2013-2014 Fellows

Alex El-Fakir

Alex is a junior in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs where he concentrates in Conflict and Cooperation and focuses on US grand strategy and diplomatic negotiation. He has participated in multiple CISS simulations and is currently organizing the fall 2013 crisis simulation. He is also the President of the Princeton Chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society and a board member of AEI on Campus, in addition to his role as Simulation Leader for CISS. Alex El-Fakir also worked for two summers at the American Enterprise Institute and attended a strategy conference at the US Army War College. Outside of his academic pursuits, he is on the Princeton Club Croquet team, a member at Tower eating club, and a former singer for the Princeton Tigertones.

Alexander Lanoszka

Alex is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. His dissertation explores the intra-alliance dynamics that ensue when states turn to nuclear weapons research when they doubt the credibility of the security guarantees they receive from their patrons. Prior to his arrival at Princeton, Alex completed his undergraduate education in international relations at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He has also studied at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland; the University of Salamanca in Salamanca, Spain; and the Sorbonne in Paris, France. In his spare time, he indulges his fondness for film, music, and literature.

Naomi Lee

Naomi is a junior and an Independent Concentrator in Linguistics and Language Policy, pursuing certificates in Applications of Computing and Translation & Intercultural Communication. Naomi is the current President of the International Relations Council, which is Princeton's hub for competitive Model United Nations, and hosts MUN crisis simulations for both high schoolers and college students. She is also a Religious Life Council Fellow and a co-leader of the Princeton Buddhist Students Group. She has particular academic interests in Slavic languages, post-Yugoslav language secession, and historical linguistics; she speaks Serbo-Croatian, Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese Hokkien, and Spanish, and will be studying Russian and Sanskrit in the coming semester. This summer, she will be interning at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of South Central Europe.

Daphne McCurdy

Daphne is a second year Master’s student focusing on international relations at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Daphne moved to the Washington DC area at the age of five with about four words of heavily accented English under her belt. Daphne attended Tufts University, studying Turkey’s EU accession process and Europe’s immigration challenges. After graduating, she moved back to Istanbul on a Fulbright scholarship, conducting research on Turkey’s foreign policy in the Middle East and working in the democratization program of the think-tank the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation. Upon returning to the US, Daphne joined the Middle East division of the Center for International Private Enterprise helping manage programs on anti-corruption, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, and the informal sector. Most recently, she headed the research program at the Project on Middle East Democracy, a policy organization dedicated to encouraging the US government to support democratic development in the Middle East. In that capacity, she launched and served as the editor of a policy brief series and observed elections in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.

Kathleen Merkl

Kathleen is a second year Master’s student in Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. She moved often while growing up in a military family, but considers Fairfax, Virginia home. After graduating from Georgetown University, she served in the Army as an officer and deployed during the Surge to Baghdad, Iraq. The past several years she has worked as a government consultant and currently serves in the Army Reserves. Kathleen serves on the board of directors for Thomas Jerome House, a non-profit organization that seeks to provide long-term housing options for veterans who have suffered traumatic brain injuries. She was awarded a scholarship by the Pat Tillman Foundation and is serving as a Tillman Military Scholar while at the Woodrow Wilson School. In addition to her interest in international relations, which she will be studying at the Woodrow Wilson School, Kathleen enjoys traveling, reading, and running.

John Speed Meyers

John Speed, a Kentuckian with a double first name, is a second year Master’s student at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He has most recently worked at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a defense think-tank. Previously he interned at the Department of Defense in offices focused on defense spending. An International Relations major while at Tufts University, he studied abroad in China and spent one college summer in Beijing during the Olympics. At WWS he studies US defense policy and East Asia in preparation for a career in government.

Rohan Mukherjee

Rohan is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Politics. His research focuses on how the desire for status or prestige influences the behavior of rising powers in international institutions. He also specializes in Indian foreign policy, and his writings on the subject have appeared in various journals including Survival, Global Governance, International Affairs, and International Journal. Previously, he has worked at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, and Innovations for Successful Societies, Princeton University. He holds an MPA in International Development from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

Sarah Pak

Sarah is a junior in the Woodrow Wilson School, concentrating in international relations, and pursuing certificates in Neuroscience and East Asian Studies. Her interests lie at the intersection of technology and security interests, with a particular focus on the internet and public policy. At Princeton, Sarah is a research assistant in the laboratory of Prof. Nicholas Turk-Browne, the assistant social chair of the Colonial Club, the Audio Production Student Manager at J Street Media Center, the co-founder of the Princeton Producers Incubator, and the co-founder and president of EastCon (an undergraduate conference on contemporary East Asian popular culture), in addition to her role with CISS.

Travis Sharp

Travis Sharp is a second year Master’s student at the Woodrow Wilson School. He also serves as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve and as a non-resident fellow at the Center for a New American Security. In 2013, he served as a Rosenthal Fellow in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy, participated in the U.S.-German Manfred Worner Seminar, and was selected for the Japan Travel Program for U.S. Future Leaders. Prior to graduate school, he worked for six years at national security policy think tanks in Washington DC. Travis holds a BA in U.S. history and politics from the University of San Francisco.