ICMA International / About / Staff


As the following profiles demonstrate, ICMA program staff come from many backgrounds, bringing a diversity of experience with donor organizations, research projects, and programs in a wide variety of technical areas. Individuals can be contacted at the e-mail addresses provided below. General questions about ICMA's international programs can be directed to international@icma.org. Questions about ICMA's U.S.-based programs can be directed to sustainability@icma.org.

David Grossman, Director, Global Programs

David Grossman brought 30 years of technical and managerial experience in international development to his position when he became director of ICMA International in January 2008. In addition to his experience in municipal development, he has expertise in such areas as finance, credit, and urban infrastructure. He began his professional career with the New York City Planning Commission, helping tenants to organize and maintain their buildings. After a year with the United Nations Development Program, he served for six years as a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Foreign Service Officer, in Honduras and Costa Rica. From 1984 to 1994 he worked in the USAID Office of Housing and Urban Programs, including serving as its chief operating officer (COO). He later held COO positions with USAID’s Global Bureau Environment Center and USAID’s Office of Development Credit. Most recently he served as the senior advisor for research and development for the USAID Development Credit Authority. During his years at USAID, he received Honor Awards and other citations for outstanding performance. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science/Latin American studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a master’s degree in international affairs, with a specialization in economics and urban planning, from Columbia University, in New York City. He speaks English and Spanish. Contact: dgrossman@icma.org

Rachel Bingham, Marketing and Communications Associate

Rachel Bingham joined ICMA in August 2014. She is a Temple University graduate holding a bachelor's degree in communications and writing composition. Her specialties include layout and design, social media, and editing. Prior to joining ICMA, she interned extensively in the non-profit sector for both local and international organizations. She is a D.C. area native and enjoys cooking, photography, and performing spoken word in her spare time. Contact: rbingham@icma.org


Isabelle Bully-Omictin, Director, Latin America & Caribbean Programs

Isabelle Bully-Omictin joined ICMA in 1997, and has since participated in local governance program design, management, implementation, and monitoring. She is in charge of managing programs, developing and guiding the implementation of business development strategies, and leading the writing and production of technical and cost proposals to international donors in selected countries and regions, in particular Latin America and the Caribbean. Isabelle also serves as the Director of the Municipal Partnerships for Violence Prevention in Central America (AMUPREV) program, a USAID-funded cooperative agreement designed to promote comprehensive local-level violence prevention strategies and programs and foster development of regional peer knowledge networks. She also has manaaged other USAID-funded programs, including a youth-at-risk program in Panama, a crime and violence prevention program in Mexico, and a CityLinks Pilot Partnership in crime prevention through environmental design in Honduras. Isabelle has worked in Bolivia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, and the Philippines, developing and implementing programs with local governments in performance measurement, local government management, community development, information technology, and crime and violence prevention. Prior to joining ICMA, she managed USAID-funded urban environmental programs for Datex, Inc., and was a Local Planning and Development Coordinator for the Peace Corps in the Philippines. She has an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. with Distinction in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia. She is bilingual in French and English, is fluent in Spanish, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese and Cebuano. Contact: iomictin@icma.org

Octavio Chavez, Director, ICMA México-Latinoamérica

Dr. Chavez has been involved in local government management programs in Mexico since 1996 and environmental issues primarily focusing on the US-Mexico Border since 1990. He is the Director of ICMA’s office in Mexico, a self-sufficient bureau that focuses on fostering the professionalization of local government in Mexico and the region. ICMA México-Latinoamérica (ICMA-ML) helps local governments strengthen their institutional capacity by promoting the adaptation of good management tools to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. ICMA-ML provides educational programs in performance measurement; finance; human resource management; ethics and professional conduct; leadership; and transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption, as well as programs promoting institutional strengthening in finance, human resource management, planning and legal framework management. Previously, Dr. Chavez served as the ICMA Chief of Party for the USAID-funded US-Mexico Partnership for Municipal Development, a program that promoted democratic practices in the operation of the municipalities by encouraging citizen participation in local government decision-making processes, professionalism in the local government sector, improved financial administration, use of performance measurement, and transparent governance. Dr. Chavez has worked as a researcher, university professor, and consultant in both the United States and Mexico. He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Chemical Engineering. Mr. Chavez is bilingual in Spanish and English. Contact: ochavez@icma.org

