Owner / Manager
Brian Mefford is the Managing Director and Owner of Wooden Horse Strategies (WHS) LLC. Founded as a boutique consulting firm in 2016, WHS has become the “go to problem solver” in the Ukrainian market for Western businesses, think tanks and reform-minded public officials. WHS is managed by Mefford, who has 19 years of work experience in Ukraine, and a team of savvy professionals who know how to succeed in the highly competitive and challenging Ukrainian market.
Born in Barstow, California, Brian is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in finance. After the university, Brian worked in the banking and financial sector while building a political career. Mefford won two elections to a local office and his political activities and campaign experience later resulted in his appointment by, then Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education in 1997.
In the spring of 1999, Brian joined the International Republican Institute (IRI) as Resident Program Officer in Kyiv, Ukraine. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the IRI works in developing democracies to advance America’s foreign policy interests. For over a decade, Mefford trained, advised and consulted thousands of political activists and governmental officials in Ukraine, while visiting and working in every region of the country. Mefford’s talents were in frequent demand, which lead to training, assessments, and consulting missions for IRI offices in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Iraq, and Bangladesh.
After a decade with the IRI, Mefford accepted an offer from then-President Viktor Yushchenko to manage an international consulting team working for Ukrainian President. When Yushchenko left office in 2010, Mefford began working as a consultant/adviser for multiple organizations and projects. From 2010-2016, some of his clients included the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC), the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), International Relief & Development (IRD), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Management Systems International (MSI), the Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU), the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), Forum of Federations, and Crown Agents. During that time, the Kyiv Post Newspaper named him as one of the 20 “Most Influential Expats in Ukraine”. Mefford’s analysis and commentary on political events surrounding the events of Euromaidan in Ukraine led to his appointment as a Senior Non-Resident Fellow in Washington’s oldest foreign policy think tank, the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center. Mefford has been quoted and/or published in The Financial Times, the BBC, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, Yahoo News, The Blaze, Slate, National Public Radio (NPR), Algemeiner, Radio Free Europe, The Atlantic, The Kyiv Post, Business Ukraine and other media as an authority on Ukrainian political affairs. Mefford speaks English, Ukrainian, and Russian.