Current and Incoming Graduate Students

MICHAEL BEAVER is a first-year MA student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Alabama in 2016 with a BS in History and Computer Science with minors in Mathematics and Philosophy. He has been involved in education and STEM outreach, most recently with the Google igniteCS program. He is interested in advocacy and policies that protect digital rights and that promote responsible innovation and development.
ELSIE BJARNASON is a second year MA student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2014 with a B.S. in chemical engineering and then went on to develop new electronic materials for the electric vehicle market at LORD Corporation in Cary, NC. She is interning in the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution in fall 2015
  NATHAN BOLL is a second year Graduate Fellow at the Space Policy Institute where he focuses on international cooperation toward the exploration and development of outer space. He holds a Master of Science in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Mathematics from the University of Montana Western. Nathan currently serves as a Mirzayan Graduate Fellow to the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Previously, he has held several posts at NASA, including positions at the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) at NASA Headquarters, the Office of Education at the Glenn Research Center, and the Planetary Science Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, Nathan has served multiple terms as a member of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Advisory Board and as a NASA Student Ambassador.
  CHRISTOFFER GOWESKY is a first year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a B.A. in International Relations and from the University of Maine’s School of Policy and International Affairs in 2014 with a M.A. in International Security and Foreign Policy. He is currently working as a research assistant for Dr. David Hamburg at the Nuclear Threat Initiative.  Chris is interested in nuclear material and weapon security, especially related to U.S. – Asian affairs.
RYAN GREEN is a second year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Political Science and History, with additional postbaccalaureate coursework in engineering and business accounting. His political experience began working in local Congressional offices, and now includes work under the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and with the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. His policy interests include the exploitation of space resources, as well as opportunities for international cooperation and the establishment of long term space objectives.
BEN HOWARD is a first year masters student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry. Prior to arriving at GW, he spent time at City Year Boston as a Corps Member in a third grade classroom. He's also worked in Atlanta, Georgia on affordable housing and transit oriented development for both Southface Energy Institute and the Office of Atlanta City Council Member Andre Dickens. Ben is interested in the intersection of science and technology and government, specifically how science and technology policy can drive innovation and economic advancement.
  CINDY HUANG is a second year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program.  She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at The Pennsylvania State University and commissioned in the U.S. Army.  In 2009, she left the Army to pursue a career in environmental policy and currently works at the Environmental Protection Agency as a program analyst for climate and transportation programs.  She is interested in combining her experiences in environmental policy and military operations to reduce the impacts of climate change as a threat multiplier to national security.
ARI KATTAN is a second year masters student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He is currently a research assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park, focusing on missile defense and extended deterrence issues. He graduated magna cum laude in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego, in 2012.

NATALIE KAUPPI is a second year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. During her undergraduate experience, she spent a year at the London School of Economics and Political Science and graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in International Relations and Comparative Politics. After four years in New York City, she decided to pursue her interest in space exploration and military technology. She hopes to contribute to military policy and the role of space in international relations and currently works at RAND.
EKATERINA (KAT) KHVOSTOVA is a second year graduate student and a master's candidate at the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied physics and astronomy. At UNC, she spent two years as an undergraduate research assistant on astrophysics projects and spent her senior year studying French, Russian, and political science abroad at Sciences Po in Paris, France. She has worked as a legislative affairs intern at NASA Langley and NASA Headquarters and currently works as a business development assistant at NanoRacks and DreamUp on international business ventures. Kat also serves on the board of the Space Frontier Foundation and is chairing the organization’s annual NewSpace conference. Her research interests are focused on policy to facilitate private industry growth and increased international collaboration in space. Her other interests include advocating for STEAM education, promoting gender equality in the science and tech world (and everywhere), studying plant life, stargazing, bike riding, making quesadillas, and playing with dogs.
