The following students are upcoming graduates who have completed the Master of International Policy program and/or the Richard B. Russell Security Leadership Program. CITS is proud to support these emerging leaders as they enter their career fields.

If you are interested in learning more about these or other CITS students, please contact Dr. Justin Conrad:


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy, Certificate in Global Health

Previous degree: B.A. (2019) in International Affairs, UGA

Imane Bassit is interested in the intersection of human rights and global health. Through the course of her study, she has written on a variety of topics ranging from refugees’ right to return and Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, to the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Her current research examines the impact of political party ideology on asylum policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Imane currently serves as a Teaching Assistant for the Sociology department at UGA. She has previously worked as a Policy Fellow at Asian American Advocacy Fund and interned for the African Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. She is interested in employment opportunities that center advocacy work along with policy analysis and evaluation.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy 

Previous degree: B.A. in Music Education, University of West Georgia

Jon Christian is interested in alliance-based import and export controls and how states and non-state actors might use global trade networks to acquire weapons of mass destruction. While at the University of Georgia he has researched various topics around trade and security including trade wars, multilateral export control regimes, and America’s deterrence posture against North Korea. Currently, he is researching what impact global sanctions have had on the DPRK in terms of human security and WMD proliferation. Jon’s ideal job would be to work in the trade compliance field either in the public sector or private sector.

Jon was a graduate assistant while at the University of Georgia where he worked with a number of faculty and students on research projects and classroom operations. Prior to beginning graduate school, he spent the previous six years as an English teacher in South Korea. During his free time in Korea, he would organize group trips, help clean public spaces, and would teach English at a local group-home.

To learn more about Jon, feel free to view his SPIA profile here.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy and Bachelor of International Affairs, Dual-Degree

Samantha Daly is interested in violent conflict, military deterrence, and foreign policy decision-making. She has studied abroad in Tanzania and worked as an International Consulting Intern in Shanghai, China. As a Graduate Research Assistant at UGA, she manages a team of undergraduate researchers evaluating the export controls of Nuclear Suppliers Group member countries. She also conducts research on terrorist group interactions to determine the effect of rivalry on government suppression. Her undergraduate research focused on prospect theory in deterrence decision-making and US military decision-making by conflict domain (conventional, nuclear, cyber). She has also written reports on topics from the classification of the internment of the Uighurs as genocide to the organizational effectiveness of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act. Her MIP capstone paper evaluates the effect of ideology and power distribution on rebel group rivalry. 

Samantha is involved in the Athens community through her role as President of Athens Prison Tutorial, an organization devoted to helping incarcerated individuals earn their high school equivalency degrees (GEDs). She is also a mentor through the Clarke County Mentor Program and meets with an elementary school child to provide academic and emotional support. 

To learn more about Samantha, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: B.A. (2020) in International Affairs

Hannah Kelley is interested in domestic export compliance, international human rights law, and American foreign policy. While at UGA, Hannah investigated a wide range of topics including how US public opinion of China surrounding the US onset of COVID-19 aligned with President Trump’s twitter rhetoric, whether US Domestic Terrorist Organizations are more likely to act out during a presidential administration which aligns with or deviates from their ideology, and how punitive family separation should qualify as a crime against humanity under the subset of torture. 

Hannah is passionate about servant leadership and community participation. She completed a year of service in Chicago, IL before beginning her college career, served as her high school’s Alumni President from 2017 to 2019, and currently serves as a Scholarship Application Review Volunteer for the Jeanette Rankin Foundation, which provides scholarships for post-secondary education to low-income women, at least 35 years of age. 

Hannah hopes to work in intelligence or policy analysis, since exploring diverse internship opportunities in recent years. She worked with the International Rescue Committee as an intensive case management intern in Summer of 2019, providing direct services to refugee and asylum families in the greater Atlanta area. Currently, she interns with the Department of Commerce International Trade Association, conducting market research and assisting Senior International Trade Specialists with domestic export compliance. Hannah will be interning with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations this upcoming summer as a policy intern, before pursuing a full-time post graduate position in Fall of 2021.

To learn more about Hannah, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy and Bachelor of International Affairs, Dual-Degree

Elizabeth Carter is interested in the varied impact of the public sector’s involvement on international development outcomes. She has cross-sector experience, including work with the US State Department, UPS Global Public Affairs Office, International Rescue Committee, and Carl Vinson Institute of Government International Center. At the US State Department, she served on the Private Sector Engagement Team in the Global AIDS Coordinator’s Office, and at the UPS Office on the Domestic and International Legislative Teams.

Her research background ranges from policy-oriented papers detailing public-private partnerships for water security in Karachi, Pakistan to field interviews to create an asset map in Clarkston, Georgia and advise the local government on refugee-owned business support programs. She has also served as the teaching assistant for UGA courses.

