FPI Future Leaders Program Class of 2013-2014

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 opportunities with program alumni, FPI experts, and media personalities.

Program Description

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, and 2012.

2013-2014 Future Leaders Program class:

Alexander T. Alden, Market Analyst, The Avascent Group

Alexander Alden is a Market Analyst with The Avascent Group where he focuses on US and international defense markets with the Avascent Analytics team. As part of his portfolio he covers defense investment and military modernization plans in the Middle East and Southeast Asia regions in order to provide forecasts for private sector clients.

Mr. Alden is also a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Department of Political Science where his research focuses on military modernization of rising powers. He also has extensive experience teaching courses on international security and military affairs at JHU. He holds an MA in Political Science from JHU and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Southern Illinois University.

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Kathryn Angstadt, Chief of Staff, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Kathryn Angstadt is the chief of staff to the president at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank at the cutting edge of designing innovation policies and documenting how advances in technology are creating new opportunities to boost economic growth. In her role, Kathryn works to design, run and connect ITIF’s publications and events with a diverse group of stakeholders from policymakers, Administration and other government officials, corporate leaders, academia and media audiences, both domestically and abroad, regarding issues affecting U.S. economic growth. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2010 with a B.A. in Arabic language studies and a minor in Business with a concentration in Finance. Kathryn spent a semester studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo in 2008. She was selected for the first National Security Internship program in 2008 and interned at the FBI. In 2009-2010, she interned at The Cohen Group, where she gained firsthand experience working with former leaders in both U.S. foreign policy and military fields. She is most interested in the Middle East and issues affecting U.S. national security, especially those related to economics, politics and technology.


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Hamid Arsalan, Program Officer, Middle East and North Africa, National Endowment for Democracy

Hamid Arsalan is a program officer for Middle East & North Africa program at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, D.C. where he designs projects, manages diverse grants, and works closely with civil society groups in support of Afghanistan’s civic and political development. He travels frequently to Afghanistan and regularly meets with political leaders, provincial council members, business and religious leaders, and members of parliament.

Hamid conducted research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, and briefed officials at the White House, Pentagon, Senate & House Foreign Affairs Committees, and State Department. He assisted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 2002 to 2006 in Afghanistan on the repatriation and reintegration of more than five million refugees, mainly returning from Iran and Pakistan.

Hamid is a frequent contributor to Voice of America talk-shows. His writings have been featured in Foreign Policy, Democracy Digest, and Afghan Analytica, where he is a founding and an editorial board member. He regularly briefs senior U.S. civilian and military officials about Afghan domestic politics, culture, religion and the terrorist groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Hamid, a native of Afghanistan, is fluent in Dari, and Pashto, and proficient in Urdu and Arabic. He studied at the University of Virginia where he earned an undergraduate degree with honors in Foreign Affairs as well as MA studies in Public Policy and Leadership. He also earned a Master degree in Conflict Transformation with focus on International Development and Restorative Justice from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.

Hamid enjoys practicing Krav Maga and cooking. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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Dave Blair, Major, United States Air Force

David Blair is a U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff's Captain's Ph.D. Scholar, attending Georgetown University's Government Department, where he researches counterterror network models in the suppression of illicit markets, with a concentration in human trafficking.

Before arriving in Washington, Major Blair served as the assistant operations officer for Warfighting and MQ-1B Instructor Pilot in the 3rd Special Operations Squadron—the Air Force Special Operations' sole Predator unit. He led the squadron's plans, tactics and intelligence sections, built and executed short notice operational plans for world-wide contingencies, and developed and tested tactics.  Major Blair served as Flight Commander, as well as Liaison Officer and Intelligence Battle Captain for Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan.

Major Blair began his flying career as an AC-130 gunship pilot with three deployments to Iraq. He has also served in the Defense Attaché Office Moscow and the United States Naval War College's War Gaming Division. He writes on organizational structure, Remotely Piloted Aircraft culture and persistent airpower.  Major Blair earned a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2004. He is a 2002 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, where he studied International Relations and Russian Area Studies.

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James Burnham, Associate, Jones Day

James Burnham is an associate in the Issues & Appeals group at the law firm Jones Day.  James assists clients in resolving complex legal issues at all stages of litigation, with a particular focus on drafting dispositive motions and appellate briefs.

