Current Students

BRADY-JOHNSON PROGRAM IN GRAND STRATEGY

CLASS OF 2022 STUDENT BIOGRAPHIES

Caroline Bennet

caroline.bennet@yale.edu

Caroline is a junior in Trumbull College from Denver, Colorado. She studies history with a focus on foreign affairs, social movements, and the role of leadership in forging progress. At Yale, Caroline served as the Director of Civic Education in Every Vote Counts, a student-led organization committed to making voting accessible for young people. She interned for Gary Community Ventures, a Denver enterprise that mobilizes policy, philanthropy, and venture capital to address inequity and improve the lives of Colorado kids and families. While there, she helped design a high-dosage tutoring program to address COVID-interrupted learning among low-income students. In the Brady-Johnson Program for Grand Strategy, Caroline hopes to investigate innovative solutions to climate change. Her favorite pastimes are running, reading, and watching terrible television with her little sisters. In the winter, she spends every moment she can shredding on the slopes.


Joe Boland

joe.boland@yale.edu

Joe Boland is a junior History major in Ezra Stiles College, pursuing simultaneous bachelor’s and master’s degrees with a focus on Medieval Europe. He is the vice-president of the Junior Class Council and has formerly served as a senator on Yale’s school-wide College Council. Joe has interned at the Department of Justice’s Office of Tribal Justice, as well as at National Defense University’s Eisenhower School of National Security and Resource Strategy. While at each, he produced reports concerning efficient hazardous waste management in Native Alaskan communities, analyzed legislation relating to Indian Country, and sought to better understand supply chain risk within the Department of Defense. This upcoming summer, Joe will be working for D.E. Shaw & Co.’s Renewable Investments group, which finances, develops, and operates utility-scale renewable energy projects in the continental United States.


Mathis Bitton

mathis.bitton@yale.edu

Mathis Bitton is a junior in Ezra Stiles College studying Political Science and Philosophy. At Yale, his academic work focuses on Confucian thought — historical and contemporary — and its impact upon Chinese statesmanship, policy, and culture. More broadly, Mathis is interested in liberalism and its critics, intellectuals as agents of change, and theories of elite production. On campus, he is the president of the Yale Political Union, edits the Yale Historical Review, and serves on the board of the Alexander Hamilton Society. Off campus, Mathis is a writer at Palladium Magazine, a magazine of long-form essays on political theory, industrial policy, and foreign affairs. He has done research on political thought and international relations at multiple think tanks in DC, worked on French political campaigns, and interned at the French National Assembly. After graduation, Mathis hopes to pursue doctoral studies in political theory.


Clare Boone

clare.boone@yale.edu

Clare Boone is a junior in Yale College from Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. Originally majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, she took a gap year during the 2020-2021 school year, which inspired her to switch her major to History. Over her gap year, she explored her interests in organizing and policy as an intern at the ACLU of Louisiana, where she worked mostly on civil rights and immigration issues. She is particularly interested in studying how race has shaped American democracy, and she hopes to use the skills learned in the Grand Strategy Program to promote policies that address racial equities. Outside of the classroom, Clare plays on the Yale Women’s Lacrosse team, practices yoga, and spends time with friends around Benjamin Franklin College.


Carlos Brown

carlos.brown@yale.edu

Carlos Brown Jr. is a junior in Davenport College studying Ethnicity, Race, and Migration. He is deeply passionate about helping marginalized populations leverage political power and navigate political systems to protect their communities and interests. Originally from Richmond, VA, Carlos is especially interested in issues of racial and socioeconomic inequality in the south. He currently serves as co-coordinator of Dwight Hall at Yale which is Yale’s center for social justice and public service. Beyond Dwight Hall, Carlos is a member of Yale’s competitive model UN team (MUNTY) and Yale’s premier latin dance team (Sabrosura). Carlos has also served as a Yale College Council Senator, an undersecretary-general for Yale Model Government Europe, and on the board of the Black Student Alliance at Yale. In his first three years as an undergraduate, Carlos has interned with Georgia Legal Services in Savannah, GA, McKinsey & Company in Washington, DC, and Virginia Organizing in Richmond,VA. In his free time, Carlos loves to dance, try new restaurants, and hike.


