Our Staff

CHRISTOPHER ALLBRITTON | COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Christopher Allbritton is the communications manager at Center for Civilians in Conflict.  He joined CIVIC after more than 25 years in journalism, reporting from conflict zones such as Iraq, Lebanon, and Pakistan. His work has appeared around the world  in TIME, New York Magazine, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal, the Associated Press, the New York Daily News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Der Spiegel, among others. As bureau chief for Reuters in Pakistan, he oversaw the coverage of the death of Osama bin Laden and broke stories on the plight of civilians caught in the war between militants and the Pakistani military.

Chris also started the award-winning blog, Back-to-Iraq.com, in 2002, which helped start the now-common crowd-funding model for quality journalism. Chris specializes in writing, editing and photography and holds an MS in journalism from Columbia University in New York and a BA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. In 2008-9, he was awarded a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellowship.

MARLA BERTAGNOLLI-KEENAN | Director of programs

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 on 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.

Marla 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 of 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 DIETRICH | SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

Kyle Dietrich manages the Africa and Peacekeeping program at CIVIC. An experienced manager and technical adviser in complex humanitarian crises, international development, and Interagency coordination, Kyle and his team conduct research, advocacy, training, and technical assistance in Nigeria, Mali, South Sudan, and DRC aimed at helping peacekeepers, governments, militaries, armed groups, and civil society organizations adopt the policies, tools, and practices needed to better protect civilians in armed conflict. A graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Harvard Divinity School, Kyle has also worked with UN Peacekeeping, Mercy Corps, USAID, the Peace Corps, Navanti, the Carter Center, and Peace in Focus, a boutique peacebuilding organization he co-founded in 2007. An anthropologist by training, Kyle is proficient in French, Portuguese, Turkmen, and Spanish and specializes in creative program design, conflict analysis, countering violent extremism, civilian protection, foreign assistance, youth engagement, strategy development, facilitation, and high impact management.

LUCINA DI MECO | GENDER advisor

Lucina Di Meco is a gender expert with more than 10 years of experience in the design, management and implementation of international development programs addressing gender inequality worldwide. Lucina has a master's degree in International Relations (magna cum laude) from the University of Turin in Italy and a master's degree in Development Economics from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK. Most recently, Lucina was Senior Program Manager at Vital Voices, overseeing the implementation of a fellowship program serving 330 women leaders all over the world. Previously, Lucina worked for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mexico, the International Women’s Health Coalition and Women’s World Banking in New York, and as an independent consultant for international NGOs and foundations on gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment issues. Lucina is a native Italian speaker. She’s also fluent in English and Spanish and has good working knowledge of Portuguese, German and French. In her free time, Lucina writes on women’s rights and gender for several Italian publications, including the Huffington Post Italy and InGenere.

EMILY ERFANI | OPERATIONS MANAGER

Emily brings years of experience in non-profit management. 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.

HADI MARIFAT |  AFGHANISTAN PROGRAM OFFICER

Hadi was born in Afghanistan and studied Politics and International Relations at 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. 

LEE McCLURE |  Development Manager, Governments & Foundations

Lee joined CIVIC as the Development Manager in 2016 to grow our institutional support. He brings seven years experience in fundraising for international anti-slavery and other human rights programs and a deep commitment to serving the most vulnerable and marginalized people. He also has experience in program design and strategic planning. Out of the office, he's usually found riding or tinkering with his bicycles. 

JOSEPH MORSE | SENIOR ADVOCATE, US PROGRAM

As the Senior Advocate for the US Program, Jay brings more than twenty years of active duty military experience as both an Army aviator and, for the last fifteen years, an Army Judge Advocate.  His areas of expertise include the Law of Armed Conflict, IHL/IHRL, and investigations.  He has professional and personal experience in more than fifty countries. Jay is a native of Nevada and is a graduate of The Colorado College with a B.A. in political science.  He earned his J.D. from the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, and an LL.M. from the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School.

SAHR MUHAMMEDALLY | SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

Sahr 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 training. 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 to 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).

Andrew Musa | Community Engagement Coordinator, Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin Region

Andrew is CIVIC’s Community Engagement Coordinator for Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin region. From Adamawa State in northeastern Nigeria, Andrew is an experienced community mobilizer, trainer, and manager with over 12 years experience working with Save the Children, International Medical Corps, and Search for Common Ground. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Ahmadu Bello University and a graduate degree in Organizational Development from California State University. He speaks English, Hausa, Kilba, Fulfude, and Mupun, and is a subject matter expert in conflict mitigation, security, and civilian protection in Nigeria.

MIKHAELA PAYDEN-TRAVERS | DEVELOPMENT Manager, INDIVIDUAL & CORPORATE GIVING

Mika serves as CIVIC's Development Officer, ensuring that CIVIC supporters see the vital work being done on behalf of civilians that their support makes possible. Mika brings to CIVIC over a decade of experience working as a fundraising professional for grassroots nonprofits across the United States and Latin America. She has also worked in nonprofit administration, program design and evaluation, strategic planning, and community organizing--often all at the same time!

Mika holds a BA in English Literature from the College of William & Mary and a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego. She is also fluent in Spanish, loves rescuing street dogs, and is passionate about human rights.

SADEEQ GARBA SHEHU | REGIONAL PROGRAM MANAGER, Nigeria and LAKE CHAD Basin REGION

Sadeeq Shehu manages CIVIC’s Nigeria and Lake Chad Basin program. Sadeeq is a retired Group Captain (Colonel equivalent) with the Nigerian Air Force, and has more than 20 years of experience and field deployments to 50 African countries as a security expert with experience in African peace and conflict, protection of civilians, international humanitarian law, human rights law in military operations, international refugee law, countering violent extremism, humanitarian diplomacy, security sector reform, peacekeeping operations, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, weapons systems, and training of military and security forces.

Sadeeq is a UK British Chevening Scholar, a graduate of the University of Bradford African Peace and Conflict Studies, the French École de Guerre Paris, holds an IFRC Diploma in Humanitarian Diplomacy, and has worked with the African Union Commission, African Union/ECOWAS Africa-led International Support Mission in Mali (AFISMA), and as a Volunteer Facilitator on Law of Armed Conflict with the ICRC in Nigeria and other places. Sadeeq speaks English, French, Hausa, and understands German, Portuguese, Arabic, and Amharic.

MATT WELLS | Senior Advisor on Peacekeeping

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.