2019-20 THO Nonresident Fellows

Turkish Heritage Organization is announcing our 2019-2020 Nonresident Fellows



Adinda Khaerani

Adinda Khaerani joined the Political Communication Institute of Turkish-Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) as an expert in 2016. In her previous career, after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Mass Communications from the London School of Public Relations-Jakarta, she joined the Press Section at the Diplomatic Mission of Pakistan – Jakarta from 2010-2011 as an Assistant to the Press Attaché. 

In April 2011, she joined the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey – Jakarta as a Personal Assistant to the Ambassador and resigned in October 2012 as she was granted a Scholarship from the Turkish Government and continued her study that started in 2013, to obtain an MA in Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul University. 

She wrote her master’s thesis with the title, “The role of ASEAN in conflict management in the case of South China Sea disputes,” and later obtained her MA in Political Science and International Relations in 2016. With the experience of studying in Turkey, she speaks three languages: Bahasa Indonesian, English and Turkish. 

While she was working with TASAM, she was involved in various conferences, research as well as book editing. She also participated as a Speaker at the Istanbul Security Conference in 2018. The title of her speech was “Troubled waters in the Pacific: The case of the South China Sea disputes.” Recently, the paper has been published in Istanbul Security Conference 2018 Book (TASAM’s Publication). 


Margo Steinhaus

Margo Steinhaus works a Program Associate at International Business and Technical Consultants, Inc.. She specializes in the Agriculture, Food Security, Environment, Education and Economic Growth practice where she manages international development monitoring and evaluation projects and proposals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University in International Studies, Sociology and German, with a concentration in Middle Eastern Culture and Politics.

Margo received a Gilman Scholarship to a study abroad in Turkey in 2014 and was introduced to Türkiye Eğitim Gönüllüleri Vakfı (TEGV), a Turkish education nonprofit, where she volunteered regularly in an English-focused drama class with underprivileged 10 year-old Turkish students. This inspired her to return to Istanbul the following summer to teach English at an immersion camp at Koç University and again in 2017 at Robert College’s RCSummer. Her research while at DePaul largely focused on Turkish foreign and domestic policy, gentrification in Istanbul, asylum seeker and refugee integration, and Kurdish geopolitics. She was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Turkey in 2016 and taught English in rural Thailand. 

She has also been a volunteer with several nonprofit organizations that are near and dear to her heart, including Reach the World, the International Rescue Committee, and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. Margo also enjoys exercising and has completed a half marathon, a triathlon and intends to complete a full marathon in 2020. 


Andrew O’Donohue

Research Fellow, Istanbul Policy Center

Focus Area during THO Fellowship: Security and Foreign Policy

Andrew O’Donohue is a research fellow at Sabancı University’s Istanbul Policy Center (IPC). He is the co-editor (with Thomas Carothers) of Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization, which was published by the Brookings Institution Press in 2019. Prior to joining IPC, Andrew was a James C. Gaither Junior Fellow in the Democracy, Conflict, and Governance Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Andrew’s research interests include political polarization, civil-military relations, and U.S.-Turkey relations, and his work has been published by Foreign Affairs, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the National Endowment for Democracy. He received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University. 


Ben Lutz

Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Benjamin Lutz became enthralled in global geopolitics after joining his High Schools’ Model United Nations (MUN) team. Through this club, Benjamin was exposed to a myriad of global viewpoints. Benjamin went on to study International Studies/Political Science with a quadruple concentration on Arabic, Middle East Studies, Interreligious Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies at Elon University. During his time at Elon, Benjamin has the unparalleled opportunity to study abroad 5 distinct times, all of which were in the Middle East region with an emphasis on Arabic language acquisition. 

These global experiences shaped his studies and prepared him to write two theses on regional politics. His main project focused on the Jordanian Refugee Crisis and the change in Jordan’s policies towards the newest influx of Syrian refugees. His second project focused on Interfaith Coexistence in Oman and the historical dimensions of the tolerance found in Oman. Immediately after graduating, Benjamin moved to the United Kingdom to study for a Masters degree in Middle East Security Politics and Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Bradford. During this Masters program, he became connected with Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI), Middle East Institute for Research and Strategic Studies (MEIRSS) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), all of which he currently is engaged with. At MBBI he is the Communications and Operations Manager, at MEIRSS he is a featured writer, and at IEP he is a Global Peace Index Ambassador. 

His focus on peacebuilding and conflict resolution drew him to this fellowship, as he is interested in engaging further with Turkey's role in regional peacekeeping efforts.


