2005 Fellows

William Huntington

Fall 2005 Fellow, Arms Control Association

Education: Brown University, BA International Relations and Middle East Studies, 2005

Issues Covered: Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, proposed U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, tactical nuclear weapons issues

Major Fellowship Activities: Huntington focused on the Cooperative Threat Reduction program, the proposed U.S.-India nuclear cooperation agreement, and the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. He wrote several articles for Arms Control Today including “Threat Reduction Program Extends Reach to Ukrainian Biological Facilities,” “Brazilian Regulator Denies Uranium Claims,”  “Czech Uranium Removed,” “Congress Boosts Threat Reduction Funding,” “Congress Amends Iran Nonproliferation Act,” “President Gains Permanent CTR Waiver Power,” “Bush Plans Changes in Threat Programs,” “France, Libya Agree to Nuclear Cooperation,” “U.S. , Libya to Restore Full Diplomatic Relations,” and “Indo-Pakistani Talks Advance.”  He and Miles Pomper interviewed Odair Goncalves, the president of Brazil’s Nuclear Energy Commission, and published the interview in ACT.  Huntington wrote a news-analysis piece about the interview and related recent news events entitled “Brazilian Regulator Denies Uranium Claims.”  He also compiled and maintained the Arms Control Association resource page on the U.S.-India nuclear cooperation deal.

Current Activities: Huntington was a Legislative Assistant in the office of Rep. Ed Markey.  His portfolio included defense, foreign policy, arms control and nonproliferation, intelligence, international trade, and taxes. He was also Executive Director of the House Bipartisan Task Force on Nonproliferation, which organized events for Members and staff on various nonproliferation issues.  In 2008, among other events, it sponsored talks on Iran, the Russia 123 Agreement, the India 123 Agreement, and a presentation by Rogelio Pfirter, the Director General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

 

Farah Mahesri

Fall 2005 Fellow, National Security News Service

Education: George Washington University, MA International Affairs, 2007
University of California at Berkeley, BA Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies, 2005

Issues Covered: A. Q. Khan smuggling network

Major Fellowship Activities: Mahesri worked on a chronology on the A.Q. Khan network that covers not only Khan’s life, but also the names of others persons and companies involved in both the procurement and proliferation of nuclear technology, key moments in history when decisions were made, and investigations into these networks and trials that have occurred over the past several decades. As part of this project, she spoke with experts, including nuclear physicists; regional experts; government agencies and embassies both in the U.S. and abroad; and current and retired government officials. The chronology will be published on the website. Additionally, she researched or investigated several other stories, including examining if there was damage done to Pakistani nuclear sites during the 2005 earthquake; she helped with research on a 60 Minutes story on contracting fraud in Iraq; she also looked into lobby and other records, as well as other stories concerning border security.

Current Activities: Mahesri is a Business Development Associate for the Middle East at Chemonics International.  Chemonics International is an international development consulting firm that works with donor agencies (such as USAID) to implement development projects around the world in every sector from health to economic growth to natural resources management. She works on the business development team, helping to design new projects and prepare bids for donor agencies for the Middle East region.  In 2007 she received an MA in International Affairs with a focus on Conflict Resolution and International Law/International Organizations from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.  She wrote her graduate thesis on Peace-Building in Lebanon through Education Reform.  In summer 2006 she taught English and developing curriculum in a newly rebuilt non-religious school in the earthquake zone in Kashmir, Pakistan.

 

Victoria Johnson

Spring 2005 Fellow, Henry L. Stimson Center

Education: Massey University (New Zealand), PhD Emergency Management, 2014
University of London, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, MS Public Health, 2006
Cornell University, BA Government, 2001

Issues Covered: Cooperative Threat Reduction, biodefense

Major Fellowship Activities: Johnson worked with Libby Turpen on the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) project where she is contributing research for the Pathogens for Peace Initiative to convert former bioweapons facilities in the former Soviet Union to vaccine production facilities for the developing world.  She did background research on International Science and Technology Center projects in Russia that relate to vaccine and drug development, on the most pressing medical needs in the developing world, and on the private pharmaceutical industry in Russia.  She also researched potential international donors that may be interested in underwriting a Canadian bio-redirect project.  She developed background reports about the activities of agencies and NGOs involved in vaccine procurement for developing countries, which will be added to the CTR website.  She interviewed companies across the U.S. that are involved in cooperative projects with Russian scientists and compiling CTR “success stories” that will be posted on the website.  She organized and developed briefing materials for Roundtable Meetings focused on specific impediments to cooperative threat reduction programs run by DOE and DOD.  To date they have held meetings with U.S. Industry Coalition (USIC) members, U.S. Department of State officials, Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF) members, and subcontractors of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Integrating Contracts (CTRIC).   She has compiled summaries of some of the roundtable meetings which will eventually be used for a comprehensive report on impediments to cooperative threat reduction from the perspective of the private sector.

She also worked with Peter Roman on a sustainable biodefense project and wrote an essay on “The Need for a Sustainable Biodefense Strategy” that addresses the lack of sustainability and long-term outlooks in the present deterrence, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery plans for biological weapons attacks and emerging diseases.  She directed an invitational brown bag luncheon seminar series for young professionals in biosecurity, which took place weekly beginning on July 20th.  The participants are a small group of invited young professionals, who have 2-5 years full-time work experience in the fields of public health preparedness, bio-nonproliferation, biotechnology or biodefense research.  The participants represent the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), The National Association of County and City Health Officials, The Federation of American Scientists, The Department of Defense, The National Institutes of Health, The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, The American Public Health Association, The National Academies of Science, The Heritage Foundation and the Henry L. Stimson Center.  The first scheduled speakers include Jonathan Tucker of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Elin Gursky of ANSER, Bruce Gellin of HHS, and Mark Smolinski of the Nonproliferation Threat Initiative. There were seven luncheons from July 20th through August 31st.

