Mid-Career CadreClass of 2020

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Paul Avey
Paul Avey is an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech. His research interests include nuclear politics, strategy, and U.S. foreign policy. Avey is the author of Tempting Fate: Why Nonnuclear States Confront Nuclear Opponents, and author or coauthor of articles in multiple academic and policy journals and sites. He was a 2018-2019 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow based at the United States Department of Defense. Avey was previously a pre-doctoral fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at MIT, and a postdoctoral fellow with the Tower Center for Political Studies at SMU. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. in social sciences from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in political science and history from the University of Iowa.

Ramon Ayoade
Dr. Ramon A. Ayoade is a Nuclear Weapon System Management Analyst at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, The Pentagon. Prior to his position in Pentagon, he was Mission Lead, Missile Combat Crew Commander at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. Ayoade was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he graduated from the University of Ibadan, in 2005 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree. In 2008, he received a graduate scholarship to Brandeis University in Massachusetts for a master’s program in International Health Policy and Management. In 2009, he graduated from the Keller Graduate School of Management in Maryland with a Master’s in Public Administration. Prior to Ayoade’s commissioning into the U.S. Air Force, he was enlisted as a Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy. Before his military career, he spent over six years as a Practicing Veterinary Surgeon and Technical Consultant to a pharmaceutical company. He is an avid soccer fan.

Oliver Barton
Oliver Barton is a Principal Policy Analyst at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (the research and analysis agency of the UK Ministry of Defence), where he leads research on deterrence policy. In parallel, Oliver is studying part-time for a PhD in International History at the London School of Economics. Oliver read History at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London. His doctoral project focuses upon the Thatcher Government’s contribution to the implementation of NATO’s 1979 dual track decision: the deployment of US intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Western Europe, and the negotiations that led to the elimination of all American and Soviet INF systems. Oliver’s research is supervised by Professor Matthew Jones, the official historian of the UK’s strategic deterrent.

James Bevins
Major James Bevins has been an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering in the Engineering Physics Department of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) since 2017. His research interests include radiation transport modeling, radiation detection and analysis methods for nuclear security applications, nuclear forensics techniques, and nuclear weapon effects. James has earned degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee (B.S.), AFIT (M.S.), and University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.). He has previously been assigned to the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC) at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico where he worked mission planning support and survivability/vulnerability analysis for every U.S. Air Force nuclear weapon and delivery system. He was also selected to attend Sandia National Laboratories Weapon Intern Program (WIP), where he investigated open source modeling of nuclear weapons. 

Alexander Bolfrass

Angelo Bonavita
Major Angelo Bonavita serves as the Chief, Future Stockpile Capabilities, Stockpile Science & Technology branch, Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, Headquarters Air Force. Major Bonavita has over 15 years of experience as a nuclear engineer in the US Air Force. His earliest experience was developing radiation-hardened space electronics at the Air Force Research Laboratory. Major Bonavita continued by performing nuclear treaty monitoring at the Air Force Technical Applications Center. Major Bonavita then focused on the survivability of Air Force systems through modeling nuclear weapon effects at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center. Most recently, Major Bonavita served as Deputy Director for SANDS, an intermediate developmental education program for military officers and DoD civilians focused on creating future leaders of the nuclear enterprise. Major Bonavita earned his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Jennifer Bradley
Ms. Jennifer Bradley joined the National Institute for Public Policy as an Analyst in 2007. She currently provides on-site support at United States Strategic Command in the Plans and Policy Directorate as part of the Deterrence Analysis Planning Support (DAPS) group in Omaha, Nebraska. She is lead analyst for the Asia-Pacific region and responsible for conducting adversary specific deterrence analysis to support strategy and plan development. Further she participates in annual exercises and war games as an adversary and deterrence subject matter expert. Ms. Bradley is an Adjunct Professor in the Political Science Department at the University of Nebraska – Omaha where she lectures on the International Politics of East Asia and developed a course on China, Crisis and International Relations for both undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to joining the National Institute, Ms. Bradley worked as a Market Research Associate for Lockheed Martin Missile Defense Systems. Ms. Bradley earned her Masters of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies from Missouri State University in 2007, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics from Eastern Oregon University in 2002.