Michael Chen

michael.chen.mc3296@yale.edu

Michael Chen is a junior in Branford College from Alameda, CA studying Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and Political Science with a Chinese language certificate. His academic work focuses largely on Asian American history, immigration, and social movements. He hopes to apply his studies in Grand Strategy to immigration policy reform. On campus, Michael is a Peer Liaison for the Asian American Cultural Center, the President of the Chinese American Students Association, and the Head Recruitment Coordinator at the Undergraduate Admissions Office. He is also affiliated with Dwight Hall, the Migrant Justice Initiative, and the Academic Strategies Program. As an Edward A. Bouchet Fellow, his research focuses on protests for immigrant rights and the role of interethnic community organizing. Most recently, Michael was a 2021 Liman Undergraduate Summer Fellow working as an intern at New Haven Legal Assistance Association’s Immigration Unit. In his free time, he enjoys watching basketball and exploring coffee shops and restaurants in New Haven.


Alexis Esi

alexis.esi@yale.edu

Alexis Esi is a junior from Princeton Jct, New Jersey majoring in Political Science with a focus on the Politics of Race, Gender, and Sexuality. She is also a member of Yale’s Education Studies Scholars program, which she hopes will work alongside her studies in Grand Strategy to advance her passion for improving access to and quality of the education system across the United States. Alexis has served on the front office and legal team of the Biden-Harris Transition, as an intern at law firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, and at various education non-profits. These experiences work together to inform her interest in leveraging public policy as a tool to exact change. Most recently, Alexis has also spent two summers working as an analyst at McKinsey & Company. Outside of her studies, Alexis is involved in Yale’s International Relations Association and tutors in the writing center. In her free time, Alexis enjoys dancing with Yale’s latin and afrobeats dance teams, chai lattes, and spending time in the sun.


Natasha Gaither

natasha.gaither@yale.edu

Natasha Gaither is a junior in Jonathan Edwards college studying History and Russian. As a result of her family’s background, she is particularly interested in the relationship between the state and the citizen in former Soviet nations. At Yale, Natasha has worked as a research assistant at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs; during the summer of 2020, she worked with professors at the Columbia University School of Social Work designing micro-finance interventions for public health crises in Kazakhstan. She hopes her studies in Grand Strategy will provide her with insights about how legal and economic structures in Eastern Europe can inform policy change in the United States. In her free time, Natasha is most often reading, hiking, trying new recipes, or bothering her family with her film camera.


Bayan Galal

bayan.galal@yale.edu

Bayan Galal is a junior at Yale College, double majoring in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology and Global Affairs and pursuing a certificate in Global Health Studies. She currently serves as Yale College Council President, and was the first Muslim and first Arab Student Body President elected in Yale’s history. Bayan is interested in pursuing the intersection between healthcare access and international development, particularly in the Middle East and Africa. She has pursued her interest in healthcare accessibility as an intern for the Council on Foreign Relations and Save the Children and as a volunteer EMT in the midst of the pandemic. She also has extensive research experience, serving as a research assistant with both the Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Public Health and recently publishing several papers on vaccine hesitancy in Arab countries. In the future, Bayan plans to pursue an MD/MPH in hopes of practicing medicine clinically while also working in healthcare policy.”


