Future Leaders Program
The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is pleased to announce its 2016-2017 Future Leaders Program. The purpose of the Future Leaders Program is to cultivate the next generation of foreign policy leaders in Washington, D.C. The program identifies young professionals who share FPI’s commitment to international engagement, support for America’s allies, expanding political and economic freedom, and a strong military. FPI connects these young leaders with foreign policy experts and former senior government officials, while offering networking, education, and training opportunities with FPI experts and program alumni, as well as media personalities.
FPI Future Leaders participate in monthly dinner discussions with influential foreign policy experts, authors, and practitioners in Washington, D.C. Additionally, participants are invited to a variety of other events hosted by FPI. Former classes of Future Leaders can be found here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.
- Augusta Binns-Berkey, Scitor
- Patrick Brennan, Writer and Policy Analyst
- Denis Cairney, Australian Embassy
- Diego Chojkier, Defense Intelligence Agency
- Taylor Dewey, U.S. Department of State
- Katherine Earle, American Enterprise Institute
- Jason Emert, International Young Democrat Union
- Kelsey Glover, The German Marshall Fund of the United States
- Whitney Grespin, Defence Studies Department at King’s College London
- Benjamin Haddad, Hudson Institute
- Will Heidlage, BowerGroupAsia
- Wolf Hindrichs, United States Army
- Caleb Johnson, Center for Strategic and International Studies
- Eric Lorber, Financial Integrity Network
- Zachary McDonald, Georgetown School of Foreign Service
- Will Moreland, Brookings Institution
- Katie Pavlich, Townhall.com
- Caitlin Poling, Senator David Perdue (R-GA)
- Dr. Peter Rada, Hungarian Embassy
- Nicholas Romero, Headquarters Air Force
- Alex Rued, Beacon Global Strategies LLC
- J. Ryan Schubert, United States Army
- Martha Simms, John Hay Initiative
- Kevin Soubly, Ford Motor Company
- Reagan Thompson, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
- Sabrina Tsai, Congressional-Executive Commission on China
Augusta Binns-Berkey is a policy analyst at Scitor, an SAIC company. She conducts research and wargames for a government customer on a variety of topics. She holds a masters degree in Strategic Studies and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where she focused on the theory, history, and strategy of U.S. nuclear weapons. She has worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant, and was a member of the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Nuclear Scholars Initiative. She has also worked in the State Department’s Office of Security Assistance. After completing her bachelors’ degree at Yale University in political science, she spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.
Patrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the campaign's Web content strategy and email fundraising. Before that, he was the opinion editor at National Review Online, where he led editorial decision-making and covered economics, domestic policy, and foreign affairs.
He has provided research for Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan and helped run her social-media presence. He has appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, Canada’s Sun News (peace be upon it), Al Jazeera America, and a wide range of radio programs. His work has been cited by, among others, The Economist, Forbes, the Washington Post, and Real Clear Politics.
Patrick was a Hillsdale Fellow at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship, and, in 2013, he was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute. He graduated with high honors in Classics from Harvard College, where he was managing editor of The Harvard Salient and studied political economy and African affairs. He has also worked for non-governmental organizations in Sierra Leone and Namibia.
Denis Cairney is Second Secretary (Political) at the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. where he is responsible for leading embassy engagement on issues of importance to Australia and the US such as multilateral/UN issues, human rights, environment, and western hemisphere affairs.
A member of Australia’s Foreign Service since 2012, Denis has worked in several areas of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra. He has covered Africa, China, worked on the negotiating team for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and in the legal team on law of the sea. Prior to joining DFAT, Denis was an editor for the East Asia Forum magazine and website.
Denis graduated from the University of Melbourne in 2008 and holds a Juris Doctor from the Australian National University. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, he has lived in Washington D.C. since February 2015.
Diego Chojkier is the regional director for Latin America and the Middle East in the Defense Intelligence Agency's Office of Partner Engagement, where he manages capacity-building, information sharing, and cooperative operations. Previously, Diego managed an innovative intelligence collection platform that helped improve military, diplomatic, and development efforts in Afghanistan. He also served as a senior advisor to the Joint Staff's Strategic Plans and Policy directorate, providing recommendations on military sales, operations, and transition planning. Diego has experience leading teams in crisis resolution, public-private partnerships, and all-source intelligence analysis, working in countries across Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East, including multiple combat zones.
