Dr. William Norris – Associate Professor of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy
Dr. William Norris is an Associate Professor at Texas A&M University, where he leads the Economic Statecraft Program and directs the Bush School’s concentration in China Studies. His research interests include East Asian security, business-government relations, Chinese foreign and security policy, grand strategy, and international relations theory—particularly the strategic relationship between economics and national security. He has received numerous awards, including the Asia Foundation’s Domestic Dimension of International Affairs Grant, the Bush School’s Faculty Excellence Award, and the Smith Richardson Foundation’s World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship. He was selected as a National Asia Research Program Fellow by the National Bureau of Asian Research and as a “Public Intellectual” of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and serves on the advisory board of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs. Dr. Norris was also an Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a Fellow in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. He completed his doctoral work with the Security Studies Program in the Department of Political Science at MIT.
Sarah Mesich holds a B.A. in International Studies and Russian Language. After graduating summa cum laude from Texas A&M, Sarah completed a graduate certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the Bush School, where she focused her studies on international organizations and international law. Sarah’s research interests include linguistics, political efficacy, and theories of legitimacy. Her thesis on passive linguistic structures and associations with low political efficacy in Russia received the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Thesis Award in 2020. Sarah also has a background in teaching, having worked as a Teaching Assistant for five courses including Intro to International Studies, Nations and Nationalism, and Intro to Russian Language. As the ESP Project Coordinator, Sarah develops and maintains project timelines and objectives, and provides resources and support for student researchers. Sarah takes pride in designing effective and professional organizational resources to keep complex projects on task to meet tight deadlines. In the future, Sarah plans to apply her organizational skills and international background to a law degree, focusing on foreign affairs.
Dr. Erin Snider
Dr. Erin Snider holds a PhD in politics and international studies from Trinity College, Cambridge. Her other degrees include an MSc in Middle East politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and a BA summa cum laude from James Madison University. Dr. Snider was a Carnegie Fellow with the New America Foundation and recently received a Bridging the Gap Policy Engagement fellowship. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in regional political economy (Middle East) at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance, part of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. While at Cambridge, Dr. Snider was a Gates Scholar, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2007-2008, she held a Fulbright Fellowship to study Arabic at the American University in Cairo’s Arabic Language Institute. Since 2013, Dr. Snider has been an Assistant Professor at the Bush School, where she teaches courses in the political economy and history of modern Egypt and the Middle East as well as the politics and practice of democracy promotion. Among Dr. Snider’s research interests are international relations of the Middle East, comparative politics, foreign assistance and international security, democratization, and U.S. foreign policy. She has published in journals such as International Studies Quarterly, PS: Political Science and Politics, Middle East Journal, and Middle East Policy and has a book in progress: Marketing Democracy: The Political Economy of Democracy Aid in the Middle East.
Dr. Fritz Bartel
Dr. Fritz Bartel joined the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service as an Assistant Professor in 2019. He came to the School from Yale University, where he was Associate Director of International Security Studies and also held a Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Bartel received his PhD in history from Cornell University, where his research was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. His dissertation, “The Privatization of the Cold War: Oil, Finance and the Fall of Communism,” won the 2018 Oxford University Press USA Dissertation Prize in International History from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) and is under contract to be published by Harvard University Press. Along with Nuno Monteiro, he is also the coeditor of the forthcoming edited volume Before and After the Fall: World Politics and the End of the Cold War (Cambridge University Press). His work has been published in Enterprise & Society and Diplomatic History.
Dr. Bartel’s research interests lie in U.S. foreign relations, the global Cold War, grand strategy, and the history of capitalism.
Dr. Raymond Robertson
Dr. Raymond Robertson is Professor and holder of the Helen and Roy Ryu Chair in Economics and Government in the Department of International Affairs at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the Director of the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy. He is a research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor in Bonn, Germany, and a senior research fellow at the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center. He was named a 2018 Presidential Impact Fellow by Texas A&M University.
Robertson earned a BA in political science and economics from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and an MS and PhD in economics from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics at the Graduate School of Administration, Monterrey Institute of Technology’s Mexico City campus.
Widely published in the field of labor economics and international economics, Robertson previously chaired the US Department of Labor’s National Advisory Committee for Labor Provisions of the US Free Trade Agreements and served on both the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy and the Center for Global Development’s advisory board.
