Liz Schrayer serves as President & CEO of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), a broad based coalition of over 500 businesses and NGOs that advocates for strong U.S. global leadership through development and diplomacy. Under her leadership, the USGLC has grown to a nationwide network of advocates in all 50 states and boasts a bipartisan Advisory Council, chaired by General Colin Powell which includes every living former Secretary of State, and a National Security Advisory Council consisting of nearly 200 retired three and four-star generals and admirals. In addition to running the USGLC, Ms. Schrayer serves as President of Schrayer & Associates, Inc., a nationwide political consulting firm founded in 1994, which works on a wide range of domestic and international issues.
Jason Gross serves as Executive Director of the USGLC, tapping over 20 years of public policy, Capitol Hill and Presidential campaign experience to oversee day-to-day operations of the nationwide coalition. Prior to rejoining the USGLC, Gross served nine years as Chief of Staff to U.S. Representative Joe Courtney of Connecticut. Gross launched Courtney’s office in the House and led the office from a razor-thin 83 vote victory in 2006 to four strong reelections and Courtney being named Congress’s 8th highest over-performing Democrat by the Cook Political Report in 2014. Previously, Gross became the USGLC’s first full-time employee in 2001 and contributed to the organization’s growth from nascent coalition to established organization in six years as Managing Director.
Becca joins the USGLC team from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where she served as Special Assistant to U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power for two years. Prior to her time at the U.S. Mission, Becca spent three years at the Department of Homeland Security, working as an advisor in the executive offices of Secretaries Jeh Johnson and Janet Napolitano and specializing in emergency management, homeland security grants, and border security. Becca holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a focus on international security policy, and bachelor’s degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. Becca lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband.
Mylinda comes to USGLC from the Law Offices of David Sheldon, a boutique firm specializing in military law. While there, she took on a multifaceted role that included advocating for veterans and active duty service members, research, and serving as executive assistant to the firm’s CEO. Her professional tenure includes a research fellowship with Women’s Action for New Directions, where her work focused on global nonproliferation efforts. She has also worked with the National Defense University’s Center for National Security and Technology Policy, where she focused on sustainable technologies and their utility to the American military; the American Action Forum; and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Mylinda holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and history from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in political science with an emphasis on international relations and security policy from West Virginia University.
Lindsay Lee Plack serves as Director of Government Relations at the USGLC where she oversees the coalition’s engagement with Capitol Hill and other policymakers. Lindsay joins the USGLC from the Glover Park Group where she spent five and a half years managing government and public affairs work for a range of internationally-focused clients, including foreign governments, non-profits, and multinational corporations. She also served as a Senior Lobbyist at The Oldaker Group. Prior to joining the private sector, Lindsay worked on Capitol Hill for Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and managed his national security, foreign policy, and related appropriations portfolios. Lindsay also has extensive campaign experience working on and managing campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Lindsay holds a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College – Notre Dame, and lives with her husband in Alexandria, Virginia.
Ariana joins the USGLC with nearly ten years of federal government experience working on foreign policy and national security issues. Most recently, Ariana served as the Director of Senate Affairs in the Department of State’s Bureau of Legislative Affairs. In this capacity, she advised the Department on how to advance U.S. foreign policy, national security, and development priorities in Congress and managed the Department’s relationship with the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining the State Department, Ariana served as the Foreign Policy and Defense Advisor to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) responsible for the Senator’s foreign policy, national security, and related appropriations portfolios. A native of Syracuse, New York, Ariana spent a year studying in Paris, France, before earning her bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in French Literature from Johns Hopkins University.
Mary joins the USGLC from InterAction, where she worked with the Public Policy Team on federal budget analysis and food security advocacy. Before InterAction, Mary served as a foreign policy fellow in the office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), where she helped draft and negotiate the 2014 Global Food Security Act. Prior to her experience in the Senate, she served in the Washington, DC office of Human Rights Watch where she facilitated advocacy to the U.S. government and investigated protections for refugees. Mary holds a B.A. in international relations from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from Penn State University’s Dickinson School of Law.
