Student Bios

Matej Jungwirth
I - International Relations
Beloit College, 2014
Comparative Literature/International Relations, B.A.
Prague, Czech Republic
Matej is a native of Prague, Czech Republic, and earned his B.A. from Beloit College in international relations and comparative literature. While completing his undergraduate degree, he studied in Amman, Jordan, at American University in Washington, D.C., and at the WWS JSI summer program. Matej’s senior thesis in international relations explored the political status and agency of displaced Azeris and Palestinians. After graduation, he returned to the Czech Republic to work as a foreign policy adviser to Czech Senator Václav Láska and as a programme coordinator of the Ecology and Foreign Policy programs at the Prague office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation. When possible, Matej rock climbs, hikes, runs and generally strives to spend time outdoors.
Alexander Kaufman
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Washington University-St. Louis, 2013
Economics/Political Science, B.A.
Newton, Massachusetts
Born in Newton, Massachusetts, Alex graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with majors in economics and political science. Eager to work on data driven policy, he spent two years as a research assistant at the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Since then, he has maintained an interest in computational economics and policy modeling, working at the Arava Institute in Israel and helping establish an open source project for heterogeneous agent economics. Over the summer, he traveled in Europe, South America and Asia where he enjoyed hiking, surfing and climbing.
Lorraine Keeler
I - International Relations
University of Pittsburgh, 2013
Environment Studies, B.A.
Seattle, Washington
Lorraine grew up between Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver and Pittsburgh and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Pittsburgh. Driven by a childhood dream to see the Amazon rainforest, she studied abroad in Brazil as a junior and received a Boren Award to study Portuguese. After graduation, she was hired to work in the environmental management department of a Brazilian mining company, CBMM. From there she was hired as part of a State Department critical languages program and in 2016 she began working as a Foreign Service officer in Rio de Janeiro along with a temporary tour in Addis Ababa. While in Rio she began studying Spanish and hopes to find friends to practice with at Princeton. In her free time, Lorraine enjoys knitting, cooking, hiking, listening to podcasts and playing quidditch.
James Kiawoin
II - International Development
Colorado College, 2015
Political Science, B.A.
Monrovia, Liberia
James was born in Monrovia, Liberia, and lived in Ghana and Ivory Coast as a refugee. At age 14, James moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, to join the inaugural class at the African Leadership Academy. He graduated from Colorado College in 2015 with a degree in political science and returned to Liberia to work for Last Mile Health. At Last Mile Health, James worked closely with the Ministry of Health to develop policies and programs to deliver health care to 1.2 million Liberians in acutely underserved rural communities. He is interested in global health, education and public financial management reforms and wants to use his time at the Woodrow Wilson School to develop the necessary skills to design and deliver effective programs to fight poverty in Liberia. James spends his free time eating, listening to music (Paul Simon!), watching, playing and writing about soccer. James coached soccer at the YMCA in Downtown Colorado Springs for three years.
James Kim
III - Domestic Policy
Georgetown University, 2014
Finance/Operations & Information Management, B.S.
Port Washington, New York
James left a career in the federal civil service to pursue solutions for alleviating urban inequality. As a prudent steward of public funds at Federal Aviation Administration, he has worked on balancing political and financial interests related to drone registration, domestic and international aviation fees, and the agency’s investments in internal programs. Previously, James spent a year assisting the growth of a campus ministry at Georgetown University. His interest in urban economic development is rooted in the years he spent in the capital and New York City. James has studied abroad in Beijing and is fluent in Korean.
Elijah Kimani
IV - Economics and Public Policy
Drexel University, 2014
Economics/Mathematics, B.S./B.A.
Thika, Kenya
Elijah grew up on the fringes of the Abardare Forest in Central Kenya and attended the Alliance High School, arguably the most prestigious high school on the Mother Continent. He moved to the U.S. to attend Drexel University in Philadelphia where he graduated with a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in economics. Elijah is a former employee of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C., where he conducted research on fiscal policy and was involved in the publication of several books and IMF working papers and in supporting missions across Africa. He has previously worked for J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley in New York City and the Australian Stock Report in Melbourne, Australia. An ardent traveler, Elijah toured Europe, West and East Africa over the summer before returning to the U.S. for school. To unwind, he loves quiet green spaces (thanks, Princeton), a good read, good music and food (any food). Elijah is working on his photography skills so this list is bound to change.
