2024 Marshall Fellows

2024 Marshall Fellows

George C. Marshall Fellows are exceptional conservative, DMV based, mid-level congressional staff, executive branch personnel, policy analysts, and defense industry employees.

Alex Flynn
Alex Flynn was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2014, he graduated from the University of Scranton and was commissioned as an Army Officer and a distinguished military graduate. Flynn left the military in 2022 to pursue a master’s degree in Strategy, Cybersecurity, and Intelligence from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Currently, he is awaiting a position in the Executive Branch under the Presidential Management Fellowship program. In his free time, he runs outdoors, travels to national parks, and listens to audiobooks about U.S. history.

Alexandra Lightfoot
Alexandra Lightfoot is originally from Kissimee, Florida. She currently works as a Congressional Aide for the Committee on Homeland Security in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lightfoot’s past roles include Government Relations Director for a faith-based advocacy group, Legislative Counsel for a U.S. Senator, Policy Analyst on religious liberty for a faith-based think tank, and a Law Clerk for the Supreme Court of Virginia. Lightfoot graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2014 and from Regent University School of Law in 2017. Her favorite law school experience was visiting Charleston, South Carolina, for a moot court competition and shopping at the straw market with her classmates and professor.

Arden Hooper
Arden Hooper grew up in Wheaton, IL before moving to Baton Rouge, LA to attend Louisiana State University in 2017. After graduating from LSU in 2021 with bachelor's degrees in Global Diplomacy, Spanish, and Political Science, she moved to Barcelona, Spain to pursue a master’s degree in international relations at Barcelona Institute of International Studies. Upon completing her master’s, Hooper moved to D.C. in August 2022 in hopes of finding a job in the foreign policy space. She currently works in Senator Ted Cruz’s office as his Foreign Policy Legislative Aide and is a Senator Ron Johnson alum.

Ben Esposito
Ben Esposito is a Legislative Aide covering National Security and Energy in the U.S. Senate. He assists in writing legislation and conducting oversight related to defense matters, specializing on U.S. force posture towards China. He has previously worked at American Compass and served in the Trump Administration. He is a 2022 graduate of Stanford University, where he majored in Political Science. Esposito is originally from Rhode Island and enjoys vacations to New England.

Claire Christensen
Claire Christensen is the Director of Research and Chinese Studies for Gingrich 360. She leads research and policy analysis on U.S.-China relations, national security, and foreign policy. Christensen co-authored the New York Times Best Seller “Trump versus China: Facing America’s Greatest Threat.” Her editorials have been featured by Fox News, Newsweek, The Hill, and other outlets. She has appeared as a guest on the Newt’s World podcast and as a featured speaker at Arizona State University. Christensen graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and is pursuing a master’s degree at Hillsdale College. She is a Fellow at the American Cornerstone Institute and an alumna of the Bill Archer Fellowship Program.

Dan Tagliarini
Dan Tagliarini is a Military Operations Analyst at Systems Planning and Analysis, Inc., where he provides advisory services and analytic support to the Australian Defense Force and U.S. Department of Defense clients. Previously, he served as an active-duty Marine Corps Officer, completing assignments as a Recruiting Manager and as a Logistics Officer at 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion in Okinawa, Japan, where he supported security cooperation activities throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Dan earned a master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies with Highest Distinction from the U.S. Naval War College and a B.A. in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

David Baker
David Baker is a Foreign Service Officer working on NATO affairs at the U.S. State Department. He previously served at the U.S. Embassies in Jakarta, Indonesia and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Baker’s previous Washington assignments include Political Officer at the Office of Chinese Affairs, Political-Military Affairs Advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and South Asia advisor at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Prior to joining the State Department, Baker worked at the House Committee on Armed Services and served as an active-duty Army Officer in Afghanistan and Iraq. Baker holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a MLitt from the University of St. Andrews. He was a 2018 Lincoln Fellow at the Claremont Institute and 2022-23 Madison Fellow at Hillsdale College.

