Alumni in the news: influential foreign policy leaders

Several GW alumni, students and faculty members were named in Diplomatic Courier’s list of the 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33. This list was created to highlight the creativity, determination, and passion of young people who are already tackling critical global challenges, including Alia Mahmoud, ESIA BA ’07; Darya Pilram, SPHHS MPH ’12; Kalsoom Lakhani, ESIA MA ’06; Cameron Chisholm, ESIA adjunct professor; and Seth Lynn, GSPM adjunct professor. Read more about their work and accomplishments below.

Alia Mahmoud, ESIA BA ’07, is the managing director of Maghreb Enterprise Development Initiative (MEDI), a think tank dedicated to rationalizing and optimizing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Maghreb by conducting strategic research, promoting collaboration and engaging in public policy advocacy. Mahmoud has pursued her interest in entrepreneurship through her studies and work at organizations such as Ashoka, UNDP’s Private Sector Division and Endeavor. She is a contributor to Wamda.com and a core member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Tunis Hub.

Darya Pilram, SPHHS MPH ’12, is working with the Office of Naval Research. Pilram is a MPH-Global Health graduate with a background in international relations and cultural anthropology. Her work spans multinational peacekeeping engagements in Mongolia to coordinating de-mining campaigns in Angola and Afghanistan; schistosomiasis prevention projects in Kenya to the tea fields of India and the [freezing] ancient tea routes across Russia. The intersections of health, diplomacy, security, and engagement drove her thesis on the Department of Defense’s hospital ship missions, and she has briefed at international conferences and the Pentagon. She is currently completing follow-on analysis with the Pacific Partnership 2012 aboard the USNS MERCY in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia. When home, she sails boats and flies planes.

Kalsoom Lakhani, ESIA MA ’06, is the founder & CEO of Invest2Innovate (i2i), an intermediary organization that supports early-stage social enterprises and strengthens access to capital in Pakistan. She is the Founder/Editor of CHUP, a blog that provides a more nuanced perspective of Pakistan, and has written for Next Billion, Foreign Policy, the Washington Post and the Huffington Post. Kalsoom is a DC co-ambassador for Sandbox and is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. 

Cameron Chisholm is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University Elliott School. He is also president and founder of the International Peace & Security Institute (IPSI), a DC-based educational and training nonprofit with a mission to empower the next generation of global peacemakers. IPSI’s programs are designed to be rigorous, substantive learning experiences that give future world leaders the tools they need to make peace reality. From the program’s onset, the focus has always been on providing the most practically useful training, taught by the world’s most accomplished practitioners who have actually worked through conflict resolution processes firsthand. Before founding IPSI, Chisholm worked with the World Bank, CEWARN, the U.S. Department of State, and The Carter Center. He has a B.A. from Emory University and a M.A. from the University of Bradford and is a Rotary World Peace Fellow Alumnus.

Seth Lynn is an adjunct professor and director of the Center for Second Service at the George Washington University. The Center’s mission is to train veterans to run for office, and grew out of Veterans Campaign, a nonprofit that Seth founded in 2009 while studying International Relations at Princeton. Seth continues his involvement in foreign policy in several ways. He has published articles on national security and politics, and recently traveled to Australia with a State Department-sponsored delegation of six young political leaders. Seth has deployed twice to Iraq with the Marine Corps, and was recently selected for Major in the Reserve.

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