Our Team

Photo-Headshot-Joseph M. Humire

Joseph M. Humire

Executive Director

Joseph M. Humire is the SFS Executive Director. A global security expert specializing on transnational threats in the Western Hemisphere, he provides regular briefings on international terrorism, transnational organized crime, Islamism and Iran’s influence Latin America to various entities within the U.S. Department of Defense and intelligence community, as well as prominent think tanks and universities around the world. He testifies frequently before the U.S. Congress on national security issues and has also testified before the European, Canadian, and Andean Parliament, as well as the Argentine and Peruvian Congress. In 2016, Mr. Humire served as an expert witness in an important terrorism trial in Lima, Peru.

Mr. Humire publishes regularly for Fox NewsBreitbart News, the Washington Times and The Hill and has featured scholarly articles in the Small Wars Journal and the Journal of International Security Affairs, among others. He is also a frequent national security commentator for a variety of major English and Spanish language media, including UnivisionTelemundo, and CNN en Español, as well as Fox News, Canada’s CTV and China’s Global Television Network.

Mr. Humire released his first book, Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America, published by Lexington Books, in October 2014. More recently, he published a major monograph titled, “After Nisman: How the death of a prosecutor revealed Iran’s growing influence in the Americas.”

Prior to SFS, Mr. Humire served in the U.S. Marine Corps with combat tours in Iraq and a multinational training exercise UNITAS in Latin America and the Caribbean. After leaving the military, he attended George Mason University, where he studied Global Affairs and Economics. He began building SFS’s global network of more than 100 security scholars in close to 30 countries as the Director of Institute Relations at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. His unique blend of military experience, economics education, and expertise in asymmetric warfare–makes him a rising star in U.S. foreign policy and national security.


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 Fernando Menéndez

Senior Fellow for Strategic Initiatives

Fernando Menéndez, an economist and political analyst, is SFS’s Senior Fellow for Strategic Initiatives. Mr. Menéndez is a well-known scholar of Latin American populist movements, while his research and writing focus on Cuba’s economic and political history and Cuba-U.S. relations as well as on the emergence and growing economic and political penetration of China in Latin America. In 2015, he testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere on the topic of “The New Cuba Policy and the Implications for U.S. National Security.”

Mr. Menéndez’s work has been published in The Hill, Fox News Latino, The Commentator, Trending Central and Breitbart London. He has also appeared as a political commentator on Colombia’s NTN24 television network, Canada’s CTV and Rebel TV, and the One America News (OAN) Network. Mr. Menéndez also writes a regular column for China-US Focus and appears frequently on China’s CGTN America programs to provide insight and expertise on events in Cuba and Latin America.

Mr. Menéndez is SFS’s editor-in-chief and oversees SFS training programs and other educational ventures in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to this, Mr. Menéndez spent a 25-year career as a consultant, corporate trainer, and lead facilitator for major corporations and other institutions, lecturing on a variety of topics at the American University in Washington D.C., Northeastern University in Boston, and the Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala, among other centers of learning.
Mr. Menéndez earned a magna cum laude degree in economics and philosophy from George Mason University and was awarded a Graduate of the Decade Award by the College of Humanities. His graduate studies included work on the Austrian theory of the market process and extensive research on economic development and comparative economic models.



Mark A. Walker

Senior Fellow for  Congressional Relations

Mark Walker, a senior executive with 25 years of experience on Capitol Hill as a Chief of Staff and Committee Staff Director, is SFS’s Senior Fellow for Congressional Relations. Mr. Walker has been a leader in developing policy and legislation, and is recognized as an expert in management, budgeting, fundraising and political organization.

Additionally, Mr. Walker was responsible for managing 4 different offices both in Washington, D.C., and Indiana. He also organized and led several high-level Congressional and senior-Staff level delegations abroad where he was charged with leading diplomatic meetings with Presidents, Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Legislative Leaders and Chambers of Commerce.

Mark Walker has served as a Chief of Staff, Senior Congressional Staffer, and Staff Director for multiple Members of Congress, as well as a Senior Campaign Staffer for both Vice President Mike Pence and Former Vice President Dan Quayle of Indiana. He most recently served as the Senior Staff Director for the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.

During his tenure on Capitol Hill, Mr. Walker shepherded five major pieces of legislation through the House and Senate and signed into law in the last two sessions of Congress. He has served as an official spokesperson at both official Town Hall Meetings and campaign events and has represented Congressmen/Chairmen at various public and policy engagements. He is also a regular speaker at Senior Capitol Hill events, Think Tank roundtables, and Washington, DC Embassy functions.

Mark A. Walker received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from Wabash College where he was awarded an Eli Lilly Scholarship and attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, France.


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EJ Kimball 

Senior Fellow for Middle East Policy

EJ Kimball, a national security consultant, is SFS’s Senior Fellow for Middle East Policy. Mr. Kimball is an expert on the region and issues related to Islamist terrorism and ideology, and national security, who provides training to law enforcement professionals, national security organizations, business groups, and religious communities on the nature of the extremist threat and engagement techniques.

He has served multiple roles on and off Capitol Hill, including Staff Director of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, Foreign Policy Counsel to US Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-NC), Director of Government Relations for Jorge Scientific Corporation, and most recently, Director of US Operations for the Israel Allies Foundation. Mr. Kimball currently serves as the President of EJK Strategies and Director of the Israel Victory Project for the Middle East Forum.

Mr. Kimball has been referenced in the Jerusalem Post, Washington Free Beacon, and The Hill, and has been published by the Sun Sentinel and Washington Examiner. He appears frequently in the international press, including on CBC in Canada and i24 in Israel.

Mr. Kimball graduated from Boston University, earned his Juris Doctor from Western New England College, and received a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the American University School of International Service. He also has a diploma in Islamic Studies from the Fanar, Qatar Islamic Cultural Center.


Rachel Echeto 

Program Manager

Rachel Echeto is SFS’s Program Manager. She first joined SFS in 2014 as an undergraduate intern in the Fund for American Studies Institute on Economics and International Affairs program. As an intern, Ms. Echeto worked on the translation of policy reports and op-eds on Latin American politics and the production of the 2014 book, “Iran’s Strategic Penetration of Latin America.”

Following her internship at SFS, Ms. Echeto worked with the US Consulate in Guadalajara, MX as an intern in the US Department of State’s Virtual Student Foreign Service Program, researching economic and political data in Mexico and creating reports for the consulate. In 2015, she graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Linguistics, and was awarded the Senior Recognition Award for Service to the Department by the USC Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Ms. Echeto continues to work as a translator with Latin American investigative journalists and contributed to research on the 2016 special report “After Nisman: How the death of a prosecutor revealed Iran’s growing influence in the Americas” by Executive Director Joseph Humire. She also recently contributed a chapter on Argentina to the American Foreign Policy Council’s Almanac of Islamism.

Ms. Echeto has been certified by the Spanish government as fluent in Spanish at the B2 level, and has lived and worked in Spain and Mexico.