Grace Wankelman

Grace was born and raised in Colorado and studied as a Daniels Fund Scholar at the University of Denver. She graduated with distinction in June 2022 with majors in international studies and political science and minors in economics and race and ethnic studies. She wrote her undergraduate honor’s thesis on the subnational impact of wartime sexual violence on post-conflict gendered economic outcomes in Guatemala. Throughout her time at the DU she has studied abroad twice to learn about the politics of Germany and post-conflict politics of the Balkans. She has worked on a variety of political campaigns at the national, state, and local levels for both issues and candidates. She has worked for many years to reduce gender-based violence and support women’s rights through her work in student government, with resource centers, and when she co-founded a non-profit, the Do Better Campaign, that works with advocates and organizations around the world to reduce gender-based violence in education. Grace is passionate about human rights at every level and fascinated by how we can promote and protect them through a security approach.


Makhaela French

Outreach and Engagement Intern, Winter 2020 — Spring 2021

Makhaela French is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada and an alumna of Norfolk State University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Ms. French is currently a HBCU Fellow at Columbia University where she is obtaining her master’s degree in Nonprofit Management. Makhaela one day plans to impact underserved communities through education, entrepreneurship, and leadership in order to change the lives of youth within marginalized communities.

Magdalena Baranowska

Magdalena Baranowska is a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, completing a Master of Arts in Strategy, Intelligence and Cybersecurity. Her primary interests lie in Russian strategic thinking and security policies of Eastern Central European states. Magda is a graduate of the Joint Degree Programme with the College of William & Mary and the University of St Andrews, where she studied International Relations. She has previously worked with the Wilson Center, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland on issues related to international and transatlantic security.

Abigail McDonough

Abigail McDonough was born and raised in southern New Hampshire where she completed twelve years of Waldorf education, graduating from High Mowing School in the spring of 2020. She is currently an undergraduate student at American University’s School of International Service. Abigail is majoring in International Studies and plans to have concentrations in Foreign Policy and National Security as well as Global Security and Conflict Resolution. She is studying French and pursuing a regional focus in Europe and Eurasia. During the summer of 2021, Abigail was selected for and participated in the Center for a New American Security’s Wargaming and Russia Crisis Simulation. She is a 2022 National Security Fellow for Girl Security’s spring cohort. Abigail is passionate about human rights and aspires to contribute to positive change in the international community and work toward bettering and protecting the United States.