Current Graduate Students

AIMEE BARRETO is a first-year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree at the Space Policy Institute. Most recently, Aimee managed the government contractor workforce in the Code 541 Materials Engineering Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. She has held diverse positions in Task Management, Business Development, Procurement, Quality Assurance and Human Resources Management working for various government contractors supporting NASA GSFC. Aimee holds a Master of Science in Government Contracts from The George Washington University, Master of Business Administration from Syracuse University and Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Syracuse University. Her interests include financial management, U.S. space policy, project management, and technology transfer/export control issues. Her research interests are focused on trending topics: civil and commercial space partnerships, military space weapons, and international space competitiveness.

Chris Beauregard

 CHRIS BEAUREGARD is a second-year graduate student pursuing a master's degree at the Space Policy Institute. He's focusing his studies on international space policy and commerce and also occupies the role of Staff Assistant for the Institute, primarily handling events and communications. After receiving his undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication from The University of South Carolina, Chris held a position in business development for the Washington, DC office of ThyssenKrupp, a global engineering, technology, and materials company. Chris participated as a delegate in the 2017 Space Generation Fusion Forum, is currently a visiting scholar at the European Space Policy Institute in Vienna, Austria and is the acting Communications Coordinator for the 2017 Space Generation Congress in Adelaide, Australia. Also in Adelaide, he will represent the Space Generation Advisory Council as a delegate in the International Astronautical Federation International Programme/Project Management Committee's 2017 Young Professional Workshop.

NATHAN BOLL is a second-year Graduate Fellow at the Space Policy Institute where he focuses on international cooperation in the exploration and development of outer space. He holds a Master of Science in Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from the University of Michigan, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Mathematics from the University of Montana Western. Nathan is currently a Space Policy Research Assistant in the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. Previously, he has served as a Mirzayan Graduate Fellow to the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences and has held several posts at NASA, including positions in the Office of International and Interagency Relations (OIIR) at NASA Headquarters, the Office of Education at the Glenn Research Center, and the Planetary Science Division of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In addition, Nathan has served multiple terms as a member of the Montana Space Grant Consortium (MSGC) Advisory Board and as a NASA Student Ambassador.

 JAKE COOPER is a first-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Jake recently graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Humboldt State University in Northern California. During his time as an undergraduate at Humboldt State, he decided to study topics of space policy, space exploration, and diplomacy. During Jake’s final semester he interned at the local office of a California State Senator. In this role, he worked and focused on a range of constituent affairs. Jake’s research and policy interests include space exploration, resource extraction, development, and diplomacy.”

DREW GARZA is a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master's degree at the Space Policy Institute.  He is a combat veteran with ten years of active duty with the US Army, including tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as multiple tours around the world for disaster relief and mission support.  He graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Space Studies from American Military University.  In his time at GWU, he hopes to focus his studies on international cooperative space policies that support US defense and national security strategies.  Drew currently works as a Program Manager for the Department of Defense, and he is also very active as a STEM advocate and volunteer, contributing time and expertise to the groups like the Planetary Society and Explore Mars, as well as providing community outreach efforts for the US Science and Engineering Festival.

RYAN GREEN is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S. in Political Science and History, with additional postbaccalaureate coursework in engineering and business accounting. His political experience began working in local Congressional offices, and now includes work under the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and with the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. His policy interests include the exploitation of space resources, as well as opportunities for international cooperation and the establishment of long-term space objectives.

TARA HALT is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University with a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Space Operations and minors in Human Factors and Astronomy. She has previously interned at NewSpace Global, the FAA Office of Commercial Space, and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. She currently works for the Tauri Group as an Aerospace Analyst.

Natalie Kauppi

NATALIE KAUPPI is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. During her undergraduate experience, she spent a year at the London School of Economics and Political Science and graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in International Relations and Comparative Politics. After four years in New York City, she decided to pursue her interest in space exploration and military technology. She hopes to contribute to military policy and the role of space in international relations and currently works at RAND.

EKATERINA KHVOSTOVA is a second-year graduate student and a master's candidate at the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied physics and astronomy. At UNC, she spent two years as an undergraduate research assistant on astrophysics projects and spent her senior year studying French, Russian, and political science abroad at Sciences Po in Paris, France. She has worked as a legislative affairs intern at NASA Langley and NASA Headquarters and currently works as a business development assistant at NanoRacks and DreamUp on international business ventures. Kat also serves on the board of the Space Frontier Foundation and is chairing the organization’s annual NewSpace conference. Her research interests are focused on policy to facilitate private industry growth and increased international collaboration in space. Her other interests include advocating for STEAM education, promoting gender equality in the science and tech world (and everywhere), studying plant life, stargazing, bike riding, making quesadillas, and playing with dogs.

MOON KIM is a second-year student at Space Policy Institute.  He received his B.A. in Finance and Economics from Robert H. Smith Business School of University of Maryland, College Park in 2007.  Prior to joining SPI, Moon was with Morgan Stanley for 7 years in US, Hong Kong, and South Korea, dealing with capital markets and then with equity markets, specializing in operational efficiency and management.  He is interested in development of space policies, both US and international, and particularly interested in space commercialization and involvement and interaction of governmental policies in commercial space markets.  He is currently working as a resources analyst at the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office of NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center.  

