Graduate Students

Javid Ahmad

Javid Ahmad (16) is an Afghan analyst and most recently worked as a program coordinator for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) where he focused on South Asia, particularly Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the Internet freedom. He also instructs senior U.S. and NATO military and civilian officials about political and security dynamics in the region. Previously, he worked in the Political and Legislative Section of the Embassy of Afghanistan and the Public Affairs Office of Voice of America, both in Washington, DC. He has also worked on democracy promotion for organizations in Kabul. Javid’s writing has appeared among others in The New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, The National Interest,, and Foreign Policy. He has a B.A. in International Relations from Beloit College and studied EU affairs at Vesalius College in Brussels. At Yale, Javid plans to study the intersect between law and politics.


Rebecca Anderson

Rebecca Joy Anderson (16) graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from American University in 2012 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in French. As an undergrad, she concentrated her studies on international economic relations and international politics. Her senior thesis concerned international education governance and regional-global organizations, connecting ideas of power dynamics in international education to modern political economy movements. Outside the classroom, she has been involved in a variety of social justice causes, from cycling across the United States with Bike & Build in 2009 to assisting women's empowerment NGOs in Senegal.

Prior to graduate study, Rebecca worked for organizations in Illinois, Washington, DC, Senegal, and Turkey. Through internships and work with the Program on America and the Global Economy at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, UK Trade & Investment at The British Embassy, and Power Auctions LLC, she has researched a wide range of matters pertaining to international business, economic policy, innovation and growth. Most recently, she has lived and worked as a lecturer in the foreign languages faculty of a Turkish university on a Fulbright grant.

At Yale, Rebecca intends to continue her studies of political economy and global governance, through which she seeks to explore means of reconciling economic globalization with sustainable development and improved human rights. 


Anna Batarina

Anna Batarina (16) graduated with honors from the Moscow Finance University majoring in international finance. After graduation she worked at Ernst&Young International Tax Services in Moscow and then joined Uralkali, one of the largest global fertilizer companies, where she was Director of Capital Markets and Investor Relations. Anna’s achievements at Uralkali include a successful completion of the company’s IPO at the London Stock Exchange, as well as streamlining of the reporting function, including financial, annual and sustainability reporting. She also managed the relations with international investment banks and established a corporate broking program for Uralkali. Anna is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charterholder. She also holds an MS degree in Clinical Psychology from the Moscow State University. At Yale, Anna plans to combine her international finance experience and clinical educational background to focus on issues related to global health and strategic development of nonprofit organizations. 


Lukas Berg

Lukas Berg (15) graduated with honors from West Point in 2005 with a B.S. in American Politics. He was commissioned as an aviation officer and attended flight school, receiving his rating as a UH-60A/L Blackhawk pilot. From 2006 to 2013, he served in the 101st Airborne Division and the 1st Cavalry Division, deploying with these units to Eastern and Northern Afghanistan, respectively. While deployed, he worked closely with French, Polish, Croatian, German, and Afghan coalition elements, in addition to various U.S. government agencies. He has led troops at the platoon and company levels and has served in a variety of staff positions, including Deliberate Operations Planner, Battle Captain, and Personnel Officer.  At Yale, Lukas plans to concentrate in U.S. foreign policy, national security, and diplomacy. After completing his studies, he will return to West Point and teach courses in American Politics, Policy, and Strategy in the Department of Social Sciences.

Sophia Berhie

Sophia Azeb Berhie (16), originally from Huntington, West Virginia, graduated cum laude from Georgetown University in 2014 with a BS in Foreign Service and Certificate in African Studies. At Georgetown she served as a fellow at the Center for Social Justice and interned around DC at the State Department, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and on Capitol Hill.  Sophia is currently a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow with the U.S. Department of State and will join the Foreign Service on completion of her Jackson degree. At Yale she will pursue studies focused on conflict in sub-Saharan Africa.

Tom Berry

Tom Berry (16) graduated from West Point in 2006 with a B.S. in Art, Literature, & Philosophy and commissioned as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer. During his 7 years in the Army, he deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, where he led troops in a variety of security and development focused missions. After leaving the active duty Army, Tom lived in South America, spending time in Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador, where he participated in a language immersion program and volunteered with youth empowerment programs aimed at increasing English language skills, educational outcomes, and creative vision for rural youth. He is also continuing to serve as an infantry officer in the Connecticut National Guard. At Yale, Tom plans to focus his studies on providing economic alternatives to violence for youth in conflict and post-conflict zones.  

Julie Bodenmann

Julie Bodenmann (16) graduated magna cum laude from Columbia University in the City of New York in May 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts and a double major in Political Science and Psychology. During her undergraduate studies, Julie found herself drawn especially to international relations and human rights courses. She was also a research assistant at the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War & Peace Studies. She hopes to build on her academic foundation during her time at Yale by completing international law and political science courses with a focus on human rights. Professionally Julie previously pursued a journalism career, interning with companies such as Psychology TodaySwiss Radio and Television, and the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, while gaining additional work experience in the communications departments of IBM Switzerland and Nestlé headquarters. As an intern at the Swiss Embassy in Santiago de Chile, she mainly worked with non-profit organizations that receive Swiss funding for social development and human rights projects, analyzed ongoing Chilean government reforms, and worked with visiting Swiss experts (mainly in the fields of democracy and political participation, consultation processes, constitutional reform, and energy efficiency). Julie speaks (Swiss) German, French, and Spanish fluently and hopes to improve her Italian.

Louisa Brown

Louisa Brown (15) was awarded the Mellon Fellowship by Clare College, Cambridge, having graduated from the university in 2013 with a BA in Land Economy.  Due to the nature of her interdisciplinary course Louisa's academic interests are extensive, spanning from public and private law, to urban and regional economics and development policy. Her final year dissertation focussed on social justice and deprivation, analysing the impact of inequality on individual and area-based capabilities. Louisa hopes to further this knowledge in her specialising in human rights policy and development at Yale. Louisa recently assisted the Texas Defender Service in Austin, working hands-on with inmates of Death Row, campaigning to improve the quality of representation afforded to those facing capital punishment. She has also undertaken research in Chiapas, Mexico concerning indigenous land rights and assisted education and microfinance projects in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  Throughout her time at Cambridge, Louisa was fervently dedicated to Amnesty International and Clare Politics, committees by which she was elected Chair and President respectively.  She looks forward to continuing her active involvement in student-run societies during her two years at Yale.

