Alexis Chouery is a Ballard native and is excited to serve as a the YPIN Board President this year. She graduated from the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington where she obtained her B.A. in International Studies and minored in European Studies. Currently she works at F5 Networks in Sales Operations, supporting the US Federal Civilian team and international programs. Some of her favorite travel memories include traveling to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and backpacking in the Olympics. She has also traveled to Norway, France, Japan, Egypt, Italy, Colombia, England and Mexico and wants to keep adding to the list. Her favorite international topics of conversation include refugee issues and global gender policy. She speaks conversational French and loves trying to speak Norwegian. In her spare time she follows the Seattle Sounders, as a season ticket holder, as well as road-biking around the city and exploring Discovery Park
Winona Rennick is a Seattle native who has worked and volunteered in the local nonprofit sector for over 5 years. Her interest in poverty alleviation and social justice has motivated her to work in public service, and she currently works in development at The Max Foundation, a global health organization that provides access to treatment and support to people living with cancer in low and middle income countries. Winona studied abroad in Germany and in Austria, and tries to keep up her language skills by practicing German and French whenever she can. Her educational background includes a BA in European Studies and German, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and International Development from the University of Washington. Outside of work, she loves to do yoga, experiment in the kitchen, and to explore the world around her, whether on a local hike or a far-flung adventure.
Megan Hanna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in German from the University founded the university’s Model United Nations team and co-founded the UTHSMUN conference. She holds a Master’s degree in International Studies with a regional concentration in the post-Soviet space from the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She sharpened her understanding of US-German relations, the EU, and NATO at the Center for European Integration Studies at the University of Bonn and of civil society within Iran and Syria at the Aspen Institute in Berlin. She teaches English for the Chinese start-up VIPkid, and has taught in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. She is passionate about inspiring others to take an interest in the world around them and challenge assumptions. She’s also interested in the intersection of innovation and socio-economic change. In her spare time, you can find her volunteering, cruising around town on her bike, hanging out with family, or working on her new radio show on a local community station.
Alex Blood is a Process Manager for American Express. He focuses on ensuring ‘dots are connected’ between Merchants. Partners, and American Express to ensure everything from card swipe to Digital Wallet (Apple Pay, Android Pay) transactions work. Previous to his recent arrival in Seattle, Alex lived in New York City and Phoenix, Arizona. Alex holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a B.S. in Computer Science from James Madison University. Outside of work, Alex is focused on triathlon training and exploring the Pacific NW. He is also excited to continue learning about the world and meeting amazing people through YPIN
Alexandra Doyle is a Seattle native and currently serves as chair of the Flagship committee on the YPIN Board. She also works at Wizards of the Coast as a Project Manager. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Comparative History of Ideas with minors in International Studies and Anthropology. Allie loves to travel and has visited over 25 countries. You’ll usually see Allie with a camera in hand, documenting the world around her. She finds herself most comfortable behind the lens, capturing snapshots of her travels and experiences in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not busy snapping photos she enjoys hiking around the PNW with her dog Sadie and husband Jack.
Nina Boe is from Seattle, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration, with interests in international development and nonprofit management. For her undergraduate work, she studied Political Science and Eastern European studies at the University of Washington. She is also an avid language lover, and speaks Spanish, Bosnian, Portuguese, and conversational Turkish, with her next sights on Urdu. Aside from YPIN, she also serves on the board of Kids4Peace, and is a Senior International Research Intern at Sahar Education. In her spare time, she is a photographer, loves music from around the world, and has secret plans to learn how to DJ.
Jensine Isip is a Washington native that has had the pleasure of calling Seattle her home for the past decade. She graduated from the University of Washington with a double BA in Economics and International Studies, during which time she was chosen as a Fullbright-Hays Scholar to study in the Philippines. Upon graduation, she crossed the Pacific and began teaching English through South Korea’s EPIK program at an all-girls middle school. Afterwards, she decided to postpone her return to the US and instead backpacked her way through the chai-laden backstreets of Delhi, deep water-soloed off the cliffs of Hat Rai Leh, trekked through mountainous Sa Pa, and proceeded onwards to the monkey sanctuaries on Borneo. Since then, Jensine attempts to regularly add to her collection of passport stamps. She is a proud supporter of anything Seattle/PNW-related such as the Huskies and the Sounders, yet you can find her obsessing over the Premier League tables as well. In her spare time, she enjoys watching international films on Netflix, scheduling the next Classpass adventure, catching up on the latest K-Pop, playing with her cat, and eating her way through Seattle.