James has worked closely on briefs and motions involving a variety of cutting-edge legal issues. In particular, he is currently representing the Noel Canning Corporation in a challenge to President Obama's "recess" appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. James is also representing a group of California public school teachers in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a First Amendment challenge to the coerced payment of "agency fees" to public employee unions. He has worked on matters involving the First Amendment and commercial speech, the Alien Tort Statute, federal preemption, the mootness and political question doctrines, securities law, the Clean Air Act and its applicability to successive coal plant operators, and the state of Mississippi's 1997 settlement agreement with the major tobacco companies.

James is a former lecturer-in-law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he co-taught a seminar on federal sentencing law, and a former law clerk to Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

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Yunyu (Amy) Chiang, Ph.D. Student, George Mason University

Amy Chiang is currently a doctoral student at George Mason University, pursuing a degree in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Her research interests include the political economy, development, conflict resolution, China in Africa, and East Asia Politics. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Amy worked for the policy think tank Taipei Forum in Taiwan conducting research on Taiwan-US-China Relations, where she develped deeper interests in American foreign policy in East Asia.

Amy received her M.A. in International Relations from New York University and a B.A. in History and International Relations from National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Her MA thesis focused on civil wars and natural resource conflict, with an emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. A native of Taiwan, Amy is fluent in Mandarin and English.

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Ian Easton, Research Fellow, Project 2049 Institute

Ian Easton serves as a research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank focused on emerging security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.  He also recently served concurrently as a visiting fellow at the Japan Institute for International Affairs (JIIA) in Tokyo. 

Previously Ian worked as a China Analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to that, he lived in Taiwan and China for five years. During his time in Taiwan, he worked as a consultant for Island Technologies Inc., a software company, and the Foundation for Asia-Pacific Peace Studies, a think tank. While in Taipei, he also conducted a research internship with the Asia Bureau Chief of Defense News. During his time in the People’s Republic of China, Ian traveled by train, jeep, camel, zip-line and horse along the old Silk Road, going from Beijing to Tashkurgan at the Sino-Pakistan border. 

Born and raised in Illinois, Ian earned an M.A.  in China Studies from National Chengchi University in Taiwan and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also holds a certification in advanced Mandarin Chinese, having formally studied the language at Fudan University in Shanghai, and National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.

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Jessica El-Hosni, Department of State Franklin Fellow, Lockheed Martin

Jessica is currently a U.S Department of State Franklin Fellow. She is a Foreign Affairs Officer focusing on long range strategic plan for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor- Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy.

Prior to her DoS fellowship, Jessica was the Operations and Finance Manager for the international line of business for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS), responsible for managing the new business allocation funding for international pursuits. Jessica has worked international opportunities focusing on UK MoD, NATO, Australian DoD, and Middle Eastern customers. Jessica was also a due diligence business development team lead for an international mergers and acquisition candidate. She participated in TechAmerica Foundation Government Technology Opportunity in the 21st Century (GTO21) which provided actionable recommendations to OMB, Federal agencies, and industry to improve the procurement and development of major IT systems.

Jessica currently is a member of Women in Foreign Policy Group and volunteers for the United Nations Foundation Girl Up campaign. Jessica holds a masters degree in business administration from the University of Maryland-College Park focusing on international business and received her bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan. 

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Sarah Grebowski, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

Sarah Grebowski was most recently a research assistant at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Middle East Center to Ambassador Frederic C. Hof where she focused on issues of US policy towards Syria and the politics of the Levant. She published analysis on topics including the regional fallout of Syria’s civil war, in particular its acceleration of Lebanon’s political decline.

Sarah has years of professional experience in the Middle East. Previously, she worked in Egypt with the International Republican Institute (IRI) to support the country’s first post-revolution elections by designing and managing a nation-wide, domestic election observation mission. She worked as a freelance journalist and independent blogger during the Egyptian uprising of 2011, analyzing firsthand the change that shook Tahrir Square and plunged the country into a period of extended uncertainty. Sarah also researched at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon with Dr. Amr Hamzawy, focusing primarily on the effects of political participation on Islamist groups. Through her elections work, Sarah has also traveled extensively in Timor-Leste and the Republic of Georgia to connect with political stakeholders ranging from parliamentary candidates to community elders.

Originally from Tennessee, Sarah earned a B.A. in international studies and Islamic civilizations and society from Boston College and studied abroad at Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. She is currently earning her Master of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Sarah has working proficiency in Arabic and Egyptian Colloquial and Levantine dialects.

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Gene Gurevich, Director of Congressional Affairs, Securing America’s Future Energy

As Director of Congressional Affairs at Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), Gene Gurevich is responsible for working with both House and Senate offices to develop and advance legislation that will improve America’s energy security.

Prior to joining SAFE, Gene served as Professional Staff and Counsel on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and Central Asia. 