Whitney Cissell
Major Whitney L. Cissell is an Army FA52 Nuclear and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Officer and a visiting scientist at the Center for Global Security Research (CGSR) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Whitney previously served as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) officer where she commanded the 18th Ordnance Company (EOD) and served three combat tours in Afghanistan. Major Cissell holds four master’s degrees, including a Master of Public Administration (MPA), an M.A in education, and an M.A in military art and science. She recently graduated from Naval Postgraduate School with an M.A in strategic studies with a focus on nuclear policy and counter-proliferation. Whitney also earned a graduate certificate in Intelligence and was awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award for her research on deterring Russian sub-conventional warfare. A few of her personal decorations include three Bronze Star Service Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the NATO Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. Her most recent research at CGSR relates to Russian strategy and deterrence. Major Cissell is a member of Women in International Security Global, Women in Defense, and Women’s Foreign Policy Group. Whitney is married to Derek Cissell and together they have two children (twins Amelia and Lincoln). Major Cissell enjoys a myriad of activities, including continuing her collegiate soccer career through coaching and playing competitive soccer. She also strives to advance her proficiency in Escrima, a Filipino martial art focused on fighting with edged weapons, sticks and open hand.

Paige Cone
Dr. Paige P. Cone is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Security Studies at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS). Dr. Cone received a MA in International Studies and a PhD in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on nuclear politics, the role of inducements in nonproliferation, and strategic deterrence. Recent publications include articles on the impact of hypersonic weapons on nuclear deterrence, the role of positive and negative inducements in interstate relations, and an award-winning article on effective strategies for approaching North Korean nuclear weapons activity. Her book project, Bribing the Bomb: The Effectiveness of Inducements in Arms Control is currently under review.She is currently working on solo and collaborative projects that examine the role of leader rhetoric in nuclear policy, the role of new technology in crisis bargaining, and how other major powers use inducements. Prior to coming to SAASS, she was an Assistant Professor with the Center for Strategic Deterrence Studies at the Air War College. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Chicago, serving as the Chicago Project and Security and Threats’ first ever nuclear proliferation fellow.

Paul Cummings
Paul Cummings earned his bachelor’s degree in Space Physics, with a minor in Computer Science, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. From there he attended graduate school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he earned a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences with a concentration in plasma physics. Cummings specialization was in computational ultra-short-pulse laser-matter interaction; his dissertation title was “Simulations of Laser Propagation and X-Ray Radiation Generation in Laser Wakefield Accelerators.” After graduation he continued to work on computational short-pulse laser-matter interaction at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Cummings then took a staff position as a quality engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, before finally transitioning to his current role as a design engineer.

Patrick Disney
Patrick Disney is a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. In that capacity, he develops foreign policy and coordinates international efforts for responding to nuclear and radiological incidents and emergencies. Prior to his current position, he was a counter nuclear smuggling program coordinator at the Department of State’s Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism and a Nonproliferation Graduate Fellow in DOE/NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security. He also supported DOE/NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations as a senior exercise planner. Patrick has an M.A. in international relations from Yale University and a B.A. in political science, economics, and international affairs from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Gary Eppich
Gary R. Eppich is a Staff Scientist in the Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, conducting research in support of the nuclear security and nonproliferation missions of the U.S. Department of Energy. Currently, he is on assignment as the Senior Technical and Policy Advisor for the Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD) in the National Nuclear Security Administration, responsible for guiding the development and implementation of technical nuclear forensics through international partnerships. Prior to his NSDD tenure, he was a member of the scientific staff of the International Atomic Energy Agency, performing advanced isotopic analyses to support the international nuclear safeguards regime. He has published original research, focusing on nuclear materials analysis in support of nuclear safeguards and forensics, in a variety of scientific journals. He holds a B.A. in geology from Colgate University and an M.S. in geology from the University of California – Davis. 

Pablo A. Garcia-Bode
Pablo A. Garcia-Bode is a doctoral candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and a policy researcher at RAND Corporation. His research interests include space policy, science and technology policy, defense and security, nuclear policy, deterrence, and nonproliferation. While at RAND, Pablo has been a visiting researcher and fellow at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Center at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Prior to joining Pardee RAND, Pablo worked in the aerospace and defense industry, starting his career as a systems engineer for Earth observation missions at the European Space Agency before moving to managerial positions within Airbus, working in business development, product policy, corporate strategy, and communications strategy. He holds a M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; a M.S. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science; a dual M.B.A. from ESADE Business School in Barcelona and the University of Texas at Austin (McCombs); and a M.S. and B.S. in computer engineering from Universidad de Oviedo and Universidad de León in Spain.

Ashley Green
Captain Ashley Green is a Program Manager for the Nuclear Survivability Analysis Support Program at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in Fort Belvoir, VA. Captain Green graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. In her first assignment, Captain Green served as a space systems analyst supporting nuclear treaty monitoring. She then attended the Air Force Institute of Technology where she received her Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Captain Green served at the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center as a Deputy Branch Chief for the Nuclear Mission Assurance Division and as Executive Officer to the Commander. In her current assignment, she supports the US Combatant Commands, Military Services, the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense in conducting analysis of nuclear survivability of military systems.

