Around the world, it’s going to be a hot summer. With conflicts erupting across Afghanistan and the Sudan, war still boiling over in Ukraine and tensions simmering in Taiwan, a Tampa-based nonprofit, Project Dynamo, has surged into the national, and international, spotlight to bring relief and rescue for thousands of stranded Americans. Project Dynamo, an international search, rescue and aid organization, steps into the “gray space,” areas where there is limited, or no, United States government presence to find American citizens and safely bring them home.
It’s been a year since Project Dynamo grabbed national, and international, attention with its rescue of American Carillo Alexandro from a Russian jail. In the twenty-five days since Tampa Bay Business and Wealth interviewed founder Bryan Stern, for its May issue, Project Dynamo has rescued more than 150 Americans from Sudan, a new location for them as conflicts continue to erupt around the world. Yet 350 stranded civilians in Sudan are still waiting for a plane. Project Dynamo is urgently seeking donations and corporate support to keep their operations running. As their reputation grows, so does the demand for their services.
As Stern tells TBBW, in a recent update: “Our donors have been so generous but when a crisis breaks out, that’s not the time for me to start fundraising because we have to go save lives. We must respond immediately because it’s war.”
A former intelligence operative and agent for the U.S. Department of Defense, Stern aims to build a base of corporate sponsors who commit to a set amount, every month, creating a financial reserve in anticipation for the increasingly hot conflicts around the world. Of course, one-off donations are always welcome.
Project Dynamo started in response to the U.S. government’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, but its success in evacuating American civilians, and allies, mean the demand for its services keep increasing.
“First there was Afghanistan and then it was Ukraine,” Stern says. “Somewhere in there was Hurricane Ian (for Florida) and now, Sudan.”
With China increasingly asserting its sovereignty in Taiwan and unrest across the globe, Project Dynamo will continue to be an important ally to Americans stranded abroad.
And Project Dynamo’s objective has always been to rescue American citizens. Although sympathetic to the suffering of local populations, Project Dynamo conducts rescue operations for Americans, logging more than tens of thousands of miles in international travel, requiring transportation and logistical support for its small, volunteer band of former veterans, all committed to their mission.
“There’s an inaccurate perception that we’re helping refugees. It’s not true. Recently from Sudan, we rescued two lawyers, three research professors and an accountant, plus a kid who had heart surgery overseas from San Francisco. And they are all American citizens. They’re not going to a refugee camp, they’re going home. We rescued 29 people from Seattle, Washington alone,” Stern says.
For more information and to donate or set up a subscription, please see Project Dynamo website. For TBBW’s full feature on Bryan Stern and Project Dynamo.