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2017-2018 National Security Fellows

Oren Adaki is the staff director of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He previously served as the professional staff member for the Subcommittee. Prior to working on the Hill, Oren was the Arabic analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) where he supported a number of research projects while monitoring and tracking developments in Yemen, including the activities of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Oren received his Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Security Studies from Boston University and his Master’s degree in Middle East Studies from Columbia University.

Webster Beary is an associate at an international law firm in Washington, D.C. where he works in the litigation department and focuses on all aspects of corporate and government contracts litigation. Webster served in the U.S. Army Special Operations community for five years as a judge advocate, with his final assignment in the 75th Ranger Regiment.  He deployed multiple times to Afghanistan where he advised on combat operations. His awards and badges include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Action Badge, Ranger Tab, and Parachutist Badge. He earned his B.S. from Cornell University and his J.D. from Georgetown University.  

Eiman Behzadi is a Management and Program Analyst in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Investment Security, which chairs the inter-agency Committee for Investment in the United States (CFIUS). While at Treasury, he also served as an Intelligence Specialist in the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence focusing on Intelligence Operations. Eiman is a former active duty intelligence analyst in Special Forces Group, where he utilized his proficiency in Arabic, Farsi, and Dari to assist SOF missions in the Middle East and Africa regions. He holds an M.S. in Terrorism and Public Policy from the School of Public Affairs at American University, B.A. degrees in Cognitive Psychology and Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Irvine, and an A.A. in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Eiman will also begin his M.B.A. at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the Fall of 2017, where he will be a Pat Tillman Scholar. 

Mike Benitez is a U.S. Air Force Officer and combat veteran serving on Capitol Hill in the Office of Senator Mike Rounds. After eight years as an enlisted Marine and completing deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, he became an Air Force F-15E Weapons System Officer and completed three more combat deployments. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School and the United Arab Emirates Advanced Tactical Leadership Course, he most recently served as the lead instructor in a unit supporting nuclear, conventional, and special operations missions in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. A veteran with over 250 combat missions in four different aircraft types, he has earned several military decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. Collectively, he has led the partnership and integration of over a dozen different ally air forces in both training and combat. He earned his Master’s degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a former fellow for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Darren Brooks is the senior manager at TD International, where he provides client-focused strategic advisory services to individuals and companies seeking to navigate the challenges associated with doing business in opaque and unstable jurisdictions. During his time in UK government, Darren was involved in addressing a range of national security issues including terrorism, transnational organized crime, and protecting critical national infrastructure. Darren earned a Bachelor of Arts First Class (Hons) degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Manchester.

Donna Buono is a U.S. Department of the Army Civilian working for the Office of Chief Legislative Liaison as the Army Senate Liaison Deputy Chief. She is a former active duty U.S. Army Aviation Officer and combat veteran. As an AH-64D Apache pilot, she deployed three times with the 3-101st Aviation Regiment in support of combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, Donna was selected to be a Joint Chiefs of Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Army staff intern. During this program she served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy on the Afghanistan team managing a number of portfolios to include the Afghan Air Force and Afghan Special Mission Wing. Donna holds a B.S. in French from the University of Missouri and a Master's degree from Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.

Jaclyn Cahan serves as counsel for Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08). In this role, she advises the Congressman on his Financial Services Committee work, where he serves on the Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment & Terrorism and Illicit Finance Subcommittees. She also manages the Congressman’s work on the Anti-Terrorism and Proliferation Financing Task Force, which he co-chairs with Rep. Pete King. Her portfolio includes Judiciary, telecommunications, budget, small business, Social Security and pensions, taxes, animals, humanities, and trade. Jaclyn graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Florida, where she also received her Master’s degree in International Business. She holds a J.D. with a certificate of specialization in International Law from the University of California at Berkeley.