Demri Scott Greggo
Demri Scott Greggo is a Department of Defense contractor and Legislative Analyst within the Office of the Director of Administration and Management, an organization within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Previously, she was a Military Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator Rand Paul. In her previous position, Greggo served as a personal representative for Senator Paul on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and had a large portfolio of national security issues. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Defense and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, with an expected completion in March 2024. She graduated cum laude from the George Washington University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs.

Giorgina (Agostini) Narango
Giorgina (Agostini) Narango is a Government Affairs Specialist at the International Republican Institute, where she engages with the democracy, rights, and governance community on ways to combat China, Russia, and Iran. Narango previously worked at Americans for Tax Reform, Congressman Christopher H. Smith, Kirsten Fedewa & Associates, and the Center for a Secure Free Society, where she focused on international trade, property rights, human rights, and Western Hemispheric affairs, respectively. Narango holds a master’s degree in human rights from the Universidad de Navarra and two bachelor’s in government and Latin American Studies from the College of William & Mary.

Ian Merritt
Ian A. Merritt is the Legislative Director for Representative Chuck Fleischmann, Chairman of the Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee. Previously, Merritt was a Civilian Executive Officer at the Department of Defense. He also served as an analyst authoring intelligence products and briefing defense policymakers and military personnel. He had earlier served as military legislative assistant for Representative Jeff Fortenberry. Merritt started as a Research Assistant in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He has a master’s degree in security studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in European history from the University of San Francisco. 

Jack Beyrer
Jack Beyrer is Press Secretary for Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Roger F. Wicker, where he manages and coordinates media relations, public affairs, and does speechwriting. He formerly covered national security and defense for the Washington Free Beacon, and is a graduate of Wake Forest University, as well as a 2024 graduate of U.S. Naval War College. He has previously done programming with the Hoover Institution, Alexander Hamilton Society, Hertog Foundation, inter alia. 

Jeremy Pinson
Jeremy Pinson is an Army Logistics (EOD) Officer. He is currently assigned as a Legislative Liaison for the Army responsible for Protection and Logistics areas of responsibility. In addition to multiple deployments conducting counter insurgency operations, he has worked extensively on the Army’s Advanced Manufacturing and industrial base policy lines of effort. 

Jim Fein
Jim Fein is a Research Assistant in The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for National Security, specializing in munitions. Prior to joining Heritage, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Davis, and a Certificate in Terrorism Studies from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. 

John Gardner
Sergeant Major John Gardner Sr. is an active-duty United States Army military medicine specialist serving as a Legislative Liaison in the U.S. House of Representatives. John has held a variety of developmental and leadership assignments including Medical Operations Planner, Senior Hospital Operations Sergeant, Defense Attaché Operations Coordinator, and as a Defense Fellow in the Office of Congressman Joe Wilson. John holds master’s degrees from The George Washington University (Legislative Affairs) and the University of Missouri at Columbia (Public Affairs). He earned his bachelor’s degree in business management from Colorado State University and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy. He hails from Cypress, TX.

John Richards
John Richards is a Major in the United States Marine Corps, stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, and assigned to Company B, Marine Cryptologic Support Battalion, currently serving as the Commanding Officer (Director). Richards leads over 195 Marines employed and deployed in support of the National Security Agency. Richards was recently selected as one of twelve Marine Corps officers to serve as a Congressional Fellow starting in the summer of 2024. Richards is married and enjoys hiking with his wife, Bridget Richards, RN, and their German shepherd, Sam, training for long-distance endurance races, weightlifting, shooting, hunting, reading, collecting bourbon, fine cigars, grilling, and the occasional round of golf. 

Jonah Wendt
Jonah Wendt is a Policy Advisor at Advancing American Freedom, founded by Vice President Mike Pence. Prior to joining Advancing American Freedom, he served as a staffer with Rep. Chip Roy for five years.