Anna Brundtland

Anna Brundtland (16) is a Fulbright scholar from Oslo. She graduated with First Class Honors in International Relations from the London School of Economics in 2013, focusing primarily on political theory and economic history, driven by her desire to explore the ways in which markets can best play a favorable role in state building. Before undertaking her BSc, Anna volunteered for a year in China as an English teacher and later as a volunteer for the water charity Voss Foundation. Prior to pursuing her M.A. at Yale, Anna thus worked for two years as a research analyst at Goldman Sachs in London, focusing on the retail sector. As part of her efforts to get a better personal understanding of the important interplay between economics, finance, politics and state building, Anna chose to leave Goldman Sachs and travel to Ramallah, West Bank to work for the United Nations. At the UN, she was part of the World Health Organization’s team establishing a Public Health Institute in the occupied Palestinian territories. She worked primarily on setting up and improving health registries, as well as acting as a speechwriter for senior WHO leaders and Norwegian politicians on Palestinian, public health and policy issues. Anna moreover worked part time as a research assistant at the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute as well as studying Hebrew. At Yale, Anna intends to focus on development economics, international human rights and sustainable development. She speaks English and Norwegian as well as basic Hebrew.

Nerea Cal

Nerea Cal (16) graduated with honors from West Point in 2006 with a B.S. in Comparative Politics. She was commissioned as an aviation officer and attended flight school, receiving her rating as a UH-60 Blackhawk pilot. From 2008 to 2011 she was assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade and served in a variety of leadership and staff positions and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. She served as an aviation liaison officer to an armored brigade in the Republic of Korea and most recently completed company command of an Air Assault Blackhawk Company in the 82d Airborne Division. Nerea plans to focus her studies at Yale on International Relations with a particular interest in political economy, national security, diplomacy, and Latin America. After completing her studies, she will be assigned as an International Relations instructor in West Point’s Social Sciences Department.

Tara Chandra

Tara Chandra (16) was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida. She graduated with Honors from the University of Chicago in 2011, double majoring in Political Science and Fundamentals: Issues and Texts. Most recently, she served as a Research Assistant at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a think tank in Washington, D.C., where she was the lead researcher on a book about U.S. foreign and national security policy. In working on the book, Tara wrote extensive research papers, assisted with interviews of senior government officials, and managed the editing process. She has previously interned at the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of State, on the Hill, and at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. At Yale, she plans to study the intersection of women's rights and U.S. national security. Specifically, she is interested in assessing how the United States can craft better policies that treat women's rights as a vital national security concern in order to help other countries become both more stable and better partners in combating security threats. 

Andrew Cheong

Andrew Cheong (15) grew up in Singapore. He graduated from Peking University in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. As an undergraduate student at Peking University, Andrew was active as a debater, adjudicator and trainer in the international English debate circuit and convened the first student-run international debate tournament in China. Andrew also served as a trainer at Insight Plus, a debate NGO dedicated to education based on critical thinking and communication. In addition, he interned with Singapore government ministries such as the Ministry of Defense and the Urban Redevelopment Authority as well as at CapitaLand China. He has travelled widely, touring North Korea, debating in Botswana and attending a summer program in London. He is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese, and has some working knowledge of Arabic and German. During his studies at Yale, he intends to explore the relationship between security, politics and religion in China and the Middle East. 

Allison Cordell

Allison Cordell (16) graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Duke University in 2010 with a B.A. in Public Policy Studies and minors in Political Science and Russian Culture and Language. Prior to pursuing her M.A. in Global Affairs at Yale, she worked as a Program Assistant at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. In this position, she supported the Mexico Institute’s research agenda and conference coordination. Earlier, she served in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, where she advised municipal authorities on improving efficiency and encouraged citizen participation in local development. She previously was an intern for the U.S. Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Allison completed a thesis at Duke, earning graduation with highest distinction with her thesis on democracy assistance in the Russian Federation. She plans to study economic development, rule of law, and security issues at Yale.

Sofía del Carril

Sofía del Carril (16) is a Fulbright/Government of the City of Buenos Aires scholar, from Argentina. She earned a law degree from the Universidad Torcuato di Tella in 2009. Prior to coming to Yale, Sofía worked as an attorney specializing in capital markets and corporate law in Argentina, and served as a law clerk at the Superior Court and the Appeals Court of the City of Buenos Aires. She has lived in Mexico, where she studied abroad at ITAM in 2007, and in Washington, D.C., where she interned at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity in 2009. For years, she has been involved with social projects and non-profits, mainly in the field of entrepreneurship. At Yale, she intends to focus on Law and Development, exploring the relationships between rule of law and economic and political development. Sofía is fluent in Spanish, English and French.

Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman (15) hails from South Africa. He holds both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in law from the University of Cape Town. The M.A. in Global Affairs is his second stint at Yale, as he was previously a Fox International Fellow at Yale from 2007 to 2008. Thereafter, he served as the law clerk and legal researcher to the Chief Justice of South Africa, Pius Langa, at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He was then called to the Bar in Johannesburg and engaged in a career as a Barrister/Advocate both in South Africa and beyond its borders. His practice focused principally on constitutional, human rights and commercial law and he was heavily involved in diverse cases ranging from mineral extraction and unlawful detention to cross-border adoption and access to anti-retroviral treatment. Beyond his legal practice, he is an active member of South African civil society. In his return to Yale, he hopes to focus on the intersections of international law and global affairs and the benefits thereof for his home continent, Africa. 

