Program Officers

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

As a Program Officer at IMTD, Hidz assists with program evaluation, grant application, and peacebuilding curriculum design for the Children’s Peace Initiative-Kenya. In addition, she serves as a Personal Assistant to Ambassador McDonald, and she is also working on a project to design emergency training education materials in collaboration with Sovereignty First. 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 at the ISU Brenton Center for Agricultural Instruction and Technology Transfer.

Chris Blakely Jr. – Publications Editor and Social Media Manager

Chris 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.

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

Francis 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.

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

Kern 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.