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Meet the 2018 CSAG Climate and Security Fellows

csag-logo-massiveIn response to increasing interest in career pathways for climate and security practitioners, the Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG) has developed a community-wide Climate Security Fellows Program and is pleased to announce the 2018 class of CSAG Climate and Security Fellows.

The CSAG Climate and Security Fellowship program is the first professional organization for emerging leaders seeking meaningful careers at the intersection of climate change and security. The program connects established climate security experts with prospective future leaders through a year-long mentorship program. CSAG Climate Security Fellows gain experience through research and writing, field trips and outings, and networking with experts and practitioners. Ultimately, fellows will play a leading role in expanding the climate and security network of the next generation and solving some of the most complex risks the world faces.

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The 2018 Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG) Climate and Security Fellows with Supporting Organization Representatives

CSAG Fellowship Program Fellows 2018

Elizabeth Arevalo
Elizabeth is a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ted Lieu advising him on a several policy issues including those related to energy and the environment, transportation, and immigration. Prior to working for Congressman Lieu she served as a Legislative Fellow for Senator Joe Donnelly. Elizabeth received a BA in Political Science with minors in Business Economics and Italian from the University of Notre Dame. She was born and raised in Los Angeles.

Christopher Gaulin
Christopher Gaulin is an active duty Army Officer and graduate student. He is completing an M.A. degree in Geography from Boston University en route to the United States Military Academy. There, Chris will be an Instructor, responsible for teaching Cadets a variety of classes as part of the Geography and Environmental Engineering Department. Chris’ operational Army assignments include the 25th Infantry Division and 10th Mountain Division where he deployed to both Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a 2017 graduate of the Army’s Strategic Leadership Broadening Seminar at Chapel Hill, NC. Chris graduated and commissioned from the United States Military Academy, West Point where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Geography.

Victoria Herrmann
Dr. Herrmann is the president and managing director of The Arctic Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Arctic security research. She is also a National Geographic Explorer, she also works with coastal communities on human security in relation to climate change adaptation and relocation. As lead researcher for the America’s Eroding Edges project, she traveled across the United States and US Territories interviewing 350 local leaders to identify what’s needed most to safeguard coastal communities against the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Her current project, Rise Up to Rising Tides, is creating an online matchmaking platform that connects pro bono experts with climate-affected communities. Dr. Herrmann teaches sustainability management at American University; science communication at the University Centre of the Westfjords, Iceland; and public speaking at National Geographic Sciencetelling Bootcamps. She was previously a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment, a Fulbright Awardee to Canada, a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies of Sciences, and a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where she received her PhD in Geography.

Erin Hylton
Erin Hylton provides contract support to the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure to develop a water resources management program that takes a risk-based approach that focuses on water assurance for mission assurance. A Marshall Scholar, Erin received an MSc in Hydrology and Sustainable Development from Imperial College London and a second MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford. Her research has largely focused on water security, with fieldwork in India investigating basic sanitation technologies and in Brazil examining a new program to provide reliable, piped access to clean water in informal settlements. Erin previously worked for the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Brookings Institution and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and led the University of Maryland chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

Cyan James
Cyan James is a SETA Contractor, Peraton, Inc. in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E) Human Performance, Training, and BioSystems Directorate. She manages the DOD Arctic Science & Technology portfolio, establishes ongoing connections with other Federal and non-Federal agencies to promote shared interests and maintain DOD presence in Arctic-related projects and office awareness of applicable Arctic S&T activities and policies across DOD, including research across hard sciences, social sciences, and human health. She has planned and conducted the 2018 Arctic Science & Technology Synchronization Workshop in partnership with NORAD-USNORTHCOM

Victoria Johnson
Victoria is a research specialist for CNA in the Safety and Security Division. Victoria works on a wide spectrum of projects supporting the Federal Government. Much of her work over the past year has been focused on addressing lessons learned from the 2017 hurricane season. She was stationed at the US Department of Health and Human Services, Secretary’s Operations Center during landfall of the 2017 hurricanes, and later was deployed to Puerto Rico and Orlando for a collaborative study with the National Academies of Science and MIT on food/water/fuel supply chain resilience. Her other work focuses on countering domestic terrorism threats. Before coming to CNA Victoria worked for the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program while finishing up her BA in environmental policy and Russian Eurasian studies at Colorado College. At Colorado College Victoria was a student leader in the environmental science department working to integrate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in environmental data collection practices. She wrote her senior paper on the uses for UAVs for climate change monitoring and data collection.

