May 20, 2020
During Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, it is typical for national security institutions to celebrate the accomplishments of AAPI national security and foreign policy leaders, like Senator Tammy Duckworth, former USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, Ambassador Richard Verma, and many others. In addition to celebrating these leaders’ important legacies, it is equally important to celebrate rising leaders in this space.
In 2019, the Diversity in National Security Network and New America highlighted our inaugural list of next generation AAPI Foreign Policy and National Security experts. This list is part of a series highlighting the need for diverse voices in national security and foreign policy. We encourage you to read "Bringing More Diversity to the National Security Arena" and all of the lists in the #NextGenNatSec series. In 2020, our organizations are committed to continuing this important work.
The Diversity in National Security Network and New America are pleased to honor the contributions of 35 AAPI experts in U.S. national security and foreign policy. The list features experts currently serving in government, think tanks, academia, non-governmental organizations, and the media. Selection is based on excellence and leadership; their current work in national security or foreign policy; and their contributions to their issues of expertise through thought leadership.
Associate Fellow, Center for a New American Security
Kristine Lee is an Associate Fellow with the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she focuses on U.S. alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region, U.S.-China relations, and managing the North Korea threat. Kristine was a recipient of the Fulbright fellowship and received her A.B. from Harvard College, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Review.
She earned her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School, focusing on international relations and security studies. She has appeared as a commentator on CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, among other outlets, and her writing and analysis has appeared in Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks, Politico Magazine, Foreign Policy online, The Hill, USA Today, The National Interest, The Diplomat, and various CNAS publications. In June 2019, Ms. Lee was named as a 2019-2020 recipient of the 1LT Andrew J. Bacevich Jr., USA Award.
You can connect with Kristine Lee on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: East Asia, Asia-Pacific
Fa-Shen Vincent Wang
Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
Fa-Shen Vincent Wang is a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Previously, he was the Senior Center Coordinator for the Brookings Institution’s China Center, working on Chinese politics, U.S.-China relations, and U.S. foreign policy in Asia. Vincent has also worked in domestic politics and policymaking on the local, state, and federal levels. He has written on U.S.-China, U.S.-Taiwan, and cross-Strait relations for The Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief and the European Council on Foreign Relation’s China Analysis. Vincent is a board member of the Asian American Foreign Affairs Association, a member of the inaugural class of the Atlantic Council’s LGBTI Fellows, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. From 2014-2016, he co-chaired the Asian Pacific Islanders Queers United for Action (AQUA-DC). Vincent holds an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and graduated with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley.
Area of Expertise: Diplomacy, U.S. Foreign Policy in Asia, U.S.-Taiwan Relations, Economic Diplomacy
Master's Candidate in Public Affairs, Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Sagatom Saha recently completed a master’s at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Before Princeton, he was a Fulbright researcher in Kyiv where he advised Ukrainian lawmakers on energy reform and helped draft legislation aimed at establishing energy-sector competition. While in DC, Sagatom helped direct the Council on Foreign Relations’ Program on Energy Security and Climate Change. He covered oil and gas markets, tech innovation, and energy transitions in emerging markets. Sagatom also expanded the program’s research on the national security considerations of global energy and climate policy. He interned with the State Department in the Office of Afghanistan Affairs and more recently in the Bureau of Energy Resources, where he helped inform energy policy under the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Sagatom has published more than 50 op-eds and policy papers in publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Axios, Scientific American, and Fortune, among others.
Area of Expertise: Energy, Environment, Climate Change, National Security
Lieutenant Junior Grade, U.S. Navy Reserve
Neil Noronha is a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy Reserve and a full-time MBA student at Yale University School of Management. Previously, he served in the Obama administration as a Defense Fellow at the Pentagon and as a Special Assistant on the White House National Security Council Staff. For the latter, he oversaw the presidential disaster declaration process declaring severe man-made and natural incidents as major disasters or emergencies. Neil has conducted research for Stanford University’s Hoover Institution and Carnegie India (as a Henry Luce Scholar). He also worked on Capitol Hill as an APAICS foreign policy and defense fellow for Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). His work focuses on the intersection between national security, law, and economics, and his writing has appeared in Carnegie India, The Diplomat, and The Print.
