Camisha Johnson earned her MA International Affairs with a concentration in International Security Studies and Conflict Resolution from the Elliott School in 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies from Midwestern State University in her native Texas. She previously interned with the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy to Belgium and spent Spring 2017 studying abroad at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea. An opportunity she encourages all students to take. Currently, she works as a legislative assistant for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security. Prior to joining the Committee, she was the program assistant for Community and Global Initiatives at the GWU School of Nursing. Her hobbies include trying new restaurants, traveling and a Korean boyband known as BTS.
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Daniel “Dani” Saenz graduated Magna Cum Lade from Fort Hays State University with a BA in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations. During this time, he studied abroad at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco his junior year. Through a student organization on campus, he was then able to intern in Cairo, Egypt as an English teacher for refugees the following summer. He has also worked as a journalist for the Tiger Media on campus, earning the Society of Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award for his commentary on the security issues facing the United States in the Middle East in 2017 and commentary on pressing issues in Latin America in 2018. Daniel is a newly admitted student at the Elliott School pursuing a Masters in International Affairs, concentrating in U.S. foreign policy and conflict resolution. In particular, he is interested in becoming a Political Officer in the State Department. Daniel also enjoys reading about global events, learning new languages, and meeting people from different countries.
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Ana M. Diaz will be a first-year Masters candidate in the International Affairs program at the Elliott School this fall, concentrating in European and Eurasian studies. She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Florida in 2019. Specifically, she is interested in migration and refugee resettlement in Europe. As a Ronald E. McNair scholar, Ana presented her research regarding the “2015 Refugee Crisis” in various conferences and served as a Junior Fellow in the Political Science department at the University of Florida. She also interned at Weiser Immigration Law Firm in where she gained experience in trial preparation and litigation practices. She is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and is currently learning French.
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Kira Li started to pursue her M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliott School from September 2016 immediately after receiving her B.A. in International Development from McGill University in Canada. During grad school, she interned at different capacities including the Embassy of Canada in Washington DC, Motion Picture Association of America and the UN Foundation. Upon graduating in May 2018, she decided to move to China and started a full-time position at the Wanda Group, one of China’s biggest real estate firm to work on overseas communications. She wishes to spend a few years in China to hone her skills and become a well-trained international PR and communications professional.
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Rudan Balay is a 23-year- old Kurdish-American activist born in Berlin, Germany and will be pursuing an M.A in International Affairs this fall. After completing her high school degree in Prague, Czech Republic, Rudan moved to Iraq and provided support for the refugee crisis. During her time in Iraq, she co-launched an organization called Student Ambassadors for Peace – to promote intercultural understanding amongst youth in a diverse Iraq. Rudan completed her bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York in Prague and has a published bachelors thesis on Islamic State recruitment tactics. She speaks four languages and has attended notable international conferences worldwide including the United Nations Human Rights and ECOSOC summit, and is currently preparing for her participation as Iraqi Youth Ambassador to the United Nations in 2019.
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Sahil Jain is a Foreign Service Officer serving as Vice Consul at the U.S. Consulate General, Mumbai. A native of Northern California, he began his time at the Department of State in the Office of Israeli-Palestinian Affairs. Subsequently, he joined USAID assisting with the launch of the Global Development Lab Bureau. He then returned to the Department of State, where he served as an Acting Branch Chief assisting on Hague Convention treaties. He graduated with an MA in International Affairs from the Elliott School in 2018.
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Siaka Togola is an M.A. International Affairs student at the Elliott School, concentrating on Economic Development in Africa. He is from Mali in West Africa and serves as the 2019 Elliott School Graduate Student Forum President. Currently, he is the Special Assistant to the African Union Permanent Representative to the U.S. on all diaspora related matters under the African Union Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO). Additionally, he chairs the Pan-African Diaspora Youth Association’s Communications and Public Relations sector, PADYA. PADYA is the Youth mobilization and sensitization branch of the African Union Mission to the United States of America, Canada, South and Latin America, and the Caribbean. He is an aspiring diplomat and international affairs practitioner and dreams to bring prosperity to Africa and its people.
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