Suzanna Parikh currently works as a Consultant at Hitachi Consulting in Seattle. Previously, she interned with international companies, including Amazon and Wunderman, while studying at the University of Washington. She graduated in 2013 with a BA in Business Administration and a Certificate of International Studies in Business. While in school, she co-founded the Girl in Yellow Foundation, a non-profit which provides scholarships for young girls in rural India to attend school, and continues to be involved as an advisor. After graduating, she spent four months in India and Nepal – teaching English in India with Global Vision International, living in a monastery in Nepal, taking yoga classes, and eating way too much street food. As a Seattle native, she loves the Pacific Northwest, but also uses any excuse to travel and practice her (very basic) Hindi and French. When she isn’t traveling, you can find her trying new cuisines and taking classes to learn new styles of dance around Seattle.
Smriti Chandrashekar is a lawyer, working at the intersection of law, public policy and technology. Following her masters from Harvard Law, she worked as a Consultant at the World Bank in Washignton D.C., and later as a Research Associate at an economic policy think tank in New Delhi, India. Deeply passionate about social justice, rights and regulation as they relate to technology, Smriti has been actively involved with the tech policy and access to justice community in Seattle. She is a professional Carnatic music vocalist and can speak 4 Indian languages. An avid reader and a news (in all forms and shapes) junkie, Smriti is on a constant pursuit of good tea in Seattle’s famed coffee shops. Smriti loves popcorn and is onto learning about and embracing the Danish hygge lifestyle.
Denis Rajic is currently an Employment Specialist at TRAC Associates. He works in the King County Homeless Employment Program where he assists participants in obtaining employment and completing training programs with the goal of advancing participants’ careers. Denis loves creating partnerships around the community and enjoys public speaking, particularly when it’s a topic he is passionate about. Prior to his current job he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the International Rescue Committee where he worked to expand educational services for newly arrived refugees. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a focus in Human Rights from the University of Washington. Originally from Bosnia, Denis has spent most of his life living in different cultures and loves traveling and experiencing the world. He is fluent in Bosnian and conversational in French. Outside of work, Denis loves hiking, rock n roll, reading, basketball and soccer, and seeing live music.
Leela Bhatia-Newman grew up in Peru and Bolivia and is now happy to call the Pacific Northwest home. She currently works in vendor management at Amazon’s Health & Personal Care group and oversees the Prime Samples strategy for the category. Previously, she worked in Merchandising and Global Sourcing for Interline Brands as part of a Leadership Development Program. She graduated with honors from the University of Chicago where she studied Public Policy with a specialization in Economics, and spent a year studying abroad in France at L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). She speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese, and hopes to pick up a Germanic language one day. In addition to attending and organizing YPIN events, she enjoys traveling, following Latin American politics, learning about architecture & design in different cities, and supporting the local arts scene.
Arianna Mueller is a Seattle native who recently returned home for the first time in five years. She spent most of that time away in pursuit of a Bachelors of Arts in Middle East Studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University. During her studies she cultivated a deep passion for studying language, literature, and international politics. She spent a semester in Madrid, Spain, and later went abroad again for an intensive Arabic course in Amman, Jordan. After graduating she worked for a year in Ceuta, Spain as an English language instructor in a secondary school. Arianna currently works as an Education Support Professional at Kokanee Elementary in Bothell. She speaks Arabic and Spanish fluently and is working on learning French. When she’s not out with friends/family she’s at home working through five books at once or making overly optimistic travel plans.
Madé Lamont is joining the YPIN Board as the Vice President. Madé works in philanthropy at Seattle Goodwill helping to further the organization’s mission to provide job training and education to individuals with significant barriers to economic opportunity. From a young age Madé has been drawn to international culture and affairs. At the earliest opportunity she set off for southern Italy as an exchange student her junior year of high school. Madé then went on to complete her B.A. in International Relations and International Management at Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland. After returning home to Seattle, Madé became involved with YPIN through an internship she held with the World Affairs Council. Madé is enthusiastic to continue working with the World Affairs Council and YPIN. She is particularly interested in global development as it relates to migration and gender equity.
