John is a partner in a Veteran Owned Small Business and an attorney. His firm focuses on supporting the U.S. government in anti-corruption, police training, traditional rule of law programs, and he advises private clients on federal fiscal and contracting law issues. Prior to that, John moved to Afghanistan, where he mediated disputes between Afghan and U.S. businesses. John has over a decade of experience in Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq, and Somalia, where he met fellow board member Will Felder. John holds degrees from the University of Texas and is a graduate of the Army’s Judge Advocate General’s School in Virginia. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and currently provides pro bono legal aid to Afghans who openly supported U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.
Will is a Director in the Leveraged Finance Origination Group at Credit Suisse, where he originates and structures corporate debt financings. Before that, he was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army in which he continues serving as an officer in the Army Reserve. Will holds a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a Masters of Business Administration and Juris Doctor from Emory University. He volunteers as a board member of the American Women Veterans Foundation and is a lifetime member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the National Infantry Association, and the National Eagle Scout Association. In addition to his many successes and volunteer activities, Will also mentors veterans transitioning from active duty to civilian life.
With 21 years of service in the United States Army, Sergeant Major (Retired) Gonzo Lassally had an illustrious and fast-paced career as an Infantryman. Deploying multiple times to Afghanistan, Gonzo’s study and understanding of the Afghan culture was vital in building personal connections with the Afghan people, and he maintains those relationships to this day. Gonzo holds a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science from Excelsior College and advocates for Non-commissioned Officer higher education.
Aziz served for seven years as a translator (Tarjoman) for the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps before immigrating to the U.S. via the Special Immigrant Visa Program. Aziz served shoulder to shoulder with U.S. service members in Kabul, Parwan, and Kapisa Provinces for almost a decade and is now a partner in a thriving trucking and logistics company. He also helped found a masjid (mosque) with fellow board member Rahmanullah Zazy where Aziz also serves as the treasurer. Aziz was in Kabul with his family when the Afghan government capitulated and fortunately was able to escape in significant part because of the informal efforts of former service members who connected him with service members inside Kabul Airport.
Rahman served for over a decade as a translator (Tarjoman) for U.S. Army Special Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps prior to immigrating to the U.S. via the Special Immigrant Visa Program. He worked in volatile areas within Kapisa, Kandahar, Kabul, and Helmand Provinces and also worked alongside John Green. Rahman is now a partner in a thriving logistics company with fellow Tarjoman Relief board member Aziz Azizyar, and also serves on the Board of Directors at the masjid (mosque) he and Aziz helped found. Rahman was in Kabul with his family when the Afghan government capitulated and was able to escape danger in great part because of the tireless efforts of former service members who connected Rahman and his family with Americans inside of Kabul International Airport. Immediately upon return to safety, Rahman bravely re-boarded a flight back to Kabul to serve as a linguist for a medical N.G.O. providing critical care to Afghan refugees.
Mike has been working and operating in Afghanistan since 2003. He is highly regarded as one of the subject matter experts on security and operations in Afghanistan. From supervising security for 18 major Department of Defense construction projects such as the “Ring Road” from Herat to Mazer-e-Sharif, to serving on several U.S. Embassy and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) working groups, working as Chairman of the Overseas Security Advisory Committee (OSAC) Security Transition Team, and serving as advisor to the U.S. Embassy, the NATO Commander of ISAF, and to the Chief of Intelligence (CJ2X) at HQs ISAF in Kabul, Mike is one of the few westerners who has been to and operated in all 34 provinces in Afghanistan. Mike is a retired U.S. Marine infantry officer and Missouri native. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Missouri. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College and a certified Counter Terrorism Planner Counterinsurgency (COIN) expert. Mike currently serves as the OSAC Security Cooperation Committee Chairman in Afghanistan.