The Board of Directors ensures that Young Professionals in Foreign Policy fulfills its mission and endures. The Board achieves this objective by:
- Establishing a vision and preserving institutional values
- Setting strategy and objectives
- Overseeing effective execution
- Providing accountability, continuity, and stability of leadership
- Ensuring legal compliance and fiduciary responsibility
- Securing financial and other resources for the organization’s prosperity
To this end, the Board maintains a clear understanding of the organization's activities and budget, builds relationships with its staff, represents the organization to the external community, and communicates effectively to all YPFP staff and members.
YPFP Board of Directors, elected June 2014
Joshua J. Marcuse is the founder and chairman of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to fostering the next generation of foreign policy leaders. He served as President until 2012.
Josh serves as senior adviser for policy innovation in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, where he works on policy innovation, leadership development, and organizational change. He also established and leads the OSD Policy Design & Innovation Practice, and is a design thinking instructor and facilitator. Previously, he worked at the management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton and at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Josh is an adjunct fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies and is in the 2015 Next Generation National Security Leaders Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). He was an Aspen Scholar at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2009.
Josh is a fellow of the Truman National Security Project, where he co-leads the DoD Expert Group and advises the Leadership Development program. He serves on advisory boards of Atlas Corps, the Franklin Project of the Aspen Institute, LearnServe, Luke's Wings, Millennium Action Project, the Next Generation of Government Summit, the Project for the Study of the 21st Century, and Young Government Leaders. He works with interfaith couples at Sixth&i Synagogue.
Josh graduated from Dartmouth College. He is certified in change management from the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. He is pursuing a Gallup certification in executive coaching and a LUMA Institute certification in Human-Centered Design.
Josh is a New Yorker who lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Cathryn. Together they started The Charcuterie Club of DC.
Sarah Heck currently works at the U.S. Department of State serving as the Chief of Staff for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Prior to this appointment Sarah was the Special Assistant to the Special Representative to Muslim Communities, traveling to over 35 countries focusing on building networks of youth and civil society and counterterrorism. She has also served in the Office of 21st Century Statecraft and the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
Before joining the government, Sarah worked at Chevron Corporation in their international government affairs group and at Kissinger McLarty Associates in the Latin America practice, engaging multinational corporations across industries. Sarah has a significant experience in Latin America through her work with Amigos de las Americas, where she served as their Country Director in Paraguay, creating and managing rural community development projects with the Ministry of Health, Plan International, and the Fundación Paraguaya/Junior Achievement.
Sarah received a Master’s of Science in Foreign Service at Georgetown University, where she was Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's Research Associate. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Maryland.
Sarah Platts is a Senior Consultant at Monitor Deloitte, the strategy unit of Deloitte Consulting, LLP. In this role, Sarah works in the firm’s newly created Social Impact Service Line where she serves clients in the private sector, public sector, and social/nonprofit sector. She also co-leads the firm’s global Agricultural Sciences Community of Practice. Sarah’s work focuses on strategy development, private sector investment and promotion in emerging markets, agricultural development, and economic growth. She has served clients in Afghanistan, India, Colombia, the Middle East, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa, as well as here in the United States.
In 2012 Sarah spent 15 months living and working in Ethiopia supporting an economic growth initiative spearheaded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA). The ATA is a high-performance unit reporting to the Prime Minister that works on strategy, policy, and implementation activities, and is touted as a new model for public-private partnerships and international development. As one of the first international staff members recruited to help stand up the ATA, Sarah’s work focused on strategy development, program management and core analytics to help accelerate Ethiopia’s economic growth by transforming the agriculture sector.
Prior to Ethiopia, Sarah launched her career at Deloitte Consulting, LLP as a Business Analyst and Consultant where she was a member of the firm’s Emerging Markets practice. She focused on helping clients build effective public sector institutions, with an emphasis on organizational and development strategies for institutions in post-conflict and developing countries.
Sarah holds a BA (Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude, and with Honors) from the University of California, Irvine and a Masters (with Merit Honours) from the London School of Economics. She sits on the Board of Directors of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) where she serves as the Executive Secretary of the Board. In 2011, Sarah was named a “Top 99 under 33” foreign affairs leaders by Diplomatic Courier. In her spare time she enjoys distance running, scuba diving, and traveling the world.
As a Senior Vice President at GLOBAL Integrated Security (GLOBAL), a leading national security firm based in northern Virginia, Nathan oversees the delivery of services and revenue for the company's large portfolio. Nathan brings management experience focused on large team dynamics, dedication to exceptional and ethical performance in support to U.S. national security interests, client engagement and a focus on technical innovation in his field and organizational growth to the YPFP mission.
