AGS Student Council
The AGS Council is a select group of undergraduates who help advise the Director about programming, curriculum, and assist by coordinating events such as career nights, activities fairs, and other mentoring opportunities. The application for the 2018-2019 AGS Council will open August 2018. If you are interested in applying, please continue to attend AGS events and activities, and feel free to reach out to current council members for more ways to get involved in the meantime!
AGS Student Council Members Academic Year 2017-2018
Sanjeev Dasgupta, Class of 2018, is from New Delhi, India and studying Political Science. His main area of interest lies at the intersection of human rights and development, particularly focused on forced migration due to conflict, persecution, and economic and environmental factors. At Duke, Sanjeev is heavily involved with the Kenan Institute for Ethics’ Refugee Project. He is a classroom coordinator for MASTERY, a tutoring and mentoring program for resettled refugee youth in Durham. He is also the lead on a project to build a web database on quantitative and qualitative information on country-specific and global trends on forced displacement. Over his time at Duke, Sanjeev has interned at the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network in Belgrade, Serbia, at the Poverty Unit of the UN Development Programme in New Delhi, India and at the Statelessness Section of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland. Sanjeev is an avid soccer player and also loves sports photography, a hobby he pursues through the Duke Chronicle.
Matthew King, Class of 2018, is a political science major from Richmond, Virginia. Within political science, his interests include conflict analysis, nationalism, and modernization theory. On campus, Matthew sings bass in Duke Rhythm & Blue, co-manages the @dukestudents Instagram account, co-chairs the AGS Council, and sits on a Board of Trustees committee. Over his summers, Matthew has coached debate at the Sunflower County Freedom Project, interned for Walter Russell Mead of the Hudson Institute, and served as a research assistant to Donald Horowitz at the National Endowment for Democracy. His writing has been featured in the Yale Review of International Studies, the American Interest, and the Wall Street Journal. In Spring 2017, Matthew studied abroad in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He speaks French and Spanish.
Logan Kirkpatrick, Class of 2018, is a political science major from Waterford, Virginia. His primary academic interests relate to American civil rights law and the politics of international migration. On campus, he is the president of Duke moot court, president emeritus for the Alexander Hamilton Society, and a tutor for Mastery, a refugee mentorship program at the Kenan Institute. Through Kenan, Logan spent the spring of 2016 interviewing Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Amman, Jordan as part of a semester-long research program. The following summer, Logan interned as a paralegal for an immigration law firm, where he helped litigate asylum applications. After graduation, he hopes to work as a researcher at a law firm or think tank dedicated to civil rights law. Logan speaks fluent Spanish.
Blair Horner, Class of 2018, is a Political Science major from Los Angeles, California. He has focused on security, peace and conflict studies with a particular emphasis on US-Russian relations while at Duke. He is fascinated with the intersection of information technology and government — a space in which he hopes to build a career; for this reason, Blair’s favorite AGS guest was Jared Cohen, founder of Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas) which develops and applies technology solutions to global geopolitical problems. Outside the classroom, Blair serves on the Duke University Undergraduate Conduct Board and serves as the Vice President of Recruitment for the Interfraternity Council, coordinating the matriculation of nearly 400 undergraduates into Greek chapters during the 2017-18 school year. Blair will begin his professional career with Accenture in New York City upon graduation.
Amy Kramer, Class of 2018, is a Public Policy and Political Science major from Boca Raton, Florida. She is an Army ROTC Cadet and wrote her senior thesis on the impact of female leadership in Army ROTC programs nationally. In Summer 2017, she worked at U.S. Army Cadet Command at Fort Knox and helped develop a new national Cadet Command diversity strategy. In Summer 2016, Amy traveled to several countries and interviewed female government and military leaders to study the impact of women’s empowerment in conflict resolution. She is entering her fourth year on the AGS Council and was a student-leader of the 2016 AGS Staff Ride to Vietnam. On campus, Amy is involved with women’s pre-professional organizations and serves as the Cohort Executive Officer of the Penny Pilgram George Women’s Leadership Initiative. She is also the principal bassoonist in the Duke Symphony Orchestra. Next year, Amy will be earning a Masters in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar.
