Alison Szalwinski
Vice President of Research
[email protected]

The June 2019 NextGen Program Participants


Twelve people took part in the U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders program’s visit to Seoul in June 2019. Learn more about the visit.

Melanie Berry

Associate, The Asia Group

Melanie Berry is an Associate at The Asia Group, where she supports the firm’s Japan portfolio. She provides clients with analysis of Japan’s domestic political dynamics, regional relations, and market trends in industries including pharmaceuticals, tourism, and hospitality, as well as relevant insights into the U.S.-Japan relationship across the political, economic, and security spheres. She also assists clients with analysis of security developments, domestic politics, and economic trends on the Korean peninsula.

Prior to this role, Melanie supported the Political and Security Affairs team at the National Bureau of Asian Research, where she provided research and logistical assistance for publications, events, and special projects. She also worked for the Asia-Pacific Initiative in Tokyo, where she assisted with the planning and execution of the 2017 Japan-U.S. Military Statesman Forum. Prior to this, she participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program as an Assistant Language Teacher in Gunma Prefecture.

Melanie holds a MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, where her research focused on U.S.-Japan alliance dynamics and Japan’s bilateral relations with South Korea. She also received from BA in History and Japanese Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. She is proficient in Japanese.

Erum Jilani

Senior Advisor Asia Pacific, Lockheed Martin

Erum Jilani is Senior Advisor Asia Pacific at Lockheed Martin. In this capacity her primary role is to assess geopolitical trends in the Asia-Pacific and shape research and development investments. She recently served in the Obama administration as Senior Advisor, Asia Pacific Policy, with the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She managed the U.S.-Australia-Japan portfolio, building trilateral initiatives on maritime security and military exercises. In this capacity she was also the lead negotiator for the U.S.-Australia-Japan Trilateral Information Sharing Arrangement. Her other appointments during the Obama administration included serving as Defense Fellow to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Mongolia Country Director, and an Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for nuclear, chemical, and biological defense.

Prior to her work at the Department of Defense, Jilani worked on President Obama’s reelection campaign at the Democratic National Committee. Her past experience includes positions at DHS, Georgia Tech Research Institute, and the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Prior to her work in national security, Jilani worked at Vogue and Chanel. She is a contributor to AFAR magazine.

Jilani holds a BS and MS from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School.

Catherine Killough

Fellow, Ploughshares Fund

Catherine Killough is the Roger L. Hale Fellow at Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation that aims to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons. She promotes diplomatic solutions to the US-North Korea nuclear crisis, and authored the recently released report “Begun is Half Done: Prospects for US-North Korea Nuclear Diplomacy.”

Prior to joining Ploughshares Fund, Catherine gained experience in foreign and domestic policy making as an intern in the State Department’s Office of Korean Affairs and as a fellow in the Office of Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. She also served as a research intern for the National Committee on North Korea.

Catherine graduated with an MA in Asian Studies from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Arizona.

Annie Kowalewski

Research Associate, American Enterprise Institute

Annie Kowalewski is a foreign and defense policy Research Associate at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). She focuses on Chinese military modernization and expansion, US-Sino strategic competition, and US defense policy in the Indo-Pacific.

Prior to joining AEI, Annie worked with the defense strategies and assessments team at the Center for a New American Security and was a parliamentary assistant to the chief whip at the Scottish Parliament. Annie received her Masters in Security Studies from Georgetown University and her LL.B (Hons) from the University of Edinburgh. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Lucas Kuo

Analyst, Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS)

Lucas Kuo is an Analyst in the Counterproliferation Cell at the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS), a Washington DC-based nonprofit that uses publicly available information and emerging technologies to map, track, and disrupt transnational illicit networks. Lucas manages the North Korea portfolio, where he leads the research on North Korean sanctions evasion networks involved in regime finance and procurement. He specializes in the analysis of illicit supply chains and maritime transportation networks.

Prior to joining C4ADS, Lucas’s experience spanned the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the U.S. Department of State. He received his degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and speaks Mandarin Chinese.

Diana Liang

Research Assistant, Brookings Institution

Diana Liang is a research assistant for the foreign policy program’s John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. She supports research on China-U.S. relations, as well as Chinese elite politics, foreign policy, and sociopolitical issues.

Prior to joining Brookings, she served as an intern at the Albright Stonebridge Group, the United Nations Development Programme’s China country office, and at the Embassy of Canada to the United States. She received a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University, where she completed a joint degree in economics and political science. She has studied Mandarin, French, Modern Standard Arabic, and Italian, and also speaks Cantonese.

Benjamin Rimland

Research Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Ben Rimland is a research associate in the Alliances and American Leadership Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Ben’s research pertains to the interoperability of allied Pacific militaries, the strategic direction of alliance initiatives in the Indo-Pacific, and the dynamics of Asian strategic balancing. Concurrently a Pacific Forum Young Leader, Ben has written analyses of and commentary on Japanese and American defense policy for outlets like The Diplomat, The National Interest, Tokyo Review, The Project 2049 Institute, and others. Having formerly worked for the German Marshall Fund, Ben is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A., political science cum laude), St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford (MPhil modern Japanese studies), and has a certificate in advanced Japanese from the Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies.

