The Hesselbein Forum Leadership Program in International Affairs (LPIA) is an extracurricular program designed to empower GSPIA students with the skills they need to be effective leaders throughout their careers in international affairs. Hesselbein Forum and Johnson Institute Director, Professor Julia Santucci, shares her knowledge, gained from work in the State Department and the CIA, on how to profile international leaders in terms of their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies. The program deepens students’ understanding of international leadership and develops their own leadership skills through research, group-based discussions, and learning exercises.
Namrata Asok is a Master of Public and International Affairs candidate at GSPIA, majoring in Security and Intelligence. Before GSPIA, she graduated from St. Stephen's College at the University of Delhi in India. Her area of interest is the Indo-Pacific and its strategic importance. She has written articles on regional groupings, such as the QUAD and AUKUS, which have been published online. She is deeply interested in exploring South Asian, East Asian, and Southeast Asian politics. Apart from this, she thoroughly enjoys research and data collection.
Adeyemi Saheed Badewa is a Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in International Political Economy at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), University of Pittsburgh. He is an interdisciplinary researcher in international relations, history, and global development, with a focus on comparative politics, peace and conflicts, transnational governance, and transformative justice. Adeyemi has served as a Senior Research Consultant with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Southern African Regional offices, Pretoria, and the Africa African Union Commission. He was a member of the United Nations Volunteer (UNV), and the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI). He is currently a Graduate Student Assistant at the Center for African Studies, University of Pittsburgh. His career goal is to become a diplomat and a scholar. He is an avid lover of chess, tennis and athletics.
Devisha Bisaria (she/her/hers) is a Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a major in Human Security. She is a member of the working group GEPA (Gender Equality in Public Administration) and is a participant in The Hesselbein Forum Leadership Program in International Affairs. She is on the SOCA Executive Board working to improve the diversity and inclusivity efforts of GSPIA and to help students from all backgrounds feel as though GSPIA is a place of growth and success. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Loyola University Chicago and has worked with the national non-profit City Year for the past two years as a Team Leader. She strives to work in the non-profit sector on an international level and is looking forward to learning all the important skills and knowledge in GSPIA that will get her there. She loves painting, the performing arts, singing, and playing soccer in her free time.
Kathleen Brett (she/her) is a Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Security and Intelligence at GSPIA, graduating Spring 2024. She graduated magna cum laude from James Madison University with a BA in History and Political Science, with Honors, in 2022. Her primary research interest is the emerging field of space policy, focusing on the European Space Agency and the European Union. Kathleen also serves as the Events Graduate Student Assistant in the European Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a member of the Geopolitics of Space Working Group in the Ridgway Center. Outside of school, Kathleen enjoys reading, crocheting, and thrifting. Fun fact: Kathleen was in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2018!
Matthew Burgess is a first-year Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Human Security at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). He received dual BAs in History and Business from the University of Rochester (NY) after transferring from the University of Denver. During his undergraduate career, he had an original research essay ("For the Sake of the Future: The Soviet Economy and a Surfeit of Shortages") published in the University of Rochester's Journal of Undergraduate Research (Fall 2021), was a member of the University of Rochester's Model UN, the University of Denver's Honors and Pioneer Leadership Programs, and volunteered with Cooking Matters, a 501(c)(3) organization delivering hands-on lessons in healthy food selection, cooking, and food safety to underserved populations in Denver's inner city. Matthew earned Eagle Scout leading a project to clean, maintain, and paint fire hydrants in his hometown of Terrace Park, Ohio, relieving an all-volunteer fire department of that responsibility. He also volunteered with the troop as an adult leader following achieving Eagle rank and was awarded the bronze, gold, and silver palms.
Ellis G. Cannon II (He/Him) is a second year Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Security and Intelligence at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). He received a BA double majoring in Communications Rhetoric and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School. Ellis completed multiple undergraduate degrees in 3.5 years while being a member of the Swimming and Diving team. He competed at the ACC Championships every year and qualified for the NCAA Championships his senior year. Ellis was involved in various groups through both academics and athletics. His concentration in academics is varied but consists of the intelligence analysis of terrorism and organized crime. He has focused his studies on the Middle East and hopes to work professionally within the region. Outside of the classroom, Ellis works full-time in the business office of a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. In his spare time, he enjoys physical fitness and weightlifting.
Essifash Glah is a Master of International Development candidate at GSPIA. A goal of hers is to strengthen community and influence change by working with leadership to address concerns related to economic development, social justice, equity, and inclusiveness. She'd like to use her skills as Data Analyst to support collaboration with the larger Pittsburgh community as well as internationally. Some of her biggest hobbies are reading, photography, and traveling; recently she did a solo trip to Costa Rica!