Jesse Colvin is a consultant for Toffler Associates, where he helps organizations strengthen their ability to manage enterprise risk. Previously, he held investigatory roles at Barclays Capital and Control Risks Group. Prior to that, Jesse served as an officer in the U.S. Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, completing four combat deployments to Afghanistan. Before joining the military, Jesse lived in Syria and Egypt. He holds a B.A. in History from Duke University and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Michael Del Palazzo has been a consultant for counterterrorism strategy, national intelligence integration and Department of Defense (DoD) plans, policy and operations. He has also worked supporting DoD cyber operations and training. Prior to working as a consultant, Michael served on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps as a ground combat arms officer, having experience in multiple areas of operation across the globe. He is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. He holds a B.A. in political science, and a M.S. in National Resource Strategy from the National Defense University.

Jonathan Dixon is an advisor to the Under Secretary of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, where he focuses on Western Hemisphere issues. Jonathan’s experience with sanctions policy, anti-money laundering, and countering the finance of terrorism strategies stems from his previous work as a licensing analyst in the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and as the Asia-Pacific analyst for C4ADS, a DC-based research institute. He has written for Watching America, Comparative Strategy Journal, and the Journal of Nationalism and Ethnicities. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Studies from Furman University and an M.A. in International Relations from American University.  

Adam Farris is a legislative assistant in the Office of Senator Lankford, where he covers foreign policy, trade, and homeland security.  He received a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Oklahoma and is currently working towards a M.A. in Strategic Studies at the U.S. Army War College.

 

 

Arlene Fetizanan is a policy advisor in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) International Program at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Her portfolio includes China, Central Asia, and Russia. She oversees the implementation of the U.S.-China Renewable Energy Partnership and leads energy efficiency projects to accelerate the speed and scale of clean energy market growth. Previously, Arlene was a senior program manager at the Alliance to Save Energy, where she managed technical assistance projects in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Central America. Through her work she has championed diversifying energy resources and modernizing infrastructure to secure energy independence. Arlene earned a Master in Planning from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Economics from American University.

Caroline Friedman has served as a federal prosecutor in the National Security and International Crimes Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and in the Major Crimes Unit at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado.  In this role, she has prosecuted cases involving international terrorism, export control violations regarding the illegal exports of sensitive U.S. technology, and international narcotics trafficking.  Caroline was a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s 2016 SHIELD Award for her work on a high-profile terrorism case. She has also received the U.S. Attorney’s Award of Excellence.  Before becoming a federal prosecutor, Caroline worked in the private sector in Washington, DC, as an associate in the National Security and International Trade group at Jones Day. Caroline graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in National Security. She also holds a J.D. from the University of Denver and a B.A. from the University of Arizona. 

Jennifer E. Giglio serves as the director of the Washington, D.C. Metro Region for Business Executives for National Security (BENS). Jennifer brings to BENS a wealth of nonprofit and government experience in program development, fundraising, marketing, grant development, and volunteer management. Most recently, she served as director of donor stewardship and engagement at the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), a national, non-profit assisting families grieving the loss of a service member. Previously, Jennifer was director of the Chancellor’s Council at the Institute of World Politics. Previously, she spent several years as executive and board liaison for United Service Organizations (USO), where she assisted in raising approximately $50 million to build the Warrior and Family Centers at both Ft. Belvoir in Virginia and Walter Reed in Maryland. Jennifer has also worked as a public affairs and legislative assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as special assistant to the Chairman and Chief of Staff of the House Armed Services Committee.

Mathison Hall is a senior analyst and project manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he works on a wide range of projects for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security. He is also the lead author and editor of a forthcoming book examining the intersection of resistance movements and the cyber domain. Mathison is an infantry officer in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve following twelve years of active duty service. He is currently a detachment commander in the 2D Civil Affairs Group and an adjunct instructor for the Marine Corps University. Mathison’s active duty and reserve tours have included combat and operational deployments to Iraq and aboard ship in the Western Pacific; participation in theater security cooperation exercises in Japan, Thailand, Korea, and Morocco; and instructor tours in Quantico and at the U.S. Naval Academy. Mathison received a B.S. in Mathematics and History from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and an M.Phil in Development Economics from the University of Cambridge in England where he was a Nolan Scholar.

