Senior Advisor, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform
GETTING TO KNOW DEAN
Beyond your job title, please explain your role at Creative.
I support the organization to determine modalities for engagement in settings where armed groups and actors are impacting crisis and post-crises conflict settings, including active and latent insurgency settings. I integrate disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) and security sector reform (SSR) across the organization as a member of the Communities in Transition division. As an expert in the field, I direct cutting-edge research and knowledge management, producing and disseminating publications for thought leadership and policy development. In addition, I design and implement training, enhancing organization capabilities in these areas. I spearhead partnership development on armed groups and actors’ issues that include major bilaterals, US government entities, the UN and major think tanks and policy institutes to advance Creative’s goals in these areas. Translating research, advocacy and policy into implementation, I provide technical support to field missions. This includes supportive advice on the legal dispositions, constraints and opportunities to engage in DDR in current conflict settings.
What drew you to the company?
My first professional encounters with Creative occurred as a consultant in 2015. I supported efforts in Nigeria where the organization commissioned me to examine the prohibitions, prospects and opportunities in DDR – specifically what could be done to support persons ‘off-ramping’ from violent extremist organizations in settings often beset with active insurgent conflict with groups and/or persons associated with ‘terrorism’. I quickly found that my colleagues at Creative shared my passion for intellectual rigor and propensity to tackle increasingly complex problem sets. Organizationally, Creative was willing to ‘roll up its sleeves’ and keep digging into these issue areas. As my work with the company expanded to include additional research on far-ranging issues from humanitarian waivers and DDR to regional approaches for DDR and countering violent extremism and beyond, I learned of Creative’s rich history in this space. The decision and invite to come on board are premised on the notion that the ‘DDR’ problem-set and solutions are re-emerging, with Creative optimally positioned to lead in this space.
Program and policy expert in conflict prevention, peacebuilding, recovering livelihoods, and reintegration, specializing in DDR, including economic, political, psychosocial, social reintegration, child protection, youth and gender.
MA, International Administration, Denver University. Korbel School of International Studies
20+ years of experience with government, NGOs, the United Nations, universities and development implementers globally, including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leona and South Sudan