Board of Advisors

Admiral Ken Carodine

Admiral Ken Carodine

Foreign Policy Military Advisor

Ken Carodine, a 1982 graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, is the first officer and sailor from a family of military veterans. He earned a Master of Science in Information Systems from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1994.

Sharmila Achari

Sharmila Achari

Senior Legal Advisor

Sharmila Achari is an attorney and political activist based in New York City. She has over 15 years of corporate and political experience, having worked in large law firms, startups, think tanks, Wall Street, Capitol Hill, and political campaigns.

Dr. Rachael M. Rudolph, Ph.D

Dr. Rachael M. Rudolph, Ph.D

Academic and Research Advisor

Rachael M. Rudolph is an Assistant Professor of Social Science for a joint program between Bryant University and the Beijing Institute of Technology, Zhuhai. She has over 15 years of experience in academia teaching on a range of foreign policy and national security courses.

Emily Leslie

Emily Leslie

Human Rights Advisor

Emily Leslie is a behavioral health and international human rights law expert. Previously, she worked as a legislative coordinator for Amnesty International. Leslie specializes in extremism and women's issues in the Middle East and North Africa.

Ambassador Omar Arouna

Ambassador Omar Arouna

Foreign Policy Advisor

Ambassador Arouna is the former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Benin to the U.S. and Mexico and Benin former, representative to the Organization of American States, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the International Financial Corporation in Washington, D.C.. He engaged with U.S. development agencies on behalf of the country.

Erin Harbaugh

Erin Harbaugh

Strategic Communications Advisor

Erin Harbaugh is a strategy, and communications expert, and seasoned international policy practitioner with over 20 years of experience in the high-tech sector, nonprofit management, federal government, and private consulting. The arc of her career has been working at the nexus of science, security, and policy and developing new strategies and engagements.

Our Staff

Justin Thomas Russell

Justin Thomas Russell

Principal Director

Justin T. Russell has over 30 years of experience in government service, government relations, and international affairs, covering a wide range of issues.

Chief Communications Officer, James Grandone, B.A.

Chief Communications Officer, James Grandone, B.A.

Chief Communications Officer

James Grandone is the founder of Grandone Media Strategies. James Grandone has been involved in strategic marketing and public relations on a national and international level for more than 30 years.

Alyssa Bonk, B.A.

Alyssa Bonk, B.A.

Program Director

Alyssa Bonk is a graduate of the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs with concentrations in Asian Studies and Conflict & Security. Her background includes work in international development with a focus in Asia, and political fundraising.

Heather Hughes

Heather Hughes

Policy Fellow

Heather is a fellow at the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs. She is utilizing the wealth of experiences gained while pursuing a dual Master’s Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Haifa, in Israel, and the University of Warsaw, in Poland.

Sam Flitton, J.D., MPhil, B.S.

Sam Flitton, J.D., MPhil, B.S.

Policy Fellow

Sam Flitton is a J.D. candidate focusing on international law at the University of Utah, where he revived a full merit on entrance scholarship to attend. He has extensive experience in foreign relations, including political experience in the U.K.

Ekaterina Moore, Fellow, MA

Ekaterina Moore, Fellow, MA

Policy Fellow

Ekaterina recently graduated from George Washington University, School of Political Science, Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations. Her first education - Samara State University, Russia, a Master’s equivalent in Russian Culture.

Aaron Minkoff

Aaron Minkoff

Policy Fellow

Aaron Minkoff is an Army Veteran, University of California at Berkeley Alumni, and the senior editor for the George Washington University graduate student publication the International Affairs Review.

Lauren Maltese

Lauren Maltese

Policy Fellow

Lauren received her undergraduate degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University with a dual major of International Relations and Economics and a minor in Political Science. She went on to study Diplomacy at the University of Haifa where she also spent time working at Amnesty International in Tel Aviv.

Kayla Murphy

Kayla Murphy

Junior Associate, Research

Kayla Murphy is a rising senior at Western New England University, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. She is also involved in the Washington Semester Summer Internship Program that is offered by American University.

Julianna Iwasinski

Julianna Iwasinski

Junior Associate, Congressional Outreach

Julianna Iwasinski is a rising senior at the College of Charleston pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health. She will graduate this Fall. Ms. Iwasinski volunteers her time at the Medical University of South Carolina Children’s Hospital.

Tianyi Zhou

Tianyi Zhou

Junior Associate

Tianyi Zhou is a senior majoring in Economics at Mount Holyoke College. She is currently a participant in the Washington Semester Program hosted by American University.

Sydney Cox

Sydney Cox

Junior Associate

Sydney Cox is a rising senior at Tiffin University. She is double majoring in Homeland Security/Terrorism and Forensic Psychology, and minoring in Latin American Studies.