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Meet the ASG Rising Leaders Program

Class of 2021

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In their capstone policy book, the Aspen Strategy Group Rising Leaders Class of 2021 explore significant challenges for U.S. foreign policy.

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Jeff Alstott

Director for Technology & National Security

Dr. Jeff Alstott is a member of the US Intelligence Community. As a program manager at IARPA (the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity) his portfolio has covered artificial intelligence, analytic methods, biosecurity and science and technology forecasting. He previously worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Singapore University of Technology and Design, the World Bank and the University of Chicago. Dr. Alstott obtained his doctorate studying complex networks at the University of Cambridge, and his MBA and bachelor’s degrees from Indiana University. His published research covers animal behavior, computational neuroscience, complex networks, design science, statistical methods and S&T forecasting.


Paul Bezerra

Assistant Professor, United States Air Force Academy

Paul Bezerra is an assistant professor of Military & Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Before joining the U.S. Air Force Academy, Paul was the National Security Affairs Postdoctoral Fellow at the U.S. Naval War College (2018) and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona (2017). His research focuses on economic statecraft and corresponding patterns of political resistance and cooperation. His research has appeared in International Interactions, Foreign Policy Analysis, Public Choice, International Studies Review, and he is a co-principal investigator on both the Militarized Interstate Dispute dataset and the narrower Militarized Interstate Dispute Location dataset. Before pursuing his Ph.D., Paul worked in nonprofits and city government in Dallas and New York, served as an AmeriCorps national service volunteer in Fresno County, California, and helped develop and deliver a management training program for nongovernmental organizations in Duhok, Iraq.


Virginia Boney

Senior Manager, Public Policy, Amazon

Virginia Boney is a Senior Manager of Public Policy at Amazon. She is also a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Schmidt Futures International Strategy Forum Fellow. Most recently, Virginia was the Deputy Director of Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she led the committee charged with overseeing the Department’s lead role in implementing the Executive Orders on Addressing the Threat Posed by TikTok and WeChat. Virginia served from 2017 to 2020 as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Legislative Affairs at the National Security Council. In this role, she was the primary liaison to Congress on foreign policy and national security issues and a senior advisor to the National Security Advisor. She successfully headed up major legislative initiatives, including reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and passage of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act. Previously, Virginia served for over eight years as a senior staff member to U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. As Director of Appropriations, she developed a rare proficiency in the appropriations process, provided strategic guidance on foreign policy issues, and traveled extensively to the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Virginia received a BA cum laude in Political Science from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.


Brittany Carter

Chief, Cyber Programs & Weapon Systems, United States Air Force/Secretary of the Air Force/Legislative Liaison Office

Major Brittany S. Carter is the Chief of Air Force Cyber Programs and Weapon Systems within the Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) Legislative Liaison directorate.  She is the SECAF focal point for legislative liaison between the Department of the Air Force (DAF) and Congress for all cyber ops and acquisition programs.  Major Carter is responsible for the development and execution of strategies to ensure that DAF leadership is postured to effectively advocate for cyber weapon systems. Additionally, she prepares DAF senior leadership for Congressional testimony before the House and Senate Armed Services Committees and maintains direct contact with House and Senate professional staff to assure the full authorization of the $165 billion annual budget. Major Carter graduated and receiving her commission from the United States Air Force Academy in 2008. Most recently, she was a Department of Defense Legislative Fellow on the personal staff of United States Senator M. Michael Rounds from South Dakota.  She worked on the Senator’s defense, cybersecurity, intelligence, foreign affairs and international sanctions portfolios. Major Carter also assisted with drafting legislation, floor debate, news outlet preparation, analysis of defense policy and national cybersecurity concerns.  Additionally, she was also selected to complete a developmental rotation with the RAND Corporation aiding research on the Congressional Relations and Project AIR FORCE teams. Major Carter has also deployed to Guantanamo Bay where she operated as the Information Assurance Division Chief for Joint Task Force Guantanamo in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Tara Chandra

PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley

Tara Chandra is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at UC Berkeley. Her research falls primarily at the intersection of gender and international security. Her dissertation project focuses on insurgent violence against women, and examines what strategic dynamics help determine the form that targeting of women by insurgent groups will take. Tara’s work also addresses broader theories of insurgency/counterinsurgency, and the causes and consequences of political violence more generally. In addition, Tara is interested in gender and political behavior in myriad other contexts, including in the United States and U.S. foreign policy. She holds an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago, where she graduated with Honors in 2011. Tara also holds an MA in Global Affairs from Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. While at Yale, she served as Managing Editor for Interviews for the Yale Journal of International Affairs. Tara was also a founding member of Jackson Women, an organization that connects Master’s students with Yale undergraduates and provides mentorship opportunities for undergraduate women. Prior to her graduate study at Yale, Tara worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she served as David Rothkopf’s lead researcher on a book on U.S. foreign policy and national security (National Insecurity: American Leadership in an Age of Fear). A selection of her previous internship experience includes the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation, the Brookings Institution, and Capitol Hill.

Rachele Clegg


Rachele is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor’s degree in International Security and double minors in Spanish and Latin America studies. She is a May 2021 graduate of American University with a Master's degree in International Relations with a focus on foreign policy and national security. While in college, she developed a passion for Latin America, studying abroad in Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil, before returning to the United States to complete her undergraduate degree. While out of the country, she became a fluent Spanish speaker, bringing this skill to bear as an intern with the Department of State and a non profit. Her passion for Latin America is no doubt informed by her background as a millennial woman of Cherokee descent, which has given her a unique perspective and interest in cultures across the Americas. 


James Di Pane

Policy Analyst and Program Manager, The Heritage Foundation

James Di Pane is a research associate and program manager for the Index of U.S. Military Strength in the Center for National Defense at the Heritage Foundation. In these roles, he conducts research on the U.S. Coast Guard, Arctic security affairs and cybersecurity, in addition to managing the production of Heritage’s annual Index of U.S. Military Strength.

Before joining Heritage and the Center for National Defense in 2017, he was a member of the Young Leaders Program in the Asian Studies Center.

Di Pane holds a Master of Arts in National Security Affairs with a specialization in Intelligence from the Institute of World Politics. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Azusa Pacific University in Political Science.

He was born and raised in southern California, and lives in Washington, D.C.

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Catherine Eng

Public Policy Manager, Facebook

Catherine Eng is a Public Policy Manager at Facebook, where she works to identify areas in which industry interests and US foreign policy priorities converge.  Her portfolio primarily focuses on the intersection of foreign policy and technology, and implications for the future of the internet.  Most recently she served as a Policy Analyst at Google Jigsaw, which builds technology to tackle some of the toughest global security challenges facing the world today.  During this period, she took the lead in guiding the East Asia research agenda for Jigsaw including assessing business insights through providing the functional expertise on global policy and security.  


Prior to Jigsaw, Catherine served as the Chief of Staff to Stephen J. Hadley at Rice, Hadley, Gates & Manuel, LLC (RHGM), a boutique international strategic consulting firm.  During her time at RHGM, in addition to overseeing the operations of the Washington, D.C. office and supporting clients in their expansion into emerging markets, Catherine shaped her expertise in U.S.-China relations through assisting Mr. Hadley in his advocacy for improved bilateral relations by launching a strategic dialogue and staffing him at Beijing conferences. 


Previously, Catherine has also served in a number of other public sector roles including as a legislative aide in the U.S. House of Representatives and also a short stint in the White House Office of the Vice President.  Catherine holds an MBA from the Stern School of Business and a BA from the University of Michigan.  


Hammad Hammad

Foreign Service Officer, United States Department of State

Hammad Bassam Hammad is a career member of the United States Foreign Service. He currently teaches foreign policy at Georgetown University as a State Department Rusk Fellow. He previously served as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State, where he advised the Deputy Secretary on the Western Hemisphere, foreign assistance, human rights, migration, counter-narcotics, conflict prevention, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons. Hammad’s other Foreign Service assignments include Mexico City, Mexico; the Libya External Office in Tunis, Tunisia; Caracas, Venezuela; and the Kuwait desk in Washington, D.C. He serves as Vice President for State of glifaa, which promotes diversity and equity in U.S. foreign affairs agencies and LGBT+ human rights around the world. He was named a 2020 Atlantic Council LGBTI in Foreign Affairs Fellow, an Out in National Security Leader, and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 


Prior to the State Department, Hammad served as a Fulbright Scholar in the Netherlands and co-founded Inspire Dreams, an NGO focused on youth programs for refugees in the West Bank. Hammad holds an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, an M.A. in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University,  and a B.S. in International Politics from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Hammad is a fluent Spanish and Arabic speaker.


