About the Judges

Spring 2020

At IPC, we want students to engage with meaningful international relations topics from a variety of perspectives. As such, we have recruited a diverse range of experienced academics, professionals, and students to judge our conference. Our judges have focused on topics ranging from diplomacy to food security and human rights law and much more. We are confident that these individuals will provide our competition a uniquely comprehensive insight into difficult problems in international relations.

Within our overarching topic this Spring — chosen by one of our partners and announced at our opening ceremony — students can focus on any number of aspects related to this "umbrella problem," whether it be security- or development-related, environmental, health- or energy-related, or legal in scope. We fully expect students to bring to this challenge any particular background that they have in any specific discipline in order to provide the concentration necessary for their policy proposals to be robust and realistic. 

Read on for the bios of our Spring 2020 judges that have been announced so far. New announcements of judges and speakers will continue to take place throughout the Summer and the beginning of the Fall. Stay tuned for updates! 

If you're interested in judging for Yale IPC next year, please reach out to director@yaleipc.com we would love to have you!



Dr. Fumiko Sasaki teaches East Asian Security for the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University during the summer session. She is an advisor for the capstone program and an Adjunct Associate Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. She teaches East Asian Security at School of Advanced International studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, too.  Dr. Sasaki received a Ph.D and M.A. in Asian Studies and International Relations from SAIS. Her book, Nationalism, Political Realism and Democracy in Japan: The Thought of Masao Maruyama, assesses the development of democracy in Post-War Japan.  Her research currently focuses on a quantitative and comparative study of whether/how internet use enhances political participation. In her capacity as the director of the Community E-Learning Initiative at Distance Education for Africa, Dr. Sasaki is passionate and actively involved in enhancing education in Africa. Specifically, she focuses on the development of job opportunities for the African youth by adopting innovative technologies to education and by connecting students with educational institutions in the US and in Japan. She is also actively engaged in the empowerment of Japanese women, as the executive director at the Japan Institute for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (JSIE), where she organizes various conferences and forums that strengthen women’s social participation and entrepreneurship.



Thanassis Cambanis is an author, journalist and fellow at The Century Foundation, who specializes in the Middle East and U.S. foreign policy. He is co-director of TCF’s “Arab Politics beyond the Uprisings.” His most recent book, Once Upon A Revolution: An Egyptian Story (Simon and Schuster: 2015), chronicles Egyptian efforts to create a new political order. His first book, A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel, was published in 2010. He writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe Ideas, and regularly contributes to The Atlantic, Foreign Policy and The New York Times.

He has taught at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and as a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University. He lives in Beirut. See more of his writing at thanassiscambanis.com.



Lindsey Ford is a David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program. She is also an adjunct lecturer at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. Her research focuses on U.S. defense strategy in the Asia-Pacific region, including U.S. security alliances, military posture, and regional security architecture. Ford is a frequent commentator on Asian security and defense issues and her analysis has been featured by outlets including the New York Times, the Wall St. Journal, the Financial Times, Politico, Foreign Policy, the Straits Times, CNN, MSNBC, and Bloomberg. Most recently, Ford was the Richard Holbrooke Fellow and director for political-security affairs at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). From 2009-15, Ford served in a variety of roles within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including as the special assistant to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel for the 2014 U.S.-ASEAN Defense Forum. Most recently, Ford served as the senior adviser to the assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, where she managed a team of advisers overseeing maritime security, multilateral security affairs, and force management planning. Ford was also a leading architect of the Asia rebalance strategy work for the Department of Defense’s 2012 “Defense Strategic Guidance Review” and oversaw the development of the Department’s first “Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Strategy” in 2015. Ford was twice awarded with the Department of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service, among other recognitions.



Bonnie D. Jenkins, Ph.D., is the Founder and Executive Director of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation and a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs. From June 2009 to January 2017she served, with the rank of ambassador, as Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs at the Department of State (DOS) where she was the U.S. representative to the G7 Global Partnership and the DOS lead to the Nuclear Security Summits. Prior to her service at DOS, Dr. Jenkins was a Program Officer at the Ford Foundation for US Foreign and Security Policy, a Counsel on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), and a Counsel for the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. She is a retired Naval Reserves Officer. She was also a fellow at the Belfer Center at Harvard University’s JFK School for Government. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia; an LL.M. from Georgetown University; an MPA from the State University of New York at Albany; a J.D. from Albany Law School; and a B.A. from Amherst College. Ambassador Jenkins serves on the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board of the National Academies.



