2014 New York Leaders Participants
The Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is proud to announce its third class of New York Leaders. Twenty-six professionals with diverse backgrounds in government, the private sector, academia, non-profits and the U.S. military have been selected to participate in a series of discussions and private receptions.
The FPI New York Leaders Program was developed to create an opportunity for young professionals in New York and surrounding states to engage in thoughtful and educational conversations on foreign policy and connect with notable thinkers and practitioners in international affairs. This year's class joins the previous classes of 2012 and 2013.
Ganesh Betanabhatla, Talara Capital Management
Jamie Black, Beanstalk
Julie Blinbaum, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Jackie Carter, CitiGroup
Tiffany Clay, TPG Capital
Brian Czarnecki, Yale Law School
Michael Keoni DeFranco, Lua Technologies
Ann Fixler, The Dershowitz Group
Maggie Goodlander, Yale Law School
Chris Harnisch, Yale School of Management/Yale Jackson Institute For Global Affairs
Seychelle Hicks, BloomReach
Jordan Hirsch, Yale Law School
David Hodges, CN Communications
Katie Horgan, Columbia Business School
Michael Inganamort, ASG Advisors
Sarmad Khojasteh, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP
Jonathan Levin, Shipman & Goodwin, LLP
Christopher MacPherson, Bridgewater Associates, LLP
Mario Mangiameli, CitiGroup
Natalie Pregibon, Concordia
Jeremiah William Schwarz, PLIIX LLC and Research Fellow, Cambridge University
Thomas Storch, The Zosima Group LLC
Aviad Tamir, Israeli Ministry of Defense
Jessica Tarlov, Schoen Consulting
Zoe Weinberg, Goldman Sachs
Kasia Zabawa, Manhattan Institute for Public Policy
Mr. Betanabhatla is a Managing Director at Talara Capital Management, a New York based investment firm, where he leads the firm's private investments in the oil and gas sector. Prior to joining Talara Capital, Mr. Betanabhatla was a Vice President in the energy investment group at Pine Brook Road Partners, where he primarily focused on the firm's investments in the E&P sector. Prior to joining Pine Brook, Mr. Betanabhatla was an investment professional in the energy investment group at CCMP Capital Advisors, both in the New York and Houston offices. Prior to joining CCMP, Mr. Betanabhatla was a member of the Energy Investment Banking Group at J.P. Morgan Securities.
Mr. Betanabhatla currently serves as a member of the Columbia College Fund Development Council, Columbia College Young Leaders Council as well as Chairman Emeritus of the Columbia College Young Alumni Fund Advisory Board. Mr. Betanabhatla is also a past member of the Columbia College Alumni Association Board of Directors.
By appointment of the Office of the Mayor of Houston, Mr. Betanabhatla also serves on the Gulf Coast Work Force Development Board. The Gulf Coast Work Force Development Board serves 13 counties in the Houston-Galveston region and is the largest of the 28 Work Force Development Boards in Texas. The board is majority comprised of private sector members and oversees the delivery of employment services, education and training to the constituents of the Houston-Galveston area, affecting 125,000 businesses and 5.7mm residents.
Mr. Betanabhatla holds a B.A. in Economics-Political Science from Columbia University.
Mr. Betanabhatla’s foreign policy interests include energy security, South Asia (US relations w/ India, Pakistan and Afghanistan), new state formation as well as post-conflict democratic transitions.
Jamie Black is a UK national currently working as a research assistant to Seth “Yossi” Siegel at Beanstalk on a book project about water policy in Israel and the Middle East. He came to New York in 2012 to participate on the 2012/13 Tikvah Fellowship program. Previously, Jamie was a tax policy researcher for a committee of MPs in the UK parliament. He received his bachelors from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham and his masters from the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.
Julie joined AIPAC having worked in political affairs and fundraising for national, statewide and local political campaigns. As a Regional Political Coordinator for Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign, she coordinated campaign and grassroots activities across 14 states. She subsequently moved to Washington, DC to work in the White House as the Associate Director of Political Affairs for Vice President Dick Cheney. Upon returning to New York City, she became Deputy Manhattan Director for Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s 2009 reelection campaign where she coordinated voter contact efforts in Manhattan and oversaw six campaign offices. Upon Bloomberg’s reelection, she joined Rick Lazio’s 2010 campaign for Governor as Deputy Finance Director and later Finance Director. In her current role as AIPAC's Long Island Area Director, she is responsible for building and empowering the pro-Israel community on Long Island and mobilizing key activists in support of the organization's legislative efforts on Capitol Hill. Julie is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics as well as a Masters in Government Administration.
