Former Fellows and Cowan Scholars

Former Global Fellows

Alden E. Stoner was CCLP’s inaugural global fellow from 2009-2010. Alden is a film producer with several projects in development. She also served on the CCLP’s advisory board.

Ev Boyle is a Partner, Nonprofit Coach, and the 2019 Fast Pitch Co-Chair at Social Venture Partners Los Angeles. He was CCLP’s global fellow from 2012 to 2013. He also served as the Associate Director of the Center until 2017, after which he became a Senior Fellow.

Former Law Fellows

Ariel Fox was CCLP’s law fellow from 2009-2010. Ariel, a graduate of Harvard College and Law School, is a Senior Counsel for Policy and Privacy at Common Sense Media. Ariel advocates for smart practices, policies, and rules to help all kids thrive in today’s wired world. Her work focuses on child, teen, and student privacy, closing the digital divide, and families’ experiences with media and emerging technology.

Genet Berhane was CCLP’s law fellow from 2011-2012. Genet, a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, served as editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. Genet was a Gates Millennium Scholar and earned her BFA in Film & Television Production. She is currently a Managing Associate at Orrick in New York city.

Former Junior Fellows

Rebecca Shapiro was CCLP’s junior fellow from 2008-2010. She graduated in May 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Advertising from USC Annenberg. She is now a Senior Editor at HuffPost in New York and she was previously a Senior Editor at

Monica Alba was CCLP’s junior fellow from 2009-2010. She currently serves as the White House Producer at NBC News. Monica is an award-winning, honors graduate of the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism (Class of 2009). She earned her degree in broadcast journalism with minors in international relations and cinematic arts. She is the co-founder of the highly successful Social Issues Film Festival (SI DocFest).

Lauren Weinzimmer was CCLP’s junior fellow from 2011-2012. She is a magna cum laude graduate of USC with Bachelor’s degrees in both Communication (with honors) and English Literature. During her time at USC, Lauren was a research assistant for Faculty Fellow Stacy Smith. She is currently finishing up her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in Communication Studies, with a concentration in Critical Media Studies. Upon completion (estimated September 2018), she will be re-locating to New York City and seeking a research position at a think tank or in the private sector.

Isaac Rottman was CCLP’s junior fellow from 2012-2013. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Linguistics and Political Science. After leaving CCLP, he earned a Master of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He just graduated from law school at UCLA and will be working (starting in August) for two years as a judicial law clerk to two federal judges.

Aviya McGuire was CCLP’s junior fellow from 2013-14. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, magna cum laude, with a BA in Rhetoric and Peace & Conflict Studies. Before joining CCLP, she interned in Washington, D.C. at the Brookings Institution, and with the Project on Internal Displacement. She is currently getting her master’s in Conflict Resolution and Mediation at Tel Aviv University.

Justin Chapman was CCLP’s junior fellow from 2014-2016. Justin is now the Communications Officer at the Pacific Council on International Policy. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Diplomacy at USC. He has written for over 20 print and digital publications, frequently for the Pasadena Weekly. His book about his travels through Africa, “Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in Search of an African Utopia,” was published by Rare Bird Books in January 2015.

Anna Blue was CCLP’s junior fellow from March 2017 to June of 2018. She graduated from Stanford University in 2016 with interdisciplinary honors after completing her honors thesis on religious violence in Mexico with the Stanford Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. During her time at CCLP, Anna was responsible for the Center’s programming, as well as its research on nonprofit developers and homelessness, philanthropist-funded news, and the China-California trade relationship. She will spend the 2018-2019 academic year pursuing a Fulbright Student Research Grant in Estonia.

Former Research Fellows

Brianna Johnson is a recent graduate of USC, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in political science. She previously worked as a field organizer for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, as a communications intern with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Communications Office, and as a research intern for UNESCO.

Danielle Balderas is an Education Program Content Manger who worked as a CCLP Research Fellow from 2016 to 2019. She received her Master’s in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied women’s and gender history, politics, and social movements. Before going to graduate school Danielle worked as a journalist at Independent Voter Network covering the 2014 elections.