Jack Hanley

Naval Officer, U.S. Navy

Jack Hanley is a U.S. Navy Fleet Scholar and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy candidate at The Fletcher School, Tufts University.  His studies center on international security and global maritime affairs with a regional focus on the Asia Pacific. 

Prior to attending The Fletcher School, Jack served as Navigator of the USS CHUNG-HOON (DDG 93) homeported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.  During his tour, the ship completed multiple deployments to the Western Pacific and Middle East, steaming more than 86,000 nautical miles while building capacity and interoperability with allies and partners to enhance regional security.  Jack planned and supervised more than 20 transits through strategic chokepoints and contested waters in the South China Sea, Strait of Malacca, Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and Strait of Hormuz.

Before receiving his commission, Jack worked as a public relations executive in practice areas including advanced technology, renewable energy, and sustainability.

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Erik Jacobs

Independent Author and Researcher

Erik Jacobs is a foreign policy professional who most recently served in various roles at the Department of Energy and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). In those roles, Erik has worked on policy development and implementation on key issues including interagency space cooperation, emerging and critical technologies, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Prior to government service, Erik worked as a junior researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Japan Chair and at the Institute of Public Affairs in Melbourne, Australia. Erik holds a M.A. in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Japanese language scholarship. His research interests and publications include U.S.-Japan relations, U.S.-Australia relations, and Indo-Pacific security. Prior to attending Georgetown, Erik participated on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program from 2013-2016. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Temple University.


Jacqueline Koo

Government Relations Specialist, International Operations & Policy, The Boeing Company

Jackie Koo is currently a Government Relations Specialist, International Operations & Policy at Boeing, where she engages with the U.S. Government and foreign embassies to advance the company’s international sales campaigns and policy issues. Prior to this role, she was with Boeing’s Federal Legislative Affairs group, where she worked to further the company’s congressional and regulatory policy priorities. Jackie’s professional career has centered on promoting American economic and commercial interests abroad. In addition to Boeing, Jackie worked at General Electric (GE), engaging on trade and international development policy with industry associations and multilateral institutions. She also worked at the American Chamber of Commerce of Russia in Moscow assisting U.S. companies navigate the challenges of the Russian market. Jackie began her career as a political appointee in the Obama Administration, working on a broad range of international economic and trade policy issues at the White House National Security Council and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  She also worked in the Office of White House Personnel. She received her master’s degree in international relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and her bachelor’s degree in international politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Jackie also speaks Japanese, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband.


Erica Lee

Analyst, United States Department of Defense

Ms. Erica R. Lee is career civilian at the U.S. Department of Defense, where she has expertise in topics ranging from counterterrorism to cyber. 

She received her BA in Political Science from Howard University and her MA in European Studies from New York University.  

She currently attends The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies for her dual degree - Masters of International Public Policy and Doctorate of International Affairs with a concentration in American Foreign Policy. Ms. Lee is also a proficient French speaker. 

A Richmond, Virginia native, Ms. Lee is an avid tennis player and is very active in her community. She is a proud and active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Junior League. She also serves as the Vice President of her local Howard University Alumni Club.