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Emily Dodson, Senior Program Manager 

Emily joined the ICMA Center for Sustainable Communities in 2010 after working in local government in her home state of Mississippi and completing a Master of Science in Public Policy and Administration degree from Mississippi State University. Emily has experience managing solar energy projects and is responsible for providing timely and actionable information to local governments and the public in order to accelerate solar energy adoption around the United States. Previously, she assisted in the management of ICMA’s Strategic Partners program for the association’s corporate partners, and has also served several times as a member of the core planning team for the National Brownfields Conference, a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to solar energy, Emily’s areas of expertise and interest include brownfields, urban planning, and her puppy Jacks. Contact: edodson@icma.org

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Cory Fleming, Program Director, 311/CRM Consulting Services

Cory oversees ICMA's contract services to local governments implementing 311/CRM systems including community readiness assessment and system planning. She currently directs the Esri-ICMA #LocalGov Technology Alliance. She served as the project director for the ICMA National Study of 311 and Customer Service Technology (icma.org/311) from 2006-2011. This national study, the first of its type, resulted in a wealth of new research, resources, and tools for local governments that are implementing or maintaining a centralized customer service system. Cory writes about the use of data for improved local government service delivery and performance measurement. She served as editor for The GIS Guide for Local Government Officials (Esri 2005) and The GIS Guide for Elected Officials (Esri 2014). She holds a B.S. degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University and a master's degree in Environmental Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Contact: cfleming@icma.org

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Andrea Fox, Director, U.S. Programs and Center for Sustainable Communities

Andrea oversees a portfolio of programs that provide training and education, consulting services, and research focusing on best practices and resources for local governments on public health, smart cities, sustainability planning, solar energy, distressed communities, and brownfields redevelopment. Since 2005 Andrea has worked in and with local and state governments, including the city of Omaha, Nebraska; the Nebraska State Legislature; and the city of Napa, California. As local government staff, she implemented numerous sustainability strategies and policies and developed a sustainability plan. As an aide in the Nebraska Legislature, she assisted with the passage of laws that assess and reduce energy consumption. At ICMA, Andrea uses her first-hand knowledge of local government to increase the capacity of local governments to create more sustainable, livable, and resilient communities. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Denver. She speaks fluent English and basic Spanish. Contact: afox@icma.org

Damian George, Director, Africa & Europe Programs

Damian George has extensive experience in project management, new business capturing, proposal development, and budgeting, with a specialty in finance. He is responsible for ICMA's project portfolio in Africa and Europe. Prior to joining ICMA in 2009, he was part of a team offering financial advisory and technical assistance services to international organizations, governments, and corporations in emerging markets countries. Funded projects on which he worked included developing a municipal and communal services strategy; designing a communal services development fund; establishing legal and regulatory frameworks for credit reporting; conducting a feasibility study for investment in urban transportation infrastructure; establishing financial and control policies for privatization of an airline; and conducting due diligence on a road proposal. He has in-country project management experience in Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Georgia, Kosovo, Madagascar, Nigeria, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Tanzania. His career also includes employment with banks in Sofia, Bulgaria, and with the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation in New York City. Damian has an M.S. degree in international economic relations from the University of National and World Economy in Sofia and an M.B.A. in finance from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is fluent in English, French, Russian, and Bulgarian. Contact: dgeorge@icma.org

Catalina Gutierrez-Paez

Catalina joined ICMA in 2015 after receiving an M.A. degree in Sustainability from the University of South Florida. Her undergraduate degree was in International Relations with a focus in Latin America from Florida International University. As a graduation project, she spent a summer in Costa Rica assessing the country’s Certification for Sustainable Tourism. Her family migrated from Colombia to South Florida in the early 2000s, fleeing the economic and political hardship of the country. As an assistant program manager, she works on the ICMA CityLinks program and the Latin America portfolio. Catalina says she really enjoys her work, as she is constantly dealing with material and information related to subjects and regions she feels passionate about. She also has an interest in public policy, research, community outreach, indigenous rights, and gender equity. Contact: cgutierrezpaez@icma.org


