Meet the Team
Executive Director /Founder
A veteran of both Afghanistan and Iraq, with 13 years in service, and a decade in Special Forces, Tom departed active duty in August 2021 to pursue a career in medicine. One of his final roles was as Manager for NMRG Team 11.
Tom was the beneficiary of a Team 11 member's diligence when an IED was unearthed in the same spot he had intended to setup a sniper overwatch position.
Having served alongside Team 11, Tom and the others, Mahdi is the linchpin of this operation. His mastery of Dari, Pashto, English and cultural advising is critical in maintaining daily communications with the members of Team 11 and other former NMRG members.
Furthermore, Mahdi knows what it is like to be hunted by the Taliban, having fled his native Helmand during the Taliban resurgence and escaping to the US in the August 2021 Evacuations.
Marketing and Outreach
With deep marketing experience stemming from their employment with companies like Bain Capitol and Google, Ben and Trent, -the cofounders of Open Oceans- provide the expertise and competency to match Tom and Mahdi's passion.
The two also go way back with Tom; some 20 and 31 years respectively, and are acutely aware of the urgency of Team 11's situation.
Board of Directors
With nearly a decade in Special Operations, J has the necessary perspective to help guide our organization. This perspective stems from multiple deployments to Afghanistan and direct involvement with the NMRG Program.
Trent has 10+ years of experience in marketing, including 5 years at Google advising both advertisers and agencies on digital strategy. He managed Search, YouTube, and Display for some of Google's largest advertisers ($20M+ / quarter) and internally for Google's own products before co-founding Open Oceans in 2016.
With extensive overseas experience as an EOD technician- J2 brings a wealth of experience to the table. He is intimately familiar with the plight of the NMRG, having himself trained many of them himself.
The Green Berets and EOD Techs
Outreach/ Case Management
The other Green Berets and EOD Techs involved in the organization are still in the Special Operations community. Because of a widespread failure to recognize the NMRG and appreciate their sacrifices in safeguarding US soldiers, these soldiers have taken on the additional mantle of "Humanitarian" in additional to their full-time responsibilities as Special Operators. If they weren't looking after the NMRG, no one would be.
Our main selling point is our clarity of purpose and limited intermediates between donor and beneficiary, To this end we will strive to maintain the utmost transparency at all times.
Team 11 worked exclusively with US Special Operations, and have undergone extensive security vetting as a result. This means that all donations are in compliance with current Department of Treasury Guidelines.