Daniel_picDaniel Wehrenfennig

Executive Director 

Daniel Wehrenfennig, Ph.D. is the executive director of the Olive Tree Initiative. He also directs the Certificate Program in Conflict Analysis and Resolution at the University of California, Irvine. He has produced a documentary film for civic education in Malawi/Africa. His recent work has been published by Peace Review, Communication Theory, the University of California Press, Lexington Books and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. 




Susan SeelySusanHeadShot.jpg

Associate Director

           Susan has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East. In her capacity as OTI’s Associate Director, Susan represents OTI at community events and speaking engagements and oversees the office staff to sustain OTI’s day-to-day operational requirements. She mentors and trains staff and OTI Students, oversees regional directors, coordinates with other OTI campuses, organizes national and local OTI Board meetings and programming, and oversees production of all promotional materials and social media channels. Susan also serves as a leader on both the Student and Community OTI trips to the Middle East as well as Turkey and the South Caucasus region.  Prior to moving back to California, she worked as the Director for the Middle East and Africa at the Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment.  Susan has broad community involvement and serves on several local boards.


Alex Staff Photo


Alex Raleigh

Education Coordinator

      Alex is a third-year doctoral student in Political Science.  Her current research focuses on complexity theory, transitional justice and post-conflict transitions.  Alex's additional research interests include psychological profiling of political leaders and content analysis.  Originally from CT, Alex is a proud alumni of the University of Connecticut and a passionate fan of UConn basketball.





Kevin Pham

Alumni Program Coordinator

       Kevin is a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside where he studies political theory with special interests in conflict resolution and cosmopolitanism. He received his B.A. in political science in 2010 from UC Irvine where he participated in a trip to the Middle East with the Olive Tree Initiative in 2009. After graduating from UC Irvine, he taught English in Vietnam for one year. In 2011, through a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship, he lived in the Netherlands and completed a M.Sc in Conflict Resolution and Governance at the University of Amsterdam. He has given presentations about the Olive Tree Initiative to many Rotary Clubs and universities throughout the Netherlands, Egypt and the U.S. He aims to be a professor and to expand the model of education used by the Olive Tree Initiative. 




Alicia Rios 

Executive Administrator 

        Alicia is newest addition to the OTI team, having joined in 2016. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2015 with Bachelor of Arts double majors in Political Science and Sociology. After graduation she spent several months traveling and living overseas in Europe as an au pair.