Young Professionals Network

2017-2018

Jeremie Amoroso

World Bank Group

Jeremie Amoroso is an education consultant at the World Bank Group’s Education Global Practice. He has worked in the Eurasia region on lending operations and analytical services. He provides advisory services to governments and institutions in the areas of higher and general education. Mr. Amoroso has contributed to programs supporting quality assurance, education infrastructure, and financing reforms in Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Russia. He has also co-authored a joint OECD-World Bank publication on Kazakhstan, exploring how school resources are used in general education. Previously, he worked at Navigant Consulting in valuation and financial risk management analyzing the risk exposure of distressed assets.

Mr. Amoroso holds a M.A. in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary, and a B.A. in Economics (Honors) from the University of the South. He is a national of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Diyar Autal

Steele Compliance Solutions, Inc.

After studying human rights as a Chevening scholar Diyar Autal worked with a London based human rights NGO where he was a legal fellow and worked on the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) cases from the Balkans. He then served as a project manager with the United Nations working on good governance projects across Eastern Europe. His projects focused on human rights, gender equality and sustainable development, and involved policy analysis, capacity development, and advocacy.

When the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev initiated the Skolkovo Innovation Center, a $10 billion project to stimulate technological innovation, Diyar served as an advisor for international partnerships with the new initiative. With the team, he was responsible for establishing research and development partnerships with leading multinational corporations and scientific institutions. After Skolkovo, Diyar worked in development finance joining Citigroup in Moscow as a senior project manager for investor relations where he worked with the bank’s key investment and co-financing clients and partners. 

Diyar’s interests include U.S. foreign policy, U.S.-Russian, transatlantic and Sino-Russian relations as well as East European and Eurasian politics. He is currently based in Washington, D.C. as an advisor with a global risk and investigations practice at Steele Compliance Solutions, Inc.

 

Nicholas Cicchinelli

National Endowment for Democracy

Nicholas Cicchinelli is an assistant program officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), where he works to support the consideration and awarding of grants made to human rights and democracy programs in the region. Prior to working at the NED, Nicholas was a Fulbright teaching assistant in Moldova, where he taught English and assisted the U.S. Embassy in implementing a micro-scholarship program for students. Nicholas has interned with the International Human Rights Society Memorial in Moscow, where he conducted research on the relationship between Soviet dissidents and international organizations, and with the Albany-Tula Alliance, a sister-city organization dedicated to citizen diplomacy.

Nicholas earned a B.A. in international relations and Russian studies at Wheaton College (Norton, MA) and presented his senior research project on the struggle of Russian civil society at the Harvard University Davis Center’s Undergraduate Colloquium for Russian and Eurasian Studies. While a student at Wheaton College, Nicholas spent a year studying abroad at the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow with the support of a Boren scholarship. His interests include international law and diplomacy, human rights advocacy, good governance, and the rule of law.

Bennett Clifford

The George Washington University's Program on Extremism

Bennett Clifford is a research fellow at The George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.  His research interests include terrorism, non-state actors, and the strategies used by violent extremist organizations to recruit and mobilize supporters. In particular, Bennett’s research focuses on regional focuses on the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Balkans. His written work on Russian, Georgian, and Bosnian-speaking foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq has been published in several regional journals and international outlets, most recently in The Atlantic.

Bennett is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he received a B.A. in politics and international affairs. Prior to taking his current position, Bennett lived in Tbilisi, Georgia and worked for the Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC)-Georgia and the Peace and Integration Programme at Caucasian House. In addition to English, Bennett speaks Spanish, Georgian, and Russian with varying degrees of proficiency. He is also an aficionado of the cuisine of the Georgian region of Samegrelo.

 

Chane Corp

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs

Chane Corp is a junior program officer on contract with the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), where he manages the Fulbright Central Asia portfolio. Chane was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant from 2014-2015 in Tajikistan and has previous ECA experience with EducationUSA in Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, as well as the Office of English Language Programs. After his Fulbright, Chane was an Admissions Counselor for diversity outreach at Bates College in Maine where he evaluated applications, including those from Central Asia, and managed demographic outreach and recruitment strategies for underrepresented students from the U.S. Previously, Chane was a Research Fellow at the Central Asian Studies Institute, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan where he focused on the development of Kyrgyz identity politics and democratic values in the post-Soviet era. Chane graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2014 with a B.A. in international studies.

