Who Are We?
Global Policy Institute fellows are a group of hard-working undergraduate students who are passionate about international relations and foreign affairs. Our fellows have studied and worked all over the world, including the Arctic, Rwanda, Belgium and Argentina, among other regions. Each fellow has a wide variety of interests that they are excited to share with the USC community.
The team organizes programming and events for all USC students. The fellows also maintain, update and create content for the GPI website.
Ashley Abadeer | Director
Ashley Abadeer is a senior studying International Relations and the Global Economy with a minor in Architecture at USC. Her specific interest in the field of international relations is ensuring water security and hopes to one day help establish clean water infrastructure through architectural design. Ashley has technical experience in AutoCad as well as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere. On campus, Ashley is the speaker’s director for TEDxUSC, a lead researcher in the SPEC lab whose work involved codifying power-sharing institutions and updating the existing literature, and is also a member of USC’s international relations co-ed professional fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon. She is from Riverside, CA.
Mia Speier | Director
Mia Speier is a senior majoring in International Relations, minoring in Law and Public Policy and pursuing a master’s degree in Public Diplomacy. She joined GPI in Fall 2018 and is her fourth year serving as a director. On campus, Mia is the editor-in-chief of Glimpse from the Globe, an editor for the Southern California International Review, USC editor at Annenberg Media and former editor at the Daily Trojan. She is a campus tour guide with the USC Office of Admission, an active member of Delta Phi Epsilon and has been named a Warren Bennis Scholar and Schaeffer Fellow in Government Service. She has worked for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council on Foreign Relations, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Mia is passionate about Europe/Eurasia, press and media freedom and U.S. foreign policy. She is from Los Angeles, CA.
Kirian Mischke-Reeds | Director
Kirian Mischke-Reeds is a senior majoring in International Relations and the Global Economy with a minor in Environmental Studies and serves as Chief Editor for GPI. Growing up to a German-Spanish mother and an American father in the Bay Area inspired Kirian to study international issues, focusing particularly on European foreign policy and the global climate change regime. Last summer, he interned for Climate XChange, doing research on North Carolina’s environmental and climate policy. On campus, Kirian is a member of the Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity and is Associate Editor for Glimpse from the Globe, USC’s foreign affairs magazine.
Matt Slade | Editorial Lead
Matt Slade is a senior double majoring in International Relations and Chinese Language from Boulder, Colorado. At USC, he is involved with the Teaching International Relations Program which teaches local high school students complex IR issues, as well as the Civil Rights and Liberties Club where he serves on executive board. In May, Matt went to China to research changes in advertising and consumer culture as a result of globalization in a program through the East Asian Studies Center. Outside of USC, he has worked for several years on research projects for the Korean Negotiation Initiative based out of Boulder. Though he has many interests regarding international relations, within GPI Matt focuses on issues of global and national security, especially in relation to East Asia and cybersecurity.
Delarai Sadeghitari | Editorial Lead
Delarai is a senior studying International Relations and Spanish from Orange County, California. In addition to GPI, she is a part of Women and Youth Supporting Each Other, an organization dedicated to teaching local middle school girls about important topics, like consent and mental health. Delarai is also a part of the action level coding team for the Near Crisis Project, a team dedicated to researching and coding the daily actions of near crises. Some of her primary interests in the field of international relations include human security, human rights, and the intersection of gender and international relations.
Marie Zaragoza | Program Lead
Marie Zaragoza is a junior pursuing a degree in International Relations with an emphasis on global economics and Arabic. On campus, she is a research assistant with the Security and Political Economy lab where she researches the influence of power sharing institutions in shaping various educational, economic and civil liberty outcomes and is the treasurer of the USC Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Marie has also volunteered with the Teaching International Relations Program. This past summer, she studied immigration in Spain, working with NGOs and private sector actors to understand the dynamics between the public and private sector to achieve social change.
Elizabeth Shepherd | Program Lead
Elizabeth Shepherd is a Senior majoring in Intelligence and Cyber Operations from Los Angeles, California. Her interests include Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferation, Modern warfare, Cyberwar, Cyber Weapons, Information Security, and Cyber Forensics. She has academic experience in network security, pentesting, and cyber forensics and professional experience in cyber threat intelligence and as a cyber security analyst. She has been with the GPI since Spring 2019.
Sabrina Pierre is a junior majoring in Health and Human Sciences, with a minor in Occupational Sciences and International Relations on the pre-med track. She is interested in the intersection of global/public health and global issues, human rights, child migrant conditions, and anti-racism movements/issues. She is a Keck P.R.E.P Scholar, a counselor and one of the advocacy and inclusion co-chairs for USC’s Troy Camp and part of the African Americans in Health e-board. She is also an intern for Keck Medicine of USC working in their Ambulatory Care Operations and Access Center.