Aron Rimanyi, Class of 2018, is an Angier B. Duke Scholar who studies political science and economics. Over the past three years, Aron has worked with people and companies affiliated with the Hungarian government on international diplomatic and economic initiatives. Aron became a US citizen during his sophomore year at Duke and proudly forges connections between his two countries. On campus, Aron co-chairs the AGS student council and is involved in the Alexander Hamilton Society. With a wide range of interests, Aron has published articles on medieval history, worked at an NGO focusing on climate policy in Geneva, and debated in the Swiss youth parliament. In the future, Aron hopes to pursue a career in government consulting. Next year, he will complete a masters program in global affairs at Tsinghua University in Beijing as a Schwarzman Scholar. Aron speaks Hungarian, French and Spanish.
Dejana Saric, Class of 2018, is originally from the Western Balkans but grew up in California. Dejana is a double major in Public Policy and Political Science with a minor in German language. She is particularly interested in such issues as U.S-Russian relations, refugees, and post-conflict reconstruction. In addition to AGS, Dejana is involved with the Duke Political Union and Form magazine. Summer of 2017, Dejana interned at the U.S Department of State, working in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. Before that she interned with Human Rights Watch on issues relating to juveniles within the criminal justice system. Dejana works currently works as a waitress in downtown Durham and is an avid runner. She speaks Serbian and German.
Akshaya Trivedi, Class of 2018, is a mathematics and economics major from Brookfield, Wisconsin. His interests lie in the intersection between economics and national security, particularly in how economic considerations affect military decision-making for nation-state and non-state actors. On campus, Akshaya sits on the AGS Council, and serves as an officer for the Alexander Hamilton Society. He also conducts research for the Connolly Spectrum lab, focusing on the application of auction theory to spectrum valuation in FCC auctions. Akshaya interned for Deutsche Bank in 2017 as a Debt Capital Markets division analyst. Before that, he served as a research assistant to Dr. Connolly during Summer 2016, interned for the Roy Cooper campaign in the Spring 2016, and worked with economic development in Kenya during Summer 2015. Akshaya will join Deutsche Bank full time upon graduation in their Debt Capital Markets division.
Paul Forrester, Class of 2019, is studying political science and philosophy with a certificate in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He was born in Greensboro, NC and grew up in Tennessee and South Carolina. At Duke, Paul is involved in several extracurricular organizations, including the Program in American Grand Strategy, the Alexander Hamilton Society, and the Visions of Freedom Focus Program. Paul is also the co-founder of the cryptocurrency trading firm Lydian Capital. After graduating from Duke, Paul hopes to attend graduate school in philosophy or political science and pursue a career in academia. His main interests lie in political economy, political psychology and normative ethics.
Hannah Godefa, Class of 2019, is a political science major and visual media studies minor from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Within political science, her interests include national and cybersecurity and conflict analysis in Africa. On campus, she is a web editor for the publication The Bridge, which champions the voices of black and Latina women at Duke and UNC. She works for Duke Online’s Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) and is a research assistant in the Global Health Department. In her spare time, she serves as a member of Nasher MUSE, the museum’s student liaison body. Hannah interned with Impact, the social issue based programming division of VICE Media LLC in 2016 before working with the Hagar’s House, a women’s center and housing shelter in New Orleans. She speaks French and Amharic.
Henry Kistler, Class of 2019, is a public policy major from Durham, North Carolina. Within the realm of public policy, Henry is interested in a wide variety of issues, from human rights and nationality law to counterterrorism policy. On campus, Henry is a leader in the Outing club and a member of the Chi Psi fraternity. This past summer, Henry participated in Duke Engage in Jordan, where he worked as a research intern for Tamkeen Fields for Aid, a Jordanian human rights NGO in Amman, Jordan. While there his research primarily focused on the issues of statelessness for foreign domestic workers in Jordan and on human trafficking legislation. Henry is currently studying abroad in Glasgow, Scotland and is enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the British Political system and the European Union.
