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 virtually every living former Secretary of State, and a National Security Advisory Council consisting of nearly 200 retired three and four-star generals and admirals.
Ms. Schrayer currently serves on the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s Development Advisory Council, USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACFVA), as well as several advisory boards and committees for the University of Michigan, including the Ford School of Public Policy. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In addition to running the USGLC, Ms. Schrayer serves as President of Schrayer & Associates, Inc., a nationwide consulting firm founded in 1995, 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.
Emily Benovitz serves as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. She joined the USGLC in 2011, most recently serving as Program Director, overseeing the organization’s events and programming in DC and across the country. Prior to joining USGLC, Emily spent two years at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee managing activity for AIPAC’s top political activists, and has previous experience working at an education non-profit and on Capitol Hill. In her community life, Emily is a member of the Jewish Federations of North America’s National Young Leadership Cabinet, a premier young leadership development program that educates and connects the next generation of global Jewish leaders and philanthropists. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington and co-chaired many programs and initiatives. Emily is a native of Louisville, KY and received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan.
Nissa joins the USGLC after working in various communications roles, most recently serving as Acting Communications Director for Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California. Prior to joining Congresswoman Lee’s office, Nissa worked at the Sierra Club as Assistant Press Secretary for the Clean Transportation Campaign. A native of Berkeley, California, Nissa received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations with a focus on security studies from Tufts University. While studying abroad, she explored multilateral institutions in Brussels and examined European Union expansion issues in the Balkans.
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.
Jimmy comes to the USGLC with nearly a decade of congressional experience, most recently as a Professional Staff Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee advising Ranking Member McCaul on global economic issues, technology, and international financial institutions. Prior to that, he served in various positions in the office of Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) – including as his Legislative Director where he spearheaded the successful enactment of the BUILD Act.
Lukogho joins the USGLC from Raytheon, where she served in their Leadership Development Program as a Business Development Manager and worked on export/import control compliance and U.S. and foreign regulations in international business activities. Her previous experiences include serving as a Legislative Staffer and Press Assistant for U.S. Representative José E. Serrano of New York, a Grants and Policy Manager for BURN Manufacturing in Kenya, and a Business Development Consultant for Groupe Nduom in Ghana.
She holds an MBA with a certificate in International Business from Howard University and a BA in Political Science from San Jose State University. She is a member of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, a 2018 Africa Business Fellowship alum, and a co-founder of the Congolese Diaspora Impact Summit. Lukogho is originally from the D.R. Congo and considers California and DC to be home.
Madison joins the USGLC after interning in the Government Relations department. Prior to her work with the USGLC, Madison interned with the Center for Global Development conducting policy outreach with Congress and federal agencies and with the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. Madison earned her master’s in international affairs from the Elliott School at the George Washington University and her bachelor’s in international studies and political science from the University of Denver. She’s a proud native of Western Colorado.
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 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.
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.
Luke joins the USGLC after serving as Deputy District Director for Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska. During his tenure with Congressman Fortenberry, Luke served as Campaign Manager, and also managed district staff and spearheaded outreach initiatives throughout the state. Earlier, Luke interned in Congressman David Schweikert’s office in Arizona and was a research intern for the Kayany Foundation in Lebanon. Luke attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he studied political theory and the philosophy of religion. Luke will be based in Phoenix as he executes USGLC’s Western outreach.
Nezar joins the USGLC from Twitter’s public policy team where he focused on the company’s nationwide work around the 2020 Election. Earlier, he worked with Facebook’s public policy team on global elections and government outreach and has held numerous internships including at the Atlantic Council, the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and companies in the UK and Jordan. Nezar holds a master’s degree in international economics and American foreign policy from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and received his bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University. Originally from Northern California, and having spent time living in Europe and the Middle East, Nezar is happy to call Washington, D.C. home.
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.
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.
Troy joins the USGLC after managing public affairs for a marketing company in Dallas, where he led government and community relations initiatives nationally. Previously, he worked as Director of Communications and Outreach in the Texas Legislature for now-Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson as well as roles with the U.S. Department of Treasury and with U.S. Representative Gene Green of Texas. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, studying international politics and law. A proud native of Houston, Texas, Troy is excited to work on outreach efforts in his home state as well as Oklahoma and New Mexico and will be based in Dallas.
