Our Staff


Marla Keenan is managing director at Center for Civilians in Conflict and is a subject matter expert on civilian harm mitigation, civilian casualty tracking mechanisms and consequence management of civilian casualties. She is a Truman Security Fellow at the Truman National Security Project. Marla has trained military officers at several advanced schools and staff colleges. In addition to her work with the military, Marla helps shape CIVIC’s programs in conflict zones and oversees operational aspects of the organization. Since joining the organization in October 2005, she has managed programs and research in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Mali, Israel, Jordan, Nepal, Georgia and the Central African Republic. Prior to joining CIVIC, Marla was an Edward Rawson Fellow at Citizens for Global Solutions, working in US global engagement on issues as varied as the conflict in Darfur to Avian Influenza. A former management consultant, Marla has held senior communications and marketing positions with a range of private sector organizations. She holds a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management with a concentration in policy analysis and international policy from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University and earned her Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Arizona.

To view Marla's Media Bio click here.

Federico Borello | Executive Director

Federico Borello is the Executive Director at Center for Civilians in Conflict as of July 2014. He brings to the team more than fifteen years of experience working on human rights and international justice issues. Federico previously served as Director of Investments at Humanity United where he managed the International Justice and the Democratic Republic of Congo portfolios. Prior to this, he worked with the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Federico holds a law degree from the University of Milan, where he graduated magna cum laude. He also earned a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University in New York. Read Federico's full bio here.


Kyle leads CIVIC’s Africa and Peacekeeping work. He brings over ten years of experience as a manager and technical adviser supporting complex post-conflict and humanitarian crises (Haiti, Burundi), international development (Turkmenistan, Niger), and interagency coordination (USAID, DOD, DOS) to the position. Prior to joining CIVIC, Kyle worked as a Conflict Specialist supporting USAID and DOD efforts in North and West Africa. Kyle also advises Peace in Focus, a boutique peacebuilding organization he co-founded in 2007. 

A graduate of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Harvard Divinity School, Kyle has also worked with Mercy Corps, UN Peacekeeping, USAID, the Peace Corps, the Organization of American States, and the Carter Center. An anthropologist by training, Kyle is proficient in French, Portuguese, Turkmen, and Spanish and specializes in creative program design, conflict analysis, foreign assistance, countering violent extremism, youth engagement, facilitation, and strategy development.


Emily brings years of experience in non-profit administration. She supported CARE USA's Policy and Advocacy efforts, including a temporary assignment in Afghanistan to write a series of policy briefs focused on the health and legal rights of women and girls. Emily speaks French and holds a BA in Political Science from the University of the Pacific.


Natasha brings over ten years of experience in the MENA region to CIVIC. She has lived and worked on education and protection issues in Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.  Prior to joining CIVIC, she worked at USCIS Refugee Affairs Division where she travelled 70 percent of the year interviewing refugees from over 15 countries. She has created training materials and trained over 400 people on crises in Syria and Iraq. While Natasha’s expertise is in humanitarian and refugee issues, she has also worked on security sector and governance reform, counterterrorism, and civilian-military cooperation. 

Natasha received a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University with a certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and a BA from the University of Virginia in Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies.  She is a Fulbright recipient for educational development research in Jordan (2006-2007) and a Boren Fellow for Iraq refugee and protection work in Syria (2010).  When she is not traveling, Natasha works on Art in Exile, which raises awareness on crises in the Middle East through artistic expression. She speaks Arabic.


Hadi was born in Afghanistan and studied Politics and International Relations in the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the UK. He did his Masters degree in Peace and Conflict Studies with the International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, in The Netherlands. Hadi has worked as a director of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization, researcher with Human Rights Watch, Human Rights Associate with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Regional Election Coordinator with the Afghanistan Joint Electoral Management Body (JEMB) and advisor with the Save Children Alliance in Afghanistan. 


Sahr Muhammedally manages CIVIC’s work on civilian protection and harm mitigation in the Middle East and Asia as well as US counterterrorism policies. In this position Sahr also advises militaries and governments on harm mitigation policies and trainings. Sahr has worked for over a decade in the fields of armed conflict, human rights, and counterterrorism in Afghanistan, China, Iraq, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Syria. Prior to joining CIVIC, Sahr was a consultant with Human Rights Watch working on South Asia and Southeast Asia and was the 2004-2005 Alan R. Finberg Fellow. From 2007-2009 Sahr was a Senior Associate at Human Rights First and undertook research and advocacy on US counterterrorism practices and policies.

Sahr practiced law in New York with Gibbons PC and has been a consultant with the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights in China, and the International Rescue Committee. Sahr is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Brooklyn Law School (cum laude).

Cynthia H. Sadler | Director of Development

Cynthia Sadler supports CIVIC's ability to expand its impact and operations by leading and coordinating efforts to attract the financial support that is critical to the organization's continued success.  Cindy brings more than three decades of experience in the political, public relations, nonprofit management, and fund development fields to her position. She has directed development, communications, and external relations functions at, and helped to drive significant growth for, international assistance organizations that include the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, Civic Education Project, and Accordia Global Heath Foundation and at public policy organizations including the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Economic Policy Institute and The American Prospect.  As a consultant, she has provided fundraising and public relations support and advice to national and international nonprofits and helped educational organizations to build their development and communications programs.  She speaks publicly and publishes on nonprofit fundraising, grant proposal development, and philanthropic sector issues.


Matt works at CIVIC on Africa and Peacekeeping. He brings eight years of experience in human rights and transitional justice, including fact-finding research in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau. Prior to joining CIVIC, Matt worked at Human Rights Watch as a West Africa Researcher and at International Rights Advocates on human rights litigation in US federal courts. He has also performed research on US counterterrorism investigations and prosecutions.

Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in history and psychology from Rice University and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he graduated magna cum laude and worked with the International Human Rights Clinic. He speaks French.