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Executive Team | Global SOF Foundation

Executive Team

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Peter Bergen is a journalist, documentary producer, vice president at New America, CNN national security analyst, professor of practice at Arizona State University, and the author or editor of seven books, three of which were New York Times bestsellers and four of which were named among the best non-fiction books of the year by The Washington Post. The books have been translated into twenty languages. Documentaries based on his books have been nominated for two Emmys and also won the Emmy for best documentary.

Bergen also serves as New America’s Director of the International Security, Future of War and Fellows Programs. He is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy and writes a weekly column for CNN.com. He is a member of the Aspen Homeland Security Group and a fellow at Fordham University’s Center on National Security. Bergen is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, a leading scholarly journal in the field. He has held teaching positions at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. For many years he was a fellow at New York University's Center on Law and Security. He has testified on Capitol Hill seventeen times about national security issues.

In 2011 he published The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda. The book won the Washington Institute’s Gold Prize for the best book on the Middle East. In 2012 he published Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for Bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad. It won the Overseas Press Club award for the best book on international affairs. HBO based the film “Manhunt” on the book, which won the 2013 Emmy for best documentary. In 2013 he published Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics and Religion, a collection of essays about the Taliban that Bergen co-edited. In 2014 he published Drone Wars, a collection of essays about drone warfare that Bergen co-edited. In 2016, he published United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists and HBO adapted the book for the documentary film “Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma.” 

Bergen has hosted, produced, or executive produced multiple documentaries for HBO, CNN, National Geographic, and Discovery. Bergen co-produced CNN Films’ Legion of Brothers, which premiered at Sundance in January 2017 and was released theatrically in May 2017. Bergen produced the first television interview with Osama bin Laden in 1997. The interview, which aired on CNN, marked the first time that bin Laden declared war against the United States to a Western audience.

Bergen has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines around the world including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Time, The Atlantic, Vanity Fair, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian, Prospect, La Repubblica, Die Welt and Der Spiegel. He has a degree in Modern History from New College, Oxford. 

Bergen is married to the documentary director/producer Tresha Mabile. They have two children.

Lori Larsen, of Celestar Corporation,  prides herself on her client commitment and patriotism, as well as her people and business solutions. Her personal brand is “determined to succeed in life and business through experiences, choices, and people.” This complements the Celestar Holdings Corporation’s approach to “providing intelligent consulting solutions to Government and industry partners.”

As the Chief Strategy Officer, and a team member of Celestar Holdings Corporation since 2005, Lori’s reach extends beyond the internal organization to the customers of Celestar. Focused on service, developing strategies that fit needs, engaging people who implement them, and growing the company through earning opportunities, Lori brings a wealth of military and business experience to the company and her partners. Her interests and efforts can be tracked back to 1998 when she was commissioned into the US Army as an Intelligence Officer.

Lori’s military experiences include time spent as a military intelligence officer at all echelons. Lori spent time in a strategic intelligence unit at both Ft. Meade, MD and in Hawaii where she was selected early for Company Command. Lori went on to serve as a Division Artillery Intelligence Officer and then in the Division G2 where she was deployed to Afghanistan. Additionally, Lori served United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) as a liaison officer from Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan (CFC-A). Upon joining Celestar Corporation, Lori served as a contractor supporting the USCENTCOM J3 where she spearheaded multiple new initiatives for the Department of Defense Rewards Program. It was then that she was approached by Celestar to join the Business Operations team. Lori served as Celestar’s Director of Business Development, seeing Celestar through significant growth and recognition as one of the fastest growing companies in the United States.

While Lori was born and raised in Wisconsin, she traveled the country, as she was heavily involved in athletics, including being an Olympic-developed Pentathlon competitor. Lori is still active in many sports, including swimming, running and soccer. Even with the option of a SEN nomination and appointment to the Air Force Academy, Lori chose to accept a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship. Her selection served her well in a family of driven sisters, who include a 2-time Olympian, a professional snowboarder and a teacher. Lori’s family owned a business and taught in the public school systems, so her desire to succeed and to give back are both evident in her family heritage. Lori continues to be surprised by entrepreneurial views of experience vs. competencies, and the similarities and differences between the military and business practices. One of her most impactful challenges was her deployment to Afghanistan, and Lori remembers winning her first Government contract as one of life’s most memorable moments. Because of these experiences, and her drive to provide solutions in a people business, Lori finds her business development opportunities a driving force in her career. Lori holds a BA in International Affairs from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI as well as certifications and many accommodations from serving her country.

