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Japan Travel Program Fellows 2011

Participant Bios

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Denisa Albu
Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Denisa Albu is currently a Master’s student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, focusing on International Business Relations and East Asian affairs. A native of Romania, Denisa graduated high school in New York City and pursued a B.S. at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she concentrated on energy geopolitics, international politics, and diplomacy. Her work experience includes consulting for the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) in Washington, DC, interning at the U.S. Commercial Service in Bucharest, Romania, and supervising the commercial and legal aspects of a large wind farm project in Romania. As an avid traveler, Denisa enjoys learning about intercultural business communication and she plans to pursue a career in international trade.

Hanna Azemati
Yale University, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
Hanna Azemati is a graduate student in International Relations at Yale, where she is a Teaching Fellow, a Managing Editor for the Yale Journal of International Affairs as well as Yale's Contributing Editor for the Journal of Public and International Affairs. Hanna completed her undergraduate studies in Economics and Government at Dartmouth College in 2007. She then worked as a Financial Analyst in Leveraged Finance at Citigroup in New York and also volunteered for NYPACE, a non-profit organization that consults disadvantaged entrepreneurs. After her two-year program at Citigroup, Hanna volunteered for the 'Iran Inside Out' exhibition at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York, where she conducted a series of interviews with artists, led exhibition tours, and organized exhibition-related events. She then moved to East Africa to set up Kiva's partnership with six microfinance organizations in Kenya, Uganda, and the DRC as a Kiva Fellow. Hanna was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Karinna Berrospi
American University, School of International Service
Karinna Berrospi is currently pursing a MA in International Economic Relations with a concentration in international development at the School of International Service – American University. She graduated magna cum laude with a BA in International Relations with a thesis about Japanese Immigration in Peru. It was her research in Lima with Japanese immigrants that sparked her interest with Japanese culture, politics, and economics.
Her professional experience includes work at the UN, think-tanks, and US Congress. She has also worked and studied abroad in South Africa and Argentina. Karinna is fluent in Spanish and French and is currently learning Portuguese.  Her hobbies include traveling, synchronized swimming, and dancing.

Sarah Charlton
Tufts University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
Sarah Charlton graduated from Harvard University in 2004, where she studied intellectual history. Based initially in Toronto, Canada, and later in Paris, France, she spent the next six years traveling the world for her work as a management consultant for Monitor Group. With a particular interest in the dynamics of emerging markets, Sarah worked extensively in Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, where she focused on advising companies on new growth opportunities. Now at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, Sarah is specializing in international security and Islamic civilizations. She speaks fluent French, as well as some basic Spanish, Arabic and Japanese.

Nithin Coca
Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs
Nithin Coca is originally from Overland Park, Kansas and is currently pursuing a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University, focusing on Environmental Policy Management. Previously, Nithin worked as a Grassroots Media Coordinator for the Sierra Club, and as a deputy field organizer for the Barack Obama Presidential campaign. He did his undergrad in Communications at the University of Southern California, and hopes to use this experience and knowledge to help forge environmental solutions for a growing, resource hungry world.

Nena do Nascimento
University of Maryland, School of Public Policy
Nena do Nascimento is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the University of Maryland specializing in International Development Policy. She also works part-time as a Research Assistant for the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Ms. do Nascimento began her career in international development as a Program Officer at International Relief and Development (IRD), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. In that role, she spent time in Mozambique working on an income generation and health awareness program for rural women and on capacity building for local HIV/AIDS community based organizations. She also managed a portfolio of programs supporting health and vocational training services for Iraqi refugees in Jordan. In addition, Nena spent a summer as an intern with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Mission where she worked on trade, investment and export promotion in Sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a Bachelors Degree with Honors from McGill University in International Development Studies. Nena speaks Portuguese, French and Spanish, and she volunteers with a recently-resettled Iraqi refugee family in her free time.

Morgan Greene
Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Morgan Greene graduated from the United States Military Academy in June 2002 with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Mathematics and Physics and was commissioned as an Infantry officer.  Over the past nine years, MAJ Greene served in a variety of conventional and special operations organizations culminating with twenty four months of company command.  During this time, MAJ Greene deployed three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for Valor and Ranger Tab.  MAJ Greene attends Princeton University and will earn his Masters in Public Affairs with a focus on International Relations and Development Studies.