Amanda Wilson is a senior studying international relations and legal studies. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and work in Washington, D.C. She was born and raised in Orange County, CA and considers herself a lifelong Trojan fan. Outside of the classroom, Amanda loves to spend time hiking with her dog, going to the beach, and doing hot yoga.
Benjamin Blum is a sophomore studying International Relations from San Francisco, California. Ben’s interests lie in diplomacy, conflict studies and national identity. He has served as an intern at the US Department of State and works with the American Film Showcase, a government-funded public diplomacy initiative produced by USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. He became passionate about international affairs after living in Japan for two years. Ben has completed research assistantships focused on international relations at USC and one day hopes to work in the foreign policy sphere.
Michael Murray is a junior from Chicago, Illinois, studying International Relations. Within GPI, he focuses on poverty and human security related issues. Outside of GPI, Michael is involved in USC’s Security and Political Economy Lab, Society 53, and JEP. In the past, Michael has worked with the University of Chicago’s Chicago Project on Security and Threats, Arabic Club ‘SC, and the Levan Institute for Humanities. He looks forward to seeing USC’s international relations and policy related discourse grow through GPI.
Aaron Smith is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in International Relations from Nottingham, England. His specific interest in the field of international relations focuses on climate change and human security. Outside of GPI, Aaron is on the executive board for Troy Camp and is a member of the Trojan Knights. Last semester, Aaron participated in a Case Study on Modern Leadership course co-taught by Former U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Lan Duong is a junior majoring in International Relations and double minoring in Computer Programming and Spanish. She works with the Human Security team at the Global Policy Institute and is also a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, USC’s international relations professional fraternity. Outside of school, Lan has been heavily involved in political campaigns, from her role as Outreach Director for a school board campaign in her hometown to her position as a full-time field organizer for Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign in Iowa. Lan has also spent time volunteering with CARECEN, a Los Angeles-based advocacy organization and resource center for Central American immigrants. This fall, Lan is working as a policy intern for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Sumaya Hussaini is a junior pursuing a Master of Public Diplomacy, majoring in Political Science and minoring in International Relations. She is currently for Accountability Counsel, a non-profit organization that provides legal assistance for communities harmed by internationally financed projects. On campus, Sumaya serves as team lead for the Education, Conflict & Aid Allocation project for the Security and Political Economy Lab. She has previously interned for the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan and USC Center for the Political Future. Her areas of interest include foreign policy, sustainable development and human rights
Kavita Rai is served on Girl Up Campaign’s international youth consultant board advising the organization on communication and advocacy strategies. Building off of her activism, she lobbied on Capitol Hill with the ACLU and Girl Up for bills ranging from immigration reform to protecting girls abroad. She has been invited to speak on behalf of organizations including Los Angeles City Hall for the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day and Girl Up for the Annual Global Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. She’s excited to continue her education and advocacy work as a student at University of Southern California
Si Yuen Lee
Si Yun Ee is currently a sophomore at USC. Her interests lie in the intersection of wide-scale impact and explanations of political decisions and theories through International Relations, as well as the micro level of politics through cultural and diaspora influences through Global Studies. Through her commitment to her research and interests, her belief in both a strong work ethic and global self-immersion is prominent by her avid involvement as a student leader in various positions, in research and organizations that she partakes in. She is keen in furthering her interests in diplomacy, international regional stability and negotiation through obtaining further real-world experiences and learning opportunities to better herself as a global learner, thinker and professional.
Daniel Kos is a freshman studying International Relations with a minor in Latin American Studies from San Francisco, California. He is interested in politics and economics in Latin America, especially income inequality and the region’s trade relations with the United States and China. Daniel is a member of the USC Model UN team and is a Junior Correspondent for Glimpse of the Globe. He is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish, and enjoys hiking in nature.
Kate Curry is a senior pursuing a master’s degree in Public Diplomacy and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. She is particularly interested in sustainable development driven by community empowerment. On campus, Kate is involved in Delta Phi Epsilon and the Near Crisis Project Africa research team. She also works for the American Language Institute, where she tutors and mentors international teaching assistants. Kate has volunteered with the Teaching International Relations Program and the Joint Educational Project and is passionate about education equity and access. Through various study abroad opportunities, Kate has worked, studied, and volunteered in France, Hong Kong, Russia, and India. This fall, Kate is interning for the LA Mayor’s Office of International Affairs.
Bennett Rine is a senior at the University of Southern California studying International Relations. His specific interests are in the intersection of gender and global issues as well as human rights. At USC, he has volunteered with the Teaching International Relations Program, working with high school students in Los Angeles. Bennett is also a member of Delta Phi Epsilon, USC’s international relations and foreign service professional fraternity. Within the Global Policy Institute, he focuses on issues of poverty and human security.