Alumni Advisory Board

The Center for Advanced Governmental Studies Alumni Advisory Board is a resource for current students and alumni who seek career advice and networking. The Board is comprised of alumni who have achieved a wide-set of accomplishments in diverse fields of both the public and private sectors. Alumni on the board serve on a voluntary basis. The Center will host a career networking reception in the fall for students to meet Board Members.

If you are interested in contacting a member of the Alumni Advisory Board, please email

Kristen Soltis Anderson, MA in Government, 2009


Kristen Soltis Anderson is a Republican researcher and strategist and a columnist at The Daily Beast. She previously served as Vice President of The Winston Group, a Washington DC-based opinion research and political communications firm where she spent eight years studying emerging trends in politics and policy. In 2013, she was named one of TIME magazine’s “30 under 30 Changing the World,” National Journal magazine’s “25 Most Influential Women in Washington Under 35” and one of Marie Claire magazine’s “New Guard” of the 50 most connected rising female leaders. She is currently working on book about what data will mean for the 2016 election and beyond for Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, due for publication in the spring of 2015.

Anderson appears on programs such as CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” She has written for U.S. News and World Report and Huffington Post Pollster. Her research on the youth vote has been featured in a 2013 New York Times Magazine cover story, “Can the Republicans be Saved from Obsolescence?” She has also written for POLITICO, Campaigns & Elections magazine, National Review Online’s “The Corner,” and The Orlando Sentinel. Anderson has been published in academic journals and contributed a chapter to Margin of Victory: How Technologists Help Politicians Win Elections on the subject of polling and trends in opinion research. Her graduate thesis research on young voters, “The Vanishing Young Republicans: How the Republican Party Can Win Back the Youth Vote” received “Best Thesis” honors from Johns Hopkins University.

David Black, MA in Government, 2010


David Black is the Deputy Director of Washington Affairs of Union Pacific Corporation and its subsidiary, Union Pacific Railroad. In this position, Black is responsible for issues dealing with transportation and the railroad. In addition to representing the company in these areas, he is responsible for the administration of the Fund for Effective Government, the corporation’s political action committee. Previously, he had been manager – Political Programs. Prior to joining the Corporation, Black held various roles in marketing, sales, and logistics in the Agricultural Products and Coal departments with Union Pacific Railroad in Omaha, Neb. Originally from Grand Island, Neb., he has also spent time working in both official and political capacities with several members of Congress and the White House.

Black holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Creighton University and a master’s degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University. While at Hopkins, Black was a recipient of the Bryce Harlow Fellowship. His master’s thesis explored: “Testing the Streams of Theory of the Public Policy Process: Using Three Case Studies in the Field of U.S. Freight Policy.”

Paul Burden, MA in Government, 2007


Paul Burden is CEO of Dalton S. McCain Corp., a firm focused on offering sales resources to startup companies. He is a former teacher of Government and Politics as well as History at Washington Christian Academy. Burden joined Exxon Office Systems Federal Division in 1981 where he rose to General Manager of National Federal Marketing. Paul moved to Microsoft Corp. in 1985 to establish a worldwide Federal Division for the company. In his 13 years at Microsoft, Paul grew the business from revenues of less than $1M to over $225M. He then joined Cyveillance Corp. as Vice President of Government Markets, where he established that company’s Federal Division. During his career in technology, Burden founded Sundance Replicas which creates unique products sold into the real estate and golf markets. He sold the company in 2007 and most recently co-founded Sky-Fi Studios, a company providing drone photography services to the real estate and golf markets. Paul earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from FSU and wrote his JHU masters thesis on the Office of White House Faith Based Initiatives.

Martin Burns, MA in Government, 1999


Martin has worked for the past 20 years at AARP, where he is currently Manager of Political Intelligence in AARP’s Campaigns Department. Like many of his colleagues, Martin has spent much of the last couple of years absorbed in the health care reform debate, where he coordinated communications around the campaign with AARP’s 53 state offices. Before AARP, Martin worked for Representative Robert Mrazek (D-NY) in both his reelection campaigns as well as in his District and Capitol Hill Offices and also in journalism and as an analyst for Cooper and Secrest, a nationally known Democratic polling firm.

He graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with special honors awarded for his senior thesis: “Psychohistory and International Relations – the Theory and a Case.” (An examination of the decision making during the Cuban Missile Crisis.) He wrote his thesis at Johns Hopkins on the leadership styles of Speakers of the House of Representatives.

Eric Christopher, MA in Government, 2009


Eric currently works at the House of Representatives as a congressional liaison for the U.S. Army, providing support and advice to Members of Congress, committees and their primary staff on defense-related matters. Eric was commissioned as an Army infantry officer through ROTC at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. He has had leadership and staff assignments in both operations and foreign affairs, working with senior-level policy makers from the Department of Defense, interagency and embassies. He has had multiple overseas assignments, including a tour in Afghanistan where, in 2003, he was deployed as an embedded advisor to the Afghanistan National Army. He also holds an MBA from the JHU Carey Business School and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. The experience with JHU AAP remains the height of his professional endeavors. His thesis, “Non-lethal Doctrine: Globalization and Education Creating the Next Revolution in Military Affairs” won the prize for “Best Thesis” in the Area of Global Security Studies in 2009.

Christina Diamond, MA in Global Security Studies, 2012

Christina Diamond

Christina Diamond is a Foreign Affairs Specialist in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. Christina focuses primarily on NATO issues in which she specializes in deterrence and partnership policy. Her field of work ranges from enhancing NATO’s deterrence and defense posture to strengthening NATO’s relationship with partners across the globe.

While pursuing her Master’s degree, Christina worked for the Department of the Navy as a military analyst specializing in naval strategy and doctrine, operations, and tactics. Prior to that, Christina worked at SRA International, supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s Critical Infrastructure Protection program. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in Psychology and Peace, War, and Defense. Her JHU thesis was on “Deterrence in the 21st Century.”

Sean Evins, MA in Government, 2010

Sean Evins

Sean Evins is a Partnerships Manager for Government & Politics at Twitter. He is part of a team driving creative use of the Twitter platform by elected officials, government agencies and political campaigns from around the world to help them educate and inform citizens, increase responsiveness, and collect actionable feedback on public opinion.

Prior to joining Twitter, Sean worked on the House Administration Committee where he focused on franking communications and member and committee services, and served as floor assistant to the Chairman. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He received honors on his masters thesis, “Back to Basics: The Unintended Consequences of Federal Education Reform, Their Effects on Civic Education and the Need to Find Traditional Solutions.”

Scott Fisher, MA in Government, 2010


Scott Fisher serves as a Managing Partner at Gartner – a leading IT research and strategy consulting firm. Scott is responsible for project quality assurance and oversight, market strategy, solution architecture, and the coaching and mentoring of consulting personnel within the Defense and Intelligence domain. He has over 17 years of experience within the public and private sectors with emphasis on enterprise transformation, organizational change management, IT strategy and governance, business process reengineering, and human capital management.

Scott brings deep experience with the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Justice, and several NGOs. His programs support counter-terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation, border security, immigration policy, and detention management. Prior to his experience at Gartner, Scott served as the Consulting Services Practice Leader and Principal Executive for National Security for Capgemini – a global IT services and management consulting organization. He also served within Ernst & Young’s strategy and transformation practice supporting Coca-Cola, AT&T, Honda, and Marriott. Scott led several international development initiatives with the United Nations and Concern Worldwide to include mediation and conflict management training, NGO organization design, and policy analysis. _ Scott holds a BS from Vanderbilt. The title of his JHU thesis is “Nuclear Proliferation: The Impact on Regional Stability, The Non-Proliferation Regime, and US National Security.”

