Class of 2023

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Chris Andrews
Chris Andrews is a policy fellow at National Defense University’s Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD). His research focuses on nuclear deterrence and crisis relationships among strategic competitors. He is especially interested in the effects of China’s expanding and modernizing nuclear weapons capabilities on security dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. Before joining CSWMD, Chris was an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, providing subject matter expertise and analysis of foreign nuclear programs and military capabilities as a part of Defense Intelligence Agency’s China Mission Group. He also worked in the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, providing technical support and policy analysis for nuclear nonproliferation and strategic materials programs. Chris holds a Master of Science in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, and a Bachelor of Arts in theology from the University of Notre Dame.

Becca Arbacher
Becca Arbacher works nuclear strategy and policy issues for the Joint Staff J5. Her portfolio focuses on NATO/Europe/Russia and she serves as the U.S. seat for NATO’s Ad Hoc Working Group. Becca began her career as a data scientist embedded with defense/intelligence organizations, working first on insider threat issues before joining the Joint Staff J8 as a Lead Warfighting Analyst. In her role with the J8, Becca developed stochastic models of campaign plans and provided quantitative and strategic assessments of joint, partner, and adversary plans and capabilities. Becca studied physics and political science at Columbia University, graduating with honors in 2016. She has conducted physics research in labs at NASA, Columbia, and Harvard and spoken at various academic conferences about her work on magnetospheres, the solar wind, and plasma behavior. In her spare time, she loves backpacking, cycling, and playing ultimate Frisbee.

Brittany Atkinson
Brittany Atkinson is a Program Manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in strategic planning and analysis for the weapons production missions. Much of her work over the past seven years has focused on planning and implementation of the plutonium pit production mission, including infrastructure, equipment, workforce, funding, and business systems transformation to meet the growing mission requirements. More recently, Brittany has been developing strategy and plans in support of detonator production, beryllium components, and non-nuclear parts production at LANL. Prior to joining LANL, Brittany worked at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in Defense Programs. She earned an MSc in Global Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham (UK) and an MBA with a concentration in Econometrics at the University of North Carolina. While at the University of Birmingham, Brittany researched Pakistan/China relations in nuclear capability development and supported the U.S. Embassy, London Front Office.

Ken Ballerini
Ken Ballerini is a program manager at In-Q-Tel (IQT), the not-for-profit strategic investor connecting a diverse ecosystem – intelligence and defense communities, the venture capital community, and startup companies – to identify and leverage emerging technology to support the safety and security of the U.S. and its allies. Ken previously worked in the NNSA’s Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation, where he supported international policy to advance nuclear threat reduction activities. Prior to NNSA, Ken was an assistant with the U.S. National Security Council in the Office of WMD Terrorism & Threat Reduction. Ken holds an MA in International Security, BS in Criminal Justice, and BA in Political Science from George Mason University.

Tucker Boyce
Tucker Boyce is a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State, where he works on investment and national security policy in the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Prior to joining the State Department, Tucker was a graduate assistant at the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM) and a post-bachelor’s appointee in the International Threat Reduction group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. At CISSM and Los Alamos, he conducted research related to nonproliferation, export controls, and emerging technologies. Tucker also participated in the 2019 Public Policy and Nuclear Threats ‘Boot Camp’ in San Diego. He holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Georgia.

Erin Connolly
Erin Connolly is currently a program analyst with MELE Associates through which she supports the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Office of Nuclear Verification (NA-243), where she previously worked as a PNNL Nuclear Graduate Fellow from 2021-2022. In this role, Erin focuses on multilateral arms control cooperation and the Next Generation Arms Control Expert (Next Gen ACE) program. She also serves on the Girl Security Advisory Board. Previously, Erin was an Associate Program Director with Girl Security where she worked with national security practitioners in addition to girls and young women to advance partnerships and programs. Prior to this, Erin worked as a Research Analyst with the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Erin holds an M.A. in Global Affairs and International Peace from the University of Notre Dame. She earned her B.A. in International Studies and French from College of the Holy Cross.