Eric Lindsey

Manager, Strategy and Analysis Group, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Eric Lindsey is a Strategist with Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems, supporting the development of advanced combat aircraft and other critical capabilities.  Before joining Northrop Grumman, Eric served as the Defense Policy Advisor to Congressman Randy Forbes, Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces and a leading authority on defense strategy and Asia-Pacific security issues. Earlier in his career, he worked at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a 501(c)3 think tank analyzing strategic and operational challenges and their implications for U.S. force planning.  He has a B.A. in history and public policy studies from Duke University and an M.A. in strategic studies and international economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 


David Livingston

Senior Advisor, United States Department of State

David Livingston serves as a senior advisor on climate issues at the U.S. Department of State, supporting a range of priorities in the Biden administration's climate diplomacy portfolio. Prior to joining government, Mr. Livingston previously worked at the Eurasia Group, focusing on energy, climate, trade and technology issues, and as a non-resident senior fellow of the Atlantic Council. Prior to this, he served as also Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, as the inaugural Robert S. Strauss Fellow for Geoeconomics at the Office of the US Trade Representative, and has also worked at the World Trade Organization in Geneva and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna. He earned a BA with highest honours from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and a MSc with distinction from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.


Theresa Lou

Professional Staff Member, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee

Theresa Lou is the Professional Staff Member for the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, Central Asia, and Nonproliferation, where she serves as a policy resource to Democratic members on matters related to the Indo-Pacific. Prior to joining the committee, Theresa was a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations for the International Institutions and Global Governance program. She also has prior experience at the U.S. Department of State Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Her writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Defense One, World Politics Review, and others. Theresa received her M.A. in Security Studies and B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.


Mari Manoogian

State Representative, Michigan

State Rep. Mari Manoogian was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan, and is serving her second term representing the 40th District, which includes Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, and a portion of West Bloomfield Township. She currently serves as the Deputy Democratic Caucus Whip and as the Minority Vice Chair for the House Committee on Energy.


At 28, Manoogian is the youngest woman serving in the 101st Legislature, and the first Armenian-American woman to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives. Prior to joining the Legislature, she served in various capacities of public service at the federal level, including interning for then-Congressman John D. Dingell, working with the Council on Foreign Relations, and assisting Ambassador Samantha Power at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Manoogian also worked in the Office of English Language Programs and eDiplomacy at the U.S. Department of State where she served with foreign and civil service officers.


Manoogian is a third-generation Armenian-American whose great-grandparents came to America in the 1920s to escape the Armenian Genocide. She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.


She is an avid Detroit sports and Team USA fan and enjoys figure skating, reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. Manoogian is a member of Saint Sarkis Armenian Church in Dearborn, MI, and lives in Birmingham, MI.


Rachel Myrick

Assistant Research Professor of Political Science, Duke University

Rachel Myrick is an assistant research professor in the Department of Political Science at Duke University and a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. After completing her PhD in Spring 2021, she will start as tenure-track assistant professor at Duke. Rachel specializes in international security, American foreign policy, and quantitative analysis. Her research explores how partisan polarization affects foreign policy making in democratic states, with an emphasis on US national security policy.  

Rachel is a faculty affiliate of the Program inAmerican Grand Strategy at Duke, the Carnegie International Policy Scholar Consortium and Network (IPSCON), and the America in the World Consortium (AWC). Her research is published or forthcoming in multiple academic journals, including International Organization, Journal of Politics, and International Studies Quarterly.  

At Stanford, Rachel is a Ric Weiland Graduate Fellow in the Humanities & Sciences and a Graduate Fellow at the Stanford Center for International Conflict & Negotiation. She also co-organizes an interdisciplinary working group for graduate women called Female Academics in Foreign Policy (FAFP).  


Prior to attending Stanford, Rachel received an M.Phil. in International Relations from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar and a B.A. in Political Science and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain Scholar. 


Philippe Nassif

Advocacy Director, Middle East, North Africa, and The Americas, Amnesty International USA

Philippe Nassif has worked in advocacy, foreign policy, and community organizing for over a decade. Currently, Philippe is the Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA where he works with U.S. government representatives in Congress and the executive branch to ensure that human rights are prioritized and protected across the region. Philippe has testified before Congress and provided media commentary on multiple outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. Philippe was named one of The Hill's top Lobbyists in 2019 and in 2020 due to his human rights work. In 2020, Philippe was named a Next Generation Latino Foreign Policy and National Security Leader by the New America Foundation and also a 2020-2021 Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. Before coming to Amnesty, Philippe served as Executive Director of In Defense of Christians in the Middle East, and worked at CARE USA, The Obama Presidential Campaign, The White House on President Barack Obama’s advance team, and for the Mayor of Houston, Texas. He also ran for Houston City Council in 2015. Philippe grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and Houston, Texas in a trilingual household where Arabic, Spanish, and English was spoken. He has Lebanese/Mexican heritage. In his spare time he trains in Muay Thai and volunteers with the United States Muay Thai Federation, is an avid gardener, and enjoys Washington DC’s food scene with friends and family.