 

Olga Costello

Ms. Costello is a Russian communications practitioner with over a decade of experience in political and business journalism, public relations, and marketing. Throughout her career, Ms. Costello has developed PR strategies for large corporations, governmental organizations, higher education institutions, and international NGOs based in Russia and abroad. Her career aspirations stem from her experience bringing together young leaders, academics, and parliamentarians from all over the world as well as promoting Russian higher education in CIS countries and other foreign markets. Ms. Costello leverages her skills, extensive connections, and knowledge of the Russian and post-Soviet markets in developing relationships between members of the global academic and think tank communities, contributing to a new generation of independently-minded professionals, improving the economic, political, and social climates in the post-Soviet realm, and fostering greater development of global educational systems.

Glyn Cozart Chaney

U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association

Glyn Cozart Chaney is the program manager of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association, an independent, non-profit organization that promotes U.S. economic and commercial cooperation with Kazakhstan.

She previously worked at APCO Worldwide as part of the Global Solutions team, supporting the group’s business development and client needs across the Eurasia region. Prior to joining APCO, Glyn was a Fellow with the Alfa Fellowship Program in Moscow. As part of the fellowship, she worked at PBN H+K Strategies as an account manager on the government relations team, working with corporate clients across the pharmaceutical, sportswear, energy, and space sectors. She has also completed internships with Medtronic’s global government relations team, the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the Department of Commerce, Office of Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Glyn has a B.A. in politics and philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, and an M.A. in Eurasian, Russian and East European studies from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. 

Scott Cullinane

House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia

Scott Cullinane is a professional staff member for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia. Scott has worked for the House Foreign Affairs Europe Subcommittee since 2014. The subcommittee covers a broad jurisdiction, including the European Union, Russia, and Central Asia. Within that portfolio, Scott focuses on energy security, rule of law, public diplomacy, and press freedom issues.

Prior to joining the Europe Subcommittee, Scott worked as the director of government affairs for Aeros, an innovative aviation company which specializes in lighter-than-air technology. Scott also served as the staff associate for the House Foreign Affairs Oversight Subcommittee beginning in 2011. 
He is a graduate of the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. 

 

Milica Djuric

After graduating from Amherst College, Milica spent four years in Serbia, working on intergovernmental security cooperation projects, specializing in counterterrorism and counterproliferation efforts in the Balkans and the MENA region. 

Milica graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is completing a M.A. program in international politics at the University of Belgrade with a research interest in energy security in Southeastern Europe. 

She is currently engaged as a chief communications officer in a Belgrade-based nonprofit promoting academic and civil society dialogue in the Western Balkans on joint security challenges and the region’s European integration. 

 

Daniel P. Dodds

Office of Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia, U.S. Department of Commerce

Daniel P.  Dodds serves as policy officer in the Office of Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia for the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. In this role, Daniel supports U.S. foreign economic and trade policy goals and U.S. commercial interests throughout Eurasia (including, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan).

Daniel previously served as the Senior Advisor and Special Assistant to the Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). In this role he advised on policy design and implementation, as well as, operational management across five Washington business units and over forty U.S. Commercial Service offices in the EMEA region. Prior to joining Commerce, Daniel served as Youth Development Volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Ukraine and taught high school special needs students in Oakland, California.

Daniel holds a M.A. in international development with a concentration in international economics from the School of International Service at American University and a B.A. with Honors in Research Psychology from the University of Montana.

Natalie Duffy

Booz Allen Hamilton

Natalie Duffy is a foreign policy analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton. She previously worked as a research associate for the Kleptocracy Initiative at Hudson Institute, where her research focused on kleptocracy, corruption, money laundering, foreign lobbying legislation, organized crime, and their relation to Russia and Eurasia. While with the Initiative, she co-authored pieces that were published in The Washington Post and Foreign Policy magazine. Natalie has a M.A. in European and Eurasian Studies from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University and a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University. She previously interned at The American Enterprise Institute and worked as an Advance Associate for Vice President Joe Biden. In addition, she has spent semesters studying in St. Petersburg, Russia and Florence, Italy. Natalie knows Russian and some French. 

