On Thursday, January 3, Sadaf Jaffer (SFS’05) was sworn into office as mayor of Morristown, New Jersey. She is New Jersey’s first South Asian woman to be elected mayor. While serving as mayor, she will continue to work as a postdoctoral research associate at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies.
While studying at the School of Foreign Service, John Laytham (SFS’66) accepted a job as dishwasher at Clyde’s. Five years later, he was promoted to partner and co-owner of the iconic Georgetown restaurant. Laytham passed away January 3, leaving a legacy of service to the D.C. community and vision for the D.C. restaurant scene.
An existing program for aspiring public servants has a boost and a new name thanks to the leadership and personal generosity of Paul (F’62) and Nancy (H’02) Pelosi (Parents’88,’89,’91,’95).
Wookjae Jung (SFS’15), a former Korean Air Force officer, has been selected as a Schwarzman Scholar, winning one of the most selective postgraduate scholarships in the world. The scholarship pays for a one-year master’s degree in global affairs at Tsinghua University’s Schwarzman College in Beijing, China.
The Diversity in National Security Network and New America have honored the contributions of 35 Black American experts in U.S. national security and foreign policy, including: Zaid Zaid (SFS’96), Anthony Johnson (SSP’18), Lesley Warner (SSP’09), Chanda Brown (SSP’07), and Brionne Dawson (SFS’02).
SFS alumna Alaina Teplitz (SFS’91) is the newly-appointed US Ambassador to Sri Lanka. In an interview with the Sri Lanka Mirror, Teplitz outlined her hopes and goals for her time as ambassador: “Among those is strengthening our business ties, looking for opportunities for US investments here, and greater trade. Whilst the US is Sri Lanka’s largest export market, I’d also like to see more import of US products, investments, and businesses in Sri Lanka, and contributing to the growth of the country. I’d like to see progress in our mutual security challenges, including maritime.”
In this op-ed published by the U.S. Naval Institute, Lieutenant Commander Catherine Reppert (SSP’06) refuted claims made by CAPT Kevin Eyer, U.S. Navy (Retired), regarding “an erosion of trust in commanding officers in the Surface Navy.” Reppert said that she “could not disagree more with his characterization,” that she has “remarkable latitude to do [her] job,” and that she feels “intrinsically empowered.”
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.
Dan Bucsa has been appointed to the senior position of Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Bucsa previously worked in the CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight, prior to which he worked in the private sector.
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.
Amanda Eilian (SFS ’99) was named one of the “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2018” by Goldman Sachs at their annual Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California. Eilian was recognized for her work as the founder of Videolicous, the pioneer of video automation.
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.
Philip Verveer (SFS ’66) has made a name for himself in the world of international communications law and policy. The former Obama administration official has worked at all levels of government, but he got his start on the Hilltop.
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.