Rebecca Cullen
Rebecca Cullen is a Program Analyst at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) with experience in U.S. government, public policy, and national security. In her current role supporting the DOE/NNSA Liaison Program, Ms. Cullen coordinates DOE/NNSA policy and programs related to radiological/nuclear terrorism, counterproliferation, nuclear safety and security, emergency preparedness, and incident response with U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. Previous assignments include serving as the Chief of Operations for NNSA’s Ukraine crisis response, briefing senior White House and U.S. Government leaders on policies, plans, and operations, and performing policy analysis and operational support to the White House, National Security Council staff, and in the private sector. Ms. Cullen holds an M.A. in Government with a certification in Security Studies and specialization in Counterterrorism from Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida.

Alan Cummings
Alan Cummings is a Senior Policy Analyst with the Secretary of the Air Force where he focuses on issues of strategic significance. He holds an M.A. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and was a member of the 2020 PONI Nuclear Scholars cohort. Prior to Fletcher, Alan earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Jacksonville University and served as an active duty officer in the U.S. Navy where he was privileged to lead Sailors in the surface warfare, expeditionary, and intelligence communities. He is currently an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and recently completed an active duty assignment with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Daniel Garcia
Daniel Garcia is an R&D Science and Engineering Manager at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) in Albuquerque, NM. In addition to management, his 19 years of experience at SNL include process development, product development, and design engineering that support Sandia’s Nuclear Deterrence role and Missile Defense Programs. Daniel earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University and Carnegie Mellon University, respectively. Daniel was a member of the 2022 CSIS Accelerator Series cohort.

Cameron Hunter
Cameron Hunter is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. He is responsible for the post-Cold War US-China deterrence politics case study on the RITUAL DETERRENCE project led by Professor Maria Mälksoo. His research foci are critical theories of technology, outer space and nuclear systems, with work appearing in Journal of Strategic Studies, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and The Conversation, among others. He both analyses and designs wargames as components of his research. Cameron speaks Mandarin Chinese to an intermediate level. Cameron earned his PhD at the University of Bristol in 2018. His previous postdoctoral position was on Prof. Andrew Futter’s Third Nuclear Age project at the University of Leicester, UK. Before this, Cameron spent time working with the US and UK governments, including as British Research Council Fellow at the Library of Congress, Washington DC.

Zachary Keck
Zachary Keck is an analyst at ANSER supporting an Office of the Secretary of Defense client. Previously, he was a Professional Staff Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Zach was a Wohlstetter Public Affairs Fellow at the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center and a researcher at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He began his career in media as the Managing Editor of The National Interest and The Diplomat. Zach is the author of Atomic Friends: How America Deals with Nuclear-Armed Allies, which was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2022. He has written for The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic,, and The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Matt Korda
Matt Korda is a Senior Research Fellow for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, where he co-authors the Nuclear Notebook––an authoritative open-source estimate of global nuclear forces and trends. Matt is also an Associate Researcher with the Weapons of Mass Destruction Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and co-authors the nuclear weapons chapters for the annual SIPRI Yearbook. Previously, he worked for the Arms Control, Disarmament, and WMD Non-Proliferation Centre at NATO HQ in Brussels. Matt’s research and open-source discoveries about nuclear weapons have made headlines across the globe, and his work is regularly used by governments, politicians, academics, journalists, and the broader public in order to challenge assumptions and improve accountability about nuclear arsenals and trends. Matt received his MA in International Peace & Security from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, and a BA in European Studies from Victoria College at the University of Toronto.

Stefanos Koullias
Dr. Stefanos Koullias is a Senior Staff Systems engineer and Technical Fellow at Northrop Grumman. Stefanos has over 8 years of professional experience with NC3 systems ranging from ground-based defense systems to airborne communications that are critical to the nation’s survival. Stefanos earned his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2013 and developed a Bayesian optimization algorithm for computationally expensive simulations that are often encountered in aerospace applications.

Jamie Kwong
Jamie Kwong is a fellow in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Her research focuses on challenges climate change pose to nuclear weapons; public opinion of nuclear weapons issues; and multilateral regimes including the P5 Process, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Jamie completed her PhD in War Studies at King’s College London, where she studied as a Marshall Scholar. Her dissertation examined U.S. public opinion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Kristine Madden
Kristine is a nuclear expert and international civil servant specializing in nonproliferation, nuclear energy, IAEA safeguards, and gender mainstreaming. She is also president of the International Youth Nuclear Congress (IYNC), a non-profit spanning almost 50 countries. Kristine was a recent fellow at the Harvard based Arms Control Negotiation Academy (2022 – 2023). Kristine holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering and radiological sciences from the University of Michigan.