Emily Owen

Emily Owen is currently a student at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service pursuing a master's degree in Global Human Development. She returned to the United States this year after seven years teaching in international schools in Turkey and Egypt, respectively. Starting out as an EFL coordinator for elementary students, after two years she moved into secondary education implementing the International Baccalaureate curriculum for the Diploma Program in Cairo and Istanbul. While living in Istanbul, she also volunteered for Small Projects Istanbul teaching Syrian refugee children. Her experience volunteering with vulnerable populations prompted Emily to leave the classroom setting to pursue a career focused on the intersection of education and conflict/post conflict situations with a special focus on the MENA region and Turkey. 

Emily is from Cedar Falls, Iowa where she graduated cum laude from the University of Northern Iowa with a bachelor's in Applied Linguistics and is a licensed K-12 English Language Specialist. Her primary area of interest is the MENA region and she speaks French proficiently, in addition to studying Arabic and Turkish. 


Emre Koseoglu

Head of Unit, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce

Focus area during THO Fellowship:  Economy, Trade and Technology 

Graduated from Bilkent University, Political Science and Public Administration in 2004, Emre holds a Master of Arts in European Union Politics and International Relations of Marmara University. He has advanced throughout his entire career in one of the most prominent business support organizations in Turkey. Besides his commitment to scale up İstanbul business world global competiveness by developing and implementing necessary interventions, he is managing project management office of the Chamber. He is responsible from designing capacity building projects for SMEs either by utilizing resources or by exploiting multi-partnered international projects awarded EU grants. His project portfolio exceeding 35.-M USD also comprises some nationally renowned projects such as Teknopark Istanbul (largest science park of southeastern Europe) and ICoC Commercialization Center. 

Prior to his current role as Head of International Cooperation and Projects Unit, Emre founded and managed Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit. He has also been promoting and contributing to further engagement of Turkish SMEs to the largest R&D and Innovation Support Programme globally, Horizon 2020, by involving in TUBITAK’s Information Multiplier Network since 2014. He separately was assigned by UNDP as an independent consultant in 2018, for a project aims to increase technology use in Organized Industrial Zones.


Heather Marie Vitale

Heather Marie Vitale is a national security and defense analyst with a broad background in science and technology, defense acquisition, CBRN weapons, and risk management. Heather Marie’s research focuses on Islamist terrorism, the intersection of cybersecurity and democracy in political society, and U.S. foreign policy. She has published papers on ISIS’s use of social media to project power and the force multiplier of youth in Iraq and Iran.

Heather Marie holds a masters in political science and international security from George Mason University and a bachelors in political communication from Emerson College. She also studied Middle East international affairs at Harvard University. Heather Marie was a Penn Kemble Democracy Forum Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy from 2016-2017. In her free time, Heather Marie enjoys writing, performing, and teaching improv and sketch comedy.


Emily Przyborowski

Emily Przyborowski is a first year Master of Arts student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC. At SAIS she is concentrating in Middle East studies and minoring in Strategic studies, her focus is in Middle East security and counter-terrorism. Emily is the Secretary of the Defense and Intelligence Club at SAIS and will serve as the President in her second year. Emily is a correspondent for the Arab Weekly where she writes analysis on current issues relevant to the Middle East and United States. 

Emily is a 2019 graduate of Notre Dame of Maryland University where she earned a degree in Political Science and studied abroad at the University of Jordan in Amman. She was the recipient of the Nancy Kreiter Student Research Award and the Political Science Departmental Award upon graduation. In addition to her graduate studies Emily interned with Congressional offices, the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, the American Foreign Policy Council, and the Critical Threats Project at the American Enterprise Institute. 


Jennifer Schaffer

Jennifer Schaffer is a first-year MA candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies concentrating in International Economics and Strategic Studies. Currently, she is studying at Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe in Bologna, Italy, where she is learning Italian and cultivating her love for Italian food. Her main focus within her research is US-Turkey security relations and Turkey’s strategic importance in bridging Eurasia and the Middle East. Before attending Johns Hopkins SAIS, Jennifer was a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda, working in impoverished communities teaching English and Sexual Health Education.

She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies from American Univeristy, with a concentration in Peace, Global Security, and Conflict Resolution in the Middle East region. During her undergraduate program, she conducted research at American Foreign Policy Council and the Wilson Center. Jennifer is originally from Los Angeles, where she lives with her two huge energetic dogs.   


Julie Yang

Julie Yang is Policy Director at the National Center for APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), a multilateral forum of 21 economies focused on trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region. Julie also focused on trade policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as Senior Manager for Korea and Japan. She covered economic news at the Washington bureau of Japan's Asahi Shimbun and the Seoul bureau of the Wall Street Journal.

