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Executive Board

Executive Board

Nihal W. Goonewardene, F’73, received MA and MALD degrees before working for Fletcher in Southeast Asia, based in Manila, as sole Regional Representative for the Asia-Pacific Teaching Fellows Program. The program was modeled on Fletcher’s longer established Latin American initiative of similar scope.  Launched with Congressional support and funding from USAID in 1976, the program worked with multinational corporations and leading local businesses to incorporate business education to university curricula in ASEAN.  Its main activity was the World Bank-funded 4th Agricultural Education Project to develop Central Mindanao University for which Fletcher deployed seven resident faculty experts from the US, Taiwan and the Philippines, working through an IDA technical assistance contract in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Its success was capped by a substantial endowment from the Marcos Foundation for several academic fellowships and the ASEAN auditorium at Fletcher.

Nihal became a founder of International Science and Technology Institute, Inc. in Washington, DC in 1978 upon returning to Medford duty from Manila, and was tasked with its international operations as divisional president from the outset.  He became President and CEO in 1991.  ISTI has worked in over 80 countries in the developing world in partnership with USAID, World Bank, State, Asian Development Bank and a few UN agencies primarily in health, population and nutrition; enterprise development; capital and financial markets; food policy; energy and environment.  Nihal is wrapping up the development contracting side of ISTI to concentrate on oil and gas recruitment activity he has begun with ARAMCO and Shell, etc.  Working out of his home since 2010 leaves him plenty of time to tend to other pressing priorities such as Fletcher, FACA, Sri Lanka, family, travel, leisure and club life.

Nihal is a member of the Fletcher Board of Overseers, member of the Board’s Development Committee, Board-designated committee leader of the FACA Internship Program, executive board member of FACA, and Class Agent for F’ 73 and F’74 and their Reunion Chair.  Nihal chaired the Fletcher Fund from 2004 – 2006, bringing annual giving by alumni past the one million dollar threshold for the first time. He is a 1972 graduate in political science and history of Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and worked his way through as the university’s Judo coach. He was recruited by Oakland while studying Judo under the tutelage of All-Nippon champion Toshiro Daigo at the Kodokan in Tokyo on a YMCA fellowship.  Nihal is a former Judo champion of Sri Lanka, 1964-1968, and finished his formative education at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo.  He served as president of Old Joes of America for 10 years through 2006, and as president of Sri Lanka Association of Washington, DC and the Sri Lanka Association of Greater Washington from 2003-2006.  He was grateful to be in a leadership position of the latter associations to spearhead the post-tsunami reconstruction of all affected regions in Sri Lanka by building schools, child care centers, orphanages, clinics and more than 650 homes thanks to the generosity of many individual, corporate and charitable donors.  The Fletcher experience, its unmatched outreach, and the easy stature accorded throughout the world to a person of Fletcher and its training, all combined in mysterious ways to make life interesting, productive and meaningful for Nihal. 

Kafia Haile, F’05 is a writer and artist. Her play, Pickin’ Up Strays, was featured in staged readings at the DC Black Theatre Festival and Theater Alliance’s Hothouse on H Reading Series. Her paintings are on display at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville, MD and will be featured at RAW Space Gallery’s tribute to Troy Davis. In addition to her career in the arts, Kafia has experience as a cultural analyst supporting the Department of Defense and has deployed to Iraq as a subject matter expert on Iraqi tribes and political reconciliation.  In 2004, she was a visiting lecturer at TuftsUniversity’s Experimental College. Kafia earned her Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) as a Joan Gillespie Fellow at The Fletcher School and Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Spelman College. Her article entitled Battling Insurgents in Iraq: Lessons Learned from the French Military’s Experience in the Algerian Revolution was published in the spring 2005 edition of al Naklah.

Stevie B. Hamilton, Jr, F’02 is currently a Senior Staff Officer working for the Department of Defense (DoD) in Washington, DC. Prior to joining DoD, Stevie worked on counter-terrorism issues for the Department of Justice for two years, and prior to that spent 4 years as a commissioned officer in the active duty US Air Force, (USAF) and is currently in the USAF Reserves serving as a Air Attache for Sub-Saharan Africa. Stevie is an international relations professional with 8+ years of experience in a variety of transnational security issues to include strategic, operational, and tactical levels of analysis and operations and has advised senior military, civilian, and foreign leaders and represented the US government abroad. Stevie earned a BA in Political Science with a minor in International Studies from MorehouseCollege in 2000 and his MALD from The Fletcher School in 2002. He is a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow (formerly known as the Woodrow Wilson Fellows Program) and Earhart Fellow for International Security Studies.

Kelly Smith, F’03 comes with extensive management experience across several federal government agencies and private companies. He is currently a manager with Deloitte and Touche LLP within their security and privacy services federal team. Kelly is a security professional with over 8 years experience conducting risk management, certification and accreditation, and cyber threat/intelligence analysis. Mr. Smith is a 2003 graduate of the Fletcher School, where he studied International Security and International Business and received a BS in Chemistry from Morehouse College. In addition to Deloitte, he has worked for several organizations, including Booz Allen Hamilton, Zeltech, the RAND Corporation, Lockheed Martin, and others. These experiences gave him exposure to counterterrorism, homeland security, intelligence, and information management. He is the author of two publications and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).Additionally, Mr. Smith is the principal developer for a real estate development firm with investments in Washington, DC; Baltimore; and Atlanta.


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