LinkedIn tracking pixel

Student Leadership

“We establish this Association for the purpose of representing and defending the rights and interests of the students at The Institute of World Politics, providing a forum for student views and interests, promoting higher standards of learning and academic freedom, providing services and organizing events for the benefit of the students, and helping promote understanding and recognition of the responsibilities of students to the Institute. The Institute of World Politics Student Government Association will act as a liaison between the student body and The Institute of World Politics’ administration, faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees.”
– SGA Constitution

Your Student Government Association is here to be a tool for you to improve your time here at IWP. We are dedicated individuals who are here to serve you. If you have comments, concerns, and/or questions about your IWP experience, please feel free to bring it to one of your SGA representatives and we will gladly do everything in our power to help you. We look forward to helping you thrive here at IWP and want your experience here to be one you will relish.

Contact us at

2023-24 Officers

Lana Houle

Svetlana Houle

Lana Houle was raised with a passion for pursuing a career in international relations. She moved to DC in 2018 in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree at American University. At American, Lana earned her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies with a regional focus on Eurasia. During her undergraduate years, she served on the executive board of a nonprofit organization, Sisterhood for International Engagement. 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. 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.

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 headshot
Robert Bankowski headshot
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.

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.

Julia Wilson
Margaret Rymer headshot
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.