Our Team

Languages Spoken:

 

Arabic

Farsi

French

Hindi

Japanese

Kikongo 

Lingala

Mandarin

Russian

Spanish

Swahili

Tajik

Urdu

 

Overseas Experience:

 

Afghanistan

Bosnia

China

DRC

Egypt

Ethiopia

France

India

Iraq

Israel

Italy

Japan

Jordan

Kenya

Korea

Lebanon

Mali

Mexico

Pakistan

Russia

Sierra Leone

Singapore

Somalia

South Korea

Spain

Tajikistan

The UK

Ukraine
Yemen

 

Analytical Technology:

 

ArcGIS

CASOS ORA

Palantir

Python

QGIS

R

David Johnson, Executive Director

 

LTC David Johnson, US Army (Ret.) is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point; the Command and General Staff Course; the Joint Defense College at the Ecole Militaire in Paris; and holds a Master's degree in the History of Strategy from La Sorbonne. David served 23 years in the US Army in the Infantry and Special Forces. A decorated combat veteran and Army strategist with service on six continents and multiple overseas contingency operations, his career is outlined in the Congressional Record. Before coming to C4ADS, he worked for Intel Corporation as Director of Digital Security Products in the Software and Solutions Group. He speaks French, Russian, and Arabic.

Farley Mesko, Chief Operating Officer

 

Farley received his degree in Natural Resource Policy and Economics from Bowdoin College. He coauthored the 2013 World Bank study The Pirates of Somalia: Ending the Threat, Rebuilding a Nation and has briefed flag officers, ambassadors, and executive-level leadership at US combatant commands, joint task forces, the national security staff of the Vice President, and various embassies. Farley also works as a freelance journalist and has authored reports for the United Nations and Brookings. He has presented his research at New America Foundation, Yale University, Google Ideas, and American University. Farley has worked extensively in conflict zones across Africa, and speaks Arabic.

Varun Vira, Chief of Analysis

 

Varun received his undergraduate degree in International Relations and Economics from Syracuse University, and his Master's in International Affairs from George Washington. Varun previously worked in then-Senator Kerry’s office and at CSIS. Varun’s research at C4ADS focuses on South Asia and the Middle East. Varun has lived in India, Singapore, and the UK, and speaks Hindi and Urdu.

 

Niko Kakesa, Deputy Director of Finance

 

Niko has over 10 years of Finance and Operations experience after serving as the Finance and Operations Manager for Abt Associates, Inc. and the International Food Policy Research Institute, IFPRI, a CGIAR Center. He leads the Finance and Operations group at C4ADS. He hold a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA in Finance from Mount St. Mary’s University.  Niko speaks Kikongo, Lingala, French, and English. 

David Lynch, Analyst


David received degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Columbia University. He speaks Arabic and lived in Yemen for two years from 2012-2014, working as a journalist and security consultant. David's research at C4ADS focuses on illicit networks and natural resource constraints in Africa and the Middle East.  

Satori Shimizu, Analyst

 

Satori holds degrees in International Relations and History from Tufts University. She has experience as the US Department of State's Fulbright Fellow (Tajikistan) and at the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center, Global Rescue, and Mercy Corps. She spent a year working in Tajikistan and speaks Japanese, Spanish, functional Tajik (Persian), and is learning Russian. Her research interests include Eurasian and Asian security issues, as well as human trafficking.

Jackson Miller, Analyst

 

Jackson received his undergraduate degree in international politics and Chinese studies from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.  He has worked and researched throughout China, including Xinjiang, as well as in Kenya, and speaks Mandarin and French. The coauthor of the 2014 C4ADS report Out of Africa, Jackson leads the C4ADS Environmental Crimes Fusion Cell. In addition to transnational wildlife crime, his work highlights East Asian security issues.

Evangeline Hines, Analyst

 

Evangeline received her undergraduate degree in International Studies from American University, during which time she also minored in Arabic. Additionally, she received her Master's from American University in International Affairs. She has lived and studied in Mexico and Jordan. Evangeline's research at C4ADS focuses on illicit networks and natural resource issues in Africa and the Middle East. 

Jessica Hansen, Analyst

 

Jessica received her undergraduate degrees in International Affairs and Political Science from the University of New Hampshire, and concentrated in Economics and French. She has studied and worked in France; she speaks French and is learning Arabic. Jessica’s work at C4ADS concentrates on transnational environmental trafficking networks in Africa and South East Asia.

Mary Utermohlen, Analyst

 

Mary received undergraduate degrees in International Relations and Accounting from the College of William & Mary. She also concentrated on Hispanic Studies and Economics. Mary is also a contributor for the Diplomatic Courier, where she writes on Latin American and human rights issues. She has studied in Spain and in the UK, and speaks Spanish and is learning Portuguese. Mary's research at C4ADS concentrates on international wildlife crime and Latin American security issues.

Buhendwa Mema, Analyst

 

Buhendwa received his undergraduate degree in International Relations from United States International University and a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of South Dakota. He has lived and studied in Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and speaks French, Swahili, and Lingala, and is learning Mashi. Buhendwa’s research at C4ADS concentrates on conflict mineral networks and illicit trafficking in Central Africa.

David Thompson, Analyst

 

David received his undergraduate degree in political science and Chinese language and literature from George Washington University. He speaks Mandarin and has lived in China, studying at Peking University. David's work at C4ADS concentrates on illicit wildlife trafficking networks in Southern Africa and East Asia.