Randell Torno, CHAIRMAN & CEO
Randy has been working on the ground in the Middle East or Africa since 2007. He was recalled to active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army and deployed to Iraq in 2007. He received the Bronze Star in the course of his combat tour. After finishing his tour in Iraq, Randy was requested by name for duty in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a deployment lasting 3 years. He retired from the Army in 2011 and was shortly thereafter contracted by Northrop Grumman (NGC) and other companies to work in Africa on a myriad of projects in countries from Senegal to South Africa.
In Ethiopia, Randy served as the Senior U.S. Advisor to the Ethiopian National Defense Force’s Defense Command and Staff College (EDCSC). On the surface, Randy’s team assisted in training Ethiopian senior officers in strategic, operational and tactical battle planning and execution. More importantly, Randy was tasked with building bonds between the U.S. and the Ethiopian Governments and winning the approval of external stakeholders such as the UN and the regional ambassadorial offices with a presence in Ethiopia. He finished his assignment in Ethiopia as the U.S. Embassy’s Chief of Security Cooperation, where he drafted the U.S. – Ethiopia Bilateral Defense Agreement of 2011. This treaty was the first such agreement between the two countries since 1974.
In Iraq, Randy ran the Theater Transportation and Corps Logistics Support elements of the U.S. Government’s Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) with oversight for more than $10 billion of transportation assets, as well as supply and services supporting 320,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and civilian personnel in the combat zone.
Since his retirement from the Army, Randy has contracted as a Senior Peacekeeping Advisor under the U.S. State Department’s Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program. He has prepared well over 10,000 African Troop Contingents for duty as UN Peacekeepers in areas from Somalia to Darfur to the Congo.
Randy commissioned as an Army officer in 1987 after graduating from the University of South Dakota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He left active duty in 1990 for a civilian career in motion picture production and corporate communications. He founded the Light Brigade to channel a unique vision and artistry to crafting effective messages for a client list that included companies from Lennox Heating and Air Conditioning, Pizza Hut, Cadbury Schweppes, Frito-Lay, Southwest Airlines, Diageo Brands, to Wal-Mart.
Randy simultaneously continued his Army career in the reserves serving in an escalating series of key roles through multiple re-organizations of the Reserves’ force structure between 1995 and 2006. Randy is a graduate of the U.S. Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia.
Randy is a hands on expert in Africa with experience in multiple countries across the continent. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Political Economics and is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy and Political Economics at the University of Texas expected to complete his dissertation by the end of 2017.