AGS Student Council
We are a group of undergraduates who support the mission of AGS by helping to advise the leadership about programming, assist in event execution, and coordinate mentoring opportunities, activities, and other series to support students in the larger Duke community. We provide a student perspective to help AGS create a space for all students to learn, engage, and collaborate.
What We Do
- Assist with advertising events and marketing other programming and curriculum
- Support events through attendance, written after-event reports, and during-event social media broadcasting
- Advise AGS leadership with programming, curriculum, and community engagement
- Provide published or publishable material for the AGS website and social media
- Manage the Council recruitment process
- Create opportunities for mentoring and community engagement
- Support AGS leadership with miscellaneous tasks
We value inclusiveness, celebrating the diverse strengths, experiences, backgrounds, interests, beliefs, perspectives, and voices of all members of our community. We value open-mindedness and treat others with respect. We honor intellectual curiosity through active engagement within our community, programming, and curriculum. We hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards of integrity, scholarship, acceptance, and professionalism, and we value collaboration with the student body to continually grow and evolve. For more information on our commitments to these values, please read here.
Student Council Bios
AGS Council Co-Chair
Emma Dries, Class of 2022, is a Public Policy major and Spanish minor from Princeton, New Jersey. She is broadly interested in United States and Latin American relations as well as photojournalism. On campus, Emma is involved as an undergraduate researcher for Duke Bass Connections' North Carolina Early Childhood Action Plan and a photographer for Campus Enterprises. In the summer of 2020, Emma researched the impact of COVID-19 on Latin America and designed a contact tracing policy proposal to aid Paraguayan contact tracers in slowing the pandemic's spread. Emma is proficient in Spanish and hopes to become proficient in French in the upcoming year. In her free time, Emma enjoys running, cooking, and hiking.
AGS Council Co-Chair
Kyle Melatti, Class of 2022, is a public policy and economics major from Las Vegas, NV. He is a first-generation American with Brazilian heritage. He is interested in national security, Latin American politics, and public finance. Kyle serves as a TK Fellow at the Kenan Institute for Ethics and as a Senator in Duke Student Government for Durham and Regional Affairs. He additionally serves as President of Duke Students for Education Reform and as a Research Assistant in the Sanford School. This past summer, he studied abroad in the Duke in Geneva program for International Business and Philosophy of Globalization. After graduating, Kyle plans to attend graduate school in law or public policy, with the goal of eventually running for office. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
AGS Council Co-Chair
Sara Scanlan, Class of 2023, is a prospective Political Science and Public Policy major from Greenwich, Connecticut. She is broadly interested in diplomacy, national security, and political economy. On campus, Sara is involved with Women in Politics and is a member of the Duke women’s club lacrosse team. In the summers of 2018 and 2019, Sara was a sailing instructor at her local community sailing school. In the spring of 2019, she interned at a private equity firm furthering her interest in the financial sector of international affairs. Sara hopes to become proficient in Spanish while at Duke. In her free time, Sara enjoys travelling, skiing, reading, and baking.
AGS Council Intergroup/Outreach Liaison
Grayson Real, Class of 2022, is from Southern California, studying political and computer science. Her primary interests are in cyber warfare, national security, and foreign policy, especially in regard to counterterrorism. On campus, Grayson plans events for Duke’s Association for the Middle East, contributes to Duke’s art and culture magazine, FORM, and mentors middle school girls in the Durham community. Last summer, Grayson spent time in Morocco and Tunisia studying Arabic and the intersection of religion and politics. She also served as an ambassador for an American-Ecuadorian NGO, coordinating fundraisers and visiting the various partner organizations in Ambato, Ecuador. After graduation, Grayson hopes to pursue a graduate degree in either law or security studies. She is proficient in Spanish and plans to continue learning Arabic.
Kamran Kara-Pabani, Class of 2022, is a prospective economics and computer science major and philosophy minor from London, UK, now residing in Philadelphia. His interests include international cooperation and national security law, especially in the emerging realms of cyber and artificial intelligence. Kam is mainly focused on conflict issues between near-equal rivals such as China and Russia. At Duke, he is involved in the Campus Enterprises Brand Ambassador program, club tennis, and DukeGive, a service providing GED tutoring to adults in the Durham area. Kam has worked as an instructor at the Horizons Institute of Technology and on his own startup ventures, continuing to pursue entrepreneurship at university. In the summer of 2019, Kam hopes to complete the DukeEngage program or work in the national security arena. He is proficient in Spanish.