Neil received his M.A. in Security Studies and B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Area of Expertise: Illicit Threat Finance, Disaster Response Policy, Intelligence
Business Advisor, World Wide Public Sector, Global Education and Workforce, Amazon Web Services
Rebecca Yang builds bridges across tech, government, and civil society to solve global challenges. She currently serves as Business Advisor for Global Education at Amazon Web Service’s Worldwide Public Sector organization. Previously, Rebecca worked on Facebook's Global Trust and Safety team and served as a U.S. diplomat in Istanbul, where she covered elections, human rights, and religious freedom. Rebecca led U.S. engagement on women’s rights in Turkey and collaborated with the UN and U.S. interagency to address the unique needs of LGBTI refugees. She led her team through unprecedented security challenges, including a coup attempt, terrorist attacks, and an evacuation. Her reports were featured in the President’s Daily Brief and she won a Meritorious Honor Award for her service. Rebecca is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a Truman National Security Fellow. Rebecca received her MPP from Harvard and BA from Georgetown. She speaks Turkish and Mandarin Chinese.
You can connect with Rebecca Yang on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Diplomacy, Global Tech Policy, U.S. Foreign Policy in Turkey and China, Diversity and Inclusion in Tech and National Security, Inclusive Security, Gender Equality
Policy Advisor, Port of Seattle and former Department of Defense Political Appointee
Veronica Valdez is the policy advisor to the Commission President at the Port of Seattle, a critical gateway to Asia. Her primary duties are to develop policies and advance Commission priorities that are equitable, environmentally sustainable, and fiscally responsible. She was the former Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary of the Air Force and served as her policy advisor during official visits to Asia-Pacific, South America, and Europe. Veronica also served the Secretary of the Navy as his Asia-Pacific policy advisor. She received the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Navy Superior Public Service Award, and Presidential recognition. Veronica received a B.S. in International Business from The Ohio State University, a Master’s in International Affairs from the University of California, San Diego and studied Mandarin at Peking University. She is a Truman National Security Project Fellow. Ms. Valdez is Filipino and grew up in Sydney, Australia.
You can connect with Veronica Valdez on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Defense, U.S.-East Asia Relations, Asia-Pacific Policy, Economic Development
Legal Analyst, World Bank Group’s Women, Business and Law Project
Nisha Arekapudi has been with the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law project for five years. A lawyer by training, she led the project’s Going to Court indicator, examining justice institutions and procedures that enhance women’s access to the legal system. She also evaluates constitutional, labor, employment, family and property laws affecting the business environment for women. Nisha is a co-author of Women, Business and the Law 2020, the project’s most widely distributed and acclaimed publication. She has spoken extensively about women’s rights and access to justice, including at the US Department of State, the International Labour Organization and UN Women. She has also led capacity building workshops with civil society organizations from across the African subcontinent.
You can connect with Nisha Arekapudi on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Gender Issues
Chief Technology Officer, Human Rights First
Dr. Welton Chang is Chief Technology Officer at Human Rights First (HRF). Prior to joining HRF, Welton was a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), where he led teams and developed technical solutions to address disinformation and online propaganda. Before joining APL, Welton served for nearly a decade as an intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency and in the Army, including two operational tours in Iraq and a tour in South Korea. Welton received a PhD and MA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA from Georgetown University, and a BA from Dartmouth College.
Area of Expertise: Online Disinformation, Cybersecurity, China, North Korea
Budget and Policy Director, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
William Wu is the Budget and Policy Director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He is responsible for oversight of the Intelligence Community’s annual budget requests, the Committee’s legislative agenda, and for advising the Chairman on matters of national security policy.
Will joined the Committee from In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit strategic investor focused on accelerating the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to our nation’s national security enterprise. Prior to In-Q-Tel, Will served at the Office of Management and Budget, where he oversaw special operations and national intelligence programs, and on the National Security Council staff, where he was responsible for coordinating counterterrorism policy and defense strategy.
Will is an Army veteran with deployments to the Middle East and Africa. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the Harvard Business School.
Area of Expertise: Counterterrorism, Intelligence, Security Cooperation, Middle East and North Africa, Defense Budgeting
Defense Fellow, United States Air Force
Major James Cho serves as the Defense Fellow for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. His portfolio includes defense appropriations, foreign affairs, homeland security, and judiciary issues.
