Students

Merwan Benamor

Merwan Benamor grew up overseas and has spent most of his time in Italy, France, Tunisia and Morocco. He is a second-year MPP student and has interned at both the United Nations and the U.S. Embassy in Morocco. Merwan speaks French, English, Arabic and Italian.

Lieutenant Aaron Brotman

Lieutenant Brotman is a native of Port Charlotte, Florida and a 2011 graduate of the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. He is an Assistant Professor of Naval Science at UVA’s Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and teaches courses on Navigation and Naval Operations and Seamanship.

Zach Diamond

Zach Diamond is from Vienna, Virginia. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a double major in Foreign Affairs and East Asian Studies. He is interested in international affairs, global governance and Chinese studies. Upon graduation, Zach hopes to join the Foreign Service.

Daniel Durgavich

Daniel Durgavich is from Annandale, Virginia, and is interested in military history and policy, as well as rhetoric and oratory. He enjoys researching the causes of war and its legal implications. Upon graduation, Daniel intends to pursue a career in the Foreign Service.

Campbell Farina

Campbell Farina is from Williamsburg, Virginia. She is double majoring in Public Policy and Spanish. Her research interests include international development, global economics and national security. Upon graduation, Campbell hopes to join the Foreign Service.

Catherine Farnsler

Catherine Farnsler is a dual citizen of the United States and Panama. She is a first-year accelerated MPP student and has previously worked for a national security contractor for the U.S. Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM). Her research interests include national security, foreign policy, and global economics.

Hannah Gavin

Hannah Gavin is an accelerated MPP student from Falls Church, Virginia. She has interned on Capitol Hill and with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), as well as an international human rights institute. Her research interests include human rights, refugee and migration issues, and Middle East foreign policy.

Shinichi Hirao

Shinichi Hirao is a Lieutenant, Japan Ground Self Defense Force (JGSDF) and a first-year MPP student. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Law from the University of Tokyo and is interested in the Indo-Pacific strategy and the US–Japan alliance.

Paige Karp

Paige Karp is a second-year accelerated MPP student from Vienna, Virginia. She received her B.A. in Russian and East European Studies and her research interests include international relations, national security, and humanitarian aid. Upon graduation, Paige hopes to work for the government or a not-for-profit organization.

Molly Magoffin

Molly Magoffin is a second-year accelerated MPP student from Purcellville, Virginia.  During her undergraduate career, she majored in German Studies and Foreign Affairs, and she is interested in refugee and migration policy. Upon graduation, she hopes to either work for the U.S. Foreign Service or with a not-for-profit organization abroad.

Daniel Nakasone

Daniel Nakasone is a third-year student from Ft. Meade, Maryland. He is majoring in Public Policy and Economics and has interned in the public sector for the past two summers, working on topics ranging from transnational organized crime to counterterrorism. He is also the co-founder of UVA’s National Security, Intelligence, and Defense Club.

Violette Nourry

Violette Nourry is from France. She graduated with honors from Sciences Po Lyon and Paris 8 University in 2018. Her research include U.S. counter-terrorism policies in the Trans-Saharan region and the cooperation between France and the U.S. on security issues.

Captain Shaun Redden

Captain Redden is from Cincinnati, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Xavier University in 2012. He has worked at the Department of State and served in several staff and leadership assignments while on active duty. He is interested in defense policy and its impact on armed forces training, and readiness.

Hannah Semmes

Hannah Semmes grew up in Alexandria, Virginia. She is majoring in Public Policy and Leadership and minoring in Global Culture and Commerce. She has previously interned on Capitol Hill, at the World Wildlife Fund and with several technology companies. Her research interests include international relations, peacebuilding, and natural resource security.

Jake Smith

Jake Smith is a fourth-year Engineering student studying Computer Science and Cybersecurity. He has served as President of the Computer and Network Security Club at the University of Virginia and helped found the National Security, Intelligence, and Defense Club. He has experience working in both the public and private sectors.

Caroline Still

Caroline Still is a third-year student from Jacksonville, Florida. She is double majoring in Global Security and Justice and French with a minor in Public Policy. For the past two summers, Caroline worked with the gang unit at the Jacksonville State Attorney’s Office. Her research interests include national security and counterterrorism.

Seneca Tsang

Seneca Tsang is from Chesapeake, Virginia and is double-majoring in Foreign Affairs and Cognitive Science with a concentration in Neuroscience. She has previously worked at UVA’s Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy and hopes to go to law school or work for the government upon graduation.