Twenty-six Yale University students have been named Kerry Fellows for the 2020-21 academic year, including five graduate students from the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.

Part of the Kerry Initiative led by former Secretary of State John Kerry YC ’66, the Fellows will collaborate with Sec. Kerry on leading-edge research aimed at developing real-world policy solutions.

The students represent Yale College and several of Yale’s professional schools, including the schools of the Environment, Law, Management, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Read more

The five Jackson graduate students named 2020-2021 Kerry Fellows are:

Courtney Bliler photo
Courtney Bliler

Courtney Bliler is a first-year MA student at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She is interested in the impacts of climate change and environmental scarcity on conflict, forced migration, and development in fragile states. Previously, Courtney served in the U.S. Army as a Field Artillery Officer, serving in the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She has also previously interned with the U.S. State Department’s Office of Iraq Affairs and work ed supporting the Public Affairs section of the U.S. diplomatic mission to Yemen. Courtney graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Modern Middle Eastern Studies.

Douglas Burt photo
Douglas Burt

Douglas Burt is a first-year master’s student at the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs. He graduated cum laude from Tufts University in 2017 with a double major in international relations and history. While at Tufts, he interned with Erie Insurance’s Investments Division, assessing geopolitical risk in Erie’s asset allocation process, and with the U.S. Department of Defense, analyzing nuclear weapons policy. After graduating, Doug became a California Capital Executive Fellow in Sacramento, a program jointly administered by the Office of the Governor and the Center for California Studies. As an Executive Fellow, he designed policies focusing on climate change and sustainable economic development, including catalytic investments in community planning and advanced research and development in clean energy. He was then appointed to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), where he served as a Policy and Strategy Analyst on OPR’s Military Affairs team. At OPR, he co-managed award-winning U.S. Department of Defense funded programs to build cybersecurity resilience in the defense industry and strengthen the American defense manufacturing base. At Yale, Doug plans to study the role of strategic economic development and non-traditional actors in international security and diplomacy. 

Taek Jin Han photo
Taek Jin Han

Taek Jin Han is a Foreign Service Officer from the Republic of Korea. In 2012, he graduated  second in class and summa cum laude from Seoul National University with a B.A. in international relations. In 2017, he received an M.A. in North Korean politics from the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul. Taek Jin served in the army as an intelligence translator and analyst when North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006. This experience led him to study international relations and to pursue a diplomatic career. During his seven years of service, Taek Jin oversaw the relocation of the U.S. military forces in Korea (USFK), and the defense technology consultation between South Korea and the United States. Speaking fluent Spanish, he led Korean Foreign Minister’s first historic visit to Havana in 2016. Currently, Taek Jin is studying public policy as a graduate student of Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University.

Dilan Ezgi Koç photo
Dilan Ezgi Koç

Dilan Ezgi Koç graduated valedictorian from Bilkent University, Turkey, in 2019 with a BA in international relations. As an undergraduate, she worked on international security, terrorism and  Middle East politics and co-authored and published three articles on the Syrian conflict and alliance politics. She studied briefly in Warsaw and held an internship in Budapest and Prague, conducting research on populism and migration studies. Prior to Yale, Dilan’s research focused on the dynamics of the nuclear market, and ways to satisfy the demand for nuclear energy without encouraging proliferation. At Yale, she hopes to expand her knowledge on nuclear politics and nuclear proliferation, delving deeper into U.S. counterproliferation policy, nuclear alliances, and the potential for nuclear dominoes in the Middle East. Recently, Dilan was selected as one of the 10 United Nations Youth Champions for Disarmament by the UNODA to work for the global disarmament goals and the norms vital to international peace and security, and sustainable development. Dilan is a Fulbright grantee and a McKinsey Women Achievement Award recipient. Outside of her professional interests, Dilan has also been taking active roles and working with NGOs to increase women’s participation in higher education in Turkey, and, as a classically trained cellist, has been playing the cello for nine years at several ensembles, orchestras, and symphonies.

Libby Lange photo
Libby Lange

Elizabeth “Libby” Lange is a first-year MA student at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Prior to coming to Yale, Libby worked as the lead English speechwriter and social media manager for Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, an experience that solidified her interest in how narratives are formed and weaponized in the age of social media. During her time at the Office of the President, Libby accompanied President Tsai on state visits throughout the Caribbean and worked closely with the Director-General of the National Security Council. Libby graduated from National Taiwan University in 2018 with a B.A. in international relations. During her time at NTU, Libby interned for the U.S. Commercial Service at the American Institute in Taiwan and helped design and lead a class on geopolitics with former U.S. diplomat William Stanton. At Yale, Libby plans to study U.S. China policy with a focus on disinformation mitigation strategies and democratic resilience.