June 2, 2023

Editorial Board

JPI Online

ROYA LOTFI Editor-in-Chief

Roya Lotfi (she/her) is a second-year MA student in International Relations with a concentration on US foreign policy. She received a BS in Biology from Montclair State University but always had a fierce interest in domestic and international politics, news, and media, and decided to pursue IR. Before starting at NYU, she worked in the field of video production and hopes to utilize those skills to widen JPI’s multimedia content. Her long term career goal is to produce relevant and informative news content on the topics of current events and international relations at a media journalism organization. In her free time she likes to read and take long walks around Central Park.

LIANA ALMONY Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Liana Almony (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations department. She graduated from the University of California Los Angeles in 2019, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations, and double minored in Global Studies and Digital Media Studies. She has extensive professional experience with media management in the nonprofit sector, and continues to utilize her communication skills to advocate for human rights and social justice on a global scale. In her spare time, Liana enjoys boxing, photography, and exploring the NYC restaurant scene.

PUJA THAPA Multimedia Officer

Puja Thapa is a first-year MA student pursuing an International Relations degree at NYU. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Keene State College, NH, in Business Management with two minors in Women’s and Gender Studies and Studio Arts. Puja currently works as the Youth Organizer Fellow at Adhikaar, a NY-based nonprofit. Her prior experience includes working as the Administrative Executive Editor at the national award-winning student newspaper, The Equinox, for two years at KSC. Academically, she is interested in Gender and Race in International Relations. Some of her hobbies include painting, cooking, and exploring new places.

MARIN SCOTTEN Social Media Officer

Marin Scotten is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. She studied at Toronto Metropolitan University where she graduated with a B.A. in Journalism in 2021.She is very interested in the global food system and how it intersects with gender, class, race and environmental issues. Through various forms of storytelling, Marin hopes to document the human side of complex issues and challenge the stereotypes historically portrayed in traditional media

JPI Journal


Elizabeth Jefimova (she/her) is a second-year student MA student candidate in NYU’s International Relations program with a concentration in International Law. She received one BA in History and another in Chemistry from Brooklyn College in 2019. Following graduation, she received an MA in Oral History from Columbia University, where most of her work centered on veterans. At NYU, she is looking to study the impact that the United States security assistance programs play in fragile state reformation, particularly in Syria. Her other research interests include examining the role that Russia plays in the Middle East. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys watching true crime documentaries and reading fantasy/adventure series similar to Game of Thrones. 

MELISSA SUKNIQI Deputy Editor-in-Chief

Melissa Sukniqi (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations department. She received her BA in Jurisprudence from Montclair State University in 2017, where she also minored in Political Science and Sociology. Following graduation, she worked for several years as a paralegal assisting claimants in filing with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Program. Her academic interests primarily concern US Foreign Policy. Outside of school, Melissa enjoys reading, playing video games, and spending time with her Shih Tzu, Tobi.

JPI Online Editorial Staff

OMAD ASAF Managing Editor

Omad Asaf (he/him) is a second-year MA candidate in NYU’s International Relations department. He received his BA in Political Science from Purdue University while double minoring in Management and Communications. Omad has had experience as an executive assistant at a real estate investment firm and is currently a public relations intern at a nonprofit consulting firm. At NYU, his academic interests center around security studies, peacebuilding, and international development in his regional specialization South Asia. He plans on pursuing a JD in international law after graduation. Besides work, Omad enjoys backpacking, road trips, and reading in his hammock.


Anastasia Boulos (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations department with a concentration in international law. She received her BA degree from Boston University in 2021, where she majored in International Relations, with a concentration in regional politics and cultural anthropology in the Middle East and North Africa. Anastasia additionally minored in public relations as an undergraduate student. Anastasia’s work experiences come from internships throughout undergrad, working with non-profit organizations, a law firm, and the Massachusetts Department of Education. She continues to participate in academic leadership roles. Her continued interest in her field of study focuses on international law, forced migration, and immigration crisis specifically in the Middle East and North Africa region. When not working, Anastasia enjoys listening to good music, visiting art museums, and spending quality time with friends and family. 


Mahrukh Chaudhry (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations department. She received her triple major in English, Political Science, and History from Christ University, India in 2019. Following graduation, she pursued a Post Graduate Diploma in Liberal Arts from Ashoka University, India in 2020. Mahrukh has previously done research under the Dean of Indian Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India, in 2018. She has also worked with the UN Global Compact Network India to research the impact of pandemic on marginalized workers in the global apparel industry. She plans to pursue a PhD in Identity and Conflict with regional emphasis on South Asia. In her own time, Mahrukh enjoys hiking, reading historical fiction, and watching crime documentaries.

