Ricardo Castillo Argüello
Senior Practice Advisor
Raymond J. Mino
Chief Financial Officer
Senior Practice Advisor
Senior Organizational Development Specialist
Strategic Planning and Evaluation Associate
Senior Advisor MENA Region
Christina Blunt, Practice Advisor – Institutional Development, supports i-APS practice in institutional strengthening, training, and capacity building. Ms. Blunt brings to i-APS clients eight years of experience in capacity building, curriculum development, research, project management, strategic planning, proposal development, program design, policy analysis and leveraging technologies for knowledge sharing in the humanitarian, human rights, and international development sectors. She has worked with both international and U.S. based domestic non-governmental organizations in the development of strategy, programming and funding proposals; identifying opportunities to enhance organizational efficiency and learning; and managing the implementation of programs focused on providing services to vulnerable populations.
Previous to joining the i-APS team, Ms. Blunt worked as an independent consultant and researcher, providing capacity assessments and developing targeting strategies for NGOs such as Oxfam America. Previously, she has served as Programs and Contracts Manager, for Feeding America affiliate Feeding South Florida, responsible for the improvement, maintenance, and expansion of food security programs; and spent five years at the Harvard School of Public Health, first at the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research and eventually as the Senior Program Manager for Institutional Partnerships for Learning and Development at the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard University. At Harvard University her work focused on program development for capacity building in the humanitarian sector including the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA), in cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). She was also the Executive Producer of the Live Web Seminar Series on Contemporary Challenges to Humanitarian Law and Policy and the ATHA Humanitarian Assistance Webcast series. Ms. Blunt holds a B.A. from Stonehill College and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics.
Agron Ferati, Executive Director. Agron is a senior-level international relief and development professional with over 15 years of experience in program design and the implementation of large-scale programs and projects. During this time, Mr Ferati has directly managed projects worth more than 300 million USD.
He has a proven record of executing complex negotiations and of managing programs in difficult operating environments. He was the Director of Program Development for International Medical Corps (IMC) from 2009 to 2012. From 2004 to 2010, he was IMC’s Country/Regional Director or Operational Director in Haiti, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Syria/Jordan and Lebanon. He has also worked as a Senior Finance Consultant and Internal Auditor in the private and international NGO sectors. Agron Ferati has led over 40 start-ups, undertaking both contract negotiations and corporate mergers in that capacity. Throughout his career, he has overseen the successful management and implementation of projects for a wide range of donors, including USAID.
Ricardo Castillo, Senior Practice Advisor, Institutional Development. Ricardo Castillo is an international economic development professional with a unique mix of business, political and economic skills, a long journalism trajectory, and an ample, integrated expertise on marketing communications.
The nature of his work with i-APS requires of his business and cross-cultural knowledge of government, private and non-profit sectors, as well as the diplomatic acumen to deal with all levels of stakeholders, leadership and management in an increasingly complex but interconnected social economy.
For the last 15 years, he has executed the whole range of external and internal communications strategies for public and private organizations, and since 2013 Ricardo was involved in over 7 projects related to Syrian Regional Crisis (Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Jordan). His expertise spans their institutional development and strengthening, monitoring their performance and evaluating the impact of their development and humanitarian initiatives. He has played a lead internal role ushering organizational cultural change, breaking down internal silos that prevent collaboration, and navigating the geopolitics that impede global and local alliances in different cultures and geographic regions.
As senior livelihoods, jobs, economic development and communications strategist, he leads cross-functional teams in the research and reporting management, during the full content creation process – from idea generation to message development – and for its distribution across the channels audiences trust and over the platforms they primarily use.
He has successfully used the psychological power of behavioral change communications to obtain the buy-in of key stakeholders for community mobilization while preparing for impending crisis or in the execution of mitigating strategies in disaster and conflict environments.
Mr. Castillo holds an MBA in International business from the University of Miami and a university degree in Political Science from Tulane University and Florida International University. As a former business and political journalist and editor, he has written for the Washington Post, The Economist, Bloomberg News, US News, Al Jazeera and other prestigious international news organizations.
Mr. Raymond Mino, MBA and CPA. Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Mino is a senior accounting and financial sector reform executive with over thirty years of domestic and international experience. His primary focus has been on the establishment and implementation of accounting and auditing certification programs, intense training of cooperating country auditing firms in International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Standards of Auditing (ISA), development and institutional strengthening of professional self-regulatory organizations (SRO) and conversion of enterprises to IFRS. Mr. Mino’s international experience encompasses enterprise evaluation, privatization, accounting and capital market reform and the development of comprehensive training programs.
Mr. Mino is also a bank accounting specialist with significant experience in carrying out accounting and auditing diagnostic work in commercial banks of Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Georgia. He has advised the central banks of Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Georgia on compliance with IFRS and ISA. He is an experienced trainer, having developed and delivered training for both enterprise and bank accountants. He has directed IFAC compliant training, testing and certification programs for the professional accounting associations in Kosovo and Ukraine and has taught US undergraduate classes in Investment Analysis, Money & Banking, Financial Management and Production Systems & Operations.
Mr. Mino received his BSFS from Georgetown University and his MBA from Marist College. He is a licensed CPA and an Intuit Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor. As Chief Financial Officer for International Advisory, Products and Systems Mr. Mino is responsible for corporate financial planning and day-to-day financial and accounting management.
Mohammed R. Majee, Senior Advisor Institutional Strenghtening. Mohammed Rasheed is based in Baghdad, Iraq and has a high level of managerial and administration skills in program/project management, community and organization development, and strategic/operational planning. He possesses advanced expertise in humanitarian emergency programming, including capacity building, economic recovery, and governance. Mohammed has highly developed relationships with senior management officials of various Iraqi ministries, local authorities, international agencies and institutions working in Iraq as well as an excellent understanding of working practices in Iraq vis a vis international expectations, and broad management experience of large teams to achieve results. Mohammed has a broad range of experience in managing large and small scale data collection projects in Iraq including a local business market assessment in five Iraqi governorates to identify local business market demand for employment and skills, a customer satisfaction survey for the MOMD’s returnee centers, and an IDP intention survey for IOM/IMC.
Iain McLellan, Strategic Planning and Evaluation Associate. Iain is a program and evaluation specialist with 30 years of experience in 25 countries in Sub-Saharan African including six in the region (Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, and Nigeria). Most recently he was the team leader for a study of the Social Mobilization and BCC response in Sierra Leone. His technical expertise covers all the intervention areas as outlined under the SNAP project. In terms of evaluation experience he has been the team leader for over 10 USAID public health project evaluations, including Guinea, Kenya, India, Djibouti, Rwanda, Mali, and Malawi. Mr. McLellan has demonstrated good skills for quickly understanding complex data and changing dynamics, exhibited sensitivity to and understanding of local cultures and conflicts as well as working in an open, transparent and cooperative way that is strong on building confidence and consensus. Having worked previously as a journalist his outputs are always precise, concise and timely. He brings together a mix of technical rigor, creativity and participatory leadership.