Jeff Janaro is an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Judge Advocate General program. He served for ten years aboard various Coast Guard vessels, commanding two, specializing in counter-drug operations and living marine resource protection from the Southern Caribbean Sea to the Arctic Ocean. He also served as an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy and as a spokesperson for the Coast Guard in New England, where he received the Alex Haley Award for Individual Achievement in Coast Guard Public Affairs. Jeff graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy with a B.S. in Management, earned an M.P.A. from Strayer University while deployed at sea, and is completing his J.D. at The George Washington University Law School. 

Leigh Ann G. Killian is a Military Information Support Operations policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy, where she develops and oversees the implementation of policies related to global influence operations and counterterrorism activities. Previously, she was a Harold W. Rosenthal Fellow, working on counter-terrorism capacity building and partnerships, also in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prior, she developed, wrote, and coordinated military influence strategies as a military planner for U.S. Central Command. Leigh Ann holds a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Religion from Smith College, where she was awarded a Boren Scholarship and a Critical Language Scholarship to study Urdu and Hindi in India. 

Aaron Korewa is the coordinator for Decision Theater Projects at The McCain Institute for International Leadership, and a security policy writer and blogger. He writes for the Stockholm Free World Forum, The Atlantic Council and Svenska Dagbladet, a major Swedish newspaper. His primary focuses are Eastern European and Nordic Security, the Ukrainian conflict and Russia. He is the editor of a Swedish blog that discusses the importance of NATO-membership. He has published reports and several op-eds in a number of publications, in addition to being featured as a commentator on both American and Swedish security policy podcasts and Polish television. Before joining the McCain Institute, Mr. Korewa worked at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. 

Jay Kramer is the deputy director for a network of business leaders and philanthropists from across the country who are actively engaged in both policy and politics. In this capacity, Jay provides policy and political analysis, along with strategic guidance prior to client investment in a particular project. Previously, Jay served as counsel to a member of the House Appropriations Committee where he advised the Congressman on a number of issues, including national security, foreign policy, intelligence, and immigration issues. He also served as counsel to a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, working on a similar issue set. Beyond his legislative experience, Jay served as the principal legal advisor in Iowa for the Romney for President campaign. In addition to his civilian job obligations, Jay also serves as a U.S. Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer. Jay earned his JD from the University of Kansas. While in law school, he served as editor-in-chief of the Kansas Journal of Law & Public Policy. He graduated cum laude with his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Kansas State University.

Katherine Leggiero is a foreign affairs specialist in the Office of Secretary of Defense for Policy. Her past fieldwork focused on transitioning governance among indigenous tribes and preventing violent extremism in the U.S., Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Jordan. Her professional interest is to combat terrorism through preventative diplomacy. She was awarded the Secretary of Defense's Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Fellowship. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from Mercyhurst University and her M.S. in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University.

Matt Matis is a U.S. Air Force Officer serving as a defense fellow on Capitol Hill. Prior to his current assignment, Matt was an Air Force legislative fellow detailed at the Pentagon as the chief of house congressional affairs to the Commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He is a senior-rated pilot with significant worldwide operational contingency and executive airlift experience, accumulating over 1,000 combat hours in three different aircraft and instructing each of the uniquely distinct missions. In his last flying assignment, Matt was the unit’s senior evaluator pilot and the chief of standards, with direct oversight of special air mission support to the nation’s Combatant Commanders and senior government officials. He was commissioned from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and holds a Master's degree in Business Administration and Management.       

