Student Bios

Boris Strecansky
II - International Development
Comenius University, 1991
History/Philosophy, B.A./M.A.
Bratislava, Slovakia
Boris was born and raised in Bratislava, in then Czechoslovakia and today Slovakia. He obtained a dual M.A. degree in history and philosophy at Comenius University in the same city. In the early nineties, he was working with the University of Minnesota and USAID on enhancing management skills of environmental professionals from public and private sector and non-profit organizations in the region. He was training management and evaluation skills of staff from the network of national Open Society Foundations. Boris has a passion for pro-social behavior, renewing the community spirit, and new forms of philanthropy. He founded the Center for Philanthropy, a not-for-profit organization serving donors and non-profits in resourcing civil society in Slovakia. Boris worked in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with World Bank, USAID, the European Commission, and other public and private donors in designing programs, analyzing policies, and building knowledge and capacities for the strengthening of civil society. Most recently, he has managed peer learning of the European Community Foundation Initiative (ECFI) in partnership with German Association of Foundations. Boris loves playing basketball and indoor soccer, and is a passionate painter and art lover.
Ayumi Teraoka
Keio University, 2013; Georgetown University, 2014
Political Science, LLB; Asian Studies, M.A.
Tokyo, Japan
Ayumi is a first-year Ph.D. student with particular interests in U.S. foreign policy towards Asia, alliance dynamics, and national defense decision-making processes. Prior to coming to Princeton, she worked at the Council on Foreign Relations’ Japan studies program and the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ office of the Japan chair. She holds a master’s degree in Asian studies from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Keio University. Ayumi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, and is mother of Haru, a five-year-old shibainu. Haru moved to the United States from Japan in 2016 and spends most of her spare time napping.
Solomon Tesfaye
II - International Development
Colgate University, 2015
Neuroscience, B.A.
Buffalo, New York
Solomon has been working in consulting (Kantar Analytics) but is looking to explore his roots deeper with an MPA. Trained as a behavioral neuroscientist during his undergrad career he is now interested in the intersection between public policy and psychological phenomenon, particularly as it relates to the refugee/immigrant experience. Solomon grew up in a refugee camp in the highlands of Yemen as a political refugee from Ethiopia. His hobbies include chess, futbol (Chelsea F.C.), reading, volunteering and beer.
Henrietta Toivanen
Claremont McKenna College, 2017
Biophysics/International Relations, B.A.
Kuopio, Finland
Henrietta is a first-year Ph.D. student at the Woodrow Wilson School with interdisciplinary research interests at the intersection of science, technology, and international security. Her research focuses particularly on nuclear arms control, non- and counterproliferation, and other nuclear policy issues. She grew up in Kuopio, Finland, in a Finnish-Polish home, before moving to California to receive her bachelor’s degree in biophysics and international relations at Claremont McKenna College. Her past professional experiences have been in Washington, D.C., Switzerland and India, and most recently she worked at the Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Anh Ton
III - Domestic Policy
University of California-Berkeley, 2011
English, B.A.
San Jose, California
Anh was born in Vietnam and grew up in California. Her experiences as a first-generation Vietnamese American, replete with code switching and cross-cultural mishaps, shaped her decision to pursue a career in building more inclusive institutions. Anh graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English literature and then cut her teeth in the nonprofit sector. She has raised funds to build schools along the Mekong, studied the habits of Asian American donors, and made grants to national youth development organizations. Before jumping back into the student life, Anh indulged in a bit of overseas travel over the summer. She has trouble deciding between whether she wants to go hyperlocal and work in a municipal government after graduation, or go broader and join a multilateral organization.
Ryan VanZuylen
III - Domestic Policy
University of California-Los Angeles, 2010
Political Science, B.A.
San Jose, California
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Ryan moved to Los Angeles to study political science and global studies at UCLA. After graduating, he and a colleague started a nonprofit in East L.A. to mentor children of incarcerated parents. Unfortunately, the program was eventually defunded due to the Recession and he moved to Madrid, Spain, to teach English through the Auxiliar de Conversación program in the Ministry of Education. He then moved to San Francisco to work as a policy intern for the president of the Board of Supervisors and was accepted as a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly fellow for the Capital Fellows Program in the California State Capitol. Since then Ryan has been working in the Capitol as a legislative aide working on issues related to housing, K-12 education, higher education, local government and energy. He hopes to continue working in state and local government upon graduation and incessantly talks about new podcasts he is listening to and how to improve his self-made scavenger hunts.
Alexander Villec
I - International Relations
Georgetown University, 2013
Economics/Government, B.A.
Tucson, Arizona
Alex grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and developed an affinity for public service, foreign affairs and economic development while studying at Georgetown. His semester abroad in Senegal and a one-year Princeton in Africa Fellowship in Kenya after graduation cemented his commitment to service abroad. That was followed by two years in Rwanda with One Acre Fund, a social enterprise focused on the productivity of small-scale farmers. Formally tasked with evaluating the impact of development programs while in rural Kenya and Rwanda, Alex grew increasingly interested in China’s political and economic interests in Sub-Saharan Africa and pursued a Fulbright scholarship in Taiwan as a linguistic and cultural entry point to the East Asia region. At Princeton, he looks forward to better understanding how American foreign policy can contribute to prosperity and stability in critical regions and he intends to pursue government service in some capacity after graduation. Alex enjoys foreign languages, French toast, and he cycles copiously, acquainting himself with much of East Africa and Taiwan by bike prior to joining the WWS community.
Brody Viney
IV - Economics and Public Policy
University of Melbourne, 2014
Economics/English, B.A.