Krista Meierbachtol
Meierbachtol is a staff scientist in the advanced nuclear technology group at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Her work focuses on radiation detector development, and neutron and gamma radiation measurements and analysis for the weapons complex and its customers. She manages work within the NA-10 Nuclear Survivability portfolio, has served as PI for NA-22 projects related to studying arms control related nuclear signatures and is currently the Mission Assurance lead for the Priority Research Objectives for Arms Control Technology Innovation, Verification, and Evaluation (PROACTIVE) Venture. She previously served as a venture lead on the Warhead Measurement Campaign and participated in the project’s measurement planning, execution, and follow-on analysis with the data set. Before joining LANL, Meierbachtol began her career in experimental nuclear science. She has a BA in chemistry from Gustavus Adolphus College (Saint Peter, MN) and a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from Michigan State University.

Amber Morgan
Amber Morgan currently serves in the Office of the National Security Advisor at the White House National Security Council, where she supports the National Security Advisor and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor in day to day national security decision making. Prior to joining the National Security Advisor’s team, she led multilateral nuclear diplomacy and radioactive security efforts in the NSC’s Directorate for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation. She is on detail from the National Nuclear Security Administration, where she worked on nonproliferation and nuclear material minimization efforts. She holds an M.A. from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and a B.A. from the University of Georgia. Amber has previously worked on nuclear nonproliferation issues at the International Atomic Energy Agency, U.S. State Department’s Mission to International Organizations in Vienna (UNVIE), James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Harvard Belfer Center, and the Center for International Trade and Security.

Sarah Mustin
Ms. Sarah Mustin serves as a Program Manager within the Office of Secondary Stage Production Modernization in NNSA’s Defense Programs. She oversees the programmatic requirements for the recycling and recovery of enriched uranium at the Y-12 National Security Complex and is responsible for ensuring alignment of mission-critical resources for nuclear weapons stockpile maintenance, and support of Naval Reactors and Nonproliferation programs. Ms. Mustin started her career serving eight years in the U.S. Navy as a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer. Upon commissioning, she served as the Gunnery Officer onboard the Guided Missile Destroyer, USS PREBLE (DDG 88). She then attended the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power Training School after which she served as the Machinery Division Officer and Propulsion Plant Watch Officer on the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). Ms. Mustin earned an M.S. in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and a B.S. in Political Science from the United States Naval Academy.

Stephanie Stapleton
Stephanie Stapleton is a Research Analyst on the Strategy and Policy Analysis Team at the Center for Naval Analyses. Stephanie works on a wide array of U.S. focused nuclear policy issues from deterrence strategy to impacts of emerging technologies on U.S. nuclear posture and allied assurance. She is a PhD candidate in International Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University with a primary research focus on domestic political constraints on nuclear arms control. Her secondary research interest focuses on nuclear risk reduction efforts across great power competition. Prior to beginning her PhD, she completed a M.S. in International Policy Management as well as a B.S. in Political Science, also from Kennesaw State University.

Andrew St. Denis
Andrew St. Denis is a Program Manager with MELE Associates, Inc., where he supports the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation (CTCP). In addition to overseeing a team of technical and policy experts supporting CTCP’s threat science mission, Andrew advises the office and coordinates with the national laboratories on international nuclear threat reduction cooperation, nuclear energy and material security policies, and risk assessments. Andrew previously supported the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matters and began his nuclear career interning with the CSIS Project on Nuclear Issues and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a Master of Arts in Security Policy Studies from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, focusing on Transnational Security and Science, Technology, and National Security Policy.

