WHO WE ARE

MARIA VELEZ DE BERLINER

 Managing Director. RTG-Red Team Group, Inc.


International Trade Consultant. Consulted with senior decision-makers of 70 multinational corporations on the identification of potential disruptions and risks when entering or expanding into multi-country foreign markets, and how to take advantage of the opportunities and risks those disruptions created. 


International Operations/Director of Finance. Vice President of International Operations and Director of Finance in fast-growing, entrepreneurial companies in food processing, graphics and industrial product design, and industrial safety.

 

International Operations Manager. Designed and delivered through vetted representatives the disruptive positioning of high-technology products in South and Central America’s and Mexico’s industrial sector, including: oil and gas; extractive mining; steel; communications; public utilities; chemical; industrial safety and security; and, industrial manufacturing.


Military Security Training. Ongoing quarterly instructor at USAF SOS Hurlburt Field, Cannon USAFB, Davis-Monthan USAFB, Homestead Air Reserve Base, and Lackland USAFB/JIOWC. Design, update research, verify with reliable sources, update, and regularly deliver required, customized instruction to 20-50 high-ranking officers on insurgency disruptions and security risks in Latin America, on the Middle East’s migration into Latin America, and throughout the twelve (12) open tri-border areas (TBA) in Latin America. 


Intelligence and Analysis Training. Faculty at The George Washington University’s College of Professional Studies. Designed and teach course on Intelligence and Strategic Analysis to students tasked with critical decision-making for domestic and foreign policy within agencies of the U.S. Government and prime contractors with the U.S. Government. Also, professor of Political Violence and Terrorism and Inter-Agency Cooperation at GWU’s College of Professional Studies. 


Strategic International Trade Relations. Designed, wrote, and delivered “A Practical Guide to Exporting” course for National Technology Transfer Center. Course focuses on identifying disruptions and risks, safety of operations, and management practices under various regulatory regimes in Latin America, Europe, China, Greece, and South Africa. 


SBINT Collection and Analysis. Structured, researched, wrote, and delivered analytical product on potential disruptions and risks within the U.S. Army’s Operational Environment for the future fifteen years.  Project covered: Latin America; South & Central Asia and China; Russia and the Caucasus; Africa; Europe; Pakistan; Afghanistan; and, the Middle East.


Structured Research. Wrote and delivered analytical product and recommendations on disruptions and risks in trans-border security to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 


Link Analysis – Co-creator of link analysis at the Ridgway Center for International Security Studies/Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh. Private industry and governments use link analysis for myriad applications, from competitive research to product placement and localization. 


PUBLICATIONS, PUBLIC LECTURES, AND MEDIA APPEARANCES


Publications:


Author of The Middle East in Latin America: Security Implications for the Region, in Rutledge Handbook of Latin America Security Studies (Rutledge, London, 2014). 


The Harvard Business Review Brasil; The Harvard Business Review América Latina; The Latin America Advisor; Transnational Organized Crime (London); “Examining the Core Elements of International Research Collaboration (U.S. National Academy of Sciences); Transnational Organized Crime (London); The Middle East in Latin America: Temas de Reflexión (Universidad EAFIT, Colombia)


Author of Risk Awareness Intelligence® (RAI), a proprietary, fact-based, multi-risk analysis process applied to prevent disruptions and risks and uncover opportunities in private industry and in the policymaking sector. 


Designed and taught Getting into the Export Business and Getting into the Import Business to over 400 business executives and entrepreneurs in Arlington (VA).


Public Lectures:


Subject-Matter Expert – SME/analyst and Keynote Speaker at the Johns Hopkins University Applied National Laboratory’s Asymmetric Operations Working Group (AOWG) and the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) on transnational criminal organizations in the world’s TBAs (Tri-Border Areas) and the formation, evolution and global expansion of Latin America’s terrorist and criminal organizations, and of similar global organizations. 


Lecturer on economic, political, cultural, economic, social, and security-disruption identification and analysis at the University of Pittsburgh’s Latin American Studies Program; Florida International University; Universidad EAFIT (Colombia); Canning House (London), and Delaware Valley University on food as a tool of diplomacy and as a weapon of war. 


Lecturer, Lake Forest College. Lecture yearly on: international trade; comparative politics; development economics; security threats in the Andean Region; formation, growth, and expansion of Latin America’s non-state actors; and, food and water security. 


Lecturer on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America at the World Affairs Council Hilton Head (SC), University of South Carolina/OSHER Lifelong Learning Institute, and Lifelong Learning Institute, Hilton Head Island (SC). 


Media Appearances:


Analyst on Diplomacy on the menu: How food can change politics, BBC News; Latin American Security Analyst on Latin America and the Middle East on Voice of America - VOA’s Foro Interamericano; Middle East analyst on RCN’s TNT24 Noticias in Colombia; Analyst on Intra-Regional Security in Latin America on El Colombiano (Colombia); Analyst on Mexico’s Security Issues in Glocal (TeleAntioquia, Colombia).  Featured analyst on India in Latin America in Bloomberg Reporte Financiero;


Academic History:


Doctor in Laws Honoris Causa, Lake Forest College.


Master in International Relations with specialization in Intelligence and International Security, GSPIA (Faculty Award), University of Pittsburgh.


B.A., Lake Forest College: Summa Cum Laude. Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Received Phi Beta Kappa Senior Thesis Award. Received Excellence in International Relations Award. 


Awards:


Certificate of Appreciation, U.S. Special Operations Command – South, 2016, for Exceptional Support of the Command’s Theater Knowledge Enhancement Training.


Certificate of Appreciation, 4th Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), March 2014, for Outstanding Support of the 4th Battalion, 7th Special forces Group (Airborne) Western Hemisphere Educational Series.


Major General John R. Alison Special Operations Educator of the Year Award – 2011, U.S. Special Operations Command, USAF Special Operations School.


Certificate of Appreciation, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied National Laboratory, 2011, for Outstanding Support to the Asymmetric Operations Working Group (AOWG) and the Asymmetric Working Group (AWG) on the Evolution of Drug Trafficking in Colombia.


Certificate of Appreciation, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied National Laboratory, 2010, for Outstanding Support to the Asymmetric Operations Working Group (AOWG) and the Asymmetric Working Group (AWG) on the Nature and Scope of Transnational Terrorist Threats Throughout Latin America


Honorary Certificate, Advanced Studies on Latin America, 2010, University of Pittsburgh, Center for Latin American Studies. 


Pennsylvania’s 2002 Best 50 Women in Business, Governor of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.