Gene earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the College of Charleston.  He also received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar.  Gene was born in Minsk, Belarus and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1990. 

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Siddharth Iyer, Assistant for Counterterrorism Operations, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Siddharth Iyer serves as an Assistant for Counterterrorism Operations in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he coordinates and provides policy oversight of U.S. military and intelligence activities in North Africa and South Asia.  Siddharth was also a Country Director for Pakistan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 2011 to 2013.  In this capacity he was responsible for formulating and implementing U.S. policies for Pakistan on behalf of the Secretary of Defense.  Previously, Siddharth was the Senior Intelligence Analyst for Pakistan political-military affairs at the Defense Intelligence Agency (2007-2011); and a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Pete V. Domenici (2004-2007).  Before entering government service, Siddharth worked as an equity research and corporate finance associate for Edward Jones Investments in St. Louis, Missouri and a rowing coach for the Fordham Preparatory School in the Bronx, New York.

Siddharth spent his early childhood years in India before immigrating to the United States at the age of ten.  Since then, he has lived in nine states and visited or lived in seventeen countries.  Siddharth is interested in South and Southeast Asian security issues and in exploring the factors that enable “positive competition” between major powers.

Siddharth lives in Washington, D.C.’s Barney Circle neighborhood with his wife and their newborn daughter. 

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Justin T. Johnson, Deputy Chief of Staff and MLA, Office of Rep. Doug Lamborn

Justin Johnson is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Doug Lamborn who is a senior member of the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committees in the House of Representatives. Congressman Lamborn also co-chairs a number of active caucuses including the Missile Defense Caucus, the Directed Energy Caucus, and the Israel Allies Caucus. Justin is responsible for leading the Congressman’s national security & foreign policy team. Previously, Justin served as Legislative Director and Defense Policy Advisor for Congressman Todd Akin, who chaired the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee. Justin received a master’s degree from the Naval War College with a particular focus on terrorism and the maritime domain.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Justin grew up in Iowa before moving to Central Europe.  After living in Germany, Belarus and the Czech Republic, Justin attended Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia where he studied philosophy and art.  Justin began his career on the Hill working for the U.S. Helsinki Commission before moving to the legislative staff of Congressman Todd Akin and now Congressman Doug Lamborn.  Justin, his wife Erika, and two daughters live in Washington, DC.

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Phillip Lohaus, Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

Phillip Lohaus is a Research Fellow in the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. His work focuses on both macro-level questions such as the future direction of US foreign policy as well as on more focused initiatives related to the future of air power and the use of American Special Operations Forces abroad. His commentary and opinion has been featured in The Hill, The Daily Caller, The Epoch Times, Federal News Radio, and several foreign media outlets.


Prior to joining AEI, Phillip served as a counter-proliferation and economic security analyst for the Department of Defense. He served a tour in Baghdad, Iraq, where he analyzed theater-level strategic questions, and a tour in Eastern Afghanistan, where he supported the counter-terrorism missions of the US Army and associated ISAF partners. His work garnered him two Joint Civilian Service Achievement Awards along with various inter-agency accolades. Phillip also worked briefly on Capitol Hill and for the Long Term Strategy Group, a defense consultancy.


Originally from Colorado, Phillip is proficient in Arabic and German and holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Florida along with an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


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Aaron Menenberg, Fellow, Institute for the Study of War


Aaron Menenberg is currently a Fellow at The Institute for the Study of War focusing on the Levant. Previously he held the position of analyst at Praescient Analytics where he used advanced data analytics and modeling to study conflict in the Middle East and North Africa. Aaron has also been a Fellow in the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Coordinated for Government Activities in the Territories, where he served as a liaison in the West Bank to foreign governments, NGOs, and the press. Prior to Israel, Aaron worked for the Hudson Institute and in government affairs for IBM.

Aaron’s current foreign policy interests include the future of Hamas, the global energy supply chain, US energy security, and the future economic and demographic viability of Middle Eastern countries. He holds a master's degree in international relations from The Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Washington. 

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Morgan P. Muchnick, Founder and CEO, The M2 Group

Mr. Morgan Paul Muchnick founded The M2 Group in 2012 after more than 15 years in Congress and the private sector. Mr. Muchnick previously served as Senior Professional Staff to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he played a pivotal role in creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In addition, Mr. Muchnick managed the aerospace, defense and homeland security portfolios at the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), led a communications team at Unisys Corporation focused on the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and served as the Director of Legislative Affairs for Turner Government and Public Affairs. He continues to consult with Turner GPA. Furthermore, he is a co-founder of Fantasy Politics, LLC, a civics-minded educational game patterned after fantasy football. Mr. Muchnick served as chief speechwriter and policy advisor to Ambassador Daniel Ayalon, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, during the dramatic period in which Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza Strip. 

