ICMA International / About / Staff

ICMA International Staff

As the following profiles demonstrate, ICMA International staff come from many backgrounds, bringing a diversity of experience with donor organizations, research projects, and programs in the field. Individuals can be contacted at the e-mail addresses provided below. General questions about ICMA International can be directed to international@icma.org

David Grossman, Director, ICMA International

David Grossman brought 30 years of technical and managerial experience in international development to his position leading ICMA International when he took on that new position 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 manages 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 helps local governments strengthen their institutional capacity by promoting the adaptation of good management tools to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. Educational programs in performance measurement, finance, human resource management, ethics/professional conduct, leadership and transparency/accountability/anti-corruption are offered, 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 also coordinated the efforts to produce the State of the Northern Border Environment Report for the US-Mexico border, which was funded by the World Bank and the Mexican government. This work complemented his previous efforts as co-author of Profile of the United States-Mexico Border (1996). He earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Chemical Engineering. Mr. Chavez is fluent in English and Spanish. Contact: ochavez@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

Lauren Crawford, Program Manager

Lauren Crawford joined ICMA in 2010 with four years of combined local government experience in public works, city management, and parks and recreation. Her background includes direct involvement with street maintenance, animal control, recycling, water conservation programs, and sustainability and environmental initiatives. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Business from Texas A&M University in College Station and a master of public administration degree with an emphasis on local government management from the University of North Texas in Denton. She was selected by Rotary International for a group study exchange in India; has participated in a mission trip to Matamoros, Mexico; and has studied abroad in Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. In her capacity as program manager, Lauren provides support for ICMA International projects. Contact: lcrawford@icma.org

Damian George, Director, Europe & Central Asia Programs

Damian George has extensive experience in new business development, proposal and budget development, and program management, with a specialty in finance. 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 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 worked in Cape Verde, Kosovo, Madagascar, Nigeria, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Tanzania, and provided home office support for a project in Burkina Faso. 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, Bulgaria, 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

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 

Lisa Lau, Program Manager

Prior to joining ICMA in July 2010, Lisa Lau worked in the international field in Washington, D.C. for four years. She worked at World Links, an international education nonprofit, where she helped manage several programs in Asia and Latin America. She later moved on to the World Bank to be the publications manager for the Agricultural and Rural Development Department. There, she managed the editorial and production process of key publications that were disseminated to the field offices and the international development community. Besides chasing after authors and managers to hand in their manuscripts on time, she coordinated and participated in a Department Training on Fisheries and Aquaculture in Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she almost fell in a lobster cage while trying to document the training. She has also conducted research and has had various work experience in Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, and China. She graduated from Brown University with a double major in Anthropology and International Relations and attained her master's degree in International Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She speaks Cantonese (mother tongue), Mandarin, Spanish, and basic French. Contact: llau@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

Colin McCabe, Program Manager

Colin McCabe joined ICMA in November 2013, bringing seven years of international program management, business development, and operations experience. His professional experience includes implementing cultural and educational programs in ten countries spanning five continents for International Seminar Design, Inc.; among other countries he has worked in Morocco, Turkey, Romania, and China. Prior to and during graduate school, he served in short-term positions with Solimar International and ECODIT, Inc. Colin’s technical competencies include climate change adaptation, sustainable tourism development, and educational travel seminars. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a master's degree in Sustainable Development, International Policy and Management from the School for International Training’s Graduate Institute in Washington, D.C. Colin speaks fluent Italian, intermediate French and Arabic, and survival-level Spanish. He enjoys running, biking, skiing, cooking, and family trips to Vermont and upstate New York. Contact: cmccabe@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

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

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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Lauren Dees-Erickson, Assistant Program Manager

Lauren joined ICMA in April 2015, she brings 5 years of international experience in program management, proposal writing and operations management. She has worked on programs in Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Her most recent professional experience includes working for the American Refugee Committee monitoring, backstopping and problem solving for a $10 million dollar program focused on Health, Nutrition and WASH in South and East Darfur, and supporting the creation of Asili, a network of social enterprise businesses that deliver services aimed at reducing under five childhood mortality in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Domestically, Lauren began her career working for the US House of Representatives. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of St. Catherine in Minnesota. Lauren speaks Fluent English, Intermediate French and basic Malagasy. She enjoys reading, hiking, camping, spending time with her family and trying to explain why Dune is better than Star Wars. Contact: ldeeserickson@icma.orgLauren Dees-Erickson, Assistant Program Manager

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