SIS Mentors Academic Year 2021-2022

Get to know this year's mentors at the School of International Service.

Tip: Try searching with phrases such as "junior," "senior," or "graduate student" to see mentors targeted to you.

Mentors 2021-2022
Name Graduation Year LinkedIn Accepting Applications for Special Interests
Lina Abisoghomyan SIS/BA '17 View Profile of Lina Abisoghomyan seniors, graduate students women, immigrants, women in defense
Lyla Andrews Bashan SIS/MA '15 (IPCR) View Profile of Lyla Andrews Bashan juniors, seniors, graduate students
Pren-Tsilya Boa-Guehe SIS/MA '12 (ID) seniors, graduate students students of color
Caleb Bowers SIS/MA '17 (IPCR) View Profile of Caleb Bowers juniors, seniors, graduate students
Jason Cohen SIS/BA '92 View Profile of Jason Cohen seniors
Ambassador John B. Craig SIS/BA '67 juniors, seniors, graduate students
Laisa Daza SIS/BA '07 View Profile of Laisa Daza juniors, seniors, graduate students minority, first-generation students
Christina Dinh SIS/MA '13 (CRS) View Profile of Christina Dinh seniors, graduate students in the DC area Asian American women, first-generation students, students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds
Andy Dry SIS/BA '78 View Profile of Andy Dry juniors, seniors, graduate students
Scott Ellis SIS/BA '03 View Profile of Scott Ellis juniors, seniors, graduate students first-generation students, students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds
Ian Evans SIS/MA '18 (ID) View Profile of Ian Evans juniors, seniors, graduate students
Nicole Gunkle SIS/MA '15 (CRS) View Profile of Nicole Gunkle juniors, seniors, graduate students women
Sam Hall SIS/MA '18 (USFP) View Profile of Sam Hall juniors, seniors, graduate students international development and navigating the USAJobs/USG market, how to navigate gender issues in workplace
Alden Hartopo SIS/MA '18 (IER) View Profile of Alden Hartopo seniors, graduate students
Dylan Kean SIS/MA '15 (GGPS) View Profile of Dylan Kean juniors, seniors, graduate students dual US-Canadian citizenship, received Hart A. Massey fellowship
Alexander Knapp SIS/BA '95 View Profile of Alexander Knapp juniors, seniors, graduate students did most of undergrad abroad
Joe Kolesnick SIS/MA '15 (GGPS) View Profile of Joe Kolesnick juniors, seniors, graduate students
Dawn Miller SIS/BA '93 View Profile of Dawn Miller juniors
Jeff Moeller SIS/MIS '18 View Profile of Jeff Moeller juniors, seniors, graduate students in the DC area veterans
Mark Overmann SIS/MA '05 (IC) View Profile of Mark Overmann juniors, seniors, graduate students in the DC area
Zhikica (Zach) Pagovski SIS/MA '13 View Profile of Zach Pagovski juniors, seniors, graduate students
Jennifer Ray Beckman SIS/BA '94 View Profile of Jennifer Ray Beckman juniors, seniors
Kai-Niklas Schneider SIS/BA '98 juniors, seniors, graduate students
Dave Southworth SIS/MA '04 View Profile of Dave Southworth juniors, seniors, graduate students
Melina Villavicencio Mancero SIS/MA '19 (GGPS) View Profile of Melina Villavicencio seniors, graduate students in the DC area
Annie Wagner SIS/BA '16 View Profile of Annie Wagner juniors, seniors, graduate students
Joe Walters SIS/MA '18 (USFP) View Profile of Joe Walters seniors, graduate students in the DC area

Full Mentor Bios

Lina AbisoghomyanLina Abisoghomyan is a Strategy Consultant at Deloitte Consulting in the Government and Public Sector Practice’s Defense, Security, and Justice portfolio.

Prior to Deloitte, she worked at the US Department of Defense, Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and at the boutique consulting firm of former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

Lina is skilled in International Relations, Policy Analysis, International Political Economy, Critical Infrastructure Security, and Cyber Security. Her breadth of experience extends across both government and private sectors, with focus areas including emergent technologies, national security, and international trade.

While a full-time student at AU, Lina was concurrently completed internships at a multitude of Federal agencies including the International Trade Commission, the United States Agency for International Development, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.

She graduated a year early with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from American University School of International Service, concentrated in Foreign Policy and National Security in May of 2017.

Lina is an avid traveler, having visited or lived in 41 countries and counting, and is fluent in Russian, French, Armenian and Arabic. She is also a martial artist of 18 years and holds black belts in Taekwondo and Karate.