Sabriyya Pate, Class of 2019, is a program II student, which means she has chosen to design an individualized course of study. Her program II is titled Conflict and Negotiation Studies, and it takes an interdisciplinary approach to provide a comprehensive understanding of conflict and the best practices for its resolution. Her academic interests include conflict resolution, counterinsurgency policy and implementation, constructivist theory, and international development. On campus, Sabriyya is a resident assistant, serves as the Duke Student Government Attorney General, writes a column for The Duke Chronicle, co-chairs the AGS Council, and serves as the president of an on campus feminist magazine. Sabriyya interned at the Council on Foreign Relations the summer of 2017. The previous summer, she worked at The Hate Crimes Working Group as the policy and research intern, as part of the Duke Engage in Cape Town, South Africa program. She speaks Hausa, French, and Arabic.
Asa Royal, Class of 2019, is a computer science major from St. Louis, MO. He is broadly interested in national security law as well as intersections between tech, policy, and journalism. On campus, Asa works as a software developer in the Duke Reporter’s Lab, programming tools to help journalists and fact checkers. He chaired the editorial board of the Duke Chronicle in his sophomore year after serving as a voting member the year before. During the last two summers, Asa interned with the ACLU of Missouri and the Tampa Bay Times. This summer, he will work as a data engineer at Capital One. Whatever his future career may be, he hopes it will involve coding and will make the world a safer, freer home. When he’s not coding or reading, Asa enjoys talking politics, listening to Deep State Radio and tinkering with headphones.
Sarah Sibley, Class of 2019, is doubling majoring in statistics and political science from Denver, CO. She took a gap year to work on Senator Udall’s 2014 reelection campaign and to study abroad in China for a semester. She has worked on several (unsuccessful) Democratic campaigns, and recently interned at the Democratic National Committee (rooming with current AGS-ers Matthew King and Aateeb Khan). This summer, she will be interning in Facebook’s Data Science division in Menlo Park, CA. On campus, Sarah serves as a classroom coordinator for the Kenan Refugee Project, and a researcher for the Duke Energy Initiative.
Hillary Song, Class of 2019, is a Statistics and Public Policy double major from Vancouver, British Columbia. On campus, Hillary is involved with Dukes and Duchesses, Duke East Asia NEXUS, and serves as a research assistant to Professor Peter Feaver. She also conducts data analysis on growth mindset intervention in Bangladesh with the Economics department. In Summer 2017, Hillary interned with the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, a legal NGO focusing on electronic privacy, and in Summer 2016, she worked at the Committee of 100, a Chinese-American interests group. Summer 2018, she will intern at PwC New York’s Forensic Technology unit. Hillary speaks French, Mandarin, and Japanese.
James Chenyang Wang, Class of 2019, is a Statistics major from Nanjing, China, and he enjoys data storytelling and business decision making. In AGS, James is particularly interested in the Asia Pacific, be it politics, poetry, or philosophy. At Duke, James leads theDuke East Asia Nexus (DEAN), organizing intellectual discussions and film screening on East Asia affairs. In summer 2017, James constructed a national database to map 336,322 unlicensed tobacco retailer stores, at Duke Data+ project. Currently, James is interning as the data analyst in downtown Durham for GoldenKey Inc, real estate for smart people. In summer 2018, he will be interning as a corporate strategy analyst at Chewy.com in Fort Lauderdale, FL. James loves reading Dante’s Divine Comedy, and plays soccer and tennis in his spare time.
Elle Winfield, Class of 2019, is a Historian and Political Scientist from York, England. Specifically her interests include international relations, armed conflict and human rights. On campus, Elle volunteers with The Girls Club, writes for the international publication Passport, serves as Co-President of Amnesty International and sits on the Human Rights Student Advisory Board. She also works as the Duke Gender, Sexuality and Feminist studies center and is a student consultant for the Sutton Trust Program, due to her passion for gender and socio-economic mobility. Over the summer, Elle spent her time interning at Orleans Public Defenders (2016) and conducting an independent research project on Modern Terrorism (2017). Beyond Duke, Elle has her sights set on Law School, where she hopes to specialize in international humanitarian legislation. She speaks French and Arabic.