Jackie Carter is an associate at Citigroup where she works with the management team of the investment banking division. Prior to this role, Jackie graduated from Yale Law School / Yale School of Management, where she completed a J.D./M.B.A. and served as Comments Editor of the Yale Law Journal and as Co-President of the Yale Law & Business Society. She was active in the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and helped build a partnership with University of Jordan Law College. Jackie has experience at the Clinton Foundation, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Covington & Burling LLP, and the Yale Investments Office. She currently serves on the Junior Board of Hot Bread Kitchen and is a member of the Carnegie New Leaders and the Robert S. Brookings Society. Jackie graduated from Yale College in 2007 where she majored in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. She holds a Master's degree in Philosophy from Columbia University, where she focused on theories of international discourse. Jackie is interested in global financial regulation, international investing, and cross-cultural ethics.
Ms. Clay is a Vice President at the global private equity firm TPG Capital where she is a founding member of an investment team focused on scaling emerging energy and industrial technologies. She originally joined TPG in 2008 in their leveraged buyout group. Before joining TPG she was a consultant with McKinsey & Co., serving clients throughout North America and the Middle East. Ms. Clay received her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School where she graduated with high distinction as a George F. Baker Scholar. She received a B.A. from Yale University where she graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She is a member of the Board of the World Resources Institute and the Conservation Lands Foundation.
Brian received a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering and commissioned from the United States Military Academy in 2008 as an Engineer Lieutenant in the United States Army. After completing the Army’s Basic Officer Leader Course, he was assigned to the 54th Engineer Battalion in Bamberg, Germany. While stationed in Germany, Brian served as a Route Clearance platoon leader, intelligence officer, and assistant operations officer. Brian deployed twice to eastern Afghanistan – once as a platoon leader and once as a staff officer. Brian spent his final year in the Army in Fort Dix, New Jersey again as an assistant operations officer. Brian separated from the Army on August 31, 2013 and is currently a first-year student at Yale Law School.
Michael DeFranco is the Founder and CEO of Lua, a secure communications system designed for today's modern workforces, providing web and mobile access to intelligent contact management, real time communication, and robust document sharing. With clients spanning from the commercial to the defense sector, Lua provides situational awareness and a common Anti-Terrorism/ Force Protection threat reporting system for documenting, storing, and exchanging threat information. Lua is a graduate of the New York based technology incubator, Techstars.
Michael began his career at iMapData, a national defense firm, as a Head Research Analyst responsible for intelligence verification, database design and case studies for U.S. and Foreign Government clients. To bootstrap Lua, Michael built databases to help launch Bloomberg Government.
Michael is a gradate of Wesleyan University where he received a B.A in International Relations with a focus on "Nation Building" and "The Arab-Israeli Conflict". Michael has studied at the London School of Economics and spent two summers studying mandarin in Shanghai.
Annie Fixler is the Director of Public Affairs at The Dershowitz Group (TDG), a strategic communications and public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. Known for her thoughtful analysis and thorough research, Annie helps TDG’s clients identify and establish relationships with key policymakers and thought leaders in order to move policy dials. She is responsible for managing projects for policy-based clients including for one of TDG’s key clients, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan institution focusing on national security and foreign policy. She works closely with FDD’s government relations team and executive leadership on a range of issues including Iran sanctions. Prior to joining The Dershowitz Group, Annie worked for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington as a Senior Research Analyst. At AIPAC, Annie was responsible for providing research to assist senior staff and drafting memos on issues related to Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and the United Nations. At AIPAC, Annie gained an expertise in Congressional affairs and Middle East foreign policy which she has continued to develop through her work at The Dershowitz Group. Annie graduated with a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University in 2006.
Maggie Goodlander is a first-year student at Yale Law School. A native of New Hampshire, she graduated with a B.A. in History from Yale College, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of The Politic and as an intern at the Yale Investments Office. Following college, Maggie spent four years working in the U.S. Senate, serving first as a speechwriter and foreign policy advisor to Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Connecticut) and later as a senior policy advisor to Senator John McCain (R-Arizona).
