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Staff

George Friedman

Founder and Chairman

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and the founder and chairman of Geopolitical Futures.
Dr. Friedman is a New York Times bestselling author and his most popular book, The Next 100 Years, is kept alive by the prescience of its predictions. Other best-selling books include Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe, The Next Decade, America’s Secret War, The Future of War and The Intelligence Edge. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Dr. Friedman has briefed numerous military and government organizations in the United States and overseas and appears regularly as an expert on international affairs, foreign policy and intelligence in major media.
For almost 20 years before resigning in May 2015, Dr. Friedman was CEO and then chairman of Stratfor, a company he founded in 1996. Friedman received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of the City University of New York and holds a doctorate in government from Cornell University.
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Meredith Friedman

Co-Founder and Vice President, Communications

Meredith Friedman is Co-Founder and Vice President, Communications at Geopolitical Futures. Ms. Friedman is responsible for publicity and media relations, partnerships and engagements at various international conferences and speaking events. 
Prior to Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Friedman spent almost twenty years at Stratfor as Chief International Officer and Director of Public Relations.  In these roles she built the company’s media relations, developed the international partners program and oversaw international source networks to support the analyst team.
Ms. Friedman has co-authored several books including The Future of War (St. Martin's Griffin, 1997), and The Intelligence Edge: How to Profit in the Information Age (Crown, 1997). She has a BA in History and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Antonia Colibasanu

Chief Operating Officer, Senior Analyst

Antonia Colibasanu is Geopolitical Futures’ Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for overseeing all departments and marketing operations for the company.
Dr. Colibasanu joined Geopolitical Futures as a senior analyst in 2016 and frequently speaks on international economics and security topics in Europe. Since 2012 she has served on the educational board of the International Academy of Advanced Studies in Greece, a summer program that brings together students from Eurasia and the Middle East.
Prior to Geopolitical Futures, Dr. Colibasanu spent more than 10 years with Stratfor in various positions, including as partner for Europe and vice president for international marketing. Dr. Colibasanu is also an associate professor at the Romanian National Intelligence Academy and Bucharest University. Prior to joining Stratfor in 2006, Dr. Colibasanu held a variety of roles with the World Trade Center Association in Bucharest.
Dr. Colibasanu holds a Doctorate in International Business and Economics from Bucharest’s Academy of Economic Studies, where her thesis focused on country risk analysis and investment decision-making processes within transnational companies. She also holds a Master’s degree in International Project Management. She is an alumna of the International Institute on Politics and Economics at Georgetown University.
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Allison Fedirka

Senior Analyst

Allison Fedirka is a senior analyst for Geopolitical Futures. In addition to writing analyses, she helps train new analysts, oversees the intellectual quality of analyst work and helps guide the forecasting process.
Prior to joining Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Fedirka worked for Stratfor as a Latin America specialist and subsequently as the Latin America regional director. She lived in South America – primarily Argentina and Brazil – for more than seven years and, in addition to English, fluently speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Ms. Fedirka has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and international studies from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in international relations and affairs from the University of Belgrano, Argentina. Her thesis was on Brazil and Angola and south-south cooperation.
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Cole Altom

Managing Editor

Cole Altom is the managing editor at Geopolitical Futures. He oversees the publishing department, which curates the website, develops Geopolitical Futures’ editorial strategy, consults with analysts, liaises with marketing and maintains the integrity of all published material.
Before joining Geopolitical Futures, Mr. Altom worked at Stratfor for seven years, during which time, as managing editor, he handled special projects, served as personnel director for the publishing department, ran the internship program, managed website taxonomy, tracked website analytics, developed new content types and edited and copyedited published material.
Mr. Altom earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies and political science at Trinity University in San Antonio. He is a certified English teacher and is conversant in Spanish.
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Jacek Bartosiak

