Our Team

From 2011-16 he served as the State Department’s Senior Policy Adviser to Generals Mattis, Austin, and Votel at the U.S. Central Command, which has responsibility for North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. He maintains contacts at senior levels within the State Department, the Department of Defense, and the intelligence community.

During his five years as Ambassador to Kenya from 2006-11, he was outspoken in advocating stronger ties between the United States and Kenya, and markedly expanded the bilateral relationship. This included substantially advancing cooperation between the United States and Kenya against the shared threats of terrorism and extremism, and focusing on Kenya’s key role to promote regional stability. Working closely with the African Union’s envoy, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, he was instrumental in negotiating resolution of the postelection crisis in 2008. While Ambassador to Kenya he won the State Department’s annual Anti-Slavery Ambassador of the Year Award for his efforts to combat human trafficking. 

While in Kenya, he served currently as Ambassador to Somalia, and played a key role in supporting the Transitional Federal Government. Ambassador Ranneberger was a lead negotiator of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement. He previously served as Ambassador to Mali, as Coordinator for Cuban Affairs, and as the Deputy Chief of Mission at embassies in Latin America and Africa.

 

Ambassador Ranneberger is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, its highest, as well as numerous other awards, including multiple Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, and an honorary doctorate from Africa Nazarene University.  He is conversant in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Michael Ranneberger

Managing Partner

Ambassador Ranneberger is a managing partner and co-founder of Gainful Solutions. He has over 30 years of experience in international diplomacy in senior leadership positions.

 
 

Mr. Nazari-Kangarlou brings more than 30 years’ experience to this position having served as an advisor to various large enterprises throughout the United States, Middle East, Europe and Australia, working in the fields of technology, health care, retail, manufacturing and distribution services.

As part of his successful career as an entrepreneur, he co-founded a San Francisco area company that produced clean, renewable energy solutions for vehicles. Additionally, he started a cloud-based business where he assembled an international team of engineers who developed a prototype security application.

While serving as the sales and marketing lead at an information technology organization, Mr. Nazari-Kangarlou was instrumental in restructuring the firm’s outreach platform in order to establish channel partnerships and drive global expansion. He was also responsible for ensuring that the service-oriented architecture seamlessly integrated multiple technologies for a client base that included Fortune 500 companies.

Mr. Nazari-Kangarlou also launched Eye On Your Technologies, Inc. (EOYTECH), a company specializing in customized, stand-alone surveillance hardware systems with cloud-based intelligence monitoring and data storage security solutions. While leading the business, he cultivated a domestic and international partner network with distributors around the world. Clients included Yahoo, Zurich Insurance, Skanska, Turner Construction, SD Deacon, State Farm Insurance and Opus West. Notably, while representing the Target Corporation, EOYTECH managed over 800 stores across the U.S., with another 1,100 locations relying on their services as a security reinforcement.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Nazari-Kangarlou held leadership positions in account oversight and business development at Verizon Communications. There, he managed Fortune 200 clients and was recognized as being among the top 1% performers in new revenue earned among its worldwide sales staff. 

As a frequent presenter to business groups and internet audiences, Mr. Nazari-Kangarlou lectures on a range of business topics, including market analysis, product identification and development, strategic partnerships, venture capital, international contract negotiation, market penetration, sales, and business operations in evolving economic cycles.

An early adopter of emerging technologies, Mr. Nazari-Kangarlou holds multiple certifications in business and marketing, software, security, hardware, and IT applications. Additionally, he speaks fluent Farsi.

Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou
Managing Partner

Soheil Nazari-Kangarlou is a managing partner and co-founder of Gainful Solutions, where he provides advisory services to clients considering starting up or expanding  operations in complex global marketplaces.

 

Beginning with her appointment by President Richard Nixon as the Director of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps, Ms. Newman went on to serve in other key federal postings such as Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission,  and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, appointed by President Ford, focusing on Indian and elderly affairs.

 

Some years later, after co-founding a government regulatory procedures consulting firm, succeeded by her time as President of the Institute of American Business, she began what would be a long-term focus in the sphere of foreign affairs, with a particular emphasis on African issues. 

