Category: Despatches, Featured News, News

Title: Despatches | 2 November 2022 — Introducing ISD’s Student Fellows

Dear Friends of ISD,

The Institute for the Study of Diplomacy hosts a number of student fellows and scholars each year. Our Fellows in Diplomacy program provides academic credit, stipends, and merit-based tuition scholarships to selected BSFS and graduate SFS students who wish to pursue independent research projects that focus on ongoing and emerging diplomatic issues.

This year’s cohort of seven student fellows will tackle a diverse range of cutting-edge topics, including the use of artificial intelligence in the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems, the role of public diplomacy in times of crisis, the influence of non-state armed actors in Lebanon, gender diplomacy and terrorism in Nigeria, and diaspora in diplomatic foreign policy. We also have two projects on the impact of Chinese multilateralism and China’s relationship with Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Their advisers include ISD Senior Fellows and Staff and SFS faculty, as well as the former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute who leads their Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues Program, and a senior fellow from Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology who is a retired Air Force Lieutenant General and former senior intelligence official.

We also welcome two Weintal scholars. The Edward “Teddy” Weintal Bequest provides a merit-based scholarship to two MSFS students this year. Each has demonstrated academic excellence and special promise as a practitioner in diplomatic reporting and journalism. They join our second-year Weintal Scholar, Aliya Iftikhar.

We invite you to learn more about our student fellows and scholars through their profiles below.

Barbara Bodine

Fellows in Diplomacy

Jasmin Alsaied
Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS)
Dulles Fellow

Project: Lebanese Hezbollah’s Order of Battle within the Levant: An Examination of LH’s Continued Stranglehold on Lebanon’s Foreign and Domestic Policies.

Adviser: Dr. Randa Slim – Senior Fellow and Director of Conflict Resolution and the Track II Dialogues Program, Middle East Institute

Lieutenant Jasmin Alsaied is a graduate candidate in the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program at Georgetown University, pursuing the Global Politics & Security concentration and Certificate of Diplomatic Studies. Her current research focuses are militant Shia groups, Iranian proxy relationships throughout the Middle East, and nuclear nonproliferation and arms control treaty verification methods. Prior to joining MSFS, Jasmin earned her B.S. from North Carolina State University, where she studied nuclear engineering and mathematics.
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Kelly Anderson
Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS)
Huffington Fellow

Project: How Public Diplomacy Saved the US from the End of the West: Trump, Afghanistan, and Ukraine

Adviser: Ambassador (ret.) John Heffern, ISD Distinguished Fellow for Diplomacy and Social Entrepreneurship; Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2017)

Kelly Anderson is a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in International Politics with a concentration in Security Studies and a Certificate in Diplomatic Studies. Kelly has interned with the U.S. Department of State and studied abroad at Sciences Po in Paris. His ISD research examines the role of public diplomacy in advancing U.S. foreign policy interests during times of crisis.
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Carly Kabot
Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS)
Humes Fellow

Project: Back at the Table: Countering China’s Rising Influence in the United Nations

Adviser: Ambassador (ret.) Jeffrey DeLaurentis, Distinguished Fellow in Latin American and Multilateral Affairs, ISD; Senior Advisor for Special Political Affairs, US Mission to the United Nations

Carly Kabot is a senior majoring in International Politics with a concentration in International Security and minoring in Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs. Carly has served as a research assistant at the Institute for the International Study of Migration, the Co-Founder of The Olas Foundation, and the former Editor-in-Chief of On the Record at Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. Her ISD project will study the effect of the PRC’s rising influence across U.N. specialized agencies on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and identify opportunities for strengthened U.S. leadership.
[Read More]

Kiseok (Michel) Kang
Security Studies Program (SSP)
Huffington Fellow

Project: Artificial Intelligence and Alliances: Building Common Ground for Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems with Allies

Adviser: Lt. General (ret.) John Bansemer – Director of the Cyber AI Project and Senior Fellow at the Walsh School’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET)

Kiseok Michael Kang is a second-year M.A. student in the Security Studies Program, concentrating on technology and security. Before coming to Georgetown, Michael served as a foreign service officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. He had worked on various foreign policy issues including cybersecurity, Korea-NATO cooperation, and Korea-China bilateral economic relations. His research will focus on the challenges that the U.S. and its allies will face in regard to the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) and what role diplomacy can play in building common grounds for U.S. allies.
[Read More]

Yu-Jie (Grace) Liao
Security Studies Program (SSP)
Bunker Fellow

Project: China’s Next Step: Analyzing Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement and Hong Kong’s Crackdown

Adviser: Ambassador (ret.) Alex Arvizu , Director of the McHenry Fellows Program, ISD; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Regional Security, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (2007-09).

