George FriedmanFounder 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. His most recent book, THE STORM BEFORE THE CALM: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond, published February 25, describes how “the United States periodically reaches a point of crisis in which it appears to be at war with itself, yet after an extended period it reinvents itself, in a form both faithful to its founding and radically different from what it had been.” The decade 2020-2030 is such a period which will bring dramatic upheaval and reshaping of American government, foreign policy, economics, and culture.
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. See articles by George Friedman
Meredith FriedmanCo-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 ColibasanuChief 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. She is also lecturer on international relations at the Romanian National University of Political Studies and Public Administration and associate professor for the Romanian National Defense University Carol I Regional Department of Defense Resources Management Studies.
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. 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.
See articles by Antonia Colibasanu
Allison FedirkaDirector of Analysis
Allison Fedirka is the director of analysis 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.
See articles by Allison Fedirka
Cole AltomManaging 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.
See articles by Cole Altom
Ridvan Bari UrcostaAnalyst
Mr. Urcosta joins Geopolitical Futures as an analyst with wide experience in the Black Sea region, Russia and the Middle East, Ukraine and Crimea as a geopolitical region and Eastern Europe. He is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Strategic Studies, University of Warsaw and he also teaches an independent ERASMUS course: “Russia and the Middle East: Geopolitics and Diplomacy.”
He was born in Abkhazia, Georgia where he lived until the onset of the Civil War. In the early 1990’s he moved to Crimea where he lived until its annexation by Russia. At the moment of annexation he worked in the Sevastopol State Administration. Right after annexation he worked as a Human Rights Officer in Odessa, Ukraine in the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission.
Mr. Urcosta graduated from the Estonian Diplomatic Academy in 2015 and completed The Indigenous Fellowship Programme (IFP) in 2017, a comprehensive human rights training program, that was established by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva. In 2018 he gave a speech at the UN Human Rights Council about the human rights situation in annexed by Russian Federation Crimea. Previously Mr. Urcosta has provided insights to different analytical centers including the European Council on Foreign Relations, Jamestown Foundation, War Room (U.S. War College) The Proceedings (U.S. Naval Institute), Jerusalem Post and others. He previously worked as an assistant to the Head of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people, a single supreme plenipotentiary representative and executive body of the Crimean Tatar people. He speaks Polish, Russian, English, Ukrainian, Crimean Tatar and Turkish. See articles by Ridvan Bari Urcosta
Jacek BartosiakSenior 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.
See articles by Jacek Bartosiak
Jill BellengerDirector of Social Marketing and Communications
Jill Bellenger is Geopolitical Futures’ director of social media marketing and communications. 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 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.
See articles by Ryan Bridges
Chris BrownWeb 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 HarenGraphic 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 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 KhashanSenior 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.
See articles by Hilal Khashan
Angela LindseyDirector 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.
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.
See articles by Phillip Orchard
Mandy WalshSenior 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 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.
See articles by Ekaterina Zolotova