Part-time and Adjunct Faculty

The Elliott School's part-time and adjunct faculty is comprised of superb scholars whose research makes important contributions to our understanding of the world. Being in the heart of Washington, DC enables us to draw on the tremendous intellectual firepower that abounds in the policy community, think tanks, NGOs, and international organizations.


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John Sano: Lecturer
Mr. Sano spent 28 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and was appointed the National Clandestine Service’s (formerly the Directorate of Operations) Deputy Director in November 2005 by then DCI Porter Goss. Mr. Sano came to this position after having previously served as Chief of the East Asia Division in the Directorate of Operations from January through November 2005. As Deputy Director, Mr. Sano chaired the NCS’ Senior Leadership Team and oversaw the day-to-day management of the country’s Clandestine Service. In addition, Mr. Sano was an active member of the CIA’s Executive Management Team and regularly briefed senior Administration as well as Congressional Committee members on matters of national security and worldwide covert operations. Through his extensive interaction with other senior Intelligence Community members to include the National Security Council and Congress, Mr. Sano played an integral role in the establishment and direction of the newly formed NCS. Previous positions within the CIA included serving as a Chief of Station in two foreign and one domestic location, as well as nearly 15 years of overseas experience in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Among other senior assignments, Mr. Sano was the CIA’s chief of North Korean operations in the early 90’s and directed the CIA’s efforts during the Balkan conflict in the mid-90’s.
Prior to joining the CIA, Mr. Sano earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Asian Studies from St. John’s University in New York, as well as a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University. Mr. Sano also serves on the Board of Directors of Aegis Defense Services, LLC; is a professorial lecturer on national security and intelligence issues at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University and is an adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, both in Washington, D.C.Mr. Sano is presently Vice-President of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and is a Senior Advisor with The Chertoff Group.

Ambasssador Arturo Sarukhan
Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan is an international strategic consultant based in Washington, and former Mexican Ambassador to the US (2007-2013). He is a Non Resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the USC Annenberg Public Diplomacy School. He is a digital diplomacy pioneer, the first Ambassador accredited to the US to use Twitter in an official capacity. He writes regular columns for Univision Noticias and Mexico City’sEl Universal newspaper, as well as oped’s in US media. A career diplomat, he received the rank of Career Ambassador in 2006. He served in the Mexican Foreign Ministry as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs, Chief of Policy Planning, and Consul General to New York City, among other positions. In 2006, he joined the Presidential Campaign of Felipe Calderón as Foreign Policy Advisor and International Spokesperson. He then led the foreign policy Transition Team. He holds a B.A. in International Relations from El Colegio de México and an M.A. in U.S. Foreign Policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and Ford Foundation Fellow.

Twitter: @Arturo_Sarukhan 

Elizabeth Schaefer: Lecturer 
Elizabeth. Schaefer graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Masters Degree in Applied Economics and she holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Maryland. An International Economist at the International Trade Association (ITA) Ms. Schaefer serves as a macroeconomic expert on multinational trade statistics, global trade forecasts, and foreign direct investment. In this role she provides ITA senior leadership with economically grounded, data-driven recommendations applicable to current trade and investment policy issues. In her research role, she recently co-authored the ITA public brief Jobs Supported by Export Destination, 2013, which decomposed national-level jobs supported by exports estimations into regional and country detail using Census and BEA trade data. Ms. Schaefer regularly presents economic trends and research to both technical and non-technical audiences. Ms. Schaefer's analysis has been used in Executive Office press releases, Secretary of Commerce speeches and press releases, materials for congress in support of Free Trade Agreements and materials in support of the NEI/NEXT initiative. Ms. Schaefer is a former ITA Hauser PMF Fellow and previously worked as an Economist for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. 

Holger Schmidt: Professorial LecturerHolger Schmidt
Professor Schmidt received his B.A. from the Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, his M.A. in International Relations from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University. Before coming to the Elliott School in the fall of 2006, Prof. Schmidt held a full-time appointment at the College of William and Mary, and has also taught classes at Georgetown University.

Professor Schmidt's research and teaching interests include the origins, prevention and management of violent conflict, the role of the United Nations in international security affairs, and quantitative methods. His current research focuses on developing a statistical model designed to forecast the severity of internal armed conflict in an effort to help improve the theory and practice of early warning and preventive intervention. Together with Kyle Beardsley (Emory University), Professor Schmidt has compiled a new dataset on UN conflict management efforts in international crises that provides detailed, event-level information about all UN intervention efforts in militarized international crises between 1946 and 2002. Initial results from this project are presented in a research article in the March 2012 issue of International Studies Quarterly. Professor Schmidt served as an advisor for the International Peace Institute's project on "Understanding Compliance with Security Council Demands in Post-Cold War Civil Wars," as well as for a forecasting project undertaken by the Fund for Peace, producer of the "Failed States Index" published annually by Foreign Policy Magazine.

