Board of Advisors
Admiral Ken CarodineForeign 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 AchariSenior 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.
Emily LeslieHuman 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 ArounaForeign 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 HarbaughStrategic 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.
Justin Thomas RussellPrincipal Director
Justin T. Russell has over 30 years of experience in government service, government relations, and international affairs, covering a wide range of issues.
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.
Julianna IwasinskiSenior Policy Fellow, 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.
Sammy FlittonSenior Policy Fellow, Legislative Affairs
Sam Flitton is a J.D. candidate focusing on international law at the University of Utah. He has extensive experience in foreign relations, including political experience in the U.K., time with the Trasnatlantic Policy Network based in Brussels, and working for the Utah Governor’s Office of Trade and Diplomacy. Most recently, he worked as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Stewart (UT). His portfolio during his time on the Hill included foreign affairs, trade, and appropriations. Mr. Flitton received his Master’s Degree in Politics from the University of Oxford, with an emphasis on European affairs. Before moving to the U.K., he received his B.S. from the University of Utah in International Studies, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Mr. Flitton is also fluent in Italian after living in Italy for a little more than three years.
Heather HughesSenior Policy Fellow, Special Projects
Heather Hughes assists the Center with a dual Master’s Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Haifa, in Israel, and the University of Warsaw, in Poland. Her interest in the spread of disinformation led to her thesis investigating those creating it in a small town in North Macedonia and their strategy for and impact on the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Heather has seen first hand the influence disinformation can have on the challenges of creating foreign policy, having spent five years working on Capitol Hill in the Office of Senator Orrin Hatch.
Katya Moore, Fellow, MASenior Policy Fellow
Katya graduated from The George Washington University, School of Political Science, with a Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations. For more than ten years, she worked as an international business journalist. During her journalism work in DC, she participated in the World Bank/IMF meetings, CERA Week, and other major business events.
Lauren MaltesePolicy 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.
Isabella GabrielePolicy Fellow, Int'l Economic Policy
Isabella is a graduate student at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, where she is studying International Economic Policy with a focus on development. She is an associate editor at the student publication, the International Affair Review, and has extensive background in international finance and economics.
Keith LemaPolicy Fellow, Global energy and Environmental Policy
Keith is a master’s candidate at George Washington University where he studies global energy and environmental policy. He received a Fulbright grant in 2014 to teach English in Madrid, Spain and then spent over four years working at a clean tech startup in Boston, MA. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Omar MandeelPolicy Fellow, Global energy and Environmental Policy
A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Omar's background is in foreign policy, human rights, and sustainable development. His previous experience has ranged from working in social impact entrepreneurship in Switzerland to serving with the US Peace Corps in Zambia.
Shelby DorenSummer Associate
Shelby is a rising senior at Siena College pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a focus in International Relations. She has an intermediate Russian language background, skills strongest in reading and writing. She also has extensive experience in nonprofit building and research.
Kerstin CarrollSummer Associate
Kerstin Carroll is a rising senior at Rollins College pursuing a Bachelor's degree in International Relations with a History minor. Her honors thesis is focused on national identity in European political parties and anti-immigrant rhetoric. She is interested in establishing a career in research and academia. She is currently in the Washington Semester Program at American University.
Gabriel SquiteriSummer Associate
Gabriel Squitieri is a rising junior at Washington University in St. Louis currently majoring in history and minoring in economics. His future career interests include the State Department and international affairs.