Brent Scowcroft Award Fellowship
About the Program
In recognition of ASG Chair Emeritus Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft’s continued dedication to the Aspen Strategy Group and his legacy of distinguished public service, the Aspen Strategy Group launched the Brent Scowcroft Award Fellowship program in 2003. The program is designed to prepare a new generation of foreign policy practitioners to take a leading role in our increasingly complex world. Scowcroft Fellows have the unique opportunity to experience first-hand how today’s preeminent politicians, leaders, and thinkers set aside differences and exchange ideas and insights for open and cooperative dialogue. Through immersion in the planning and execution of high-level discussions on foreign policy challenges, Scowcroft fellows learn the critical place of track II initiatives in the setting of American foreign policy, as well as the skills required to execute conferences and communicate effectively with national security leaders. Scowcroft fellows typically join the ASG team for a period of 6 months, during which they are encouraged to develop practical skills and build knowledge in the field of foreign policy and national security while having the opportunity to establish a rapport with members of the group. Given a great deal of responsibility and an environment in which to thrive, Scowcroft fellows constitute an integral part of the ASG.
Brian Hopkins joins the Aspen Strategy Group from the private sector with an educational background in International Relations and Grand Strategy Policy. A 2016 graduate of Duke University, he received a B.A. in Political Science with a focus on International Relations, as well as a certificate in Business. His academic activity focused on understanding how decision-makers developed policy and how it was implemented. As a member of Duke’s program in American Grand Strategy, he engaged with key decision-makers in senior national security positions and learned about the realities of working in government. In the private sector, Brian developed an understanding of how policy decisions are often implemented by industry. Brian plans to combine his academic and professional expertise to support national security policy either on Capitol Hill or in other government agencies.
Kajsa Mayo joins the Aspen Strategy Group as a recent graduate from Harvard College. Over the past several summers, Kajsa has worked as an intern in research roles at a range of institutions, from academia to business management and political consulting. She completed her B.A. in philosophy, where she primarily focused on ethics and metaphysics. Originally prompted by a love of Slavic and Russian literature, Kajsa completed four years of intensive Russian language study while in college. She is also an avid student of foreign affairs and political economy, spurred in part by her desire to better understand the broader Eurasian region and its role in the world. Kajsa is originally from Tacoma, Washington, where she grew up backpacking, skiing, and sailing. She is also enthusiastic about coffee, volunteering, and spontaneous road trips. Kajsa intends to return to academic philosophy in the coming years, although she will retain a strong interest in and remain engaged with foreign policy and US-Russia relations.
Ariel Fanger joins the Aspen Strategy Group upon her graduation from Emory University. Last summer, Ariel worked as an intern at the U.S. Department of State where she supported the incoming Ambassador to Chad, wrote a spotlight piece for State Magazine on the Professional Development Unit’s recent reforms, and volunteered at both the 2016 Counter ISIL Conference and the 2016 Threats to Religious and Ethnic Minorities Under ISIL Conference. She also worked as an intern at the Massachusetts Treasury where she conducted policy research on the wage gap and coal industry divestment. Ariel graduated from Emory in May 2017 with a B.A. in Political Science. At Emory, she was involved in Emory College Council, Emory Tour Guides, Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society, and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Ariel grew up in Needham, MA, and is an avid student of Arabic, Middle East studies, and U.S. foreign policy. In her free time, she enjoys cycling, playing tennis, traveling and trying all of of the wonderful brunch spots in D.C. In the future, she hopes to earn a master’s degree in conflict resolution or foreign service, and ultimately pursue a career in Middle East policy.
Anand Raghuraman joins the Aspen Strategy Group after completing his year abroad as a Fulbright grantee in Turkey. His previous professional experience includes internships with the Atlantic Council and U.S. State Department, where he researched Japanese energy security and covered Asia-Pacific defense issues. Anand graduated from Duke University in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science and published research analyzing the shale revolution’s impact on America’s Middle East strategy. He also worked as a research assistant to Dr. Bruce Jentleson and served as the undergraduate chair of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy. Anand grew up in Sammamish, WA and is an avid student of South Asian history, culture, and religion. He enjoys hiking and skiing, listening to qawwali music, and rooting for the Seattle Mariners. He plans to pursue a career at the intersection of diplomacy and business and hopes to advance U.S.-India relations.