Noah Koerper
III - Domestic Policy
Whitman College, 2007
Environmental Humanities/Philosophy, B.A.
Golden, Colorado
Noah grew up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and earned his B.A. at Whitman College in Washington. Upon graduation, he moved to the Southwest to work as a river guide, outdoor educator, and natural science teacher. He joined U.S. Senator Michael Bennet’s staff in 2010, leading public outreach and policy initiatives across Colorado’s western slope and central mountains. In this role, Noah worked closely with Colorado communities to guide the senator’s work in forestry, public land management, and rural development. Amidst this work and later as the senator’s state policy director, he sought to create unique, consensus-building initiatives in search of new ways to address divisive issues such as climate change and resource extraction. After graduating, Noah plans to return to the Intermountain West to rejoin his wife and continue working towards resilient rural communities and sustainable land management.
Natalie Kotkin
III - Domestic Policy
Yale University, 2011
French/International Studies, B.A.
Wethersfield, Connecticut
Natalie is a lapsed international scholar who has fallen in love with the American city. She most recently served as special adviser to Philadelphia’s Health Commissioner, where she worked to improve outcomes for children by reducing lead poisoning, removing environmental asthma triggers and addressing other social determinants of health. Before moving to the City of Brotherly Love, Natalie spent two years developing and implementing healthcare access programs at the Mayor’s Office in New York City. She began her career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Washington, D.C., and later in London. After graduation, she hopes to work at the intersection of housing and health and to develop innovative approaches to sustainably fund social service programs in cities. In her spare time, Natalie is on a quest to visit every Major League Baseball stadium and U.S. National Park.
Anne Kuhnen
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Texas-Austin, 2013; Johns Hopkins University, 2016
French/History/Humanities, B.A.; Education, M.S.
Fort Worth, Texas
A Texas native, Anne studied humanities, history, and French at the University of Texas-Austin where she organized around human rights issues as a chapter leader and student activist coordinator for Amnesty International. After graduating, she joined Teach For America and moved to Hazard, Kentucky, where she taught math for four years and completed her Master of Science in Education. When she was not out hiking in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, Anne was becoming increasingly involved in efforts to foster growth in entrepreneurship, computer science education, and technology careers in the region. At the end of her four years in Hazard, she accepted a Fulbright English teaching assistantship position in the Netherlands, where she had the opportunity to research a successful vocational education model while continuing to work with students. Anne hopes to use her experience at WWS to prepare for a career supporting rural economic development.
Anurag Kumar
I - International Relations
Indian Institute of Technology, 2012
Textile Technology, BTech
Delhi, India
Anurag was born and mostly raised in Delhi and its suburbs. He graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 2012. During college, he grew interested in and worked on a range of issues from refugee rights to livelihood generation to environmental sustainability. After graduating, he joined the Parthenon Group, a boutique consulting firm in their Mumbai office where he worked predominantly with private equity and education clients across emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Anurag’s interest in working with the public sector led him to do a brief stint at the firm’s Boston office. Post Boston, he wanted to work more closely with the public sector, and joined the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. At CHAI, he worked to stabilize malaria treatments and diagnostics’ markets at the global level and with country governments across sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia to improve access to these commodities. Anurag is an avid traveler always planning the next adventure, likes most things outdoors (especially hiking), and is always keen to learn more about world and Indian history.
Ryan Kuo
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Pennsylvania, 2013
Operations and Information Management/Political Science, B.S./B.A.
San Jose, California
Ryan grew up in San Jose, California, and studied business and political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He comes to the Woodrow Wilson School after four years working for Bain and Company across Southeast Asia where he advised private and state-owned enterprises and investors on corporate strategy, performance improvement, and M&A. During this time, Ryan was also seconded to the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency in Addis Ababa where he managed teams developing commercialization strategies for the wheat, honey and sesame sectors and pilot programs for private distribution of agricultural inputs. Having seen the importance of building well-functioning markets to drive impact, Ryan intends to pursue a career in private sector development upon graduation from WWS. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing tennis, masochistically cheering for Bay Area sports teams, drinking pretentious beer, and making astonishingly salty, unhealthy food.
