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Marshall Fellows Bios

 April Deibert

April Deibert

April Deibert currently serves as the Director of Global Initiatives for a Virginia-based government contracting firm. In this capacity, she provides consulting expertise for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Africa Command, and INTERPOL on various foreign technical assistance and foreign policy initiatives. She also serves as the Chair of Global Leaders for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy—the Washington, DC-based organization’s elite membership tier for mid-career foreign policy leaders.

Throughout the past eight years, Ms. Deibert’s various professional positions provided her the opportunity to showcase team leadership and executive management abilities. Specifically, she led the innovation effort through human-centered design to develop new tools and processes to globally connect U.S. and African law enforcement professionals more readily in order to combat transnational organized crime and terrorism cases. She also crafted public diplomacy/strategic communications plans for foreign policy programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, analyzed military information operations campaigns in East Africa and the Middle East, and re-launched two separate international non-profit organization divisions in the United States. While executing this work, Ms. Deibert supported a wide variety of U.S. interests, including: U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affair’s (INL) Anti-Crime Programs and INL Office of Africa and Middle East Programs), U.S. federal law enforcement agencies (FBI, DEA, CBP, Treasury, etc.), INTERPOL, U.S. Africa Command (Counter-narcotics & Global Threats, J5, J9, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa), U.S. Central Command (13th Marine Expeditionary Unit), U.S. international broadcasting offices (VOA, etc.), non-profits and corporations.

Previously, Ms. Deibert created and managed an independent strategic communications and tech consulting firm, which specialized in digital tool integration and analysis strategies for public diplomacy projects. She also served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego World Affairs Council. Ms. Deibert earned a graduate degree in National Security Studies from American Military University and an undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of California-San Diego. As an undergrad, Ms. Deibert studied and worked in South Korea and Australia. Her honors include invitational speaking engagements at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany, a social media in the military conference in London, and a U.S. Army Installation Management Command webinar. She was also selected as one of the "Top 99 Under 33 in Foreign Policy: Influencers” in 2013 by Diplomatic Courier Magazine.



Anna Marie DiMascia

Anna Marie DiMascia

Anna Marie DiMascia is a Legislative Assistant / Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) in Washington, D.C. Originally from Bucks County, PA, she moved to Washington, D.C. in 2009 to attend college. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University of America where she majored in Political Science and graduated early in January 2013. During her time at Catholic, she interned for Congressman Fitzpatrick, Senator Pat Toomey (PA), and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. After graduating, Anna Marie was offered an opportunity as a Document Clerk for Williams & Connolly, LLC. Still having an interest in a career involving federal policy, she was offered a Staff Assistant position in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office in Washington, DC. There she was promoted to Legislative Correspondent and then to Legislative Assistant. She currently handles the Congressman’s constituent correspondent program as well as his legislative portfolio on issues involving: animals, women, social issues, and health. In addition to handling legislative issues on the Hill, Anna Marie assists in coaching youth girls’ lacrosse for WINNERS Lacrosse and is an enthusiastic Eagles fan.



Cody J. Griner

Cody J. Griner

Cody Griner is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte in Strategy and Operations focused on the National Security Sector. Cody previously served as the Intelligence Specialist for the US Army Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) Futures Directorate. In this role he ensured that Technology Integration efforts were coordinated, and he focused on improving operational intelligence for the Army’s version of the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE). Prior to working at INSCOM Cody completed a leadership development program at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) leaving as a Supervisory Financial Specialist.


Since 2004, Cody has served as a military intelligence officer in the Army Reserves, and is currently a Military Intelligence Company Commander. Before serving in the Army Reserves, he was a member of the Army National Guard where he deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.


Cody has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is a native Hoosier but currently resides in Northern Virginia.