Molly Jones
Molly Jones is a Senior Associate at The Asia Group, where she provides strategic support for clients across South Asia. In this role, she advises clients on geopolitical dynamics and develops corporate strategies for market entry and expansion across various sectors, including energy and climate. Molly also helps advance a range of corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in the region to promote women’s empowerment and sustainability. Prior to joining The Asia Group, Molly was a Fulbright Anne Wexler Scholar at Australian National University. Over the course of this fellowship, Molly conducted research on the security and sustainability dimensions of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific. Molly previously served as a Research Analyst at NORC at the University of Chicago, an independent not-for-profit policy analysis and research institution. She was a part of a small team in the Security, Energy, and Environment Department that worked to improve disaster resilience in partnership with the American Red Cross, well as assessed the impacts of Superstorm Sandy in New York with the Associated Press and the Rockefeller Foundation. Molly graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a Bachelor of Science in Science, Technology, and International Affairs, and she received a Master of Public Policy from Australian National University, where she was a Fulbright Anne Wexler Scholar.

Jessica Olcott
Jessica Olcott is a Research Analyst in the Operations Evaluation Group at the Center for Naval Analyses. Her work is focused on the nexus of complex security challenges, including: maritime domain awareness, chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) emergency preparedness, and naval and civil affairs. She is also an expert in East Central Europe and Western Balkan security, and served as a 2016-2017 Fulbright Clinton Public Policy Fellow in Pristina, Kosovo. While embedded with the Plans and Policy Directorate in the Ministry of the Kosovo Security Forces, her analysis focused on transition planning, gender and ethnic minority integration, strategic communication, and strategic planning. Prior to joining CNA, Ms. Olcott spent approximately five years managing, executing, and evaluating Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) foreign consequence management and building partnership capacity programs. As an expert in Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) conduct, she supported 14 bilateral exercises in seven countries, and managed more than 20 security cooperation missions in nine countries in U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). Ms. Olcott holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from West Virginia Wesleyan College and an M.S. in International Affairs with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law from Florida State University.

Pat Schlecker
Mr. Schlecker is a Senior Consultant and Climate Security Solutions Lead at Markon Solutions. Mr. Schlecker developed Markon’s High Water offering by utilizing a network of international environmental and security experts including oceanographers, emergency planners, defense officials, engineers, and sea level experts. His passion for securing organizations from environmental changes has driven his management consulting career and his work in advising mission critical clients on the matter. Mr. Schlecker previously served as a Project Manager on one of Markon’s federal projects, supporting an organizational analysis and change management initiative. He also leads BD capture for Markon’s Defense Innovation and Tech Integration practice. Mr. Schlecker received his B.A. in international studies from Dickinson College and focused his thesis on security impacts of climate change in the Arctic. He is trained in NOAA’s Office of Coastal Management courses and is involved in ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute. Mr. Schlecker recently received a certificate in Disruptive Strategy from Harvard Business School (HBX) and is a certified Scrum Master.

Ezra Shapiro
Ezra Shapiro is a first-year graduate student at the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where he is pursuing a Master’s in Security Studies. He expects to graduate in May 2020. Ezra’s interest in foreign affairs and security issues stems from his understanding that in today’s interconnected world, no country can succeed alone, but that success abroad starts at home. To that end, he focuses on U.S. national security policy at Georgetown. Ezra Shapiro recently completed a three-year tour of service in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier, where he was stationed at Fort Wainwright, in Fairbanks, Alaska. While there, he served as a sniper team leader in a reconnaissance platoon and partook in a multinational military summit attempt of Denali, North America’s highest mountain. Ezra has Secret clearance valid through 2025 and is a proud member of Phi Beta Kappa. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and history from Binghamton University, from which he graduated in 2014. In his free time, Ezra enjoys rock climbing and skiing. He is also an ambassador for Service to School, a volunteer organization that helps servicemembers transitioning out of the military apply to college and graduate school.

Rohit Sudarshan
Rohit Sudarshan recently completed a Fulbright Public Policy Fellowship at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Samoa. His ten months in the South Pacific Islands were marked by attention to the harmful impacts of climate change, particularly with regards to environmental migration and the need for environmental infrastructure.  He received his MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University where he wrote a thesis on the impact of Filipino remittances on local development in the Philippines. His time in Washington included job experiences on the Asia Team at NDI and US Leadership in Development at CSIS. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Rohit received his Bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College.


CSAG Climate Security Fellowship Supporting Organizations

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The CSAG Climate and Security Fellowship Program welcomes sponsorship and donations.

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The Climate and Security Advisory Group (CSAG)
The CSAG is a voluntary, non-partisan group of U.S.-based military, national security, homeland security, intelligence and foreign policy experts from a broad range of institutions, focused on developing policies for addressing the security implications of climate change. The CSAG is chaired by the Center for Climate and Security in partnership with the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.


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