Current Graduate Students

James AlverJAMES ALVER is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from Harvard College in 2015, concentrating in Government with a secondary in Earth and Planetary Sciences. James has experience in space policy through work at the National Academy of Sciences, the Aerospace Industries Association, and International Technology and Trade Associates, where he has participated in projects related to CubeSat policy, Earth observations, national security space, space technology, and other topics. His primary policy interests relate to non-government activity beyond Earth orbit and the role of governments in regulating and enabling such activities.

Aimee BarretoAIMEE BARRETO is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Most recently, Aimee managed the government contractor workforce in the Code 541 Materials Engineering Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. She has held diverse positions in Task Management, Business Development, Procurement, Quality Assurance and Human Resources Management working for various government contractors supporting NASA GSFC. Aimee holds a Master of Science in Government Contracts from The George Washington University, Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Syracuse University. Her interests include financial management, U.S. space policy, project management, and technology transfer/export control issues. Her research interests are focused on trending topics: civil and commercial space partnerships, military space weapons, and international space competitiveness.

Chris BeauregardCHRIS BEAUREGARD is a second-year graduate student pursuing a master's degree at the Space Policy Institute. He's focusing his studies on international space policy and commerce and also occupies the role of Staff Assistant for the Institute, primarily handling events and communications. After receiving his undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication from The University of South Carolina, Chris held a position in business development for the Washington, DC office of ThyssenKrupp, a global engineering, technology, and materials company. Chris participated as a delegate in the 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum, is currently a program management intern at The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and a visiting scholar at the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna, Austria. He is the acting Communications Coordinator for the 2017 Space Generation Congress in Adelaide, Australia, where he will also represent the Space Generation Advisory Council as a delegate in the International Astronautical Federation International Programme/Project Management Committee's 2017 Young Professional Workshop.

michael beaverMICHAEL BEAVER is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. 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.

jake cooperJAKE COOPER is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Jake recently graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Humboldt State University in Northern California. During his time as an undergraduate at Humboldt State, he decided to study topics in space policy, space exploration, and diplomacy. During Jake’s final semester he interned at the local office of a California State Senator. In this role, he worked and focused on a range of constituent affairs. Jake’s research and policy interests include space exploration, resource extraction, development, and diplomacy.

Rita DikdanRITA DIDKAN a first-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. She moved to DC in May 2016 to Join GWU as a Sponsored Projects Administrator in the Office of the Vice-President for Research (OVPR). She has a Masters degree in sociology from Saint-Joseph University of Beirut where she was a junior lecturer and coordinator of research projects and grants and where she was undergoing a Ph.D. thesis on highly skilled Lebanese migration that she put on hold as too many exciting things were happening in her life. She is fluent in English, French, Arabic, and is currently learning Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys discovering Washington DC on her electric bike.

drew garzaDREW GARZA is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute.  He is a combat veteran with ten years of active duty with the US Army, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as multiple tours around the world for disaster relief and mission support.  He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Space Studies from American Military University.  In his time at GWU, he hopes to focus his studies on international cooperative space policies that support US defense and national security strategies.  Drew currently works as a Program Manager for the Department of Defense, and he is also very active as a STEM advocate and volunteer, contributing time and expertise to the groups like the Planetary Society and Explore Mars, as well as providing community outreach efforts for the US Science and Engineering Festival.

CHRISTOFFER GOWESKY is a second-year graduate student at the Institute International Science and Technology Policy. 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 an 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 materials and weapon security, especially related to U.S – Asian affairs.

Bristol GundersonBRISTOL GUNDERSON is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. She received her bachelor's degree in History and Russian Language & Literature from Wellesley College near Boston, MA. Following her graduation in 2016, she interned at Blue Origin in Washington, D.C. Bristol is interested in supporting science and space through policy and business development. She is interested in the intersections of science, society, and history.

tara haltTARA HALT is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a B.S. in Commercial Space Operations and minors in Human Factors and Astronomy. She has previously interned at NewSpace Global, the FAA Office of Commercial Space, and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. She currently works for Bryce Space and Technology as an Aerospace Analyst.

reuben howardBEN HOWARD is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a B.S. 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 at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy.  She received a B.A. in Journalism from 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.

natalie kauppi 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.

Cody KnipferCODY KNIPFER is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from McDaniel College in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs, where he focused on Asia-Pacific affairs and on the domestic and international politics of space. Cody currently works in the U.S. House of Representatives and has experience working with several aerospace trade associations, including the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and Aerospace Industries Association, and at a space and technology policy consultancy. Cody has also volunteered with a number of space non-profits, such as the Space Frontier Foundation and the Space Generation Advisory Council. His research and policy interests include public-private partnerships in the space industry, the evolution of national security space applications, and the use of space activities as an element of geopolitical strategy.

