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Straife Experts

From geostrategic advisory to risk management to compliance, to on-the-ground support, our team meets client requirements across the globe.

Unparalleled Expertise

Our team of specialists draws upon decades of experience in diplomacy, law enforcement, intelligence, public policy, corporate M&A, and digital innovation to deliver solutions that meet the needs of each client. Straife experts provide comprehensive solutions based on their combined expertise in both government and corporate spheres.

Deep knowledge, broad experience

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Our Leadership
fleming

Joseph Fleming is the CEO and Managing Director of Straife. He brings a unique combination of expertise in both the corporate and political worlds to Straife, having spent many years managing corporate M&A transactions before representing high-profile political clients such as the governments of Pakistan and Libya.

Joseph Fleming Founder & Managing Director read bio
James Conway
James Conway served our nation with distinction for over 35 years, 25 of which as a Special Agent of the FBI. Throughout his career, James managed many successful and complex investigations in Organized Crime, Violent Crime, and Counterterrorism. He also served as a member of the FBI’s elite tactical SWAT team.
James Conway Managing Director & Senior Strategist read bio
Jason Fuller

Prior to joining Straife, Jason worked for the office of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz beginning in February 2018 as the Southeast Texas Regional Director, where he regularly met with elected officials, business leaders, stakeholders, and constituent groups to address their concerns and promote economic growth for the region.

Jason Fuller Managing Director & Global Development read bio
Ron Gualy

Ronald Gualy is a highly qualified and experienced executive. His successful career includes creating value, identifying and formulating strategic, revenue-generating opportunities, projects, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions, and alliances within the energy, renewables, technology, and engineering industries.  

Ron Gualy Managing Director read bio
bahadir square

Bahadır Kaleağası is the President of the Paris Bosphorus Institute and lecturer at the Galatasaray University in Istanbul on international economic relations, sustainable development, and European integration.

Bahadır Kaleağası​ Managing Director read bio
Craig Lebamoff

Craig Lebamoff is a Managing Director at Straife and advises on human trafficking, customs enforcement, border security, mass migration planning, and other related topics, including U.S. State Department funding sources available to foreign governments.

Craig Lebamoff Managing Director read bio
Yadel Öskan

Yadel Öskan is a Managing Director at Straife. Having been born in Frankfurt, Yadel studied German Language and Linguistics as well as literature at Istanbul University. A lifelong entrepreneur and investor, he founded multiple companies throughout his career in a myriad of industries. 

Yadel Öskan Managing Director read bio
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Deep knowledge, broad experience

Joseph Fleming

Co-Founder & CEO

Joseph Fleming is the CEO and Managing Director of Straife. He brings a unique combination of expertise in both the corporate and political worlds to Straife, having spent many years managing corporate M&A transactions before representing high-profile political clients such as the governments of Pakistan and Libya.

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James Conway

Co-Founder & Managing Director
James Conway served our nation with distinction for over  35 years, 25 of which as a Special Agent of the FBI. Upon completion of training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, James was assigned to the Houston Division of the FBI, where he managed many successful and complex investigations in Organized Crime, Violent Crime, and Counterterrorism. He also served as a member of the FBI’s elite tactical SWAT team. 
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Jason Fuller

Managing Director, Global Development
Prior to joining Straife, Jason worked for the office of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz beginning in February 2018 as the Southeast Texas Regional Director, where he regularly met with elected officials, business leaders, stakeholders, and constituent groups to address their concerns and promote economic growth for the region.
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Ron Gualy

Managing Director
Ronald Gualy is a highly qualified and experienced executive. His successful career includes creating value, identifying and formulating strategic, revenue-generating opportunities, projects, partnerships, joint ventures, acquisitions, and alliances within the energy, renewables, technology, and engineering industries.  
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Alket Hyseni

Managing Director
Alket Hyseni is the Director of Straife’s Balkans office. A former member of Parlament, Alket spent many years working for and with the government of Albania, including as General Director of the Albanian Financial Intelligence Unit, Chairman of the Task Force for State Properties, and as an advisor to former Prime Ministers. 
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Craig Lebamoff

Managing Director
Craig Lebamoff is a Managing Director at Straife and advises on human trafficking, customs enforcement, border security, mass migration planning, and other related topics, including U.S. State Department funding sources available to foreign governments.
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Bahadır Kaleağası​

Managing Director

Bahadır Kaleağası is President of the Paris Bosphorus Institute, lecturer at the Istanbul Galatasaray University, Brussels Energy Club's honorary president, and board or advisory member in several companies and European institutions. Former CEO of TUSIAD and executive board member of BusinessEurope, he has decades-long international executive experience and advises clients on Transatlantic and European affairs and global operations.