 

Ms. Newman’s reputation as an expert in global policy started in earnest while operating as a private consultant on a World Bank project living in Lesotho from 1987-88, where she worked on the establishment of a broad housing plan for the populous. A period of time thereafter, during which she served as Under Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and on the board of the congressionally-established body that oversaw the District of Columbia’s finances, she was selected to serve in another presidential administration, appointed by President George W. Bush as the Assistant Administrator for Africa at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Newman followed that assignment with her tenure as Assistant Secretary for African Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In both roles she traveled extensively throughout the continent. 

 

Ms. Newman has won numerous awards throughout her career, including the "Washingtonian of the Year" award in 1998, and the Joseph Henry Medal in 2000, the Smithsonian's highest award for recognition of her distinguished service, achievements and contributions to the prestige and growth of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2019, Ms. Newman was selected to the inaugural class of the Government Hall of Fame, in which just 20 inductees were chosen by an elite selection of former federal officials and public administration experts. The inaugural class includes a mix of distinguished individuals from all eras since 1850, and honors the best of the best: those who have demonstrated sustained achievement and unparalleled dedication to public service.

Ms. Newman serves as the Finance Chair of the National Council of Negro Women and as a member of the  Board of Directors of the International Republican Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to advancing freedom and democracy worldwide.

Constance Berry Newman
Senior Executive Consultant

Constance Newman is a senior executive consultant for Gainful Solutions, bringing over 50 years of experience in the private and public sectors, including multiple high-level positions within the U.S. government, having served in seven different presidential appointments. 

In his expanded capacity, Dr. Diallo also serves as the President and CEO of the African Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN), a coordinating body working under the auspice of the UN to foster unity between African nations and all peoples of African descent. He leads ARDN’s ‘Pathway to Solutions’ initiative which aims to popularize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in collaboration with UN entities and other partners from business, academia, government, civil society and the world of sport and culture. 
 
While at the United Nations, Dr. Diallo led and coordinated responses and projects in various capacities all while liaising with heads of state and government, civil society, the media and other stakeholders to advance the vision of the UN Charter and the public awareness of the entities he served. 
 
Recruited by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Dr. Diallo held several high-level UN positions with distinction, including as Regional Director for West and Central Africa of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS; Director of Communications for the United Nations Development Program; and as Spokesperson for the President of the United Nations General Assembly.
 
A Native of Senegal, where he received a Bachelors Degree in Modern Languages and Education, Dr. Diallo followed this achievement by spending time in England where he earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and also in Race Relations and Multi-Cultural Studies from Nottingham University. Soon thereafter, he attended the University of London where he obtained a Doctorate (PhD) in Linguistics and Communications. 
 
Dr. Diallo is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. He also speaks several African languages and has a knowledge of Arabic.

Dr. Djibril Diallo
Senior Executive Consultant

As a senior executive consultant on the Gainful Solutions team, Dr. Djibril Diallo brings over 35 years of experience interconnecting the private sector with foreign governments and the global system of non-profit organizations, principally while working within the United Nations (UN) system.

 
 

He is a highly respected expert in his field for assessing enterprise risk while managing and leading large security operations in critical threat operating environments. His specialized skills, expertise and training include: physical and technical security, security program and project management, operations, investigations, protective intelligence & threat analysis, risk assessments and analysis, strategy formulation & negotiation, information security, security assistance program planning, critical infrastructure protection, emergency plans and preparedness, crisis response and contingency operations, security training, drills and joint exercise coordination, executive protection operations and special events security coordination.

He has completed an expansive portfolio of training and professional education programs throughout his career, earning credentials ranging from a spectrum of tactical operations to senior/executive leadership and strategy qualifications.  He is skilled in developing, coordinating and implementing strategy and policy solutions to an array of planning and operations challenges.  His experience also features extensive coordination with the commercial and private sectors, and with foreign governments, on a range of national security issues.

 

He served as the primary advisor to seven U.S. Ambassadors, and the lead architect for all security operations and management programs, emergency planning and risk assessments impacting all U.S. Mission equities (people, programs, facilities, information and assets) in each country.  He advised and guided country teams and emergency action committees, coordinated with DOD, civilian, commercial/private sector stakeholders and host nation leaders and partners on all risk-relevant national security, foreign policy, civil-military and security cooperation and assistance programs.