James commissioned as an active-component Air Force intelligence officer. He deployed five times in support of Combat Search and Rescue operations in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, and Iraq, along with several domestic missions for disaster support.
After graduating from Berkeley Law School, James clerked and worked as an attorney in Silicon Valley, but he eventually left the law to join the California Air National Guard full-time. James became the first Cal Guard intelligence officer to graduate from the Air Force’s Weapons School, an advanced program designed to produce tactical experts in the integration of aerospace power and intelligence. Prior to his current Fellowship, James prepared National Guard principals for congressional hearings and developed strategies for various legislative priorities.
You can connect with James Cho on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Defense, Homeland Security
Chief of Staff, Truman National Security Project
Carrie Kagawa is Chief of Staff at Truman National Security Project, a non-profit with a membership of 2,000+ national security and foreign policy professionals. Prior to this, Carrie served in roles across the government, most recently as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer in Tbilisi, Georgia. Before the Peace Corps, Carrie held positions in the Obama Administration to include Senior Advisor and White House Liaison at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Carrie also served at the Department of Defense in a range of national security roles, including the Office of Rule of Law and Detainee Policy. As part of this work, Carrie completed a six-month civilian deployment to Kabul, Afghanistan in 2010, working on U.S. detention policy, operations, and transition. Previous positions include service in the White House and U.S. Senate. Carrie holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
You can connect with Carrie Kagawa on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Defense, Conflict Stabilization, Veterans Affairs
Ensign, United States Navy
Thomas Krasnican is an active-duty officer in the U.S. Navy. The grandson of a refugee from North Korea, Thomas earned a B.S. in Quantitative Economics & History from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2018 and a M.P.P. from the University of Chicago in 2020. During his time in Chicago, Thomas created and co-hosted "Thank You For Your Service," a podcast about American civil-military relations. The TYFYS Podcast has been downloaded over 20,000 times and featured in multiple major media outlets, and recently joined the podcast network at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Thomas was the 2019 Military & National Security Fellow for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, and has written on civil-military relations, organizational theory, and American politics for The Strategy Bridge, Just Security, and other online publications. Prior to graduate school, Thomas interned at the Navy's Office of Legislative Affairs. He is currently training to join the nuclear submarine service.
Area of Expertise: Civil-Military Relations
Executive Director, Midwest International Policy Institute
Dr. Raymond Kuo is an expert in international security, East Asia, and the Middle East. He currently serves as Executive Director of the Midwest International Policy Institute. Raymond most recently a tenure-track professor at Fordham University and the University at Albany, SUNY.
Raymond’s research builds on a substantial career in foreign policy analysis and democracy promotion. He has previously worked for the United Nations, the National Democratic Institute, the Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan), the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, among others.
He has published articles in International Security, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, The National Interest, and The Diplomat, among others. His commentary has appeared on international TV and radio, including BFMTV (France), YLE (Finland), and the Associated Press.
Raymond holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.
Area of Expertise: Alliances, China, East Asia, Arms Sales
Disaster Relief and Emergency Response Professional
Lourdes Tiglao is a connector; building relationships across nations, NGO's, and industry sectors. She previously served as Airbnb’s Global Partnerships Manager for Disaster Response. Her background cuts across sectors from military, federal, and NGOs with a background spanning 18+ years giving her unique perspectives in national security and foreign policy. While in the U.S. Air Force, she served as part of a Critical Care Air Transport Team, evacuating critically ill patients globally. Transitioning to civilian life, she developed her disaster background with Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization, deploying during Hurricane Sandy in NY and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. She later became Team Rubicon Global's Strategic Partnerships Officer, connecting the network with organizations worldwide. Finally, she served on the federal advisory board for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs under Secretary Bob McDonald providing oversight into the department-wide reorganization during his tenure.
You can connect with Lourdes Tiglao on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Natural Disasters and Veteran Reintegration
Senior Director, RiceHadleyGates
Aysha Chowdhry is a Senior Director at RiceHadleyGates (RHG), the strategic consulting firm led by Condoleezza Rice, Robert Gates, and Stephen Hadley. In this role, she manages the firm’s clients who are interested in expanding their businesses in key international markets.
Before joining RHG, Aysha worked as a Professional Staff Member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee covering South and Central Asia for then Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA). At the committee, she covered U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Previously, she was the Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID. Prior to her time in government, she worked at the Brookings Institution and at the World Bank.