He is earning an MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, and holds an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and a B.A. in International Studies and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.
Taylor is a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State (DoS) and a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves. Over the last two years he led a joint U.S. military team training foreigners in counternarcotic tactics throughout Pacific Command's Area of Responsibility. Before that recall to active service, he was as a Political Officer in Muscat, Oman.
Previously he was Officer in Charge of a Coastal Riverine Platoon, Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a Presidential Management Fellow with DoS' Bureau of Legislative Affairs. He worked for two NGOs in the Middle East- Search for Common Ground and The Carter Center. In the Navy he deployed twice to the Arabian Gulf and once to the Mediterranean, furthered U.S. security cooperation in Honduras, and helped revise U.S. maritime strategy in the Pentagon.
He has a BA in Government from Cornell, an MA in International Policy Studies from Stanford, and has studied in Israel, Australia and Italy. Taylor is a Term Member of the CFR and he was recently a CNAS Next Generation National Security Leader. He is Secretary of the Navy Reserve Policy Board, and he speaks five foreign languages to varying degrees of proficiency.
He cycled the perimeter of the U.S. and Iceland, throughout Europe, Japan and Australia, kayaked the length of numerous rivers to raise funds for various charities.
As the foreign and defense policy program manager at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Katie Earle works with the department’s senior leadership to develop the strategic vision for the program’s research and conceptualize new department initiatives, grant projects, and conferences. Previously at AEI, she served as research assistant for the director of Russian Studies, focusing on fluctuations in US-Russia relations, Islamist radicalism in Russia, and the economic, social, and cultural aspects of Russia’s post-Soviet evolution. She also launched and oversaw research portfolios on the Ukraine-Russia conflict (2014-present) and al Qaeda-associated groups in Russia for AEI’s Critical Threats Project.
Originally from New Jersey, Katie holds a B.A. in International Studies with a focus on Russian Studies and Political Science from Middlebury College. Her foreign policy interests include the Russian military and Russian/Eurasian security issues. She has spent a significant amount of time in Russia, including in Irkutsk, where she enjoyed camping on the shores of Lake Baikal.
Jason is the Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU), the youth affiliate of the International Democrat Union (IDU). IDU was established in 1983 as an association of conservative and center right political parties by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and then Vice-President George H.W. Bush. Similarly, IYDU was founded in 1991 at the White House under the auspices of President Bush. Today over 80 parties in more than 60 countries make up the membership of the IDU/IYDU and their regional affiliates. During his tenure, Jason has led IYDU to a period of unprecedented growth and development around the world.
Also, Jason is an attorney and the Managing Director of The Emert Group, an international political advisory, public affairs, and government relations firm. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor of U.S. foreign policy and international relations at the University of Louisiana and the Secretary of the Young Republican National Federation. Jason has written numerous articles primarily focused on the Caribbean and Latin America, including co-authoring the book Aspects of Jamaican Constitutional History.
Jason holds a B.S. from Southern Illinois University, where he was a letterman for the Saluki football team; an M.B.A. from the University of Louisiana; an Advanced Certificate in International Affairs from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University; and, a law degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
Kelsey Glover is the public relations manager for The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), where she oversees the organization’s press portfolio and public relations efforts based in Washington, DC.
Prior to GMF, she did independent communications consulting around democracy promotion and the 2014 Afghan election, and was the communications director for the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC. She also currently serves as the spokesperson and a global board member for the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, a volunteer organization focused on bringing together the diplomatic, international affairs, and tech communities to share ideas and best practices to use digital technologies for diplomacy.
She graduated from Elon University with a degree in strategic communications and international affairs having studied in the UK, Morocco, and Egypt, and volunteers on the board of her local alumni chapter.
