Headshots of all the reps
Category: News, Student Spotlight

Title: Introducing the 2022-2023 MSFS Reps

Our MSFS student representatives (often affectionately referred to as “the reps”) are an integral part of the MSFS community. Our student reps have been key organizers for coordinating community building events for their classmates and ensuring that every member of the MSFS community feels connected to the program. They have brought the community together through sharing recipes and playlists, sending newsletters, and organizing social gatherings for MSFS students.

This year’s student representative cohort consists of five wonderful returning MSFS students (including some veteran reps returning for their second term!). They are going above and beyond the demands of their academic workload to advocate for student needs and foster connection and friendship between the first and second years. Thank you to this year’s reps for all that they are doing to enhance the MSFS experience beyond the classroom! Meet the 2022-2023 MSFS reps below and learn why they decided to serve the student body in this role.

Kira Akka-Seidel
MSFS ’24, Science and Technology in International Affairs (STIA)

Kira is a former teacher, basketball coach, and world traveler. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz, double majoring in Environmental Studies and Legal Studies. Her time living and working in South Asia ignited her passion for international affairs and inspired her to apply for the MSFS program. Community has always been a core value of Kira’s. She ran for MSFS Reps determined to foster a tight-knit, supportive, and uplifting academic and social environment for her peers. Kira is both excited and humbled by the opportunity to represent and advocate for her MSFS cohort. She hopes her efforts on the Reps team will help make this year a memorable and positive experience for everyone.

Headshot of Kira

Alex Chou 
MSFS ’24, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

Alex was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Taipei, and spent the last 5 years studying and working in Tokyo. He has been a fan of the political TV show Madam Secretary since high school, and aspires to work in the government upon graduating from Georgetown. Before joining the MSFS program, Alex was involved with multiple non-profit organizations, working on issues ranging from security to human rights. His current research interests include the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, US-Japan alliance, and US-Taiwan relations. Outside of the classroom, Alex enjoys cooking, photography, exploring the city, and can also be found at both mixers and academic seminars. Alex decided to run for MSFS student representative because he is passionate about serving the community around him. As a student rep, he hopes to bring positive change, organize events and advocate for fellow MSFSers, and foster stronger connections within and beyond the MSFS program.

Photo of Alex, standing by the rails of a boat.

Elli Goldberg 
MSFS ’23, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

Elli Goldberg is a second-year candidate in the Master of Science Foreign Service program, pursuing a concentration in Global Politics and Security and a Certificate in Gender, Peace, and Security. This is Elli’s second year as a student representative for the MSFS program. Elli loves bringing her community together as a Rep, and believes strongly in making MSFS as inclusive and close-knit of a community as possible. Elli graduated from Tulane University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies, and a minor in Arabic. Elli’s main interest areas are conflict and security issues in the Middle East and North Africa region, peace-building and conflict resolution, and in integrating women into peace and security processes.

Headshot of Ellissa

In-Hwan “Helen” Heo
MSFS ’24, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

After earning her BA in International Relations with a minor in Chinese from the University of California, Davis, In-Hwan moved to Seoul, South Korea to expand her worldview. She eventually found a position as a Business Manager in an entertainment company, where she gained experience in business development, project management, event planning, and social media marketing. She is currently attending Georgetown University in pursuit of eventually joining the Foreign Service as a Public Diplomacy Officer. “I ran for a position on the MSFS Student Representatives because I believe in the strength of diversity – not just in ethnicity but in the diversity of experiences. Even from orientation, my cohort members expressed concern about job opportunities as international students or as students that moved to DC with partners and family. I hope to address such needs and serve all members of our community.”

Headshot of In-Hwan

Mariam Kvaratskhelia
MSFS ’24, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

“My name is Mariam, and I’m the dual-degree MSFS Rep for this academic year. I’m originally from Tbilisi, Georgia. Before MSFS, I was a Georgetown Qatar undergraduate student. Fun fact: since I’m doing an accelerated MSFS degree, technically I have not even graduated from undergrad yet (I possess a total of 0 higher education diplomas so far). I decided to become an MSFS Rep because it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know my peers better and become more engaged with the student life. I also just love all things student government, and have always been involved with such organizations in the past.”

Photo of Miriam

Therese McCarry 
MSFS ’23, International Development (IDEV)

Therese is concentrating in International Development and pursuing a certificate in Gender, Peace, and Security. Before joining the MSFS program, she oversaw community engagement for a refugee resettlement agency in New York City and joined the Peace Corps in North Macedonia in the community development sector. She spent her summer between the first and second year of graduate school as a Advocacy Project Peace Fellow supporting two local human rights organizations in Nepal. “Three months before I even applied to Georgetown, I moved into a house full of strangers, half of whom happened to be MSFS 1st-year students at the time. Getting to know 1st and 2nd-year students from the beginning is what has made the graduate school experience special. As a second year student I would like to pay it forward and continue building an inclusive and welcoming community for dual, first, and second year students within the MSFS program and across the university.”

Headshot of Therese

Misbah N. 
MSFS ’23, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

Misbah is a second-year MSFS Student Representative. She is specializing in Global Politics and Security. Last year, she was a Fellow for Dr. Vittori and a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Patel. Her goal as a MSFS Rep is to promote diversity within traditional international career paths through organizing high-level visits to embassies and multilateral organizations. She can usually be spotted on campus by her chai-filled, shiny purple mug. She has terrible taste in music and can occasionally seem omniscient in chess. Her weaknesses include pulling open the microwave before it beeps repeatedly.

Headshot of Misbah

Logan Petkosek 
MSFS ’23, Global Business, Finance, and Society (GBFS)

Logan Petkosek is a second year MSFS student concentrating in Global Business, Finance, and Society. Growing up, she moved around the world every 2 – 3 years with her military family but now calls Alexandria, Virginia home. She spent the last year in Slovakia as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant and previously worked at an entrepreneurship-focused non-profit organization. She has completed internships at United Way Worldwide and the International Studies Office at UVA, where she earned her B.A. in Economics and Foreign Affairs. Logan currently serves as a Fellow with Sustainable Capital Advisors. She is interested in sustainable finance, impact measurement, and impact investing. “After being totally virtual for my first year at MSFS, I decided to run for Reps after returning from my leave of absence to make sure MSFS feels like a community, especially for those who have also had non-traditional graduate school experiences. I look forward to organizing events that will bring students together and serving as a voice for the class.”

Headshot of Logan

Julio Salmeron Perla
MSFS ’24, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

I decided to run for MSFS Rep because I wanted to serve as the bridge between students, the administration, and the resources Georgetown offers. Most importantly, I was eager to implement new initiatives to enhance our collective experience over the next two years.

Photo of Julio at Georgetown.

Brendan Stewart 
MSFS ’23, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

Brendan Stewart is a second-year MSFS student concentrating in Global Politics and Security. His hobbies include fishing, cooking, and movies. Brendan joined the MSFS Reps because he likes being actively involved in his community.

Headshot of Brendan

Tyler Vail
MSFS ’24, Global Politics and Security (GPS)

Tyler was born January 30th , 1994, in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in the suburbs of Denver and joined the US Army after graduating from Dakota Ridge High School in 2012. He graduated in 2018 from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, working as a non- commissioned officer with US Army Special Operations Command during multiple deployments across Africa and South America. He speaks French fluently and holds a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Maryland. Currently, he is a graduate student pursuing an M.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Tyler is serving as a student Representative to better develop his leadership capacity, and to serve his cohort and the larger Georgetown community.

Headshot of Tyler