in countries such as the Philippines, Australia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan, and Iraq. Dr. Hicks earned his experience as a Hospital Corpsman and Medical Service Corps officer for over twenty years in the U.S. Navy.

Dr. Hicks holds a Doctor of Health Science degree from Nova Southeastern University; a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Resources Development from Hawaii Pacific University; a Master of Public Health degree from Emory University, and an Executive Certificate in Leadership and Management from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame.

Elisabeth Koek is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and a humanitarian protection specialist and technical advisor with the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. She has over 10 years of experience in Europe, Africa and the Middle East in humanitarian aid, human rights and protection of civilians. She is a CFE-DM training instructor on humanitarian protection and military planning considerations for joint task forces. She frequently supports training and seminars at NATO Joint Forces Command in Naples, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Stuttgart, and US Army Africa (USARAF) in Vicenza. Elisabeth also works closely with the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, where she is a regular instructor for NATO on protection of civilians for the CMI/CIMIC Orientation Course.

Prior to joining CFE-DM, Elisabeth worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council in Gaza, Iraq, Ukraine, and Afghanistan.Most recently she was based in Geneva where she focused on humanitarian policy issues related to internally displaced people and developing tools and training materials to enhance protection of civilians in war. Elisabeth has held various positions with the United Nations, including with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and in Iraq during the Mosul response as the UNHCR Protection Cluster Coordinator. She has also consulted on assignments that assess protection of civilians’ response in conflict settings.

Elisabeth started her career in Amsterdam and New York in corporate law and holds an LL.M in public international law from King’s College London, as well as an LL.M in corporate law from the University of Leiden Law School in the Netherlands. When she is not deployed, Elisabeth is based between Brussels and the Netherlands where she is working on her Ph.D (NUI Galway, Irish Centre for Human Rights), looking at the protection of civilians and critical infrastructure in urban warfare.

Stephanie is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and a member of the Training and Engagement team at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM). She provides critical planning, preparation and facilitation for premier CFE-DM and partner training courses with special focus on the Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.), Humanitarian Assistance Response Training (HART), Health and Humanitarian Actions in Emergencies (HHAE) and United Nations Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) courses. In this capacity she works closely with international organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

With a passion for public health, Stephanie pursued her Bachelor of Public Health degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She is currently pursuing advanced studies as a graduate student at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health program. As a professional in the field of public health she seeks opportunities to bridge global health disparity gaps among vulnerable populations.

Stephanie is fluent in in Mandarin and Cantonese and has a working knowledge of Japanese and Korean.

Ryan McGovern is a Civil-Military Coordination Program Lead and the HART Course Manager with the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. He leads the design and facilitation of training initiatives with international civilian and military organizations, as well as providing advisory support to multinational military exercises. Since joining CFE-DM, he has developed interagency capacity building programs in collaboration with civilian national disaster management organizations in Malaysia, Bangladesh and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Ryan is also a core instructor of the CFE-DM Humanitarian Assistance Response Training program and has been a member of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) instructor team for the Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord) Course.

Prior to joining the Center in April 2017, Ryan was based in Amman, Jordan with the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) where he was a member of the Syria Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). He has experience working with multiple non-governmental and private sector organizations supporting humanitarian and international development programs in Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Vietnam. From 2000-2004, Ryan served as an enlisted infantryman in the U.S. Army based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Ryan has a Bachelor of Science in International Economics from Suffolk University, and a Master of Arts in Economics for International Development from the American University in Cairo.

Trevor is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and joined CFE-DM in 2016. He is currently serving as the program manager for the ICRC Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) course and the Health and Humanitarian Action in Emergencies (HHAE) course. Both training programs seek to build public health emergency and disaster preparedness and response capacity with international civilian organizations and militaries. Trevor frequently supports exercises in the Asia-Pacific region and at professional military education institutions such as the Marine Corps University. He has contributed to national and sub-national level disaster preparedness assessments and facilitator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Regional Consultative Group (RCG) on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination.

Prior to joining the Center, Trevor served for eleven years as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. His domestic assignments include serving in the Operations Center and on the India Desk, as well as in the Strategic Planning and Policy Directorate (J5) at then U.S. Pacific Command. His overseas experience includes five years in the Islamic world, with postings to U.S. embassies in Turkey, Afghanistan and Sudan where he handled the refugee, reconstruction, humanitarian de-mining, and peacekeeping portfolios.

