2017-2018 Fellows

Matthew Appleton, MPP Fellow

[Matt Appleton]

Matt grew up in New Hampshire and is a Masters in Public Policy student during the 2017-2018 academic year at the Woodrow Wilson School. Matt is a Lieutenant Commander in the US Navy and serves as a Surface Warfare Officer. During his career on guided missile destroyers, he has deployed to the Middle East and South Asia in support Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, as well as throughout the Mediterranean performing ballistic missile defense of Europe and Israel. He also previously attended the Defense Language Institute and served as an exchange officer to the Royal Norwegian Navy. Following completion of his studies, Matt will return to the Navy. He and his wife, Elaine, now live in Princeton.


John-Michael Arnold, Emeritus Fellow

[John-Michael Arnold]

John-Michael is a Ph.D. candidate in the Woodrow Wilson School and has particular interests in international security, strategic studies, and U.S. foreign policy. John-Michael’s dissertation examines American military support for armed rebellion. Prior to enrolling at Princeton, he worked for three years as Special Assistant to the President of the Brookings Institution. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University and a BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) from the University of Oxford. 



Rebeccah Barger, Undergraduate Fellow

[Rebeccah Barger]

Rebeccah is a senior in the Department of Politics, concentrating in International Relations and pursuing a certificate in the History and Practice of Diplomacy. This year Rebeccah will be crafting a senior thesis in cyberwarfare to explain how leaders perceive signals in this space. She also has an interest in soft power, mainly how cultural affairs can increase understanding between nations. Rebeccah pursued the interaction of sports and politics her sophomore as an intern with Department of State. The prior summer, Rebeccah lived in Brazil learning Portuguese. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and doing the New York Times crossword.


Leyatt Betre, Graduate Fellow

As a first-generation American born to Ethiopian parents, Leyatt had a small town Texas upbringing often punctuated by encounters with the wider world. While she cannot claim any encounters of the third kind, she picked up an early love of astronomy and the slightly less wide world of international politics. Leyatt went on to study physics and political science at MIT, where she sought to forge some semblance of academic and personal coherence out of her dual interests. After researching the early chemical evolution of the Milky Way, the spatial distribution of dark matter halos, the drivers of nuclear proliferation, and the role of arms control in shaping U.S. force posture, she concluded that the coherence of one’s CV should generally take a backseat to asking interesting questions. Leyatt is now a Ph.D. student in security studies whose research interests center on issues of nuclear strategy, arms control and diplomatic history.


Evan Bryers, Undergraduate Fellow

[Evan Bryers]

Evan Bryers is a junior from Granite Bay, California studying Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, with a concentration in cybersecurity. He is pursuing certificates in History & the Practice of Diplomacy, Robotics & Intelligent Systems, and the Applications of Computing. In addition to his technical foci, his interests include the intersection of emerging technologies with intelligence policy, military strategy, and international relations. Outside the classroom, he enjoys traveling, learning languages, and spending time in the outdoors.



Amy Coppernoll, Graduate Fellow

[Amy Coppernoll]

Amy Coppernoll is a second-year Master in Public Affairs candidate focusing on counterterrorism and national security policy. Prior to attending the Woodrow Wilson School, she worked for Human Rights Watch coordinating the organization's advocacy with the United Nations. Amy holds a B.A. in international relations from the University of Southern California and has studied at the American University in Cairo and the University of Cape Town. She interned at the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State, Relief International, and the League of Arab States, and speaks Arabic, French, and Spanish.



