Home 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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Jacob Shapiro

Director of Analysis

Jacob L. Shapiro is a geopolitical analyst who explains and predicts global trends. He is the director of analysis for Geopolitical Futures, a position he has held since the company’s founding in 2015. He oversees a team of analysts, the company’s forecasting process and the day-to-day analysis of important geopolitical developments.
Mr. Shapiro is a regular speaker at international conferences and has appeared both in print and on television as an expert on international affairs in such places as MSNBC, CNBC, the New York Times and Fox News.
Prior to Geopolitical Futures, Mr. Shapiro worked at Stratfor as an analyst and as the director of the operations center. He joined Geopolitical Futures to help found a new company dedicated to publishing excellent analysis and accurate forecasts based on the geopolitical method Dr. Friedman pioneered.
Mr. Shapiro holds a master’s degree from Oxford University, where he won an award for his dissertation on the link between philosophy and mysticism in 20th century Jewish thought. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Near Eastern studies.
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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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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


Ryan Bridges is a geopolitical analyst whose area of expertise is Europe and issues surrounding the European Union. He tracks and forecasts the impact of the EU and the interaction of nations within Europe on global trends. He joined Geopolitical Futures in 2017.
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


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.

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


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


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.

Xander Snyder


Xander Snyder is an analyst at Geopolitical Futures. He has a diverse theoretical and practical background in economics, finance and entrepreneurship. As an investment banker, Mr. Snyder worked in corporate debt origination and later in a consumer-retail industry group at Guggenheim Securities, participating in transactions ranging from mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital raises, spin-offs and split-offs to principal investing and fairness opinions. He has worked on more than $4 billion worth of transactions.
He subsequently co-founded and served as CFO for Persistent Efficiency, an energy efficiency company that used cutting-edge technology to create a new type of electricity sensor for circuit breakers and related data services. In his role, he was responsible for raising more than $1.5 million in seed capital and presented to some 70 venture capital and angel investors in the process. He also signed four Fortune 500 companies as customers, managed all aspects of company accounting, budgeting and cash flow, investor relations, and supply chain and inventory management. In addition to setting corporate strategy, he helped grow the company from two people to a 12-person team.
As an independent financial consultant, Mr. Snyder wrote an economics publication for a financial firm that went out to more than 10,000 individuals and assisted in deal sourcing for a real estate private equity fund. He is an active real estate investor and an occasional angel investor.
Mr. Snyder received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in economics and classical music composition from Cornell University.
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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


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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