Savannah was one of eight women selected from across the country to serve as a Star Fellow for Running Start in a congressional office. Through Running Start, a nonpartisan nonprofit promoting women in politics, she honed her communication and strategy skills, mentored and trained to run for political office and advocated for women in underrepresented fields-specifically focusing on women in the realms of foreign policy and international security. Savannah recently served as one of ten Americans selected for the Salaam Fellowship- focused on Conflict Resolution, Security, and Peace Negotiations and traveled to Morocco to continue research and training. There she partnered with many local organizations to understand the geopolitical influences in the region, the impact of nonstate actors in conflict resolution, and focused research on the importance of the inclusion of women in conflict and peace negotiation settings on a global scale. Additionally, she currently continues to advocate for her passion of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a Global Peace Ambassador through the Global Peace Chain. Savannah works for an international nonpartisan, nonprofit in Washington, D.C. that focuses on research surrounding the U.S.-Turkey relationship and the NATO alliance, and has appeared on international media as a foreign policy analyst and commentator.  



Prior to joining SFCG, Mr. Prelis was the founding director of the Peacebuilding & Development Institute at American University in Washington, DC. Over eleven years at the university resulted in him co-developing over 100 training curricula exploring the nexus of peace building with development.


Mr. Prelis has served as an adviser to governments and governmental agencies in over a dozen countries. He has also played an advisory role to the Commonwealth Secretariat and Commonwealth Ministers on youth and peacebuilding.  In June 2017, Mr. Prelis received the distinguished Luxembourg Peace Prize for his Outstanding Achievements in Peace Support and in March 2019, he co-organized the first global symposium on youth participation in peace processes in partnership with the Govts. Of Finland, Colombia, the State of Qatar, the United Nations and other key actors. In September 2019 he was invited to facilitate a high level workshop in the role of women and youth in peace and transition processes with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini and spoke as part of a side event of the UN General Assembly event in September 2019 "A Call for Action: Preventing Violent Conflict in Fragile State,” co-sponsored by the US. Dept. Of State and UNDP. 



Named as a Top 30 Under 30 Leader in Sustainability by GreenBiz in 2017 and by Corporate Knights Magazine in 2016, David Harary is focused on mediating between science, management, and policy. Harary has built his experience around space-based environmental monitoring programs in federal government and has consulted across the space, financial, and environmental sectors. He’s previously helped design strategic communications plans with NASA Headquarters, has collaborated alongside policymakers on furthering economic security at the federal and state levels, and has fostered increased investments in corporate sustainability. Since 2014, Harary has led the Center for Development and Strategy 501(c)(3) and is a 2019-2020 Fellow with the Climate and Security Advisory Group, which is comprised of over 200 national security experts from the U.S. defense and climate science communities. In 2020, Harary was appointed on the Knowledge Board of the London, U.K. based International Society for Energy and Sustainability Research. He serves as a Program Analyst with ASRC Federal Space & Defense for the nation’s premier environmental intelligence agency, NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) in Washington, D.C. Harary’s research is multidisciplinary and covers ground in human security, intelligence, sustainability, trade, and space. 



Commander Erich Frandrup is the senior navy fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security. Erich was most recently assigned to the joint staff where he served as both the explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) action officer in the operations directorate (J3) and the executive assistant to the deputy director for nuclear and homeland defense operations. Throughout his seventeen-year military career, Erich deployed four times to the Middle East to include two deployments to Bahrain in support of the Navy’s 5th Fleet and two deployments to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Erich is a qualified EOD officer, surface warfare officer, and a basic dive officer. Originally from Newport, Washington, he graduated in 2002 from the United States Naval Academy with a bachelor’s of science degree in ocean engineering. Erich also received a master’s of art degree in national security and strategic studies from the United States Naval War College and a master’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University.



Ali is the President of Turkish Heritage Organization that helps advance U.S.-Turkey relations.He is a credentialed reporter at the White House,United Nations and the U.S. State Department and has been published in international publications including Washington Post, World Affairs, Washington Times, U.S News, SAIS (John Hopkins University Publication), The Hill, Hurriyet Daily News, Daily Sabah and Turk of America. Ali was testified at the U.S. Congress on Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee in 2016 and 2017. He appeared on PBS News Hour, CBNC, FOX Business, Fox Radio, Bloomberg TV , Bloomberg Radio, BBC TV,BBC Radio, Al Jazeera English. Over the course of his career, Cinar has earned over 30 awards  including One of the Top 10 Most Successful Young People by Junior Chamber International (JCI), and Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2019. He recently also received the Community Service Award by New York Police Department of  MT&S. He has a bachelor degree from Istanbul University and Master's degree from University of New Haven. Cinar has earned various executive certificates from Harvard University, MIT and New York University.