James Gauthier, MA in Government, 2014


James Gauthier is a principal lobbyist at The Livingston Group, where he works primarily in the Defense and Energy/Environment practices. James joined The Livingston Group in 2011 after serving on the staff of U.S. Senator Judd Gregg from 2006-2011. During this time period, he served as the Senator’s lead advisor on energy and environmental issues, and worked on a number of appropriations initiatives. James graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2004 with a bachelor of arts in political science. His capstone project was on “Social Security Solvency Options.”

Luke Goolsby, MA in Government, 2015

Luke Goolsby

University of Maryland (College Park), BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice – 2005;
Johns Hopkins University (Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences), MA in Government – 2015.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI): 2007-2011;
U.S. Department of State: 2011-Present.

Other part time employment:
University of Maryland: Mascot (2003-2006);
Baltimore Ravens: Mascot (2005-2008);
Background Actor: LOST, Hawaii 5-0, Cougar Town, Off the Map, Battleship (2009-2011).

Sarah Lovenheim Goldfarb, MA in Government, 2010


Sarah Lovenheim Goldfarb is Communications Director at Young Invincibles, a national non-profit working to engage young adults in top policy debates tied to health care, higher education and jobs. She joined Young Invincibles after directing communications for local and state-based campaigns, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s former senior advisors. She previously served as an aide to Senator Reid, helping to drive press coverage and to devise digital strategy.

Earlier, Ms. Lovenheim worked as an online editor and producer at The Washington Post for the Opinions and Politics sections. She began her career tracking and assessing political campaigns at National Journal’s Hotline. She is a board member of the Democratic Communicators’ Network, an organization for Capitol Hill press staff and alumni. She wrote her master’s thesis on: “U.S. Public Diplomacy in the Arab World: Why America’s Old Engagement Strategy is Failing and Needs a New Approach.”

Donald Gordon, MA in Public Management, 2017

Donald GordonDonald is an analytic manager in the Intelligence Community (IC), where his teams have been responsible for assessing the threat posed by terrorist and drug-trafficking organizations. Prior to becoming a manager, Donald served as one of the IC’s subject matter experts on Iraq-based terrorism. In this position, he authored numerous well-received papers that informed senior decisionmakers at the White House, Defense Department, and other parts of the federal government. He led his agency’s delegation to a National Intelligence Council exercise to help develop creative policy options to counter the rising terrorist threat in Iraq, which resulted in a meritorious citation from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

During his nearly twenty years in the national security field, Donald deployed to Bosnia and Iraq with his U.S. Army Reserve unit, worked a few years as a defense contractor, and since 2007 served as a federal employee. He also had the privilege to be selected for a year-long rotation as an intelligence briefer for the National Security Advisor and two deputies. Donald graduated with a B.S. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a M.A. in security studies from Georgetown University. The title of his JHU thesis is “Retaining Expertise in the Directorate of Analysis.”

Sadaf Khan, MA in Global Security Studies, 2014

Sadaf Khan is currently the Staff Director for the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. She has worked on Capitol Hill since 2008 where she has filled multiple roles including Legislative Assistance and Senior Policy Advisor to Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ). Legislative initiatives she helped shepherd through Congress revolve around global health, freedom of press, and foreign assistance. She has advised Members of Congress on a range of national security and foreign policy issues. Her other legislative areas of expertise include Middle Eastern, Asian and African foreign policy, as well as post-conflict stabilization, national defense, intelligence, and immigration. Sadaf double majored in Political Science and Media & Communication Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and received her graduate degree in Global Security Studies from Johns Hopkins University.

