The leaders of CENSA - both the board of directors and collective group of project heads - reflect the drive and diversity of the membership. The team that will lead CENSA from its current stage to that of being a regular contributor to the security dialogue is well versed in strategic management and has substantive expertise across the national security spectrum. Moreover, the collective ties the board has with national security leaders and influencers across the security, nonprofit and private sectors ensure that CENSA is well positioned to penetrate the security dialogue - not simply echo it.


Matthew R. Ryan

Executive Director

Matthew R. Ryan was appointed CENSA Executive Director in November 2017. Mr. Ryan is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and served first as an Infantry Officer and later as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Army prior to leaving active duty as a Captain. He has led large and small organizations in the tactical and operational environment, worked on large scale cybersecurity and logistics projects, and has conducted partnered training in Asia and South America. Mr. Ryan holds a B.S. in Engineering Psychology from the United States Military Academy at West Point.


William J. Denn

Major William J. Denn is a U.S. Army officer currently serving as a planner for the 82nd Airborne Division. Denn is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and previously commanded a military intelligence company at the National Security Agency. He holds a B.S. from the United States Military Academy, a M.P.P. from Harvard University, a M.M.A.S. in strategic studies from the US Army Command and General Staff College, and a M.M.A.S. in theater operations from the U.S. Army School of Advanced Military Studies. He is a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award and was recognized as the distinguished honor graduate at the Command And General Staff College. He has written for the Washington Post, Boston Herald, Military Review, and other academic and military journals on national security and interagency cooperation issues.


Olivia Zetter

Olivia Zetter serves as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Department of Defense. She previously served at the Department of State as the Special Advisor on External Operations, Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and Counter Terrorist Finance to the Special Presidential Envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, and as a Policy Advisor in the Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues.  Prior to her time in government, Ms. Zetter worked in Washington and on-site abroad to manage stabilization and conflict management programs in Pakistan and Syria with a U.S. government implementing partner. Ms. Zetter received her Masters of Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and her Bachelors of Arts in International Relations from American University.


Chris Mcguire

Chris Mcguire serves as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the State Department. Prior to his tenure at the State Department Chris served as a special assistant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a quantitative analyst with McKinsey & Company, and in the office of multilateral nuclear and security affairs at the State Department. He has earned a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelors of Arts from Pomona College.


Armen Melikian

Armen Melikian is a systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he works on US Navy air defense systems in the Laboratory's Air and Missile Defense mission area. His work spans all parts of the systems engineering lifecycle, from concepts exploration and requirements development, to predictive modeling and capability assessments for legacy, modern, and future combat systems. He holds a Master of Science in Systems and Information Engineering from the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.


Dina Shahrokhi

Dina Shahrokhi is a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, and is currently working in the political section at Embassy Amman. She previously worked for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the State Department, helping coordinate the government's humanitarian response to the emergency in Iraq. Prior to joining government, she oversaw the research team at the Institute for the Study of War, which conducted military analysis on the crises in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Ms. Shahrokhi also did Syria research at the the Baker Institute at Rice University and the Belfer Center at Harvard, and she worked with the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNRWA) in Damascus during the first year of the war. Ms. Shahrokhi received her Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Dallas.


Josh Stiefel

Josh Stiefel serves as Cyber Policy Advisor at the Department of the Treasury where his role puts him at the nexus of national security, cyber policy, and economic security. Prior to his tenure at the Department of the Treasury, Josh served with distinction at the U.S. Department of Defense as a political-military analyst supporting senior policymakers from across the Executive Branch and Congress. In addition to his analytic work, he held assignments in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Military Command Center. Outside of his responsibilities at the Treasury Department, Josh serves as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Reserve. He has earned a Masters of Public Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelors of Arts with Honors from Lehigh University.



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