Julie also worked as Manager for International Public Relations at the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and focused on international cooperation in science and technology as a graduate research assistant at Georgetown University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Barnard College, Columbia University and a master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Julie speaks fluent Korean.


Kelsey Ritchie

Kelsey is currently working in Deloitte's Federal Consulting practice serving clients in the national security and defense industry. Prior to joining Deloitte, Kelsey completed her masters program in global policy studies with an emphasis in security studies at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. In graduate school, Kelsey worked as a graduate research assistant at the Clements Center for National Security and was the Brumley Next Generation Fellow in Counterterrorism at the Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Her master's thesis focused on the future of U.S. counterterrorism policy after the fall of the caliphate, particularly the threat of foreign fighters.

Kelsey attended Texas Christian University for undergraduate studies, where she served as Student Body Vice President and the Head Delegate to the International Model United Nations conference in Japan. During college, she also worked for a refugee resettlement agency and volunteered at a refugee camp in Germany. Kelsey is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma


Kieran Hatton

Kieran Hatton currently works as a data analyst for a contracting company, evolve24, where he provides brand-tailored solutions to U.S. government- and enterprise-client requests. 

After receiving his Bachelor of Science in International Studies from Indiana University in 2018, Kieran completed separate research internships at the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). At ISW, Kieran examined and reported on emerging trends in the Turkish-U.S. military, political, and energy relationship during the Syrian conflict and contributed this analytical insight to ISW’s Turkey Brief intelligence summary. At WINEP, Kieran provided research and editorial support to author and Turkish scholar, Dr. Soner Cagaptay’s book, Erdogan’s Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East.

In 2017, Kieran received a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Turkish in Baku, Azerbaijan. Following this, Kieran wrote his undergraduate thesis about Russo-Turkish state-level efforts to undermine opponent interests’ and attempts to increase regional control in the South Caucasus.

Kieran looks forward to contributing to dialogue surrounding U.S.-Turkey relations and opportunities for increased cooperation regarding security, energy, and technology concerns. 


Liam Hardy

Liam Hardy spent four years as the regional marketing representative in Turkey for the US Agency for Global Media and Voice of America. He was contracted to manage relationships with local affiliates, initiate new partnerships and distribute the agency’s media content. Previously, as a supervisor in the marketing department of Finans Asset Management (now a subsidiary of QNB Finansbank) he promoted the company’s exchange traded funds, mutual funds and discretionary portfolio management services among international and local investors. Liam has also worked in various capacities for The Atlantic Council, Hurriyet Daily News, and TUSIAD.

His first experiences in Turkey stretch back to a study abroad program in 2005 at the Georgetown McGhee Center in Alanya, where he began learning Turkish. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown, he holds a Master of International Business (MIB) from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. His areas of focus for the fellowship include business development, media and education.


Ahmed Galal

Ahmed Galal is an attorney with varied experience in international transactional work. He primarily advises organizations on legal and business issues to mitigate risk and capture value in their global operations. Ahmed’s interest in the Middle East stems from his Egyptian roots and frequent travel in the region. As a THO Non-Resident Fellow, he is interested in researching Turkey’s international political economy with a particular focus on aerospace and defense. He is also interested issues related to foreign direct investment, emerging economies, the global textiles industry, and refugee journalism. 

Ahmed holds a B.A. in Political Science & Psychology. He wrote his undergraduate thesis on issues in institutional readiness for democracy in the Middle East. Later, while pursuing his MBA in International Business, he studied global supply chain and finance issues on an exchange program in China. Ahmed also holds a JD with certificates in Corporate & Regulatory Compliance and Transactional Practice. While in law school, he served as an interpreter for the Asylum & Human Rights Clinic and as a faculty research assistant in international law. 


Sam Rogers

Born and raised on Gibson Island in Maryland, Samuel is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Macedonia from 2016-2018 and a Masters candidate at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Samuel has a developed passion for international cooperation and is excited to build on his interest in advocacy for marginalized communities during his time as a Non-Resident Fellow with Turkish Heritage Organization. 

During his Peace Corps service, Samuel sat on a number of committees, managing official social media accounts, appearing on televised interviews, and representing Volunteer health and safety concerns. While living in northeast Macedonia, Samuel developed and implemented an infrastructure improvement project which coordinated local and national authorities in providing safety measures for school children along critical pedestrian areas. Throughout his service, he participated in designing and implementing events targeting youth which promoted the inclusion of Macedonia's diverse communities in dialogue regarding local concerns and global issues. 

Now at Tufts University, Samuel's academic focuses are Human Security and International Organizations. Samuel currently is an editor at The Fletcher School’s Journal of Human Security, a Writing Tutor, and a literacy coach for North-Macedonia-based organization CCC.