Katya Fink

Social Impact

Ms. Katya Fink is an international development professional, who currently works for Social Impact. At Social Impact, she manages and contributes to a portfolio of USAID and DoS-funded projects under which her team provides a variety of performance evaluation, monitoring, and organizational development services. Ms. Fink's focus areas are democracy and governance, forced migration, human rights, as well as sustainability and economic development. Previously, Ms. Fink worked at CRDF Global, where she supported U.S. Department of State programs related to commercialization of technology in Central Asia, and bio/nuclear security projects in the Eurasia region. While in Belarus, Ms. Fink supported OSCE election observation missions during presidential and  parliamentary elections. Her current interests lie in the area of impact and performance monitoring and the evaluation of development programs in the Eurasia region. In addition, Ms. Fink works with local implementers and stakeholders in the region across a variety of issue areas to enhance their technical capacity, organizational structure, and institutional output.

Mrs. Fink holds an M.A. in political science from Ohio University and B.A. in international affairs from Belarusian State University. Additionally, she earned an International Development Certificate from the Middlebury Institutite of International Studies. She is proficient in Russian, Hebrew, and Arabic.

William Fleeson

Argus Media

Will Fleeson works as an energy markets reporter for Argus Media, one of the world’s leading pricing agencies for energy commodities. His coverage areas include renewable energy and U.S. clean-energy policy. Will previously worked in diplomatic communications as well as consulting in energy and political risk. His foreign policy interests include EU-Russia natural gas relations, transatlantic energy and US diplomacy. Will holds M.A.'s from Georgetown University and Columbia University. 

Daniel Frey

Georgetown University

Daniel Frey is a second-year M.S. in foreign service graduate student at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. An alumnus of Tufts University, Daniel studied abroad for a year in St. Petersburg and has traveled extensively throughout Russia. After graduating from Tufts, Daniel worked in Eurasian affairs for the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute of Modern Russia, where he published a number of analytical articles on regional security issues. Daniel is now contributing to PeaceTech Lab's "groundTruth Global" platform, a machine learning-based software service designed to predict business, social, and geopolitical risk in emerging economies and fragile states worldwide. Daniel's interests include US-Russian relations, European and Eurasian security, and cyber and technology issues in global affairs.

 

Claire Haffner

European University at St. Petersburg

Claire Haffner is an M.A. candidate at the European University at St. Petersburg specializing in political science and Russian and Eurasian Studies with a focus on historical memory and memory politics. She is also pursuing an M.A. at the Middlebury Davis School of Russian. As a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant she taught at Penza State University and presented academic papers at conferences in Penza and Ulyanovsk. She has also worked and studied in Spain, and is fluent in Russian and Spanish. She graduated with honors from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Slavic languages and literatures. Her current research interests include the portrayal of the U.S. in Russian media, Russian foreign policy, conflict and security in Eurasia, and the memorialization of WWII in post-Soviet space.

Karissa Jackson

Freedom House

Karissa Jackson is a program associate on the Eurasia team at Freedom House, where she works on projects that support civil society and promote democratic initiatives in Moldova, Ukraine, and the South Caucasus. Prior to joining Freedom House, Karissa worked as the outreach assistant at the Indiana University Russian and East European Institute (REEI). Karissa also worked as a Fulbright teaching assistant at Comrat State University in Moldova, where she taught classes focused on communication and English culture and facilitated English clubs and cultural events for the local community. During her academic career, Karissa has had the opportunity to study though Arizona State University in Kazan and Kyiv, and spend a year as a Boren Scholar through the University of Arizona’s Russia Abroad program in Moscow, where she also interned at the American Center.

Karissa holds an M.A. in Russian and East European studies from the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). Her thesis examined the recent education reforms and the status of Gagauz autonomy in Moldova. Karissa also has a B.A. from Centre College (Danville, KY), where she majored in international studies and self-designed a Russian studies major.

 

 

Carrie Kagawa

SAIS; Bob Woodruff Foundation

Carrie Kagawa is pursuing a M.A. of international public policy with an affiliation in conflict management at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Her regional focus is on Russia and the post-Soviet states. From September, 2016, to March, 2017, Carrie served as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Tbilisi, Georgia. Her role as an Organizational Development Consultant for a Georgian non-profit, was to build capacity and sustainability with Georgian colleagues to ensure the longevity of this valuable civil society organization. Prior to the Peace Corps, Carrie served almost a decade in the federal government, most recently at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as a Senior Advisor and the White House Liaison. From 2009 to 2013, Carrie served at the U.S. Department of Defense, in a range of national security roles including in the Office of Detainee Policy. In 2010, Carrie completed a six-month civilian deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan, working on U.S. detention policy, operations, and transition. In the future, Carrie hopes to continue working with post-conflict transitional states.