Senior Analyst

Jacek Bartosiak is an expert in geopolitics and geostrategy and a senior analyst with Geopolitical Futures. He is founder and owner of Strategy & Future.
Dr. Bartosiak is the author of three books: Pacific and Eurasia: About the war (2016), dealing with the upcoming rivalry of great powers in Eurasia and about the potential war in the western Pacific; The Commonwealth between land and sea: On war and peace (2018), on the geostrategic situation of Poland and Europe in the era of rivalry between powers in Eurasia; and The Past is a Prologue on geopolitical changes in the modern world. In addition he is Director of the War Games and Simulation Program of the Pulaski Foundation; Senior Fellow at The Potomac Foundation in Washington, co-founder of "Play of Battle", which prepares military simulations; associate of the New Confederation and the New Generation Warfare Center in Washington; member of the advisory team of the Government Plenipotentiary for Central Communication Port (2017-2018), president of the board of the company Centralny Port Komunikacyjny Sp. z o. o. (2018–2019).
Dr. Bartosiak speaks at conferences on the strategic situation in Central and Eastern Europe, The Western Pacific and Asia. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw, and is a managing partner at a law firm dealing with business services since 2004.

Jill Bellenger

Director of Social Marketing and Communications

Jill Bellenger is Geopolitical Futures’ director of social media marketing and communications. She began working with the company in 2015 prior to its launch. Ms. Bellenger manages the company’s social marketing presence, provides compelling and up-to-date content and develops creative branding and communications solutions.
Ms. Bellenger’s previous experience includes communications and consulting positions in the environmental and design fields. She lives in Rochester, New York, and holds an MBA from Green Mountain College. She completed undergraduate and certificate programs at State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry and at Harvard University.

Ryan Bridges

Editor

Ryan Bridges is an editor with Geopolitical Futures, having spent years both editing and writing geopolitical articles. He joined Geopolitical Futures in 2017 and spent over a year as a geopolitical analyst writing on Europe and focusing on issues relating to the European Union. His expertise as an editor was in high demand so he recently made the change back to editing rather than analyzing. Prior to Geopolitical Futures Mr. Bridges worked for seven years as an editor at Stratfor. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, where he studied political science with a minor in philosophy.
Mr. Bridges lives and works from Germany and also travels extensively in the region.He speaks some German.
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Chris Brown

Web Developer

Chris Brown is a web developer at Geopolitical Futures. He has helped create and implement data solutions, working with our marketing and analyst teams. Mr. Brown studied audio engineering at Columbia College Chicago and web development at General Assembly. He has previous experience in team management and as an entrepreneur.

Stacy Haren

Graphic Designer

Stacy is a graphic designer at Geopolitical Futures. With a background primarily in architecture she has been lending visual representations to abstract ideas throughout her entire career. At Geopolitical Futures, her focus is to create graphic accompaniments for the analysts’ reports.
Ms. Haren earned her Bachelor of Architecture at Louisiana State University in 2012 with a focus in community design and architectural history and retains her architecture license in the state of Louisiana. Prior to joining the Geopolitical Futures team she worked on a wide range of project types at firms in Alabama and Louisiana, ranging from downtown restaurant renovations to new construction for healthcare facilities.

Valentina Jovanovski

Editor

Valentina Jovanovski is an editor at Geopolitical Futures. She works with analysts to hone their writing and handles daily digital publishing and communication of analytical content to subscribers.
Ms. Jovanovski was previously an analyst at a research firm focusing on corporate social responsibility before moving to London, England, to earn a diploma in journalism. She worked in Budapest for two years as a freelance journalist, writing for several international publications. She was also an associate editor for an English-language Hungarian news portal.
She has an honors bachelor’s degree in political science and geography from the University of Toronto and a master’s degree in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa.

Hilal Khashan

Senior Analyst

Hilal Khashan is a Professor of political science at the American University of Beirut. He is a respected author and analyst of Middle Eastern affairs. He is the author of six books, including Hizbullah: A Mission to Nowhere. (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2019.) He is currently writing a book titled Saudi Arabia: The Dilemma of Political Reform and the Illusion of Economic Development. He is also the author of more than 110 articles that appeared in journals such as Orbis, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Brown Journal of World Affairs, Middle East Quarterly, Third World Quarterly, Israel Affairs, Journal of Religion and Society, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, and The British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. Dr Khashan has a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida and an MS and PhD in Political Science from Florida State University.