Richard Grubb
Mr. Richard Grubb is a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Office of Emerging Security Challenges (ESC) in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance (AVC) at the U.S. Department of State. His portfolio includes undersea, outer space, and missile defense within the context of strategic national security. Prior to assuming a portfolio in ESC, Richard served in the AVC Front Office as Special Assistants to the Assistant Secretary and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. He has also served on rotational assignment at USNATO as a Political Officer, during which time he covered cyber, arms control, and strategic security issues. Richard earned a Master of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He received his B.S. in Business Administration from Duquesne University.

Drew Hargraves
Major Drew Hargraves is the Detachment Chief for the Defense Threat Reduction’s Nuclear-Enterprise office in Kleber Kaserne Germany. His focus is supporting Department of Defense, U.S. Interagency, and NATO in the development, publication, and training of bilateral emergency response plans. His prior assignments include both conventional and WMD focused Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) support to operations in the Pacific, North American, and European regions. Drew also provided operational and policy support to Republic of Korean allied forces stationed on the Korean Demilitarized Zone. Drew holds a B.A. in Political Science from Seton Hall University and a M.A. in Combating Terrorism, with a focus in WMD threats, from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey CA.

Steven Heizer
Captain Steven Heizer is currently the Headquarters Air Force Global Strike Command National Airborne Operations Center Reconstitution Team Program Lead. By trade, he serves as an Air Force Nuclear and Missile Operations Officer with previous assignments that include six years at missile wings, where he held positions as a Flight Commander, Evaluator, Chief of Combat Crew Communications, ICBM Targeting Planner, and various roles as a Missile Combat Crew Member. Captain Heizer received his commission through Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. He holds B.A. degrees in History and Spanish from Elmhurst College and an M.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Additionally, Capt Heizer earned the Air Force Institute of Technology’s Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Weapons Effects, Policy and Proliferation and is nearly complete with Missouri State University’s M.S. in Defense and Strategic Studies.

Evan Hendler
Lieutenant Evan Hendler is currently a Legislative Fellow with the Office of Legislative Affairs. He reported to the USS Alaska (SSBN 732) in July of 2017, a ballistic missile submarine homeported in King’s Bay, GA. He held billets as Quality Assurance Officer, Information Systems Security Manager, and Tactical Systems Officer. He helped plan and oversee all quality controlled maintenance during a 12 month, $90 million refit project and worked with General Dynamics Electric Boat and VT Milcom to coordinate a complete overhaul of Alaska’s combat control and information systems. In his three years onboard, he embarked on three strategic deterrence patrols, directly contributing to Alaska’s receipt of the 2018 and 2019 Submarine Squadron Twenty Battle Efficiency Awards and one Meritorious Unit Citation. He received his Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

James Johnson
Dr. James Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University. Previously, Dr. Johnson was a postdoctoral fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS), Monterey. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics & International Relations from the University of Leicester, where he is also an honorary visiting fellow with the School of History & International Relations. Dr. Johnson’s research examines the intersection of nuclear weapons, deterrence, strategic stability, and emerging technology – especially AI. He has published widely in academic journals, including The Journal of Strategic Studies, The Washington Quarterly, Strategic Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Cyber Policy, The Pacific Review, Defense & Security Analysis, and The RUSI Journal. Dr. Johnson is author of The US-China Military & Defense Relationship during the Obama Presidency. His latest book is entitled, Artificial Intelligence & the Future of Warfare: USA, China, and Strategic Stability.

Soo Kim
Soo Kim is a policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and adjunct professor at American University. At RAND, her research covers a broad range of defense and foreign policy issues for the Department of Defense, including North Korea’s nuclear strategy and conventional military threat, Russia’s national security strategy, US-China competition, and security cooperation. She began her career as a North Korea analyst in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she specialized in decision-making and regime propaganda. She also served as a management consultant for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). She holds an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and BA in French from Yale University.

Nicholas Leathe
Nicholas Leathe is a Principal Member of the Technical Staff in the Advanced and Exploratory Systems organization at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Most recently in his career at SNL, he has led the HOT SHOT rocket program; launching five separate payloads within 18 months out of the Pacific Missile Range Facility to support research and development activities. Prior to that, he was an engineer supporting surety mechanisms focusing on next generation environments, requirements, and technologies. He received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of New Mexico. Nick is also a former CSIS PONI Nuclear Scholar.