Leah Abrams, Class of 2020, is a Public Policy and History double major with a Certificate in Documentary Studies from Carrboro, North Carolina. She is heavily involved with politics on campus and serves as the current president of the Duke Democrats. She is also the managing editor of the opinion section of the Chronicle and runs a column providing commentary on Durham politics. Leah is a contributing editor at the Duke Political Review and spent last summer as a Duke Engage fellow in Detroit interning at an incubator called TechTown. Outside of campus, Leah interns with Legal Aid of Durham and works as a tour guide. Finally, she serves as an advocate for the Community Empowerment Fund, working with local homeless individuals to reach their financial savings goals. Leah speaks proficient Spanish.
Sebastian Borda, Class of 2020, is a political science major from Houston, Texas. Within the political sphere, he is particularly interested in diplomacy, foreign relations, and political theory. At Duke, Sebastian serves on the CRU leadership team and the AGS council, while participating in Duke College Republicans and a host of intramural sporting competitions. During his summers, he works as a campsite coordinator and staffer for Camp Allen in Texas. Before attending Duke, Sebastian interned with Hauser Private Equity in Los Angeles, which spiked his interest in strategic investment models and the world of finance. Outside of Duke, he is an avid traveler, having been to over 40 states and Colombia, Austria, and Fiji among many other nations. In Spring 2018, Sebastian will seek an in-depth look at the global Cold War through a diplomatic perspective. He speaks French, Spanish and conversational German.
Bo Carlson, Class of 2020, is an economics and political science major from Charlotte, NC. He is interested in Latin America, international trade, and multilateral institutions. In addition to his role on the AGS Council, Bo manages logistics for the Duke-UNC China Leadership Summit, works as a tutor in economics and statistics, and serves as a research assistant at the Kenan Institute for Ethics with Professor Suzanne Katzenstein. As part of the Global Human Rights Scholars Program at the Kenan Institute, he writes monthly blog posts on the Colombia–FARC peace negotiations. In his free time, Bo enjoys listening to Broadway soundtracks, watching travel documentaries, and having long conversations with friends. He is proficient in Spanish, and he looks forward to spending fall 2018 in an immersive study abroad program in Buenos Aires.
Isabel Ivanescu, Class of 2020, is a political science major from Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Her principal interests lie in the political and military aspects of foreign policy, as well as in constitutional law. On campus, Isabel is Travel Team Captain of Duke Moot Court and competes with Duke Debate; she is also part of the Visions of Freedom Living-Learning Community. Last summer, Isabel participated in educational programs hosted by the Salvatori Center at Claremont-McKenna and the Hertog Foundation. Through AGS, Isabel participated in the 2016 Staff Ride to Vietnam and is a student-leader of the 2017 Staff Ride to Belgium and France. After graduation, Isabel is considering attending law school, joining the Foreign Service, or working in government in DC. She speaks Romanian and French.
Max Labaton, Class of 2020, is a public policy major from Washington D.C. and is interested in the intersection of history, politics, and foreign policy. On campus, he serves as a council member of AGS, writes a column for The Duke Chronicle, and works as a research assistant at the Sanford School. Max interned on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the summer of 2017, working in the office of the Ranking Member, Senator Ben Cardin, on the human rights and Africa portfolios. He spent the summer of 2016 interning on the Clinton campaign at Brooklyn headquarters. In his free time, Max enjoys spending time with friends, reading nonfiction, and watching Duke basketball. After college, he hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in public service. He speaks fluent Spanish.
Akanksha Ray, Class of 2020, is a public policy and economics double major from Cary, North Carolina. Her policy interests center on international diplomacy, foreign policy, and forced migration. At Duke, Akanksha dances for Duke Dhamaka, an Indian folk bhangra team, works as a financial advocate at the Community Empowerment Fund in Durham, and is part of the Kenan Institue of Ethics Refugee Project, where she tutors local refugee women in English. In the summer of 2017, Akanksha worked as a research assistant to Amy Schafer at the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. She is continuing this research project till the end of Spring 2018. In Summer 2018, Akanksha plans to intern in Dublin, Ireland, researching and advocating for issues of refugee integration. She speaks Hindi and French.
