On Election Day 2018, 12 SFS alumni ran for either federal or gubernatorial office representing a diverse mix of political players. Five incumbents sought to maintain their position, while seven new candidates entered the political fray.
Reilly Dowd (SFS’13) and Wanjiku Ngare (SFS’13) showcased their documentary Dreams of Daraa, which focuses on Hanadi, a Syrian refugee, whose husband was forcibly disappeared by Assad’s regime. The film shows the unusual journey of Hanadi and her daughters back to Syria from a refugee camp back to Jordan before an eventual escape to Europe.
SFS alum Lori Trahan (SFS’95) is running to represent Massachusetts’ 3rd district in Congress. She recently sat down with WBUR Radio Boston to discusses her qualifications and motivations for running.
Michael Hammer (SFS’85) has been appointed the U.S. Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Thomas Ogden (SSP’10) has been appointed to the 2018-2019 class of White House Fellows. He will be placed at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service welcomed Georgetown alumnus Michael Tyler (SFS ‘11) back to campus on October 3, 2018 for a discussion with SFS Professor Marilyn McMorrow about his experiences working for the Democratic National Committee. Within the DNC, Tyler has served as the Spokesperson and the National Press Secretary, and was recently promoted to Chief of Staff.
Michael McKenna (MSFS’10) has been named the new president of Tabor Community Services, Inc. Prior to this, he was the chief impact/operations officer of Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, and before that, the Director of the Women, Infants, and Children Program. He was also the assistant director of poverty concerns and faith connections at the Center for Community Service and Justice of Loyola University Maryland.
On September 28, 2018, Georgetown University welcomed the Foreign Minister of Japan, Taro Kono (SFS’86), who gave a lecture as part of the Lloyd George Centennial Lectures on the Future of Globalization. Minister Kono touched on Japan’s relations throughout the world, as well as his experiences as a student at Georgetown.
Dr. Brad Stapleton (SFS’01, SSP’03) examines the potential impacts of Trump’s reimposition of sanctions on Iran, following his decision to withdraw from the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. These sanctions, during the Obama administration, got Iran to the negotiating table, but Stapleton believes it won’t be as effective the second time around because the Trump administration’s high demands, and Iran’s hesitation to work on any deals with the US.
In this article in the Northern Kentucky Tribune, Rick Hulefeld (SFS ’68) is recognized for his extensive work in building Children Inc., which he founded in 1979. Children Inc. has helped launch a number of initiatives focusing on the development of young children, from employer-sponsored child care to after-school programs across the country.
Gurbir Grewal (SFS’95) hopes to use his position as state attorney general to hold the Trump administration accountable throughout the term, and be a positive representation of the Sikh American community. He also highlights the difficulties he’s faced since starting his position, including receiving threats and hate mail, and comments on the current political climate.
Uzra Zeya (SFS’89) recounts over two decades time serving in the US State Department, and the now very different makeup of the State Department, under the Trump administration for Politico. Zeya expressed her concerns that it no longer reflected “women and men of all backgrounds”, and the potential of the Department remaining “88.8 percent white and more than two-thirds male.”
Alaina Teplitz was confirmed by the Senate to her appointment as the new US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Alison Pfotzer (SFS ’18) and her fiancé recently traveled to Cote d’Ivoire to study french and begin international development work. Pfotzer is taking a full courseload of French language classes and is planning to stay on the African continent for “at least a few more years.”
Michael Sheehan (MSFS ’88) passed away after a fight with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer. Sheehan, a former top counterterrorism official across federal, state, and local authorities, was one of the first experts to warn of Osama bin Laden’s threats.
Gurbir Grewal (SFS ’95) spoke on the challenges and successes of his current position as New Jersey Attorney General. According to Grewal, he wants “to set an example as an attorney general, as a good leader with proper values.”
Georgetown Alumna Uzra Zeya (SFS’89) has had a meaningful path to world impact and success, from her beginnings studying international politics and diplomacy at SFS to leading the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL).
Michigan’s Attorney General, Bill Schuette (SFS’76), embraces career experiences as making him the ideal candidate to represent the GOP in Michigan’s upcoming gubernatorial election.
Trish Wilson (SFS’83) joined the Post as Environmental Editor, taking charge of a group of reporters that will cover climate change and the environment.
Think Tank Member of the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics, Jamie Gahlon (SFS’07), was named Director of HowlRound, a free and open platform for theatre makers around the world. Gahlon works to bring forward the voices of historically underrepresented and unheard artists.
Ambassador David Hale (SFS’83) was nominated to be Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs by the Trump administration. He previously served as Ambassador to Pakistan and as Ambassador to Lebanon and Jordan.
Former admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. (SSP’94) was appointed US Ambassador to South Korea filling the vacant position that had been open since the resignation of Ambassador Mark Lippert at the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January 2017.
Brent Fogt (MSFS’85) presents an exhibition of artwork called “Re Pose” which focuses on small, discrete actions like standing, sitting, and walking which allow us to keep our balance every day.
Peggy Shiels Konitzky (SFS’79) recently published a book titled “Midcoast Maine in World War II” which highlights the challenges that Mainers faced with extraordinary strength during the war. Her process included interviewing residents and searching through archives to compile these stories.
Arick Wierson (SFS’94) urges Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (SFS’94) to reconsider her defense of the current administration’s practices of child separation at the border. He evokes memories of their time together at Georgetown and emphasizes how the practices she is supporting are in direct contrast to the pillars of humanitarian service and compassion taught at the SFS.
Career foreign service officer, Michael Hammer (SFS’85), is appointed as the next US Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo by the current administration. He has previously served as US Ambassador to Chile and in several other high-level government positions.
SFS Dean Joel Hellman welcomed home to Georgetown many Walsh School of Foreign Service graduates during the 2018 Reunion Weekend. SFS hosted a reception and alumni gathered from as far away as Armenia, China, and Zimbabwe.
On Tuesday, April 25, 2018, SFS and the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service hosted an advance screening and panel discussion about the HBO documentary The Final Year, a unique insiders’ account of President Obama’s foreign policy team during their last year in office.
SFS welcomed back several of its distinguished graduates, alumae who were among the first women on the Hilltop. They shared their experiences as students at SFS, the obstacles they faced, and what they went on to do in their careers.
After graduating from Georgetown, Ben Rowswell (SFS’93) began a distinguished career in the Canadian foreign service, serving most recently as the Canadian Ambassador to Venezuela. Now he’s improving the world in another way: through tech.