Rachel Hoff

Rachel Hoff

Rachel Hoff is Director of Defense Analysis at the American Action Forum. She previously served as the Director of Government Relations & External Affairs at the Foreign Policy Initiative, a think tank she helped found in 2009. From 2006 to 2008, Rachel worked as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), focusing on foreign affairs and national security issues. From 2004 to 2006, she was a Research Assistant working with several foreign and defense policy scholars at the American Enterprise Institute. Rachel received a master’s degree in Global Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tufts University. She has worked and volunteered for numerous Republican Party campaigns and organizations and represented Washington, DC as a delegate at the 2012 Republican National Convention. Rachel was born and raised on U.S. military bases in Tokyo, Japan.



Nikki Kirsch

Nikki Kirsch

Nikki Kirsch currently works as a Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Ken Buck. She handles defense, foreign affairs, trade, budget, and a variety of other issues portfolios for the Congressman. Prior to this, she spent several years working in all aspects of Colorado state politics. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Colorado State University, where she majored in Political Science and minored in International Affairs. Originally from a suburb of Chicago, she now lives in the Capitol Hill area.



Kevin Kleber

Kevin Kleber

Kevin Kleber is currently pursuing his Masters in Security Studies at the Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service with a focus on Terrorism and Sub-State Violence.


Kevin deployed to Afghanistan from 2014-2015 where he worked to train, advise, and assist Afghan National Security forces with security and humanitarian issues as a Civil Affairs Officer. Prior to that he deployed to Iraq in 2009 where he served as an Infantry Platoon Leader and an Executive Officer for an Armor company.


Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Military Art & Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is an avid rugby player and runner.




Lindsay Markle

Lindsay Markle

Lindsay Markle is a Government Relations Associate at the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), connecting lawmakers and staff of Capitol Hill to foreign policy and national security think tank experts. Prior to joining FPI, she interned with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, Catholic Relief Services, and Senator Richard Lugar in her home state of Indiana. Lindsay’s research interests include economic development, political risk, and international trade. In 2014, Lindsay graduated from the University of Chicago with her M.A. in International Relations, where she focused her thesis on political risk and foreign investment trends in emerging markets. She graduated with her B.A. with honors from Purdue University in 2013, majoring in Political Science and Sociology and minoring in Spanish.



Montgomery Pace

Montgomery Pace

Montgomery Pace serves the 6th District of Minnesota in the Office of Representative Tom Emmer where her responsibilities include managing the Member’s and staff’s schedules, and overseeing the budget and all administrative aspects of the office. In addition to these responsibilities, she has worked with her colleagues on the Congressman’s foreign policy initiatives include the bi-partisan Congressional Somalia Caucus and Congressional Cuba Working Group. While beginning this job, Ms. Pace completed her BA in International Relations: Politics and Policy with a minor in Business at Liberty University. In addition to working in various administrative and advisory capacities at the university and throughout high school, she worked on political campaigns ranging from city council to presidential and headed various political organizations. A native of Dayton, Ohio, she is now a proud Washington, DC resident and has enjoyed getting involved in the local community.





Clifford V. Smith

Clifford V. Smith

Cliff Smith was born in Edmonds, Washington and lived in Lynnwood, Washington for 24 years. Raised in a family with a military background and sincere Christian values, he has always felt an attraction to fundamental American values of freedom, and peace through strength.

He became interested in politics at a young age, watching the Bush, Clinton and Perot debates. He was, and remains, horrified by Clinton’s victory. These experiences lead him to be involved in the YMCA Youth and Government program, where he was elected in various years, Committee Vice Chairman, Committee Chairman, and Youth Speaker of the House Pro-Tem.

After college, where he was heavily involved in both the College Republicans as well as the campus paper, Cliff worked on several campaigns for local office before deciding his goals were dedicated more to policy than to the strictly campaign side of things, particularly taking an interest in foreign affairs. While getting his Masters at Pepperdine University, he was mentored by Professor Robert Kaufman, Henry “Scoop” Jackson’s biographer, and was an intern at The Heritage Foundation.

