Norine MacDonald


Norine MacDonald KC is President and Founder of RAIN Defense + AI.

She was formerly President and Founder of The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), an international security and development, a think tank founded in 2002 with offices in Kabul, London, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels and Paris, and field offices in the Afghan cities of Lashkar Gah and Kandahar City.

Ms MacDonald is Former Visiting Distinguished Fellow at National Defense University. Her research focus is on issues related to the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and the defense and intelligence sector.  Specific research interests include mapping the Artificial Intelligence for defense and intelligence innovation ecosystem, with a view to providing policy insight for decision makers, as well as global mapping of this sector. In 2020 MacDonald authored, ‘Killing Me Softly: Competition in Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles‘ with George Howell.

She graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management in Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy in September 2020.

In 2018 MacDonald was awarded the US Department of the Army Decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service and also in 2018, she received the Distinguished Public Service Medal for exceptional service to the United States Army.

Emmanuel Reinert


Emmanuel Reinert is an accomplished executive with a broad background in international policy, global philanthropy, research, and advocacy. With a deep commitment to global security, he has consistently displayed transparent leadership throughout his career.

As Chief Executive Officer at RAIN DEFENSE + AI since July 2022, Emmanuel has played a central role in advancing the digitalization of RAIN’s offerings. He led the launch of RAINCLOUD, a dynamic business and knowledge hub for the Defense + AI ecosystem.

Previously, Emmanuel served as Executive Director at the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS). There, he led field research initiatives in conflict and post-conflict zones, resulting in sustainable policy recommendations. Under his leadership, ICOS experienced substantial growth, expanding from a team of 2 to over 150 personnel. Emmanuel crafted strategies across six major program areas, facilitating connections between individuals and policies. He also established crucial relationships with international donors and private funders, resulting in a significant increase in funding over six years. His influence extended to high-level government officials, ministers, parliamentary representatives, and academia, securing media coverage on major platforms like CNN and BBC.

Emmanuel Reinert’s portfolio encompassed projects in diverse regions, including the UAE, Jordan, Afghanistan, Brazil, Paraguay, and Colombia. Emmanuel also diversified the Latin America portfolio to address issues such as violence against children in Brazil and the human security of young adults in Colombia. He developed a successful model in Rio de Janeiro to empower disadvantaged communities, which was later adopted by city officials for other areas.

In his role as Executive Director of THE MERCATOR FUND from 2004 to 2014, Emmanuel Reinert played a dual role within the ICOS parent organization. He engaged with the global philanthropic community to support projects driving social and political change. Emmanuel also led a successful advocacy campaign on policy reform for private donors, resulting in a substantial increase in funding over five years.

Emmanuel Reinert’s extensive career also encompassed roles as Director of Public Affairs at CEA – European Insurance Federation and Deputy to the Secretary General, where he managed the implementation of a substantial TACIS program. Additionally, he served as Chief Operating Officer at EURO PUBLISHING SYSTEM in Brussels, an Intelligence Analyst at SECRETARIAT GENERAL DE LA DEFENSE NATIONAL in Paris, and Corporate Lawyer in firms such as CLIFFORD CHANCE (Paris) and CHRISTIES AND WIENER (New-York).

Emmanuel Reinert’s dedication to lifelong learning is evident in his educational pursuits. He completed the MIT SLOAN SCHOOL OF MANAGEMENT’s “Digital Transformation: Platform Strategies For Success” program in 2023 and the SAÏD BUSINESS SCHOOL, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD’s “Venture Finance Programme” in 2022. Emmanuel holds LLM degrees in International Private Law and European Community Law from UNIVERSITY PARIS II ASSAS, earned in 1986.

Calum Bartlett

Senior Consultant

Calum has varied experience across the media, military, and healthcare industries. A former BBC Researcher, he joined the British Army as a combat medic and deployed to Germany and Afghanistan. After graduating from the University of Aberdeen with a BSc in Genetics, he returned to research work with the BBC and other international media companies before joining RAIN.

Phillip Bingham

Senior Consultant

Based in Austin, Phillip Bingham graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. degree in Materials Science & Engineering with a Double Minor in Green Engineering and Entrepreneurship — New Venture Growth.  Recognized as a skilled problem solver, Phil possesses a passion for collaboration and creating innovative solutions to engineering challenges.  Having worked in the Defense sector for 7 years as a Design and Test Engineer; Systems/Product Engineer and Management Consultant, Phil brings strong work experience in providing complex engineering and  programmatic services to the Department of Defense and other customers focused on national security.


