John W. McDonald, Ambassador (Ret.) - Chairman and CEO

U.S. Ambassador (ret.) John W. McDonald is a lawyer, diplomat, former international civil servant, development expert and peacebuilder, concerned about world social, economic and ethnic problems. He spent twenty years of his career in Western Europe and the Middle East and worked for sixteen years on United Nations economic and social affairs. He is currently Chairman and co-founder (1992) of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy, in Rossyln, Virginia, which focuses on national and international ethnic conflicts, including the Millennium goals of clean drinking water and sanitation. He also is UNEP's North American Representative to the International Environmental Governance Advisory Group. Read more.


Karen Dickman - Executive Director

Karen DickmanReverend Karen Dickman is a mediator/conflict professional with extensive restorative justice experience working with people with AIDS, mental illnesses, ex-offenders, victims of violent crimes, and in jails and prisons. She is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities on topics related to religion and/or restorative justice. Within IMTD she manages the partnership with Sovereignty First as well as the Water Program, promoting the Water for the World Act and access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities in developing regions around the world. She also crosses into projects related to women and forgiveness movements. She has a BA in Criminal Justice and graduate studies in Criminal Justice, Religious Studies, and International Peace and Conflict Resolution.


Adam Zemans - Director, Latin America, and Climate Change & Human Security Program, Legal Advisor

As of August 2016, Adam Zemans, J.D., M.S.W., M.A., Esq., is the Director, Latin America, and Climate Change and Security Program as well as Legal Advisor at The Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In 2014 through 2016, Adam designed, founded and then directed the John W. McDonald Peacebuilding Clinic. Before moving to South America for family reasons, during his tenure as Executive Director, Adam achieved record recruiting growth, organizational transformation and client service for IMTD. Adam is the founding Director of the Climate Change and Human Security program. In this capacity, he focuses on the relationship between climate change and human conflict as well as opportunities for resilience in the face of increasing climate change impacts, with a particular emphasis on citizen science and water diplomacy.  Additionally, as Program Manager, Mediation & International Family Conflict Resolution, in 2014, Adam launched an international child abduction conflict resolution advocacy and education program focused on the U.S. Senate and led a Track-II Hague Abduction Convention-related initiative. Adam holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center; M.S.W. from University of Southern California; M.A. in Sociology, York University, Toronto, Canada; and B.A. from Oberlin College, where he graduated as a Harry S. Truman Scholar (NY) and member of the Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. He is currently pursuing further advanced studies at the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, where he focuses on narrative theory and environmental peacebuilding. He has eight years of advocacy and NGO leadership experience in Latin America and is the author of two articles on climate change diplomacy and one peer-reviewed article focused on international parental child abduction mediation research. His other scholarly interests center around international clinical and experiential education, U.S. Smart Power and New Multi-Track Diplomacy, cooperation, dialogue and conflict management spanning a variety of disciplines and levels of analysis.


Rajit Das – Director of Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation/ Asia

As the Director, he is spearheading efforts in DME, by reviewing project/program proposals as they are being developed by Program Managers/Officers & providing guidance for program evaluations. He joined in 2014, as a Program Manager for South Asia. He focused his time on the Kashmir peace-building program and continues to today, in this capacity. He spent over a year evaluating past activities within the program, documented the history of the program, and presented papers on the conflict in Kashmir & the work of IMTD in the conflict at academic conferences. Rajit was the editor of the institute’s 2014 Annual Report. In addition, he published an article in the Journal of International Affairs and Relations Group in 2012, on U.S.-India Civilian Nuclear Technology Deal. Rajit earned his second MA in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a certification in Prevention, Reconstruction, and Stabilization Contexts from the George Mason University, School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution in May 2016. He is a member of Phi Beta Delta, international education honors society at GMU. He has a MA in International Affairs from St. Mary’s University. Rajit holds his BA in Political Science with a minor International Relations from the George Washington University.

Midline (Mimi) Pierre - Director of Organizational Diplomacy

Midline (Mimi) Pierre, Director of Organizational Diplomacy (DOD), utilizes robust, multilateral engagement with experiential learning to build a collaborative network that strengthens existing relationships and builds new ones.  As a public servant, she appreciates the spirit of civic engagement with over a decade of experience as a project leader, entrepreneur, and volunteer. In 2007, she co-authored HICIC Marketing Strategy on “Prevention to HIV Infections” to provide healthcare education to needy children in Ika and Peru.  In early 2016, she participated in a disaster restoration service project with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, in Louisiana, to help rebuild the community for victims of Hurricane Katrina.  She recently partnered with Alliance For Peacebuilding (AFP) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to volunteer on the AFP 2016 Annual Conference “Next Gen Peace”.  She also assisted with the Sixth Annual Graduate Education Symposium in Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution (S-CAR).  As a social scientist and a current PhD student in the conflict analysis and resolution program in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS) at Nova Southeastern University, she tackles the complexities of local and international issues to amplify strengths in bridging theory and practice.  Mimi engages in the worlds of peacebuilding, multi-track diplomacy, and conflict analysis with an educational background in business administration, project management, criminal justice, and conflict analysis.  She focuses on modern approaches to peacebuilding and has a desire to give back to the community.



