About Professional Training and Simulation Programs

Founded in 1981 by University of Maryland professors Dr. Jonathan Wilkenfeld and Dr. Richard Brecht, the ICONS Project is a global communication and negotiation professional training program that offers cutting-edge, evidence-based instruction in conflict resolution, crisis management, cross-cultural communication, and leadership skills, via traditional face-to-face training and our proprietary web-based simulation platform, . ICONS Training provides individuals, teams, and organizations with a practical method of measuring problem-solving effectiveness in the face of a variety of domestic and international crises. Drawing on over three decades of expertise, ICONS Training is adept at addressing the diverse needs of today's global professionals, from seasoned executives to emerging team leaders.

In addition, as an affiliate unit of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland, College Park, the ICONS Project can provide its clients with exclusive access to instruction from world-class trainers, simulation developers, practitioners, and academics.


Name Title Phone E-Mail
Jonathan Wilkenfeld Director 301-314-7703 jwilkenf@umd.edu
Audrey Tetteh Associate Director & Education Program Director 301-405-4381 atetteh@umd.edu
Devin Ellis Policy and Research Program Director & Lead Simulation Developer 301-405-5313 ellisd@umd.edu
Ron Capps Simulation Developer 301-405-7151 rcapps@umd.edu
Egle Murauskaite Non-Resident Fellow 301-405-4172 egle@umd.edu
Beth Blake Web Developer 301-405-4511 bblake@umd.edu
Alexander Jonas Web Developer 301-405-4145 arjonas@umd.edu
Alexis Li Program Coordinator 301-405-4172 icons@umd.edu





Street Address:
University of Maryland
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
ICONS Project
1117 Chincoteague Hall
7401 Preinkert Dr.
College Park, MD 20742


Jayne Nucete, Trainer

Jayne NuceteMs. Nucete began facilitating interpersonal skills workshops and trainings in 1998. She specializes in trainings focused on interpersonal competencies for leaders, including diversity and social justice issues, self-awareness, communication, conflict resolution, decision-making, and goal-setting. Her clients have included youth-at-risk, college students, survivors of domestic violence, and professionals in the public and private spheres, domestically and internationally. In Malaysia, she facilitated training for rising leaders at a major bank. In Mexico, she facilitated cross-cultural exchanges and sustained professional relationships with villagers in the remote Copper Canyon. Jayne has also extensively negotiated difficult conversations between youth-at-risk and their parents as they attempted to improve their relationships.

Jayne is an adept outdoorswoman who has spent more than 700 days leading wilderness expeditions through challenging terrain and (often more challenging) group dynamics. She worked for Outward Bound, Inc., first as a field instructor and then as a manager. Her facilitation style emphasizes an experiential approach. Ms. Nucete is also trained as a Wilderness First Responder and has experience managing emergency evacuations with limited resources in wilderness contexts.

Jayne earned her MA in International Relations, Conflict Management, and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy, and Washington, D.C. She holds a BSW in Social Work and a BA in Spanish from the University of Missouri.


back to trainers

Devin Ellis, Trainer

Devin EllisDevin Ellis is the Simulation Developer for the ICONS Project at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management. A policy analyst by training, Mr. Ellis consulted with ICONS on specific technical content of crisis management and policy research exercises prior to joining the Center full time in 2009. His expertise is in simulating crisis behavior, the use of simulations for training and policy research, U.S. national security and intelligence policy, and Chinese foreign policy. He has lived in China where he was at Peking University on a fellowship from the Chinese government.

Mr. Ellis has designed or consulted on successful crisis management and negotiation simulations for a range of clients, including the US Agency for International Development, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Brookings Institution, the Office of Personnel Management, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, the National Flagship Language Programs in Persian and Arabic, the Kennedy School of Government, Ford Motor Co., and ABInBev.

Mr. Ellis has published research on crisis communication, and has an active interest in understanding and improving the way governments and non-governmental actors understand and manage conflict.


back to trainers

Bern Beidel, Adjunct Trainer

Bern BeidelBern Beidel, M.Ed., CEAP, is the Director of the Office of Employee Assistance at the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. He has been involved with the House employee assistance effort since its inception in 1991. He is responsible for the planning, development, management, evaluation, and continued enhancement and integration of the House's employee assistance service into the larger organization, including assuring its continuity of operations during emergencies and in response to disasters or terrorist situations.

