2022 TSPPPA Newsletter

Message from the Director
Alumni Class Notes
Faculty Kudos

Message from the Director


Mary Tschirhart

Dear Alumni,

I hope this year brings you more hope and joy than the last, despite new and continuing challenges to address. Our school continues to promote democratic governance and provide tools and knowledge helpful in the pursuit of effective policy and management. This annual newsletter highlights some of our Trachtenberg community activities and outcomes. 

We have enhanced opportunities to connect with other members of the Trachtenberg School community. Please sign up for our monthly “Trachtenberg News” for regular touchpoints. I also encourage you to join one or more TSPPPA Student and Alumni Virtual Networking events and save the date for our TSPPPA Alumni Awards party on September 30 during the GW family alumni weekend. Our career services continue to be available to you. There are many ways for you to be active in our TSPPPA community, for example, as mentors to students, course guest speakers, career panelists, council volunteers and donors. If you would like to get more involved, bring us ideas to forward our mission or have news to share, please reach out to me.

With best wishes,

Mary Tschirhart, PhD

TSPPPA Director and Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Professor in Public Affairs






TSPPPA Ranks among the Best in Country

TSPPPA was ranked 12th overall among graduate programs for public affairs in the latest report by U.S. News and World Report of top programs in the country—up from the 19th slot last year. Nine of our specialty areas were in the top 2 percent to 7 percent of ranked schools. The rankings were featured in CCAS Spotlight.





Saving MLK: Alumnus Author Recounts King’s Days of Peril

Martin Luther King Jr. faced a harrowing nine days in a dangerous prison in 1960. In his book, Paul Kendrick, BA ’05, MPA ’07, tells how King’s ordeal changed politics as we know it. He was profiled in the CCAS Spotlight magazine.




Coast Guard Alumni Serve Ships and Shores

As Coast Guard officers, TSPPPA alumni like Captain Zeita Merchant, MPA ’10, are trailblazers, lifesavers and among the nation’s leading military minds. They were featured in the CCAS Spotlight magazine.

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Alumni Class Notes


  • Buenafe Alinio, PhD ’08, teaches in the doctoral program and the master’s program at the College of Public Administration of the University of Northern Philippines, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, Philippines. 
  • Nancy Augustine, BA 07, PhD ’06, is director of the newly formed Center for Intergovernmental Partnerships at the National Academy of Public Administration.
  • Tyler Bailey, MA ’16, works in equity research as an associate with Needham & Company in New York City. He covers clean tech public companies such as Enphase, Chargepoint and Solid Power.
  • Ryan Baker, PhD ’20, joined the Center for Naval Analyses as a full-time research analyst.
  • Nathan Bell, MPP ’12, is the director of governance and special projects at the American Educational Research Association.
  • Amy Berman, MPP ’10, is a second-career history teacher in her ninth year of education. She is a teacher of history and politics at Convent of the Sacred Heart on 91st Street, New York City's oldest independent all-girls school for students Pre-K to 12.
  • Angela Bernhardt, MA ’91, is the vice president of communications at Pure Earth, the leading global nonprofit addressing the pollution crisis in low and middle-income countries.
  • Larry Boyer, MPA ’95, is a sought-after speaker for businesses and agencies to understand the impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and disruption on their missions and operations. He has been named a top thought leader by Onalytica and Thinkers 360.
  • Jason Briggs, MPP ’13, is a team lead at the U.S. State Department's Office of Pakistan Affairs. His team covers assistance, congressional and consular affairs.
  • Christina (Sgroi) Condrey, MPA ’02, is the director of administration for the School of Language Studies at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State. She has been with department for 20 years in various bureaus.
  • Kathleen Coulombe, MPP ’06, is the vice president of retirement security and principal deputy of federal relations for the American Council of Life Insurers. She also sits on the board of directors for Women in Government Relations as Treasurer.
  • Diana (Ridgway) Davidson, MPA ’82, retired from a career with Fairfax County, Va., government and also consulted for nonprofits, did mediation and became a yoga instructor. She lives with husband and neuropsychologist, Dale Davidson, in Annapolis, Md.
  • Antonio Diaz Agosto, MPA ’20, is a budget analyst for the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C. 
  • Andrew Dumont, MPP ’12, is a senior community development analyst at the Federal Reserve Board. He recently co-edited Investing in Rural Prosperity, a book on how to effectively support access to economic opportunity across rural America.
  • Peter Duyshart, MPA ’21, is a health care policy specialist with the Legislative Practice Group of Arnold & Porter. He lives in Washington, D.C. 
  • Emily (Feldman) Feltren, MPP ’11, is director of government relations at the American Association of Law Libraries. She was selected to the Government Relations and Advocacy Professionals Advisory Council for ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. 
  • Alan Gibson, BA ’70, MPA ’72, retired from the federal government in 2013. 
  • Carly Gordon, MPA ’19, lives in Arlington with her partner. She works at the same consulting firm she joined after leaving graduate school. 
  • Nabil Haque, MA ’11, is a research fellow at Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) Asia center in Bangkok, Thailand. He is also the platform manager for SEI's online tool Aid Atlas that is used to explore global development finance. 
  • Alexis Hasty, MPP ’21, is a senior consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton, specializing in Defense Congressional affairs. 
  • R.J. Hinkemeyer, MPP ’82, will publish Sins of Stone, his third book in his Maryland Mystery series, later this year. The second work in the series, Confessions of the Soul, was published in 2020. 
  • Grant Holyoak, MPP ’18, is a foreign service officer for the U.S. State Department, currently posted as a vice consul at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. 
  • Garrett Jackson, MPP ’13, is the director of resource development and communications at the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing. 
  • Roger Justice, MPA ’72, retired from the plastics industry as regional manufacturing director of five manufacturing plants located in three states. He retired to Louisville, Ky., in 2014 with his wife, Sandra. 


