2016-2017 ISD FELLOWS

Rami Ayyub

Bunker Graduate Fellow, Master of Science in Foreign Service

  • Research topic: Agents of Change: Working with Islamic Communities to Counter Extremism
  • Adviser: Ambassador Barbara Bodine, Director, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Rami Ayyub is a Master of Science in Foreign Service candidate concentrating in global politics and security. His ISD research will focus on diplomatic engagement with Islamic communities, particularly in the field of "countering violent extremism." He previously worked with the National Desk at NPR, where he covered issues ranging from national security to religion. Before coming to Georgetown, Rami served as an Analyst with Lockheed Martin, where he developed contracts for international and domestic defense programs. Over the summer of 2016, he will work with the Political Section and the Syrian Transition Assistance Response Team (START) at the American Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Rami holds a Bachelor of Music in opera performance, and a Bachelor of Science in finance, both from the University of Maryland, College Park. 


Zachary Burdette


Bunker Undergraduate Fellow, Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service

  • Research topic: Domestic Decay and Diplomacy
  • Adviser: Bernadette Meehan, Special Assistant to the President for National Security, The White House

Zachary Burdette will be a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying international politics with a concentration in international security. He is an undergraduate Honors Candidate, and he is participating in an accelerated program to matriculate as a Master of Arts in Security Studies candidate after he completes his undergraduate studies. Zachary’s research with the ISD will analyze how the decay of domestic political institutions will impact American diplomacy. His other research interests include defense strategies and force planning, sub-state violence, and quantitative methods. During his undergraduate career, Zachary has been a member of Georgetown’s policy debate team, a consultant for a student-run firm that provides strategic solutions to non-profits, and an academic research assistant.


Sara Itagaki

Huffington Graduate Fellow, Master of Arts in Asian Studies

  • Research topic: The U.S.-China Climate Agreement and Its Implications for Global Climate Diplomacy
  • Adviser: Ms. Katherine Nanavatty,  State Department Rusk Fellow, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Sara Itagaki is a Master of Arts candidate in the Asian Studies program in the School of Foreign Service. As project associate for trade, energy, and economic affairs at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), she has authored articles on trade relations and climate diplomacy across the Asia-Pacific region. Previously, she worked on immigration rights and international disability issues in Seattle. In addition to energy and environmental issues, her research interests include the intersection of markets with geopolitics and national security. She is pursuing a Certificate in Diplomatic Studies.



Charles Jamieson

Newsom Graduate Fellow, Master of Arts in Arab Studies

  • Research topic: Beyond Current Crises: China, India and Long Term Economic Diplomacy in the Middle East
  • Adviser: Rajeev Wadhwani, State Department Rusk Fellow, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Charles Jamieson is completing his MA at the School of Foreign Service, where his main research interests focus on the political economy and international relations of the Arab world. His ISD research project will look at the increasing role emerging economies play in the Middle East, and how they create new opportunities and challenges for US diplomacy in the region. Originally from Scotland, Charles completed his first degree in history and politics at the University of Edinburgh and earned a second degree in economics from the University of London. Prior to coming to Georgetown, Charles worked for Dame Anne Begg in the UK Parliament at Westminster, and worked for consulting firms in Riyadh and London. 


Lynn Lee

Humes Undergraduate Fellow, Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service

  • Research topic:  North Korea's Nuclear Rationale is Unchanging?
  • Adviser: Ambassador Robert Gallucci,, Walsh School of Foreign Service Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy

Lynn Lee will be a senior in the School of Foreign Service majoring in international politics with a security politics concentration, and is pursuing a certificate in Asian Studies. She is passionate about peace and security in Northeast Asia, and her ISD research will focus on North Korea’s nuclear weapon program. She has been a research assistant to a professor at Georgetown, and worked at Liberty in North Korea, a US-based NGO that helps North Korean refugees resettle safely.



Elvia Valle

Huffington Graduate Fellow Master of Arts in German and European Studies.

  • Research topic: The Role of Enlargement in the Future of the EU’s Foreign Policy
  • Adviser(s): Tom and Kirsten Selinger, U.S. Department of State foreign service officers

Elvia is an MA candidate in German and European Studies whose main research interests involve diplomacy with a transatlantic focus. Her ISD research project aims to produce a current picture of the trajectory of European Union enlargement. At a time when the E.U. is looking to emerge from ongoing crises and to reinforce its foreign policy credentials, this research will investigate whether a reinvigorated enlargement policy can play a key role in future transatlantic relations. Originally from Texas, Elvia completed her first degree at St. Edward’s University in Austin. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. A current Pickering Fellow, Elvia will join the US Foreign Service upon graduation. 


Zoya Waliany

Huffington Graduate Fellow, Master of Arts in Arab Studies

  • Research topic: Exchanging Words for Bodies: The Effects of Diplomacy on Conditions of Migrant Workers in the Middle East
  • Adviser: Dr. Kelly McFarland, Director of Programs and Research, Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Zoya Waliany is a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Arab Studies (MAAS) program. Her research interests include gender, empire, transnational labor migration, and Middle Eastern and South Asian studies. Prior to joining MAAS, Zoya spent two years working at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs supporting its civil society programs in Lebanon, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia. She received a Boren Scholarship to study Arabic in Alexandria, Egypt, from 2012-2013 with the Arabic Flagship Program. She holds a B.A. in Plan II Honors and Government from The University of Texas at Austin.