Team

The giStrat team consists of experienced leaders from government, business, and philanthropy
Jerry White
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.

He also co-founded Landmine Survivors Network, later Survivor Corps, which co-led the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace. White has a BA from Brown University, an MBA from the University of Michigan, and an Honorary Degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He is a Professor at the University of Virginia and co-chairs the board of the nonprofit Global Covenant Partners, an international commitment to stop mass destruction in the name of religion.

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.

Prior to that he served as a Senior Conflict Analyst and Advisor to the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, where he led an interagency team responsible for predictive analysis. He is recognized by the Quadrennial Diplomacy Development Review for pioneering the application of computational analytics for the advancement of diplomacy and development. Prior to that Dr. Bagherpour was an application engineer and project manager for NSK, a Japanese owned global manufacturer of industrial and automotive motion control products. Dr. Bagherpour served in the U.S. Army as an Armor Officer and is the first Iranian-born graduate of West Point. He has a PhD in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University and an MBA specializing in market research from the University of California Irvine.

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Tony Frangieh
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.

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Jesse Emge, PhD
Associate Analyst

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.

Dr. Emge’s research focuses on integrating advanced, non-traditional research methods to gain actionable insights into global trade and commerce, international conflict, civil war, American politics, and foreign direct investment. He holds a PhD in World Politics and Research Methods from Claremont Graduate University and an MA in International Political Economy from Claremont Graduate University. His PhD dissertation examined international social networks and their influence on international capital flows.

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Ali Fisunoglu, PhD
Associate Analyst

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.

His other research interests include political economy of growth and development, peace and conflict studies, measurement and analysis of political performance of nations, and international political economy. Fisunoglu received his BA in Economics from Koc University in 2009, MA. in International Political Economy from Claremont Graduate University in 2012, and PhD in Political Science and Economics at Claremont Graduate University in 2014. He has been awarded scholarships from Vehbi Koc Foundation and Claremont Graduate University, and is also a Fulbright alumni.

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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.

Dr. Cain has published peer-reviewed research on international responses to globalization, public opposition to energy infrastructure, and water policy. His work uses spatial analysis, econometrics, and agent-based modeling. He holds a PhD in World Politics and Environmental Policy from Claremont Graduate University, and an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University.

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Constantin Sauvage
Operations Coordinator

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.

Alex O'Donnell
Market Researcher

Alex O’Donnell is a Market Researcher at giStrat. He has a Bachelors of Arts from New York University in International Relations with a concentration in the MENA region. His senior thesis was on the impact of military financial aid on information networks, using the ongoing Afghanistan crisis as a case study.

O’Donnell’s other areas of study include American foreign policy, the Palestinian-Israeli Crisis and post-Soviet Russian foreign policy. He has studied at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus and the NYU Berlin campus where he specialized in Emirati Law and EU policy respectively. O’Donnell is analytically proficient on R, State, Tableau, and other key analyst tools. Prior to this position, he worked as a Trademark Analyst for Ladas and Parry LLP, where he reviewed newly filed trademarks and helped to prepare reports to clients on said trademarks. He speaks English natively, is approaching fluency in Italian, and is brushing up on his Arabic language skills.

Erik Zhao
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.

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