Shaezmina Khan

shaezmina.khan@yale.edu

Shaezmina Khan is a junior from Princeton, New Jersey studying Global Affairs with a certificate in Human Rights from Yale Law School. She is deeply passionate about U.S. foreign policy, international diplomacy and security, and human rights in the MENA and South Asia region. She hopes that her studies in Grand Strategy will help her transform the socio-political landscape in these regions, with a particular focus on failed states and areas of conflict. On campus, Shaezmina is the Executive Director of Yale International Relations Association, Yale’s largest undergraduate student organization with a $600,000 annual budget and 300+ members. She also serves as President of the Muslim Students Association and is a Research Assistant at Yale Law School. Shaezmina has served as a legislative intern for Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, where she worked closely with the D.C. foreign policy team to conduct policy research. She has also worked as a Project Assistant at the UN Democracy Fund, Policy Fellow at the Muslim Public Affairs Council, and an Intern at Worldpay Inc. focusing on financial markets and quantitative research. In her free time, Shaezmina loves listening to music, drinking iced chai lattes, and taking pictures!


Zoe Kreitenberg

zoe.kreitenberg@yale.edu

Zoe Kreitenberg is a J.D. candidate in Yale Law School’s class of 2024 and a former U.S. Army Captain. She is originally from Los Alamitos, California and earned a B.S. in philosophy from West Point in 2016.  Zoe led global ballistic missile defense and space operations as an Army Air Defense Artillery officer from 2016-2021. She completed two tours to Israel and the Republic of Korea and commanded a battery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Her awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Space Operations Badge, Israeli Air Defense Tactical Operations Badge, and five Army commendation medals. Zoe is interested in the intersection of human rights and national security, as well as the law’s democracy-enabling functions. She is a member of the Yale Law softball team, the Bad News Barristers.


Sebastian Mendieta

sebastian.mendieta@yale.edu

Sebastian was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and immigrated to the United States when he was ten years old. He spent six years in the Navy as an Aviation Rescue Swimmer while stationed in San Diego, CA. He started at Wesleyan University in Fall 2019 as part of The Posse Foundation’s Veterans Program where he played rugby and participated in student government. Sebastian transferred into the Eli Whitney Students Program at Yale and is currently a junior studying Political Science. He volunteers at the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center where he’s able to stay in touch with the veteran community. Sebastian lives in Hamden, CT with his wife, toddler son, and hyperactive cattle dog. Outside of studies, Sebastian enjoys maximizing time outdoors, playing soccer, growing hot peppers and other veggies, and cooking with the family.


Claudia Meng

claudia.meng@yale.edu

Claudia Meng is a senior studying Ethics, Politics and Economics with a certificate in Statistics and Data Science. She is interested in economic development and data governance, with a focus on financial inclusion and protecting data rights of vulnerable groups. Claudia has conducted policy research for the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UNHCR. She has also worked at the Middle East Investment Initiative in Tunisia to increase SMB capital access, at Covid Act Now advising government partners on data interpretation, and interned at Eurasia Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit. This year, Claudia is a Kerry Fellow, working with Sec. Kerry’s Chief of Staff David Wade to research key foreign policy issues. She previously co-chaired the Student Advisory Board at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking for three years, promoting interdisciplinary entrepreneurship and innovation. Claudia grew up between China, the US, and France, and speaks all three languages. Upon graduation, she hopes to work at the intersection of technology, policy and business to advance inclusive development.


Bryce Morales

bryce.morales@yale.edu

Bryce Morales is a junior in Branford College double-majoring in History and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Within the history major, he specializes in environmental history, fascinated by the influence of environmental factors on human society and by the ever-changing relationship between humans and nature. His interests include human migration and population dynamics, the management of natural resources, and climate policy. Having grown up in New Hampshire, Bryce has also long been engaged in politics, volunteering for several presidential, Senate, congressional, and local candidates. He has previously contributed research to a history dissertation on US foreign policy and conservatism in the 1970s, and now conducts historiographic background research for a forthcoming book on the American Revolution by Yale Professor Mark Peterson. Bryce currently serves as: a managing editor of the Yale Literary Magazine, the oldest student literary magazine in the nation; program director for WYBC, Yale’s student radio station; a student member of the Yale College Executive Committee; and captain of the Yale Cycling Team.