Erika Larsen
III - Domestic Policy
Hunter College, 2015
Philosophy, B.A.
New York, New York
Erika was born and raised in New York and hopes to spend her career improving cities. Given her obsession with SimCity as a child, she has seemingly always been interested in urban policy and planning. She has interned at the Manhattan Institute, Gracie Mansion, the NYC Council, and the Office of the Manhattan Borough President. In 2013, Erika was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development Youth Board. Most recently, she served as wellness manager at the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness, where she specialized in public health-related data evaluation, policy analysis, grant writing, coalition building and community outreach efforts aimed at creating solutions towards health equity. She also managed the Child Wellness Initiative, a coalition of over 60 partners working to improve health for Staten Island children and their families by focusing on healthy eating and physical activity. When she isn’t thinking about the policies that shape cities, Erika loves listening to musicals, discovering new restaurants, and trying to make healthy food taste surprisingly good.
Geesu Lee
I - International Relations
Middlebury College, 2012
Economics, B.A.
Seoul, Korea
Born and raised in South Korea, Geesu decided to move by himself to the United States at fifteen. Since then, he has discovered that travel is one of the greatest sources of personal growth and valuable learning of customs, cultures and languages. During his undergraduate studies at Middlebury College, Geesu actively sought study abroad opportunities in China and Japan where he realized and appreciated the full range of diversity in society. Following his bachelor’s degree, he returned to Korea and was commissioned as an Army officer. During his military service, Geesu served as a U.N. peacekeeper in Lebanon. There he developed a strong passion for peace-building and humanitarian assistance as a future career. Prior to entering the Woodrow Wilson School, he did his internship at the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Seoul office and assisted in establishing military networks in Korea and analyzing political and security issues on the Peninsula. At Princeton, Geesu plans to combine these diverse social and cultural experiences and leverage them positively to help resolve ongoing conflicts around the world.
Grace Lee
II - International Development
University of British Columbia, 2005; Cambridge University, 2007
International Relations, B.A.; Development Studies, MPhil
North Vancouver, Canada
Mountains, forests, ocean. Beautiful British Columbia is where Grace proudly calls home but curiosity led her to traverse the world to support vulnerable populations in fragile states for the last nine years. Before joining the “Woo” community at Princeton, she was the acting head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Canada in Juba, South Sudan where she was responsible for Canada’s development program on maternal health, governance, and food security. Previously, she worked on atrocity prevention and conflict mediation policy issues at the Stabilization Reconstruction Task Force at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada and was first posted as a political officer at the Embassy of Canada in Kabul, Afghanistan. When not responding to the challenges of fragile states, you can find Grace volunteering for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, whitewater rafting down the Nile in Uganda, snowboarding the Austrian Alps, or discovering a new song to play on her bass guitar. After graduation, she dreams of returning to Beautiful British Columbia.
Jeongseok Lee
Seoul National University, 2007; Seoul National University, 2009
Political Science, B.A.; International Relations, M.A.
Seoul, South Korea
Jeongseok (Jay) is a Ph.D. candidate in the security studies program, who studies international security with a regional focus on East Asia. He is currently writing a dissertation on the origins and evolution of the U.S. alliance network in Asia. Challenging a predominant view that American hegemony is the main cause of the prevailing bilateralism, his dissertation explores how Asia-Pacific countries’ preferences and strategies shaped and solidified the hub-and-spokes structure of the alliance system. This research is supported by the fellowships and grants from the Bradley Foundation and the Center for International Security Studies, and he is also working on papers on North Korea’s nuclear doctrine and China’s economic coercion as additional research projects. Before joining the security studies program, Jay had served in the Republic of Korea Air Force as an officer and taught international relations and strategic studies courses at the ROK Air Force Academy as an instructor.