To learn more about Elizabeth, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: B.A. in Psychology, University of California, Irvine

Tsun-Kai’s interest and expertise focuses on contemporary Chinese foreign and domestic policy, cross-strait relations and the US’s role in them. He has conducted research on topics related to the US’s China and Taiwan policy, centering his Capstone project on the strategic ambiguity of US’s Taiwan policy. Tsun-Kai wishes to join the US’s intelligence community as an intelligence analyst, focusing on issues related to China and Taiwan.

Tsun-Kai served for almost 7 years as a United State Marine Corps reservist. As a marine NCO, Tsun-Kai led Marines in a high-stress, fast pace work environment, and he became comfortable managing projects and overseeing operations with limited resources and time. During his time in service, Tsun-Kai also had the opportunity to provide support to missions requiring an ability to read, write, and speak Mandarin, as well as apply his knowledge of Chinese politics and foreign policy. He also volunteered in Marine Corps’ Toy for Tots Charity event several times.

Tsun-Kai’s personal cultural background and origin have provided him insight into East Asian politics with a focus on the Chinese and Taiwanese relationship and history, contemporary Chinese politics and foreign policy, and contemporary Taiwanese politics. Tsun-Kai is a first-generation Taiwanese immigrant, and Taiwanese people typically have high political awareness and participation due to high exposure to political events and issues from media and other channels. Therefore, Tsun-Kai has extensive knowledge regarding Taiwanese politics. Tsun-Kai was raised by his grandparents when he was young. During his youth, Tsun-Kai’s grandfather, who was in Taiwanese military intelligence, passed down great knowledge regarding China, the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese politics, and Taiwanese politics to him. During his time in the service, Tsun-Kai’s grandfather had fought in World War II against the Japanese and later in the Chinese civil war against the Chinese communists. Therefore, Tsun-Kai’s understanding of China and Taiwan comes from a unique and valuable perspective.

To learn more about Tsun-Kai, feel free to view his SPIA profile here.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy

Previous degree: University of St Andrews, MA (Hons) International Relations, First Class

Sophie McMurray is interested in gender and political violence, feminist theory, radicalization, and counterterrorism. While at UGA, Sophie has researched and written on the position of ISIS after the fall of the Islamic State, biased military intervention and terrorism, the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and deterrence and nuclear terrorism. Her undergraduate dissertation analyzed the online recruitment of Western women to ISIS, and her final year MIP capstone looks at the role of gender in U.S. and U.K. counterterrorism policy.

Sophie currently works as a graduate research assistant for UGA’s Center for International Trade and Security. While at CITS, she has worked on a number of projects including identifying sources on consumer preferences towards conflict diamonds, collecting data on ISIS battles in Iraq and Syria, and coding nuclear cooperation agreements between states.

To learn more about Sophie, feel free to view her SPIA profile here.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: Master of International Policy and Bachelor of International Affairs, Dual-Degree

McCloud Hodges is interested in American foreign policy and cybersecurity. While at UGA, McCloud has researched and written on the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and Russia’s cyber offensive against Ukraine. McCloud’s current research focuses on the active cybersecurity threats to the U.S. McCloud is most interested in work in policy research and analysis.

While at UGA, McCloud conducted research on global human rights violations, and on Israel’s relationship with the U.S as a non-NATO ally. During his undergrad McCloud was involved in multiple leadership and volunteer positions including SGA, UGA HEROs, and holding a seat on the Competitive Sports Executive Committee.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: B.A. in International Affairs

Micha Wallesen in interested in emerging technologies and cybersecurity, nuclear nonproliferation and defense. She is also interested in agricultural and trade policy in the wine industry. As part of her major course project for the Security Leadership Program, she researched domestic nuclear material transportation security through policy analysis. She is most interested in working for a think tank or a federal agency in a position that is involved in policy analysis.

In her current role as a research assistant intern at Washington CORE, she has conducted research for international clients relating specifically to emerging technologies and Industry 4.0. She works this internship full time while she spends her last academic semester in Washington, D.C., participating in the Washington Semester Program offered by UGA. In her sophomore year at the University of Georgia, she spent a semester studying at Oxford University where she was able to improve her writing skills and learn Human Rights law and Arabic from Oxford faculty. Her previous internship roles include working as an administrative intern at a law firm and as a marketing intern for Lecturio, a German-based medical education company.

