Current Fellows

Fall 2017 Scoville Fellows

Christian Stirling Haig (Natural Resources Defense Council) will work in the Energy and Climate programs with Dr. Matthew McKinzie, Dale Bryk, and Ashok Gupta. His expected tasks include conducting research, writing, and environmental advocacy on the nexus of issues around the U.S. military, renewable energy and, climate change, and national security. The U.S. Department of Defense is the largest consumer of energy in the federal government, has made great strides on energy efficiency and wind and solar generation, and has taken concrete steps to address the implications of global warming for the military mission. Haig received a double BA in Political Science and Peace, War, and Defense from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2017. He graduated with Highest Distinction, Honors in Political Science, and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Having spent over 20 summers north of the Arctic Circle, he has a keen interest in circumpolar issues. He has pursued faculty-advised research projects on Arctic geopolitics, and he researched energy development in Arctic Russia as an intern for the U.S. Department of State and interned for the Institute for Sustainable Communities. With that knowledge, he designed and taught a course to undergraduate students at UNC on the Arctic covering topics such as sustainable development and security issues. His Honors thesis analyzed Russia’s economic dependency on energy extraction, its future energy prospects, and the subsequent role of technology transfers from NATO countries as mechanisms promoting Russian cooperative foreign policy in the High North. Haig has studied at the University of Oslo and the University of Tallinn in Estonia and has French, Russian, and Norwegian language skills. At UNC, he served on the executive board of the Carolina International Relations Association for four years and founded and served as the editor-in-chief of The Internationalist undergraduate research journal on global issues. He helped organize Model United Nations conferences, an international conference engaging youth in Arctic issues, and the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions foreign policy education programs at UNC. Additionally, Christian has been engaged on social issues including LGBT activism and directing organizational development at the Campus Y, a center for 30 student organizations promoting social innovation and justice. He is also an artist, having sculptures installed around UNC’s campus and having served as president of Saint Anthony Hall literary and arts society. He is from Fort Lauderdale, FL and spent summers in Tromsø, Norway.

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CHaig@NRDC.org

 

Kathryn Hewitt (Brookings Institution) will work with Robert Einhorn and Steven Pifer in the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative on issues related to: the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea’s nuclear program, and strategies for reducing incentives for countries to obtain/pursue nuclear weapons, and may focus on how to ensure that Iran continues to find the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to be its best option. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2017 with a Master’s in Global Studies and a concentration in Global Politics. Her Master’s thesis, “Profits and Proliferation: The Role of Economic Elites in Starting and Stopping Nuclear Weapons Programs,” introduced a new theory for understanding why countries pursue nuclear weapons and begins to explore more nuanced takes on ways to deter these pursuits. She received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from Gonzaga University in 2013. Hewitt is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Farsi, the Gesa Continuing Education Scholarship, and a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at UNC. Before entering graduate school, she served as a Community and Organizational Development Adviser with the Peace Corps in the Republic of Moldova from 2013-2015 where she worked on human rights advocacy for persons with disability and learned Romanian and Russian. As an undergraduate, she interned at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s policy office in DC on emerging technology policy and published “The Future of U.S. Manufacturing – a Literature Analysis (Part III)”; participated in American University’s International Law and Organization’s program; interned with President Obama’s grassroots reelection campaign; was a member of STOP Human Trafficking and Social Justice clubs; co-founded The Golden Bow project – an awareness campaign for social justice issues; was a Gonzaga Achievement Scholar and upon graduation was honored at Gonzaga’s Social Justice Missioning Ceremony for her demonstrated commitment to the university’s mission. Much of her passion for nuclear weapons policy is rooted in her hometown of Richland, WA – home of the Hanford Site of the Manhattan Project. In high school, she interned at a nuclear energy facility, Energy Northwest, with the VP of Nuclear Generation and the VP of Technical Services. She speaks Farsi, Romanian and some Russian.

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KHewitt@brookings.edu

 

Emily Myers (Alliance for Peacebuilding) will work with Liz Hume and Melanie Greenberg on women, peace, and security initiatives and the relationship between fragility, stabilization, and countering violent extremism. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Union College in 2016 with a BA in Political Science. Her honors thesis examined the conditions under which civil war facilitates women’s entrance into the formal political sphere and, in cases where women do enter political bodies post-conflict, how regime type influences the ability of those women to make significant legislative and policy contributions. The thesis was awarded the Charles M. Tidmarch prize for “the Senior Political Science student who has written the best Senior Thesis”. While at Union, Emily studied at the National University of Ireland Galway in Ireland and completed a term in Washington, DC. Myers was the president of Garnet Minstrelles, Union’s all female a Capella group, participated in student theater productions, and was involved in the College Democrats. She also interned at the Vermont Commission on Women, Public Citizen, and Corporate Accountability International. During her senior year she was awarded a Minerva Fellowship, which provides an opportunity to eight Union students to work at NGOs in developing countries following graduation. She completed her nine-month fellowship in Siem Reap, Cambodia where she worked at The Global Child as an English teacher and social educator. While at The Global Child, she implemented a monthly gender equality workshop, helped with the selection process of eleven new students, and facilitated the beginning of a parent education initiative in partnership with the Women’s Resource Center of Siem Reap. Emily grew up in Vermont’s Mad River Valley where her interest in issues of peace and security were sparked early by her activist grandmother. Emily enjoys skiing, hiking, musical theater, and a good book.

