Monika Jones Chapman is a first-year student in the Masters of International Policy and Practice (M.I.P.P.) program at the Elliott School, concentrating on international security and gender. She received her B.A. from George Mason University in Government and International Politics and has a graduate certificate in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Monika is also a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University and an inaugural recipient of Alexandria’s Top 40 Under 40 distinction. Additionally, Monika is a career civilian at the U.S. Department of Defense, specializing in human capital strategies for the Defense Acquisition Workforce. An avid supporter of local non-profits, Monika is the Chair of the Vola Lawson Breast Cancer Fund, former Chair of the Alexandria Human Rights Commission, and member of Women in International Security.
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Sandy Maroun will be graduating with her Master of International Policy and Practice from the Elliott School this Friday! She concentrated in refugee policy and programs, climate change and conflict resolution. In addition, she has a Master of Communication and Media, a BA in Political Science and a BA in Journalism, all completed in her home country of Lebanon. She currently works as a Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Beirut, where she generated analysis and reports on the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. In addition to Lebanon, Sandy has worked in Nepal as part of the emergency response following the earthquakes in 2015, and in north Greece, as part of the humanitarian refugee response in 2016. Sandy enjoys learning about and debating current events, traveling, and meeting and working with people from different cultures.
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Rebecca Wolfson is a graduating student from the Masters in International Policy and Practice (“MIPP”) program at the Elliott School, concentrating in international development and security. She received her bachelor’s degree from George Washington University. Additionally, she recently received her J.D. from George Mason Law School. Particularly, she is interested in rule of law, conflict resolution, and international development. Since her family is originally from Romania, Rebecca is particularly interested in Eastern Europe and Eurasia. She was recently a research assistant at the National Security Institute, analyzing various topics pertaining to global security. She also has experience in international development and security during her time working at various NGOs. Rebecca enjoys musical theater, traveling, and meeting people from all over the world.
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Doris Ibekwe was born and raised in Nigeria where she earned her first degree in law at the University of Benin, after which she went to London for a Master’s degree in General Law at the Brunel University London. She has previously worked Ikpeazu Chambers & Co, M.A & Co., and the Nigerian EXIM Bank. Doris currently serves as the Events Chair for Organization Of International Students (OID) at the Elliott School and will be interning with UNDP Washington, D.C. this summer. She is finishing her first year in the Masters in International Development Studies program at the Elliott School.
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Matthew Schaffer is a first-year master’s candidate at the Elliott School studying Security Policy Studies, with a concentration in Transnational Security. He received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Foreign Policy at Gonzaga University, including a term at American University in DC with the Washington Semester Program and a term at the University of Salamanca in Spain. Additionally, he was selected by Gonzaga to represent the University for the 58th Air Force Academy National Security Assembly in 2017. Previously, Matthew interned on Capitol Hill with the House Republican Conference, tutored Arabic speaking international students, and taught US national security to high schoolers from all over the country. He currently interns at Counterpart International as a program assistant. After finishing his education, he is aiming to join the United States Air Force as an intelligence officer and eventually join one of the intelligence agencies later on.
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Wardah Amir is currently pursuing an M.A. in Security Policy Studies from the Elliott School with a concentration in Weapons of Mass Destruction. She is a Young Ambassador with the Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS) and is Co-chair of the WCAPS CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear) Working Group. She is a Project Associate with the Chemical Security team at CRDF Global. After performing an internship with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague, Wardah became extremely interested in Weapons of Mass Destruction policy. She has also performed internships with several think tanks including Chatham House, Hudson Institute, and the Center for Strategic & International Studies. Wardah holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
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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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