She has been involved in Camp Kesem, an organization that provides free summer to kids whose parents are battling cancer. She has served as a general member at the UGA chapter, and a camp counselor at that University of Texas chapter, her home state. Most recently she has become involved with Food & Friends, a meal and grocery service based out of D.C. that provides food to people with special dietary restrictions and health issues.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: B.A. in International Affairs, Spanish Minor

Isaac Parham is interested in environmental stewardship, human rights, corruption, and the intersection of these issues, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has previously researched the responses of multilateral institutions and non-governmental organizations to climate change, the implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative as a tool to spread authoritarianism, and the intractability of the political crisis in Venezuela. He is most interested in working for a think tank or other non-profit research institution (such as PSI), or for an agency like USAID or the Department of State. The fields he is interested in are international development (with a focus on green infrastructure), migration, and increasing the Foreign Policy focus on Latin America. Isaac is very interested in working abroad.


Isaac currently works as a Research Assistant intern with the Center for Strategic and International Studies Americas program, where he has written publications, commentary, and provided background research for program fellows. He previously interned with TradeSecure LLC in Athens, Georgia, studying export and dual-use control laws. He also studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina and interned with the public defender’s office on their social work team. During the Covid-19 pandemic in Summer 2020, Isaac worked with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.  He previously volunteered in his hometown with a program called In the Middle Meals, providing food bags to children without the resources to eat over the weekend, and currently volunteers at Food & Friends in Washington D.C. As a member of the Redcoat Marching Band at UGA, I served the band through various projects in the Kappa Kappa Psi service fraternity.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: B.A. in International Affairs; B.A. in Arabic

Stephanie Cannon is most interested in private sector security and intelligence, specifically regarding supply chains. She is also very interested in the role of religion in the international system and how it affects political systems and nonprofit organizations. She has worked on researching CBRN weapon use by terrorist organizations. After working on this project, she expanded her work to look at security of infrastructure. She is most interested in a position within the private security sector.

She has interned with the British Standards Institution as a Research Associate, Demeter Growth Advisors as a virtual intern, and with the US State Department as a student intern. She has studied abroad in Russia to improve her Russian language skills and have also studied Arabic. In addition to her language and writing skills, she has gained strong data analytics skills using Excel, Stata, and R Studio. She currently works for Paper Airplanes, a nonprofit organization that offers tutoring services to refugees and other conflict-affected individuals, as the Speaking Class Coordinator. She coordinates 100 Speaking Classes, oversees 40 Tutor and Student Coordinators, develops curriculum, and trains new tutors. She also mentors students in the Athens-Clarke County School System and has tutored students preparing for the GED at the Athens-Clarke County Correctional Facility.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: B.A. in International Affairs; B.A. in Russian

Xzavior Goeman’s interests primarily center around the intelligence community, Russia, and, broadly, security issues, specifically related to nuclear proliferation and terrorism, a major factor in his decision to join the Security Leadership Program. He worked on two semesters of research: one through  CURO under Dr. Owsiak  and one through SLP under Dr. Gallagher. His first semester of research related to a history of how effective the leadership strategies employed by the DCI’s and DNI’s were since the intelligence oversight period (1975). The topic he is currently researching is the effect of bureaucracy on the intelligence capabilities of insurgent groups. Xzavior would most prefer to go into a policy or political analyst position, where he can offer a unique perspective on issue and help support the United States’ government in some capacity, but also would enjoy being employed for a think tank, government agency, or in a research position.

Xzavior studied abroad in Russia for 6 weeks to help hone his Russian skills and learn how to better adapt to a foreign environment. He served as president of the UGA Russian club, where he learned how to organize meetings, work with other officers, and lead a group. He is part of the Russian Flagship Program at UGA where he has excelled in specialized courses and had tutoring with native speakers to improve his fluency. He has taken courses to improve his critical thinking, ability to see things from different perspectives, data analysis, and writing abilities.


Anticipated graduation: Spring 2021

Anticipated degree: B.A. in International Affairs, Arabic Minor

Tricia White’s interests in international affairs center on nuclear nonproliferation, strategic wargaming, and issues of climate security. The research she completed during her time in the Security Leadership Program focused on the risk propensity of military infrastructure in relation to climate change. Employment opportunities that Tricia is passionate about the most revolve around public service education on nuclear issues. Additionally, she would be interested in a career in satellite imagery analysis and research.

Tricia is currently an intern with the Federation of American Scientists,  where she works on the Nuclear Information Project studying the ICBM replacement program and on the Biological Weapons Convention Project developing the modalities of a scientific advisory process. She was a UGA research assistant for Dr. Molly Berkemeier during the summer and fall of 2020, and she worked with Dr. Leah Carmichael to develop the curriculum for an upper-level United Nations practicum course. She is a co-founder of the Loch Johnson Society, and she served as Deputy Campaign Manager for the Mokah for Georgia campaign. In 2019, she had the opportunity to study Arabic in Morocco. Currently, she volunteers as an English tutor for Syrian refugees with the Paper Airplanes program, and formerly, she was a GED tutor with the Athens Prison Tutorial. She also spent time working with UGAVotes and is a big advocate of voter registration.