Whitney Grespin has worked in contingency contracting, educational programming, and international development on five continents. Whitney holds a BA from Duquesne University, a Master’s in Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, a professional certificate in Project Management from Georgetown University, and secondary education social studies teaching licensure from Pennsylvania State University. Whitney was selected to participate in the inaugural class of the Eurasia Foundation’s Young Professionals Network and was named one of 2013’s “99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders” by the Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign. She is an active member of the International Studies Association, the Army and Navy Club, and serves as a board member of the Society of Woman Geographers.
She currently holds a PhD Studentship position at King’s College London’s Defence Studies Department including Graduate Teaching Assistant responsibilities at the United Kingdom Defence Academy’s Joint Services Command and Staff College, and consults as Director of Government Relations for UAS service provider Precision Integrated Programs. Her academic work focuses on the use of civilian contractors to deliver foreign military training.
Benjamin Haddad is a research fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington DC. His work focuses on European security issues and the future of transatlantic affairs. He has notably written on terrorism in France, relations with Russia and populism in Europe and contributes to establishing partnerships with European think tanks and policymakers. He also has a column in a French daily focusing on American politics.
Before moving to DC, Benjamin Haddad taught international affairs at the government masters in Sciences Po and worked with French political leaders on foreign policy matters.
He was born in Paris and holds a masters in International Affairs from Sciences Po and a masters in financial economics from HEC.
Will Heidlage is a research director at BowerGroupAsia, where he advises clients operating in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan and manages BGA’s programming in Washington, DC. As a consultant, Will has supported a range of industries across the Asia-Pacific, including the auto, energy, financial services and ICT sectors, and prepared briefing materials and communications for C-suite executives, issue updates for government relations teams and strategy documents for market entry campaigns. Will began his professional career in China, where he developed an on-the-ground, intimate understanding of Chinese small and medium size enterprises.
Will received a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a certificate from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center at Nanjing University. Will graduated from Pomona College, majoring in Asian studies with a minor in Chinese literature. He is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.
Wolf Hindrichs is a human geographer currently pursuing a Master in International Policy and Practice at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
An active duty Field Artillery Officer, he has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Inherent Resolve. Most recently, he served as a Joint Fires Observer instructor and evaluator at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Outside the military, Wolf is dedicated to combatting veteran suicide and reducing the stigma associated with post-traumatic stress. He also collects and restores 19th century militaria; and enjoys woodworking, design, and whitewater kayaking. His policy interests include prevention of transboundary riparian dispute, environmental sustainability, and improving conditions for those living in absolute poverty.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Geography from the United States Military Academy, and currently lives in Virginia.
Caleb Johnson is associate director of the CSIS Transnational Threats Project (TNT), which assesses terror, insurgent, and criminal networks, as well as the impact of government responses to these threats. Before joining TNT, he was assistant director for corporate relations at CSIS, where he oversaw strategic planning for the Center’s security programs, as well as the Russia and Eurasia Program and the Turkey Project.
Prior to joining CSIS, he was deputy director of external affairs at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a free-market think tank focused on regulatory policy, where he remains an adjunct fellow in banking and finance regulation.
In addition to his work at CSIS, Caleb is also a founding principal of Applied DC Strategies, LLC, a Washington-based consulting firm, as well as a managing partner of Farragut Square Managed Futures, LLC, a commodities investment fund.
He attended Johns Hopkins University, where he studied music and Russian literature and language.
Eric B. Lorber is a senior associate at the Financial Integrity Network, where he advises financial institutions on issues related to economic sanctions, anti-money laundering, and regulatory compliance. He is also an adjunct fellow at the Center for a New American Security and a senior advisor at the Center for Sanctions and Illicit Finance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, where he focuses on issues related to economic sanctions and financial security. His commentary on sanctions and related issues has appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, Cato Unbound, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Middle East Policy Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Miami Herald, Irish Times, Voice of America, BBC World News, and Reuters, among others. He has also testified on these issues before the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
Eric graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he received the Noyes E. Leech Award for highest achievement in international law. He graduated from Columbia University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, magna cum laude and with departmental honors, and was awarded the Charles Beard Prize for academic achievement. He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2015 Next Generation National Security Fellow at the Center for a New American Security.