Melbourne, Australia
Brody is an Australian with a passion for economics and public policy and their intersection with political ideology and decision-making. Completing a B.A. in his hometown of Melbourne, his studies covered a combination of economics, English literature and political science - a somewhat eclectic mix of disciplines which allowed him to explore how economic, political and cultural changes can intersect. While completing his degree, he interned with the Grattan Institute - Australia’s foremost independent public policy think tank - and later worked as an adviser to a member of the Victorian State Parliament, focusing on community organising and education and public transport policy issues. He also worked as a writer for the Economics Student Society of Australia and held a number of student leadership positions. After graduating, Brody joined the Australian Treasury in Canberra where he worked for more than three years across issues such as budget policy and fiscal forecasting, retirement income policy and taxation, and consumer law. In 2017, he spent 12 months as one of only two direct advisers to the Secretary to the Treasury, responsible for all economic and policy briefing, speech writing, and strategic advice on public sector management issues. Most recently, Brody worked as executive officer to the Treasury’s Head of Macroeconomic Conditions.
Kate Vlach
III - Domestic Policy
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2007
Political Science/Women’s Studies, B.A.
Washington, D.C.
Kate is currently pursuing joint degrees in policy and law at the Woodrow Wilson School and Georgetown University Law Center. She spent her summer working with the health team on the U.S. Senate HELP Committee and has previously completed legal internships with the ACLU, the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Immediately before returning to school, she served as senior manager of state legislative affairs at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists where she guided physician leaders in advocating for evidence-based women’s health policy. Prior to that, Kate spent six years at NARAL Pro-Choice America lobbying on reproductive health legislation – most notably the Affordable Care Act. She graduated with highest honors from the University of North Carolina and interned with Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa during a semester abroad in Cape Town. A Washington, D.C. native, Kate grew up on Capitol Hill and enjoys biking around the city on her visits home to see her partner Jon.
Mark Walker
University of Tennessee, 2012
Nuclear Engineering, BSc
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Mark is a Ph.D. candidate in science, technology and environmental policy (STEP) in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His dissertation research focuses on the development and implementation of international safeguards approaches for verifying the peaceful use of gas centrifuge enrichment technology. During his Ph.D. studies, he participated in internships at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Department of Safeguards, Division of Concepts and Planning, as well as at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Prior to arriving at Princeton, he gained experience as an undergraduate student at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, working on technical measures for arms control verification. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Ashwin Warrior
III - Domestic Policy
Seattle University, 2013
Economics, B.A.
Mountain View, California
Ashwin grew up in Minnesota and the California Bay Area but fell in love with Seattle while studying economics at Seattle University. While in Seattle, he served as head coach and program director for Street Soccer Seattle, a nonprofit using soccer to empower homeless youth. After graduating, Ashwin interned at the White House before returning to California and working for Fenton, a public interest communications firm that serves a variety of nonprofit and foundation clients. Most recently, he oversaw communications for Capitol Hill Housing, a Seattle-based affordable housing developer and community development corporation. He spent his summer savoring the sun, coffee and waters of the Pacific Northwest. After graduating from WWS, Ashwin plans on returning to the West Coast to work on housing policy that encourages equitable development in urban areas.
Thomas Whitney
I - International Relations
Yale University, 2002
Sociology, B.A.
New Haven, Connecticut
Thomas is a career foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State. He has served at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; as a political officer in the U.S. Embassy, Tokyo; as the principal advisor on U.N. and Global Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and most recently as the political and economic officer at the U.S. Consulate in Fukuoka, Japan. A New Englander who now calls California home, he and his wife have three children born on three different continents who have grown up primarily on two other continents.
William Willoughby
III - Domestic Policy
University of Georgia, 2013
History, B.A.
Savannah, Georgia
William was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia where he worked on the university radio news show and earned his B.A. in history and a minor in music performing cello. After graduating, he started his career as an education policy analyst at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget focused on early childhood and postsecondary education. His other work includes research with Emory University on evaluating programs designed to improve school climate in elementary schools and as a consultant to Georgia and Kentucky on finance and policy regarding their foster care systems. William spent the summer prior to attending Princeton exploring national parks and wilderness preserves of the western United States. For his summer internship before the second year of grad school, he worked at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget writing on and researching issues impacting the federal debt. After WWS, William intends to work in program evaluation or public budgeting, particularly in education or more broadly in social policy.
Theodore Wilson
I - International Relations
State University of New York-Geneseo, 2012
International Relations, B.A.
Clinton, New York
Theo was born and raised in Central New York. He attended high school in Clinton, a small town outside of Utica, and graduated from college at SUNY Geneseo, where he studied international relations, Arabic and Chinese. After graduating from college in 2012, he moved to Cairo, Egypt, where he spent the next three years working as a project manager for a youth employment NGO called Education For Employment Egypt. In July 2015, Theo moved to Washington, D.C., where he advocated for democracy and human rights in the Middle East at Freedom House. He left Freedom House at the end of July 2018 – leaving a few precious weeks before Math Camp to sneak in some rest and relaxation. After finishing at the Woo, Theo is interested in pursuing a career in international law.
Audrye Wong
Princeton University, 2013
Public and International Affairs, AB
Singapore, Singapore
Audrye Wong is a Ph.D. candidate in security studies at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and a National Science Foundation graduate research fellow. Her research has also been funded by the Smith Richardson Foundation, the Tobin Project, and the Bradley Foundation. Audrye’s dissertation examines China’s strategies of economic statecraft and patterns of effectiveness across different target countries. Her other projects look at the role of subnational actors in China’s foreign policy and asymmetrical alliance relationships, with a focus on East and Southeast Asia, where she has done extensive field research. Previously, Audrye was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, researching U.S.-China security interactions and crisis management. She earned her A.B. in public and international affairs at Princeton University, with a minor in translation and intercultural communication.