1998 Fellows

Nisha Baliga

Fall 1998 Fellow, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Nuclear/Security Program

Education: Columbia University, MS Urban Planning, 2005
Ohio Wesleyan University, BA International Studies/Sociology-Anthropology, 1998

Issues Covered: Nuclear disarmament

Major Fellowship Activities: Baliga co-wrote an issue brief on Ballistic Missile Defense and wrote a BMD Update for the PSR activist newsletter.  She helped put together an extensive presenters kit to accompany a new PSR slide presentation on nuclear abolition, which she showed to a group of 25 people at the University of Maryland.  She wrote and designed a brochure advocating nuclear abolition, over 15,000 copies of which have been distributed to citizens groups in the United States and abroad.  She represented PSR at a conference at the United Nations hosted by the NGO Committee on Disarmament focusing on the need for a new agenda for nuclear abolition and disarmament.  She also updated the PSR security program website, and attended meetings of the Nuclear Weapons Working Group, NixMOX and the CTBT Working Group.

Current Activities: Baliga is a Senior Planner and Associate at Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners.  She is working on a campus masterplan and landuse plan for a 3200 acres site in Arusha, Tanzania for a new university and associated village for the Aga Khan University.  During graduate school she did her field work in Kenya and wrote her thesis on Community Upgrading in Slums in Nairobi, Kenya.  She received the Urban Technical Assistance Project prize for Community Service achievement.  She also was part of a group of six students who worked on a Report on Community Upgrading of Slums in Kenya at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia and received the Gitelson Award.

She previously worked at Mulhauser and Associates, where their clients included Association for Women in Development, International Center for Research on Women ,Campaign for Eleanor Holmes Norton and GORE 2000.  In the summer of 2000, Baliga participated as a counselor in The Youth Peace Initiative, a Seeds of Peace  summer conflict resolution program held at the International Olympic Academy in Olympia, Greece.  At YPI, Seeds of Peace teamed up with the Andreas Papandreou Foundation to host 66 youth from eight Balkan nations to engage directly with each other since the region descended into conflict in 1989.  She was also involved in helping Seeds of Peace prepare for their summer session in 2001, where for the first time they hosted youth from India and  Pakistan.

Thomas Birmingham

Fall 1998 Fellow, Monterey Institute for International Studies, Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Education: Bowdoin College, AB Government with a concentration in international relations, 1998

Issues Covered: Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, chemical and biological weapons

Major Fellowship Activities: Birmingham completed work on the chemical and biological weapons resource page on the Internet.  He worked to set up an informal meeting between a former Pakistani representative to the IAEA, and a group of arms control community members, and took notes and distributed a summary of what was said.   He also researched and collected documents on de-alerting.  He was involved in planning and follow-through with two briefings, one with Ambassador Ekeus and one with a visiting scholar from China, both of which included working with the press.  He was the primary author of a brief for the Ekeus event.

Current Activities: Birmingham is Team Leader – Financial Institution, Sovereign & Country Risk with General Electric Capital Corporation. He manages a team of analysts responsible for risk management activities related to GE/GE Capital’s financial exposure to financial institutions and sovereigns globally as part of the company’s Treasury function, including a country risk framework that sets risk appetite levels by country. He monitors existing exposures/counterparties/jurisdictions, advises and helps structure transactions to mitigate against counterparty and country risks.

Kevin Kavanaugh

Fall 1998 Fellow, Federation of American Scientists, Biological Weapons Verification Program

Education: Monterey Institute of International Studies, MA International Policy Studies, 1994
Norwich University, BA History and Government, 1981

Issues Covered: Biological weapons

Major Fellowship Activities: Kavanaugh organized and spoke at a Biological Weapons Conference on Capital Hill on the history of the BWC and current negotiations.  He produced an internal analysis of Yugoslavia’s nuclear program and the problems and prospects for the future.  He delivered presentations on the BWC and the problems and challenges it faces at two conferences, an International Studies Association Conference (International Security Section) in Monterey, CA and an International Asian Physicians Conference in Nagano, Japan (which he delivered in Japanese).  He has been contacted by representatives of the press, (NY Times, Village Voice, International Herald Tribune, LA Times, Defense News, Washington Times and Jane’s International Defense Review) on BW and associated topics.  He produced a Daily Intelligence Brief on worldwide events for in-house use to monitor FAS programs in high risk areas and for the general FAS membership.

