2016 Take Point Bios
|Nicole Baldwin |
Founder, IThrive Network
Biography: Ms. Nicole Baldwin is an innovator, philanthropist, serial-entrepreneur and United States Army Veteran (OIF/OEF). She is a master of overcoming obstacles and turning setbacks into major comebacks. She created and launched her skincare line, Biao Skincare, from behind a computer desk while serving in Afghanistan, in the barracks bathroom from a recipe inspired by her grandmother.
|Andrew Brennan |
Founder and Executive Director, GWOT Memorial Foundation
MBA Candidate, University of Pittsburgh
Biography: Andrew J. Brennan is the founder and executive director of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation. He is a graduate of West Point and a former Army Aviation Officer. Deployed to Afghanistan in 2010, he led a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter platoon, in addition to staff work for his aviation battalion after pinning Captain. After leaving active service, he worked in private sector logistics before entering the MBA program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he will graduate in April 2017.
Biography: Thomas J. Brennan is a father, husband, and the founder of The War Horse - the only nonprofit newsroom dedicated to investigating the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. While studying as a 2015 fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism, he focused on magazine writing and will use these skills in The War Horse’s multimedia reporting. His passion in writing about war, trauma, and loss guides The War Horse to share stories about the lives of each of the men and women killed overseas since 9/11.
|Doreen Caminiti |
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Trova Group
Biography: Doreen Caminiti is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Trova Group, a consulting firm specializing in Open Source Intelligence services, Social Media services, security and operations, and mission-driven global support solutions. Supporting the Intelligence and Special Operations Forces communities, Ms. Caminiti has an exceptional record of directing change and leading organizational transformation through partnership building.
|Brian Donnelly |
PhD Student, Geneva Graduate School of Governance
Southern Pines, NC
Biography: Brian Donnelly earned his BS from West Point in 2009 with a major in Foreign Languages before commissioning into the Infantry. He was assigned to a unit in Germany and served as a platoon leader and liaison officer in eastern Afghanistan from 2011-2012 while completing his MPA through Bowie State University with an emphasis on public policy and a detailed analysis of the Global War on Terror. Brian then transitioned into the Army Civil Affairs and served at Fort Bragg, NC as a Team Leader with an operational rotation to Niger working out of the capital, Niamey.
|David Eisler |
Research Associate, Institute for Defense Analyses
Biography: David Eisler is a Research Associate at the Institute for Defense Analyses where he provides analytical support to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Words After War, a non-profit literary organization that brings veterans and civilians together to examine war and conflict through the lens of literature. Prior to joining IDA, David served five years on active duty in the United States Army, earning the rank of captain and completing overseas tours in Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
|Eric Goepel |
Legislative Fellow, US Senate
Biography: Eric Goepel is currently a HillVets legislative fellow in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) where he works on veterans affairs, the defense industry, and cybersecurity. Eric is a former Army sergeant having served seven years on active duty (2004-2011), six with the 1st Special Forces Group at Joint Base Lewis-McCord, where he provided communications and intelligence support over multiple deployments to Iraq and the Philippines. After leaving the military Eric worked as a satellite engineer for a year on a contract in Afghanistan before returning to school. Prior to his legislative fellowship, Eric interned at the district office of Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and the Center for American Progress working with Dr. Lawrence Korb. While at CAP, Eric co-authored two op-eds on the draft and the European Reassurance Initiative, published in Defense One and U.S. News and World Report, and a long-form analysis of the defense budget published in The National Interest. Eric is originally from southern California and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in political science in 2016.
|Alisha Guffey |
VIP Fellow/Program Analyst, US State Department
Biography: Alisha Guffey is a 13-year Veteran of the US Army and currently a fellow with the US State Department in the Secretary's Office of Global Partnerships. In May 2016, she completed her Master of International Business Degree at The Fletcher School at Tufts University in Massachusetts. During her tenure at Fletcher, Alisha pursued her passion for creativity through a mentorship with the Writers Guild of America and ultimately started her own production company called Combat Camera Productions, which aims to help share the real stories and personal narratives of post-conflict. Alisha is also the creator of the Ask and Tell Project aimed at telling the hidden stories of LGBTQ Veterans and Service Members in the light of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.
|Dan Misch |
Federal Project Director, US Department of Energy
Biography: Dan Misch is a Federal Project Director for the US Department of Energy at Argonne National Laboratory outside Chicago, IL. Argonne scientists and engineers, in partnership with DOE, work together to create new knowledge and seek solutions to the grand challenges of our time including sustainable energy, a healthy environment, and a secure nation. As an FPD, Dan performs strategic planning and project management for advanced scientific user-facilities, legacy nuclear material management, and general site infrastructure. Prior to joining DOE, Dan served five years in the US Navy as a Lieutenant on board the ballistic missile submarine USS PENNSYVLANIA (SSBN 735) with the responsibility for planning and executing daily operations during a nuclear reactor refueling overhaul. His time in the Navy also included three nuclear deterrent patrols as a tactical watch officer in charge of the ship’s navigation, engineering and strategic mission while at sea. Dan received a BS in Physics from the US Naval Academy in 2007.
|Thomas Smith |
Program Manager, Team Rubicon
Biography: Tom is a former Air Force officer that led Combat Search and Rescue teams outside of Baghdad, Iraq in 2011 and Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2012. These combat experiences convinced him of the importance of understanding the “human terrain”. After the Air Force, he pursued his graduate studies in North Africa, where he conducted field research on the cycle of instability in Mali, Mauritania and Morocco, and honed his language skills in Arabic and French. These overseas experiences highlighted the need to better understand corruption and how it’s long-term implications must be further analyzed, especially in the context of US foreign assistance. He then interned in Washington DC, with Global Witness, an NGO that advocates for breaking the links between conflict, corruption, and natural resource exploitation. Because of this, he interacted closely with Congressional staff, anti-corruption academic experts, and law enforcement agents. Tom also volunteers as a disaster response team leader and he is currently leading a 12-person medical team that provides care for Iraqi and Syrian refugees.