Hundreds of IWP alumni are bringing their insights learned at IWP to leadership and management positions in such crucial organizations as the FBI, CIA, DIA, and Secret Service; the Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, Justice, State, and Treasury; the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard; Congressional offices, think tanks, academic institutions, and government contracting corporations.

Here are a few stories about alumni who have been making impacts on the security and future of our country and world:

Serving in the Intelligence Community

Tim B. (’12) receiving the FBI Director’s Award for Excellence

Two alumni conduct counterintelligence investigation and receive highest FBI award

John Russo (’06), Tim B. (’12), and a small team were awarded the most prestigious FBI award for their work in combatting a foreign intelligence threat. This counterintelligence investigation involved multiple agencies working together to deter foreign spies from penetrating the U.S. intelligence community (IC) and recruiting federal employees to commit espionage. Read more

The scholar-practitioners at IWP taught me that counterintelligence is more than just catching spies – it’s also about conducting offensive operations to have a strategic impact on our foreign adversaries’ behavior.
-John Russo (’06)

Lawrence Buckley (’07) serves on President’s Intelligence Advisory Board staff

Lawrence Buckley (’07) has been promoted to the FBI’s Senior Executive Service, where he is serving in the Intelligence Branch as Senior Director on the staff of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB). The PIAB is arguably the most strategic oversight board within the Executive Branch. Read more

Joe Smith* (’10) receives prestigious DoD Awards

IWP graduate Joe Smith* received the CI Collections Individual Award at the Department of Defense Counterintelligence (CI) and the Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Awards for his outstanding effort in compiling vital military intelligence. This significant achievement is a result of his continuous efforts to provide the strongest national security to the United States through intelligence gathering. Mr. Smith applied knowledge gained through his education at IWP to the military intelligence world to aid in safeguarding our nation. This department-wide award is particularly significant, as Mr. Smith competed against over 1,000 CI and HUMINT professionals from across the four Military Services, unified commands, and two agencies. Read more More recently, he has also received awards for Best Collector in the Department of Defense and for Best Counterintelligence Team in the DoD. Read more
*Name has been changed for security purposes.

LTC John Rose (’09) works in Strategic Intelligence within the Army

One of the first three Army-funded students to attend IWP, LTC John Rose (’09) transitioned his U.S. Army career field to Strategic Intelligence based on his IWP experience. He worked with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and then relocated to Cyprus, where he served as a DoD Representative to the Maritime Joint Planning Group in support of the UN/OPCW’s efforts to remove and destroy chemical weapons from Syria. He additionally worked in the Department of Army headquarters with the G2 intelligence branch. Now, he is pursuing a Ph.D. with Old Dominion University’s International Studies program, with the ultimate goal of training new strategic intelligence officers for the United States. Read more

Major Jeff Brewer (’14) supports U.S. Marine Corps intelligence

Jeff Brewer (’14) serves as the intelligence officer for the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), I Marine Expeditionary Force (IMEF), in Camp Pendleton, CA. In this role, he leads and manages a section of approximately 60 Marines tasked with supporting the MEU’s mission to be a force in readiness afloat. They collect, fuse, and convey critical intelligence to their leaders to drive MEU operations while on deployment in various geographic combatant commanders’ areas of responsibility. Read more

Dr. David Charney studies the psychology of the insider spy

Former IWP student Dr. David Charney has consulted for the U.S. Intelligence Community and has studied in depth the psychology of the insider spy. He worked with several notorious spies, including Earl Pitts and Robert Hanssen. As a result, he has written several white papers on this topic and developed a potential new policy that could improve national security by fixing the problem of insider spies. Read more

IWP alumnus spearheads Naval Intelligence Vision and Guidance document

An IWP alumnus led the development and coordination of the 2019 Naval Intelligence Vision and Guidance document on behalf of Naval Intelligence Leadership. This document is a broad overview of the key goals and priorities of Naval Intelligence in the current and ever-changing environment. Read more

Jim Noone served as Senior Executive at the Defense Intelligence Agency

Jim Noone spent eight years of his life in the U.S. Navy, and about 33 with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Initially a Middle East analyst at DIA, Jim served as leader of the Military Infrastructure Office, Deputy Director of Analysis, Director for Policy Support in the Command Element, and as Director of International Partner Engagement. He credits IWP with being a place where he learned practical intelligence skills and honed in on his analyst skills. Read more

Making our Nation more Secure

Mark Beall (’09) discusses artificial intelligence at the 2019 EU and Foreign Policy Defense Forum

Mark Beall (’09) receives award for work on Middle East policy with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, works on international AI partnership

