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SIS Global Alumni Network

Contact Us

SIS Alumni Relations and Development
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8143

Stephanie Block
Associate Director of Alumni Relations
block@american.edu
202.885.1616

Students and alumni are welcome to make an appointment with the SIS Office of Alumni Relations to learn more about how to take advantage of their AU SIS Alumni Network. Make your appointment today!

SIS attracts students from around the world. And, upon graduation, as you will read below, our alumni embark on dynamic and diverse journeys to serve global and local communities. Learn more about why students decide to join the SIS community and how SIS prepared them to succeed.

Our alumni are always eager to give back, volunteer their time, and mentor tomorrow’s leaders in international affairs. In celebration of National Volunteer Week, SIS Alumni Volunteers are identified with a red ribbon. Some of the SIS student-alumni engagement programs they are involved in include the SIS Student Alumni Mentor Program, SIS Alumni in the Atrium, SIS Industry Days, and SIS Resume Review Week: Eagles Helping and Hiring Eagles.

Below is only a small sampling of our global alumni network of more than 15,000 people around the world. SIS alumni understand service is not a moment; it’s a mindset.

Linnisa Wahid

Linnisa Wahid

Linnisa Wahid, SIS/MA '04
International Peace & Conflict Resolution

Foreign Service Officer
U.S. Department of State

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Washington, DC

Academic/Research Interests: Post conflict societies, diplomatic history

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I help people around the world and serve as a champion for human rights using the U.S. government as a vehicle for change.

Sam Cho

Sam Cho

Sam Cho, SIS/BA '13
International Studies

Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Kirkland, WA

Academic/Research Interests: Economic development, foreign policy, trade

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? As a political appointee in the Obama Administration, I work on special assignments that support the President's initiatives and Executive Orders. GSA is at the forefront of an economic catalyst initiative that strives to make conscious and data driven decisions on where the federal government should have a presence so we can help local communities develop. We also lead the President's cyber security and environmental sustainability efforts within the federal government.

Jenee Sharon

Jenee Sharon

Jenee Sharon, SIS/MA '13
International Peace & Conflict Resolution

Presidential Management Fellow
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: York, PA

Academic/Research Interests: Negotiation, human rights, climate change, international development

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? My educational experience at SIS refined my research, communication, and analytical abilities while continuously fueling my passion to make a difference in communities stateside and abroad.

Rebecca Bock

Rebecca Bock

Rebecca Bock, SIS/BA '15
International Studies

Office Management Specialist
U.S. Department of State

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Boulder, CO

Academic/Research Interests: Latin America, rule of Law, community and business development

Why did you choose SIS? Once I decided what I wanted to do with my life, there was no other combination of academic program and location that could have made me a more competitive candidate for a career in International Politics.

Guru Amrit Khalsa

Guru Amrit Khalsa

Guru Amrit Khalsa, SIS/MA '14
International Affairs: U.S. Foreign Policy & National Security

Foreign Affairs Officer
U.S. Department of State

Current Residence: Reston, VA
Hometown: Herndon, VA

Academic/Research Interests: The U.S.-India bilateral relationship, India's energy bureaucracy and policies to combat climate change and reduce GHG emissions, Indian foreign policy, the evolution of various schools of thought in India's strategic community

Why did you choose SIS? I knew that I wanted to begin my career in the DC area; the fine reputation of SIS and the chance to study under the talented faculty and build professional connections among faculty and students alike attracted me to the school.  I knew that AU's U.S. Foreign Policy program was unique in the field of international affairs education and I was excited by the possibilities of the program.

Elaine Clayton

Elaine Clayton

Elaine Clayton, SIS/MA '14
International Communication

Public Affairs Specialist
U.S. Department of State

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Barnesville, MD

Academic/Research Interests: Public diplomacy, intercultural training, international education

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? My favorite advice from one of my professors/mentors is to spend less time worrying about getting As, and more time getting into the DC networks and making a name for myself. I still strove to do well in my classes, but, I forced myself to get out there and network as much as possible. This led to a classmate and I presenting our findings on virtual exchange programs in Spain, building a network in the international education world, and finding more opportunities.