Dira Fabrian

Dira T. Fabrian (16) graduated with Honors from the University of Indonesia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations. While in college, she joined the English Debating Society of the University of Indonesia, participated in the 2009 Harvard National Model United Nations in Boston, and interned at the Indonesian Consulate General in Mumbai. Her final year dissertation was about the South Korea-US FTA negotiation. After graduation, Dira joined the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a Diplomatic and Consular Officer. She graduated from the Junior Diplomatic School as the valedictorian and had her short diplomatic assignment in the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. There she attended various UN meetings, made reports, and assisted the Indonesian delegation during the 66th Session of the General Assembly. Since March 2012, she has been assigned to the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. At Yale, Dira plans to focus her study on security and development issues in Southeast Asia.  


Anders Fridén

Anders Fridén (16) is a graduate of the University of Oxford with a BA in History and Persian, primarily focused on modern Middle Eastern history. Anders developed his interest for the region when he served as a military interpreter at Swedish Armed Forces’ Interpreter Academy. He volunteered to take part in the ISAF operation in Afghanistan in 2009, where he worked asan intelligence analyst based in Sar-e Pul. Within the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Anders has also pursued a civilian career since 2011 with three postings at Swedish embassies around the world. He was posted to the Embassy of Sweden in Tehran, Iran, where he established a new consular section for British citizens in Iran. In the aftermath of the Afghan presidential elections in 2014, he employed his skills in Persian while acting as a European Union Election observer based in Kabul. At Yale, Anders intends to concentrate on International Law and American Foreign Policy.

Dov Friedman

Dov Friedman (15) graduated from Columbia College in 2009 with a degree in history, focusing specifically on the history of both international organization and 20th century American foreign policy.  Dov wrote a thesis examining and disambiguating currents of American internationalist thought in the immediate post-WWII period.  While in college, Dov served in various editorial positions for The Current, a student journal of politics and culture.  In 2011, Dov joined the foreign policy desk of the SETA Foundation in Ankara, Turkey as a research associate, where he covered the U.S. and Israel while delving into Turkish politics and foreign policy. Topics on which Dov has published include: AK Party and the history of Turkish political Islam’s foreign policy, Turkey’s response to the Syrian conflict, Turkey’s Kurdish Issue, U.S.-Kurdistan Regional Government relations and flawed policies in Iraq, conflation of Islamism and authoritarianism, and Turkey-Israel relations.  At Yale, Dov plans to focus on U.S. foreign policy and the non-Arabic speaking Middle East.


Kristrun Frostadottir

Kristrun Frostadottir (16) graduated from the University of Iceland in 2011 with a B.Sc. in Economics. During her undergraduate studies she worked for the Director at the Governor’s Office at the Central Bank of Iceland, on matters relating to the IMF’s Stand-by-Agreement with the Icelandic government after the economic crisis. After graduation she worked as an Economic and Policy Analyst at Arion Bank’s Research Department. At Arion bank she focused on sectors such as natural resources and industry and analyzed the economic effects of changes in Iceland’s fisheries management legislation, providing policy advice to the parliamentary committee overseeing the reform. She moved to the US in fall 2012 and graduated from Boston University with an MA in Economics in January 2014, where she was a Dean’s Fellow. During her last semester at BU she worked as a journalist on the editorial board of Iceland’s main business newspaper, Vidskiptabladid, reporting on economic affairs in Iceland and abroad. Before joining the Jackson Institute she worked as an economist and project manager in a working group for the Icelandic Prime Minister’s Office, on monetary reform in Iceland. She speaks Icelandic and English with native fluency, and has advanced knowledge of Spanish and Danish. At Yale, Kristrun intends to focus on public and international finance and demographics. 

Farsan Ghassim

Farsan Ghassim (15) received a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). During his undergraduate studies, he interned with a Latin American investment bank in Bogotá (Colombia), with a consulting firm in Munich (Germany), and at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. For the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN, he worked mainly on Middle Eastern issues in the UN Security Council (e.g., resolutions on Syria and Yemen), as well as the UN General Assembly’s Fourth Committee. After interning at the UN and traveling in Central America, Farsan started his career as a management consultant at Bain & Company in Düsseldorf (Germany), where he worked on a variety of projects – primarily in the retail and finance sectors. During the summer between his first and second year at Yale, Farsan researched at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) on the impact of the FIFA World Cup 2010 on the South African economy. Academically, Farsan is interested in the fields of global governance and international political economy.

Christopher Harnisch

Chris Harnisch (15), an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve, recently completed a 14-month tour in Afghanistan, where he served on a multi-national counter-corruption task force.  Prior to his active duty military stint, Chris worked at the American Enterprise Institute think tank, researching and writing about al Qaeda’s emerging safe havens.  Chris has also served in the Office of the Vice President and worked for the Peace Corps.  He graduated from Middlebury College, where he studied the Middle East and Arabic.  At the Jackson Institute, Chris will focus his studies on international security and energy policy.

Donna Hernandez

Donna Melyza Hernandez (15) is from Arleta, California. She recently graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in Foreign Service and a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. As a student at Georgetown, she participated in internship programs on Capitol Hill, the Department of State and the White House. Donna is currently a Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellow with the U.S. Department of State and will become a full-time member of the U.S. Foreign Service on completion of her degree. Her academic interests include analyzing the intersections between humanitarian need and security concerns.

Shashank Iyer

Shashank Iyer (16) graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a BA in Political Science, focusing on refugees and displaced populations. His honors thesis explored the feasibility of land for peace agreements in settling territorial disputes, with an emphasis on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Shashank has also studied at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey and has conducted field research in Syria and Lebanon. During his undergraduate studies, Shashank was actively involved in Berkeley Model United Nations (BMUN). After Berkeley, Shashank served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in a rural fishing community in the Philippines for 27 months. There, he implemented and facilitated environmental and livelihood education trainings throughout Romblon Province, improved English language skills for students and teachers of his host community, fund-raised for the creation of a livelihoods education center and partnered with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement trainings for educators from conflict-affected regions of Muslim Mindanao. Most recently, Shashank worked for USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), where he reviewed and evaluated proposals for projects to provide assistance to populations marginalized and displaced by armed conflicts, droughts, floods, food insecurity and disease in East and Central Africa. At Yale, Shashank will study the effects of urbanization on population displacement in developing societies, with a focus on South Asia. Shashank is fluent in Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Tagalog and English and possesses limited working proficiency in Spanish, Turkish and Arabic.