 

He successfully led highly diverse groups of civilian, military, contract and foreign security and law enforcement emergency response teams, ranging from 20 to 2,000+ personnel. He managed and executed operational budgets of $3M-120M; and oversaw projects of $50K-$300M.  In turn, he was nominated to lead as Temporary/Acting Senior Regional Security Director at the U.S. Mission in Baghdad, Iraq (2008) and Kabul, Afghanistan (2017) for extended periods; the two largest and most threatened U.S. Missions and security programs in the world with 3,500 and 2,500 personnel, and $1 BN and $800 M budgets, respectively.

 

He provided enterprise-level worldwide security policy and strategy oversight for the most threatened U.S. Missions overseas as a Division-Level Supervisor with Diplomatic Security’s High Threat Operations/Special Programs Directorate.  He coordinated with DOD and the Interagency on a host of planning and operational support activities including personnel recovery, emergency plans, security augmentation and crisis response.

 

He forged key partnerships with the large and diverse business sector in five countries as the co-chairman of the Overseas Security advisory Council (OSAC)--the State Department’s public-private sector information-sharing partnership with the commercial sector that supports a constituency of 3,500 American businesses and organizations.  He advised the private sector co-chairman and coordinated and directed the work of committee chairmen on key security issues and challenges, including transnational crime, terrorism, critical infrastructure and soft target protection, host nation security capacity and support, and security awareness/outreach.

 

He earned an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University, and BS Degrees in Economics and Political Science from North Carolina State University, with a Minor in Industrial Engineering. He is a recipient of the State Department’s Award for Heroism (Baghdad, Iraq) and eight Meritorious/Superior Honor Awards.

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Mark Conord
Senior Global, Security, Risk and Strategy Consultant

Mark Conord is a Senior Global, Security, Risk and Strategy Consultant with Gainful Solutions. He is a career national security and federal law enforcement professional with 30+ years of domestic and international risk, strategy, policy and operations experience with the State Department, the Interagency and the Department of Defense.  

Mr. Casanova began his professional career with the Boeing Company. Rising to the position of Engineering Project Manager, he was in charge of coordinating and leading all certification activities between Boeing's Main Cabin Group and the domestic (FAA) and foreign (JAA, CAA) regulatory agencies for new 767 and 747 derivative programs, including negotiations and issue resolution. Additionally, he was responsible for the report, investigation and closure of in-flight safety incidents with the FAA, as well as the development of several division-wide processes for Safety Incident Reporting and Certification Basis Determination.
  
After his time at Boeing, Mr. Casanova continued to hold leadership positions in a vast array of industries, focusing on business development, advertising, sales, and marketing operations, including work for some organizations that were true pioneers in their spaces.

 

One such enterprise, where Mr. Casanova made a definitive impact, was Zynga, the first social gaming company. It was there that he served as the establishment's first revenue director, ultimately growing revenue from zero to $1 million daily. Additionally, he managed all the business’ marketing and advertising operations.

Mr. Casanova has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Santa Clara University.

 

Alex Casanova
Senior Director, Operations

Alex Casanova is Gainful Solutions’ Director of Operations, overseeing market research, opportunity development, client onboarding, project management and partner relations.

 

Recent projects have ranged from a grass roots program designed to foster greater awareness of mutual interests that bind America and Pakistan; the development of a communications plan reinforcing the significance of and participation in a federal initiative on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; through to helping magnify an international business council’s message to the public and its members. 
 
Previously, Mr. Snider worked at the U.S. Department of State, initially as Deputy Director in the Office of Strategic Communications & Planning, followed by his time as lead spokesperson and Director of Press at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). While at the latter, he oversaw media relations, message creation and the execution of crisis communications on behalf of the government’s lead global development and humanitarian assistance agency.
 
Mr. Snider spent the bulk of his early career as an account director in advertising agencies in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC helping to enhance brands such as United Parcel Service, Stanley Tools, Union 76, National Geographic and Entergy Services. 

He has a marketing degree from the University of Oklahoma.

David Snider
Director, Communications & Outreach

David Snider serves as Gainful Solutions' principal advisor for all the firm's outreach needs.
Utilizing his broad background in public and private sector communications, Mr. Snider leads his Washington, DC-based consulting practice, where he has partnered with businesses in fields such as public affairs, lobbying, global development, advocacy and government contracting, helping organizations achieve their comprehensive goals.

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