Drew Nickels

Drew Nickels

Drew Nickels, SIS/BA '03
B.A., International Studies
B.A., Economics; Minor: Information Systems

Analyst
U.S. Department of Energy

Current Residence: Washington, D.C.
Hometown: Charleston, SC

Academic/Research Interests: U.S. foreign policy, European security, WMD non-proliferation, arms control issues

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? My work hopefully reduces the risk and proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

Danica Starks

Danica Starks

Danica Starks, SIS/BA '99
B.A., International Studies
B.A., Economics; Minor: Russian & East European Studies

Policy Team Director, International Trade Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce

Current Residence: Bowie, MD
Hometown: Glenn Dale, MD

Academic/Research Interests: International political economy, international trade policy, Russia, Caucasus and Central Asia economic transition

Why did you choose SIS? I chose SIS because it was, and still is, a leading institution for the study of international relations. When doing informational interviews with professionals, I discovered that many people that held jobs that I wanted to pursue had an undergraduate or graduate degree from SIS. That is still true today - almost every meeting I am in, at least one-third to half of the people there are AU alumni.

Katie Kirkpatrick

Katie Kirkpatrick

Katie Kirkpatrick, SIS/MA '05
International Affairs: Comparative & Regional Studies

Program Analyst
U.S. Department of State

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Honolulu, HI

Academic/Research Interests: European languages, economics, minority communities (Roma)

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? The focus on service, professionalism, academic integrity and multiculturalism prepared me for a successful career in foreign affairs.

Jon Menaster

Jon Menaster

Jon Menaster, SIS/MA '10
International Affairs: International Economics Relations

Senior Analyst
U.S. Government Accountability Office

Current Residence: Brooklyn, NY
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Academic/Research Interests: International finance

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, often called "congressional watchdog." GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. My work ensures taxpayer dollars are well spent in accordance with the missions and goals of the relevant agencies I work with.

Julia Alanen

Julia Alanen

Julia Alanen, SIS/MIS '07, WCL/LLM '08

Juvenile Justice Systems Improvement Specialist
U.S. Department of Justice

Current Residence: Fairfax, VA
Hometown: Amsterdam, NL

Academic/Research Interests: international human rights law, gender-based violence, children's issues

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I currently work as a public servant following 15 years of nonprofit sector service. My role at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is to advance youth access to justice, support states' efforts to improve and reform their juvenile justice systems, and promote data-driven, developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed approaches to juvenile justice.

Knox Thames

SIS ALUMNI KNOX THAMES DOS

Knox Thames, SIS/MA '01, WCL/JD '01
M.A., International Affairs: International Politics

Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia
U.S. Department of State

Current Residence: Falls Church, VA
Hometown: Richmond, KY

Academic/Research Interests: Human rights, international law and organizations

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I'm working to advance the rights of religious minorities and enhance appreciation for religious diversity.

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingston

Kyle Livingston, SIS/MA '15
International Affairs: Comparative & Regional Studies (Southeast Asia)

Social Media Specialist
U.S. Peace Corps

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Portland, OR

Academic/Research Interests: Asia, democracy movement, authoritarian regimes, democracy public policy

Why did you choose SIS? SIS fosters a community of collaborative learning, intellectual and thought-provoking discussions and overarching real-world scenarios into its teaching. SIS prepares you to think about novel solutions that might break convention. SIS also has a huge connection to the practitioner community - your professor could be on the National Security Council, an adviser at the State Department, or an NGO leader. Your professors are not just preaching, but they are almost all practicing what they're teaching.

Erick Marin Müller

Erick Muller

Erick Marin Müller, SIS/MA '12
International Affairs: Comparative & Regional Studies (Latin America)

Consultant, Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative
Inter-American Development Bank

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: San José, CR

Academic/Research Interests: Development issues in Latin America: poverty, violence, urban development, climate change, governance, public-private partnerships

Why did you choose SIS? I knew that I wanted to be in a school that provided a small campus feel while enjoying the many benefits of living in Washington, DC. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to study international relations and pursue a career in this field, and found that not only was SIS amongst the top 10 international relations program in the world, it's vision and goal of truly providing "international service" made it unique when compared to other schools and programs that focus on U.S. foreign policy, security, defense, etc.