Candice Mulinda

candice.mulinda@yale.edu

Candice Mulinda is a junior in Trumbull College majoring in Religious Studies and pursuing a certificate in Spanish. Raised in the predominantly Christian area of Roanoke County, VA, she grew up accustomed to discussing her political views in the context of the Protestant faith. Her academic interests lie in the intersection of religion and politics in the American southeast. She took a gap semester in the fall of 2020 to work during the general election as a Field Organizer for Amy McGrath’s Senate race in Kentucky and during the runoffs for the Georgia Democratic Party. Additionally, in New Haven’s 2021 municipal elections, she worked as a campaign manager for Alder Eli Sabin’s campaign for Ward 7 Alder. After graduation, she hopes to return to the South to work on campaigns in the Bible Belt. On campus, she is a co-leader for Yale Progressive Christian Students, a chair for Yale Model Congress, a tour guide, and a member of Yale Steppin’ Out. In her free time, she enjoys running, making ceramics in the Trumbull pottery studio, and hanging out with friends.


JT Mullins

jt.mullinsjr@yale.edu

JT Mullins is a junior in Pauli Murray College from Hershey, Pennsylvania. He is majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics, with a potential concentration in systemic inequalities. JT is also pursuing a certificate in Statistics and Data Science. Outside of the classroom, he is the Co-President of the Black Men’s Union, a Peer Liaison for the Afro-American Cultural Center, and the Coordinator of the Jones-Zimmerman Academic Mentorship Program at Dwight Hall. Outside of Yale, JT has worked in grant writing for Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership (LEAP), and has served on a grant review board for the Carolyn Foundation. This past summer, he worked for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) studying parole and probation reform, which is the field of work that he aspires to enter following the completion of his studies. He hopes to use his studies in grand strategy to more effectively mobilize people and resources towards the aim of a more equitable justice system.


Francesca Nyakora

francesca.nyakora@yale.edu

Francesca Nyakora is a junior double-majoring in Global Affairs and African Studies and receiving certificates in French and Human Rights. While originally from Kenya, Francesca has lived in five different countries and her global upbringing, notably in various African societies, has endowed her with an interest in African geopolitics. She engaged with U.S.- Africa relations as an intern for the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania. Further, for her capstone project in the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights, Francesca plans to conduct comparative research on societies that implemented transitional justice mechanisms and those where such mechanisms have largely been absent. She seeks to understand the effects of transitional justice measures on post-conflict development. Francesca also serves as the president of the Yale Model African Union, the first Model-International Relations conference hosted by an American University on the African continent, and she sits on the Executive Board of Directors of the Yale International Relations Association. Beyond Yale, Francesca enjoys traveling, learning languages, and spending time in art galleries.


Jonathan Oates

jonathan.oates@yale.edu

Jonathan Oates is a junior studying political science with interests in political philosophy and democracy reform. Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Jonathan hopes to use his experience in the Grand Strategy Program to explore how to bridge divides between disparate groups and create a fairer society. At Yale, he currently serves as a YCC Senator representing Silliman College and has previously served as a member of the YCC Executive Board and First-Year Class Council. He also serves as co-president of the Silliman Activities and Administrative Committee. Outside of Yale, Jonathan has interned at ThinkTennessee, a nonpartisan research group dedicated to supporting working families and increasing civic engagement, and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. He is also a proud member of the Institute for Responsible Citizenship and an avid sci-fi/fantasy reader. Jonathan can usually be found studying in the “Silli”brary or avoiding work by discussing politics with his friends in the dining hall.


