Alumni & Students

As both a Research Assistant and INSCT student, I have had the opportunity to learn from and work with professors who have reached the highest level in their fields and who are experts in intelligence, national security law, and international security policy. The management and policy lessons learned through INSCT’s coursework and events will serve me well in any career field.
—Steven Fantigrossi, MPA ’16
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A March 2017 interview with INSCT alumna Elizabeth Irwin (MPA/MAIR ’14), International Affairs Program Manager at the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, US Department of Homeland Security.

Alumni News

Congratulations to recent INSCT certificate graduates who have begun their careers with public, private, and NGO security organizations:

  • 2018 JD/MPA graduate Brian Neufuss (CAS in National Security and Counterterrorism Law) is a Research Intern at the United Nations Joint Inspection Unit.
  • Jennifer VanRiper (MAIR ’18; CAS in PCR) works as a Program Development Intern at the Near East Foundation, where she conducts research on priority issues in Sudan and South Sudan.
  • CAS in Security Studies recipient Stephen Brickey (MAIR ’18) is an Intern in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense and a Lieutenant Commander in the US Coast Guard.
  • Matthew Heggy (MPA ’18; CAS in Security Studies) is a Program Development Intern in the Near East Foundation.
  • 2018 MPA/MAIR graduate Zachary Lubelfeld (CAS in Security Studies) is a Boren Fellow in the African Flagship Languages Initiative, National Security Education Program.
  • Kevin Oswald (MAIR ’17; CAS in SS) works for Agora Energiewende as a Visiting Associate, where he analyzes EU and Mexican energy policy and security of supply issues.
  • A Digital Research Assistant for The Atlantic Council, Anna Pellegatta (MAIR ’17) received a CAS in Security Studies.
  • Christopher Winschel (MAIR ’18; CAS in Security Studies) is currently a Policy Intern for the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

Also in May 2018, INSCT learned that:

  • CAS in Security Studies student Charles Cutshall (MPA ’09) is currently a Senior Policy Analyst at the Office of Management and Budget, having previously worked as a Senior Policy Analyst, Executive Office of the President; Senior Privacy Program Analyst, US Department of the Treasury; and Privacy Policy Analyst, US Department of Homeland Security.
  • Jeffrey N. Rosenthal (LAW ’08; National Security and Counterterrorism Law) currently is a Litigation Partner at Blank Rome LLP, where he counsels businesses on RICO and technology issues. He also writes a cybersecurity column for The Legal Intelligencer and contributes to Blank Rome’s Cybersecurity Law Watch blog.
  • Laura Alexander (MPA ’13)—a 2013 CAS in PCR—now works as a Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program Director and Senior Program Manager for Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA), having previously held a position at the Innovative Agriculture Research Initiative in Tanzania.
  • CAS in PCR graduate Ari Renoni (MPA ’13) currently is Deputy Director at Hagerty Consulting, a consultancy providing policy advice to New York City’s Office of Management and Budget that manages FEMA Public Assistance grants for Hurricane Sandy recovery. Previously, he was is a Consultant for the UNICEF HIV/AIDS Programme at its Regional Office for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  • CAS in PCR recipient Kate Simma (MPA/MAIR ’14) is a Senior Program Officer/Policy Specialist at the World Wildlife Fund, where she advises program teams on the intersection of environment and human security issues, including the relationships between natural resources and human trafficking; water and conflict; and community development and environmental protection. She has held previous positions at US AID and the US Embassy in Tblisi, Georgia.
Four INSCT students at a Rumsfeld Fellows retreat in April 2014: Kyle Crichton (MPA ’17); MPA/MAIR student Michelle Herr; Kara Coughlin (MPA/MAIR ’16); and Charlene Cordero (MPA/MAIR ’17).

Zach Andersson (MPA/MAIR ’12; Postconflict Reconstruction) currently is Acting Project Director for FHI 360, a nonprofit committed to improving lives through health, education, nutrition, and the environment, which operates in 60 countries.

A 2015 MAIR and CAS in Security Studies graduate, Chris Conrad is Technology and Training Coordinator for the International Justice Mission, a nonprofit dedicated to ending slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.

Learning from—and working alongside—premier experts in the field of national security and counterterrorism through INSCT has given me a first-class, innovative, educational experience. The opportunity to travel, collaborate on projects that have actual impact, and participate in contemporary research has prepared me for a future in the field of national security law and policy.
—Andrew Dieselman, JD/MPA ’17

Alumni Profiles

Profile of INSCT alumnus Akmal Ali (LAW ’06)

“I was instantly drawn to INSCT as a ‘major’ for my law degree.”


Q & A with INSCT alumnus Siim Alatalu (MAIR ’06)

“Cybersecurity, international relations, and law are becoming increasingly related to each other (if not even intertwined in some areas) and thus I believe it would be good to have a very international and linked approach to them from the beginning.”

LTC Pia Rogers (JD/MPA ’01) with INSCT Director William C. Banks at the Duke Law LENS Conference in February 2016.

Q & A with INSCT alumna LTC Pia Rogers (JD/MPA ’01)

“Young national security professionals should seize every opportunity to learn and grow. You never know when attending a panel discussion or talking to a student or professor outside of a class will lead your career path in a new direction. Take advantage of all networking opportunities and force yourself outside your comfort zone.”