Jason Galui – Visiting Professor of Practice
Mr. Jason Galui recently became a Professor of Practice in Executive Education at SMU Cox. During his twenty years in the U.S. Army, Mr. Galui’s service included personally advising President Barack Obama and President Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, along with their respective National Security Advisors. Mr. Galui also served as Senior Advisor for National Security to the (Acting) Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA), and he led CEA’s team responsible for analyzing issues at the nexus of economics and national security. Commissioned as an Armor officer, Mr. Galui led soldiers in combat during the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq and held leadership positions from the platoon level to the White House. In 2011 and 2012, he deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, and served as Strategic Advisor to the Commanding General of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. A two-time Assistant Professor of Economics in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, Mr. Galui taught and mentored two generations of West Point cadets. Mr. Galui earned an MS in economics from the University of Texas at Austin and a BS in economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Nicholas Ayrton is pursuing a major in International Studies and a minor in Chinese. His academic interests are deeply rooted in US-China relations and the geopolitics of Asia at large. Prior to attending Texas A&M, Nicholas served four years in naval intelligence, gaining invaluable experience in conflict resolution and security studies. He has further distinguished himself as a Marcellus Policy Fellow and as the President of The Asia Cable, a platform offering nuanced perspectives on Asian geopolitics. As he advances in his studies, Nicholas is part of the Economic Statecraft Program to hone his research and writing skills. Upon graduation, he aspires to work in either the think tank world or in journalism, focusing on foreign affairs.
Elena Briggs is a third-year undergraduate student at Texas A&M University pursuing a double major in International Studies and History, with a minor in Chinese. Through her work as ESP, Elena is hoping to increase her knowledge about economic statecraft and further develop her professional writing skills. In addition to ESP, Elena is also involved in A&M’s International Student Mentor Alliance (ISMA), TAMU UNICEF, University Honors, and is a Dean’s list student. Academically, she is interested in Sino-American relations, and the repercussions of China’s economic involvement in Africa. After graduation, Elena is planning to apply for the Fulbright scholarship before pursuing a career in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
Allie Cerling is a first year Master’s student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and minors in Neuroscience and History. She joined the ESP team in Fall of 2021, helping coordinate the speaker series, aiding in conference planning in May 2022, and leading several other work streams since. She has done previous research in intraracial bias with Houston Christian University and participated in a presentation on the subject in February 2022. Allie has previously interned with Houston Christian University, Houston City Council, and Brookwood Community – a nonprofit aiding adults with special needs. Allie’s interests are in social welfare policy and she hopes to work with the government and nonprofits in creating more equitable communities.
Ainsley Duncan is an undergraduate student at Texas A&M pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies. Her concentration is in the International Politics and Diplomacy track and she is minoring in Russian. Her academic interests include Russian foreign and economic policy, international security, and regulation of artificial intelligence. Ainsley also serves as an officer in Texas A&M’s Council of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities and the Memorial Student Center’s Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow in addition to participating in University Honors and International Studies Honors. After graduating, she plans to go to law school to study international law.
In the fall of 2020, Grace graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with a B.A in Russian studies and history. Her passion for international affairs, culture, and service led her straight to the Bush School. She is in the second year of her master’s degree in International Affairs with concentrations in American Diplomacy & Foreign Policy and Intelligence. Grace is deeply interested in US-Russia foreign policy and how to improve relations between the two countries. Upon graduating in May of 2023, she hopes to join the US Foreign Service and work as a diplomat in the post-Soviet space. When she’s not studying or drowning her husband with fun facts about the Russian language, you can find her teaching piano lessons, training in Brazilian jiu jitsu, or learning new recipes. Grace is also very active in her Eastern Orthodox parish, St. Silouan’s, where she helps lead Byzantine chanting.
Zoe is a third year undergraduate student currently studying Political Science with minors in Psychology and Sociology. Prior to working at ESP she was a volunteer student researcher for the Aggie Research Scholars program, researching Urban Development in the United States. Through ESP Zoe hopes to become better versed on international affairs, and see if that is the path she wants to pursue. She is currently split between Law School and a Master’s in International Affairs.
Colleen is a first year Master of International Affairs candidate on the International Development and Economic Policy track. She graduated from Texas A&M University with her B.A. in International Studies and Political Science, with a minor in Economics. She joined ESP in January 2023 and works to further develop her academic research skills, understanding of Economics Statecraft, and writing techniques. Colleen previously interned for the House of Representatives and completed The Fund for American Studies Leadership Program, where she developed strong interests in political journalism and economic policy research. She spent the Summer of 2022 developing her understanding of German language and culture by living in Bonn, Germany. Colleen works to achieve a career as an international economic correspondent in hopes to combine economic research/policy and journalism. She wants everyone from all backgrounds to stay informed on the latest international economic news.