Zachary McDonald served as a noncommissioned officer in the US Army, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan as a paratrooper and infantry sergeant in the 82nd Airborne. He is a recipient of the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Purple Heart.
Zach graduated from Yale University in 2015 with a BA in political science and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in security studies at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service.
He also serves as a leader at Service to School, a veteran founded and run nonprofit dedicated to assisting veterans and serving military personnel succeed in higher education.
Will Moreland is research assistant to the vice president & director for Brookings’s Foreign Policy program, as well as research assistant for the Project on International Order & Strategy. There, he supports work on U.S. strategy in an increasingly geopolitically competitive world. His portfolio includes research and logistics for the Order from Chaos Project, an initiative to craft a bipartisan strategy for the next president that seeks to both defend and reform the liberal international order for the 21st century.
Previously, Mr. Moreland focused on the transatlantic relationship in light of a resurgent Russia. He has held internships with the Department of State at the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis and with the Office of the Secretary of Defense during the European Reassurance Initiative. His commentary and analysis have been featured at Brookings and on Foreign Policy online, The National Interest, and The Huffington Post.
Mr. Moreland holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Yale University and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Katie Pavlich is the Editor for Townhall.com, a Fox News Contributor, New York Times bestselling author and serves as a columnist for The Hill and Pittsburgh-Tribune Review. As a reporter, she has covered a variety of topics ranging from presidential and congressional elections to White House scandals, the Department of Justice, border security issues, the ongoing ISIS genocide of Christians in the Middle East and more. In 2014, Katie reported on Operation Protective Edge from Israel.
Katie grew up in the mountains of northern Arizona, rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and hunting big game with her father. In her spare time she enjoys taking photos, spending time with friends, family and enjoying the great outdoors.
Caitlin Poling serves as National Security Advisor to Senator David Perdue (R-GA). Her portfolio includes foreign relations, defense, veterans, and international trade issues, for which she drafts all of the senator’s speeches, legislation, and hearing materials. She also manages the Senator’s subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development. An FPI alum, Caitlin previously served as the Foreign Policy Initiative’s Director of Government Relations and also wrote on Africa and terrorism policy. Her work has been published in U.S. News and World Report, The Weekly Standard, Huffington Post, and e-International Relations. She also contributed a chapter on Boko Haram to “Counterterrorism: Bridging Operations and Theory: A Terrorism Research Center Book.”
Caitlin also spent four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, most recently working for Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS). She graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a master’s degree in international security studies in 2012. She wrote her master’s thesis on Boko Haram and affiliated terrorist groups in the Sahel. Caitlin graduated summa cum laude from Ashland University in Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, International Studies, and French and was a John M. Ashbrook Scholar. She was featured in Diplomatic Courier’s “Top 99 Under 33 Foreign Policy Leaders” in 2013 and in Red Alert Politics’ “30 Under 30” in 2014.
Peter Rada has served as the Congressional Liaison Officer at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. since 2015. Prior to this assignment he worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Previously, Peter worked in academia as an associate professor at the Budapest Metropolitan University and the head of the International Studies Program. He was also lecturer at the Eötvös Lóránd University, Corvinus University Budapest, Eszterházy Károly College, Eger and the Matej Bel University, Slovakia. He was also the head of the Corvinus Society, a Budapest based think-tank dealing with international politics and security policy. Peter has published several articles, book chapters on security policy and Trans-Atlantic cooperation and co-authored a textbook on security studies.
Peter participated at the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership program in 2010 and was a Fulbright visiting scholar at SAIS, the Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University, New York in 2008-2009. He was also invited to join the Munich Young Leaders program of the Munich Security Conference in 2013 and the Young Atlanticist Working Group of the Atlantic Council in 2012 during the NATO Summit in Chicago.
Captain Nicholas Romero is a staff officer currently assigned to Headquarters Air Force at the Pentagon. Prior to HAF, he served at and deployed from Headquarters US Southern Command and the "Fighting" 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, supporting Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, ODYSSEY DAWN/UNIFIED PROTECTOR, and TOMODACHI as well as the OPEN SKIES and OLYMPIC TITAN Programs. Captain Romero has been a Top Graduate in technical school, Publius Fellow with The Claremont Institute, Superior Performer at RED FLAG-Nellis, Think Tank selectee at Squadron Officer School, and US Southern Command Air Force Company Grade Officer of the Year. Earlier this year, he broke the allied forces uniformed swim record while earning the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.