In 2017, Mark Beall (’09) received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Civilian Service Award – the highest-level career medaled award given by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. At the time, Mark was working on the leadership team for Middle East Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mark has also used his talents and IWP education to serve as Policy Chief of the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center (JAIC) at the Pentagon. There, he focused on creating a 13-country coalition titled the AI Partnership for Defense, which aims to create an international military database where the U.S. and allies can facilitate the sharing of AI and algorithms. On the side, he has founded a nonprofit, the Burke-Paine Society, to bring together cross-partisan discussion groups across the nation. Read more

John Scimone (’10) heads security at Dell

John Scimone (’10) is serving as Chief Security Officer at Dell. In this role, he is leading the company’s global corporate security program and aiding Dell’s businesses in the management of security risk across the physical and cyber domains. John came to IWP with a background in computer science. He comments: “When I entered IWP, I had a deep technical background in the field of cybersecurity, but was seeking to broaden my skillset in preparation for my first executive leadership role. The program at IWP not only allowed me to learn the intelligence trade, but also to study the broad array of instruments of national power that accompany it in the statesman’s tool belt.  I walked away with a firm grasp of leading strategies and practices from these more traditional disciplines, which has enabled me to adapt them to the emerging cyber domain so as to craft more effective security programs for the businesses I am charged to protect.” Read more

The program at IWP not only allowed me to learn the intelligence trade, but also to study the broad array of instruments of national power.
-John Scimone, (’10)

Katie Crombe with GEN Joseph Votel
Katie Crombe (’12) served as the Aide de Camp for the Commander of USCENTCOM, GEN Joseph Votel.

LTC Katie Crombe (’12) plans strategy for the United States Special Forces Command Central (Middle East)

LTC Katie Crombe (’12) currently leads the directorate that conducts all strategy and planning for the United States Special Forces Command Central (Middle East). Her experiences include being deployed in Iraq twice, being the primary planning adviser to the Jordanian Chief of Defense, assisting in writing the new UK Theater Strategy for the Middle East, leading the planning for the final phases of the Defeat ISIS Syria plan with USCENTCOM J5, and serving as the Commander’s Aide de Camp for USCENTCOM. She credits IWP with providing her the knowledge necessary to succeed in her work with the U.S. Army. She commented: “I kept all of my notes and I have them in my desk right now; I’ve carried them around the world with me… My experience learning at IWP has molded me into the leader I have become.” Read more

Schuyler Merritt (’15) manages visa systems as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security

Schuyler Merritt (’15) is currently a Project Manager at General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT) where he runs the vetting and pre-screening operations for visa pre-checks. He maintains the integrity of the visa system by focusing on persons of significant interest and critical response issues, among other things. Read more

Roger Myers (’19) serves with the Army Futures Command as Acquisition Manager for Air and Missile Defense systems

Roger Myers (’19) is serving in the Army’s newest command, the Army Futures Command, where he is Acquisition Manager for Air and Missile Defense systems. In this role, Roger is using the integrated approach to the arts of statecraft taught at IWP: “With Futures Command in air and missile defense, we need an integrated approach of not just building our capability for the next 30 years, but a knowledge of what our adversaries are building. We need to look at whether our 30-year technology plans are in line with their 30-year technology plans, and whether we can stay ahead. We need to build capabilities that provide a peer advantage over time.” Roger has already been bringing lessons learned from IWP to his work as a Professor of Program Management at Defense Acquisition University, where he was mentoring the next generation of Department of Defense product, project, and program managers and executives. Read more

MG John Thomson III writes daily briefs on Iraq for the President and influences Army policy

While in the middle of his fellowship at IWP, now-MG John Thomson III (JT) was asked by the Commanding General, United States Forces – Iraq General Raymond Odierno to go to Baghdad to head his Initiatives Group, the most important policymaking group for the Combatant Commander. In this capacity, JT was in charge of writing talking points that were delivered to the President each morning. Having studied the essential features of sovereignty at IWP, JT advised and influenced government policy about what the Iraqi people had to do to achieve true sovereignty. Later, JT was called back to the Pentagon, where, along with another Army Fellow, COL (now BG) Mike Eastman, he worked for General Odierno in his capacity as Chief of Staff of the Army. Both JT and Mike were instrumental in developing the idea of the human factor in war in the overall policy of the Army.