Rob comes to the USGLC after managing and working on state-level campaigns in Northern Virginia. He also served as a Legislative Aide for the Virginia House of Delegates’ Majority Caucus Chairman, where he managed correspondence, maintained the Delegate’s schedule, and assisted with legislative activities during the 2016 and 2017 General Assembly Sessions in Richmond. After graduating from George Mason University in 2013, Rob worked as a carpenter in the Washington, D.C. area while he finished an internship in the U.S. House of Representatives, and volunteered on various federal, state, and local political campaigns throughout Virginia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in global affairs, with concentrations on global governance and economics. After growing up all over the United States, mainly in New Mexico and Virginia Beach, Rob is happy to call Northern Virginia home.
Alexandra comes to the USGLC from the Republican Party of Iowa, serving as a field organizer for voter and coalition engagement and for support to state and local candidates. She previously represented the Automotive Service Association as a Legislative Assistant for the Redding Firm, worked as a Constituent Services Coordinator for the Republican National Committee, and served as a Legislative Intern for Congressman Paul Cook of California. Alexandra is a proud graduate of Towson University, where she earned a B.S. in political science with a concentration in national security and intelligence.
Talyce joins the USGLC after serving as an Organizing Director for Supermajority Education Fund, where she managed twelve states ahead of the 2020 election, focused on increasing involvement of women and BIPOC. Over the past three years, Talyce has worked on policy for elected officials in Michigan, including Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson as the Collegiate Advisory Task Force Board Member & Advisor and for Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin in her district and DC offices. As a field researcher in Cuba and India in 2018 & 2019, Talyce focused on solutions to improve democracy and intersectional justice. Raised in a military family, Talyce has spent time in the south, lived in Florida, and looks forward to engaging in the fast-changing southern region. Talyce holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in international affairs.
Danny joins USGLC from Duane Morris Government Strategies in Pittsburgh where he supported government affairs advocacy at the local, state and federal level. Danny was an enlisted Marine from 2006-2010 and served throughout the Pacific region where he participated in several humanitarian operations. After an honorable discharge, he attended The Ohio State University before working as a reporter for The Youngstown Vindicator and an Associate Editor at Cincy Magazine in Cincinnati. In July 2017, Danny completed a fellowship with The Mission Continues, a program that places Post-9/11 veterans in various nonprofits to support community improvement efforts. As part of his fellowship, Danny worked as an Outreach Coordinator for PublicSource, a nonprofit media entity in Pittsburgh dedicated to public service journalism in the region. Danny has a B.A. in journalism with a minor in international studies from OSU and an M.A. in communications from Duquesne University.
Monica arrives at the USGLC after earning her M.A. in International Affairs at the Elliott School at George Washington University, where she researched gender-based violence towards women in Liberia and worked with Young Playwrights’ Theater, a small non-profit arts education organization. In 2017, Monica was a finalist for the Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, the Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship, and the USAID Payne International Development Fellowship. Monica earned her B.A. in Spanish at Howard University, where she studied abroad in Mexico, Spain, and India.
Taylor arrives to the USGLC team as a former Executive Production Assistant with PZAZZ productions, where she interacted with a variety of clients and managed communication with stakeholders throughout the entertainment industry. Chosen as a 2017 Caux Scholar, Taylor conducted research in Human Security and Peacebuilding while facilitating several conferences in Switzerland. Taylor holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs from Florida State University. As a student, Taylor served as the Director of the World Affairs Program, and was recognized for her performance in Model United Nations competitions.
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.
Kate serves as Communications Director, bringing more than a decade of policy and communications experience across the public and private sectors to lead USGLC’s communications operations. Kate most recently led third party advocacy at The Boeing Company, where she also served as senior manager for International Operations and a spokesperson for the Government Operations team over her five years with the company. Prior to her time at Boeing, Kate served as Managing Director at Hamilton Place Strategies, where she developed and led national advocacy campaigns focused on international trade and finance. Kate began her career in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill, working in both policy and press capacities in both the House and Senate. She ended her time on Capitol Hill as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine. Kate is a Connecticut native and a graduate of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Jennie joined the USGLC in 2016 as Deputy Communications Director and went on to serve as the organization’s Communications Director. Prior to joining the USGLC, Jennie managed North American communication for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and held various writing and media relations positions, 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.
Joan joins the USGLC after earning her Master’s in Global Communications from the American University of Paris. Prior to her studies in Paris, Joan worked in development communications for Abt Associates’ International Economic Growth division supporting projects in countries such as Ghana, Indonesia, and Mexico. Joan is an avid French speaker and holds a B.A. in English and political science from the University of Florida. She is originally from Orlando, Florida and resided in France before returning to Washington, D.C.