Calli Obern joins the Aspen Strategy Group as a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow. During her undergraduate studies, she independently researched the use of social media to organize in Brazil during the FIFA World Cup 2014. She also spent a semester in Shanghai, China where she studied Mandarin and worked with a non-profit focused on sustainability efforts in China. She participated in the Occidental United Nations Program, where she served as an attaché at the United Kingdom Mission to the UN. At the UN, she reported on human rights and humanitarian affairs, assisted with events for the UK Mission during UN Ministerial Week, and prepared sessions for the UK presidency of the Security Council. To culminate her studies, she produced a comprehensive honors thesis on the case of food security as a tool for sociopolitical control under the Chinese Communist Party. In the future, she hopes to learn several additional foreign languages and pursue an advanced degree to research the impact of climate change on national security. She earned her B.A. from Occidental College in Los Angeles in May 2016, where she studied diplomacy and world affairs, with a minor in Chinese Studies.
Daniel Ku joins the ASG after serving as a graduate student assistant to the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), University of Pittsburgh. Last summer, he traveled to Singapore after being accepted as the Gerald Segal Research Intern at the International Institute for Strategic Studies-Asia (IISS-Asia) where he carried out an independent research project on the history of alliance behavior in Northeast Asia during the 20th century while assisting with the logistical operations of IISS-Asia’s annual track I Asian Defense Summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue. During summer 2014, he also served as a Governor’s Fellow for the Secretariat of Public Safety and Homeland Security within the Office of the Governor of Virginia. Daniel recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh GSPIA and earned a Master’s of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) in Security and Intelligence Studies. He also holds a dual degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations and Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness from Virginia Commonwealth University. Daniel was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia and loves spending time with his friends and family, will eat just about anything that is edible, and hopes to watch Lebron James play at least once his life.
Carolina Ponzeto joined the Aspen Strategy Group in June 2016 and is looking forward to be a part of the annual Summer Workshop. She comes to ASG from the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, where she worked as a Media fellow. In that role, she was responsible for developing and managing all communication platforms for the Center, including their website, student blog and social media accounts. During the summer of 2015 she was also a recipient of the Georgetown Summer Fellowship and spent 10 weeks in Europe studying how the EU has changed the way European citizens view nationalism. Carolina earned her M.A. from Georgetown University in 2016. She attended the Security Studies Program and completed her master’s thesis on Brazilian electorate behavior in times of disease outbreak. In 2014 she earned her B.A. from George Washington University as a double major in International Affairs and Psychology. Carolina is originally from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and her hobbies include watching Game of Thrones and dreaming about all the things she will buy when she wins the lottery.
Rose Butchart joined the Aspen Strategy Group in January 2016. Her previous experience includes work in research and policy at the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Democratic Progress Institute. She earned her MSc in International Relations Theory at the London School of Economics, where she studied diplomacy, security, and governance. Her bachelor’s degrees are from the University of Iowa, where she double-majored in International Studies and the university’s famed writing program while also completing a French minor. She has also studied Russian.
Anna Giorgi joined the Aspen Strategy Group in December 2015 where worked on the U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue, the Aspen Ministers Forum, and the U.S.-China Policy Dialogue. Before ASG, Ms. Giorgi was an Advocacy Intern at the International Crisis Group, where she assisted the Middle East and North Africa Program. She also interned in the programs department of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Ms. Giorgi is a graduate of Brown University where she earned her B.A. in International Relations and Italian Studies. While an undergraduate, sher spent her junior year studying at the University of Bologna, Italy. Ms. Giorgi is originally from Chicago, Illinois.
Ole Moehr is a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow with the Aspen Strategy Group. In 2015 he received a M.A. in International Relations from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. In his studies he focused on International Economics, Trade, and Finance. While studying at the Elliott School, Mr. Moehr worked as an intern for the Atlantic Council’s Global Business and Economics Program. From February 2014 to December 2014, he was a graduate research assistant at the Institute for Corporate Responsibility at the George Washington University School of Business. Mr. Moehr graduated with a B.A. in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Passau in Germany in 2013. In his bachelor’s thesis, he examined the implications of China’s rise for stability in the international system. During his undergrad, he interned at the German Consulate General in San Francisco as the assistant of the Consul for Cultural and Press Affairs.
Mary Clare Rigali
Mary Clare Rigali joined the Aspen Strategy Group from Albright Stonebridge Group where she worked as an intern for Secretary Albright and her staff developing briefing materials and drafting correspondence. Mary Clare is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame where she earned her B.A. in Economics and Theology. During her undergraduate career, she studied at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and completed her senior thesis on the economic justice principles of liberation theology. A native of California, Mary Clare has also served as a teacher and translator in rural Honduras and in Santiago, Chile.