Jessica comes to the USGLC from the Glover Park Group (GPG), where she provided public affairs and government relations counsel to a wide variety of clients in the firm’s International Affairs practice, including coordinating large account teams and managing high-profile visits by CEOs and foreign leaders to Washington. Prior to joining GPG, Jessica served on several campaigns, including Senator Cory Booker’s 2013 special election race and Gov. Howard Dean’s Democracy for America political action committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University, where she won a departmental prize for her thesis research, served as editor of a political journal, and co-founded Team U, the first and only intercollegiate fundraising endurance running team.
Sean Hansen comes to the USGLC after working on Capitol Hill in the office of Rep. Adam Kinzinger, where he assisted on foreign policy issues. Prior to that, he served as Policy Intern at the USGLC. Sean’s interest in international affairs developed from summers spent sailing the world aboard an 18th century replica tall-ship, the HMS Bounty. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the State University of New York at Geneseo, where he specialized in conflict resolution and U.S. foreign policy, and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in international development at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Sean is a proud Long Islander, hailing from Setauket, NY.
Derek Gianino serves as National Engagement Director, having recently rejoined the organization after serving USGLC for four years first as National Outreach Director and later as Director of Strategic Initiatives. In between his tenure at USGLC, Derek was Director of International Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In his role, he was responsible for promoting the Chamber’s international trade agenda, working with and managing grassroots supporters, third party stakeholders, strategic alliances, state and local chambers of commerce, and a wide array of businesses, including small and medium-sized exporters.
Carey comes to the USGLC from her previous position as Chief of Staff to the South Carolina House of Representatives Deputy Minority Leader James Smith, where she oversaw all political and legislative priorities. Her previous experience includes serving as South Carolina Deputy Political Director for the Hillary for President campaign during the 2008 primaries and a former lobbyist for a South Carolina education organization. Carey has worked on numerous political campaigns at the local, state, and presidential level overseeing field, fundraising, and policy development. She graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina, where she focused on Political Science. She is a native of Native of Decatur, AL and spent several years in Nashville, TN.
Alex joins the USGLC from the National Association of Broadcasters’ Political Action Committee (NABPAC), where he served as Senior Manager. At NABPAC, his responsibilities included expanding the visibility and size of the PAC, recruiting new donors, managing communications, and working with leaders of the broadcast industry to engage with key stakeholders. His previous experiences include serving as Campaign Manager for a congressional campaign in Indiana during the 2012 cycle, as a PAC Compliance Specialist at Vocus, Inc., and as Finance Director and Legislative Aide for Congressman Steven R. Rothman (D-NJ-09). A native of Rustburg, Virginia, Alex received his Bachelor of Arts in Government & International Relations from George Mason University, and holds a Master of Professional Studies in Political Management from George Washington University.
J.M. joins the USGLC after serving as Government Relations Officer at National Peace Corps Association (NPCA), where J.M. strengthened the organization’s Capitol Hill, grasstops and grassroots advocacy efforts, and led the #ProtectPeaceCorps campaign. Prior to joining NPCA, J.M. was a Peace Corps Volunteer for three years in northern and southern Thailand. He also taught ESL in South Korea and Vietnam, and was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Seattle. J.M. grew up all over Montgomery County, MD, and graduated from Auburn University with a B.A. in History.
Colleen joins the USGLC after serving as the Manager of Field Operations at BIPAC, the Business-Industry Political Action Committee. In this role, Colleen built and strengthened strategic relationships with leading state business organizations and supported their advocacy efforts. Prior to joining BIPAC, Colleen worked as a legislative intern in the Capitol Hill office of then-Senator John Kerry and in the district office of Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. She was also honored to participate in the Student Conference on U.S. Affairs at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where she analyzed the three “Ds” of foreign policy: diplomacy, development, and defense. A proud native of Buffalo, N.Y., Colleen graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in Political Science.