Chris Harnisch is a student at the Yale School of Management and Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he is pursuing a joint MBA and MA in International Relations. At Yale, Chris leads the university’s Student Veterans Council. Immediately prior to attending Yale, Chris served as an Army intelligence officer on NATO’s counter-corruption task force during a 14-month deployment to Afghanistan. Previous to his active duty military commitment, Chris worked on the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researched and wrote about al Qaeda’s emerging safe havens, focusing especially on those in Yemen and Somalia. Chris also spent two years working on the staff of Vice President Dick Cheney and spent a year working as the Assistant to the Director of the Peace Corps. He has published pieces on foreign policy in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Middle East Journal, and National Review Online, and he has appeared as a guest analyst on various public panels and television and radio broadcasts. Chris graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in International Studies. Conversant in Arabic, Chris has lived and studied in Egypt and Yemen.
Seychelle Hicks is a Product and Engagement Manager at BloomReach, a Silicon Valley marketing SEO tech startup that leverages web-wide data analytics to match customer intent with relevant content. Prior to entering technology, Seychelle worked in mergers and acquisitions for three years focusing on the luxury goods and premium branded consumer sectors. She was most recently a founding member and associate at a cross-border M&A advisory boutique based in New York City and started her career in investment banking at Houlihan Lokey. Seychelle has also worked in the beauty industry at both a venture stage natural cosmetics startup and interned at Avon in corporate strategy. Seychelle graduated with a B.S. from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania studying finance and management and minoring in English Literature, and also received the high distinction of the Dean’s Award for Service to the Wharton School. With diverse experiences across developed and developing countries, Seychelle is interested in learning how to build and scale a strong global entrepreneurial private sector to further drive economic, political and social prosperity. She recently relocated to San Francisco to join BloomReach, where she manages east coast clients and regularly visits New York.
Jordan Chandler Hirsch is a second-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School. In 2010, he graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in History, specializing in modern Europe and the Middle East. After Columbia, he was selected as a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal, where he worked as an assistant op-ed editor. He then worked for two years as an editor at Foreign Affairs magazine. Jordan has written foreign policy-related op-eds and book reviews for publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. At Yale, Jordan is Director of Special Events for the Federalist Society, Co-President of the National Security Law Group, and a Fellow at the Yale Law Information Society Project.
David Hodges is a senior account executive at CN Communications, where he primarily works as Director of the Governor's STEM Scholars Program for the Research & Development Council of New Jersey. David has professional experience in law, media, and international relations. Prior to his work at CN, David worked as an attorney at Winston & Strawn and counsel at Consumers-in-Motion, where he worked in antitrust and helped businesses in new, emerging, and international markets. David also spent two years working for Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, served as a staffer on the American University International Law Review, published one of the first analyses of the Iraqi Sunni insurgency while at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and recently wrote a forthcoming law review article analyzing the legal regimes behind intercepting WMD on the high seas (Ocean and Coastal Law Journal). David also worked in the Congressional leadership, where he developed and executed a comprehensive strategy for social media campaigns. His primary foreign policy interests are terrorism, the Middle East, and the challenges democracies face in responding to asymmetrical threats. David has traveled extensively through Europe and Israel, speaks proficient French, and is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association.
Katie Horgan is a native of Sacramento, California and a graduate of the University of Southern California. After earning a B.A. in Political Science in 2006, she accepted a commission in the United States Marine Corps and was assigned to the field of Logistics. Katie deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008, and as part of a crisis response, global prepositioning force in 2011. Throughout her six years of military service, she had the opportunity to support operations and conduct bi-lateral training engagements in more than one dozen countries. Witnessing the employment of US foreign policy, first hand, served to solidify her interest in political affairs and foreign policy.
Katie Horgan is currently a second year student at Columbia Business School, with plans to pursue a career that combines strategy, operations and entrepreneurship. She has a strong interest in economics, national security, and US foreign policy in the Middle East and Africa. Katie is an avid runner and travel enthusiast, and recently climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Michael Inganamort is a principal at ASG Advisors, a firm specializing in thought leadership and issue advocacy, where he executes public affairs, crisis communications, speechwriting, and campaign strategies.
Mike currently works with the Community Foundation of New Jersey to focus and communicate its policy priorities, most recently an emphasis on human trafficking and natural disaster recovery. He also manages a grassroots and media campaign for a statewide trade association opposed to tax increases and regularly writes opinion pieces for senior government officials, CEOs, and other public figures. In addition to supporting the communications strategies of several Fortune 500 companies, he’s advised groups ranging from the Egyptian American Community Foundation to the Republican Leadership Council.