Cody KnipferCODY KNIPFER is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated summa cum laude from McDaniel College's honors program in 2015 with a B.A. in Political Science and International Affairs, where he focused on the domestic and geopolitics of the Middle East and the People’s Republic of China. He spent half a year as a space policy intern with the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and is currently an Associate at PoliSpace, a space policy consultancy, and the Corporate Secretary of the Space Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization advocating for the permanent human settlement of outer space. His research and policy interests include the fostering of stronger private-public partnerships in the space sector and the application of space activity for international and geopolitical aims.

Displaying Linck_headshot.jpgEVAN LINCK is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated with honors from Yale University in 2016 with a B.S. in physics. Evan’s academic interests center on the intersection of science, public policy, education, and international affairs. In undergraduate, he wrote his senior thesis on cosmology using gravitational lensing in galaxy clusters and conducted additional research in high-energy particle physics and dark matter. Beyond physics, Evan has also pursued Chinese language study, studying Mandarin in both Taipei, Taiwan and Beijing, China. Prior to starting at the George Washington University, Evan taught physical sciences to elementary and middle school students at Astrocamp in Idyllwild, CA. He has previously worked with the National Academy of Sciences Space Studies Board as a policy intern.

TRENT SCHINDLER  is a second-year student at the Space Policy Institute. Trent graduated with a B.S. in Physics in 1995 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he performed research in the area of high-pressure physics. He went on to receive an M.S. in Meteorology from Penn State University in 2000, with an interdisciplinary concentration in the fields of planetary atmospheres, exoplanets, and astrobiology. Since graduation Trent has worked in the area of scientific animation and visualization. His work has appeared widely in print, broadcast, and Web media, including among others Nature, PBS NOVA, Scientific American, and CNN. Trent is currently a member of the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, where he creates visualizations based on remote-sensing datasets from Earth science missions. 

MAYA SHARMA  is a second-year student at the Space Policy Institute.  Maya completed her B.A. from George Washington University's Elliott School, majoring in International Affairs with a concentration in International Politics, and a minor in Political Science.  While at GWU, Maya interned with a Congressional campaign, the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program, The Glover Park Group, and as a Senior Fellow at University of Maryland's Center for International and Security Studies. Currently, Maya works in Government and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).  In this role, she works on policy surrounding the sharing economy and emerging technologies.  

MICHAEL SLOAN  is a second-year graduate student. He earned a B.S. in Political Science from Florida State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Prior to attending graduate school he worked for a few years at a private company. His research focus is on aerospace and defense research, development, and acquisition processes.

BENJAMIN SPROULE is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated with honors from Washington College in 2015 with a B.A, in History and minor in Political Science. Ben wrote his undergraduate thesis on the history of the Soviet space program, with regard to its cultural effects on the Soviet people.  His academic interest include international cooperation in space and space situational awareness. Currently, Ben works as an intern for the NASA Office of International and Interagency Relations. Outside of SPI, Ben studied French at the Université Catholique de l'Ouest in Angers, France, and has worked as a legislative intern for the English Parliament.  

GENTOKU TOYOMA is a first-year graduate student and the current Division of Defense Policy Subsection Chief in the Japanese Ministry of Defense Bureau of Defense Policy. Gentoku graduated from the University of Tokyo in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in Oriental History. Gentoku has been involved in the Ministry of Defense for defense operations, coordination with Okinawa government and earthquake disaster response and is specifically interested in U.S. space policy and cooperative efforts with Japan.

ANNA WIEGER is an incoming graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Her interests lie in how present international space policy will shape future settlements in outer space. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Biola University where she was enrolled at the Torrey Honors Institute. She received her B.S. in Studio Arts and a Minor in Mathematics. Anna grew up in Turkey where her interest in the future impact of international policies was kindled by the way that old treaties still impact Turkey’s politics. Anna spent two years as an AmeriCorps member working in disaster relief and preparedness at the American Red Cross in Oakland, CA. She continues to volunteer at the Red Cross.

CLAIRE WILHELM is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. She received a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from George Washington University in 2014. During her time as an undergraduate at GW, she interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. There, she worked with the team responsible for the integration and testing of the onboard propulsion system of the Magnetospheric Multiscale spacecraft. After completing her undergraduate studies, Claire worked for Johns Hopkins University studying the thermal stability of liquid hydrocarbon rocket fuel. She now works as a contractor for the Department of Defense supporting the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. In her free time, Claire enjoys camping, hiking, and Netflix.

Josh Wolny JOSH WOLNY is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. Most recently, Josh has been an 8th-grade science teacher in Cleveland, Ohio. In the process of educating his students, Josh found that the coming decades are shaping up to be a bonanza for space exploration, and he wanted to be involved. Combining his bachelor's degree in International Relations and his experience translating difficult scientific concepts into understandable chunks Josh plans on working with policymakers and the public to increase support for further space exploration. Josh is most interested in commercialization, building international coalitions, and breakthrough technologies. 

Displaying passportphoto.jpgALBERT WU is a second-year graduate student at the Space Policy Institute. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering Sciences, where he performed research on remote sensing using reflected GPS and GNSS signals. He is currently the project manager and lead engineer of several airborne remote sensing instruments at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.