Marc Korman, MA in Government, 2007


Marc currently practices law at Sidley Austin LLP a firm in Washington, DC and has been a co-recipient of the firm’s Pro Bono Award. He is in the firm’s communications and transportation practice groups. From 2007 to 2014, Marc represented District 16 on the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, the governing body of the local Democratic Party. Marc is the immediate past chair of the Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board, which advises the Montgomery County Executive and County Council on local issues including land use, transportation, education, public safety, and budgetary matters. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, a non-profit organization which markets and manages downtown Bethesda. Prior to that, he earned his B.A. in History from the University of Southern California in 2002. While pursuing his Master’s at Johns Hopkins, Marc worked for two Democratic Members of Congress on an array of policy issues including transportation, healthcare, and the environment. Marc was the recipient of the 2007 Harold Seidman Award, writing a thesis on “The Essence of Statesmanship: The Need to Reform the Dual Vacancy Presidential Succession Statute.” Marc went on to receive his law degree from the University of Maryland where he graduated magna cum laude and was the recipient of the Public Service Award.

Matt Laslo, MA in Government, 2012

Matt-LasloBased on Capitol Hill, Matt Laslo is an award-winning reporter who has covered Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court since 2006. While he’s filed stories for NPR and more than 40 of its affiliates, his work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Campaigns and Elections Magazine, The Chattanooga Times Free Press, The Omaha World-Herald, and Washingtonian Magazine. He’s also the host and founder of – a show intended to rid Washington of partisanship through having casual pub chats with lawmakers.

Since 2009 he’s sat on the board at the Regional Reporters Association where he helps represent the dwindling numbers of regional reporters based in Washington. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Covenant College. He wrote his masters thesis (for which he received honors) on “Why Compromise Should Not Be A Dirty Word.”

Rachel W. Mack, MA in Government, 2008


Rachel Mack is an Associate Director of Government Affairs & Public Policy at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Ms. Mack focuses on issues that impact the biopharmaceutical industry including FDA product approvals, public health initiatives, appropriations, employer plans/commercial payers, Affordable Care Act implementation, patient access to medicines, and Medicaid. She works primarily with the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. _ Pior to joining Vertex in September 2010, Ms. Mack worked for Johnson & Johnson from 2005-2010. In her role at J&J she was responsible for federal advocacy of pharmaceutical-focused issues and also led all employee political engagement initiatives, including management of the federal grassroots and grasstops programs. Ms. Mack was also responsible for the management of J&J’s federal Political Action Committee.

Ms. Mack received her B.A. from the Pennsylvania State University. Her JHU Masters’ thesis was on: “The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: How Acrimonious Politics Rendered Effective Policy.”

Tom Manatos, MA in Government, 2010


Tom Manatos is the Director of Government Affairs at The Internet Association, a trade association representing America’s leading Internet companies and their global community of users. For the 11 years prior to his time at the Internet Association, Tom was a liaison to House Democrats on behalf of Speaker of the House and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as well as Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. He dealt with Members of Congress on a full range of issues that came before the House of Representatives including historic legislation such as Healthcare Reform, Wall Street Reform, and the Recovery Act. Tom also worked with Senators, Members of Congress, Obama Administration officials, statewide and local elected officials through his work on the President’s Inaugural, the President’s campaign, and at the DNC. During Tom’s nine years with Pelosi he served in the Speaker’s member services office, outreach and advance offices, and Pelosi’s Democratic leader and Democratic whip offices. Tom was born and raised in the Washington, DC area in Bethesda, Maryland and attended Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. He received the Willam F. Clinger Award at Johns Hopkins for his thesis, “Issue Based Politics and the Post 1994 Partisan Congress.”

Sage Newman, MA in Government, 2011

Sage Newman

Sage Newman is President and co-founder of SRX International, a premier provider of corporate housing solutions in the Greater Seattle area. Prior to founding SRX International, Sage worked at ATREG, Inc. a boutique Seattle based advisory firm specializing in the disposition of business units, intellectual property, and manufacturing assets within the semiconductor industry. In that role, Sage was the transaction lead/support for deals resulting in the closing of $163,000,000 in deal value.

Sage also managed the Corporate Advisory Services business unit at Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy headquartered in New York City. There he was responsible for the P&L of the unit, its strategic plans, and working to creating new products and services for clients.

