Our Team 2018-02-12T12:26:28+00:00


Carola Mandelbaum
Carola MandelbaumChief Executive Officer

Carola Mandelbaum is the Chief Executive Officer for Creative Learning (CL), and as such she oversees the overall management of the organization including programs, financial systems, and operations.  Carola leads the business development process, strategies and systems with demonstrable success in winning high impact international development projects. She acts as a liaison with the CL Board of Directors and interacts with all CL donors.

Carola is the co-founder of Creative Learning’s School-2-School program and is the Program Director for CL’s Human Rights and Advocacy programming, including projects in Guatemala, Peru, Libya and Egypt. She is an experienced project manager and technical advisor with primary focus on livelihoods, gender and human rights, Prior to joining Creative Learning, Carola was Management Associate at Creative Associates International Inc.

With over 20 years of experience, she has managed large and small development programs from a variety of donors, has extensive experience developing the capacity of local NGOs, and working in complex environments. Carola is Argentine and holds a Joint MA in Latin American Studies and Journalism from New York University and a BA in Political Science with a focus international relations from Universidad de San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She is a Board Member of the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)

Cameron Chisholm
Cameron ChisholmVice President – IPSI
Cameron M. Chisholm has extensive experience in program management for international participants and a career focused on global peace and security issues. He is the President and Founder of the International Peace & Security Institute (IPSI), a non-profit organization dedicated to training leaders in the peace and security fields to be ready for the challenges that confront them in the real world. IPSI curricula are designed to be rigorous, substantive learning experiences that give our trainees the tools they need to make peace reality. Before founding IPSI, Cameron worked with the World Bank, CEWARN, the U.S. Department of State, and The Carter Center. He has a B.A. from Emory University and a M.A. from the University of Bradford, UK. Cameron is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Elliott School and is a Rotary World Peace Fellow Alumnus. Cameron was named as one of the 2012 “top 99 under 33″ most influential foreign policy professionals and is a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.
Tahir Shad
Tahir ShadVice President – GEI
Tahir Shad is the Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies, the former Director of International Studies, and the former Associate Dean of the College. Dr. Shad developed and implemented 40 international programs in 25 countries, including exchange programs, study abroad programs and summer programs. He established faculty exchanges in China, South Africa, France and England; and academic sessions abroad in Ecuador for environmental studies, in England for English literature, and in Tanzania for interdisciplinary studies.  Educated in the U.K., Shad received a bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from the School of African and Asian Studies at University of Sussex, and earned his post-graduate certificate in education from the London Institute of Education, London University. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science at University of Pittsburgh; where a number of his top students go on to pursue graduate studies in international affairs.
Deborah Mancini Griffoli
Deborah Mancini GriffoliDirector – IPSI
Deborah has experience in policy design and training on a range of topics related to peace and conflict. She co-authored and contributed to guidelines and handbooks on civil-military-police relations, civilian protection, humanitarian negotiation and corporate social responsibility. She also designed and facilitated training programs for senior political, military, private sector, UN and NGO representatives in various countries. Before joining IPSI, Deborah has worked and consulted for UNICEF Vietnam, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, The Sustainability Forum Zurich, Oxfam America, and the United States Institute for Peace. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Stanford University.
Muqtedar Khan
Muqtedar KhanDirector – GEI
Dr. Muqtedar Khan is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware. He earned his Ph.D. in International Relations, Political Philosophy, and Islamic Political Thought, from Georgetown University in May 2000.

He founded the Islamic Studies Program at the University of Delaware and was its first Director from 2007-2010.Dr. Khan is a Fellow with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. He was a Senior Nonresident Fellow with the Brookings Institution [2003-2008] and a Fellow of the Alwaleed Center at Georgetown University [2006-2007]. He has been the President, Vice President and General Secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists.

He is the author of American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom (Amana, 2002), Jihad for Jerusalem: Identity and Strategy in International Relations (Praeger, 2004), Islamic Democratic Discourse (Lexington Books, 2006) and Debating Moderate Islam: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West (University of Utah Press, 2007).

Dr. Khan frequently comments on BBC, CNN International, FOX and VOA TV, Bridges TV, NPR and other radio and TV networks. His political commentaries appear regularly in newspapers in over 20 countries. He has lectured in North America, East Asia, Middle East and Europe . Dr. Khan is from Hyderabad in India. He is married to Reshma and has a son Rumi, and a daughter Ruhi. His articles on Islam and American Muslims can be read at www.ijtihad.org and his commentaries on global politics can be read at www.Glocaleye.org.