Krystina Skurk
Krystina Skurk serves as Communications Director for House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green. In her role, Skurk leads communications efforts, acting as a formal spokesperson, speechwriter, and media liaison for national outlets. Additionally, she serves as a Communications Advisor for the Committee on Homeland Security. Previously, Skurk served as a speechwriter for the Education and Labor Committee, led by Chairwoman Virginia Foxx, and served as a research assistant at Hillsdale College. Skurk has been published in RealClear Politics, the Federalist, the Center Square, and American Greatness. She is a graduate of Regent University and Hillsdale College and resides in Washington, D.C. In her free time, Skurk enjoys reading classic literature, attending Shakespeare plays, and traveling. 

Marcus Thornton
Marcus Thornton is a political-coned FSO with the Department of State. He previously served as a Border Patrol Agent and in other capacities with the Department of Homeland Security. Thornton speaks three foreign languages, including two critical-needs languages. He is the recipient of three Meritorious Honor Awards for his work defending human rights, rescuing victims of human trafficking and religious persecution, and advancing national security issues. Thornton is also the president and co-founder of Feds for Freedom, a nonprofit organization supporting thousands of federal employees and contractors that successfully defeated COVID vaccine mandates and works to promote government accountability and reform. 

Octavian Miller
Octavian Miller is a versatile professional renowned for their expertise in national defense, international relations, and political strategy. With a background in legislative coordination and research, exemplified by his role as Scheduler/Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Matt Gaetz, Miller possesses a deep understanding of policy formulation and implementation. His experience at The Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, coupled with a master's in security studies from Georgetown University, contributes to his proficiency in navigating complex geopolitical landscapes. Currently serving on President Trump’s Campaign Advance Team, Octavian leverages his insights to shape strategic initiatives and bolster campaign efforts.

Ryan Gallagher
Ryan Gallagher is a U.S. Marine Corps Officer, currently serving as the Defense Legislative Fellow assigned to the office of Representative Mike Gallagher. His previous assignments include leadership roles in units ranging from ten to two hundred Marines. As a Combat Engineer Officer, he has led the construction and maintenance of airfields, supported Customs and Border Protection operations at the southwest border, and taken part in military exercises at home and abroad. He is a 2017 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree at George Mason University.

Sara Harmouch
Sara Harmouch, M.S., M.A., leads H9 Defense, a consultancy dedicated to understanding, managing, and preventing national security threats. As a PhD candidate at American University, she specializes in state and non-state actors’ behavior, alliances, and the dynamics of terrorism and extremism. Originating from Lebanon and having lived under extremist rule, Harmouch is committed to countering militant organizations. She has provided critical analyses to NATO, supported media during crises, and delivered strategic insights to the U.S. Department of Defense. Her experience extends to working with the RAND Corporation and collaborating with intelligence and defense agencies. Harmouch’s work, featured on prominent platforms, addresses security challenges globally. Multilingual and with extensive fieldwork worldwide, she engages directly with her research subjects.

Taylor Weyeneth
Taylor Weyeneth has held various roles in the Executive Branch, Congress, New York Legislature, and political campaigns over the past decade. He worked for the 2016 Trump campaign, advised the Presidential Transition team, assisted in confirming Secretary Mnuchin at Treasury, served in Housing and Urban Development, and was the Drug Czar’s Deputy Chief of Staff in the White House. Additionally, he founded a political consulting firm, collaborating with the National Sheriffs Association, small businesses, and political candidates. In 2020, he served as the field director for Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis and later as Chief of Staff for NYS Assemblyman Colin Schmitt. 

Teresa Schuster 
Teresa Schuster is a Legislative Aide for Senator JD Vance focusing on defense, national security, and foreign affairs policy. She previously worked for Representative Chip Roy and interned for The Heritage Foundation. Schuster has participated in programs with the Hertog Foundation, The American Conservative, and the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. She grew up in Miami, Florida.