Sabrina Hasik is an undergraduate student at Texas A&M University pursuing a BS in Applied Mathematical Sciences, with an emphasis in Economics. She is a class of 2024 Brockman Scholar, and will complete an MS in Business as a part of her scholarship program. She is passionate about academic research, and she worked on a team studying agent-based modeling and social networks under the Aggie Research Program in 2021. Sabrina is on the Dean’s Honor Roll, a member of University Honors and Math Honors, and a National Merit Scholar. She is also a writer for the A&M chapter of Her Campus, an online magazine for college women. As a Research Assistant for ESP, Sabrina is interested in studying developmental economics, Chinese foreign investment, and alleviating global poverty. Currently, Sabrina is working on a project studying the weaponization of globalization.
Austin Hillebrandt is a first-year graduate student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, where he will be pursuing the National Security & Diplomacy track of the Master of International Affairs program. His academic concentrations are cyber policy and China. After graduating from the Bush School, Austin plans to work in the aerospace security industry. Some of his academic interests include researching the resiliency of American infrastructure, analyzing how governments interact with the private space industry, and studying the relationship between network platforms and partisanship. Austin graduated magna cum laude from William & Mary in 2022 with a double major in Government and Religious Studies; he is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Trinity Johnson is an incoming graduate student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service pursuing a Master of International Affairs with a focus on China and international economics. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in National Security Studies. She earned the Sino-American Friendship award through the University of Houston for her excellence in Chinese language courses, and studied abroad in China from September 2019 to January 2020. Trinity interned at the Center for Civic and Public Policy Improvement researching affordable housing and its effects on the Third Ward in Houston. She also interned at the Association of Industry Analytics which developed her data management and analytical skills with emphasis on energy and domestic economics. Trinity plans to combine her expertise on China and economics in the Economic Statecraft Program and onward.
Emma is currently studying Economics and hopes to eventually get a minor in Financial Planning and a Master’s in International Aairs. Throughout her college career, she has participated in a variety of research opportunities which have included winning research competitions, presenting at regional and international conferences, as well as publishing papers. She currently works with the LIVE Lab in the School of Visualization at Texas A&M and the Economic Statecraft Program at the Bush School, where she enjoys using her presentation and professional writing skills to help create products. In the future, Emma hopes to work in an area where she can use her problem-solving and networking skills. She hopes to work in either the Foreign Service or Economic policy making.
Isabel Lan is an undergraduate student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service pursuing a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Communications. Her academic interests include US-China and cross-strait relations. Isabel previously interned for Texas’s 18th Congressional District, where she assisted Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in her legislative duties by conducting research, handling constituent casework, and providing administrative support. Post graduation, Isabel hopes to pursue a career in public policy and law.
Gracia is a current student at the Bush School of Government and Public Service pursuing a Master of International Affairs; her studies focus on China, intelligence, cybersecurity, and defense policy. Her academic interests consist of studying internet technology policy, US-China relations, and defense policy regarding the resiliency of US technology infrastructure. Gracia’s internships with US Space Force public affairs, Texas A&M’s Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC), and the American Red Cross are experiences that have informed her academic and professional pursuits. Prior to the Bush School, Gracia graduated from Texas A&M University in May of 2022 with a B.S. in Political Science and minors in Chinese and Business. She hopes to mesh her personal story and academic interests to ultimately give back through a career in public service and invest in the next generation of leaders in international and domestic technology policy.
Eric Martinez is a fourth-year student in the Bush School of Government & Public Service pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Political Science. Their academic interests include: international political economy, political thought, and philosophy. After graduating from Texas A&M, Eric intends on going to graduate school to study international development and political economy. Following graduate school, Eric intends on following a career dedicated to ending poverty and underdevelopment in the periphery and semi-periphery. Outside of their academics, Eric plays guitar, reads, and enjoys watching horror movies!
Cason is a junior studying Agriculture Economics, and hopes to get a Masters of Public Service and Administration. His academic interests include economic policy, agricultural law, and local government policy. Cason has previously worked as a Legislative Aide in the Texas House of Representatives during the 88th regular legislative session. During his time in the Texas House, he conducted policy research on statewide issues like natural resources, wind insurance policy, education, and healthcare. Currently, in the Economic Statecraft Program, Cason is a research assistant on the Opportunities Development team. In the future, Cason hopes to work in a collaborative and interactive environment where he can continue growing his networking and researching skills. He hopes to work in a field related to state and national government.
