How to apply

Weiser Diplomacy Fellows

Our fellows are part of a close-knit Ford School community of students with international policy interests. They regularly contribute to our events and participate in activities (symposia, conferences, seminars, policy simulation exercises, workshops and career talks among others). Additionally, they often benefit from our many other funding and research opportunities and partnership contacts.

  •  Joanna BascomZakaria Bulus, and Elizaveta Dorofeeva will start in fall 2023, bringing experience from development and diplomacy in Africa, Latin America, and Europe. Their diverse interests range from public health to grassroots development to international security.

    Joanna Bascom received her BA in Economics from Calvin University. A Princeton in Africa fellowship at a public health NGO confirmed her interest in health policy. Joanna has worked in social research and Monitoring & Evaluation in Michigan, Zambia, and Mexico. Her interests include global health policy and public participation in policymaking.

    Elizaveta Dorofeeva grew up in Saint Petersburg, Russia and received her BA from the Higher School of Economics majoring in political science and world politics and minoring in Data Science. Driven by democratic principles, she helped in advocating for a project centered on organizing the United Nations model. She also had an opportunity to embark on exchange programs in Germany and the U.S. that have helped to shape her interest in international security. As a Weiser Diplomacy Fellow, she looks forward to further exploring her interests in international security and U.S. foreign affairs in a time of crisis. 

    Zakaria Bulus joins the University of Michigan with over ten years of development and humanitarian experience, providing technical support and capacity building to officials of government institutions and local partners in northeast Nigeria. He graduated with a BSc from Manchester University, Indiana, and a master's degree from Ohio University. He was featured in the Center for Strategic and International Studies Country Insights Series on Localization. He has worked with Family Health International (FHI360) and was the African Continental Assembly youth coordinator, a partner of Mission 21 in Basel, Switzerland. Zakaria has volunteered with Brethren Disaster Ministries (Ohio and Tennessee) and Islamic Relief USA (Houston, Texas). He is working to finalize his publication "The Politics of Local and International Actors in Development and Humanitarian Assistance."

    Jacob Gillis received his BA from the University of Chicago, where he studied public policy with specializations in economics and international affairs.  He served as the US State Department’s Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator at the University of Chicago, previously interning for the State Department and a member of Congress.  He also worked as a research assistant on a diverse set of projects, including those addressing global terrorism and domestic public health challenges.  As a Weiser Fellow, he looks forward to further exploring his interests in international policy issues and learning from experts in the field.

    Gerardo Alfonso Méndez Gutiérrez studied International Relations at El Colegio de México. He worked for Mexico's Secretariat of Public Education and the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, where he specialized in North American issues. His interests include security and intelligence studies, as well as foreign policy analysis and the practice of diplomacy.  

    Oieshi Saha comes to us from the University of Cambridge where she received a Master of Law with a specialization in International Law.

    Gabriel Sylvan grew up in Geneva, Switzerland before attending Bowdoin College, where he has double majored in Government & Legal Studies and Mathematics. He has interned at the Borgen Project, a non-profit organization that emphasizes the importance of poverty reduction in U.S. foreign policy. Gabriel has also taken classes on international relations and development economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. He is currently working on a project analyzing Switzerland's recent referenda with a mathematical model plotting question preferences against a finite number of political dispositions. Gabriel's interests include European politics, development, and refugee policy, with a hope to be a policy analyst for one of the EU directorates or an international NGO working to craft solutions to combat issues of precarity among refugees and asylum seekers.

    Radhika Arora is a recipient of 2021 Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Graduate Fellowship with experience as a business analyst, planning to serve in the State Department as an Economic or Public Diplomacy officer after graduation. 

    Hannah Cumming is a first year UM Law School student doing a JD/MPP. She’s focusing on international law and human rights and has experience with UN Women and NGOs in refugee relief, particularly in the Middle East.

    Alhan Fakhr is working in the private sector in Pakistan and has interests and experience in development, the mediation of civil conflict, and justice initiatives. He’s worked and studied in China and Malaysia, among other places.

    Jonathan Garon comes to us from the Embassy of the UAE, where he’s director of commercial affairs. He has extensive experience in economic diplomacy focusing on commerce, trade and investment policies.

    Michael Hauser is a United States Air Force Academy graduate with leadership experience in the U.S. Army as a company commander in Afghanistan and elsewhere. His interests include diplomacy in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Margo Steinhaus has been a Gilman and Fulbright Scholarship recipient focused on evaluating and monitoring USAID funded projects with interests including U.S.-Turkey relations, human rights, and international economic development. 

