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U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security | SIS

US Foreign Policy Association

The US Foreign Policy Association’s goals are to increase dialog on relevant foreign policy issues, build a community and expand the career options of students in the US Foreign Policy and National Security Graduate Program, Undergraduates in the US Foreign Policy concentration and all other students interested in foreign policy issues.

In order to achieve these goals the USFPA sponsors and co-sponsors three types of events:

  • Career Events - Talks and panel discussions from professionals who have careers related to foreign policy.

  • Foreign Policy Talks/Panel Discussions - Each semester the USFPA is involved in a variety of events related to a broad range of foreign policy topics.

  • Social Events - Throughout the school year the USFPA offers several events geared towards increasing a sense of community amongst fellow students who are interested in foreign policy. These events have included social hours as well as a student/faculty barbecue.


Contact us at or at the USFPA Facebook page:!/groups/177871705582935/

Past Association Events

Panel discussion on A Contemporary Cuba Reader

"A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castro" with Dr. Phillip Brenner, Director of USFP Program and Dr. William LeoGrande, School of Public Affairs Professor

In December of 2014, the U.S. Foreign Policy Association hosted two American University professors to discuss the updated edition of their book, A Contemporary Cuba Reader: The Revolution under Raúl Castro. This book explores Cuba in familiar detail from the rise of Castro in 2006 to the present day. It touches on the new economic challenges Cuba faces with its loss of preferential trade with the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc following the fall of European Communism.

One Hundred Victories: Special Operations Forces and the Future of American Warfare

The USFPA sponsored a talk on November 11th by Linda Robinson, Senior Policy Analyst at RAND. She discussed her new book One Hundred Victories: Special Operations Forces and the Future of American Warfare.


Woodrow Wilson House

Members of the USFPA visited the Woodrow Wilson House in Washington, D.C. in Fall 2013.

SIS Professors discuss the impact of NAFTA on North America.

NAFTA: Successes, Failures, and Future

USFP Professor Robert Pastor and SIS Professor Manuel Suarez-Mier spoke with students on the landmark NAFTA trade agreement and its impact on the North American continent.

U.S. Foreign Policy students, staff, and faculty enjoyed a casual end of year dinner together.

End of Year Dinner

The U.S. Foreign Policy Association sponsored an end of year dinner for students, faculty, and staff in the SIS Atrium. Students enjoyed the opportunity to relax after Finals and engage in casual conversation with faculty.

Ambassador Anthony Quainton discusses the diplomatic challenges of regime change over coffee.

Coffee Talk on the Diplomatic Challenges of Regime Change with U.S. Foreign Policy Distinguished Diplomat-in-Residence Anthony Quainton

Students gathered in the U.S. Foreign Policy common area on the third floor of the SIS building to hear Ambassador Anthony Quainton discuss the challenges of regime change on diplomatic relations. Ambassador Quainton drew on his long career in the Foreign Service to discuss the recent regime changes around the world and how these changes will impact U.S. relations.

Professor Shadi Mokhtari discusses the U.S. role in Libya.

Coffee Talk on the U.S. Role in Libya with Professor Shadi Mokhtari

Professor Mokhtari discussed U.S. foreign policy in Libya, as well as human rights in the Muslim world.  She also examined how U.S. policies in Libya compared to those in Iraq. 

US Foreign Policy faculty Gordon Adams and Anthony Quainton discuss the recently released QDDR.

The Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review vs. Defense Budgeting

USFP Professors Gordon Adams and Anthony Quainton spoke on the newly-released Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review in February.  They drew on their years of experience within the U.S. government to critique the document, and fielded questions from U.S. Foreign Policy students.

Transformation in Egypt

USFP Adjunct Professor Hillary Mann Leverett joined SIS Professors Kristin Diwan and Boaz Atzili to discuss the recent revolution in Egypt and its effects on the broader Middle East.

Association Officers

President: John Stowell

US Foreign Policy Association President John Stowell

John Stowell is a 2nd year graduate student who has a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa and a Master's degree in Sustainability from Lipscomb University. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali West Africa where he focused on small enterprise development and microfinance. John also worked as a Field Organizer for the Alliance for Climate Protection and three years as a Consultant for the energy efficiency sector. He has completed an internship with the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Department of Commerce and will start an internship with the State Department's Bureau of Energy this fall. John's focus of expertise is the energy sector in foreign policy.


Vice-President: Will Pittinos

Will Pittinos, Vice President of the USFP Student Association

Will Pittinos is a 2nd year graduate student who after earning a bachelor’s in English and Spanish from Lake Forest College, reported and served as a copy editor for the international edition of the Miami Herald. He then returned to his alma mater to lead web content and manage the alumni magazine. Will is currently pursuing a master’s at American University (AU) in U.S. foreign policy with focuses in public diplomacy and Latin America. He also manages web communications at AU’s School of Public Affairs. His experience in Latin America includes volunteer work in Honduras, and a semester in Buenos Aires. He is fluent in Spanish, has an intermediate grasp of Portuguese, and has taken introductory courses in French and Mandarin. Will hopes to combine his background in journalism, web communications to help shape U.S. public diplomacy.


Communications Manager:
Cate Minichino

Cate Minichino is a 2nd year graduate student who has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from American University. She worked in politics for six years, including offices in the White House, Congress, state government, and the private sector. Cate currently works in for AU's SPA in the Department of Government.


Treasurer: Kelly Brown

Treasurer of the USFP Student Association Kelly Brown

Kelly Brown is a second-year graduate student in U.S. Foreign Policy. Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, she attended the University of Maryland for undergrad, earning bachelors degrees in Government &Politics and Spanish. Before beginning her masters, she worked for several years including as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Baltimore City and an English teacher in northern Spain. This past summer, she was an intern in the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires.


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