MANYI LIMANYI (KATHY) LI is a first-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. She graduated from the Beijing Foreign Studies University in 2016 with a B.A. in English Literature and is currently finishing her first year MA program in International Law at the same university. Currently, she is interested in how technology can eliminate poverty, increase global connectivity, and promote fair business practices in developing countries.

Evan LinckEVAN LINCK is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated with honors from Yale University in 2016 with a B.S. in Physics. Evan’s academic interests center on the intersection of science, public policy, education, and international affairs. In undergraduate, he wrote his senior thesis on cosmology using gravitational lensing in galaxy clusters and conducted additional research in high-energy particle physics and dark matter. Beyond physics, Evan has also pursued Chinese language study, studying Mandarin in both Taipei, Taiwan and Beijing, China. Prior to starting at the George Washington University, Evan taught physical sciences to elementary and middle school students at Astrocamp in Idyllwild, CA. He has previously worked with the National Academy of Sciences Space Studies Board as a policy intern.

TAMARA LINK is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. 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 Master's Degree thesis was titled, "Predicting the Impact of Water Scarcity on Security and Stability in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin."

ALINE MCNAULL is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. She 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 multidisciplinary engineer in semiconductor development at Raytheon and as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the optics division.  She holds Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Bryn Mawr College.  

will parker WILL PARKER  is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of North Texas in 2007. Since 2008, Will serves as an 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.

john rowleyJOHN ROWLEY is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated with honors with a B.S. in Economics from the University of Mary Washington. In the spring of 2016, John presented his research on NASA funding at the Economic Scholars Program Undergraduate Research Conference in Dallas, TX. Upon graduation, he was presented the Henry W. Hewetson Award as an outstanding graduating economics major. He is interested in the commercialization and funding of space programs. 

Aditi SethADITI SETH is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. 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.

Sam Share-RaabSAM SHARE-RAAB is a first-year graduate student pursuing at the Space Policy Institute. He also serves as Staff Assistant at SPI. Sam received a B.S. in Applied Science and Technology from Carnegie Mellon University and intends to use his technical background to develop ways of helping public policy experts and engineers communicate more effectively. During his time as an undergraduate, Sam attended the University of California's DC campus, where he worked for Congressman Jerrold Nadler in his Capitol Hill office as a legislative intern. He has also previously worked for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania as a legal intake intern.

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.

MICHAEL SLOAN is a second-year graduate student at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy. He earned a B.S. in Political Science from Florida State University, where he 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.

Ben SprouleBENJAMIN SPROULE is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated with honors from Washington College in 2015 with a B.A. in History and minor in Political Science. Ben wrote his undergraduate thesis on the history of the Soviet space program, with regard to its cultural effects on the Soviet people.  His academic interests include international cooperation in space and space situational awareness. Currently, Ben works as an intern for the NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations. Outside of SPI, Ben studied French at the Université Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, France, and has worked as a legislative intern for the English Parliament.

GENTOKU TOYAMA is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in Oriental Studies. He worked for the Japanese Ministry of Defense and was involved in Defense Operation Coordination with the Okinawa Government and also with Earthquake Disaster. Currently, he works for the Defense Policy Division and response to North Korea’s provocative actions. He is interested in the U.S. space policy and Japan-U.S. alliance.

Takuuya WakimotoTAKUYA WAKIMOTO is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. His undergraduate degree awarded by Kwansei Gakuin University (Japan), was in International Development, where he gained exposure to international affairs, politics, economics, and technology. He then worked in the aero-engine division at IHI Corporation to learn how defense policies affect the manufacturer. After four years of professional experience, he is now focusing his studies on space, security, and defense policy.

anna wiegerANNA WIEGER is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Her interests lie in how present international space policy will shape future settlements in outer space. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Biola University where she was enrolled at the Torrey Honors Institute. She received her B.S. in Studio Arts and a Minor in Mathematics. Anna grew up in Turkey where her interest in the future impact of international policies was kindled by the way that old treaties still impact Turkey’s politics. Anna spent two years as an AmeriCorps member working in disaster relief and preparedness at the American Red Cross in Oakland, CA. She continues to volunteer at the Red Cross.

Claire Wilhelm CLAIRE WILHELM is a second-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 work, Claire worked in various academic and government positions. She currently works at DARPA, supporting the Tactical Technology Office.

Josh WolnyJOSH WOLNY is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Prior to studying at George Washington, Josh was 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 very exciting time in space, and he wanted to be involved. Combining his bachelor's degree in International Relations, his experience translating difficult scientific concepts into understandable chunks, and other work experience, Josh currently works as the DC Office Assistant at the Secure World Foundation. SWF is an organization seeking to promote cooperative solutions to space sustainability by engaging with various actors in the space domain in D.C., Colorado, and across the world.