Matthew Schrader

China Analyst, German Marshall Fund (GMF)

Matt Schrader is a China Analyst with the Alliance for Securing Democracy at GMF. Prior to joining GMF he was the editor of the Jamestown China Brief at the Jamestown Foundation. He worked previously at the Crumpton Group and the Global Taiwan Institute in Washington DC, prior to which he lived in Beijing for nine years, working in the finance, PR, and social enterprise spaces. Matt speaks, reads, and writes Mandarin Chinese fluently, has translated three books from Mandarin to English, and also speaks pretty decent Spanish. He holds a master’s degree in the Asian Studies program from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, and undergraduate degrees in international affairs and economics from The George Washington University.

Andrew Swab

Master’s Degree Candidate, Harvard Kennedy School

Andrew Swab is a national security professional interested in a career at the intersection of foreign policy, finance, and technology. He is currently a second-year graduate student at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), concentrating in international and global affairs. His academic research concerns analysis on research with Harvard’s Korea Project on the potential economic development in North Korea, the classified U.S. defense and intelligence budget, and a capstone thesis on Russian information and cyber operations in the Baltic states. In graduate school, he leads the U.S. Foreign Policy Club, and captains the HKS Rowing Club, which successfully participated in the 54th Head of the Charles Regatta.

Andrew previously worked as a 2018 summer fellow at the U.S. Department of the Treasury working on issues in U.S. financial sector cybersecurity. Prior to HKS, Andrew worked for more than 3 years at the U.S. Department of State on embassy security policy. Before government, Andrew worked in journalism for the foreign affairs and economics desks at PBS NewsHour. Andrew holds a B.A. in international relations and journalism from Syracuse University. He also studied at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He speaks basic Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.



John S. Park

Senior Advisor, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)
Director, Korea Working Group, Harvard Kennedy School
Faculty Affiliate, Project on Managing the Atom, Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

John Park is a Senior Advisor for Political and Security Affairs at NBR, Director of the Korea Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a Faculty Affiliate with the Project on Managing the Atom at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He was the 2012–2013 Stanton Nuclear Security Junior Faculty Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Security Studies Program. He previously directed Northeast Asia Track 1.5 projects at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. These initiatives include the U.S.-China Project on Crisis Avoidance & Cooperation, the U.S.-ROK-Japan Trilateral Dialogue in Northeast Asia, and the U.S.-China-Japan Dialogue on Risk Reduction & Crisis Prevention. He also advises officials focused on Northeast Asia at the Departments of Defense, State, and the Treasury, as well as on the National Security Council and congressional committees.

Dr. Park previously worked at Goldman Sachs, where he specialized in U.S. military privatization financing projects. Prior to that, he was the project leader of the North Korea Analysis Group at the Harvard Kennedy School. He worked in Goldman Sachs on two occasions, where he was first involved in the M&A Advisory Group in Hong Kong and then later specialized in U.S. military privatization financing projects. He has also worked for the Boston Consulting Group’s Financial Services Practice in Seoul.

Dr. Park’s writings have appeared in Financial Times, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Wall Street Journal Asia, International Herald Tribune (international edition of the New York Times), and the Washington Quarterly. His publications include “Assessing the Role of Security Assurances in Dealing with North Korea,” in Security Assurances and Nuclear Nonproliferation (2012); a working paper on “North Korea, Inc.: Gaining Insights into North Korean Regime Stability from Recent Commercial Activities” (2009); and “North Korea’s Nuclear Policy Behavior: Deterrence and Leverage,” in The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia (2008).

Dr. Park received his MPhil and PhD from Cambridge University and completed his predoctoral and postdoctoral training at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.

Alison Szalwinski

Senior Director for Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)

Alison Szalwinski is Senior Director of Political and Security Affairs and Director of the National Asia Research Program (NARP) at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). Ms. Szalwinski directs all program management and project development for the political and security affairs team. In addition, she serves as project lead for several NBR initiatives, including NBR’s flagship Strategic Asia Program; the U.S.-Korea Next Generation Leaders Program; and the People’s Liberation Army Conference.

She is the author of numerous articles and reports and co-editor with Ashley J. Tellis and Michael Wills of four Strategic Asia volumes—China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions (2019), Power, Ideas, and Military Strategy in the Asia-Pacific (2017), Understanding Strategic Cultures in the Asia-Pacific (2016), Foundations of National Power in the Asia-Pacific (2015). Prior to joining NBR, Szalwinski worked briefly at the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Her research interests include alliance management, U.S.-Korea-Japan trilateral relations and U.S.-China strategic relations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs and History from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, including snowboarding, climbing, and biking.

Julia Oh

Associate, The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)

Julia Oh is an Associate at National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) based in Seoul, South Korea. She also is a Senior Project Officer at the National Democratic Institute, Korea. At NBR, Julia provides guidance on Korea Programming, business development, and strategic relationship building. She was previously a resident fellow at NBR’s DC office. Prior to joining NBR, she worked for the ROK government in London, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. She interned for one year in a separate research role for the Korea Economic Institute of America in DC, and the United Nations office for Disarmament Affairs in NYC. While completing her MA, she contributed to the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) in London.

Julia holds BA in Communications from University of Delaware and an MA in International Relations from the Department of War Studies at the King’s College London, where her dissertation focused on the role of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in domestic propaganda.