Elise Bousquette, Class of 2022, is from New York City, and plans to double-major in political science and Chinese. She is specifically interested in US-China relations and US national security in general. Outside of her role on AGS, Elise is an Alexander Hamilton Society office and a four-year Army ROTC scholarship winner. In the past, she has interned for her senator, Senator Schumer. She also spent a month in a Mandarin immersion program, with the goal of ultimately becoming fluent. In her free time, Elise can be found playing basketball, looking for new music or planning her next trip abroad.
Gary (Xiangyu) Zheng, Class of 2022, is considering major in political science and economics from Guangzhou, China. His primary interests lie in Asia Pacific, forced migration, human rights, international economics, trade, political theory, and ethics. Before coming to Duke, Gary conducted research on China’s moral obligations to Syrian refugees under the mentorship of a NYU professor. At Duke, Gary is involved with Duke East Asia Nexus, represents freshmen from China at Chinese Student Association, volunteers for the Kenan Refugee Project, and serves on the student advisory board of Duke Human Rights Center. Gary also joined Professor Dirk Philipsen’s Bass Connection team. With the team he researches a more sustainable model for economic development as an alternative to the current growth-driven, market-based economy. Gary speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and German.
Nicholas DeParle, Class of 2022, is a prospective public policy major from Washington, D.C. Nick’s interests include American political history, presidential leadership, journalism, and foreign policy. He was a 2018 intern in The Office of Barack and Michelle Obama and previously interned at J Street, a pro-Israel lobbying group that advocates a two-state solution. His essay on displaced persons in Iraq won the American Foreign Service Association’s National High School Essay Contest in 2017. Nick runs HOPE for Honduras, a project that raises money to send poor children to school in the village of La Entrada. He is proficient in Spanish.
Alice Wu, Class of 2022, is from Cleveland, Ohio and plans to major in public policy and pursue a certificate in markets and management. She is particularly interested in the role of foreign assistance in bolstering national security, as well as the growing influence of cyber in foreign and domestic affairs. On campus, Alice is involved with the Cyber Team, Business Oriented Women, and serves as a freshman small group leader for Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She is a former UNICEF National Council member and is the current Philanthropy and Intellectual Engagement Chair for Cooper SLG. Last summer, she interned with mental health nonprofits in Durham, NC and Durham, UK as a part of the DukeEngage Durham program. She is proficient in Mandarin and Spanish.
Ashil Jhaveri, class of 2022, is a Political Science and Computer Science double-major from New Jersey. His interests include international humanitarian law, cybersecurity policy, and conflict resolution. On campus, he is an editor for the Duke Political Review, serves as a Senator on the Durham & Regional Affairs committee of Duke Student Government, and is on the Club Golf team. He also tutors young adults working towards their high school equivalency diploma at the Durham Literacy Center. Last summer he completed a research project with the Union County, New Jersey Public Defender’s Office examining the effects of a 2016 cash bail reform law. He has also interned at the offices of US Senator Cory Booker and State Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. During his free time, Ashil can be found playing basketball, listening to classic rock, reading a book, or eating ice cream.
Caroline Anderson [studying abroad fall semester 2021]
Caroline Anderson, class of 2022, is from Ponte Vedra Florida and plans to major in Biology with a concentration in Genetics. She is interested in combining her interests in national security with epidemiology through defenses against biological and chemical warfare. Outside of her role on AGS, Caroline is a 4-year Navy ROTC scholarship winner and works on Bass connections. This past summer, she spent her time on summer cruise for Navy ROTC. She is a Hertog fellow and was accepted to the Nuclear Weapons program. In her free time, Caroline enjoys practicing Krav Maga and watching movies with friends.
Weston Lindner, Class of 2022, from Liberty Township, Ohio. He majors in mathematics and political science. He is interested in issues like climate change, inter-branch war power dynamics, and Russia. He is also interested in work that brings quantitative insights to qualitative questions of political science. As a Robertson Scholar, Weston has full student privileges at both Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His coursework has included the graduate level American Grand Strategy seminar at Duke and a course in the Peace, War, and Defense program at UNC taught by Admiral Dennis Blair. In addition to AGS Council, Weston is involved around campus with the Visions of Freedom Living Learning Community, Moot Court, the Student Government Judiciary, and the Student Conduct Board.
