Jim Arkedis, President
When I was ten, my family moved from Cleveland, Ohio to London, England. It changed my life. My parents realized they could give me the gift of travel, and by age 14 I had visited just as many countries. I was fascinated by different cultures. That’s why I went to graduate school in international relations, worked for the military and then a think tank on foreign policy. For four years, I ran 4DPAC, a foreign policy focused political action committee, and regularly consulted with international organizations like the National Democratic Institute on democracy-building projects in North Africa.
Scott Payne, Executive Director
I grew up in Vicksburg, Mississippi. When I was 15, my soccer team traveled to Costa Rica. Staying with a local family, I saw both how privileged American life is and yet how similar their family life was to my own. That trip inspired my interest in the broader world. It led to a career focused both on valuing and protecting American values, while and seeking to expand those opportunities to more people around the world.
I’ve worked in both the House and Senate, serving as foreign policy advisor to Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman John Hall. I developed progressive national security policy and messaging at Third Way and veterans outreach as national Deputy Political Director for Veterans on the Kerry 2004 Presidential campaign.
Daniel Dart, Chief Strategy Officer
Born and raised in California, I came of age in Hollywood, and appreciated the way we engage the world in a very unique way. In my 20’s, I was a musician and got to tour the globe multiple times, where I learned firsthand how America is viewed and saw the impact of our choices. As Founder of DEC Artists, I’ve built media campaigns for some of the world’s largest organizations, I see how with the right leadership and message, we really are able to shift global narratives.
Zach Schenk, Associate
While growing up in Michigan, I had the privilege to visit various parts of Europe and Israel before graduating high school. When I was 18, I moved to Israel to complete my undergraduate degree in international affairs at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. I interacted with people from all over the world while studying and socializing. This showed me the importance of the United States in the global arena, not only in a diplomatic and logistical capacity, but also as an ideal that other people looked to. I've conducted research at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, and spent time interning on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.