Mr. Muchnick completed his undergraduate degree in History with honors at UCLA and received a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Finally, Mr. Muchnick frequently publishes op-ed and opinion pieces at Algemeiner: http://www.algemeiner.com/author/morgan-muchnick/

Mr. Muchnick enjoys following issues relating to the Middle East and is often invited to speak publically on issues relating to Israel and International Security. 

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Morgan Ortagus, Director, Supervisory Remediation Program, Standard Chartered Bank

Morgan D. Ortagus is an experienced diplomat, intelligence analyst, and businesswoman who has lived and traveled extensively in the Middle East.  She earned an honors thesis in 2009 for her research on Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, and graduated in May 2013 with a Masters of Business Administration/MA from Johns Hopkins University.

In September 2013, Ms. Ortagus joined Standard Chartered Bank as a Director overseeing the Supervisory Remediaton Program.  Previously, she was Director of Business Development for MV Transportation and in February 2013 Morgan helped MV win over $100 million in new business.

In fall 2011, Ms. Ortagus returned from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where she was the  Deputy U.S. Treasury Attache to the Kingdom.  In this role, Ms. Ortagus focused on working with the Saudi Arabian government to curb the illict finanical flows to and from the Kingdom. Ms. Ortagus was also the principle liasion from the U.S. Treasury to the banking sector in Saudi Arabia.

Prior to serving in Saudi Arabia, Ms. Ortagus was an intelligence analyst at the U.S. Treasury in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, primarly covering the Middle East and North Africa.  Ms. Ortagus worked to publicly designate many individuals as terrorists on the United Nations 1267 list.  Morgan began her government career as a public affairs officer at the U.S. Agency for International Delevoment, where she spent several months in Bahdad, Iraq.

In addition to her graduate degrees, Ms. Ortagus earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science, cum laude, from Florida Southern College.  She currently resides in New York City and Washington D.C. with her husband, Jonathan Weinberger, and two dogs, Napoleon and Ozzie.

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Erik Sand, Lieutenant, United States Navy

Erik Sand is Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy assigned to the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Panel. A nuclear power qualified surface warfare officer, he initially served as Gunnery Officer in USS John S. McCain, a destroyer forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan. While onboard he operated in the Western Pacific and participated in a series of theater security cooperation events, visiting South Korea, Guam, Tonga, Australia, New Caledonia, and three of four major Japanese Islands. He also completed two  Persian Gulf/North Arabian Sea deployments in support of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as  Reactor Controls Division Officer in USS Abraham Lincoln. Most recently, he was assigned Aide to the Commandant of Naval District Washington.

Lieutenant Sand holds a degree in history from Harvard University and lives in Washington.

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John Stapleton, Speechwriter, Office of Rep. Eric Cantor

John is the Speechwriter for House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor.

After growing up in New Jersey, John came to Washington, D.C. to attend American University in August of 2001. Since graduating he has worked for the International Republican Institute and written foreign policy articles for The New Guard and Examiner.com. He has also worked on several political campaigns and in 2009 he received an MA in Comparative Politics, also from American.

John has a great interest in democracy promotion as a main pillar of US foreign policy. The history and diversity of democratic governments and how political transformations occur across the globe in a broad range of cultures and societies are necessary to understand when forming America’s foreign policy goals.

Reading political history, writing, traveling and barbecuing are some of his favorite hobbies.

John and his wife Nealey, recently moved to Virginia where they share a home with their pug, Brisket. 

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Jacob Stokes, Research Associate, Center for a New American Security

Jacob Stokes is a Research Associate at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where his research focuses on U.S. foreign and national security policy. He has co-authored major CNAS reports on containing a nuclear-armed Iran and re-shaping the Department of Defense. He is currently a Masters candidate at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. 

Mr. Stokes’ writing has appeared in Foreign PolicyThe National Interest, The Christian Science Monitor, CNN.com, U.S. News and World Report and The Guardian, among other publications. Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Stokes served as a Policy Analyst at the National Security Network, where his work focused on the rise of China, defense budgeting and strategy, and Afghanistan.

He has been quoted in a variety of national publications, including The Washington PostU.S. News and World ReportMcClatchyPoliticoStars and Stripes and the Las Vegas Sun, and his work has been cited in The New York TimesTIME, The Daily Beast and Defense News. He has participated in research trips to Afghanistan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. 