Nicole Shermer graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in International Studies. She currently works as the Program Coordinator for the Middle East Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. At both Wenatchee Valley College and University of Washington, Nicole gained extensive advocacy and organizing experience as a Campus Leader for the ONE Campaign, an organization focused on fighting extreme poverty and preventable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. She has interned for ONE in Washington, D.C., and for the African Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest (ACCPNW) in Seattle. Her goal is to travel the world and to keep exploring her interests in sustainable economic development and women’s rights.
Cameron Greenberg is an Assistant Account Executive at WE Communications in Bellevue, working to support the public relations of Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability team. Previously, he worked in content marketing on corporate strategy software. Prior to moving back to Seattle, Cameron spent four occasionally freezing years in Ohio, getting his Bachelor of Arts at Oberlin College. At Oberlin, Cameron was able to engage with his love of books through an English major, and his fascination with international relations through a Politics minor. During his time at undergrad, Cameron also had the opportunity to study abroad at Cardiff University in Wales and was able to travel throughout continental Europe. In his spare time, Cameron enjoys writing fiction, playing board games, drinking tea, and playing tennis.
Tyler O’Banion is a program administrator for Child Care Resources and a local coordinator for an international exchange program, Cultural Care Au Pair. Since completing her B.S in Family and Child Sciences from the Florida State University she has focused her studies and career around early childhood education and development. Her current work supports an organization that strives to bring quality childcare and education to all children across racial and economic divides by coaching child care providers and preschool centers, and providing resources to families in need. Before moving to Seattle she lived in Montreuil, France for a year where she worked for as an au pair. During this time she strengthened her love of travel and cultural exploration and created lasting bonds while traveling to 10 different countries. Her current goal is to visit at least one new country each year and in her free time she enjoys studying French, exploring Seattle neighborhoods, as well as getting out of the city to experience the beautiful Pacific North West.
Luke Kneeshaw is a graduate of the University of Washington, with an academic focus in international politics. He has extensive international travel experience and particularly enjoys exploring new places in Latin America. With an eye toward his next adventure, Luke enjoys learning new languages in an effort to connect with others and find the best street food. He currently works in the financial industry, specializing in payments, fraud investigations, risk analysis and compliance. Luke enjoys cooking and reading in his free time and is always looking to find the next great recipe or book to add to his collection.
Warren Jones has a true passion for promoting cross-cultural exchange of all types. After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama in 2009, he spent several years in Japan, primarily working through the JET Programme as a coordinator in Hiroshima City’s International Peace Promotion Department. Following his return from abroad, he continued US-Japan relations work within the non-profit realm, organizing numerous educationally focused exchange programs for the youth. He currently works as a Program Coordinator for International & English Programs at the UW, specializing in student services. Warren is a native of New Orleans but has proudly called Seattle home since early 2014. In his personal time he stays active through a variety of sports, and often likes to go to live shows to support the local music scene.
Devi Johnson is a Washington native and a recent grad constantly searching for new opportunities that align with her interests in changing the status quo and making the world a more, just, fair, and efficient place. Since graduating from the University of Washington School of International Studies and economics department, Devi works as a consultant for Hitachi Consulting. Her past school and work experience span from working with international development non-profits in the Dominican Republic and local non-profits to supporting the UW Center for AIDS Research and contributing to Kaiser Permanente’s customer experience team. Coming from an outdoor family, Devi tries to spend her time hiking, skiing, sailing, and camping. Devi is also an avid cook and reader currently trying to catch up on her “New Yorker” subscription. She hopes to spend more time exploring the world with the goal of better understanding of how the world works.
Anand Mehta (Andy) is a global nomad who has made Seattle his home since 2010. He was born in India and raised in Oman, where after completing high school he moved to Florida to pursue his B.S. in Computer Engineering and M.S. in Computer Science & Engineering Management. He has worked for companies around the United States and currently works on Amazon’s Alexa. Beyond work, his interests lie in traveling, volunteering, activism, networking, and health & fitness. As a new member of the YPIN board, his focus is to host educational and cultural events.
Select photos courtesy of Allie Doyle Photography and Nina Boe.