Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in the Soviet Union in 1963, Garry Kasparov became the under-18 chess champion of the USSR at the age of 12 and the world under-20 champion at 17. He came to international fame at the age of 22 as the youngest world chess champion in history in 1985. His famous matches against the IBM supercomputer Deep Blue in 1996-97 were key to bringing artificial intelligence, and chess, into the mainstream.
Max Boot is a historian, best-selling author, and foreign-policy analyst who has been called one of the “world’s leading authorities on armed conflict” by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, a columnist for the Washington Post, and a Global Affairs Analyst for CNN.
Linda Chavez is a senior fellow at the National Immigration Forum. Chavez authored Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation (Basic Books 1991), which the Denver Post described as a book that “should explode the stereotypes about Hispanics that have clouded the minds of patronizing liberals and xenophobic conservatives alike.” National Review described Chavez’s memoir, An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal (Basic Books 2002), as a “brilliant, provocative, and moving book.” In 2000, Chavez was honored by the Library of Congress as a “Living Legend” for her contributions to America’s cultural and historical legacy. In January 2001, Chavez was President George W. Bush’s nominee for Secretary of Labor until she withdrew her name from consideration.
Chavez has held a number of appointed positions, among them Chairman, National Commission on Migrant Education (1988-1992); White House Director of Public Liaison (1985); Staff Director of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (1983-1985); and she was a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States (1984-1986). Chavez was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland in 1986. In 1992, she was elected by the United Nations’ Human Rights Commission to serve a four-year term as U.S. Expert to the U.N. Sub-commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities.
Chavez was also editor of the prize-winning quarterly journal American Educator (1977-1983), published by the American Federation of Teachers, where she also served as assistant to AFT president Al Shanker (1982-1983) and assistant director of legislation (1975-1977).
Chavez serves on the Board of Directors of ABM Industries, Inc. a Fortune 500 company, as well as on boards of several non-profit organizations.
Chavez was born in Albuquerque, NM, on June 17, 1947, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the University of Colorado in 1970 and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from George Mason University in 2012. She currently resides in Silver Spring, MD.
Annie Duke is an author, corporate speaker, and consultant in the decision-making space. Her most recent book, “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” is a national bestseller. A world-champion poker player, Annie retired from the game in 2012. She is the co-founder of The Alliance for Decision Education, a non-profit whose mission is to empower students through decision skills education, and serves on the board of After-School All-Stars.
Heidi Heitkamp is the founder and Chair of the One Country Project, an organization focused on addressing the needs and concerns of rural America. Prior to founding One Country, Heitkamp served as the first female senator (2013-2019) from North Dakota.
Bob Kerrey is Executive Chairman of the Minerva Institute for Research and Scholarship, where he advocates for broad reform in higher education. From 1983 to 1987 Kerrey served Nebraska’s 35th Governor, and then as the state’s Senator from 1989 to 2001.
Igor Kirman is a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he focuses primarily on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and general corporate and securities law matters. He teaches as an adjunct at Columbia Law School; is the author of a book on M&A confidentiality agreements; and was named as one of the “Dealmakers of the Year” by American Lawyer for 2006 and 2015.
Mark Lasswell is an op-ed editor at the Washington Post. He is the former editorial features editor, overseeing op-eds, at the Wall Street Journal, where he also served as deputy books editor.
Michael Steele is a political analyst for MSNBC and a Senior Fellow at Brown University’s Institute for International and Public Affairs. When he was elected Lt. Governor of Maryland in 2003, Michael Steele made history as the first African American elected to statewide office; and again with his subsequent chairmanship of the Republican National Committee in 2009.