Mr. Stokes holds bachelor’s degrees in political science (summa cum laude) and journalism (magna cum laude) from the University of Missouri.

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Dustin Walker, Founding Editor, RealClearDefense


Dustin Walker is the Founding Editor of RealClearDefense. Formerly, he was a communications staffer for Governor Mitt Romney and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon (R-CA). Dustin focuses on defense policy, military strategy, and Asia-Pacific security issues.

Originally from Boise, Idaho, Dustin received his B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service where he was a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholar. He is a member of the Pacific Forum CSIS Young Leaders Program and a former National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.  

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Timothy Walton, Associate, Delex Consulting, Studies, and Analysis

Timothy A. Walton is an Associate of Delex Consulting, Studies, and Analysis.  Employing his Mandarin proficiency, he specializes in Sino-American reciprocal force dynamics and provides our government, industry, and international partners with expert assistance in strategic planning, Concept of Operations development and analysis, requirements and capabilities analysis, and capture shaping.  He has published on topics ranging from China's "Three Warfares" to the U.S. F-22 procurement debate.  

Previously, he served as a Carroll Fellow at Georgetown University, from which he earned a BA in International Politics, studied and conducted research at Nanjing University, and held posts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Federation of American Scientists.  In 2012, he volunteered for the Romney Defense Policy Working Group.  Working as a Staff Assistant to Mr. Bryan McGrath on the Romney Navy Team, he assisted in crafting Navy and broader defense policies and responses.  He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree at Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. 

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Christopher Weaton, Major, United States Air Force

Major Chris Weaton is a Political-Military Strategist in the Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate of the Joint Staff, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.  In this capacity, he focuses on the alignment and posture of military forces to accomplish joint strategic planning.  Previously, Major Weaton served as an Aide de Camp to the Twelfth Air Force and Air Forces Southern Commander where he acted as a military liaison with military commands throughout Central and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Operationally, Major Weaton served in the Air Force as a B-1B bomber and EC-130H “Compass Call” Instructor Pilot, in which he accumulated more than 2,400 flight hours and deployed five times to the Middle East and Southwest Asia. 

Chris graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and has earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from Troy University and a Master’s degree in Military Operational Arts and Sciences from Air Command and Staff College.  He is blessed with a beautiful wife, Amy, two boys, Isaiah and Elijah, and is in the process of the adoption of their daughter, Yi Li, from China.

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Elaine Wilson, Senior Legislative Assistant, Office of Rep. Tom Cotton

Elaine Wilson serves as Congressman Tom Cotton of Arkansas' Senior Legislative Assistant.  She has worked on Capitol Hill since 2009, after she graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.  Prior to working for Congressman Cotton, Elaine served as a Legislative Assistant to Former Congressman Don Manzullo of Illinois (as well as Scheduler and Legislative Correspondent).  She handles the Foreign Affairs Committee portfolio for Congressman Cotton who serves on the Middle East & North Africa and the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittees.  Congressman Cotton is also active on national security matters, on which Elaine advises him.  In addition to foreign affairs, she covers military/defense, trade, immigration, and veterans’ issues.

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Kristina Wong, National Security Reporter, The Washington Times

Kristina Wong is a national security reporter at The Washington Times, covering the Pentagon, defense and national security affairs. She recently spent a month covering the war in Afghanistan, has covered military commissions in Guantanamo Bay, and has traveled with former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to China, Japan, and New Zealand. 

Prior to that, she worked at ABC News Washington for five years, web producing and reporting political, defense and foreign news stories. She studied International Relations at UCLA for her undergraduate degree and Foreign Policy and International Security at Georgetown University for her master's. Kristina is a former National Press Foundation Paul Miller Fellow, and board member of Military Reporters and Editors. 

Kristina was born and raised in the California Bay Area, and has lived in Washington for seven years. Her main foreign policy interests include the War in Afghanistan, U.S. policy in the Middle East post-Arab Spring, and the U.S. pivot to Asia.

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Stephanie Young, Political Scientist, Rand Corporation

Stephanie Young is a Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, where for more than three years she has conducted research and analysis on a broad range of foreign policy and national security related issues.  Her primary interests relate to defense budgeting and resource allocation, but other recent work has focused on security cooperation and building partner capacity, the US military transition in Iraq, special operations, and counterinsurgency in Afghanistan.  In 2012 she spent three months as an analyst embedded with the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Afghanistan, in Kabul.  She was educated at the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned a B.A. in physics and astrophysics, and a Ph.D. in history.

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    Mission Statement

    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.
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