MOON KIM is a second year student at Space Policy Institute.  He received his B.A. in Finance and Economics from Robert H. Smith Business School of University of Maryland, College Park in 2007.  Prior to joining SPI, Moon was with Morgan Stanley for 7 years in US, Hong Kong, and South Korea, dealing with capital markets and then with equity markets, specializing in operational efficiency and management.  He is interested in development of space policies, both US and international, and particularly interested in space commercialization and involvement and interaction of governmental policies in commercial space markets.  He is currently a research assistant to Dr. Choe, who is a visiting scholar at SPI from South Korea.
CODY KNIPFER is a first year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated summa cum laude from McDaniel College's honors program in 2015 with a BA in Political Science and International Affairs, where he focused on the domestic and geopolitics of the Middle East and the People’s Republic of China. He spent half a year as a space policy intern with the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, the leading trade association for the commercial space industry, and is currently an Associate at PoliSpace, a space policy consultancy, and the Corporate Secretary of the Space Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization advocating for the permanent human settlement of outer space. His research and policy interests include the fostering of stronger private-public partnerships in the space sector and the application of space activity for international and geopolitical aims.
  TAMARA LINK is a second year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program.  She is focusing on the intersection of sustainable technologies and resource scarcity in developing countries as a function of security and stability.   Her academic career began as an Environmental Engineer, co-oping at the Kennedy Space Center's Space Life Sciences Laboratory (hydroponics), and working at U.S. Space Camp, Florida for textbook money, but life had other ideas.  She joined the U.S. Army shortly after 9/11 and extensive time focused on and living in the Tigris and Euphrates river basin (Baghdad, Iraq) led her to connect hydrology and security.  She holds a Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies (Analysis), Middle East focus, from American Military University (with honors). Her MA thesis was titled Predicting the Impact of Water Scarcity on Security and Stability in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin.
  ALINE MCNAULL is a legislative representative for IEEE-USA.  In this position, she focuses on energy, nuclear, aerospace, and research & development policy and works with the broader science and engineering policy community through the Task Force on American Innovation, Energy Sciences Coalition, AAAS, STEM Education Coalition, and Coalition for National Science Funding.  She engages with IEEE members throughout the US and works with Congress and the federal science and engineering agencies to influence legislation, policy, and regulations.  Prior to IEEE-USA, Aline was a policy associate at the American Institute of Physics where she focused on STEM education and research policy.  Aline began her career as a multi-disciplinary engineer in semiconductor development at Raytheon and as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the optics division.  She is currently pursuing her masters in International Science and Technology Policy at the George Washington University and holds bachelor’s degree in physics from Bryn Mawr College.  
WILL PARKER  is a second year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of North Texas in 2007. Since 2008, Will has served as a Information Warfare Officer in the Navy with tours in the Western Pacific and Afghanistan. In 2014, he earned his M.S. in Computer Science from the Naval Postgraduate School and was awarded outstanding thesis for his work in autonomous smartphone authentication. His policy interests include defense technology development and acquisition, technology proliferation and effects on globalization, and defense employment of emerging technologies.
BRIAN ROSE is a second year student at the Center of International Science and Technology Policy where he focuses on nuclear weapons technology and policy, specifically the impact of emerging non-nuclear technologies on deterrence and strategic stability. He currently works at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Previously, he served on the Elliott School staff as Assistant to the Associate Dean for Planning, Research, and External Relations. There, among other initiatives, he managed the Elliott School’s Nuclear Policy Talks series. Brian comes to the Elliott School from the United States Institute of Peace (2007-2014), where he managed and supported efforts on nuclear policy, defense strategy and policy, civilian-military relations, complex emergency and response operations, and U.S. interagency engagement. There, he served on the staff of the 2008-2009 Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, which provided recommendations to Congress and the Executive Branch on U.S. nuclear policy, force posture, and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. The commission informed the Defense Department's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review as well as the ratification process of the 2009 U.S.-Russia New START agreement. Brian holds a B.A. in Political Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (2006).
