Nunn School Alumni-Student Career Mixer | October 29, 2021

Alumni-Student Career Mixer 

Friday, October 29, 2021

1:00-2:30 pm

BlueJeans Link to Follow

Registration is required. Please RSVP here to select your preferences for speakers. You will have the opportunity to participate in three 25 minutes sessions and will be placed in your first session based on your preferences. For the next 2, you will be able to choose which session to attend. If you have any questions, reach out to 


Angeli Patel (BS INTA 2014) Angeli is a corporate, regulatory, and energy attorney at an international law firm called Jones Day that focuses on Environmental, Social, and Governance issues. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in 2020. Outside of her role at the law firm, Angeli advises a mental-health startup for people of color and is the founder of her own e-commerce startup. Prior to this, Angeli was a Chief of Staff at the White House, Office of Management and Budget. Angeli graduated from Georgia Tech in 2014 with Highest Honors in International Affairs. While there, Angeli was a recipient of the Ivan Allen Legacy Award, National Science Foundation CyberCorps Scholar for Service, and a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow at Princeton University.


Nekabari Goka (MSIA 2014) is a Principal Business Program Manager for the Utility of the Future team at Pepco Holdings (a subsidiary of Exelon), where he leads transportation electrification policy and strategy across all Pepco Holdings service territories in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey.  In addition to leading policy efforts, Nekabari supports Pepco’s Rates Administration, Engineering and Capacity Planning, Smart Grid, and External Affairs functions in the delivery of electric vehicle charging infrastructure installations across the light, medium, and heavy-duty market segments.

Prior to joining the Utility of the Future team at Pepco, Nekabari spent the last eight years in various roles across the power and utility industry,  building subject matter expertise in the areas of distributed energy resource technology policy, demand-side energy management strategy, and electricity market operations and design in the US, Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. A native of Atlanta Georgia, Nekabari received Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Economics and International Affairs from The University of Georgia, as well as a Master’s of Science from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at The Georgia Institute of Technology, where he focused his coursework and research in science, technology and energy policy.
Kate Wharton (BS EIA 2012) is Head of Natural Capital at CrossBoundary, a mission-driven investment firm unlocking capital in emerging and frontier markets. She was previously based in Erbil, Iraq as Head of Iraq Advisory. Prior to CrossBoundary, Kate was based in Istanbul, Turkey as Chief Operating Officer of Hala Systems, a humanitarian technology company focused on civilian protection from airstrikes in Syria. She began her career in Deloitte’s public sector consulting practice in Washington, DC, supporting clients on energy, water, and sanitation projects in emerging markets. Kate co-founded Deloitte’s flagship social innovation fellowship, D2international, leading pro bono projects in Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guatemala, and Uganda. During a 6-month sabbatical from Deloitte, she co-led Refugee Open Ware, supporting entrepreneurs in conflict-affected regions. Kate holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and International Affairs (Research Option) and a minor in Spanish from Georgia Tech. At Tech, she was a President’s Scholar, studied abroad in Mexico, worked abroad in Bangladesh, served as Local Committee President of AIESEC, and conducted economics research. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio.




Linnea Porter (BS IAML 2009) Linnea C. Porter focuses her practice on business immigration matters, including representing domestic and multinational employers before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of State. Linnea represents and advises employers in virtually all areas of business immigration, including nonimmigrant visa categories (B, E, F, H, J, L, O, TN), permanent residence (PERM, Extraordinary Ability/Outstanding Researchers, Multinational Managers and National Interest Waivers), naturalization, and DACA. She has experience counseling a variety of companies from start-ups to multinational organizations in a wide range of industries, including fashion, financial services, IT, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and alternative energy, on U.S. business immigration, compliance and enforcement actions, and global immigration.

Linnea also assists multinational employers with global mobility matters. Further, Linnea advises employers with I-9 compliance by providing onsite training, internal audits, and reviews, as well as deploying best practices to minimize exposure and liabilities in the event of government investigations.


Meagan Clem Martz (BS IAML 2008; MSIA 2011) is a Senior Associate Director of Development at The Carter Center. She is responsible for cultivating and maintaining relationships with individuals and foundations across Asia in order to solicit funding for the Center’s peace and health programs. Prior to COIVD-19, Meagan spent an average of 100 days out of the country each year, visiting donors and prospects in Asia and participating in Carter Center projects in Africa. In 2019, she served as an expert on Chinese aid in Africa at the Yale Africa-China Conference in Nairobi, Kenya.

Prior to joining The Carter Center in 2013, Meagan worked as an International Trade Program Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Economic Development and as a consultant for the Georgia Tech Research Institute.

As a student, she studied in Japan and Thailand and conducted her graduate fieldwork on women’s empowerment through local conservation efforts in Belize and Guatemala.


