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Sara Winegar Budge

Director Exit USA Program, Life After Hate, Psychologist
Sara Winegar Budge, PsyD is the VP and Director of Client Services at Life After Hate, an organization that provides services to support disengagement, deradicalization, and reintegration of individuals involved in violent far right extremist movements. She is a licensed psychologist in Oregon whose practice focuses on individuals who are or have been involved in violent far right extremism. Dr. Budge has taught the psychology of terrorism at the undergraduate and graduate level, and currently serves as an instructor in the graduate program at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Response to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.

Raquel Thompson

Raquel Thompson (she/her/ella) is a deep listener and thorough problem-solving generalist who has partnered with several social justice organizations to identify their core challenges and launch new solutions. Her expertise is in culturally relevant program design, curriculum development, strategic planning, staff orientation and training, power and privilege analysis, and group facilitation. She has deployed these skills within organizations large and small, long-established and recently founded, within and outside of the U.S. Born in Panama, raised in Brooklyn, Raquel received her Bachelor of Arts from Yale University, before then spending the next 15 years of her life working, living, and learning across Africa, Latin America, and Europe. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY and is enjoying reconnecting with the community of thinkers and doers in her hometown, while also making sure to spend extended time in the mountains.

Anne Speckhard

Ph.D., Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Georgetown University School of Medicine Washington D.C.
Anne Speckhard, Ph.D. is Director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism (ICSVE) and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University in the School of Medicine. Her research focuses on developing counter-terrorism initiatives and understanding the motivations of terrorists. She is the author of: Talking to Terrorists, Bride of ISIS, Homegrown Hate and coauthor of ISIS Defectors: Inside Stories of the Terrorist Caliphate; Undercover Jihadi; and Warrior Princess. Dr. Speckhard has interviewed over 800 terrorists, their family members and supporters in various parts of the world including Syria, Iraq, Jordan, the Balkans, Central Asia, former USSR, Palestine and many countries in Europe in addition to 272 ISIS cadres and 51 white supremacists and anti-government militia members. She created the Breaking the ISIS Brand and Escape Hate counter narrative projects. In 2007, she was responsible for designing the psychological and Islamic challenge aspects of the Detainee Rehabilitation Program in Iraq to be applied to 20,000 + detainees and 800 juveniles. She is a sought-after counterterrorism expert and has consulted to NATO, OSCE, foreign governments and to the U.S. Senate & House, Departments of State, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security, Health & Human Services and FBI, and appeared on CNN, BBC, NPR, Fox News, MSNBC, CTV, and in Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, London Times and many other publications.

Shan Soe-Lin

MPH, Ph.D., Venture Partner at Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, co-founder and managing director at Pharos Global Health Advisors and undergraduate capstone instructor at the Jackson School of Global Affairs at Yale University (2022-2023)
Shan specializes in developing solutions to complex strategic, organizational and operational issues affecting global health non-profit organizations, private philanthropies, multilaterals, and US health care payer and provider systems. Through her tenures with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Recon Strategy, Results for Development Institute and now Pharos Global Health Advisors, Shan specializes in developing forward-looking strategies, resource mobilization approaches, competitive landscapes and investment cases for organizations and governments focused on nutrition, HIV, TB, and maternal and child health issues. More recently, Shan has advised developing countries and NGOs on Covid control, and published several op-eds in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and Politico on domestic Covid control and return-to-work strategies. Shan also works with her clients to improve their organizational effectiveness and leadership development. Her clients have included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, Unitaid, the Global Fund, Partners in Health, Nutrition International, and Kirk Humanitarian. Shan holds a PhD in Experimental Medicine, and a B.Sc. in Microbiology & Immunology, both from McGill University, and an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Neil Saul

Senior Program Coordinator, Preventing Targeted Violence, McCain Institute
Neil Saul serves as the Senior Program Coordinator for Preventing Targeted Violence at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University. Prior to joining the McCain Institute, Saul worked as a program coordinator with the Cato Institute doing outreach, program development, and building their student programs. He holds a master’s degree in US foreign policy and national security from the American University in Washington, DC, where he focused on human rights and mass atrocity prevention. Saul also holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and sociology from the University of Georgia. During his academic career, he has worked for organizations such as the International Rescue Committee, AirWars and the Military Commissions Defense Organization.

Dr. Rachel Nielsen

Director of Targeted Violence Prevention, McCain Institute
Dr. Rachel Nielsen is a licensed clinical psychologist who serves as the Director for Preventing Targeted Violence at the McCain Institute. Prior to joining the McCain Institute, Dr. Nielsen served as the Executive Director of the Colorado Resilience Collaborative at the International Disaster Psychology Program at the University of Denver. In that role, she created a training curriculum for multidisciplinary professional audiences and provided planning guidance around the globe to countries regarding targeted violence prevention and recovery, and former terrorists and foreign fighters and their family members. Dr. Nielsen simultaneously worked with Nicoletti-Flater Associates, a prominent police and public safety practice that specializes in behavioral threat assessment and management. Nicoletti-Flater is renowned for decades of work in preventing, intervening, and assisting in psychological recovery efforts after incidents of school violence and attacks on locations. In her 25-year career, Dr. Nielsen has provided care in numerous settings, including a state psychiatric hospital with adolescents, investigations for child protective services, private K-8 school, daycare, sex offender treatment and evaluation, early child abuse prevention through home visitation with new parents, trauma therapy for survivors of physical and sexual violence, and providing therapy, debriefings, and training to first responders. She has a passion for interdisciplinary, community-driven efforts to combat violence. Dr. Nielsen holds a B.A. in Academic Psychology, Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology and Forensic Psychology, as well as a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. She specializes in behavior, forensic psychology, trauma, and targeted violence.