ADITI SETH is a first year MA student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. She holds a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering  along with a minor in Economics from Shiv Nadar University in India. Prior to joining GW she has worked in the capacity of an Engineering consultant in the energy domain for about a year now. More precisely, she has worked on thermal evaluations for canisters and casks that are used to transport spent nuclear fuel rods. She is now looking to focus on Energy and Environment Policy.
  MAYA SHARMA  is a second year student at the Space Policy Institute.  Maya completed her B.A. from The George Washington University's Elliott School, majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in International Politics, and a minor in Political Science.  While at GWU, Maya interned with a Congressional campaign, the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program, The Glover Park Group, and a Senior Fellow at University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies. Currently, Maya works in Government and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the premier trade association representing the consumer technologies industry.  In this role, she focuses on advocating for regulatory policies that promote innovation, disruptive technologies, and entrepreneurship.  At the Space Policy Institute, Maya is interested in the development of the commercial space sector and global space governance.
  TRENT SCHINDLER is a second year student at the Space Policy Institute. Trent graduated with a B.S. in Physics in 1995 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he performed research in the area of high-pressure physics. He went on to receive an M.S. in Meteorology from Penn State University in 2000, with an interdisciplinary concentration in the fields of planetary atmospheres, exoplanets, and astrobiology. Since graduation Trent has worked in the area of scientific animation and visualization. His work has appeared widely in print, broadcast, and Web media, including among others Nature, PBS NOVA, Scientific American, and CNN. Trent is currently a member of the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where he creates visualizations based on remote-sensing datasets from Earth science missions.
  MICHAEL SLOAN  is a first year graduate student. He earned a B.S. in Political Science from Florida State University, where I graduated magna cum laude. Prior to attending graduate school he worked for a few years at a private company. His research focus is on aerospace and defense research, development, and acquisition processes.


KENTARO TANAKA is a second year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He majored in Physics at Chiba University in Japan, where he studied the formation of celestial bodies and the large-structure of the universe. During his studies, he wrote a thesis titled “Simulation of Astrophysical Jets and Visualization of the Phenomenon in 3D”. After Chiba University, he has been working for the SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, a Japanese satellite operator and telecommunication & broadcasting service provider based in Tokyo. He has experience working in Hong Kong, where he did marketing for the Asia- Oceania telecommunication satellite industry, and in Tokyo developing one of the largest PPP project in Japan in the Japanese space & defense field.

WILLIAM WEST is a second year student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Florida in 2011 with a BA in Geography and a minor in Linguistics, with additional postbaccalaureate coursework in geographic information systems and spatial epidemiology at the University of Florida. He has worked for the U.S. Geological Survey in Gainesville, where he worked in cartographic production, landcover analysis, and digital processing of aerial photography. He has interned at the National Air and Space Museum's Aeronautics department and at NASA's Office of Interagency and International Relations. His policy interests include international cooperation in space and the use of satellites in remote sensing and in planetary science research.
CLAIRE WILHELM is a first year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. She received a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from George Washington University in 2014. During her time as an undergraduate at GW, she interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. There, she worked with the team responsible for the integration and testing of the onboard propulsion system of the Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft. After completing her undergraduate studies, Claire worked for Johns Hopkins University studying the thermal stability of liquid hydrocarbon rocket fuel. She now works as a contractor for the Department of Defense supporting the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In her free time, Claire enjoys camping, hiking, and Netflix.
JOSH WOLNY is a first year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Most recently, Josh has been an 8th grade science teacher in Cleveland, Ohio. In the process of educating his students, Josh found that the coming decades are shaping up to be a bonanza for space exploration, and he wanted to be involved. Combining his bachelor's degree in International Relations and his experience translating difficult scientific concepts into understandable chunks Josh plans on working with policy makers and the public to increase support for further space exploration. Josh is most interested in commercialization, building international coalitions, and breakthrough technologies.