Jorhena Thomas

Jorhena Thomas

Jorhena Thomas, SIS/MA '04
International Affairs: International Politics

Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice
District of Columbia Government

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Chicago, IL

Academic/Research Interests: Terrorism, intelligence, intelligence integration at the local level, homeland security enterprise

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? My goal is for the work I do to contribute to the safety and security of the District of Columbia by applying an enterprise-level, strategic, and intelligence/empirical data-based approach to tackling not just run-of-the-mill crime, but also to being prepared against a high impact terrorist event in the city.

Michael DeVito

Michael DeVito

Michael DeVito, SIS/MA '12
International Affairs: Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

Senior Environmental Scientist
Applied Environmental

Current Resident: Washington, DC
Hometown: Boston, MA

Academic/Research Interests: Urban and industrial pollution prevention, green building

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? My work helps to directly reduce pollution in the greater Washington, DC area, while also providing educational opportunities that will hopefully indirectly prevent pollution in other areas.

Janethe Peña

Jenethe Peña

Janethe Peña, SIS/BA '02
International Studies

Executive Director
DC Doors

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Granada, NI

Academic/Research Interests: Latin America, women and poverty

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I am the founder and current Executive Director of a local non-profit, DC Doors. DC Doors helps immigrant and Latino women transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Our work touches the lives of many families in the local District of Columbia.

Janethe is the current AU Latino Alumni Alliance Chair

Linda Jamison

Linda Jamison

Linda Jamison, SIS/MA '89
International Communication

Vice President, Global Talent Development
United States Institute of Peace

Current Residence: Washington, DC

Why did you choose SIS? I really wanted to come back to AU as a student after I had spent a summer living at AU when I did an internship at the U.S. Senate. SIS caught my eye. I was looking for a graduate school in international studies, and since I was already working on AU campus, it felt like kismet. I originally started out at AU studying in the political science department, working at SIS. I saw how interesting and exciting it was and that's where I wanted to be, so I moved into the International Communication Program. IC really appealed to me because it provided a framework to understand national security and foreign policy. The IC program gave me a unique lens. At the time I enrolled, Perestroika and Glasnost were breaking the lock on the mystery that was the Soviet Union. The IC field was popping open just as the Cold War was ending.

Christine Gettings

Christine Gettings

Christine Gettings, SIS/BA '02, CAS/BA '02, SIS/MA '08
B.A., International Studies
B.A., Women & Gender Studies
M.A., International Affairs: International Politics

Assistant Director, Global Learning & Leadership
American University

Current Residence: Alexandria, VA
Hometown: Erial, NJ

Academic/Research Interests: International education, human rights, social movements, non-democratic regimes, women's and gender studies, religion and politics

Why did you choose SIS? I chose SIS because of the diverse and intellectually engaging faculty, the emphasis on combining service with international affairs, and the location of Washington, DC.

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Sean King

Sean King

Sean King, SIS/BA '92
International Studies

Senior Vice President
Park Strategies, LLC

Current Residence: New York, NY
Hometown: Seaford, NY

Academic/Research Interests: Asia

Why did you choose SIS? Great international affairs reputation in a world class city

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? Helping spread America's benevolent power, and ideals, around the world through private business and speaking up in the media.

Dr. Lawrence Markowitz

Lawrence Markowitz

Lawrence Markowitz, SIS/MA '98
International Affairs: Comparative & Regional Studies (Russia)
(Ph.D., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Associate Professor, Political Science
Rowan University

Current Residence: Vorhees, NJ
Hometown: Tenafly, NJ

Academic/Research Interests: State failure, conflict, social movements, nationalism, Russia, Central Asia

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? I gained a real grasp of political and social theory, and an ability to conceptualize and frame a problem in ways that I later discovered was quite rare. In addition, SIS exposed me to a much wider range of views on international affairs, which have provided me with unexpected versatility as my career path changed from an interest in government to working in NGO and international organization circles to academic. The program's flexibility enabled me to gain essential empirical knowledge and language skills that defined my expertise.