Alexious Butler (MSIA 2002) Ms. Alexious Butler is a career foreign service officer with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Prior to her current detail as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, Ms. Butler served as one of USAID’s Development Diplomats in Residence (DDIR) at Morehouse College from June 2020 through September 2021. In this role, she designed and managed the Agency’s Minority Serving Institutions Partnership and also the Agency’s inaugural Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) International Development Conference. In 2019, she completed a four-year assignment in the Haiti Mission where she served initially as the Democracy, Rights, and Governance (DRG) Office Chief and then moved into the front office to serve as Deputy Mission Director (DMD). Her DMD portfolio included the Offices of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Economic Growth and Agriculture, Food for Peace, and DRG. Prior to her Haiti assignments, Ms. Butler served as a DRG Officer in South Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, and Afghanistan as well as in Washington DC in the Africa Bureau’s Conflict, Peacebuilding, and Governance section.

Before joining USAID in 2006, Ms. Butler was the Resident Representative for the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Uganda where she managed women’s political participation, “Parties in Parliament” and electoral observation programs as well as voter education and outreach in northern Uganda. She also worked with NDI in Kenya and Tanzania on political party development. Upon completing her Master’s studies at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2002, Ms. Butler began working with the Africa Section of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). At NED, she managed civil society programs in East and southern Africa as well as Nigeria. While in graduate school, she worked at The Carter Center as a graduate assistant and helped to set up the Center’s office in Albania to support the development of that country’s national development plan. She also worked for the Center on conflict resolution in northern Uganda.

A native of Atlanta, GA, Ms. Butler worked in the private sector for almost 10 years as a public relations specialist for a variety of clients including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, McDonald’s, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and the World Bank. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Duke University in 1994. Ms. Butler also holds a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College.


Chinasa Ogburke (BS INTA 2014) Chinasa grew up in Evans, Georgia, a small suburb right outside of Augusta (also known as the home of the Master’s Tournament). She graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs and a minor in Pre-Law.

Upon graduating, Chinasa immediately relocated to Houston to attend law school. While at the University of Houston Law Center, she participated on the Mock Trial Team which afforded her the opportunity to compete in two school-sponsored competitions. She also worked in the University of Houston’s Civil Practice Clinic and completed various clerkships with both public and private entities. Upon graduating and successfully completing the Texas Bar, Chinasa worked at a firm in The Woodlands, Texas, where she practiced probate and business litigation for nearly two years. Before joining Lewis Brisbois, she worked for a Houston-area insurance defense firm where she litigated commercial, personal injury, products liability, and construction defect cases.

During her free time, Chinasa enjoys plyometric and “bootcamp style” workouts at Hermann Park, frequent short-term trips with friends, and trying different brunch spots in the city. She is a member of The Lighthouse Church, South Campus in Sugarland, Texas.


Ted Danowitz (BS IAML 2010) Currently the UK Desk Officer at the State Department in Washington, DC, Ted has previously served overseas in Guangzhou, China; Oslo, Norway; Auckland, New Zealand, and our embassy to Libya (resident in Tunisia). Ted graduated from Georgia Tech in 2010, majoring in IAML, and joined the State Department in 2011 after teaching English in China for a year.








Richard Gaines (BS INTA 2011) Richard Gaines recently began a new role as Senior Manager for Advocacy Audiences at the Wikimedia Foundation, where he will work to develop and execute advocacy strategies to advance the Foundation’s values and policy positions around crucial issues including freedom of expression, access to knowledge, privacy, and censorship online while defending knowledge as a human right. Prior to joining the Wikimedia Foundation, Richard worked at the US Department of State leading a portfolio of foreign assistance programs and contributing to foreign policy initiatives seeking to advance democratic governance and human rights throughout Latin America, especially in Cuba and Venezuela. More recently, Richard concluded a stint in the private sector where he managed international security programs for Delta Air Lines, including the company’s participation in the resettlement of Afghan evacuees earlier this summer. Richard holds a BS in International Affairs and Modern Language from Georgia Tech (Class of 2011) and an MBS from George Washington University.


Tabatha Pilgrim Thompson (BS INTA 2011) Tabatha Thompson is the acting director for the Program on Nonviolent Action at the United States Institute of Peace. She supports grassroots activists and peacebuilders globally in their mission to advance human rights, justice, and sustainable peace. She also guides donor organizations, including the U.S. government, UN agencies, and foundations, to better understand how they can effectively support social movements by amplifying lessons learned from the field and exploring the power dynamics of external support. Tabatha has a background in community organizing, leadership development, political campaigns, and facilitating dialogues to bridge domestic divides. Her field experience includes supporting capacity building and research in West and East Africa, Latin America, Tunisia, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

Tabatha holds a master’s degree in human rights, humanitarian policy, and conflict resolution from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and modern languages from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is a member of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation; Foreign Policy for America’s NextGen Initiative; and she is a 2021 Truman National Security Fellow.