Prior to joining the House, he developed the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for the New Jersey State Police in 1981 -- one of the first EAP efforts in a state law enforcement agency in the country -- and managed the service throughout the 1980s. The EAP effort in the New Jersey State Police was initially funded through a project grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and served as a national demonstration project for other state, municipal, and local law enforcement organizations throughout the decade. His ten years with the New Jersey State Police provided a foundation for developing and executing an EAP's critical incident stress response and management services for the employees, managers, and leaders of an organization.

His employee assistance experience began in the private sector in the late 1970s as the recipient of another federal project grant to develop an EAP consortium serving small and mid-size businesses and public sector organizations in rural Virginia. Prior to his employee assistance career, Bern served as a Drug and Alcohol Education Specialist during his active duty military service with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Bern has written extensively about the employee assistance field over the years, focusing particularly on the integration of EAPs into the workplace and the larger organization; the role of the EAP in the organization's disaster response and continuity of operations; the vital role of program evaluation in the management of employee assistance services; and other best practices and standards of operations, such as the follow-up of clients, and the mentoring and coaching of new practitioners in the profession.

He holds a Master's degree in Education with a specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling and Alcoholism studies, as well as a number of professional and training certifications. He currently sits as a Commissioner with the Employee Assistance Certification Commission (EACC) -- the international body that credentials employee assistance practitioners around the world.

back to trainers

Joseph G. Gray, Adjunct Trainer

Joseph G. GrayJoe Gray is a consultant to public and private organizations in providing leadership development and organizational clarity. He has held responsible positions in federal civil service, military, business, civic, non-profit, and ministry organizations.

Joe has served in a Senior Executive Service (SES) position in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) in the Department of Veterans Affairs. As the principal advisor for external relations to the Under Secretary of Health, he was responsible for the federal and private medical resource sharing programs, communications, liaison to Veterans Service Organizations, consumer and community relations, legislative programs and emergency medical preparedness. He represented VHA on the Policy Committee and Directorate of the National Disaster Medical System, the Armed Forces Retirement Home Board, DOD/VA joint sharing committee, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Catastrophic Response Group. He has served on VHA's Executive Board, budget and policy review committee, performance review board, national data reports committee and the National Leadership Board.

He began his forty years in the military as a Private First Class, promoted to Sergeant, commissioned as an Infantry Second Lieutenant, and retired as a Major General.

General Gray has had an extensive military career in the U.S. Army -- Active, Reserve, National Guard -- that included command of three infantry companies, a battalion, a group, a brigade, and a division size organization (ARCOM.) He served in numerous staff positions as the Operations and Plans Officer of a brigade, training command, and a division. He was Chief of Staff of a Theater Army Area Command. His last assignment was Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (G-3) Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, Department of the Army. He served on the Department of Defense Reserve Forces Policy Board.

In the private sector he has been a real estate specialist, corporate government relations consultant, and a regional manager for public affairs in the General Electric Company. He was a Vice President for Public Affairs of the Christian Broadcasting Network, Vice President for Economic Development for two large Chambers of Commerce; and most recently as the National Director of Military Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, International.

Joe is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College; Army War College; George Washington University Institute for Federal Health Care Executives; University of Houston Institute on Organizational Management and Harvard University Executive Program in National and International Security. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Joe is an ordained Minister. He has been married to his wife and best friend, Betty, for over forty years. They have three children and five grandchildren. They reside in Williamsburg, Virginia.

back to trainers

Victor Asal, Adjunct Trainer

Victor AsalVictor has worked as a conflict resolution trainer in a variety of settings, most notably as a trainer for army officers. In addition to his years of training professionals, Dr. Asal has taught courses in conflict resolution, crisis management, terrorism, and the strategy and tactics of bargaining and negotiation. He is an investigator for the START Center (Center for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism) and Director of the Public Security Certificate at Rockefeller College, SUNY, Albany.

He holds an Advanced Training Certificate in Conflict Management and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland's Department of Government and Politics. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York, Albany. He is a co-author of Mediating International Crises (Routledge, 2005). He is also the author of The Sword of Justice: Ethics and Coercion in International Politics (Praeger, 1998), as well as numerous studies and articles on foreign policy issues.

back to trainers

Kwaku Nuamah, Adjunct Trainer

Kwaku NuamahKwaku Nuamah teaches in the international peace and conflict resolution program at American University's School of International Service in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in conflict management from Johns Hopkins University (School of Advanced International Studies) and taught conflict management courses at Salisbury University prior to joining American in 2009. He has also taught conflict management courses at Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Brown University, and the University of Maryland at College Park.