Brigid Otieno

Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State

Brigid Otieno is a political-coned Foreign Service Officer at the U.S. Department of State and currently serves on the Executive Secretariat Staff in the Office of the Secretary of State. She plans and prepares the Secretary of State’s domestic and international travel, as well as reviews briefing materials in support of the Secretary and other senior-level principals on U.S. foreign policy issues. Prior to her current assignment, Ms. Otieno worked at U.S. Embassy Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, covering bilateral counterterrorism policy, countering violent extremism programs, and security cooperation. Prior to this role, she served as a Consular Officer at U.S. Embassy Rome, Italy; in this position, she adjudicated non-immigrant visas and worked on issues related to welfare and protection of U.S. citizens, the issuance of passports, and treaty trader and investor visas. Ms. Otieno is the recipient of three Department of State Meritorious Honor Awards and the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship Program. She was a 2009 Fulbright Grantee to South Korea where she taught high school English. Ms. Otieno has previously worked at the National Institutes of Health and the National Democratic Institute. She received her B.A. in international affairs from Trinity University and her M.A. in international affairs from American University's School of International Service. She speaks Italian and Arabic and has studied Korean. She calls Washington, D.C. home.


Elisa Santana

Legislative Assistant, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Elisa Santana is a collaborative policy strategist with congressional, transatlantic, and intergovernmental experience. Elisa spent four years in Rep. Lloyd Doggett's Office, handling homeland security, immigration, and civil rights issues. In 2016, she was awarded the German Chancellor Fellowship and spent 16 months in Germany, analyzing migration policy and how European governments responded to those seeking asylum. In 2019, Elisa returned to Germany to research the politics of terrorism and crisis diplomacy. A proud Texan, she also served as the Communications Director to Rep. Sylvia Garcia's primary congressional campaign. Most recently, Elisa assisted the City of Austin's Office of Police Oversight by managing a portfolio related to protest incidents. In her spare time, she enjoys registering people to vote and going on long runs. She holds an M.A. in Global Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University.


Jennifer Schuch-Page

Principal, The Asia Group, LLC

Jennifer Schuch-Page is a Principal at The Asia Group, where she advises a range of leading U.S. companies on politico-economic analysis, risk assessments, and corporate strategies for market entry and expansion in Asia’s emerging markets. Jennifer brings nearly a decade of experience at the intersection of international trade, investment, national security and foreign policy in Asia, and particularly Southeast Asia. Prior to joining The Asia Group, Jennifer worked in Indonesia for two years as a program assistant for two international development NGOs where she focused on human rights, democracy building, and women's empowerment. Jennifer also previously interned at the U.S. Department of State and McLarty Associates. Jennifer has an M.A. in International Economics and Southeast Asia and China Studies from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. in International Affairs from the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University.


Alyza Sebenius

Harvard Law School

Alyza Sebenius writes about the intersection of foreign policy and technology as a cybersecurity reporter for Bloomberg News in Washington D.C. Her work spans nation-state hacking, influence operations on social media, and U.S. strategy in cyberspace. She previously covered the Trump administration for Bloomberg, writing daily from the White House and regularly traveling abroad and across the country with the president. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Alyza served as chief book assistant on David Sanger’s The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age, which was published by Crown in 2018 and later produced as an HBO documentary. She also spent two years in editorial roles at The Atlantic, where she worked as a magazine fellow and an assistant to the editor. She is fluent in Hebrew and spent a summer at the Jerusalem Bureau of The New York Times, contributing stories on culture and politics. Alyza graduated from Harvard College in 2015 with a degree in English (concentration) and Government (secondary). She served as a reporter, columnist, and editor for The Harvard Crimson.