More Biographies for Directors

Program Managers

Stacy Keskinarkaus - Program Manager, Mediation

Stacy Keskinarkaus, MSW, TEFL, is the Program Manager of Mediation at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). She supports the Children’s Peace Initiative - Kenya (CPI), in the capacity of liaison, helping with grant reviews, as well as assisting the Consulting Director of Programs in creating systems to increase the effectiveness of clinical peacebuilding. Stacy provides staff development through cross-cultural training. Previously, Stacy trained employee assistance counseling staff in client communications, and served as community affairs assistant at the Johns Hopkins University Office of Community Affairs, supporting the coordination, acquisition, and maintenance of partnerships between the university and other stakeholders such as nonprofit organizations, and state and municipal government offices. Stacy completed her MSW at the University of Southern California with a concentration in social work and business in a global society. She currently resides in Finland where she is building a mediation practice. Her interests include facilitating integration of minority groups into the workplace and community through conflict prevention planning, communications coaching, and conflict resolution through mediation and negotiation. She specializes in mediation within organizational development settings and community relations settings, and will represent American workers to Finnish businesses, beginning summer 2016, as a Tampere - All Bright! Ambassador. 

More Biographies for Program Managers

Program Officers

Program Officers (in alphabetical order by last name)


Miriam Abaya - Lead Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Miriam AbayaMiriam Abaya is a Lead Program Officer in the Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) Program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In her leadership capacity, she is responsible for facilitating dialogue between Peruvian and Bolivian stakeholders to address water-use conflict and environmental diplomacy in Lake Titicaca. She also is contributing to IMTD projects regarding legal practices of international partnerships and 501(c)(3) laws.

Previously, Miriam interned at the Department of Justice Office of Immigration Litigation writing briefs for the Federal Courts of Appeals. She also interned at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court performing legal research and writing on international criminal law.

Miriam received a BA in Music from Haverford College and is currently a third-year student at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. At law school, Miriam is a Law & Public Policy Scholar, a fellow at the Institute for International Law and Public Policy, and a lead research editor for the Temple International and Comparative Law Journal. 


Nur Hidayah Anzis - Program Officer, Children Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K); Personal Assistant to Ambassador John W. McDonald

Hidz AnzisAs a program officer Hidz assists with program evaluation, grant application, and peacebuilding curriculum design for CPI-Kenya. She also serves as a PA to Ambassador McDonald besides involves in education in emergencies training. She holds a Masters degree in Instructional Multimedia from Universiti Sains Malaysia and most recently completed four years of a PhD program in Curriculum and Instructional Technology at Iowa State University, during which time she worked as an Instructional Designer for the ISU Brenton Center.





Ivan Avramovic - Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K)  

Ivan AvramovicIvan Avramovic is a Program Officer for the Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) program. In his role with CPI-K, he assists with grant proposals and the development of peacebuilding curriculum. In past roles, he has served as a dialogue facilitator with the Dialogue and Difference Project with the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University, and an intern for the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Washington, D.C. Originally from Sarajevo, Ivan graduated in May 2016 with degrees in Global Affairs and Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University. He is currently pursuing a Master’s of Science from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason. His research interests include international development, democratization, and post-conflict peacebuilding, specifically its long-term effectiveness. 


Sabrina Bath - Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) and Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald

Sabrina BathSabrina Bath is a Program Officer for the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) program as well as a Personal Assistant to Ambassador John McDonald. At CPI-K Sabrina assists with grant proposals, evaluations, and development of peace-building curriculums. As a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald, she performs various administrative tasks. Sabrina is currently attending George Mason University to obtain her Bachelors of Science in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in Global Engagement. Her personal mission is to advocate for the rights and ensure the proper development of children in unstable and oppressed societies.




Chris Blakely Jr. - Publications Editor and Social Media Manager

Chris BlakelyChris Blakely Jr. is the Publications Editor and Social Media Manager for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In his roles, he edits all internal and external publications within the Institute and executes social media outreach strategy. Previously, Chris has been a Narrative Analyst for George Mason University’s Center for the Study of Narrative and Conflict Resolution (CNCR) and a dialogue facilitator for the Dialogue & Difference Project. Chris has also served around the world in both the United States Coast Guard and the U.S. Army. He is currently a student at George Mason University earning degrees in Public Relations and Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Chris works as a social media consultant for a public relations research agency and continues military service as a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. His research interests include track-two diplomacy, peace journalism, facilitated dialogue, and narrative analysis as means to forecast, prevent, and mitigate violent conflict.


Anika Forrest - Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) Co-Lead Program Officer; Legal Advisor

Anika Forrest

Anika Forrest is a Legal Advisor for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) and is the Co-Lead Program Officer for IMTD’s Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) Program. As a student legal advisor, Anika develops a plan of best legal practices regarding international partnerships and 501(c)(3) laws. She also completes business, corporate governance, and tax law assignments. Anika’s CCHS responsibilities include integrating climate change and rule of law principles, surveying international climate justice policies, securing funding, and researching the causal link between climate change and conflict.

