Sanaa, Yemen: Photography by C4ADS
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.
VARUN VIRA, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Varun is the Chief Operating Officer at C4ADS. He was previously Chief of Analysis for C4ADS, a position in which he oversaw projects and investigations across various illicit systems, including but not limited to narcotics trafficking, asset tracing, wildlife trafficking, and conflict financing. Varun's work at C4ADS has been featured in the daily intelligence briefings at the very highest levels of the U.S. government, and he has briefed flag officers, ambassadors, and leadership at various government agencies, including the Departments of State, Treasury, and Defense. He previously worked as a consultant for the World Bank, in the office of then-Senator John Kerry, and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Varun received degrees in International Relations and Economics from Syracuse University, and a Master's in International Affairs from George Washington University. He speaks Hindi and Urdu fluently.
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, CHIEF OF ANALYSIS
David oversees projects and investigations across various illicit systems, with a particular focus on asset tracing, conflict financing, and natural resource constraints in Africa and the Middle East. He previously lived in Yemen for two years, from 2012 to 2014, working as a journalist and security consultant. He received degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Columbia University and speaks Arabic.
SATORI SHIMIZU, LEAD ANALYST
Satori holds degrees in International Relations and History from Tufts University. She has experience as the US Department of State's Fulbright Fellow and at the Atlantic Council, Global Rescue, and Mercy Corps. She has lived and worked in Tajikistan and speaks Japanese, Spanish, functional Tajik (Persian), and is learning Russian.
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, Italy, and Jordan.
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 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.
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.
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.
PHIL KITTOCK, ANALYST
Phil received his undergraduate degree in Political Science with a Spanish minor and concentration in International Relations from St. John’s University (MN). He speaks Spanish.
PATRICK BAINE, ANALYST
Patrick received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Chinese Language from Appalachian State University. He then lived, worked, and studied in China for five years, which included a one year Master's Certificate program at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. Patrick received his Master's in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
ELINA SAXENA, ANALYST
Elina received her undergraduate degree in International Politics with a concentration in International Security from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. She has lived and studied in France, and speaks French. During her time in college, Elina interned at the Brookings Institution where she focused on national security issues and contributed to the Lawfare Blog.
ALLIE VAN VLIET, ANALYST
Allie received her undergraduate degrees in Peace, War, and Defense and Political Science, with a minor in History, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She studied and worked in South Africa and speaks French. Allie received her Master's in Strategic Studies and International Economics, with a Specialization in Quantitative Methods and Economic Theory from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
PETER KIRECHU, ANALYST
Peter received his undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and International Affairs from the George Washington University. He speaks Swahili and has lived and studied in Jordan and Morocco. His experience spans the US Department of State, the Atlantic Council, and the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He is a contributor to the National Interest, Defense One, STRIFE, and the Fair Observer, among other national security outlets.