Prior to joining the USGLC, Jonathan worked in Texas as a member of Senator John Cornyn’s staff with a focus on Department of State and Department of Homeland Security issues. Prior to his time in a congressional office, Jonathan lived and worked in Barcelona, Spain. After earning his M.A. in International Relations from the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals, he worked with the Global University Network for Innovation to advocate for higher education reform as well as working on reestablishing higher education systems in areas affected by conflict or upheaval. He earned his B.A. from Louisiana State University and is a proud native of Nashville, Tennessee.
Ash Harden joins the USGLC from the Colorado Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign, where she was the Regional Field Director for southeast Colorado. Previously, Ash worked as a Program and Marketing Manager for the Business Council for Peace, where she supported and provided training to entrepreneurs in post-conflict countries, such as Rwanda and Afghanistan. Ash also served as a Research Associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Before CFR, Ash lived and worked in Udaipur, India training locally elected village representatives on leadership skills. She holds a MSc in Gender, Globalization, and Development from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Emory University in Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies and International Relations, where she graduated summa cum laude. She is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Will joins USGLC from the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he served as the Lead Advance Representative for Secretary Sally Jewell. In that role, Will coordinated the Secretary’s major events, speaking engagements, and meetings with key stakeholders both domestically and abroad. Prior to this position, Will served as the Deputy District Director for U.S. Representative Bruce Braley of Iowa, managing the Congressman’s district outreach, constituent services, and major events. He worked in a political outreach role on Congressman Braley’s successful 2012 reelection campaign, and he served as the Deputy Political Director for his 2014 U.S. Senate race. Will also has previous experience as an Account Executive at Cambridge Global Advisors, assisting clients with strategic communications and stakeholder outreach. A proud native of Waterloo, Iowa, Will is a graduate of Loras College where he received his B.A. in Politics and International Studies.
Jeremy comes to the USGLC from the Office of U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC). During his tenure there, he focused his efforts on military affairs outreach, directed the Military Academy Nominations Program and served as the Senator’s liaison to various groups and organizations. In addition, he was involved with Department of State issues and organized and directed major events. To date, he has worked for two U.S. Senators and has been a part of several federal campaigns, including the historic election of Tim Scott, who became the South’s first African-American Senator since Reconstruction. He is a graduate of Clemson University where he served as the Governmental Affairs Director and advocated for higher education on behalf of Clemson’s undergraduate student body. Jeremy is a proud native of Greenville, South Carolina.
Sean joins USGLC from the Democratic National Committee where he managed a nationwide team of staff and volunteers during the 2016 election. At the DNC, Sean supported the research and communications departments by providing real time updates from thousands of campaign events across the country. His earlier experience includes roles such as Regional Field Director for Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL) and Veteran Field Organizer for the Truman National Security Project. Sean is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, having earned the rank of Sergeant while serving at the historic Marine Barracks Washington, DC. Sean holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Florida and is a proud USF Bull.
Liz joins USGLC from the office of U.S. Senator Cory Booker, where she served as a Staff Assistant. In Senator Booker’s office, she interacted with constituents, coordinated tours, and provided assistance to the legislative staff. She also interned for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in Washington, DC, and for the mayor of her hometown, Summit, NJ. Liz graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in history. During her time at Dickinson, Liz studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she focused on justice and human rights. After spending nearly two years in the Senate, Liz is excited to join the USGLC team.
Landon joins the USGLC Outreach team after serving as the organization’s Development Intern. Prior to his internship with USGLC, Landon interned in the office of Rep. Jody Hice, where he drafted constituent correspondence, helped manage the Congressman’s social media platforms, and provided assistance to the legislative staff. Landon also worked as a Research Assistant with the Laboratory for Unconventional Conflict Analysis and Simulation at Duke University, focusing on Latin America and the Middle East. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Duke University. Landon is a proud native of Savannah, Georgia, but is excited to be working in the nation’s capital.
Robert joins the USGLC after completing a fellowship with the office of Senator Joe Donnelly where he focused on the FY ‘18 National Defense Authorization Act. He’s worked on a variety of international security issues while interning with the Security Assistance Monitor at the Center for International Policy and the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute. As a student, he studied Arabic in Morocco, the Western Sahara, and at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Robert holds a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University and a master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Denver.