HAAN (JAMES) CHOI Managing Editor

Haan (James) is an undergraduate Senior student at NYU, and he studies Global Liberal Studies and Broadcast Journalism as majors and Politics as a minor. He is interested in international relations and foreign affairs, particularly considering the matter of Korean Unification. In his free time, Haan likes to play football (soccer) and watch the Premier League.

KONRAD LEE Managing Editor

Konrad Lee (he/him) is a second-year graduate student in the MA in International Relations Program at NYU, with an Asian Studies concentration. Having received his BA in Government from Wesleyan University in 2020, where he also minored in History. he worked for a year as an analyst for an investment firm before deciding to pursue his passion and interests by studying IR at the graduate level. His academic and research interests are mainly focused on the Asia-Pacific region and US-China relations. He hopes to be able to work long term in the field of policy research and analysis. In his free time (drastically limited by his impending thesis), you can find him at 404 Fitness, trying out new restaurants and recipes, or taking his dog out for adventures in the city.

TEHSIN PALA  Managing Editor

Tehsin Pala (she/her) is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and International Relations Program. She pursued her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, during which the increasing political turmoil and oppression of minorities in her country perturbed her, as a minority herself. This motivated her to write to bring truth to power. It helped her realize that her true calling lies in journalism because it enables her to effectively engage with all strata of society. An intersectional feminist, she has also earned a Post-graduate Diploma in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her work aims to highlight social issues around the world and to amplify the voices of the layperson. In her free time, she likes to explore new places and visit museums.


Vaishna (Vaish) Rajakumar (she/her) is a final year master’s student from Toronto, Canada. She is currently completing her studies in American Journalism at NYU and received a BA in Communications from Simon Fraser University and an L.L.B in Law from the University of Law. She is currently a news reporter for The Click News, NYU’s American Journalism news site. Her academic and reporter beat interests include minority and women’s rights, wellness, human interest stories and travel. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, hiking and spending time with her dog, Olive.

SOPHIE SLADE Managing Editor

Sophie Slade (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations department. She is a part of NYU’s Accelerated BA/MA Program and graduated from NYU in 2022 with a BA in International Relations and Spanish, with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies.  Sophie worked for three years as an event reporter and editor for IR Insider, NYU’s undergraduate news journal for international affairs, and this is her second semester working for JPI as a Managing Editor. Her academic interests include international development, humanitarian aid and interventionism, peacebuilding, and human rights advocacy. Upon graduation, she intends to find work for non-profit organizations in bottom-up operation management within underdeveloped/conflict zones. In her spare time, Sophie can be found exploring NYC’s vast latin dance scene.


Jay Sophalkalyan was born and raised in Cambodia, so he experiences firsthand of what it is like when free speech is restricted. He came to the United States at 19 for college, mainly because he wanted a challenging education and a social milieu that valued pluralistic thinking and the free exchange of ideas since he knew it was the only way he could grow intellectually and cultivate emotional resiliency. He did his undergraduate studies at Springfield College, where he majored in English with a double minor in Creative Writing and Social Justice. Throughout the years, Jay has worked as an editor-in-chief for a magazine, a contributing writer for a newspaper, and a creative writing teacher at a high school. In 2020, he was chosen to present his critical essay titled, “The Falsity of the American Dream in A Raisin in the Sun” at Sigma Tau Delta’s annual international convention. Currently, he is a graduate student at NYU’s XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement. His academic interests include journalism, creative writing, global digital culture, and media studies.

CLARA APT Copy Editor

Clara Apt (she/her) is an undergraduate second-year student at New York University, pursuing a double major in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. She works as an Assistant Editor for Just Security, a foreign affairs and security publication based at the NYU School of Law. Her academic interests include global governance, atrocity prevention, climate change, and security. In her free time, she enjoys reading, walking her dog, and traveling. 


Aisha Arain is enrolled in the joint Global Journalism and Near Eastern Studies program. She received her B.A. from Drew University in Anthropology with a double minor in Linguistics and Archaeology. She has studied abroad in South Korea, Ireland, Puerto Rico, and Martinique. Her Honors Thesis, “The Politics of Linguistic Power Structure in South-Asia,” explored the intersection between linguistic identity and Nationalism in Pakistan. At NYU, she hopes to further explore themes and intersectionalities of nationalism, environment, migration, and tourism throughout Asia. 


Abha Deshmukh (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s Interdisciplinary Studies department with a focus in journalism and publishing. She received her BDes degree in Information Design from Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology, India in 2020. Following graduation, she worked as a freelance editor and designer. She strives to study and analyze social, political, cultural, and ecological environments, especially pertaining to South Asia, through her journalistic and multidisciplinary practice. Her non-academic interests lie in anime, sci-fi, graphic novels, board games, and swimming.


