2016 Take Point Bios
2016TPU Fellows  0008 Nicole Baldwin - Headshot                                    Nicole Baldwin
Founder, IThrive Network
Katy, TX

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.

As seen on ABC, MSNBC, Black Enterprise Magazine, Essence Magazine, Huffington Post, INC Radio and even pitched on Shark Tank, Baldwin is on a journey creating socially responsible organizations that serve social causes while empowering and saving lives. A recent graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Global Innovations and Business Entrepreneurship, she was voted a 2015 Texas Executive Women’s Rising Star, selected as one of 10 inaugural Tory Burch Foundation Fellows in 2016, and selected as a plenary speaker for the 2016 White House United State of Women Summit.

When she is not scouting business opportunities for her business, Baldwin is building her new non-profit, IThrive Network, a non-profit dedicated to empowering Veteran women with PTSD and bringing global support and awareness to women traumatized by war. IThrive uses the resources, tools and mentorship these women need to go from surviving to thriving in life. A proud graduate of Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) Washington DC 2015, Baldwin is a Vetrepreneur on the rise with a plethora of accomplishments to be proud of.

Brennan Andrew                                    Andrew Brennan
Founder and Executive Director, GWOT Memorial Foundation
MBA Candidate, University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA

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.

Outside of business school commitments, Andrew is active with the Mission Continues’ Service Platoon in Pittsburgh. In 2015 he was selected as a Mission Continues Fellow where he worked at a local Veteran nonprofit assisting Veteran job seekers gain meaningful employment. Andrew also serves as an advisor to the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System’s Innovation Board, whose focus is improving how the VA delivers healthcare to Pittsburgh’s Veterans.

Related to Veterans issues and the GWOT Memorial Foundation, Andrew has been published in Armed Forces and Society, The NY Post and Military Times. He has been interviewed on, or contributed to, pieces for Fox News, The Associated Press, Stars and Stripes, We Are The Mighty, Task and Purpose, and various local news outlets.

2016TPU Fellows  0001 Brennan.Thomas                                   

Thomas Brennan
Founder and Publisher, The War Horse
Richlands, NC

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.

Prior to studying at Columbia University, he was a sergeant in the Marine Corps and served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the First Battalion, Eighth Marines. He was awarded a Purple Heart and is the recipient of a 2013 Dart Center honorable mention and the 2014 American Legion Fourth Estate Award for his military reporting with The New York Times and The Daily News in Jacksonville, NC. Thomas is also co-writing a book, Shooting Ghosts, which will be published through Penguin Random House in 2017. He is also a 2017 Ochberg Fellow with The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism

2016TPU Fellows  0003 Caminiti Doreen 1254                                    Doreen Caminiti
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Trova Group
Reston, VA

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.

Ms. Caminiti is a United States Army veteran who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was forward deployed in support of Special Operations Command – Europe during the height of the Syrian Civil War and humanitarian aid crisis in Turkey. She has been in direct support to Special Operations Commands – Africa and Central, with specific focus in North Africa and the Middle East.
She holds a Master’s of Science in Cyber Security Technology, and is completing her Masters of Business Administration. Ms. Caminiti is engaged in multiple community endeavors such as Relay for Life, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Special Olympics, and the Wounded Warrior Project. Ms. Caminiti is extremely passionate about fostering relationships and building teams that influence national strategic goals.

2016TPU Fellows  0002 Brian Donnelly                                    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.

Brian is currently beginning work on his PhD dissertation through the Geneva Graduate School of Governance in Geneva, Switzerland. His work involves illuminating the grand strategy behind Western security and development operations in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa by examining beyond the existing counterterrorism and development narratives.

Brian is a seasoned world traveler, BASE jumper, and martial artist who recently completed Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh, India. He constantly applies the lessons, skills, and experiences gained through his hobbies to his research by seeking new out fresh perspectives and making new connections between different disciplines and fields of study.

2016TPU Fellows  0004 Eisler.David                                    David Eisler
Research Associate, Institute for Defense Analyses
Alexandria, VA

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.

Much of David’s work has focused on breaking down stereotypes and creating empathy in civil-military relations. He has published essays, book reviews, academic articles, and fiction in a variety of literary and media outlets.

David received a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from Cornell University in 2007 and a master’s in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in 2014. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his wife and son.


2016TPU Fellows  0005 Goepel.Eric                                    Eric Goepel
Legislative Fellow, US Senate
Arlington, VA

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.

2016TPU Fellows  0006 Guffey.Alisha                                    Alisha Guffey
VIP Fellow/Program Analyst, US State Department
Washington, DC

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.

2016TPU Fellows  0007 Misch.Daniel                                    Dan Misch
Federal Project Director, US Department of Energy
Chicago, IL

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.

2016TPU Fellows  0000 Smith.Tom                                    Thomas Smith
Program Manager, Team Rubicon
Thessaloniki, Greece

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.

Tom is a graduate of the AF Academy, US Army Airborne, USASOC Military Free-Fall, and USAF Combat Dive.