Aysha received a B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.A. from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. She is currently pursuing her law degree at Georgetown Law School. She is a former Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
You can connect with Aysha Chowdhry on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: American Foreign Policy, Refugees and Migration, International Law and Human Rights
Principal Analyst, Raytheon Technologies
Harrison Koh is a defense professional who partners with both business and technical leadership to deliver advanced capabilities to military and government customers worldwide. He is currently a Principal Financial Analyst at Raytheon Technologies, providing business management and financial analysis for multiple navigation and reconnaissance programs.
Harrison has served in various capacities in national security and international affairs, including his previous role as a Presidential Management Fellow focusing on economic growth, poverty alleviation, and private sector development in developing countries. He held various analyst roles at Boeing, providing finance and strategy solutions for multiple businesses and product areas. Harrison also served in the U.S. Marine Corps and completed two deployments to Iraq. Harrison received an M.B.A with a focus on Social Impact from UCLA Anderson School of Management, and a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Southern California.
You can connect with Harrison Koh on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Defense, Business Strategy, Financial Analysis, Development Analysis, Veterans Issues, East Asia
Foreign Affairs Officer, Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State
Razi Hashmi is a foreign affairs officer and South Asia advisor in the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State. He previously served as congressional advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and as a Washington-based foreign affairs officer on INL counternarcotics and rule of law programs in Afghanistan.
Razi started his federal career in 2013 as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) at FEMA and DHS. He also worked in the U.S. Congress, local government, political campaigns, and non-profit management. Razi is a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a 2019 Truman National Security fellow and 2018 International Career Advancement Program (ICAP) fellow, and serves on the Virginia Asian Advisory Board. Razi received a MPP from George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, and a BA from Dickinson College.
Area of Expertise: U.S. Foreign Policy in South Asia and Central Asia, Democracy, Human Rights, Congressional Affairs, Foreign Assistance
Deputy Director, Global Communications & Media Relations, Council on Foreign Relations
Jenny Lu Mallamo is deputy director for global communications and media relations at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, D.C. She leads media relations efforts to promote CFR’s work on a range of issues including defense and security, gender equality, and global health. She is active in CFR’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and is co-chair of an employee resource group for women in the workplace.
Previously, Jenny worked at New America and at the Brookings Institution, where she helped to launch a women’s mentoring network. She was a 2018 International Career Advancement Program Fellow, served as communications chair of the Harvard Women in Defense, Development, & Diplomacy alumni group, and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College with a degree in International Studies and has a Master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She has been published in TIME and in Pacific Standard.
You can connect with Jenny Mallamo on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Media and Communications in National Security/Foreign Policy
Sudila De Silva
Senior Business Development Manager, World Vision
Sudila De Silva is an International Development and Security professional working on South Asia and Pacific issues at World Vision U.S. He supports the development and implementation of policy programs in Sri Lanka, Philippines, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Solomon Islands. While working at the National Democratic Institute, Sudila was a member of the first pre-election assessment mission to the Philippines to observe the electoral automation process in 2010.
He also worked on Governance and Institutional Strengthening programs Indonesia. Sudila was a key facilitator for track 1.5 initiatives in the Sri Lanka peace process in 2002. He served as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Colombo and worked as a national news anchor in Sri Lanka. He is the recipient of H.B. Earhart Fellow Award, in International Security Studies at the Fletcher School. Sudila graduated with a Master of Arts in International Security Studies from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
You can connect with Sudila De Silva on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: South Asia and Pacific, International Development, Governance and Democracy, Conflict Resolution and International Security
Senior Democratic Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Ruchi Gill is Senior Democratic Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, advising on legal matters and legislative activity related to U.S. foreign policy and national security for Ranking Member Bob Menendez and the Committee’s democratic staff. She previously worked as a senior associate at Covington & Burling LLP on a variety of international matters, including in connection with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, U.S. export controls and sanctions, and international arbitration.
She also served at the U.S. Department of State from 2007 to 2017 in various roles: an attorney-adviser and special assistant to the Legal Adviser, a foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, an economic officer in Guangzhou, China, and a paralegal specialist. Ruchi received a J.D., with honors, from Georgetown University Law Center in 2013, and a B.S., with honors, from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in 2006.