Cindy Martinez worked as a Research Associate at CCLP from 2010 to 2013. She attended California State Polytechnic University, Pomona earning a B.S. in Biology. She then went on to receive a Masters of Education in Post-Secondary Administration and Student Affairs. Cindy acted as the Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and is now the new Dean of Students at the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) at The Claremont Colleges.

Erin Kamler served as a Research Associate at CCLP from 2010 to 2012. She is an award-winning playwright and composer whose interest in public diplomacy began when she studied in Thailand as an AFS exchange student. She now lives in San Francisco, where she works as an Assistant Professor of Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools.

María J. Vázquez was a Research Associate at CCLP and a PhD candidate (ABD) from the University of Navarra in Spain. In the last few years, she worked in marketing and operations at LUMA, an investment bank based in New York and Palo Alto specialized in media, marketing and ad tech. Now, she is the Director of business development and marketing at a startup in genomics and technology called Gencove.

Lauren Allison was a Fulbright Research Fellow and Special Assistant to Mark Latonero, the Director of Research at CCLP, in 2013. She supported Latonero with reports and conferences, and in coordinating research across the center. Lauren serves as the Founder & Executive Director at Sulby Media.

Kelsey (Sachdev) Browne was one of the first members of the CCLP team, spending four years as a jane-of-all-trades. After her time there, she entered the education field as a Teach For America corps member, where she taught high school English and journalism in South Los Angeles. She then worked for the non-profit City Year as a program manager and senior manager of Learning & Development. She currently answers to a two-year-old boss named Milo, who affectionately calls her Mommy.

Zhaleh Boyd was a Research Fellow at CCLP from 2010 to 2012. She worked primarily on the Technology & TIP project, focusing on effective service delivery and building sustainable public-private partnerships for anti-trafficking initiatives. Zhaleh completed her BA in English at Clark Atlanta University. In 2015, she finished her PhD at Hull University’s Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation.

Former Graduate Fellows

John Hrabe was CCLP’s graduate fellow from 2010-2011. John provided research and program assistance for numerous CCLP projects, including the Reagan Centennial, Trafficking in Persons, and CCLP’s latest project on civic discourse. John completed his Master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the co-founder of Atlas Workshops.

Tala Mohebi was CCLP’s graduate fellow from 2011-2012. Tala was a law student at Harvard Law School. She received her B.A. in International Political Economy from University of California, Berkeley and a Masters in Public Diplomacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. She is now University Counsel and Assistant Secretary of the University at University of Southern California.

John Wie was a graduate fellow from 2010 to 2011. He is currently working at Sony Santa Monica Studio as a community manager and associate marketing producer. He also teaches social media marketing at UCLA Extension and UC Irvine as an adjunct instructor as well as freelance as a social media strategy specialist.

Former IT and Student Manager Fellows

Lauren Schultz served as the inaugural IT & Student Manager at CCLP from 2010-2011. Lauren graduated from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, earning her Masters in Communication Management in May 2011. She is a cum laude graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in musical theory and performance. She is the Manager of Channel Operations at

Liz Krane served as the web and IT coordinator at CCLP from 2013-2015. She managed CCLP’s blog, newsletters, and social media, assisted with research and event planning, and did graphic design and web development for CCLP’s special projects. She is a freelance developer, writer, and teacher, as well as the founder of Learn Teach Code.

Evan Jones was the online media editor/IT Assistant at CCLP in 2011. He received his undergraduate degree in film from Ryerson University (Toronto 2004) and is a published journalist and writer. He is currently a doctoral student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Sarah Ledesma served as the Web Content Coordiantor at CCLP from 2012-2013. Her primary role at the center was to effectively curate and coordinate content related to CCLP’s research initiatives and effectively disperse said information across all online platforms. She is currently the Digital Content Manager at Nestlé.