Kevin DiFalco, MPP Fellow

[Kevin DiFalco]

Major Kevin “Gator” DiFalco is an MPP student at the Woodrow Wilson School. He is an Air Force officer and fighter pilot. Gator was most recently the assistant director of operations for the 16th Weapons Squadron at the United States Air Force Weapons School. He was commissioned in 2004 as a graduate from the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since then, he has served as an instructor at the United States Air Force Weapons School, joint operational planning expert, joint/coalition integration expert, and as a scheduler for the largest and most complex flying operation in Air Combat Command. He was recently an Air Force nominee for the NASA Astronaut Class of 2017. With 297 combat hours and 1,800 total hours flying the F-16, Gator has supported contingency and deterrence operations in Southwest Asia, Europe, Africa and on the Korean Peninsula as a weapons officer, mission commander, flight leader and Combined Air Operations Center liaison. Following graduation from the Woodrow Wilson School, he plans to continue his service in leadership roles throughout the Air Force. Gator spent his summer finishing his duties at Nellis Air Force Base and visiting family while traveling to Princeton with his wife and three kids.


Paul J. Greenbaum, Undergraduate Fellow

P.J. is a junior concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School and interested in security studies, grand strategy, and civil-military relations.  He plans to pursue certificates in the History and Practice of Diplomacy, Latin American Studies, and African Studies.  P.J. is a midshipman in Princeton’s four-year-old crosstown Navy ROTC program with Rutgers University.  Following graduation, he plans to commission as a Surface Warfare Officer.  Outside of CISS, P.J. is an avid tennis player and swimmer. 


Mindy Haas, Graduate Fellow

[Mindy Haas]

Mindy Haas is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. Her research centers on the influence of international law on covert action. Mindy holds a B.A. from Bucknell University, where she studied political science and mathematics, and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Marjorie O. Rendell of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as well as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Mary A. McLaughlin of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



Matthew Hammerle, Graduate Fellow

Matthew Hammerle is a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Woodrow Wilson School's Security Studies program and an active-duty Air Force major with eleven years of service. His research interests revolve around military adaptation, innovation and the evolving character of nuclear and conventional deterrence.   Prior to Princeton, he was stationed at Dover AFB, DE performing C-17 operations and serving as the 436 Airlift Wing Executive Officer.  Matt received a B.S. from Yale University (2006) and a M.Eng. from Cornell University (2013). 


Doyle Hodges, Emeritus Fellow

Doyle Hodges is a fifth year PhD candidate in the Security Studies program,

[Doyle Hodges]

whose dissertation research focuses on the migration of legal reasoning into military professionalism.  His other research interests include civil-military relations, defense and maritime policy, and ethics in international relations.  During the 2017-2018 academic year, Doyle is a Visiting Research Associate at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the US Naval Academy.  He and his wife live in Alexandria, VA with their two dogs.  He is a retired Naval officer, who commanded a salvage ship and a destroyer during his 21-year career.


Carly Millenson, Undergraduate Fellow

Carly Millenson is a senior independent concentrator pursuing a self designed program in International Security with Historical Studies. She is interested in applying modern history to contemporary issues such as conflict prevention and power dynamics in East Asia. Her research focuses on how the US can adjust its strategy to confront the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by the rapidly evolving global security environment. She speaks Mandarin and Spanish, and is studying German. She is currently helping to organize the 2017-18 speaker series, as well as assisting with the Crisis Simulation. In her spare time she enjoys nature walks and creative writing.


Margaret Mullins, Graduate Fellow

[Margaret Mullins]

Margaret Mullins is currently a second year MPA student in the Woodrow Wilson School. She separated from the U.S. Army in 2016 having served five years as an active duty intelligence officer and deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2010 with a degree in International Politics.




Connor Pfeiffer, Undergraduate Fellow

[Connor Pfeiffer]

Connor Pfeiffer is a senior from San Antonio, Texas concentrating in History with a certificate in History and the Practice of Diplomacy. His academic interests center around European diplomatic history in the 19th and 20th centuries and U.S. foreign policy. Connor is a former U.S. Senate intern and has completed an internship in the Foreign Policy division of The Brookings Institution. At Princeton, Connor is Co-Chair of The Daily Princetonian Editorial Board and a member of the Princeton Debate Panel. 