Lyla BashanLyla J. Andrews Bashan is a USAID Foreign Service Officer serving in Amman, Jordan as the Deputy Director of the Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Office.

Previously, Ms. Bashan was USAID/Armenia’s Director of the Sustainable Development Office. Before that, she served in Washington, DC in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia and also in the Office of Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. She has also served in Tajikistan as the Team Lead for Democracy and Governance, Health and Education and in Guatemala as a Democracy and Governance Officer.

Prior to joining the USAID Foreign Service, Ms. Bashan was a Civil Servant at the Department of State. There she served as the Conflict Prevention Officer for Sub-Saharan Africa in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. Before that, Ms. Bashan helped establish the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and later served as the Country Coordinator for West Africa.

Before joining the government, Ms. Bashan worked for non-governmental organizations, including InterAction and Mercy Corps. She is the author of Global: An Extraordinary Guide for Ordinary Heroes published by Red Press Publishing. Ms. Bashan holds an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University and a B.A. in International Affairs from Lewis and Clark College.

Pre-Tsilya Boa-GuehePren-Tsilya Boa-Guehe is a Foreign Service Officer who joined the Department of State as a Pickering Fellow in 2012. She serves as a co-chair on the Board of the Pickering and Rangel Fellows Association. Pren-Tsilya currently serves as the Multilateral Racial Justice & Equity Issues Officer in the Bureau of International Organizations and her onward assignment is at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. She previously served as the Economic Officer at the U.S. Mission to the African Union where she led U.S. government efforts on health, climate, economic, and trade issues with the African Union. Her other previous assignments include Multilateral Desk Officer in the Africa Bureau's Office of Economic and Regional Affairs, Consular Officer in Casablanca, Morocco, and Political and Economic Officer in Bamako, Mali. Pren-Tsilya earned a Master's degree in International Development from the School of International Service at American University and a BA in international business and Spanish from Towson University. Prior to joining the Department of State, she managed a non-profit organization that provided assistance to internally displaced people in Cote d'Ivoire. Pren-Tsilya speaks French, Spanish, and Arabic. Born in France and a Maryland resident, Pren-Tsilya enjoys making a difference across the world together with her mother, husband, and two children.

Caleb BowersCaleb is an adaptable problem-solver with experience developing and leading small teams to support domestic and international programs and projects, design and implement experiential trainings and exercises, and improve organizational processes. He has worked in nonprofits on projects used by the United States Agency for International Development and in client-facing roles contracted to the Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Justice.

Jason F. Cohen is Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Diamond Resorts International (Diamond Resorts), where he leads the company's global legal, compliance and government affairs functions. Diamond Resorts is a global vacation ownership and hospitality management services business, with more than 110 resorts under management and operations in more than 15 countries.

Prior to joining Diamond Resorts, Jason spent more than 11 years at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., including most recently as SVP & General Counsel of the global Corporate Legal Services Group and prior as VP & General Counsel of the Asia Pacific Division, based in Singapore. Jason joined Starwood from O'Melveny & Myers LLP, where he worked in the Corporate & M&A practice group, in both the New York and Tokyo offices.

Jason holds a JD from Fordham University School of Law and a BA in International Relations from American University, School of International Service. Jason also completed a one year intensive graduate Japanese language program at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan after he graduated from American and also worked for 2 years at Sumitomo Marine & Fire Insurance Company in Tokyo, Japan before going to law school.

Ambassador John B. CraigIn a distinguished career as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador Craig had numerous assignments both overseas and in the State Department. He pursued his career focus on economic analysis during assignments in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt and Haiti. Craig speaks Arabic, French and Spanish.

He became deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in the Syrian capital Damascus followed by a similar posting to the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia. In 1995, he was appointed to head the Office of Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the State Department’s Near East Bureau.

Then, in June 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton nominated Craig to be the United States Ambassador to Oman. After three years in the post, he returned to the United States just after Sept. 11, 2001, to be appointed by President George W. Bush as a Special Assistant to the President for Combatting Terrorism. He served on the staff of the National Security Council with Gen. Wayne Downing, Deputy National Security Advisor.

In 2003, he was appointed as Boeing International Corporation’s regional vice president in the Middle East. In 2008, the Ambassador joined The Jadwin Group (MENA) as full partner and provided high level investment services to private sector entities and high net worth individuals throughout the Gulf region.

