To become a leader in impact-oriented research and engagement focused on empowering people locally to achieve peace globally.


At TRENDS Global, our mission is built upon our core values: we listen before we speak, we assess before we provide, and we collaborate to succeed. TRENDS Global promotes needs-sensitive engagement to develop community-based solutions.

Our Team

Areas of expertise:
Conflict Management, Peace and Security Studies, Civil-Military Relations, Social Identity Research, Case Writing and Simulation Development

Volker Franke, PhD Chairman & Founder

Volker is a Professor of Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University and the founding director of the PhD program in International Conflict Management. He holds a PhD in political science from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from NC State University and a MA in political science and sociology from Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany. Volker has published widely in the areas of peace and conflict studies, national and international security, development policy and civil-military relations and has extensive grant writing and program management experience, including the implementation and supervision of government and foundation funded research and training projects, conferences, workshops, and exhibitions.

Areas of expertise:
Lebanese, Levantine and MENA law, politics and culture; International and human rights law; Peacebuilding and conflict management in the Middle East

Isaac Andakian Program Director -- Middle East

Isaac is an expert in Lebanese, Levantine, and MENA law, politics, and culture. He has extensive experience as a political adviser for two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a minister in the Lebanese cabinet. For 8 years, Isaac provided legal counsel to the Armenian Orthodox Community Court of Lebanon and the municipality of the City of Anjar, Lebanon. For almost 3 years, Isaac worked as an Arabic Litigation Attorney, translator, interpreter, and Arabic/Islamic cultural adviser on the biggest Middle Eastern Financial case, a multi-billion-dollar international bankruptcy, fraud, and insolvency case, the proceedings of which were conducted in the Cayman Islands. Isaac’s educational background extends to two master’s degrees in political science and human rights, and a Juris Doctor degree. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate in international conflict management at Kennesaw State University where his interest and focus are on the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Spring, Violence, Mass Mobilization, Sectarianism, Youth, Peacebuilding, Democratization, and Corruption. Isaac speaks fluent Arabic, English, and Armenian. He also speaks conversational French and Turkish.

Areas of expertise:
Community Engaged Research & Practice
Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding
Refugee Resettlement, Diversity, Marginalization

Birthe C. Reimers, PhD Director of Community Peacebuilding

Birthe is a graduate of the International Conflict Management PhD program at Kennesaw State University. She holds a M.A. in African American Studies (concentration: Psychology) from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a B.A. in Education, English, and French from the University of Hamburg, Germany. Birthe is a certified community and family mediator and has served as an adjunct instructor at Kennesaw State University. Her interests and experience include conflict transformation, peacebuilding, refugee resettlement, diversity, and marginalization. Birthe has published and presented in national and international journals and conferences on topics such as using Photovoice as a constructive conflict engagement strategy, overcoming ethnic hatred, post-conflict social identity reconstruction, and the interconnectedness of community engaged scholarship, practice, and pedagogy.

Areas of expertise:

Dr. Michael Ashkenazi Senior Advisor Training and Evaluation

Mike's research and training interests range from Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and small arms and light weapons (SALW) control to qualitative methodology and fieldwork and simulation exercise design and execution. Mike has conducted research on ritual, religion and festivals, Japanese and Korean business culture, Japanese and world food cultures has been a Karate and iaido instructor.

Areas of expertise:
Technology Development
International Negotiation & Mediation
Global Business Development

Graham Gintz, MSCM Director of Marketing & Development

Graham is a social entrepreneur focused on developing ideas and products that serve to responsibly resolve today's global conflicts. As the holder of five US patents, he has spent the majority of his life innovating and growing socially impactful businesses. Having earned his MS in Conflict Management (concentration: international mediation) from Kennesaw State University and a BS in Business Administration (concentration: Entrepreneurship) from the University of Texas-Dallas, Graham brings a combined understanding of business and social responsibility to the TRENDS Global team.

Areas of expertise:

Amanda Guidero Research Associate

Amanda is a Research Associate at TRENDS Global and the inaugural Fellow of Conflict Engagement at The Werner Institute at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Amanda holds a PhD in International Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University, a MS in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University and a BA in International Studies, from Southern Oregon University. Her research focuses on civil society organizations, and specifically humanitarian security practices. She is also a licensed mediator in the state of Oregon and has conducted research on bi-communal peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in Cyprus and has experience as a grant writer and program evaluator.

Areas of expertise:

Nick Bryk Director, International Advocacy and Community Empowerment

An ideal approach to solving any global issue involves combining formal education and historical perspective with real-life experiences gained through global travel and in-person community engagement, transforming theory into practice. With a diverse background in NGO Senior Management, large-scale project management and extensive global travel, Nick brings a common- sense approach to personal and community empowerment and has helped design and implement “Capacity Building” workshops throughout the Middle East for Syrian Expats/Refugees, as well as Train-the-Trainer workshops, and has worked with TRENDS Global and other prominent US-based NGO’s to develop an innovative and proprietary “Community Empowerment Program” that is designed to target global conflict zones to build human capacity to rebuild and build civil society.

Casey Davis Training Coordinator

Casey is a graduate student in KSU’s School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development. She developed TRENDS’ “We’re All Together” Sensitivity and Inclusion Training to promote self-evaluation and interpersonal relations with people. She began at KSU in Fall 2017 after completing a year at AmeriCorps with a nonprofit that severed children and families of incarcerated parents. With that and previous conflict experience at other jobs she decided to pursue becoming a mediator and trainer through TRENDS and KSU’s program.

Janet Therrien Advisor, Development and Operations

Janet has extensive global experience in large scale organizational and sector transformation including program design, strategy, operations, marketing, change management and negotiation training. A consultant and former entrepreneur, Janet is passionate about integrative approaches for conflict management, restorative justice and psychotherapy. She has led executive teams and fundraising initiatives in diversity, nonprofit, education, fintech and economic development across the U.S., Canada, Singapore and Dubai, and holds a MSc. in Public Policy and Management from the University of York (UK).

TRENDS Global Headquarters

With a special thanks to Goethe-Zentrum/German Cultural Center of Atlanta, we are pleased to announce that our headquarters are located in the heart of Midtown Atlanta at the historic Colony Square.

As we continue to expand and grow, we hope to expand our offices and build a center of excellence for resolving conflict through research and engagement.

Atlanta, USA

TRENDS Global Headquarters
2846 Forest Wood Dr
Marietta, GA 30066
United States

Telephone: +1.(404) 865-1309