MAG America Board Members
Ambassador (Ret.) Daniel Clune
Board ChairDan Clune was U.S. Ambassador to Laos from 2013-2016, where he made clearing unexploded ordnance from the Vietnam conflict a priority and successfully supported an increase in U.S. funding for UXO clearance from $9 million to $30 million per year. A career Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Clune also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs and as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S embassies in Canberra, Australia, and Nassau, Bahamas. He was Director of the State Department’s Office of Monetary Affairs and served as head of the U.S. Delegation to the Paris Club. He spent a year at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as Director of Middle East and Mediterranean Affairs and served at U.S. embassies in Lima, Peru and Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ambassador Clune is a graduate of Boston College and Boalt Hall School of Law, the law school at the University of California at Berkeley. He practiced law for ten years in Chicago before joining the Foreign Service in 1985. Since his retirement, he has worked with Catholic Charities representing undocumented immigrants on a pro bono basis.
Governance ChairSheila Crowley is a mission-driven, international development executive with 25 years’ experience in public, private, and non-governmental sectors. Sheila has been fortunate in her career to have worked for two gold-standard organizations: Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity International. In her tenure with Peace Corps from 2010-2018, she held multiple leadership positions: Country Director in Romania and Indonesia, Chief of Operations and Associate Director, culminating in being named as Acting Director of the agency from January 2017 to April 2018, during an administration transition. Having worked for Habitat for Humanity International from 2004-2009, Sheila recently returned to Habitat as Vice President of Volunteer and Institutional Engagement where her focus is on developing strategies to engage the next generation of champions in the cause of poverty-shelter issues. In the middle of her career, Sheila took a detour and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine from 2001-2003, and worked prior at JP Morgan and McKinsey & Co as a Senior Business Researcher and Librarian from 1994-2001.
Sheila currently serves as Chief of Staff at Global Communities. Shelia also volunteers as an English teacher at the Washington English Center, and she and her black Labrador, Maya, currently serve as volunteers at People. Animals. Love., visiting veterans and children’s libraries. Sheila holds a bachelor’s degree in history and Russian studies from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in information science from Drexel University.
Board TreasurerNikki Bagwell has over seventeen years of accounting and auditing experience in positions of progressively increasing responsibility requiring technical expertise, problem solving acumen, focused leadership, decisive action, and client satisfaction. She has proven success in helping organizations achieve and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements, improve internal controls, and reduce financial and operational risk.
Nikki’s current role is the Controller at the Brookings Institution. Nikki provides leadership and direction to a team of eighteen accounting professionals and is responsible for all financial aspects of the general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, procurement, grant compliance, and financial systems.
Nikki received her bachelor’s degree from Towson University, and currently resides in Clarksburg, Maryland with her husband and two children. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Board SecretaryOlivia is the Vice President, Marketing and Communications at American Public Television (APT), responsible for APT's brand and content marketing and communications strategies for programming content distribution, multicast channel Create TV, and new initiatives. Prior to joining APT, Wong spent nearly two decades at public media flagship stations GBH and WETA Washington, D.C. working on strategic brand and communications efforts for local television and radio, and numerous PBS national series including Masterpiece, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., NOVA, and American Experience. She also launched social media initiatives for the Masterpiece brand and hallmark programs including Downton Abbey and Sherlock. A graduate of Brown University, she is the co-recipient of a 2012 PR News Digital PR Award for Downton Abbey's Digital PR Campaign, and has participated as a speaker at PromaxBDA and SXSW Interactive.
Development ChairSteven Lawry is Senior Associate at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). He has worked for the Ford Foundation in Namibia, Egypt and at the Foundation’s NY headquarters. He was president of Antioch College and a senior research fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, as well as associate director for Africa programs at the University of Wisconsin’s Land Tenure Center. He holds a PhD from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Board memberVeronica Pollock is a Senior Public Policy Advisor with The Daschle Group, a Public Policy Advisory of Baker Donelson. She advises a wide range of clients on public policy matters and political developments that impact businesses. Veronica specializes in monitoring and analyzing international policy developments and how they affect politics and commerce within the United States.
Prior to joining TDG, Veronica worked at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) managing a variety of projects across the globe. She contributed to international election-observation missions, program development and management, and coordinated with international leaders on special projects. Veronica was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine from 2001 to 2003, which is where she first developed her commitment to international affairs.