Daniel Billings, Class of 2023, is a prospective History and Political Science major from London, England. He is broadly interested in European Union and the trans-Atlantic alliance. On campus, Daniel is involved in club tennis and is a research assistant to both Drew Shindell and Elizabeth Losos on environmental policy. After graduation, Daniel plans to pursue a Masters in European politics or attend law school either in Europe or the US. In his free time, he can be found watching the BBC, learning a new language, attending the Globe theatre or spending time with his brothers.
Hanna Rumsey, Class of 2022, is a prospective Political Science and English major from San Francisco, California. She is broadly interested in US Military Policy and alliances, specifically NATO. Outside of her position on the AGS council, Hanna is an active member of the Duke International Relations Association and is involved in Jewish life on campus. Hanna has worked as an intern in the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein and served as a page in the United States Senate. She was also a Sunday School teacher and a peer mentor for students with learning disabilities throughout high school. After graduation, Hanna hopes to return to San Francisco to teach a course on American Foreign Policy at her high school before eventually working in government. In her free time, Hanna can be found hiking, golfing, reading Shakespeare, or planning elaborate vacations she’ll never take.
Darren Janz, Class of 2023, is a prospective political science and public policy major from Wilmington, North Carolina. His academic and career interests include comparative politics, democratization, election monitoring, and constitutional design. Outside of AGS, Darren serves as a research assistant for the Department of Political Science, an officer for Amnesty International and the Alexander Hamilton Society, and an incoming contributor to the Duke Political Review and the Duke Undergraduate Law Magazine. He has also served as a page in the United States Senate and an intern for various local and state-level political campaigns and legislative offices. After graduating, Darren hopes to pursue further education in political science or public policy and eventually work for a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening democratic institutions in developing countries. In his free time, Darren enjoys planning road trips and spending time outdoors.
AGS Council Alumni Liaison
Brent Katz, Class of 2023, is a prospective public policy major from Port Washington, New York and is deeply fascinated by global and domestic politics, culture and food around the world, and history. At Duke, he is a new member of AGS council and is on the campus initiatives committee for the Duke Political Union. Before enrolling at Duke, Brent was an active member of his diverse community in New York, peer tutoring, facilitating a platform for political discourse, and raising money for America’s veterans. He spent his last two summers researching the relationship between immigrant legal status and mobility, interning for the Bezos Family Foundation, advocating with the American Jewish Committee, and organizing mentors to help low-income peers manage the college application process. After college, Brent will likely attend law school and pursue a career in government and policy. He is proficient in Spanish and plans to study Japanese.
AGS Council Social Media Coordinator
Peter Connolly, Class of 2023, is a prospective Political Science or Public Policy major from Boston, Massachusetts with a strong interest in international politics and national security. On campus, Peter is involved with the Men’s Club Baseball Team and the Alexander Hamilton Society. Peter served as a Congressional Intern for Congressman Joe Kennedy III, which solidified his interest in politics and taught him the inner workings of a district office. In his free time, Peter manages his blog for millennials, millennialpolitics2k.com, where he writes and edits opinions articles on U.S. politics and international affairs. Peter hopes to become fluent in Spanish by the time he graduates, with a possible minor in Spanish. He also enjoys skiing, spending time with family and travelling.
Alexander Glick, Class of 2023, is a prospective public policy major from Manhasset, New York. Alex is interested in the preservation of civil liberties, environmental policy, and foreign relations with an emphasis on the Middle East. He was one of the first two interns on the Max Rose for Congress campaign in NY-11, interned for Changing the Conversation Together, which is a non-profit promoting civility and tolerance in political discourse, and was a co-sponsor of a Rosen for Nevada event in New York City, directly leading to the raising of over $25,000. Alex also attended the 2017 ACLU Advocacy Summer Institute. He hopes to work in foreign policy areas in the future.