Karli Kloss

Karli Kloss

Karli Kloss, SIS/MA '15
International Affairs: Global Governance, Politics, & Security

Associate Analyst
M Powered Strategies

Current Residence: Arlington, VA

Why did you choose SIS? The School of International Service is one of the best foreign policy schools in the world and I knew that its name recognition and alumni network would be incredibly valuable. Beyond that, SIS is not just a research and policy school--it has a strong focus on professional development. I wanted a school with rigorous academics, but also one that understood the challenges facing young professionals in the job market, and incorporated competitive skills into classroom expectations.

 

Thuy Dinh

Thuy Dinh

Thuy Dinh, SIS/MA '13
Social Enterprise

Communications Analyst, International Finance Group (IFC)
The World Bank

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Hanoi, VN

Academic/Research Interests: Social enterprise, international development, business innovation, small medium enterprise, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility (CSR)

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? IFC is a wonderful organization that has made tremendous impact in alleviating poverty and creating shared prosperity through building and private sector worldwide, particularly in developing countries and emerging markets. I admire the mission of IFC. My current work in the Brand Team focusing on the IFC's Annual Report helped me learn firsthand about the organization's impact and powerful story.

Tom O'Bryan

Tom O'Bryan

Tom O'Bryan, SIS Undergraduate Study Abroad, '11-'12
International Studies

United Kingdom Kennedy Scholar
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

Current Residence: Cambridge, MA
Hometown: Bath, UK

Academic/Research Interests: Conflict resolution, peacekeeping, human rights, development

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I went on to work in Tunisia, Western Sahara and the Democratic Republic of Congo, working on a broad array of human rights and international development issues.

Ben Sander

Ben Sander

Ben Sander, SIS/BA '06, SIS/MA '10
B.A., International Studies; Minor: History
M.A., International Affairs: Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

Travel Program Manager
National Parks Conservation Association

Current Residence: Brentwood, MD
Hometown: Waukesha, WI

Academic/Research Interests: The importance of environmental education in ecotourism ventures

Why did you choose SIS? I chose SIS for my undergrad because it offered a diversity of classes allowing me to grasp a better understanding of the world around me and how I could positively affect it. For my masters I wanted a program that combined building a strong knowledge base with practical experience. The NRSD program does perfectly with time both in DC and Costa Rica, allowing me to study ecotourism first-hand and really understand the benefits and challenges to sustainable development.

Dr. Krista Wiegand

Krista Wiegand

Krista Wiegand, SIS/BA '93, SIS/MA '97
B.A., International Studies
M.A., International Affairs: Comparative & Regional Studies (Middle East)
(Ph.D., Political Science, Duke University)

Associate Professor & Director, Howard Baker Center for Public Policy
University of Tennessee

Current Residence: Knoxville, TN
Hometown: York, ME

Academic/Research Interests: International relations, international conflict, conflict resolution, territorial and maritime disputes, violence by non-state actors

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? I had excellent mentors at SIS who all inspired me to continue in academics and become a professor in international relations. Even 20 years later, I continue to teach materials from courses at SIS and use teaching skills learned from my mentors at SIS.

Shanna Edwards

Shanna Edwards

Shanna Edwards, SIS/BA '05, SIS/MA '06
B.A., International Studies; Minor: Women's & Gender Studies
M.A., International Affairs: Comparative & Regional Studies (Middle East)

Domestic Representative
U.S. Government

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA

Academic/Research Interests: Middle East & North Africa, Palestinian/Israeli conflict, Egyptian political & social issues, terrorism, Syrian politics & conflict

Why did you choose SIS? I chose SIS for a number of reasons-its proximity to everyone doing anything in the international realm; the diversity of the student body; its culture of service and community; the professors' "on-the-ground" experience and connections who choose to teach there; and its stature as one of the top international studies programs in the country. If I were choosing whether to go to AU now, I would also weigh in its gorgeous state-of-the-art, LEED-certified, brand new building.

Dr. Michael Otten

Michael Otten

Michael Otten, SPA/PhD '72
Public Administration: Technology of Management

Adjunct Professor
École Françause d'Électronique et Informatique, INSEAD

Current Residence: Scarsdale, NY & Paris, FR
Hometown: New York City, NY

Academic/Research Interests: Computers and medicine, technology of management, cross-cultural international management

Why did you choose AU? Access to excellent professors, especially those teaching part-time with important corporate or government positions.