Gary J. Sampson
LtCol Gary J. Sampson, U.S. Marine Corps, is the Northeast Asia Desk Officer in the International Affairs Branch at Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., where he serves as an advisor to top USMC leaders on a wide array of regional issues. In previous Pentagon assignments, he was a speechwriter and special assistant to two Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairmen and principal intelligence briefer for the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps. Sampson participated in National Defense University’s Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction Program for Emerging Leaders and the Public Policy and Nuclear Threats boot camp at the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation. Sampson is an ABD (all but dissertation) Ph.D. candidate in international relations at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He holds master’s degrees from the National Intelligence University and Taiwan’s National Sun Yat-sen University and a B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

John William Sutcliffe
Major John William Sutcliffe IV, Ph.D., is a career intelligence officer in the United States Air Force, currently assigned to U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Intelligence Operations Center at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. In this capacity Major Sutcliffe directs the analysis, production, and dissemination of intelligence pertaining to adversary strategic capabilities in coordination with other elements of the Intelligence Community. Prior to his current assignment, Major Sutcliffe was a postgraduate researcher at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, from which he earned his doctorate in history. His academic research examines the French armed forces’ political roles in giving rise to France’s military nuclear program, with special emphasis upon the influence of interallied relations. Major Sutcliffe is a 2008 Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and has prior experience supporting nuclear deterrence operations, acquisitions, and allied collective security.

James To
James To is a Major in the U.S. Air Force and is the Deputy Director of Standardization and Evaluation for the E-4B National Airborne Operations Center aircraft fleet. In his current duty, James assesses and ensures the effectiveness of the E-4B’s aircrew and the Nightwatch mission. In congruence with this position, he also serves as the Airborne Launch Control System operator, intelligence advisor, and strike planner to the Commander of USSTRATCOM and multiple flag officers aboard the E-6B Looking Glass aircraft. James is a career Minuteman III ICBM Evaluator and Instructor Missile Operation Officer with more than 8,500 nuclear alert hours at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. James holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Nebraska and a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Texas A&M University. He is a fluent speaker of Mandarin Chinese and Vietnamese.

Luke Tyree
Major Luke Tyree is an Army functional area 52 (FA52 – nuclear and counter weapons of mass destruction) officer. He commissioned from West Point as a second lieutenant into the field artillery in 2008, and he holds a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from Purdue University. He currently serves as a planner in the J55 division at U.S. Strategic Command in Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, where he deals with plans and policies. He was previously assigned as a nuclear operations officer on both a nuclear disablement team and on a WMD coordination team at 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Command in Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

Lauren C. Wilson
Lauren C. Wilson is a principal member of technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. She has a B.S in Mathematics, an M.S. in Statistics, and more than 12 years’ experience in applied statistics and statistical engineering. She is a former Operations Research Analyst with the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, a 2013 graduate of CSIS PONI’s Nuclear Scholars Initiative, and a 2018 graduate of SNL’s Weapon Intern Program. Lauren has a passion for harnessing statistics to promote data-driven decision making at the labs, teaching several foundational courses focused in industrial statistics. Her professional interests include design of experiments, statistical consulting, and statistics education (specifically for engineering and nuclear deterrence applications). She is fascinated with the direct impact that domestic and international nuclear policy has on the flow-down of technical objectives that define her work.

Zack Ziegler
Major Zack L. Ziegler is a B-2 Instructor Pilot and the Deputy Division Chief for Special Operations Forces & Advanced Capabilities at Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (AFTENCAP). Major Ziegler is a 2010 Distinguished Graduate of the US Air Force Academy. Upon graduation, he was recruited by the Air Force’s Language Enabled Airmen Program (LEAP) as the only pilot with a perfect Arabic score. After completion of Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB, TX, Maj Ziegler became a KC-135 air refueling pilot at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom where he flew 103 combat missions. During this time, he attended the University of Cambridge International Relations Master of Studies program where his analysis of Egyptian internal security earned him the university’s prize for best thesis. After joining the B-2 program, Maj Ziegler executed eight twenty-four hour missions and employed conventional and nuclear-inert payloads. During this time, Maj Ziegler led the publication of B-2 and support aircraft nuclear safe escape procedures and extended Presidential nuclear, command and control for all airborne aircraft for which he won the 2021 Air Force Association General D. Welch Award. Likewise, he was selected as the only Air Force pilot for the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Nuclear Scholars Initiative and coordinated with Combatant Commands to improve bomber planning.