Seth Maddox
Since 2012, Seth Maddox has served as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN). He currently serves as a Regional Policy Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa in ISN’s Office of Policy Coordination. In this role, he is responsible for tracking regional WMD- and ballistic missile-related trends and developing policy approaches and engagement strategies to advance U.S. nonproliferation objectives in the region. Over the course of his tenure at the State Department, he has also served temporary assignments at the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Vienna, Austria and as a Special Assistant to the ISN Assistant Secretary. Seth has also completed the National Defense University’s Program for Emerging Leaders, as well as a Rosenthal Fellowship appointment with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has an M.A. from the American University School of International Service.

Tim McDonnell
Timothy P. McDonnell is a research analyst in CNA’s Strategy and Policy Analysis program. His expertise is in nuclear weapons policy, including nuclear strategy, deterrence and extended deterrence, arms control, and the relationship between nuclear posture and foreign policy. In addition to his focus on nuclear policy, McDonnell also studies modern conventional warfare. Before joining CNA, McDonnell was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a nuclear strategy and policy analyst with ANSER. He has also been a pre-doctoral fellow at the George Washington University’s Institute for Security and Conflict Studies, a research associate for MIT Seminar XXI, and a RAND summer associate, where his research supported US Army maneuver short-range air defense (M-SHORAD) programs. McDonnell earned his PhD in political science at MIT, where he was a member of the Security Studies Program.

Harrison Menke
Mr. Harrison Menke is a Strategic Integrator (Nuclear Deterrence) with the Strategic Trends Division at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). His work focuses on generating timely, credible, and actionable insights into emerging threats within the counter-WMD and counter threat networks’ mission spaces to enable and guide warfighter understanding of the range of military operations in an era of Great Power Competition. Prior to joining DTRA, he was an Assistant Research Fellow at National Defense University’s Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction, where his research and teaching portfolio included nuclear forces, deterrence, and regional conflict and escalation. He has published articles in Strategic Studies Quarterly, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, US News & World Report, Defense News, and Real Clear Defense. He was a member of the 2017 Nuclear Scholar Initiative with the Project on Nuclear Issues at the Center of Strategic and International Studies.

Akshat Patel
Akshat Patel is a Submarine Warfare Officer (Lieutenant) in the U.S. Navy. He served for approximately three years aboard the USS HAWAII (SSN-776) out of Pearl Harbor, HI. He is currently stationed at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, IL, where he is in charge of supervising the training of the next generation of sailors. Akshat is a Department of Energy certified Nuclear Engineer, a Pacific Forum Young Leader, and a Carnegie New Leader at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.   

Sayuri Romei
Sayuri Romei is a Public Policy Fellow at the Wilson Center, where she researches Japan’s nuclear policy. Prior to that, she was the Fellow for Security and Foreign Affairs at Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA and a MacArthur Nuclear Security Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC). Her doctoral work focuses on Japan’s nuclear hedging posture and examines how the country started and maintained such a stance throughout the postwar era. She holds a BA in English Literature from Sorbonne University, a BA in International Relations from the University of Roma La Sapienza, an MA in International Relations, and a PhD in Political Science from Roma Tre University. Starting in September 2020, Romei will join the RAND Corporation as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow. Her work was featured in the Washington Post, Kyodo News, The Air Force Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs, among others, and she appeared on BBC World News, PBS NewsHour, NK News, and the National Journal to comment on security issues in East Asia.

Joshua Rutkowski
Joshua Rutkowski is a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the Center for Global Security and Cooperation at Sandia National Laboratories. For over a decade, Joshua worked in Europe on international nuclear safeguards topics – first at the International Atomic Energy Agency as a safeguards information analyst with a focus on remote sensing and geospatial information and then at the Forschungszentrum Jülich as part of the research staff, managing tasks related to the German Member State Support Programme to the IAEA. At Sandia National Laboratories, Joshua continues to focus on nuclear nonproliferation through projects involving emerging technologies, including machine learning and deep learning, related to international safeguards. Joshua remains focused in European nuclear safeguards through his editorial position with the European Safeguards Research and Development Association (ESARDA). Joshua holds a B.S. in Earth Science from Eastern Michigan University and Masters in Geography from West Virginia University.

Victoria Sanchez
Victoria Sanchez is a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S Department of State within the Office of Strategic Stability and Deterrence in the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance. Previously, she was an NNSA graduate fellow in the same office, served as a nonproliferation analyst at the Pentagon for the CWMD and Proliferation Policy Division of Army Staff, and worked as a nuclear energy and nonproliferation analyst for multinational corporations and foreign governments at a boutique international consulting firm in Washington, D.C. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in international affairs from the University of Georgia, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in political science and international relations. Her doctoral research focused on comparative policy change following nuclear accidents. 