STAFF

COL (Ret.) Stu Bradin is the President and CEO of the Global SOF Foundation. He retired as a U.S. Army Special Forces colonel in May 2014 after over 32 years of service. Stu’s Special Forces assignments include service with elements of Joint Special Operations Command, as Deputy Director of Operations at Special Operations Command Europe, and extensive service with the 7th and 10th Special Forces Groups (Airborne). He commanded several SFODAs (“A-Teams”) and served as a battalion Operations Officer as well as the Company Commander of the counter terrorist unit designated as the CINC’s In Extremist Force. He participated in Operation Just Cause, served tours as an adviser in El Salvador and Peru, and is a veteran of multiple unconventional and other special operations with 10th SFG(A) in the Balkans and numerous locations in northern and central Africa.

In 2007, Stu was tasked with establishing the NATO Special Operations Coordination Center (NSCC), and on 1 March 2010 the NSCC was designated as the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, where Stu served as the Chief of Staff until June 2011. In 2011 he was in Afghanistan as the Director of the Special Operations Fusion Cell – a multinational Joint Interagency Task Force with 19 nations and 8 agencies supporting NATO SOF. Stu’s final assignment was Chief of the Expanding Global SOF Network Operational Planning Team tasked with making U.S. Special Operations Command a global combatant command.

Stu was a Latin American Foreign Area Officer and received a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from San Diego State University. He attended the School of Americas Command and Staff Course and was assigned to the School of Advanced Military Studies as one of the authors of the first version of FM 3.0, the Army’s Operations manual. Stu taught at the Command and General Staff College as a SOF Instructor with a mission to form the Special Operations Program. He lives in Lithia, FL with his wife, Kelly, and three daughters.

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Ms. Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew is the Chief Operating Officer of the Global SOF Foundation. Prior to her position with the Foundation, Ms. Keeler-Pettigrew was the Assistant Task Lead for CACI’s support to the Expanding the Global Special Operations Forces Network Operational Planning Team at U.S. Special Operations Command for over two years. In this capacity, Ms. Keeler-Pettigrew managed a team of writers, research associates, and strategic communicators. Previously, she worked in the Commander’s Action Group and Operations Directorate at U.S. Central Command, supporting the 4-star commander. Ms. Keeler-Pettigrew was also the Interim Executive Director and Events Coordinator for Women In International Security, a non-profit professional membership organization for women who work in international affairs. She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband, Brett, and a daughter and son.

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Ms. Chelsea Hamashin is the Director of Marketing for the Global SOF Foundation. Prior to her position with the Foundation, Ms. Hamashin spent over two years as a Public Relations Specialist for CACI’s support to the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) initiative at U.S. Special Operations Command. In this capacity, Ms. Hamashin developed multimedia products, managed TALOS strategic communications and coordinated critical collaborative events. Previously, she worked as a Digital Engagement Specialist and a Strategic Media Analyst supporting U.S. Special Operations Command.  Ms. Hamashin holds a Master of Science in Marketing from the University of South Florida and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Flagler College.  She lives in Tampa, FL.

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CDR (Ret.) Stephen Jones is the Director of Partner Relations for the Global SOF Foundation. Prior to his position with the Foundation, Stephen served in the United States Navy for over 20 years as a Naval Aviator and Commanding Officer. During his military career, he accumulated over 3,000 flight hours in multiple rotary and fixed-winged aircraft in support of numerous campaigns worldwide. During his Major Command tour, he was a by-name-request from the Commander, USSOCOM to support the Expanding the Global SOF Network Operational Planning Team as a strategic planner. In this capacity, Stephen coordinated the development of a Special Operations Aviation Training Center and course of instruction to increase the SOF aviation capacity and capabilities of our allied partners to support the global fight against terror.

Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and two Master’s degrees from the University of West Florida and the Naval Postgraduate School. Next, Stephen is attending the Harvard Kennedy School where he will earn a Master’s in Public Administration in the spring of 2018. His professional experiences span Foreign Military Sales, defense financial management, acquisitions, and contracting. FAA ratings include: Commercial Pilot, Airplane Single Engine Land, Airplane Multi-Engine Land, Rotorcraft-Helicopter, Instrument Airplane, Instrument Helicopter, FAA First-Class Medical, Bell 206, Sikorsky S-80, and the Lockheed L-382. He lives in Cambridge, MA with his wife, Camille, and daughter.

 

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