In 2015, Ambassador Craig joined the Manaar Energy Group as a Senior Partner. The group provides clients all over the world with valued analysis of the energy market with particular focus on Iran and Iraq and the Arab Gulf producers.

Ambassador Craig has Ambassador-in-Residence in the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. He retains business activities in the Middle East, while basing his operations from central Pennsylvania.

Ambassador Craig and an important Middle Eastern client organized Working Group on the Plight of Christians and Religious Pluralism in the Middle East. The Working Group is a bi-partisan, multi-faith project of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom, in Washington, DC. The goal of the Working Group is to identify results-oriented activities that will instill a sense of urgency and passion in interested parties, leading to outcomes that will save lives and restore stability to Christian populations as part of a religiously plural Middle East. The WG has been instrumental in proposing and implementing U.S. policy changes which have benefitted Christians across the Middle East.

Ambassador Craig received his BA at SIS, and the equivalent of an MA in International Relations from The National Defense University (National War College) in Washington.

Laisa DazaLaisa has been working in the field of international development for over ten years and is currently a consultant at the World Bank Group working on topics related to school infrastructure, education, and natural disasters at the Global Program for Safer Schools. She speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese.

She holds a B.A in International Affairs from SIS at American University ‘07, a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University ’13 and is currently pursuing a PhD at Maastricht University on the impacts of natural disasters on education in developing countries.

She was born and raised in Bolivia and moved to the United States at the age of ten. Her passions include traveling, running, and dancing salsa.

Christina DinhChristina Dinh is currently a contract Senior Program Officer to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. In this role, she plans, develops, implements, and evaluates exchange programs in consultation with overseas U.S. Embassies and missions for foreign scholars, secondary educators, and student leader participants.

Previously, she worked at World Learning managing the East Asia and Pacific and Western Hemisphere regional portfolios for the Fulbright Specialist Program. At World Learning, she served as one of the founding members of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion taskforce.

Prior to her work on international exchange, Christina focused on Asia foreign policy issues having worked at the DC think tank the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) where she researched Asia policy issues and managed the ASPI International Trade initiative and Women's Economic Empowerment initiative.

Christina has also served at the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs - Office of Economic Policy. During this time, Christina researched and assembled briefing materials on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) issues for the Senior Officials Meeting such as regional economics, energy, food security, and trade.

Christina completed her MA in International Relations at American University and her BA in International Relations and Asian Studies at Northeastern University.

Christina grew up in New England; speaks Chinese, Vietnamese, and French; is a first generation Asian American with Chinese-Vietnamese immigrant parents; and was the first in her family to attend college.

Andy DryPlease note, Andy is based in Europe six hours ahead of U.S. EST. Any calls will need to take place in the morning.

Andrew Dry has had a 40-year career as both senior corporate executive of VEON Ltd., one of the world’s largest mobile telecom operators, and as senior investment banker for the TMT industry at ABN AMRO Bank, among others. His corporate finance and treasury experience, his investment banking background, and his success in running a large banking division provides him with the vision and experience to assess companies’ strategic and financial opportunities, to identify and advise them on options to create value, to evaluate their capital structure and risk management policies, and to implement the solutions selected.

Andrew retired in December 2020 as Group Treasurer of VEON Ltd., where he managed a team of 16 professionals, a cash and investment portfolio exceeding USD 1bn in multiple currencies (USD, EUR, RUB, Pakistan Rupee, Algerian Dinar, Ukraine Hrvnia, Kazakhstan Tenge), and a foreign exchange derivative portfolio which has been in excess of USD 1bn.

Andrew was responsible for initiating, structuring, negotiating, and executing all VEON Group debt transactions— bonds, bank debt, liability management, syndicated loans, bilateral loans, and ECA loans. Inn 2020, he established a USD 6.5bn MTN program, executed a USD 1.25bn Eurobond and a USD 300m Eurobond tap, arranged and executed two EUR RUB bonds totaling RUB 30bn, and refinanced bilateral RUB loans equivalent to USD 2.5bn. In his career at both VEON and as an investment banker, he has arranged hundreds of millions of financings for TMT companies.

Andrew runs an advisory and consulting business, advising global companies on financings. He has guest lectured at Kogod School of Business at American University, and at Rotterdam School of Management.

Scott EllisScott Ellis is vice chair of Foley’s national Energy Litigation Practice, and the hiring partner for the Houston office. Scott is a trial attorney, handling high-stakes litigation throughout Texas and the United States for domestic and international clients in the energy, construction, industrial gas, banking, and financial sectors.