Judith McClintock is a policy advisor for the Near East at the Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT) at the U.S. Department of State. In her position, Judith advises CT Bureau and Department leadership on counterterrorism policy issues related to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. She also coordinates closely within the Department and with the interagency to develop counterterrorism policies and plans to address threats posed by terrorist groups active in the Levant. Prior to her work in CT, Judith served as a program officer in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), managing more than $15 million in foreign assistance funding in North Africa. Judith has also worked for the Department of Homeland Security, and as an editor and author for an international organization and several publications. She holds a Master of Arts in International Studies with concentrations in International Security and the Middle East, and a Bachelor of Arts in English.

James Miervaldis is a portfolio manager with Ian Evan Alexander Corporation, where he works as a consultant for the Department of Defense. As an Army Reserve Noncommissioned Officer, he deployed twice in support of the Global War on Terrorism. His unit was responsible for transitioning 12,000 detainees to the Government of Iraq and closing the Camp Bucca Theater Internment Facility in 2009 per the Status of Forces Agreement. Later, he served with Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 to develop the Afghan National Security court and prosecute detainees under Afghan law. With the help of the non-profit No One Left Behind and Senator Tim Kaine's office, he worked for three years to bring his interpreter and his family safely to the U.S. through the Special Immigrant Visa program. Prior to the military, James gained media and policy experience at the White House, Department of State, and Senate Republican Policy Committee. James holds a M.A. in Government and a B.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University.

Kathleen Miles is a consultant on the convergence of wildlife and natural resource crime with other serious organized crime in Africa and Asia. Previously, Kathleen was an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton where she supported the U.S. national security community, law enforcement, and military. Kathleen specializes in how illicit networks move and launder money, with expertise in trade based money laundering, transnational illicit supply chains, and complex data analytics. Kathleen holds a B.S. from The George Washington University in Economics and International Relations with a focus on the Middle East.

Christopher Moeller is a senior associate with Deloitte where he supports financial investigations and threats in the intelligence community. Previously, Christopher advised anti-money laundering, illicit finance, and kleptocracy and foreign corruption investigations in law enforcement. Christopher has consulted prosecutors at the Department of Justice and investigators and agents in the law enforcement and intelligence community. Christopher currently serves as a member of the Financial Threats Task Force at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance and as a member of the AML/Counter Threat Finance Task Force at the Institute of International Finance. In these capacities, he advises FATF on global AML recommendations, leading initiatives to bridge the gap between public and private financial institutions, contributing to whitepapers to address information sharing issues, and working with global financial institutions to deter illicit finance and counter terrorism financing. Christopher received a Bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from Auburn University and holds certification as a Project Management Principal.

Emily Newton is a trial attorney at the Federal Programs Branch within the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she defends federal government agencies against a range of legal challenges to federal statutes, regulations, and other administrative actions and advises federal agencies in the course of ongoing litigation matters. Before joining the Justice Department, she served as an attorney adviser in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. Upon graduating from the George Washington University Law School, she completed successive clerkships at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and then at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, DC. Emily earned her B.A. from Ashland University.

Sheena Puleali’i is active duty Air Force and currently serves as the Executive Officer for the Air Force Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (A2).  She advises A2 on the development, coordination, and implementation of USAF intelligence policy, programs, and budgets and acts on behalf of the Deputy A2 with seniorleaders and government officials across Air Staff, Major Commands, Department of Defense, and Congress.  In her twelve years of service, she has deployed twice in support of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan; has served in roles that directly supported Special Operations Forces in all military branches; was responsible for the scheduling and tasking of high-altitude air assets within the Korean theater of operations; and established the foundation for intelligence support to F-35 training operations. She received her Master's degree in Strategic Intelligence Studies from American Military University and is currently in the process of starting her own business.

Ana Rosa Quintana is a policy analyst for Latin America and the Western Hemisphere at the Heritage Foundation. She leads the Foundation’s U.S. policy efforts toward Latin America, concentrating largely on Central America, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and Venezuela. She has authored numerous policy studies and has had articles appear in Real Clear World, The National Interest, The Federalist, among others. She holds a Master of Arts degree in global security studies and a Bachelor’s degree in political science, both from Florida International University. 