Adam Israelevitz, Class of 2023, is pursuing a major in political science, certificate in decision science, and a minor in Arabic. He grew up in New York City and is a dual citizen of the United States and Israel. Adam is particularly interested in Arabian politics and issues pertaining to global perceptions of world order within international relations. Specifically, his current studies focus on decision-making game theory modeling and global jihadism. On campus, Adam is conducts research with a Bass Connections team designed to better understand how the Coronavirus Pandemic has impacted North Carolinian voting rights and is a Blue Devil tour guide. Last summer, Adam worked at the nonpartisan nonprofit YouCanVote to increase voter access in Hoke and Alamance counties and is an incoming intern at the U.S. House of Representatives for Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. He is conversational in Hebrew and plans to develop proficiency in Arabic during his remaining time at Duke.
Deborah Ades, Class of 2023, is from São Paulo, Brazil but has also lived in Miami, Florida. She is double majoring in Public Policy and History with concentrations in Foreign policy and the Middle East, with a minor in French. Deborah is also fluent in Portuguese. She is broadly interested in the Middle East/North Africa region, with a particular focus on international law, national security, and diplomacy. Deborah has been a research assistant for Dr. Eric Mlyn and is currently a research assistant for Professor Abdeslam Maghraoui working on an open-access journal database for scholars in the MENA region. On campus, Deborah is also involved in Challah for Hunger and Women in Politics. This summer she will be interning for Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) in Washington DC and hopes to study abroad in Paris, France next year. In her free time, Deborah enjoys cooking, skiing, and hiking.
Joseph (Jack) Kochansky
Joseph (Jack) Kochansky, Class of 2023, is an economics and environmental policy double major from Bronxville, New York. He is particularly interested in the intersection of climate change, renewable energy, and national security. Outside of AGS, Jack is an analyst for the Duke Impact Investing Group, a columnist for the Duke Political Review, and a new member of the Energy Club. He formerly co-chaired Duke Students for Biden and participated in DukeEngage Brazil last summer, exploring clean energy diplomacy in South America. In 2019, Jack interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Drug Pricing Lab in New York City, conducting health policy research. He speaks French proficiently and hopes to spend a semester in Paris before graduation. In his free time, Jack enjoys running, playing chess, and watching Duke basketball.
Ritika Saligram, Class of 2023, is from Houston, and is pursuing a political science major with a minor in history and a certificate in Markets and Management Studies. She grew up in Florence, Italy, which is where she first discovered her interest in international relations. Ritika is interested in national security and counterterrorism issues, with a regional focus on the Middle East. In particular, her studies focus on the global jihad movement and its interaction with U.S. foreign policy. On campus, Ritika is a research assistant to Professor Peter Feaver and a part of Duke Out of the Blue Acapella. Last summer, Ritika worked for The Borgen Project as an advocate for U.S. policy initiatives to combat global poverty. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career in security risk analysis. Ritika is fluent in 5 languages and hopes to add Arabic to her list after she graduates. In her free time, Ritika can always be found with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Kaleb Amare, Class of 2023, is a political science major from Dallas, Texas. He is a first-generation American of Ethiopian descent. Broadly, he is interested in the Horn of Africa and America’s future in the region. On-campus, Kaleb is involved in mock trial and over the summer, he was a fellow with the North Carolina Democratic Party. After graduation, Kaleb plans to attend law school and in his free time, he enjoys reading history books and watching basketball.
Samuel (Sam) Reynoldson
Samuel (Sam) Reynoldson, Class of 2023, is a public policy and political science major from rural Iowa. Sam is interested in all things international relations, from development and trade to national security, with a special interest in environmental policy. He realized his interest in foreign policy in his first semester at Duke when he took a class on the Middle East and terrorism taught by David Schanzer. He has worked on Congressional and Presidential political campaigns and is a Duke Chapel Student Ambassador. In 2020, Sam worked for Iowa Legal Aid, assisting migrants in the state through the immigration process. After Duke, he hopes to go to law school, pursue a career in diplomacy, and someday run for office. For leisure, Sam enjoys playing sports, traveling, and listening to Henry Kissinger.”
