January 22, 2021

USGLC Launches Next Gen Global Leaders Network and Welcomes Nearly 100 Young Professionals to the 2021 Inaugural Class

New program will provide a platform for young leaders across the country to highlight local impacts of international affairs, global development, and diplomacy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) is announcing the inaugural class of the Next Generation (Next Gen) Global Leaders Network, a brand-new, year-long program that will engage a group of diverse, bipartisan young professionals in leadership, skills training and mentorship in support of their own engagement on global development and diplomacy in their communities.

“Launching this new program with a diverse and talented group of young women and men from around the country is thrilling for USGLC,” said Liz Schrayer, USGLC President and CEO. “The reality is that this next generation is truly our future. Instead of seeing borders, they see solutions by working with partners around the world on issues like climate, hunger, global health and so many others that matter to American kitchen table issues. By investing in them, we are building a new cadre of advocates ready to educate policymakers about why leading globally matters locally.”

The inaugural class of young professionals from 33 states will participate in series of sessions with USGLC leaders and special guests to immerse themselves in global policy issues while strengthening advocacy and engagement skills. Throughout the year, they will interact with policymakers and opinion leaders, have opportunities to share and publish their own stories and perspectives, and will ultimately become members of USGLC’s State Advisory Committees at the end of the program.

The program is free of charge to participants, who were selected through a rigorous written application process.

Here is the 2021 inaugural class of USGLC’s Next Gen Global Leaders Network (with titles and affiliations listed for identification purposes only)


  • Peter Gresback; Capture Management Sr., Lockheed Martin Space; Huntsville, AL
  • Benjamin Yim; President, L.A. Wax Club; Hoover, AL


  • Danielle Bennett*; Youth Services Coordinator, Canopy of Northwest Arkansas; Fayetteville, AR


  • Kristin Allen; Executive Director, Global Ties Arizona; Phoenix, AZ
  • Simon Lee*; Non-Commissioned Officer, U.S. Marine Corps; Tempe, AZ
  • Nicole Magney; Public Policy & Communications Manager, Acronis SCS; Phoenix, AZ
  • Larry Sandigo; Associate VP of External Relations, Arizona Board of Regents; Phoenix, AZ
  • Tina Waddington; Executive Director, Phoenix Committee on Foreign Relations; Phoenix, AZ


  • Lily Donelson; Visual Designer, Lockheed Martin Space; Denver, CO
  • Cameron Manning; Operations Manager, League of Women Voters of Colorado; Denver, CO
  • Jennifer Wilson*; Deputy Director, Development and Communications, Home Front Military Network; Colorado Springs, CO

District of Columbia

  • Adam Taylor*; HillVets Fellow; Office of Congressman Seth Moulton; Washington, D.C.


  • Akilah Sadé Alleyne; Doctoral Candidate, University of Delaware; Research Associate, Wilmington Street PAR Project; Newark, DE


  • Sebastian Dario Aranguibel; Palmetto Bay, FL
  • James P. Chan; Florida State Director, State Innovation Exchange (SiX); Tampa, FL
  • Pamela Lopez Del Carmen; Program Manager, Development, Florida International University Foundation; Princeton, FL
  • Nicole Duque; Special Projects and Initiatives Coordinator, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity; Tallahassee, FL
  • Adela Ghadimi; Ph.D. Candidate, Public Administration and Policy, Florida State University; Lead Organizing Fellow, United Faculty of Florida; Tallahassee, FL
  • Tasi Hogan; Vice President, In-Touch Strategies; Winter Park, FL
  • Brandon Leon; Associate, Greenberg Traurig, P.A.; Boca Raton, FL
  • Blake Locklar*; Officer, U.S. Air Force; Niceville, FL
  • Spencer Pylant; Vice President of Government Affairs, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; Miami, FL
  • Samyr Qureshi; Co-Founder & CEO, Knack; Tampa, FL
  • Rebecca Weaver; Government Services Consultant; Tallahassee, FL