Scott is also an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center, where he teaches Trial Advocacy. Scott also teachesTrial Advocacy to undergraduates through the University of Houston’s award-winning Pre-Law Pipeline Program, which is designed to increase the diversity of law school applicants by providing law school preparatory resources for students who are first generation, low income, or members of groups underrepresented in the legal profession.

In July 2021, Scott received two President’s Awards from the Houston Bar Association for his leadership as co-chair of the HBA’s D&I Committee, and a member of the HBA’s Implicit Bias Task Force. Super Lawyers has recognized Scott as a Texas Rising Star for the last 11 consecutive years. In 2020, the Houston Business Journal named Scott to its 40 Under 40 Class of 2020, which honors the top 40 business and community leaders under 40 in Houston. In September 2020, Scott received Texas Lawyer’s Best Mentor Award, recognizing his commitment to mentoring the next generation of Texas lawyers.

Ian EvansIan Evans is an international development and international relations professional with over five years of experience, including an extensive background in professional and amateur sport. Mr. Evans is a Program Officer on the Sports, Cultural and Youth Exchange Programs team at FHI 360. His team serves as the implementing partner for the U.S. Department of State Sports Visitor and Sports Envoy programs as well as the Study of the U.S. Institutes (SUSI) for Student Leaders - Europe program. Mr. Evans facilitates programming and logistics for international exchange programs (both in-person and virtual), manages databases and visualizations, and heads Sports Visitor program alumni initiatives. He works closely with international youth athletes, coaches, and administrators, partner organizations, and Department of State Sports Diplomacy Division clients. His passion and area of focus consists of utilizing sport as a vehicle to promote community building, create positive change, and boost intercultural relationships and communication. He earned his MA in International Development from AU's School of International Service in May 2018.

Nicole GunkleNicole Gunkle graduated in 2015 with a Master's in International Affairs which focused on European Affairs and International Trade. Currently, she works for the State of Washington on an export grant program which helps Washington companies pursue exporting opportunities abroad.

Before her current role, she worked at the State of Colorado, helping small businesses export, and Nathan Associates, an international development firm, where she helped managed USAID contracts on public financial management and trade projects.

She also held roles at the World Bank, U.S. Government Accountability Office, and other international trade organizations.

Sam HallSamantha (Sam) Hall is a Management Analyst at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she currently supports the agency's COVID-19 Task Force in internal processes and coordination. Prior to her current role, Sam was a Program Analyst on USAID's Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR) Metrics Team, supporting the annual rollout of the Country Roadmaps and providing agency staff with J2SR communication materials.

Sam specializes in identifying solutions to challenges, particularly on streamlining processes, internal communication among teams and across the agency, and establishing efficient and productive processes when none exist. She also served as a volunteer to the National Model United Nations to support the annual New York and Washington D.C. conferences as a Committee Director for UN committees specializing in International Development, Environmental Affairs, and Human Rights.

Sam has a Master's in International Affairs (U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security Program) from the School of International Service at American University, and a Bachelor's in International Relations from Wright State University.

Alden HartopoAlden Hartopo is a Senior Associate supporting the Asia team at McLarty Associates where he works with Fortune 200 and emerging companies on international government relations in Southeast Asia.

During his graduate studies, Alden worked in the East Asia and Pacific practice at the Albright Stonebridge Group and was a researcher in the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He was also an international trade policy intern at the American Enterprise Institute and held summer internships at Goldman Sachs and The Jakarta Globe.

Alden received his MA in International Economic Relations from American University’s School of International Service (SIS) where he concentrated in International Business and Trade. He received his undergraduate degree from Calvin College where he double majored in Economics and International Relations.

A native of Jakarta, Indonesia, Alden speaks Bahasa Indonesia and has spent nearly 20 years living in the United States.

Outside of McLarty, Alden helps lead the DC Asia Policy Network, a community of over 2,000 young professionals interested and/or working on Asia policy issues.

Dylan KeanDylan Kean is an experienced government relations and communications professional, having worked primarily in the strategic consulting space since 2015. He currently works at the US-ASEAN Business Council as a Manager on the Membership, Development, and Sustainability teams.

Previously, Dylan advised Fortune 500 clients across the Asia-Pacific as a Director for Client Services at BowerGroupAsia, where he split his time between Washington, D.C. and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to this, Dylan worked at McLarty Associates serving as Chief of Staff and Senior Associate to former White House Chief of Staff Mack McLarty.

