The giStrat team consists of experienced leaders from government, business, and philanthropy
CEO + Founding Partner
Jerry White is a founding partner and CEO of giStrat. He previously served three years as U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, launching the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Responsible for strategic planning and partnerships, White introduced advanced analytics and agent-based modeling as a way to develop data-driven strategies for conflict diplomacy.
Amir Bagherpour, PhD
Chief Analytics Officer + Founding Partner
Dr. Amir Bagherpour is a founding partner and Chief Analytics Officer of giStrat. He is an expert in the application of quantitative methods to social science with a particular emphasis on game theory and international relations. He is also a non-resident scholar at the University of Virginia’s Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Dr. Bagherpour served as the Director of Data Analytics in the Office of the Secretary of State.
Senior Analyst + Economic Advisor
Tony Frangieh is a Senior Analyst and Economic Advisor at giStrat. He was Head of Equity Research at Beirut-based BLOM Bank where he published stock recommendations and was recognized within Bloomberg as a top-ranking analyst on the Middle East. Previously, he served as a Portfolio Manager at BLOM overseeing multiple investment funds that offer exposure to emerging and frontier markets.
Tony is a seasoned management consultant, with his latest project involving the overhaul of Deutsche Bank’s risk and performance reporting capabilities. Tony has taught in the Masters in Finance program at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He holds an MBA from UC Irvine and is a CFA Charterholder. He regularly volunteers as an Industry mentor for the CFA Institute’s Research Challenge, advising university students on the practical application of investment valuation methods.
Allison Hamlin is an Associate Analyst at giStrat. Prior to her start at giStrat Hamlin taught economics courses in the International Studies and Languages department at Pepperdine University. She specializes in advanced methodologies including econometrics, dynamic modeling, computational analysis, and applying geographic information systems and remote sensing to resolve conflict.
She has employed these skills to help solve a wide range of issues from energy conservation to civil conflict. Hamlin’s research interests include applying quantitative methodologies to political demography, political economy of growth and development, and the economic and demographic consequences of war. Her recent research is focused on developing a new measure of trust between countries to help reduce future conflict by predicting the likelihood of conflict between nations and factions. Hamlin has presented her research at the International Studies Association and Peace Science Society conferences. She received an MA in International Studies from Claremont Graduate University in 2015, and is currently finishing a PhD in Political Science with an emphasis in international relations and methods.
Jesse Emge, PhD
Dr. Jesse Emge is an Associate Analyst for giStrat. He is currently Manager of Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification for a major utility company, with a focus on examining the effectiveness of energy efficiency interventions. Previously Dr. Emge worked as an Evaluator for Southern California Edison, examining how behavior affects energy usage. Dr. Emge has also worked for Habitat for Humanity, Chase Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Ali Fisunoglu, PhD
Dr. Ali Fisunoglu is an Associate Analyst at giStrat. He is currently an Assistant Professor of International Relations at Ozyegin University. Fisunoglu uses his expertise in econometrics, game theory, formal modeling, and computational analysis to produce peer-reviewed research in variety of topics including potential consequences of reversing the European Union integration and economic and demographic consequences of major wars and determinants of postwar recovery.
Nicholas Cain, PhD
Associate Analyst + Energy Advisor
Dr. Nicholas Cain is an Associate Analyst and Energy Advisor for giStrat. He is a co-founder of the award-winning social-impact technology company Atma Connect, and an energy analyst who has worked for Southern California Edison and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Constantin Sauvage is an Operations Coordinator at giStrat. He has Bachelor of Arts from Northeastern University in International Affairs with a focus in International Security Studies, Arabic, and History. Sauvage was also a student at the AMIDEAST Institute in Amman, Jordan.
His senior thesis was on the impact of violent civilian deaths in Iraq and its effects on governance. His other areas of research include the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, nuclear weapons, and security in the post-Cold War era. Prior to this position Sauvage worked at Data Quest, Ltd. as a field investigator, where he conducted undercover target interactions and integrity inspections. Sauvage speaks French and English natively, and is brushing up on his Arabic. He is a self-taught Python programmer.
Marketing and Business Development Lead
Geoff Schmelkin is a Marketing and Business Development Lead at giStrat. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia where he is a Roger Sherman Scholar. He holds a degree in Economics and Arabic Language from Indiana University.
Prior to joining giStrat, Schmelkin worked as a strategy consultant with the advisory firm Toffler Associates where he helped clients to understand, plan, and adapt for the future. Responsible for advising executives in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, Schmelkin led the development and launch of a new service offering using data-driven approaches to harness the wisdom of employees and customers to drive strategy and innovation. In Israel, Geoff started up educational initiatives delivering English language instruction with an Israel Teaching Fellows grant from the Ministry of Education.
Market Research Associate
Nick Richardson is a market research associate at giStrat. He has a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies with a concentration in American Religious and Political Thought from the University of Virginia, where he is a Fellow of the Meriwether Lewis Institute for Citizen Leadership.
Business + Finance Assistant
Erik Zhao is a Business and Finance Assistant at giStrat. He is a student at Georgetown University, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting with a minor in Computer Science.
Between classes Zhao works as the head of finance for Georgetown Bubble, an entirely student-run startup which prepares, markets, and sells its highly popular bubble tea to university students and faculty, as well as to the larger community around Georgetown. Zhao is a senior consultant with Hilltop Consultants, a student-run management consulting group that works to provide innovative, implementable business solutions for nonprofits and sustainable businesses in the D-M-V area, with past clients including the American Red Cross and Teach For America. Zhao is passionate about public speaking and is a member of the mock trial team at Georgetown. Zhao previously held a summer internship with Kamala Harris’ successful U.S. Senate bid in 2016, focusing on synthesizing opposition research and preparing press releases for the campaign. He is a native English-speaker intent on learning Mandarin and French.