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emyers@allianceforpeacebuilding.org

 

Donya Nasser (Truman Center for National Policy) will work with Leigh O’Neill in the Policy Department. Nasser will bring together a series of expert group round table discussions focused on examining trends in authoritarianism and the impact authoritarian regimes have on regional security across the globe. She will then collaborate with staff and Truman expert members to distill the information from those conversations into training modules, case studies, and other products to disseminate to various audiences across the country. She completed an MA in Iranian Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in 2017 as a recipient of both the John Loiello and Kamran Djam Scholarships. In 2015, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. John’s University where she studied Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies as an Honors student and McNair Scholar. Nasser speaks Persian and German, and has interned for the White House Office of Legislative Affairs, the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, and the Brennan Center for Justice. Donya served as the 2015-2016 U.S. Youth Observer to the United Nations and a Truman-Albright Fellow at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is currently the youngest Board Director of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Board. She is a 2016 Humanity in Action Fellow, 2015 TRIALS Scholar, and 2014 PPIA Fellow. She has previously served as a member of the Advocates for Youth Young Women of Color Leadership Council, the President of the College Democrats of New York, and AAUW Youth Representative to the United Nations. A Truman Scholar, she has also completed research on women in peace-building in Iran and the MENA region. She is a 2016 Bustle Upstart Award Honoree, 2015 recipient of the WIN Young Women of Achievement Award in Service/Nonprofit Advocacy, and a 2014 Glamour Magazine Top 10 College Woman and L’Oréal College Woman of Worth. Nasser has been featured on ABC, Al-Hurra, Al Jazeera, the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC, and Voice of America. She was named one of CDS’ 2016 “30 Under 30 Leaders of Tomorrow” and Persian Tech Entrepreneurs and Forbes’ “100 Most Influential Persian Entrepreneurs and Innovators of 2015”. She has been a speaker for the Iranian American Women Foundation, the International Association for Volunteer Effort, AYUDH, the United Nations, and many more conferences. She was born and raised in Orlando, Florida.

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dnasser@trumancnp.org

 

Namratha Somayajula (ReThink Media) will work with Deepika Choudary and Peter Ferenbach on the Peace and Security Team, focusing on narrowing the information gap between media and policy related to nuclear issues. She will work primarily on a research project on the public’s perception of nuclear weapons issues, a project aimed at helping policy experts engage millennial audiences, and on a new public education campaign in conjunction with several other organizations. Somayajula graduated from the University of Oregon in June 2017 with a BA in International Studies, with emphasis on Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution. During the summer of 2016, she had the opportunity to attend the Oxford Consortium of Human Rights as a Stern Fellow, and during the second week of the program travelled with her group to Belfast, Northern Ireland to meet with leaders of post-conflict reconciliation efforts. The previous summer, Somayajula volunteered in the International Rescue Committee’s resettlement department in Oakland, California and beginning in August 2015 spent a semester studying migration in Rabat, Morocco. While in Morocco, she conducted research on the impacts of government policy on Jewish-Muslims relations in the country, a project she later expanded into her thesis for the UO’s Robert D. Clark Honors College. Somayajula’s first in-depth introduction, outside of class, to issues of nuclear security came soon after she returned to the University of Oregon from Morocco, when she and other members of Beyond War organized a series of speaker panels that focused on the U.S. and nuclear politics from multiple perspectives. Beginning that same spring, Somayajula had the chance to intern and T.A. for Oregon’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, a national organization that creates opportunities for campus-based and incarcerated students to take college courses together, as peers. She is also a member of Carnegie Global Oregon (CGO), a unique initiative partnered with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and led in Oregon by Global Ethics Fellow and Geography Professor Shaul Cohen. Somayajula’s involvement in activities addressing international peace began when she was a student at Amador Valley High School and a participant in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Justice Academy. She was a leader of the UNICEF campus initiatives in her high school and college. Somayajula speaks Telugu and French. She has lived in Chennai, India and was raised primarily in Pleasanton, California.