Stan Stalnaker

Stan Stalnaker

Stan Stalnaker, SIS/BA '96
International Studies

Founding Director
Hub Culture and Ven Currency

Current Residence: London, UK
Hometown: Prescott, AZ

Academic/Research Interests: Economics, development, singularity, digital rights

Why did you choose SIS? When researching universities I discovered that AU offered one of the best International Relations programs in the United States and also maintained a strong study-abroad program to enable real world experience during my studies. Combined with Economics study, SIS provided a solid framework to grow in many directions after school.

Alison Yost

Alison Yost

Alison Yost, SIS/MA '07
International Communication

Communications Manager
New America's Open Technology Institute

Current Residence: Washington, DC

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? AU helps you see the interconnection between theory and practical applications. Systems and processes and statements don't exist in a vacuum; there is always a political climate, an economic climate, a social media climate, an da cultural climate that affects how information is perceived. AU gave me the perspective to see how all the pieces interconnect. Part of my job now is ensuring that interpretations and perceptions around our communications are accurate and reflective of the work we do at New America. It's more than writing press releases and statements; it's helping people understand the way information is distributed and the perceptions you can't control. It's helping manage the message when you're up against a variety of different perspectives, channels, and ideologies.

Robert Brodell

Robert Brodell

Robert Brodell, SIS/BA '11, SIS/MA '12
B.A., International Studies
M.A., International Affairs: U.S. Foreign Policy & National Security

Senior Manager for Sanctions Advisory
Capital One

Current Residence: Arlington, VA
Hometown: Lafayette, IN

Academic/Research Interests: U.S. Foreign Policy, illicit finance, arms control

Why did you choose SIS? SIS gave me the opportunity to complete a five and a half year BA/MA program while interning and working in international relations. I felt that this combination assured that I could amass enough academic criteria and job experience to have a job in U.S. foreign policy by the time I graduated.

Camilo Zambrano Jauregui

Camilo Zabrano Jauregui

Camilo Zambrano Jauregui, SIS/MA '10
International Peace & Conflict Resolution

Head of Political Affairs
Embassy of Ecuador to the United States

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Manta, EC

Academic/Research Interests: International negotiation, international security, U.S.-Latin America relations

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? As part of the Ecuadorian Embassy, we try to build bridges for the people of Ecuador and the U.S. and to strengthen the relation between two countries.

Emily Ham

Emily Ham

Emily Ham, SIS/MA '15
International Relations Online

Officer
U.S. Navy

Current Residence: Mons, BE

Why did you decide to pursue the International Relations Online program? The coursework, the academic rigor, the user-friendly technology and the interaction with professors and my fellow students made my choice an easy one. Also, the online learning system offers incredible flexibility. Last semester I participated in classes from four different countries and even turned in a group project from the ferry crossing the English Channel. In short, with this program, I didn't have to compromise for a sub-par education due to my demanding job in the military. Instead, I have the chance to excel.

Alex Oliver

Alex Oliver

Alex Oliver, SIS/MA '15
International Relations Online

Officer
U.S. Army

Current Residence: Fort Huachuca, AZ

Why did you decide to pursue the International Relations Online program? There are many, many ambitious and able people out in the world who want to pursue graduate education. The unfortunate truth is that there's only a small portion of us who have the wherewithal to attend a resident program, especially one as prestigious as AU. When this program was launched, it presented an opportunity to develop intellectually at a top tier school, without taking time out of my career.

Zoe Stathopoulos

ZOE STATHOPOULOS

Zoe Stathopoulos, SIS/BA'10, SIS/MA '13
B.A., International Studies
M.A., International Communication

Communications Specialist, Alive & Thrive
FHI 360

Current Residence: Washington, DC

How do you feel the work you are doing today is serving the global or local community? The project I'm working on at FHI 360, called Alive & Thrive, aims to save lives, prevent illness, and ensure healthy growth and development by improving nutrition practices, such as promoting optimal breastfeeding practices and diversifying diets for children. Alive & Thrive is a behavior change project-which means communication plays a critical role. The cross-cultural understanding and confidence that I gained at SIS has helped me better understand cultural dynamics, create stronger relationships with colleagues across the globe, and, therefore, more effectively contribute to achieving our program objectives.