  • Adam Johnson; Associate Director for Programs/Project Manager, TEPHINET, Task Force for Global Health; Lithonia, GA
  • Lindsay Papsidero; Chief Technology Officer, GEOshare, LLC (A Lockheed Martin Company); Smyrna, GA
  • Chase Stell; Associate Consultant, Center for Transportation and the Environment; Atlanta, GA
  • Chelsea Toledo; Associate Director, Communications & Development, Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, The Task Force for Global Health; Clarkston, GA


  • Wendy Batchelder; Chief Data Officer, VMware; Cumming, IA


  • Alison Kelsey; Marketing and International Sales Manager, Rekluse Racing; Boise, ID
  • Lucas Spratling; Farmer, Spratling Farms; Vice President, Idaho Grain Producers Association; American Falls; ID


  • Tricia Rae Pendergrast; Medical Student, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine; Co-Founder, GetMePPEChicago; Chicago, IL
  • Brad Tietz; Vice President of Government Relations, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Chicago, IL


  • Sukaynah Abu-Mulaweh; Systems Engineer, Franklin Electric; Fort Wayne, IN
  • Erika Camarillo; Transitional Foster Care Site Supervisor of Indianapolis, Bethany Christian Services; Indianapolis, IN
  • Pete Cowden*; Veterans Service Officer, Wayne Township Trustee – Indianapolis; Indianapolis, IN
  • Samantha Faulkner; Vice President of Business Services, Sextons Creek; Indianapolis, IN
  • Sam Gonzalez; Vice President, Sextons Creek; Indianapolis, IN
  • Lauren Krull; International Exchange Program Coordinator, Northern Nevada International Center; Fort Wayne, IN
  • Amy Maxwell; Manager, Strategy and Marketing Communications, Franklin Electric; Poneto, IN
  • Will Thrasher; Global Trade and Logistics Manager, Franklin Electric; Warsaw, IN


  • Ruaa Hassaballa; COVID Testing Equity Project Manager, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health; Olathe, KS
  • Tyler Walston; Vice President, Kansas Global Trade Services; Wichita, KS
  • Adam York; Program Director, Kansas Grain Sorghum and Producers Association; Leonardville, KS


  • Cody Moran; Global Health Program Manager, SOS International; Louisville, KY


  • Barrie Stern; Engineering Leadership Development Program Manager, Lockheed Martin; Baltimore, MD


  • Rossy Hughes; Regional Quality Assurance Manager, Bethany Christian Services; Richland, MI
  • Pranadhi Koradia; Chief Operations Officer of International Shippings and Logistics Co, Transphere; West Bloomfield, MI
  • Joshua Lunger*; Senior Director of Government Affairs, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce; Grand Rapids, MI
  • Christopher B. McClain; Master of Public Affairs Candidate, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan; Fmr. Special Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, State of Michigan; Ann Arbor; MI
  • Alexandra Stan; Attorney; Board of Directors, Global Ties Detroit; Birmingham, MI


  • Catherine J. Bruns; Doctoral Student in Communication Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Plymouth, MN
  • Nicholas Hayen; Global Program Manager, United Language Group; St. Paul, MN
  • Laura Schmidt; Communications Specialist, Land O’Lakes, Inc.; St. Paul, MN
  • Jonah Simonds; Statistics and Social Sciences Contractor, U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); Minneapolis, MN
  • Laurel Stoneking; Professional Exchanges Manager, Global Minnesota; Hugo, MN


  • Courtney Brooks; Executive Director, Global Ties KC; Kansas City, MO
  • McKinzey Manes; Customer Service Representative, PCs for People; Kansas City, MO

North Carolina

  • Vincent Ginski; Strategic Initiatives Director, Gaston Business Association; Charlotte, NC