Chris Hollifield

Senior Consultant

Chris Hollifield served 25 years as a United States Army intelligence officer. He specialized in intelligence support to airborne infantry, counterterrorism, and cyber effects operations with multiple deployments to include Afghanistan and Iraq. His culminating position was the senior intelligence officer for Joint Force Headquarters – Department of Defense Information Networks (JFHQ-DODIN) where he led intelligence operations to drive cyber defense supporting 44 diverse Combatant Commands, Services, Agencies and Field Activities.

After leaving active duty, Chris advised multiple organizations in the public and private sector in operationalizing cyber capabilities and business development strategy. Most recently, Chris came back into the government to serve as Special Advisor to the dual-hatted Director of the National Security Agency and Commander of US Cyber Command.  In this capacity he served as advisor to the highest level of national security decision makers to include: offensive and defensive cyber effects operations/policy, artificial intelligence integration, capability development strategy, and partnerships.    

Chris has a BS in Computer Science from Clemson University and a Master of Military Operational Arts and Science from Maxwell Air University.

George Howell

Senior Consultant - Industry​

George Howell is the Director of RAIN+ Industry. In 2022 Howell was lead author on three of RAIN Research’s commercial reports: High-Altitude Platform Systems + Artificial Intelligence, High-Altitude Long-Endurance Uncrewed Systems, and The Venture Capital + Defense Directory. Howell co-authored a paper for National Defense University’ PRISM Magazine ‘Singularity’ issue with Norine MacDonald QC, President + Founder of RAIN. Published in January 2020, ‘Killing Me Softly: Competition in Artificial Intelligence and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles’ explored the use of artificial intelligence in military uncrewed aerial vehicles

Howell previously worked for The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), conducting research into global security and economic development.

In 2008 he helped establish The Centre for Excellence on Public Security in Rio de Janeiro, a think tank working to bring together policy makers, independent experts, for dialogues towards generating innovative solutions to complex public policy issues.

Dr. Jorrit Kamminga

Senior Consultant - Global Policy

Jorrit Kamminga is Director of RAIN+ Ethics. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Clingendael Institute. Dr. Kamminga brings two decades of experience working on the nexus between security and development, with a special focus on Afghanistan and Colombia. He holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Valencia, Spain.

He was previously Director of Research of The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), conducting field research in central, southern and western Afghanistan.

Ajay Krishnan

Senior Consultant​

Ajay is a former Naval Aviator with a decade of military experience followed by six years in the aerospace and defense industry working with the largest contractors in North America and Europe.

He has worked extensively with government and public sector agencies across 12 countries in the Asia Pacific and the Middle East focusing on large defense and law enforcement programs.

Ajay is a competitive swimmer and an avid traveller to more than 45 countries.

John Litton​

Senior Consultant​

John Litton retired from the US Marine Corps after a 25-year career.  He was an artillery officer and has extensive experience as a Middle East and North Africa Regional Affairs Officer, an International Security Force Advisor, and an Information Operations Officer specializing in Military Deception.

John’s last posting in the Marine Corps was as the Chief of Staff for the Security Cooperation Office at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi where he coordinated all US military activities in the country, managed the US–UAE military relationship, and oversaw the $25B+ security assistance program.  He completed this assignment by assisting with the negotiation of the Abraham Accord.  After retirement, John has assisted several US based businesses to expand their presence in the region.

John has a BS in Geography from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Webster University.  He currently lives with his family in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Jack McCain

Senior Consultant

Jack McCain is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (BS) and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (MA), as well as a reserve aviator for the United States Navy. He previously worked as a Search and Rescue pilot, senior instructor of leadership at the United States Naval Academy, and an Afghan Hand, flying Blackhawk helicopters alongside Afghan pilots in Kandahar and Helmand. After leaving the military, he joined American Airlines as their Director of Government Affairs. He is also a serving member of the Board of Trustees at the McCain Institute and the Naval Academy Board of Visitors. 

Shannon Whiteman

Senior Consultant

Shannon Whiteman served 24 years as a United States Army officer. She is an
accomplished and highly skilled process engineer, data scientist, lean six sigma black belt, leader and strategic planner. Shannon served within both the medical and logistics realms including multiple deployments in the Middle East and Pacific. She spent over eight years supporting special operations activities utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning. During her time within the Joint Special Operations Command, Shannon developed strategic planning, policy development and budget design for the Command’s first ever data integration organization. She led a talented group of experts across Software Development, Site Reliability Engineering, and Software Testing to
execute product development with a focus on user-centric design. Shannon’s final position was the Army Attache to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She
was the first woman at the rank of Colonel, from any nation in the world, to be assigned as a Military Attache to Saudi Arabia. During her tenure, she oversaw the second largest Attache office in the Middle East and successfully coordinated crucial activities, including two non-combat evacuation operations resulting in safe passage of thousands of refugees. Shannon has a BS in Systems Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Master of Science in Systems Engineering with an Emphasis in Space Physics from the Naval Post Graduate School and a Master of Arts in Security Studies from the National War College.