Current Activities: Following his Fellowship, Kavanaugh was hired as a Research Scientist at the Federation of American Scientists, where he focused on defense affairs, including chemical and biological weapons, and the environmental impact of the air war against Serbia.

Michael Kraig

Fall 1998 Fellow, British American Security Information Council

Education: State University of New York at Buffalo, PhD Political Science, 2001
State University of New York at Buffalo, MA Political Science, 1996
Moorhead State University, BA Political Science, 1993

Issues Covered: Y2K and nuclear weapons systems

Major Fellowship Activities: Kraig wrote a report on The Bug in the Bomb: The Impact of the Year 2000 Problem on Nuclear Weapons.  The report has been cited in articles in several U.S. and British newspapers and magazines, including The International Herald Tribune, Time Magazine, The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Defense Week, Inside the Pentagon, Agence France-Press, and broadcast on the BBC World Service and CNN National and Headline News.  He adapted the report for an article entitled “Safe or Sorry: The “Y2K Problem” and Nuclear Weapons” which appeared in the March/April 1999 issue of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  He wrote an article which appeared in the Baltimore Sun entitled “Nuke Launch Ultimate Y2K Nightmare; U.S., Russia Cooperating on Early-Warning System” and another in the Toronto Star entitled “Y2K and the U.S.-Russian Arsenals.”  Kraig also did two live one-hour radio interviews, one on KQED in San Francisco and the second on KSCJ-AM in Sioux City.  Kraig has appeared on ABC World News Tonight.  He coordinated the content and structure of a BASIC-sponsored symposium on Capitol Hill that addressed both nuclear power and nuclear weapons Y2K issues. He traveled to Australia for a similar symposium sponsored by Dr. Helen Caldicott.

Current Activities: Kraig works as Director of Policy Analysis and Dialogue at the Stanley Foundation in Iowa.  He is currently managing two new areas for future Stanley Foundation policy projects in international security: Regional Approaches to Proliferation Prevention (RAPP) and U.S. Strategies for National Security (SNS).  RAPP will work toward the improvement of regional security and stability in the Middle East, South Asia, and Korean peninsula, while SNS will explore the potential for US national security policies that are integrated and balanced across different types of policy options (military, legal-diplomatic, and economic), involving a complementary mix of unilateral and cooperative methods.  He was principal editor for “Strengthening the Nonproliferation Regime: The Challenge of Regional Nuclear Arsenals,” and co-editor of “Ballistic Missile Defense and Northeast Asian Security: Views from Washington, Beijing and Tokyo.”   Prior to his current position, Kraig wrote a BASIC Research Report entitled “Y2K and Nuclear Arsenals: A Final Report.”   He was a consultant at BASIC working on a project entitled “Missed Opportunities for Conflict Prevention in Kosovo: A European and American Evaluation.”   He interviewed current and former public officials of the State Department, National Security Council and non-governmental organizations in order to build a chronology of missed opportunities in Kosovo since 1989.  He was also a consultant to the Institute for Defense and Disarmament Studies where he wrote for the Arms Control Reporter, an information resource on worldwide arms control negotiations.

Jared Feinberg

Spring 1998 Fellow, Center for Defense Information

Education: Georgetown University, Master of Science in Foreign Service, 2001
University of Virginia, BA Foreign Affairs, 1997

Issues Covered: Central Asian and Eastern European security issues

Major Fellowship Activities: Feinberg wrote a monograph entitled “The Armed Forces in Georgia.”  He also wrote several articles for CDI’s Weekly Defense Monitor, on Armenian Presidential Elections Herald Continued Tension between Armenia and Azerbaijan, The Russian Dilemma in the CIS, Turkmenistan President’s Visit Leaves Sour Taste, Security Hinders Cooperation in Central Asia: the Economic Cooperation Organization, GUAM’s Potential Outside of the CIS, Abkhazia: Where did all the Peacekeepers Go?, Caspian Oil: Great Riches or a Great Quagmire, The Georgian Military: Nowhere to Go but Up, and GUAM: Creating Perceptions in the Caucasus.  He also had a letter to the editor published in the Washington Post, ‘Clay Pigeons,’ Sitting Ducks.