While pursuing his master’s degree at American University, Dylan interned for the Southeast Asia Chair at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) and worked as a graduate consultant for Transparency International-USA. Dylan holds a B.A. in Political Science from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.A. in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service.

Alexander KnappAlexander Knapp is the founder and Chief Executive of The AKCGlobal Group.

He’s worked for twenty-five years in international development policy, planning, fundraising, operations and effectiveness, including fifteen years with the United Nations in eleven peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction and humanitarian aid missions around the world including Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Angola, Liberia, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tajikistan, Dafur, Central African Republic, and South Sudan.

In addition to consulting, he is a Visiting Lecturer in Complexity and International Relations at Regent’s University in London, and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the American University School of International Service in Washington DC. He holds degrees in international relations, international law, and public administration.

In his free time, he works as a lighting designer and stage manager at the Tower Theatre Company, sous-chef at La Cucina Caldesi Tuscan restaurant, and freelances as a photographer for a studio in East London.

Joe KolesnickJoseph Kolesnick is currently an Executive Officer (Chief of Staff) for the Operations Support Directorate (OSD) within the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Prior to this role, Joseph was an International Relations Specialist with the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) within CWMD.

Before joining the Department of Homeland Security, Joseph was a Program and Management Analyst with the National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service (NESDIS) in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where he was also a Presidential Management Fellow. Joseph completed a detail at NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Program as their Chief of Staff and a detail at NOAA-NESDIS' International and Interagency Affairs Division (IIAD) as the European, Middle East, and North African Desk Officer.

While pursuing his degree at SIS, Joseph interned at the U.S. Department of State, European Regional Affairs Office, and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE). He received a MA in European History focusing on Political, Military, and Diplomatic histories from the University at Buffalo and received a second MA from SIS in Global Governance Politics and Security. Joseph has also completed a U.S. Foreign Policy Career Summer Course from George Washington University.

Dawn MillerDawn M. Miller is Regional Executive Officer for CHUBB Central Region (Switzerland, MENA, Turkey) from April 2021 and Country President for Chubb Switzerland, based in Zurich since March 2020. Previously she was SVP, Head of Middle Market, Small Commercial, Industry Practice & Distribution for Chubb Continental Europe. Prior this role she was President and CEO of AXA Insurance Company, in New York. Before joining AXA in 2015 as Global Head of Business Development for AXA P&C, Dawn held a variety of market-facing leadership roles at AIG in Europe, the Gulf region, and the United States, and spent several years in the Central/Eastern European energy sector as an Entrepreneur. She began her career as a political risks/insurance analyst at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in Washington DC. Dawn was an inaugural recipient, and is now a program mentor, of International Insurance Society’s Leader of Tomorrow program. She holds a BA in International Politics from American University School of International Service, in Washington DC, where she was named 2018 Alumna of the year, and sits as Vice Chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council. Dawn continued her graduate studies at l’Université de Caen, France, where she was a Rotary International Graduate Scholar. In addition, Dawn holds advance program certifications from INSEAD, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2018, Risk & Insurance and Re/Insurance have highlighted Dawn as an Insurance Executive to Watch. Within Chubb she is the Executive Sponsor for the Cultural Awareness Network. Dawn also serves on the Board of Directors for the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation UK, Advisory Council for Maths4Girls, member of Chatham House, and is frequently a judge for’s entrepreneur International Selection Panels as a passionate supporter of diversity in business leadership, enabling small business success and community sustainability.

Jeff MoellerJeffrey Moeller is the senior intelligence analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Jeff previously worked as the senior Middle East and North Africa intelligence advisor for the Army Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG), where he was recognized as the 2019 employee of the year.

Jeff has extensive international and intercultural experience, spending over seven years living and working overseas across the Middle East and Pacific. He spent 13 years on active duty in the Marine Corps as an intelligence specialist and served in combat in Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Africa with both conventional and special operations units.

Jeff completed his time in the Marine Corps after achieving the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and received a direct commission from the Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer. As a reserve intelligence officer, he is assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) where he focuses on Asia/Pacific regional issues.

Jeff holds a Master of International Service (MIS) from SIS and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from University of Maryland Global Campus.

Mark OvermannMark Overmann is an international affairs and diplomacy executive with 15 years of experience in the NGO, university, and federal consulting sectors. He excels at organizational strategy, strategic communications, and government relations (including extensive work with the U.S. Department of State and Congress). His key strengths include managing complexity, operational excellence, and compliance.