Courtney Schuster

SU Law Podcast with INSCT alumna Courtney Schuster (LAW ’13)

“… taking National Security Law and related coursework with professors Banks and Crane definitely gave me the foundation to write this report [for New America] and conduct all of this research on ISIS and the foreign fighters …”


Q & A with INSCT alumnus Richard Lim (MPA ’10)

“Take Professor Banks’ counterterrorism and national security law courses. They provide an invaluable foundation of knowledge that will serve you well in your future employment. Take them even if you aren’t a law student!”


Q & A with INSCT alumna Meredith Johnson (JD/MPA ’09)

“My J.D./M.P.A. joint degree and Certificate of Advanced Study in Security Studies allowed me to rise above my peers. I have been very fortunate with my job searches, due to the opportunities I received at Syracuse University.”

Molly Scullin

Q&A with INSCT alumna Molly Scullin (LAW ’10)

“INSCT was invaluable in giving me with a very realistic understanding of complex and ongoing national security concerns, which I now deal with on a daily basis.”

Leslie Schildt

Q & A with INSCT alumna Leslie Schildt (LAW ’10)

“Sometimes interns ask me if [SU Law] is worth the investment, and I tell them absolutely it is—because of INSCT. INSCT’s professors are world-class authorities in their field, with an unparalleled commitment to helping their students.”



Short profiles of members of the INSCT alumni family. For longer profiles, see below!
Kate Simma (MPA/MAIR ’14)
Program: Postconflict Reconstruction
Current Position: Senior Program Officer/Policy Specialist (Human Security), World Wildlife Fund
Previous Positions: Senior Information Officer, USAID; Political and Economic Section Assistant, US Embassy in Tblisi, Georgia, Political Section

Kara Coughlin (MPA/MAIR ’16)
Program: Security Studies
Current Position: Consultant, Deloitte
Previous Positions: Audit Readiness Analyst, Wittenberg Weiner Consulting; Regional Southern Africa Office Intern, International Organization for Migration

Keome Rowe (MPA/MAIR ’16)
Program: Security Studies
Current Position: Foreign Service Officer/Diplomat, US Department of State (Rangel Program Fellow)
Previous Positions: Senior Account Supervisor, OCG PR; Assistant to the Mayor for Legislative and Public Affairs and Major Initiatives, City of Fort Worth (TX); Office of Presidential Correspondence, The White House

McKay Tolboe (Law ’08)
Program: National Security and Counterterrorism Law
Current Position: Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton (Cybersecurity Policy, Risk Management)
Previous Positions: Associate, Olsson Frank Weedat Terman Bode Matz P.C.; Member, Fairfax County CERT

Andrew Bakaj

Andrew P. Bakaj (LAW ’06)
Program: National Security and Counterterrorism Law
Current Position: Managing Attorney at Compass Rose Legal Group. Compass Rose is a security clearance and national security law firm with practice areas tailored to former, current, and prospective civilian federal employees, defense contractors, military, and journalists.
Previous Positions: Senior Investigator, Office of Inspector General, US Department of Defense; Investigator, Office of Inspector General, CIA; Senior Investigator, LexPro Research LLC; Special Of Counsel, Mark S. Zaid, PC.


Jiayi Zhou (MAIR ’13)
Program: Postconflict Reconstruction
Current Position: WSD-Handa Fellow, CSIS Pacific Forum
Previous Positions: Research and Project Assistant, SIPRI; Research Assistant, NATO Parliamentary Assembly; Policy Analyst, SAIC; Policy Intern, Office of the Secretary of Defense

Michael Vozzo (LAW ’04)
Program: National Security and Counterterrorism Law
Current Position: Associate Deputy General Counsel, US Department of Defense Office of the General Counsel
Previous Positions: Associate, Lester Schwab Katz and Dwyer, LLP; Assistant District Attorney, Queens County District Attorney’s Office; Law Clerk
United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of New York

Stephanie Gonzalez (JD/MAIR ’08)
Program: National Security and Counterterrorism Law
Current Position: Associate Counsel, US Navy
Previous Positions: Assistant Counsel, US Navy; Intern, International Organization for Migration

Jeremy Busch (MAIR ’09)
Program: Security Studies
Current Position: Program Manager, International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX)
Previous Positions: Financial Director, Russian-American Press and Information Center (RAPIC); Translator/Editor, ANSER

Gladys Anoh (MAIR ’11)
Program: Postconflict Reconstruction
Current Position: Executive Secretary, American Chamber of Commerce, Côte d’Ivoire
Previous Positions: US Initiative Project Officer, APEX-CI

Natalie Alm (MPA/MAIR ’13)
Program: Postconflict Reconstruction
Current Position: Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society (Andes-Amazon)
Previous Positions: Site Lead, Wittenberg Weiner Consulting, LLC (US Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships); Intern, Office of Policy Planning and Coordination, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, US Department of State

Alexandra Hackbarth (MPA/MAIR ’15)
Program: Security Studies
Current Position: Congressional Liaison, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR)
Previous Positions: Legislative Assistant, Sen. Ron Wyden; Rosenthal Policy Fellow, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy; Truman National Security Congressional Scholar, Truman National Security Project

Natalya Grokh (MAIR ’08)
Program: Security Studies
Current Position: Operations Officer, Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, US Department of State
Previous Positions: Foreign Service Officer, US Department of State; Vice Consul, US Consulate-Shanghai; Economic Analyst and Officer, US Embassy-Manila; Political, Economic, and Commercial Officer, US Embassy-Lome