Jeysy Gonzalez (She/Her) is an Electronic Engineer, a second-year Master of International Development candidate with a major in Energy and Environment, Governance, and International Public Management Minor at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). She is also pursuing a Sustainability Certificate at the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and a Latin America Social & Public Policy Certificate at the Center for Latin America Studies (CLAS). She participated as a researcher in International Development Badge: Bringing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 7) from Global to Local, which was one of the working groups in the academic year 2021-2022 at the Ford Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked in the energy sector for more than a decade. As a Hydroelectrical power complex leader, she developed and supervised many projects to improve operations' efficiency and environmental sustainability. Jeysy would like to continue helping people to build resilience and a green future with social justice by promoting renewable energies. Jeysy loves spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys traveling, exploring new places, and hiking.
Victoria Hans is a second year Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Security and Intelligence Studies along with an Asian Studies certificate at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). Her current research interests include gray zone coercion and U.S. defense policy. Hans received dual B.A. degrees quadruple majoring in Chinese, Asian Religions & Cultures, Spanish, and Religious Studies from Western Kentucky University. After graduation, Hans is interested in working for the U.S. federal government. Outside of the classroom, she enjoys ballroom dancing, hiking, and kayaking.
Jamie Horowitz is a second-year Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). She is a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow and will receive a Russian and Eastern European Studies certificate when she graduates in Spring 2023. After graduation, Jamie plans to pursue a career supporting U.S. national security with a focus on countering disinformation and analyzing security challenges in the Russian and Eastern European region. She received her B.A. in Global Studies from Arizona State University in 2021. Outside of school, Jamie enjoys hiking and running in Frick Park.
Madison Krstich is a Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Security and Intelligence at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). She earned her undergraduate degree from Wittenberg University. Her current research interests include post-Soviet spaces and institutions, and media and information. In her free time, Madison loves to read!
Aakriti Bikash Kumar (she/her) is a first year Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) candidate with a concentration in Human Security at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). She is also pursuing her Graduate Certificate in Advanced Asian Studies from the University Center for International Studies (UCIS). She serves as the Program Coordinator for the Pittsburgh Transformations Project at the Center for Ethnic Studies Research (CESR), coordinating focus group and individual interviews, and providing research and database oversight. Aakriti is a member of the FBI Working Group on Violent Crimes Multicity Assessment at the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for International Security Studies. During her time as an undergraduate in India, she led the “Facets of Faith” Program in her capacity as the Program Coordinator at the nonprofit Global Peace Foundation (GPF) India Chapter.
Tim Mullen (He/Him) is a second-year Master of Public and International Affairs candidate with a concentration in Security and Intelligence Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (GSPIA). He received a BA double majoring in History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School. During his time as an undergraduate, he interned with Senator Bob Casey’s Pittsburgh office, where he handled constituent casework and helped organize events. Tim was a member of the Lambda Sigma National Honors Society. Tim earned Eagle Scout by leading a project to remove an invasive species of trees and use them to build wildlife shelters in Allegheny County’s North Park. Tim assists with the operations and planning of the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum activities and programming. After graduation, Tim plans to work within the National Security space. Tim enjoys long walks with his dog, working out, and gardening in his free time.
Yuliana Nike Ndaumanu is a Master of Public and International Affairs candidate at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, class of 2024, concentrating in International Political Economy. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Brawijaya in Indonesia in 2018, where she focused on communication science and public relations. From 2015 to 2016, she was the Vice President of AIESEC at Universitas Brawijaya. She has been actively working on numerous SDGs projects since 2015, both internationally and in her Indonesian hometown of East Nusa Tenggara. She hopes to inspire young people to reach their full potential through her Dare to Dream project, which she started in 2016. She is currently the president of Dareto Academy, a social enterprise in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, focusing on human capital development and education. Currently, she is a Vice President of the International Student Club in GSPIA. She is the leader and ambassador of Pepelingasih NTT (an environmental non-profit organization under the program of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Indonesia). Actively take on the roles of Community Engagement and Event Manager at Mata Garuda Amerika and Public Relations Manager at Mata Garuda NTT. She is PERMIAS's Vice President of Communication (Indonesian student association at the University of Pittsburgh). She represents the 2017 ASEAN Youth Ambassador initiative of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lastly, she loves traveling, hiking and outdoor activities and plans to join the Pittsburgh Marathon 2023 for her first time.
Kochanan Wongsomboon (she/her) is a second-year Master of Public Administration candidate with a concentration in Governance and International Public Management, minoring in International Political Economy. She obtained her bachelor's degree in Political Science from Thailand and completed an internship at the Thai Trade Center in Chennai, India. Kochanan received the Undergraduate Intelligence Scholarship from the Government of Thailand during her undergraduate study which led her to a public service career, and an opportunity to receive higher education in the United States. Currently, she is serving as a Human Resources officer at the Ministry of Transport, Government of Thailand. She enjoyed her time doing development and voluntary projects for Thailand's rural areas and was chosen as one of the youth ambassadors of the National Anti-Corruption Commission of Thailand. Her research interests include international trade, poverty, economic development, and organizational behavior management.