Category: Despatches

Title: October 2017 Despatches

Date Published: October 1, 2017

Dear Friends of ISD,
Our 2017-2018 Student Fellows, selected last spring for these highly competitive awards, are hard at work on their research topics for this year. ISD’s six graduate fellows and two undergraduate fellows will take on fascinating diplomatic challenges, and produce a research paper with their findings. Each student has been matched with an adviser – a senior practitioner from the 2017-2018 ISD team, elsewhere at Georgetown, or the Washington policy community. We invite you to join us in spring 2018, when our Student Fellows will present their papers at an ISD colloquium.
A number of our Student Fellows are also completing the ISD Certificate in Diplomatic Studies. Please scroll down to meet our new fellows, and keep an eye out for event announcements on the ISD website.
Your generous support for the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy helps us to offer these Student Fellowships to support student research – and launch the next generation of global diplomats.
Please help us meet a 2017 matching grant challenge to support ISD’s 40th Anniversary Launch Campaign! Each donation or pledge counts towards this match – you can make a pledge today and fulfill your pledge through multi-year gifts over the next three years, if you prefer.
Thank you for your support. To support ISD’s work, at whatever level, please contact us directly at, or click on this link to make a tax-deductible contribution this fall.

Best regards,

Barbara K. Bodine
Michael BattaliaHuffington Graduate Fellow, MSFS and M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies
BattaliaResearch topic: “Winning in the Age of Geo-Economics: How Should the United States Use Economic Statecraft to Project Power?”Adviser: Salman Ahmed, Senior Fellow in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Strategic Planning, NSC

Michael Battalia is a dual-degree master’s student in the School of Foreign Service and the Department of History. His ISD research will explore the increasing use of private companies to achieve geopolitical goals, examining case studies of Russian private-sector activity in the Netherlands, the U.A.E. in India, France in Brazil, and China in South Africa. He will assess whether the United States should also adopt elements of these strategies, and make recommendations for how the US government’s diplomatic and military institutions would implement such an approach. Michael worked for six years as a management consultant with Deloitte, where he advised Middle Eastern governments on how to approach economic statecraft. He has a bachelor’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Emily BelsonHumes Undergraduate Fellow, BSFS
Emily Belson Research topic: “The Intersection of Sexual Violence and Terror: Determining Diplomatic Strategies for Prevention”Advisers: Amb. Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GWIPS); and Rebecca Turkington, GIWPS Program Manager and lead on CVE/terrorism related issues

Emily Belson is a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in Regional and Comparative Studies in the Middle East. She has focused on women’s rights and gender equality in the Middle East, and her ISD research will study sexual violence used by terrorist organizations in conflict zones. She studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, and has worked as a research assistant for the Georgetown Institute for the Study of International Migration.

Agathe ChristienBunker Graduate Fellow, Master of Arts in Arab Studies
Agathe ChristienResearch topic: “Euro-Mediterranean Relations, Irregular Migration, and Readmission Agreements: A Case Study of EU-Libya, EU-Turkey, and EU-Morocco Negotiations”Adviser: Dr. Kelly McFarland, ISD Director of Programs and Research

Agathe Christien is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Arab studies (MAAS) program at the School of Foreign Service. Her areas of research interest include migration and refugee issues, critical security studies, and international relations. Agathe’s ISD research project focuses on irregular migration in the Mediterranean, particularly the negotiations of readmission agreements between the European Union and Libya, Turkey, and Morocco. Originally from France, Agathe graduated from Sciences Po Lyon with a degree in International Relations. She previously worked as a research intern at the French Research Center in Jerusalem and has been involved in refugee integration programs in France and in Greece.

