Posts Tagged with
Workshop

John Robinson

John Robinson is the NSPC’s Director of Academic Programs. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses focused on national security, including Innovating for Defense, an experiential course that pairs student teams with sponsors from the Department of Defense (DoD) to solve real-world national security problems. His research interests include international security and naval affairs.

John holds a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Virginia, and a M.A. from the U.S. Naval War College.   

Sofya Olenicheva currently serves as a Policy Advisor at the Zero Emission Transportation Association, a federal coalition advocating for transportation electrification, and Pioneer Public Affairs, a climate- and renewable energy-focused lobbying firm. Sofya’s professional policy experience began at Batten with an assignment to conduct research for the Virginia gubernatorial transition team. Later, she worked as a Program Assistant at the Community Climate Collaborative, a nonprofit committed to facilitating environmental policy development in local government and encouraging residents to integrate sustainable solutions into their lifestyle. At UVA, Sofya earned a Bachelor of Arts with Highest Distinction in Public Policy and Global Environments & Sustainability.

Matt Gillam is from Long Island, NY and a 2021 graduate of the BA program. He has since joined Teach For America and is teaching first grade at Miner Elementary School in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, DC. While teaching, he is pursuing a MSEd from Johns Hopkins University. While at UVA, he served as Batten Undergraduate Council President, co-Director of UVA's Camp Kesem chapter and Chair of UVA's Hillel Jewish Leadership Council.

Hannah Semmes is a consultant at Guidehouse State & Local Government. Prior to that, she was a consultant in the private sector for Salt Flats (née Optimity Advisors). She is an alumna of the State Department’s Critical Language Scholar in Indonesian, and previously worked as intern at the World Wildlife Fund, in the Office of Congressman Beyer (VA-08), and various political campaigns. At UVA, she served as Co-Captain of Women's Club Soccer. As a BAAB member, it is her goal to support and grow Batten’s entrepreneurial community.

Donald Fryar was born in San Diego, California and raised in Fredericksburg, VA. He attended the University of Virginia, where he majored in Public Policy and Leadership. While at the University of Virginia, Donald was a part of the Army ROTC program. Upon graduation, Donald commissioned into the Army reserves as a Combat Engineer. Recently, Donald graduated from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C. After graduation, Donald plans to move to Charlotte, North Carolina where he will work as a Corporate Attorney. Outside of school, Donald is heavily involved in the Washington, D.C. Community. He serves as a Program Director for MindsMatterDC, a non-profit that is aimed at providing SAT preparatory and mentoring high school students.

Dana Laurens serves as National Deputy Director for Advocacy, Policy Engagement & Partnerships for Education Reform Now, a K-12 and higher education think tank in Washington, DC. In this role, Dana works with federal and elected officials to advance education policies to improve opportunities for all students.

Katie Straight

Katie Straight joined Batten following 15 years of diverse, cross-sector non-profit, international NGO, and consulting experience. Her previous work in global development and poverty reduction was largely focused on stakeholder management and communications, capacity development, strategic program design, and impact evaluation. She is passionate about supporting adult learning, strategic and sustainable organizational growth, and organization-wide leadership development. A UVA alum, Katie received a B.A. in History from the University of Virginia and an M.Ed. in International Education Policy from Harvard. In concert with her role as Assistant Director of Graduate Academic Programs, Katie serves as an adjunct lecturer of global development policy at Batten.

Shannon Valentine was most recently Secretary of Transportation at the Commonwealth of Virginia, a position she has held since 2018. Prior to this role, she was the founding member and co-chair of OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting and is a former member of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Claire Oto

Claire Oto is a policy researcher and writer at the NSPC. She also coordinates the Center’s internship program. Prior to joining Batten, she was a communications specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy.  Claire earned an M.P.P in Space and National Security from George Washington University and holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California San Diego.