Mike has managed two successful Congressional campaigns and previously spent time on Capitol Hill, at a leading Washington think tank, and at the Department of Interior. He traveled to Guatemala and El Salvador with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, later joining its Alumni Council. Mike graduated magna cum laude from American University and holds a masters from Georgetown.
Sarmad Khojasteh is a litigation associate at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP. Sarmad previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable Terrence W. Boyle of the Eastern District of North Carolina. Sarmad also previously has worked in the Middle East Foreign Policy Division of the American Enterprise Institute, the Office of the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman of the United States House of Representatives, and the Office of Vice Chair April H. Foley at the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Sarmad attended the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the University of Chicago Law Review, and Colgate University, where he received the Harvey Picker Award for Outstanding Performance in International Relations.
Jonathan Levin is an attorney in private practice at Shipman & Goodwin LLP, in the International Trade Compliance and Enforcement, and Government Investigations and White Collar Criminal Defense groups. Jonathan primarily assists clients with internal investigations in connection with U.S. government regulation of military and dual-use exports, sanctions enforcement, and anti-boycott regulations. Jonathan started in private practice at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, LLP, as an associate in complex business and securities litigation, and clerked for the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Before law school, Jonathan was Senior Analyst for a private counter-terrorism and defense research institution in Washington, DC, focusing on terrorists’ use of front charitable organizations for youth indoctrination, recruitment, and money laundering. Jonathan has a B.A. in History and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, and a J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Illinois.
Christopher joined Bridgewater Associates this past September after spending a decade working U.S. National Security issues. Prior to Bridgewater, Christopher was a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Combating Terrorism and Special Operations, where he oversaw Information Operations and countering violent extremism activities as well as the research and development of irregular warfare technologies. He has also been a Presidential Management Fellow with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, served on the National Security Council in the White House Situation Room, a computer scientist for the National Security Agency, a speechwriter for the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, a researcher for the Manhattan Institute for Public Policy, and a software developer for an internet startup company. He received both the Global War on Terrorism Civilian Service Medal and the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for his time spent in Afghanistan.
Christopher holds a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, an MS from the U.S. National Defense Intelligence College, and a degree in Computer Science from Hamilton College in upstate New York. He has published articles and spoken on religion and terrorism and civil-military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Christopher grew up on a maple syrup farm in western Massachusetts, plays the drums, loves to ski, and wears colorful socks.
Mario Mangiameli works for Citigroup in their Treasury and Trade Solutions Project Management office. Mario manages a large scale cash collection project for the Department of Treasury and works on a sub-project managing the official travel cards for the Department of Defense. In addition to his official role, Mario volunteers with Citi’s veteran initiatives that work to support veterans through hiring and also through other supportive endeavors.
Prior to joining Citi Mario served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps. His first tour was with 3d Battalion 2nd Marines, where he deployed twice to Iraq’s al Anbar province. Upon returning he received orders to Headquarters Marine Corps where he worked for the Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4).
After leaving the Marine Corps in 2010 as a Captain; Mario received a fellowship with the Department of Homeland Security. Mario served as policy advisor in the office of Counterterrorism policy. As a policy advisor Mario represented DHS at interagency and White House meetings. His portfolio included various terrorist groups, weapons capabilities, and Libya.
Mario holds a B.A. in Government and Politics, Minor in English from St. John’s University, New York, and a M.A. in International Policy and Practice from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, Washington D.C.
Natalie Pregibon is Director of P3 Intelligence at Concordia, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on promoting public-private collaboration. At Concordia, Natalie is responsible for designing and implementing various research initiatives, including the Concordia Index. Prior to joining Concordia, Natalie worked for Mathematica Policy Research, a research and evaluation firm where she conducted qualitative and quantitative research in the policy areas of labor, education, and health. Her expertise is in designing and conducting rigorous evaluations to determine the effectiveness of public policies and programs. Natalie graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with a Bachelor’s Degree. She also holds a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service with a specialization in policy analysis. Her foreign policy interests include US international aid, trade liberalization, emerging markets, and the Middle East.