Míriam Juan-Torres

Míriam Juan-Torres (16) graduated with honors from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona with a Degree in Law. As a student in Barcelona, she became actively involved in UNANIMUN, the International Relations association of her university. Her active involvement  in Model United Nations around the world lead her to be elected president for two consecutive years. While studying law, she also interned at the law firm Baker&McKenzie and worked as a research assistant in the Department of Public International Law of her university. In 2013 she was awarded the prestigious scholarship by the Catalan foundation "La Caixa" to pursue her post-graduate studies in the United States. At Yale, she plans to focus on Security and Justice, furthering her studies in the rule of law, disarmament, and security.

Daniel Khalessi

Daniel Khalessi (15) received his B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University in June 2013 with Honors in International Security Studies from Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) Honors Program and a Certificate in Iranian Studies. At Stanford, he was selected to participate in Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's seminar on "Challenges and Dilemmas in American Foreign Policy" and later participated in a Directed Reading with Dr. Rice on democratic institutions. He has interned as a policy advisor in the Office of U.N. Permanent Representative Susan Rice, studied military history and strategy at Oxford, and interned at the Department of Treasury's Middle East North Africa Office through the Stanford-in-Washington Program. Daniel's honors thesis, titled "The Ambiguity of Nuclear Commitments: The Effect of NATO's Nuclear Sharing Arrangements on the Nonproliferation Treaty," demonstrates how U.S. efforts to preserve NATO's nuclear sharing arrangements during the Cold War resulted in deliberate ambiguity in the text of the NPT. At Yale, Daniel hopes to continue studying national security decision-making, Cold War history, and diplomatic strategy. He hopes to work on arms control issues for the National Security Council or State Department. 


Azamat Kumykov

Azamat Kumykov (MAS 15) graduated from Kabardino-Balkarian State University (Russia) with Master's degrees in Romance-Germanic Philology (1996) and Management Science (1998) and has worked for the EHA (Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance) unit of the UN World Health Organization in areas of military conflict and mass displacement of people prior to getting his MBA degree from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in 2002. From 2003 to 2007 Azamat has worked at the Moscow office of Colliers International (a real estate firm) as Associate Director for Capital Markets. From 2007 to 2013 Azamat has been Investment Director of PromSvyazCapital, one of Russia's largest financial and industrial groups, overseeing its real estate, construction and energy businesses. Presently, Azamat is Chairman of the Board of Directors of PSN Group, Russia's largest privately held real estate business and is a Board member of PromSvyazCapital Group's construction, energy and agricultural businesses. He speaks Russian, English, Spanish, Japanese and Circassian languages. At Yale he plans to focus on Geopolitics.


Eugene Larsen-Hallock

Eugene Larsen-Hallock (16) is a California native fresh off a ten-year stint in South Korea. Immediately before coming to Yale, Eugene was with the Korea Institute of Public Finance, a quasi-governmental think tank. There he collaborated with officials from the World Bank and the Korean Ministry of Strategy and Finance in the establishment and operation of a knowledge sharing network for finance ministry officials spanning most of the East Asia and Pacific region. Alongside his work and studies, Eugene has been active as a Korean-to-English translator, working on projects for clients including the World Bank, Samsung, and the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games. He is also an award winning translator of Korean prose and has lectured in literary translation at the post-graduate level for both the Literature Translation Institute of Korea and the Ewha Women’s University Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation. He has previously translated scripts for the National Theater Company of Korea and is currently participating in a government-funded project to make classic works of modern Korean fiction freely available online. Eugene’s academic history includes a B.A. in philosophy from UC San Diego and graduate studies in Korean literature at Seoul National University. His studies at Yale will focus on global finance, public-private collaboration—and the means by which sustainable fiscal and economic reform can be achieved.

Stephanie Leutert

Stephanie Leutert (16) graduated from Skidmore College in 2011 with a B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish Literature. Prior to attending Yale, Stephanie worked as a Research Associate in the Latin America Studies program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. There she focused on emerging economic, political, and security issues in the region, and contributed to the 2014 CFR Task Force on North America. Previously, Stephanie conducted field research on refugee policy in Ecuador in collaboration with Asylum Access Ecuador and CODHES. She has also researched war torture in northern Uganda in partnership with the African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims. While at Yale, Stephanie looks forward to focusing on economic development and international trade in the Americas.

Hongwei Li

Hongwei (Lesley) Li (16) graduated from Fudan University in 2013 with a B.A. in Philosophy. She also studied abroad in Yale University and the University of California, Irvine (UCI). In Shanghai she conducted field research on the education situation for children of migrant workers. In India Hongwei served as a volunteer where she taught English and hygienic knowledge to slums kids. Hongwei’s internship experience in China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs and Huainan Municipal Commission of Education gave her deep insight into policy implementation within China. In addition to being fluent Chinese and English, she is learning Japanese. At Yale, Hongwei hopes to further pursue her interest in developmental policies with a cross-sector perspective.

Eric Lockhart

Eric Lockhart (16), a native of New York City, graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in economics in 2007.  Prior to returning to Yale, Eric was a Leadership Gifts Associate at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where he worked on private fundraising with a focus on the IRC's Board and Overseers.  Eric also volunteered as the Executive Director of the New York branch of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP), overseeing the day-to-day operations of YPFP New York alongside the long-term planning and strategic development of the branch.   Before the IRC and YPFP, Eric worked at Merrill Lynch in the Investment Management and Guidance group, where he focused on portfolio construction and asset allocation.  He is pursuing a joint degree in global affairs and business at Yale with a focus on public-private partnerships in the context of women and girls’ economic empowerment.

Pauline Marcou

Pauline Marcou (15) graduated from the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Lille, France, with a B.A./M.A. in European and International Careers. There, she wrote her Masters’ thesis on the question of including the concept of environmental security within the mandate of the UN Security Council. All her extracurricular commitments have revolved around the United Nations while at Sciences Po Lille. Pauline has thus been involved in National Model United Nations for several years, in New York and in Europe, as a delegate and as a staff member. She recently volunteered as an Assistant-Director for the UN-Habitat committee of the NMUN-New York conference. She also held the position of treasurer in the MUN club of her university. After living in India in 2010-2011, she recently lived in Malaysia, interning with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur. She previously worked at the United Nations Development Program’s headquarters in New York. At Yale, she plans to focus on environmental affairs, with a special interest for climate change adaptation and mitigation. She speaks French, English, Spanish, and basic Mandarin Chinese.