Former Cowan Scholars


Jesse (Jessica) Ryan is a multimedia producer and journalist, with a passion for examining environmental and humanitarian issues. Previously, Jesse worked as a producer for USA TODAY’s award-winning VR news show, where she helped create over forty 360-degree videos focused on a range of themes including wildlife and adventure. Jesse is a graduate of Lafayette College, where she studied urbanization and documentary filmmaking. 

Beth Carter recently graduated with her Master’s from the USC Global Communication program, during which she served as a 2017-2018 Cowan Scholar. This summer, she will be serving as a teaching assistant for Director Geoffrey Cowan’s Journalism 505 class. Prior to arriving at Annenberg, her previous work included roles in media, such as brand strategist at 72andSunny and contributing reporter and writer for 

Rachel Chiu graduated from USC double majoring in Political Science and Communication. She currently works as the Assistant to the Campaign Manager for the Kamala Harris presidential campaign. Previously, she interned at SCRB Strategies, California’s premier Democratic consulting firm; Edelman public relations; the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; and the Kamala Harris for Senate campaign.

Sarah Collins is a finance assistant at Chrissy Houlahan for Congress. After the opportunity as a USC Annenberg undergraduate and Cowan Scholar to cover the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, and 2017 Women’s March, as well as work on a documentary in the Rust Belt with New Artists Alliance, Sarah was inspired to study the ins and outs of politics up close.

Diana Kruzman studied print and digital journalism and Middle East Studies at USC. Diana worked at CCLP since her first semester freshman year. Diana was the Features Editor of the Daily Trojan, USC’s student newspaper. Diana has interned at organizations such as USA Today and Reuters. She hopes to work as a foreign correspondent.

Stefanie Demetriades was a Cowan Scholar from 2012 to 2014. She is currently a candidate for a PhD at USC Annenberg. Stefanie studies globalization, media, and culture, with a special interest in cosmopolitanism and global risk. Her dissertation work examines the mediation of the Syrian refugee crisis, and the role of social media in particular in framing narratives and responses to the situation. She holds in BA in International Relations, and Masters degrees in Public Diplomacy and Communication.

Thereze Dizon was a Cowan Scholar from 2011 to 2012.

Kate Guarino is the Social Media and News Editor at Refinery29, Inc. Kate worked with CCLP for three years, from 2014 to 2017, before she graduated from USC with a degree in print and digital journalism. She has previously written for the Voice of America, The Orange County Register and NBC News in addition to numerous USC campus publications.

Michael Karakash was a Cowan Scholar from 2016 to 2017. He is now the Senior Project Coordinator of Strategic Programs at ICANN.

Adrienne Lawrence was a Cowan Scholar from 2014 to 2015. She now does sideline reporting for EASports Madden NFL 18 and provides legal analysis on matters in entertainment and sports.

Justine Leblanc hails from Montreal and spent a year at the London School of Economics while working part-time in tech policy. Justine was valedictorian for McGill’s Faculty of Arts class of 2017, where she earned a First Class Joint Honors BA in Political Science and History with Distinction. She worked on Katie Hill’s campaign and interns at the public affairs firm SKDKnickerbocker.

Megan O’Neil was a Cowan Scholar from 2012 to 2013. Now, she is a national reporter for the Chronicle of Philanthropy, based in Washington D.C., specializing in writing about grant making foundations, charitable fundraising and management, and philanthropy.

Sam Ribakoff was a 2017-2018 Cowan Scholar. He graduated in 2018 from the Specialized Journalism Master’s program that focuses on science video journalism. Sam’s past experience is diverse and wide-ranging: he has been a radio DJ, an industrial video maker, a high school English teacher, and a freelance music journalist.

Jesse (Jessica) Ryan is a multimedia producer and journalist, with a passion for examining environmental and humanitarian issues. Previously, Jesse worked as a producer for USA TODAY’s award-winning VR news show, where she helped create over forty 360-degree videos focused on a range of themes including wildlife and adventure. Jesse is a graduate of Lafayette College, where she studied urbanization and documentary filmmaking.