Hassan Osman

hassan.osman@yale.edu

Hassan Osman is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College majoring in Economics. Born in Aswan, Egypt, and a proud Nubian-American, Hassan is passionate about both his cultural heritage and the economic and political development of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Outside of Yale, Hassan spends his time in a Nubian advocacy group, while at Yale, he saw leadership positions in the MENA student association and the student investment group, the Urban Philanthropic Fund. One of Hassan’s most formative educational experiences was his attendance at the Research Science Institute, founded by the late Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, where he did neuroscience research in a wet lab environment. While his experience there helped refine his critical and creative thinking, he has since applied those skill sets to his interest in finance. Hassan has spent these past summers working at Sixth Street Partners and, recently, Goldman Sachs. Hassan plans to continue to pursue his interest in financial services going forward. In his downtime, he enjoys spending time with his siblings, listening to podcasts, and interacting with his peers at Yale.


Zoe Robertson

zoe.robertson@yale.edu

Zoe Robertson is a junior in Pauli Murray College studying political science and molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. Her academic interests lie in exploring alternatives to electoral democracy in the United States. She believes that a legislature led by citizens, rather than elected politicians, can both increase political efficacy while serving to best address the most pressing issues of modernity, particularly the climate crisis. To pursue democratization more broadly, Zoe served as a conference organizer for the first #DemocratizingWork conference, an event that brought over 3,000 individuals together to discuss dismantling workplace hierarchy. In Yale’s Human Nature Lab, Zoe studies the roles of intellectual humility and language in fostering political activity under the guidance of Ryan Barrett and Sanjeev Kumar. In addition, Zoe works on computational chemistry in the Newhouse Group, publishing in the field of green chemistry.


Natalie Simpson

natalie.simpson@yale.edu

Natalie Simpson is a junior in Yale College studying History and Global Affairs. Her area of focus is Russia and the former Soviet Union, with a particular interest in Eurasian security issues, the aesthetics of power, and social movements under authoritarianism. On campus, Natalie has served on the boards of the Yale Daily News, the Yale Review of International Studies, and the Yale Historical Review, and she conducts archival research on the Iraq War for a history professor. She also studies Russian military innovation for the Foreign Policy Research Institute and volunteers at the Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs.


Eliza Spinna

eliza.spinna@yale.edu

Eliza Spinna is a junior Philosophy major in Hopper College. She is interested in theories of justice and forgiveness, and her work experience is primarily in prison education and criminal justice. Eliza is a Dwight Hall Urban Fellow with the Yale Prison Education Initiative, and has interned with both the New Haven Office of the Federal Defender as a Yale Law School Arthur Liman Public Interest Fellow and with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. A proud product of the New York City public school system from K-12, Eliza attended Stuyvesant High School, where she was a competitive debater. She now coaches debate to New Haven high school students through the New Haven Urban Debate League. Eliza enjoys business and entrepreneurial pursuits, and will be interning with McKinsey & Company for part of the summer of 2022. Eliza is an art lover who enjoys giving tours of the Yale University Art Gallery and exploring the wide variety of art museums and galleries in her hometown. She is very grateful for the opportunity to join the Brady-Johnson Grand Strategy program.


Landon Wike

landon.wike@yale.edu

Landon Wike, originally from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, graduated summa cum laude from Loyola Marymount University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. As an undergraduate student, he volunteered over 300 hours tutoring in South-Central Los Angeles and competed internationally as varsity debate captain. After graduation, Landon interned on Capitol Hill in the Washington, D.C. office of United States Senator Lindsey Graham. He then commissioned as an Officer in the United States Air Force through Officer Training School at Maxwell Air Force Base, in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon commissioning, he attended formal specialty training en route to his assignment with the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. He spent four years at the 89th safeguarding Air Force One and other diplomatic missions transporting the United States President, Vice President, First Lady, and senior civilian and military officials. During this time, he also deployed to Spangdahlem Air Force Base, Germany in support of Operations Inherent Resolve and Freedom’s Sentinel. He now continues his service in the United States Air Force Reserve at Royal Air Force Base Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom. Landon is pursuing the Master in Public Policy in global affairs at the Yale Jackson Institute.