Monik Markus

Monik Markus grew (16) up in Puerto Rico. She graduated with honors from the University of Florida with a B.A. in Political Science and a certificate of International Relations.  Upon graduating, she moved to Washington, DC to work in the office of Puerto Rico’s Sole Resident Commissioner in Congress, The Honorable Pedro R. Pierlusi. Thereafter, she joined the Afghan Embassy in DC, where she assisted H.E. Ambassador Eklil Hakimi in negotiating a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the U.S. and Afghanistan.  She later was put in charge of the embassy’s public affairs department, where she interacted with journalists, academics, U.S. government officials at the Department of State, Department of Defense, and others in the international community to bolster the embassy’s communications activities amidst Afghanistan’s 2014 presidential elections. At Yale, Monik hopes to further her knowledge of global governance and its legal foundations as they pertain to international security and gender equality/female empowerment policy.

Milda Morkyte

Milda Morkyte (15), a native of Lithuania, graduated from Vilnius University majoring in political science and international relations in 2006. Following graduation, she worked with the Haifa-based grassroots organization Arab Association for Alternative Education in Israel and studied Arabic in Syria and Yemen. Milda has also worked for a consultancy in Lithuania writing feasibility studies for local development projects, was a translation and research specialist at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, and worked as a development associate at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. At Yale she plans to study the interplay between conflict, economic development and natural resources in the Middle East.

Liz Neyens

Liz Neyens (15) graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2011 with a B.A. in English and a minor in Chinese. She is a graduate of Penn State's Schreyer Honors College and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. While in college, she studied abroad at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Quito, Ecuador, and was an intern at the Africana Research Center, where she assisted with research and copyediting. After graduation, Liz worked as a copywriter for’s Industrial & Scientific division, and served as a Fulbright ETA in Kinmen, Taiwan. She has advanced proficiency in Spanish and upper-intermediate proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. While at Yale, she hopes to further develop her interests in empirical research in economics and evidence-based approaches to economic development and policy design.


Marikaa Nixon

Marikaa Nixon (15) graduated with honors from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2011 with a BA in International Relations. There, she served as Secretary and Co-founder of the 1st Spelman College Chinese Club and studied in Shanghai, China. Immediately following graduation Marikaa joined the Peace Corps. While in the Peace Corps she led high-impact community development projects and created the first English Language Learning Center in her community. During her Peace Corps service she also worked at Bloomberg TV Mongolia as a Planning Editor. While at Bloomberg Marikaa assisted in launching the first live news channel and broadcast program in Mongolia. At the Jackson Institute, Marikaa will focus her studies on Democratization in East/Central Asia and International Development. She hopes to use her experience in Asia to give a voice to underrepresented minority groups, specifically in China and Mongolia. Marikaa is proficient in Mongolian and has some working knowledge of Chinese. 

Mela Louise Norman

Mela Louise Norman (16) graduated from Georgetown's School of Foreign Service with a B.S. in International Politics in the spring of 2008. Shortly thereafter she hit the campaign trail, joining the Obama campaign’s voter protection team in north Florida where she worked with a team of attorneys to ensure Floridians had equal access to the vote.

Mela Louise spent the subsequent five years serving in the Obama Administration. She got her start as a White House intern in the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama, where her duties ranged from policy research to planting a demonstration garden on the South Lawn. Mela Louise’s interest in foreign policy soon brought her to the Pentagon, where as a Defense Fellow she rotated through three different offices over the course of two years: the Office of Threat Reduction and Arms Control; the Joint Staff Pakistan and Afghanistan Coordination Cell; and the Office of Asia Pacific Security Affairs, where she was ultimately hired as Country Director for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. In that role, she was responsible for developing defense policy recommendations, strengthening U.S. relationships with key allies and partners in the region, and twice led the planning and execution of ministerial meetings attended by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, U.S. Secretary of State, and their foreign counterparts.

Just prior to joining the Yale community Mela Louise was serving as Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, the lead advisor to the Secretary of Defense on all defense policy matters in the Middle East and Africa.

 During her time at the Jackson Institute, Mela Louise will study national security, with a focus on how both traditional and non-traditional security issues shape the international environment. Mela Louise hails from California, and misses the sunshine every day.

Eddy Gicheru Oketch

Eddy Gicheru Oketch (16) holds a BA from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. As the founder of Peace for Africa and Economic Development (PAD), he is committed to developing and implementing a unique and comprehensive model aimed at empowering Kenyan youth by providing an integrated and grassroots approach to peace building through economic empowerment.

An Alumni of Friends School Kamusinga (2008) and an inaugural graduate of the African Leadership Academy based in South Africa (2010), he brings great insights, passion and skills to the organization from his international exposure and deep understanding of the various challenges and opportunities facing the African continent in general, and youth in particular. 

At a tender age, he worked extensively with Action Aid International in the development of the girl child project in the Kuria District of Kenya with a focus on reproductive health and acquisition of basic education. He also worked with Equity Bank Limited focusing on pre-university program development for the Bank’s Foundation. He is a Global Changemaker with the British Council, and a frequent discussant and panel leader in high profile global forums such the World Economic Forum on Africa, the May 2012 G8 Summit and the Clinton Global Initiative University. He also trained as a UNESCO International Youth Peace Ambassador in Penang Malaysia and consulted with the MasterCard Foundation head leadership in Toronto Canada on youth entrepreneurship and engagement strategy.  Through his work with PAD, Eddy won the 2012 Impact Award from the Kenya Diaspora, Washington DC, and was named one of the top 30 under 30 most influential young people in the African continent in 2013.