Jessica Johnston, Senior Program Manager

Jessica Johnston joined ICMA in early 2012 as the CityLinks program manager after completing her Master of Science in Public Policy and Management degree from the H. John Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University. While at Heinz College, Jessica was named a fellow with the Council of Women World Leaders. As a fellow, she worked in the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago on gender and education issues. Prior to completing her degree, she worked for an international development organization supporting projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jessica’s technical competencies include the development and implementation of stability programming in post-conflict environments, monitoring and evaluation, report writing, donor compliance, and gender programming. She was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan, where she served as an English teacher from 2006 to 2008. Jessica is originally from Denver, Colorado. Contact: jjohnston@icma.org

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Mariel Kanene, Assistant Program Manager

Mariel joined ICMA in September 2015, bringing four years of international program management, operations, research, and communications experience. At ICMA, he has worked on the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program and on projects involving solar energy outreach and urban policy, including social media and website communications. Prior to his work at ICMA, Mariel carried out graduate research in Jordan and worked on behalf of fragile and conflict-affected communities at the g7+ Secretariat in Timor-Leste, as well as with Creative Associates International, AmeriCorps VISTA, and the Texas State Legislature, among other key groups. Mariel holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Development with a focus in International Policy and Social Innovation Management from the SIT Graduate Institute in Washington, DC. He’s a fitness aficionado, food lover, and speaks fluent English and basic French. Contact: mkanene@icma.org

Shraddha Kharel-Pandey, Director, Asia Programs

Shraddha Kharel-Pandey directs business development and program management for ICMA's Asia programs. She has more than ten years of international development and program management experience in Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Central America. Previously, she was a senior member of ICMA’s Afghanistan Team, overseeing ICMA’s portfolio of programs in that country. During her tenure at ICMA, which began in 2005, she also managed ICMA's signature CityLinks program and all aspects of the USAID-funded Afghanistan Municipal Strengthening Program, the FIRE III program in India, the MEGA Serbia program, the World Bank-funded Lebanese Local Economic Development program, and other programs in India and Sri Lanka. While a graduate student at the University of Louisville, where she earned a master's degree in political science with a focus on international studies, Shraddha was a member of the Management Team for the International Service Learning Program. She received a bachelor's degree from Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu, Nepal) and also worked in Kathmandu as a marketing officer at a prominent bank before coming to the United States. Shraddha has a PMP certification and she speaks fluent English, Nepali, Hindi, and Urdu. Contact: skharelpandey@icma.org 

Carlos Loría-Chaves, Governance and Economic Advisor

Carlos Loría-Chaves joined ICMA in 2010, bringing more than 25 years of experience working at the local and national levels in his home country of Costa Rica and elsewhere in Latin America and Eastern Europe. In his work he has conducted, designed, and implemented programs to strengthen transparency and public finance, support economic reforms, and promote efficient and effective government management. He has served for many years in technical positions providing support to the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly and has more than 10 years of experience working on USAID-funded policy reform, municipal development, public budget analysis, and fiscal programs. Carlos formerly served as Chief of Party for the USAID/Guatemala Decentralization and Local Governance Program (2005-2008). He has a B.A. degree in Economics from the Universidad de Costa Rica and an M.B.A. degree with a major in Finance from the Universidad Interamericana in Costa Rica. He has been short-term consultant for ICMA since May 2009, serving as Regional Program Manager on the USAID-funded Municipal Partnerships for Violence Prevention in Central America program and as the Governance Advisor on the Communities Youth-at-Risk program in Panama. He also provides support to the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility Program to improve the creditworthiness of municipalities in Costa Rica and Argentina, among other business development tasks. Carlos is based in Costa Rica. He speaks Spanish and English. Contact: cloria@icma.org

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Lindsay Lucas, Assistant Program Manager

Lindsay joined ICMA in August 2015, bringing four years of international experience in program and operational management. She has worked on programs in Rwanda, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Previously, she supported an $8 million dollar project focused on monitoring and evaluating global climate adaptation programs. In 2011-2013, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda, where she worked on youth and community development projects with the Ministry of Health. Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Studies from Hollins University. She speaks English, Intermediate French, and basic Kinyarwanda. Contact: llucas@icma.org