Patrick Willis

Senior Consultant

Patrick Willis is a retired U.S. Army Infantry and Military Intelligence officer with over 28+ years of operational and leadership experience with both DOD and the Intelligence Community.  Pat is an enterprise leader and currently the CEO for C&P Solutions Group.  
Pat’s key joint military assignments included serving as SOCOM’s J2 Director of Operations, Plans and Policy, SOCCENT Director of Intelligence, and the Counter-Terrorism Director for the Joint Staff J2. Pat led intelligence enterprises during 12 combat deployments as a Senior  Intelligence Officer of the 10th Mountain Division, 82d Airborne, JSOC,  Army Special Operating Forces, and the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Pat concluded his service as the Director of Intelligence for Special Operations Command Central.  Pat graduated from the University of North Georgia and earned master’s degrees from both the U.S. Army War College and National Intelligence University

Oscar Braun


Oscar is a News, Events, and Outreach Analyst at RAIN Defense + AI, he is reading Economics and Chinese at the University of St. Andrews. Alongside his internship position, he is a writer for the St Andrews Economist and an Officer Cadet at the East of Scotland University Air Squadron. He is an incoming student at National Taiwan University, Taipei.

Ross Budge


Ross Budge is an analyst at RAIN Defence + AI supporting the RAINCLOUD platform from Stornoway, Scotland. He graduated from the University of Aberdeen with an MA in History and International Relations. His experience lies in analysing international security challenges and strategies as well as in community outreach and engagement.

Rupal Kalebere


Rupal is currently pursuing her second year of a Master of Arts in Public Policy at the International University of Japan. Her academic background is in law, focusing on security and defense matters. As an enthusiast of Indo-Japan relations, Rupal brings a unique perspective to RAINCLOUD, combining her legal expertise with a passion for international relations. In addition to her studies, she serves as the Programming Director for the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Tokyo Branch, where she develops programs to engage and educate young leaders on global policy issues. Rupal contributes to RAINCLOUD’s outreach efforts in India and Japan, leveraging her knowledge and networks to identify new opportunities and foster meaningful connections.

Kyle Kunkle


Kyle Kunkle is an analyst at RAIN Defense + AI supporting the RAINCLOUD platform development. Based in the Outer Hebrides, he brings over 10 years of experience in the field of General Technology.

Carina Macdonald


Carina is a News, Events, and Outreach Intern at RAIN Defense + AI, based in St. Andrews where she is in her second year of MA (Hons) Russian and International Relations. Alongside her studies, she is an OC in the British Royal Navy (URNU East Scotland). She has experience in the journalism faculty as a writer for the St. Andrews Law Review.

Ross Maciver


Ross Maciver is an analyst at RAIN Defense + AI based in Stornoway, Scotland. His main role is supporting the development of the RAINCLOUD platform,. Maciver has experience in data analysis and in data research. In 2020, he graduated from Webber International University in Florida, with a degree in Business Administration. He has a strong interest in international relations and developing working knowledge in the fields of artificial intelligence and national security.

Ross Maciver


Ross Maciver is an analyst at RAIN Defense + AI based in Stornoway, Scotland. His main role is supporting the development of the RAINCLOUD platform,. Maciver has experience in data analysis and in data research. In 2020, he graduated from Webber International University in Florida, with a degree in Business Administration. He has a strong interest in international relations and developing working knowledge in the fields of artificial intelligence and national security.

Luke MacLeod


Luke currently works as an intern analyst at RAIN Defence + AI, supporting the RAINCLOUD platform. He is pursuing an MSci in Computer Science at the University of St Andrews Scotland, and his experience is continuously growing as he actively operates in the technology, media, and military sectors. Luke’s diverse experience ranges from research work at the BBC to serving as an active RAF Officer Cadet at the East of Scotland University Air Squadron, where he recently completed an Air Power Studies visit in Malta.

William Allbrooks​


William Allbrooks is an Information Systems Manager and US Army veteran with 20+ years of experience. His professional trajectory includes over twelve years working Executive Communications as a Primary/Personal Communicator for 8 four-star Generals from all branches of the military. Allbrooks, a highly decorated soldier, served eight deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. His hands-on experience spans from software programming, cybersecurity and network administration, to project management and personnel management throughout the US Department of Defense. His certifications include ITIL, Sec+, Server+, and A+. In addition to his role at RAIN Defense + AI, Allbrooks is currently focused on devising solutions to complex communication and operational problems in the private sector.


Alice and Boyo




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