Veronica lives in Washington, DC with her husband David, their children, and a senior rescue dog. She is from Central New York and graduated with a bachelor's degree in History from Ohio Wesleyan University.
Board memberAnne Simmons-Benton is a champion and leader of international development with more than 30 years of experience in government, private sector, and academic roles. Anne has managed and led complex and critical USG priorities including the World Trade Organization’s Integrated Framework, the Regional Investment Initiative under Gore-Chernomyrdin in Russia, the Stability Pact in the Balkans, the Presidential Initiative on Trade Capacity Building and the Central American Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
She has worked in over 32 countries throughout her career. As an international development expert and lawyer, she brings expertise in trade, commercial law, competitiveness, economic growth, rule of law and gender. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Society for International Development, Washington Chapter. Anne has been a licensed attorney since 1984. She holds a J.D. from the Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C., a Change Management Advanced Practitioner Certificate from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She is married to Jonathan Benton, a Foreign Service Officer, and they have three adult children and three grandchildren.
Board memberErin Lin is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Global Food Politics at Ohio State University. Erin researches post-conflict reconstruction, political geography, food security, aerial bombings, and explosive remnants of war, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia. She examines how unexploded ordnance leftover from conflict impacts the politics, economics, environment, and agriculture of post-conflict communities, and has conducted extensive field work in Cambodia. Erin’s research covers topics such as heavy metal contamination in soil systems caused by unexploded ordnance, and image processing that detects bomb craters from high-resolution satellite imagery, and uses techniques from computer science, machine learning, soil science, economics, and anthropology.
Erin’s research has been published in outlets such as The Economist and Gizmodo. She has also served as a consultant with the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation Initiative.
Erin received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Yale University and a PhD in Politics from Princeton University.
Board memberDarren Cormack is the CEO of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a global humanitarian, development and campaigning charity headquartered in the United Kingdom. As CEO, Darren is responsible for the overall leadership and direction of MAG – the organization whose work MAG America supports and promotes within the United States. Prior to taking over as CEO, Darren was MAG’s Director of Strategy and Government Relations with responsibility for the design, articulation, and delivery of MAG’s organizational funding strategy. Darren holds a first class Master’s degree in International Management from the University of Lancaster Management School and is an experienced Non-Executive Director. Before he joined MAG in 2008, Darren worked in the private and non-profit sectors in the UK and internationally, managing a range of environment, conservation, humanitarian, and development projects, living and working in Cambodia, South Sudan, Sudan, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
MAG America advisors
MAG America AmbassadorRebecca Rusch has been a professional athlete for 25 years and counting, earning accolades for her work around the world. The “Queen of Pain” with a heart of gold has done it all, from riding her bike up Africa’s legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro to developing training clinics to introduce more women to endurance biking to writing a best-selling memoir, Rusch to Glory. The seven-time World Champion is recognized as a trailblazer in adventure racing, becoming the first female ascent rock climbing captain in Yosemite, river-boarding 300 miles of the entire Grand Canyon in 18 days, and giving men a run for their money in endurance mountain bike racing in events like the Leadville 100 and Dirty Kanza DXL. Rebecca is CEO of Rusch Ventures, which oversees Rusch’s signature “Rebecca’s Private Idaho” gravel bike event, Rusch Academy’s outdoor camps, and her epic travel adventure MTB-Lao. In addition, Rebecca recently launched the BeGood Foundation, a nonprofit organization which supports unexploded bomb clearance in Laos and preservation of public lands through personal growth and outdoor exploration. To date she has raised over $500,000 for various local, national and global charities, including the Mines Advisory Group, where she has been named MAG Ambassador for her work to bring attention to the UXO crisis in Laos. In 2017, with Red Bull Media House, Rebecca released the award-winning film Blood Road, which followed her personal journey cycling the 1,800 kilometer Ho Chi Minh Trail. The film has received the 2018 Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction. Rebecca spends her spare time serving her community as a volunteer firefighter with the Ketchum Fire Department.
MAG America CounselSteve Solow has worked for MAG America for over 15 years as the organization's outside pro bono counsel. Steve is currently a partner at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm Baker Botts LLP, where he is a litigator and specializes in internal investigations, crisis response, regulatory, and safety compliance matters in the U.S. and abroad.
