MA Candidate, Global Affairs, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University
New Haven, CT
Project: Tigris and Grove Street Project: A Miniseries
Biography: Tom served for seven and a half years as an infantry officer in the US Army after graduating from the US Military Academy at West Point. He led soldiers as a platoon leader in Diyala Province, Iraq in 2008-2009 and as a company commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2011-2012. After leaving active service in 2013, Tom traveled to several countries in South America to study issues affecting disenfranchised youth as well as to work with organizations seeking to improve access to education and employment for this marginalized demographic. He returned from South America to Yale in 2014 to pursue a Masters in Global Affairs. At Yale, Tom studies strategies to enhance security through empowering youth who might otherwise be co-opted into violence. This past summer he designed and implemented a business development workshop to allow Kenyan youth entrepreneurs in areas affected by political violence to productively employ their peers. With the Tigris & Grove Street Project, Tom continues this mission of empowerment by bringing together Iraq War veterans at Yale and Iraqi refugees resettled in Yale’s shadow to tell their stories, help each other heal, and drive future policy.
MA Candidate, International Business, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tuffs University
Biography: Jeremy is a scholar of the Institute for Business in the Global Context at The Fletcher School at Tufts University. There, he is pursuing a master’s degree in international business, specializing in global human resources. Guiding Jeremy’s personal and professional endeavors is a deep passion for people. Recently, he was selected for Bank of America’s highly competitive Human Resources Leadership Development Program, which he will join upon graduation.
Jeremy is also an advocate for bringing people of different cultures together. Jeremy presented on culture shock as it pertains to cross-cultural misunderstanding at TEDxTufts 2015, collaborative approaches to public diplomacy at TEDxMacatawa 2015, and Department of Defense-sponsored cultural diplomacy initiatives at Expo Milano 2015. Before attending Fletcher, Jeremy served as an officer in the US Air Force. He completed three deployments in support of Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM, earning three Air Medals. He continues to serve as a Captain in the Massachusetts Air National Guard. Take Point Initiative Tuesday, October 13 – Friday, October 23, 2015 Atlantic Council Headquarters Jeremy graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Michigan State University in 2010, has been recognized as a Distinguished Graduate of numerous military courses, and was recently named an emerging North American leader as part of the 2014 United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship Programme.
Biography: Justin Brown is the co-founder of HillVets, which strives to increase Veterans’ involvement in government and advocacy. HillVets is a bipartisan organization of veterans, service members, and supporters focused on veteran empowerment through networking, community involvement, and education.
By day Justin is a senior staff member on Capitol Hill, where he has oversight of a $105 billion dollar budget. He has nearly a decade of Veterans’ focused experience and advocacy, fighting on behalf of Veterans and their families to increase educational and employment opportunities, to expand access to benefits and healthcare, and to eliminate homelessness. Justin began his commitment to public service by enlisting in the US Navy where he completed one deployment in support of Operation Southern Watch and two deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In Washington, DC, he has worked for: the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Congressman and former Admiral Joe Sestak, the VFW, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. As a Veterans’ advocate, Justin pushed for passage of the Post 9/11 GI Bill, and raised the issue of Veteran unemployment during the economic recession. He has testified before numerous congressional committees and has participated in roundtables, press conferences, documentaries, and media interviews regarding Veterans’ economic and benefits issues. Justin graduated from the US Naval War College in June 2014 with a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. This year he ran a passionate but unsuccessful race in a Democratic Primary for the Virginia House of Delegates.
Social Media Manager and Head of Digital Fundraising Team, UPLIFT Aeronautics
Biography: Adam Hesch is a US Navy veteran with a passion for the intersection between veterans and technology. In March of 2015 he joined UPLIFT Aeronautics as the social media manager and head of the digital fundraising team, where he led the effort that raised over $35,000 via the IndieGoGo crowdfunding platform. UPLIFT Aeronautics is a non-profit based out of Stanford, California that is developing humanitarian aid delivery drones (featured on the BBC, NPR, Washington Post, Fast Company, and more).
Adam actively networks to build meaningful relationships with veterans across industry, with a focus on tech. To this end, he has attended the TechStars Patriot Boot Camp; Stanford Graduate School of Business Post-9/11 Veterans IGNITE program; VetTechTrek tech-immersion trip; and has been a speaker at the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum.
He is also learning iOS app development via the bloc.io veteran’s scholarship, and helps with business development for stubble & stache, a veteran-owned beard care company (featured on CNN and Washington Post) where 15% of proceeds go to veterans struggling with the mental wounds of war.
In the Navy he was a surface warfare officer and graduate of the US Naval Academy, the Defense Language Institute, Navy Dive school, and Army Mountain Warfare school.
Lawyer, Jones Day
Biography: Pierre received his BS in Economics from the US Military Academy at West Point in 2007, served as an Army intelligence officer from 2007–2012, received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 2015, and currently works at global law firm Jones Day. He led an intelligence section and 15 translators while serving on a Brigade Combat Team in Iraq. Later as a Captain, Pierre worked as assistant capability manager for an IT program at the US Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, advising military leaders and defense contractors on intelligence technology and traveling to Afghanistan, Germany, and 14 bases throughout the United States to share best practices with tactical units. In law school Pierre was a teaching fellow for a Global Law course, editor of the Law Review, judicial intern to a federal judge, and intern at the Securities and Exchange Commission. His writing on national security and civil liberties has appeared in The Daily Beast and TIME, and he has appeared on Al Jazeera America and The Washington Post TV. Pierre is a member of the Truman National Security Project and Caribbean Returning Nationals Foundation.