Current Activities: Feinberg is a Lead Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton’s Virginia office.  He is a member of the advisory board of the Harold Rosenthal Fellowship, which provides summer employment opportunities for graduate students of international affairs to work in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government.  He is also involved with the Social Entrepreneur Assistance Program, a volunteer program for U.S.–based consultants to support social innovators in the Middle East with strategic planning, business planning, and communications services to support their ventures.  He was a member of the Scoville Fellowship board of directors from 2001-2007.  He is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Carolyn (Magill) Hanson

Spring 1998 Fellow, Natural Resources Defense Council

Education: University of Pennsylvania, MBA Healthcare Management, Wharton School, 2004
Harvard University, AB Social Studies, 1997

Issues Covered: US broken arrows, accidents involving nuclear weapons

Current Activities: Hanson is Chief Operating Officer of UnitedHealth Care Community Products.  She leads a health plan focused on improving access to care for over 350,000 members in New Jersey with limited incomes, chronic illnesses or disabilities.  She was previously Vice President for Everard Community Products at UnitedHealth Group, where she was responsible for managing health plans that serve more than 80,000 frail elderly and chronically ill individuals, as well as people who have both Medicare and Medicaid.  She was awarded a 2005-2006 Fellowship in Public Policy from the Hubert Humphrey Policy Institute at the University of Minnesota, whose aim is for fellows to develop an understanding of complex public policy issues while forging relationships with other emerging leaders.

David Oprava

Spring 1998 Fellow, 20/20 Vision

Education: Southern Connecticut State University, MS Political Science, 1997
School for International Training (VT), Bachelor of International Studies, Peace Studies, 1996

Issues Covered: CTBT; UN funding; NATO expansion

Major Fellowship Activities: Oprava spoke to students and professors at several colleges and universities in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts (Yale, Southern Connecticut State University, University of Rhode Island, Brown, Wellesley and Tufts) on citizen activism in the area of peace and security issues, including the CTBT, UN funding, and NATO expansion. He also attended a conference on student activism in Columbia, South Carolina where he spoke about 20/20 Vision.  He attempted to revive “Roots on the Radio,” a program which encourages activists to place telephone calls to talk radio shows on the subject of peace issues.  He worked to promote a national call-in day on the CTBT, and wrote his suggestions for improving the program.  He also wrote several pieces for the monthly 20/20 Vision legislative update on U.N. funding and NATO expansion and encouraged many of the activists to write letters to their local newspapers on these issues.

Current Activities: Oprava is a writer living and working in Wales.  He has published two books of poetry and has a third coming out in summer 2010.  He is also completing a PhD in Creative Writing working on a groundbreaking poetry project entitled Once America: 50 expats, 50 interviews, 50 poems, which will be completed in 2011.

Joan Whelan

Spring 1998 Fellow, Council for a Livable World Education Fund

Education: New York University, Wagner School of Public Service, MPA Public Policy/International Development,  1999
Oberlin College, BA Art History, 1983

Issues Covered: Conventional Arms Trade in South Asia

Major Fellowship Activities: Whelan researched and wrote a report entitled Foreign Aid and the Arms Trade: A Look at the Numbers. The report analyzed U.S. foreign aid in Fiscal Year 1997 and found that almost half of the aid went for military purposes, and often works against stated goals of protecting health and fostering economic growth.  Her report was used as the basis for a feature on the front page of USA Today (USA Snapshots) called “Who Buys American Arms?” which appeared in November 1998.  Information she sent to U.S. News and World Report on the sale of fighter jets to Thailand was used in a short article in that magazine (May 11, 1998).  She also wrote several articles for Arms Trade News.

Current Activities: Whelan is Communications Director with the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance II Project (FANTA-2). FANTA-2 supports integrated food security and nutrition programming to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable populations in developing countries. The $100 million, five-year project, managed by the Academy for Educational Development and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, provides technical support to USAID Missions and host governments, private voluntary organizations and non-governmental and international organizations to improve nutrition policies and strategies, as well as program design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation.  She was previously a manager at Chemonics International, a large international development consulting firm.  She coordinated the organization’s response to avian influenza, worked with experts in health, poultry and agribusiness, food security, and trade. She was also on the steering committee of the organization’s Crisis Prevention and Recovery community of practice and on the Fragile States Working Group.