You can connect with Ruchi Gill on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: International Law, National Security Law, Trade Controls and Foreign Investment, International Politics
Director of International Relations, Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles
Dilpreet Sidhu is the Director of International Relations in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. Previously, she served at the National Security Council during the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Dilpreet has also worked at the U.S. Department of State, including assignments as India Desk Officer, Economic Officer in Basrah, Iraq, and Economic Officer in Mumbai, India.
Dilpreet was Staff Assistant to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, directly staffing him in over 30 countries and during major international negotiations, including the Iran nuclear deal for which she received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. She sits on the board of directors for the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles and is a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholar in Punjabi. A native of northern Virginia, Dilpreet received her B.A. in English literature and religious studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
You can connect with Dilpreet Sidhu on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: National Security, Subnational Diplomacy, South Asia, Middle East, Diversity in Foreign Affairs
Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst, New York City Cyber Command
Sherman Chu is a threat intelligence analyst for New York City Cyber Command (NYC3). He led the development of the team’s analytic techniques and reports assessing cybersecurity threats against the city. Before NYC3, Sherman worked as a senior analyst focusing on intelligence-driven incident response at Citibank. He was also a researcher focusing on East-Asian nation-state threat actors at a cybersecurity vendor.
Prior to his cybersecurity career, Sherman served in the Army. Sherman has presented and guest lectured cybersecurity topics at conferences and universities, which include Fordham University, Harvard University Extension School, and SANS Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit. Sherman holds a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in International Security Policy. He was also a co-founder of the school’s Digital and Cyber Group, which helped accelerate the school’s offering of cybersecurity courses and events.
Area of Expertise: Cyber Warfare, National Cybersecurity Policy, Cyber Threat Intelligence, China, East-Asia
Manager, Homeland Security & Emergency Management, HWC Inc.
Kate Hochstein is a manager at HWC Inc, with a decade of experience providing highly visible federal sector program support in the fields of national preparedness and resilience in emergency management. Kate leads the operations and research & analysis of the FEMA Lessons Learned Information Sharing program intended to enhance information sharing and collaboration among thousands of homeland security professionals to better prepare the nation against natural, man-made, and technological threats/hazards.
Prior, she previously served as lead support to manage the Non-profit Security Grant Program, which allocated $13 million of federal grants to eligible non-profit organizations determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be at high risk of terrorist attacks. She is currently the lead of a multi-million-dollar program supporting the National Flood Insurance Program in communications and outreach focused on lessening personal risk through awareness and understanding of flood risks.
You can connect with Kate Hochstein on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: National Preparedness and Resilience
Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of State
Clara Kim is Senior Advisor to the Special Representative on North Korea at the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity, she provides strategic guidance and recommendations to State Department principals on U.S. policy action regarding North Korea. She has served in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, as well as in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Country Director for South Korea, in which she managed U.S.-ROK issues.
She has received several State Department Meritorious Service Awards, as well as the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Outstanding Achievement Award. Clara has also previously worked in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Clara received a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary and an M.A. in International Security from Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. She participated in the Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholarship Program and was selected as a 2018 German Marshall Fund Manfred Wörner Fellow.
You can connect with Clara Kim on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: U.S. Foreign/Defense Policy in Northeast Asia, Korean Peninsula
Policy Analyst, Activist, APAICS Congressional Fellow
Wardah Khalid is an APAICS Congressional Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Judy Chu, where her portfolio includes the Muslim travel ban, force feedings of South Asian asylum seekers at the Southern border, and anti-Asian xenophobia around COVID-19.
She previously served as a counter terrorism consultant and advocated with faith based NGOs on refugee/immigration policies and non-military solutions to Middle East conflicts, advising Congress, White House, and State Department staff on the Iran nuclear agreement and human rights concerns in Syria and Israel/Palestine.
Wardah's writing and commentary has been featured in numerous national and international outlets, and she was recognized by ABC's Nightline as one of the country's top millennial activists. She is a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project and former Scoville Fellow. Wardah is a CPA and holds a MA in International Affairs from Columbia SIPA and a BBA and MS in Accounting from Texas A&M University.
Area of Expertise: Middle East Conflicts, Refugees/Immigration, Civil Rights in National Security
Deputy Chief Oversight Counsel, House Committee on the Judiciary
Arya Hariharan is currently the Deputy Chief Oversight Counsel for the House Committee on the Judiciary. She has worked on Capitol Hill since 2015 serving in multiple roles, including Legislative Director to Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). The bulk of her work now focuses on oversight of the Administration, where she led the Judiciary Committee’s team through the impeachment and trial of President Trump.
