Meet the Co-Founders of NextGen NatSec!

Laura Kupe

Laura KupeLaura Kupe is a multilingual attorney with foreign policy expertise in think tanks and the Federal Government, including the U.S. House of Representatives, the RAND Corporation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the White House. Laura’s subject-matter expertise ranges from U.S. engagement with the European Union (EU) on topics, like migration, maritime security, transportation security, and counterterrorism, to Air Force manpower and personnel matters. As a Congolese-American, Laura is passionate about advocating for the inclusion of diverse communities and perspectives in U.S. foreign policy, knowing the great insight, talents, and experiences these communities possess firsthand.

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Camille A. Stewart gloster, Esq.

Camille 3
Camille Stewart is a cyber and technology strategist and policy leader with substantial business, legal and policy experience including serving in the Obama Administration, on Capitol Hill, and across the private sector at major companies like Google and Deloitte. Camille brings specialized, crosscutting perspective to bear on complex technology, cyber, and national security and foreign policy issues. Camille is committed to advancing the representation of the myriad of voices and lived experiences of the American people. Representation in our national security and foreign policy apparatus is a national security imperative. Camille dedicates much of her time to empowering others and making room for all voices in the national security, foreign policy, and tech sectors.  Learn more about her work at

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Meet the NextGen NatSec Leadership Board!

DINSN Leadership Board Members lead NextGen NatSec strategic efforts.

marcusMarcus Coleman

Marcus Coleman is a active contributor to building the nations resilience through leading stakeholder engagement efforts in the areas of emergency management and religious affairs.

Marcus co-developed the guide, Engaging Faith-based and Community Organizations: Considerations for Emergency Managers, FEMA’s course on Religious and Cultural Literacy and Competency in Disasters and led a nationwide effort to increase the safety and security for houses of worship.

Marcus is an alum of Howard University, American University, the Harvard University   National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a Truman National Security Project partner and a 2020 #NextGenNatSec Honoree.


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bunmiBunmi Akinnusotu

Deputy Director of the Rangel Fellowship

Bunmi Akinnusotu is a first-generation American who spent countless hours listening to her Nigerian relatives argue and debate world politics. Though born and raised in the rebel state of Rhode Island, the idea of a world outside of America has always been part of her consciousness and is the motivation behind this show. She’s got lots of degrees, worked for amazing organizations, and smiles at a dope Excel spreadsheet.

Bunmi is a recovering collegiate volleyball player, the world’s biggest Nina Simone fan and still has a love affair with Chicago.

By day, she is the Deputy Director of the Rangel International Affairs Program at the illustrious Howard University. In the late hours, she is the Host and Producer of the foreign policy podcast, What in the World? (@WITWPod) and Producer of her church’s podcast, Saved-ish (@Savedishpod).

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charles carithers

Photo © Tony Powell. Cornerstone VIII. December 16, 2020

Charles Carithers is a principal at Cornerstone Government Affairs, a full-service, bipartisan consulting firm, where he advises a diverse set of clients with interests related national security, defense, and Homeland security.

He previously served as a Professional Staff Member with the Committee on Homeland Security in the House of Representatives, advising Chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, on various national security and intelligence matters.

Before joining the Committee, Charles spent 11 years in the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC),having served in various leadership capacities, including the associate deputy director of public affairs for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) and a senior policy officer developing national level policies governing the IC within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). Charles also served as a Brookings Institution legislative fellow with the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate where he advised then Ranking Member Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) and Committee staff on matters related to foreign policy and national security. 

Charles serves on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia Leadership Council, is a term member with the Council on Foreign Relations, and a visiting fellow with the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. He is the recipient of the Joint Civilian Service Commendation Award and Medal and the Secretary of Defense Global War on Terrorism Award and Medal.
Charles also serves as co-chair of Cornerstone’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and
regularly speaks on the importance and necessity of diversity and inclusion in the national
security arena to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and national security and
education groups. He is the Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the nonprofit Black
Professionals in International Affairs and is a member of the board of directors for the nonprofit, STEM4US.


Meet the #NextGenNatSec Braintrust!

Mahlet N. Mesfin, PhD 

Mahlet Mesfin is a visiting scholar at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Mesfin_Mahlet_Headshot_2020
Engagement and serves as a consultant for the National Academy of Science’s Policy and Global Affairs Division.  Prior to this role, she led the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) after joining the Center as its Deputy Director.  From 2014-2017, Dr. Mesfin served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), most recently as the Assistant Director for International Science and Technology (S&T). There, she led and advised on the strategic planning, coordination, and execution of the S&T-focused engagements under the responsibility of the U.S. President’s Science Advisor, and championed S&T as an element of the broader U.S. government’s foreign policy agenda. Dr. Mesfin has been a AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Defense, where she worked on the Department’s domestic and international S&T engagements in basic research, and a policy fellow at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.  She received a Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.S.E. in biomedical engineering and B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project.


cliffClifford Pulley III

2020 #NextGenNatSec Fellow

Georgetown University, Walsh School of Foreign Service – Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS)

Cliff grew up in Kalamazoo, MI and received his B.A. in Global International Studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to study abroad six times, including to Singapore and Malaysia, Chilé, China (twice), Italy, and Uruguay. After graduating, he worked as a Project Manager in China for Whirlpool Corporation.

In addition to his studies in the Master of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) program, Cliff serves as the community co-chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Group. He is particularly interested in international negotiations, trade, and Asian studies.

Cliff hopes to pursue a career in public diplomacy and service. He speaks Mandarin Chinese.

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