Carrie joins the USGLC from Project: Time Off where she supported research and communications efforts for a national behavioral-change campaign. Prior to working with Project: Time Off, she served as a digital producer at NBC ahead of and during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. She holds a B.A. in journalism and English from Duquesne University and a M. Sc. in journalism from Columbia University. Originally from Northern Virginia, Carrie is happy to call Washington D.C. 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 received his bachelor’s degree in political science and interdisciplinary studies with a focus in communications from American University in Washington, DC.
Emily came to the USGLC in 2012 as a Program Assistant and today serves as the organization’s 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.
Tyler joins the USGLC from the Mellinger Group, a political consulting firm where he worked with numerous clients running for state and federal office on planning events and executing fundraising strategy. Prior to joining the Mellinger Group, Tyler worked as a Marketing Coordinator at NDM Communications in Orange County, California. Tyler served as a White House Intern in the Obama Administration, first working in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, serving as a liaison to our nation’s mayors and city councilmembers, and again at the White House Council on Environmental Quality on the Public Engagement team. A native of the Tampa Bay area, Tyler holds a B.A. in political science from the University of South Florida and is also a proud Eagle Scout.
John K. Glenn serves as Policy Director at the USGLC, where he leads engagement with the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council, with the Executive Branch including the National Security Council, State Department, and US Agency for International Development, and with the think tank communities. He serves as a member of the Halifax International Security Forum Agenda Working Group and has also served as Adjunct Faculty teaching graduate seminars on transatlantic relations at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and the Elliott School for International Affairs at George Washington University. He previously served as Director of Foreign Policy at the German Marshall Fund of the United States where he led programs to promote greater transatlantic cooperation and understanding during the crisis over the war in Iraq, and as Executive Director of the Council for European Studies. He has written numerous articles, briefs, and books on foreign policy, global development, transatlantic relations, and democratization. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Harvard University and B.A. from Oberlin College.
Alexis joins the USGLC after a decade of experience in human capital development focused in private, public, and non-profit sectors across multiple continents. A recent graduate of Johns Hopkins’ School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Alexis received a master’s degree in International Economics and American Foreign Policy studying in Bologna, Italy and Washington, D.C. Before SAIS, Alexis spent four years working in East Africa for One Acre Fund, four years with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. serving the U.S. federal government, and two years with Smith College Executive Education. A native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Alexis completed her undergraduate degree at Smith College in Sociology and French Studies, where she spent her junior year studying and working abroad in Paris and Rabat, Morocco.
Zach joins the USGLC after holding several internship positions at nonprofits in DC, including at the World Affairs Council – Washington, DC. Zach recently graduated from Occidental College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in diplomacy & world affairs, and history. While at Occidental, Zach studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany, and additionally conducted research on U.S. engagement in international organizations. Zach is originally from Tucson, Arizona, and is excited to be living in DC once again.
Jessica joins the USGLC after holding several internship positions, including with InterAction and the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth. She recently graduated from Cornell University where she received a B.A. in government and also studied English and Spanish. While at Cornell, she spent a semester studying in Spain and played varsity soccer for four years, serving as co-captain her senior year. Jessica is a proud Chicago native, and she is excited be working in Washington, D.C.
As Director of External Relations, Melissa oversees the USGLC’s fundraising and development operations, including membership and corporate and foundation partnerships. Melissa also leads the engagement and stewardship of the USGLC Board of Directors.
Melissa’s background is primarily in political consulting and fundraising, with over ten years of experience raising money for Presidential and Congressional candidates. 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. Melissa lives in Montgomery County, Maryland with her husband Matt, daughter Lucy and son Jacob.
Dana joins the USGLC with over ten years of non-profit management experience. Most recently, Dana served as a managing consultant for then-Governor Nikki Haley’s One South Carolina Flood Fund where she developed the protocol to manage and distribute funding to the disaster relief organizations. 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 the geographical growth of the chapter to include national advocacy, 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.
Dana lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her two daughters.
Katya Mordhorst joins the USGLC after working as a Deputy Court Clerk in Colorado. She recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a concentration in international studies and a minor in political science. Katya completed a study abroad trip to Finland and Russia, where she focused on comparative justice issues. Prior to graduating, Katya completed a semester-long internship with the North Carolina 30th Judicial District’s Guardian ad Litem Program, where she provided direct advocacy to abused, neglected, and dependent children in court. Katya is a proud native of Western North Carolina, but she is excited to be working in the nation’s capital.
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.