Board of Directors

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

Gary Barnabo

Gary Barnabo is a leader in Booz Allen Hamilton’s commercial strategy practice, where he leads engagements centered on technology, cyber security, analytics, and risk. Gary’s client base spans energy, high-tech manufacturing, energy, and automotive. He is also well-versed in long-range strategy development, operating model and organization design, and talent. Previously, Gary led a team delivering strategic planning, leadership development, and organizational transformation services to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he authored major strategies and guided senior officials through reorganizations. For three years, Gary co-led Booz Allen’s participation in the Aspen Ideas Festival, working directly with members of the firm’s Executive Management Committee and CEO.

From 2012 to 2015, Gary was President of YPFP. Prior to assuming that role, Gary served as Senior Vice President and established YPFP’s research department. From 2014-2017, he sat on the Board of Directors of Sister Cities International, where he chaired the strategy & programs committee.  

Gary is a certified design thinking and strategic foresight practitioner, and an experienced facilitator. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and was raised in Sydney, Australia. After 8 years in Washington, DC, Gary and his wife now live outside New York City.

Jennifer Berlin

Jennifer Berlin is Chief of Staff for the Brookings Institution. Previously, she served as a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Acting Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Press Secretary for the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Berlin received her Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University and her Master of Arts from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. 

Morgan Courtney

Morgan Courtney leads engagement with the community leaders and education changemakers across the country for the Bay Area-based XQ Institute, an initiative of the Emerson Collective that is dedicated to rethinking the American public high school for the 21st century. Prior to XQ, she built public-private partnerships in Indonesia for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). A trained facilitator in design thinking, she is also an evangelist for using human-centered design tools for social impact. 

Prior to USAID, she was the Myanmar Lead at the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations at the U.S. Department of State, managing a team of conflict specialist in the field and in Washington focused on peace, conflict, and reconciliation. She also served as the Special Assistant to the Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma at the State Department, where she handled a broad array of security, political, economic, and conflict/ reconciliation issues at a critical point in Burma's democratic transition. Prior to that, she served as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where she helped to provide guidance on a range of issues, including Syria, the Asia-Pacific rebalance, and women in combat. 

Ms. Courtney has also worked on Darfur policy for the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, at a Congolese refugee for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and was the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps, during which time she helped to re-establish Peace Corps's operations in Rwanda. Ms. Courtney has also worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, for the United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, and the Clinton Foundation in Burundi. She speaks French fluently and is conversant in Bahasa  Indonesia, Kinyarwanda, and Kirundi. Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Ms. Courtney received her B.A. with honors in International Relations and French from Wellesley College and an M.P.A from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. 

Elizabeth J.C. Cutler, Executive Secretary of the Board

Elizabeth J.C. Cutler joined the Board of Directors in the summer of 2016 after over 4 years as a member of YPFP's volunteer staff, including 2 years as its Senior Vice President. She currently serves as the Board's Executive Secretary. 

As a contractor for the Office of Foreign Assistance (F) at the State Department, Elizabeth coordinates coordinates U.S. foreign aid for a diverse portfolio including gender and women's issues, international organizations, and democracy and human rights. Previously, she supported several USAID-funded development projects during her five years working for DAI.  

Elizabeth received her MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University. While in graduate school, she interned for the Stimson Center and the Washington, DC offices of Senator Bob Casey and Congressman Joe Sestak. 

She graduated cum laude from Occidental College with a BA in Politics and a minor in Spanish. Find her on Twitter at @elizabethcutler

Suzanne Gershowitz

Suzanne Gershowitz is the Director of Development and Academic Programs at AEI. She helps manage the team charged with building relationships with individuals who are committed to AEI’s mission. She is also responsible for building and managing AEI’s student programs and executing the institute’s broader outreach to academia. She joined AEI after serving as Director of Business Development at BlueStar Global Investors LLC, a New York-based startup firm that develops investment products in the Israeli and broader Mediterranean markets. She worked in business development and marketing at BlueStar for three years, beginning at the company’s founding in 2011, and now sits on the company’s business advisory board.

From 2004-2006, Ms. Gershowitz was a research assistant in AEI’s Foreign and Defense Policy 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, she spent a year working in the public affairs department of the international law firm Foley & Lardner LLP.

Suzanne earned her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and her bachelor of arts from Harvard University.