Gala Villahoz (BS IAML 2012) Gala is a Senior Associate Attorney at Williams Teusink, LLC in Atlanta. Gala’s practice focuses on real estate and business transactions and litigation matters. She represents and advises clients in title disputes, quiet title actions, foreclosure actions, construction disputes, zoning issues, and landlord/tenant matters. She also assists clients including start-ups and small businesses on corporation formation, assets or share acquisitions, partnership and joint venture agreements, dispute resolution, and technology service contracts. She represents clients in Georgia Appellate, State, Superior, and Magistrate Court as well as in mediations and arbitrations. Prior to joining Williams Teusink, Gala acted as in-house counsel for a national residential and commercial real estate company representing the company in tax lien and property acquisitions.

Gala obtained her undergraduate degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in International Affairs and Modern Languages, a Minor in Spanish, and a Marketing Certificate. After college, Gala worked at the United States Consulate in Barcelona, Spain as a policy and legal consular officer. She then received her Juris Doctorate from the Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law. She was a member of the Bootle Inn of Court and brief captain on the Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court team.

Gala currently serves on the Georgia Tech Women’s Alumni Board and the Georgia Tech Hispanic Alumni Board. Gala is also a member of the State Bar Real Estate Sector and serves on the Atlanta Bar Student Outreach Committee. Gala is also fluent in Spanish and French.


Kristen Lundberg (MSIA 2006) Kristin Lundberg is a career foreign service officer with the State Department and currently serves as Consul for Political, Economic, and Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the Dutch Caribbean based in Willemstad, Curaçao. In her role, she covers all six islands and follows a myriad of issues from human rights promotion to countering transnational crime to encouraging U.S. business investment and educational opportunities. She most recently served as Public Diplomacy Chief for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs in Washington, D.C., overseeing strategic planning, program development, and post support for multilateral Missions in Europe and in New York. Prior to her time in D.C., Kristin served as Acting American Citizen Services Chief at the U.S. Embassy Madrid, Spain, and as a Consular Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Kristin started her career with the State Department as a 2008 Presidential Management Fellow and worked for 6 years as a civil servant before switching to the foreign service in 2014. She has a Master of Arts in International Politics and Human Rights from American University and a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs and Modern Languages with the highest honors from Georgia Tech. She speaks Spanish and is studying Papiamentu and Dutch.


Shawn Punancy (MSIA 2010) Shawn Punancy currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer of ACTN Strategies LLC, a risk management consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA. She is responsible for standing up the firm’s Global Intelligence service line and has served as a chief strategist for clients from the Smithsonian Institution to the Department of Defense. Prior to joining ACTN Strategies, Shawn spent a decade an intelligence analyst and program manager in several security-related agencies, including the Department of the Army, CIA and others working a host of issues from counterterrorism to international politics. Shawn has counseled numerous C-Suite executives and senior US policymakers, from Fortune 500 companies to the White House, on complex analytic topics, transformation strategies, and diversity and inclusion efforts. She started her career as a Program Associate at The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta serving burgeoning nonprofit leaders in the metropolitan Atlanta area. She holds a dual bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Anthropology and Political Science.



Abbey McDaniel (MSIA 2017) Abbey is a 2017 graduate of the MSIA program from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs. Since then, she’s been supporting the Health Equity and Rights team and Gender Justice team at CARE USA. She’s experienced in program/project management in the non-profit and public health space with a skill set in budgeting, award management, donor stewardship, bid tracking, event planning, and coordination and development of communications products. She has also remained active in state politics and community service.





Adam Weiss (BS INTA 2010) Adam Weiss graduated from Georgia Tech in 2010 with a B.S. in International Affairs, and a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. During his tenure, he studied abroad in the EU and East Asia, worked part-time in the Housing Office, and founded the Archery Club, among other things. After graduating he worked on prototype spacecraft at Boeing’s Phantom Works – Advanced Space Exploration division in southern California for three years. From there he attended the Georgia Washington University Law School in DC, graduating as President of the student body in 2017. While at GW he worked at two large law firms, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and then the White House: Office of Science and Technology Policy. Currently, Adam is barred in DC and Massachusetts and serves as a Counsel for the House Subcommittee on Aviation – the congressional body responsible for overseeing the FAA, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and the National Transportation Safety Board. He is also taking classes at the U.S. Naval War College and hopes to graduate with an M.A. in Defense and Strategic Studies in 2023.


Jonathan Scanlon (MSIA 2006) Jonathan Scanlon has nearly 20 years of experience in public policy, campaigning, and advocacy at the state, federal, and global levels. Engaging in freelance and consulting work, Scanlon assists organizations with public policy, advocacy, and rights-based campaigning work. In previous roles, Scanlon worked at Oxfam, the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Senate, CARE, and the State of Georgia. Scanlon has a B.A. from Emory University and an M.S. in International Affairs from the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Scanlon is active in the community, serving on boards and volunteering. He lives in Bellingham, WA with his wife, their two dogs, three hens, and enjoys travel, skiing, hiking, camping, and cycling.

Related posts