Ritanch Hans

Ritanch Hans

Ritanch Hans, SIS/BA '13, Kogod/MS '15
B.A., International Studies
M.S., Sustainability Management

Associate
Grant Thornton, LLP

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Scarsdale, NY

Academic/Research Interests: U.S.-South Asia relations

How do you feel the work you are doing today is serving the global or local community? With my client being the Department of Homeland Security, more specifically Customs and Border Protection (CBP), I feel my work is very relevant-especially given how much border security has been talked about during this election cycle. I recently flew to California to help test the Biometric system that CBP is using. As part of CBP's mission, CBP is testing new technologies and procedures to help secure the border, enhance the integrity of the immigration system, and facilitate lawful travel, which is vital to America's economy.

Miso Juhnn

Miso Juhnn

Miso Juhnn, SIS/BA '15
International Studies

Consultant
Artlin Consulting, LLC

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Rockville, MD

Academic/Research Interests: International trade policy, intercultural communication, environmental sustainability

Why did you choose SIS? I chose SIS because of the diverse faculty. I felt that no matter who I got as a professor, they came with such an interesting background and would foster an engaging learning community. Furthermore, I chose SIS because it is the leading institution for the study of international relations. I knew I would be challenged in the classroom and gain professional development through our alumni network and career resources.

Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell

Kelly Mitchell, SIS/MA '15
International Peace and Conflict Resolution

Program Director
Hearts of Gold Foundation

Current Residence: Cuenca, EC
Hometown: Frederick, MD

Academic/Research Interests: Latin American studies, social movements, conflict resolution

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? Through my practicum experience, I was able to practice program-based research, interviews, evaluations, and how to coordinate with professionals in the field. My independent research on social movements and non-violent tactics in Ecuador also served as a base of knowledge to work at the grassroots level in Ecuador. More than anything, SIS set the standard for how to learn, how to grow in the professional environment, and how to work alongside colleagues.

To learn more about the SIS graduate practica, click here.

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Sagatom Saha

Sagatom Saha

Sagatom Saha, SIS/BA '15, Kogod/BS '15
B.A., International Studies
B.S., Business Administration

Research Associate
Council on Foreign Releations

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Marlton, NJ

Academic/Research Interests: Energy security, geopolitics

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? The Council on Foreign Relations does great work to inform policymakers and the public about critical international issues and it is rewarding to do my part to support that effort.

Weini Li

Weini Li

Weini Li, SIS/MA '13
Global Environmental Policy

Consultant
International Finance Corporation

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Wuhan, CN

Academic/Research Interests: Water governance, human wellbeing/happiness

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I work on environmental and social (E&S) due diligence and supervision of IFC's investment projects. My colleagues and I help IFC's investees around the world to adopt and implement the best of the private sector to do global good and prepare for the possible unintended consequences to the communities IFC and its investees serve.

Dr. Suzanne Ghais

Suzanne Ghais

Suzanne Ghais, SIS/PhD '16
International Relations

Adjunct Professor, MAIR Online Program
American University, School of International Service

Current Residence: Arvada, CO
Hometown: Columbia, MD

Academic/Research Interests: Peace processes, international negotiations, conflict prevention, democratization

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? SIS provided me both the background knowledge I needed in international relations and comparative politics, as well as skills in research methodologies. SIS also afforded me the opportunity to focus deeply on my chosen topic of peace negotiations, with the help of many wonderful faculty, especially my dissertation advisor, Professor Anthony Wanis-St. John.

Stephanie Cate Lord

Stephanie Cate Lord

Stephanie Cate Lord, SIS/MA '11
International Development

Executive Director
The Batonga Foundation

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Sunset Beach, NC

Academic/Research Interests: The role of women and girls in breaking intergenerational cycles of poverty, data collection for off-track adolescent girls

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? Through Batonga, I am working to empower young women and girls in Africa so that they can lead productive lives. Since beginning operations in '07, Batonga has provided scholars in five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with over 5,000 academic years of education. 