Previously he served at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) as Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section and, before that, as a prosecutor with the New York State Organized Crime Task Force. While at the DOJ, Steve directed an international investigation to combat the smuggling of ozone depleting chemicals and coordinated the work of U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies. Steve has also been a law professor at both the University of Maryland School of Law and Pace University School of Law.
As MAG America's outside counsel, Steve provides pro bono legal support for the organization and has visited MAG operations in Vietnam and Lebanon. Steve is a graduate of Brown University and New York University School of Law.
MAG America staff
Executive DirectorJamie Franklin has over 18 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors, including more than 15 years of experience working with MAG. Jamie joined MAG America in 2011 as MAG’s Representative in the Americas before becoming Executive Director in 2014. Prior to joining MAG America, Jamie spent two years as MAG’s Country Program Manager in Cambodia and also has worked for MAG in Laos, South Sudan and the U.K.. He holds a master's degree in Economics in Development Administration and Management from the University of Manchester, and a bachelor's degree in Engineering from Loughborough University. Jamie is a keen oenophile, but is more likely found at his local Target or Home Depot stores these days. He lives in northern Virginia with his wife Charlotte and daughter Leena.
Connect with Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Development Operations ManagerLisa joined MAG America in 2014 as an intern, then as Executive and Development Assistant from 2015 to 2018, before assuming the role of Development Operations Coordinator in 2019, and became the Development Operations Manager in 2022. Prior to working at MAG America, she worked as an Administrative Assistant at Lockheed Martin from 2008 to 2013. Lisa has also worked with various news outlets as a correspondent. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. Lisa enjoys old, sweet literature, painfully depressing music, and watching Bob Ross videos with her husband.
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Grants ManagerAlex has spent her career working closely to the Political-Military Affairs Bureau in various capacities in academic, private, and nonprofit settings. Before joining MAG America, she did Monitoring & Evaluation for the Department of State conducting impact evaluations of foreign assistance programs. While in this role, Alex gathered experience managing federal business development activities and brings this expertise with her to MAG America. Alex also has experience working with other Conventional Weapons Disposal (CWD) and mine action organizations where she developed a passion for the sector’s impactful and tangible work. She has a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from James Madison University. In her free time, Alex enjoys attending concerts, playing tennis, baking, walking her dog, and volunteering with the local animal shelter.
Connect with Alex: firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Affairs Deputy DirectorDave Bloom is MAG America’s Government Affairs Deputy Director, working to increase awareness of MAG’s work in the policymaking community. Prior to joining MAG America, Dave implemented US foreign assistance programs for USAID and the State Department as Program Manager (International Programs) with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Dave also worked with the American Foreign Service Association as Strategic Messaging and Advocacy Manager, and also served as Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the Moroccan American Center for Policy. Dave has a master’s degree in International Affairs, Conflict Resolution, and Civil Society Development from a dual-degree program at the American University of Paris and l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Miami University.
Connect with Dave at Dave.Bloom@maginternational.org
Grants OfficerAlston is MAG America’s Grant Officer, working closely with the State Department’s Political-Military Affairs Bureau to secure important funding for MAG operations worldwide. Prior to joining MAG America in 2021, Alston completed a Master’s degree in War Studies from King’s College London where she focused on Asia-Pacific security affairs, international humanitarian law, and post-conflict recovery. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from American University. Professionally, she has worked in South Korea as an English teacher and held various internships in Washington, DC and abroad relating to linguistics, intelligence, and regional affairs. She loves traveling and learning new languages. In her free time, Alston enjoys running, reading, going to the beach, and eating all the sushi she possibly can.
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Office ManagerAga was born and raised in Szczecin, Poland where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree from University of Szczecin. For the past 10 years she was working in non-profit organizations which allowed her to gain the experience needed to run office operations effectively. Prior to working at MAG America, she worked as an Administrator for National Association for Olmsted Parks. In her free time, Aga enjoys reading books, being outside and getting as much sunshine as possible. She lives in Northern Virginia with her two kids Julia and Adam, and her husband Kermit, where she spends most of her time in the outdoors.
Connect with Aga at firstname.lastname@example.org