  • Skylar Knight, MPA ’21, moved back to Virginia to work in the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, after graduating from TSPPPA, and was also subsequently selected as a presidential management finalist for the Class of 2022.
  • Kai Martin, MPP ’21, began her career as a grants manager for her capstone client, Immigrants Rising, after graduating from TSPPPA. Through her new role, she continues to provide advocacy and business support to undocumented communities. 
  • Mike McDavit, MPA ’00, retired from the Environmental Protection Agency last year and now teaches environmental science as an adjunct at Montgomery College, Md. He also serves on the faculty for George Mason University's Washington Youth Summit on the Environment. 
  • Marcus Melton, MPA ’99, is a managing director at KPMG. He lives in Poolesville, Md. 
  • Andrew Miller, MPA ’20, is a legislative specialist at Clark Hill PLC in the Washington, D.C., office.
  • Karissa Minnich, MPA ’16, was promoted to manage a new team of civic designers working to make government services more accessible after five years at The Lab @ D.C. in the D.C. mayor's office.  
  • Henry Moy, BBA ’75, MPA ’81, retired in 2015 as a field supervisor for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Since then, he has enjoyed traveling and serving on the boards of directors of two commercial banks located in the New York metropolitan area.
  • Judith Murphy, PhD ’12, completed teaching her seventh running of Writing for International Affairs for GW's Elliott School of International Affairs in February 2022 and has been on the Elliott School's part-time faculty since 2017.
  • Tony Palermo, BA ’91, MPA ’93, is the assistant director of community development for the City of Fort Myers, Fla. He is also on the board of directors for the Calusa Chapter of the Florida Planning and Zoning Association and is the vice chair for section affairs for the American Planning Association's Florida Chapter.
  • Victoria Parsons, MPA ’17, was honored in 2021 as one of South Florida's Most Powerful & Influential Business Leaders and a 40u40 Leader by Legacy South Florida Magazine. She is a founding partner of Palm Global Consulting, based in West Palm Beach, Florida.
  • Muhamad Perkasa, MPhil ’11, took office in November 2021 as Indonesia's top new military officer. 
  • John Perrino, BA ’15, MPA ’20, is a policy analyst at the Stanford Internet Observatory where he builds engagement and helps translate research for digital trust, safety and security issues.
  • Brendan Philip, MPA ’21, completed a fellowship at the Environmental Protection Agency, working on ocean and coastal management programs. He is now at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, coordinating national ocean policy.
  • Evan Pretzlaff, MPA ’18, is a consultant for Logistics Management Institute, providing support to his U.S. Department of Homeland Security client through program management and formal acquisition support.
  • Jolito Rivera, MPP ’19, is a consultant at Deloitte within the GPS practice, doing strategy and analytics work. In his role, he helps clients solve complex problems by helping them leverage their data using tools such as Python, Tableau, PowerBI, SQL, etc.
  • Dave Ruhlig, MPA ’18, took command of the United States Coast Guard's largest boat station located in New York City in June 2021.
  • Diego Scharifker, MPA ’21, is a founding member of the board of advisors of the Venezuelan American Caucus, an advocacy group for Venezuelan-Americans across the U.S.
  • John Topinka, MPA ’83, completed his PhD in public administration after 25 years in the Miami-Dade County government. Over the past nine years, he has been an assistant professor and the coordinator of the MPA program at the University of Memphis.
  • Carrie Warick-Smith, BA ’06, MPP ’08, began her role as vice president, public policy for the Association of Community College Trustees on January 31.
  • Jacqueline Wheeler, MPA ’20, is working through her first legislative session as a fiscal analyst with the Washington State House of Representatives. She serves as non-partisan committee staff to the House Appropriations Committee.

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Faculty Kudos


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