To learn more about The Batonga Foundation and Stephanie's work, click here.

Dr. Tom Long

Tom Long

Tom Long, SIS/PhD '15
International Relations

Lecturer in International Relations
University of Reading (UK)

Current Residence: Reading, UK
Hometown: Dutzow, MO

Academic/Research Interests: US-Latin American relations, Latin American foreign policy, asymmetry in International Relations theory

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? From coursework, I gained a much greater understanding of IR theory and foreign policy practice. Above all, though, I benefited tremendously from having dedicated mentors at SIS. I still benefit from my frequent engagements with SIS faculty.

Dr. Long's dissertation was recently published with Cambridge University Press as Latin America Confronts the United States: Asymmetry and Influence.

Geeta Raj

Geeta Raj

Geeta Raj, SIS/MA '03
International Peace & Conflict Resolution

President
The Global Sleepover

Current Residence: London, UK & Washington, DC
Hometown: Boston, MA

Academic/Research Interests: Accessible education, global education, the important role of trauma recovery and healing at the individual level in refugee societies, transition from war to peace, sustainable international development, effective humanitarian aid delivery

How did you choose SIS? I chose SIS because of its excellent reputation, its location in Washington, DC and because the program bridged the theoretical - practical divide.

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Elizabeth Lopez

Elizabeth Lopez

Elizabeth Lopez, SIS/MIS '09

Business Development Executive
SolarCity

Current Residence: Mexico City, MX
Hometown: Mexico City, MX

Academic/Research Interests: Renewable/solar energy, climate change, politics, international affairs, Latin America

How is the work you are doing today serving the global or local community? I am trying to bring solar energy to Latin American countries to help meet their commitments at Paris. I also believe I'm bringing the best solar company in the US into new markets. When you bring the best to others, you're really helping them. 

Dr. Davina Durgana

Davina Durgana

Davina Durgana, SIS/PhD '15
International Relations

Assistant Professor & Senior Practitioner Faculty/Statistics Researcher
School for International Training (SIT) Graduate Institute & Walk Free Foundation

Current Residence: Washington, DC
Hometown: Commack, NY

Academic/Research Interests: Human trafficking, human rights, quantitative methods and mixed methods research, alternative security theories, human security theory

Why did you choose SIS? I chose SIS because I was intrigued by the program offerings, faculty mentors and advisors, and the generous scholarship and stipend support. The location in Washington, DC has also been invaluable to me as it allowed me to remain connected to exciting work in my field as I completed my PhD. 

Nilar Andrea Chit Tun

Nilar Chit Tun

Nilar Andrea Chit Tun, SIS/MA '05
International Communication
Certificate in Translation, '06

Sales and Marketing Officer
Organization for Economic and Co-Operation Development (OECD)

Current Residence: Arlington, VA
Hometown: Washington, DC

Academic/Research Interests: Organizational development, intercultural communications

How did your SIS academic experience prepare you for success? My experience at SIS was really positive: it was not only teaching theory, but taught me how to listen. Gary Weaver's class was my favorite in that it has become so applicable. Again, the perspective of the class has helped me through some not so clear situations. There are times in my career that the interoffice and interpersonal conflicts you see and experience in the work life seem simple; almost petty. But once you add the layers of organizational culture, behaviors, rules and norms...it's just like the iceberg. 

Dr. Richard Forno

Richard Forno

Richard Forno, SIS/BA '94
International Studies
(Ph.D., Internet Studies, Curtin University of Technology)

Senior Lecturer, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering
Director, UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Program
Assistant Director, UMBC Center for Cyber Security
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Current Residence: Arlington, VA
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Academic/Research Interests: Relationships between technology, security, and society; information age conflict, cybersecurity operations, risk communication, and the social shaping of technology

Why did you choose SIS? In high school, I wanted to go into the foreign service and/or intelligence community. However, being good with computers, I 'fell' into the computer security field...and then while at AU studying national security, I realized that 'intelligence' was 'information' that was increasingly being stored on computers and needed protection and began to merge those two personal interests.