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Two IWP students named Rumsfeld Fellows for 2023-24

Jenna Akers and Taylor Weinsz have been selected for the prestigious Rumsfeld Fellowship for the 2023-24 school year.

This fellowship includes scholarship funds to enable Jenna and Taylor to continue their graduate studies at IWP, as well as events that connect them to an extensive network of current and former Rumsfeld Fellows, the great majority of whom serve in public service or policy fields.

Jenna Akers

Jenna Akers is working towards an M.A. in Strategic Intelligence Studies with an emphasis in counterintelligence and foreign intelligence. Her research interests include the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as FBI counterintelligence efforts. In May, Jenna is beginning an analyst position under the Department of Justice. One day, she hopes to work as a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Of the fellowship, Jenna commented, “I am honored to be selected as a Rumsfeld Fellow and look forward to connecting with other Fellows and learning from their invaluable experience. The funds will allow me to continue my graduate studies at IWP and further my Arabic language skills.”

Taylor Weinsz

Taylor Weinsz moved to Washington D.C. in August 2022 to begin his studies at IWP. Over the fall semester, he worked on Capitol Hill in the U.S. House of Representatives. This spring, Taylor supported the work of Distinguished Fellow and author Walter Russell Mead at the Hudson Institute. There, Taylor researched a variety of foreign policy topics, including U.S.-China relations and Middle Eastern politics. This summer, Taylor will travel to the University of Oxford to study diplomatic history as a participant in IWP’s study abroad program. He will return to D.C. in July and prepare for another successful year at IWP.

He commented, “It is a great honor to represent The Institute of World Politics as a Rumsfeld Fellow. The Rumsfeld Foundation, paired with my studies at IWP, will augment and support my goal of a career in public service. Within the growing Fellowship Network, I am excited to learn from esteemed leaders and eventually pay my own experiences forward to future IWP students. I am especially grateful to Dr. John Lenczowski, Dr. Tim McCranor, and the entire IWP family for their support throughout the application process.”

Several other IWP students have received the Rumsfeld Fellowship in past years. In 2021-22, three IWP students were awarded this Fellowship: Wainwright Clarke, Kyle Kessler, and Francisco Pérez. Other IWP recipients include Nathan Bader in 2020, Lyndsay Amyot and Jordan Cain in 2019, Stephanie McGowen in 2017, Elizabeth Dillard and James Di Pane in 2016, a student in the Master of Arts in Strategic Intelligence Studies program in 2014, and Rebecca Buchheit in 2014.

Congratulations, Jenna and Taylor!