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Spring 2020 Student Judges

Tony Formica is in his second year as a M.A. candidate at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he studies social media, disinformation, and ideologically-motivated extremist violence.  Tony has served as an active duty infantry officer in the U.S. Army for nearly 11 years and has spent that time stationed in or deployed to, Alaska, Italy, Afghanistan, and Lithuania, among others.


Kathleen Keefe is a joint degree MA-MBA candidate at the Jackson Institute and School of Management. At Yale, Kathleen studies policymaking for inclusive economic development. She comes to Yale from the international development sector, where she managed USAID projects in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that promote land market development and the growth of small and medium enterprises. Kathleen served as a Fulbright English instructor in Khabarovsk, Russia from 2012-2013. Prior to this, she worked in domestic policy evaluation.


Muriel Wang is a senior at Yale College majoring in Global Affairs with the Jackson Institute. She is primarily interested in challenges facing young democracies today, especially in Asia and the Middle East. In addition to examining factors of good governance and effective leadership, she has completed research and explored themes of anti-corruption, post-conflict peacebuilding, and the politics of global health. She has previously worked in political risk consulting in Southeast Asia.


Soley Kaldal is a student at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Her interests are in international security, security policy, diplomacy, and leadership. Soley works as an expert lead for Arctic safety and security cooperation for the Icelandic government. She is also an adviser to Iceland's National Security Council. She graduated from Lund University in Sweden in 2011 with a master's degree in risk management and safety engineering.


Cole DeVoy is a first-year Master’s candidate at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. At Yale, he studies Chinese foreign policy, with a particular emphasis on both cross-Strait relations and China's ties with Southeast Asia. Prior to Yale, Cole served for two years as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where he taught elementary school and helped pilot the city's bilingual education program.


Juan Carlos Salamanca Vázquez is a first-year MA in Global Affairs at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He specializes in tech policy, particularly in issues relating to privacy and disinformation, and how content moderation and personal protection intersect. Before coming to Yale, he worked as a lawyer in Mexico City at a boutique law firm specialized in personal protection and ICTs law. Previously, Juan Carlos worked at a consulting firm, where he advised governments and multinational companies on international trade and foreign investment.


Robin Schmid is a Master’s candidate in Global Affairs at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Robin is a women’s rights advocate and focuses on structural issues within international development policy that impact gender outcomes. Before coming to Yale, she led the development and communications strategy of two community-based nonprofits in Guatemala and served as a Senior Princeton in Latin America Fellow.


Nkandu Yumbe is a MPH candidate in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health with a global health concentration. She is currently studying data informed policy approaches to improve patient outcomes across health systems. She has prior experience in human development programs ranging from agriculture to early childhood development in Zambia and South Africa. 


Diana Toma is a student at the Yale School of Management, class of 2020. She focused on international political economy and international business in undergraduate, but has since been fascinated with how technology enables different aspects of society, especially medtech, edutech, and technology policy. Diana has over four years of technical implementation consulting and has worked with NGOs, governmental entities, and corporations on how to utilize technology to power change in their industries. At Yale, she has focused on technological innovations in the US and Israel, is the head of the Yale SOM Tech Club, and leads career development for the Yale Startup Club. 


Sara Shoff is a second year MBA candidate at the Yale School of Management. In 2011 she graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Environmental Management and Watershed Hydrology. Prior to Yale she managed environmental and social risks at the U.S. Government’s development finance institute (OPIC, now US DFC). She is interested in developing sustainable financial products that can support development outcomes worldwide and attract private capital into impactful sectors.


Deena Mousa is a senior at Yale College majoring in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Her work centers around measuring and maximizing wellbeing in the Middle East with a focus on health and environmental equity. She combines research, policy, entrepreneurship, and storytelling in service of this goal.


Ryan Nabil is an M.A. student at the Yale Jackson Institute, where he researches Chinese diplomacy in Europe, Russia-China relations, and comparative law. Prior to Yale, Ryan worked as a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. Most recently, Ryan served as a Rosenthal Fellow in Congress, where he worked on U.S. foreign policy toward China and Russia. Ryan published more than forty articles in outlets including the Washington Post, National Review, and Foreign Affairs.


Eunsun Cho is a first-year MA student at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. She studies geoeconomics with a regional focus on East Asia. Prior to Jackson, she interned at World Policy Journal and the Council on Foreign Relations and worked at Paul, Weiss, an international law firm based in New York City, as a member of the firm’s Private Funds Group.


Marc Ibáñez Díaz graduated in 2016 from the University of Barcelona where he studied economics. Before coming to Yale he worked in strategic consulting for the financial sector. Now he is studying an MA in Global Affairs at the Jackson Institute where he focuses on the European Union and Global governance.


Thank you to all of our wonderful judges!!! If you are interested in judging for us next year, please email director@yaleipc.com