Dr. Nuamah's interest in negotiation as a conflict management tool dates back to the early 1990s, when as research assistant at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Development (University of Ghana, Legon), he researched the drivers of successful negotiation in African peacemaking. Later, as program officer for conflict management at the Institute for Economic Affairs (Accra, Ghana), he tracked and analyzed the dynamics of sub-regional negotiations to end the Liberian civil war, as well as managed a series of workshops exploring the role of civil society in the Liberian negotiations. Dr. Nuamah continued to pursue these interests as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins, where he studied under renowned conflict management expert I. William Zartman. His Ph.D. dissertation explored the use of leverage in negotiation to resolve the Ethiopia-Eritrea border conflict, the Peru-Ecuador border conflict, and the northern Ghana ethnopolitical conflict.

As an instructor, Dr. Nuamah has taught several courses on the theory and practice of negotiation as part of peacemaking in international as well as interpersonal settings. He has also worked as a negotiation trainer for the Center for Peace Building International (CPBI), in Washington, D.C. His most recent contract from CPBI, executed in the spring of 2010, involved crisis negotiation training for a group of young peace delegates from Turkey and United States. Additionally, he runs an annual commercial negotiation training workshop for international business students at the Bordeaux École de Management in France (the most recent training was completed in March 2011).

In addition to teaching and training, Dr. Nuamah also has a substantial research and work background in the governance and global security policy fields. His experiences in these areas include holding several positions, such as: director of research for the Democracy Coalition Project at the Open Society Institute; coordinator for the G-8 /Africa Partnership Project at the Council on Foreign Relations; consultant on civil society advocacy for the International Foundations for Election Systems; and as consultant on governance and institutional effectiveness for the Ghana Center for Democratic Development. He has also performed consultancy services on African security concerns for several institutions such as the National Intelligence Project, Management systems International, the Science Applications International Corporation, and the US-Africa Command (Africom).

Dr. Nuamah was born in Ghana and became a naturalized American citizen in 2008. He is the co-author of Getting in: Mediators' Entry into the Settlement of African Conflicts (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 2006). He has also published several articles on contemporary conflict resolution processes in Africa and is currently working on a new book exploring the sources and uses of leverage in negotiation.

back to trainers

Bob Weinkle, Adjunct Trainer

Bob WeinkleBob served for 21 years in the United States Marine Corps and he commanded Marines, sailors, and soldiers at the platoon, Company and Battalion levels, culminating in Battalion Command during combat operations in Iraq in 2003. He also served in senior operational and strategic planning positions throughout his career in the Marine Corps. Upon leaving active duty, Bob served with the Centers for Disease Control in the Division of Strategic National Stockpile. As Chief of the CHEMPACK program he managed Nerve Agent antidote readiness programs in over 1,300 sites across the nation. He currently serves as the Veterans Administration National Program Coordinator for the Veterans Transportation Service.

During his 24 years of federal service Bob actively participated in multiple crisis response operations including: Operation Iraqi Freedom, Beirut Contingency operations, Operation Sharp Edge (Liberia), Southwest Georgia Flood recovery response, Super Typhoon Bart recovery response, H1N1 flu public health response and the federal response to the Haitian Earthquake disaster.

Bob's academic experience includes service as an Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he taught Leadership, Management and Logistics courses. He also served on the faculty of the Army Logistics Management College. Bob earned his MS in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He holds a BS in Communications from the University of Tennessee. He is certified in Executive Logistics Management by the Society of Logistics Engineers.

back to trainers


Since 1981, the International Communication and Negotiation Simulations Project, or "ICONS," based at the University of Maryland, College Park, has trained and advised thousands of domestic and international clients in complex problem-solving and peace building skills. In the early 2000's, increasing demand for our customized face-to-face training and from government, private sector, and non-governmental organizations led to the establishment of the ICONS Training Division. In addition to its own academic expertise, ICONS is an affiliated unit of the cutting edge National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), a global think tank devoted to the prevention of violent extremism in the United States and across the globe. Today, the ICONS Training Division is committed to delivering evidence-based, practical professional development in conflict resolution, crisis management, cross-cultural communication, and leadership skills to a diverse cadre of public and private sector clientele.


Request information about the ICONS Project's simulation-driven trainings, or contact:

Jonathan Wilkenfeld
ICONS Project Director

ICONS Project