    Milagros Chocce (MPP '22), originally from Peru, holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Economics from Universidad del Pacifico in Lima, Peru. While living in her home country, Milagros had government work-related experiences that focused on education policy issues in the rural context as well as in the quality assessment policies of higher education institutions.

    Anthony (AJ) Convertino (MPP '22) is a graduate of Kalamazoo College, where he earned his B.A. in East Asian Studies and Political Science. As a David L. Boren Scholar, AJ was commissioned through the National Security Education Program to complete a long-term study abroad program in Beijing, China. During this intensive language program, AJ gained fluency in Mandarin and a deeper understanding of Chinese domestic and international affairs.

    Hannah Kraus (MPP '22) is interested in comparative social policy, and the impact such policies have on poverty, inequality, and human rights. She earned her undergraduate degree at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where her research focused on issues of inequality ranging from global water access to European Union asylum policy. Prior to graduation, Hannah held internships at Save the Children International (London), the U.S. Senate, and nonprofits focusing on teacher pay advocacy and East African water & sanitation.

    Rebecca Mendelsohn (MPP '22) Originally from NY, Rebecca is committed to crafting international policies that promote justice, access, and accountability. Motivated to develop the tools and knowledge to think critically about her own background as well as to help address the economic, social, and political challenges of others, she  completed her undergraduate studies in Political Science and Human Rights & Humanitarianism at Macalester College. At Macalester, Rebecca helped establish the Committee for Refugee Student Access, a student-run initiative that advocates for the recruitment, funding, and admission of refugee and displaced students to the college. She also served as the Chair of the Amnesty International Student Organization.

    Anuj Sahay (MPA '21) With over ten years of work experience, Anuj has spent six as Chargé d'Affaires at the French Embassy in New Delhi, India. At the Embassy, he engaged with domestic and international corporations, media, think tanks, NGO’s and other public and private organisations to help shape European business policies for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri-Lanka. He supported trade commission member companies to identify frontier market policies and strategic partners, allowing them to establish and understand the economic and business environments in the Indian subcontinent.

    Maggie Barnard (MPP ’21) is a Weiser Diplomacy Fellow interning with the Department of State’s sub-Saharan Africa office. She also volunteers as Amnesty International USA's Country Specialist for Tanzania. After a Fulbright Fellowship to Arusha, Tanzania, her desire to work in the U.S.-East Africa international affairs field was affirmed. Previously, Maggie worked as a Refugee Case Manager with Migration & Refugee Services.

    Edward Elliott (MPA '20) is an independent sports diplomacy consultant with a background in foreign policy. He previously helped set up and run the London-based think tank “British Foreign Policy Group” where he also worked with UK Sport, the Premier League, England and Wales Cricket Board, Sky Sports, and other partners on the foundations of a UK Sports Diplomacy Strategy. He has also worked in the U.S. for the Michigan Taskforce on Women in Sports.

    Marianna Smith (MPP '21) is a 2019 Donald M. Payne International Development Fellow. As part of this fellowship, she has committed to five years as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Marianna Smith grew up in Ludington, Michigan. Interested in bridging cultural and language barriers to confront global problems, she pursued degrees in intercultural communication and Spanish from Alma College in Michigan.

    Triana Yentzen (MPP '21 and incoming Economics PhD student) Her research interests lie in international development, focused on poverty, inequality, gender and education. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Economics from Universidad de Chile. She's also very passionate about data management and analysis.

Alumni spotlight


fellowship alumni

Marianna Smith (MPP '21)

Marianna Smith is a 2019 Donald M. Payne International Development Fellow. As part of this fellowship, she has committed to five years as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development. Marianna Smith grew up in Ludington, Michigan. Interested in bridging cultural and language barriers to confront global problems, she pursued degrees in intercultural communication and Spanish from Alma College in Michigan. Marianna serves as a USAID Foreign Service Officer at the Southern Africa Regional Program and Project Development Office in Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.
View profile

fellowship alumni

Radhika Arora (MPP '23)

Hailing from Arizona, Radhika Arora’s upbringing in a diverse community and participation in cross-cultural exchange programs inspired a keen interest in public service and international affairs. After studying Business and Arabic at UNC-Chapel Hill, she joined Deloitte Consulting’s Government & Public Services practice to advise federal agencies and international NGOs on their strategic challenges. She then worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and advanced her member’s priorities in the Committee on Financial Services and Congressional Black Caucus. As a 2021 U.S. Department of State Rangel Fellow, Radhika will join the U.S. Foreign Service upon graduation from Ford. She looks forward to expanding her public policy know-how and the perspectives she will take abroad as a diplomat.
View profile