North Dakota

  • Joshua Ridler; Operations Director, North Region, Bilfinger Inc.; Bismarck, ND


  • Graham Pansing Brooks; Co-Founder and CEO, SEAchange LTD; Lincoln, NE
  • Alicia Dallman Shoemaker; President, Malaika Foundation; Educator, Nebraska Wesleyan University/Elhorn Public Schools; Omaha, NE
  • Brianne Wolf; Global Programs & Outreach Manager, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lincoln, NE

New Mexico

  • Celeste Nuñez; President, Nuñez Consulting; Albuquerque, NM


  • Shipra De; Business Process Manager, JT4; Las Vegas, NV
  • Kevin Hyunjae Sung; International Exchange Programs Coordinator, Northern Nevada International Center; Reno, NV

New York

  • Charles M. Eberly*; Principal, CrossBoundary; New York, NY


  • Mariah Carna; International Trade Specialist, Ohio Small Business Development Center, Export Assistance Network at Youngstown State University; Youngstown, OH
  • Thomas Schultz; Building Data Analyst, Green Umbrella; Cincinnati, OH
  • Mike Steensen; Director of International Sales and Development, L.J. Star Inc.; Cleveland, OH


  • Chaunté Gilmore; Physical Therapist Assistant, Ignite Medical Resort; Director, New Leaders Council, Oklahoma Chapter; Oklahoma City, OK
  • Katherine Kastl; Donor Services Coordinator, World Neighbors; Oklahoma City, OK


  • Kelly Chege; Researcher/Graduate Researcher, The Pennsylvania State Agricultural Safety and Health Extension Team; State College, PA
  • Jason Hunt; Manager, International Business Attraction and Retention, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, PA
  • Adam Klazmer; Financial Advisor, Klazmer Financial Group; Philadelphia, PA
  • Kellie Marin; PhD Candidate, Graduate Teaching Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University; State College, PA

South Carolina

  • Monica Shrivastava; Accenture Federal Services; Lexington, SC


  • Celia Grace Denney; Sponsorship Coordinator, Justice & Mercy International; Nashville, TN
  • Casper Schlemp; Immigration Paralegal, Saev Hernandez Immigration Practice, PLLC; Nashville, TN


  • Sarah Cruz; Policy Analyst, Texas Impact; Welasco, TX
  • Bianca M. Guevara; Client Success Specialist, Stirista; San Antonio, TX
  • Kyle Jacobson; Director of Government Relations, Lubbock Chamber of Commerce; Lubbock, TX
  • Alejandro G. Ortega; Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States Department of Justice; El Paso, TX
  • Nikki Piquette; Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office; Brownsville, TX
  • Wayne Smith; Sales Executive, Co-Star Group; San Antonio, TX
  • Lindsay Stanek; Research Program Coordinator, The Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin; Austin, TX
  • Omar Williams*; Master of Public Administration Candidate, University of North Texas; Frisco, TX


  • Derek Deitsch; Downtown Development Manager, Downtown Alliance Salt Lake City; Salt Lake City, UT
  • Andy Pierucci; Manager of State and Local Government Relations, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Riverton, UT


  • Nazeleh Jamshidi; Student of Government and Conflict Resolution, Georgetown University; Arlington, VA
  • Fardous Asem Rahmani; Strategic Planning and Communications Officer; United Nations; Falls Church, VA
  • Gabrielle Woodard; Cyber and Intelligence Communications Representative; Northrup Grumman Corporation; Arlington, VA


  • Krys Brown; Emergency Placement Program Manager, Golden Youth Services; Spokane, WA
  • Gretchen Helpenstell; Graphic Designer; Olympia, WA
  • Come Nzibarega; Employment Specialist, World Relief Tricities; Richland, WA


  • Emma Bronson; Consultant and Social Media Ambassador, Titus Talent Strategies; Milwaukee, WI
  • Corrie Osborne; Associate, Foley and Lardner; Wauwatosa, WI
  • Jason Rae; President & CEO, Wisconsin LGBT Chamber; Glendale, WI
  • Katie Wall Ujdak; International Grants Coordinator, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation; Madison, WI

*indicates Veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (www.usglc.org) is a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic, military, and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.