 

Grace Kenneally

U.S. International Trade Commission

Grace Kenneally is an international economist at the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), where she investigates global trade trends and analyzes how they affect the U.S. economy. Prior to joining the USITC, Grace earned her M.A. in international economics and European and Eurasian Studies from SAIS at Johns Hopkins University, where she focused her research on Eurasian economic integration and development.  She also studied economic and political development in the Kyrgyz Republic while teaching at Bishkek Humanities University on a Fulbright grant.  

Grace has previously worked at Carnegie Moscow Center, the Embassy of the Kyrgyz Republic to the USA and Canada, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.  Her research has spanned topics from Vladimir Putin’s early political career in St. Petersburg to Chinese investment in Central Asia. 

 

Anna Khandros

Georgetown University

Anna Khandros is currently pursing a M.A. in Global Human Development at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Most recently, she worked with American Councils for International Education in Ukraine. Previously, Anna was a fellow with the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. in Washington D.C., a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Tajikistan, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. Anna is an alumna of Brandeis University, where she earned a B.A. in politics, and a double minor in legal studies and peace and conflict studies. She was born in Kyiv, Ukraine and is interested in development in post-conflict societies as well as education in conflict zones.

Aaron Korenewsky

World Bank Group

Aaron Korenewsky is a consultant at the World Bank Group. Prior to that, he interned with the U.S.-Russia Business Council and worked as a legal assistant at Goldstein & Associates, a D.C. law firm specializing in oil and natural gas pipeline regulation.

Aaron graduated with a B.A. in political science and Russian and Eastern European Studies from Tufts University. He also received two M.A.’s with distinction from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary – the first in nationalism studies and the second in public policy. His most recent master’s thesis analyzed the Kremlin’s justification for the Russian military intervention in Syria from 2015-2016.

Aaron is primarily interested in media, popular culture, and nationalism in post-Soviet Russia and Belarus, with a particular emphasis on the cult of the Great Patriotic War. 

 

Jameson Lamie

Office of South Central European Affairs at the U.S. Department of State

Jameson Lamie is a foreign affairs officer in the Office of South Central European Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. He coordinates U.S. policy in the Western Balkans on issues including migration, rule of law, and political-military affairs. He also monitors Russia’s influence throughout the region.

Jameson recently completed a Presidential Management Fellowship with the Department of State. The fellowship included an overseas rotation to the U.S. Embassy in Armenia as well as a rotation with the department’s Sports Diplomacy Division.

Before joining the Department of State, Jameson spent six years as an active duty Air Force officer, and he continues to serve in the Air Force Reserve. Jameson holds a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University, where he wrote his thesis on Russia’s growing potential as a world power. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy. While at USAFA, Jameson also minored in Russian and took part in multiple language immersion programs in Ukraine. 

Jameson’s foreign policy interests include international security, energy diplomacy, and Russia’s relationship with countries in its former sphere of influence. 

 

Tatiana LeGrand

Food and Agriculture Organization

Tatiana LeGrand is a consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization where she is supporting the work of the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. In this role, Tatiana collects and analyzes information on agricultural value chains. She has also been advising a small civil society organization “Nuri Umed” in Tajikistan over the past two years, building the capacity of the organization in its work with marginalized groups in society. While on a mission in the country, she led community recovery activities, capacity building and advocacy work on women’s rights.

Tatiana has experience in a wide range of sustainable development issues, focusing primarily on smallholders’ livelihoods, sustainable agriculture and land use. Tatiana has worked extensively researching and analyzing various ecosystems and their services, providing technical support to the drylands regeneration and biodiversity restoration projects in Central Asia. In her early career, she worked on market research and sustainability aspects of business development and foreign trade in Russia. 

Tatiana holds a Ph.D. in agriculture from the University of Goettingen and a M.Sc. in environmental management from the University of Kiel (both in Germany). A native of Russia, she also received a B.A. and M.A. in global economic studies from the Russian State University of Trade and Economy in Moscow. 