Mark is currently a Senior Manager at Accenture Federal Services where he works to support global health and diplomacy programs for a variety of U.S. federal government clients. His previous positions include Vice President of External Affairs at InterExchange, Deputy Director of the Alliance for International Exchange, Director of College Communications at Georgetown University, and Program Associate for Communications at Global Ties U.S.

Mark has a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in International Communication from American University's School of International Service. He is coauthor with Sherry Mueller of Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development (Georgetown University Press, 2008, 2014).

Zach PagocskiZach Pagovski is the Interim Director for development and institutional partnerships at CIVIC. Before joining CIVIC, he was the Manager for strategic partnerships at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an organization that works to strengthen transatlantic relations in the spirit of the Marshall Plan.

In the past, Pagovski was a research fellow at the NATO Association of Canada and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy in Washington DC, writing and contributing on issues related to security and defense, public diplomacy, and democracy and civil society. He also worked as a consultant for sustainable development at Challenge Future – a start-up think tank based in Slovenia. Pagovski’s former professional experience also includes work at the United Nations and the Government of Macedonia.

Pagovski was a part of various fellowships with the Aspen Institute, Goldman Sachs, the Institute of International Education, The Fund of American Studies, Globsec, Eurasia Foundation, and the Policy Center for the New South. He was a recipient of the 40 Under 40 Leadership Award of the United Macedonian Diaspora, 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, and the David Merchant International Student Award for Achievement from Phi Beta Delta Honor Society.

Pagovski holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service in Washington DC. He obtained his B.A. from the American University in Bulgaria double-majoring in European Studies and Political Science & International Relations. He is also a Certified Fund-Raising Executive by CFRE International and a certified Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute.

Jennifer Ray BeckmanJennifer Ray Beckman, MBA, CAE, is an experienced association management executive with a proven track record of bringing strategic solutions to non-profit organizations.

She founded Clear Point Management, LLC, a boutique provider of management solutions for non-profit associations that administers daily operations including financial management, organizational and leadership development, strategic planning, marketing, social media campaigns, continuing education meeting management and grassroots strategy including legislative advocacy on the state and federal level.

Clear Point is based on the firm belief that association management is a people business that requires one-on-one interaction and connectivity. Her clients include the Florida, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania Chapters of the American College of Cardiology.

She previously has worked in the association space in membership, marketing and meetings areas for the American Meat Institute, International Society for Ecological Economics and the Software and Information Industry Association.

Kai-Niklas SchneiderKai-Niklas Schneider is the Managing Partner of the Clifford Chance Singapore office and head of the Funds and Investment Management group in Singapore. He is a US qualified lawyer with over 20 years of specialized experience in the funds sector and advises clients on the formation of and investment in a wide variety of private equity funds, real estate funds, infrastructure funds and credit funds.

Kai co-chair the Executive Committee of the Singapore Funds Industry Group and a member of the Advocacy Subcommittee of the Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) and the Singapore Executive Committee of the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA).

Dave SouthworthDave Southworth is a civilian intelligence analyst for the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. He's been there just under 10 years, covering adversary military modernization with a focus on emerging technology issues.

Prior to that, Dave was a contractor in the DC area. He worked for the then-OSD/PA&E (now CAPE), the FBI, DIA, DOE, and the Army, where he deployed to Iraq as a social scientist with a program called the Human Terrain System.

Dave currently lives in Columbus, OH.

Melina VillavicencioMelina Villavicencio is a Latin America Analyst at Sayari Labs, a financial intelligence software platform. Prior to joining Sayari, Melina worked in the due diligence and investigations industry as an Intern and Associate at Kroll, and as an Associate at Forward Risk and Intelligence, where she focused on public records research in Latin America. She holds a master's degree in international affairs with a focus in global security from American University, and a bachelor's in international relations from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, in Ecuador. She completed internships at the Inter-American Development Bank and the UK Department of International Trade. As a mentor for AU students, Melina is excited about helping other international students navigate the U.S. job market.

Annie WagnerAnnie works as contract support to the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) as an IT Specialist and Junior Telecommunications Engineer.

She graduated from AU in the Fall of 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Her areas of focus was Foreign Policy, National Security, and Cross-Cultural Communication.

Currently, her work includes web and SharePoint development, IT desktop support, and being the resident Office 365 hybrid Cloud Subject Matter Expert (SME). Much of these skills were acquired through self-taught research or on-the-job training. With this range of technical skills she supports transitioning Emergency Management coordination across all platforms and devices for more effective planning and response.

Joe WaltersBio to come.