Daniel Oliveira

Daniel J. S. Oliveira (15) grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, and graduated from Insper in 2010 with a B.A. in Economics. While an undergraduate, Daniel got involved with several social initiatives serving local impoverished communities. He also became a fellow at Fundação Estudar, a community of young Brazilian leaders that aims to transform and develop the country. He started his professional career at JP Morgan Chase and accumulated experience at an independent asset management company with a long- term value investing strategy in Brazilian public equities. He spent 2011 in Amman, Jordan, volunteering in a NGO that supports Iraqi refugees through Health and Education programs. At Yale, Daniel aims to focus on International Finance and Development exploring the role investments in infrastructure and in local companies has in fostering economic and social growth. Daniel speaks Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, and has some knowledge of Arabic.

Stephen Peel

Stephen Peel (MAS 15) has been one of the senior partners at the global private equity firm, TPG Capital, for the past 17 years.  Most recently, based in Hong Kong, he headed the firm's investing activities in Asia and Russia.  He was a founder of TPG's European office in 1997 and led that business until 2007. He also set up the firm's activities in Eastern Europe and Russia, based in Moscow, before assuming responsibility for the businesses in Asia in late 2008. Before joining TPG, Mr. Peel was in the Principal Investment Area of Goldman Sachs International in Europe from 1989 to 1997. Mr. Peel graduated from Downing College, Cambridge University in 1987 and represented Great Britain at rowing in the Olympic Games in 1988. Mr. Peel serves or has served on Boards of Directors including: China Grand Automotive Services Co., Ltd., HCP Holdings, Inc., Strauss Coffee B.V., FESCO Transportation Group, Grohe AG, Lenta Limited, Mey Alkollü Içkiler, Punch Taverns, Spirit Group Limited, Findexa Limited and Pivovarni Ivana Taranova. He is a member of the Tate International Council, a founder and former trustee of the Private Equity Foundation, and a board member of Right to Play Asia. 

Andrew Reeves

Andrew Reeves (16) previously served as a Country Director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he helped shape and implement U.S. defense policy in South Asia.  He also spent seven years as an analyst studying a variety of international security issues, most recently the conflict in Afghanistan.   In this role, Andrew deployed to Kandahar Province in 2010 and 2012 as an advisor to the ISAF Regional Commander, and he subsequently led one of the U.S. Government’s flagship strategic assessments of the Afghan insurgency.  He has also studied regional security dynamics in Eurasia and interned at the U.S. Mission to NATO.  A native of Pensacola, Florida, Andrew graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2007 with a B.A. in Government and International Relations.  At Yale, Andrew plans to study international security and grand strategy.    

Donatienne Ruy

Donatienne Ruy (15), a native of Belgium, graduated in 2012 with honors from the Université Libre de Bruxelles with a BA in political science. While an undergrad Donatienne studied abroad at the Université de Montreal and it was there that she decided to do her master's degree in North America. After graduation, Donatienne interned at the European Institute for Asian Studies, a Brussels-based think-tank that focuses on European Union-Asia relations. During this internship, she published an article on Indonesia's military modernization, wrote several short news articles and organized conferences with prominent EU and Asian researchers. At Yale, Donatienne plans to focus on security issues and conflict resolution. 

Tiago Sanfelice

Tiago Sanfelice (16) graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania completing majors in Political Science and International Relations. He received a Critical Language Scholarship from the US Department of State to undertake intensive language study in Russia. In addition, Tiago founded Penn’s Assembly of International Students to advocate for the interests of foreign students before the university administration. During his three years at the National Democratic Institute in Washington, DC, Tiago worked on programs to strengthen good governance in Lusophone and Francophone Africa. As a Program Officer, Tiago trained local organizations on civic and voter education and served as an international election observer in Angola and Madagascar. Furthermore, he helped design and implement projects to enhance political parties’ outreach capacity in Mozambique. At Yale, Tiago looks forward to studying the role of non-state actors in development, South-South relations and anti-corruption. Originally from Brazil, Tiago speaks Spanish, Russian and French in addition to English and Portuguese.

Jason Schneider

Jason Schneider (MAS 15) graduated from Queens College in 2006 with a B.A in History.  Before college Jason spent two years as a semi-professional cyclist based in France, including a stint racing with the US National Team on the European circuit. After earning his B.A. Jason completed an internship with the US Commercial Service at the US Consulate in Munich, Germany. In 2008, Jason joined the US Department of State's Foreign Service as a political officer and worked to advance key US national security objectives.  At Yale, Jason plans to focus his studies on U.S. national security issues, foreign policy and diplomacy. After completing his studies, he will return to the US Federal Government to work on national security issues.


Nitsan Shakked

Nitsan Shakked (16) was raised in Israel and is a first-generation immigrant from Iranian Kurdistan and Morocco. She holds a BSc in Geology, Atmospheric Science and Oceanography from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an MSc in Hydrogeological Modeling and Applied Environmental Sciences from the University of Tübingen in Germany. She has worked as a researcher at the Geological Survey of Israel and as a consultant in various geo-engineering projects internationally, collaborating with the Dead Sea Preservation Government Company, the Technion Institute, the Israeli Ministry of the Environment, and USAID. Before Jackson, Nitsan directed an EU-funded international project that developed a portable, rural, and inland desalination plant running solely on wind and solar energy. The plant grants access to safe drinking water in remote locations, eliminating public health issues related to Fluor and Arsenic contamination. 

Nitsan speaks Hebrew and German, and is a translator of Arabic and Yiddish prose and poetry. She is currently translating two novels from Arabic to Hebrew and is co-authoring a forthcoming theoretical text on translating conflict languages. Nitsan was a peace activist in Israel/Palestine and has also operated an emergency hotline for LGBTQ youth. In addition, she has researched clandestine immigration following the Arab Spring in Lampedusa, Italy, and forced migration resulting from the Syrian civil war.

At Jackson, Nitsan plans to work on the intersection between political conflict and natural resources, especially in the MENA and Sub-Saharan regions. She is interested in applying her scientific knowledge to the creation of sound environmental policy, thus negotiating between cutting-edge scientific innovation and international development.


