Washington, D.C., October 21, 2021 - The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), one of the world’s premier centers for understanding future international competition and conflict, today announced a new cohort of fellows for the CSBA Congressional Defense Seminar Series. This seminar series is an in-depth bipartisan program for Congressional staff members. This evening series of topical seminars aim to provide staffers with the tools to master the conceptual foundations of defense policy as well as the intricacies of contemporary national security processes. The forum, which will feature senior CSBA scholars and outside national security experts, begins its third season this week with a session on defense strategy and the threat environment.
The incoming CSBA Congressional Defense Seminar Fellows are a bipartisan group of 12 rising leaders, drawn from across Capitol Hill, including staff from personal, committee, and leadership offices in the House and Senate.
According to Dr. Thomas G. Mahnken, CSBA’s President and CEO, "We're excited to help educate the next generation of defense policy leaders. The Congressional Defense Seminar Series is a cornerstone of CSBA's mission to promote innovative thinking and enable policymakers to make informed decisions about national security and defense matters."
In addition to offering deeply researched, independent assessments of this subject matter, the CSBA Congressional Defense Seminar Series will provide a nonpartisan forum to staffers to build relationships and engage with subject matter experts on emerging trends in technology, the defense innovation base, and geopolitics.
Communications Director for Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-1)
Britton T. Burdick serves as Communications Director for Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ-1), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee and chairs its Tactical Air and Land Subcommittee. Previously, Britton was a Director of Public Affairs at Forbes Tate Partners, a bipartisan strategy consultancy. Britton graduated magna cum laude from New York University and holds a master’s in International Relations and Politics from the University of Cambridge, where he researched the use of military force in international humanitarian interventions.
Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11)
Juliana is the Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11). Her legislative portfolio consists of foreign affairs and defense issues. Juliana attended college at the Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain and completed her degree in Bilingual Humanities. A DC native, Juliana began her career on Capitol Hill as a Staff Assistant and is looking forward to deepening her understanding of defense policy.
Rodney L. Hall
Legislative Director (LD) and Military Legislative Assistant (MLA) for Congressman Trent Kelly (R-MS-11)
Rodney Hall currently serves as the Legislative Director (LD) and Military Legislative Assistant (MLA) for Congressman Trent Kelly (R-MS-11). As the Legislative Director, Rodney leads the congressman’s legislative team and serves as the principal advisor on all legislative matters. Rodney maintains a policy portfolio on all germane policy and legislative initiatives within the House Armed Services, Veteran Affairs, and Appropriations committees. Rodney is also a Major in the Mississippi Army National Guard, serving in the 1-155 Infantry Battalion as the BN Operations Officer.
Legislative Assistant for Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV-01)
Allie Hildebrand is currently a Legislative Assistant for Congressman David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-WV-01), where she covers Agriculture, Appropriations, Civil Rights, Cybersecurity, Consumer Protection, Defense, Education, Emergency Responders, Foreign Policy, Financial Services, Government Oversight, Homeland Security, Housing, Immigration, Judicial, Law Enforcement, NASA/space, Nutrition, Postal Service, Social Security, Tax, Telecomm/High Tech, Transportation, and Veteran Affairs. She has worked for Congressman McKinley since August 2019 where she began her career as a legislative correspondent. Prior to working for the Congressman, Allie worked for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Congressman Evan Jenkins. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.
Defense and National Security Staffer for Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA)
Maya Jones is a defense and national security staffer for Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA), with a background in diversity, inclusion, and constitutional issues from Atlanta, Georgia. She joined Senator Warnock’s office following her experience registering voters of color across eleven states. Maya believes that it is vital that we intersect people first policies while maintaining safety and peace for America and her allies.
Legislative Correspondent on the National Security Team for Senator Ted Cruz (TX)
Adam Kozloski is a Legislative Correspondent on the national security team for Senator Ted Cruz (TX). As a part of his legislative work, Adam focuses on assisting the Senator's Africa and Asia policies. Prior to his current position, Adam worked with the Hudson Institute, the Republican staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and with the City of Gainesville, Florida. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he majored in political science and economics and minored in sociology and European Union studies. Adam is currently enrolled in the U.S. Air Command and Staff College, where he is completing the Intermediate Developmental Education (IDE) program. In his free time, Adam studies Mandarin and walks his Goldendoodle, Teddy.
Military Legislative Assistant for Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Celia Morté is the Military Legislative Assistant for Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND). She previously served as an active duty Air Force cyberspace operations officer for ten years. Current portfolios include National Security and Defense, as well as Foreign Relations. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in History and a Master of Arts in Humanities.
Legislative Correspondent for Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)
Victoria Murrieta works as a legislative correspondent for Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA-51). A native of San Diego, California, her areas of expertise include border management, migration, cultural diplomacy, and disinformation.
She holds a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from San Diego State University. In addition to English, Victoria speaks Spanish, Italian, French, and Turkish.
Legislative Correspondent in the Office of U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO)
Yashar Parsie is a Legislative Correspondent in the Office of U.S. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO). In that capacity, he supports the Senator’s foreign and defense policy priorities, particularly great power competition with China. Previously, Mr. Parsie was a Research Assistant at The Telemus Group and at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Prior to that, he was the Joseph S. Nye, Jr. Research Intern in the Defense Program at the Center for a New American Security. Mr. Parsie is a graduate of the University of Washington.
Staff Member on Senate Appropriations Committee
Drew Platt joined the Senate Appropriations Committee Staff in March 2021 after graduating from Middlebury College. Prior to working on the Committee, Drew interned with the Wilson Center, in a Senate Personal Office, and at a private equity firm focused on rare earth supply chain risk. He is originally from Warren, Vermont.
Clerk on the House Armed Services Committee
Payson Ruhl is a Clerk on the House Armed Services Committee. Prior to joining the committee, she interned with the Partnerships in Proliferation Prevention Program at the Henry L. Stimson Center and the Global Nuclear Policy Program at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Payson’s areas of interest include the intersection of emerging technology and national security, arms control, and hybrid threats and warfare. She graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2019 with a BA in International Relations.
Legislative Correspondent for Foreign Relations and Defense for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Amelia Seman currently serves as the Legislative Correspondent for Foreign Relations and Defense for Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). She has been with Senator Leahy’s office since 2017, first as the Scheduling Assistant, and since 2019, in her current position. She covers issues including the USPS, veterans, the National Guard, FEMA, trade, federal employees, and NASA. During the fall of 2020, she completed the Wilson Center Foreign Policy Fellowship.
Prior to her career in the Senate, Amelia worked for the Policy and Legislative Affairs division of the Vermont Department of Taxes and as an organizer on the 2016 New Hampshire Democratic Coordinated Campaign. She graduated from Saint Michael’s College in 2015 with a major in Political Science and minors in Economics and History. She is a native Vermonter, and would rather be in the mountains or on the river than almost any other place on Earth. She now lives in the Petworth neighborhood of DC with her fiancée, Rose, and their two fat cats, Taco and Ollie.
About the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
CSBA is an independent, nonpartisan policy research institute established to promote innovative thinking and debate about national security strategy and investment options. CSBA’s assessments focus on key questions related to existing and emerging threats to U.S. national security, and its goal is to enable policymakers to make informed decisions on matters of strategy, security policy, and resource allocation.
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