Megan Reiss is a senior national security fellow in the Office of Senator Ben Sasse, as well as a Foreign Policy Initiative fellow. She received her Ph.D. in Public Policy from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), with a dissertation on presidential decision making and nuclear policy. While at UT, she was the co-manager of the Clements National Security Papers Project. She earned her Master of Laws from the University of Nottingham, focusing on the ability of regional organizations to work within and outside the legal framework of a Security Council mandate. Before attending the University of Nottingham, Megan worked as a researcher at the Hoover Institution and for the Stanford Preventive Force Group, focusing on security, foreign policy and international law. She received her B.A. from Stanford University.

Kendal Robinson is a senior international affairs analyst with the U.S. Government. Her recent efforts have focused on reviewing U.S. counterterrorism assistance, the effectiveness of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, successfulness of Iran sanctions, and the value-add of U.S. efforts to train foreign military partners on the importance of rule of law. Prior to this role, she supported the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to secure American borders, protect critical infrastructure sectors, and develop science and technology to support the Department’s mission. Kendal received her M.P.P. from the George Washington University and her B.A. in Political Science from Miami University.

Inga Rohe is a strategist for the U.S. Department of Defense, under the Office of Counterterrorism where she is developing and implementing a section strategy. Previously, she managed cross functional Area of Responsibility (AOR) teams to include within the Intelligence Community to develop, integrate and plan targeted campaigns and collaborate for numerous presidential priorities and high visibility programs for the National Security Council. Formerly, she spearheaded deployment coordination, training and development for numerous Signal Intelligence missions to include South Asia, and was a Counterintelligence Investigator. Inga has Masters Curriculum in Education and completed The Emerging Leaders Program, as well as, The Kinesics and Counterintelligence Coursework under the Department of Defense. Inga has a B.A. in Criminology and Sociology from Mount Saint Mary’s University. 

Dean Thompson is deputy chief of staff to Congressman Diane Black, managing legislative operations and serving as her chief policy advisor. Dean previously worked as director of oversight to the chairman of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Oversight. He has served as staff lead for the House’s most active caucus on U.S.-Israel relations and also advised the chairman of the House Democracy Partnership, a bipartisan congressional commission helping partner countries around the world develop effective, independent, and responsive legislative institutions. Dean counseled a senior member of the Select Committee on Benghazi, assisting in the Committee’s investigation and the production of its final report and recommendations. In these positions, Dean has helped author, negotiate, and pass a wide range of legislation, including to increase funding for U.S.-Israel missile defense programs, strengthen international tax and trade sanctions on state sponsors of terror, and combat the ascendant anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement around the world.  

Joshua Welle is a military veteran and an entrepreneur. His work is at the intersection of technology and national security. As co-founder and chief executive officer of Crossdeck, his company develops collaboration software and delivers cybersecurity services. Josh is also a U.S. Navy Reserve Commander supporting NATO defense operations. He had multiple assignments on active duty, most notably 2nd in Command of a minesweeper in Bahrain, ISAF Economic Advisor in Afghanistan, Engineering Officer on USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-52), and UN Military Observer in Liberia. Josh taught International Relations at the Naval Academy, was the first Navy fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and was a research associate at the Belfer Center. He is the lead editor of In the Shadow of Greatness, an LA Times Bestseller. Joshua received a Bachelor’s of Science from the U.S. Naval Academy and two Master’s degrees from the University of Maryland. Later, he earned an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, where he was a Dubin Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership, earning the Littauer Award for public service.

Ryan Williams is a lead associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, specializing in financial intelligence and counter-illicit finance investigations. He supports both the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and the Office of Intelligence and Analysis within the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Previously, he supported multiple agencies across the national security landscape, including the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security. Before joining Booz Allen, Ryan was an assistant budget director for the City of Philadelphia. He earned a B.A. in Political Science from Johns Hopkins University and a M.P.A. from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government.