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Meagan Dashcund is a Security Administrator at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, DC. She is a co-founder of a MENA-focused non-profit, Al Fusaic, an MPS candidate at Georgetown University’s Applied Intelligence Program, and a student of Arabic at the Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (SQCC).
In her spare time, she volunteers with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) as a Fellowship Editor. Prior to her current position at NASEM, she worked in US-Egypt science collaboration, open-source research analysis, and non-proliferation. She holds bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Religion with an Arabic minor and Security Studies Certificate from Dickinson College. Her research interests include the intelligence analysis, cyber security trends in the MENA/SWANA region, and peace and conflict resolution.
A Michigan native, Andrew Carpenter is a graduate of James Madison College at Michigan State University with a B.A. in International Relations. With his undergraduate thesis “Determining U.S. Allyship to Turkey during the Cold War,” Andrew’s work and research has focused on security and energy issues throughout Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
In 2018, he served as an intern at the U.S. Department of State at the mission in Sofia, Bulgaria. A practicing journalist, Andrew has recently been covering the protests over widespread corruption and the 2020 election for the Great Parliament in Bulgaria. As a 2020-2021 Fulbright Scholar, Andrew is looking forward to spending time working in Turkey and honing his skills in the Turkish language.
Rebecca is a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois where she is writing her dissertation on the cultural impacts of public spaces on power distributions and political processes. Her research agenda explores how urban political environments shape national and international affairs. For the last 5 years she has been dedicated to studying Turkey as an important case in both global and local politics.
Originally from Izmir, Turkey, and having split his childhood between Geneva, Switzerland and Boston, Massachusetts, Altan Atamer is a product of international relations and exchanges. Furthermore, his dual Turkish and American citizenships have made him particularly passionate about Turkish-US relations. At the Turkish Heritage Organization, he hopes to focus on the areas of security, energy, and international exchange. However, he believes that developments in one area necessarily affect those in other fields. Thus, Altan is interested in exploring the interconnectedness of these distinct fields and is committed to the development and strengthening of US-Turkish relations.
Altan graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Boston. At UMass Boston his work received multiple scholarships and departmental awards such as the Rusty Simmonds and Richard Landry awards. Currently, Altan is pursuing his PhD in Political Science at the University of Connecticut. His research spans the fields of international relations and political theory, with a specific focus on Turkish political identity. His recent academic work deconstructs the mythic and colonial construction of Turkish identity as it had been proliferated by the Allied powers during World War I and explains how these identities and narratives have had residual effects on Turkey’s reception in the international arena to this day. His academic research interests are international relations, political theory, political identity, Kemalism, Turkish and Ottoman political thought and the works of Edward Said.
Joseph Lombardo received his PhD in Politics from the New School for Social Research in 2018. Dr Lombardo’s dissertation explored the dynamics of large-scale infrastructure and ethno-politics in Eastern Anatolia in the 20th century. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Turkey (2015-2016) as well as a Research Fellow at the American Research Institute in Turkey (2016), where he conducted interviews in the province of Elazig. Dr Lombardo has written and published on Turkey in English, and holds a keen interest in issues on development in the country.
In his free time, he enjoys powerlifting, reading philosophy, spending time in the mountains, and hosting the Scholars & Iron Podcast. He is currently working on a documentary on women in strength sports with a close friend. Dr. Lombardo lives in Arlington, Virginia.
Süha is a consultant working at the intersection of international affairs, policy, and media. As a continuing doctoral student in International Affairs at The Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington DC, his research interests are in geopolitics, energy security, and defence industry in the EMEA region with focus on Turkish foreign policy. He earned his master's degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 2015.
Süha is a regular commentator on international politics for TRT World, TRT Radio, Al-Jazeera Media Network, 24 TV, Ülke TV, and a-News. His publications appeared on Anatolia News Agency, Energy Policy Turkey, and Koç University's Maritime Forum. In his previous roles in technology business, Süha was trusted by senior management to find a clear path forward in dynamic, high-risk situations in business settings. He executed consulting, business development, and strategy roles blending a singular mix of broad cross-industry expertise combined with end-to-end project management and negotiation skills necessary to prioritize, execute, and consistently surpass strategic targets.
For background, Süha has two decades of experience in building long-term relationships with C-suite executives, working on complex projects, and strategic partnerships supported by research and collaboration with stakeholders in key emerging countries. With expertise in consultancy, research, and policy analysis across four continents, his growing interests are in geo-economics, strategy, and energy security in emerging markets.
John Simpson, a native of Seattle, Washington, is the Director of the English-Speaking Nation Program with American Councils for International Education in Uzbekistan. A graduate of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and the Loyola College of Education at Seattle University, John is passionate about issues regarding refugee resettlement, international education, and cultural exchange. A former English Language Fellow with the US Department of State, William J. Clinton Fellow with the American India Foundation, and Senior Fellow at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, John brings a wealth of academic and professional experiences and interests to THO. In his free time, John enjoys reading, cycling, and eating potentially dangerous street food.
Alex Hammerslough is in his second year of pursuing a Master of Public Health at the Mailman School of Public Health and a Master of Public Administration at the School for International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. He specializes in Forced Migration and Health within Mailman and is concentrating on Human Rights and Humanitarian Policy at SIPA. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Wooster and a Master of Arts from the University of Essex, both in Sociology.
From 2014 to 2015, Alex worked as a Clinical Research Intern at the Istanbul Centre for Behavioural Research and Therapy (DABATEM), where he assisted with mental health treatment of refugees, represented his organization at NGO coordination meetings and conferences, and contributed to the production of Metin Başoğlu’s book, Torture and Its Definition in International Law: an Interdisciplinary Approach.
After Turkey, Alex was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal from 2017 to 2019. During his service, Alex focused on reducing rates of malaria in vulnerable populations and increasing healthcare capacity in the region. Without electricity or running water, Alex digitized and analyzed over 28,000 handwritten records to establish disease patterns and presented reports of these findings to Ministry of Health officials. Alex extended his service as the first Health Data Analyst for Peace Corps Senegal, where he created a training program to standardize and expand data collection and reporting methods throughout the country.