Yu-Jie Liao is a master’s candidate in the Security Studies Program concentrating in technology and security. Currently, she is serving as a research assistant at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET), working on an AI-related project. In addition to technology security, she is interested in Cross-Strait relations and relevant topics. Born and raised in Taiwan, she is inspired to do more research on how China’s past actions, particularly in the cases of the Sunflower Movement and the Hong Kong Crackdown, may have affected China’s possible plans for the future.
[Read More]

Jillian Robins
Arab Studies (MAAS)
Newsom Fellow

Project: Diaspora in Diplomacy: The Role of the Displaced in Western Policy-Making Towards Syria
Adviser: Dr. Kelly McFarland, Director of Programs and Research, ISD
Jillian Robins is a candidate in the Master of Arts in Arab Studies program pursuing a certificate in Diplomatic Studies. Her research examines the role of displaced communities, particularly grassroots-level actors, in affecting political and diplomatic change during protracted conflict or revolution through the case study of Syria. Jillian has worked with the Middle East Institute (MEI), the Near East Affairs Bureau within the U.S. Department of State, the Greek nonprofit METAdrasi, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition. She was awarded a FLAS Fellowship to continue her Arabic studies in Jordan during the summer of 2022 and has additionally lived and studied in both Greece and Morocco.
[Read More]

Olivia Shoemaker
Security Studies Program (SSP)
Bunker Fellow

Project: Global Gender Diplomacy and the Effectiveness of Terrorist Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) Processes in Northeastern Nigeria

Adviser: Ambassador (ret.) Johnnie Carson, Senior Advisor, US Institute of Peace; Member, Board of Advisors, ISD; Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2009-13)

Olivia Shoemaker is an M.A. student in Georgetown Security Studies Program. She is currently taking a year off to perform research on gender and terrorism in Nigeria as a Beinecke Scholar and West African Research Association Fellow. Olivia graduated with her B.A. in Global Affairs from Yale in 2021 and is particularly interested in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and gender and security. She has previously worked for the Institute for Defense Analyses, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, START, and the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe.
[Read More]

Weintal Scholars

Zahra Wakilzada
Class of 2024 Weintal Scholar

Zahra Wakilzada is a young Afghan refugee, poet, and activist. In the School of Foreign Service, she is studying Science, Technology, and International Affairs while aiming to pursue a certificate at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Zahra’s interest lies at the intersection of public service, gender and diplomacy, particularly focused on how inclusive spaces can lead to sustainable peace across nations. She hopes to pursue a career in the field of diplomacy upon graduating from Georgetown University to contribute to global conflict resolution and peacebuilding.
[Read More]

Yingjie Wang
Class of 2024 Weintal Scholar

Yingjie Wang worked as a full-time journalist in America and China for two years before returning to school, focusing on stories from underserved populations. She worked as an investigative journalist for NPR affiliate Southern California Public Radio during her time in the United States. She hopes to focus her studies at Georgetown on the decision-making logic underlying the United States and China’s international and domestic policies, and how their relationship transforms democratic governance and freedom of expression around the world.
[Read More]

Aliya Iftikhar
Class of 2023 Weintal Scholar

Aliya Iftikhar is a Masters of Science in Foreign Service candidate concentrating in Science and Technology in International Affairs and pursuing a certificate in Diplomacy.

Aliya is currently an intern at the White House in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, as well as a DEIA Student Representative in the MSFS program. She spent the summer interning at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of South and Central Asia. Prior to graduate school, Aliya worked as a senior researcher at the Committee to Protect Journalists where she researched and reported on press freedom violations in South Asia, advocated for journalist safety, and helped provide assistance to journalists facing threats. During her time there she reported from India, Kashmir, the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
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