Current Graduate Students
ELSIE BJARNASON is a first-year MA student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. She graduated from North Carolina State University in 2014 with a B.S. in chemical engineering and then went on to develop new electronic materials for the electric vehicle market at LORD Corporation in Cary, NC. She is interning in the Center for Technology Innovation at the Brookings Institution in fall 2015.
NATHAN BOLL is a first year Graduate Fellow at the Space Policy Institute where he focuses on international cooperation toward the exploration and development of outer space. He holds a Master of Science in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Mathematics from the University of Montana Western. Nathan currently serves as a Mirzayan Graduate Fellow to the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Previously, he has held several posts at NASA, including positions at the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) at NASA Headquarters, the Office of Education at the Glenn Research Center, and the Planetary Science Division at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, Nathan has served multiple terms as a member of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Advisory Board and as a NASA Student Ambassador.
CYNTHIA FLORENTINO is a second year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. Her interests lie at the nexus of innovation and the future of the Internet. In 2013, she completed a research fellowship at the University of California, Irvine where she investigated he role of international NGOs in combatting human trafficking. She has showcased her research at the Tamkang World Forum for Youth Leaders in Taiwan and across the US. She collaborated with the Faculty of Organization and Informatics at the University of Zagreb on the creation of an International Student Research Symposium and presented with them at the World Congress on Access to Postsecondary Education in Canada. In the summer of 2014, Cynthia worked as a Google Policy Fellow at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). She graduated in May 2014 from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Political Science.
RYAN GREEN is a first year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Political Science and History, with additional postbaccalaureate coursework in engineering and business accounting. His political experience began working in local Congressional offices, and now includes work under the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and with the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. His policy interests include the exploitation of space resources, as well as opportunities for international cooperation and the establishment of long term space objectives.
ZACHARY HESTER is a second year student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated summa cum laude from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a B.S. in Political Science in 2011. At N.C. State, Zack was a both a Park and a Benjamin Franklin Scholar. The Benjamin Franklin program is a dual degree program integrating technology and science with the social sciences and humanities. His paper entitled “U.S. Opinion on Nuclear Power: Analysis and Perspective” received the N.C. State School of Public and International Affairs award for best senior seminar paper. In the summer of 2008, he studied at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. Zack has interned on the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics and is currently a business technology consultant in Deloitte Consulting’s Federal Practice.
ARI KATTAN is a second year masters student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He is currently a research assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park, focusing on missile defense and extended deterrence issues. He graduated magna cum laude in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego, in 2012.
EKATERINA KHVOSTOVA is a first year student at the Space Policy Institute where she is studying international business development in space. She recently graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in physics. At UNC, she spent two years as an undergraduate research assistant on astrophysics projects and spent her senior year studying French, Russian, and political science at Sciences Po in Paris, France. Ekaterina has been a legislative affairs intern at NASA Langley and NASA Headquarters and currently works as a business development assistant at NanoRacks.
MOON KIM is a first year student at Space Policy Institute. Moon received his B.A. in Finance and Economics from Robert H. Smith Business School of University of Maryland, College Park in 2007. Prior to joining SPI, Moon was with Morgan Stanley for 7 years in US, Hong Kong, and South Korea, dealing with capital markets and then with equity markets, specializing in operational efficiency and management. He is interested in development of space policies, both US and international, and particularly interested in space commercialization and involvement and interaction of governmental policies in commercial space markets. He is currently a research assistant to Dr. Choe, who is a visiting scholar at SPI from South Korea.
TAMARA LINK is a first year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. 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 MA thesis was titled Predicting the Impact of Water Scarcity on Security and Stability in the Tigris-Euphrates River Basin.
ROBERT MCNAMARA is a second year student at the Center for International Science and Technology Policy where he is focusing on Innovation Practices for Sustainable Development. He graduated from Sierra Nevada College in 2010 with a B.A. in International Studies and a B.S. in Environmental Policy. He has spent the last year working for the Commons Lab at the Woodrow Wilson International Center as part of their Science, Technology and Innovation Program, focusing on topics in the citizen science, crowd-sourcing and open innovation fields. In the fall of 2015 he will be participating in a study exchange at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva before returning to continue to collaborate with the Wilson Center..
ALINE MCNAULL 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 multi-disciplinary engineer in semiconductor development at Raytheon and as a patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in the optics division. She is currently pursuing her masters in International Science and Technology Policy at the George Washington University and holds bachelor’s degree in physics from Bryn Mawr College.
ETIM OFFIONG is a first year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He also has a Master’s degree in Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) from the Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, where he contributed to the development of a prototype hybrid positioning system that combines Ultra Wideband (UWB) and GNSS signals. This system is very effective for localisation and navigation, particularly inside buildings. He has also worked on a system for combining GSM signals and GPS signals for mobile tracking. An alumnus of the International Space University, Strasburg, France (SSP10) where he participated in the Asteroid Mining Team Project. He is interested in space-related researches that blend technical, policy and management; and in solving problems using ‘systems thinking’ approach. Prior to joining GWU, he was a volunteer at the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
DEVIN OSTING is a second year student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a B.A. in Political Science/Philosophy/Economics, where he was active in intercollegiate debate. For the last three years, Devin has worked at LMG, a public affairs firm, working on aviation issues. Before that, he worked on political campaigns in Washington state, including Senator Patty Murray’s. He is interested in the commercial and civil sector space sectors, and the policy challenges that new uses of space creates.
WILL PARKER is a second year graduate student in the International Science and Technology Policy program. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Computer Science from the University of North Texas in 2007. Since 2008, Will has served as a 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.
BRIAN ROSE is a second year student at the Center of International Science and Technology Policy where he focuses on nuclear weapons technology and policy, specifically the impact of emerging non-nuclear technologies on deterrence and strategic stability. He currently works at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations. Previously, he served on the Elliott School staff as Assistant to the Associate Dean for Planning, Research, and External Relations. There, among other initiatives, he managed the Elliott School’s Nuclear Policy Talks series. Brian comes to the Elliott School from the United States Institute of Peace (2007-2014), where he managed and supported efforts on nuclear policy, defense strategy and policy, civilian-military relations, complex emergency and response operations, and U.S. interagency engagement. There, he served on the staff of the 2008-2009 Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, which provided recommendations to Congress and the Executive Branch on U.S. nuclear policy, force posture, and the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. The commission informed the Defense Department's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review as well as the ratification process of the 2009 U.S.-Russia New START agreement. Brian holds a B.A. in Political Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland (2006).
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.
TRENT SCHINDLER is a second year student at the Space Policy Institute. Trent graduated with a B.S. in Physics in 1995 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he performed research in the area of high-pressure physics. He went on to receive an M.S. in Meteorology from Penn State University in 2000, with an interdisciplinary concentration in the fields of planetary atmospheres, exoplanets, and astrobiology. Since graduation Trent has worked in the area of scientific animation and visualization. His work has appeared widely in print, broadcast, and Web media, including among others Nature, PBS NOVA, Scientific American, and CNN. Trent is currently a member of the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where he creates visualizations based on remote-sensing datasets from Earth science missions.
ROBERT "CHASE" TRALKA