 

Ian McGinnity

The Cohen Group

Ian McGinnity graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2011 with a B.A. in international relations and Russian & Eastern European studies. After working in public policy for three years in DC, Ian left to research renewable energy development, energy security, and energy finance in Armenia through a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship, where he also worked as a Resident Fellow for the Regional Studies Center. While pursuing an M.A. in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies at Stanford University in 2016, Ian served as a delegate in the Stanford-U.S. Russia Forum (SURF), an academic exchange program between Russian and American students. Through SURF, he worked with his Russian and American colleagues to research potential opportunities for collaboration in the realm of physical nuclear security. Upon obtaining his Masters, he moved to Moscow to participate in the Alfa Fellowship, where he worked in due diligence and compliance for Control Risks. Ian currently works for The Cohen Group, a firm founded by former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, which provides global consulting services and risk advisement for a diverse array of domestic and international clients.

Will Moreland

The Brookings Institution

Will Moreland is an associate fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Project on International Order and Strategy. He focuses on U.S. strategy in an increasingly geopolitically competitive world. His current projects include work on the U.S. alliance system, containing great power revisionism, and debating America’s role in the world. From 2015 to 2017, he staffed the Brookings Order from Chaos task force, a bipartisan initiative to craft a U.S. national security strategy for the 45th U.S. president. 

Will serves as the 2017 International Order Fellow for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, writing a monthly column. His publications have appeared at Brookings and, among others, The National Interest, Vox, and RealClearBooks. He has experiences with the Department of State at the outbreak of the Ukraine Crisis and the Department of Defense working on European and NATO policy. He holds a B.A. from Yale University in history and political science and a M.S. in foreign service from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.

 

Zhikica Pagovski

German Marshall Fund

Zhikica "Zach" Pagovski is a strategic partnerships officer at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). In this role, he is in charge of fundraising for a portfolio of $5 million toward GMF programs and managing partner/client relations with governments, intergovernmental institutions, corporations, and foundations.

Zach has worked in various management consulting roles for corporate, governmental, academic, and non-profit institutions. From September 2010 to May 2012, he worked as a consultant for sustainable development at Challenge Future. Zach’s former professional experience also includes work at the United Nations and the Government of Macedonia. In addition to this, he completed several research fellowships. He worked as a Junior Research Fellow at the NATO Association of Canada and as a research fellow at Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in Washington DC, focusing on issues related with digital technology, big data, and foreign policy. He also worked as a research assistant at American University.

As a member of the Board of Directors of the United Macedonian Diaspora, he is responsible for organizational policy and strategy. In the past, Zach was awarded with prestigious fellowships from Goldman Sachs, the Institute of International Education, and The Fund of American Studies. He was a recipient of the Doors to Diplomacy Platinum Award from the U.S. Department of State, Volunteer of the Year of Macedonia Award from the European Voluntary Service, Kimberly Miller Award for European Studies from American University, 40 Under 40 Raising Leaders Award by the United Macedonian Diaspora, and the David Merchant International Student Award for Achievement from Phi Beta Delta Honor Society.

Zach holds a M.A. in international affairs from American University's School of International Service, a B.A. in European studies, as well as a B.A. in political science and international relations from the American University in Bulgaria.

Samuel Rebo

Eurasia Group

Samuel Rebo is a Eurasia and global macro researcher at Eurasia Group. At Eurasia Group helps multinational clients understand U.S.-Russia relations, domestic Russian politics, the relations between states of the former Soviet Union, and Mongolian politics. Previously, Sam worked at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Relations as a project coordinator and research assistant to former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. At Stanford, he organized the European Security Initiative, a project designed to engender new research on European security concerns stemming from Russia and develop government policies to that end. Sam coordinated with McFaul on a range of political and economic research projects, including the ambassador's memoir. Sam has also worked for various think tanks and organizations, including the Carnegie Moscow Center, the French Institute of International Relations in Paris, and the Zorig Foundation in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Sam holds a bachelor's degree in international relations from Stanford University, where he graduated with distinction and honors in international security. Sam is a member and co-chair of the Younger Generation Leaders’ Network for Euro-Atlantic Security.

 

Iana Roginskaia

CATO Institute

Iana Roginska is the fall 2017 intern at the CATO Institute, Department of Criminal Justice in Washington D.C., a public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace; she also works as an assistant for the FLEX secondary education exchange program at American Councils for International Education.