Theodore Ho
George Washington University, Elliot School of International Affairs
Theodore Ho was born in Honolulu, HI and grew up in Singapore.  Most of his education and schooling has oriented him more towards China, Europe and the US. Despite this, he has always been interested in Japan and the politics of the country given its impact in the Pacific region; he has pursued this interest in Japan by visiting numerous on numerous occasions. For his undergraduate studies, he went to Cambridge University in the UK where he completed a degree in Political Science focusing on Asia as a whole. Immediately afterwards, he went to further his studies at George Washington University where he is currently doing a MA in International Affairs with a concentration on the Asian region, international business and security studies. He has spent the past year trying to better understand the US-China relationship by studying abroad at Peking University and working for the US Dept of Commerce in Beijing. He is looking forward to learning more about Japan, its relations with the United States, and the role that China plays within this relationship.

Sean Lowry
University of Maryland, School of Public Policy
Sean Lowry is a Master’s in Public Policy student at the University of Maryland. He lives just outside of Washington D.C. His degree specialization is in International Security and Economic Policy, and his academic interests include: international trade/finance, China, the politics and economics of East Asia, and arms control/nuclear nonproliferation policy. His hobbies include hiking, playing the guitar, and cooking. Sean is a self-professed “foodie” and likes to blog about his passions for all things edible. He has some travel experience in Japan, but sadly cannot speak the language. Sean looks forward to meeting everybody in the program, traveling with such a great group, and (finally) picking up some basic Japanese vocabulary!

Manuel Manriquez
Georgetown University, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service
Manuel (“Manny”) Manriquez is a Master’s degree candidate at Georgetown University where he studies international security with a focus on East Asian/Japanese security issues, nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, and environmental security. Manny has been studying and conducting research on Japanese security and foreign policy since 2006. He has published three peer-reviewed works on various aspects of Japanese security and he plans to produce a Master’s thesis on Japanese security challenges and grand strategy in the 21st century. Manny earned his B.A. from UC Berkeley (‘08) in political science and Asian studies—with a focus on Japan. He also speaks, reads and writes Japanese at the intermediate level. Outside his academic interests, he is a vocalist, guitarist and composer. Manny grew up in Oakland, CA and Albuquerque, NM.

Isaac Meyer
University of Washington, Jackson School of International Studies
Isaac Meyer was born in Olympia, Washington and raised in Peekskill, New York.  As an undergraduate at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, he studied Japanese.  He currently attends the University of Washington, where he is studying Japan Studies.  His focus is on military history, the history of the Imperial Japanese Military and the history of Japanese politics and political structures (in particular, the ones created in the Meiji Period).  Isaac also studies the history of the martial arts, though that tends to be more as a hobby than an academic pursuit.

Cody Nelson
University of Minnesota, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
Cody Nelson hails from northern Minnesota; he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. After graduation, Cody joined the Minneapolis, Minnesota based start-up non-profit Students Today Leaders Forever (STLF) as the Manager of High School Programs. In this role, Cody managed a high-school student leadership program in 23 states with over 8,000 participants. Currently, Cody is pursuing a dual Master of Public Policy at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Master of Business Administration at the Carlson School of Management, both at the University of Minnesota. Cody’s academic studies emphasize finance, macroeconomic policy, and trade policy. Most recently Cody received a fellowship with the United States Department of the Treasury in Washington D.C. in the Office of South / South East Asia under the Office of International Affairs and will work on both poverty reduction and U.S. economic policy for the 17 nation region.

Porscha Stiger
University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Studies
Porscha Stiger is an M.A. candidate in Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration focusing on economic development, international trade, and risk analysis. She holds a B.A. in International Studies and Japanese from the University of Alabama, and spent her junior year studying Japanese language, history and culture at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. Following graduation, Porscha moved to Chiba, Japan and spent two years working as an Assistant Language Teacher. This summer, she will be working at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Energy, Economics and Business of Affairs. After graduation, she will enter the Peace Corps and hopes to serve in sub-Saharan Africa. Porscha is proficient in Japanese, and hopes to work in Japan and continue to promote and further partnerships between the U.S. and Japan, and examine how the two nations can utilize their strengths to promote economic development in emerging markets.    

Mary Svenstrup
Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Mary Svenstup: After studying economics and international affairs at Northwestern University, Mary took a position at JPMorgan’s investment bank, focusing on U.S. transportation and automotive companies.  This experience led to a position at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.  At IFC, she worked to provide financing to private health and education companies in emerging markets, based first in Washington, DC and then in Jakarta, Indonesia.  Mary just finished her first year of the Masters in Public Affairs program at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.  This summer, Mary will intern at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the Office of International Affairs, focusing on the Middle East and North Africa region. 

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