Sidney joins the USGLC after a decade of experience in communications, policy and advocacy in the US, Europe, Asia and Africa. He most recently led the national press outreach and digital campaign efforts on immigration and refugee issues for Church World Service’s DC office. Prior to returning to DC, he worked in the international humanitarian and development sector in Geneva with the ACT Alliance, after which he was based in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Thailand with Church World Service. A DC native, Sidney received his undergraduate degree from American University and more recently earned his Master’s in International Peace and Security from the War Studies Department at King’s College London.
Jennie joins the USGLC from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, where she served as manager of North American communication. Prior to joining Gavi, Jennie held various roles in writing and media-relations, including a year-long communications fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NIH). She spent the early part of her career as a producer at CNN in New York. A Connecticut native, Jennie received her undergraduate degree in English from Duke University. She holds a Master of Public Health with a focus on health communication from the University of Southern California.
Allison comes to the USGLC from the private sector, where she served as Marketing and Public Relations Writer for Wolfram Research International. There, she covered a wide array of communications projects, with a primary focus on consumer outreach and education. She helped with the partnership between The Raspberry Pi Foundation and Wolfram Research International, and provided on-site communications support at the 2013 Computer-Based Math Summit. With a distinctive degree in both Physics and Film/Media Arts from American University, she is skilled in both technical and non-technical aspects of communications. While originally from Long Island, NY, she much prefers DC to New York City.
Megan joins the USGLC from the Capitol Hill office of Congressman Mike Thompson (D-CA), where she most recently served as the Press Secretary. Prior to managing communications for the Congressman, Megan was a Legislative Aide responsible for a varied legislative portfolio. She spent a year studying in Madrid, Spain before earning her B.A. in Political Science, with an emphasis in International Relations, and a Minor in Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara. A California native, Megan misses the beaches of Santa Barbara, though she has enjoyed making DC her new home.
Matt joins the USGLC after working in various communications roles, including as a Press Intern for the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. While studying multilateral institutions in Brussels, Belgium, Matt researched Russian influence in the European energy market as an intern with the European nuclear energy industry. A native of Frederick, Maryland, Matt recently received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Communications from American University in Washington, DC.
Emily Benovitz joined the USGLC in September 2011 and currently oversees the organization’s programming in DC and across the country. Prior to the USGLC, she spent over two years at The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where she managed lobbying activity for AIPAC’s top political activists, and helped educate members of Congress and their staff on the importance of a strong U.S. – Israel relationship. She has previous experience working at an education non-profit in DC and interning on Capitol Hill. Emily received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and is a native of Louisville, Kentucky.
Emily came to the USGLC in 2012 as a Program Assistant and today serves as the organization’s Deputy Program Director. Prior to joining USGLC, Emily held various roles in communications and event management at The British Embassy, Vital Voices, and Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Emily received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from American University, where she specialized in U.S. foreign policy and national security, and spent four months studying in St. Petersburg, Russia. A native of Burlington, Vermont, Emily has called DC home since 2007.
Ali joins the USGLC from the Partnership for Public Service, where she was most recently a Fellow supporting the Emerging HR Leaders Forum, coordinating logistics and analyzing program data. She previously served as an intern at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Ali received her Master of Management from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, and her bachelor’s from Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy, where she studied the impacts of international aid. She also spent a semester abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. A native of Atlanta, Ali is excited for the opportunity to explore DC.
Haleah joins the USGLC from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where she was an Operations and Creative Assistant for their annual Policy Conference, coordinating logistics for any art and innovative exhibits. She previously was a Digital Marketing and Production intern at FLIRT Communications in Chicago. Haleah received her bachelor’s in Arts and Entertainment Media Management from Columbia College Chicago and spent a semester studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. A St. Louis native, Haleah is excited to see all of the wonderful things DC has to offer.