Angela Zhou, Class of 2020, is an environmental science major from Seattle, Washington. She attended an international school in Beijing, China, and is particularly interested in the intersection between conflict and the environment. On campus, Angela is an active member of the Alexander Hamilton Society, Duke Association for Business Oriented Women, Smart Woman Securities, and Duke Business Society. This past summer, Angela interned at an environmental business association in Jordan as part of her Duke Engage experience. Summer of 2018 she will be interning in the financial services industry in New York. Angela has traveled to 25 countries, plays the Guzheng – a traditional Chinese instrument – and speaks Mandarin.
Ethan Astrachan, Class of 2021, is a political science major from Durham, North Carolina. His interests include international security and conflict resolution. He plans to potentially minor in computer science. Outside of political science he is interested in philosophy, Christopher Nolan movies, and has a healthy obsession with sports, particularly Duke Basketball. On campus, Ethan is involved as a member of Camp Kesem, works with Habitat for Humanity, is on Duke’s team to the 2018 Atlantic Cyber Challenge and the AGS Council. In High School, he spent time working with Roy Cooper’s Campaign for Governor. He speaks proficient Spanish and is currently learning Arabic, and plans to spend his summer reinforcing previous Spanish language experience.
Eren E. Bagis, Class of 2021, is a prospective political science major and a Turkish-American living in Istanbul, Turkey, and he has boarded at Wellington College, UK, throughout high school. His interests generally include international security & cooperation issues as well as sub-state violence. Geographically and historically, Eren is oriented toward the Middle East. At Duke, Eren writes for the Duke Chronicle and Duke Political Review, and is also an officer in the Duke chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society as well as a member of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu club. Eren has interned at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has previously contributed pieces to the Daily Sabah, the online English wing of Turkey’s Sabah newspaper. In the summer of 2018, Eren intends to spend time in Jordan or Oman in order to supplement taking Arabic at Duke. She speaks fluent Turkish.
Katherine Gan, Class of 2021, is from Cary, North Carolina. She plans to major in public policy and potentially minor in history and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. She is interested in understanding humanitarian conflicts and framing global issues under a human rights lens. Aside from AGS, Katherine is an officer for Alexander Hamilton Society, a senator for Duke Student Government, and on the executive board of Blue Devils United. This past summer, she worked at North Carolina Public Radio (WUNC) and interned at the Borgen Project, a nonprofit that works to combat global poverty. In the summer of 2018, she hopes to intern with female empowerment organizations or on the Hill. She speaks Mandarin and currently studies Arabic. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, running, and listening to podcasts.
Spencer M. Kaplan, Class of 2021, is a public policy and political science major from Rye Brook, New York. Specifically, he is interested in national security policy, conflict resolution, and international development. On campus, he is the President of Randolph House Council and a columnist for the Duke Political Review. Spencer has worked on campaigns in several municipal and county elections in New York and has experience lobbying in Washington. In the summer of 2015, Spencer spent time in rural Vietnam building houses for the needy and interviewing former Viet Cong combatants. When he travels, he enjoys photography and videography and his work has been published in the New York Times. Outside of the political realm, Spencer served as a Youth Chair of the Westchester-Fairfield chapter of VisionWalk, the fundraising arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. He is proficient in Spanish.
Miranda Wolford, Class of 2021, is from Southern California and plans to major in politcal science. She is interested in the intersection between international development policies and security crises. As a first-year, she has been involved with the Alliance for AIDS Services as a consultant, Business-Oriented Women, TAMID as a global consultant for Israeli youth startups, and AGS Council. Prior to Duke, Miranda interned at the Tom Lantos Institute for Human Rights in Budapest, conducting research on issues such as Dalit rights in India and writing articles for various international human rights publications. From 2015 to 2017, she worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Kids Helping Kids, a youth-run nonprofit empowering disadvantaged youth to overcome poverty through education. Miranda is also an avid fly fisherwoman and hiker. She speaks proficient French and Thai.