Andrés Martinez-Garcia
Andrés Martinez-GarciaDirector – Colombia Office
Andrés has experience working for organizations addressing international disarmament, disability rights, and peacebuilding issues. As a therapist, he has provided psycho-social rehabilitation services for hundreds of landmine survivors and other violence victims in Colombia. Andrés worked in victim assistance for internally displaced persons and facilitated conflict resolution workshops for ex-combatants. He is a certified psychologist and holds a Postgraduate Degree (Specialization) in Conflict Resolution from Javeriana University as well as a Master of Arts in Gender and Peacebuilding from the United Nations mandated University for Peace. Andrés was a 2011 Atlas Corps Fellow.
María-Eugenia Pineda Melendez
María-Eugenia Pineda MelendezDirector – Mexico Office
María Eugenia Pineda is the Representative of Creative Learning in Mexico, since 2012 she directs the projects in the different States of the country. With more than 20 years of experience in rural development, she has led civil organizations on gender, women’s rights, rural development and food security. Before joining CL, she coordinated at the national level the Diploma of Community Promoters and the Strategic Food Security Project of FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) in Chiapas.
Since 2012, she has been working in Mexico with Aid To Artisans in the states of Chiapas, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Yucatan, Campeche and Quintana Roo, interacting with different donors and local partners in develop programs. Maru is Mexican with studies in financial administration and has a specialty in rural development and facilitation of learning processes.
Maud Obe
Maud ObeDirector – ATA
Maud has more than five years experience in program management. In her five years at ATA, Maud has developed and implemented projects around the world that have strengthened artisan businesses and linked artisans to markets. Since ATA joined Creative Learning, Maud has provided direction and management for ATA programs in the development, design, implementation and closing stages.

She is an expert in organizing artisan training and marketing events and currently charged with adapting ATA’s signature training program, the ATA Market Readiness Program (MRP), to special market requirements. Born in France, Maud holds a Masters Degree in International Development and Social Change and a Bachelor in Government and International Relations from Clark University, Worcester, MA. She is fluent in French and English and has traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

Monika Steinberger
Monika SteinbergerDirector – ATA
Monika came to Aid to Artisans and Creative Learning with extensive experience as a top corporate sales and marketing executive in private industry. During her years in architectural and interior design fields, she headed prestigious branding campaigns in the textile and furniture industries and spearheaded sales and marketing efforts for new home décor products in the US, Europe and Latin America.

She became committed to working with artisans during her involvement with custom furniture makers and painters in Argentina, producers of custom interiors of yachts in Brazil, stonemasons in China using 15th century handcrafting techniques, and French marquetry artists creating wall décor from sustainable woods. At Aid to Artisans, Monika has led many craft development projects, among them in Haiti and the greater Caribbean region, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and Morocco.

Born in Austria, her native language is German, and she enjoys opportunities to use her fluency in Spanish and French to communicate with artisans directly.

Rachel Landale
Rachel LandaleProgram Manager
Rachel Landale came to Creative Learning in 2014 to launch the newest division of Creative Learning, Global Education Initiatives, with former Board Member Dr. Tahir Shad. Rachel graduated with a BA in International Studies, French and Anthropology from Washington College and concentrated in Peace and Conflict Resolution and African Studies. Rachel oversees and develops both international and domestic programs for Global Education Initiatives (GEI) including conferences, seminars and internships. In addition to her work for GEI, Rachel helps facilitate training programs for CL’s other divisions including the Market Readiness Program through Aid To Artisans. She also manages company operations and communications, providing support to Creative Learning and all its divisions.
Caleb Bowers
Caleb BowersProgram Coordinator
Drawing from his training in cognitive psychology, neuroscience, counseling, negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution, Caleb researches individuals’ decision-making patterns under the influence of fear during identity formation. He applies it to the International Peace & Security Institute’s applied research and trainings on countering violent extremism and resilience. Caleb has designed and facilitated simulations for more than six years, as well as trained others to do the same for more than five years. Caleb holds an M.A. in International Peace & Conflict Resolution from American University focusing on crisis negotiations, particularly negotiating with terrorists during barricade-hostage situations. He received his B.A. in International Relations & Psychology from Indiana Wesleyan University where he studied the formation of group identity within terrorist networks.
Kenneth Davis
Kenneth DavisBusiness Development Coordinator
Kenneth holds an M.A. in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs from American University’s School of International Service and a B.A. in Religion and International Affairs with a concentration in Economics from Florida State University. He is trained in program monitoring and evaluation, nonprofit management, peacebuilding, and peace education. His skills include proposal writing, project design, monitoring, and evaluation, policy briefing, and graphic design. He has experience as a Program Consultant working for the Institute for Economics and Peace, as a former International Programs Intern for Europe and Central Asia at IPSI, and was most recently a Program Consultant for GEI before becoming a full-time employee as the Business Development Coordinator for CL. Kenneth is currently engaged to his fiancée Rainey, a Montessori elementary teacher in Maryland.
Maria Paula Unigarro
Maria Paula UnigarroProgram Coordinator – Colombia Office
Maria Paula has experience conducting research in conflict dynamics and peace processes. Recently, she worked in the analysis of proposals made by civil society for the peace process between the Colombian National Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Additionally, she has done research on reconciliation processes among victims and ex-combatants in Colombia. Maria Paula is a political scientist from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and received her master’s degree in political science with honors from Universidad de los Andes.  She has done internships with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (Bogota, Colombia) and the Organization of American Sates, Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (Washington DC, United States of America).
Alexandra Mae PanaguitonProgram Coordinator – Southeast Asia Regional Office
Alexandra Mae Panaguiton is responsible in the supervision of the programs, operations, and financial structure of the Southeast Asia Regional Office. She also coordinates with Organizations, People and Institutions for partnerships and collaborations. A graduate of Bachelor of Arts Major in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs with Academic Distinction of Honorable Mention from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, Philippines, Alexandra is also a renowned Student Leader and Students Rights and Welfare Advocate. She is passionate about conducting research and studies on creating and facilitating new and modern methods in bringing Good Governance to different levels and branches of the government allowing societal inclusion, interaction and fast implementation of policies which evidently allows the community to generate societal and in the future, global impact.