She also helps lead the Committee’s investigations into obstruction of justice by President Trump, the FBI’s actions surrounding the 2016 election, foreign election interference, family separation, digital markets competition, and FISA abuse. Her areas of legislative expertise include anti-corruption, transparency, privacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, drones, consumer protection, election security, and counterterrorism. Arya received her bachelor’s degree from the American University and her law degree from the William & Mary School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in Virginia.
You can connect with Arya Hariharan on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Anti-corruption, Surveillance, Cybersecurity, Election Security, Privacy, Drones, and Counter-terrorism
Founder, CitizenUs and former Executive Director of Global Policy, United Nations Foundation
Minh-Thu Pham has been a champion of international cooperation and citizen engagement for over 15 years. She was recently Executive Director of Global Policy at the UN Foundation, where she created and led an innovative effort to help leading negotiators, experts, and activists create and finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end extreme poverty and tackle climate change. She was strategic planning advisor to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, managing US-UN relations, and she has taught at Princeton and other major universities. She is now starting an effort to engage new Americans in our democracy. She serves on the Advisory Council of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School where she received her MPA, is a fellow of the Truman National Security Project, and a member of the Leadership Now Project; she was a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member and a 92Y Women inPower Fellow. She graduated from Duke and came to the U.S. as a refugee from Vietnam and now lives in New York City.
Area of Expertise: Multilateral Diplomacy, International Negotiations, United Nations, Global Development, International Policymaking Processes and Structures, US-UN Relations
Director of U.S. National Security Programs, Orbital Insight
Jafer Ahmad is Director of U.S. National Security Programs at Orbital Insight, an enterprise software company using machine learning to transform geospatial data into objective answers to questions about economic, social, and environmental trends.
Before Orbital, Jafer managed strategic engagement at Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) in order to drive contracts between commercial tech companies and DoD entities to solve critical DoD problems. Prior to DIU, Jafer served in the Obama administration in the Pentagon — First, as a special assistant focused on an international technology and trade initiative, and manufacturing and industrial base policy, and later, as a speechwriter for Secretary Ash Carter.
Jafer earned a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Maryland, and an M.A. in international relations from Johns Hopkins. As a Fulbright Fellow in Jordan, he analyzed Islamic inheritance law, and readings in exegesis, jurisprudence, poetry, and philosophy. He speaks Urdu and Arabic.
You can connect with Jafer Ahmad on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: National Security Innovation Base, Middle East, South Asia
Chief of Staff, Ford Foundation
Taara Rangarajan is currently the Chief of Staff for the Ford Foundation, a $13 billion global philanthropy. Prior to Ford, Taara worked at Global Citizen, a global campaigning organization centered on the Sustainable Development Goals and the eradication of poverty. At Global Citizen, Taara led on global markets and partnerships including opening the Global Citizen Johannesburg headquarters. Previously, Taara served under President Barack Obama from 2008 to 2016 at the National Security Council, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and at the White House. Taara served as Advisor to the U.S. National Security Advisor, Ambassador Rice, handling foreign policy planning, interagency coordination, and crisis management. She ran the Youth Vote campaigning for the Obama for America campaign in his 2008 bid for the Presidency. Taara studied political science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the American University in Cairo.
You can connect with Taara Rangarajan on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: National Security, International Affairs, Multilateral Institutions
U.S. Treasury Representative to Korea
David Park is currently the U.S. Treasury Representative to Korea. As the first-ever and sole Treasury Rep to Korea, David advises on North Korea sanctions, illicit financing, and economy. Prior to Korea, David was in the Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes as the Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS), advising on countering illicit and terrorist financing, money laundering, and financial crimes. David began his Treasury career as a Korean Peninsula Policy Advisor, focusing on developing policies to counter North Korean illicit financing. Before Treasury, David was a Defense and Foreign Affairs Legislative Staffer for U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. David is a former U.S. Air Force officer who served jointly with all the service branches, ROK Air Force, and NATO nations. He earned his BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, MPA from the University of Oklahoma, and MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.
