CSIS and DINSN Announce 2022 U.S. National Security & Foreign Affairs Leadership List

WASHINGTON, November 30, 2022: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), in partnership with the Diversity in National Security Network (DINSN), is pleased to announce the 2022 U.S. National Security & Foreign Affairs Leadership List.

This is CSIS’s second consecutive year partnering with DINSN—a bipartisan coalition committed to diversifying the national security public and private sectors—to spotlight leaders of diverse backgrounds in the fields of foreign affairs and national security.

This partnership aligns with CSIS’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), which strengthens its core mission of advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges. Through the leadership of Nicole Aandahl, CSIS senior vice president for people and culture, and Hadeil Ali, director of CSIS’s Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project, CSIS has established itself as a thought leader in this space, highlighting the intersection between DEI and national security.

A homogeneous workforce can lead to decisions and policies that disproportionately impact historically marginalized communities, which in turn can have a detrimental effect on our national security both at home and abroad,” said Aandahl. “Diversity is an asset to foreign policy because it enables us to innovate and solve complex problems.”

The 2022 U.S. National Security & Foreign Affairs Leadership List features leaders from the executive branch, media, think tanks, consulting, academia, nonprofits, and more. The 50 selected leaders underwent a competitive nomination and selection process in which they were assessed by the strength and uniqueness of their contributions to national security and foreign affairs. They will be honored by a private ceremony and reception.

“We are thrilled to release our 2022 National Security & Foreign Affairs Leadership List and thank the many members of the national security community who submitted nominations to this year’s list,” said Robert Alexander, executive director of DINSN. “Recognizing these individuals from underrepresented communities in national security and foreign affairs is critical to our mission, because the sector has a long way to go in providing leadership opportunities across all domains. We are so proud of our honorees and wish them all continued success.”

The 2022 honorees are listed below. To view last year’s winners, click here.

  • Combiz Richard Abdolrahimi, Global Emerging Technology & Innovation Leader, Deloitte
  • Tyler Adamson, MPH Desk Officer, Defense Health Agency
  • Hadeil Ali, Director, Diversity and Leadership in International Affairs Project, Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Negah Angha, Associate Vice President, Cohen Group; Senior Nonresident Fellow, Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative, Atlantic Council
  • Kidan Araya, Women in Energy and Climate Fellow, Atlantic Council
  • Sebastian Bae, Game Designer & Research Analyst, CNA Corporation
  • Naazneen Barma, Associate Professor, University of Denver
  • Youshea Berry, Former Director of Global Development and Strategic Planning, National Security Council, White House
  • Spencer P. Boyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European & NATO Policy
  • Alexious Butler, Senior Development Advisor, U.S. Central Command
  • Earl A. Carr Jr., Founder and Chief Executive Officer, CGPA Global Advisors
  • Caroline Chang, Senior Advisor, Office of the National Cyber Director, White House
  • William Connor, Senior House Staff Representative, U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
  • M.J. Crawford, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
  • Sabeen Dhanani, Deputy Director for Technology, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Mari Faines, Partner for Mobilization, Global Zero
  • Yousra Fazili, Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary of Defense for Comptroller
  • Ayla Francis, Senior Policy Advisor, Humanity United
  • Geysha González, Senior Vice President, Center for European Policy Analysis

  • Hermes Grullon, U.S. Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State
  • Shiyana Gunasekara, International Economist, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Nayyera Haq, Host, Sirius XM Radio Inc.
  • Devon Hill, Senior Defense Analyst, RAND Corporation
  • Sameer Hossain, Director of Community Engagement, Office of Partnership and Engagement, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Amira Jadoon, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Clemson University
  • Nezar Jamal, Director of Heartland Outreach, U.S. Global Leadership Coalition
  • Claradith E. Landry, Special Assistant for DEIA, Department of the Army; Former Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army for DEIA
  • Anthony “Tony” Johnson, Special Advisor (Strategy, Assessments & Capabilities) to the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security
  • Brian Mateo, Associate Dean of Civic Engagement, Bard College
  • Lydia Nylander, Division Director, Enterprise Risk Management and Internal Control
  • Victoria Parsons, Senior Director, Global Public Affairs, Palm Global Consulting
  • Alka Patel, Former Chief of Responsible AI, Joint AI Center, U.S. Department of Defense
  • Desiree Pipkins, Chief of Staff, Mercy Corps
  • Maria Rost Rublee, Associate Professor of International Relations, Monash University
  • Algene Sajery, Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst Global Strategies LLC
  • Symone D. Sanders-Townsend, Host of SYMONE, MSNBC
  • Valli Sanmugalingam, Professional Staff Member, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Jimmy Santos, Policy Advisor and Intelligence Officer
  • Terrell J. Starr, Founder, Black Diplomats Podcast
  • Cindy Serrano Roberts, CEO & Executive Director, Global Freedom Group
  • Warren Sutton, Senior Research Scientist, Center for Naval Analyses
  • Daniel Tapia, Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation
  • Samantha Turner, Nonresident Fellow, Stimson Center
  • Shawanesh Underwood, Member, Office of Policy Planning, Department of State
  • Pranay Vaddi, Senior Director for Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation, National Security Council, White House
  • Jennifer Walters, U.S. Air Force Pilot and Olmsted Scholar; Founder of Reach Athena
  • Simone Williams, Director of Programs, Leadership Council for Women in National Security
  • Felicia Wilson Young, Director of Education, Youth and the Young African Leaders Initiative, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Ali Wyne, Senior Analyst for Global Macro-Geopolitics, Eurasia Group
  • Stephanie Young, Director, Research Management Program, RAND Project AIR FORCE


The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.