Mardy Shualy

Mardy Shualy (16), a native of Baltimore, graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Government & Politics and a B.A. in Linguistics. As an undergraduate, he focused on the intersection of development and ethnic conflict, completing an honors thesis on the role that development projects played in the run-up to civil war in modern Sri Lanka. After graduating, Mr. Shualy spent more than two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa. He worked on education and community development projects in a rural village, teaching, training teachers and establishing a community library. Following his Peace Corps service, Mr. Shualy participated in a research project funded by the Swedish Folke Bernadotte Academy investigating instances of mediation in intrastate ethnic conflicts in Africa. 

At Yale, Mr. Shualy plans to study the role international development organizations play in countries undergoing political transitions, and the monitoring and evaluation of governance reform projects. 

Sergey Sirotenko

Sergey Sirotenko (15) graduated from the Law Faculty of the Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation in 2003 and received his Ph.D. in law in 2011 from the Saint-Petersburg Law Institute. Sergey has also undergone a program of seminars on Leadership and Coaching led by INSEAD Professor Stanislav Shekshnia in 2009 and completed an Executive Coaching Program at Erickson International College in 2012. Sergey currently leads Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) Sports Centre of Excellence – a knowledge hub created to accumulate expertise gained though the advisory work performed by PwC for the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee for Olympic and Paralympic Games and Universiade 2013 in Kazan, Tatarstan.  Over the past 10 years, Sergey held various positions with PwC Russia and led consulting projects in such areas as strategy and operations, business process improvement, organizational design and restructuring for different industries, but mainly in public sector. As a part of his social responsibility activities, Sergey is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community and a Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of BBBS Russia.  At Yale he plans to focus on Asia and global public policy

Timothy Stone

Timothy Stone (16) graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts in 2006 with a B.A. in Political Science. Immediately after graduation he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Air Force. During his seven-year career as an Intelligence Officer he completed assignments at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada as well as deployments to Forward Operating Base Kalsu, Iraq, and Camp Marmal, Afghanistan. He worked in a variety of units, including an Information Operations Team, two Fighter Wings, an Aggressor Squadron, and an Intelligence Fusion Center. This diversity of experience has allowed him to perform intelligence analysis at both the strategic and tactical level.  At Yale, Timothy intends to study national security, diplomacy, and failed states.   

Tim Sullivan

Tim Sullivan (16) graduated in 2007 from Boston College with a B.A. in Political Science. Prior to attending Yale, he served for over a year in Kabul, Afghanistan, as an advisor to the commander of the NATO coalition’s counter-corruption task force. Before his deployment, Tim worked as a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he helped launch and manage AEI’s Center for Defense Studies. At AEI, Tim researched and wrote about a range of national security issues, including NATO operations in Afghanistan, piracy and extremism in the Horn of Africa, and the United States’ nuclear force posture in Asia. Most recently, Tim has directed the business development efforts of Praescient Analytics, a veteran-owned technology services start-up. At Yale, Tim plans to study the factors that shape the development of institutions in post-conflict and transitioning states.

Sarah Tolbert

Sarah Tolbert (16) is a second year dual degree Master of Environmental Management (MEM) and M.A. in Global Affairs student. She worked for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin organizing farmer’s co-operatives and promoting sustainable agriculture practices.  Wanting to use her new skills in French and managing projects overseas, she stayed in Benin to work with the non-profit Songhai and the Government of Benin’s rural agriculture extension agency. She was in charge of creating a micro-lending program for women farmers and worked closely with women farming groups to install easy to use irrigation systems.  Upon returning to the states, Sarah took her field-work experience and explored agriculture and international development from a different angle, working with the International Food Policy Research Institute. For her MEM, she researched the impacts of protected areas on local livelihoods with the International Gorilla Conservation Programme in Rwanda and Uganda. At Yale, Sarah focuses her studies on ways to better incorporate conservation practices into international food policy and development, particularly in the Congo Basin.


Brett Tolman

Brett Tolman (15) a native of Portland, Oregon, earned his degree in Political Science from Linfield College with a focus in community development. Prior to attending Yale, Brett spent a year in Sri Lanka on a Fulbright Grant working at Colombo University as a lecturer in international and environmental news reporting.  In addition, he consulted for Sarvodaya, a Buddhist NGO to develop environmental education programs for schools and rural communities.  Brett then received a Princeton in Asia Fellowship to work with TRAFFIC in Viet Nam. For the past two years At TRAFFIC, Brett has helped to lead a joint campaign with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to tackle the illegal trade of rhino horn from Africa into Asia.  At Yale, Brett will focus on international development, with an emphasis on education and environmental policy.


Ariel Travis

Ariel Travis (15), a native of Austin, Texas, graduated magna cum laude from Rice University with a B.A. in Social-Cultural Anthropology in 2008. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, participated in training to serve as a medical interpreter, and began learning Persian at the Strategic Language Initiative’s intensive institute in California and later Armenia. Following graduation, she traveled to Turkey with the support of a Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship and spent a semester pursuing graduate coursework in the fields of human rights law and migration as a visiting student at Boğaziçi University. Motivated by a desire to deepen her knowledge and serve in the field, Ariel began interning with the Refugee Advocacy & Support Program at Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, a non-profit legal aid organization in Istanbul. For the next two and a half years she worked with HCA and later the Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration (ORAM), advocating on behalf of refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing persecution based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. As a legal advisor with ORAM, Ariel represented asylum-seekers throughout the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' status determination proceedings, in addition to conducting research and writing on the topic. Following her time in Istanbul, she moved to Washington DC, where she continued working with LGBTI migrants, assisting the legal team at Immigration Equality. She later returned to Ankara, Turkey and served as Resident Director for a State Department-sponsored intensive Turkish language program for American students. Ariel speaks Turkish, Spanish and conversational Persian. At Yale, she hopes to deepen her knowledge of international human rights law, and plans to pursue a course of study focused on forced migration.

Elizabeth Verardo

Elizabeth Verardo (16) graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2007 with a B.S. in Political Science.  She received her commission as a Second Lieutenant in the aviation branch, and attended flight school at Fort Rucker, Alabama, qualifying as an AH-64D Apache Pilot. Shortly thereafter, Liz was assigned to the 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, where she deployed to Khost Province in eastern Afghanistan as a platoon leader from 2009-2010. Upon redeployment, Liz served a year as the battalion logistics officer before returning to Fort Rucker for additional training. Liz most recently deployed as a Company Commander with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) to Forward Operating Base Fenty in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. At Yale, Liz hopes to build on her military experiences with a focus on national security and U.S. foreign policy. Following graduation, she will continue to serve the Army as an American Politics, Policy, and Strategy instructor in West Point's Department of Social Sciences. 