Attending law school on Professor Kaufman’s urging, he continued to show a strong interest in foreign affairs while completing his JD. Since graduating, he has worked for two different Congressional offices, a non-profit transparency organization, and for a super PAC during a Presidential election.

Cliff enjoys reading, family, friends, cookouts, movies, and simple things in life. He is very involved in his Church and is also a big film fanatic.



Doug Steinberg

Doug Steinberg

Doug is an Associate at Sachem Strategies, a government relations firm that caters to defense technology firms. At Sachem, Doug conducts Congressional advocacy for innovative defense companies. Previously, Doug served as political director on a nationally targeted congressional campaign in California. In this role, he was responsible for voter engagement, volunteer recruitment and training, and assisted with campaign communications. Doug has experience in defense and energy policy, having completed summer internships at the U.S. Army War College and in government affairs at Chevron. Additionally, he wrote his college senior thesis on the congressional politics of defense spending. During his time at the Army War College, Doug conducted research on various military history topics as well as counterinsurgency and irregular warfare. While at Chevron, he worked in support of the company’s political advocacy efforts at the state and federal levels. Doug earned a B.A. in political science from Bates College. While at Bates, he was a member of the Men's Varsity Lacrosse team.



Chandler Thornton

Chandler Thornton

Chandler Thornton is a Master of Public Administration candidate at the American University School of Public Affairs, where his concentrations include public management and applied politics. Chandler currently works at the U.S. Department of the Treasury within the Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. His main areas of interest include national security law, intelligence, and counterterrorism.

Chandler has previously held internships at Hudson Institute, The Heritage Foundation, and on Capitol Hill. He previously served as director of the Kennedy Political Union, event management lead for TEDxAmericanUniversity, and chairman of the American Enterprise Institute’s Executive Council. During the 2012 cycle, Chandler worked on the Romney for President campaign in New Hampshire during the primary election and Virginia during the general election.

He holds a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in American Government from the American University School of Public Affairs. Chandler is a Maryland native and currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area.



Dantan Wernecke

Dantan Wernecke

Dantan Wernecke is currently the Director of Legislative Affairs and a student at the Daniel Morgan Academy, a new graduate school in Washington, DC serving the intelligence and national security communities. Previously, he served as Research Fellow at the Allen P. Kirby Center, Jr. for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship. He graduated from the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship in 2014 with an MA in politics from Hillsdale College, completing a thesis on Machiavelli.
He has interned as a fraud analyst for the State of Ohio and as a research intern for Ohio Homeland Security and the Claremont Institute in Claremont, California. Additionally, he served as the research assistant to Peter W. Schramm, the Executive Director of the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs and Professor of Politics at Ashland University. Dantan graduated, magna cum laude, from Ashland University where he was also an Ashbrook Scholar studying political science, history, and English, receiving a B.A. in 2012. He is proficient in French and is currently learning Persian. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including the Orange County Register and Finest Hour: The Journal of Winston Churchill.



Tori Whiting

Tori Whiting

Tori Whiting currently works in the Center for Trade and Economics at The Heritage Foundation where she assists in the development of the annual Index of Economic Freedom. Tori formerly worked in the Michigan House of Representatives as an intern and then Legislative Assistant for two state legislators. She is also a 2014 graduate of The Heritage Foundation Young Leaders Program, where she worked with the Center for Trade and Economics. Tori received her Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from James Madison Residential College at Michigan State University. She is a native of Spring Arbor, Michigan and currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.





Peter Wostenberg

Peter Wostenberg is a security analyst who lives in the Washington, D.C. area. Peter studied History, International Studies, and Spanish at Benedictine College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2013. He previously interned with Congressman Doug Lamborn, where he assisted with the Congressman's veteran's affairs, armed services, and natural resources portfolios. In 2012, Peter was selected as a Hertog Political Fellow, and studied American strategy in the Middle East under former National Security Council advisers.