Before coming to Washington, he served in the United States Marine Corps signals intelligence field and was an honor graduate of the Defense Language Institute – Foreign Language Center in Monterey, California. He later worked as a Program Coordinator specializing in Russian and Eurasian studies at CSIS, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank. Mr. Puffer received his post-secondary education at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Upon joining GLOBAL in 2006, he deployed to the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia for a number of years and has since held senior management and executive positions in both the Middle East and the US.
Nathan served as YPFP’s first Vice President of Membership.
JP is an appellate litigator and commentator on public policy issues. He currently serves as Special Counsel for Appellate and Supreme Court Advocacy for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. JP is also a national security crisis law fellow at Georgetown University Law Center and a fellow at the Truman National Security Project. In 2013, he was named as one of the Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33 by Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. He has been published in the Washington Post, Politico, and a variety of other outlets.
In 2004, JP founded the first student exchange program between Stanford University and postwar Iraq and presently serves as a Trustee of the American University of Iraq, Sulaimani. Previously, he was selected to be a student member of Stanford University’s Board of Trustees and a predoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.
Before joining the Legal Defense Fund, JP served as a law clerk to the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to the Honorable Scott W. Stucky of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. He received his J.D. with Pro Bono Distinction from Stanford Law School, an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an M.A. in Sociology and B.A. with honors in Political Science from Stanford University.
Dr. Joshua W. Walker (@drjwalk) is a perpetual global bridge-builder who is a “pracademic,” having earned his PhD from Princeton University and specializing in the Middle East and East Asia. He currently serves as the Vice President of Global Programs at APCO Worldwide, a leading strategic communications firm based in Washington. There, he leads the APCO Global Institute and oversees APCO’s 34 international offices for the Founding Chairman and CEO, most recently setting up the organization’s newest office in Tokyo, Japan. He is also a Transatlantic Fellow in the Asia Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and he teaches the Politics of National Security at the George Washington University’s Elliot Graduate School of International Affairs and the Leadership and the American Presidency at George Mason University. Dr. Walker is also a 2016 President Leadership Scholar.
Before joining the private sector as a practitioner, Dr. Walker worked at the U.S. Department of State three different times, most recently as a senior advisor to Secretaries Kerry and Clinton. Dr. Walker is a prolific scholar with books and regular commentary for a variety of media outlets. He is also passionate about furthering international affairs and the next generation of foreign policy leadership through his service on half-a-dozen national boards including on the Executive Committee of American Turkish Council and Sister Cities International . He speaks Japanese as a result of growing up in the northernmost island of Hokkaido with his parents, Turkish having lived in Ankara as a Fulbright scholar, and Virginian English given his family’s Richmond roots and his current residence in Alexandria near George Washington’s home.
David Simon is a Senior Partner and executive at CSC. Today he leads CSC’s Big Data Sales team for North, South and Central America both commercially and CSC’s Federal business sectors. David is truly a strategist and entrepreneur who has successfully run his own company, consulted for organizations, and served as a business developer for three companies who went on to grow in the federal market space; where they were successfully acquired. He is a former Active Duty Officer in the United States Army with fifteen years of experience serving in the intelligence community. While an officer in the U.S. Army, David was selected as a senior leader to stand-up the 209th MI Company in support of the Army’s Transformation Brigade Initiative (now commonly referred to as a ‘Stryker Brigade’).
David has grown CSC’s Big Data practice by more than $80M in new business over the last year. CSC’s Big Data team is leading the DoDIIS Apps Engine as part of Intel Communities ICITE initiative. Prior to joining CSC, David led MEP’s Business Development team from 2009 to 2012 where they grew from $300M in revenue to one of the largest contractors in Afghanistan with annual revenue estimated at $1.2 Billion and 8300 employees in 17 countries. He was sought after by the CEO to initiate and drive winning solutions for BD activities supporting the Intelligence Community with an emphasis on DoD Programs. David led the bid to win MEP’s first Multiple Award IDIQ and won more than $9B in contracts for MEP during his three year tenure.
Suzanne Gershowitz is the Manager of Academic Programs at AEI, where she has worked since June 2014. She is responsible for building and managing AEI’s on-campus programs and executing its broader college and university outreach, including to college and university faculty and administrators.
Suzanne joined AEI after serving as Director of Business Development at BlueStar Global Investors, LLC, a New York-based start-up firm that develops investment products in the Israeli market. Suzanne worked in business development and marketing at BlueStar for three years, beginning at the company’s founding in 2011. From 2004 to 2006, Suzanne was a Research Assistant in AEI’s Foreign Policy and Defense Studies Department, where she worked for scholars specializing in Middle East foreign policy and published articles and op-eds on subjects related to the Middle East, the United Nations and terrorism. After leaving AEI, Suzanne spent a year working in the public affairs department of the international law firm Foley & Lardner LLP.
Suzanne earned her JD from The University of Chicago Law School and her BA from Harvard College. She is a member of the Business Advisory Board of BlueStar Global Investors, LLC, and was one of the original members of YPFP.