Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan “JB” Bissell is a US Army Foreign Area Officer currently assigned to the National Capital Region. He joined the US Army in 1990 and has many years of leadership experience in the United States Army and the Department of Defense (DoD). He currently serves as a Branch Chief for the DoD’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency where he leads a team tasked with eliminating, securing, detecting and interdicting weapons of mass destruction organized along the key fields of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear and aligned to global geographical regions. In his spare time, JB volunteers as a mentor for the United States Senate Youth Program (USSYP) and a mentor the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program (HOBY). He has a Master of International Policy and Practice (MIPP) degree from the Elliott School (2015), and a Master of Science in International Relations from Troy University (2014). He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.
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Mikiyas Molla is a second-year M.A. International Economic Policy student concentrating in International Business and Finance at the Elliott School. Miky received his bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance from The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh. He is currently a technical-economic analyst at the International Economic Development Council. He has a keen interest in learning about vital policies that promote growth in emerging markets and developing nations. Miky loves discussing current events and policy changes affecting the atmosphere of the economy. He is also a soccer fanatic.
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Jennifer Bragiel is a Program Specialist with the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ (IAFC) Community Solutions, where she helps fire departments with wildfire mitigation and volunteer recruitment and retention, and as the Volunteer & Combination Officers Section (VCOS) Staff Liaison. She specializes in digital marketing and communication but is most passionate about data and analytics. She has utilized her skills to help emergency service organizations improve their ability to recruit and retain the talent they need to help ensure every call is answered. Ms. Bragiel manages multiple social media accounts, wrote the Social Media Handbook and assisted in the creation of the social media toolkit. She is an international presenter on developing a digital brand and social media strategy. She holds an M.A. in European and Eurasian Studies from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University.
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Valli (Sindhu) Chidambaram is a second-year Master’s candidate in the International Development Studies program at the Elliott School, concentrating in global health and gender. She received her bachelor’s degree in global studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has studied and worked abroad in South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, and Japan. She has also interned with the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Indonesia, and the U.N. Foundation’s Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (now the Clean Cooking Alliance). In 2018, she received the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship to enter the U.S. Foreign Service. Sindhu speaks Tamil and Spanish, is an avid Bharatanatyam dancer and loves adventure and travel.
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Grayson Shor is a graduate of the International Affairs Master’s program at the Elliott School of International Affairs where he studied as a China Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellow, Freeman Foundation grantee, and David L. Boren fellow. A native of Santa Barbara, California, he has spent three years living and working across Southeast and East Asia. Such experiences include managing an international Beijing real estate group, manufacturing consumer technology products in Guangdong province, ethnographic fieldwork investigating human trafficking in Thailand, and serving as a geospatial analyst and environmental risk consultant with The Asia Foundation in Myanmar. Grayson is an avid outdoorsman, having professionally guided over thirty trips into the California wilderness. He is also a blues guitarist and a licensed Massage Therapist.
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Brad Hamilton is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in International Economic Policy at the Elliott School of International Affairs. He received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Louisville in Louisville, KY. Upon graduation, he worked in the private sector as an analyst for a printing and publishing company, as a coordinator in client and consultant relations for an asset manager, and, lastly, as an analyst for a wine and liquor distribution company. Deciding to transition into the nonprofit sector, he came to Washington, DC, as a ProInspire Fellow, a professional development program that pairs professionals with private sector backgrounds with a nonprofit partner to help improve business processes and operations. After two and a half years at a human services membership association, he now works in Global Membership at the Institute of International Finance, a global association of the financial services industry.
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Laurie Williams graduated from Rhodes College in 2018 and moved to DC to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. She’s beginning the MA International Affairs program in January, intending to focus on conflict and conflict resolution and the role of women in both. Continuing to work full-time in the Senate while studying full-time, Laurie is pursuing a career in the foreign policy space. In her free time, Laurie enjoys reading, running, and coming up with punny names for her trivia team every week.
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