Prior to moving to the United States, Iana worked for the number of European Union and USAID funded projects in Ukraine on the harmonization of Ukrainian legislation with EU standards in the fields of competition law, state aid law, public procurement, and criminal justice. While in the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, her work was focused on the adaptation of Ukrainian legislation to the EU standards, and in the Policy Department of the European Parliament in Brussels she focused on the functioning of the EU Single Market and on the improvement of the process of legal approximation in this area in Ukraine.
In 2008 she earned her M.A. in international law summa cum laude from the National Law Academy of Ukraine; a diploma in international relations and European integration from the Estonian School of Diplomacy in 2011; and graduated in 2012 with a M.A. from the Collège d'Europe (Belgium) with the major in European single market law. 

Her research interests include corporate welfare law and policy, competition law, international business law, international development programs and projects. 

 

Renee Slawsky

McLarty Associates

Renee Slawsky currently works at McLarty Associates, a strategic international advisory firm in Washington, D.C., as an associate in the Europe & Eurasia practice. At McLarty, Renee helps provide clients with insight and analysis on their business interests in countries ranging from France and the U.K. to Russia and Kazakhstan. Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Renee graduated from Wake Forest University with majors in political science and Russian as well as a minor in journalism. More recently, she graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a master’s degree in Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies (CERES). Her graduate thesis focused on alternative and mainstream media in Ukraine since the Euromaidan protests. In general, Renee’s foreign policy interests include media and governance as well as regional energy politics. While at Georgetown, Renee also served as a teaching assistant for Madeleine Albright and held internships at the Atlantic Council as well as the Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to starting graduate school, Renee received a Fulbright to teach English in rural Russia.

 

Nadezhda Smakhtina

Exiger Diligence Team

Nadezhda Smakhtina is a research associate at the Exiger Diligence team. She graduated from American University’s School of International Service in August of 2017 with a M.A. in international affairs. There she was a Fulbright scholar, focusing on security and governance in Russia and Eurasia.  

She also holds a B.A. and an M.A. in law from Tyumen State University (Russia). Prior to joining American University’s graduate program, she completed a visiting research fellowship at the University of Freiburg (Germany).  

Previously she’s been working in multiple positions in Russia and the U.S., including private sector companies and such non-profit organizations, as the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the National Security Archive.  

Her research interests include nuclear non-proliferation and arms control, NATO enlargement, post-Cold war U.S.-Russia relations, as well as nationalism studies in post-Soviet states.  

Nadezhda speaks fluent Russian and English, and has a beginner proficiency in French and German. 

Abigail Stowe-Thurston

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Abigail Stowe-Thurston is the program sssistant at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), where she works on issues related to nuclear policy and Pentagon spending. Prior to joining FCNL, Abigail researched nuclear policy through internships with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, and the Center for Strategic and international Studies. Her research has focused on U.S.-Russian relationship and the history of arms control and nuclear security agreements.
Abigail graduated magna cum laude from Macalester College with a B.A. in Russian Studies and a minor in political science. Her Honors Thesis examined sovereignty and center-periphery relations in the Russian Federation. She has been awarded two State Department scholarships for intensive language study in Russia and Azerbaijan, and was a recipient of the Macalester College Presidential Leadership Award in 2016. 

Steve Sunderland

USAID, Bureau of Europe and Eurasia, Economic Growth Division

Steve Sunderland is a Presidential Management Fellow in the Economic Growth Division of the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia at USAID. Prior to joining USAID, Steve participated in the Alfa Fellowship Program in Moscow, where he completed a professional placement on the Macroeconomic Team at Alfa Bank. He also has experience working at the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of International Affairs, The Scowcroft Group, Western NIS Enterprise Fund, and Peace Corps. Steve is a graduate of Georgetown University’s M.S. in foreign service program and completed his undergraduate studies at Boston College.

 

Nicholas Trickett

CGI's Rising Experts Program

Nicholas Trickett received his B.A. in comparative literature from Haverford College, focusing on 19th century Russian and American literature. He received his M.A. in Russian and Eurasian studies at the European University in St. Petersburg, specializing in post-Soviet foreign policy, energy security, and political economy in the post-Soviet space. Before beginning graduate school, he interned for the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship working on the committee's press operation and researching issues such as small business access to credit. As part of the Rising Experts Program, Nicholas is exploring the evolving impact China-driven infrastructure and trade initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative have on Russia's foreign policy interests and political economy in post-Soviet states. In particular, he is examining the patterns of cooperation between Russia and China that either mask competition or may lead to future conflict as well as the growing linkages between Chinese interests across Eurasia and Russia's interests in Europe. 

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