Christy Grace provines
Christy is the Founder, President and Chair of the Board for The ‘MPOWER Project. She has worked in private sector brand marketing, advertising and media for the past 14 years where she served as lead strategist and director overseeing luxury beauty brands’ marketing and partnership efforts for big publishers, including Time, Inc and Conde Nast. Her undergraduate work in journalism, prior career as a [magazine/media] “brand ambassador” and current role in marketing enable Christy to bring a unique point of view to The ‘MPOWER Project and out-branding violent extremism through messaging. Christy holds a Master of Public Affairs from Columbia | SIPA and a double major in Journalism/Mass Communications and Marketing/Consumer Behavior from Iowa State University. She also serves on the Board of Directors for The Foundation for Post Conflict Development. In her spare time, Christy is getting her 200-hour yoga certification - she is also Pilates mat certified.
Michael served with the United States Marine Corps, completing tours in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, and the Gulf. Since his service, Michael has consulted for the United Nations and the RAND Corporation, focusing on conflict resolution in Peru and security governance reform in West Africa. In addition to his role at The ‘MPOWER Project, Michael works in business risk intelligence focusing on cybercrime and counterterrorism, where he focuses on ISIS and Al-Qaeda’s presence in the deep web. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and National Security from Tiffin University and a Master of Public Affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. Outside of work, Michael enjoys hiking, climbing and competing in endurance races.
Ken has served nearly 20 years in the United States Army Reserve, with service in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and several other allied countries. Since his first deployment to Iraq in 2003, Ken has taken a strong interest in Middle East affairs, both regionally and with regard to the influence of foreign powers. Through his time on the ground in the Middle East, Ken has a nuanced understanding of the motivations and causes of terrorism, which led to his decision to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from George Washington University and a Master of Arts in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. In addition to the role he is taking on with The ‘MPOWER Project, Ken works in business risk intelligence, focusing on physical violence, cyber terrorism, and cybercrime.
A Letter from the board
We realize the impossibility of the challenge that we have taken on, but believe wholeheartedly in the importance and, indeed, necessity of a more human-centric approach to fighting violent extremism. Our goal is not to find a solution for these complex problems, but to create space for cooperation, dialogue and an approach that places the human element first.
Governments and law enforcement have borne the sole burden of responsibility for far too long - It is time for non-governmental organizations and the private sector to take a more concerted stand in inoculating against extremist ideology and in proliferating pro-social alternatives to violence. Thank you for your interest in The 'MPOWER Project.
- Christy, Mike and Ken