Our People

Fred Payne

Fred joined Navanti in 2016. He is a PMI certified Project Management Professional, holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a Bachelors from The George Washington University.

His mantra is Purpose, Process, and People.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

Mike Pedersen
Operations Manager

Mike joined Navanti in 2014. He holds a Bachelors in Political Science from Florida Gulf Coast University and possess over 11 years of experience in the federal government contracting industry, corporate operations, staffing/recruiting, and cleared solutions. He is an expert in strategic workforce planning and development, talent acquisition, talent retention, resource management, human resources, and personnel security.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

Ryan Craig
Chief of Staff

Ryan joined Navanti in 2015. He holds a Bachelors in History and master’s degrees in History, Political Science, and International Studies with a focus on the Middle East. Ryan has over ten years of experience in research, analysis, and training with a background and passion for tribes in Syria and Iraq. During his time at Navanti, Ryan has worked on various teams and has developed companywide processes and standards.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

Molly Inman
Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

Molly is a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA) professional with over 17 years of experience in the development and conflict resolution field. She is currently the MEL Practice Director at Navanti Group, leading the company’s MEL work in managing implementation of a large USAID MEL Support Activity in Nigeria and implementing program evaluations. Dr. Inman has worked with both US government agencies and private organizations on assessments and evaluations. She has conducted fieldwork in Chad, Indonesia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, Mozambique, and Georgia and consulted on projects analyzing evaluation survey data from Syria, Somalia, North Macedonia, and Libya. She has worked on projects involving the collection, processing and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, working with team members located around the world and coming from multiple disciplines. As a teaching professor in Georgetown University’s Conflict Resolution M.A. Program, she taught a range of courses including applied research methods. She holds a Ph.D. in international relations and comparative politics from the University of Maryland, an M.A. in democracy and human rights jointly from the Universities of Bologna and Sarajevo, and a B.A. in foreign affairs and German from the University of Virginia.

She can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

Alex Zito
Director of Analysis  

Alex has over 17 years of field research design, implementation and analysis experience, beginning with a Masters thesis on local language literacy and reading materials for Bamanankan in Mali in 2004-2005, and a PhD dissertation on Ajami [African languages in Arabic script] literature in Wolof among the Muridiyya of Senegal completed in 2012. He joined Navanti in 2012 in the midst of the northern Mali crisis to lead Sahel and North Africa research efforts, and has since overseen teams and projects for multiple customers, regions, topics and approaches. He is an alumnus of the Boston University African Studies Center, African Language Program, and the Professors Program.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

Mohammed Al-Basha
Client Engagement and Communications Manager

Basha joined Navanti in 2015. A distinguished Alumni of the Near East South Asia Center, holds a Masters from the George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government. He is an internationally networked Middle East subject matter expert with over 15 years of experience in analytical writing, food security, project management, and communications.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

Rajae Nami
Project Manager, International Development 

Rajae brings years of experience working on the Middle East, North Africa, the Sahel and West Africa. Specializing in the project management of researchers collecting data in conflict zones, she has successfully launched projects in Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria, Niger, and Burkina Faso. For each of these projects, she was instrumental in the recruitment and management of local enumerators and researchers, the design of quantitative and qualitative data collection, and the oversight of data collection and analysis. In addition to managing field research, she also actively directed eLearning projects from inception to delivery, working with professionals in the field in Morocco and Tunisia. She has successfully managed teams for multiple donors to deliver timely research and analysis in conflict affected and other politically complex and high-risk areas. She has successfully represented the Navanti Group at trade shows, conferences, and client meetings, and developed many of the company’s marketing materials.

She can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.


Christa Waegemann
Independent Author

Christa Waegemann, based in Berlin, works on a USAID funded project that focuses on strengthening and improving local governance and civil society in Syria. Previously, Christa was the Program Development and Portfolio Manager at a German NGO managing programs in Jordan, Palestine and Egypt. During 2016-2017, Christa was the Country Director for an Iraqi and subsequently a French NGO in Iraq during the war against ISIS, implementing emergency aid and development projects through-out the north Kurdish region and southern central region. She has a Master’s Degree from the Hertie School of Governance in Public Policy and wrote her thesis on Iranian proxy militias/political parties in Iraq.

She can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.