Who We Are
Below you can find information about many members of the #AfghanEvac team. For operational security purposes, several of our Afghan team leaders are not listed to ensure family members remaining in Afghanistan are not put at risk.
Shawn VanDiver is the founder of #AfghanEvac and works with government leaders at all levels throughout California to identify innovative solutions to long-term civic challenges. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the San Diego Convention Center in 2021, and is the founder of the San Diego Chapter of the Truman National Security Project. Additionally, he serves as Executive Director of the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum’s San Diego Chapter and on the Boards of Directors for Emerge California, Veterans Community Connections, and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
He attended National University, the Naval Postgraduate School, and University of San Francisco and holds degrees and certifications related to homeland security, cybersecurity, emergency management, and public leadership. Shawn is a Navy veteran, proud father and avid sailor.
March Bishop designs and implements strategies to stabilize the performance of businesses and business units following significant market and internal disruptions. Previously, she ran Marketing Communications & Public Relations for Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading telecommunications operator, collaborated with donor clients to design and expand private sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa and co-managed a team on a large Department of Defense contract. She is a graduate of the University of Rochester and earned an MBA from the Harvard Business School. March is on the Board of Trustees of a PK-12 school and mentors under-represented MBA candidates on the admissions process and their applications.
Moose helps organizations implement strategies to optimize the workforce experience and drive organizational performance. He helps align people strategy with business strategy. Moose is an Afghan American who immigrated to the United States during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and is very familiar with the culture, issues, and humanitarian challenges that the people of Afghanistan are facing today.
He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a degree in Economics and is a father of three and snowboarder and enjoys surfing in his spare time.
Pegah is the inaugural campus privacy officer at UC San Diego. She
manages a complex portfolio of privacy initiatives related to employees,
students, applicants, alumni, and research participants and provides guidance
on privacy laws and regulations, such as the GDPR, FERPA, HIPAA, California
privacy laws, and research privacy/Common Rule. Prior to San Diego, Pegah
was a privacy manager at Stanford University. She is an attorney and holds an
MBA. In her spare time, she advises clients on immigration and asylum
matters and serves with the UC San Diego Veterans Staff Association. She is an
Army Veteran, who, among other things, was the Honor Grad of Truck Driver
She joined the Army as soon as she became a US Citizen in high school and served from 1999 through 2006. She started her Army career as a crane operator in the Reserves but spent most of her time as a Chemical Operations Specialist until she was reclassed as a Truck Driver.
Jeffrey R. Wells is a cybersecurity professional responsible for keeping organizations safe and protecting the privacy of employees around the world. He has over 25 years of experience leading cybersecurity engagements by leveraging existing infrastructure and talent, establishing effective cyber resilience strategies, commercializing cybersecurity technologies and ideas, and responding to immediate incidents and emerging cyber threats. He has led joint inter-agency US Government task forces and has advised and consulted with cyber startups, venture, private equity, and angel investment organizations.
Jeffrey founded the Connected Warrior Foundation, and served on the Boards of The Friends of the Light House Shelter, Candle of Light, Valhalla Sailing Project, and A Fair Shake for Youth. He is a dedicated supporter of the Travis Manion Foundation, The Navy Seal Foundation, 31 Heroes Project, and the Special Operations Command Warrior Care Coalition.
He is a graduate of Colorado State University and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He has certificates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, London School of Economics, Tel Aviv University, Oxford University, George Washington University School of Business, and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Joe Goulet is a software engineer working in the defense sector specializing in machine learning, whose work has been utilized at the highest levels of government and has had an impact on an international scale. Over the past few years, he has designed and built applications and algorithms to forecast violent extremist activity in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, detect disinformation and bot activity on social networks, and identify/track at-risk Indian migrant workers.
During the non-combatant evacuation operation in Kabul, he partnered with fellow veterans to build a network to help facilitate the rescue of dozens of families through Hamid-Karzai International Airport, and continues to advocate for those that have been left behind.
Joe graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in Computer Science. He is a U.S. Marine veteran, a father of two, and enjoys spending time with his family and playing rugby as a flanker with his local club.