John R. Schmidt: Professorial Lecturer

John R. Schmidt is a retired diplomat and adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on the "International Relations of South Asia.” During a 30-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service he served in senior positions at both the Department of State and National Security Council, including in Islamabad during the three years leading up to 9/11.  In addition to his expertise on Pakistan and South Asia he is also one of the leading U.S. experts on NATO and European security policy and has also worked extensively on Balkan issues and the former communist bloc. He has written extensively on South Asia for leading foreign policy journals and online news magazines, and his book, The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad, is an analytical history of Pakistan’s involvement with radical Islam.

Ellen Seats

Ellen Seats: Professorial Lecturer
Ellen Seats holds her Juris Doctorate and Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. She was a partner at the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease before starting her career in international development. She founded the Trial Counselor's Graduate Degree Program at the College of Micronesia, where she taught law for 3 years. She later directed the American Bar Association's judicial and clinical legal education program in Ukraine before becoming the Senior Elections and Political Process Advisor at USAID Ukraine in 2003. In this capacity she coordinated U.S. government election assistance to Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. As a consultant to the Department of State Assistance Coordinator's Office (EUR/ACE), she designed election assistance strategies for Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus. Throughout her development career, Ms. Seats has worked in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe on democracy and election issues. She is currently the Rule of Law Practice Area Director for Management Systems International.

Leonard Sekelick: Lecturer
Dr. Sekelick received his PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Pittsburgh in 1996. In addition to teaching Spanish at the Elliott School of International Affairs, he works as a language specialist in Romance languages for the U.S. government and as a consultant for the Educational Testing Service in Princeton, NJ.


Christina Sevilla: Lecturer
Christina Sevilla received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University in 1998. Dr. Sevillas is Director for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Executive Office of the President. She is responsible for USTR's consultations and outreach with states and localities on trade policy issues, including matters pertaining to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other agreements. She also manages USTR's private sector trade advisory committee system established by Congress to advise the USTR, the President, and other Executive Branch agencies on trade issues. In this capacity, she assists in coordinating the activities of 31 advisory committees in conjunction with five federal agencies. Under the Bush Administration in 2002, she was named the United States Head of Delegation for the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Civil Society Committee, a committee tasked by Trade Ministers of the 34 FTAA countries with improving communication with business, labor, environment, consumer interests, sub-federal governments, and private citizens throughout the Western Hemisphere regarding the FTAA negotiations.

David Shinn

John Sheldon: Professorial Lecturer
John B. Sheldon, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the George C. Marshall Institute, in Arlington, Virginia; founder and owner of the Torridon Group LLC, a space and cyberspace consultancy; Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council; and a Senior Fellow in Global Security Studies at the Munk School on Global Affairs at the University of Toronto in Canada. Prior to his current positions, John was Professor of Space and Cyberspace Strategic Studies at the U.S. Air Force's School of Advanced Air and Space Studies (SAASS), at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. For over six years John taught the National Security Space course, and founded, directed, and taught the Intelligence, Information, and Cyberspace course. A former British diplomat, John holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of Hull, UK, and a Ph.D. in politics and international relations from the university of Reading, UK.

David Shinn

David Shinn: Professorial Lecturer
Ambassador Shinn received his BA (1963), MA (1964), and PhD (1980) from George Washington University. He has a certificate in African studies from Northwestern University. He served for thirty-seven years in the US Foreign Service with assignments at embassies in Lebanon, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritania, Cameroon, Sudan and as ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia. He has been teaching in the Elliott School since 2001 and serves on a number of boards of nongovernmental organizations.

An expert on the Horn of Africa, Dr. Shinn speaks at events around the world. He is the coauthor of China and Africa: A Century of Engagement, the Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters. His research interests include China-Africa relations, East Africa and the Horn, terrorism, Islamic fundamentalism, conflict situations, U.S. policy in Africa, and the African brain drain.
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Rhea Siers: Professorial Lecturer
Rhea Siers has worked in the Intelligence Community for over 20 years in a variety of positions ranging from intelligence analysis to and legal and policy issues. Ms. Siers was named a 2005 Senior Fellow at the GW Homeland Security Policy Institute. Her areas of interest include Information Sharing and Collaboration, Counterterrorism, and Network Analysis. She is also involved in research involving the nexus between crime and terrorism, particularly in the area of Intellectual Property Crime.

Ms. Siers graduated from Barnard College (Columbia University) and received a Masters degree in International Affairs from the London School of Economics. She was a Dean's Fellow in Criminal Law at the Washington College of Law (American University) where she received her law degree. Ms. Siers was an honors graduate fellow at the Elliott School of International Affairs where she received a Master's degree in International Policy and Practice with a concentration in Transnational Security issues.