Sam Rasmussen, Undergraduate Fellow

A proud Utahn, Sam Rasmussen is a junior in the Wilson School. Due in large part to his experiences as a Mormon missionary in Taiwan, Sam is intrigued by Confucian cultures and how a rising China will reshape the international order.  After studying abroad spring semester at Tsinghua University in Beijing, Sam spent the summer interning at the State Department on the Burma desk as a SINSI fellow.  On campus, Sam is an Outdoor Action leader, a Petey Greene tutor, a TapCats dancer, a student-intern at the Center on Contemporary China, and president of the Latter-day Students Association.


Samuel Rob, Undergraduate Fellow

Sam Rob is a senior concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School with certificates in Environmental and Latin American Studies. His independent work has focused on the emerging field of environmental security, particularly with food and energy security. Sam is currently serving as the Command Sergeant Major for Princeton’s nearly 100-year-old Army ROTC program. He recently completed two months of military training, half of which with an active duty unit, and is very passionate about civil-military relations. Outside of his studies, he is a Peer Academic Advisor, a Writing Center Fellow, a global ambassador having studied abroad in Argentina and enjoys fly fly fishing for trout. 


Maddi Ross, Undergraduate Fellow

Maddi Ross is a junior concentrating in History. She is pursuing certificates in History and the Practice of Diplomacy, French Language and Culture, and Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies. Her academic interests center around Eastern Europe, especially in the 20th century. On campus, she is involved with the Princeton University Language Project and Princeton Data Science.


Christopher Russo, Associate Undergraduate Fellow

[Christopher Russo]

Christopher Russo is a sophomore and prospective Physics major from New York. He is also pursuing certificates in Quantitative and Computational Biology and Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies. He speaks French and Russian, and spent a summer and a gap year in Eastern Europe as part of the NSLI-Y program before Princeton. Outside of CISS, Chris is involved in research on campus and (occasionally) writes for the Princeton Progressive.




Travis Sharp, Emeritus Fellow

[Travis Sharp]

Travis Sharp is a Ph.D. candidate in security studies, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and a non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute at West Point. His research explores military engagement between great power rivals (dissertation), cyber security, and defense spending and strategy. Before graduate school, he spent six years working on U.S. national security policy in Washington, including at the Center for a New American Security and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. He has consulted for the Office of the Secretary of Defense-Policy, Office of Net Assessment, National Defense Panel, NATO, and Oxford Analytica. Travis has published in the Journal of Strategic Studies, International Negotiation, International Affairs, Orbis, Joint Force Quarterly, and Parameters, among others, and been quoted by the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN. He holds a M.P.A. and M.A. from Princeton and a B.A. from the University of San Francisco.


Mikhael Smits, Undergraduate Fellow

Mikhael is a fourth-year in the Department of Politics. He is pursuing certificates in History & the Practice of Diplomacy, Values & Public Life, and Near Eastern Studies. Originally from France, his fields of interest include security studies and natural law, particularly in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. He's lived in Turkey, France, and Israel, and is a newly-minted U.S. citizen. At Princeton, he chairs the American Enterprise Institute's Executive Council and is active in Jewish life, American policy, and free speech issues and other campus issues. He rides on the University Cycling Team. He hopes to join the United States Armed Forces after graduation.


Sondre Solstad, Graduate Fellow

[Sondre Solstad]

Sondre is a PhD candidate in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. His research centers on the politics shape patterns of technology innovation, adoption, and investment allocation, and on how the characteristics of economic opportunities influence political systems. Sondre holds a B.A. from New York University, where he studied international relations with a regional specialization on East Asia. He has also studied at universities in Shanghai and Beijing. In 2009-2010, Sondre served as a surgery assisting medic in the North Brigade of the Norwegian Army.



Jay Sourbeer, Undergraduate Fellow

Jay is a senior from Coronado, California studying international security and philosophy. He's worked as an intern with the State Department's Foreign Military Sales team (PM/RSAT), and with a private sector firm researching emerging markets. Outside of class, Jay enjoys backpacking, reading military history, and a cappella. He's thrilled to be back with CISS this year.