Loren Voss

Loren Voss (16) graduated with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in International Relations and Psychology. During this time she interned at the State Department and at the non-profit Presidential Classroom. In addition to a M.A. in Global Affairs at the Jackson Institute, she is also pursuing a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She spent the last five years as an Intelligence Officer for the United States Air Force. As the Chief of Intelligence for a F-15C fighter squadron, she participated in Baltic Air Policing and aided in the redesign of Baltic threat warning and reporting. She also trained with European and Middle Eastern air forces, focusing on increasing interoperability between countries. In the spin-up to the Libya conflict, she took over the intelligence directorates of three fighter squadrons, leading to the first U.S. fighter strikes in the country. She spent the last year and a half at the Air Forces Central Command leading an eighteen-member team that serves as the Air Force’s expert on Middle Eastern air forces and tactics. In this role, she organized and chaired two conferences that created the Air Force’s reference document for understanding and training to threat air forces. 

Theresa Wilson

Theresa Wilson (15), a native of Akron, Ohio, earned her bachelor’s degree (with honors) from Miami University, where she studied finance and international business management. Prior to attending Yale, Theresa spent four years in the United States Peace Corps working with marginalized populations in the Republic of Georgia and Costa Rica. As a volunteer she worked with municipal governments, international aid organizations, local non-profits, women’s associations, cooperatives, youth groups, and small business owners to coordinate and implement economic development projects in rural communities. At Yale, Theresa is pursuing a joint degree (MBA & Masters in Global Affairs) with an interest in economic development and human rights in developing countries.

Garrett Wong

Garrett Wong (16) was raised in Maui, Hawaii and graduated from Yale College in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in architectural design.  Following graduation, he was awarded a Richard U. Light Fellowship for a year of study at the Kyoto Consortium of Japanese Studies where he focused on Japanese language and architecture.  Garrett’s focus on architecture in Asia includes conducting historical preservation field research in Phnom Penh for the Vann Molyvann Project and practicing architectural design in Tokyo at Atelier Bow-Wow and in Kyoto for Eastern Design Office.  Since 2011, Garrett was a project design architect in New York at Steven Harris Architects where he contributed to a range of private residential projects from Manhattan to Taipei while working concurrently to establish the Building Roots Project, a non-profit dedicated to helping immigrants strengthen ties to their countries of origin through economic development, international exchange, and community outreach. With the Building Roots Project, Garrett directed immigrant remittances to develop a community center in Apirede, Ghana.  Garrett is returning to Yale to pursue a joint-degree program in global affairs and business with a focus on integrating global corporate expansion with the economic needs of local communities.  

Duo Xu

Duo (Chloe) Xu (15) graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University with a B.A. in English Language & Literature. After graduation, she worked with Xinhua News Agency at its Beijing headquarters. As an English news writer, she was responsible for drafting speeches and communiques for state leaders' overseas visits. Two years later she was posted to the Middle East Regional Bureau in Egypt as a resident correspondent. During this period, she travelled across the North African, Mideast and Gulf regions, covering general politics and current affairs. She was also actively involved in the Asia-­‐Pacific region as a reporter-­‐at-­‐large when Thailand was beset by clashes between government and pro-­‐Thaksin "red-­‐ shirt" protestors. Prior to attending Yale, she was an editor of business and economic news in Xinhua's International News Department. At Yale, she plans to focus on the East Asian economy, politics and society, with China-­‐U.S.-­‐Japan interactions as her primary research subject. 

Satomi Yanagidani

Satomi Yanagidani (15) grew up in Japan and holds a BA in Law at the University of Tokyo (Public Law major). In addition to the major study, he participated in various seminars concerning international politics and international law such as “UN Security Council and The conflict Resolution” and “Japan-US Secret Agreements”. He also worked as an intern at a Japanese Diet member’s office, getting involved in the mayoral election at Nishi-Tokyo City. After graduation, he directly joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan (MOFA), and he is currently a member of Japanese Foreign Service (Career Diplomat track). From 2011 to 2013, he was at the Japan-US Security Treaty Division, dealing with security policy towards the US. In particular, he contributed to solving the legal conflicts between Japan Self Defense Force and US Forces Japan over the joint use of Yokota Air Base and Camp Zama, US bases located in Kanagawa prefecture. Furthermore, he arranged various US VIP-meetings with Japanese politicians and senior officials working closely with the members of US Embassy in Japan. At Yale, he concentrates on American Foreign Policy and national security with the view of deepening his insight. After completing the MA program, he will return to MOFA.

Sakir Yilmaz

Sakir Yilmaz (16) graduated from Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences in 2005.  Between 2006-2010, he worked as an assistant expert/expert at the Capital Markets Board (CMB), the first and oldest financial regulatory authority in Turkey. He examined and evaluated the registration applications of the publicly held companies for their security issues and completed initial public offerings of several companies. At the end of 2010, in line with his long-term objectives and his personal interest in international relations, Sakir joined to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and secured an appointment as a desk officer at the Deputy Directorate General for Security and Intelligence Affairs. He was in charge of covering international terrorism issues as well as the international organizations and treaties to which Turkey is a party. In October 2012, Sakir was appointed to the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad as a political officer. He followed political developments in Iraq and prepared reports with policy recommendations, also served as the Embassy’s action officer for the United Nations Mission in Iraq. At Yale, Sakir plans to focus on international security studies.

Hamed Zarghoon

Hamed Zarghoon (15) was born and raised in Afghanistan. Before he immigrated to the United States in 2006, he served with international news agencies, MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), and the US Government in various capacities. In 2012, Hamed graduated from the University of Denver with a BA in International Studies and Political Science. At Jackson Institute, Hamed plans to focus on Conflict Analysis and Post-Conflict Development with Middle East as his regional focus.