Angela Lindsey

Director of Subscriber Services

Angela Lindsey is the director of subscriber services at Geopolitical Futures. Ms. Lindsey combines her personal interests in geopolitics and history with her professional experience to build a U.S.-based subscriber support department on a mission to provide the very best customer service experience in the industry.
Before joining Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Lindsey spent several years working in business development with a special focus on customer service across large construction companies, home builders and ultimately the Homeland Security sales division for a large U.S. company. Ms. Lindsey studied business and marketing at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Dan Mazare

Chief Technology Officer

Dan Mazare is the Chief Technology Officer at Geopolitical Futures. In this role he oversees the IT team’s efforts to deliver and use the appropriate technical means for supporting the company’s daily activities, in publishing, analysis and business decision making. Previously Mr. Mazare has worked with private companies, public institutions, and not‐for‐profit organizations.
His main areas of interest are knowledge management, data analysis, and social network analysis. He believes in evidence-based reasoning, modeling and simulation, facts and data, while having the technical background of a full-stack software engineer. He has an interdisciplinary background in computer science and political science.

Phillip Orchard

Analyst

Phillip Orchard is an analyst at Geopolitical Futures. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Orchard spent nearly six years at Stratfor, working as an editor and writing about East Asian geopolitics. He’s spent more than six years abroad, primarily in Southeast Asia and Latin America, where he’s had formative, immersive experiences with the problems arising from mass political upheaval, civil conflict and human migration.
Mr. Orchard holds a master’s degree in Security, Law and Diplomacy from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, where he focused on energy and national security, Chinese foreign policy, intelligence analysis, and institutional pathologies. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He speaks Spanish and some Thai and Lao.
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Emma Pennisi

Editor

As an editor at Geopolitical Futures, Emma Pennisi works with analysts to hone their writing and handles daily digital publishing and communication of analytical content to subscribers. She joined Geopolitical Futures in October 2018.
Emma’s background is in international relief and development; working with leading development firms, she managed U.S. government-funded projects focused on governance, stabilization and conflict management in Africa and the Middle East, and provided monitoring, evaluation and learning technical assistance.
Emma holds a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa, refugees and humanitarian emergencies from Georgetown University, and a bachelor's in international relations from Boston University.

Caroline Rose

Junior Analyst

Caroline Rose is finishing up her Master's of Science Degree (MSc) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), with a degree in History of International Relations. Just before joining GPF she served as a Research Associate for LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU), where she researched the nexus between illicit economies and armed insurgencies. She earned her undergraduate degree from American University's School of International Service and has worked previously at both Brookings Institute and the Atlantic Council. Her studies and projects at these institutions covered a range of topics, from Russian and Chinese cyber warfare, evolving American interest within a changing international order, and grand security strategies against state-led revisionism in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Throughout she's written for a diverse array of publications including Limes in Italy.

Mandy Walsh

Senior Graphic Designer

Mandy Walsh is Geopolitical Futures’ senior graphic designer. In this role she oversees the graphics department for our online publication and works closely with the IT team in web development. She is an analyst, artist and web developer who enjoys taking information and creating visually intuitive solutions. She joined Geopolitical Futures in November 2017.
Ms. Walsh’s background includes work in public transportation, digital mapping, construction and travel. Previously she worked for MSF Global Solutions in New Orleans on user interface design and development, migration of transportation websites, web maintenance and support. As a field photographer Ms. Walsh has worked for EveryScape, Inc, and during an internship with the City of New Orleans she conducted assessments using ArcGIS Online. She has also worked as a web designer and developer for Trim-Tex, Inc. and Bookit.com.
Her interests include data visualization and GIS, and Ms. Walsh believes in leveraging the power of data and location to build stronger businesses and communities. Ms. Walsh has an associate’s degree in graphic design from Milwaukee Area Technical College and a bachelor's degree in international studies from the University of New Orleans.

Ekaterina Zolotova

Analyst

Ekaterina Zolotova is an analyst for Geopolitical Futures. Prior to Geopolitical Futures, Ms. Zolotova participated in several research projects devoted to problems and prospects of Russia’s integration into the world economy. Ms. Zolotova has a specialist degree in international economic relations from Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. In addition, Ms. Zolotova studied international trade and international integration processes. Her thesis was on features of economic development of Venezuela. She speaks native Russian and is fluent in English.
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