Tripp Adams is the CEO of JustLight, pbc, a B-corp whose mission is to use light to create new standards of health. He has 20 years of leadership and operations experience, specializing in organizations in change. Prior to JustLight, he was the COO of Emagine Movie Theaters, a strategy consultant with Deloitte, and a corporate attorney with Reed Smith, LLP. Tripp has 25 years of active and reserve service in the US Navy and US Army. He has a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, an M.A. in Economics from Old Dominion University, and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Ambassador Philip Kosnett
Philip Kosnett (U.S. Ambassador, Ret.) recently transitioned from a 38-year State Department career focused on international security cooperation, political-military affairs, and post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction. His service abroad spanned postings in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, including four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and three years as Ambassador to the Republic of Kosovo. A graduate of Harvard, Kosnett works now as a consultant, writer, and game designer. His wife Alison Kosnett, a specialist in international development and governance with extensive service in Afghanistan, is heavily involved in refugee resettlement. The Kosnetts share their home with rescue dogs from Uzbekistan and Kosovo.
MP Naheed Farid
Naheed Farid is an Afghanistan Parliamentarian in-exile, Chairperson of House Standing Committee for Women Affairs, A Professional Specialist at Princeton University, School of Public and International Affairs and Advisory Board Member of US-Afghanistan Democratic Peace and Prosperity Council (DPPC). Elected to Parliament in 2010 as the youngest-ever elected politician and lawmaker in Afghanistan, Naheed has worked tirelessly to engage Afghan youth and women in the nation’s political process.
She is a George Washington University Alumni, Forbes Magazine Awardee, a Model Citizen of Grassroot-Diplomat Magazine and an Italian Distinctive Brave-Knight Medalist. Since Taliban takeover in Aug 2021, Naheed has spoken on various platforms such as UN, UK Parliament, EU Parliament, US Congress and media to advocate the matter of human rights in Afghanistan.
Danielle Cosgrove is a member of the World Economic Forum, an alumni of their Global Shapers Community, and the founder and lead of the WEF Afghan Relocation and Resettlement team. Danielle draws from previous experience with UNHCR where she worked with governments, international organizations, and NGO's across EMEA, the Caribbean and Latin America to redesign and implement comprehensive, inclusive protection strategies for vulnerable populations, including victims of torture. She has also consulted with The Commonwealth on cross-border strategies to counter violent extremism. Danielle studied for her MA in Human Rights at University College London and is a Mentor-in-Residence at Stanford University.
Matt Awbrey is the Chief Marketing Officer for #AfghanEvac. He is also co-founder and principal of Matter Strategies, a strategic communications and public affairs firm focused on telling stories that matter. It helps public agencies, non-profits, C-level executives, public officials, and private organizations bring substance and meaning to their public relations. He previously led external affairs for San Diego’s mayor and oversaw communications for the City of San Diego, a $3.8 billion municipal corporation with over eleven thousand employees. He has served in diverse roles, including chief of civic and external affairs, deputy chief of staff, policy director, community representative, and legislative independent audit consultant. A seasoned speechwriter and award-winning creative voice, Matt’s work has been featured in news outlets across the country, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News, Politico, Business Insider, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, and San Diego Union-Tribune.
Jessica Bradley Rushing - Congressional POC
Jessica Bradley Rushing is a veterans caseworker and district representative in the Office of Congressman Bill Keating (MA09). She is an elected municipal official, serving as the Chairwoman of the Select Board in her hometown in Massachusetts. Additionally, Jessica is a graduate of EmergeAmerica and a member of the Truman National Security Project Defense Council. Jessica has a BS in Communication from Boston University and is currently working toward a graduate certificate in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy. She is an Army veteran and a mother of four.
Dylan Nurse - Congressional POC
Dylan serves as the District Director for Congressman David Scott (GA-13). He graduated from The George Washington University in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science, going on to be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant through the United States Army Officer Candidate School in 2011. He was Medically Retired from the Army in 2018. Dylan served as Chairman of the Red Clay Democrats and was a co-founder of Blue Neighbors Project PAC. He also previously served on the Young Professionals Board of Families First, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta Young Leaders Council, as Political Director of the Young Democrats of Atlanta, 2019 New Leaders Council, and as a 2020 Truman National Security Project Political Partner.
Jenna Jaffe - Congressional POC
Jenna Jaffe is an NYC-based immigration advocate. She is the Immigration Specialist in the New York District Office of Congressman Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. For the past five years she has been helping immigrants and their families navigate the immigration system by leveraging relationships with federal agencies. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a BA in Political Science in 2014 and is an alumnus of the Coro NY Immigrant Civic Leadership Program, sponsored in partnership with the New York Immigration Coalition. She is first-generation American and a descendant of refugees.