American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

A Professional Partner of The

Alexander von Humboldt - Foundation

International Relations

International Relations

Natasha Bajema (2001-02)
Natasha is a Research Associate at the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction at the National Defense University. Previously, she was a Junior Research Scientist at the Center on International Cooperation (CIC), a think-tank at New York University. Natasha also held a one-year position as a Junior Political Officer at the Department of Disarmament Affairs at the United Nations. As a German Chancellor Fellow, she conducted research on German nuclear energy policy at the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Reactor Safety in Berlin and Bonn. Natasha has a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. She received her M.A. at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in International Policy Studies in December 2002, with specializations in the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction and energy policy and received her B.A. in German and German Literature from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1998.(4/22/10)

Wendi Boxx (2007-08)
Wendi holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa and received her M.A. in Public Administration from International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Japan, as a Rotary World Peace Fellow. Prior to receiving the Humboldt Fellowship Wendi worked as Student Assistant to the Deputy of the President & Director of Oval Office Operations for the Clinton White House (2000) and subsequently served 3.5 years with the US Peace Corps in Romania. She completed her Rotary World Peace applied work experience at UNHCR in Bucharest, Romania (2005). Her research interest in women’s issues lead her to work in India for Pardada Pardadi Educational Society for the year following her graduation from ICU. In Autumn 2007 Wendi was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Fellowship. During her year as a German Chancellor Fellow, she conducted research on recent German policy changes regarding human trafficking, prostitution, and public policy concerning illegal migrant women. Following her Humboldt year, Wendi was offered the opportunity to continue her research at the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Education and an assistant professor for a course in Gender and Cross Cultural Studies in the Psychology of Excellence in Business and Education Program. She also continues to serve Pardada Pardadi as Public Relations Officer Europe and Volunteer Coordinator. (8/13/09)

Laura Daniels (2016-2017)
Laura Daniels specializes in US foreign policy, transatlantic relations, and grand strategy. Prior to her Chancellor Fellowship, Laura was a research assistant at the Brookings Institution, where she oversaw the International Order and Strategy Project. She has interned at the European Parliament and the United Nations. Laura will carry out her German Chancellor Fellowship at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin, where she is looking at how changes underway in the international order are placing pressure on democracies, focusing on international influencing during the German and French elections. Laura is a member of the German Marshall Fund’s Young Transatlantic Network, is a finalist for the Presidential Management Fellowship, and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations. She earned a Bachelors in political art from New York University and a Masters of Public Administration in international security policy from Columbia University. (7/7/17)

Abigail Greenwald (2008-09)
Abigail received her BA in International Relations magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with minors in Chinese and German in 2008. As a German Chancellor Fellow, Abigail served as Visiting Fellow in the Strategic Regions: China and Asia-Pacific Program at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin. During this period she focused on trilateral relations between the EU, US, and China. Afterwards, she led pan-European political communication campaigns for European Union institutions as an Account Manager at one of the leading public relations and advertising agencies in Europe. Abigail is currently a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State. Her first tour is in Beijing, China. (6/6/14)

Özge Güzelsu (2010-11)
Özge Güzelsu is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration at the Kennedy School focusing on the Middle East and development policy. Prior to the Kennedy School, Özge was an attorney in Los Angeles. She worked as a federal law clerk for the Honorable Lourdes G. Baird and then as a litigation associate at Munger, Tolles & Olson for five years. She is currently focused on Middle East politics and policy at the Kennedy School. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Özge received her B.A. from Harvard in 1998 and a J.D. from Stanford in 2002. She will be spending her time in Germany at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin researching how Germany, both within the European Union and bilaterally, approaches development, security, and politics in the Middle East. Additionally, she will be looking at Turkey’s role in the greater Middle East, as well as its aspirations for E.U. Accession, with a focus on Germany’s policies toward E.U. enlargement. Finally, she will be researching the role that both Germany and Turkey envision for the future of NATO, and how those views may coalesce or diverge in the upcoming years. (5/8/10)

Brian Hanson (1993-94)
Brian has a joint appointment as the Associate Director of the Center of International and Comparative Studies (CICS) and as a Lecturer in Political Science at Northwestern University. CICS is Northwestern University’s principal agency for coordinating research and information on international affairs and on societies and cultures outside the United States. Its mission is “to enhance the study of global affairs at Northwestern, and the University’s contribution to global understanding.” (5/19/04)

Elana Harrison (2017-18)
Elana Harrison served as the Assistant Director of Professional Education at the Environmental Law Institute, an environmental think tank and membership organization in Washington, DC. In that role, she created educational seminars on new and emerging legal issues in the environmental field, including the impact of “Brexit” on environmental law and the use of drones in environmental monitoring. She has also conducted research on marine litter management practices and the coastal restoration following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. As a Humboldt fellow, Elana will be researching resource efficiency, waste management, and circular economy implementation in German businesses. Her host institute, Returnity Partners, is a professional service firm in Munich. (7/12/17)

Lauren Harrison (2013-14)
Lauren is currently a PhD candidate in politics and Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College), where she researches the impact of “everyday” violence on social identity and political preferences. She holds a BA in Political Science and International Relations magna cum laude from Yale University, and a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. Her professional experience includes two years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, managing an impact evaluation of India’s unique identification program in Jharkhand, India, and internships with Hillary Clinton’s senate office and in the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development. As a German Chancellor Fellow, Lauren researched the role of mediation in German foreign policy with a specific focus on Germany’s involvement in the prisoner exchanges in Israel. (7/27/15)