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Yadel Oskan

Managing Director
Yadel Oskan is a Managing Director at Straife. Having been born in Frankfurt, Yadel studied German Language and Linguistics as well as literature at Istanbul University. A lifelong entrepreneur and investor, he founded multiple companies throughout his career in a myriad of industries.
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Valerie Golson

Chief Operations Officer
Valerie is an innovative and results-oriented hospitality, entertainment, gaming, and business development expert with over two decades of experience and a proven track record of developing and implementing agile and performance-driven strategies. 
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Brendan Fleming

General Counsel
Brendan Fleming provides legal and general business advice to Straife and its affiliates regarding its operations domestically and internationally. Before joining Straife. Brendan worked at Husch Blackwell, LLP, a large national law firm, representing commercial banks, private equity firms, and business owners in complex finance, corporate, and real estate transactions. 
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Burak Dimici

Vice President, Legal & Compliance
Burak Dimici is an Energy/Infrastructure and M&A lawyer with a multi-disciplinary background. After graduating from Ankara University Faculty of Law in 2001, Burak started his career as the legal counsel at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, with special assignment, advisor to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. 
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Victor Salinas

Vice President, Ecuador
Victor Salinas joined Straife in 2018 as Director of Operations in Ecuador. Currently, he is the Vice-President representing Straife in Ecuador. He obtained his bachelor's degree in architecture. After some years of architectural practice in Ecuador and Canada, where he obtained his Engineering Management degree.
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Stephen Guice

Director of Analytics
Stephen Guice received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Michigan State University. He taught applied and theoretical Linguistics before joining the U.S. Department of State. In his 20-year career in the State Department, he served extensively in Central Asia and the Caucasus.  
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Lauren Gilmore

Director, Communications

Lauren Gilmore is an award-winning digital communications strategist with over ten years of experience in strategic communication in both the private and non-profit sectors. Her oversight includes corporate and asset-level communications for Straife and its sister companies around the world. She is responsible for advancing the firm and its client's strategic messaging, brand perception, thought leadership profile, and internal communication. A former editor and educator, Lauren is passionate about media relations, public education, gender equality, and the arts. As Straife's Communications Director, Lauren oversees all communications involving the organization, its clients, and the broader ecosystems that support them.

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Tulay Spicker

Director, Business Development
Tulay Spicker is an M.A. Diplomacy and MBA graduate with diverse experience in diplomacy, international business, project management, and data analysis. At the beginning of her career, Tulay worked as a regional expert and analyst for the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) during the dismemberment of the Soviet Union. She was actively involved in Turkey’s development and humanitarian assistance projects for the newly established countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus. 
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Murat Seyrek

Senior Advisor

In his role as a senior advisor, Murat specializes in EU regulations, particularly those related to ESG/sustainability, critical raw materials, forced labor, and the EU Green Deal. He assists clients in gaining a comprehensive understanding of regulatory and policy changes within the EU, along with insight into the risks and opportunities associated with existing, new, and forthcoming legislation and policies.

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Cecilia Thorn

Senior Advisor

As a senior advisor at Straife, Cecilia brings a wealth of expertise in helping organizations navigate EU policy and regulatory developments in a wide range of policy domains. She helps boards, C-suit, and senior leadership navigate complex ESG strategies, including emerging trends and international and EU regulatory developments.

