Blog Staff

The staff of Brief Policy Perspectives consists of an Executive Editor, three Deputy Editors, and ten Staff Writers.vernon org chart

For the 2016 – 2017 academic year, the staff of Brief Policy Perspectives is:

Executive Editor: Conor McGrath, MPA

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Conor McGrath is a second-year Master of Public Administration student at the Trachtenberg School. He attended GW as an undergraduate and earned a BA in International Affairs & Political Science in 2016. While an undergraduate, he worked on several political campaigns as a researcher and field staffer and spent a semester studying European Politics at Sciences Po, Paris. He currently works for a public affairs firm focused on health policy. He is a fan of cats, craft beer, and cold weather.


Deputy Editor: Bryan Yannantuono, MPA

headshot Bryan Yannantuono is a first year MPA student with a passion for international relations, public diplomacy, and nonprofit management. Originally from upstate New York, he graduated from American University and has worked to design international exchange programs ever since. In his day job at Cultural Vistas, he has helped organize high profile programs that focus on refugee integration, youth empowerment, foreign policy, and environmentalism. An avid Sinophile, Bryan previously worked for a Chinese cultural exchange organization and studied in Beijing as a Critical Language Scholar in 2011.

Deputy Editor: Megan Mattson, MPA

LinkedIn Shot_MeganMegan Mattson is a first year MPA candidate in GW’s Trachtenberg school. She works as the Sub-Saharan Africa Area Studies Program Assistant at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute, where she helps train government officials on Sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a B.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Development and a minor in Arabic from GW, where she graduated summa cum laude. In her undergraduate studies, Megan studied abroad in Muscat, Oman and Amman, Jordan. Megan is a Pickering Graduate Fellow and she will enter the Foreign Service after completing her master’s degree.


Deputy Editor: Grace Mausser, MPP

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Grace is currently a candidate for a Masters of Public Policy at The George Washington University, where she is a Presidential Administrative Fellow and works as the Student Liaison in the Office of the President. She also attended GWU as an undergraduate where she studied international affairs and economics. She has worked at a hodgepodge of places around Washington, D.C. including a feminist think tank, a marketing firm, ACT, and an economic research/lobbying group.


Staff Writer: Jordan Pic, MPA


Jordan is a first year MPA student focusing on Public-Private Partnerships. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a BA in Political Science and a minor in International Studies.  She has worked for the Florida House of Representatives, the Republican Party of Florida, international nonprofits, and the Charles Koch Institute. In her free time she enjoys volunteering at a local yoga studio.


Staff Writer: Steve Bruns, MPP


Steve Bruns is a first-year MPP candidate in GW’s Trachtenberg School. He is currently a public affairs specialist at Mathematica Policy Research, and also works at two farmers markets in the city – one on 14th and U St and the other in Bloomingdale. Steve graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012 with a BA in Political Science and American Studies. While an undergraduate, he was a legislative intern for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and volunteered on Sen. McCaskill’s re-election campaign in 2012. Outside of work and school, he likes to travel new places, try new restaurants, run, read and hear about your ideas.

Staff Writer: Charles Landau, MPA


Charles Landau is a first-year Master of Public Administration candidate at GW’s Trachtenberg School. He also holds a BA in Philosophy and Political Science from Boston University. Prior to joining the Trachtenberg School he served in research and administrative roles at The Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center. As a Staff Writer, Charles plans to focus on energy and environmental policy.


Staff Writer: Michael Steinberg, MPP


Michael Steinberg is a first year Master’s of Public Policy student at GW’s Trachtenberg School with an interest in technology policy. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Partnership for Public Service, where he studies how to improve government and the federal workforce. He previously worked as a paralegal for an intellectual property law firm, and he has held internships on Capitol Hill, at the National Archives, and in local government. Michael is a proud graduate of the University of Maryland in College Park, where he double majored in Government and Sociology.

Staff Writer: Zhao Zhai, MPP


Zhao Zhai is a second-year Master of Public Policy candidate at the George Washington University. He graduated from Baruch College and majored in economics and minored in mathematics. He has worked as a summer forensic economist at U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as well as a buildings energy code campaign intern at The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). He loves to read history and philosophy.


Staff Writer: Elizabeth Morehead, MPP


Elizabeth Morehead is a first year Master of Public Policy candidate in GW’s Trachtenberg School. She holds a BA in Psychology with an additional business focus from the University of Kentucky. As an undergraduate Elizabeth spent much of her time working with Children living in low socio-economic areas sparking her interest in Policy initiatives. She has an extensive research background stemming from her undergraduate education. In her free time Elizabeth enjoys going on runs, trying new foods, and spending time with friends.

Staff Writer: Konark Sikka, MPP


Konark Sikka is a second year Master of Public Policy candidate with a concentration in trade and foreign policy. He’s currently a research intern at the Hudson Institute. He studied at Delhi University for his undergraduate degree in Sociology. He previously worked at International Food Policy Research Organization in New Delhi, India. He enjoys motor-sports, playing soccer, and reading about history.



Staff Writer: Nathan Rupp, MPP


Nathan Black Rupp is a first year MPP candidate. His studies focus on international economic development, trends in international capital flows, trade and sausage making. He holds a B.A. in philosophy focusing on formal logic from Eckerd College. In his free time, he is an amateur linguist, having just published his second academic article.


Staff Writer: Jason Marshall, MPP


Jason Marshall is a first year Master of Public Policy candidate at the Trachtenberg School. He graduated from Clemson University with a double major in Political Science and Economics. Jason has worked overseas both as a volunteer for an environmental conservation group, and as a project manager in central Haiti with Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries. He currently interns on the Hill, and hopes to enter the international development field upon graduation.

Staff Writer: Shiva Sharma, MPP


Shiva Sharma is a first year MPP student at Trachtenberg School of Public Policy, George Washington University. She is also working at GW’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies as Graduate Research Assistant. She pursued her undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota with a double major in Economics and Political Science. She worked at Centre for policy Research, New Delhi for the past year.

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