Mickey Edwards is a former eight-term member of Congress, having been a member of his party’s leadership, a senior member of both the Appropriations and Budget Committees, ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, and an advisor to the State Department. He is Vice President of the Aspen Institute, a visiting professor of public and international affairs at Princeton University, a political columnist, a published author, and an inducted fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman (Retired) was most recently the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia on the White House’s National Security Council. Prior to retiring from the U.S. Army, he served as a Foreign Area Officer with assignments in Moscow, Russia and for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as a Political-Military Affairs Officer. While on the Joint Staff, he co-authored the National Military Strategy Russia Annex and was the principal author for the Global Campaign for Russia. He is currently a doctoral student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, a Pritzker Military Fellow at the Lawfare Institute and Visiting Fellow at University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. His book HERE, RIGHT MATTERS (HarperCollins) will be published in the spring of 2021.
Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and a Pulitzer-prize winning historian. She is also Professor at the London School of Economics’s Institute of Global Affairs where she runs Arena, a program on disinformation and 21st century propaganda.
William “Bill” Kristol is a political analyst and media commentator regular panelist on ABC and MSNBC. Mr. Kristol served as Chief of Staff for Vice President Dan Quayle, and led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. In 1997, he co-founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) with Robert Kagan and he is the founder and director of Defending Democracy Together.
Bret Stephens currently works at the New York Times and is a journalist, editor, and political commentator. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including two honorary doctorates and the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.
Dan Benton founded the technology hedge fund Andor Capital Management and served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman until 2008 where he then established the Andor Opportunity Fund LP and the Andor Opportunity Offshore Fund Ltd. He graduated with a BA from Colgate in 1980, and received an MBA.from Harvard Business School in 1984.
Daniel B. Hurwitz is Founder & CEO of Raider Hill Advisors LLC. He is a graduate of Colgate University and the Wharton School of Business Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Eric Wolf served as an Investigations Officer in the National Unit for Serious and International Crimes Investigations with the Israeli Police, where he conducted several international investigations on crimes including homicide, fraud, and kidnapping. He later worked as the head of the Ambassador’s Office at the Embassy of Israel in Moscow. He is a founder of Paragon Outcomes Management, a New York private equity fund. He earned a BA from Jerusalem Hebrew University, an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and an Executive MBA from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business.
Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is Chairman of Spitzberg Partners LLC. He served as German Minister of Economics and Technology and then as Minister of Defense in the cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Mr. zu Guttenberg was a Member of the German Parliament, a Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Secretary General of Germany’s CSU party.
Lisa is a senior level advisor, strategist and leader with extensive experience supporting C-suite executives transform business vision into actionable solutions for financial services and non-profit organizations. Lisa is a graduate of Cornell University and has served in a number of non-profit leadership and board roles for organizations including: Cornell University, the GO Project, the Dalton School, her Co-op Board and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Rina Shah is a DC-based political advisor, commentator, and social entrepreneur. She is currently the Senior Fellow for Inclusive Governance at the Rainey Center for Public Policy and a Contributing Writer for The Week. She is a proud daughter of West Virginia and of immigrants from Uganda and India.
In 2016, she led the #NeverTrump movement, becoming the first RNC delegate to speak out against candidate Donald Trump––for which she was canceled by the RNC, only to be reinstated after a lengthy legal battle. She later worked as Chief Spokesperson for Evan McMullin’s presidential campaign, just one of nearly 40 political campaigns on which she has worked. In 2020, she founded Republican Women for Biden. In addition to her political work, she is co-founder of the Women’s Public Leadership Network and sits on the board of many women-focused non-profits.
Whitney Haring-Smith is a former Rhodes Scholar, entrepreneur, and investor focused primarily on industrial and technology businesses. As a Managing Partner at Anzu Partners, Dr. Haring-Smith leads the portfolio support functions and has led most of Anzu’s acquisitions and software companies.
Prior to joining RDI as its Executive Director, Uriel worked in the private sector – first as a consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and then in strategy at start-ups in the mobility space including DoorDash and Uber. As a student at Yale University, he founded and to this day, continues to chair the Peace & Dialogue Leadership Initiative (PDLI), an organization dedicated to bridging the civil-military divide and creating a space on campuses for nuanced discussion of the US role in the Middle East.