She  attended several conferences and meetings of interest to the CTR project: “Russia’s Loose Nukes” at Georgetown University; “Making Markets for Vaccines: From Ideas to Action” at the Center for Global Development; “Strengthening the Nonproliferation Regime: Challenges and Prospects for      Global Security.’ on Capitol Hill,” “Monitoring Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear-Explosive Materials: An Assessment of Methods and Capabilities” at the National Academy of Sciences; “BioShield II: Biosecurity, Public Health and the Role of Industry” at the Center for American Progress.

Current Activities: Johnson is a Strategy Consultant for Girls Not Brides, the global partnership to end child marriage. She is assisting with research for the development of their 2017-2020 Strategy. She is also founder and Director of ProFellow and the International Fellows Network, a 1,000+ member organization of current and former fellows globally. She is also Vice Chair of Children in Disasters Caucus, International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). She earned a PhD in Emergency Management from Massey University in New Zealand in 2014 where she studied the impact of disaster preparedness education for children, and received the Dean’s Award for Exceptional Theses.

She was previously the Policy & Government Affairs Manager for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, where she worked on state and federal policy related to clean energy, water conservation, climate adaptation and infrastructure investments. She was a consultant for the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and was formerly a consultant for the American Red Cross. Previously, Johnson was an Ian Axford Fellow in Public Policy, hosted by the New Zealand Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, and also worked in the National Crisis Management Centre during response to the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand. From 2009-2010, Johnson served as Policy Director of the National Commission on Children and Disasters, a two-year Commission created by Congress.  She directed the Commission’s research agenda for a large-scale policy study examining children’s needs as they relate to preparation for, response to, and recovery from major disasters and emergencies. Johnson was a German Chancellor Fellow from 2003-4 in Berlin, Germany and a New York City Urban Fellow from 2001-2. She lives with her husband Ryan in San Francisco, CA.

 

Fatema Haji-Taki

Spring 2005 Fellow, Citizens for Global Solutions

Education: Northeastern University School of Law, JD 2012
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, BA Political Science, 2004

Issues Covered: Peacekeeping

Major Fellowship Activities: Haji-Taki focused on peace operations, UN reform, the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She helped prepare materials for several Congressional staffers on the situation in Darfur and wrote several articles for the CGS website including “What Next for the African Union in Darfur?” “Time For A UN Emergency Capacity,” “The United Nations Responds to Sexual Abuse by Peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” and “UN Management Reform In Progress,” and co-authored “Towards A Comprehensive U.S. Agenda For UN Reform” and “Gingrich-Mitchell Report: A Viable Approach to UN Reform.” She also wrote news summaries and updated web articles on several UN reform proposals, the UN Oil For Food Program and the Convention on Nuclear Terrorism. She interviewed the UN Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations and wrote about Kofi Annan’s plan for the UN for the Summer 2005 issue of Global Solutions Quarterly.

She attended numerous policy briefings and meetings at the Arms Control Association, Brookings Institution, Center for American Progress, Georgetown University, State Department, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, U.S. Institute for Peace, and the Woodrow Wilson Center, and has participated in coalition meetings with other peace and security groups. She regularly helps prepare materials for the monthly meeting of Partners for Effective Peacekeeping.

Current Activities: Haji-Taki will be working in the Health Care Eligibility & Access Division for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. She will be responsible for researching the Affordable Care Act and making sure that Minnesota complies with the law and implements all the health care reforms successfully. She was previously Outreach and Assistance Coordinator at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. Her job was to provide policy and technical expertise on the intersection of health law and immigration law. She also conducted presentations and outreach events to immigrant communities throughout Minnesota about Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace, and planned, coordinated, and executed  enrollment assistance. During her second year of law school she was a Legal Intern at the Office of the Attorney General – Civil Rights Division in Boston, and a Judicial intern with the Honorable Judge Carol Ball in the Massachusetts Superior Court in Boston. In Fall 2011 she was a Legal Intern with Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance – Immigration Law Project in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a Program Associate for Civil Liberties with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.  The key focus of the civil liberties program is to defend individual rights, freedoms, democratic processes and institutions threatened and eroded by the so-called global war on terror.  They work with partner organizations both nationally and internationally in pursuit of their goals of defending civil liberties as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and other similar national charters. She worked with the Program Manager and assisted in program development; partnership development; and programmatic responsibility for administrative tasks.  She was profiled in the Boston Globe and wrote an op-ed in that newspaper in May 2009 regarding organizing and participating in workshops in Morocco for thirty young professionals from Middle Eastern countries who are all involved in working for civil liberties and interfaith community programs. She also co-led UUSC’s first Building Bridges for Civil Liberties Workshop in June 2009 in a Chicago suburb where thirty Unitarian Universalists and Arab and Muslim Americans met to discuss how Arabs and Muslims in this country have seen their civil liberties eroded by policies adopted after 9/11 and how UUs can work in solidarity with Arab- and Muslim-American communities to restore those rights.  In Fall 2009 she will begin law school at Northeastern University. She previously worked as a Program Coordinator for Peace & Security at Citizens for Global Solutions. She primarily focused on the crisis in Darfur and the broader impact of failed and failing states on global security. She also worked on the “Campaign for a 21st Century UN” and tracked the following reform taking place at the UN: responsibility to protect, the Peacebuilding Commission, management reform and mandate review.  She was co-director of The Qunoot Foundation, an organization based in Washington, DC to provide a platform for marginalized Muslim voices, and was a Policy Coordinator for SustainUS, a U.S. youth network that works on sustainable development.  Prior to that she served as an Edward Rawson Fellow at Citizens for Global Solutions.