Agnieszka Kurzej completed her MSc in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her Master’s thesis examined why Poland’s foreign and security policy is so closely aligned with that of the United States and what this means for European defense and security initiatives. Prior to pursuing her MSc, Agnieszka was a paralegal at the law firm, Cooley LLP and a research assistant for an international trade consultant. She received her Bachelor’s from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where she also completed a certificate in Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies. She has spent time abroad studying at Sciences-Politiques in Dijon, France and at Uniwersytet Jagielloński in Krakow, Poland and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. She interned at the State Department and Meridian International Center, where her work focused on cultural diplomacy and the arts.
Peter Walker Kaplan
Peter Walker Kaplan joined the ASG from BuzzFeed, the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, and Michael Oppenheimer’s program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP). As a spatial and research analyst for Oppenheimer’s STEP program, he conducted research and digitally mapped the effects of climate change on land use in South Africa. Peter is a graduate of Middlebury College, where he earned his B.A. in Geography with concentrations in Middle Eastern Policy, GIS, and Arabic. For BuzzFeed, Peter wrote foreign policy journalism as a pioneering member of BuzzFeed’s ‘World’ vertical, concerning issues of digital media, identity, and current events. Additionally, as an employee of the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, he served as a Chinese translator for the establishment of Waterkeeping programs across China. He also studied abroad both in Fes, Morocco and Amman, Jordan, where he interned in public radio at JUFM.
Brandon Kist joined the Aspen Strategy Group as a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow in May 2014. Prior to joining ASG, he worked with Professor Philip Zelikow at the University of Virginia to design and administer The Modern World: Global History since 1760, the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered by UVa on the Coursera platform. While at UVa, he also researched foreign policy topics for Professor Zelikow’s future book on American foreign policy history and aided in the process of creating an undergraduate major in Global Studies. Since July 2013, he has served as a consultant to the Markle Foundation’s Initiative for America’s Economic Future in a Networked World, a role that is ongoing. Brandon received a Bachelor of Arts in Government, with a minor in History, from the University of Virginia in 2012.
Chris Cornillie joined the Aspen Strategy Group as a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow in June 2013 to assist with the U.S.-China Dialogue, the ASG Summer Workshop, and the U.S.-Brazil Strategic Dialogue. He came to the Aspen Institute from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where he interned in the Studies Department. Chris received an M.A. from the University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations program and a B.A. from the University of Illinois in Economics and Classics. While studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, Chris conducted research at the International Atomic Energy Agency and remains interested in issues of nuclear safety and security. His masters thesis examined the transformation of Chinese arms control policies since the end of the Cold War, as well as China’s engagement with the international nuclear nonproliferation regime.
Alexis Stangarone joined the Aspen Strategy Group as a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow in June 2013. She came to ASG from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where she worked as a program assistant and intern for the Transatlantic Leadership Initiatives department. Prior to that, she spent two years teaching middle school English in South Korea. As an undergraduate at Middlebury College, where she earned a B.A. in International Studies, she interned at the U.S. Consulate in Naples, Italy and led a student run symposium that focused on the nuclear situation and human rights in North Korea.
Kimberly Aagaard graduated from Santa Clara University, where she majored in Political Science and Spanish and minored in Economics and International Studies. She came to ASG from the Center for American Progress, where she worked on the National Security and International Policy team on issues mostly relating to China and the Middle East. During her undergraduate career, she spent a semester in an intensive Spanish-language program abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Kimberly also participated in the Washington Semester Program at American University, where she studied Peace and Conflict Resolution. As a part of the PCR seminar, she traveled to Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey and completed a research paper on the role of religious leaders and religious rhetoric in the Cyprus conflict. She also interned with the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training on the Foreign Service Institute campus in Arlington.
Khaled Fayyad is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in Government Studies and Philosophy. As an undergraduate, Khaled participated in a study abroad program on U.S-China relations and Economic policy. He traveled with Global Youth Connect—an American non-profit—to Rwanda, participated in Human rights workshops and worked with a local NGO on land reform laws. While a fellow in Washington with the University of Texas, he interned at the United Nations Information Center, where he conducted research on a wide variety of international subjects. He later interned in the Foreign Policy Communications Department at the Brookings Institution.
Kevin Jones joined the Aspen Strategy Group as a Brent Scowcroft Award Fellow in February 2012. Prior to joining ASG, Kevin researched for the policy team of Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. He finished the MPhil in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, Oxford after having studied Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard. Kevin has spent time studying in Yemen and France, and has traveled widely in the Middle East.