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.

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Mike Pedersen

Mike joined Navanti in 2014. He holds BA 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 B.A. 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.



Mike Woodgerd

Mike Woodgerd has conducted award winning Operational Analysis for military and non-military organizations in Afghanistan, the US and Colombia. Past work includes writing the first US Army doctrine for multinational and interagency operations and leading analytical efforts for the Chief of Staff of the Army and the Secretary of Defense. During more than 3 years of contract work in Afghanistan, Mike worked with conventional military units, Special Operations forces, and multiple civilian organizations. He developed assessment methodologies across Security, Governance, Agriculture, Development, and Information Operations Lines of Effort, as well as developing and fielding physical barrier systems against culvert IEDs. He holds degrees from West Point and Naval Postgraduate School.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.

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Mohammed Al-Basha

Basha joined Navanti in 2015. A distinguished Alumni of the Near East South Asia Center, holds a MA 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.



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.


John Arterbury
Independent Author

John is a security analyst with a professional focus on armed conflict in Yemen and Syria. His particular interests include armed group fragmentation, the nexus between crime and insurgency, and the evolution of unorthodox ideologies.

Passionate about the effects of forced migration, he formerly managed an employment program for refugees and asylum seekers in Texas. He also worked as a researcher and journalist in Southeast Asia, focusing on security and refugee issues in Myanmar and Thailand. John holds a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University, where he served as a Global Futures Initiative Fellow, and has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Houston.

He can be reached at info@navantigroup.com.