Berna Oztekin, Assistant Program Manager

Berna Oztekin joined ICMA in June 2013 for an apprenticeship as a part of her graduate program at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University. Upon completion of the program, she joined ICMA’s international team. Berna brings three years of experience in proposal writing and program management from Turkey, where she worked for the Sabanci Foundation at Sabanci University located in the Governorship of Antalya. Berna has prepared proposals to secure funding from the European Union and the United Nations. She has conducted research on women, youth, and people with disabilities in Turkey. Programs she has worked on include: Mapping Higher Education Models in Europe Project with partners from Sweden, Italy, and Britain; and a project funded by the European Union that provided training for drivers in the city of Antalya, Turkey and raised awareness of pedestrian rights. She managed a program which told the stories of social entrepreneurs making a difference in their communities that was broadcast on CNN-Turk in Turkey. Berna holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Koc University, Istanbul, Turkey, and two master’s degrees--one in political science from Sabanci University in Istanbul and another one in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. She speaks Turkish and French. Contact: boztekin@icma.org

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Amy Roberts, Assistant Program Manager

Amy assists in the management of funded projects, especially those addressing community sustainability, with a focus on solar programs. As an assistant program manager, she coordinates and provides on-site support for regional workshops and national conferences, interacts with key partners and consultants to coordinate tasks, conducts research, and assists with the marketing of events and deliverables, including updating website pages, writing blog posts, and posting to social media accounts. At ICMA, Amy utilizes her knowledge and experience in sustainability, community development, and urban policy to assist in creating sustainable local government management practices. Previously, she worked with the Department of Environmental Services in Arlington County, Virginia. In 2015, she received a master’s degree in Public Policy from George Mason University. Contact: aroberts@icma.org

Lianne Romahi, Business & Proposal Manager

Lianne Romahi brings 10 years of experience in project management, proposal writing, socio-economic and capacity building impact assessments, and performance monitoring plans for numerous donor organizations, including USAID, the European Commission, the Millennium Development Challenge, and the Global Environmental Facility. Her global experience has focused on the Levant region, Afghanistan, and Iran. Lianne previously served as a Grants Officer for the Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Jordan portfolio at the Foundation for the Future and carried out numerous short-term assignments in business development, proposal writing and impact assessments. Lianne is particularly interested in the empowerment of women and marginalized groups. In 2006, Lianne led the development of Fair Trade Jordan, and in 2009, Lianne cofounded a website that provides counseling and legal support to victims of sexual harassment at the workplace. Lianne holds a Master’s degree from Imperial College of London for Science and Technology, University of London and an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh. She speaks English and Arabic fluently, and basic French. Contact: lromahi@icma.org

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Abigail Rybnicek, Deputy Director, Center for Sustainable Communities

Abigail oversees projects related to economic development, solar energy adoption, creating livable and age-friendly communities, and the development of local food systems. She also leads the Center's business development efforts. Abigail began her career with ICMA in fundraising, leading a national campaign to raise awareness around the role and value of professional local government management. She also led ICMA’s early social media efforts, helped plan the educational content for the ICMA Annual Conference, and supported the recruitment of young professionals to the field of local government. In 2011, she left ICMA to pursue a master’s degree in business administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. At Fuqua, she co-led the school’s largest club—Net Impact—which educates and supports students interested in applying business skills to create positive social and environmental impact. Abigail completed an internship with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, staffing its Food Policy Task Force in support of mayors’ efforts to improve access to healthy foods in neighborhoods around the country. In 2013, after receiving the M.B.A. degree with a concentration in social entrepreneurship, she returned to ICMA to serve in her current capacity. She has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with majors in Political Science and Latin American Studies. Contact: arybnicek@icma.org

Eva Travers, Senior Program Manager

Before joining ICMA in September 2012, Eva Travers worked in the international field for six years. During that time she served as a program manager and proposal writer with an economic development consultancy that fulfilled donor-funded projects in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Asia. In 2010-2011 she spent some time in Afghanistan implementing a portfolio of USAID and World-Bank-funded projects aimed at local capacity building, community development, and infrastructure improvement. In addition, Eva has two years of experience in technical writing in the area of international labor law and benefits. She designed employer’s country manuals for Afghanistan, Russia, Lebanon, and Kazakhstan covering the primary aspects of existing social security systems, applicable labor laws, and current benefits market trends. She obtained her master’s degree in linguistics from Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok, Russia) and also worked for two years as a translator before coming to the United States. She speaks fluent Russian and English. Contact: etravers@icma.org

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