Aaron Tayler, Graduate Fellow

[Aaron Tayler]

Aaron Tayler is a Ph.D. candidate in the Politics Department at Princeton University.  His research focuses on maritime strategy and security issues.  His dissertation focuses on how states have developed maritime strategies to contest and consolidate global order throughout history.  He received a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in 2015, majoring in International Political Economy.



Abraham Trindle, MPP Fellow

Abe Trindle is an MPP candidate in the Woodrow Wilson School and has particular interests in international security, strategic studies and U.S. foreign policy.  Prior to enrolling at Princeton, he worked in the Naval Special Warfare community with emphasis on counter-terror and maritime counter-narcotic operational planning.   He holds a BA in both Political Science and History from Purdue University and will return to service following completion of his graduate studies.  


Mark Walker, Graduate Fellow

[Mark Walker]

Mark Walker is a Ph.D. Candidate in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His dissertation research focuses on the development and implementation of international safeguards approaches for verifying the peaceful use of gas centrifuge enrichment technology. During his Ph.D. studies, he participated in internships at the International Atomic Energy Agency Department of Safeguards, Division of Concepts & Planning, as well as at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Prior to arriving at Princeton, he gained experience as an undergraduate student at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, working on technical measures for arms control verification. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.



Lauryn Williams, Graduate Fellow

[Lauryn Williams]

Lauryn is a second-year MPA concentrating on International Relations. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science and honors in international security studies, focusing on nuclear issues in South Asia. After graduation, Lauryn moved to Washington, D.C. to work in the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Over two years, she had the opportunity to research various topics, to travel internationally, and to publish a report on the changing nature of the global nuclear order. This last summer, she worked on countering WMD issues during an internship in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy. Lauryn enjoys visiting new places, seeing live performances and being outside in the sun. She was born and raised in perpetually sunny Long Beach, California.


Charlie Wilson, MPP Fellow

Charlie is a Master of Public Policy candidate focusing on International Relations while at the Woodrow Wilson School. Commissioned in 2003 as a graduate of the United States Coast Guard Academy, he served as a Maritime Law Enforcement Boarding Officer leading counter-narcotic, migrant interdiction, and humanitarian operations throughout the Caribbean and Pacific basins onboard the 270-foot Coast Guard Cutter MOHAWK and as Executive Officer onboard the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter DRUMMOND. He completed Naval Flight Training in 2009 and has amassed nearly 3,000 hours conducting humanitarian and search-and-rescue missions as an MH-65 helicopter Instructor Pilot and as an Airborne Use of Force Mission Commander in the Carribean, throughout the Great Lakes, and along the Gulf Coast. Prior to arriving at Princeton, Charlie served as the director of aviation operations at U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan; responsible for air-sea rescue and law enforcement operations across the Great Lakes.


Audrye Wong, Graduate Fellow

[Audrye Wong]

Audrye Wong is a Ph.D. Candidate in Security Studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her research has also been funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Tobin Project, and the Bradley Foundation. Audrye’s dissertation examines China’s strategies of economic statecraft and patterns of effectiveness across different target countries. Her other projects look at the role of subnational actors in China’s foreign policy and asymmetrical alliance relationships, with a focus on East and Southeast Asia, where she has done extensive field research. Previously, Audrye was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, researching U.S.-China security interactions and crisis management. She earned her BA in Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, with a minor in Translation and Intercultural Communication.


Andi Zhou, Graduate Fellow

[Andi Zhou]

Andi is a second-year MPA candidate at the Woodrow Wilson School. Prior to attending Princeton, Andi worked at the EastWest Institute, a New York City-based NGO, coordinating unofficial diplomatic exchanges between the U.S. and China as well as a project on U.S.-Russia cooperation to combat Afghan narcotrafficking. His opinion pieces have been published by The Diplomat, China-US Focus and other outlets. Andi completed his summer internship at the Department of Labor, working on international child labor, forced labor, and human trafficking issues as a Harold W. Rosenthal Fellow in International Relations.