Kayla Nguyen is an undergraduate student at Texas A&M University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. In addition to being an undergraduate student researcher, Kayla has served in the Executive Cabinet of Texas A&M’s Student Government Association. Her academic interests include international security, economics, and public policy.
Adam Paris entered the Master of International Affairs program at The Bush School in the fall of 2023 after earning his Bachelor of Science in Economics from Texas A&M University. Adam previously worked as a Chinese Activities Analyst Intern at the Defense Intelligence Agency and is currently involved in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets where he serves as the Commander of the Ross Volunteer Company and as a Platoon Leader and Training Officer in Company K-2. Adam is also a member of the Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA) and The Ready Room. Adam is interested in studying Chinese economic statecraft and foreign policy as well as intelligence and military affairs. After graduation, Adam intends to pursue a career in the United States intelligence community.
Samuel Park is a Master of International Affairs student and a Robertson Fellow at the Bush School of Government & Public Service, pursuing the National Security and Diplomacy Track. His academic interests include influence operations and Indo-Pacific security. Before coming to Texas A&M, he managed data operations at a healthcare startup. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience. During his undergraduate years, he served in leadership roles in service-oriented organizations and competed in judo and skiing. Outside of the classroom, he is on the Bush School intramural soccer team. After graduation, Sam intends to pursue a meaningful career in international affairs.
Gordon Peters graduated from the Bush School of Government & Public Service, where he received a Master of International Affairs (MIA) degree in 2023. Prior to coming to the Bush School, Gordon graduated cum laude from Temple University in 2021. He received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Chinese, with a minor in History. His research interests involve China, East Asian politics, and US Foreign Policy regarding Asia. He is actively seeking full time employment in the field of international affairs.
Currently part of the class of 2025 at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, William Purdy is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in International Affairs. His track is in national security and diplomacy with concentrations in intelligence and Chinese-Indo Pacific policy. William’s past experiences leverage consulting with Guidehouse and luxury retail via Cartier. Consistently aspiring for greater challenges and the opportunity to connect with people all over the world, William strives for a career in public service where his past experience and current education at the Bush School can allow him to help policymakers make informed decisions on a variety of world issues. Prior to the Bush School, William attained a B.A. in history and political science from Texas A&M University Kingsville. His foreign language selection is Spanish.
Zach Rehfeld is currently a sophomore Business Honors and Management Information Systems major in the Mays Business School, who is also pursuing a minor in cybersecurity. His academic concentrations are cybersecurity policy and how cyberthreats affect commercial actors. Zach is a member of the Business Honors program and is currently the Director of Council Relations of the Business Student Council. After Zach graduates from Texas A&M, he plans on going into cybersecurity before eventually going to law school. Zach wants to eventually go into cyber policy or cyber consulting.
Rodney Reid joined the Bush School as part of the 3+2 program at Texas A&M University, with plans to earn both a BA in International Studies and a Master’s in International Affairs in 2025. Prior to entering the Bush School, he completed an internship in Geneva, Switzerland, at the nongovernmental organization called International Bridges to Justice (IBJ). Rodney has held executive positions in multiple student organizations, including as president of 180 Degrees Consulting (an organization that provides strategic consulting for non-profits) and as vice chair of logistics for the Memorial Student Center’s Student Conference on National Affairs (MSC SCONA). He is also involved in Aggie ACHIEVEmates and the Texas A&M Triathlon Club. After graduation, Rodney intends to pursue a career in economic statecraft and development policy.
Zayd Virani is a third-year Economics and Geography student at Texas A&M University. His interests lie in international development, Central Asia, geography, and the social sciences, at large. Prior to ESP, Zayd interned with the City of San Antonio Global Engagement Office, the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, and the Aga Khan Education Services – Pakistan (AKESP), and held research positions within the Department of Geography and the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M. During his internship at AKESP, Zayd taught English and executed skill-building workshops at schools, community centers, and orphanages in the Himalayas, accelerating his passion for improving the quality of life of impoverished communities internationally. In his career, Zayd seeks to combine his interests in geography and the social sciences to work in international development strategy as it pertains to disaster preparedness, infrastructure management, and economic opportunity.