Jeremy Schwarz is currently CEO and Principal of PLIIX LLC, a Research Fellow at Cambridge University, and a recent US Navy veteran. He received his BA from Fordham University and served as an officer in the United States Navy from 2003-2007, where he was forward deployed to the Persian Gulf, the Horn of Africa, and the Indian Ocean. Upon completion of active duty, Dr. Schwarz completed a PhD from Cambridge University where he examined issues of economic development and American intervention policy in the Post-Cold War Era. He is active in advocating for disabled veterans and currently divides his time among Florida, New York, and the United Kingdom.
Thomas Storch is the co-founder of The Zosima Group, which provides strategic advice on complex geopolitical and regulatory issues to investors in public and private markets and pursues private investments in a range of sectors, including natural resources and energy. Before Zosima, Thomas worked at several investment and advisory firms in New York. He has expertise in a variety of investment strategies, and has analyzed and invested in global markets including Latin America, Austral-Asia and the Middle East. Thomas graduated from Harvard College in 2003 and is currently pursuing an M.A. from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.
Aviad has worked extensively with the Israeli government and around the world in the nonprofit sector, striving to implement best practices in public policy and community development. Before arriving in New York, Aviad served as the CEO of "Maas-Access for Young Professionals to Public Service," working closely with the Israeli government to overcome the obstacles which discourage young people from entering the public sector. He first confronted those challenges in his position as an Advisor in the office of the Prime Minister of Israel, where he dealt with policy issues and strategic processes. Aviad was also selected as a member of the prestigious Israel’s Civil Service Cadets Program, which is designed to equip future leaders in Israeli civil administration. He has also worked in Poland, Ukraine and Haiti as a consultant, assisting leadership and capacity building programs and implementing micro-finance initiatives. Aviad completed his master’s degree in Public Policy at the Lauder School of Government, Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, with a minor in East Asian studies. Aviad recently moved to New York to work for the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
Jessica is a native New Yorker and political strategist with Schoen Consulting. The firm specializes in research, polling, campaigns and brand strategies for corporations, NGOs and political leaders both domestically and abroad. Jessica has written for various publications including The New York Daily News, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and Fox News.
Jessica completed her doctorate at the London School of Economics in 2012, where she analyzed the impact of scandal on the political careers of UK Members of Parliament. She has presented her research at academic conferences across Europe and published in Electoral Studies. She is interested in working on ways to make governments more responsive to constituent needs through political reform and restructuring.
Before returning to New York in 2012, Jessica worked with YouGov on a longitudinal study of public policy decisions across the first two years of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration. She was a communications and social media strategist on London Mayor Boris Johnson’s reelection campaign.
Jessica is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds Masters degrees in Public Policy and Political Science from the London School of Economics in addition to her PhD.
Zoe Weinberg is an analyst at Goldman Sachs in Alternative Investments & Manager Selection, where she focuses on investing in hedge funds. Prior to Goldman Sachs, Zoe worked at Bridgewater Associates as a summer investment associate, and as a research assistant at Shearman & Sterling, where she worked on international commercial arbitration cases. Previously, she lived and worked in Mumbai, India for foreign policy think tank Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relations, and at social enterprise incubator UnLtd. India, and in Senegal for Tostan, a health and human rights NGO. She has also worked for the Center for Reproductive Rights in New York, and Lawrence Community Works in Lawrence, Massachusetts. In May 2013, Zoe graduated from Harvard University with a B.A. in Social Studies, where she focused on race, science, and law in 19th century America. At Harvard, Zoe worked as a research assistant to Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, former policy advisor in Kazhakstan, on the politics of language and alphabet reform, culminating in a book chapter entitled "Ideologies and Alphabet Reforms in Central Asia." She also served as the Associate Managing Editor of the Harvard Crimson and taught civics classes to fifth graders in Boston public schools.
Kasia Zabawa is the deputy director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership where she works to develop and disseminate original policy ideas on the state and local level through the publication of research reports as well as managing strategic on the ground initiatives with a focus on public finance, education, and the delivery of public services. Kasia meets regularly with international organizations and guests of the State Department who are interested in public policy best practices. Previously, Kasia served as deputy director of communications for the Institute where she cultivated relationships with top-level media, planned and executed marketing rollouts for reports and books, and coordinated media placements local and national media. Before moving to New York, she worked on New Jersey political campaigns and the 2008 presidential election. Kasia graduated from Boston University with dual degrees in journalism and political science. She was born in Poland. Her foreign policy interests include Eastern Europe, Russia, and youth engagement in burgeoning free market economies.
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.