Jared Ettinger (’06) leads groundbreaking study on American cyber intelligence

In 2019, a team from Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) led by Jared Ettinger (’06) published a report on a study on cyber intelligence practices. The aim of his team was to aggregate existing cyber intelligence practices, note which were most effective, and identify the largest challenges to such practices. To that end, they detailed and categorized over 2,000 different practices employed by 32 organizations from a variety of fields. The report concluded that while there exist strong practices, there is a profusion of ways to improve cyber intelligence operations. Read more

Caleb Crim (’16) briefs White House officials

Soon after beginning to pursue an M.A. in Statecraft and National Security Affairs at IWP, Caleb Crim (’16) began working with Bulletin Intelligence, where he created intelligence products for the highest levels of government, including the White House, diplomatic officials, defense officials, and other government agencies. He now manages a team of 15 analysts who are producing work for some of the world’s biggest tech companies. He comments: “If you are looking for practical experience in an education setting, IWP is the best option.” Read more

Chris Phair (’13) founds Level Up Cybersecurity LLC to improve small business security

Chris Phair founded Level Up Cybersecurity in 2020 to provide small businesses the same level of security as larger businesses and governments. “Small businesses sometimes think that they are a small fish and that no one would care to attack them, but this is not the case,” said Chris. Small businesses are easy targets for cyberattacks, and they can provide hackers with valuable client information. Level Up Cybersecurity seeks to provide easy and efficient cybersecurity to small businesses and their clients. In doing so, Chris hopes to make our nation more secure at all levels. Read more

Peter Sulick (’11) manages contracts for the Defense and Counterintelligence Security Agency

Peter Sulick manages the quality assurance division at CACI, ensuring that his Defense and Counterintelligence Security Agency (DCSA) clients receive the highest quality reports from CACI. He is also the deputy manager for one of his company’s IC contracts. Meanwhile, Peter works to advance his team members’ national security careers. He interviews, hires, and trains individuals to help them advance their careers at CACI and elsewhere. “I find that very rewarding. I like to learn about people, train them, advise them, and watch them succeed,” commented Peter. Read more

Promoting Harmonious International Relations

Then-President Obama with former IWP student and then-Ambassador of Estonia to the United States Eerik Marmei

Amb. Eerik Marmei promotes U.S.-Estonian relations and Estonian-NATO relations

After taking classes at IWP and interning at the Estonian Embassy to the U.S., Eerik Marmei became the first-ever U.S. Desk Officer in the Estonian Foreign Ministry. Later, he became Ambassador of Estonia to the United States. He considers some of his greatest professional achievements to be the agreements he helped create between NATO and Estonia to make Estonia more secure. Read more

Mohammad Shafiq (’17) advises the President of Afghanistan

Mohammad Shafiq (’17) is serving as Deputy Senior Advisor to Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Shafiq has been working to advance the President’s strategy of creating sustainable development and stability in Afghanistan. Specifically, he hopes to increase the efficiency, effectiveness, coordination, accountability, and alignment of the United Nations’ programs in Afghanistan with Afghanistan’s national strategies and priorities. He also advises the President on policies and strategies on UN-related matters and coordinates between UN agencies and relevant government institutions. Shafiq is a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, social activist, writer, and analyst with over 15 years of experience working with civil society organizations, NATO, UN projects, media, NGOs, academic institutions, and private firms. He is a graduate of IWP’s Executive Master of Arts program. Read more

 I am an Afghan, and I was born and raised in war. Security is like oxygen for me.
-Mohammad Shafiq, (’17)

Derrick Shaw (’12) conducts public diplomacy through work with U.S. Army Band

Currently Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” Derrick Shaw (’12) has been practicing public diplomacy firsthand during his career with the Army. He has been stationed in multiple locations abroad and has used music to increase and facilitate cooperation between the U.S. and other nations. Read more

IWP alumnus influences Brazilian politics

Marcio Coimbra (’15) is serving as the Brazilian Senate’s political coordinator, where he is leading the fight against corruption and working to ensure that in Brazil, “the laws will be above men” instead of men above the law.  This, in turn, will help Brazil’s economy and encourage foreign investment.  Mr. Coimbra also makes his voice heard through his contributions to over 100 newspapers in Brazil, as well as a column that he writes for the Brazilian paper O Tempo. Read more

Scott Cullinane (’12) launches US Europe Alliance

Scott Cullinane (’12) has founded the US Europe Alliance to educate and mobilize U.S. citizens to advocate for the enduring strategic and economic alliance between the U.S. and Europe. Previously, Scott used his IWP education on Capitol Hill, where he served as a professional staff member for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Read more

Jacqueline Halbig von Schleppenbach (’15) builds transatlantic relationships and promotes religious freedom abroad

Jacqueline Halbig von Schleppenbach (’15) has been using her IWP degree in her work representing corporate and non-profit clients in domestic and international markets via Sovereign Global Solutions, LLC. Since attending IWP, she has become increasingly involved in global health diplomacy. She has also been working with one particularly pro-American, pro-democracy, pro-business ethics client to build transatlantic alliances. In addition, as Executive Director at the International Catholic Legislators Network (ICLN)-Western Hemisphere, she has been working to promote religious freedom around the world. Read more

Moises Benhabib (’15) recognized for work at State Department on multiple occasions

In 2016, Moises Benhabib (’15) received a State Department Performance Award for his “high-level performance and sustainment of official duties,” and in 2018, he received the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award for his work in leading the Bureau of Legislative Affairs Freedom of Information Act program. Moises currently works as a Special Assistant to the Executive Secretariat Staff within the Office of the Secretary of State. Read more

Zak Allal
Dr. Zak Allal (’18), U.S. Ambassador to Algeria Mr. John Desrocher, and his wife Ms. Karen Rose, at the premiere of Andi Hulm, a reality TV show sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Algiers.

