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Meet the 2023-2024 Student Government Association Board

This past April, The Institute of World Politics students elected officers for the 2023-24 Student Government Association Board. The officers began their duties on May 13 and will continue until Commencement in May 2023.

President: Svetlana Houle

As a child of an Army pilot and an immigrant mother from the Soviet Union, Lana Houle was raised with a passion for pursuing a career in international relations. After moving to DC in 2018 in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at American University, she developed a strong interest in national security studies. At American, Lana earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a regional focus on Eurasia and thematic focus on foreign policy and national security. During her undergraduate years, she served on the executive board of a nonprofit organization, Sisterhood for International Engagement, interned with Russian Studies scholar Dr. Leon Aron at the American Enterprise Institute, and also received a full scholarship from the Carmel Institute to study abroad in Moscow at the Higher School of Economics. After graduating a semester early, she had an opportunity to intern at IWP for the spring and summer of 2022. Lana started as an M.A. candidate with IWP in the fall. Lana has been grateful for the opportunity to grow at IWP. She is honored to serve as the Student Government President, and she is committed to aiding every individual in their journey toward success both within and beyond IWP.

Lana Houle
Lana Houle

Vice President: Bernard Barillo

Bernard Barillo is from New Jersey. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics at The Catholic University of America. Previously, he was an Events and Communications Intern during the Fall 2021 semester. Bernard is currently pursuing his Master of Arts degree and works as a Library Assistant for the Institute.

Bernard Barillo
Bernard Barillo

Director of Finance: Robert Bankowski

Robert Bankowski is a current graduate student who has just completed his first year at IWP. Robert finished his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Davis with degrees in International Relations and Economics. He is currently studying to complete his Master’s in the Statecraft and National Security Affairs program, specializing in Intelligence Studies. He is also training as an Army ROTC Cadet through Georgetown University’s ROTC program and plans to commission along with completing his master’s next year in the spring. He plans to commission as either a Military Intelligence or Cyber Officer for the U.S. Army Reserves. In addition to his military service, Robert hopes to work in the intelligence community to pursue his interests in Central/Eastern European Affairs, specifically with NATO.

Robert Bankowski
Robert Bankowski

Director of Communications: Margaret Rymer

Margaret Rymer is currently a second-year master’s student at IWP majoring in Statecraft and International Affairs. In addition to her role as Director of Communications for SGA, she is on the executive board and a founding member of the school’s John Quincy Adams Society. She currently works at the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington in the press department. Prior to moving to Washington, Margaret attended West Virginia University where she holds degrees in International Studies and History. Margaret is originally from Garland, Texas.

Margaret Rymer
Margaret Rymer

Director of Events: Julia Wilson

Julia Wilson is a 2020 graduate of Elon University. At Elon, she double majored in International Studies and Policy Studies. She currently works for a technology services and consulting firm, where she leads an application development project and provides administrative support for the company’s federal government contracts. Knowing she wanted to work in the national security field, Julia applied to The Institute of World Politics and is now pursuing a Master’s in Strategic Intelligence Studies at IWP. She is also a member of the IWP International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) Alpha Student chapter.

Julia Wilson
Julia Wilson

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