Justin Scott
Justin Scott has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from BYU (2004) and a master’s degree in engineering management from Old Dominion University (2009). He also graduated from Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory’s reactor engineering school (2006). Justin served as an officer in the US Navy assigned to Naval Reactors, where he contributed to the Virginia-class and Columbia-class submarine designs. Justin joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory Weapon Systems Engineering Division in 2015 as part of the W76 Systems Engineering Group. Justin led the Los Alamos portion of the effort to develop the W762/Mk4A, served as the W88 Systems Engineering Deputy Group Leader, and is currently the acting W76 Warhead Manager/W76 Systems Engineering Group Leader.

Jessica Sleight
Jessica Sleight is Program Director at Global Zero – the international movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons – having joined the organization as a program intern in 2013. She provides research and analysis on issues relating to nuclear nonproliferation, risk reduction and disarmament; coordinates track-1.5 and track-2 diplomatic efforts, including commission-level meetings and government consultations; and liaises with Global Zero leaders and national security experts in connection with policy initiatives. Prior to joining Global Zero, Jessica worked as a research intern with Ploughshares Fund, as a research associate for the Japan Policy Research Institute, and as a graduate fellow at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability. She holds an M.A. in Asia-Pacific studies from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University.

Jolyon Spencer

Jonathan Sundman
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan E. Sundman serves as a branch chief in the contingency plans division at United States Strategic Command in Omaha, Nebraska. His primary area of expertise is nuclear security. In nearly a decade of flying experience, he has conducted emergency security response, movement escort, and search and rescue missions in both Montana and North Dakota. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and graduate degrees in Christian Studies from Crown College and Operations Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology. He also holds a graduate certificate in nuclear weapons effects, policy, and proliferation from the School of Advanced Nuclear Deterrence Studies. His latest research evaluates the efficacy of emerging technologies to increase the lethality of nuclear transportation security forces.

Elizabeth Threlkeld
Elizabeth Threlkeld is a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center, where she focuses on South Asian strategic and security issues, domestic politics, and China’s regional role. Before joining Stimson, Threlkeld served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State in Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan, and Monterrey, Mexico. She previously worked in Iraq’s Kurdish region and has additional work and educational experience in China, Taiwan, and Turkey. Threlkeld holds an MPhil with Distinction in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge, where she received the Hilda Richardson Studentship from Newnham College. She received a B.A. with High Honors in Sociology and Anthropology from Swarthmore College. She is the recipient of a Department of State Superior Honor Award, several Meritorious Honor Awards, and the Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Award. She speaks Pashto, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Dan Torgerson
Daniel Torgerson is a Structural Engineering Manager with Northrop Grumman Corporation at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, where Dan leads a team performing analysis of ICBM infrastructure, including static and fatigue assessment of metallic structure, risk management, and team training. Dan graduated from the University of Utah with MS and BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering. He has over 14 years of engineering experience, including 10 years with Northrop Grumman working closely with the USAF maintaining Minuteman III performance via testing, analysis, and sustainment activities. Dan’s success spans technical engineering, customer interaction, program management, and career coaching. Dan enjoys spending time with his family, and pursing his outdoor hobbies of mountain biking, hiking, and fishing. He is very happy to combine a successful career at Northrop Grumman with the beautiful mountains of Utah.

Travis Trahan
Travis Trahan is currently a project leader in the Advanced Simulation and Computing Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), where he has also been an R&D Scientist in the Monte Carlo Methods, Codes, and Applications Group since 2014. Prior to joining LANL, Travis received his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University (2008) before attending graduate school at the University of Michigan where he received an M.S. in Mathematics (2012), and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (2010, 2014). Travis is an expert in a wide range of topics related to radiation transport and has been a software developer on numerous code projects employing various methods and algorithms. His research includes asymptotic analysis of Boltzmann neutron transport equation, multiphysics simulations, and fission chain analysis of stochastic systems.

Lauryn Williams
Lauryn Williams is a policy analyst within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and a member of the first cohort of John S. McCain Strategic Defense Fellows. Previously, Lauryn was a program analyst with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and spent two years with the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a Junior Fellow and program manager. She has also interned with the Departments of Defense and State as well as a strategic consulting firm. Her masters’ degree is from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs and her bachelor’s degree with honors is in political science from Stanford University. Lauryn is passionate about increasing diversity in the national security field and often speaks publicly on this issue in her personal capacity. She grew up in Long Beach, CA and still considers the West Coast home.

Trisha Wyman

Cameron Bates