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Selin Bülbül

Business Development Manager
After graduating from California State University, Northridge, Selin Bülbül served several years as a former foreign service commercial specialist in the Department of State and Commerce, assisting U.S. companies in successfully exporting to Turkey. 
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Liliana Bakayoko

Consultant
Highly qualified in international business law, Liliana Bakayoko has built solid experience as a lawyer, teacher, and consultant. She is a Consultant in International Investment, Government Relations, and Business Development.  Before devoting herself to the development of her law firm, she taught law at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), and she was a Professor of Law at the European Business School (EBS), the École Supérieure d'Administration et de Management (ESAM) and the École Supérieure de Commerce de Lille (ESC Lille). She was also a trainer of lawyers in private international law at the École de Formation professionnelle des Barreaux de la Cour d'appel de Paris (EFB). Most recently, Liliana has advised clients on issues related to the IGB interconnection pipeline between the Greek and Bulgarian gas systems. She is a member of the International Lawyers Network, Justinian Lawyers, and IR Global. 
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Aziz Barzani

Senior Consultant

Aziz Barzani is a Senior Consultant at Straife. An academician and historian with ample years of experience as a business consultant and strategic affairs expert, Aziz has spent decades working on foreign policy and diplomatic representation efforts in Kurdistan, specifically building relations between the country with the U.S. and Turkey. 

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Matthew Bryza

Senior Advisor
Ambassador Matthew Bryza is managing director of the Istanbul office of Ballard Partners, a major US and governmental and public affairs firm that helps companies navigate political and legislative issues. He serves on the Boards of energy, mining, and telecommunications companies operating from the greater Caspian region to Texas.  
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Luke Calhoun

Senior Consultant
Luke Calhoun is a retired Army lieutenant colonel who retired in 2019 after serving over 24 years in the United States Army. He is also a service-disabled veteran, serving five tours in Iraq and Syria. The first three tours were focused on fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq and helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country. His last two tours were focused on fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and dealing with the post-conflict challenges of refurbishment and stabilization both in Iraq and Syria.
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Michael Clarke

Senior Consultant
Michael Clarke is a Senior Advisor on Counter-terrorism & Organized Crime. He is a thirty-one-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a former police officer. He has wide-ranging experience in counterterrorism, organized crime, criminal and cyber investigations, violent crimes, white-collar crimes, tactical and special operations, police procedures, and undercover investigations. Throughout his career, Michael has conducted dozens of international multi-faceted criminal investigations with sensitive circumstances, including financial investigations. 
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Yolanda Caraway

Senior Advisor
As a political risk expert, Yolanda analyzes and explores the political and social factors in various geographies to better help clients identify potential challenges and develop strategies. She has played a significant role in shaping the goals and objectives of the National Democratic Party. She has been called upon throughout her career to coordinate various party efforts. 
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Kevin Countie

Senior Consultant
Kevin Countie is a retired Army National Guard Colonel. Prior to joining Straife, Kevin was Deputy Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor, focusing on defense, foreign affairs, homeland security, and law enforcement issues for Congressman Troy E. Nehls (TX-22).  Before his employment at the U.S. House of Representatives, Kevin served as the division director over the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) at the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, primarily focusing on countering human trafficking activities in licensee locations throughout Texas
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Mike Croissant

Senior Consultant
Mike Croissant is a Senior Consultant at Straife. An insight-driven, multi-faceted, analytical expert, Mike has a seasoned intelligence background and a proven track record of successfully identifying trends, gaps, opportunities, and strategic insights in global intelligence data. 
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Stuart Jolly

Senior Advisor
Stuart Jolly advises clients on matters relating to political risks and U.S. government engagement. Before joining Straife, Stuart served as a named partner and president of two private diplomacy groups in Washington, D.C., representing several clients with unique political, national, and international concerns. He also served as Southeast Regional Political Director and was promoted to National Field Director in the 2015/16 presidential campaign.
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Chris Laursen

Senior Consultant
Christopher Laursen is a leading expert in financial institutions, markets, products, and financial company risk management, regulation, and accounting. With 30 years of financial industry experience, he has served as a senior financial company regulator and policy maker, consultant to public and private clients, and testifying expert.  
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Ray Leonard

Senior Consultant
Ray Leonard is a Senior Consultant at Straife and an upstream oil and gas executive. He has over 40 years of experience in energy exploration, production, economics, legal, and management of the E&P industry. 
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Jason Llorenz

Senior Advisor
Jason Llorenz is a senior advisor at Straife. He connects brand strategy, executive thought leadership, and sustainability with business objectives. He is a leader with over 18 years of experience advising impact-focused businesses, nonprofit organizations, elected officials, and communities.
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Mike Longhauser