Sahil Shah

Policy Fellow, European Leadership Network

Sahil Shah is a Policy Fellow at the European Leadership Network (ELN), which is a pan-European, intergenerational network of leaders working to resolve the gravest threats to Euro-Atlantic and global security. In his role at the ELN, Sahil advises senior US, European, and other government stakeholders on reducing strategic and nuclear risks and convenes international security dialogues. He leads the organization’s efforts to strengthen nuclear and regional diplomacy with Iran and advises on other key areas of ELN engagement on non-proliferation, disarmament, and arms control issues. Separately, Sahil is also a Policy Advisor to the Institute for Security and Technology (IST) on its CATALINK project and will soon reprise his previously held role as a Policy and Outreach Consultant to the Office of the Executive Secretary at the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO). He has worked closely with former US Secretary of Defense and Aspen Strategy Group co-founder William J. Perry as a member of the Perry Project Advisory Board, supported the Nuclear Security Project at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), co-directed the Stanford US-Russia Forum (SURF), and helped create the CTBTO Youth Group (CYG). Sahil's work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, POLITICO, and more, and he regularly comments on security and defense issues to global media outlets. He received a Master of Philosophy in International Relations and Politics as the Dorothy Bender Scholar to the University of Cambridge after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University.


Patrice Smith

Director, Hamilton Place Strategies

Patrice Smith is a director at Hamilton Place Strategies (HPS). Previously, Patrice served in the U.S. House of Representatives as a communications director. Prior to her time in the U.S. House of Representatives, Patrice served in the U.S. Senate in the office of U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R–S.C.). Patrice came to Capitol Hill from San Diego City Council where she served in the office of Council President Pro Tem Mark Kersey. Prior to pursuing a career in government, Patrice worked on the account level for different public relations and public affairs agencies in southern California and Washington, D.C. She holds a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications from Georgetown University. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Riverside and received a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in marketing. Born and raised in San Diego, California, Patrice was raised 19 minutes from the U.S.-Mexico border. She currently resides in Washington, DC.


Matthew Stevens

Corporate Strategy Development, Lockheed Martin

Matt currently serves as a member of Lockheed Martin’s Studies & Analysis team within its Corporate Strategy & Development function. In this capacity, Matt leads and supports studies surrounding major trends affecting the future of warfare and the evolution of America’s defense industry. Such studies seek to clarify complex trends and present strategic options for executive leadership to consider. Prior to his role in LM Studies & Analysis, Matt served for three years as a lead strategy analyst on LM’s corporate strategy team, assisting in collaborative strategy development. This role presented the opportunity to study the evolving strategic environment across LM’s portfolio in the air, land, sea, space, and cyber domains. Before joining LM’s enterprise strategy community, Matt’s background was in finance and accounting, holding several such roles since 2013. This culminated in his participation in, and graduation from, LM’s Financial Leadership Development Program (FLDP), a three year program which brought increasing levels of responsibility and leadership training. Matt’s educational background includes undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Florida as a Finance & History double major, an MBA from the University of Florida, and select executive education programs from Harvard Business School and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Dale Swartz

Associate Partner, McKinsey & Company

Dale Swartz is an Associate Partner with McKinsey & Company, based in San Francisco. He works with clients across a range of strategic topics, and has deep expertise in innovation and growth across defense/intelligence, space, and advanced technologies. Dale has lived and worked on three continents, and has broad-based leadership experience across the private, public, and social sectors. Before McKinsey, he served the US Government in several national security roles, and he started his career on the foreign & defense policy team at the American Enterprise Institute. Dale received an MBA from Yale, an MPhil from Cambridge, and a BA from Rice.


Jarod Taylor

Foreign Area Officer, U.S. Army

Jarod Taylor is a foreign area officer in the U.S. Army. He began his career as an infantry officer with assignments in the 82d Airborne Division, 3d Cavalry Regiment (Stryker), and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Jarod was seconded to NATO while assigned to Headquarters NATO Land Command, and later he was a Cyber Policy Advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a fellow. He has deployed to Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Turkey.