Dr. Zak Allal (’18) boosts U.S.-Algeria relations through reality TV show

IWP alumnus and research scholar Dr. Zak Allal (’18) was part of a jury on an Algerian TV show supported by the U.S. Embassy in Algiers in order to encourage entrepreneurship in the country. The program Andi Hulm, or “I Have a Dream” in Arabic, featured 60 aspiring entrepreneurs who worked within member companies of the American Chamber of Commerce to develop their ideas. Read more

Rachel Bauman (’18) advises Congress on Eastern Europe policy

Rachel Bauman is currently a policy advisor at the Helsinki Commission. In this position, she organizes Congressional hearings and briefings for Congressional staff on policy and relevant topics in Eastern Europe. She also prepares relevant information for members of Congress who are visiting the countries she covers (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and the Baltics) or doing work related to her focus, which is primarily human rights. “It is nice to know that products that I give to our Commissioners are things that they will use to inform their votes and decisions on important issues,” Rachel said. Read more

Educating our Leaders and the Next Generation

Dr. Caitlin E. Schindler (’10) with IWP founder and president Dr. John Lenczowski

Caitlin Schindler (’10) conducts rare, in-depth research on American public diplomacy

Dr. Caitlin E. Schindler (’10) has written a book on American public diplomacy: The Origins of Public Diplomacy in US Statecraft: Uncovering a Forgotten Tradition. Dr. Schindler’s book explores diplomacy through an in-depth examination of six important U.S. historical case studies. Significantly, she also demonstrates the application of her findings in contemporary international relations. She has spoken on public diplomacy at IWP on several occasions. Read more

Brendan Steinhauser (’13) teaches at St. Edward’s University

Brendan Steinhauser (’13) is an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University in Austin, where he teaches Political Science and Global Studies. He comments: “My M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs from IWP has been instrumental in my teaching. I have drawn on many of the courses I took while I was a student at IWP, including international relations, geography and strategy, public diplomacy and political warfare, the art of diplomacy, and the history of American foreign policy. Also, IWP’s focus on the Western moral tradition and history has informed my approach to teaching undergraduate students at St. Edward’s University. I try to impart a deep understanding of geography, history, and economics, as they relate to political science and global studies. I think it is important for my students to understand how these disciplines fit together, and how they constantly impact each other.” Read more

My M.A. in Statecraft and International Affairs from IWP has been instrumental in my teaching.
-Brendan Steinhauser (’13)

Alumnus founds news website to provide context to complex foreign policy questions

Through his freelance writing while he was a student at IWP, Hampton Stephens (‘07) found that many excellent articles on international affairs were being written, but well-publicized online outlets for this type of work were extremely limited.  In July 2006, while still at IWP, Hampton decided to take the problem into his own hands, and create an outlet for serious, thoughtful news and opinion pieces on foreign policy and international affairs that would otherwise not be sufficiently publicized.  Thus began World Politics Review.  WPR ( now produces over 75,000 words of original content each month and has a wide audience of academics, policymakers, and businesspeople. Read more

Kevin Cyron (’13) honored as outstanding history teacher by Freedom Hill DAR

Kevin Cyron (’13) was honored by the Freedom Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) as an Outstanding Teacher of American History. Kevin has been a social studies teacher at Saint Luke School in McLean, Virginia since 2011. He comments: “The classes I took at IWP and the depth that we went into studying the founding principles of the U.S. have helped me be able to pass that knowledge on to the next generation.” Read more

Michael Maibach (’19) manages program that teaches lawyers, judges, and citizens about the American Founders

Michael Maibach (’19) is Managing Director of the  James Wilson Institute on Natural Rights and the American Founding, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees. The organization offers academic seminars for members of the appellate bar, judges, and law clerks about how natural rights informed the American founding, as well as the issues of the day. Read more

Support IWP Admissions

The Institute of World Politics is a graduate school of national security and international affairs.

The Institute was founded in Washington, D.C. as a 501(c)3, non-partisan, non-profit, tax-exempt educational institution. IWP relies upon tax-deductible contributions from foundations, corporations, and individuals for support.