Presidential Management Fellow, US Department of State
Biography: Audrey Hsieh is passionate about two things: public service and professional connections. Both have led her to adventure. As an army officer in the Chemical Corps, she was hand-selected to deploy to Kandahar, Afghanistan with 7th Special Forces Group in 2007 to help establish a Forward Operating Laboratory to conduct presumptive analysis of captured material. Later on, as a psychological operations officer in Army Special Operations, she led troops in Baghdad, Iraq and was the first female in her unit to deploy to Sana’a, Yemen. After leaving military service in 2012, she obtained her Masters degree in Security Studies from Georgetown University and continues to serve as a Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of State. In this capacity, she has worked as a policy advisor in the Office of the Special Envoy for Guantanamo Closure and as a political officer at the US Embassy in Barbados.
Her goal is to assist other veterans similarly passionate about public service to find suitable employment in the federal government in fulfillment of a continued calling. A child of Taiwanese immigrants, Audrey speaks Mandarin Chinese and is trained in Modern Standard Arabic.
MA Candidate, Law and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
Biography: Katherine Kranz Jordan is a candidate for the Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She is a 12-year Navy veteran and holds the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the US Naval Reserve.
Ms. Jordan was commissioned in the Navy in 2002 and qualified as an E-2C Hawkeye Naval flight officer in 2005. She flew three deployments with VAW-113 Black Eagles and the USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group. From 2011-2012, Ms. Jordan served on the NATO Rule of Law Field Support Mission in Afghanistan, working as a strategic planner, research assistant and executive aide. Her last assignment on active duty, from 2012-2014, was as Special Assistant to the Commander, NATO Joint Force Command and US Naval Forces Europe/Africa in Naples, Italy.
Ms. Jordan is a co-author and editor of In the Shadow of Greatness: Voices of Leadership, Service and Sacrifice from America’s Longest War, a two time Los Angeles Times best seller chronicling junior officers’ experiences in the post 9/11 military. She holds a BS in English from the US Naval Academy and a MA in Administrative Leadership from the University of Oklahoma.
MSc Candidate, Land Management and Land Tenure, Technical University of Munich
Biography: Keith Mantel is completing a Master’s in Land Management and Land Tenure. His interest in land rights manifested during his transition from the military. During Keith’s deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, he became frustrated with the Army’s method of post-conflict development. When he returned from Afghanistan, Keith reflected on the role that land rights played in counterinsurgency doctrine and the everyday lives of those living in war zones. To test the impact that land rights have in other post-conflict regions, he traveled to Myanmar, conducting exploratory research on land tenure disputes. Land played a significant role in the stagnation of poverty reduction and political development.
For Keith’s Master’s thesis, he chose to conduct a pilot project in Jamaica, a country whose land information system is outdated. Leveraging knowledge from his MBA and GIS expertise, he designed a prototype that accurately tracks land ownership, usage, and valuations. Keith’s goal is to develop this prototype into a website and mobile application that displays up-to-date information for the immovable property market. This site will reduce the information asymmetry that fuels corruption and wealth inequality. He plans to assemble a team of veterans for a nonprofit start-up to further develop and deploy this tool worldwide.
Co-Founder, Hatch.Space LLC
Biography: Justin has over 10 years of experience at the local and national levels in the government and nonprofit sectors working on research, policy, and program development centered on public and environmental health, preparedness, critical infrastructure protection, and homeland security. In 2015, Justin co-founded Hatch.Space, LLC, a social enterprise aimed at employing research, design thinking, behavioral science, facilitation, and action planning to help improve the way people and organizations engage one another to address challenges, innovate, implement change, and explore the space between sectors, disciplines, and perspectives. Justin holds a Master of Public Administration from Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. Justin served in the US Marine Corps Reserve and deployed to Iraq as a combat engineer from 2004-2005.
Project: Patriots: A Novel
Biography: After completing his Bachelor of Science at West Point, Daniel was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. During his service, Daniel deployed to Iraq where he worked as an operations advisor on an embedded Military Transition Team. Daniel also worked at the US Army North Atlantic Treaty Organization and US Army Europe Headquarters. After leaving military service as a Captain, Daniel carried out a double-degree masters program in International Affairs with the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and the Fletcher School at Tufts University, in which he focused on issues of human security and humanitarian intervention. During his graduate studies Daniel competed at the Telders International Law Moot Court Competition at The Hague as part of the Swiss National Team, carried out research on disaster risk reduction in conflict and post-conflict environments for the Feinstein International Center and worked at the International Committee of the Red Cross Delegation to the United Nations in New York. After completing his graduate studies Daniel was selected to be a Fulbright-Clinton Public Policy fellow to Nepal where he worked on civil-military issues related to disaster preparedness and emergency
Pathways Intern, Researcher, US Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and
Project: Rethinking Unconventional Warfare in a New Era: A Research Monograph
Biography: Colin is a federal intern conducting research for the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center at the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL). His research focuses on political violence, with a particular interest in terrorism, and irregular and unconventional warfare. A veteran of the US Army, Colin served in Mosul, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom III as a Combat Medic assigned to the Scout/Recon Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, and later in various postings in Germany. He graduated Summa Cum Laude as a Distinguished Honors Scholar with a BA in International Studies (focus in Security and Diplomacy) and with minors in Arabic and Anthropology from the University of North Texas in December 2014. Colin is a former National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) fellow; a Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (DHS HS-STEM) intern; and a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. He is a member of the International Studies Association, the Midwestern Political Science Association, and serves in various volunteer leadership roles with the American Red Cross. He plans to pursue his PhD in Political Science next Fall.