Senior Consultant
Mike Longhauser is a 15-year veteran of the Department of State, where he progressed quickly from managing logistics portfolios to overseeing core business platforms of embassies and consulates. An experienced logistics and international supply chain manager, Mike has overseen financial operations, government acquisitions, as well as buildings and facilities. He has served at U.S. embassies in Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia and has received many awards and recognition for exemplary performance. Prior to the Department of State, he served in the USAF for 20 years in aviation operation manager roles supporting fixed-wing air and ground operations. Mike managed complex flight clearances supporting diplomatic flights in Africa and Asia, DoD liaison for aerial support in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and DoD aircraft maintenance contracts.
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Michael Messier

Senior Consultant
Michael Messier’s career as a Special Agent with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) spanned 15 years in domestic and international assignments. In 1995, Michael entered DEA after spending 10 years as a practicing, licensed, and certified financial advisor in New York City. His last position with the DEA was as a Supervisory Special Agent stationed at the US Embassy in Mexico City, where he led the DEA’s Mexico Financial Investigations Group.
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Michael Murphy

Senior Advisor

Michael Murphy is a trailblazing international relations expert, real estate developer, and entrepreneur with a remarkable background built on over 25 years of experience. Michael forges critical alliances and strategic partnerships with global corporations and foreign governments. With expert knowledge in cyber intelligence, risk management, and business development, he leverages cutting-edge technologies with human expertise to turn creative ideas into successful business strategies.

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Justin Niederer

Senior Consultant
Justin Niederer is a retired Colonel in the US Air Force who started his career flying C-130 Hercules aircraft on missions supporting Operation Joint Guard in Eastern Europe, Operation Southern Watch in the Middle East, and unnamed operations in South America. More recently, he commanded a Contingency Response Group responsible for providing first response teams to establish initial airfield operations for contingency, humanitarian relief, non-combatant evacuation, and homeland defense missions.
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Stephanie Rice

Senior Consultant
As an economic sanctions and financial crime adviser with extensive public and private sector experience in investigations, regulatory compliance, and risk management, Stephanie Rice specializes in financial crimes and compliance consulting. She brings to the table substantial experience in sanctions enforcement and compliance and is well-positioned to advise on complex sanctions matters, designing and operating compliance programs, training, and managing testing/investigations.
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Loubna Salagh

Senior Consultant

As a legal consultant for a U.S. immigration firm, Loubna Salagh has a strong background in immigration and corporate law, especially in regard to the immigration and interview process and the reporting requirements demanded by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Combined with her experience in Business Development, Loubna is an expert in translating and harmonizing treaties, corporate charters, joint ventures, and immigration-related documents that provide clients with the latest and most appropriate immigration strategies in the United States and around the world.

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Robin Sutherland

Senior Consultant
Robin Sutherland is a trusted leader with an excellent track record of value creation through successful exploration in Africa, founded on strong government and joint venture partner relationships and execution of significant transformational change. A technical and engineering advisor, Robin possessing an in-depth understanding of the oil and gas business and a clear vision for value creation and sustainable growth in Africa.
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David Taylor

Senior Consultant
David Taylor retired U.S. Army Colonel after 24 years of service. His military assignments included Senior Army Advisor for the States of Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Carolina; Professor of Military Science at Michigan State University; Director, Commander's Initiative Group, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command; Director of Operations, Task Force Eagle; Director of Operations, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment; Strategic Planner, HQDA G/3/5/7; Troop Commander, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment; Company Commander, 177th Armored Brigade; Operations Officer, 2nd Brigade 24th Infantry Division; and Platoon Leader, 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment.
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Robert Wilson

Geopolitical Analyst
As Straife’s geopolitical analyst, Robert Wilson provides commercial and strategic perspectives to clients on the business implications of geopolitics, helping them navigate volatility, seize opportunity, and mitigate risk. Prior to joining Straife, Robert worked in Washington, D.C., advocating for foreign policy-minded organizations and acting as a research assistant for several think tanks. 
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Kyle Paige

Executive Assistant
Kyle Paige holds a master's degree in international relations from the University of St Andrews. In his current role as Executive Assistant, he earned a reputation as a resourceful and entrepreneurial-minded leader, multi-tasking across a broad spectrum of responsibilities to ensure executives can optimize their time and energy in the most positive way possible. 
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