Mikhail Grinberg

Mikhail Grinberg is an Associate Principal at Renaissance Strategic Advisors where he consults corporate, financial, and start-up clients in the aerospace & defense industry across multiple functional areas to include corporate strategy and planning, mergers and acquisitions, and competitive analysis. Mikhail leads Renaissance’s emerging technology projects and has a particular interest in helping firms develop investment strategies for new technology areas. He specializes in advising US companies on entering foreign markets and helping international firms invest into the US defense industrial base. Mikhail has done extensive research and writing on defense procurement reform, innovation, technology management, and corporate venturing. Prior to joining Renaissance, Mikhail worked at Deloitte and IHS Jane’s where he supported the DoD and Intelligence Community in roles that varied from intelligence analysis to supply chain optimization.  

Mikhail is an editor, co-founder, and board member of The Strategy Bridge, a national security focused journal and non-profit organization. Mikhail is currently a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Defense University, where he is helping the Department of Defense develop a strategy for commercializing government innovations. Previously he has served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum, a non-profit focused on preparing leaders for future national security challenges. He was also a mentor to the Georgetown Hacking 4 Defense Spring 2017 course.

Mikhail holds a Master’s in International Security and Terrorism from the University of Nottingham, UK and a Bachelor’s in Political Science and History from the University of Massachusetts.

Meredith Hanley

Meredith Hanley is the board liaison and director of development for New America, a think and action tank dedicated to renewing America, where she serves on the leadership team and manages the organization's fundraising operations and working with its board, leadership, and donors. 

Prior to joining New America in 2012, she worked as a development advisor for the National Health Law program. She has spent the last twenty years advancing non-profit fundraising, program development, and communications with the national organizations such as Education Sector, the Committee for the Economic Development, American Legislative Exchange Council, and Center for Excellence in Education, and the Lab School of Washington. 

She began her career as an occupational therapist working in preK-12 special education and hospital-based health care. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. 

Meredith has served on the boards of Brainfood, the Ambassador Theater and the auction committee for the Broadcasters Child Development Center. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their sassy, smart daughter. She is a voracious reader, enthusiastic-though not talented-golfer, traveler, yogi, and cook. 

Sarah Heck, Vice Chair

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.


Kathryn Kargman Holden

Kathryn Kargman Holden is Vice President at First Realty Management Corp., a Boston-based full service property management firm to residential, condominium and commercial clients throughout three New England states. Kathryn is the daughter of First Realty President William M. Kargman and granddaughter of Max Kargman, whose entry into real estate and property development in the mid-1960s formed the basis of the company that today provides property management services to more than 70 properties and 7,000 residential units throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and southern New Hampshire.

Among her responsibilities, Kathryn serves as the company’s representative to the National Affordable Housing Management Association and the New England Affordable Housing Management Association. She received her master’s degree in business administration from Cornell University, a law degree from Boston College Law School and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University.

Rachael Lammers

Rachael Lammers is a Principal at McChrystal Group and the Chief of Staff for the Leadership Institute. She is responsible for shaping and executing strategy of the rapidly growing McChrystal Group Leadership Institute, which equips leaders to drive adaptability in their organizations. Rachael is a former civil servant who joined federal service in 2007 as a Presidential management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Industries International Trade Administration (ITA). During her tenure at ITA, she served the Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Services Industries before joining the U.S. Commercial Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. In Afghanistan, she dedicated her efforts to creating a business enabling environment through trade and commercial policy reform, trade promotion, and private sector development. 

In 2013, Rachael joined the Department of Defense Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TBFSO), where she continued her work in Afghanistan leading the Strategic Investment Team, which focused on cultivating viable investment opportunities across Afghanistan and attracting international private sector investors. 

With the wind down of TBFSO, Rachael shifted to the commercial sector of contingency operations as Director of Foreign Military Sales and Defense Services, Ltd, a leading security and risk management company. Rachael worked with Aegis' commercial defense clients to achieve mission success in complex markets by leveraging a suite of integrated security solutions that are designed specific to the client, activity and environment. Before joining McChrystal Group, Rachael developed a consultancy business delivering advisory, business development and growth strategy services to multiple small and medium sized enterprises and industry associations. 

Rachael received her Master of Science degree from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science  from Georgia University. 

Joshua J. Marcuse, Founder and Chairman

Joshua J. Marcuse is the founder and chairman of 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, DC. with his wife, Cathryn. Together they started The Charcuterie Club of DC.


Nathan Puffer, Treasurer

Nathan Puffer is a Senior Vice President at GLOBAL Integrated Security (GLOBAL), a leading national security firm based in northern Virginia, where he 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 Schnapper-Casteras

JP Schnapper-Casteras 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 YPFP. 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.


David Simon

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.