Betty Lincoln (she/her) is a first-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations department. She received her BA in International Relations with a minor in Asian Studies from the University of San Diego, where she was also a part of the university orchestra for four years. While in San Diego she worked on immigration and border advocacy issues through policy and corruption research with Justice in Mexico, and asylum advocacy with immigration law firms. After graduation, she moved to South Korea for two years and taught kindergarten with the Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA).  Her research interests include security, economics, and human rights with a concentration in East Asia. She’s also a cross-country runner, painter, and practicing photographer. 

JPI Journal Editorial Staff

CLAIRE BRACCO Managing Editor

Claire Bracco (she/her) is a second-year MA candidate in International Relations at NYU. Raised between Italy and France, she holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and decided to continue on this path to deepen her understanding of human rights violations and public diplomacy. She is currently working as an intelligence analyst for The Counterterrorism Group and plans to use this experience to write a thesis on radicalization due to environmental degradation. When not working, Claire is exploring the New York food scene trying to find the best Italian pizza restaurant in the city. Claire also holds a Master’s in Piano from the Conservatorio A. Scarlatti.

JUSTIN FELDMAN Managing Editor

Justin Feldman (he/him) is a first-year MA student in International Relations at NYU. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2020 with a BA in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies. With collaborative experience in the nonprofit and research sectors, Justin has spearheaded various inter-ethnic and interfaith initiatives, including connecting Middle Eastern consular diplomats and entrepreneurs to grassroots leaders in the U.S. Justin’s primary research and travel has centered on the multipolarity, nationalist threats, and opportunities for ethno-religious diversity in the Middle East and North Africa. When he isn’t obsessing over current events and history, Justin enjoys cooking, Marvel binge-watching, creating Hebrew and Arabic calligraphy, and hiking.

LEON LANGDON Managing Editor

Leon Langdon (he/him) is a second-year MA student at NYU’s International Relations Program. He obtained his undergraduate degree at University College Dublin’s Sutherland School of Law, with a minor in Politics. His research interests include climate issues, conflict resolution, and development studies. Leon has previously written for The Diplomat, the Oxford Political Review, and European Guanxi, as well as having had his work published by The Carter Center. He was also on the editorial board of the UCD SLS Review, and is currently a Peer Reviewer for the Columbia Journal of Asia. Leon also enjoys sports like rock-climbing and GAA, as well as exploring the city’s food scene.

SHRUTI SHUKLA Managing Editor

Shruti Shukla (she/her) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations program with a concentration in International Politics and Business. Shruti received her double major in History and Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, India in 2019. Along with graduation, she pursued a Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding from Delhi University, where she studied the impact of state violence on the children of Jammu and Kashmir. Her other research interests center around the influence of business on IR. In her spare time, she loves reading mythological fiction and watching dog videos. 

SRIJAN SHUKLA Managing Editor

Srijan Shukla is pursuing a Masters in International Relations at New York University. He studied Political Science and Economics at McGill University. He subsequently worked as a foreign affairs reporter for ThePrint.

STEVE THWE Managing Editor

Steve Thwe (he/him) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations program. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from New York University in 2019. Following graduation, he worked in Real Estate before pivoting to pursue a career in international affairs. His academic interests include conflict resolution, international security, as well as analyzing developments in the Asia-Pacific region. In his free time, Steve loves playing basketball and finding new bookstores in the city to explore.  


Bella (she/they) is a second-year MA student in NYU’s International Relations Program. She earned her Bachelor’s in Political Science and Global Studies from the University of South Carolina, where she spent time working with the Anne Frank House both in the United States and abroad. Their academic interests center around political violence and extremism, and they intend to focus their thesis on the growing threat of ecological and environmental fascism. In her free time she can be found wandering through NYC’s many art museums or spending way too much money on political theory books.


Matthew Geissendoerfer (he/him) is a second-year MA student at NYU’s International Relations Program. He is most interested in questions of global political economy, particularly regarding the role of the United States in the international system, its foreign policy, and the influence of multinational corporations. He is originally from Switzerland, where he obtained a BA in Political Science and Law. Spot him exploring the city by bike in his free time, photographing NYC’s multifaceted architecture. 


Antonella Vaquero Ramos (she/her) is a second-year MA candidate in International Relations with a concentration in International Politics and Business at NYU. She was born and raised in Puebla, Mexico and she moved to San Antonio, Texas. She obtained her BA in International Relations at NYU as part of NYU’s BA-MA Program. Antonella also has minors in French, Environmental, and European Studies. Her primary interest concerns the relationship between the private sector and the environment. In her free time she enjoys watching Law & Order SVU, FaceTiming her chihuahua (Macchiato), and SoulCycle.