Jarod is a previous  recipient  of the General Wayne A. Downing Scholarship from the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point and the Harold W. Rosenthal Fellowship in International Relations. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the U.S. Military Academy and a Master’s Degree from the Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.


Helen Toner

Director of Strategy, Center for Security and Emerging Technology

Helen Toner is Director of Strategy at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). She previously worked as a Senior Research Analyst at the Open Philanthropy Project, where she advised policymakers and grantmakers on AI policy and strategy. Between working at Open Philanthropy and joining CSET, Helen lived in Beijing, studying the Chinese AI ecosystem as a Research Affiliate of Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI. Helen has written for Foreign Affairs and other outlets on the national security implications of AI and machine learning for China and the United States, as well as testifying before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Helen holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering and a Diploma in Languages from the University of Melbourne.


Zoe Weinberg

Founder & Director, ex/ante

Zoe Weinberg works at the intersection of technology, security, and policy. She previously helped launch new geopolitical-tech ventures advancing free & open societies at Schmidt Futures. Prior the Schmidt Futures, Zoe worked on ethics & policy on the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence and at Google AI. 


Previously she focused on fragile and conflict-affected states, working on the emergency response in Mosul, Iraq during the counter-ISIL operation in 2017, and at the World Bank (IFC) in over a dozen countries, including Somalia, South Sudan, and Liberia. Prior to the World Bank, she worked in Goldman Sachs’s alternative investment group. Her research and writing on national security law & policy has been published in the New York Times and Foreign Affairs, among other publications.

Zoe earned her B.A. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Yale Law School, and an M.B.A from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where she was a Knight Hennessy Scholar.


Tobin Williamson

Advocacy / Policy Manager, Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition

Tobin Williamson joined the Maine Immigrants' Rights Coalition as its Advocacy Manager in 2022. Earlier in his career, Williamson served in two U.S. Congressional Offices and two Consulates General (Japan’s in Seattle and the Czech Republic’s in Chicago). His Congressional experience prioritized constituent services, focusing at various times on immigration, foreign policy, and more. More recently, he was employed by KentuckianaWorks and then, after moving to New England, Workforce Maine. He also spent time as a congressional intern on Capitol Hill and as an intern with the World Affairs Council of Seattle.
Williamson earned an M.A. in Political Science through the University of North Carolina’s Transatlantic Masters program. Through TAM, he spent semesters abroad at Charles University in Prague, CZ and the University of Bath in Bath, UK. A native Arkansan, his undergraduate degrees include a B.S. in Geography and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Central Arkansas.

In Louisville, he volunteered with organizations such as the World Affairs Council of Kentucky, the Louisville Pride Foundation, and Kentucky Refugee Ministries. He lives in Lewiston, ME with his partner Kate, their cats, and their horse.

Joshua Wofford

Lieutenant/Helicopter Pilot, United States Coast Guard

Lieutenant Joshua Wofford currently serves as a Search and Rescue Pilot at Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans. After graduating from the Coast Guard Academy in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, he was assigned to the Coast Guard Cutter Thetis (WMEC-910) in Key West, Florida where he served as a Deck Watch Officer during numerous migrant and drug interdictions. In 2013, Lieutenant Wofford was selected to attend Naval Flight Training in Pensacola, Florida. Soon after, he was designated as Coast Guard Aviator number 4569. Lieutenant Wofford developed an interactive video outreach program as an avenue to “attract, recruit and retain a workforce from all segments of American society creating a high performing 21st century workforce.” The simplicity and convenience of the program allows Coast Guard aviators to virtually connect to students in classrooms across the country, sharing the Coast Guard’s mission as well as the career opportunities it provides. To date, this program has impacted nearly 3000 students in communities where the Coast Guard and its aviation missions are not widely known. Lieutenant Wofford is an active member of the Coast Guard Academy Minority Outreach Team, a program dedicated to mentoring and providing opportunities to increase minority recruiting and retention efforts for the Academy. He and his wife Jacque have been married for 2 years and currently reside in New Orleans, Louisiana. His military awards include three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, four Letters of Commendation, and two Meritorious Team Commendations.

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