N. Dan Nelson (1991-92)
Dan Nelson has worked for the U.S. Department of State since 1997 with numerous assignments abroad and in the U.S. His most recent overseas posting was at the U.S. Embassy Ottawa, Canada, from 2012-2014.  Dan also served at the U.S. Embassy Berlin, Germany, from 2003-2006 and U.S. Office Pristina, Kosovo, from 2001-2003.   Dan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, a MBA from the University of Miami, and a MA from Georgetown University. He is also a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, Corps of Engineers. As a German Chancellor Fellow, Dan’s area of study was international banking and finance with studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany. He completed internships with two of Germany’s largest banks, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, in their corporate finance divisions. He is a Life Loyal Sigma Chi. Dan and his spouse Susan have two children. (7/17/17)

Kelly (Parrish) Neudorfer (2005-06)
Kelly Neudorfer obtained her BA in International Relations from Valparaiso University followed by an MA in Peace Studies and International Politics and a Doctorate in Social Sciences from Tübingen University in southern Germany. She spent one year at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin as a visiting researcher with a German Chancellor’s Fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and her dissertation focused on the problem of sexual exploitation and abuse in UN peacekeeping operations. Currently, she is working on a post-doc project on women, security, and peacekeeping at the University of Tübingen and as a translator for the University of Hohenheim and on a freelance basis.(10/14/14)

Heidi Obermeyer (2017-18)
Heidi Obermeyer is a German Chancellor Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP e.V.) in Berlin researching German foreign and security policy. Prior to receiving the fellowship, she was a Fellow and Program Coordinator at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. She worked for the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, for the U.S. Commercial Service in Munich, and in federal consulting in the Department of Veterans Affairs. She holds an MA in Political Science with a concentration in European Governance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she wrote her thesis on the potential for radicalization among Somali migrants in the United Kingdom by Al-Shabaab. Obermeyer also holds a BA in International Affairs, Germanic Studies, and Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She completed coursework at Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität in Munich; Humboldt Universität in Berlin; Freie Universität also in Berlin; and at the University of Bath, England. She speaks German and some French, Spanish and Russian. (7/12/17)

Tali Padan (2008-09)
Using knowledge gained from the Intercultural Conflict Management program in the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences, Tali Padan has developed a curriculum for use in high school classrooms. This curriculum uses hands-on, creative technologies to allow two or more parties to work together, share ideas and bridge the digital gap, with the ultimate goal of intercultural understanding and mutual awareness. Tali’s latest interest is the concept of radicalization of second generation migrants, and community programs that work to “deradicalize” violent extremists. The essence of deradicalisation is, ultimately, integration. Tali has a BS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and has received her Master’s degree from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and an MA in Intercultural Conflict Management from the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. (2/4/10)

Katrina Rogers (1993-94)
Katrina S. Rogers, PhD, Master of Environmental Law and Policy, is President of Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA, a distinguished graduate school known for adult learners in the fields of clinical psychology, human development, organizational leadership, and education. In the course of her career, she has served the international non-governmental and educational sectors in many roles, including executive, board member, and teacher. She led the European campus for Thunderbird School of Global Management in Geneva, Switzerland for a decade, working with international organizations such as the Red Cross, World Trade Organization, United Nations Development Program, and the European Union. She has doctorates in political science and history. In addition to many articles and books focused on organizational leadership in sustainability, Rogers serves on the Boards of the Toda Institute for Global Policy & Peace Research, the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and the Public Dialogue Consortium. Rogers is the past President for the Environmental Fund of Arizona. She received a Presidential post-doctoral fellowship from the Humboldt Foundation and was a Fulbright scholar to Germany where she taught environmental politics and history. (6/10/15)

Laura-Lee Smith (2010-11)
Laura-Lee Smith is a Doctoral Candidate of the University of Erfurt, Willy Brandt School of Public Policy located in Germany. Her research is about policy development processes and local security in Afghanistan. Ms. Smith graduated from American Graduate School in Paris, l’Université de Paris Sud XI, and Drexel University. She specializes in foreign and security policy and acquired work experience at the U.S. Department of State and Académie Diplomatique Internationale in Paris. From 2010-2011, her AvH fellowship research at the German Council on Foreign Relations was about German public opinion and NATO burden-sharing during the Afghanistan conflict. Her analyses are based on interviews with political leaders, diplomatic and military officials, and special advisors from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Defense, German Bundestag, German Bundeswehr, NATO, and European Commission. She is a  2016 Visiting Scholar at New York University, lectures at SRH Hochschule Berlin and Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, and is a visiting teacher of the University of Granada in Spain. As a resident of Berlin, Ms. Smith is also the coordinator of the SRH Foreign Expertise Module. (7/7/17)

Derrick Sutter (2009-10)
As a German Chancellor Fellow, Derrick will conduct research at the Free University of Berlin on environmental and energy cooperation between China, Germany, and the European Union. He received his undergraduate degree in East Asian Studies and Political Science from Yale University in 2008 after having spent the 2006-2007 academic year studying in mainland China as a member of the inaugural class of the Peking-Yale Universities Joint Undergraduate Program at Peking University and as a Yale Light Fellow at Tsinghua University and the Harbin Institute of Technology. Following graduation, Derrick served as a Fox International Fellow at Fudan University in Shanghai where he researched the conceptual evolution of privacy in urban China in the post-Mao era. (7/2/09)

Erin Taylor (2005-06)
Erin is director of communication at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs as well as special advisor for global engagement at the university. While in Germany, Erin conducted research at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) on the topic of “German Public Diplomacy Towards the Muslim World Since 9/11.”  Upon returning from Berlin, Erin worked at the British Consulate General in New York City, where she was vice-consul for press and public diplomacy.  Erin holds a B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University and is pursuing her M.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown. (7/30/15)