You can connect with David Park on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: East Asia, Defense, Sanctions, Illicit Financing
Senior International Relations Officer, U.S. Department of Labor's International Labor Affairs Bureau
Kyle Livingston is a Senior International Relations Officer at the U.S. Department of Labor's International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). He manages a portfolio of 12 Indo-Pacific countries and is the lead author for each in the annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report and bi-annual List of Good Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. He represents ILAB on several interagency task forces, and he represented ILAB at the 2019 UN General Assembly.
Previously, Kyle was a Peace Corps Country Desk Officer overseeing the agency's programs in Nepal, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste. He served as a community development advisor in Thailand for 27 months with the Peace Corps. He received his M.A. in international affairs from the American University’s School of International Service, focusing on Southeast Asia and U.S. foreign policy, and his B.A. in psychology and double minors in chemistry and natural science from the University of San Francisco.
You can connect with Kyle Livingston on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: Southeast Asia Democracy Movements and Labor Issues
Staff Director, Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Sid Ravishankar is the staff director for the Oversight & Investigations subcommittee on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He also advises subcommittee chairman, Representative Joaquin Castro, on foreign policy and national security issues. Sid previously served as the Policy Director for Secretary Julián Castro’s presidential campaign, where he was the lead advisor on both domestic and foreign policy. During the presidential campaign, he developed the Secretary’s policy platform, led policy preparation for presidential debates, conducted political outreach on policy issues, and coordinated policy experts to advise the campaign.
Sid received an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, with concentrations in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a minor in South Asian studies, graduating with honors. He received his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in Economics and Political Science
Area of Expertise: United States Foreign Policy, U.S.- Indo-Pacific Relations, Congressional Oversight, South Asia, Western Hemisphere
Americas Advocacy Director, Amnesty International USA
Charanya Krishnaswami is the Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, where she leads Amnesty's U.S.-facing policy advocacy on migration and human rights in the region. Previously, she worked with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, where she managed the agency’s refugee status determination work in the Caribbean region, worked to facilitate refugees’ access to economic and social rights, and led trainings for government officials and UNHCR staff on the international refugee protection framework. She previously served as a law clerk on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and as an appellate legal fellow at Public Counsel.
Charanya received her law degree from Yale Law School, where she was a Coker Fellow and an editor of the Yale Law Journal, and her undergraduate degrees from Southern Methodist University, where she was the Robert and Nancy Dedman Outstanding Senior Student.
Area of Expertise: Migration, Foreign Policy, Human Rights
Attorney at Law at Ashizawa, LLC
Kei Ashizawa is a U.S.-Japan relations community organizer, and an attorney at law experienced in energy and natural resources, real property, business law and compliance. Kei has counseled various public and private entities on legal matters and unique international opportunities. She has key expertise on energy, Texas, and Japan, and has organized events including the Japan-Texas Economic Summit; a Japanese energy executive round table with Congressman Dan Crenshaw; and a Young Leaders Summit featuring the late Irene Hirano Inouye.
Kei served as a researcher on Japanese startups at Stanford University's Asian Pacific Research Center. A native Houstonian, Kei serves as Vice-Chair of the Texas Region of the U.S.-Japan Council, where she was also a delegate to leadership programming. Kei has a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, a JD from the University of Houston Law Center, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
You can connect with Kei Ashizawa on LinkedIn.
Area of Expertise: U.S.-Japan Relations, Asian American Community Organizing, Natural Resources and Property Law
Commissioner, Port of Seattle
Sam Cho currently serves as a Commissioner at the Port of Seattle –a position he was elected to in November of 2019. He is the only person of color on the commission and at the age of 29, the youngest ever in its 108 year history.
Before running for office, Sam was the Founder and CEO of Seven Seas Export, an international trading company that exported to Asia. He identified an opportunity to export eggs in the midst of a shortage in Asia at the height of the bird flu epidemic in 2016. He exported more than 2.5 million pounds of eggs alone.
Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavor, Sam was a political appointee under President Barack Obama at the US General Services Administration. He also served as a Legislative Assistant to a member of Congress with a portfolio of Foreign Affairs, Trade, Defense, and Financial Services. Sam started his career as an analyst at the US Department of State.
Sam holds a BA from The American University and a MSc from The London School of Economics.
Area of Expertise: International Trade & Economic Policy, US Foreign Policy in Northeast Asia, Korean Peninsula