Daniel Miller is a lawyer and writer who has engaged in various forms of advocacy and activism, most recently related to civics education. After the 2016 presidential election, he started a civics group in New York in order to teach people about the Constitution. He has also written about civics and political issues for the press with pieces featured in the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, and the New York Daily News, among others. Mr. Miller’s legal career includes a federal clerkship, work as a contract attorney doing document review, and pro bono immigration experience. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Georgetown University Law Center.
Samaquias Lorta, Audio
Samaquia Lorta is an interdisciplinary artist from a Mexican migrant community in USA currently based in Berlin, Germany. With over 10 years of professional experience as a cellist and composer, Lorta has slowly moved towards new media formats such as audio-visual productions, 360 binaural video, motion-based installations, and VR interactive films that enhance his conceptual artistic ethos. Samaquias became an orphan at a young age and has grown into a nomadic lifestyle where his diverse skillset has enabled him to discuss topics such as mental health and ecological thought. Lorta has toured through 48 states in the USA as a dancer while his musical career has brought him to Germany, Austria, Colombia, and Nicaragua. Within Berlin, Samaquias has performed in venues such as ACUD MACHT NEU, Dock 11, Suicide Circus, Sari Sari, and Funkhaus.
Jess Hwang, Political Affairs
Born and raised in South Korea, Jess came to the States in 2009 and have been attending school here since then. She graduated from the New York University College of Arts and Sciences as a member of the class of 2019 with a major in Politics and minor in Social and Cultural Analysis (with a concentration in marginalized communities). As of now, Jess is further pursuing her academic interests in Politics at New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at a Master’s level, and her concentration in the field is Political Economy. Jess’s research interests surround the Collective Action Theory, Inequality, Democracy.
Divya Mehrish, Writing and Research
Divya is a rising freshman at Stanford and a published writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction pieces. At RDI, Divya works as a Writing & Research Intern. She is also currently conducting research and working on data science analysis for a tech-focused health startup. Divya loves learning languages and hopes to pursue Russian and Arabic in college.
Timothy Han, Political Affairs
Timothy is a rising junior at Yale studying Comparative Literature, where he writes for the Politic, the Logos, and other journals. At RDI, Timothy helps out on the Development, Newsletter, and Video Writing fronts. He is also currently working as a finance intern on a federal-level political campaign. When not bouncing back and forth on Zoom calls, he tries desperately to read more poetry.
Danielle Wietrzychowski, Video Editing
Danielle is a 2020 graduate of the College of New Jersey where she graduated with high honors with a BA in Communications with a major in Interactive Multimedia and a minor in Management. While in college Danielle volunteered to assist disabled individuals and students through her involvement in the Special Olympics and the TCNJ Disability Support Services. In her prior work, Danielle used video for public information initiatives including a video collaboration with the New Jersey Brain Injury Alliance. Danielle has a passion for using light, movement and sound in video and animation to stimulate the senses and emotions and drive engagement. In her free time Danielle enjoys gaming, troubleshooting software to improve user experience, and having spirited discussions with friends and colleagues about technology and its uses.
Ruchit Negotia, Video Editing
Ruchit Negotia is a 2020 graduate of the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Film. He has produced, written, directed several short films during his 4 years of school. Alongside, producing his own content, he has worked on countless other films in various production roles. Having a passion for great storytelling has brought him to RDI. Where he is the video editor responsible for crafting a strong narrative. Besides editing videos, Ruchit also has a passion for painting, playing the guitar, and taking photos.
Teddy Tawil, Writing and Research
Teddy Tawil is a Research and Writing Intern at RDI, taking a gap year before attending Yale University. He is an active debater, always interested in examining political issues from both sides. Teddy has served as the Student Member on his local school board and worked as an intern at the New-York Historical Society, creating exhibits and tours on citizenship. He is deeply interested in immigration and his research paper on the Johnson-Reed Act was recently published in the Concord Review. In his free time, Teddy enjoys reading books on law, economics, and history, rooting for the soccer club Arsenal, and drinking lots of coffee.