Trevor holds a BA in Political Science & History from Virginia Tech, an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and an MBBS from the University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine.

Lloyd Puckett is Disaster Management and Humanitarian Specialist assigned to the Plans and Programs Branch at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. He serves as a regional disaster management and humanitarian assistance advisor to the Center.

Puckett joined the CFE-DM team from the Pacific Air Forces directorate of Installation and Mission Support where he was a command emergency management superintendent. Since joining CFE-DM, Puckett has served as Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) analyst, instructor for Humanitarian and Assistance Response Training (HART) and Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) courses, project manager for CFE-DM HADR Security Cooperation projects, and drafted CFE-DM disaster management reference handbooks. He also served as a visiting scholar at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies and Weapons of Mass Destruction Strategic Planner at USPACOM’s Strategic Policy Planning Directorate. He retired from the United States Air Force after 23 years of service.

Puckett holds a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies from the University of Maryland University College, a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, a Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Chaminade University of Honolulu a Post-Graduate Certificate in Homeland Security Leadership Development from Chaminade University of Honolulu and a post-graduate certificate in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Leigh Sholler is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services. She serves as a Research Analyst in the Applied Research and Information Sharing Branch at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance.

Leigh joined the CFE-DM in 2020 after working for Valiant Integrated Services and Cubic Global Defense for 15 years as a Senior Analyst for Open Source information exploitation. She has supported U.S. Department of Defense entities around the globe in planning, exercise design/execution, operational assessments, and public affairs.

Leigh has a B.A. in French and International Studies from Capital University (Ohio), an M.A. in French from American University (DC), and an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa.

Greg is an employee of Valiant Integrated Services and a member of the Training and Engagements Branch at the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. He has extensive experience as a Foreign Area Officer in the Indo-Pacific, serving multiple tours in both U.S. Embassies and 4-star military headquarters. He has participated in numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster response scenarios as a planner and support provider.

Prior to joining the Center, Greg served as an active duty Navy Foreign Area Officer and Search and Rescue / Logistics helicopter pilot. In his 27 years of military experience, Greg served as Chief, Southeast Asia Policy at USINDOPACOM and Chief, International Plans and Policy at USPACFLT, where he provided expert political and strategic advice to the Commanders regarding cooperative military efforts with international partners and foreign access for military planning and operations. During the response to 2013 Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, he acted as senior mentor to the Director of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Multinational Coordination Center. During tours at the U.S. Embassies in Riyadh and Manila, he advised the Saudi and Philippine Navies on best maritime security practices and managed their multi-billion dollar Foreign Military Sales accounts. As a helicopter pilot, he led a 5-month detachment to Banda Aceh during Operation Unified Assistance delivering relief supplies and conducting medical missions. With over 22 years of experience in the USINDOPACOM region, he is an experienced strategic and operational planner, supporting military operations, interagency operations, and campaign plans, including warfighting, peacekeeping and foreign humanitarian assistance.

Greg holds a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Duke University. He has over 3,400 hours of military helicopter flight time and 29 personnel rescues.

Josh Szimonisz is a Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance Program Manager and the HART Course Manager with the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance. He leads the development and delivery of CFE-DM’s flagship training program, and provides humanitarian assistance and civil-military coordination subject matter expertise to global military and civilian organizations. Josh serves as the lead on curriculum development, training course instruction, senior leader seminars, and capacity building workshops.

Prior to joining the Center in August 2020, Josh was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he worked as a program manager for Samaritan’s Purse International Relief. Before that, he worked on a refugee assistance project in Nicosia, Cyprus with Caritas, and previously worked as a case worker serving the asylum seeker population in New York City. Josh was an active duty Marine Officer for several years, deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and a Marine Expeditionary Unit, in addition to supporting several regional INDOPACOM exercises. He continues his service in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Josh is a member of the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). He has a Master of Arts in Public Administration (MPA) specialized in Humanitarian Emergency Management, and a Master of Science in Social Work (MSW), specialized in international social welfare policy and forced displacement, both from Columbia University.