As MPS matures, expanding its services and outreach, there is an increased need for high-level decision-making. So an extra executive layer was recently established, and two top-notch MPS staffers have stepped in to fill the newly-created positions.
We are pleased to announce the promotion of Sarah Nurse and Andrew MacDonald – each with a decade of experience at M Powered Strategies – to the position of Vice President.
Sarah Nurse, Vice President of Client Services, is a senior consultant with fifteen years of management consulting experience, supporting clients such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, Department of Commerce and more. Her expertise is in strategic planning, strategic communications, complex stakeholder management, organizational design, facilitation, governance, and performance management. Previously, Sarah served as MPS Account Manager, overseeing the VA contracts for the past several years.
Andrew MacDonald, Vice President of Administration, has an MBA from the University of Technology, Sydney, and a Master’s in Public International Law from the University of Sydney with a focus in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). He is a Certified Workplace Mediator and Trainer in Workplace Mediation and has substantial experience providing client solutions in Human Resource Management, organizational analysis, facilitation, and conflict management. Clients he has worked with include the Department of Energy, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Justice. He has served as Director of Human Resources at MPS for many years, and will continue in that role in addition to his new responsibilities.
Congratulations to both Sarah and Andrew!
Before coming to MPS, Maria served as a political appointee in President Obama’s Administration. She started out at the White House in the Office of Presidential Personnel.
From there she went on to work in a variety of positions at the U.S. Department of State. As Deputy White House Liaison, she supported the Secretary’s leadership, helping manage the relationships of all political appointees. In the office of Commercial and Business Affairs, Maria provided strategic planning support to the Special Representative. She also served as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States, where she represented U.S. interests on a multilateral stage.
Maria started her professional career as a Geometry teacher with Teach for America in Atlanta, Georgia. She received a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and is admitted to the Texas Bar. She also holds a B.B.A. in Finance and B.A. in French from the University of Texas at Austin.
James Feinstein comes to MPS after serving at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution. As a Special Assistant in the Office of the President he helped advance American foreign policy and increase global economic stability by encouraging private sector investment into emerging markets. Prior to this he worked on Energy, Environment and Transportation policy for Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota.
James earned a B.A. from Luther College in Decorah, IA and served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand where he conducted research on voter motivation and taught English. He is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Public Policy at Georgetown University. In his spare time James enjoys outdoor activities, reading and traveling.
Shannon McGuire recently received her Master’s in Public Administration, with a concentration in nonprofit management, from The George Washington University (GWU). For her capstone project, she conducted research on women in the U.S. Coast Guard, specifically around the issue of low retention and attrition.
Prior to MPS, she was a graduate intern at Capitol Hill Partners, a consulting firm where she worked to provide effective services and targeted advocacy on behalf of nonprofit clients. In addition, Shannon volunteered at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, a holistic cancer healing nonprofit that provides yoga, cooking, and art classes for individuals affected by cancer.
During her undergraduate years (she has a B.A. in Human Services, also from GWU), Shannon worked at several nonprofits in the Washington, DC area, taking on development and management roles. Her professional interests include health issues, poverty alleviation, social enterprises, and nonprofit development. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys playing rugby, painting pottery, and volunteering in her local community.
Brad McCandless, the newest member of MPS’ PACE Cohort 11, got his initial consulting experience at the grassroots consulting firm, 270 Strategies, in Chicago, where he worked on strategy for political and nonprofit groups.
After earning his B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Northwestern University, Brad came to DC to work at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategic advisory firm, where he specialized in commercial diplomacy, and at the National Democratic Institute, focusing on elections. Previously, he worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, doing research geared toward political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa.
At MPS, Brad is looking forward to developing strategies for clients and partners to bring about meaningful organizational change. Outside the firm, he enjoys playing squash, baseball, and all things outdoors, along with keeping up with contemporary film.
Sarah Dawn Miller holds an M.A. in International Relations with concentrations in International Economics and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins University’s School for Advanced International Studies. For her graduate thesis, she examined Golda Meir’s manipulation of the gender binary during her tenure as Prime Minister of Israel. Sarah also completed a B.A. in French, with minors in Arabic, intelligence and security studies, and theatre, from the University of Mississippi, where she studied the perceptions of Muslims, Christians, and the non-religious in Mississippi, France, and Jordan.
Prior to joining MPS, Sarah was a research analyst with CEB, where she conducted extensive research on the management of corporate accounting functions in Fortune 500 companies. Sarah enjoys reading, cooking, and playing with her two cats, Nina and Professor Pip.
MPS is pleased to have one of our former Business Development Associates back on the team. Ira Casteel has an MA in International Development from American University’s School of International Service, and earned her MBA from American University’s Kogod School of Business earlier this year. She has consulted with startups in Israel and interned at American Councils, an international education nonprofit.
Prior to grad school, Ira worked at Apple and AT&T. She spent two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer, working first with the Red Cross in Oregon and then at a Conflict Resolution Center in Maryland.
Originally from Ukraine, Ira (pron. “EAR-ah”) speaks Russian, Ukrainian and Polish. She enjoys hiking, biking, camping and traveling.
A world traveler and published writer, Collin Furth recently joined MPS’ PACE Cohort 11 to begin his career in consulting. He hails from an eclectic background in literature, law and sales, that has coalesced into a love of client-facing work in the federal IT space. After earning a B.A. in English and Writing from Gettysburg College in 2014, Collin worked at a real estate law firm in New Jersey. More recently, he was an account representative at Carahsoft, an IT firm for the Federal Government.
In his spare time he pursues a number of artistic and athletic endeavors, including playing the guitar (mostly blues), doing gymnastics, and traveling to places such as Greece and New Zealand. Collin looks forward to working with the MPS team, to serve, change, and empower.
Eddie Lee joins us as a career consultant with experience in both the private and public sectors. His expertise is in strategic planning with a focus on technology integration and shared services migrations. Eddie served as a project manager for BP during the post oil spill remediation efforts. Additionally during his career he has provided advisory services to technology offices within the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice.
Eddie enjoys an array of hobbies, including cooking, eating, and being outdoors.
Davin Hattaway has 15 years executive leadership experience managing all aspects of operations for 43 regional, national, and international nonprofit organizations. His professional background includes 12 years at Potomac Management Resources (PMR), a Virginia-based nonprofit consulting firm, where he served as a senior SME and Chief Operations Officer. Under Davin’s leadership, PMR became the top-ranked event planning firm in the Washington DC area as ranked by the Washington Business Journal.
Prior to PMR, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cape Verde, West Africa and later continued his work with OASIS supporting rural nonprofits there. Davin is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), and holds a degree in History from the University of Central Florida. Outside of work he enjoys hiking, caving, kayaking, and outdoor activities of all kinds; as well as practicing four martial arts.