Anika also interns with the Embassy of Jamaica in D.C. During the summer of 2016, Anika served as IMTD’s Legal Advisor and Lead Program Officer for Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K). As a 2015 Philadelphia Diversity Law Group Fellow, Anika was a legal intern at FMC Corporation, a global chemical and manufacturing company. Her work at FMC included international employment, international trademark, and business law.

Anika received a BA in sociology from Davidson College. After her undergraduate study, Anika joined the Office of Admission at Haverford College as an Admission Counselor and Co-Coordinator of Multicultural Recruitment. Anika is a third-year student at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University. At Temple Law, she is a Law & Public Policy Scholar and a Fellow for the Institute for International Law and Public Policy.


Francis Newton - Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Francis NewtonFrancis Newton is a Program Officer for the Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) program at the Institute of Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD).

Francis also works in the Accounting Office at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He has previous experience as a Substitute Teacher at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Maryland. Previous experience on climate change came from a Research Assistant Internship with the International Fund for China’s Environment.

He received a BA in Social Sciences from Gardner-Webb University and a MA from Catholic University of America in World Politics. His research has focused on Middle Eastern and East Asian security issues.



Carmen Olivares - Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS)

Carmen OlivaresCarmen Olivares is a Program Officer for the Climate Change and Human Security Program (CCHS) at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy(IMTD). She is currently attending University in Chicago in which she is pursuing a degree in International Business and Spanish. In her role with CCHS, she is working on projects pertaining to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia, in order to help communities threatened by the environmental deterioration caused by climate change. Applying her Spanish abilities, she translates important documents so that they are accessible to both English and Spanish-speaking readers. Along with her business management skills, she also formulates the program’s budgets in order to submit accurate grant proposals to third parties. She came to IMTD to learn about practical applications of conflict management.



Heather Payne - Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-Kenya) and Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald

Heather Payne is a Program Officer for the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD) Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) program and a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald. In her role at the CPI-Kenya program, she assists with grant proposals, evaluations, and development of peacebuilding curriculums. As a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald, she performs various administrative tasks.

Heather’s background consists of working with children and youth in a variety of settings. She has worked as an early childhood educational teacher and in child protective services with foster children. She also worked as an in-home data collector and researcher for families with young children as well as a research assistant for family therapy. Heather also volunteered as a therapist for children with problematic sexual behaviors.

Currently, she is attending George Mason University to obtain her MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution. Heather’s mission is to work with children and youth involved in conflict and peacebuilding. Working on IMTD’s CPI-Kenya project is a rewarding experience that involves empowering children to be agents of peace in their communities.


Kern Singh -  Program Officer, Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya (CPI-K) 

Kern SinghKern Singh is a Program Officer for the CPI-Kenya program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In his role, Kern assists with securing grants, conducting research and monitoring evaluations for CPI-K’s variety of programs. Kern has worked in previous roles at the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, BiH. He has also worked as an intern with impl. Project and the Democratic Party of Virginia. In addition, Kern was the youngest ever participant in the Symposium for Conflict Prevention, Resolution and Peacebuilding at the International Peace and Security Institute in the summer of 2016. His particular interest in Kenya lies in his having lived in the country for two years in elementary school while his father worked there as a USAID Foreign Service Officer. Kern is working towards a B.A. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution with a concentration in Building Peace in Divided Societies and a minor in Philosophy from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. His scholarly interests include Countering Violent Extremism, Peacebuilding and Post-Conflict Reconciliation. In addition, he has done research on the practical role of existential philosophy in conflict analysis, and how it can inform the work of practitioners working on the ground.


Nathan Smith - Program Officer, Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) 

Nathan SmithNathan Smith is a Program Officer for the Climate Change and Human Security (CCHS) program at the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD). In his role, he assists with writing, editing and delivering grant proposals. He helps with project research and contacting potential stakeholders and internationally interested parties.

After completing his undergraduate degree, Nathan worked as a university instructor at the Chongqing University of Technology in the municipality of Chongqing, China, for two years. While there, he taught courses on history, culture, and society as well as English and environmental science. In addition to doing his job, he was able to acquire high proficiency in Mandarin and passed the HSK level 5 (the official Mandarin language proficiency exam) and is working towards achieving the highest level (HSK 6).

He received is Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, in international studies, and studied abroad for one academic year at the University of Saarland in Saarbrücken, Germany, where he focused on German language. He is currently a graduate student at American University perusing his MA in Cultural Anthropology. Nathan feels that the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy forms the perfect crossroads between his diverse educational background, and is excited to learn more about the connections between environment, diplomacy and human relationships.



More Biographies for Program Officers

In the picture, starting from left upper line. Helen Thompson, Kiran Marfatia, Edoardo Severoni, Philip Yang, Rajit Das, Thomas Rogers, Chimalang Ngu, Sabrina Barton. Adam Zemans; Ambassador (ret.) John W. McDonald; Chairman and CEO Karen Dickman, Vice President.