Prior to working in New York, Sage was a Legislative Analyst at the RAND Corporation’s Office of Congressional Relations in Arlington, VA where he oversaw congressional relations/outreach for RAND’s National Security, International Affairs, Terrorism, and Homeland Security units. Before that, Sage stated his career in Washington, DC working for United States Senator Bob Graham of Florida, managing Senator Graham’s daily Washington, DC schedule relating to his duties in the United States Senate and as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Sage has a MA in Government from The Johns Hopkins University as well as an MBA from The Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Government (Honors Cum Laude) from Harvard University. Sage is also a Board Member for Washington’s National Park Fund.

Jonathan Powers, MA in Global Security Studies, 2012


Jonathan Powers recently joined Bloom Energy as the Managing Director of Federal Energy. In this role Jon is responsible for business and market development within the public and private sector. Prior to joining Bloom Energy, Jon was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Administration’s Federal Environmental Executive. In this capacity, Jon was responsible for promoting environmental and energy sustainability across federal government operations.

Prior to joining CEQ, Jon served as the Special Advisor on Energy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy & Environment. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Truman National Security Project, where he focused on energy security issues. In 2009, Jon testified to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the national security implications of climate change with retired Senator John Warner and Vice Admiral Dennis McGinn. Following this testimony, Jon founded the nationally recognized campaign Operation Free for veterans to advocate for a national energy policy.

Prior to joining the Truman Project, Jon served for four years as an Officer in the U.S. Army, including a 15 month tour in Iraq as part of Operation Iraq Freedom I. In 2005, Jon founded War Kids Relief after returning to Iraq as a civilian to develop programs to engage Iraq’s youth and minimize recruitment by radicalized elements. The youth and counterterrorism research and program development efforts led to War Kids Relief becoming a leading advocacy organization working to create a bridge between American and Iraqi youth to build a foundation for peace. In 2008, Jon was a Democratic candidate for New York’s 26th Congressional District.

Jon received a Bachelor of Arts in Education at John Carroll University in Cleveland, OH. His JHU thesis was on “U.S. Energy Security.”

Ivette Rivera, MA in Government, 1999

Ivette-RiveraIvette Rivera is vice president of the National Automobile Dealers’ (NADA) Legislative Affairs group. In this capacity, she develops NADA’s legislative and political strategy and leads the day-to-day operations of the association’s Capitol Hill office. _ Ms. Rivera has more than two decades’ experience advocating and conducting strategic planning for the transportation industry. She has held leadership posts representing franchised dealers and is credited with a strong record of achievement and enhancing NADA’s visibility on Capitol Hill. As recently named vice president of the National Automobile Dealers’ (NADA) Legislative Affairs group, Ivette Rivera develops NADA’s legislative and political strategy and leads the day-to-day operations of the association’s Capitol Hill office.

As the auto industry was front and center during the financial crisis, Ivette was responsible for leading the strategy on high profile legislative successes, such as “cash for clunkers”, a legislative process for dealers affected by the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies, and retaining competition for auto loans in the “Wall Street reform” bill. _ Ms. Rivera holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado. She wrote her JHU masters thesis on transportation policy and the automobile industry.

James L. Sonne, MA in Government, 2007

James L. Sonne serves as Assistant Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), where he handles Volcker Rule, anti-money laundering, and other securities and banking legal and public policy issues. Before SIFMA, Mr. Sonne practiced Dodd-Frank regulatory, capital markets and mergers and acquisitions law at a large Wall Street law firm and abroad in the Vienna, Austria office of the world’s largest law firm. He also served on the staff of a congressional committee at the U.S. House of Representatives. Mr. Sonne holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, an M.B.A. and M.A. in Government from Johns Hopkins and a B.S. from Cornell University.

Dustin Todd, MA in Government, 2012


Dustin helped guide Rep. Tonko’s transition to the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee and secure a leadership position on the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy. Dustin holds a double B.A. in Political Science and History from the University of Mississippi. Dustin was the 2012 recipient of The William F. Clinger Award at JHU for his thesis, “All Politics is Local?”