Eleanor Ross, Class of 2024, is a prospective International Comparative Studies Major focusing on French, Arabic, and Wolof and understanding the culture and politics of Africa's Sahel region and the Middle East. Before Duke, Eleanor spent a gap year in Taiba Ndiaye, Senegal, where she learned Wolof (Senegal's lingua franca) and assisted in teaching English at the local high school. She then worked as an Absentee Ballot Clerk at the Charleston County, South Carolina Board of Elections. At Duke, Eleanor is active in non-partisan voting initiatives including spearheading Bull City Vote's Duke outreach during the 2020 election and starting the KIDZ VOTE club to promote early voting engagement in schools. Eleanor also writes biographies for the Dictionary of Art Historians and reports for Durham's 9th Street Journal. This summer she hopes to study in Dakar, Senegal to continue expanding her knowledge of the country and region.
Evelyn Shi, Class of 2024, is from Shanghai, China and plans to major in public policy and biology. She is broadly interested in U.S.-China relations, as well as global health policy. At Duke, Evelyn is a graphics editor and staff writer for The Chronicle and a research assistant at the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. She is also involved in Duke International Relations Association and Business Oriented Women. Prior to Duke, Evelyn founded Xiaohusai, a social enterprise selling tea to sponsor girls' healthcare in tea-farming villages in China. She speaks Mandarin and Swedish, and can be found drawing comics or exercising in her free time.
Evan Chan, Class of 2024, is a prospective public policy major from Chapel Hill, NC. She is interested in foreign service, the Middle East, and domestic and international counterterrorism efforts. She interned at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, working as a lab technician on intravaginal rings preventing pregnancy and HIV. She spent a summer in Peru, studying the country’s healthcare system and public health. At Duke, Evan is involved in Mock Trial—spending much of her time in practice. Evan has studied Spanish for four years and hopes to eventually learn Arabic. In her free time, she likes to read, go on walks on campus, and is trying to learn how to embroider.
Rohan Gupta, Class of 2024, is an Economics major from Nashville, Tennessee. His interests in regards to foreign policy mainly reside in Sino-Pacific affairs and Eastern European geopolitical growth. Alongside serving as a member of AGS Council, Rohan is a research assistant with the Margolis Center on Health Policy working to publish his findings on the effectiveness of hypertension intervention in Black men. He also serves as a research assistant with Duke’s Department of Political Science working to investigate and quantify changing racial attitudes in the American South. In the summer of 2021, Rohan is working with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as an analyst for military and economic developments in the Middle East and the Balkans. After college, Rohan hopes to attend medical school and eventually work in the health policy field. He is UN-certified fluent in Spanish, and spends his free time learning photography, working on cars, and reading.
Ruthie Kesri, Class of 2024, is a prospective Political Science and Global Health major from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Her interests include international humanitarian law, cybersecurity policy, and the national security implications of conflict resolution. On campus, Ruthie is a part of the Baldwin Scholars program, serves as a Divisional Vice President for Duke-UNICEF, and is involved in the Cyber Team and the Polarization Lab. She also works as a policy research assistant for the Wilson Center for Science and Justice as well as a research analyst examining theoretical determinants of collective action in the contexts of global power struggles for the Duke Department of Political Science. Ruthie has worked as an intern in the office of Congressman Brett Guthrie and served as a Page in the United States Senate. This summer, Ruthie will be working with the Duke Law Center for Criminal Justice and Professional Responsibility analyzing the effectiveness of the Duke-based Innocence Project.
Former Student Council Members by Class Year:
2021: Ethan Astrachan, Reiss Becker, Carter Forinash, Spencer Kaplan, Anna Klingensmith, Rahul Krishnaswamy, Phil Ma, Jimmy Toscano, Victoria Sorhegui
2020: Sebastian Borda, Bo Carlson, Ketan Gupta, Isabel Ivanescu, Max Labaton, Akanksha Ray, Cecilia Wu, Angela Zhou
2019: Paul Forrester, Henry Kistler, Sabriyya Pate, Asa Royal, Sarah Sibley, Elle Winfield, Ines Jordan Zoob
2018: Sanjeev Dasgupta, Blair Horner, Aateeb Khan, Matthew T. King, Amy Kramer, Aron Rimanyi, Dejana Saric, Akshaya Trivedi
2017: Hannah Barton, Mark Botterill, Sean Callan, Tyler Coe, Gautam Hathi, Adam Lemon, Dana Raphael