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namratha@rethinkmedia.org

 

Spring 2017 Scoville Fellows

Jesse Marks (Stimson Center) is working with Aditi Gorur in the Transforming Conflict and Governance–Protecting Civilians in Conflict program researching regional solutions for peacebuilding and civilian protection in protracted crises in the Middle East and Africa. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University in 2016 with a BA in Middle East Studies and honors in the major. In high school, Marks spent several summers volunteering in Jordan where he developed an interest in Middle East culture and language. After witnessing the effects of the Iraqi and Syrian refugee crises, he began working with resettled refugees in Jacksonville, Florida. At FSU, Marks served in the Student Government Association as senator for the College of Arts and Sciences and Secretary of Academic Affairs where he was awarded New Senator of the Year and Cabinet Member of the Year. His honors in the major thesis explored the impact of tribal identity in the modern Middle East. While at FSU, Marks continued his work with refugees by partnering with the Florida Office of Refugees Services to create a strong infrastructure for refugee resettlement in Tallahassee. His interests in American foreign policy, national security, and Arabic led him back to Jordan in 2015 on a David L. Boren Scholarship to study Arabic for a year at the Qasid Language Institute in Amman. He interned for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative to Jordan, researching refugee movements from Syria to Jordan and Europe and with the Jordan Center for Strategic Studies where he researched the host-community integration of Syrian refugees in the Levant. Since returning from Jordan, Marks worked as a research intern with the Migration Policy Institute’s International Migration program and as an Arabic research analyst intern with Blue Path Labs, a private consulting firm. He has published articles on humanitarian, peace, and security issues with the U.S.-Middle East Youth Network, Huffington Post, and The Hill. He was raised in Jacksonville, Florida.

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JMarks@Stimson.org

 

Bernadette Stadler (Center for Arms Control and Non-proliferation) is working with John Isaacs on nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation issues including the future of the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea’s nuclear program, and Russia-U.S. nuclear relations. Stadler received her BA in International Relations from Brown University in 2016. As part of her senior capstone project, she conducted research on the Russian-Iranian nuclear relationship and wrote a paper explaining Russia’s history both of assisting and opposing Iran’s nuclear programs. While studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan, she also conducted independent research on Kazakhstan’s unique, largely grassroots nuclear disarmament process. At Brown, Stadler was deeply involved in Model United Nations, attending four conferences, organizing three, and serving on the club’s executive board. As a staff writer for the Brown Human Rights Report, she wrote articles on topics including LGBT rights in Russia and emergency disaster relief. She also volunteered as a tutor for a refugee from Bhutan through Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE). Stadler represented the Brown University International Relations department at the 2016 Naval Academy Foreign Affair Conference on women, peace and security. Her conference paper on the impact of women’s education on natural disaster resilience was selected as a semifinalist in the conference-wide essay contest. She has also engaged with issues of international peace and security as an intern at the U.S. Embassy in Latvia, where she reported on topics including Russian propaganda, and at the U.S. Embassy in Morocco, where she worked on a number of projects to increase participation in the formal economy. She speaks French and Russian and is a native of Harvard, Massachusetts.

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bstadler@armscontrolcenter.org

 

Maggie Tennis (Arms Control Association) is working with Kingston Reif, Kelsey Davenport and Daryl Kimbal focusing on issues related to the U.S. nuclear security agenda and Russian nuclear force policy and modernization. She will contribute to Arms Control Today and work on the Arms Control Association-Lugar Center Bipartisan WMD Policy Dialogue Project. She received a double BA in Anthropology and Slavic Studies from Brown University in 2015, with Honors in Anthropology. She graduated magna cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Her honors thesis at Brown examined Russian Information Warfare (IW) through translation and analysis of Kremlin rhetoric surrounding the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. The thesis was awarded the Anthropology Department’s prize for “Best Thesis.” Tennis has studied the Russian language since age 10. She lived in Yaroslavl, Russia for six months in 2012. During that time she had the opportunity to visit Crimea, prior to the Russian annexation, where she became interested in post-Soviet European security issues. She volunteered as a tutor and counselor at the YMCA in Yaroslavl. Tennis served as the Opinions Editor of the Brown Daily Herald and has published columns in The Herald, the Huffington Post and The Baltimore Sun. Her recent articles in The Sun have focused on Russia and Syria. She was a commencement speaker at Brown, and helped found the Student Power Initiative, which advocated successfully for greater student representation on the Brown University Corporation. She also received the Brown University Pembroke Center Undergraduate Fellowship to conduct research on Ukrainian language politics. She produced reports on pro-Russian language propaganda in Ukraine, as well as the role of the Ukrainian education system in cultivating Ukrainian nationalism. Most recently, Tennis worked at T. Rowe Price, an asset management company in Baltimore, MD. She grew up in Baltimore. She enjoys singing, especially folk and Shape Note singing, as well as reading, hiking and traveling.

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maggie@armscontrol.org