Before commissioning through Officer Training School, Captain Romero worked in politics and as a beach lifeguard in California. In his free time, he is a Volunteer-In-Park with the Nike Hercules Missile Site in Everglades National Park. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from UC Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts in Political Science from Cal State Fullerton.
Alex is currently an Associate at Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Prior to joining Beacon, Alex worked as the Program Coordinator & Research Assistant for the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). In that role, Alex provided research support and liaised with international delegations in order to organize public events and private roundtables on topics related to U.S.-China relations.
Alex has also interned at the Stimson Center, the American Enterprise Institute, the International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI), and in the Minnesota and Washington, D.C. office of Congressman Erik Paulsen.
Alex earned her Master of Arts in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, focusing on the Politics and Security of Asia with a Certificate in Diplomatic Studies. While at Georgetown, Alex served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs. Alex was also a Harold L. Rosenthal Fellow in International Relations and participated in the KAKEHASHI exchange program in Japan. Alex received her Bachelor of Arts in Government and minor in Chinese from Hamilton College in Clinton, New York.
Ryan Schubert is an active duty Army officer and MBA Candidate ’18 at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Ryan graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in International Relations. He served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry officer and deployed as a member of the Global Response Force to Haiti and Afghanistan. Following successful completion of the Special Forces Qualification Course, Ryan served in 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) where he commanded Special Forces elements on multiple deployments.
Outside of work, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family and participating in endurance fitness events. His academic interests include international business diplomacy, social media in conflict, and impact initiatives in the developing world.
Martha Simms is Director of Operations for the John Hay Initiative where she produces the John Hay policy bulletins and other publications, in addition to managing the work of 21 working groups. The policy products are distributed to Congress, governors, and 2016 candidates.
Previously, Martha worked at corporate law firm Wachtell Lipton in New York, in the German Bundestag as an Internationales Parlaments-Stipendium fellow, and as a research and editing assistant at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the Czech Academy of Arts and Sciences.
She has an M.A. from Johns Hopkins SAIS and a B.A. from Tufts University.
Kevin Soubly is an international affairs professional with a background in U.S. foreign policy and environmental security. Based in Washington, DC, he works for Ford Motor Company, a Fortune 10 auto and mobility company with a presence in over 50 countries.
Kevin’s current portfolio supports Ford’s long-term international strategy, focusing on trade policy, political risk exposure, and broader global trends and geopolitical developments. His work connects him to Ford's leadership on six continents and senior officials across the U.S. and foreign governments.
Kevin is also heavily involved with numerous professional and interest-based organizations, including the United Nations Association and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, where he serves as a senior adviser and long-term staff member.
Kevin holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Studies from Hope College, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Reagan Thompson is the policy and communications advisor for Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS), working on issues for the Intelligence and Benghazi Committees and on Iran, Guantanamo, and Asia.
Previously, Reagan was the senior foreign policy advisor for Governor Walker’s presidential campaign. She has also focused on technology issues in China and the Middle East while on Facebook’s global policy team. Reagan graduated from Stanford University and received Master’s degrees from Peking University in Beijing and the London School of Economics as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. She speaks Mandarin and was named a “Rising Star in U.S.-China Relations” by China Hands magazine, a Democracy Forum Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy, and a Foundation for the Defense of Democracy National Security Fellow.
Sabrina Tsai is a research associate at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Before joining the Commission in January 2016, she was a research associate at the Project 2049 Institute, where she managed the institute’s programs and focused on American foreign policy in Asia, U.S.-Taiwan relations, and Chinese foreign policy.
Sabrina received a MA from American University in Washington, D.C. and a BA in International Relations and a Business Foundations Certificate from the University of Texas at Austin. She previously conducted independent research on the national identity of Chinese migrants in Belgrade, Serbia.
Sabrina lived in Texas for 12 years and is originally from Taiwan.
The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.