John K. Glenn is Policy Director of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. He joins the USGLC after serving as Director of Foreign Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, where he led Transatlantic Trends, an annual survey of foreign policy attitudes in the United States and Europe, and oversaw GMF’s foreign policy grantmaking and programming. His background also includes academic expertise as executive director of the Council for European Studies and project manager at the Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. He is adjunct faculty at the Elliott School for Public Affairs at George Washington University and has written numerous books, articles, and policy briefs, as well as appears in the media regularly as a commentator on international affairs. Dr. Glenn holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College.
Sung joins the USGLC from Feed the Future Knowledge Driven Agricultural Development program, where he managed the publication process for the Feed the Future’s annual Progress Report. He was previously Assistant Director for Global Agricultural Development Initiative at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, where he led the Initiative’s outreach and research efforts on global development and food security issues. He holds an undergraduate degree from George Washington University as well as two graduate degrees from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in Public Administration and International Relations.
Abhik joins the USGLC after serving as a Fulbright grantee in the city of Daejeon, South Korea. In Korea, he conducted research on the startup ecosystem in Pangyo Techno Valley in addition to fulfilling his teaching duties. Prior to living abroad, he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley where he received a degree in political economy. While an undergrad, he completed several policy based internships. Most notably, he interned in the Office of Policy at the U.S. Agency for International Development. A Maryland native, Abhik is happy to be back on the East Coast after five long years.
Melissa Lieberman joins the USGLC after nearly 10 years of political fundraising experience at the Presidential, Senatorial, and Congressional levels including with the campaigns of Senator Joe Lieberman, Senator Frank Lautenberg, and former Congressman Martin Frost. Melissa previously served as director of development for MedStar Washington Hospital Center where she was responsible for overall fundraising strategy and execution, and before that as director of development for the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC). Melissa graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in political science.
Dana joins the USGLC with over ten years of fundraising experience in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently, Dana served as a consultant for the One South Carolina Flood Fund. Dana was the Executive Director for the JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) Palmetto Chapter in Columbia, SC for over seven years, where she was responsible for fundraising and events planning. Dana holds a graduate degree in International Relations from the University of South Carolina and an undergraduate degree in Spanish from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.
Meredith joins the USLGC from Schrayer & Associates, a DC-based political consulting firm, where she worked directly with clients to execute Capitol Hill Lobby Days and national conferences. Her responsibilities also included logistical and project management support on client projects ranging from strategic planning to meeting facilitation to grasstops advocacy campaigns. Prior to Schrayer & Associates, Meredith worked at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago managing a large portfolio of fundraising events and serving as the relationship manager to several support organizations raising funds for Northwestern Medicine. Meredith is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a B.A. in Communication Studies. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Media and Strategic Communication at The George Washington University.
Dular Niyangoda serves as the Chief Financial Officer at the USGLC and brings over fifteen years of executive leadership experience in finance and operations. Most recently, Dular was the CFO for The Optical Society (OSA) where he led finance and customer service departments. His leadership experience across the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors includes strategic finance and budgeting, accounting, compliance, human resources, information technology and customer service. Prior to returning to the not-for-profit sector, Dular founded a number of businesses promoting sustainable organic products. Dular lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC.
Sarah Smithers joins the USGLC after working in various operational roles at Emily’s List, M+R Strategic Services, and other organizations. She recently received her Master’s degree in Political Science with a concentration Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis from Appalachian State University. She completed several internships while in school, one at the Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and another with Genworth Financial. A native of Raleigh, she is excited to explore all the wonderful things DC has to offer.
Prior to joining the USGLC, Matthew served as an Intern Analyst for the Senate Budget Committee Minority Staff, where he provided policy research on international and urban affairs cited throughout the 2016 Democratic Presidential Debates. Matthew also served as a Legislative Intern for the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders, while assisting with youth outreach and event organizing on the Senator’s Presidential Campaign. Matthew first joined the private sector as an Executive Project Assistant at Powell Tate, where he worked with the International Vice President creating policy reports and overseeing research distributed to their international offices. A native of Stamford, Connecticut, Matthew received his degree in Global & Regional Studies and History from the University of Vermont, and studied French and French Literature at the Sorbonne.