Ella Müller

Program Director, Transatlantic Democracy Program, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung
Ella Müller (she/her) joined the Foundation’s team in 2021 to head its Democracy Program, which aims to bring Americans and Europeans together to tackle challenges to democracy. She brings a strong focus on the political history of Germany and the US as well as current challenges to society by anti-democratic forces. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ella worked as a historian at the University of Freiburg, Germany and wrote her doctoral dissertation on American Anti-Environmentalism since the 1960s. She is an expert on the history of U.S. conservatism, the radicalization of the far right, and the rise of environmentalism in the United States and Germany. She lives with her husband and two sons in Washington, DC.

Dr. Rick R. McCown

Professor of Education and the Pierre Schouver, C.S.Sp. Endowed Chair in Mission at Duquesne University
Rick McCown earned a Ph.D. in educational psychology at Indiana University where he received the Maris and Mary Higgins Proffitt Award for the Outstanding Dissertation and, more recently, an Outstanding Alumni Award. At Duquesne he has served as Department Chair and Interim Dean. He has also served as Duquesne’s Principal Investigator for and Delegate to the Carnegie Project on the Education Doctorate (CPED). He has also served as a Senior Improvement Research Fellow for CPED. Among his publications are ten books focused on the teaching-learning process. Colleges and universities in over 40 countries have adopted his texts. As the Pierre Schouver, C.S.Sp. Endowed Chair in Mission, he established the Schouver Initiative on Improvement Inquiry for Educational Equity and the Duquesne Collective Action Network to pursue public scholarship with colleagues from schools, the academy, and the community. The collective has also engaged with the Elsinore-Bennu Think Tank–a cross-sector collaborative focused on restorative justice and disrupting and improving the systems that produce unjust outcomes in communities. He has received the American Educational Research Association Presidential Citation for contributions to educational research, been elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the Pennsylvania Society of teaching Scholars. At Duquesne, he has been inducted to the Office of research Hall of Fame and multiple John G. Rangos Sr. Prizes for community-engaged research and development. He has received several teaching awards, including his university’s highest teaching award: the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Emma Jouenne

Director, Programs & Research on Extremism at Parents For Peace
Emma Jouenne has been responsible for researching, writing, creating content for, planning and executing programs for families and friends, participants and donors affiliated with Parents for Peace including programs and activities geared towards exposing the dangers of violent extremist ideologies including sourcing relevant speakers, drafting faculty biographies, designing course itineraries, synopses of courses and supplemental course curriculum materials. She has also formulated and introduced the methodology behind Parents for Peace’s deradicalization protocol, has led efforts with the Harvard School of Public Health and Georgia State University to develop research methods to evaluate her methodology on deradicalization efforts and has counseled on high profile cases with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the U.S. Probation Office. She has researched, created, structured, and routinised the protocol behind Parents for Peace’s national helpline, and has hired and managed a team of interns and analysts to collect, store and analyze data on deradicalization interventions. She presented her methodology at the Association for Threat Assessment Professionals in Omaha, Nebraska on Developing Holistic Solutions to Protect Youth from Extremism in October 2021, she testified before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs at an investigative hearing entitled: “Helping Veterans Thrive: The Importance of Peer Support in Preventing Domestic Violent Extremism” in March 2022, and presented her methodology on the case of Buffalo Shooter in September 2022 at the Eradicate Hate conference in Pittsburgh.

Norman Conti

Professor of Sociology and coordinator, social justice association at Duquesne University, and co-founder Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice (EBTT)
Norman Conti is a professor of sociology and the coordinator of Duquesne's Social Justice Association. Along with six men serving life sentences at the State Correctional Institution in Pittsburgh, Dr. Conti founded the Elsinore Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice (EBTT). Together, they developed Police Training Inside-Out, a criminal justice course that brings police recruits together to study as classmates with incarcerated men. After the prison closed, the EBTT was reestablished on campus at Duquesne as a weekly conference of community activists, returning citizens, artists, political leaders and police officers. Dr. Conti has served as a Fellow in Duquesne's Center for Community Engaged Teaching and Research and is a longtime member of the national steering committee for the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. His scholarly work has appeared in The American Sociologist; Counter-Stories and Counter-Spaces; Dialogues in Social Justice; Federal Sentencing Reporter; Handbook on Promoting Social Justice in Education; Journal of Contemporary Ethnography; Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education; Kalfou; The Police Journal; Police Practice & Research; Police Quarterly; Policing & Society; The Prison Journal; Social Network Analysis; Studies in Symbolic Interaction; and Voices From Criminal Justice.