John EllingtonDulles Graduate Fellow, M.A. in Security Studies
John EllingtonResearch topic: “Iran’s Regional Interests and the United States’ Afghan Strategy”Adviser: Lt. Colonel (P) Dan Bishop, ISD US Army War College Fellow

John Ellington is an M.A. in Security Studies candidate concentrating in terrorism and sub-state violence. His ISD research will focus on Iranian strategic interests in Afghanistan and what this means for future US policy in the region. He previously received a Boren Fellowship from the National Security Education Program and a Critical Language Scholarship from the State Department to study Iranian and Afghan Persian in Tajikistan. Before coming to Georgetown, John worked at a NGO in India and as a policy analyst in Singapore, where he conducted in-country research projects on social enterprises in Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. Over the summer of 2017, he worked in Lockheed Martin’s corporate strategy section to help develop the company’s sales strategy for South Asia.
John holds a B.A. in the History of Science from Princeton University.

Matt EllisonBunker Undergraduate Fellow, BSFS
Matt EllisonResearch topic: “Change through Rapprochement? A Critical Study of US–Cuban Normalization Under the Obama Administration and Its Effects”Adviser: Mr. Mark Feierstein, Senior Advisor with the Albright Stonebridge Latin America practice, former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs, NSC

Matt Ellison is a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying international politics with a concentration in international security, and is completing an ISD Certificate in Diplomatic Studies. His research with ISD will analyze the recent thaw in US-Cuban relations, with a focus on the history of the negotiation process and the contemporary effects on and within Cuba. Matt has contributed to nuclear security research at the Stimson Center and spent the summer of 2017 as a fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy. As an SFS undergraduate Matt has served as assistant director of Georgetown’s International Relations Institute for high school students, and as a member of the board of the Georgetown International Relations Association.

Daniella MontemaranoHuffington Graduate Fellow, MSFS
Daniella MontemaranoResearch topic: “Next-Generation Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration in Somalia and the Lake Chad Basin”
Adviser: Amb. Linda Thomas Greenfield, ISD Senior State Department Fellow

Daniella Montemarano is a second-year MSFS candidate studying international conflict resolution and multitrack diplomacy under the Global Politics and Security concentration. Daniella specializes in transitional justice; stabilization operations; the rule of law; and gender, peace, and security. Prior to joining MSFS, Daniella led peacebuilding projects in West and Southern Africa and the United States, addressing issues like women’s political participation in rural Cameroon and post-conflict reconciliation within the Liberian diaspora community. Her recent work includes electoral violence analysis at the US Department of State and trial monitoring at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Daniella served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana (2012- 2015) and holds an honors B.A. in History and Political Science from New York University. Her ISD research project aims to develop a cross-regional model for insurgency-related Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) operations in the Horn of Africa and the Lake Chad Basin.

Amanat ThindNewsom Graduate Fellow, MSFS
Amanat ThindResearch topic: “India in the Middle: A case for greater Indian engagement in West & South Asia”Adviser: To be determined

Amanat Thind is a MSFS candidate at the Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her research interests include Middle Eastern and South Asian studies, identity politics, nationalism, and grand strategy. Her ISD research will focus on India’s foreign policy and diplomatic engagement in the Middle East. Originally from India, Amanat holds a Master of Arts (Honors) in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh. Before coming to Georgetown, Amanat worked as the regional director of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce in New Delhi. She also worked in research and policy for the West Asia & North Africa Division of India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Amanda ThoetHuffington Graduate Fellow, M.A. in German and European Studies
Amanda ThoetResearch topic: “The Use of Diplomatic Strategies to Help Enhance the Integration of Migrants in Germany”Adviser: Megan Kelly, ISD State Department Rusk Fellow

Amanda Thoet just finished her first year in the M.A. in German and European Studies Program at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. She is also pursuing Graduate Certificates in Diplomatic Studies and in Refugees & Humanitarian Emergencies. During the summer of 2017, Amanda interned at the German American Chamber of Commerce in Denver, Colorado, and participating in a German Academic Exchange Service study trip on refugee integration in Germany. Previously, Amanda interned at the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of International Relations; completed a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Leipzig, Germany; and interned as a speechwriter at the US Embassy in Berlin. Amanda graduated from Pennsylvania State University with undergraduate degrees in English, German, and Communication Arts and Sciences.