Barney Singer

Barney Singer: Professorial Lecturer
Barney Singer is the vice-president and director of FHI 360 where he provides technical and management leadership to a portfolio of USAID- and foundation-funded international development programs, including the (USAID)/Washington-funded Capable Partners Program, focusing on building the technical and organizational capacities of NGOs, networks and civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world working in health, education, democracy and governance, and other sectors. He also supervises the design and implementation of global training series on advocacy and monitoring and evaluation, interactive web portals, and a series of publications on organizational development topics for NGOs. Professor Singer holds a B.S. from Cornell and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, School of Law.

Mike Skuja

Mike Skuja: Lecturer
Mike Skuja is a human-environment geographer and wildlife biologist specializing in 'rights-based conservation,' which is environmental conservation that respects indigenous and local peoples' rights. Mike has broad experience in wildlife conservation and the illegal wildlife trade, sustainable development, climate change analysis, and rural livelihoods diversification strategies. He has lived and worked in the Caribbean, Central America, East Africa, South Asia and Europe. Mike has analyzed social and environmental problems from both grassroots and policy angles, having worked at the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation and Monitoring Centre, National Geographic Society, the Nature Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, Gads Hill Community Development Center, and the Peace Corps (Panama). He is fluent in Spanish and speaks functional Kiswahili and Portuguese.

Linda Stern

Linda Stern: Lecturer
Linda Stern is the Director of Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). She joined the Institute in 2007 with over twenty years of work and research in the social justice sector in the U.S., Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. An applied anthropologist by training, she is an expert in action research methods and participatory evaluation, often acting as lead evaluator on NDI's internal evaluations. Before joining NDI, Ms. Stern worked as an advocate for the rights of immigrants and political asylum seekers; managed a US congressional demonstration project on community-coalition building for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); and served as Catholic Relief Services' regional advocacy advisor in the Balkans and Caucuses. She has also held joint positions at Georgetown University's Center for Social Justice (CSJ) and the Center for New Directions in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), where she was responsible for designing and evaluating social justice curricula. She currently teaches at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs where she developed the schools' first graduate professional skills course in monitoring and evaluation.

Eric Sterner: LecturerLinda Stern
L Eric R. Sterner is a Fellow at the George C. Marshall Institute, teaches graduate course on cyberspace in the Washington, DC area, and consults on national security and aerospace issues. His work addresses national security policy with a focus on the challenges new technologies pose for U.S. national security, particularly in space and cyber space. He was the lead Professional Staff Member for defense policy on the House Armed Services Committee, where he manages the full committee staff charged with executing Congressional responsibilities regarding defense and foreign policy. During the 1990s, he served on the House Science Committee staff and was the Staff Director for the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics at the time of his departure.

In the Executive Branch, he served in the Office of the secretary of Defense as Special Assistant to the Assistant secretary of Defense for International Security Policy and, at NASA, was dual-hatted as Associate Deputy Administrator for Policy and Planning and Chief of Strategic Communications. At NASA, he was concerned with all aspects of NASAs internal management on behalf of the Deputy Administrator and directly managed a staff of 150 personnel, including 19 members of the Senior Executive Service. In the Private sector, Sterner served as Vice President for Federal Services at TerreStar Networks Inc., where he focused on the strategic implications of emerging technologies. His work has been featured in various publications.

Natacha Stevanovic-Fenn: Professorial Lecturer
Natacha is a sociologist with a PhD from Columbia University. Her dissertation research focused on Bangladeshi immigrants in New York City and the role of remittances in their lives. She has also done research on micro-credit and women's empowerment in Bangladesh and female gangs and juvenile delinquency in ghettos of San Francisco, CA. Her areas of expertise include international migration, remittances, gender, poverty and development, social economics, families, religion, research methods (qualitative and quantitative), and public policy analysis.

Tara Susman-Pena: Lecturer
Tara Susman-Peña is Senior Technical Advisor for Media at IREX, where she advises on and manages media development projects. Previously, she was Senior Research Officer at Internews, responsible for research on innovation and policy and evaluation of innovation projects. She has published numerous reports on media development, both at Internews and with theCenter for International Media Assistance at the National Endowment for Democracy. She has also worked for the World Bank on Social Accountability. Previous to her experience in international development, she worked at NPR, and as a U.S. government consultant. Susman-Peña also has experience in commercial market research in the media, technology, health, food, fashion, and automotive industries. She has a master's degree in Socio-cultural anthropology from Columbia University and a BA in Religious Studies from Yale University.






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Elliott School faculty member James Foster, Professor of Economics and International Affairs, was impressed by our location from the start.